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Everyday/Gaming System $1200 system

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September 14, 2008 11:29:20 PM

Aright, I got the idea 5 days ago that I wanted to build a new system. The last system I built was 5 years ago, so needless to say, I was waaaay out of the loop. I've been reading for 5 days straight now and my head is spinning!
I am looking for a computer for everyday use (which my P4 can do perfectly still) but also for gaming - and future oreiented!

The two main things I'm still unsure of is the CPU and the GPU. Do I want dual or quad core? Will quad be better for future? What is better for games? Is it better to get the Q9950 ($140 more) and sacrafic other components... or the e8500 and put more into GPU or something else? Which would benefit gaming, and which future?
What about memory? I don't know whether to get DDR2 800mhz, or go DDR3 1333mhz - help!
With all that being said. Here is what I have in mind...


$70 - Antec 300 case (I like small, but is it big enough and good for future overclocking/cooling?) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$325 - Intel Q9950 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(combo deal with psu)

$75 - Rosewill RX850-D-B 850W - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$27 - Sony Burner - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$70 - WD 500gb HDD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$100 - 2gb (2x1gb) Corsair DDR3 1600 memory - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$150 - Asus EAH4850 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-or is 1gb better for only this much more? (Or what about the HIS Radeon 4850?)

$170 - Sapphhire Radeon 4850 1gb - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$170 - GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-DS3R - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(was going to get the ASUS P5QC because it's cheap and has DDR2 and DDR3, but it has bad reviews...?)

$200 - Acer 22" LCD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

When would I need CPU cooler? This? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Well, that is it. Now help!

September 15, 2008 12:48:39 AM

Or would it be better to get an e8500 with 4gb ram, and either save the diff $ or upgrade other parts?
September 15, 2008 12:49:39 AM

Don't OverSpend. Tech moves too fast. If you are sitting with an old P4, I doubt you need a system this expensive. I would cut quite a few items and still leave you a very powerful system.

Antec Sonta III Case w/Good PSU - $102 Shipped AR.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductCombos.aspx?Item=N...

(Free DVD Writer w/ Combo)

E5200 - Great OC'er. $89 Shipped

500GB HDD $70 (Won't Quibble)

2x2GB DDR2-800 $70 Shipped (Forget DDR3 - No Point. 4GB is a bit of a splurge, but not a costly one. 4GB DDR2 will whoop 2GB DDR3)

DS3L-EP45 - $109 Shipped.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4850 of your Choice, I like the MSI for the Cooler...... $174 Shipped.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Related resources
September 15, 2008 1:20:04 AM

Thanks for the input, but I'd like to get something better than that. I'd like to spend $1000 to $1200. And this isn't over spending, $2000 would be over spending! :) 
September 15, 2008 1:41:31 AM

+1 to zenmaster, but I'd suggest a 640 gb HDD - they are great price per gig and have excellent performance.
September 15, 2008 1:43:29 AM

i would change the PSU to the 750watt from corsair it is cheaper and well run better too(you don't need 850watts for that rig)

for 10bucks you might as well get the step up in the 4850

i would look at some DDR2 boards you could get 8GB of 800 memory for that price and those aren't that much faster because the timings are so high. i would recommend atleast 4gbs of any memory and the best price/preformance is DDR2 right now

i have the zalman 9700 led i love it but the new xigmatek HDT i have heard is really good

as to the CPU/GPU balence i would step down the CPU to say a Q6600 or E8500 and get 2 4850 graphic cards will give you the most performance in games

as to the CPU questions dual cores tend to be better for gaming while quads will definate work better in the future tho. games like Crysis and a lot of RTSs already take advatage quad cores do to physis/AI calculations however a lot of FPS MMOs and many more just don't uses the 3rd and 4th core. personally i like quad cores due to future proofing and the fact that when apps are multi threaded they run significantly better

i hope this helps, good luck, and good gaming
a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2008 2:10:54 AM

You could try something like this:

Q6600 $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

RC-690, $77 with free shipping
http://www.buy.com/prod/cooler-master-690-without-power-supply/q/loc/101/206177908.html

Corsair 750TX, $92 with free shipping
http://www.buy.com/retail/usersearchresults.asp?querytype=home&qu=750TX&qxt=home&display=col

Asus P5Q Pro $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131299

4 GB DDR2-800 $70 or whatever
WD6400AAKS $85
SH-S223F or similar (SATA, not IDE) $30

Visiontek HD 4870 X2, $550
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814129114

Total $1234. If the budget is very strict and needs to include Windows and/or monitor downgrade to HD 4870 or HD 4850, and add a second video card later.


September 15, 2008 2:46:05 AM

So, which is better, the Q6600 or the e8500?
I will think about that case, I also like the antec 900
If i'm going to get a ddr2 board, couldn't I find them for $100?
I was looking for a ddr3 board for furture
I've read that 2x 4850's don't really do much right now, so wouldn't that be a waste?

I've never done anything with overclocking. If I overclocked by say 20% and temps were okay, could I just run it like that 24/7, or do most people overclock only when they know they are going to be using it (ie gaming).

What about raptors in RAID - how much and what does that help?
September 15, 2008 3:01:36 AM

Also, does anyone know if the 1gb 4850 is really any better than the asus 512mb 4850? How could it be basically the same price?
September 15, 2008 3:19:17 AM

DDR3 will not future protect you.

When you upgrade, the RAM you buy today will likely be slow for what you want then as they are improving memory all the time. DDR3 now will not help in the least.

Overclocking is relative. The slower the CPU the more it can OC in general.
The reason is all the chips in a class are built the same way.

Most folks who OC, keep their systems OC'd all of the time but keep the OC to a reasonable level. Again, a Reasonable OC may often be 66% or more in many cases and still be within Manufacturers spec for a nice long life.

September 15, 2008 4:13:05 AM

Thanks. I will go with DDR2 - should I even look into anything above 800?

I'm still stuck on thinking that I should get a Quad core. Seems like not many people go above the Q6600, why is that?
In a straight shootout, is the Q6600 or the e8500 faster? I suppoes the answer will be it depends on what you are doing...
September 15, 2008 4:31:39 AM

What case? Reviews say Antec 900 ($100) is loud. What about antec 300 $(50). Or Cool Master 690($78)? What is going to fit everything well, and keep it cool, without annying me with noise?

CPU cooler, what one? If I don't get the 900 case, then LEDs don't matter.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Everyone says HDT is a pain to install, and doesn't fit well in either the 300 or 900... I would really like not to spend $70 on one of these! If i'm not going to overclock, do I even need a cooler right now?
September 15, 2008 4:36:24 AM

E8500 is faster clock for clock because of new instructions and a 3.16 ghz clock

core 660 is just the most favorable quad on the planet atm for its price and has solid performance.

just get the q660 if your going to keep the comptuer for a few years (like 4 or 6)

your hard drive should he a WD 640gb AAKS drive because those things are beast.

get a HIS 4850 because of the beast cooler or a gainward golden sample bliss 4870 for its good cooler.

dont have time to explain.

im sleepy.

hope what we all said helps :) 
a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2008 5:32:44 AM

Remember when DDR2 came out and everyone just had to have the better board with 533 DDR2 (which actually performed slower than a simular system with low timing DDR)? Yeah DDR3 will start advancing in speed quickly once it gets more mainstream, till the the performance advantage between good DDR2 and DDR3 memory is negligable. If you're not going to upgrade for a long time then it may be worth it to have DDR3 to go into your new build, but of course faster DDR3 speeds will be out there by then so that would only be a temporary solution.

As for the 4850 you can get the HIS card with dual slot cooling if your worried about heat. Getting a 1GB 4850 would be nice, but it's going to be some time before you are going to need that RAM. Of course that time may be fast approaching with id's new engine, but we'll see. The one thing I don't like about your build is your PSU. I'm not really too crazy about Rosewill PSUs, but I suppose it will be ok for your build.
September 15, 2008 5:33:51 AM

Do I need this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Alright, 90% lean towards the Q6600 unless some else has thoughts.
Yes, I'm getting that HDD

What HIS 4850? There are 4 on newegg
Where do I find the bliss 4870?

Right now I'm stilling at $1100 with everything I need. I could go for the 4870, but is the $100-$120 (80%) increase in price worth the increase in performance? I think the 4850 will be fine for me, and then I save a few bucks.

Anyone want to comment on my case and cooler questions?
September 15, 2008 2:33:06 PM

The gig below totals $1465, and I have a computer builder that said I can get it for $1000. If he doesn't change price, should I jump on it?

$50 - 1 - Antec 300 case
$250 - 1 - Intel DX48BT2 “Bone Trail 2” motherboard
$325 - 1 - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 CPU - 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 1333Mhz FSB
$20 - 1 - Coolmaster cpu cooler
$20 - 1 – Lite On DH-20A1L Dual Layer SATA Lightscribe DVD burner
$350 -2 – Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB SATA disk drives spinning at 10,000 RPM, configured in a RAID 0 (striping) array. Drives are housed in Thermaltake HardCano 14 clamshell drive enclosures -
$140 - 1 - 2GB Corsair CM3X1024-1333C9DHX memory – DDR3 PC3-2 DIMMS
$90 - 1 - Corsair power supply 750W
$20 - 3 - Noctua NF-S12 120mm cooling fans
$150 - 1 - Asus EAH4850
$50? - 1 - Windows Vista Home non-Premium – includes media and license code.
a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2008 2:54:26 PM

mazda6_stealth said:
Do I need this?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Alright, 90% lean towards the Q6600 unless some else has thoughts.
Yes, I'm getting that HDD

What HIS 4850? There are 4 on newegg
Where do I find the bliss 4870?

Right now I'm stilling at $1100 with everything I need. I could go for the 4870, but is the $100-$120 (80%) increase in price worth the increase in performance? I think the 4850 will be fine for me, and then I save a few bucks.

Anyone want to comment on my case and cooler questions?


You need the retention bracket only if you get the Xigmatek HDT-S1283. If you're not planning to overclock you can just get the Q6600 retail and use the cooler that comes with it.

I think the Bliss is only available in Europe.

That config is acceptable at $1000 IMO. I wouldn't pay $1465 for it. It's not bad, but there are some areas where you can do better.
A single Velociraptor 300GB will beat those two older 150GB Raptors, with less noise and heat, with less risk of crashing, and still offer 300GB, and cost less.
2GB of RAM is too little IMO, especially on Vista. I would very much prefer 4 GB of DDR2. That would cost a lot less too.


September 15, 2008 4:24:55 PM

Alright, was I'm going to see if I can just sub out a WD 640bg for the other HDD's and see how much he'd take off the price.
I agree with you on the RAM.
What about the x48 mobo? I hear there are a lot of probs with the x48's.
If I can sub out for 4gb DDR2, 640gb HDD, and cut price to $900 - I think it would be a pretty sweet deal. Still saving $300 from newegg prices...
So basically I'm getting a Q9550 and x48 mobo for the cost of e8500 and P5Q mobo...
a b 4 Gaming
September 15, 2008 5:00:27 PM

Yeah... Sweet deal indeed, especially if he also does the building and installs Vista.

Just make sure you get a DDR2 motherboard for DDR2 RAM, of course.
September 15, 2008 6:03:59 PM

Ha, true statement about the mobo! I actually wouldn't mind putting it together, haven't done it in a while so it would be fun! What is good price on Vista Ultimate, or 64?
September 15, 2008 7:04:22 PM

I wouldnt bother with Ultimate unless u need all that extra security.

Get Vista Home Premium 64 bit which on newegg is about $100 OEM but more retail
September 16, 2008 12:55:58 AM

Eh, unneeded rly, unless u are WCing and u arent going to have a lot of air...
September 16, 2008 2:48:14 AM

Thanks! I'm just waiting to hear back from my guy about price! If it's a go, I'll def pass him on to all of you. I should save about $300 over newegg with him...
!