$1000 budget, mainly gaming, but some virtual server hosting.

I hate to be that guy, the one who ask questions he should be able to find reading the forum, but I'm afraid I'm a bit overwhelmed and was hoping the gurus here could point me in the right direction. The particular things that have me stumped are motherboard chipset choices and Dual vs. Quad Core (with a sub-question of Q6600 vs. Q9450 if quad is a better option.).

My budget is $1000 for the box, no need for monitors or keyboards and the like, just the case and the guts.

I will be mainly using it for gaming, but occasionally will have to commandeer as a host for some virtual machines for various purposes. I wouldn't mind being able to do some minor OCing (3.2-3.4) if it will be stable. I want to stick to air cooling. I don't think I will do SLI or Crossfire.

So, given that information, would I be better served by one of the Nvidia chipsets (780i?) or an Intel one (P45)? How about Dual vs. Quad core? Any particular motherboard recommendations?

This build seems to be in the ballpark of what I am looking for, any comments based on my parameters listed above? http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/257327-31-computer-1200-bucks

If I have missed a thread where something like this is discussed, I'd love a link.

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  1. What resolution will you be gaming at?
  2. Thanks for the near instant response. :)

    The monitors in my price range are in the 1680x1050 range, so I believe that would be my target.
  3. Get a quad if you're dealing with virtual machines. Q6600 will be fine and it leaves you more money for other things.

    Avoid nVidia chipsets, they are pretty bad these days. P45 is perfect for that budget IMO.

    LOL, I've already been in that thread you've linked. Yeah, that's a very nice build. With Q6600 and RC-690 it should be close to $1000. You will have to get the Xigmatek (or maybe a Sunbeam Core Contact, whatever) if you buy the Q6600 OEM. You can skip it if you buy the Q6600 retail.
  4. dpicm said:
    Thanks for the near instant response. :)

    The monitors in my price range are in the 1680x1050 range, so I believe that would be my target.

    For that resolution you can replace the $309 Sapphire HD 4870 1GB with this $240 Visiontek HD 4870 512MB

    The extra RAM helps at 1920x1200 or more, but it's not worth $70 IMO at 1680x1050.
  5. This is what I have so far, any feedback would be appreciated:

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail Item #: N82E16819115017 - $189.99

    MB: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail Item #: N82E16813128358 - 136.99 (-$20MIR)

    Case and PS: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail Item #: N82E16811129021
    Antec TPQ-850 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail Item #: N82E16817371009
    Combo deal, $224.98 (-$25MIR) (This PS may be overkill? Should I go with another one and put the money into something else?)

    Video Card: EVGA 896-P3-1262-AR GeForce GTX 260 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail Item #: N82E16814130372 - $284.99 (-$30 MIR)

    RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail Item #: N82E16820231122

    CPU Cooler: ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail Item #: N82E16835118003 -$48.99

    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE WD5000AAJS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    Item #: N82E16822136178 - $64.99

    That puts me at $1,019.18 before the $75 in MIR. I still need an optical drive, but not to worried about the cost of that.

    Also was considering this ASUS motherboard instead: ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    Any thoughts?

    My other option is to drop another $100+ on the Q9550 (or hope it drops soon).

    Thanks for your help!
  6. Another change I am considering:

    This case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119138
    COOLER MASTER COSMOS 1000 RC-1000-KSN1-GP Black/ Silver Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case & $139

    or this one: http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-TechBargains&cm_mmc=AFC-TechBargains-_-NA-_-NA-_-NA&Item=N82E16811146047
    NZXT TEMPEST Crafted Series CS-NT-TEM-B Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case @ 89.99 after MIR.

    If it went with either of those cases, I'd probably go with the Corsair PSU.

    Also, any thoughts on this RAM? http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?nm_mc=AFC-TechBargains&cm_mmc=AFC-TechBargains-_-NA-_-NA-_-NA&Item=N82E16820145177
    CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
    It's only $10 after rebate with the coupon code.

  7. I'm voting for the Tempest. $90 with free shipping for a case with 6 fans, that's a fantastic deal.

    If you're going to use virtual machines you should get as much RAM as possible, for example 4 sticks of 2GB each. If you buy 1GB sticks you'll fill all the slots with a max of 4 GB. Besides I don't think you'd get two rebates if you buy two of those 2GB kits.

    You're combining a Crossfire motherboard with a SLI video card there :)
  8. You are correct, aevm. Not particularly good planning on my part. :) There were other features of the motherboard that appealed to me, the Crossfire was secondary. Good point on the RAM too.

    Perhaps one of these would be better?
    GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

    ASUS P5Q LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
  9. Technically, the UD3P is better. If you ever want 3 monitors it can do it, while the UD3R or P5Q can't. With LCD prices dropping, this can become important. At the current newegg prices I'd prefer the UD3P to the other two.

    I just wanted to make sure you don't count on adding a second gaming card later.

    About the case: the Tempest's 6 fans are fabulous, but you don't really need that much for your build. I mean, yeah, the GTX 260 is hot, but not that hot. The Cosmos is cooled well enough and looks better, at least to my taste. Just pick whichever looks best to you.
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