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New System Build (Need Your Help)

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December 25, 2008 7:38:42 PM

Hello..

I have always built my own systems and have stayed current with the pc technology up until the last 5 years or so.
I presently have been limping along with an old P4 1.7 Ghz dinasour. I decided it's time to upgrade and have found
so much has changed. I did my best to try to educate myself on all the new stuff so I could make a decent decision
on what to buy. I have a few friends who have had lots of success with newegg and pointed me that direction.
I spent a few weeks researching and wanted to build a fast system that would be pretty current for todays standards.
Here is what I came up with...


* Antec 1200 case
* Asus P6T motherboard
* Intel I7 Processor
* Corsair 6gb (3 x 2gb) memory
* Corsair 1000w 1000hx power supply
* Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 video card
* Western Digital VelociRaptor 300Gb Hard drive
* Seagate Barracudea 320AS 500GB hard drive

The problem is this list turned into almost 2000.00.
I tried to ask for some assistance here on another thread and didn't get any responses. I posted on another forum and they
suggested that my parts were far overkill and that I could make a much better choice by not going with the I7 processesor
and X58 motherboard combo. I was told I would be best suited for the DUO setup with like an E8500 or similar video card.
I'm still learning and many of the acronyms and terminology is not clear to me. I really would love someone to help me to
pick what parts I might go with to build a nice gaming system. Here are the things I would like to keep if possible:

*Antec 1200 case (I feel with this I won't run into problems with the long cards and cooling issues as much)
*Corsair memory (Always had good success with them)
* Corsair Powersupply (Read where the 1000hx was rated very well, but could drop to their 750 if recommended).
* Video Card.. Initially thought HD 4870x2 was my best choice as I wasn't planning on overclocking
Now I think if the core duo quad was recommended I would go with the HD 4870 1GB with Crossfire
* As mentioned I want to go with crossfire ideally unless you guys think SLI. If so , which single card is recommended to start with?
* Hard drives: I seen where the Raptor led the pack and wanted to use that as my boot drive.
* Processor: Really need your recommendation here
* CPU Cooler: Could use your recommendation here as well
While I probably won't overclock initially I would like to learn and experiment with it down the road.

Would really appreciate your expert opinions and advice.

Thanks...

And Merry X-mas to all (ho ho ho) :sol: 

More about : system build

December 25, 2008 10:34:29 PM

What is the budget that you are willing to go with? If you need to shave off $$ from that $2k, then answer this question:

What will the PC be used for?

If it's just web surfing and light gaming, office products, general usage, the a dual core will work just fine for you.

If you are power user, and do encoding, or any CPU intensive app that will utilize a Quad core, then the i7 build is justifiable.

If you plan on being extreme gaming box, then the i7 with mulitple GPUs is the only way to go.
December 26, 2008 3:06:59 AM

I want a system that provides the best performance for the money.
Budget was really not a limiting issue, but again was advised that going the I7 route was not the best solution cause I would get far less performance for the buck ratio then building a fast Quad System and have money left over for other performance factors like video card and Raptor hard drive etc.

I am not a extreme gamer, but want to play the current games in the highest possible performance mode
with no lag running in 1900 x 1200 on my 26 inch LCD.

I'm also not a power user, but will use the pc for Gaming, streaming High Definition Video, playing blue ray movies etc.

Presently after my recent re-evaluating my shopping list I have come up with the following..

The main thing I am not sure of is the processor I should go with, but
there is a combo deal with the gigabyte motherboard and Q8550 processor for 426.98 that I thought sounded good.. What CPU would you recommend is best? I read where they used to say the Q6600 was the best bang for the buck, but now I have been reading that the Q9550 is better cause it is lower power and runs cooler and has a higher clock speed.


1200 antec case (considering 900 if this is overkill).
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 motherboard
4 gb corsair memory
Corsair 750TX 750w power supply
4870 1gb Saphire (Is this sufficient?) Or 4870X2
Western Digital Raptor 300gb (primary)
WD 650gb black caviar secondary drive
LG Blue Ray Burner

Motherboard / CPU combo
426.98
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550 - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Related resources
December 26, 2008 3:10:34 AM

I want a system that provides the best performance for the money.
Budget was really not a limiting issue, but again was advised that going the I7 route was not the best solution cause I would get far less performance for the buck ratio then building a fast Quad System and have money left over for other performance factors like video card and Raptor hard drive etc.

I am not a extreme gamer, but want to play the current games in the highest possible performance mode
with no lag running in 1900 x 1200 on my 26 inch LCD.

I'm also not a power user, but will use the pc for Gaming, streaming High Definition Video, playing blue ray movies etc.

Presently after my recent re-evaluating my shopping list I have come up with the following..

The main thing I am not sure of is the processor I should go with, but
there is a combo deal with the gigabyte motherboard and Q8550 processor for 426.98 that I thought sounded good.. What CPU would you recommend is best? I read where they used to say the Q6600 was the best bang for the buck, but now I have been reading that the Q9550 is better cause it is lower power and runs cooler and has a higher clock speed.


1200 antec case (considering 900 if this is overkill).
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 motherboard
4 gb corsair memory
Corsair 750TX 750w power supply
4870 1gb Saphire (Is this sufficient?) Or 4870X2
Western Digital Raptor 300gb (primary)
WD 650gb black caviar secondary drive
LG Blue Ray Burner

Motherboard / CPU combo
426.98
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550 - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
December 26, 2008 3:20:22 AM

Take a look at my E8500 system. It includes a $330 monitor and $50 speakers, and it came out to be around $1600. E8500 is no freaking slouch.

1 x NZXT TEMPEST Crafted Series CS-NT-TEM-B Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
1 x GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
1 x HIS Hightech H487F1GP Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
1 x CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
1 x Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 - Retail
2 x G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
1 x SAMSUNG Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Windows 98SE/ ME/ 2000/ XP - OEM
1 x Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EACS 1TB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
1 x Acer P243WAid Black-Silver 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP Support - Retail
1 x Logitech MX518 2-Tone 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB + PS/2 Wired Optical Gaming-Grade Mouse - Retail
1 x ASUS Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E818A3T - Retail
1 x Creative Sound Blaster SB0570 Audigy SE 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail
1 x Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
1 x ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink - Retail
1 x Logitech Z-4 40 watts 2.1 Speaker - Retail

I run Crysis at 1920x1200 at max settings with 0xAA (you can't see AA at that high resolution) and get about 30 FPS average.

i7s are not great for gaming unless you drop a lot on the more expensive ones. Check out these benchmarks: http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-q...

I haven't overclocked my E8500, but I plan to soon to get 3.8 ghz, which I hear is very easy to attain. I highly recommend my CPU cooler. That Zalman's keeps my CPU at a frigid 45 degrees when playing Crysis.

Crossfire and the 4870 X2 seem a bit overboard to me, but that is your choice. That type of hardware goes outdated very quickly. I was even hesitant to get a 4870 1gb version, but everywhere I look, they say that the extra 512 mb of RAM helps with high resolutions, so I went with it.

I also do a lot of Photoshop work and from time to time, video encoding. Yeah, getting Quadcore may speed things up, but the E8500 is fast enough, at least for me.
December 26, 2008 10:42:23 AM

i7 will be faster even at lower clock frequencies simply because of architectural improvements. i7 will also be more expensive because it's new.

I also do not think that the Raptors are cost effective any longer.
December 26, 2008 12:50:19 PM

The Q9550 is actually right between both choices of i7 or E8500. I think your setup with the Q9550 should suffice fine for you. Granted, you'll have to OC that to a more modest 3.2ghz or so to get the most from it.

What I did find intresting is these graphs from Guru3d while researching my i7 build. Tests were done with single GTX280

http://www.guru3d.com/article/evga-x58-sli-review/15

They were using a 680i motherboard with a stock e8400 at 3.0ghz. Granted these are older games, but there is nearly no gains at all with a i7 build at 1600x1200. This resolution is more and more popular now, with 22" monitors being sold more. This is an indication of GPU bottleneck, which proves that for single GPU setup, a fast dual core will work fine.
December 26, 2008 6:51:50 PM

Hello Optional,

Thanks for your recommendation on the cooler, I will take a look at that.
How do you like the Gigabyte board?
Is there a reason you are running a sound blaster, doesn't the gigabyte board have a good audio chipset onboard with dolby?
You said you ran crysis at 1920x1200 but couldn't see AA? What is AA?

I was considering the 8500, but at this time I thought I would go with the Q9550 since it is quad and had 16mb l2 cache. I know they say few software really takes advantage of quad now, but when it does I thought I would have it. I never overclocked, but with as easy as I hear it is getting I will certainly read up on it and do it to mine. I will just try like a mild to moderate overclock.. It's funny how the personalities on these forums change so much. Some forums I found where the people just want to try to find something that you say that is wrong and try to make you look stupid by always trying to trip you up on something that you might of said incorrectly... That is why I am hear to try to learn. I found this board much more helpful than some of the others I have been to. I had my I7 system build all listed and passed it over to another board for review and they all tried to convince me it was overkill and I was wasting my money. So I took in what they said and actually with the economy the way it is and all I though maybe they were right. With that and the fact that the I7 is still so now and they only have few board choices available. I thought I would do it this way with the P45 board and save money right now. I will end up with a pretty decent system that is far more superior than what I have now. Then after the I7 has been out for awhile I will revisit it on my next upgrade for much cheaper and far more choices. This will give them much more time to perfect their design.. Even the better P6T board wasn't getting the best reviews and had more complaints than I wanted to see for my comfort level. This Gigabyte board seems to have a much better rating and with the lower price I think will make one feel better about the build.
Just my thought anyway.

December 26, 2008 6:58:52 PM

Flyin,

Yes, I think the Q9550 with the mild OC will be the best bang for the buck right now for me.

Do you think the HD4870 is the best choice? I was going with the 4870x2, but that is probably overkill and it gets to hot by what I read.

I am thinking going with the Corsair 750TX powersupply. Do you think that is enough for me? My thought is on my next build I would like to have enough power to run the I7 stuff. When I was going to go I7 the 1000HX corsair was on my shopping list.

Also anyone else have any cpu cooler recommendations for the P45 motherboards? I am taking all suggestions right now :) 
December 26, 2008 7:01:18 PM

JSC,

You are the first I have heard from that has knocked the Raptor drive.
I think for a boot drive and the speed and performance it provides makes it worth the extra bucks. Some things with just marginal gains do not make it worth it, but for this I think it does.... Maybe I am wrong. Anyone else have any comments on it.
December 26, 2008 7:42:37 PM

ironwarrior said:
Flyin,

Yes, I think the Q9550 with the mild OC will be the best bang for the buck right now for me.

Do you think the HD4870 is the best choice? I was going with the 4870x2, but that is probably overkill and it gets to hot by what I read.

I am thinking going with the Corsair 750TX powersupply. Do you think that is enough for me? My thought is on my next build I would like to have enough power to run the I7 stuff. When I was going to go I7 the 1000HX corsair was on my shopping list.

Also anyone else have any cpu cooler recommendations for the P45 motherboards? I am taking all suggestions right now :) 


Between GTX260 core216 and HD4870, it really is up to the you and the games you play. Both have near identical performance. Either one will be faster on games optimized for it. Like Crysis, GTX260 will always perform better in that game.

A 750w should be powerful enough for 2x GTX260 or 2x HD4870. As for power draw for i7, I think it doesn't draw any more than a typical Intel Q9xx0. I'd have to find out for sure.

CPU air coolers high end: Thermalright Ultra Extreme(T.R.U.E.), Noctua NH-U12P
Mid: Zalman 9700, Xigmatek S1283 / S1284, OCZ Vendetta 2.
December 26, 2008 9:06:18 PM

Thanks flyin,

All these decisions can drive you crazy :) .
I've always learned though that it pays to take your time to research before your buy.
Now I found a another monkey wrench in my decision...

I found (2) Gigabyte board variations and am trying to figure out the best one..

1. GA-EP45-UD3P (This provided a bit more than the UD3R) I believe it was.

2. GA-EP45T-UDP (This one provides DDR3 memory)


Here they are in detail
426.98
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550 - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

669.98
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 3.0GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9650 - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Which one would should I pick?
First I was going with the UD3R then found the UD3P for like 20.00 more and it had more features.
Just as I was ready to wrap up my decision, I seen the DDR3 board :pt1cable: 

!