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A Christmas Present for Myself

Last response: in Systems
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November 18, 2008 5:11:11 PM

I am building my next rig. My current setup is almost five years old--Athlon 3200+XP with Radeon 9800 Pro. It's ancient by today's standard, but it was a real work horse back in the days (ahh, Half-Life 2, Mass Effect).

The machine is going to be used for gaming (mostly FPS games).

Here is what I have so far:
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Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Model #:NEOPOWER 650 BLUE
Item #:N82E16817371010
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$139.99 -$50.00 Instant $89.99

EVGA 512-P3-N873-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

EVGA 512-P3-N873-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Model #:512-P3-N873-AR
Item #:N82E16814130376
Return Policy:Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$204.99 -$12.00 Instant $192.99

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #:Nine Hundred
Item #:N82E16811129021
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$139.99 -$30.00 Instant $109.99

Intel BOXDX48BT2 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel BOXDX48BT2 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #:BOXDX48BT2
Item #:N82E16813121338
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$249.99 $249.99

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail
Model #:BX80570E8400
Item #:N82E16819115037
Return Policy:p rocessors (CPUs) Return Policy
In Stock
$164.99 $164.99


CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TW3X2G1600C9DHX

CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TW3X2G1600C9DHX - Retail
Model #:TW3X2G1600C9DHX
Item #:N82E16820145199
Return Policy:Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$123.00 $123.00

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #:ST31000340AS
Item #:N82E16822148274
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$119.99 -$10.00 Instant $109.99

Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-116DBK
Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-116DBK - OEM
Model #:D VR-116DBK
Item #:N82E16827129023
Return Policy:Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
$29.99 $29.99

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
Model #:ACFZ7-PRO
Item #:N82E16835186134
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
$36.99 -$10.00 Instant $26.99


Subtotal: $1,097.92
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Any suggestions?

I opted for DDR3 mobo because I don't want to get stuck with limitation in upgrade a few years down the road. As a trade off, I am only going to have 2 GB instead of 4 GB of memory, to save some bucks now.

I prefer Nvidia because I don't know the future of ATI now that it's a part of AMD. ATI drivers have been behaving poorly lately.

More about : christmas present

November 18, 2008 5:30:39 PM

Looks like you have a pretty good setup. Just for reference, I just found a post on slickdeals.net for a new dell core i7 system with 4 gigs of ddr3, 4850 video card, and monitor for just under $1000. Even I'm tempted by this price.
November 18, 2008 5:41:55 PM

o1die said:
Looks like you have a pretty good setup. Just for reference, I just found a post on slickdeals.net for a new dell core i7 system with 4 gigs of ddr3, 4850 video card, and monitor for just under $1000. Even I'm tempted by this price.

Really? I have to check that out then.

I don't think I can put together a system myself for that price.

Is there a catch?
Related resources
November 18, 2008 5:49:39 PM

I like everything except your choice of motherboard and Ram. I think you should go for a mobo that supports DDR2 like the Rampage formula. The Asus board is a little bit more pricey but you will save in ram cost. You can get 4GB of ram and the Rampage formula for around the same price as your selections.
November 18, 2008 5:57:40 PM

First of all, why a nvidia card on a crossfire mobo? You should at least get a ati card so you have the option to crossfire later. Second thing ddr3 won't be faster than ddr2 with that cpu so you better chose a p45 mobo and 4gb of ddr2. If i were you i would ask santa a core i7 machine. The catch for the dell systems is i think you can't overclock it (they block it some way liek HP do).

Good luck!
November 18, 2008 5:58:06 PM

youngsatchmo said:
Really? I have to check that out then.

I don't think I can put together a system myself for that price.

Is there a catch?



Yeah, there's a huge catch: it's a Dell.

Forget about upgrading it yourself because they come with awesome triangular motherboards and parallelogram-shaped RAM sticks. Seriously, screw Dell.

Honestly though, they do their best to make it impossible to upgrade without buying directly from them.
November 18, 2008 6:02:06 PM

Looks great, but prices on some gtx260s are lower (at least, after rebates). I just snagged one for 180$ after rebate and before taxes (shipping was free). Of course, it is an MSI rebate, so I'm really not getting that 40$ back....
November 18, 2008 7:46:04 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I have made some modifications. Here is the updated list:
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GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #:GA-EP45-DS3L
Item #:N82E16813128345
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
Note (Add)
$102.99 $102.99

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 - Retail
Model #:BX80570E8500
Item #:N82E16819115036
Return Policy:p rocessors (CPUs) Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)
$188.99 $188.99

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
Model #:ACFZ7-PRO
Item #:N82E16835186134
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)
$36.99 -$10.00 Instant $26.99

EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Model #:896-P3-1260-AR
Item #:N82E16814130370
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)
$279.99 -$40.00 Instant $239.99

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B - Retail
Model #:F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B
Item #:N82E16820231209
Return Policy:Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)
$99.99 -$40.00 Instant $59.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Model #:CMPSU-650TX
Item #:N82E16817139005
Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
Note (Add)
$159.99 -$50.00 Instant $109.99

Seagate ST3640323AS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #:ST3640323AS
Item #:N82E16822148335
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)
$79.99 $79.99

Pioneer 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model DVR-116DBK - OEM
Model #:D VR-116DBK
Item #:N82E16827129023
Return Policy:Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)
$29.99 $29.99

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #:Nine Hundred
Item #:N82E16811129021
Return Policy:Limited 30-Day Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)
$139.99 -$30.00 Instant $109.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
Model #:66I-01939
Item #:N82E16832116488
Return Policy:Software Return Policy
In Stock
Note (Add)
$99.99 $99.99

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Subtotal: $1,038.90

Any additional suggestions?
November 18, 2008 9:04:47 PM

I would swap out the DVD drive for a SATA model. You don't want any IDE cables in your new build. I recently bought this model and really like it, but pick whichever SATA drives you like.

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $26.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

The Samsung drive above is 22x speed which is the fastest out at the moment.
November 18, 2008 10:14:48 PM

Thanks for the tip, shortstuff_mt. I will get the Samsung drive! :) 
November 19, 2008 2:03:19 AM

Since the Core i7 just came out, maybe I'll wait a few months for the price of current CPU to drop even more before putting together a system.
November 19, 2008 2:19:18 AM

Yes, and isn't NVidia supposed to be switching to 55nm GTX 2x0's soon? Might OC a little better (or is that one already one of them?)
November 19, 2008 7:05:33 AM

looks like a good build after revisions!
November 19, 2008 2:22:08 PM

Thanks everyone for all the valuable input and expert advice. :) 
!