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First Timer, Rig Help!

Last response: in Systems
September 17, 2008 10:51:37 PM

I'm looking to build the best possible gaming oriented rig for Crysis on near max to run on an HD 22" monitor. Possible? Also in the future I want to run Diablo III and WotLK maxed out.

RAIDMAX AZTEC ATX-619WU Black/ Blue 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case - Retail (74.99)

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail (189.99)

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail (126.99)

VisionTek 900250 Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail (539.99)

OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail (127.99)

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (139.99)

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail (129.99)

CD/DVD Burner:
LG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner w/ SecurDisc Tech Black SATA Model GH20NS15 - OEM (24.99)

ZEROtherm ZEN FZ120 120mm CPU Cooler - Retail (39.99)
Retention Bracket:

HP w2207h Black 22" 5ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 Built in Speakers - Retail (329.99)

Logitech S-220 17 Watts 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System - OEM (20.99)

Logitech G5 2-Tone 7 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Laser 2000 dpi Mouse - Retail (49.99)

Logitech G15 2-Tone 104 Normal Keys 29 Function Keys USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail (89.99)

OP: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM


Compatibility? Thanks

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September 17, 2008 11:07:33 PM

Ok man...we love to help around here, but typically we like you to do a little bit of your own research to start. There are articles in price ranges, and plenty of "new build" threads in various price ranges.

Looking forward to some preliminary specs so we can help you by critiquing your choices and helping you get a great system.
September 17, 2008 11:10:14 PM

I researched a bit, but I'm still overwhelmed. There is so much to choose from I was hoping someone with pro knowledge knows what's best for everything.
Related resources
September 17, 2008 11:46:01 PM

Okay, I did what I could. :pt1cable: 
September 18, 2008 1:03:30 AM

That's a nice build. Truthfully, it looks very good. Yes, you are a little overboard, but that only really depends on you budget. If ~$2000 is OK for you, then you made good choices.

I think that you may want to go with a better name brand PSU - Corsair, or PC Power and Cooling (top notch).

The CPU is a little expensive, but it depends on what you plan on doing with it, and what your budget is.

The GPU is top of the line, and is expensive, but if games are your thing, you'll be really happy.

Are you planning on adding another 4870x2 in the future? If you are and want to crossfire, stick with the X48, if not, get a good P45 board.

I like the build. Check out some other PSUs. Decide about crossfire. You should be happy with your choices.
September 18, 2008 1:29:21 AM

Hm, okay. Should I keep the one graphic card or change to two crossfired / sli gpus?

Is a Q6600 enough to run Crysis / games?

Do I need cooling if I OC? Is so, what kind?
September 18, 2008 1:50:41 AM

Q6600 is an excellent CPU and it overclocks well.

The 4870x2 is 2 GPUs on one card - it is the best for the time being.

If you overclock, get an aftermarket cooler (recommend Xigmatek and get the retention bracket as well) will help with CPU coolers.
September 18, 2008 2:09:45 AM

Does my updated gaming rig look good?

Is the GPU over doing it? I will be playing a lot of games but if the increase isn't that great than I'll lower down.
Should I downgrade my motherboard if I don't crossfire/sli later on?

Could you find the best cooler for me on with the brackets? Not sure what those are.

Is there a better case choice or is mine fine?
September 18, 2008 3:22:53 AM

the intel motherboards are very stable and if you aren't going to overclock they will serve you well, if you want to play maxxed out Crysis you'll need that gpu, if you go with that motherboard you wont need an powerful aftermarket cooler, becasue you probably wont be overclocking much
September 18, 2008 10:03:26 AM

If I am going to overclock what should I change?
September 18, 2008 4:12:46 PM


Also, which should I get? q9550 or q6600? 100$ diff but is it needed to run crysis better?
September 18, 2008 4:49:40 PM

Stay with the Q6600 as being the best price vs performance option.
Change out the Intel BOXDP45SG MB for this GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P45 $127 and $20 rebate
For CPU cooling: ZEROtherm ZEN FZ120 HSF $40 plus $10 rebate [:wr2] ZEROtherm ZEN FZ120 review

Compatibility looks good. Performance will be very good. Just don't expect Crysis to run maxed out @ 1680x1050 res. You could spend an extra $500 and still not make that happen. THG Crysis benchmarks
When you get Crysis Warhead you'll have a much better chance of running @ Max graphics settings.
September 18, 2008 7:00:57 PM

The Gigabye you linked me has 1 x PCI Express x16 slot at x16 and one at x8. I'm going to update gfx cards sooner or later to SLI/Crossfire. I really would like two x16s.
September 18, 2008 7:13:28 PM

Is that why you picked out the Intel BOXDP45SG MB [:wr2:3] It also had 2x 8 lane PCI-e slots like the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3R.
For 2x 16 lane PCI-e slots GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 $225

You do know you already picked a CF (4870X2) video card, right? You thinking about a 2nd 4870X2 and going for Quad CF?
You'll need a bigger PSU for that - CORSAIR -1000HX $260
September 18, 2008 7:18:32 PM

Hm, okay that's true. Anything else that I should change?
September 18, 2008 7:19:39 PM

Just be aware the Quad CF (2 ea 4870X2) performs worse than a single 4870X2 in Crysis. (Many other games also perform the same -or worse- with Quad CF as a single 4870X2 or 2x 4870CF)
Check out how Quad CF scales in Crysis and other games - look in the charts for 1680x1050 resolution
4870X2 CF (Quad) scaling
September 18, 2008 7:26:19 PM

Lets see - $100 more for the motherboard, $130 for the PSU and a 2nd 4870X2 @ $450 (est price @ New Years sales) = $680 and it wont run Cysis any faster than what you already had listed.
September 18, 2008 7:56:55 PM

Okay, I believe you. So there's no other problems / compatibility issues? Right? My only concern is that the Mobo got some bad reviews.

Question: Does x8 Pci Express run single cards at max still? I thought they slowed down if on that slot.
September 18, 2008 9:15:57 PM

Another set of benchmarks with CrossfireX with 4870X2 x2 (Quad) and 4870X2 plus 4870 (3way) scaling: TechReport 4870X2 CrossfireX scaling
It's possible that ATI might find a cure to fix the poor quad and 3way scaling. More than likely it will take a change in game coding PLUS improved driver support to see a good case for triple or quad GPU scaling.
September 19, 2008 12:40:27 AM

I posted my specs on another forums.

A person told me to change to a duo core e8400/e8500 over the q6600 and to up the DDR2 800 to 1066. Should I?

I also changed the video card to VisionTek since I hear they're a bit better.
September 19, 2008 3:59:11 AM

playing games at a resolution of 1680x1050 on a 22" with a 4870x2 seems a little overkill lol.
the 2gb gddr5 and x2gpu shines at higher resolutions.
but if you're really looking for a performance monster, go for it.
but a single 4870 will run everything maxed at 1680x1050.
keep in mind i7 is RIGHT around the corner...scheduled for mid october...if u really want a monster, u should wait 1 month.
or u can do what i a mid-ranged comp right now with all the sales and deals, and getting a nehalem 1-2 year down the road, cuz right now...comps are WAY ahead of game developers, plus games need to be hardware-friendly nowadays with ps3/xbox360 killing sales
this is what mine looks like, i'll be playing games on a 27" 1920x1200 dell monitor
CPU : e8400 (best for gaming atm, even over quad with 4ghz+ OCs)
GPU : Palit Sonic 4870 (cheaper then reference, factory OC, factory aftermarket cooler)
Mobo : asus P5Q-pro (mobo's bought now can't be used with no point splurging large)
RAM : 8gb ddr-800 Mushkin 4x2gb ddr800 5-4-4-12@1.8v (one of the best for price around, can OC to 1066mhz @warrantied 2.1v)
HSF : OCZ vendetta 2
Case+PSU : Antec 900+Truepower Trio 650w bought as a combo deal
HD : WD 640gb 16mb buffer - best performance+storage for price ratio.
only going to run me about $1050 cad total...with pretty huge performance.
i was contemplating throwing in the 4870x2 instead of the single 4870....but i realized a single 4870 will run thing maxed at 1920x1200 so i said screw it, i'll save the $350
September 19, 2008 1:28:10 PM

A person told me to change to a duo core e8400/e8500 over the q6600 and to up the DDR2 800 to 1066.

For a E8400/Q6600 there is very little benefit in getting DDR2 1066 over DDR2 800. (unless you intend a near maximum overclock on an E8xxx CPU)

For today's games the higher clocked E8400/E8500 is usually the better performer until the system gets GPU constrained which it does in most games.
For tomorrows games the quad core clocked to 3.0Ghz will usually outperform a 3.0Ghz dual core.
Look at C2D E8400 3.0Ghz and C2Q Q6850 3.0Ghz - not much difference in average FPS but the all important MIN FPS difference is HUGE (by comparison) And Q6700 2.66Ghz and E8400 3.0Ghz in Crysis DX10-High Settings

If you're going to play games the usual way most players do you'll want to crank up the graphics quality as much as you can. In most cases games played that way become GPU limited and you have performance charts that look like this (Crysis 1.2):

A moderate overclock on the Q6600 (3-3.2Ghz) and it will perform just as well as the $1400 QX9770.
The E8400/E8500 will clock higher (3.6-3.8Ghz for a moderate OC) and will perform better in some games than a 3.2Ghz Q6600. But I still think you can make a good case for the Q6600 being the better CPU in the next 1 to 2 years.
More of CPU scaling in games with dual & quad core processors