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Questions about new system I am looking to get

Last response: in Systems
October 3, 2008 8:18:40 PM

Im looking to get a new system primarily for gaming as well as multimedia and video/photo editing. I've still got an old P4 3.0ghz single core on an AGP x8 mobo so I've decided I will just replace everything and start fresh.

Im not the most technical savy person when it comes to computer hardware so I have a few questions about my planned computer, but first I suppose I should list the hardware so here it goes:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB

Mobo: ASUS P5N-T Deluxe Dual DDR2 1200

Memory: OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

HDD: WD 500GB 7200RPM SATAII /w 16MB Cache

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB (just one)

PS: Antec TPQ-850 850W


So now that you see what im looking at, I will begin with my questions. First of all I am wondering about SLI vs a single PCI-e mobo. Will I regret not having the SLI option in the future? After reading here, it seems that most everyone agrees that SLI is not usefull unless you are usuing very large resolutions. Currently I use a 19" LCD with 1280x1024 resolution, and I plan to purchase a 22" widescreen which has a native resolution of 1680x1050. So im just wondering if I would regret not having the ability to use dual video cards in SLI or if a single card will do what I want (lots of gaming) on the smaller resolutions.

My second question still revolves around the motherboard. Currently I have selected a motherboard with DDR2 1200. Is this needed or could I or perhaps, should I be using DDR2 800? Im not entirely sure of what the differences are and I've read some that matching memory speeds to your processor FSB is something that is important? If anyone could explain the difference between DDR2 800 and 1200 and how that relates to my choice that would be appreciated.

Last I wonder about my powersupply choice. Its usually the most overlooked part of a new computer despite how important it is. Im just wondering if im running a single VGA setup, 850W sounds like entirely too much. Is that correct? Is 850W even more than I need for an SLI setup? I wont be running many additional accessories other than the 8 or so case fans in the antec 1200.

Anyways, sorry for the extremely long post but I would like to thank you for taking the time to read it (if you have) and thank you for helping me out.

More about : questions system

October 3, 2008 8:44:15 PM

SLI has been a poor upgrade path in the past. It should be used only by
those who will not currently be satisfied by the fastest available single vga card
which is currently the 4870X2. The 4870, GTX260, or 9800GX2
offer very good performance for the money now.
To get SLI. you have to spend more up front for a SLI capable mobo,a
more powerful SLI capable PSU, and better case cooling. Upgrading a single card later with a
second equal card does not get you 2x increase, it is more like 1.1x to 1.5x depending on the game.
At that time, you will still be paying top dollar for a card that is closer to
being obsolete.
It would be better to sell the old card and use the proceeds
towards a better new generation single card.

If you plan on SLI, you will need a Nvidia chipset.
If not, then any will do. Personally, I would go with a P45 motherboard which would cost somewhat less.

Core 2 cpu's are not very sensitive to ram speeds and timings. The difference in fps or real applications(vs. synthetic memory benchmarks) is minimal. Think 1-2% perhaps.
I would suggest a 4gb kit of DDR2-800 ram from a quality vendor.
Some motherboards support higher speeds for maximum overclockers. Unless you are looking at record overclocks, faster ram is not worth it.

A quality PSU should be a given. Pick a tier 1 or 2 unit from this admittedly outdated list:

The Antec is overkill if you do not plan on SLI.
Consider the PC P&C silencer610:
Other good units are corsair, seasonic, and antec.

I might also suggest the Antec 300 as a case.
Vista home premium 64 bit as the OS.

---good luck---
October 3, 2008 11:41:05 PM

That's some good advice you got there.

Intel chipsets are the more stable. Get a P45 board. since you are not very savvy you will also not be worrying about overclocking to any big degreee, so 800Mhz RAM will be enough.

One nice board is the P5Q -E.

I don't like the PC P&C for the 4870x2, but for any other single card it's probably good. If you were going that route perhaps a Corsair 650TX.

Related resources
October 4, 2008 12:23:40 AM

depending how much editing and the programs you use you may be able to make use of a quad core prosser but the E8400 is a strong chip

i would go with a 640gb hard drive as the offer the best price/performance

+1 on the 800 ram again if you editing can use the extra ram get like 8gb
(will only work if the program is 64bit )

i would go fore a 4870 vs a 260 but the 260 is a good card
sli is not worth it go fore a p45 board

as fore a psu you will not need more that 500w
October 4, 2008 4:25:35 AM

Thanks for the information.

I notice one mention of P5Q-E, what about just the P5Q board? It has only one PCI-E 2.0 slot. Or perhaps the P5N-D. Its still and SLI board but i guess its older with 750i chipset. What do you guys suggest? I would like to stay with an nvidia GPU if that makes any kind of difference, as well as an intel CPU of course.

Also are there any problems with 64bit vista in relation to older programs? I havent heard a lot of great things about vista in general, is that just people making something out of nothing? Particularily for gaming I've heard there is no reason at all to go with 64 bit or even any kind of vista. Is there any kind of downside in performance or are people just being silly?

this is the site im ordering from by the way if anyone wants to look at my options and prices
October 4, 2008 7:26:50 AM

I recommended the P5Q -E because of other features, and I thought you might like retaining the crossfire option as a "just in case."

If I thought your budget was smaller I would say P5QL-E. It has most of the features of it's big brother except crossfire.

There is something to be said for the more deluxe boards if you can afford it. The P5Q-E has many of the same parts as the top end P45 ASUS boards, but at a better price.

If you want to save a bit more, and perhaps put it toward a faster processor, the P5QL Pro listed on that site will suffice.

Skip the TPQ and get a Corsair or PC Power and Cooling since those are available.

October 4, 2008 8:05:16 PM

sorry for more questions and I dont mean to question your knowledge. Im just wondering what exactly something like the P5Q-E has that the P5Q doesnt have? Other than crossfire, what are these features that one holds over the other?

Thanks again for the info, i've already changed my mind to a corsair PSU.
October 4, 2008 9:28:12 PM

Vista-64 will not run old 16 bit DOS programs. The original Civilization-2 2.42 will not run. You would need the civ-2 mge gold edition. For security. Vista-64 requires certified drivers. Some obsolete devices will not have such drivers because it is not worth it to the manufacturers to continue support and certify drivers. Programs which modify the OS will not run either.
There are other security changes too. For example, code is randomly relocated to make it harder for a rogue program to find a hook.

For a humorous insight to Vista FUD google "mojave experiment"
October 5, 2008 1:12:37 AM

skdal said:
sorry for more questions and I dont mean to question your knowledge. Im just wondering what exactly something like the P5Q-E has that the P5Q doesnt have? Other than crossfire, what are these features that one holds over the other?

Thanks again for the info, i've already changed my mind to a corsair PSU.

This is the P5Q-E

This is the P5Q

Note the number of solid capacitors surrounding the CPU sockets. Note the chipset cooling. Look at the placement of the first PCI-Ex16 slot (the blue one nearest the CPU) and ask yourself which one has more breathing room.

I'm not going to list each difference. You can compare features of all ASUS P45 boards here: