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Please Review my First System

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December 13, 2008 3:11:12 AM

I am going to build my first system this Christmas. I want to be able to play games (Like Empire:Total War and FO3, Left for Dead) on 1280 x 1024 with everything and eventually 1680 x 1050 with pretty much most of the goodies on. I plan to overclock eventually, maybe after a few months, but nothing too hardcore. My ideal Price Range is under 600 so I am hoping for good XMAS deals... Let me know if this is a decent setup?

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill RP550V2-D-SL 550W ATX12V v2.01 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT25664AA80A - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Right now this is 680 before rebates. I figure if I wait until XMAS deals, I can get it under 600.

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December 13, 2008 4:01:41 AM

Decent build but I'd change the psu. Rosewill's not known for quality. I've never used them but have never heard anything good about them. You can get a 610watt PC Power and Cooling for $5 more with the rebate.
December 13, 2008 4:10:07 AM

I see the PC power and cooler has only 1 +12v rail. Will my system be fine with just one rail?
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December 13, 2008 4:17:59 AM

Yeah, thats 49A on that single rail. That's a lot more power than that Rosewill. Plus it's more efficient and has a 5 year warrenty.
December 13, 2008 4:26:07 AM

kmrayburn said:
I am going to build my first system this Christmas. I want to be able to play games (Like Empire:Total War and FO3, Left for Dead) on 1280 x 1024 with everything and eventually 1680 x 1050 with pretty much most of the goodies on. I plan to overclock eventually, maybe after a few months, but nothing too hardcore. My ideal Price Range is under 600 so I am hoping for good XMAS deals... Let me know if this is a decent setup?


You missed out on the crazy holiday sales, namely the one where Microsoft was giving people 30% cashback on eBay...which resulted in some great prices (e8400 or Q8200 - $120 shipped, Gigabyte UD3P - $84 shipped, 4870 1gb $165 shipped, etc.).

But your build looks pretty good. At 1680x1050 w/lots of eye candy, you may want more than a 4850/9800gtx+ (I have an overclocked 9800gtx and a 3.33ghz Q8200 and any lag/tear I get is due to the 9800gtx).

I also have the same Ballistix memory (8gb of it) and it runs great. All four sticks worked perfect out of the package though I did boot and installed Vista 64 with only 1 stick in the mobo. Right now, mine is running at 475mhz ( DDR2-950). I've read they can easily go past DDR2-1066.

You also may want to spend another $20 for one of the newest Gigabyte boards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Wow, they finally dropped the price on the old ass Arctic Cooler 7...
December 13, 2008 5:06:25 AM

well, my current monitor only supports 1280x1024 so i figured the 4850 will be plenty until i upgrade that. And by then i figured the 4850 would be considerably cheaper and i could get a 2nd one.
December 13, 2008 5:24:03 AM

+1 for the PC Power & Cooling 610W unit.

I'd also swap out the RAM for this:

mushkin 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 - $20 MIR

That's high quality RAM that runs at a lower voltage than the Crucial RAM. It also saves a few dollars.

For the same price you can upgrade the hard drive to a 640GB model. The 640GB drives are quite a bit faster than the 500GB models for the same price.

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
December 14, 2008 5:08:15 AM

Thanks for the advice
December 14, 2008 7:34:54 AM

kmrayburn said:
well, my current monitor only supports 1280x1024 so i figured the 4850 will be plenty until i upgrade that. And by then i figured the 4850 would be considerably cheaper and i could get a 2nd one.


If you want to get another 4850 later you better get a Crossfire mobo. Maybe something like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It really would be cheaper in the long run to just get the 4870 now.

Also, like Noya said, you missed the great deals already. I really wouldn't count on catching $80 worth of savings between now and Christmas.
December 14, 2008 8:41:29 AM

lol don't you mean Rome:Total War? or Star wars: Empire At War?

anyway, a single highly amperaged rail is much better than multiple lower amperaged rails. PC P&C is famous for high quality PSU's. so +1 for PC P&C.

and FSXFan he already has a nice P45 crossfire mobo... why change it. agreed with upgrading the 4850 down the road though.
December 14, 2008 2:44:34 PM

Empire total war (being released feb 6th) is the next total war game in the series. its going to be great!
December 14, 2008 2:46:34 PM

and as far as looking down the road, I have 1 more year of law school left and I imagine when I get out in the real world working lawyer hours I wont have time to play many computer games so I am not worried about having system that stays on top of things for the next 3-4 years. I really just want to enjoy my last year before the real world comes for my soul
!