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New to the forums and need opinions/suggestions on my first build.

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October 2, 2008 4:15:30 PM

Hey everyone!

Like I said in the title this is my first build. I'm upgrading from a 6 year old XPS I spent 4k on. The old Single-core, AGP machine has reached its upgrade limit and even though it runs crysis fairly well IMO... I'm ready for the exciting world of DX10 and multiple core CPU's.

I want everyone to keep in mind I am new at this. I am extremely passionate about PC Gaming, this machine is being built for Farcry 2 and other future hardware demanding titles. I am a college student so I am on a $1500 budget but at the same time I wanted to build a machine that had potential to be super fast for years to come.

Here we go.

EVGA 132-YW-E179-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 790i SLI FTW ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XCLIO A380BK Fully Black High Gloss Finish SECC 1.0mm thickness ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
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 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-730SS 730W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Modular LED Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Logitech X-530 70 watts RMS 5.1 Black Speaker System - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER R4-L2S-122B-GP 120mm 4 BLUE LED LED Case Fan - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total comes up to $1,519 including shipping.

I believe this is a good start, I already have a 24' LCD and a keyboard/mouse. I wanted 4 gigs to start because I hear Vista is a memory hog. I also plan to OC...Any Thoughts?

Thanks In Advance,

Bobby
October 2, 2008 4:26:54 PM

I'd say the list looks good, but I would make some different choices.

Get a WD 640 GB HDD - excellent price and performance.

For me, the 790i is expensive, plus it only takes DDR3 - expensive too.

I would get an X48 and a 4870 or 4870x2. Then you could get DDR2 800
(2x2GB).

The rest looks pretty good.

If you are sticking with nVidia, consider the GX2, the 9800GTX+ (new revision), or the GTX 260 or new 260.

If you have a 24" monitor, I think you may need 2 GPUs to do it justice.
October 2, 2008 4:28:26 PM

There are a lot of ways for you to get more bang for your buck. First off, drop the DDR3. It is really expensive. If you drop it you will be able to upgrade some other components to maximize your bang for buck. Another thing is to NEVER BUY A RAIDMAX PSU. The current ATI cards also offer more bang for the buck. Consider something like this:

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $26.99

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $84.99

GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $224.99

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $76.99 -$20.00 MIR

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99

POWERCOLOR AX4870 1GBD5-PPH Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $299.99 -$20.00 MIR

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $129.99 -$20.00 MIR

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $36.99

XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99

ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

Total $1,294.88 -$60.00 MIR

If you want a quad, this is an awesome CPU:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $324.99


Edit: The onboard sound is pretty good on the new motherboards. Give it a try before buying a discreet card.
Related resources
October 2, 2008 4:49:31 PM

That is a nice list you have come up with...

Questions:
- DDR3 performs better and will eventually come down in price right? I want to upgrade to 8 gigs of pc 2000 once it does drop considerably and I would like a motherboard that supports it.
-Are there any Mainboards that support DDR2&3?
-What does the Retention Bracket do and will I need it for my list of parts?
-The WD HDD has a 16mb cache opposed to the seagates 32.. What does that mean?

I've never owned an nVidia card and wanted to try them out. I've had many problems over the years with drivers from ATI and it has left a nasty taste in my mouth. My 3850HD is doing ok now but I've had it 6 months and the latest 8.9 drivers are finally able to shine some light on my problems.

(Huron) I'll check out the 9800GTX+ Thank you, The GTX 2xx models are going over my budget a little to far but in the future I'll be ready for them.
October 2, 2008 4:59:02 PM

IMO DDR3 is a waste of money. There are some motherboards that support DDR2 & DDR3, but they aren't very popular. Apparently they don't overclock very well and might have some RAM compatibility problems. You could check out the GA-EP45C-DS3R if you want.

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

I would just recommend sticking with DDR2. The performance difference is minimal at best because of the higher latency of DDR3.

The retention bracket allows you to secure your CPU cooler with screws instead of the stupid push-pins Intel uses.

Don't count out the current ATI cards. The current drivers are fine and the cards offer amazing bang for the buck. Especially the 4870 1GB model I linked to. It will step all over the 9800GTX+.
October 2, 2008 5:01:30 PM

I would shop around for parts. Newegg's been changing their prices multiple times a day on some items. Zipzoomfly.com sometimes has lower prices and offers free shipping a lot of the time. Amazon.com also usually has pretty good prices on cases.
October 2, 2008 5:06:42 PM

1.) There is no performance differences between DDR2 and DDR3 for current LGA 775 platforms, it's just marketing gimmick for now to establish a more stable DDR3 market for when Nehalem/Deneb hits.

2.) Yes, but they are not worth it.

3.) It lets you use screws instead of the oh-not-so reliable push pin design.

4.) cache in HDDs is another marketing gimmick, has a negligible performance impact.

5.) The reason for your problems was that the latest AGP versions were never really supported properly, nobody with PCIe variants experiences any of the headaches that people with AGP HD 3850 do (Reason for this was because partners manufactured them basically by adding a bridge chip on the PCIe versions to turn them into AGP).

I would suggest that you steer clear from nvidia cards, but more importantly from nvidia chipsets, especially if you want to overclock down the road. Nvidia chipsets have stability and heat issues, on top of that they are known to be pretty awful for overclocking compared to X38/X48 boards.

If you want a solid, powerful platform I would suggest you get an X38 board (X48 are just higher binned X38s, a way to get more money out of you from the same product) with DDR2 support and a pair of HD 4850s for a crossfire setup.

DFI LANPARTY DK X38-T2R LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 2, 2008 5:09:45 PM

emp said:
I would suggest that you steer clear from nvidia cards, but more importantly from nvidia chipsets, especially if you want to overclock down the road. Nvidia chipsets have stability and heat issues, on top of that they are known to be pretty awful for overclocking compared to X38/X48 boards


+1
October 2, 2008 5:48:31 PM

Ok I'm going to take all of this into consideration. I'll go on newegg and build a ATI/ddr2 list and let you guys know what I come up with.
October 2, 2008 5:56:25 PM

One thing I was about to comment on is that for me onboard is not good enough anymore (It was before I had a sound card though). It is one of the non-essential, but very much welcomed upgrades I have done to my gaming experience, and to be honest, before I didn't mind, now I refuse to live without a decent sound card. (i.e. if mine were to break down, I'd buy another on the spot)

Funny how you picked basically the same setup as I have (X-Fi XtremeGamer and Logitech X-530 speakers), I can tell you from experience they sound pretty good for an entry-level speaker set and you can definitely host a party with it, it's enough to get neighbors knocking on your door. If you have to extra cash to spare, I might look into the Logitech G51 (I kinda wish I did, just for the larger subwoofer).

Logitech G51 155 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121012&Tpk=G51

Overall I'm pretty satisfied with both the X-Fi XtremeGamer and the X-530 speakers (I use Vista 64 and drivers feel pretty good now). One thing I did notice was that when I used onboard sound before sound will start crackling and hissing at around half volume knob setting, but after I added the sound card everything sounds not only better, but louder and definitely no cracks or hiss.
October 2, 2008 6:13:49 PM

Really, I would not go with ATI over NVidia right now. The top 5 or 6 cards as far as FPS in Crysis and other high end games are NVidia.

Personally, I'd go with the 9800GTX+. In most cases, it's only 4 or 5 fps below the GTX260, and it's a great card for intense games.
October 2, 2008 6:44:15 PM

just a though,

an e8400 could be overclocked to around 4ghz, i have read that games will benifit from a duo over a quad at the moment,

correct me f im wrong
October 2, 2008 6:50:20 PM

red_kryptonite said:
Really, I would not go with ATI over NVidia right now. The top 5 or 6 cards as far as FPS in Crysis and other high end games are NVidia.

Personally, I'd go with the 9800GTX+. In most cases, it's only 4 or 5 fps below the GTX260, and it's a great card for intense games.


I call BS on this one. The 4870x2 is usually the best single card solution out there when it comes to most high end games. The GTX 280 generally follows next and then the 4870 (1GB).

Take Crysis for example. Here's Anandtech's comparison at 1920x1200:


At 2560x1600 in Crysis the 4870x2 even beats SLI'd GTX 280s.


For a gaming machine I'd probably go with an X48 motherboard with a 4870 (1GB) video card, leaving the option to crossfire later on if necessary. The 9800GTX+ is a good card but not as good as the 4870 (1GB) in most games, plus you have to use a crappy nvidia chipset if you want to leave yourself a multi-card option.
October 2, 2008 7:32:49 PM

red_kryptonite said:
Really, I would not go with ATI over NVidia right now. The top 5 or 6 cards as far as FPS in Crysis and other high end games are NVidia.

Personally, I'd go with the 9800GTX+. In most cases, it's only 4 or 5 fps below the GTX260, and it's a great card for intense games.

This is SOOO wrong..

4850 is best bang for your buck and 4870x2 competes with the 280 and in most cases beats it.

before the 4850 and 4870 / 4870x2 were released you would have been correct however the #1 single slot card at the moment is ATI 4870x2
October 2, 2008 7:35:43 PM

If I were building a machine today i would go with x38/x48 DDR2 and a ati 4850 or 4870 or 4870x2

I built my machine sept 9th and i have just what i mentioned...nothing has changed in this last month.
October 2, 2008 8:12:47 PM

grieve said:
If I were building a machine today i would go with x38/x48 DDR2 and a ati 4850 or 4870 or 4870x2


I totally agree :) 

x48/DDR2/48xx FTW
October 3, 2008 12:21:32 AM

Thanks to everyone for your opinions...I think you guys have altered my list and decision. No offense ShortStuff but I am going to rebuild another wishlist on newegg using some of your suggestions but not all.

(I just want to be able to say I chose the parts) lol

Anyway I will post the new lists and I want all of your feedback again. I have new parts to research and I also need to stay close to my $1500 budget so check back with me in the AM
October 3, 2008 1:41:09 AM

OK here is the revised list... Criticism welcome.

GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $224.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $78.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XCLIO GREATPOWER X14S4P4 750W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $109.99 (Combo Deal w/case)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XCLIO A380BK Fully Black High Gloss Finish SECC 1.0mm thickness ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail $109.99 (Combo Deal w/PSU)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM $22.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail $90.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Logitech G51 155 watts RMS 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers - Retail $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100243-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $299.99 (Card looks amazing, thanks!)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Neon LED TLF-S12-EB 120mm Blue LED Case Fan - Retail $7.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ok that's what I came up with...

Questions...
-I did some research and the RAM is known to be compatible with the MOBO... is it?
-Should I get that retention bracket or does the Zalman have a decent one?
-I love that case but is the PSU decent?

Thanks!



October 3, 2008 3:40:56 AM

Shortstuff, if I customized your list with these parts (MB, CPU, Video Card) would that be a good setup?

GIGABYTE GA-EX38-DS4 LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100243-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 3, 2008 3:39:06 PM

Don't get that power supply, BlakHart, XClio is known for piss poor quality on their units. Spend a little more and get one of these two, you won't regret it:

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

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

PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 3, 2008 4:56:34 PM

Oh ok I think I'll go with that corsair one thanks. I've been hearing god things about Corsair PSU's.

What do you guys think of this RAM to replace the Kingston?

OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and is there any other changes I should consider? I'm going to be ordering tonight.
October 3, 2008 10:17:07 PM

I prefer the OCZ Reaper over Kingston. As long as the RAM is OCZ, G.Skill, Corsair, or Crucial (and it's not value RAM) it's good.
!