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A Push in the right direction

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February 10, 2009 6:05:59 PM

Hey guys,
I am looking for a push in the right direction. I have not build a rig in a while so maybe you can help. I originally was going to build an AMD rig since when I last built mine I was not much a fan of Intel, but I have read some good reviews lately.

I am looking for a gaming/3D modeling/rendering system. My current one just is not cutting it.

My plans are to use a 4870 would like 2 in the future. At least 4Gb of Ram, with room to expand later. Can someone point me in a good direction with other components I may need. I am also a little up in the air about which OS to use, I'm not sure if I should waste the money on Vista 64 when 7 will be out in a while.
My Budget right now is around 500-700 it's flexible, that is kinda why I want it to be able to expand and upgrade later on.

Thankx
Josh

More about : push direction

February 10, 2009 6:19:15 PM

Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 Wolfdale 2.8GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.99 - $20.00 MIR

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $189.99 - $15.00 MIR

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

SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $23.99

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec EA650 650W ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $119.94 (Case/PSU combo)

Total - $723.88 - $35 MIR's = $688.88

I'd try to squeeze in an E8400 if you can.

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $164.99
February 10, 2009 6:25:53 PM

Try something like this (prices are approximate):

GA-EP45-UD3P, $115 at Newegg, supports two HD 4870 cards
E7300 $120
HD 4870, $180
S75CF PSU, $80
Antec 300, $60
G.Skill PI Black 4GB DDR2-800 $55
WD6401AALS $80

That's about $700 I think.

There's also a combo for Phenom II 940 + GA-MA790GP-DS4H for $333.
http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/AddToCart.aspx?Submit=ADD&ItemList=Combo.155232
That would be WAY better than the E7300 in 3D modeling and rendering, if your software is smart enough to use all 4 cores. I don't know if your budget allows that though.

Windows 7 won't be out that soon. Based on Microsoft's previous history, I expect it to be out around Christmas and to become suitable for human consumption when SP1 is released a year later. Right now your best choice is Vista Home Premium 64-bit OEM.

Related resources
February 10, 2009 6:26:20 PM

^+1, good build, but I think he needs to include the OS in his budget. Depending on the games, you might consider giving up the 4870 for a 4850, unless you've got a license for XP.
February 10, 2009 6:28:42 PM

LOL, shortstuff got there first, again...

+1 for that Antec EA650. The PC Power & Cooling 750W I suggested would be better, but the Antec comes with a $20 combo with the case and no mail rebate and it's still powerful enough.


February 10, 2009 6:38:42 PM

aevm said:
LOL, shortstuff got there first, again...

+1 for that Antec EA650. The PC Power & Cooling 750W I suggested would be better, but the Antec comes with a $20 combo with the case and no mail rebate and it's still powerful enough.

:lol: 

Great minds think alike, huh? Your build and mine are very similar. It's almost spooky. :) 
February 10, 2009 6:47:39 PM

Thanks guys great ideas so far. I actually meant to say I wanted to get a 4850 not the 4870. I also have a spare Hard Drive to go into it. I want to be sure my MB can handle 2 cards and support a Ram increase when I am able to do this. Good call on the OS also. I was going to to either go with the Phenom 940 or the Q9550 , I just was not sure which would be best for my combination use. I will adjust my budget around these.

Oh, I was going to run 2 3870's but someone suggested I just use 1 4850.



Thankx
Josh

February 10, 2009 6:56:27 PM

Yea, the 4850 is a much better choice than 2 3870's.
February 10, 2009 7:03:36 PM

Here's an updated list with the CPU and GPU changes. What kind of hard drive do you have for this build? The new drives are quite a bit faster than drives released even a year ago.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $279.99

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $134.99 - $20.00 MIR

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

POWERCOLOR AX4850 512MD3-DH Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99 - $15.00 MIR

SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $23.99

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec EA650 650W ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $119.94 (Case/PSU combo)

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99

Total - $853.88 - $35 MIR's = $818.88 (So much for your $500 - $700 budget :) )

The GA-EP45-UD3P is a crossfire motherboard so it will allow adding another GPU later. It also will accept a RAM upgrade.
February 10, 2009 7:20:08 PM

Not bad at all.

Now, if that costs too much you can save $62 with that AMD combo I listed above.
It will be slower than the Q9550 in video encoding but just as good in games.

Here's what Anandtech reviewers said after comparing it with the Q9550:

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3506&p=10

Quote:

We set out to answer the question, “Is the Phenom II competitive with a similar Intel Platform in CrossFireX?” Based on our results today, we would have to answer a resounding yes to that question.

It’s not as balanced as the Core i7 920 or even Core 2 Quad Q9550 in a few games, but it does not embarrass itself either. In fact, we think it put up a very good fight and stood its ground with the Q9550. Compared directly to the Q9550, the Phenom II X4 940 is a strong competitor. It had better average frame rates in CrossFire mode than the Q9550 in three titles, tied in one, and finished behind the Q9550 by about 2%~7% in the other three games.

When it came to actual game play experiences, we thought the Phenom II 940 was clearly the better choice in Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts and Crysis Warhead due to minimum frame rate advantages and fluidity of game play. In the five other titles, we could not tell any real differences in the quality of game play between the Phenom II 940 and Core 2 Quad Q9550. Except for Far Cry 2 where we could raise the graphic quality settings without affecting game play, the i7 platform was no different than our two other solutions.


If that still doesn't save you enough, switch to E8400+GA-EP45-UD3P. That would hurt in 3D modeling, but only if the software you use is multithreaded. It won't hurt in games, except FSX or GTA4.
February 11, 2009 3:11:25 PM

Wow thx guys,
You have been really helpful, i am still up in the air between AMD and Intel, but I will choose that soon. Let me ask you, are there any decent case's that provide "eye candy" I know, I know, but I have always wanted one. I figure I might as well get one now. I think I am going to pick up one of those hard drives also :D  .... So any suggestions on the case? I would like one that has really good cooling capabilities, Air cooling that is.

I was looking at one of those "open box" 4850 from newegg, but "open box" always scares me. Especially from the net, guess I will go with the saphire or powercolor.

Thankx
Josh

February 11, 2009 3:49:30 PM

+1, too many horror stories about open box. Some are parts that have been overclocked until they smoked and then returned.
February 11, 2009 8:00:52 PM

Just got back from classes, Is there ever to much eye candy? Yes! I was looking at some cases like that NVidia one and some others like the Apevia, NZXT, and Xion.. Some are a little "gaudy" but some are interesting. I would like one with good air flow and some nice EyeCandy :kaola:  What's up with the fan controllers, those worth looking at? Or is that for more of a stronger, OC'd Machine.

Thankx
Josh
February 11, 2009 8:11:50 PM

Cases just come down to personal preference. Pick a case that suits your needs/style and get it. I personally like the Antec cases.
February 11, 2009 9:58:44 PM

Some cases are actually dangerous - you can cut your fingers :) 
Antec is safe as far as that is concerned, I think.

If you're too lazy to clean the dust often, get something with air filters (Antec 1200, NZXT Tempest, etc.)

Fan controllers are good if you want to turn the fans up for playing and down for watching movies or listening to music. Some cases come with switches for that already (e.g. Antec 1200).
February 12, 2009 12:27:27 AM

aevm can you add fan switches to case's or fans later on, or do you have to get a case with one? This is just a curious question.

Thanks for all of your help shortstuff and aevm, you two have really helped me alot. I will let you know how everything turns out. :bounce: 


Thankx
Josh
February 12, 2009 1:47:10 AM

You can't add a switch to a fan, AFAIK. You can replace a fan with another that comes with a switch. Here are some examples:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835209012
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835209013
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=N82E16835234001

Apparently some of those fans need you to open the case to access the switch, so they're rather pointless IMO.

TBH I shouldn't advise you on this because I don't know much either :) 

Edit: actually, there are ways to add a switch to a fan, but they involve soldering a resistor and so on. That's a bit too much work for me. Besides, I hated those courses in school...
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