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First time building PC - Opinion on chosen components please

Last response: in Systems
October 9, 2008 8:04:33 AM

Hello, all.

I am in the process of choosing components for building my first PC. I'll be using it mostly for gaming and web browsing. I've benefited a lot from some of the threads here (in fact, I've chosen my graphics card and mobo based on what I've read on this forum).

I now have an idea of what parts I want, but seeing as how this is my first time, I'd appreciate the input of more experienced people. This is what I have so far:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor -

Motherboard: ASUS P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP LGA 775 Intel X38 -

Graphics card: GTX 280

RAM: Probably 4 Corsair or Crucial sticks of 2GB DDR3

OS: Vista 64-bit (haven't decided which edition yet, but most likely the cheapest that supports 8GB RAM)

So, what's the verdict? Anything I should change? Also, which GTX 280 should I get? I'm a bit confused by the number of different cards:

Thanks for reading.
a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2008 8:47:04 AM

I think you missed the point a bit on the MB.

The one you chose is an x38 board, designed to crossfire. Crossfire is when you use two ATI cards (like 4870s). You cannot use two GTX 280s on this board, and so there would be no reason to get that combination.

Have you read this?,...

Basically, if you want to go this route dump the GTX280 and get two 4850s.
Related resources
October 9, 2008 9:15:00 AM

Thank you for the reply.

No, I read the August version, I didn't know the October version was out, but I guess I didn't read it fully.

I'm so glad you warned me of that, I was making it a point to check about that, but it must have slipped my mind. I'll be sure to check it out.

Would getting a HD4870 X2 be a better choice than getting two 4850 cards?
October 9, 2008 9:19:29 AM

Depends on how much money you want to spend.

If you crossfire 4850, you can get two of them for about $320. One 4870x2 costs around $500.

Both are great options.
October 9, 2008 9:20:43 AM

CSD said:
Thanks! I was thinking of the future to be honest, but I'll take your word for it. I could use the savings.

Chances are you won't be using those DDR3 RAM in the future for new systems (assuming you get them) either, by then, there's probably faster and cheaper RAM as well.
a b U Graphics card
October 9, 2008 9:23:04 AM

Maybe so. I would not plan to crossfire in that case though.

Once you throw out CF, you can get some nice features on a lower priced P45 board.

In short, go x38 and CF 4850s,
or go P45 and get a single 4870X2.

October 9, 2008 9:24:24 AM


The money you save from getting a decently priced P45 instead of an X38 or X48, should be roughly the same price difference as 4870x2 versus 4850 CF.
October 9, 2008 9:50:03 AM

Thanks. The latter option would free up the second slot for a future upgrade.

However, I'm not married to the idea of getting a CF mobo and have no problem changing it, so would going SLI be a better option with one GTX 280?
October 9, 2008 10:44:01 AM

Okay, so I guess my best options are to either get the 4870 X2 or GTX 260 SLI.

I'm going to do some further research on the subject over the next couple of days.

You guys have been very helpful. I really appreciate all your input.
October 28, 2008 12:03:43 PM

So here's what I've settled on:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
ASUS Rampage Formula
4870 X2
4 x Corsair DDR2 2GB sticks (dual channel 800Mhz)
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

If I plan on throwing a 1TB HDD on it, how much power would I need? I plan on overclocking in the future, and might add another 4870 X2 down the line, but for the time being, how much do I need?

October 28, 2008 12:19:15 PM

Looks good, are you planning to overclock? If not maybe getting an E8500/E8400 would suit you more, also 8GB is currently still overkill. When gaming in vista I never even get close to 4GB memory usage with games like crysis or other intensive games.