First build since 2003 - PLEASE HELP

The last time I built a gaming computer was about 4 years ago (or longer) so I'm due to say the least. Trying to stay under $1600 WITH a +22" monitor.

Here's what I've picked out so far, understanding of course that I have no clue what I'm doing and am going soley off of bits and pieces that I've heard others say...PLEASE MAKE YOUR CORRECTIONS TO THE FOLLOWING LIST OF PARTS:

Motherboard: debating between ASUS P5Q3 LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX and Asus P5Q Delux for the DDR2 option

Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) (No clue if this is what I should be getting) or its DDR2 equivelent (NEED HELP HERE)

Proecessor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W

Cooler: ASUS V-60 92mm Vapo Bearing CPU Cooler

GRAPHICS: SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card OR the 4870x2....depending on your comments

PSU: Antec EA650 650W ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91

Case: Antec Nine Hundred with a couple of extra fans for good measure

Hard Drive(s): I already have two 35 gig raptors, is it a waste of money to buy a Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1500HLFS 150GB 10000 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive ?

OS: Vista 64 bit

Monitor: Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen unless someone can talk me into a 24" for double the price...

Mouse: Logitech G7

Keys: Logitech G15

I would imagine that anyone posting what keyboard they're buying is automatically labled a "noob"...and you're right, so please make your comments and changes to my perspective build and let me know where I'm going wrong.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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  1. At this point in time, I wouldn't go for DDR3 memory modules, they're expensive and don't provide any significant advantage over DDR2. GET 2 x 2 gig of good 4-4-4-12 DDR2-800 and you should be good to go.

    35 Gig Hard drive is on the small side. You might want to use them as raid array to put your OS on it and get a bigger driver for storage. If you don't want to bother with raid, just use them separately for OS and games. Anyways, 500 gig HHD are cheap. I have never own a Raptor but opinions on this HHD are split as to know if it's really worth the premium price. Even though they are not as speedy, the latest offers from Seagate and Western in their 7200 RPM form are pretty fast.

    As far as CPU cooler goes, I would suggest the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 with the extra retention bracket or the Thermalright Ultima. I own both and they are good product. Generally, the Xigmatek can be added for cheap and is a very solid cooler.

    Antec does make good power supply but I as a matter of personnel preferences I like Corsair or PC Power & Cooling unit more.

    All in all, you've picked a nice selection of components and you should end up with a pretty decent computer.
  2. Thanks for the input.

    What's the story with the 4870 or the 4870x2? Is the x2 simply the equivelent to purchasing two 4870's or is it a much better version of the card?

    What RAM do you recommend with the Asus P5Q Delux Mobo?

    Any comments on S-IPS vs MVA/PVA? Will I really notice a difference?
  3. the 4870x2 smashs any card on the market. would not get though if only getting a 22. would recommend if u were to get say a 24 with a res of 1900 x 1200
  4. The 4870x2 is basically 2 x 4870 put together. As Gosefroba said, it's not worth it if you go with a 22'' monitor and beside it is pretty expensive. You should be able to play pretty much any game with a 4870 with very good settings so do worry to much about it.
  5. I've decided to upgrade to a 24" so I would imagine that you would now recommend the x2 yes?

    Other question: if I drop the velociraptor and get a WD Black Caviar 640 gig, will i notice a decrease in gaming performance? Given that I already own two regular 35 gig raptors, would it make sense to run my OS off of the black caviar and use my raptors as folders for the various games?
  6. Truthfully, will I notice a significant difference in most games between the 4870x2 and the regular 4870? The cost difference is killing me...
  7. In games that take advantage of the Crossfired GPU you'll see a difference, but the 1 gb 4870 is good enough. I'd go with the 24" Monitor and the 1 gb 4870, if I were you. The >$200 savings can be used elsewhere.

    I'd just use your Raptors in Raid 0 or individually for your OS and the 640 gb WD AAKS HD for your games/data. The Velociraptor is too much $ for the little performance gain that you get, IMHO.
  8. How about going Crossfire with 2 4850's? That is a pretty darn potent combo, and it won't cost you and arm and a leg.
    I don't know exactly what to tell you about the old Raptors...aren't they IDE drives? I would probably just retire them if they are, the 640 drive you are picking out will simply smash them, even with them in RAID. (if they are the old IDE versions)
  9. no the old Raptors are SATA 10k rpm drives
  10. Why would anyone have SATA drives that are only 37 gig......oh well, forget I said that, I am sure you picked them up for a great deal or something...sorry.
    I would put them in RAID and load Windows on them, everything else on the 640.
  11. yeah, bought 'em 4 years ago...good deal, yada yada yada...

    I'll load it as you have said.
  12. the 4-4-4-12 RAM is $100, will I notice a difference if I drop down to 5-5-5-18 RAM for half the price?
  13. I'd consider these RAM sticks. They are about as fast as you need and run at stock voltage (1.8v) and don't cost nearly as much as the ones you selected!! Not sure if you need 8 gb's for gaming, but whatever you like.
    mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

    Consider the Antec 300 case w/NeoBP550w PSU for $125 shipped!! PSU has 32A on the 12v rails and should easily power the 4870 GPU.
    Combo #3 from the top!
    Consider getting a Cooler Master 690 case (equal to or better than the Antec 900) for $74 shipped!!
    Cooler Master 690 without Power Supply
    Newegg's link to the CM690 case.
    and one of these PSU's:
    $110 - $30 MIR = $80!! Has 52A on the 12v rail and has 2 x 6+2pin PCI-e power connectors!!
    CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    $120 - $20 MIR = $100!! Has 60A on the 12v rail and has 4 x 6+2pin PCI-e power connectors!
    CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    $105 - $25 MIR = $80!! Has 49A on the 12v rail and 2 x 6pin PCI-e power connectors!
    PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W Continuous @ 40°C EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
    $130 - $30 MIR = $100!! Has 60A on the 12v rail and 2 x 6pin and 2 x 6+2pin PCI-e power connectors!!
    PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    Don't forget the retention bracket for the Xigmatek s1283!!
    XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail

    The Asus p5q deluxe is quite spendy, but if that is what you want, go ahead and get it. I'd rather save the $ or use the extra $ for other upgrades!
  14. what's a mushkin lol...never heard of it...
    You sure it's safe to get no-name RAM?

    What makes you say that the Coolmaster case is just as good...i was pretty sold on that 200mm fan on the Antec 900 unless you don't think it makes any difference...

    Thanks for the retention bracket thing...didn't know i needed that.

    None of those power supplies are modular and someone told me to get modular. Do you disagree?
  15. Modular PSU's are nice to have, but they do offer another connection in the supply of power, so it's a possible connection that can fail or add additional resistance to the PSU. I'm not saying modular is bad, just want you to consider all options when buying.

    As far as the CM 690 case, consider this:
    Comes with plenty of cooling.
    1 x 120mm Blue LED front fan
    1 x 120mm rear fan
    1 x 120mm side fan
    Also allows you to mount your PSU right side up, which IIRC the Antec 900 doesn't allow you this. This can make a difference, depending on the PSU that you get. The Antec 900 is a good case, but the CM 690 is good also, just giving you options to consider before you buy.

    Muskin is a name brand RAM, so don't consider it to be crap. Ask around and you'll find out that it's been around for quite some time.

    I'm just trying to help you with your decisions, you can get whatever you like. I just suggest options and you can decide which parts work for you!!
  16. mushkin is extremely popular around here. I say +1 for the modular psu's they make a nice clean install simplya snap. and without the extra wires running everywhere helps keep it a tad cooler. The deluxe is a nice board but if its only for the ddr 2 get the p5q-e, if your going to do some oc'ing though might be better to stick with the deluxe becuase of the better heat pipe. The 4870 likes power so i'd go a little bigger than 550 just in case you wanna run crossfire in the future.
    antec neopower 650(lowest i would go)
    ocz 700 pfc
    antec tpq-850 just in case you decide to add crossfire, and a blu-ray burner in the future...
  17. $900 for mobo/CPU/RAM?? Are you nuts?? I'd much rather spend $130 on p45, $60 on 4 gb's DDR2, and $200 on CPU, plus use the extra $500 on a bad a$$ GPU, like the 4870x2!!! Than upgrade the LCD to 24" or bigger and have a kickin' system for less!! I know the new Intel CPU's just came out, but c'mon you have to be kidding with the $900 for the 3 items??
  18. but the p45 isnt gonna get you the i7 which will allow him to kick your comps a$$ in 2 yrs when hes droppin in a new proc and your shellin out for a new comp...
  19. Well the OP is the one buying the system, I'm just pointing out options to consider. I'm not trying to change peoples minds, just trying to inform them. It the OP wants an i7 system than that is up to him. I'm not convinced that i7 is all that yet. In 2 years time the i7 may not even be a viable option, don't know. The s775 is still a good option, IMO. The OP can still get a bitchin' system for less than the i7 system listed above, that is all I'm trying to point out.
  20. will I notice any difference in the 4-4-4-12 vs the 5-5-5-18 timing (I don't know what timing is so I certainly don't know if i'll notice it.) The same question for the 800 vs. the 1066
  21. Not really too much difference either way, it's just nice to have the faster RAM, especially if you start to OC. You can loosen up the timings if needed to get a better OC of the CPU, if needed. The 800mHz DDR2 is plenty for 99% of builds and 95% of OC's, only if you do extreme OC'ing will the 1066 mHz make any difference.
  22. It's also better to get the fastest RAM at stock voltage (1.8v). This will allow you the best chance to OC and will leave more room for voltage adjustments, if needed. So if you can get 4-4-4-12 timings at 1.8v than you have the best chance of OC'ing to higher levels, if needed. So the Mushkin RAM at 5-4-4-12 at 1.8v is probably the best your going to get for the $ spent.
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