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New Build - Opinions & Advice PLZ - I'm a Noob!

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September 10, 2008 12:29:07 AM

I'm looking to build a new system from scratch for the first time. (Last time I bought a customized Dell desktop and I vow never to do it again)

I'll try to keep this short and easy to read.. Basically I want an awesome/solid gaming/work rig that won't break the bank and will last in quality.

Budget: $1500-2200

I consider myself to be a hardcore PC gamer, I'm a web designer and use CS3 daily as well as Flash. I've been known to dabble in 3D and video editing. I'm on my system all the time in chat, and I tend to leave it on 24/7 (probably a bad idea I know).

-So I want high frame rates in games with all the bells and whistles
-Something that can play video decently
-something that will last for at least 3-4 years without needing a heavy upgrade.
-Quality parts that won't burn out quickly, etc.

Some choices I've already made:
-I want it to be SLI or Crossfire compatible
-I want more then dual core
-I want DDR3 RAM (unless someone can convince me otherwise)
-I already have an Acer 22" LCD.

I've talked to a few friends who consider themselves well learned and up-to-date in building awesome rigs.

My first buddy said this, which I think is a little TOO MUCH:
Supermicro X7DWA-N EATX 5400 Dual Xeon LGA771 2PCI-X 2PCI-E16 2PCI SATA RAID GBLAN Motherboard 1
Intel Xeon E5410 Quad Core 2.33GHZ LGA771 12MB 1333FSB Harpertown Retail Processor W/ Active HSF 2
Buffalo Certified 2GB 1X2GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL5 240PIN FBDIMM Memory DIMM 1
OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black 1
NZXT Tempest EATX Mid Tower Case Black 3X5.25 1X3.5 8X3.5INT No PS Front USB Firewire Audio 1
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 3.5IN 500GB SATA2 8.5MS 7200RPM 32MB Cache NCQ Hard Drive 1
Palit Radeon HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 PCI-E Video Card 19

My second buddy who I'm LEANING MORE TOWARDS said this which sounds great to me so far:
Asus P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP@n Socket 775 Intel X38 ICH9R Chipset Dual-Channel DDR3 1800/1600/1333/1066/800Mhz Dual GigaLAN 802.11n 8-CH HD Audio 2x PCIe x16 eSATA/SATA 3.0Gb/s 10x USB 2.0 Firewire
RAM Corsair XMS3 DHX 2GB (2x1GB) 240pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory (TW3X2G1600C9DHX)
Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 Dual Dual-Link DVI HD Audio Shader Model 4.1 800 stream processor PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card
Antec Nine Hundred Case
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Enermax INFINITI 720W
Seagate Barracuda (ST3500320AS) 7200.11 SATA NCQ 3.0Gb/s 500GB 32MB Cache (OEM)

What I'm hoping to get from you guys:
-Some opinions, and recommendations if there are parts or deals that are better or more quality. Or if you think there's better options for me for any of these parts, etc.
-A proofread to make sure there are no incompatibilities between parts.
-Some recommendations on good places to buy from in Canada :) 
-Anything I forgot (I noticed I haven't really looked at buying Vista/XP or anything.. Also no soundcard.. hmm..)

I think that's it.. Any advice and help would be amazing since I'm short on research time. I value hearing the different opinions of knowledgable experts, so tell me whatever you can/want while keeping these points in mind..

THANKS SO MUCH IN ADVANCE! :D  :D  :D 


More about : build opinions advice plz noob

September 10, 2008 1:01:28 AM

Sorry to say, I think both buddies missed the boat.

If you are a gamer, start with the best video configuration you feel comfortable buying. It should not be a 4850 with that budget.
Top of the heap is the 4870X2 at $550
Next is the GTX280 at $400.
then the 4870,GTX260/9800GX2 at $280.

Very few games are designed to use more than two cores. FSX and supreme commander are the only two I know about. Game developers will not sell very many games that need more than two cores to run, so I don't see that changing for a while. I would go for the increased clock speed of the E8500. If you will be doing lots of cpu intensive multitasking, then a quad may be more appropriate.

Core2 processors are not sensitive to ram speeds. DDR3 ram is twice as expensive as DDR2, and will give you perhaps 1-3% more FPS. Is it worth it to you? Not to me today.
The 2gb suggested is not enough.
http://www.corsairmemory.com/_appnotes/AN804_Gaming_Per...
Ram is cheap, get 4gb in a 2x2gb configuration. If you do lots of multitasking, get 8gb.

Onboard sound is very good. I would defer on the sound card, you can always add one later. Some cards seem to have problems with drivers and other issues.

September 10, 2008 1:17:43 AM

+1 to geofelt....they rly missed...sry

How bout
DFI X38
Intel Q9550
4 gigs CL4 ram (Corsair DHX)
WD 320/640 AAKS
and like geofelt said for the GPUs its ur call

If going with Nvidia card, go with a P45 board (P5Q Pro/Deluxe)
Related resources
September 10, 2008 1:22:17 AM

geofelt seems to have covered all the major issues with both suggested builds.

as for good places to buy parts in canada, i've had no complaints with directcanada.com. it's part of ncix but often has lower prices. they also offer free ground shipping if you spend more than $200, and shipping for me has only taken around 4-5 days. (not bad considering the warehouse is in vancouver and i live in montreal). another site that'll be coming soon is newegg.ca. they're supposed to start a canadian division sometime very soon.
September 10, 2008 4:28:54 AM

Great, thanks for the heads up guys.

Geofelt, you seem to have made some good points. Actually it's interesting because I was originally going to go with the 4870 like you mentioned (I was going to buy one and then the other later down the road), but I heard that the 4850 was almost just as good and was cheaper (like the 4870 was around $50 more and wasn't that much of a gain?)

I agree about the RAM, but, can I use DDR2 on the P5E3? Or is it only compatible with DDR3? I"m not sure how that works. Also, do I have to worry about what kind of RAM I buy? Or is any corsair 2x2 good for the job?

Silverion77 & Nik - thx for the tips I'll check em out.


You guys only mentioned a few of the parts so I'll assume the other parts are adequate/good.

Also, what do you guys think about Vista? Do I even have a choice anymore? Is it as bad as people say? I heard XP is being phased out. I suppose I would have to factor in the price of the OS? Maybe I gcan get it with my system? I guess I'll have to check, kind of thinking out loud here...
September 10, 2008 5:06:35 AM

The P5E3 uses DDR3. You can't use DDR2 in that board.
Not to worry, the DDR2 boards cost much less also.
Look for one from ASUS or Gigabyte with the features that you want. Any of the P35,P45, X38,P48 chipsets are all good. Don't consider the combo DDR2/DDR3 boards.
Then go to the ram vendor's web site and use their configurator. You enter in your mobo, and you will get a list of their ram parts that they think are compatible with your motherboard. Corsair, Kingston, Patriot have them for instance.
As to Vista, have you heard about the Mojave experiment? If not, read here:
http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/...
I don't see investing in an OS that will be off support sooner. In fact, Vista home premium-64 bit works well, particularly for a new build that has no need to support obsolete legacy devices.

If you are a student, look into a cheaper academic license.
September 10, 2008 10:58:27 PM

Asus P5E Socket 775 Intel X38 ICH9R Chipset Dual-Channel DDR2 1200/1066/800/667Mhz eSATA/ 6x SATA 3.0Gb/s 8-CH SupremeFX II Audio 2x PCI-E x16 Firewire 12x USB 2.0 $219.99
Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX Matched Pairs 4GB Kit (2x2GB) PC6400 DDR2-800 CL 5-5-5-18 240-pin Dual Channel DHX Memory $157.99
2x Sapphire ATI RADEON HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 Dual Dual-Link DVI HD Audio Shader Model 4.1 800 stream processor PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card $609.98
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit (OEM) $129.99
Antec Nine Hundred Case $101.99
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 $209.99
Enermax INFINITI 720W $219.00
Seagate Barracuda (ST3500320AS) 7200.11 SATA NCQ 3.0Gb/s 500GB 32MB Cache (OEM) $71.99


This is my new quote, I changed up my build based on your feedback.

How does this one look based on what you said and compared to the last? Anything I overlooked, or anything else you guys would suggest?

I decided to stick with my quad core, but as you can see I've changed the motherboard (I chose this myself so I hope it's appropriate..), I also changed the RAM using the corsair compatibility thing on their site. I'm a huuuge multitasker and I tend to slow down systems with a lot of open programs, so I decided 4gigs was best. Let me know if there's a better choice for RAM.

What do you guys think now? Hitting the mark better?

Also, whats the diff between this

Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X4096-6400C5 G PC2-6400 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

and this?

Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX Matched Pairs 4GB Kit (2x2GB) PC6400 DDR2-800 CL 5-5-5-18 240-pin Dual Channel DHX Memory




September 10, 2008 11:07:37 PM

Might want to switch the 4870s for 1 4870x2. It has basically the same performance (if not a little better) and it leaves one slot open

Otherwise it looks good
September 10, 2008 11:08:44 PM

Looks good.
The corsair DHX variants have a fancier heat spreader on an otherwise identical part. It is not really needed.

Instead of two 4870 units for $600+, why not just use a 4870X2 for $550?

If you are a big multitasker, consider 8gb, it's cheap.
!