Q6600 and HD 4850 based build help

A New System
The time has come to build my holdover system until I upgrade to Nehalem. I figure that I'm not going to do another build until the second generation Nehalem processors start to come out, so this box only has to last me until then. I also don't plan on upgrading this box, so I shouldn't need to future proof anything (motherboard, ram, GPU, etc will all be poorly out of date by the time the second gen Nehalem's come out and will not be worth reusing).

CPU: Intel Q6600

I'm going with the Q6600 because I just have a thing for a getting quad core. I know that most current applications don't take full advantage of all four cores and that faster dual core procs will actually perform better, but I just want it. I chose the Q6600 because it is the cheapest Intel quad core.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P31-S3G or MSI P35 Neo Combo
I never realized how wonderful newegg really was until I moved away from the United States. The selection of motherboards where I am is incredibly pitiful. I tend to prefer Gigabyte boards but the MSI is a P35 instead of P31 and is $5 cheaper.

GPU: Radeon HD 4850
This card is still up for some debate. I'm definitely going with an ATI card because I run linux and want to support the open source drivers. I know that the Nvidia linux drivers are still better than the ATI drivers, but I believe in the momentum building up around ATI's open source drivers instead of Nvidia's blatantly closed source drivers. I'm going with the HD 4850 because it seems to bench quite well and its got a great price. I have also been considering the HD 3870 X2 because it seems to bench better with AA at my monitor's 1680x1050 resolution. However, the HD 3870 X2 is $50 more expensive which increases the total build price by about 10%. I would also have to get a more expensive power supply for a HD 3870 X2.

HDD: Seagate 7200.11 500GB 32MB

I figure that this will be one component that I will be able to reuse in my Nehalem build, so I went with a nice drive. What really sold me on this drive is the 32MB cache. Again, it's like the quad core thing, I just have to have it. Also, check the benchmarks, this drive does very well.

RAM: 2GB (2x1GB) ??? 800MHz
Cheap and good. I really liked the look of this OCZ ram (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227139) but that nice rebate will be long gone by the time I get around to ordering. Also, I wish it were 1.8V instead of 1.9-2.1V. But that's alright, I'm not planning on overclocking anyway. I'll have to look at this again when it comes time to order to see which ram the merciful rebates provide.

Case: Generic
Sadly a generic case. I won't know what it is until I get my other parts and head over to the local computer parts store. I just pray they have something with decent ventilation. Their online website is useless, but at least it has an option for English.

DVDRW: Generic
I almost never use my optical drives anyway so I guess generic won't be that bad.

PSU: Chieftec GPS-450AA-101A 450W
Basically, this thread (http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/t228904.html) convinced me that the Chieftec could handle my system. I know a lot of you out there are thinking that this is horribly underpowered, and please let me know if I have obviously forgotten something, but let's think about it. According to this PSU's specs, I'll have 15A on 12v2. This will give me 15 * 12 = 180W to power my graphics card, single sata hard drive, one DVDRW, DDR2 RAM, and case fan (or two depending on the case). HD 4850 under load 110W, Seagate 7200.11 seek avg. 12W, DVDRW (Pioneer DVR-112 for example) 11W, and two bad fans 8W. This leaves me with an extra 40W of head room on 12v2. Assuming that I loose 10% of available power due to aging after a year, I still have 20W to play with on 12v2 under max load. My average load is going to be well below this. Of course, if I go with the 3870 x2 there will be no way this power supply would work. That card alone draws 171W.

Basically, I'm going for a pretty strict budget build so that I will have more money to spend on a proper Nehalem build later. That being said, I still want to get the most out of this build until then. My current system is a Thinkpad T42 with a dying fan, so anything I build is going to feel insanely powerful compared to this.

I have a few friends back home who can bring me a few parts from Newegg, but their suitcases are already kind of full and I don't feel comfortable asking them to bring very heavy components. I'm figuring that I will be able to use newegg for Graphics card, CPU, and RAM. Everything else, I'll have to pick up locally which means I have almost no choice in those components.

So, what do you think of this build? What exactly should I get from Newegg (especially for the graphics card manufacturers, MSI, HIS, PowerColor)? Which motherboard should I go with? And am I under calculating the PSU somewhere?
6 answers Last reply
More about q6600 4850 based build help
  1. You're right on the money on most everything.

    If you plan to overclock the cpu, get a good P35 board if money is tight. This is a solid overclocker:


    While the Chieftec can power the pc at stock, it may not handle overclocking. Look into Antec & Corsair 500W-ish PSUs.
  2. Yep and do not rely on a 2 year old thread to give you accurate info on a PSU sold today.

    Antec Earthwatts 500W
    Corsair 550VX

    There are many inexpensive power supplies out there, but you should look for at least an 80plus certification... so you know it's efficient enough to give you the needed power.
  3. Thanks for your replies. I totally missed that it was a two year old thread. I was able to find the manufacturer's spec and the thread ended up being correct anyway.

    I looked into the PSU a bit more. The only other option I can get here in my price range is a HEC-500TD-TF for $18 more. I did find someone with a very similar build here http://www.hardware.info/en-US/usersys/cmxxYZ1ok2yd/view/. They are using the Chieftec and have more components to power, so I'm not too worried about it.

    I'm going to go with the MSI P35 Neo Combo over the Gigabyte board, but I still don't know which manufacturer to go with for the HD 4850.
  4. I really don't think it makes much difference. I note that Sapphire has a new cooler on their offering and a good price today:

  5. Alright, I think I've settled on the final build.

    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor
    MSI P35 Neo Combo
    SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3[\b] (Thanks to Proximon for spotting this)
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache
    OCZ2G8002GK 2GB Kit DDR2-800 Gold Gamer eXtreme XTC Edition
    Chieftec GPS-450AA-101A 450W
    Generic case
    (I'm not going to know until I go into the store and can look at them)
    Sony NEC Optiarc AD-7190S DVD/CDRW

    Does anyone know how long newegg usually takes to restock a sold out item?
  6. I ordered a very similar system 2 weeks ago - Q6600, 4850, same HD and same DVD. I am happy with mine and think you will not be dissappointed either. Only differences were P45 chipset MB (ASUS P5Q) which gives me PCEI 2.0 and a good OC at 3.0, and Vista 64 using 2X2 GB DDRS-800 memory. I selected a Corsair TX650 PSU which I admit is about 100w overkill for 1X GPU's. The future for me (3 years) might include a Q9550, more memory, and faster 1 X GPUX2 if it is ever necessary. We won't be able to use Nahelem with these MB's and sockets.
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