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My long overdue gaming build ($2000+)

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August 21, 2008 3:28:16 AM

lo everyone @ tom's.


To make a long story short, I've been planning on purchasing a new system for over a year now, but finances have been setting me back every time, so I'd like to get this done ASAP before something inevitably comes up again. And I need your help.

I've done a ton of research throughout the year and read through a lot of other peoples' builds and comments, and based on that, my specs list is currently as follows:

(Any comments/suggestions are highly appreciated!)


Motherboard:
ASUS P5Q Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P45 Intel Motherboard - $199.99
  • I'm going to stick with a single-gpu solution so I don't need a crossfire board. Any better options (PCI-e 2.0, preferably)?

    CPU:
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 Yorkfield 2.66GHz - $324.99
  • Pretty much 100% on this one.
    GPU:
    ATI Radeon 4870 X2 2GB DDR5 - $550~
  • Not sure of the brand I'm going to go with. Which would you recommend and why (e.g. Sapphire, Powercolor, etc.)
    HDD:
    2x Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM - $169.98
  • To RAID or not to RAID?
    RAM
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) - $79.99

    PSU:
    ZALMAN ZM750-HP Continuous 750W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.91 Modular
  • Would it be a safer bet to go with 1000W or is 750 sufficient? (Modular is always a plus)
    Case:
    LIAN LI PC-A71B Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower - $259.99
  • Lian-Li's are quality cases but come with quite a hefty pricetag. I'm looking for something that's silent with plenty of airflow and enough space to store the monolithic 4870 X2. Anything [cheaper] that would better fit my specifications?
    Monitor:
    SAMSUNG 2253BW Black 22" 2ms - $269.99
  • Good choice?
    OS:
    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64 - $109.99
  • I'm pretty sure I want Vista 64; is Home Premium good enough?

    Other stuff:
    XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - $36.99
    ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - $6.99
  • Anything else that I'm missing? (I'm not planning to OC anytime soon.)


    Total: $2,158.88~


    That about does it. For anyone who's thinking about reviewing my system - my budget is anywhere below $2,300 and if you know of cheaper parts that don't sacrifice performance, please let me know! As stated before, any comments on any of the components are encouraged.


    Thanks in advance.


    August 21, 2008 3:43:32 AM

    Get the Q9550 PCU, only $5 more.. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    I would get a better case, lose the 2nd HDD if you aren't going to raid. Get 800 ram as the 1000 is overkill if you aren't going to overclock. Perhaps a cheaper monitor, although the swivel and tilt is nice.

    Alternative cases are the Antec Twelve Hundred, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    or the Cooler Master 830.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    From what I hear the Cooler Master is one of the best air flow cases with a total of 9 possible fans, only 2 included though. While IMO the Twelve
    Hundred looks nicer, is cheaper and includes 5 120mm fans with a 200mm fan on top.

    Performance the Cooler Master may be a bit better, larger, and cooler. But $100+ more in order to fill all 9 fans (assuming $10 a fan). Microcenter has the Antec Twelve Hundred for 169. ($30 less than newegg)
    August 21, 2008 3:53:59 AM

    My build looks suprisingly similiar. I'm still on the fence about P5Q-E vs P5Q Deluxe. What made you go with the Deluxe? From what i can tell, the difference is 16 power phase and SSD for expressgate on the deluxe.

    Do you know anything about the BIOS?
    Related resources
    August 21, 2008 4:10:50 AM
    August 21, 2008 4:32:35 AM

    Quote:
    Get 800 ram as the 1000 is overkill if you aren't going to overclock.


    As far the memory goes your fine. That is a great deal for on 80. I doubt you would find 4 gb ddr2 800 much cheaper than that, you might as well have the faster ram.
    August 21, 2008 4:39:53 AM

    2253BW is a very nice monitor. I have the 2053BW, just 2 inches smaller. The Asus' price can't be beat though.
    September 5, 2008 8:49:42 PM

    downgrade your video to 4870 - not the x2. the vid card is the fastest thing in your computer to go obsolete - just upgrade it every year. better off in the long run.
    Upgrade your monitor to a 24 inch acer. - you will regret getting the 22 - i promise.

    Get better ram timings - corsair xms has always been a sold choice cas 4. games run off ram - don't go skimpy on one of the most important performance factors for games.

    change your hd to seagate ones that are lower size around 50 bucks each.
    get 3 of them. 1 for the os - 1 for the page file - 1 for the games.
    moving the page file to a seperate drive increases performance.

    Do not raid for games.
    !