after not having built a rig in 5-6 years, I have tried doing my homework and have come up with the following suggestion. The rig is mostly for gaming, and I expect to be able to run all new and coming games (not expecting 60 fps Crysis though) at an affordable price. Any comments are appreciated, as there may be some angles I'm not aware of.
GFX: ASUS RADEON 4870 512MB
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16 GHz
Mobo: ASUS P5Q iP45
RAM: 4 GB (2x2) Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800 MHz
PSU: Corsair 550W
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB
I am planning on re-using my old case. A few questions:
1) I have been weighing the GTX 260 against the 4870 512MB for some time now. There are like hundreds of threads with people arguing for and against either card, and I find it impossible to assign an edge to one of them. Any input here is welcome, also on the 4870 1GB version.
2) Would the E8400 (3 GHz) be sufficient for this rig?
3) Is 4 GB RAM overkill?
4) Will 550W be able to run this setup?
Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance!
E8400 is a good choice and 4gigs of ram is perfect.
Go with the ASUS P5Q Pro board.
If you can afford the upgrade, I would recommend going with the 1gb 4870.
The 550W PSU will run the system fine but you might hear the PSU quite often. PSUs run most efficiently at 50% capacity. Your system will probably draw around 350-400 watts at full load. Look into a 650-750 watt PSU if its within your budget as it will run quieter and will allow for expansion in case you decide to add another 4870 in crossfire.
Looks good but what P5Q are you considering?
I personally would recommend the P5Q-E variant for it's great feature/$ ratio.
For the hard drive, look at the Wd 640Gb.
It is a newer design that should be a little faster for about the same price.
As for your specific questions...
1) The 4870 is the faster card and the 4870 1Gb version is even faster. The GTX 260 Core 216 version is pretty close in performance to the standard 512Mb 4870 but it will cost a bit more.
2) Yes. If you need more CPU power, you can easily overclock to at least 3.8Ghz. Make sure to get an aftermarket CPU cooler. The Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro and Xigmatek 1283 (preferably with the mounting bracket) are both good options with reasonable prices.
4) Yes and No. A QUALITY 550w will be more than enough but a cheaper one will be disastrous. If you get a Corsair, PCP&C, Seasonic or Antec Earthwatts PSU, you will be just fine. If you plan on going Crossfire in the future, it would be recommended that you get a 600w PSU.
Thanks for your quick responses! Seems I can safely downgrade to E8400, and I'll look into that WD HDD. The upgrade to a 650W PSU is quite cheap, I should consider that as well. As for GFX (512MB vs 1GB), I will probably re-evaluate the budget when I purchase in two weeks time or so.
As for motherboard, I was looking at the plain P5Q version, but I see a lot of praise for the pro version. Is it possible to quickly sum up the main differences between P5Q-E and P5Q Pro? A third variant that deserves mention?
Thanks again, any other comments are still very welcome!
The P5Q-E has better cooling, features and a much better layout as compared to the P5Q Pro.
Do not get a cheap 650w PSU just because it claims higher wattage.
The +12v amperage and build quality are what is most important.
A QUALITY 500w+ PSU is more than enough to run your system and will output more +12v amperage than a POS 650w.
The PSU is something you DO NOT want to skimp on.
A cheap unit has a much higher probability of failing and, when it does, there is a good chance it will take other parts of you system with it.
Stick with Corsair, PCP&C, Enermax, Seasonic or the Antec Earthwatts line for a quality PSU.
The main difference between the P5Q Pro and the P5Q-E is that the P5Q-E costs about $30-45 more than then Pro.
This added cost provides you with a extra PCIE x16 slot that runs at x4, dual LAN capabilities, a external sata port, S/PDIF ports(coaxial and optical), and supports 16 gigs of ram instead of 8 gigs of ram that is supported on the P5Q Pro.
So unless you need any of the above, go with the P5Q pro.
November 18, 2008 8:25:05 AM
At my online retailer, the Pro costs ~5$ more than the P5Q-E, so almost neglible.. I suppose there's no point in going for the worse mobo then.
outlw: When I said the upgrade to 650W is cheap, I meant Corsair 550W -> Corsair 650W. I've learned not to skimp on PSUs the hard way, back in the day. But thanks for your concern! =)