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Building a new rig, could use some input.

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September 24, 2008 6:21:23 PM

Hey guys, Ive begun the process of researching and budgeting a new pc i want to build. This would be the second ive built. The first was about 5 years ago, when i gamed quite a bit. These days i dont game as much, so im kind of out of the loop when it comes to hardware. Im also not the best computer person so some of my questions may be pretty dumb, but i need to know. So far I've settled on a few things. I definately want Intel as my cpu, and im probaly gonna go with the core2duo wolfdale e8500. Now is the E8600 that much better in performance than the e8500, cause its a significant price increase. Im also set on my case, the Antec 1200. Im probaly gonna go with a Corsair 650-750w psu. Now for some opinion. Im looking for a vid card thats not top of the line but a step below like the 9800gtx, how does this card perform? Is Ati a better buy in that situation? Im gonna go with a Velociraptor 150gb HD as well. Now I've been leaning towards the Asus Pro5Q mobo but would it be wise to find a board that supports ddr3 memory down the road, even though im planning on using ddr2? Any inputs on hardware would be greatly appreciated. Also some ram recommendations would be great. There are so many kinds that i need some other opinions. Also im thinking about overclocking for the first time, an are which im clueless about. Is it difficult? Is it really worth it? What type of risks are there? Sorry if im long winded but i got a ton of questions. My budget is fluid really, once you get the itch you tend to push that "limit" a bit higher but id like to keep it around 1k or so. I want this computer to be able to handle any game at the best levels it can. Thanks.

More about : building rig input

September 24, 2008 6:31:13 PM

So you need some input? Get a keyboard or a mouse for input devices.....sorry bad joke.


Ok, so with CPU E8500 is a great choice for gaming, the 8600 is overpriced for small gains.

Video card: ATI 4870 is a great option under $300, ATI 4850 is a great option under $200

Mother board: don't get DDR3, its still too expensive, a good board with DDR2 is just as fast, a P45 mother board would be a good option for you.

RAM: Corsair, crucial, mushkin, all good brands. Depending on how much you want to overclock, DDR2 800 is generally good and get lower timings 4-4-4-12 is the goal to shoot for.

PSU: you are looking at a really good one so you are good there

CASE: you are good on this if you feel you need a "full tower"

Recommendations:
Heatsink: Xigmatek HDTS-1283

Overclocking:
its really not that difficult on that CPU because there is alot of head room. Many people are up around 4ghz with air cooling so I'm sure you could get a minor overclock to around 3.6ghz without much work.
September 24, 2008 6:34:53 PM

Well if you don't game much a q6600 is probably a better choice than a dual core since it performs better in almost every other intensive app and can handle more things at once.

The 9800gtx is a good card and fairly cheap right now. It is a pretty good mid-range card.

If you are going to use DDR2 you have to get a DDR2 mobo. DDR3 slots are not backwards compatible.

OCing is really worth it as it doesn't really require much extra (better cooling) and can easily push your cpu past the performance of even extreme editions.

The velociraptor seems kind of like a waste to me when the rest of your system could use that money more than your hd.

Also, if you want this system to handle any game at highest settings you will have to go for more than a 9800gtx.
Related resources
September 24, 2008 6:35:55 PM

The E8600 is 333x10, and the E8500 is 333x9.5 - you determine if that extra 0.5 multiplier is worth $100 (I'd say no).

The Antec 1200 is very nice. I almost traded up from my 900 for that.

Good choice on the PSU - Corsair is a good brand.

If you want a good mid-range GPU - I'd say go with the 4850.

Don't get a Raptor/Velociraptor - the performance gains are negligible for the price. Get a WD 640 GB HDD (only 2 platters) and if you are really gung ho, get a second one for RAID 0.

No, DDR3 is not necessary. The performance gains are slim at best, but the cost is high.

I'd say get some good DDR2 800 that runs at 1.8 v (JEDEC standards). There are usually kits for around $50-$100. Good brands - Crucial, Corsair, OCZ, Mushkin, Patriot, etc. Look for good timings as well (4 or 5 cas latency)

If you want to OC, then you'll need an after-market cooler to do it right. Check out www.frostytech.com for their suggestions (though the Xigmatek is a good one for a good price - get a retention bracket if you want that one).

I'd say get a P45 motherboard, unless you really want to crossfire later, then get X48. If you can afford the bump, get a 4870 instead of the 4850.

Let us know what you come up with and we'll look at your potential list.
September 24, 2008 6:40:42 PM

Thanks sciggy. I definately have heard that ddr3 is really not worth it yet. Thats good info on the timings for the ram, i will keep my eye out for that. As for the case, well i personally like alot of room, and i sit my case on top of my desk anyway so theres plenty of room. Would you say the Ati 4850 is better than something like the Nvidia 9800gtx? Im probaly gonna just reinstall XP rather than upgrade to Vista, saves money and peace of mind. I already have a nice monitor, the HP w2007, so that will help the costs. Im wondering is it a good idea to get say a 150gb WD 10k rpm drive to run the OS and frequently used apps, and get say a 250gb seagate for storgae? Would the speed of windows be increased by a significant amount? Ive also looked at the Asus Rampage Mobo, heard good things about it.

Wow lots of replies excellent. Thing is i dont game as much now, but i get the feeling once this is built i'll be compelled again. Seems like PC games are in a drought right now, so id like to be able to handle that next big game when it arrives. Huron i believe you answered a question i had posted about the Hard drives, i'll definately take that advice into consideration. I want a really nice setup, but i dont want to piss money away.
September 24, 2008 6:51:16 PM

huron said:

I'd say get a P45 motherboard, unless you really want to crossfire later, then get X48. If you can afford the bump, get a 4870 instead of the 4850.

Let us know what you come up with and we'll look at your potential list.


I'd definitely recommend a P45 over a X48 (you may even want to consider an X38), but to be honest P45 can handle crossfire without hampering the performance at any noticeable levels, in which case there're Asus P5Q PRO or Gigabyte EP45-DS3R.

The Corsair T750TX is definitely something you want to look at, if not you can get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... at a fairly awesome price before 9/26.

For the price of a 9800GTX, I'd definitely buy a HD4850 instead (same price, better performance).

In addition, I would just get an E8400 instead of E8500 since you're going to be overlocking a bit anyways and believe me, in the greater scheme of things, that 1x multiplier won't matter (price difference will allow you to get a better fan/heatsink enabling more overclocking).

Like Huron, a good DDR2 at standard voltages would serve you best. I'd say DDR 3 is not only not necessary, but a big waste of money better spent elsewhere.
And yeah, the WD 640GB HDD would be more than sufficient.

I'm a very frugal budget builder if anything, so I usually refrain myself from pushing the budget. I don't like to pay more than I have to, but I won't sacrifice quality and reliability just to save a couple bucks (it usually ends up being more hassle than its worth).
September 24, 2008 6:54:10 PM

What other things do you run on your computer? Photoshop? or? If you do video rendering with programs that support quad core multithreading, maybe a q6600 would be an even better option.
September 24, 2008 7:00:51 PM

Great input so far, really narrowing my view on what to grab. Im definately gonna take all your advice on the hard drives. Im looking at the HD 4850 and im wondering does the company name matter so much. In other words would the MSI HD 4850 be better than the Gigabyte HD 4850 or vice versa? As for other things i use the computer for not too much. I dont need it for a business or anything like that. Basically games music movies internet etc etc.
September 24, 2008 7:49:27 PM

Battaglia said:
Great input so far, really narrowing my view on what to grab. Im definately gonna take all your advice on the hard drives. Im looking at the HD 4850 and im wondering does the company name matter so much. In other words would the MSI HD 4850 be better than the Gigabyte HD 4850 or vice versa? As for other things i use the computer for not too much. I dont need it for a business or anything like that. Basically games music movies internet etc etc.


The company name doesn't matter that much (most brands are more or less reliable). However, if you can find one with an aftermarket cooler because HD4850 does run a bit hot at times.

Since you're justing using it for games, movies, etc, then I'd just get a 8400 instead of a 8500.
September 24, 2008 11:11:39 PM

Most of the GPUs are very similar - reference design. Some do have better cooling, but check the warranty. That's the major difference (as well as customer service). Most are
September 24, 2008 11:25:14 PM

Well there's just news out on faulty Diamond video cards, so yeah.
September 25, 2008 12:18:59 AM

Ok so this what ive esembled from my own research and others opinions.

Antec 1200 Fulltower
ASUS P5Q Pro Atx
Intel Core2Duo E8500
Visiontek HD4850
Corsair750w tx
2 WD 650gb HD's
Xigmatek HDTS-1283

Havent made a final decision on ram yet, but im leaning towards Curcial Ballistix ddr2 800. There is a good deal for two 2gb sticks, although i know it wouldnt matter unless i have a 64bit OS. My question is do you guys think its worth getting Vista and having that extra ram? Im tempted but im also weary of Vista and its issues.
September 25, 2008 1:33:30 AM

Those look like good choices. Make sure to get the retention bracket for the Xigmatek cooler (it's like $6), but will help out your motherboard.

I have Crucial Ballistix and they have been wonderful for me. The only thing is that you don't always find rebates on them for some reason.

Make sure to get 2x2GB and get good timings at standard voltage (4-4-4-12 at 1.8v)

Good luck
September 25, 2008 3:27:07 AM

So then are timings and cas latency one in the same? I noticed some ram simply shows the cas, while others show the timing and cas. Many types of ram have a good target cas like 4 or 5, but the voltage is higher than 1.8. For instance the kit of ram i was looking at was OCZ reaper 2 x 2gb ddr2 800. Its cas is 4 and its timings are 4-4-4-15 with a voltage of 2.1. So would the ram be ideal for my system? Also is it right to assume the higher the number on the cas, the better the ram? I noticed a few of you guys are recommending 1.8v, whats the importance of the voltage when choosing ram? I may be splitting hairs in the end but im not exactly sure which factor would be the most important. I see two different kits of OCZ ram both ddr2 800 both with exactly the same name, yet one kit has a cas of 5 at 1.8v and another has a cas of 4 at 2.1v. Both are basically the same price.
September 25, 2008 3:42:46 AM

To answer your questions:

1. The higher the voltage on the RAM means it's usually already factory overclocked. The closer the voltage is to 1.8v (standard) the better it is. So no, I wouldn't say that ram is ideal for you. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... are recommended by quite a few people on this forum.

2. The lower the number on the timings, CAS, the better it is (assuming the voltages are the same).
September 25, 2008 3:54:33 AM

Great info thanks. So that means even though the Mushkin has a cas of 5, because its at 1.8v its better in my system than memory which has a lower cas but higher voltage? And if higher voltages usually means its overclocked from the factory that would mean the lower voltages would be more receptive to overclocking on my own?
September 25, 2008 4:49:17 AM

Yes, it's would be receptive to overclocking on your own. No gaurantees, but that's generally the case.
September 25, 2008 4:49:43 PM

You can always increase voltages and overclock your own memory as well.
September 26, 2008 12:42:28 AM

Thanks everyone for all the advice and help on this, heres my final setup which I will be ordering within a week. Hows it look?

Antec 1200 AtX Full Tower
Corsair CMPSU 750TX
ASUS P5Q Pro
Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale
MSI Radeon HD 4850
Mushkin 4GB (2 x 2Gb) DDR2 800
2 WD Caviar 650GB HD's
ASUS 20x DVD/CD Burner
Xigmatek HDT-S1283 CPU Cooler
Xigmatek Retention Bracket
September 26, 2008 8:20:19 AM

I would just get a nice 1TB HDD if you're not planning on RAIDing, since you can easily partition the HDD into 2 drives.

Your other choices are all pretty good, but for the best c/p I might go for the E8400 instead ($10 cheaper and pretty much unnoticeable difference even after overclocking).

You might want to make sure the ASUS Burner is SATA instead of IDE (it probably is, but just check).
September 26, 2008 3:24:48 PM

johnyeah said:
I would just get a nice 1TB HDD if you're not planning on RAIDing, since you can easily partition the HDD into 2 drives.

I kind of agree except 2 WD 640gb drives is more space than 1TB and is also faster. It is however, much more expensive and that money could probably be better spent elsewhere.
September 26, 2008 5:44:03 PM

faster3200 said:
I kind of agree except 2 WD 640gb drives is more space than 1TB and is also faster. It is however, much more expensive and that money could probably be better spent elsewhere.


It is more space than 1TB, but not necessarily faster. And like you said, it is more expensive.
September 26, 2008 8:45:51 PM

No it is faster, the WD 640gb is faster than every 1TB drive on the market.
September 27, 2008 5:06:55 PM

Well Im definately gonna use Raid 0. For performance and just to try it seeing as ive never done it before. I went with two 500gb wd drives instead of the 650. Saves a bit of money, In my orginal computer i built 5 years ago i had a single 74gb raptor and have barely filled half of it.
September 27, 2008 6:17:58 PM

Battaglia said:
Well Im definately gonna use Raid 0. For performance and just to try it seeing as ive never done it before. I went with two 500gb wd drives instead of the 640 (fixed). Saves a bit of money, In my orginal computer i built 5 years ago i had a single 74gb raptor and have barely filled half of it.

I am not sure how much of a performance increase you will see (if at all) with two 500gb drives versus a single (faster) 640gb hard drive.

Also, not filling a 74gb drive? That is crazy. I just bought a 750gb hd since I completely filled my 640gb hd.
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