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Compatibility Question

Last response: in Systems
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November 9, 2008 12:15:23 AM

Hi there,

I'm upgrading the main components of my system soon, as it's long overdue, and was wondering if anyone could let me know whether the parts I've selected have any compatibility issues. Or perhaps there are some better alternatives to some of the parts I've chosen.

I've decided upon the following:

Intel Core2 Duo E8600

ASUS P5Q DeluxeT 775Intel P45 1600 FSB DD2

OCZ 4GB ReaperX HPC DDR2 PC2 8000 1000MHz

NVIDIA GeForce 9600GT 512MB DDR3

I'll be using this largely for design work - mostly 2D, but possibly some 3D (which generally involves a fair bit of multi-app usage), if that changes anything. Any help would be gratefully recieved.

Thanks

More about : compatibility question

November 9, 2008 12:17:27 AM

Your CPU and mobo are compatible. The P5Q Deluxe can support crossfire (ATI) but not SLI. If you're not planning on a multi-GPU setup then you're good to go.
November 9, 2008 12:25:57 AM

I don't think I'll be planning on running two graphics cards at once, unless it offers a significant advantage when it comes to rendering video or hi-res images. But even then, I don't tend to do that very often anyway.

As it supports crossfire though, would I be better off with an ATI card? Obviously it would help if I were to plan on using crossfire, but would there be any other advantages?
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November 9, 2008 4:25:18 AM

Was there some reason you chose the P5Q Deluxe? It's a good board, but really you are paying more than you need.

The RAM also is more than you need.

Many of your programs are likely multi-threaded, and I suspect you would be better off with a quad core CPU. This would cost a bit more but by trimming off the excess from the MB and RAM it would be covered.

Here is some further info:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/257075-31-what-parts-...

and some specific parts selections:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/257547-31-personal-li...

November 9, 2008 7:01:39 PM

I decided on the P5Q deluxe based purely on the reviews I've seen commending its reliability and because it's 16 phase - and I'd rather pay a little extra for a (or at least what I'm lead to believe is a) more reliable board, even if it includes other functions I won't necessarily use. Am I misinformed about this? If it makes little difference then obviously I won't bother.

People I'd spoken to, about using my machine largely for design work, mentioned that there isn't much quad-core support for design applications and that there wouldn't be much point spending the extra. But having read the first post that you linked and knowing that I do multitask quite a lot, I'm opting for a Core 2 Quad Q9500, which would still be compatible with the P5Q. But again, if it's not a wise choice, I'll reconsider.

As for the RAM, I only opted for that brand as I'd seen others use it in a similar configuration and it seemeed to work well for them. If it's unlikely, but not impossible, that I'd use its full potential I'd still choose it, as I really favour reliability and not pushing my comp to its limits if I can help it.

But as I said, if there are any more suitable alternatives I'll certainly consider them, but for the moment my purchase list is:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550

ASUS P5Q DeluxeT 775Intel P45 1600 FSB DD2

OCZ 4GB ReaperX HPC DDR2 PC2 8000 1000MHz

NVIDIA GeForce 9600GT 512MB DDR3


Any comments or advice at all really is helpful - it's been so long since I built my last pc and so much has changed. But my main concerns are that there may be more suitable alternatives to the components I've listed.

Thanks.
November 9, 2008 9:44:18 PM

Well, you certainly nailed the one reason to get the Deluxe, the 16-phase power.

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

- Very thick RAM, might be hard to upgrade to 8GB.
- 2.1V 1000Mhz is high voltage. You should at least get a 1066 rating with those volts.
- Ram that will run on 1.8V at 800Mhz with good timings is going to be more compatible, and work just as well or better.

Your RAM will only need to run at the frequency of the front side bus... in this case 333Mhz. 333Mhz = 667Mhz DRAM frequency. So, 800Mhz is already more than you need.

However, if you wanted a hefty margin:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That's 1100Mhz RAM rated at 1.8 - 1.9V.... very nice. Also comes in an 8GB kit.
I suggest EVGA on the video, as they have the best warranty and service.

That's all I have :) 
November 10, 2008 5:00:37 PM

Thick RAM. I never would've spotted that one!

I'm not sure I understand about the voltage differences though - it'll affect the fsb speed? Anyway, it's of little consequence - I'll trust your judgement and go for something similar to the one you specified. I don't know if Microdirect (where I'm, planning on buying everything) stock the particular brand you mentioned, but I'll try and get as close to it as possible.

Oh, and EVGA do a version of the GFX card I had in mind, so I'll go with that too.

Thanks again for the excellent advice.
November 10, 2008 5:36:19 PM

The reasons to select low voltage RAM are firstly, compatibility. If your board fails to recognize your RAM it's good to have the RAM able to run at default voltage... 1.8V :) 

Secondly, RAM that is running at adequate speed but low voltage can usually be sped up in one way or another by increasing the voltage.

Think of it this way... Suppose you have a car that, while idling at 1000RPM goes 5MPH. Another car idles at 700RPM and goes 8MPH. Obviously the second car is more powerful.

If you have RAM that's going 1000Mhz (speed) and is using 2.1V (throttle), well, the gas pedal is already to the floor, and you are only going 40MPH.
!