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$2000 Price Range Gaming Machine is this good?

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October 22, 2008 1:35:08 AM

I'm buying this from ibuypower and would appreciate any feedback. Specifically if any parts aren't good or I can get better bang for the buck. I might only get one video card and buy another one later during christmas since I'll primarily be playing Wow now.

Case ( NZXT Adamas Gaming Tower Case w/420W Power Supply Black )
Case Lighting ( None )
Power Supply ( 750 Watt -- [$40 OFF Mail-In Rebate] Thermaltake Toughpower W0117RU Power Supply Quad SLI Ready )
Processor ( Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E8500 (2x 3.16GHz/6MB L2 Cache/1333FSB) )
Free Software/Game ( Free Game - [Halo 2] must purchase with Microsoft Windows Vista operation system )
Processor Cooling ( [$10 OFF Mail-In Rebate] [=== Silent ===] Thermaltake V1 CPU Cooling Fan System Kit Silent & Overclocking Proof = Maximum cooling efficiency for quietness and performance )
Motherboard ( [SLI] Asus P5N-T Deluxe NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394, 3-Way PCI-E MB 3-Way SLI & EPU Technology )
Memory ( 4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 Memory Module Corsair XMS2 Xtreme w/Heat Spreader )
Video Card ( 2x NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB w/DVI + TV Out Video - running SLI mode )
Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA )
Hard Drive ( 1 TB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache] )
CD/DVD Drive ( 16x DVD-ROM Drive - Sony Beige )
CD-RW/DVD-RW Drive ( [** Special !!! ***] LG 20X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive Black )
Sound Card ( Creative Lab Sound Blaster Audigy SE )
Speaker System ( 600W PMPO 3 PCS Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )

More about : 2000 price range gaming machine good

October 22, 2008 2:27:56 AM

Well I would probably build the system for less. If you buying because you don't want to build it yourself, than the system will work.
October 22, 2008 2:42:22 AM

That's not SLI but quad SLI :)  4 GPUs, and massive overkill. It will be completely limited by the processor, and for that amount of cash you should be getting a Q9650.

I have a link here for various parts and ideas on systems, but here is a few things I would change:

ASUS Rampage Formula MB
Q9550, or 9650 if you have the cash.
Two 4870s in crossfire.
Corsair 1000HX PSU
Vista Premium 64 bit
If you need to trim a bit more cash off, dump the Corsair RAM and get the Kingston HyperX


Or better yet, just buy the parts and build your own ;) 
Drop the speakers and get good ones elsewhere.
Related resources
October 22, 2008 2:44:45 AM

Oh and to add, that 750W Thermaltake would not power the quad SLI.
October 22, 2008 3:31:22 AM

Thanks so much Proximon! Your guide helped a lot!

This is what I'm thinking now. Ack it's at $2400 which is a lot though =(

Kingston RAM is like 5 dollars cheaper through this retailer.

Is ASUS Rampage Formula MB worth the $75 bucks over Asus P5E Deluxe Intel X48?

Speakers are only like $4 dollars, so I decided to just use them.

Also why Premium over basic?

Could I save money anywhere? I'd rather not self-build lol.

Case ( CoolerMaster CM 690 Gaming Tower Case w/420W Power Supply Black )
Power Supply ( 1000 Watt -- Corsair CMPSU-1000HX Power Supply Quad SLI Ready )
Processor ( Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E8500 (2x 3.16GHz/6MB L2 Cache/1333FSB) )
Processor Cooling ( [$10 OFF Mail-In Rebate] [=== Silent ===] Thermaltake V1 CPU Cooling Fan System Kit Silent & Overclocking Proof = Maximum cooling efficiency for quietness and performance )
Motherboard ( [CrossFire] Asus Rampage Formula Intel X48 Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394, Dual PCI-E MB )
Memory ( 4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 Memory Module Corsair XMS2 Xtreme w/Heat Spreader )
Video Card ( 2x ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB PCI-Express x16 - running CrossFire mode )
Video Card Brand ( Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA )
Hard Drive ( 1 TB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache] )
CD/DVD Drive ( 16x DVD-ROM Drive - Sony Beige )
CD-RW/DVD-RW Drive ( [** Special !!! ***] LG 20X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive Black )
Sound Card ( Creative Lab Sound Blaster Audigy SE )
Speaker System ( 600W PMPO 3 PCS Super Bass Subwoofer Speaker System )
Network Card ( Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100) )
Keyboard ( PS/2 104 Key Windows 98 Keyboard Beige )
Mouse ( Logitech Optical Internet Mouse Black )
Operation System ( Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium + [Free 60-Day !!!] Microsoft Office 2007(Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Access ....) 64-Bit )
Headset ( [Gaming Gear] Logitech Extreme PC Gaming Headset )
October 22, 2008 3:53:12 AM

The P5E will work just fine.

If you are an audiophile or otherwise have a very discerning ear (I do) then the sound card might be needed... although I would get an X-fi not an Audigy. Otherwise you do not need it.

It's a shame you can't see the exact product numbers on the RAM, but yeaf the XMS2 is the safe bet. Hey, they are assembling so you don't have to worry about compatibility anyway.

Vista basic is junk. It can never be re-installed and will not support 4GB RAM.

Vista Premium 64bit will support all 4GB, and will be a full copy that can make the migration to your next computer in the distant future. Just make sure they send you the disk.
October 22, 2008 4:24:36 AM

I read somewhere that an onboard soundcard slows down the CPU. Do you think it'll be noticeable?

Also how important is the 1000W power supply? It looks more expensive than my CPU according to newegg lol.

October 22, 2008 4:40:03 AM

jnlc said:
I read somewhere that an onboard soundcard slows down the CPU. Do you think it'll be noticeable?

Also how important is the 1000W power supply? It looks more expensive than my CPU according to newegg lol.


Technically a Corsair 750W will do the job... I usually recommend PSUs that will last through a few builds... but you don't build your own. So yeah, you can save on the PSU, as long as they will sell it to you with the build. Take the Corsair over the Thermaltake though.

I don't believe you will see any noticeable change in performance with the Audigy. It was true 5-10 years ago, but it's not such a big deal today.

Did I mention I really like that case? Oh yeah, that goes on my list, sweet case:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 22, 2008 4:57:47 AM

I think the cooling on the Lexa is better, slightly.

I don't like front doors because they end up being left open and looking ugly.

If you don't think that's an issue for you, get the one you like the looks of the most.
October 22, 2008 5:00:40 AM

I think either of the NXZT models have better air flow. The Cooler Master is adequate I suppose ;) 
October 22, 2008 5:07:18 AM

Really? Maybe I should get nxzt lexa then because it has a $25 rebate, if they dont pretend to lose the mail.

Since I'm doing a prebuilt the newegg price diff doesn't matter.

Haha the price is down to 2200 but I'm still cringing a bit. Maybe I should drop a video card and buy it when I buy my first new game like crysis or something.

When do you think we'll see a 4870 price drop?
October 22, 2008 5:52:57 AM

haha after seeing this i guess i have to build
October 22, 2008 6:00:38 AM

:) 
October 22, 2008 6:06:27 AM

Got any good links for self building instructions or are the first few google results good enough?

Haha you've made me see the light. Even if I wreck 2 motherboards it's still cheaper
October 22, 2008 6:18:59 AM

If you can install a GPU than you should be able to build your own computer.
This one looks promising!
It's pretty easy, especially after the first one :) 
October 22, 2008 6:19:14 AM

LOL. We need some sticky action around here. Someone made a very good start on one not long ago.

Yep Google and also youtube are good rescources. Feel free to ask questions here.

It's all pretty logical.

Ground yourself frequently.
Place the motherboard standoffs correctly.
Remember to plug the PSU in to both the power sockets in the MB and all the sockets on the video cards.

When it's all done you may need to make a few BIOS tweaks.

Oh, you'll need an OS... Vista Premium 64bit OEM would be good.
October 22, 2008 6:21:58 AM

That is a good link Lunyone :) 
October 22, 2008 6:36:23 AM

Anyone seen those gaming rigs on nvidia's site ?
October 22, 2008 8:15:23 AM

We usually see no performance improvement on 1GB cards, but I admit I haven't checked benchmarks for 1GB 4870s. I like the cooling solution on the cards I listed.... let's see what the benchmarks say.

Not a whole lot of difference:

http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=778&p=4


This can vary and sometimes improves over time as programmers make use of larger GPU memory pools.

If it were me I would stay with the after market cooling, but either is fine.
October 22, 2008 9:46:45 AM

Proximon, what is aftermarket cooling when it relates to graphics cards? I know it means heatsink, when talking about CPUs but I'm not sure about the GPU version. Is an aftermarket cooler on a GPU a different fan that the brands eg. Sapphire fix to the video card after they buy it from the manufacturer eg ATI (AMD)? Cheers
October 22, 2008 9:59:01 AM

Yes that's correct. ATI will supply a standard cooling reference, and that is why all cards will look the same at first. Later on, the various companies will find better solutions to cool the card. Other companies will find a different solution and market it as better, when it is louder or hotter in practice, so you have to be careful.

Probably "aftermarket" would be the wrong term in this case. "Non-reference " is the correct term, but I'm getting old and sometimes the right word eludes me for a bit ;) 
October 22, 2008 3:16:35 PM

2.1 sound system with high-def audio card = wasted audio card :p 
I'd say go with a single HD4850 or 4870 for now. Anything more will be bottlenecked by the processor and the difference would only be seen at 1680x1050 and up with AA and AF turned on. Alternatively, you could drop 1 vid card and get a q9550 instead for about the same overall price.
October 22, 2008 9:24:29 PM

Yes, I'm going to build it myself now and basically save 400 bucks or more since the self-build is better. This is what I'm looking at now. With quad-core it won't be bottlenecked right?

Processor: Intel Core2 quad Q9550 @ 2.83 ghz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video cards: 2xATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: mushkin 4GB (2x2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS P5E Deluxe LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Antec Signature SG850 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

Monitor: ASUS VW222U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP support - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Plus DVD drive/DVD-R, Keyboard, and Mouse

Total is around $2000, saving over 400 by doing a self-build
October 22, 2008 9:50:44 PM

* Well the Antec PSU will be plenty, I'd consider the Corsair 750 tx for $100 less. It'll do what you need and still have plenty left over.

* You'd do just as well with the 4850's in crossfire at that resolution. That would save you about $200 or so.

* You could even get a 4870x2 for less than 2x4870's. That's about $50 less or so.

Personally I'd upgrade to a 24" or bigger LCD (1920x1200 resolution) and use 4850's in crossfire (~$320 combined). Get the Corsair 750tx PSU and save the $100 off of the Antec PSU. So the savings on the 4850's and the PSU would open up $300 in the budget for a bigger LCD. That is what I'd do.

Here's a link to Tom's that shows the performance difference on Crysis at 1920x1200 w/no AA. Even the Single 4870 does quite well.
There are other setups that will do, but for the $ the 4850's in X-fire are plenty for this build.

P.S. forgot to have Corsair 750tx link. It has 60A on the single 12v rail and comes with 4x6+2pin PCI-e power connectors, which means you can have any combination of 6 pin or 8 pin connectors up to 4 of each if needed!! The Antec only comes with 2 x 6 pin and 2 x 6+2pin connectors.
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Don't forget to use the promo code "corsair20" to get the additional 10% off, but it's only good until today!
October 22, 2008 10:24:09 PM

you could always go to your local store and have them put the system together for you. But if you are into computers (which i suspect you are with that spec) them iim sure all will be fine
October 23, 2008 1:41:03 AM

Yeah you sure can. Especially if your getting another 4870 during Christmas time!! Can't argue with getting a nice big screen! I'm on a 19" WS for the last 2 years and love it. Wish I could've got a 22-24" at the time, but could'nt afford it.
October 23, 2008 6:53:45 PM

I agree - with the extra card and the original monitor, you won't notice the difference, with only one 4870 and a 28incher you'll be very happily surpeised - sure it wont smoothly run crisis (even my 4870x2 only gets 45 fps at 1680x... resolution) - but it will happily tackle just about anything else lol
October 23, 2008 8:47:27 PM

i have a 22"monitor (samsung t220) and i have no reason to go any larger unless you are going to be using your monitor as your tv or something similar. If anything i wish i had gone for 2 smaller monitors, 2x 20". that way multi tasking becomes easier, and you can have other apps running whilst playing a game.

In your situation i would definitely go for a smaller monitor and better gfx card. you could probably get a 4870x2 and a 20"or 22" for the same price as a 28" and a 4870

hope this helps
October 23, 2008 9:47:32 PM

Yeah I'm not sure now. My options are

1. 22" and 4870 X2
2. 28" and 4870
3. 22" and two 4870's

My justification for #1 or #3 would be games a year or two from now might benefit from it, even though right now the graphics card is too strong for the 22".

What's the performance difference between 1 and 3 anyway? Isn't it roughly similar since they're the same thing almost?
October 23, 2008 11:19:06 PM

Personally I'd go with the 28" and the 4870. 99% of games will do fine with the 4870 right now and later, if you want to, you can just add another 4870 or one of the best GPU's out at that time, which might trump 2 x 4870's.
October 23, 2008 11:30:48 PM

difficult situation, depends what your personal preference is, i am fine with a 22" and have no reason to go any lager, (sometimes i find myself moving back from the screen so i can see it all ). If you want to play games on high setting 3 will be fine 1 would probably be an overkill.

Have you considered a 24" and 4870 x2

What size screen have you used previously, that may give you a good indication as to what screen size is best for you
October 24, 2008 12:55:17 AM

I'm usually using a 22" which is nice.

I didn't know you could put in different CPU's in crossfire? Doesn't it have to be the same card?
October 24, 2008 1:44:11 AM

Er that's different GPU not CPU
October 24, 2008 12:54:57 PM

lol, yes almost always you need two identical cards, but as always there will be ppl who have done otherwise. Basically, yes you need both the same or you'll likely have a f**k-up lol.

Coleman, i agree with you - i have a samsung 2253BW 22inch and it's fine! it takes up most of my desk and looks class - but more importantly it's more than enough screen. I don't even need 2 monitors - for translatin, i have word and a translator running in 2 different windows taking up half the screen each - it's easily enough.

Another thing - apart from top end games like crysis, many games like pro evo 2009 etc... only let you go up to 1650x..... resolution anyway......

I have the 4870x2 and a 22incher (monitor lol) and it's a beastly combination - some may claim that the card's overkill for that res, but i say it's all about beastly performance and future proofing - I shouldn't have to upgrade card for at least 2 years.

Get the 4870x2 bro!
October 24, 2008 1:35:28 PM

You can crossfire different cards, unlike nVidia SLI. I have never seen a good reason to do so.

I would agree with lunyone, just get one 4870 for now and then grab another down the road at some point.
October 24, 2008 8:55:27 PM

Haha alright decision made and order sent. I decided on the 28" and a single 4870. I'm mostly gonna be playing World of Warcraft since the expansion is almost out. I guess I'll get another one during Christmas and then play some of the latest games after a month or two of the new Wow expansion.

Thanks a lot for the advice guys, it was excellent.
October 24, 2008 9:13:51 PM

Glad we could all help. I know that you'll enjoy the bigger screen, especially with WoW and having RAID's and such going on. It'll be nice to be able to see alot more people and baddies, so you can easily target them (good and evil) and do what you need to do!!!
October 24, 2008 10:18:06 PM

Haha yeah. My old computer is a 5 year old Dell with
P4 2.6 Ghz
ATI RADEON 9800 128MB
2 gig of noname ram
noname mobo
22" Samsung monitor
etc

Gonna see a huge improvement
October 29, 2008 8:54:19 PM

Just arrived in the mail. I'll let u guys know when I'm operational =)
October 30, 2008 7:29:59 AM

Omg I'm getting this CPU INIT error on the LCD display
October 30, 2008 10:33:10 AM

LOL I didn't have the 12V power plugged into the mobo, only the big one. Installing vista now =)
October 30, 2008 4:20:21 PM

which 28inch monitor did you end up buying?

Also, that q9550 should reach 3.5-4ghz on stock cooler, it's just that good :) 
October 30, 2008 4:57:51 PM

The hans g one. Ya gonna overclock once I'm settled =)
October 31, 2008 12:40:51 AM

no way can it do that on stock cooling, you're talking out of your arse.

It could certainly achieve those speeds with an aftermarket cooler, though.
October 31, 2008 1:58:58 AM

Ya i got some nice coolers
!