Hi all, I'm building my first computer from scratch and was looking for some input. I've been researching and keeping up with the prices for most of October and think I've got a decent build locked down. I'd definitely like some input for anything I may have made a mistake on, and especially some input on the motherboard. My system is being made mostly for gaming and probably a bit of OCing, with ideally being able to add on another video card for crossfire to help it last me a while.
This also gets me stuck on the Processor cooler. I've heard the standard coolers are actually pretty decent nowadays, and many 3rd party brands turn up with hardly any improvement. My decision is further hampered by the fact that the DFI mobos have large heatsinks on them and many 3rd party cooler may not fit on the mobo.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. As you can see the Processor plus the most expensive mobo is just about maxing my price limit, so any help on picking some better values, especially in regards to the motherboard is appreciated.
Upgrade the HDD to WD6400AAKS ($75) and the case to NZXT Tempest ($90). You can downsize the PSU to Silencer 750W ($110-15%) if you want.
Either get a HD 4870 X2 and a P45 motherboard (e..g GA-EP45-UD3P), or stick with the HD 4870 and the plans to add another and get a X48 motherboard (GA-X48-DS4, P5E Deluxe X48). Don't combine P45 with HD 4870 Crossfire.
I'd get a 1 gig version of the 4870, I think you'll be kicking yourself more about that in the future than about the dual vs. quad. If 512 is enough for you, I'd get a 4850.
I'd also get a faster HDD. 1 with a bigger cache, not talking a raptor. there is a HDD performance chart around here someware.
also remember its best to go a little overboard with HDDs because you loose a little uasable space when you partition (something I strongly recomend. your data will be safe if you need to do clean sweep on the OS and it makes organization a little easier). Another reason to use oversized drives is that the faster areas fo a HDD get filled up first, so a bigger drive is faster than a smaller drive witht the same amount of data in general.
I'd say, if you are going to Crossfire, do it quick (like in less than a year) if you waite "till I need it" there will be faster single card out that will beat the 4870 for the same price or less than the 4870 (thats was my experience). If you think it will be longer than that. just assume you wont, and get a small/cheaper PSU, and the P45
most people will tell you that 1066 isn't worth it, because its just OC'd 800. I'm not sure myself, I just wouldn't spend too much more for it.
I've also heard DFI has been falling out of favor these last few years. I've got no first hand experience.
With the rest of the equipment the same, is going Dual Core with the older mobo and a HD 4870x2 going to be a faster overall computer? Thanks for answers, I seem to have created more questions for myself.
E8500+GA-EP45-UD3P+HD 4870 X2 will do much better in games than Q9550+GA-X48-DS4+HD 4870 512MB. In fact, it will do better even than
Q9550+GA-X48-DS4+two HD 4870 512MB. The only exception I can think of is Flight Simulator X where the Q9550 would really shine.
BTW, the GA-EP45-UD3P is not older than the GA-X48-DS4. The DS4 has been around for about a year IIRC, while the UD3P is pretty recent. It's just that P45 is aimed at single-card machines and X48 at Crossfire machines.
+1 for avoiding open box motherboards
Yeah, the Antec 900 is far nicer than the NZXT Apollo. So is the NZXT Tempest. Either one of those would be perfect. If you prefer something without lights look at the CoolerMaster RC-690.
If you're not interested in ever using 3 or 4 monitors then you can get the GA-EP45-UD3R instead of GA-EP45-UD3P and save $12. Even better, there's the P5Q Pro at $105 which even supports 3 or 4 monitors (that is, it has a second PCI-E slot).
Edit: +1 for axing the Xigmatek if saving $22 helps. You can always add it later if you want to play with overclocking.