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New gaming rig build advice needed

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January 25, 2009 10:43:41 PM

I want to build a new gaming rig and am looking to spend around 1700 Canadian (1350 USD). I have a Samsung 2253bw 22" monitor and I have a keyboard and mouse. This is the setup so far, comments and suggestions are appreciated.

GPU: ASUS GeForce GTX 295 576MHZ 1792MB 1.998GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDMI HDCP Video Card ($629.99)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35770&vpn=EN...

Case: Antec Nine Hundred

PSU: Corsair TX850W 850W CMPSU-850TX 12V 70A 24PIN AT Power Supply Active PFC 140M Fan Powersupply ($164.99)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35156&vpn=CM...

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Dual Core Processor LGA775 3.16GHZ Wolfdale 1333FSB 6MB Retail ($264.30)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=27785&vpn=BX...

MOBO: Gigabyte EP45-UD3P ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2 2PCI-E SATA2 RAID HD Sound 2GLAN 1394A CrossFireX Motherboard ($161.57)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34003&vpn=GA...

RAM: Kingston HyperX T1 4GB 2X2GB PC2-8500 DDR2-1066 CL5-5-5-15 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory
X2 for 8GB of ram. ($84.35 x 2 = 168.70)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34925&vpn=KH...

HD: Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200RPM 32MB Dual Proc 3.5IN SATA Hard Drive OEM 5YR Mfg Warranty ($84.99)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34286&vpn=WD...

Fan & HS: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro LGA775 2500RPM 45CFM ($32.87)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=17225&vpn=FR...
Do I need to buy thermal compound to install this fan/HS?

Thanks for any input.

More about : gaming rig build advice needed

January 25, 2009 11:32:05 PM

Good build.

I'd switch to this RAM:
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=33651&vpn=F2...

If you want to overclock a lot, get a high-end cooler instead of the Freezer. There's the Scythe Ninja for $48 or the NH-U12P for $70, for example. For just a little, the Freezer is good.

I like the UD3P a bit more than the P5Q Pro, but they're not really that different anyway. Both are good.

This is good paste:
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=26895&vpn=MX%2D2T&manufacture=Arctic%20Cooling

Edit: never mind the cooler, you did say you're not looking for a big overclock, I missed that part. You don't even need an aftermarket cooler.
January 25, 2009 11:37:58 PM

Isn't that RAM slower? Yeah I just want a bit of overclocking. Is the UD3P good with a GTX 295? Also for this setup and for gaming should I use windows XP or Vista? Thanks
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January 26, 2009 12:40:51 AM

It has better timings than the HyperX, it's cheaper, is more likely to be recognized by the UD3P without pain, and will do great for a mild overclock.

Yes the UD3P will work well with that video card. It's a very good MB - my favorite these days in fact :)  You should see the Newegg ratings, 79% give it 5 eggs - that's sort of a record for motherboards.

You should use Vista Home Premium 64-bit. XP (32-bit) will see very little RAM instead of the full 4 GB (not sure, I'm guessing 2GB to 3GB at most). Also, with Vista you get DirectX 10 which makes some games look better.

January 26, 2009 12:43:42 AM

ok, is there any other ram you would recommend that has higher speeds? How will this system perform on running games like crysis, far cry 2, fallout 3? Is my PSU enough for the system? Also is that GPU overkill for the E8500? Should I get a slower GPU? Is the GTX 295 a better option then the 4870X2? Thank you for all the help
January 26, 2009 1:08:00 AM

I took a look at NCIX but didn't find anything more interesting in RAM.

That system will totally rock at 1680x1050, no worries.

The PSU is enough. It's overkill in fact. You could save some cash with this PC Power & Cooling 750W:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703019&Tpk=Silencer%20750W

A HD 4870 X2 will deliver exactly the same 60 fps as the GTX 295 on your monitor, and at lower cost. Probably a good idea. That is, the GTX 295 is more powerful but the difference is wasted because your monitor refreshes at 60Hz and that means only 60 frames are displayed and the rest are not.
You decide. Maybe later there will be games where the difference will matter. They do tend to become more demanding each year.

Don't worry about the E8500 being a bottleneck. It's a very fast CPU. You can also overclock it later to 3.6 GHz or more if needed. Check this out:
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=770&p=8

January 26, 2009 1:15:34 AM

Do you think this monitor is good enough for gaming? Or should I swap it with one with a higher refresh rate? Also ive been checking NCIX and the gtx 295 and hd4870x2 are generally within 50 CDN of each other.
January 26, 2009 1:22:01 AM

It's good, no worries. The human eye can't really distinguish between 60 fps and more. Besides, most LCDs are like that. I have a Viewsonic that can do 75 Hz, but that's an exception. Maybe next year when the new 120Hz models become easier to find and cheaper...


January 26, 2009 4:26:53 AM

liberona said:
I want to build a new gaming rig and am looking to spend around 1700 Canadian (1350 USD). I have a Samsung 2253bw 22" monitor and I have a keyboard and mouse. This is the setup so far, comments and suggestions are appreciated.

GPU: ASUS GeForce GTX 295 576MHZ 1792MB 1.998GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDMI HDCP Video Card ($629.99)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35770&vpn=EN...

Case: Antec Nine Hundred

PSU: Corsair TX850W 850W CMPSU-850TX 12V 70A 24PIN AT Power Supply Active PFC 140M Fan Powersupply ($164.99)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35156&vpn=CM...

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Dual Core Processor LGA775 3.16GHZ Wolfdale 1333FSB 6MB Retail ($264.30)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=27785&vpn=BX...

MOBO: Gigabyte EP45-UD3P ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2 2PCI-E SATA2 RAID HD Sound 2GLAN 1394A CrossFireX Motherboard ($161.57)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34003&vpn=GA...

RAM: Kingston HyperX T1 4GB 2X2GB PC2-8500 DDR2-1066 CL5-5-5-15 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory
X2 for 8GB of ram. ($84.35 x 2 = 168.70)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34925&vpn=KH...

HD: Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200RPM 32MB Dual Proc 3.5IN SATA Hard Drive OEM 5YR Mfg Warranty ($84.99)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=34286&vpn=WD...

Fan & HS: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro LGA775 2500RPM 45CFM ($32.87)
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=17225&vpn=FR...
Do I need to buy thermal compound to install this fan/HS?

Thanks for any input.


Your GPU choice is far above what you need for your display. You will most likely never see your money out of that gpu untill you break the 1900x resolution barrier.

There is no point in buying a xfire MB and planting an Nvidia gpu on it. 4870 or an x2 is right up your ally. That or switch to a sli compatable chipset.

The very first question a system builder must ask himself is what is my work load? Building a gaming rig its all about your display. Your display should sit natively at 1680x1050. If you plan on staying with that display or maybee moving to a 1900x I highly recomend nothing above a 4870 or a 260 for your GPU. You will have headroom, great performance and jumping up to a bigger display wont kill your system. On top of that you will save a few bucks(about 300), lower your system temps and leave yourself open for the addition of another gpu for sli/xfire later on. Dont waste the money now when chances are in a year or 2 you will be buying a new single gpu solution anyways. Despite the popular view that the biggest and baddest hardware is always better its not true. The top end Nvidia and ATI gpu choises atm require a beast of a CPU. You want 3.5 or above on the most current cores to let them run. These GPUs only show muscle at 1900x and above resolutions. Its like buying an 18 wheeler to drive around a bag of groceries.
January 26, 2009 9:26:31 AM

Yeah but The 4870X2 on NCIX costs more then the GTX 295 so I figure might as well get the better card. Also what motherboard would you recommend then with a SLI configuration instead of the Gigabyte UD3P? Also could you recommend a better monitor? Thank you
January 26, 2009 9:49:13 AM

Err you want a GTX295 on 1650 x 1050 with a 22"? Overkill IMO and i agree a HD4870 or GTX260 is way more than enough - in fact i would say a HD4860/9800GTX+ could cut it :p  Also check out 1650 x 1050 and 1920 x 1240 gaming benches with the Phenom 2s - you'd be pleasantly surprised hehe That said my suggestion:

January 26, 2009 10:30:06 AM

So what monitor would you recommend? Also would one HD4870 run 1650 x 1050 with AA and max graphics settings on games like crysis warhead, fc2 and fallout 3? I thought that most games as of now do not have multiple core support so going from 2 to 4 cores will give minimal games. Thank you
January 26, 2009 12:39:37 PM

That's so weird, yeah, the HD 4870 X2 at NCIX is overpriced. If they want it competitive with the GTX 295 they need to make it under $600 IMO.

I found a better deal here: C$ 605 - US$ 70 rebate, I guess that's about C$520.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161242 (HIS)
or this:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102768 (Sapphire, C$578-US$ 30 i.e. about C$542)


If you prefer a HD 4870 (and maybe a second one later), try to get the 1GB version. Compare prices at ncix, www.Newegg.ca and www.memoryexpress.com. The best brands IMO are Visiontek, Sapphire, Gigabyte, MSI.

January 26, 2009 2:47:10 PM

Well since they are both so close in price I would prefer to purchase the GTX 295. What monitor would be a good purchase for this rig? So what MOBO would you recommend with a nvidia card?
January 26, 2009 3:07:34 PM

With a GTX 295 you should get a 24" or 25.5" monitor so you can play at 1920x1200. Go to Future Shop or Best Buy or Staples or whatever brick-and-mortar stores you've got in your area and see what you like. Buying monitors online is a bit risky because you can't see how they feel and you can't check for dead pixels either. You can't trust the advertised viewing angles either, in fact. My personal recent experience was that LG and Viewsonic had better viewing angles than Samsung on similarly priced 25.5" models, but that's not obvious online where all three claim 160 degrees.

Also, the MB does not need to support SLI, because the PSU won't support it and 4-GPU scaling would be horrible too. Any P45 would do.

If you expect to need 3 or 4 monitors get a P5Q Pro or GA-EP45-UD3P. (They have a second slot where you can add an 8400GS or other very cheap card to feed monitors #3 and #4). If not, GA-EP45-UD3R for example.
January 26, 2009 3:58:38 PM

Ok well i was thinking of the ep45-ud3p with just a single gtx 295. And I will check for monitors locally. I am using a single monitor setup. Will a GTX 295 in crysis warhead, fc2 and fallout 3 perform well on a 1650x1050 resolution w/AA and full graphics? Or more like will my system perform well on these games? Also if I get a bigger monitor will it still perform well on it with 1920x1200? thank you
!