Open budget, just need some guidance.

This would be my second build ever. First one was six years ago and went off without a hitch. Now that system still runs like a champ (never been oced either) but it's starting to limit me.

For about a year and a half now I've been lurking in these forums scouring information, asking others I know on help with a new build. I'm fed up with trying to build a new system and want to finally do it so I'm going to ask for help.

It will be primarily for gaming. I do tend run a lot of stuff at times (ie; 20 firefox tabs + 2 music/video players + image viewer, downloading/uploading programs, while running Steam, TF2, WoW, XFire, Vent, ripping music). So I was trying to decide between the q6600 or the e8500, chose the 8500 because it is more suited for gaming.

My problem comes in when I try and choose a part. I just get lost between why this piece costs $50 more but seems to be at a lower speed, I get bored...lazy and just stop looking.

I would just like some help I'm tired of looking, brain hurts heh.

Parts I've been thinking of, open to suggestion of course:
(Note, am Canadian so I would prefer links to and

Proc: E8500 (

Mobo: Gigabyte EP45-DS3R (

Vid Card: Probably a 4850, not sure what company or if any build them better than others. MSI did a good job on the GF4Ti4200 I have in my old desktop now. Don't think the 4870 is worth the jump in price either.

Ram: This Mushkin set ( seems to be a popular choice amongst some of the build threads I've read here. Not sure if 54412, or 55512 is better, or just spend the extra couple of dollars for the cas4 44412 (except this one comes @ 2.0/2.1V already).

.....aaaand this is where I get pretty much stumped (like I knew where I was going with those choices up there).
- HD wise I've heard great things about the Caviar S16...and do I even need something bigger than this 80gigs.
- Sound card..ugh I've been on on-board for the past 6 years (don't beat me *cowers*). Would love to get me some 5.1 or eve 7.1 speakers/headphones. Basically I neeeeeeeed awesome sound. I always have music playing no matter what I'm doing anywhere. I am an audiophile.
- Cooling I've never even touched on so need huge help there.
- Case? umm as long as it keeps stuff cool I'm good. Friend keeps telling me to find one of the old stacker cases.
- Monitor, 20-24 WS probably. Mainly a monitor, haven't really thought about using it as a tv but I'd love to be able to plug in a console/laptop/whatever else easily to it. Primarily a monitor for gaming though.
- OS...Still hearing horror stories from Vista, and Win7 is coming up. So if Vista is stable enough then I'd have to make sure all the parts have vista compatible drivers

Like I said I have an open budget (well maybe 1500-2k limit), and I need tons of help.
Never done ocing but it seems simple enough.
Open to suggestions/help on parts. If you think I can get better bang for buck on another part then go ahead and suggest it.

Thank you in advance.

And of course I forgot about the power supply.
Not opposed to running 2x4850's but I've never touched that stuff so I wasn't sure if I should even try.
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  1. Touche.
    I think I've spent too much time reading threads here and just b-lined for making a post without checking the new ones (other computer is inaccessible and laptop was loaned out).
    My bad.
  2. I didn't intend to be brusque, blunt, or harsh, just being efficient as a flit around randomly :)

    Please feel free to ask more questions, but I felt quite a few answers would be right there for you.
  3. Yup, pretty much got the system built in a short span. That post needs to be stickied.

    Only thing you didn't recommend were sound cards, but you seemed to like on-board. Any ideas if I want to get a 5.1 headset or should on-board be good enough?

    Got the build just skimming through the three Canadian sites to see which offers stuff cheaper.
  4. I don't really have a preference for a sound card right now... Creative makes me mad sometimes :)

    I use an X-fi Fatality Pro Extreme yadayada. :p

    Most people don't need a sound card, really. I find I prefer the sound of Creative cards, especially with music, but the drivers sure have been a hassle for gaming for the last 14 years.
  5. So...

    CPU: E8500 -

    Mobo: PQ5-E -

    RAM: 4GB Mushkin 800 -

    Case and Power: Going with the 900, just need a suggestion on which power supply combo to get with it -

    Fan: Xigmatek 1283 -
    The bracket is not available on so it will come from NCIX or directcanada. Any word on whether one ships better than the other?

    Vid Card: ASUS 4850 -

    HD - WD Caviar S16 -
    (Might come from NCIX or directcanada because they're both a couple of bucks cheaper than from newegg and I'm getting the Xig fan bracket from there anyway, save on shipping maybe.)

    Burner: Never hurts to pay a couple of bucks for Nero -

    Total build roughly $1400. No monitor or Sound Card. And of course no OS. The monitor I can handle myself.
    The good sound cards are reaching the high 100's. So I'll stick with on board. I can always stick something in there later for those 5.1 headphones.

    OS however is a different issue. Recommendation on that one? Also off the top of your head, the components in that list, do they all have vista stable drivers if you do recommend vista?
  6. Yes Vista 64 bit Premium OEM.

    Seasonic makes the Neopower 650W, so that would be a clear PSU choice. Good combo deal.

    I need to update my list a bit... I'm liking this new Gigabyte board. I give it even score to the P5Q-E:
  7. Thanks for you input Ares. I don't think I'll spend the cash on a full system yet but maybe move up from my 3 speaker system. :P

    And wow Prox...that mobo looks pretty sweet.
    Yup, I'm sold on it. Plus it should be a little easier to oc it for a complete nub like me.

    Also, why 64vista?
    And why the hell does newegg charge you more than retail price for it..almost twice as much than at ncix and directcanada.
  8. I love my X-Fi Elite pro, mostly because i got it for $30, but I think you can do better than creative. It makes me mad when i try to get games working nicely with the DSP. Although it does sound awesome with music compared to my previous Realtek 888 on board (best on board sound).

    Here are my recommendations:

    If you were serious about audio I would also get a receiver and a nice set of speakers to go along with it. Currently my setup is not that great, Denon DRA-345R and a pair of Marantz SP1000s with some cheapo Optimus bookshelf speakers. Nevertheless, I think this setup is much better than my friends gamer 5.1 setup for music and sometimes even gaming. If you drop some serious cash into a receiver and speakers i doubt you will find computer speakers that match it (and you can keep your receiver forever and use it with anything).

    Good luck with your build, i just wanted to throw in my input on audio
  9. Vista 64 is stable, fast, works well with modern software games included. It makes full use of 4GB RAM or more, and gamers are quickly moving into the 4GB range. I have no doubt 4GB RAM will be a must in a year, and 8GB builds will be common.

    I have both XP Pro and Vista 64 installed on this comp, and the only reason I ever use XP is because I haven't transferred everything yet. Vista 64 runs these games for me flawlessly:

    Warhammer Online
    COD 4

    I'm not expecting any issues with other titles, except perhaps Civ 4.

    We are about to run into a memory crisis similar to the old 1MB limit. Once again MS is falling behind and underestimating our needs.

    I believe windows 7 will be 64 bit though, so at least the main offering will support 16-126GB.
  10. only has retail versions. Direct Canada is selling OEM versions at good rates. Perhaps newegg is waiting on a license to sell OEM from MS still.
  11. Riiight, I gotta start reading. Well I guess I got my time to get it all in put it together and watch it explode.
  12. Sweet, ordered. Thanks for all the help.

    Some extra discounts were put on the case/psu package so after the OS I ended up paying like 1411.
    Still no monitor though. Harder to find one than I thought.
    Now I just gotta wait for it all to come in and hopefully build it without any major problems.
  13. Monitor:
    I use this as both a computer monitor and for my ps3/xbox360 hook ups. Kill two birds with one stone. Is big enough for you to be able to sit back and enjoy or if you want to be up close you feel like your whole field of vision is covered. Runs at 1920x1280 resolution which would be a good setup for your graphics card.

    If this isn't what your looking for give us a price range and what an ideal monitor is that your looking for?
  14. I ended up getting a 2253bw.

    But I'm having major problems getting this thing to work. Think I got some faulty memory or a busted Vista disk, or the hd is busted, I'm really annoyed at this. Currently trying to scrounge up some ram a spare hd and another version of windows to see if those are the culprits.

    Does tom's forums have a, "help my new build is driving me crazy" area? heheh

    Well I just plugged in an old bugged 1.6g drive I had around here running win 98se and it works fine...well until it gets to the part that it usually bugs out to so I can't say it's the hd fully yet.
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