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Build du Jour, help please..>)

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November 4, 2008 12:32:36 PM


Hi folks, I am new here so bear with me.

My goal was to assemble a really solid gaming system for $2000.00 or less with no overclocking of any kind. I started with Tom's Midrange build from the Marathon, and made some changes as I went along.

I think I have assessed this build for compatibilty of parts, although I still need to make sure that the power supply is adequate and has all the needed connectors.

I welcome any feedback, if anyone is aware of a horrible mistake I am about to make I sure would love to hear about it before I order..)

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650

CPU Cooler: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler

Motherboard: DFI Lanparty X38

RAM: Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel

Graphics: 2 x Palit AE=4870S+0552 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Cards

Hard Drive(s): 2 x Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Sound: Integrated

Network:Integrated

Case: CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Optical: LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X
CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner –oem

Thanks in Advance!

More about : build jour

November 4, 2008 12:44:46 PM

everything looks good!

also keep in mind you will need to buy sata cables, motherboards come usually with two cables and I see you have 2xhd,2x optical drives so you need to buy two extra cables

I don't see operating system on this list, I would suggest vista 64bit since you want to use 4gb ram and you need 64bit os to utilize all of that

also since your not overclocking stock heatsink will do fine

hope that helps
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November 4, 2008 12:45:31 PM

Add a DVD burner to that, unless you already have one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


ATI Radeon HD 4870 System Requirements

500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)
Certified power supplies are recommended. Refer to http://ati.amd.com/certifiedPSU for a list of Certified products.

http://ati.amd.com/products/radeonhd4800/requirements.h...
November 4, 2008 12:52:38 PM

also I would personally go with 4870x2 than two cards.

*It saves space

*Less heat since its one heat source, not two

*On benchmarks it shows 4870x2 scales better than two cards (magic!)

*Easier to sell single card than two cards Lol.




November 4, 2008 1:14:21 PM


I think that is a really good call on the graphic card. I will definately look into that!

I'll take another look at the heat sink too.

The power supply I was looking at seems to come with all the cables and such, but I dunno for sure...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The DVD burner got crowded out by the power supply text, but its in there..>)

Thanks a lot folks, really good insights there...)


November 4, 2008 1:44:48 PM

750w will be fine
November 4, 2008 1:59:31 PM

Dooberville said:


CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650
CPU Cooler: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
Motherboard: DFI Lanparty X38
Graphics: 2 x Palit AE=4870S+0552 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Cards
Hard Drive(s): 2 x Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive


I'd replace the parts above with Q9550, Xigmatek HDT-S1283, Asus P5Q Pro, a single HD 4870 X2, two WD6400AAKS disks.
You'd get better fps in games, especially at higher resolutions (the X2 has 2x1GB RAM); more SATA ports; faster and bigger hard disks; better overclocking thanks to the high-performance cooler; less money spent. I'd prefer Visiontek or Sapphire to Palit, btw.


November 4, 2008 2:25:48 PM

I have that power supply, excellent piece of kit. SHould support your HD4870 fine, i have one HD 4870 512mb
November 4, 2008 2:53:33 PM

+1 @aevm, except if you're not going to overclock, the stock cooler will be fine.
If you buy Retail optical drives, they'll come with a SATA cable. Get at least one Retail in order to get software for them.
Choose RAM that will operate at its advertised timings on the JEDEC standard 1.8V. Mushkin and A-Data make kits that do.
November 4, 2008 3:02:55 PM

Cool beans folks,

I have adjusted the build as follows...

I eliminated the 2 4870's in favor of a single 4870x2, the visiontek.

I swapped the 2 x Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drives to a single Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

I swapped the ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler to the Xigmatek HDT-S1283

I am on the fence about the mobo, I don't really want to overclock anything, and I dunno if that is the asus' primary selling point.

I am also on the fence about the Q9650 vs. the Q9550. The $200.00 difference in price is worth noting, but I am firmly embedded in waffle-mode at the moment..>)

I should also note that the above changes moved the price $7.00, from $1818.00 to $1825.00 so we are still well within the $2k target.

Thanks again for all the positive responses, it really does help with the comfort level on this...)
November 4, 2008 3:49:06 PM

Q9550 is $320, 2.83 GHz (Newegg, right now)
Q9650 is $550, 3.00 GHz

That is, your extra $230 will mean 5.66% more speed during those 20 minutes a week when you'd actually use the Q9550 at 100%. OK, I'm just guessing here. The fact is, my Q6600 (which is slower than Q9550) reaches 100% only when I compress videos. In all my games and work and other activities it's used at a small fraction, between 1% and 60% usually.

On the other hand, if you play Flight Simulator X a lot or compress videos a lot, then the Q9650 is worth it.


About the mobo: so what exactly do you want from the mobo? Pick the MB based on the features you need.

1. PCI-E x16 slots: With a HD 4870 X2, you won't need Crossfire or SLI, so a single PCI-E x16 slot is enough. However,if you ever want 3 or 4 monitors, you'll need that second PCI-E x16 slot for a silly little card like the $30 HD 3450, so you get two more outputs. That would mean something like P5Q Pro or GA-EP45-DS3R or GA-EP45-UD3P, but not P5Q or GA-EP45-UD3R.

2. PCI slots: count them. I like boards with 3 PCI slots (TV tuner(s), X-Fi, modem, etc.). Most MBs these days seem to have 2 PCI slots.

3. SATA ports: again, I like lots, because the TV tuner fills up the hard disks fast. The P5Q Pro has 8 SATA ports, which is excellent. Most MBs these days come with 4 or 6.

4. e-SATA, FireWire, RAID
November 4, 2008 4:04:16 PM

Wow a build a day!
I am impressed.
November 4, 2008 4:05:12 PM

+1 Aevm - I agree about the processor. There is no way I would nearly double the price to get the 9650, but that is up to the purchaser.
November 4, 2008 5:19:38 PM

Yeah, the processor is looking more and more like a no-brainer.

In response to the mobo thing, I have a buddy who knows a lot more about this than I do who will be helping me assemble and install everything. I honestly don't know my SATA ports from my PCI slots.

The only things other that what are going into the case that I will be running are a single monitor and a speaker/subwolfer combo, somewhere down the line there may also be a joystick/rudder controller.

I am still thinking about adding a second hard drive, although I may be adding one at some point post-build.

The primary function is gaming. I don't archive huge amounts of data, just the occasional mp3 disk.

So with that in mind, is the DFI Lanparty X38 overkill?

Thanks!
November 4, 2008 5:47:34 PM

LOL, SATA ports are small orange connectors where you attach narrow cables that go to the hard disks.
The PCI slots are long white connectors where you insert sound cards or other small boards.
I'm sure you were just kidding and didn't need all this theory :) 

All right, so forget the SATA ports, not an issue for you. Any board will have at least 4 ports, i.e. enough for a DVD burner and 3 hard disks.

Yeah, the x38 is overkill at $180. We are talking about this one, right?
DFI LANPARTY DK X38-T2R LGA 775 Intel X38 $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813136045

Compare with this one:
GA-EP45-UD3P, $117
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128358&Tpk=GA-EP45-UD3P

The X38 costs $63 more, and the only big difference is improved Crossfire support. With your HD 4870 X2 you don't need any Crossfire support at all, which cancels the advantage of the DFI X38.



November 4, 2008 6:02:27 PM

Yes, indeed. I take your point. I can't imagine ever running more than 2 hard disks, and since we are no longer crossfiring there is no point in paying for the support feature.

Thanks for the assistance today!

If you don't mind me picking your brain a little more....there was this post earlier....

"Choose RAM that will operate at its advertised timings on the JEDEC standard 1.8V. Mushkin and A-Data make kits that do."

I looked at several different options on Newegg, is there some method of verifying the timing thing? I barely understood the sentence..>)
November 4, 2008 6:51:11 PM

He meant something like this:

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996587 - Retail

* Cas Latency: 5
* Timing: 5-4-4-12
* Voltage: 1.8V
* Heat Spreader: Yes
* Model #: 996587
* Item #: N82E16820146731
* Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146731

If you look at the stuff I pasted from newegg, you see it says 5-4-4-12 and 1.8V. That's an honest way to list timings (that is, the 5-4-4-12 part). Other companies list better timings but they are achieved by raising voltage to 2.1V or whatever, and that's cheating.

November 4, 2008 8:23:06 PM

Thats great man. This is really firming up...here is where I stand now...


CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor $319.99

CPU Cooler: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler $ 31.99

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard $136.99

RAM:mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
Desktop Memory $ 64.99

Graphics: VisionTek 900250 Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $549.99

Hard Drive: 2x Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive-oem $149.98

Sound Integrated $0

Network Integrated $0

Case CoolerMaster Cosmos 1000 $219.99

Power CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply $119.99

Optical LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X
DVD±R DVD Burner –oem $ 23.99

Grand Total- $1617.90

Thanks again for all the assistance!




!