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Tell Me What to Buy

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December 9, 2008 8:51:59 PM

It's been 4 years since my last computer build and I have largely fell out of the loop with things. The only thing I still know some things about are the AMD's and after reading this board it seems that AMD just isn't the best choice for gaming. (I want to get the new Call of Duty and the likes). So with that being the case I am looking at the INTEL Q6600. And a P45 motherboard seems to be just fine for my needs. Not that I know which one to get. Other than my monitor and maybe my SATA hard drive to be used as a slave drive, everything needs to be replaced. Every time I visit these board I just get frustrated and I just "give up" on upgrading my computer. So I figured, could somebody just tell me exactly what I should get? As long as I can play the new Call of Duty and games like it that will be out in the future, I will be happy. I don't care about overclocking or anything like that. Otherwise I'm never going to get my new computer.... :pfff: 

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December 9, 2008 8:55:49 PM

If you can provide a budget and what resolution you'll be gaming at we can come up with a build to suit your needs. It's pretty hard without those two things. In fact, I'm not even going to try.

It would also be good to know what the computer will be used for in addition to gaming.
December 9, 2008 9:01:27 PM

Other than same gaming, just surfing the internet. Nothing else. I did get a very nice View Sonic VG2230 monitor this year and I'm enjoying the high resolution on it. So I'll probably want to play my games with my nice high res as well. I always did favor spending a little extra on video cards. I can spend any amount that I want, but I would like to get something that is "reasonable" and not pay a fortune to get the latest video card that came out. Maybe $1000 or so? But I can pay a little more if I see I need to in order to enjoy my games... :) 
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December 9, 2008 9:09:27 PM

Well, here's a very nice build in that price range:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $184.99

GIGABYTE GA-X48-DS5 LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $229.99

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $239.99 -$15.00 MIR

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99

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... $28.99

PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $124.99 -$25.00 MIR

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.buy.com/retail/usersearchresults.asp?queryty... $99.24

Total $1,033.17 - $40 MIR's = $993.17

Throw in a copy of 64-bit Vista so you can use all 4GB and you'll be all set.

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99
December 9, 2008 9:17:09 PM

Thanks so much! What would the benefit be for me to get that board instead of a P45 board?
December 9, 2008 10:19:57 PM

at first glance, there are a couple of things i see wrong with shortstuff's build. there's no reason to go SLI at 1680x1050, so the extra $ on the X48 is a waste. get a P45 instead. if u get a p45 and 1 video card, his power supply is overkill. u can also save on money by buying the antec 300 (unless u like flashier cases) instead of the antec 900. also, u mentioned u dont want to overclock so the Q6600 isnt the best choice for gaming. get something like the cheaper E8400 since u dont need the quad core for heavy multitasking.

u shouldnt be spending alot on a Core 2 Duo/Quad build. if ur going to be spending $1k+ on a computer, u should really be buying an intel core i7 build because otherwise ur going to be investing alot of $ on already-outdated hardware.
December 9, 2008 10:50:38 PM

Thanks... The only thing I ever knew was AMD's so I'm still trying to learn about the Intels. So it looks like I'll be getting a E8400 (although the e8500 is $20 more.... hmm) and a P45 board. Anything wrong with this ASUS P5Q P45 ATX board for $81 after rebate at newegg?
December 10, 2008 12:40:22 AM

Thanks.. I just found that chart a few minutes ago.... It helped alot!
December 10, 2008 1:08:25 AM

+1 to shortstuff_mt's build.

@dieseldre2k: if it's x48 we call it Crossfire, not SLI. :) 

Here's a chart for CoD4:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/734/12/
A HD 4870 card is enough for that game even at 1920x1200.

You could get a GA-EP45-UD3P instead of the GA-X48-DS5. It's $100 less. If future games need more graphics power or you get a larger monitor, you can still add a second HD 4870 that way. It will give you 10% (or whatever) less fps than the GA-X48-DS5 in Crossfire, and the same fps with a single card.

+1 to the 750W PSU, to keep the Crossfire option open for the future.

I'd prefer an Antec 900 or RC-690 over teh ANtec 300, but the Antec 300 is not bad either and its cheap.

Between Q6600 and E8400, Call of Duty won't care. However, I'm sure some future games will prefer the Q6600.

December 10, 2008 1:11:27 AM

dieseldre2k said:
the most popular P45 mobo's are the Asus P5Q Pro and the Gigabyte EP45-UD3R. both are awesome.

here's a few good combo deals:

E8400/E8500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Q6600:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


+1 to Asus P5Q Pro. -1 to GA-EP45-UD3R (no Crossfire). If you prefer Gigabyte to Asus (like me :)  ) get the GA-Ep45-UD3P.

Even if you don't expect to use Crossfire, it's good to have two PCI-E x16 slots (like the P5Q Pro or the UD3P). If LCD prices keep dropping you might want to use 3 or 4 monitors, and a MB like the UD3R will make it very hard. With the P5Q Pro or UD3P you just stick a cheap HD 3450 in the second slot and make it handle monitors #3 and #4.
December 10, 2008 1:24:46 AM

isnt 4 monitors a little much? i can barely fit 2 on my own desktop w/o it getting in the way. besides, that money would be better spent on upgrading to a single monitor with full HD resolutions (1920x1200 or 2560x1600).

anyway, the more popular one is the asus board. i personally prefer gigabyte, but why pay more when u can get the same features for less on the asus (and its just as good).
December 10, 2008 1:43:47 AM

Thanks for the info. Would there be any reason why the Q6600 would be better than than the E8500 for my gaming needs? I won't be doing any kind of crazy multi tasking, but what about for the future?

Looks like I'll be getting one of the above listed combos......
December 10, 2008 4:15:41 PM

Ok. Which one should I order? The e8500/GIGABYTE P45 combo listed above for $292 or buy them seperate and get a e8500 and the Asus P5Q Pro for $317? I'm thinking the $292 combo deal will be just fine for me.
December 10, 2008 5:52:57 PM

I'd pick the GA-EP45-UD3P even if it was a little more expensive than the P5Q Pro. The fact that it's cheaper is just a bonus! :) 
December 10, 2008 7:39:25 PM

Very good RAM.

The Q6600 will beat the E8500 only in Flight Simulator X right now, AFAIK. In other games, if you're not running other things in the background, the E8500 should do a little better thanks to the higher clock and to the fact that cores 3 and 4 of the Q6600 would be idle.

Read this article to get a better idea:
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=775&p=2

About the 3 or 4 monitors, yes, it sounds silly. Still, I have 2 right now and waiting for Boxing Week sales to buy #3, so I guess it's possible after all.
Not very useful for games, but great for certain types of work.
December 10, 2008 7:42:19 PM

You're not going to hear much bad about that RAM. It's the best DDR2 800 RAM on the market IMO. DDR2 800 RAM with 4-4-4-12 timings at 1.8v is hard to beat, especially at that price.
December 10, 2008 7:59:48 PM

PW???
December 10, 2008 8:00:38 PM

What do you mean by PW? Do you mean power supply (PSU)?
December 10, 2008 8:01:45 PM

Oops.... that was a typo...... lol
December 10, 2008 8:05:26 PM

The Antec NeoPower 500W is a decent PSU. Not Antec's best but OK. Powerful enough for a HD 4870, but not for two.
December 10, 2008 8:13:44 PM

Rather than $155 for Antec 900+Neopower 500W, I'd spend $170 for NZXT Tempest + Corsair 650TX. That takes care of future-proofing (enough juice for eventual Crossfire or some future monster video card), and you get 6 fans to handle cooling. It even has the same annoying lights as the Antec 900. I assume you actually like the lights, BTW. If not, get an RC-690.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146047&Tpk=nzxt%20tempest
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005&Tpk=650tx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

The PC Power & Cooling 750W is only $20 more than the Corsair 650TX, almost identical design (they're both designed by the same people, lol) and gives you more room for TV tuners and extra hard disks and whatever. It might be well worth the extra $20, if you need such things.

Edit: oops, on second thought, get the PC Power & Cooling. It has 4 PCI-E connectors, while the 650TX has only 2. You need 2 for each HD 4870 card, so with a 650TX you'd need to buy adapters. Might as well pay the extra $20 and not need to buy adapters and get more power.

December 10, 2008 9:16:02 PM

Well, I have all the items I need in my shopping cart on newegg. The sub total comes out to $894 and with shipping and tax the total price is $995. I have to pay tax when I order from newegg. :(  I can try shopping around or maybe even use my old case that is housing my AMD Athlon 64 3200 system, but I don't know it the new psu would even work in it..... Everything in my cart is what was suggested here.
December 10, 2008 11:51:50 PM

Maybe amazon might have a few of those items cheaper.......

December 11, 2008 3:04:07 AM

zipzoomfly.com for the pc power and cooling 750w instead, you still have to pay CA tax, but the red version is $109.99-$30 MIR with free shipping, that's lower than newegg, plus you can utilize live.com for 2% cash back

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

the WD 640gb is also cheapter there at $69.99.

if you have a microcenter near by you can pick up an antec 900 for $79.99+tax.

also tiger direct would be good to use to avoid ca tax
December 11, 2008 3:17:47 AM

I found the GIGABYTE P45 board cheaper on amazon. But it's the "DS3L" model instead of the "GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R" model. Is there any difference that I should care about? Are they both really the same thing?
December 11, 2008 3:22:34 AM

The DS3L is not the same thing at all. It has fewer features. For example no RAID.
December 11, 2008 3:50:05 AM

Makes sense..... That would explain why is was cheaper...... :) 
December 11, 2008 4:22:57 AM

The UD3 series are also EXCELLENT overclockers. Well worth a few bucks extra IMO.
December 11, 2008 3:40:07 PM

Could I go wrong with getting Nvidia GTX 260 Core 216 instead of the Radeon 4870 1GB? I can get the Nvidia a little cheaper and without paying an tax with saves money too.....
December 11, 2008 3:46:01 PM

The GTX 260 Core 216 will be fine if you don't think you'll ever add a second GPU. The 4870 1GB and GTX 260 Core 216 go back and forth in the benchmarks. Either one will do fine in a single-GPU setup.
December 11, 2008 5:13:43 PM

Oh..... I was thinking that you could double up on the GTX 260 as well. My board and psw will be able to support a 2nd video card, so maybe I should get the 4870 just in case I want to do that sometime in the future when my computer needs a little boost for some new game..... I'll do some more shopping and see if I can get the 4870 cheaper someplace where I don't have to pay tax...... I'm not sure if it's a Core 216 board but I could save almost $50 bucks with this card......
MSI N260GTX-T2D896-OC GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 for $219
!