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Help A Girl Out II Moderate Build Sub $1000.00

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January 15, 2009 5:19:07 PM

Hello Guys!

After reading your many extremely helpful posts, I have reconsidered my i7build for now and will put that together in the spring with hopefully lower prices and some proven X58 boards. This system I am currently considering is much lower in price than my original budget, will certainly meet all our needs, will provide good practice forour first ever build and will be a great system for my soon to be 12 year old for school work as well as gaming.

Tell me what you think and keep in mind this will be paired with my 22" LCD.

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


GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail


Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail newegg



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS500 500W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... SAPPHIRE 100225L Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

OR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... SAPPHIRE 100265L Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card -


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Coolermaster 690 with window

Sorry, I don't know how to do the hyperlinks or copy my wish list shopping cart from Newegg.


The memory maybe overkill and I welcome any and all suggestions/comments.

Thanks so much! :) 
January 15, 2009 6:00:00 PM

Hi there,

In my opinion: said mobo, said cpu, with radeon 4830, memory a bit of an overkill I`d say, but only from UK-based point of view :)  Cant tell much about the psu apart that its from a respected make, nice looking case too, even if its nVidia-branded :D  Generally I say youre shaping a nice system there
January 15, 2009 8:08:17 PM

I like that build, in general.

Don't get the HD 3870, it's obsolete.

I would spend $20 more on the PSu and get the 610W Silencer.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703005

That will allow you to add a second HD 4830 when/if games become too demanding for a single card.

This would work better if it also had a hard drive. I like these, for example:
640GB, $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319&Tpk=wd6401aals
320GB, $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136074&Tpk=wd3200aaks

Obviously the first one is better bang for the buck, but if you don't need much space and the budget is limited then the second one makes sense.

You could save $30 with the RC-690 case, if you don't care about the window.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

Or you could save at least $50 with this Antec 300:
http://www.buy.com/prod/antec-three-hundred-atx-computer-case/q/loc/101/207906549.html
It's $61.65 shipped. The case you picked is $110 and probably another $20 or so shipping.




Related resources
January 15, 2009 8:26:43 PM

aevm gives good advice.
Go with the WD6401AALS for speed.
The cpu and motherboard combo is excellent.
I find the memory to be a problem for first time builders.
It's 2.1v rated and may not even POST when you install both sticks.
Is it unlikely that your 11 year old will try to massively overclock this system?
The cpu with a 1333MHz fsb only needs DDR2-667 ram to run dual channel at stock speeds.
I would buy this ram which will allow some headroom and also install effortlessly. Please note that I am probably the only one to recommend it:
Kingston ValueRAM 4GB DDR2 KVR800D2N5K2/4G $38+ship 1/15/09
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is DDR2-800 ram which will run fine at 1.8v. It costs the same (roughly) as the stuff you posted but is as reliable as an old Maytag.
Case choice is a matter of the style/design/looks preference of the end-user as long as the components will fit. Room for the videocard is the only issue here. I highly recommend a Logitech G5 gaming mouse.
January 15, 2009 8:29:43 PM

Do you intend to overclock?
If yes, then maybe you would consider starting with the Tom's systembuilder marathon $650 system, and upgrading the video a little. You could get a real nice system for less than $1000. They used a CPU lesser than the E8400 but overclocked it to beyond the performance level of the stock E8400. If you don't intend to overclock, then the E8400 will give good performance at its stock speed, you might even go for the E8500 for a little more cost.
January 15, 2009 8:55:39 PM

aevm always gives sensible advice, no one has ever gone wrong listening to it.
January 15, 2009 9:04:31 PM

Thanks guys. No I do not intend to overclock this build. This is our first and I just want to get a feel for it. Yes, I realize I forgot the Hard Drive. I am looking for PROVEN stability and speed with the emphasis on stability. Does anyone like the Samsungs? Thanks for the suggestions. So I will stay with the HD 4830, ditch the window on the case ( it was the nVidia version anyhow), go with the DDR2 800 memory. I will also need a dvd drive but have suggestions from my other post and they should work fine. Can I get a card reader as well? That might be convenient. I thought about the 610 PSU for future needs. Do you really think it is necessary?
January 15, 2009 9:31:28 PM

Cheap and decent PSU; OCZ StealthXStream 500w $20 after MIR: Promo code EMCABBEAB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For that HD 4830; buy from newegg and use this promo code, it will save you $20:
EMCABBEAK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also Q6600 $185 w/ Promo code: EMCABBEBD will save you $5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Promos good til 1/21

Just tryin' to save a girl some dough ;) 
January 15, 2009 9:31:56 PM

Thanks for the links. Now can someone explain the memory issue to me? I read about memory rated at DDR2 800 only being read as 667 by their boards. How do I find out the proper voltage that Gigabyte board will accept and read on the memory? Kinda confused on this one. Will I have to manually set the voltages so that they are read for the full speed of the memory?
Thanks!
January 15, 2009 11:12:27 PM

Every motherboard and memory kit is different, and the problem could be caused by either. I personally don't have experience with either of the ones you are considering. Sometimes memory will come with more than one spec and an 800 mhz ram module might be able to run at that speed but is set to run at 667 mhz by the manufacturer. Usually though your system should just recognize the ram for the speed it is supposed to be at. If your board won't recognize the memory at 800 mhz, you may need to overclock it to get it to run at the frequency you want. I might also be mistaken here, I'm not by any means an expert on this issue.
January 15, 2009 11:41:12 PM

Just like xthekidx said there is always a chance for any mobo-ram combo to cause problems, but its quite unlikely in general. It always helps to minimize the risk if you pick memory from supported memory list, which you will find in mobo description on gigabyte website. As for ddr2 800 being read as 667 that can happen with cpu like e8400 if memory ratio is set to 1:1. That doesnt mean its wrong. I personally prefer it that way and would run it at that speed anyway, even if it(theoretically) means less speed. But you can always change it to 800 in Bios. Its also quite unlikely that you will have to change the voltage. Good luck!
January 16, 2009 12:48:42 AM

I had a Gigabyte mobo and Corsair RAM, and E8500. The mobo began at 333MHz. Depending on FSB speed, there is a multiplier that applies to the speed of the ram. In my case I believe it was set at 1.2:1.
I set the FSB to 400 and ram multiplier to 1:1.
January 16, 2009 3:50:40 AM

Excellent advice by all the others above. My $0.02:

The OCZ Reapers are not overkill at all, especially because of the low price. As well, they have great heatsinks (for longevity).

The reason that you would get OCZ Reapers is to overclock: move your FSB up to 445 MHz (RAM then runs at DDR2-890 because DDR2 is twice the FSB frequency) and then you run a memory divder of 6/5 (i.e. multiply speed by 1.2 for asynchronous mode) for DDR2-1068, which is just a hair above rated spec, but definitely doable.

However, since you will not overclock this build, it's a moot point. That memory is cheap and has a great heatsink.

Not sure about the OCZ Reapers, but the Mushkin HP2 that I suggested on the other thread would boot into default timings and then your BIOS should run them at 6/5 automatically for DDR2-800.

For this rig, you should purchase RAM with expandability in mind--better to get a mainstream set for which you can buy an exact 2x2 duplicate later and expand to 8GB. That way you don't have to toss old RAM if you add another 2x2. DDR2-800 is pretty much a "standard". By this, I do not mean that Reapers will not be around in the future.

The red PCP&C Silencer 750 is going for $65 at Amazon, if you're interested (I'm just mentioning it for the value aspects).

Regarding your choice of case, I was going to say: "Sure you want that case with a great big logo on the front from Team GREEN, when you're going to be running actual video cards from Team RED???" But I think you've solved that issue already. If you wanted the regular CM-690 case but with a clear side panel, then you can always buy it here: link.

The WD Caviar Black 640 is the best drive you can get for this system, by far. If nothing else, just get it for the speed. The Samsungs would be better as data drives.

The quad cores of the Q6600 may be a better choice for this rig--going forward and for its intended use.

Regarding your purchase timing, Intel is cutting prices at the beginning of next week so DO NOT order the CPU & mobo until you see that market realignment.
January 16, 2009 3:55:30 AM

Akebono 98 said:

The quad cores of the Q6600 may be a better choice for this rig--going forward and for its intended use.

Regarding your purchase timing, Intel is cutting prices at the beginning of next week so DO NOT order the CPU & mobo until you see that market realignment.

+1 for Akebono. I would say go for the q6600 for longevity. An e8400/8500 would be better for a budget gaming build because they overclock for great returns, but since this is not primarily for gaming and will not be overclocked and mostly homework/regular teenager usage (Microsoft word, internet and P2P I'm assuming), I would say go for the quad. And definitely wait for the price realignment (Thank you P2!!)
January 16, 2009 4:39:17 AM

Let's see... now if I were a teenager today, I'd be running Word, Excel and Powerpoint all at the same time to do my homework, while simultaneously surfing the web to gather information and e-mailing my friends, IM'ing at the same time, watching YouTube videos from the corner of the screen, at the same time, trading stocks and watching the markets in the background if Mom & Dad let me (or maybe just to keep an eye on their trades so that I could grill them at the dinner table), downloading music and videos from the iTunes Store *at the same time*, converting the family CD and DVD collection onto the hard drive at the same time, Photoshopping pictures from the last family gathering and printing them out for Grandma at the same time and, at the same time, plotting global domination on Civ4 in a minimized window.

Looks like quad core all the way!!! :sol: 
January 16, 2009 5:00:32 AM

Your kid is pretty lucky you are willing to build him/her such a nice computer. When I was in High school (class of '06) I was stuck using my mom's POS imac G3. My parents still use it lol.
January 16, 2009 10:35:26 AM

@OP:

Don't get DDR2 1066. It's pointless because most of the time it's just factory OCed DDR2 800. I recommend the GSkill PI 2*2Gb DDR2 800.

Also note if you are getting ANY Gigabyte board DO NOT install the DES (Dynamic Energy Saver) software. It can lead to BSODs,etc.
January 16, 2009 11:56:07 AM

O.K. So NOW a Quad looks better. Remember, I am not going to overclock on this build so would rather spend the extra $ on a Q9400 or similar. I know the Q6600 is the overclocker's dream but I'm too chicken and want stability, low temps and longevity.

Also, is the "Express Gate" feature worth it and should I consider going with an Asus board with a feature set similar to the Gigabyte UD3P ? I also assumed a P45 board would be adequate. Any reason to stray to an X48?

Also, this build will not be going to my daughter until summer/fall when 7th grade starts. She is definitely a gamer,though, so I do want decent gaming performance for things like Oblivion, Morrowind, Age of Empires.

And what I am hearing is that Intel prices should go down further after this weekend? I can probably wait about 2-4 weeks but really want this done by March. I think I will go ahead and get the PSU, case, keyboard, mouse and a few other peripherals now, though. I will take a look at the "Tempest" case that someone suggested, but think the CM 690 without window will be my best bet.
January 16, 2009 12:03:23 PM

^ Well if you are waiting till June/July YES! The prices WILL drop quite a bit due to the next release of the Core i7 and EOL for LGA775.

OCing, if done right will not hurt. Heck, I still have a OCed K6 that's still running as a print server.

For mouse, get a G5. As for case Antec 900/1200 (Note: I am bias toward them ;)  )
January 16, 2009 12:54:35 PM

Elizabeth_B said:
O.K. So NOW a Quad looks better. Remember, I am not going to overclock on this build so would rather spend the extra $ on a Q9400 or similar. I know the Q6600 is the overclocker's dream but I'm too chicken and want stability, low temps and longevity.
There's nothing wrong with getting a 45nm quad core beyond the extra cost. If you get a cheaper quad that runs slower than the 3GHz E8400, then it will in many cases be slower for the games your daughter wants to play. I would avoid the older, hotter running 65nm chips though. Stability, low temps and longevity are why the original motherboard and E8400 along with the Kingston memory go so well together. Once you get the system up an running I would actually clock the memory back in sync with the fsb at 667MHz. The WD6401AALS "Black" hard drive is very fast, stable and carries a 5 year warranty. The 1TB Samsung is also a good drive.
Elizabeth_B said:
Also, is the "Express Gate" feature worth it and should I consider going with an Asus board with a feature set similar to the Gigabyte UD3P ? I also assumed a P45 board would be adequate. Any reason to stray to an X48?
No. The P45 is just what you need.


Elizabeth_B said:
Also, this build will not be going to my daughter until summer/fall when 7th grade starts. She is definitely a gamer,though, so I do want decent gaming performance for things like Oblivion, Morrowind, Age of Empires.
Thus the 4830 card with a fast dual-core.


Elizabeth_B said:
And what I am hearing is that Intel prices should go down further after this weekend? I can probably wait about 2-4 weeks but really want this done by March. I think I will go ahead and get the PSU, case, keyboard, mouse and a few other peripherals now, though. I will take a look at the "Tempest" case that someone suggested, but think the CM 690 without window will be my best bet.
Don't expect windfall price cuts. AMD's new cpus are not putting much pressure on Intel. Prices always tend to drop over time.
January 16, 2009 9:38:52 PM

Ok well then for gaming go for the Q9550. You can afford it with $1000 budget.
Here is a sample build you could work off of if you chose:

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SUPERMICRO MBD-C2SBC-Q-O LGA 775 Intel Q35 ATX Intel Motherboard and Q9550 Combo (I don't know how good this board is but there are no negative reviews on it and I am a firm beleiver that you get what you pay for, and at $165 I'd say it's a good board. It only has one PCIex16 slot, but it doesn't sound like you are going to go sli so this board looks like a good option)-$428
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (I'd go for 2 of these kits but you can do that later I suppose)-$60, $35 after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100265L Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit-$95 with Promo code: EMCABBEAK, $85 after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - $25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W-$100, $70 after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This puts you at $868 before rebates. I'm not sure if have an OS, but if you don't then Vista Home Premium is + $100 or so

Hope this helps

January 16, 2009 10:25:12 PM

Supermicro makes good stuff.
A Q35/ICH9DO motherboard?
Why?
January 17, 2009 12:02:35 AM

Wow! Xthekidx, that is very close to what I chose. After reading about all the DOA PSU units from PC Power & Cooling on the red 750 watt, I decided to go with the Corsair 650. Not sure about the motherboard, though. I am still debating the Gigabyte UD3P or one of the P45 Asus boards that has the Express Gate feature. I know it isn't necessary, but it sure seems convenient to be able to get on the net in 5 seconds without booting into the OS. Decisions, decisions.... You guys are the best, BTW! Now my husband insists on a new ( at least 24") monitor, keyboard and gaming mouse. UGH. More research. Thanks for all your help.
January 17, 2009 4:38:49 AM

+1 to xthekidx for the Q9550 and to Newf as well. Get the Q9550 with E0 stepping, if you don't mind the added cost. This is supposed to be included in the upcoming price cuts.

Both Q9550 and Q6600 will last a long time with proper cooling, especially if you don't OC. Even at full load stock, the temps don't go that high. We all just keep recommending the Q6600 because it's such great value, especially when overclocked.

Don't buy a mobo just for Express Gate. If you want fast power up, then better to just configure the sleep or standby features.

If you're looking for an Asus board to last a while, then look at the P5Q-E. Better quality, cooling and power design than the Pro (look at the components around the CPU slot); have a look at this link: P5Q-E forum discussion.

You won't need an X48 board, unless you are particular about "saturating the x8 slot" in Crossfire, which isn't going to happen here unless you run 4870x2 Quadfire (save that for the i7 build).

For 24" monitors, Samsung T240 is great and has a very nice red bezel if you want a stylish look in your room, and the 245T is stellar if you want the nicer S-PVA panel (at higher cost). Now then you'd also have to upscale the video card for the gaming side...

+1 to Shadow on the Logitech G5 gaming mouse.

Both of your listed combo deals are great--I'd go with the Gigabyte for the extra top MOSFET heatsink (for longevity), although I myself run the P5Q Pro!
January 17, 2009 4:58:48 AM

I just included the Mobo/Cpu combo cuz it was the best one I found on Newegg with the Q9550, it was cheaper than going with the CPU and say the P5Q-E separately, but you could opt for a cheaper Mobo like the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L. I feel like the combo is a better value though.
January 17, 2009 2:15:54 PM

xthekidx, yes that is the combo i have in my cart. Akebono, thanks for the clarification on mobo. The things I am concerned about are the stepp
ing on the Q9550. Some people are reporting they received the C1 stepping ( older?) and had been expecting the newer models. Wonder if Newegg sent them returned units? Also read about the inferior fan on the Q9550 and how everyone is replacing it and having a hard time getting the stock fan off. This won't stop me from purchasing the Q9550, just have to consider what to replace the fan with or if that is even necessary. Can anyone refer me to a good forum or article about the memory? I am a bit confused ( and not in a blonde way!) about the Ram being described as 1066 but only being read as 800. I did check the compatibility chart at Gigabyte for the UD3P mobo. Must I choose only those listed?
January 17, 2009 5:15:50 PM

Get the arctic cooling freezer 7 pro for after market cooling. Very good performance for not much cash
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The reason a lot of 1066 memory is read at 800 is because many of them are 800 mhz modules that have been overclocked to 1066 spec. Also many times it is because those people have their memory ratio set at 1:1 and to get it to run at 1066 the ratio needs to be set at 1:1.2.

You can chose memory that is not on Gigabyte's approved memory modules chart. That chart just means that those modules are guaranteed to work with your board. Others will also, but Gigabyte just didn't get around to approving them.
January 17, 2009 6:24:51 PM

Most modules should work. Just make sure they are DDR2 dual channel kits and that the motherboard's memory speed rating can handle the speed of the memory. Otherwise, you have to run the memory at a lower frequency that your board can handle.
January 17, 2009 7:23:49 PM

I don't recommend getting the Freezer Pro. It's old and not up to the current standard. For a few $ more you can get a XIGMATEK S1283 (+ bolt in kit) or a Core Contact. Like I said before don't bother with DDR2 1066 RAM. DDR2 800 will work fine. I recommend the GSkill PI. Get at least 4GB, more if getting Vista x64.
January 17, 2009 7:41:55 PM

If your not overclocking you don't need that good of an aftermarket cooler, and to be honest your stock cooler would probably be fine. The Xigmatek S1283 is a good cooler but unnecessary in this situation IMO. Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro would be more than sufficient.
January 17, 2009 8:54:21 PM

Q9550 stepping: Normally it's a matter of inventory pipeline, so if you're ordering now, you should get E0 stepping. However, if you aren't planning on OC, then stepping probably doesn't matter, really. I think that you can probably understand why vendors are reluctant to guarantee stepping.

If you're concerned about cooling, here's an easy fix. Buy some Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Paste and use that with the stock cooler. That would improve things a little at minimal cost ($7). MX-2 is nice and easy to use, and you're going to need it for your high-end rig later, so why not just get it now and get some practice on this one? Btw, if you're going to use aftermarket thermal paste with the stock cooler, you'll have to clean off the stock thermal paste first. Use 90% isopropyl alcohol with a coffee filter to do that.

IMO, the plastic push-pin design is pretty lousy. It's really for ease of use (don't have to dismount mobo) and probably for production simplicity. I run the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 with Thermalright LGA 775 Bolt-Thru kit and there is a very obvious difference in the mounting stability and contact pressure. It's bolted on tight against a metal backplate, with spring loaded screws. Again IMO, it's probably even easier to mount screws with a screwdriver than plastic push-pins by hand. When you get your CPU and see the push-pins in real life, then you will understand what people are complaining about--it's very obvious.

Here is the definitive statement on mounting a direct-touch heatpipe cooler from Proximon, in case you were feeling hardcore or adventurous: link.

For the LGA 775 socket, the Xigmatek is the best cooler, IMHO. It's not expensive, either.

The reason that you would install an aftermarket heatsink at the beginning, even if you were not going to OC, is to save the hassle of dismounting the mobo later to install one. That is a real pain. In the future, when your computer feels slow (maybe when you're running Win7 a couple of years from now), OC'ing it is an easy way to speed it up so it's like a free upgrade.

Here's my view of how one should approach heatsinks:

1. If you don't OC, then just use the stock cooler--nice and simple, saves money.

2. If you already have a computer running with the stock cooler and want to upgrade without dismounting the mobo, then use the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro with push-pins. This is its "raison-de-etre", IMO. Would also allow for a "mild" OC, whatever that means.

3. If you will OC (including aggressively) or are contemplating it in the future, then put in a top tier heatsink from the beginning. If you've found your way to these forums, that means that you have a technical interest and I guarantee that you will not stop until you've found your max OC.

As you'll probably need this later anyway, go to the "Overclocking" forum and at the top there are two stickies. One is the "Temperature Guide" and the other is the "How to Overclock Quads & Duals". If you read the How-To sticky up to the part about Intel thermal management, that should answer all of your questions about memory. It's in the context of overclocking, but that reasoning is how you will understand the mathematical equation linking all of these parameters together.

For a lighter read, here is a thread to which I recently posted, explaining the memory issue in simple terms: link.

Sometimes, the practical overrides the theoretical. Here is the best memory deal going on right now, Corsair Dominator 1066 for $39: Newegg Promo Link. You'll need promo code EMCABBGAC. Just buy two sets for 8GB now and then you won't ever have to upgrade this part for the life of your computer--you'll probably appreciate the better heatsinks when this becomes your "ancient rig" and you point this out to your grandchildren.

If you want another current suggestion on top-drawer RAM, auburnfury also found this deal (from another thread): "The Egg has a $5 off promo code, EMCABBGAB , for the G.Skill Pi Black DDR2-800 at CL4, making them the same price [$45]."

OC'd Q9550 + quality P45 mobo + 8GB Dominator would last you "forever" as a non-gaming rig! :D 
January 17, 2009 9:34:45 PM

Elizabeth_B said:
...I want stability, low temps and longevity...
Ever notice how easily the Original Poster's request can be forgotten.
January 21, 2009 5:58:07 AM

You are really lucky! Here's the price cut table: link. Looks like the Q9650 has fallen into your price range, with guaranteed E0 stepping (because there is only 1 version out).

But then of course Intel has to go and release a new Q9550S, which is "especially designed" for overclocking... but I digress. :D 
January 21, 2009 6:13:58 AM

I'm kinda surprised they didn't drop the price at all on any of the QX series chips, I would have thought with the new i7 extreme out (and the i7 920 outperforming some of the QX series chips in many benchmarks) the prices would be dropping on the core 2 extreme processors.
!