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Need with Best Bang For my Buck!

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November 21, 2008 3:39:34 PM

Im looking to build my first gaming rig. I have been doing a lot of research but i am still unsure on a lot of the components i should be using for the system. I am almost positive that i want to go with a Q9550 for the processor, with a Xigmatic after market cooler to OC. Am i better off with a crossfire 4850's or a single 4870. I know if i crossfire i will have to step my board up to X38 or X48 to make it worth it.

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

Case and power supply - - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
combo with
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory - - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
combo with
OS - - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

dvd/cd drive - - i already have...maybe a new one for 25 bucks...not overly important.

I am just really confused as to what Mobo and GPU to use. I am trying to keep the build around 1200. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also do you think i should wait an extra week or two, maybe newegg runs some sweet holiday deals?!

Thanks

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November 21, 2008 4:03:26 PM

I probably would at least wait until Black Friday and see what kind of deals are on Newegg and even perhaps local deals at Best Buy, Frys, etc... I was in the market for a new 1080p television yesterday, then I realized Black Friday was just around the corner.

As to your question, I myself purchased 2x4850s for a crossfire config. and I am very pleased with the performance on my P45 board. There is only one game I've played so far where I see zero performance increase and have issues, and that happens to be WOW. Crossfiring 4850s on a P45 board is just fine. The cards are pretty much right at the limit of the x8/x8 link, and the increase to a x48 board is almost zero. With the 4870 it's a different story.

For motherboard I would take a look at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128358 it is an excellent board, stays very cool with a decent OC on the CPU, and feels built like a tank.

Some people might say wait, save a little more, and nab a core i7 setup. I personally like to wait a few months before buying a new architecture in hopes that all the kinks have been worked out by the time I purchase, and my motherboard options are greater.

November 21, 2008 4:10:15 PM

If you want to CF 4850s, might as well get a 4850x2, you will get "full CF speed" and don't need the X48 boards.
Related resources
November 21, 2008 4:27:34 PM

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 $319.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P5Q-E LGA 775 Intel P45 144.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 $31.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XIGMATEK ACK-I7753 Retention Bracket $15.19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB $409.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB $69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Centurion 590 $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG Black 22X (CAV) $22.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total= $1214.44

You can shop around and maybe find a better price on some of the components.
You might want another 120mm Fan also.
November 21, 2008 4:32:04 PM

Get some good DDR2-800 that will run at its advertised timings on the JEDEC standard 1.8V. A-Data and Mushkin make some good sets. I know the Muskin can be easily overclocked; I had mine at DDR2-960 on the same 1.8v for a while: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 21, 2008 4:59:08 PM

jtt286 really likes that ram. You wouldnt go wrong with that either.
November 21, 2008 5:22:39 PM

Onus said:
Get some good DDR2-800 that will run at its advertised timings on the JEDEC standard 1.8V. A-Data and Mushkin make some good sets. I know the Muskin can be easily overclocked; I had mine at DDR2-960 on the same 1.8v for a while: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Have you checked the price on that RAM lately? The price shot up to $75 and it's only 5-4-4-12. The G.Skill RAM linked above runs at DDR2 800 4-4-4-12 at 1.8v - 1.9v. You can't get much better than that, especially for $50.
November 21, 2008 5:33:04 PM

knotknut said:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 $319.99
ASUS P5Q-E LGA 775 Intel P45 144.99
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 $31.99
XIGMATEK ACK-I7753 Retention Bracket $15.19
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $49.99
SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB $409.99
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX $99.99
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB $69.99
COOLER MASTER Centurion 590 $49.99
LG Black 22X (CAV) $22.99

Total= $1214.44

You can shop around and maybe find a better price on some of the components.
You might want another 120mm Fan also.


Nice build there.

Change the retention bracket to this one:
XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket $8.49
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233019&Tpk=ACK-I7751
It's cheaper, and it actually fits on the HDT-S1283. The ACK-I7753 is for the HDT-S1284.

You could save $45 or so with a P5Q Pro or GA-EP45-UD3R. You could also save $130 with an E8500, and it will be just as good as the Q9550 in most games. Then you can use the savings to upgrade the case to Antec 900 or RC-690 or NZXT Tempest and the GPU to HD 4870 X2. The HD 4850 X2 in in fact better bang for the buck than the HD 4870 X2, IMO, but I don't like its cooling because it doesn't have a vent.
November 21, 2008 5:35:10 PM

I noticed that, except that all the tech articles I've seen really don't find much difference in performance based on RAM timings, but I know that Mushkin can be easily overclocked.
This set is $55: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., or $40 if you play the rebate game and get lucky. It is 5-5-5-12, which really shouldn't be noticeably different in use. I've used those sets too, but did get a DOA stick recently (the replacement was good).
November 21, 2008 5:39:27 PM

Onus said:
I noticed that, except that all the tech articles I've seen really don't find much difference in performance based on RAM timings, but I know that Mushkin can be easily overclocked.
This set is $55: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168..., or $40 if you play the rebate game and get lucky. It is 5-5-5-12, which really shouldn't be noticeably different in use. I've used those sets too, but did get a DOA stick recently (the replacement was good).

What do you have against that G.Skill RAM? It's excellent high-quality RAM for a good price.
November 21, 2008 6:07:58 PM

With the FSB at 400 in Bios you will have a nice OC of 3400mhz.
The Ram set at 1:1 will be running at 800mhz.
The Ram voltage, Auto
CPU volt, default.

Update MB Bios if not already the latest for the Yorkfield.

November 22, 2008 12:49:50 AM

All of the advice is much appreciated. I think i will go with the p45 asus p5q board, a set of nice 800 memory and dual 4850's ran in crossfire. Im just spitballing here but the new low end i7 chip and the 9550 seem to be in the same price bracket. Considering the clear advantages of the i7 does anyone think or know if the 9550 will considerably drop within the next month or so?...
November 22, 2008 1:05:12 AM

I don't think Q9550 sales are hurt that much by the i7 yet. That's because a Q9550 works perfectly on a $100 motherboard with 4 GB of DDR2-800 worth $50, while an i7 needs an x58 motherboard and DDR3, which cost more than twice that. On top of that, right now it's pretty hard to find a good CPU cooler to overclock the i7 (different socket, it means existing socket 775 coolers won't fit). The only really good one I know of so far is the NH-U12P, but at $70 it's not very tempting. Plus, the motherboard choices for i7 are still kind of limited.

That is, don't expect the Q9550 to drop a lot and fast. It will happen, just not as quickly as you'd like. Sorry...

!