New Build, trying to spend around $1000

I'm willing to spend about $1000, ideally less though. I've already got a very nice keyboard/mouse/monitor/speakers, so I don't need to worry about any of that. This will mainly be used for gaming, but I do use photoshop on occasion and like to leave some background applications active while I play. I've got the following parts decided on, but am willing to change if given good advice:

Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115131

ASUS P5Q-E Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131296

mushkin 4GB RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146731

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

COOLER MASTER COSMOS Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119150

ARCTIC COOLING Heatsink
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134
(should I just go w/ stock and not bother to buy this? I'm not going to overclock.)

HP DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827140031

Still need help picking out:

-Video card (looking to get a VERY nice one without going too overboard, I don't want to have to upgrade for a few years ideally)

-Sound card (unless the onboard audio is really nice..I don't really know how to tell), hard drive (looking for above 200gb and good speed/price),

-Some extra cooling stuff (my current computer is dying because of that and has had a lot of issues...I literally have to have a box fan up next to the side of the case which I have open just so it won't overheat...so I want to have more cooling than necessary)

-Windows version (I have XP OEM from when I built this computer, but would like to upgrade to Vista. Need to know which version of Vista I should buy)

Also had a few random questions I figured I'd add:

Would a surge protector be a good investment? What about a network card, do they make a difference at all?
15 answers Last reply
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  1. lol "upgrade" to vista?
    ....

    if i were you i would get the CM690 instead of the CM cosmos... better looking, cheaper and 8 ish fan mounts so...

    personally i wouldn't pay for a sound or network card, onboard is k.

    save the money and spend it on a kickass gfx card..

    what resolution do you play at? important for graphics card choice. as are the titles you play/wish to play in the future..

    actually, i would also recommend a Q9550 and xigmatek HDT-S1283+retention bracket... oc's like hell :P i don't understand why you would buy a core 2 and not oc...
  2. Get WS640GB HD
    4870 1GB ATi or GTX260 core 216
    www.xoxide.com so you can find a good cooler.
  3. Save $50 with the P5Q Pro. Dump the Freezer. Downgrade to Q6600.
    Good PSU/RAM/DVD. Do add a power strip with surge protection. Don't bother with sound card/network card/after marker cooler. Add a WD6400AAKS hard disk. Get a cheaper case (RC-690, $75). Use all these savings to get a Visiontek HD 4870 X2.
  4. V3NOM said:
    lol "upgrade" to vista?


    Haha, yeah I know about its issues and everything but if I hate it enough at least I'll have the option to switch between XP and vista until I need to use dx10.
  5. Alright guys, thanks for all the recommendations and info. So far I've got this:

    Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

    Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131296

    CPU
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

    Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

    Hard Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

    DVD Burner
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151155

    RAM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146731

    All of this adds up to $593.93, so I'm doing great on money. Spending around ~800 and less than $1000 would be great for me.

    Which video card should I go with? There are several different ATI HD 4870's and I'm not sure which to pick. Right now I'm using the resolution 1680x1050.

    Anyone have any recommended extra case fans? 1 or 2 would be good, and as quiet as possible.

    Also, is overclocking a huge advantage? I really haven't looked into doing that, but I will if it's fairly easy to do.

    What's the difference between the Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium, and Vista Ultimate versions?
  6. SFF21E for fans. I got 3 myself, plus two original Silverstones that came with the case, and it's quiet enough for me.

    Visiontek or Sapphire for HD 4870.

    Overclocking the CPU does little for games. Here's a chart that shows a Q6600 2.4 GHz and a Q9650 overclocked to 3.6 getting identical results for all practical purposes.
    http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=770&p=5

    On the other hand, overclocking is fun. Just don't rush it, learn how to do it properly first so you don't fry something.

    Home Basic doesn't have Aero. Premium doesn't have faxing software. There are other differences too. I'll try to find the list, I've seen it often on the Web.
  7. I'd spend $6 more and get a SATA burner instead of PATA. PATA means wide cables that are a pain to manage and hurt airflow, and jumpers, and enabling some things in the BIOS, etc.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151171&Tpk=SH-S223F

    I like your other choices, all good stuff.

    You don't really need extra fans with the RC-690 and a HD 4870 and a non-OCd dual core.

    You're not convinced about the P5Q Pro, I see. How about the GA-EP45-UD3P? That would save you $45.
  8. Compare Vista editions:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/compare-editions/default.aspx

    For a gaming machine that isn't part of a LAN or used for work, Home Premium is most likely to be your best choice.
  9. Thanks for the quick response. Should I get one of those fans, will that be enough?

    This a good video card choice?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102801
  10. Sure, one extra fan wouldn't hurt. You'll have 4 instead of 3, a little more air whooshing and a little lower temperatures.Your setup is not very demanding, you know. The HD 4870 has a vent to kick the hot air directly out, and that means the case fans have less work to do than, say, with a HD 4850 or 8800 GT.

    Excellent choice of video card. Actually, I've rarely seen such newegg ratings, 90% 5 eggs, 0% 1 egg, 0% 2 eggs, wow... It's a 1GB version, which means it will give you a few fps more than the 512MB version at 1680x1050. If you ever get a 24" monitor TV with 1080p that extra RAM will make a bigger difference.
  11. aevm said:
    I'd spend $6 more and get a SATA burner instead of PATA. PATA means wide cables that are a pain to manage and hurt airflow, and jumpers, and enabling some things in the BIOS, etc.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151171&Tpk=SH-S223F

    I like your other choices, all good stuff.

    You don't really need extra fans with the RC-690 and a HD 4870 and a non-OCd dual core.

    You're not convinced about the P5Q Pro, I see. How about the GA-EP45-UD3P? That would save you $45.


    Whoops, I missed this response when I was replying. It looks like the 3 motherboards basically offer the same stuff, so should I go with the gigabyte or p5q pro because they're cheaper? Does the extra $ spent on the p5q-e give me anything? They all have different onboard audio stuff, and the p5q pro only supports 8 gb or memory, but I can't imagine I'll need that much.
  12. The P5Q-E supports 16GB of RAM, true, but in 4 slots. That means you'd need to buy 4GB sticks, and those are massively overpriced IIRC. For example 2 sticks of 4 GB each Crucial $665.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148219
    Compare that with 4 sticks of 2GB each, which is about 2*$50. Besides, who really needs more than 8 GB?

    The P5Q-E is in fact worth the extra $45 compared to the P5Q Pro, but only for some people. It supports overclocking better, and you can stick 3 video cards in it if you insist (say, if you need 5 or 6 monitors). I'm just saying you should compare features and get the MB that fits your needs best. No point in buying features you won't need. Mind you, if you're not sure what exactly you'll need, then do buy the P5Q-E. Better risk wasting $45 now than risk having to buy a new MB later.
  13. Alright thanks, I think I'll go with the P5Q-E then.
  14. get q6600 and xigmatek cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233003 it will overclock better than the q9400
    get 2 4850's if you and make sure u can get them well ventilated. i think that this will be ur best graphics option and last u a while http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102770
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