New System Build: $650 - $700 Remaining Budget

Hi all - finally getting around to actually building my system. Since last time I was here, I've made some changes. I already have a case, power supply, and CPU cooler. I believe I'm ready to get the rest of the system all in one shot - maitaining a remaining budget of $650 to possibly $700.

I've gone back and forth on the quad-core Q6600 and the dual-core E8500. The bottom line is that I mainly need the speed for gaming. I do a small amount of encoding, but I do much more gaming - so I'm heavily leaning towards the E8500. Of course, I'm still somewhat open to either.

I'm stuck between 2 motherboards. Also, I had originally planned on getting a HD4850 vid card, but I may decide to hold off on that until Christmas - hoping for some big cuts in price. In the meantime, I think a HD3850 will suit me.

I also haven't checked the memory compatibility for the Corsair. I've seen a lot of people here buy Mushkin. Which is better?

This is mainly for gaming. I primarily play WoW, but will get Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 - and I am an FPS'er as well.

I will, in the near future, pick up an optical drive (will re-use one for the initial build), and - like I said - either replace the graphics card within a few months or get another 3850 for crossfire.

What do you think?

Motherboard (need to choose between 2):

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

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Video Card:

SAPPHIRE 100226L Radeon HD 3850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail


Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor $189.99


CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 - Retail$74.99 -$5.00 Instant $69.99

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM$54.99

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

Depending on mobo chosen, total comes to: $641.94 to $649.94

What do you think? Also - would you recommend more than 4GB of memory at this point, or should I wait on that?

6 answers Last reply
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  1. Get the Gigabit mobo. the corsair memory is fine. i would defiantly stick with the E8500 cpu. and i would strongly suggest going ahead and getting a 4850.
    i would stick with 4gbs of ram for now and if you have trouble buy another kit like the one you picked out. most people say 4gbs is fine. and hey if you absolutely arient going to get the 4850 now, maybe look at a 3870.
  2. Who can arge with the Fife.

    I would get the 8500 and 4850 now.
    Prices always drop, but so do resell values.
    So if you try and resell the GPU you get now at christmas, you will likely lose as much money as you may have gained by a 4850 price drop.

    Make you life easy and get it now.
    Since the card is not overpriced now, the drop will likely not be significant.

    And for your 4850, here it is for $140 shipped........
  3. The combo deal for the E8500 knocks $35 off the price of the Asus P5Qpro, get it and use the money savings to get the HD4850. The same combo deal also applies to the E8400, for a saving of $55. The HD4850 is worth it over the 3850 if budget is a concern.
  4. Get a radeon 4670. its cheaper faster than 3850 in most games and also supports 7.1ch over hdmi
  5. Ok - you guys have pretty much convinced me on the 4850 - after all the rebates, etc. - it takes my total down to a manageable level. Manageable enough, at least, to justify it.

    I put the ASUS vs. the Giga question in there mainly because I've been partial to Giga myself, but I've seen a lot of stuff about the ASUS P5Q. I will likely go with the Giga.
  6. Well - I've ordered from NewEgg. I now officially have the tense "new-build" feeling that won't go away until I get a successful post and start-up approximately 3-4 days from now (this is only my second "ground-up" build).

    Thanks for all your help! I ended up going with the Giga board, however I switched to the UD3P flavor b/c of news of slightly better cooling/OC - plus I believe it has 2 extra USB ports.

    Hopefully I'll reply back in a few days with news of success.

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