Hi, looking for input on my build...

Hello everyone,

This will be my first build in a few years and I have spent this evening doing some research online. Any input that you can offer will be very helpful and appreciated. I am about to pull the trigger on this build as follows:

Monitor: SAMSUNG 2253BW 22in (260 USD)
Case: THERMALTAKE VI1000BWS Steel Mid Chassis (60 USD)
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit (180 USD)
Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Deluxe Intel P45 (185 USD)
CPU: INTEL BX80570E8500 Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16 GHz 1333 MHz Socket 775 6MB (188 USD)
GPU: ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 (2.0v) (145 USD)
RAM: 2 x Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4 2GB Kit DDR2-800 XMS2-6400 Xtreme Performance Memory (86 USD)
HDD for OS: Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB Serial ATA 10,000RPM (145 USD)
HDD for Storage: WESTERN DIGITAL Caviar SE16 SATA WD6400AAKS SATA 7200 RPM 16MB (83 USD)
DVD Burner: SAMSUNG SH-S223Q 22X SATA DVD Burner (25 USD)
PSU: Corsair HX 520 or 620, not sure on this yet (95 or 125 USD)
Shipping+Handling: 135 USD (Hawaii)
Total: $1,630 USD

I plan on using this rig for basic needs, some moderate gaming, and minor graphics with cs3. I may or may not OC and crossfire. If I decide to OC later then I will order the appropriate parts/upgrades at that time, same goes for doing a crossfire setup. Am I wasting my money or is this money well spent? What improvements or changes could I make for a bang for buck rig which meets my needs?

Thanks in advance and alohas from Hawaii,
9 answers Last reply
More about input build
  1. The only thing that really jumps out is the 74GB Raptor. Those old Raptors are actually slower than the 6400AAKS, I believe. You would be better off just going with another 640 or the new 150GB Velociraptor. You should also look into a 2x2GB RAM setup instead of 4x1GB.

    Other than that, it looks good.
  2. Hey shortstuff_mt, thanks for the reply.

    My first choice was a velociraptor, but the place that I am purchasing from is out of stock on all velociraptors. I will most definitely look into another 640. As for the RAM, I'll do 2x2 like you suggested. 4x2 is also something that I have been pondering. I shall sleep on all of this and put in my order tomorrow evening. I'm still open to suggestions or advice.
  3. When you choose RAM, get kits that will run at their advertised timings on the JEDEC default 1.8V. I've been getting Mushkin recently. or A-Data.
  4. jtt283's suggestion is good, but not absolutely necessary. It may save you some problems, but I've never run into any. I have the same Corsair RAM as your original post. My board posted fine with that RAM, then I just set the timings and voltage to the RAM's specs in the BIOS. Some boards have problems posting with RAM rated at over 1.8v, but I think the board you chose would be fine.

    I actually built my computer originally with 2GB and just added an additional 2GB, so I have first-hand experience with 4x1GB set-ups. That is why I suggested a 2x2GB setup. My system is stable, but I had to loosen the timings and raise the voltage a little more than when running 2GB. 4 sticks are a little harder on the board than 2. I was running 4-4-4-10 timings at 2.0v with 2GB. With 4x1GB I am running 4-4-4-12 at 2.1v.

    edit - If you follow jtt283's suggestion, your RAM may run cooler and last longer since it won't require as much voltage.
  5. Very nice crossfire motherboard (P5Q deluxe). EPU-6 Engine, 16-phase power, etc. if you ever plan to use a 2nd GPU, then I would think it begs for the 620w Corsair PSU you mentioned. Otherwise, P5Q or P5Q-C (single PCIE 2.0) and the 520w psu would be a good match.
  6. Hey everyone,

    Thanks for all the great input. That was a nice point about the RAM. I may have to change that, perhaps go back to what I have normally used in the past. I used Crucial for RAM on gigabyte boards on about 4 rigs and not once did I have a problem, 2 of those rigs were slightly OC'd. When I get home today I'll look into the other RAM mentioned. I haven't had a build using this mobo or ram so I put great value into what you experts have to say on this issue.

    Mobo selection is what is tearing me apart at this time. I have a lot of options on this one, now that I've decided to looking into other brands besides gigabyte. Asus seemed like a good value. There is a good chance that I will go crossfire with 2x4850 in the near future so that is pulling me to the PQ5 lineup, along with the features. The only thing I do not like about the p45 line of boards is that when I do go crossfire it will be 16x/8x. Now if I go with a x38/x48 board then I get the full 16x/16x in crossfire, but I'd also have to use DDR3 RAM. I really would like to able to see what the gain of 8x in one crossfire channel does look like in a real time gaming environment. Maybe I should just go cheaper mobo for now, then just upgrade mobo when I want to crossfire. I prefer to stick with ddr2 RAM for now because it's pricing. I'm not a hardcore OCer so I will not benefit as much from DDR3 RAM. Can someone please straighten out my thoughts out on this?

    The PSU, like suggested by jthorn, should be at least the 620hx if not more if I'm planning on doing crossfire.

    I've looked into those cases, suggested by evongugg, and only the cooler master rc-690 is available at my place of purchase. The cooler master will be around $90-100 USD more than my current choice of the THERMALTAKE VI1000BWS. I could order those other cases from the Egg, but that would still cost me around $100-120 USD more than I'd be paying for the Thermaltake. Are these other cases worth the added cost of $90-120 USD?

    Again thanks everyone, sorry for all the rambling... but I think we're almost there. Order to be placed in approxiamately 12-16 hours from now.
  7. The X38/X48 platform does not require DDR3 RAM.

    I've also had great luck with Gigabyte boards in my recent builds. Something like this would be awesome for a crossfire/overclocked setup:


    It officially supports up to a 1600MHz FSB, DDR2 1200 RAM, and full PCI Express 2.0 x16/x16 crossfire. Asus also offers some great x48 boards. I would definitely go with a x48 setup if crossfire is planned in the future.
  8. Thank you everyone! Parts have been ordered.

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