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Another "please critique my build for me" post

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September 17, 2008 12:07:51 PM

I am looking to replace my current computer with something much more gaming friendly. I put together a list of products that I was considering buying, but if they dont make sense together or if there are better options for the money ... please let me know. Most importantly, please let me know why. I am rather new to the whole computer building thing, so that knowledge would be helpful.

Here is what I came up with so far:

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
Item #:N82E16835186134 $31.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit English 1pk DSP OEI DVD for System Builders
Item #:N82E16832116493 $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 3.33GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
Item #:N82E16819115054 $269.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

2 - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820231145 $145.98 ($72.99 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

ASUS P5Q Pro ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #:N82E16813131299 $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Item #:N82E16822136218 $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
Item #:N82E16835100007 $5.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

LG Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner w/ SecurDisc Tech - OEM $24.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BYTECC Black Internal Floppy Drive Model BT-145
Item #:N82E16821121001 $7.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

EVGA GeForce 8800 GT 512-P3-N801-AR Video Card
Item #:N82E16814130318 $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Linkworld 313-11(3131-11) Black / Silver Computer Case
Item #:N82E16811164081 $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Grand Total: $1,081.88

I do plan to overclock this system...not sure if I really need to, but it makes me :D 

I picked that cooler based on price and reviews. Most said it was a very capable cooler and at about half the price of some others. If it is inadequate, I can always change.

Decided on Vista 64 because I wanted to run the 8 GB ram. Ram is cheap enough now, so I figured why not.

I figure Ill get killed on case choice. I liked the large fan on the side. I figured I could have that side fan pull in across the majority of the motherboard (including heat sinks that dont have fans on them) and out the rear fan/vents. If I needed more I figured I could get one of those coolers that fits in a 5 1/4 bay in the front. I was told that with a single video card I wouldnt need more than a 500W power supply.

Ok, Im braced...

Thanks in advance,

Anthony

More about : critique build post

September 17, 2008 12:35:29 PM

If you do overclock, I strongly suggest you downgrade the cpu to E8400 and overclock this to 3.6Ghz on stock cooling & voltage. You save over a 100 bucks. Put this savings toward a better gpu. At a minimum, 9800 GTX+ for about $170 (XFX) after rebate or better. After this change, the new build will be faster than your original in gaming.

Swap AS5 out with MX-2:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If budget allows, def. go with 8GB ram cuz DDR2 is about at the bottom now. The ony way the prices go is up when DDR2 becomes obsolete.

Overkill PSU Myth:

Your build at stock will use about 210 watts under load. No higher. Unless you overclock. My E8400 o/c'ed + HD 4850 uses about 220W. The gpu power requirement assumes the psu is generic in which the manufacturer overrates the max output. i.e. 500W doesn't mean 500W. Name brands are the exception. The gpu maker has to take this into consideration when listing the power requirement.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3140&p=13
September 17, 2008 1:09:32 PM

The cooler is not the best, but it will get the job done. It comes with decent thermal paste pre-applied however, so you do not need to by AS5 OR MX-2.
Related resources
September 17, 2008 2:43:01 PM

You're not going to get killed for the case choice, you're going to get killed for choosing to use the crappy PSU that comes with the case. Or rather, the rest of your components might get killed.

Get whatever case you want to (it's mostly just personal taste anyway), but for the PSU it's hard to beat the Antec EA-500 for $45 shipped.
September 17, 2008 3:12:18 PM

get a better cooler, get e8400, change ram to ddr 800 and save money.
September 17, 2008 3:26:28 PM

I would suggest the E8400 + OC aswell. I would use the savings to get an HD4850. The case I think is ugly (personal opinion, of course) and bigger fan does not necessarily mean better cooling. The PSU included with it is absolute junk. Here are the changes I'd suggest:

Antec Three Hundred - $60 with free shipping

and

Antec Earthwatts 430W - $30 with free shipping after MIR
or Antec Earthwatts 500W - $45 with free shipping
or Corsair VX450 - $70 after MIR

and

Xigmatek S963 - $25
or Xigmatek S1283 - $37

Also, I think factory TIM is fine, but I like to have at least a tube handy in case of remounting components and whatnot. I'd suggest Tuniq TX-2 over AS5 (I've heard Arctic Cooling MX-2 is also fairly good, too, but it's almost double the price).
September 17, 2008 3:50:37 PM

auscanzukus said:
If you do overclock, I strongly suggest you downgrade the cpu to E8400 and overclock this to 3.6Ghz on stock cooling & voltage. You save over a 100 bucks. Put this savings toward a better gpu. At a minimum, 9800 GTX+ for about $170 (XFX) after rebate or better. After this change, the new build will be faster than your original in gaming.


Is there a reason besides money to go with the E8400 instead of the E8600? I have seen this mentioned a few times and am wondering why.

As for the video card, you listed a 9800 GTX as a minimum. I can go higher as necessary, so what would you shoot for? A few people said HD4850. I did a search for that on Newegg and got a ton of hits. Any brand preferance?

Memory. I did a lot of reading...and my brain hurt. If I understand it correctly, DDR2 800 is good for a computer running a 400 FSB...which I am hoping I will hit as well. I have seen some people push past the 400 FSB and according to what I read DDR2 800 will have issues with this. Is it just unreasonable to expect to push past 400 FSB, or gains not worth it? Just curious why 800 seems to be the magic number for memory. My biggest reason to go with the 1000 was the very small price difference.

Thanks,

Anthony
September 17, 2008 4:22:53 PM

E8400 = $169 - 9.0 multiplier
E8500 = $189 - 9.5 multiplier
E8600 = $269 - 10x multiplier
bang for the buck basically
September 17, 2008 4:32:42 PM

dirtmountain said:
E8400 = $169 - 9.0 multiplier
E8500 = $189 - 9.5 multiplier
E8600 = $269 - 10x multiplier
bang for the buck basically


Will all three of these respond the same to OC? No real advantages besides the difference in speed?

Thanks,

Anthony
September 17, 2008 4:36:16 PM

If you're overclocking anyway, just buy the E8400 or 8500. Example:

E8400 @ 1600FSB = 3.6GHz
E8500 @ 1600FSB = 3.8Ghz
E8600 @ 1600FSB = 4.0Ghz

See, you can overclock the E8400 well beyond the E8600 stock with DDR2 800 1:1 at 400Mhz bus. Anyone can do that without the blink of an eye, and it's $100 cheaper.

In this case you can buy DDR2 800 ram instead of the DDR2 1000. Double-bonus.
September 17, 2008 4:45:58 PM

KyleSTL said:
If you're overclocking anyway, just buy the E8400 or 8500. Example:

E8400 @ 1600FSB = 3.6GHz
E8500 @ 1600FSB = 3.8Ghz
E8600 @ 1600FSB = 4.0Ghz

See, you can overclock the E8400 well beyond the E8600 stock with DDR2 800 1:1 at 400Mhz bus. Anyone can do that without the blink of an eye, and it's $100 cheaper.

In this case you can buy DDR2 800 ram instead of the DDR2 1000. Double-bonus.


Understood, and thanks. Time for me to go back over what I have and see if I cant rework some of it.

Anthony
September 17, 2008 5:20:32 PM

It was a bit late last night and I didn't want to get into it, but the power supply in that case is a recipe for disaster.

Powers supplies are very complicated things. There are very clear rules about what comprises a good PSU, but it takes some sophisticated equipment to test a PSU. There are only a few people out there that test power supplies properly and provide the rest of us with useful reviews.

80-90% of the power supply reviews out there are meaningless because the reviewer does not have the equipment or the knowledge to properly test.

Only buy tested and approved PSUs and your equipment will be much better protected.
September 18, 2008 2:26:12 AM

Ok, try this again with some improvements.

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 - OEM $23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I like this because it meets the basic need and is cheap.

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
One of my favorites from those other said were decent.

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Lots of room and rated well by others here and on Newegg.

EVGA 512-P3-N874-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ Superclocked Edition 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $194.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec EA650 650W ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The "Earthwatts 500W - $45 with free shipping" listed below was out of stock. Looking at this as replacement if the other not in stock by time I order.

OCZ Platinum Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10004GK - Retail $155.98 ($77.99 each)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Read this was a better name brand than the GSkill I was looking at before...and with mail-in rebate will end up a little cheaper overall. Still dont have
a real good answer as to why this or 800. I can slow this down to the 400 FSB (I think) if I need to, and this is certain to ramp up more if needed. Please
correct me if I am wrong.

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Seems to do everything I need, and not a bad price compared to others.

Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 Wolfdale 3.33GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8600 - Retail $269.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
People say E8400 is more bang for the buck and that I can clock the 8400 to 3.6 easily...but my little brain keeps telling me that this can clock to 4.0 easily :love: 

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit English 1pk DSP OEI DVD for System Builders - OEM $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
64 bit for more ram because...um, not sure. But 8 GB sounds neat.

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $36.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Highly praised here, so I am willing to try it.

XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail $6.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Um, to keep the above from falling off :pt1cable: 
Please critique away, I would rather hear it now than regret it later. If it makes any difference to advice, I am currently running an Acer 24" wide screen LCD.

Thanks again,

Anthony
September 18, 2008 2:31:01 AM

Looks great!

The only thing I worry about is the compatibility of the RAM. It's one thing to run 8Gb, but another to fill up all 4 slots. Boards can be picky when you do that.

You could ask on the OCZ forums... they usually try to help, sometimes takes a day to get a response.
September 18, 2008 1:13:35 PM

Perfect. You didn't have to read too much into tech. We do this on a daily basis. Have fun.
September 18, 2008 2:29:06 PM

The reason people recommend 800MHz RAM is because it's usually more than enough even with a decent OC, so it's just not worth it to pay extra for something you're not going to use. But at < $80 a set, you're really not paying anything extra. DDR2 800 is probably all you'll need, but if there's no price difference there really isn't anything I can think of to try and talk you out of the DDR2 1000.
September 18, 2008 5:05:50 PM

what about 4850/70 vs 9800?
September 18, 2008 8:23:01 PM

A4x4Junky said:
what about 4850/70 vs 9800?

+1 it seems to me the 9800GTX+ is a little out-of-place with the rest of the system. 4870 FTW!

OK, I'm not sure why you're getting DDR2 1000 ram, because the E8600 can go to 4.0ghz at DDR2 800. Second, the E8400 should EASILY get to 4.0ghz with DDR2 1000 ram (or even overclocked DDR2 800 @888mhz - 11% overclock), so why spend the extra $100 when you don't need to? Again, I would greatly suggest going with the E8400 or E8500 and upgrade to an HD 4870 with the extra cash.
September 18, 2008 11:30:47 PM

KyleSTL said:
+1 it seems to me the 9800GTX+ is a little out-of-place with the rest of the system. 4870 FTW!

OK, I'm not sure why you're getting DDR2 1000 ram, because the E8600 can go to 4.0ghz at DDR2 800. Second, the E8400 should EASILY get to 4.0ghz with DDR2 1000 ram (or even overclocked DDR2 800 @888mhz - 11% overclock), so why spend the extra $100 when you don't need to? Again, I would greatly suggest going with the E8400 or E8500 and upgrade to an HD 4870 with the extra cash.


The DDR2 1000 ram ended up 7ish dollars cheaper than the DDR2 800 ram after mail-in rebate. Not huge savings, but that is why I was asking if there was a negative associated with running memory slower than its rated speed. I assume not since people run 800 ram on 333 FSB systems, but that is why I ask the questions.

As for the E8600 hitting 4.0 using the DDR2 800, I agree...but my little brain says if I can overclock my board to hit 444 (the overlcock to hit 4.0 ghz with the E8400), then why use the same overclock on the E8600 and hit 4.4ghz (444*10). Im not sure how happy either CPU would be at those speeds, or if my motherboard choice would even allow it. Hell, for all I know maybe there is NO need to hit those clock speeds for playing online games. If I knew that 4.4 wouldnt be worth hitting, then I wouldnt even consider spending the extra money.

Im sold on the 4870 if it is more inline with the performance of the rest of the system.

I dont know. You say that the E8400 should easily get to 4.0 ghz. Is there some magic recipe for this, or is it just common to be able to do this. Will reliability or longevity of the parts be drasticly hurt by this?

Last thing. Assume I run the 8470 (and recomendations on brand greatly appreciated ... they all look the same to me), DDR2 1000 and the E8400 at 4.0 ... what would the bottleneck of the system be then?

Thanks again,

Anthony
September 19, 2008 12:39:21 AM

OK, try this again.

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS120-04 - OEM $24.99

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $99.99

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $79.99

HIS Hightech H487F1GP Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $339.99

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $49.99

OCZ Platinum Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10004GK - Retail $155.98 ($77.99 each)

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit English 1pk DSP OEI DVD for System Builders - OEM $179.99

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $36.99

XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail $6.99

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail in combo with
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail $264.98

Total $1239.88


Thoughts on the PSU? Adequate for now...how about if I ever crossfire?
Why Windows Visat Ultimate? How is it different enough to justify 80 dollars more than home?

Thanks,

Anthony

P.S. -- The silly questions will stop soon, plan to order tomorrow morning.
September 19, 2008 5:31:13 AM

If you're interested in getting a big OC like that, you should look at the P5Q -E. It's just a bit more and a better overclocker.

Technically an EA500 will run your rig... but I sure wouldn't do it.

Did someone say Ultimate? You are just fine with Vista 64 Premium OEM.
September 19, 2008 1:18:22 PM

This is from ATI's website:

"500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)"

So the EA500 would just barely make it under that recommendation, but definitely not for two cards (not only does it fall well short on wattage, but it doesn't have enough 6-pin connectors to even attach a second card). Here is ATI's PSU recommendation lists. It's not a totally comprehensive list, but it'll be a good place to start.
September 19, 2008 3:49:38 PM

The EA500 is more than enough. It has a 12v rail capable of delivering 34A (408W). It is a high-quality Seasonic-build PSU. A second GPU is a different story, though. The Earthwatts would not be able to handle 2 hd 4870s.
September 19, 2008 11:18:25 PM

Ordered the system last night. Now I have to wait impatiently for the brown truck to show up.

Thanks to everyone on here for helping.

Anthony
!