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Advice needed on system

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February 1, 2009 1:01:45 PM

Hi, I am looking at buying this system, could anyone give me a fair review of this system's specs? How well could it run the latest games like Empire:Total War and potential for upgrading etc and does anyone have any experience with this company?

Price = £978.72 = $1414.64

Cheers.

Sorry if this is posted in the wrong section, couldn't see where else to post really.

RL Modula i8470 Overclocked Gaming Computer System
Processor Intel Core2Duo E8400 LGA775 Processor
Dual Core 3.0Ghz Processor (Overclocked to 3.6Ghz for improved system performance)
6Mb Cache
1333Mhz FSB Speed
ArticCooling Freezer7pro Heatsink & Fan

Motherboard Intel P45 + ICH9 Chipset ATX Motherboard
4 x Memory slots supporting up to 8Gb of DDR2 Memory (2 used, 2 free)
6 x Rear & 3 x Front USB2.0 Ports
4 x SATA-II & 1 x IDE Connectors
8-Channel (7.1) on-board Audio
On-Board Gigabit (10/100/100) Network Port

Memory 4Gb DDR2 800Mhz Memory

Graphics Card ATI Radeon HD4870 512Mb PCI-Express Graphics card
Dual DVI-Output supporting 2 monitors simultaneously
DirectX v10 Support for latest games
Case & Power Supply Gigabyte Titan 180 Black ATX Tower Case
With 650w Quiet PSU


Hard Disk Drive 750Gb SATA-II Hard Drive with 32Mb Data Buffer

Optical Drive Blu-Ray Rom / DVD+/-RW Optical Drive

Memory Card Reader Internal Memory Card Reader Supporting all Popular Memory Card Formats
Secure Digital, Compact Flash, Memory Stick/Pro/Pro Duo, Smart Media etc.

Monitor LG 22inch Black LCD TFT Panel
5ms Response for improved gaming and video
VGA and DVI Connections


Speakers Logitech X-240 2.1 Channel Speakers with Subwoofer
25 Watts RMS Total Power (15 Watts Subwoofer, 2 x 5 Watts Satellites)
Includes Dock Cradle with adaptors for iPod (inc.Video & Nano), Microsoft Zune & Generic MP3 Players

Keyboard & Mouse Microsoft Digital Media Keyboard
Enhanced Function Keys and Customizable HotKeys
Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical
3 Buttons

Scroll Wheel
Left or Right Handed Design


Software Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
XP Home also available on request

More about : advice needed system

February 1, 2009 7:22:54 PM

E8400 - good

overclocking to 3.6 GHz - nice

using a Freezer 7 Pro - silly, but I guess they wanted to keep the cost down

MB - not disclosing the model - bad, but it may be just incompetent marketing

Only 4 SATA ports - this means a cheap MB, such as GA-EP45-DS3L; probably no FireWire/eSATA/Crossfire either

4GB DDR2-800 - very good, all you need for gaming

HD 4870 1GB - very good; yeah, it can handle lots of games very well

650W PSU - good, it allows Crossfire; but does the MB allow it too? Ask them!

HDD 750MB - good; 640MB would have been faster

LG makes good monitors

Vista Home Premium 32-bit is bad, change it to 64-bit of possible
February 1, 2009 7:25:42 PM

Ask them for the exact model of the MB and PSU and let us know, OK?

Not all 650W PSUs are reliable. If you're lucky you've got the Corsair 650W, that's the best.

Ask them if you can change the MB too. Something like P5Q Pro or GA-Ep45-UD3P would be perfect.
Related resources
February 1, 2009 8:40:46 PM

aevm said:

using a Freezer 7 Pro - silly, but I guess they wanted to keep the cost down


Freezer 7 Pro is a fantastic cooler, perfect for a 45nm dual core


650W PSU - good, it allows Crossfire; but does the MB allow it too? Ask them! said:

650W PSU - good, it allows Crossfire; but does the MB allow it too? Ask them!


Quality of PSU is as important as the size, ask for the brand and model.
February 1, 2009 11:29:11 PM

theAnimal said:
Freezer 7 Pro is a fantastic cooler, perfect for a 45nm dual core


It depends on your priorities. If you want a mild overclock and silence it's perfect, yes. If you want a high overclock there are several better choices.
February 1, 2009 11:32:40 PM

S1283 is better for a similar price
February 2, 2009 7:15:02 PM

I don't think I wanna delve too much into overclocking, so I think the cooler will do just fine for me.

Thanks for the input guys, I'll ask for the specifics and post the parts/brands etc. I think I read somewhere that it does support running 2 gfx cards but i'll ask as this is something I'll be looking at in a year or 2 when the HD4870 goes down in price.

February 2, 2009 7:43:17 PM

Yeah, ask.

Ask about the PSU too. From those specs it looks like it comes with the Gigabyte case. Gigabyte is new in the PSU area but makes pretty good PSUs anyway.
February 24, 2009 4:04:53 PM

Doesn't look like they are gonna get back to me about this, but I've been thinking about building a similar system myself. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Case

http://www.trustedreviews.com/peripherals/review/2006/1...

Cooler

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS...
I hear this is the best.

Intel E8400 3Ghz Core 2 Duo Socket 775

Sapphire Radeon HD4870 512Mb

Seagate Barracuda 750GB 3.5" 7200rpm 32mb Sata

Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650w ATX PSU

Kingston 4GB(2 x 2048MB) PC6400 800MHz DDR2 Non-ECC DIMM


Not sure yet about mobo yet, any suggestions appreciated in a decent price range.

Think this would give me a pretty good gaming system. Basically it is the same system, but with a better psu, cooler and with a much nicer looking case.
February 24, 2009 4:28:52 PM

+1 for Antec 900.

You hear that the Zalman CNPS9700-LED is the best cooler? LOL, not even close.

You can get a Scythe Ninja for 14 pounds less, and it will give you similar temps with less noise.
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-015-SY

Or a T.R.U.E./SFF21F combo for one pound more than the Zalman, and get lower temps and lower noise,
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-039-TR
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=FG-005-SY

Or a Noctua NH-U12P for two pounds more than the Zalman, and get record low temps and noise.
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-002-NC&groupid=701&catid=57&subcat=1402

if you want the ability to do Crossfire, get a GA-EP45-UD3P and a PC Power & Cooling 750W.
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-152-GI
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-001-PP

If not, GA-EP45-UD3R and Corsair 650W
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-008-CS
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-176-GI
February 24, 2009 7:16:55 PM

I'm not really fussed about the mobo, don't really wanna spend any more than £60, not bothered about SLI either. Can you recommend any?
February 24, 2009 7:58:20 PM

That's brutal. The cheapest P45 board at overclockers.co.uk is over 110 pounds. Even the cheapest P43 is 69 pounds.

Gigabyte GA-EP43-S3L Intel P43
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-170-GI

Take a look at the specs for the GA-EP43-S3L. If it has all the features you need, buy it. (It doesn't have RAID, eSATA, FireWire, Crossfire. Only 6 SATA ports.)

Shop around too, maybe you can find a sale somewhere. Try www.ebuyer.com or www.scan.co.uk.

February 27, 2009 7:29:43 AM

Just another quick question, what OP would you recommend? I'm thinking XP, but do I need the 64 bit version, not sure if the 32 bit supports 4gb of ram.
February 27, 2009 12:31:09 PM

XP 32-bit would play games well, but you'd see only 3.5 GB of your 4 GB, and some games will not look at their best because XP doesn't have DirectX 10.

XP 64-bit would see the whole 4 GB, but still no Direct X 10, and it will also refuse to work with some games. It's an enterprise OS, not really meant for gaming.

Vista Home Premium 64-bit is your best bet IMO. It has Direct X 10, it supports the whole 4 GB of RAM, and game developers do test their products on it.


February 27, 2009 1:38:26 PM

hmmm thing is that I still play games like Rome:Total War and a few other older titles so I wouldnt wanna risk not being able to play those again as I've read that they don't work with Vista, I think 3.4 gigs of ram is still plenty enough than I could need so maybe XP 32 is the way to go.

But, if I'm shelling out almost £200 for a new gfx card, I wanna get the best out of it, it's a tough one.
February 27, 2009 1:56:05 PM

You could get XP 32 now and make two partitions. When Windows 7 is out (probably end of this year) use the second partition for it and dual boot. You'll be able to play the old games on XP and the new ones on Windows 7.
February 28, 2009 11:59:21 AM

Ok, so this is what I'm thinking so far...


http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CP...

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 LGA775 'Wolfdale' 3.16GHz (1333FSB) - Retail

£172.49

------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...

Antec 900-2 Nine Hundred Two Ultimate Gaming Case

£101.19

------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...

Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache - OEM (HD103UJ)

£83.94

------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MO...

Samsung T200 20" Widescreen LCD Monitor (LS20TWHSUV)

£137.99

------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MY...

Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 X 2GB) DDR2 8500C5 1066MHz Dual Channel Kit (KHX8500D2K2/4G)

£39.99

------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

Asus ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB "Dark Knight" GDDR5 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail (EAH4870

DK/HTDI/512MD5)


£165.59

0r...

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=GX...

Asus ATI Radeon HD 4870 "Dark Knight" 1024MB GDDR5 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express) - Retail

£195.49

------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB...

Asus P5Q Pro Intel P45 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard

£114.99

------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA...

Corsair HX 520W ATX2.2 Modular SLI Compliant Power Supply

£83.94

------------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS...

Noctua NH-U12P CPU Cooler (Socket AM2/LGA775)

£48.29
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Total £997.12


It's a little bit pricey so might look to trim down the price a little and of course still need a few things like xp, sound card, network card etc.

What do you think of the choices? Really appreciate your help so far mate, as you might have guessed I don't know much about what's hot or not these days :) 
February 28, 2009 11:47:30 PM

You can get the cheaper GPU with 512MB, because on a 20" the difference between those two cards is only 3 fps in most games.

Change the cooler to Sunbeam Core Contact and save 25 pounds.
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-000-TQ&groupid=701&catid=57&subcat=1395

The Corsair 520HX has 40A and costs 84 pounds. The same price gets you a Corsair 650TX with 52A.
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-008-CS
The quality is very high for both. The 520HX is modular, but the 650TX is a better idea anyway because it will allow you to add a second card if you want it (later when it's cheaper and you have saved more.) You would need to buy two molex->6-pin PCI-E adapters when you add the second card, but those are cheap.

You don't need a sound card or a network card. Try the sound and network features on the P5Q Pro first, and buy cards only if you aren't happy. TBH I don't know how the network part works in the P5Q Pro. The audio part gets good reviews.
February 28, 2009 11:54:50 PM

There are some good cases that cost less than the Antec 902, you know... If you still need to cut costs, consider something like the CM 690:

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-145-CM&groupid=701&catid=7&subcat=

or NZXT Tempest:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-015-NX&groupid=701&catid=7&subcat=

or Antec 900:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-065-AN&groupid=701&catid=7&subcat=

They are all well cooled and big enough for large CPU coolers and large video cards.

Another way to cut costs is to shop around, of course.
www.aria.co.uk
www.misco.co.uk
www.dabs.com
www.scan.co.uk
www.ebuyer.com
March 1, 2009 12:25:31 PM

Yeah the gfx card was an either or really, I hear its a good brand, and 512 is enough ram, considering my previous card was 128 hehe.

With the Antec case, yeah I might go for the 900 instead, the 900 2 sounded like it was just a little better, but probably only a few bells and whistles, but I do really like the look of the Antec, it's a really nice looking case.

And yeah, I think i'll go with the psu you suggest, I did see that one but wasn't sure what the difference was between the sli compliant and sli modular.
March 1, 2009 9:17:33 PM

Modular means you can remove the cables you don't need. It's convenient if you have a smallish case and you make changes in the hardware often. It may even improve cooling by removing cables that would obstruct airflow pointlessly. However, it's usually $40 more.

SLI compliant/SLI ready/Crossfire compliant/Crossfire ready - they're all garbage terms used by marketing. A PSU that can do SLI (or Crossfire) with, say, two 8400GS cards (or two HD 3650 cards), may very well be useless for SLI with two GTX 285 cards (or for Crossfire with two HD 4870 cards). That is, a PSU with 25A and two PCI-E connectors can handle two weak cards, but won't have eithe rthe amps or the connectors for SLI (or Crossfire) with more serious cards. Just ignore those terms because they are meaningless. If you want SLI or Crossfire you must decide with which cards and then get a quality PSU that has the power and the number of connectors you need. Just because it's labeled SLI compliant doesn't guarantee it.

The Antec 900 2 is huge. If that's important you might prefer the NZXT Tempest to the Antec 900 - it's bigger (and it has 6 fans :)  )
March 9, 2009 4:57:19 PM

Ok, I've bitten the bullet and ordered...

Here's what I went for,


Antec 900-2 Nine Hundred Two Ultimate Gaming Case

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz

1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1 SATA2 7200RPM 32MB cache

Samsung T200 20" TFT Monitor 1680x1050 20000:1 2ms DVI/VGA

Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 X 2GB) DDR2 8500C5 1066MHz Dual Channel

Asus P5Q PRO iP45 Socket 775 Motherboard

Corsair TX 650W ATX2.2 SLi Compliant Power Supply

Noctua NH-U12P CPU Heatpipe Heatsink with NF-P12 Fan (Socket AM2, LGA775)

XFX ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB GDDR5 TV-Out/Dual DVI/HDMI (PCI-Express)

Windows xp

Samsung S223F 22x DVD+/-RW 8x Dual Layer DVD-RAM SATA Black

Along with a few games...


Didn't get a mouse/keyboard, gonna use my old one until next pay day.

How do you rate that for a system? :)  Most of it was chosen with your suggestions in mind, cheers for the help! Now I just gotta build the thing and hope it all arrives in one piece, I'll post some screenies of the finished article.
March 11, 2009 8:55:21 AM

I have to say, I didn't realise the Noctua fan was so big! It's huuge.
!