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New system i'm about to order, comments wanted.

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February 18, 2009 3:41:28 PM

I'm about to build a new system and wanted some input on it, I've already put in a lot of research and think it's about perfect, the PSU might be a tad overpowered, but I intend to eventually add a few more hard drives and stripe them as well as a second video card so with those, and some wiggle room so I don't tax the supply, I think it's about right.

Case: Cooler Master Centurion 590

Motherboard: EVGA 750i FTW

Video Card: Zotac Geforce GTX 280 1gb

PSU: Corsair CMPSU-850tx 850W

Chip: Intel Core 2 quad Q6600 (Getting overclocked)

RAM: 8gb of Kingston HyperX DDR2 1066

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint 7200RPM 3 GB/s 1TB

Cooler: OCZ Vendetta 92mm ball cooler

The whole system is going to cost about 1100 dollars, excluding the things I didn't list, like windows vista 64 bit, thermal compound, DVD burner, Monitor (I got an antec 22 inch with 5 ms response time and 1680X1050 resolution which should arrive at my door within a few hours) and a new keyboard and mouse. I think i've actually built a very good system for what it's costing, but still, any input would be appreciated.

More about : system order comments wanted

February 18, 2009 4:05:40 PM

Seems good, but where are you ordering from and how much are you paying?
February 18, 2009 4:11:21 PM

get a different cpu cooler, 92mm is too small so you'll have noise and less performance vs a 120mm beast like a TRUE, Tuniq and xigamatek.

As for the ram, I'd get only 4 gig (2x2) to save money at no performance cost. You might consider ddr2 800 since you most likely won't reach a very high FSB with a q6600.

Another option would be to get a q9400 instead of a q6600 for less power consumption and better OC abilities. It's only about 40$ more at newegg.ca (Canadian dollars go!) or 30$ish in USD I'd assume.

As for the motherboard, I'm not a big fan of the 750i chipset. I'd rather advise you to get a p45 based board (p5q pro, gigabyte's ud3p/r, etc).

Finally, that video card is very nice, no questions about it. On the downside, you'll be only gaming at 1680x1050 so if you wanted to save costs, you could go for something less expensive like a 4870 or a gtx260+. I really can't recommend a 280 at your resolution in terms of price/performance.

As for hard drives, the wd black blow the samsung out of the water. Give the 640gig some thought (or even the 1tb).
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February 18, 2009 4:41:03 PM

I'm ordering everything from newegg, and it's all going to cost about 1100 dollars.

Well, I saw a benchmark with the exact motherboard, chip and cooler I'm using and they were able to stably overclock it to 3.6 ghz, plus the q6600 has better overclocking than the q9400 from what I've read. Also, I don't see any reason not to get 8 gigs since ram is relatively cheap now.

However, I will look into the other chipset, my current computer is a 1.8 ghz p4 with a radeon 9550 pro and was near top of the line when I built it. So, it's old and I haven't had to deal to much with hardware in a while, so I'm used to Nvida chipsets being the best.

Will the p45 work as well with dual SLI cards? I do intend to get a better monitor later, but since I'm shelling out 1500 USD total for everything, spending a lot more on the monitor just wasn't possible.
February 18, 2009 4:47:40 PM

you could do way better in the graphics dept. Get a 4850x2 they're only $225 on newegg.

No the p45 won't sli which is another reason to get an ATI. In fact the only board that reliably supports sli is the i7 x58 chipset
February 18, 2009 10:19:56 PM

I'm going nvidia for Linux compatibility. I have an ATI now, and have had problems getting linux drivers to work outside of the most basic 'works with everything' driver. And in any case, the GTX 280 is a very good card, ranks as one of the best on this very site. And ranks as the absolute best in my price range. I definitely won't rule the option out before I do lots of research between the two cards. If I do end up getting the ATI card, i'll have to get a motherboard that supports crossfire. Any suggestions on a particular model? I'm looking for something that overclocks easily, (One of the major draws of the EVGA board).

[edit] Alright, I concede the point, the radeon 4850x2 is a much better option, thank you!
February 18, 2009 10:48:27 PM

Gigabyte P45 UD3P
February 18, 2009 10:53:58 PM

^True that if going CrossFire (OP needs to swap GPU in this case) or NO SLI or Single card. The 750i isn't the best of chipsets for OCing on.
February 18, 2009 11:05:38 PM

Also, would someone please explain to me Crossfire and SLI compatibility? Because, honestly, i'm not even sure if the EVGA FTW supports crossfire or not, I know it supports SLI. Do I just essentially need a board with at least 2 PCI Express X16 slots? And the crossfire will work?
February 18, 2009 11:11:41 PM

This system does not look to shabby... however, there are a few things i suggest you change.
Firstly - its not a big deal, but i have the Centurion 590 case and to be honest it aint all that great. I would suggest the Centurion 690 - the model up.
Secondly, the video card - i would strongly suggest going for the GTX260 instead... the 280 is a fair bit more with minimal performance increase.
Thirdly - Go for Q9550 quad core all the way :p  Despite the awesomeness of the Q6600 for the price, i would still go for the Q9550, because of A) the added cache ram, B) The improved Bus speeds, and C) The improved clock speeds. All of these three things will make a HUGE difference in performance.
Finally - The 8GB of RAM. I myself have 8GB of ram, and find it great! But - i would advise against 1066 MHz over 800Mhz. The performance difference between the two is around 1%, so unless you are going to do some SERIOUS overclocking, just go with good ol' DDR2800.

Hope i have helped - all of this coupled with Vista Ultimate x64 (I have that as well!) should make a very nice system. Thanks! :D 
February 18, 2009 11:23:12 PM

Getting home premium, don't see the point in ultimate, it's not like micro$oft needs even more money. And the suggested motherboard, one of the PCI express X16 slots only works at x8.

What about this mobo ASUS P5Q-E http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It supports even more ludicrous amounts of ram (16 gigs) has good overclocking capabilities and it's dirt cheap at 144 bucks.
February 19, 2009 12:00:58 AM

If you can afford the Asus P5Q-E without sacrificing on your other components then go for it. I suggested the Gigabyte board because its very cheap at $115 after MIR and performs as well as that board when OC.

SLI and xfire are the same thing; SLI is for Nvidia, xfire is for ATI. Different chipsets support one or the other usually, x58 is the only one that supports both. Different chipsets supporting SLI or xfire is mostly a marketing thing, ATI and Nvidia want you to spend money on them and not the other company so they make deals with manufacturers to use chipsets that only support their cards if you want to run multi-gpu setups. SLI chipsets are generally unstable, and you will not find much support on these forums for them. Best option for multi-gpu setups is to go with x58 if you want to SLI, or going p45 and xfiring.

Having the second x16 slot at x8 mode isn't a big deal because you aren't going to be able to use that second card to its full potential anyways, the difference in performance is like 1% if you had 2 at x16.
February 19, 2009 12:07:24 AM

Hey if you don't need a monitor, I just had a thread with a $1250 build and its pretty sick. It has good advice from all the people on these forums. You should take a look especially if your thinking of doing a 775 socket build.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261677-31-1250-gaming...

there you go
February 19, 2009 1:15:00 AM

Well, I did need a monitor, but my 22 inch widescreen from newegg arrived today, it's really nice for only 169.99, no dead pixels, decent viewing radius and the monitor itself looks nice.
February 19, 2009 8:19:49 AM

To be honest mate, the choice is pretty simple:

X58: the latest chipset, can support single GPUs, crossfire or sli setups and is the only format for reliable sli. Requires an i7 processor
February 19, 2009 8:25:33 AM

x48: this is the most superior lga775 chipset, ie the best for Intel core2 quad cores or dual cores. Its only difference to p45 is the ability to fully crossfire and better for setting overclocking records. You can only crossfire (ATI) on this chipset

P45: The predecessor to the x48. Can still support crossfire but both cards won't run at entirely full speed (8x as opposed to 16x on an X48) due to only having one pci2.0 interface - see what Xthekidx said above. Good overclocker.

All these chipsets will support a single GPU from any manufacturer
February 19, 2009 2:41:05 PM

Do not get the 750i unless you are hell bent on SLI and can't step up to the x58. The Nvidia chipsets are flaky.

Only get the faster RAM for the Q9XXX chips. The only reason for the higher speed RAM is to OC the CPU. Try to find DDR2 800 with 1.8-1.9V 5-5-5-18 or better. I got some Mushkin 1.8-1.9V 5-4-4-12.

The Q6600 with a FSB of 1066 (266) will give you 3.6G at a FSB of 1600 (400) @ DDR2 800

The higher stock FSB, or should I say lower multiplier, of the Q9400 will only get 3.2G at 1600 (400) @ DDR2800.

So if you are using the Q6600 and only need 3.6G, then use the DDR2 800, but if you are using the Q9400 and want more than 3.2G then get the higher speed 1066.

Get the XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler with the XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket. It works very well.

When applying thermal paste with the Xigmatek cooler, apply a thin layer across the CPU IHS (top) or across the whole base of the heatsink. The paste won't spread properly through contact because of the gaps between the heatpipes and the base.
February 19, 2009 8:01:36 PM

^+1. For the RAM take a look at the GSkill PI.
February 19, 2009 9:44:42 PM

I've now changed the motherboard to an asus pq5-e, the video card to a radeon HF 4850 X2, and since the motherboard supports 16 gigs of ram, I change my ram to a
2 x 4 configuration so I can add eight gigs later (I know it's insane, but rams cheap, can't afford it with the system, but will be able to later.)

The motherboard supports crossfirex runs on the p45 chipset and has lots of overclocking features, (Except for having a cmos reset jumper instead of a switch, but oh well)

I just now switched to the xigmatek cooler and mounting bracket, has over double the volume which is obviously a good thing, just hoping it will fit onto the motherboard and inside the case well, the motherboard appears to have pretty good clearance around the CPU.

And Zorg, you said 'only' need 3.6 will the q6600 overclock higher on air cooling? Also, I actually intend to put the chip at about 3.4 or so, 3.6 seems to be pushing it a bit, if I OC to 3.6 and the chip dies, I'm screwed because I couldn't get another one for some time.

Also, will getting DDR2 1066 actually reduce the speed to which I can overclock?

Sorry if I sound ignorant, this is the first system I've done any real overclocking I'm still new to the process, I intend to learn quite a bit more before I start in on it though.
February 19, 2009 10:18:15 PM

Also, if someone could suggest a cool looking case that lights up with a window or something (Dammit, I want my PC to look awesome too!) that's reasonably priced, it would be appreciated. The more suggestions the better. Also, screwless is good too because I'm really bad about losing screws :-P
February 19, 2009 10:55:01 PM

Under $100.
February 19, 2009 10:55:57 PM

Go with the 900 I linked then, its $110 at newegg, so at $85 its a great deal.
February 19, 2009 11:59:10 PM

Some have gone over 3.6G on air, but not too many, it depends on the chip. It seems that 3.6 is the relatively safe high end for most, again depending on the chip. Some can't even achieve that. Mine sits at 3.2 x 8 multi @ 1600 (400). I have no need to go higher at this point. If your Q6600 dies you will need to get one quickly because they are EOL and there's no telling how long they will be around.

No, you misread my post, 1066 will increase the maximum RAM speed to 1066 from 800 and that will allow a higher OC.

The problem with 1066 RAM is that most of it is 2.1 - 2.2V. 2.2V runs hotter and puts more stress on the RAM. The RAM also costs more, but that's less of an issue now. 1066 is really just 800 RAM that is sold to run faster and hotter. You may be able to look for 1066 RAM that has a SPD entry for 800 at 1.8-1.9V and run it there unless you need the extra speed.

The additional speed of the RAM has very little real world effect, so the only reason to have the faster RAM is to increase the FSB for a higher OC, as I said earlier.

The reason that I caution you, is that I bought eight sticks of Ballistix DDR2 800 that used Micron D9 chips. It had a SPD for 1066 (533) so it could have technically been sold as DDR2 1066. Anyway, I ran that RAM at spec 800 and 2.2V. Five of the eight sticks died. This is in three different machines with top quality components e.g., PC P&C 610, GA-P35-DQ6 etc., and also follows the troubles that others have had. I'm not saying the 1066 will fail prematurely, I'm just saying that more stress is put on it and is of no value, unless you are getting a higher OC as a result.
February 20, 2009 3:43:10 AM

Thank you Zorg, very informative. Then I will probably go with DDR 800, because I want this PC to be nice and stable, my current one despite being so old that Jesus used it to send e-vites to the last supper, it's damn near perfectly stable, despite having a cheap power supply (the 450W thing only weighs less than a pound, and from a company I've never heard of), cheap, biostar motherboard and slightly mismatched ram. I like stability, I'm easily frustrated, and nothing makes it easier than a blue screen with indecipherable lines of code.
February 20, 2009 4:58:09 AM

Good luck with it.
February 20, 2009 12:20:37 PM

Quote:

The reason that I caution you, is that I bought eight sticks of Ballistix DDR2 800 that used Micron D9 chips. It had a SPD for 1066 (533) so it could have technically been sold as DDR2 1066. Anyway, I ran that RAM at spec 800 and 2.2V. Five of the eight sticks died. This is in three different machines with top quality components e.g., PC P&C 610, GA-P35-DQ6 etc., and also follows the troubles that others have had. I'm not saying the 1066 will fail prematurely, I'm just saying that more stress is put on it and is of no value, unless you are getting a higher OC as a result.

Yeah, +1. The Crucial RAM has been having quality issues recently. I too have run in to problems with their RAM since mid last year. I now use GSkill , Corsair,etc.
February 20, 2009 1:20:07 PM

Sad thing is that two of the eight sticks were the newer high density (single sided) ones and one of them failed as well.
February 20, 2009 7:55:46 PM

Thank you Zorg, very informative. Then I will probably go with DDR 800, because I want this PC to be nice and stable, my current one despite being so old that Jesus used it to send e-vites to the last supper, it's damn near perfectly stable, despite having a cheap power supply (the 450W thing only weighs less than a pound, and from a company I've never heard of), cheap, biostar motherboard and slightly mismatched ram. I like stability, I'm easily frustrated, and nothing makes it easier than a blue screen with indecipherable lines of code.
February 20, 2009 7:57:00 PM

Sorry about the double post, it was still sitting in the quick reply box so I thought I hadn't sent it.
February 20, 2009 8:22:53 PM

Another +1 for DDR2-800, I just bought a set of 2 x 2 gig GSkill PI Black very nice. 4-4-4-12 at 1.8-1.9 volt is very nice. DDR2-1066 or DRR2-1000 ram can be a pain in the butt to run properly.
February 22, 2009 2:38:14 PM

Ok, I can't find 8GB 4GB X 2 ram DDR2 800 ram on newegg, except a 415 dollar set from kingston that looks cheap, (WTF?) anyway, could I just get the ram i'm getting and slow the speed down to 800? Because I simply don't know what else to do.
February 22, 2009 6:21:33 PM

Sorry, had a brain fart, I only had 2gb x 4 in there anyway. I did switch to the Gskill PI black though, nice heatsink, better timings and not much more money.
!