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Need help with a new build, opinions are encouraged

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January 27, 2009 12:33:37 AM




Hello all,

First, and foremost, let me start by thanking you all for taking the time to read this post, and offering any advice you have for me. So, Thank you all!

I am looking at building a computer for Gaming at home (games such as WoW, Warhammer Online, possibly Crysis etc... and some future games like Diablo III etc... ), nothing spectacular, but a solid build with components that have the potential for overclocking later on if necessary. Looking at a build around $1500 and trying to get a good "Bang for the Buck" on most components. If possible I would like this system to be a viable gaming machine for such games for 2 - 3 years.

Here is a list of what I have looked at, and really like (as far as reviews, and info available) so far. I would appreciate any feedback and I really like to know the reasons behind decisions, so if you have an opinion (good, or bad) about a selection, please let me know what brought you to that decision. Also, if you suggest a different component, please let me know why. Again, Thank You! I know this is a lot to ask, but it is greatly appreciated.

I also have one other really basic question, but it has been bothering me, so I will simply ask. I was looking at a motherboard that supported memory slots with 1.5V (it was a DDR3 board) but had no information regarding ram that was rated for 1.7V etc ... do you need to stay strictly within the manufacturers information for the Ram to generally post or run properly, and if not, how do you know what the accepted range for the memory is?

Okay, heres my list :)  ... be gentle, remember I'm new at this lol.

1 Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
$109.99

1 XION AXP Lan-Party Edition AXP-800R14HE 800W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS 12V 2.92 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
$149.99 ($20.00 Mail-in Rebate reduces price to $129.99)
(not sure I really need something this big, but if I expand later on, I want to make sure I don't over tax a PSU and would rather have a bit more, than not enough)

1 GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$134.99 ($20.00 Mail-in Rebate reduces price to $114.99)
(love the reviews and possibility of this board, plus it apears that DDR3 is not yet worth the higher investment when DDR2 is almost comparable at lower timings and a much cheaper price, but again, please let me know what you think)

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 - Retail
$188.99
(not sure if the E8600 is worth the extra $80.00, although the E8500 doesnt appear to have E0 Step but the C0 and not sure how much that will effect the possibility of overclocing later)

1 XIGMATEK dark knight - s1283 120mm CPU Cooler - Retail
$44.99
(really like the looks and reviews of the Core Contact Freezer by Sunbeam, but you have to do some work to get it on the board I am currently looking at, so not sure if it is worth it, also a cooler I have been steered towards by my nephew is the Arctic Freezer 7 pro, but thats why I am asking your opinions, what is the best way to go?)

2 G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1100 (PC2 8800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8800CL5D-4GBPI - Retail
$159.98 ($79.99 each)

1 SPARKLE P980X+ GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
$204.99
(never dealt with Sparkle before, but havent seen a review for em thats less than 4/5, and almost all were 5/5 so very intrigued with the design and potential of this card, i know its a bit more $, but looks promising)

2 Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
$129.98 ($64.99 each)

1 SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S223Q - OEM
Verbatim 4.7GB 16X DVD-R LightScribe 1.2 30 Packs Disc - OEM
-$5.00 Combo $42.98

1 Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
$99.99

1 Scythe KM02-BK 5.25" Bay Fan Controller - Retail
$31.99

1 Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
$5.99

1 BELKIN BE112230-08 8 ft. 12 Outlets 3940 Joules Surge Protector with Telephone And Coaxial Protection - Retail
$29.99

I am currently using a 22" Widesreen monitor 1680 X 1050.

So, there it is. I am sure it could probably use a ton of tweaking, but again, any input is appreciated and constructive criticism is always welcome.

(I posted this on a different forum also, apparently the wrong one, sorry about that)


January 27, 2009 12:49:46 AM

I'm assuming you will buy from Newegg.

Get a S75CF PC Power & Cooling 750W PSU. Why: it's $60 only and one of the best PSUs ever made. Mine is still working nicely after two years.

Switch to NZXT Tempest. Same price as Antec 900, just as ugly, has fan filters, has more fans, it's bigger.

Good MB/CPU/cooler choices.

Get G.Skill HK DDR2-800 4GB RAM ($50 each). Cheaper and will overclock just fine.

Dump the 9800GTX and get a HD 4870. It's about the same price, WAY faster, supports Havok (you'll want that with Diablo 3), and matches your Crossfire motherboard much better than an nVidia card. That is, you can Crossfire HD 4870 cards on the UD3P but you can't SLI 9800GTX cards on it.

Get WD6401AALS or at least WD6400AAKS drives. DUmp the WD5000AAKS. The WD6401AALS is about 50% faster.

Good DVD and OS.

No clue about the fan controller and surge protector.

I'd prefer MX-2 compound because it doesn't cause short-circuits if you spill.

Related resources
January 27, 2009 5:15:20 AM

You are in the US right? For $1500, an i7 can be built easily and will be more "future-proof" than any LGA 775 build. If you are looking at building something that will play any game for the next 2-3 years this is the way to go. Plus LGA 1366 has an upgrade path (Westmere, 32-nm processor, 6 cores/12 threads) whereas LGA 775 is phasing out.

Look at this:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...

You can combo the i7 CPU and the Mobo that I have there and take $30 off the original price. Newegg has a combo for just about all the X58 mobo and the i7 920 right now.

I put that list together a while ago, some of the parts aren't in stock at newegg right now but you can get them at other retailers, such as the V8 heatsink and the WD Hard drive (or you could just go with different ones).

That 850w psu gives you the option of SLI gtx 260+'s later on if you want, or you could swap the GTX 260 and go with an HD 4870 and switch to the PCP&C 750w that aevm is so excited about ;P and save a bunch of cash (the 750w will allow 2x4870's xfire'd).

I would switch to either the NZXT Tempest like aevm suggested or go with the case that I have in that wishlist for $20 less. Its big and a good case (although newegg ended the $20 off sale they had on it, would have been $40 cheaper...)

You could also go with cheaper ram such as this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
However, I think that OCZ ram is worth every penny. I have it (they had it in stock for 2 days before it sold out agian :)  ) running 1600mhz at 7-7-7-20. Awesome.
January 27, 2009 12:32:52 PM

Some great ideas, aevm basically took your proposed build and fine tuned it giving you much better bang for your buck system, xthekidx tossed in a complete new build at or around your budget. Both are good solutions, but at your proposed $1,500 budget, i'd go with an i7 build.
!