First gaming PC - thoughts?

I've mainly used a laptop for gaming but have finally gotten around to planning a gaming PC now that I am settled down in one place for a while. I would welcome any suggestions comments on my parts.

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz
- Quad doesnt really seem worth it to me

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4850
- I am thinking of getting two of these in CF. Maybe I should just get a 4870x2 or wait for the 4850x2 to come out?

ASRock X48TurboTwins-WiFi LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
- 2 of these in RAID 0?

XCLIO Windtunnel


So should I take the plunge with Vista? I've heard that XP is better for games and that's what I've been using for years. Of course I wont be able to use all 4gb of RAM then.

Anyone have any experience using a 50' Plasma screen as a computer monitor? :D
17 answers Last reply
More about first gaming thoughts
  1. Don't bother doing CF (or SLI) with a lower end card, you are almost always better off buying a more powerful card (i.e. the 4870). You may want to double check the numbers for this particular card, but I just don't feel it is worth it. A better choice would probably be a 4870 with the option to add a second if you wanted to. What resolution are you planning on running @ (i.e. what is the max your monitor will support)? A lot of the high end stuff (CF, 4870x2) is aimed at resolutions of 1920x1200 or higher, with minimal benefit @ 1280x1024.

    You can get XP in 64 bit also, remember a 32 bit version of Vista will face the same limiitations on RAM as the 32 bit XP.

    Personally I don't think RAID zero offers enough benefit for a single user to justify its use (especially if you have raptors already). Thats just me though....
  2. For RAM, get some DDR2-800 that will operated at the JEDEC standard 1.8V. This will minimize potential headaches of getting it to work at what is essentially a factory OC.
    +1 @Kamel on RAID-0. Of all the RAID levels, that's the one that makes the least sense to me except for limited niches where [even a little] time is money. That's not the case on a gaming PC.
    The case is such a matter of personal preference, but I must say that one looks to me like an unwieldy beast, and I find front doors to be an irritant. Just my $0.02, but check out the CoolerMaster RC-690 and Antec 300.
  3. Well I plan to run at 1920x1200 at a minimum. I've been trying to find out if it's feasible to use my plasma TV as a monitor instead of buying a new one.

    Hanns·G HG-281DPB Black 28" 3ms Widescreen HDMI LCD Monitor

    Acer P243WAid Black-Silver 24" 2ms(GTG)

    - those two caught my eye though when I looked through the available monitors

    Thanks for the RAM and case info, I'll look into that.
    Guess I'll have to think some more on the RAID issue
  4. if you haven't purchased the two raptors i would recommend going with one and upgrading your gpu. for the price of the 4850 and one velociraptor you can almost afford a 4870x2. that would work great even at high res and allow you to add another down the road on that x48. great mobo for crossfire.

    +1 to the 800 ram

    don't know a lot about that case. antec 900 is $20 more and an awesome case. but don't know how tight on your budget you are.

    go vista 64 bit for gaming. it works well and most of the "issues" you have heard about have been resolved. directx10 is worth it.
  5. get the 4870X2 its much faster and just a 1TB hdd can do the job as good.
  6. I was going to get a 4850.. the 4870 was $100 more expensive. Then I saw this deal

    Visiontek HD4870 - $235 after NewEgg Promo Code and Mail in Rebate

    The promo is still available, check here:

    Visiontek offers a limited lifetime warranty as well, plus free shipping! Mine's in the mail.

    I'll also pass along another great deal from the same page:

    Corsair 750 Watt - $89 after NewEgg Promo Code and Mail in Rebate

    It has 60 Amps on the +12V and four 8-pin PCI-E power connectors (you can convert them to 6-pin). It's not modular, but it's $100 cheaper than the one you selected.

    If you can justify the mail in rebates than this is a better deal as the 4870 has a better cooler and can get anywhere from 6-30 more FPS depending on the game.
  7. Get the Corsair 750W and a HD 4870X2. The motherboard can be reduced to Asus P5Q or P5Q Pro or similar, it doesn't need to be an expensive X48 with that card. The 4870X2 has 2 GB of RAM and that helps it at high resolutions. HD 4870 CF only has 512MB + 512MB.
  8. i just notice something in the graphics section.alot of people think their old sempron or athlon 2.4Ghz computer can become a super computer when they put in the recently highly praised 4870(x2) in their system.

    have you notice that aevm?
  9. Instead of RAIDing two VelociRaptors, I would rather get a 32GB SLC SSD drive and the WD 640GD hard drive. The price would be similar, and you wouldn't have to worry about a RAID failure.
  10. i dont know why people rush for HDD loading time? you loose a game for the -20second waiting time??
  11. iluvgillgill said:
    i just notice something in the graphics section.alot of people think their old sempron or athlon 2.4Ghz computer can become a super computer when they put in the recently highly praised 4870(x2) in their system.

    have you notice that aevm?

    LOL, yeah...

    I've seen benchmarks where Q9450 + HD 4850 got the same fps as Phenom 9850 + HD 4850 in Crysis. The Phenom 9850 is slower (pretty much equal to Q6600), but that didn't hurt at all because it was still overkill and didn't cause a bottleneck. Maybe people look at benchmarks like that and think "all right, if the slower Phenom didn't hurt, then my P3/800 MHz won't hurt either". Or maybe they just look at benchmarks for video cards and forget to read "Page 2: test setup" where it typically says "we used an overclocked QX9650 etc etc"
  12. yeah i know. the forum is flooded with threads like " ....will it bottleneck 4870(X2)?"

    i really do think people jump from 1st page to result page full of charts and graph. but i guess it does increase gaming performance upto a certain extend.

  13. Hey thanks for the info qwertycopter! I'll definelty use that PSU.

    That deal on the 4870 is pretty tempting too but I think the 4870x2 might be tempting me more. :D
  14. im sorta think the 4870X2 is overpriced at the moment when compare the price to the GTX280 and the actual frame increase.
  15. I am thinking now that 10k HD's may not be worth it, instead I figure I'll get two 500g 7200.11 Seagate Barracudas and put those in RAID 0 for lots of space and pretty good speed.
  16. yeah thats a better idea then 10k raptor.its too hot too noisy and slower drive can work better at speed.
  17. i personally don't think you will see major benefit from raid. i would get a 640gb wd (best price per gb you can get compare it to the seatgate 500gb price) If the tiny difference in performance is that important. get one seagate 1tb drive and call it good. will perform as well as anything.
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