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Need someone to take a look at this

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January 27, 2009 2:30:40 AM

I'm trying to put together a pretty heavy, but future-proof gaming desktop. I've already picked out all the parts, but unfortunately it's a bit pricey. I'm not sure if maybe I'm missing out on some more efficient or cost-effective alternatives, so I wanted to run these parts by you in order to learn a few things. Firstly, will these parts work well together? Secondly, is there anything I should replace with something more efficient and cost effective? I would like to reduce the price, but not by sacrificing too much performance. Thirdly, as it stands, with the monitor the price (with shipping) comes to around $1500. Considering the parts, is this a good or bad price?

The Parts:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4870 X2
PSU: PC Power & Cooling 750W
RAM: G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB)
CASE: NZXT TEMPEST
HDD: Western Digital 640GB 7200 RPM
MOBO: GIGABYTE LGA 775 Intel P45
DVD: SAMSUNG DVD\CD Burner
AUDIO: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 7.1
MONITOR: SAMSUNG 22" Widescreen LCD

Thanks.

EDIT:
I thought I should add some details about the computer.

1. I will be using a microphone with it
2. It will be running on Windows XP Pro until I see how Win 7 plays out
3. It is meant to be future proof
4. I will make it cry with the latest and greatest games
5. I want it to look pretty and perform well (the games I mean)
6. It will be used for graphics design and media editing on the side
7. The build is meant to leave room for future changes such as OS changes as well as monitor changes. The card was picked out so that later down the road I would be able to crossfire it with another while spending as little as possible to do so.

Hope this helps some.

More about : question

January 27, 2009 2:51:35 AM

The build looks good, nice job!

That motherboard comes with 8-channel onboard sound. I'd ditch the sound card and try the onboard. You can always add a sound card later if you feel like you need to.

The HD you linked to is the slower Green Power model. I'd pick up a fast 640GB drive instead.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99 (If it comes back in stock by the time you make your purchase).

or

WESTERN DIGITAL Caviar?SE16 SATA WD6400AAKS SATA 7200 RPM 16MB Buffer Hard Drive
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $69.99

If you still need to lower the price, you could go with a 4870 1GB card. The 4870x2 is overkill for a 22" monitor. You could add another 4870 in crossfire later if the new games require it.

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $234.99 - $10 MIR
January 27, 2009 3:53:05 AM

If you are open to an AMD alternative:


Related resources
January 27, 2009 5:24:32 PM

Thanks for the links. The HDD will certainly help some with the cost. Something I was a little concerned with was the sound card. I'd like the best sound quality I can get for the most reasonable price, and I will be using a microphone as well, so I'm a little hesitant to forgo the sound card for the on board audio.
January 27, 2009 9:08:11 PM

Onboard audio these days is very good, not like 3 years ago. You would have a hard time hearing the difference between onboard and that sound card, if you could hear it at all. Unless you have a very nice speaker system to go with that card, its unnecessary. And like the others said, you can always add it later if you really think you want it.
January 28, 2009 11:51:14 AM

So, I don't know. Is $1500 a decent price for the hardware I posted?
January 28, 2009 12:03:55 PM

+1 to the onboard suggestion - try it out. If you don't like it, then get the sound card.

I agree about the GPU suggestion - the 4870x2 is overkill - you could still have great performance for much less.
January 28, 2009 12:38:34 PM

I did onboard on my i7 rig. Then a week later I dropped $90 on an X-Fi Xtreme Gamer and noticed a pretty big difference in sound quality and versatility.
January 28, 2009 12:59:16 PM

Why run the Q6600? Everything else is newer but the Q6600 is about 2 years old at this point. The Q9300 will cost about the same and has the smaller die size and larger cache, just my thought.
January 28, 2009 1:01:59 PM

I agree on the Video card, the 4870X2 is a little much, A 4870 1GB would be just fine, and save you some money. You can always crossfire a second one later. As for the sound card, I wouldn't worry about it, unless for some reason the on board doesn't work. you should be fine without the sound card.
January 28, 2009 1:05:15 PM

I generally agree with shortstuff.
Future-proof is a myth. Future-resistance may be possible. Particularly to lower the cost, drop the 4870X2. If saving money is a primary objective, drop all the way back to a 1GB 4850, or even a pair of them. If future-resistance is the priority, consider a Core I7 build, but you will end up spending more.
January 28, 2009 1:05:46 PM

runmymouth said:
Why run the Q6600? Everything else is newer but the Q6600 is about 2 years old at this point. The Q9300 will cost about the same and has the smaller die size and larger cache, just my thought.

The Q6600 is still a popular choice because of it's higher multiplier which makes it a better overclocker. It's also not true that the Q9300 has higher cache.

Q9300 = 6MB L2 cache
Q6600 = 8MB L2 cache

I'd pick the Q6600 over the Q9300 any day, especially if overclocking is considered.
January 28, 2009 1:07:14 PM

Ahh thought it had the same cache as my 9650...
January 28, 2009 1:09:09 PM

runmymouth said:
Ahh thought it had the same cache as my 9650...

The Q9x00 CPU's have half the cache of the Q9x50 CPU's.
January 28, 2009 1:11:52 PM

So if I should change to a 4870 1GB (which I will likely Crossfire later) how will that change the motherboard? I picked the motherboard specifically for that card, but if I'm not going to get the 4870x2, then I'm not really sure which motherboard would suit the 1GB card.

The reason I picked the 4870x2 was for two reasons:
1. I wouldn't have to upgrade it for a long time
2. I saw it as being cheaper (at the time) than paying for two cards and a motherboard that suits the Crossfire of those two cards.

So then I guess my next question would be: Assuming I bought the 4870 1GB card, what motherboard should I get considering I will almost certainly be having Crossfiring it in a year or so?
January 28, 2009 1:13:42 PM

Nexus21 said:
So if I should change to a 4870 1GB (which I will likely Crossfire later) how will that change the motherboard? I picked that specific motherboard because I was only going to run the one card, and because it was cheaper in the end that buying two 4870's down the road.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is a nice mobo.
January 28, 2009 1:14:20 PM

The GA-EP45-UD3P is a great choice for crossfire 4870's.
January 28, 2009 7:48:13 PM

Solid choices; similar to my setup, so I can say it'll run nicely.

As for suggestions, I'd dump that Fatal1ty and go with the HT Omega Striker. You'll get a great 7.1 card and save yourself $50 over branded garbage.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have the Biostar TPower I45 mobo and it's been fantastic. My Q6600 is rock stable at 3.6 with not much tweaking. The Gigabyte is a sound choice, just something to consider. Definitely switch out the sound card, though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 28, 2009 8:08:56 PM

The Q6600 is an option if you plan to OC, if not try something with more than 2.4GHz, at least 3.0GHz, if you OC then you need to add the price of some good cooling.
I think you should try the onboard audio, and buy a soundcard only if you are not satisfied.
January 28, 2009 8:31:57 PM

Fixed.

The Q9300 has a smaller cache. It's 6mb. 1333 FSB

The q6600 has 8mb. 1066 FSB

The Q9550 has 12mb. 1333 FSB

The Q6600 is better than the 9300 but not as good as the Q9550.


Just an aside:

The Q6600 is a great upgrade for older 775 boards with 1066 fsb limit.

965, 975, and a few X30 series i think.

Get them while you still can.

On my AMD socket 939 system I waited too long and lost my upgrade path.
January 28, 2009 8:37:25 PM

average joe said:
The Q9300 has a smaller cache. It's 6mb. 1333 FSB

The q6600 has 8mb. 1066 FSB

The Q9550 has 12mb. 1333 FSB

The Q6600 is a great upgrade for older 775 boards with 1066 fsb limit.

965, 975, a few X30 series i think



He is running a P45 mobo. So he can use a 1333 FSB. Also already corrected my mistake of thinking it has the same cache as my Q9650.
January 28, 2009 9:55:53 PM

from my experience/what I've read is that the q6600's run HOT. And as Tom's proved that cache size wasn't a huge performance boon...
January 28, 2009 11:06:55 PM

dnaphreaker said:
Solid choices; similar to my setup, so I can say it'll run nicely.

As for suggestions, I'd dump that Fatal1ty and go with the HT Omega Striker. You'll get a great 7.1 card and save yourself $50 over branded garbage.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have the Biostar TPower I45 mobo and it's been fantastic. My Q6600 is rock stable at 3.6 with not much tweaking. The Gigabyte is a sound choice, just something to consider. Definitely switch out the sound card, though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


How would the card you recommended compare to this card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 28, 2009 11:20:23 PM

It's a trade off ..

I own an e6300 2mb cache

I suffer from cache envy.

The reason for the huge cache initially was the potential bottleneck of four cores pounding the memory and mem controler with requests. Upping the fsb to 1333 increased the total bandwith and aleviated this. Enough so that they found that they could get away with a smaller cache and achieve equivalent performance. There's other enhancements in the 9xxx series as well which make it enticing.

Let us not forget get we are comparing ferraris here.

I have a 965 express motherboard. It has a 1066 maximum FSB.
The q6600 is the only one I can buy.
January 29, 2009 4:33:11 AM

Nexus21 said:
How would the card you recommended compare to this card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The Striker is deffinately alot better sounding than the onboard (Mainly because of the amp, which is perfect for high power headphones and Home Theater systems), but it's not suited for games. The Soundblaster series is great for games, but less so for home theatures, mainly because of the feature sets. But, the best soundcard for the money atm is the
Asus xonar DX.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It has a higher SNR for higher quality audio (Which you wont likely notice unless you're an audiophile), a very efficient and powerful Sound processor that can do an almost direct hardware emulation of EAX 5 (And in some opinions, they do it better), Dolby support in Vista which is great for movies and dolby supported games (Rare, I know, but some are out there), and last but certainly not least, you bypass the creative drivers and support!!!! Woo! Creative is renowned for having the industry's worst drivers and support for it's products.

And here is a good open box deal, if you were buying soon. I am. Lol (Just noticed the great deal)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 29, 2009 6:17:18 AM

bmlevey said:
from my experience/what I've read is that the q6600's run HOT. And as Tom's proved that cache size wasn't a huge performance boon...

I recently swapped out my Q6600 for a Q9550. I was running the Q6600 at 3.6 GHz. With a TRUE (bought before the Xig was available) in an Antec 900 case under Prime95, my core temps hit 60 C - 65 C.

One thing I noticed was that the heatsink that came with the Q9550 was about half the size of the Q6600 heatsink. It appears that Intel made the HSF no larger than it needed to be to run at stock speed.

Running at 3.0 GHz should be safe with the Q6600 and it's stock HSF. Any more than that, or with a Q9xxx, you will need better cooling.


January 29, 2009 2:36:01 PM

I'd go with the Asus card. Creative is notorious for putting out bad drivers and purposely crippling their cards to force you to upgrade to a newer model. I'd avoid Creative if at all possible.
January 29, 2009 6:14:59 PM

Something else I've been concerned about, and this became a problem with the last computer I tried putting together, was the motherboard. How long will it last, do you think? I'd hate to buy these parts only to find out that the motherboard isn't going to last 6 months before I have to buy another one to keep up. I understand things go out of date quickly, but is that motherboard suitable for those parts?
January 29, 2009 9:54:45 PM

The Omega Striker is a good card, just not what your looking for, because you intenend to game.

Both the Xtreme gamer and the xonar are both fantastic gaming cards, but essentially do the same exact thing. But the thing to consider is the Xonar has slightly higher quality components, is cheaper, and has way way way better drivers and support.
!