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New Build (and various other questions)

Last response: in Systems
February 19, 2009 4:59:39 AM

Im going to cover more topics here as well :) 

Current system

E6750 (2.66ghz)
2gb Corsair DDR2 (800mhz)
650w corsair psu
Xion (cant remember model offhand) case, its small, but was cheap and has great airflow (wanting something bigger)
SB audigy
MSI p6-N SLI-FI Mb (again was cheap and had decent reviews, and its lasted over a year with no issues)
MSI 9800GTX + video (this thing barely and I mean barely fits in my case, which is why I think a VC upgrade is out of the question on this thing at least with the current case)
couple of 320gb seagate 7200rpm 16mb hdd's
anything else im in there if im forgetting anything is irrelevant and recyclable into anything new I get.

so Question 1 is upgrade? or new? (my GF is using an old aging p4 system of mine I gave to her when i built the above, so if I get a new one its also a win for her) if upgrade, please post reccomendations.

Now on to question 2 now every time I build a PC its like a 3 hour anxiety attack until it boots and a wave of relief hits me.

So i visited IBUYPOWER and CYBERPOWERPC and put together some builds (I sure as hell am not buying my memory there, I'll take the 2gb base they force you to get and get the rest elsewhere) I think thats where they get you. anyway I put this DDR3 system together at IBUYPOWER (was cheaper than cyberpower).

Case ( Nzxt Tempest Gaming Tower Case w/420W Power Supply Black )
Power Supply ( 650 Watt -- Corsair CMPSU-650TX Power Supply SLI Ready )
Processor ( [=== Quad Core ===] Intel Core 2 Quad Processor Q9550 (4x 2.83GHz/12MB L2 Cache/1333FSB) )
Motherboard ( eVGA Nvidia nForce 790i Ultra SLI Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, 3-Way PCI-E MB )
Memory ( 2 GB [1 GB X2] DDR3-1333 Memory Module OCZ-Gold or Major Brand )
Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce 9400GT 512MB w/DVI + TV Out Video )
Hard Drive ( 500 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache] )
3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Network Card ( Onboard)

$824 (slap on about 142 bucks for 8gb gskill ddr3 1333mhz(price from newegg)as I would prefer not to mix brands in ram as im forced to get 2gb there, for a total of $968. Note they also force a video card on you too (If i go this route thinking about swapping that 9400gt into the old pc for the gf and just keeping the 9800GTX)
now, I price checked the same exact parts on newegg:

279.99 proc
209.99 mb
142.00 memory
99.99 psu
109.99 case
64.99 hdd (seagate, same specs)
total: $907

I dont know about you but a 50 sumthin dollar difference, to not have to deal with my pc building anxiety seems worth it.

Now of course with my strategy there will still be some assembly required on my part (Its mainly the whole cpu installation that has me on edge) ram video cards psu, switching cases, etc doesnt bother me. Further more its backed by a warranty where if one or more parts did go bad, i dont have more than one company to deal with for an rma process.

Makes me wish there was a halfway decent bare bones place (I perused a few either crappy part selections or Id wind up spending more for less than IBUYPOWER, one place I configured all of the above minus the HDD, minus a video card minus the ram antec 900 case and it came out to 1100 dollars). where i could just get a Case PSU CPU RAM (and a wide selection of parts to choose from) Could probably get the price to line down even further then.

Those 2 places by far get you the best bang for the buck on pre built systems as long as you can identify where they make their money (i.e. RAM and accessories).

Anyway, my main query is whether I should go the upgrade route, or if investing in a quad core is a good idea these days.

Also I have about a 1500 dollar budget ( pondering getting a new monitor also)

More about : build questions

February 19, 2009 5:23:20 AM

for a 1500 budget, I would build myself a new system. While ibuypower etc. may save you some headaches by taking the manual labor out of it, there is a high risk of failed parts and poor customer service.

On that budget, you could build a pretty nice i7 system. If you needed a monitor and OS, things change a bit. However, if you already have a 64 bit OS, You might try something like this -


Intel i7 920 - $288

If you live near a microcenter you can get these for $230.

ASUS P6T 1366 mobo - $250

OCZ platinum 6gb 1600 ram - $150

PC Power and cooling 750w PSU - $90 after MIR

- look for this PSU to come down in price again

Coolermaster cm690 - $80

-again, if you live near a microcenter they have these for $69

Coolermaster v8 CPU cooler - $60 on amazon

WD Caviar black 640gb HDD - $80

ATI Radeon 4870 1gb - $215 after MIR


all of this puts you at around $1200. I assume you already have an optical drive. If you don't have a monitor or are looking to upgrade, newegg has a great deal on a 24" Samsung for $269 after MIR. -

This puts you around your $1500 budget and is an outstanding gaming system. If you already have a monitor and OS, you might consider buying another 4870 to crossfire, or look at the 4870x2 or the gtx 295.

I hope some of this helps.
February 19, 2009 5:38:27 AM

I have dealt with ibuypower. They take forever and customer service is non-existent. If you don't mind waiting 4 weeks to get your computer after you ordered it then you can go with them, otherwise you pay $100 for them to rush order your PC and they ship it out in two days and you get it a week later. But buying from newegg and assembling yourself is much faster and cheaper. If you can handle a little anxiety then do it.

Do not go with an nvidia chipset, they are unstable and have problems. Go with x58 or P45.

How much do you need a new monitor? With $1500 you can go the i7 route which would be nice. Otherwise you can get a decent monitor for $200 and spend $1300 or so on a nice PII or C2Q system and have a great gaming machine.

Look at this:

It comes to just under your budget after MIR.
Related resources
February 19, 2009 5:54:28 AM

Another option for you:

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550 - Retail

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

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM


ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail

PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100251SR Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Stalker: Clear Sky game w/ purchase, limited offer

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

So that comes to just over $1330 before rebates ($45) and shipping, leaving you room for a decent monitor. This system will handle any and all games out or to come out within a year probably on resolutions 1920x1200 and smaller. It will also make a good showing for CAD, video/audio editing and that kind of thing too, although i7 is better if that is something you do often. The included cooler will allow you to get a decent overclock as well, however if this is not of interest to you then you can take $50 off the price and just use the stock cooler/thermalpaste.
February 19, 2009 3:09:18 PM

Thanks for the replys, I was thinking about an I7 build myself, at similar specs were looking at only about a max 200 dollar difference in price over the core 2 quad I selected and the base i7. Anyone have any benchies as to how the i7 compares to the Core2Quads? As for the monitor I'm not too extravagent, currently using a 19" LG LCD(4 years old) The only reason im even considering a new monitor is because more games are starting to come out with widesreen support, thinking i might want a widescreen lcd. Again any stuff I dont use off of my current PC will go in to use for my gf, so its not like anything will be sitting around collecting dust. Although it would be nice to have some spare parts for troubleshooting (Ive been lucky so far in building, any issues Ive had with parts have been pretty easily identifiable without needing to switch out parts to find the root cause.)
February 19, 2009 3:10:49 PM

as for my budget I can go a little over my tax return is in the 3000 dollar department. I just didn't want to spend it all. Just told the gf im doing my part to stimulate the economy :) 

Also another item of note, I really dont experience any noticeable slow down in any games currently. (not a bigg AA guy, so usually play in my native 1024x1280 full settings no AA) currently using xp pro 32bit (i want to get vista, part of the reason i want to get the new pc, as I know it gobbles resources and my experience wouldnt be the same)

COD4-5 Farcry2 (although i got bored of that game real quick) fallout 3 etc. all run pretty flawlessly on high no AA. Looking forward to Empire total war (noticed the min requirements are really low on it) Medieval 2 runs fine on high with the largerst armies, at times there is "some" slowdown with 3 or more full armies meeting, could be attributed to Medieval2 not taking advantage of dual cores whereas empire would. For example oblivion studders like a mo fo on my current build, whereas fallout 3 which looks better runs great.

The fact that nothing ive played in my year and a half of owning this build, has run run bad, is what is making me hesitant to go with a brand new build.instead of maybe just throwing in more ram and a new video card (although I think that would require a new case too as like i said the 9800gtx + pretty much touches my HDD bays. Its so damn addictive though, I dont want to get intot he habit of throwing my tax refund at a new build every year. I milked my p4 system for 5 years (mostly not by choice I was in college, and my income was limited to my monthly pay from the Army guard) so I got by on upgrades here and there. But it just started struggling too much.
February 19, 2009 4:00:48 PM

well, having a 19" monitor has a lot to do with that. If you play with no AA you will be able to run a lot of games at high settings. However, if you decide you want to go with a bigger monitor you will need more graphics power.

If you're not experiencing any issues playing today's games, maybe you don't need an upgrade at all? For standard tasks such as firefox, messaging programs, simple computing tasks you probably won't see a huge difference in speed by going w/ an i7. However, as games get more CPU intesive and utilize more cores, you're looking at a moderately future proof system with the i7.
February 19, 2009 8:41:49 PM

yeah im fine with the 19" monitor, its right in front of my face so I dont really have a need for anything bigger, I just want the widescreen.