Rate My Build and Compatibility Help Please

Ok, after doing some more research, here is what I've decided upon. This is heavily influenced by Proximon's parts list and buy guide, along with some research I've done on my own. Can you guys rate my picks here and let me know if there are any glaring compatibility issues? Everything here is copied directly from my cart at NewEgg.com.

Case:

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
(59.99 starting Wednesday)

Motherboard:

EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

-- After reading Proximon's guide, this seems like the best choice if I want to have the SLI option in the future and I don't want to pay through the nose with minimal improvement for the 790i. Thoughts?

Processor:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz 12M Quad Core 1333MHz Socket LGA 775

OR

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500

-- I'm torn on this ... the Q9550 is quite expensive, and has a lower proc speed than the Wolfdale which overall would be suboptimal for gaming. I do like to open tons of windows, but not when I'm gaming -- gaming = all unecessary processes shut down to maximize performance. With that said, which one do you all think I should go for?

CPU Cooler:

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120mm "Core Contact Freezer" CPU Cooler

$39.00, highly rated. Thoughts?

Memory:

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK

-- seems like the best bang for my buck ($59). G.skill is a respected brand, right? Sure they're no Corsair or OCZ, but those two brands will cost me an extra $30-$50 for similar ram. Is that really worth it?

Video Card:

EVGA 896-P3-1267-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

-- Looks like the best choice for the money if I want an NVIDIA card. What do you think?

Hard Drive:

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Monitor:

Acer - 19" Widescreen Flat-Panel LCD Monitor

-- For $100. Can't fit a 22 inch in my desk's monitor window or I'd go larger.

Operating System:

Microsoft Windows XP Professional 64Bit SP2C for System Builders

-- I wanted to go with Windows XP to maximize performance and avoid the Vista shenanigans, but I also want to be able to have my system detect all 4 gigs of ram, which means I need XP 64, right? Thoughts?

Power Supply:

Rosewill RX950-S-B 950W ATX 12V v2.2 & EPS 12V v2.91 SLI 8800Ultra SLI CrossFire Ready Active PFC PFC Power Supply - Retail

-- Is Rosewill is a respected brand? I don't know anything about PSU's, so this is what I'm most worried about. This one has a pretty decent combo deal on NewEgg, and it doesn't look bad.... I also want something that will last me through one-two upgrades, i.e. if I decide to buy another Nvidia 260 GTX Core 216 and SLI it, or more harddrives, or whatever. Thoughts?

Final Verdict

In the end, I decided to follow Proximon's suggestions and go with a DDR2 mobo and DDR2 ram -- no need to go DDR 3 if the extra cost would be better spent elsewhere (more performance per dollar spent, essentially). What do you think overall? Any glaring errors or incompatibilities? The total cost of this (including a new OS, which I've never actually purchased before, heh) is looking to be around $1200-$1400 depending on which processor I decide to go with (E8500 or Q9550). Which one would you choose?
11 answers Last reply
More about rate build compatibility please
  1. If you'll be doing mainly gaming, the best bet right now is the E8500, as it can be overclocked like heck and there aren't too many games that support more than 2 cores, but games down the road will support quad-cores.

    For power supply, I'd get a Corsair or PC Power and Cooling. They are two of the top brands and can be found for decent prices.
  2. E8500 sounds best for you.

    You don't sound ready to overclock, IMO. You can dump the aftermarket cooler and switch the RAM to cheaper DDR2-800.

    LOL, you're preparing for GTX 260 SLI to play at 1440x900. Massive overkill. You can get a much cheaper GA-EP45-UD3R or P5Q Pro ($100) and a single GTX 260 and a PC Power & Cooling 750W ($80). It will still be plenty. Also, if it absolutely has to be nVidia, look at the 9800GX2 too.

    LOL "Rosewill is a respected brand". No it isn't.

    Yes, brilliant idea, do avoid Vista shenanigans such as DirectX 10 for your gaming machine. Just kidding. Get Vista 64-bit. If you're too afraid of Vista then XP 32-bit, but you'll see only 3 GB of RAM instead of 4, and some games will look less good in DirectX 9. XP 64 is not a good idea for gaming because game developers pay very little attention to it.

    Good case and hard disk.

    Yes, PSU's need to have modular power these days. Studies have proved that non-modular power can go bad in time and can even cause brain damage if you're exposed for too long. You have to be very very careful there. This is the most important thing. There is an exception though. If the PSU is red then it's OK even if the power that gets out of it is only 50% modular.
  3. The Case

    I really have no thoughts on. People will always pick what they want. What you need to look for is SPACE for your 11'' inch video card and good airflow. But do not overkill it, you dont need x2 120's in the front, x4 120's in the side, x2 120s in the back, that is overkill and stupid in my opinion. I personally like the Lian Li Cases, a few of the plain black cases they have look like they are build to house the longer cards. OR you need to look at FULL tower cases.

    Motherboard

    EVGA is a good choice. But you might want to visit hardocp.com and read their review on the 790i, 780i. Then find their review on the 750i, pretty much the best board they have ever reviewed. And a few of its highlights are X2 2.0 SLi slots, 1066 DDR2 memory, and 1333 fsb procs.

    Processor

    HANDS DOWN go with a Wolfdale. YES I realize its only a dual core and not a quad. Its simple, look at the games you play. Name them in your head. WoW, Call of Duty, Crisis, etc. 85% of the games we gamers play do NOT utilize all those cores. You are killing your performance by taking a 2.4gig over a 3.16ghz. I currently own the 3.16ghz, overclocked at 4.0gig,with a Thermaltake Big Typhoon and it runs fantastic.

    CPU Cooler

    Again, take a peek at hardocp.com They just recently posted a spread about CPU Coolers, including a 4lbs CPU cooler from Thermalright. I wouldnt ever get it but eh, some people are crazy. Ther Thermaltake Big Typhoon is up there in the heat of the pack per say with the best available. And its like 48.99.

    Video Card

    PERFECT choice for the card. I own a BFG 260, best card I have ever bought. IF you are intrested as well. TigerDirect.com has a deal for an EVGA 750i board and your exact card for $369.99. It's saving you almost $100 after shipping

    HD's

    Caviler Blacks are supposed to rock, good choice

    Monitor

    I run a dell 24'' so eh, but if you dont have room, you dont have room.

    Powersupply

    Are you running 2 Vid cards or only 1? If you are running just 1, you are only going to need a 750 at most. I am running a Thermaltake Toughpower 750W. If you are running 2 of those cards, you are gona need what you chose.
  4. As aevm suggested, either get 32 bits XP or 64 bits Vista. To me 64 bits XP is more like "the worst of both worlds". I have been using Vista for a while and I don't think it's bad. Moreover, Windows XP is limited to DX9 and it will probably stay that way forever as DX10 is only supported by Vista and DX11 is supposed to be Vista+Windows 7, so ...
  5. RE roguejm +1 to you !

    nice review of his build, he plan on SLI later, so the PSU is nice, but as AEVM told, better to choose KNOWED brand for PSU. my personal choice is Corsair-Thermaltake-OCZ-Antec. (pc power and cooling is an OCZ submark)

    maybe a lil look to the pi-black ddr2 800 Gskill RAM. 4-4-4-12 (ppl tell that this ram can run 1000 stil 4-4-4-12 timing with lil more V.)

    i think its an AWESOME build ! nice futurproof computer ! the futur sli 260 gonna give you a good lifespan (for maybe half the price of the first one)
  6. Another +1 to the PSU suggestions. Stay clear of Rosewill in the department.

    The build looks fine, but if you're only going to have 19" monitor, then you'll more than likely not need SLI, so you can get a different motherboard (P45).

    I would get a 640 GB HDD by Western Digital - excellent price and performance, and if you want more storage later, get another HDD.
  7. aevm said:
    E8500 sounds best for you.

    You don't sound ready to overclock, IMO. You can dump the aftermarket cooler and switch the RAM to cheaper DDR2-800.

    LOL, you're preparing for GTX 260 SLI to play at 1440x900. Massive overkill. You can get a much cheaper GA-EP45-UD3R or P5Q Pro ($100) and a single GTX 260 and a PC Power & Cooling 750W ($80). It will still be plenty. Also, if it absolutely has to be nVidia, look at the 9800GX2 too.

    LOL "Rosewill is a respected brand". No it isn't.

    Yes, brilliant idea, do avoid Vista shenanigans such as DirectX 10 for your gaming machine. Just kidding. Get Vista 64-bit. If you're too afraid of Vista then XP 32-bit, but you'll see only 3 GB of RAM instead of 4, and some games will look less good in DirectX 9. XP 64 is not a good idea for gaming because game developers pay very little attention to it.

    Good case and hard disk.

    Yes, PSU's need to have modular power these days. Studies have proved that non-modular power can go bad in time and can even cause brain damage if you're exposed for too long. You have to be very very careful there. This is the most important thing. There is an exception though. If the PSU is red then it's OK even if the power that gets out of it is only 50% modular.


    +1

    You listen to aevm :)

    Avoid Rosewill, and don't pay extra for modular. The Antec EA650 is a great deal right now.

    Get a P45 board and forget about SLI. Keep the core 216 as that's a great card.

    Maybe it's time for a new desk... your choice of a 19" monitor is really going to hold you back.
  8. Get DDR2-800 that will run at its advertised timings on the JEDEC default 1.8V. The RAM you selected is a factory overclock that probably runs at 6-6-6-21 (or worse) on 1.8V.
    They "may" be improving, and that one does have active PFC, but I don't know anyone here who would recommend a Rosewill PSU. PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, Antec, and OCZ seem to be the most common, with perhaps Enermax and FSP a little less so. Seasonic and Silverstone are also supposed to be good.
    I don't think you'll need multiple GPUs. That being the case, I'll agree with aevm on a P45 mobo and one GPU.
    I like my Q9450, but unlike you I don't go out of my way to kill everything in the background when I'm playing. An e8500 should be just fine.
  9. Yay, nobody flamed me for that garbage about modular power yet. I even got rated up for that post :) I was just messing with the OP's head.

    @swiftest: look, man, a modular PSU is simply a PSU that allows you to take out cables you don't need. It makes life easier when you build, and can improve airflow a bit. You typically pay $50 more for a modular PSU with about the same features and quality as a non-modular one. In general I don't think it's worth it. The Antec 900 has awesome airflow anyway and won't care if the PSU is modular or not. And of course there's no such thing as "modular power" and the color of the PSU won't matter either.

    Here's an example:
    Corsair 620HX, 50A, $120 at newegg right now
    Corsair 650TX, 52A, $70
    Both are absolutely excellent PSUs, either of them can handle a GTX 260, the 650TX is a bit more powerful, and it's $50 less. The 620HX is modular, the 650TX isn't.
  10. We all know sarcasm when we read it ;)
  11. Yes, even this poor OP knows sarcasm when he reads it. I had sorta gathered you weren't serious about that part. Still, thanks for your advice, and no hard feelings on giving me a little crap when I deserve it for my lack of knowledge =X. I edited that part of my post almost immediately, but the damage was done, heh.

    @ everyone else who responded -- thanks much! I appreciate it!
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