Seeking advice on new system build

Been following the forums for a couple weeks now and you guys have been extremely helpful to others (including a friend of mine). I was wondering if I could get a little insight on my planned system build, also. I just threw the part list together the other day.. won't necessarily be buying everything from newegg, but will definitely pick up a bunch there. A friend suggested using for the processor/mobo/memory so I can get the hardware tested so I'll probably be doing that. For anything else I'm open to suggestion.. just looking to keep the whole build around $2,000 (plus/minus 200ish including shipping).

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next week or so



PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard (Logitech G15)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, mwave (to assemble/test: mobo/cpu/memory)


O/S - Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2C 64-bit for System Builders - OEM - $139.99

Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $134.99

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550 - Retail - $279.99

CPU Cooling - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail - $36.99

CPU Cooling - XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail - $39.99

Memory - Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT25664BA1336 - Retail - $106.00 (x2 for 8GB - $212.00)

Memory - G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B - Retail - $46.99 (x2 for 8GB - $93.98)

Video Card - EVGA 01G-P3-1280-AR GeForce GTX 280 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail - $334.99

Video Card - 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 - $424.99

Power Supply - COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Power Supply - Retail - $189.99

Power Supply - Antec Signature SG650 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $159.99

Harddrive 1 - Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB 10000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $99.99 (for operating system)

Harddrive 2 - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $69.99

CDROM - LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - OEM - $24.99 (x2 - $49.98)

Case - Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail - $154.99

Monitor - ASUS VW266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail - $369.99

Monitor - Acer P243WAid Black-Silver 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor with HDCP Support - Retail - $259.99

Total - $2,073.88 before shipping $1,908.86 before shipping


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: No need for extra lighting (case has plenty), prefer to use XP64 so I can use more memory. The motherboard has good reviews on newegg, but I've heard stories from friends about gigabyte motherboards not supporting newer video cards. Will change if others have had similar problems.

Any insight is much appreciated. It's my second custom build but a first to be doing solo.

Thanks in advance,
16 answers Last reply
More about seeking advice system build
  1. A couple things stick out.

    The first one is the CPU cooler. It's just fine for a low budget build with no overclock, but for 3 dollars more you can have quite a bit better performance:
    Xigmatek Dark Knight

    Secondly, and perhaps most important, there is nothing to recommend that Crucial memory. They have been out of the running for a couple years, and that offering proves it. Not that that even matters here because you need DDR2 not DDR3:
    G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

    You would be better off with a 4870X2:
    Sapphire 4870X2

    Just stay away from Cooler Master PSUs. Here is a modular 650W that is THE BEST PSU available in the US, with the exception of it's 850W sibling. It costs less that the CM as well.
    Antec Signature 650W Yes, that's enough power for this build.
  2. Thanks Proximon!

    I updated the parts list with your suggestions. Also changed out the monitor for a 24" LCD (2MS). Saved a little with that, also.

    Anything else I should look into? I noticed you suggested the P5Q Pro in your "favorite parts" as a P45 board.. would save $20 dollars to switch, but is it worth it? Like I said before.. I'm a little leery of gigabyte boards after a friend had a problem with video card compatibility. Probably wont overclock anything, either way.
  3. Are you decided on that case? If not, take a look at this combo, I like this case more than the 1200 and its bundled Processor is better too, price comes out to be about the same!

    More likely the problem with video card compatability your friend had was not due to the brand, but rather the chipset on that board. All brands will usually work together, but if you have the wrong chipset or interface then it doesn't matter. The UD3P is better than the P5Q Pro, but the Asus is a solid board too. You will have more overclocking room with the UD3P.
  4. The P5Q Pro was a top choice at one time, and is still good. The UD3P is much newer and more comparable to the P5Q-E... a more deluxe board. For this price range I would go with the P5Q-E or the UD3P.

    Arctic Silver 5:

    At 24" this monitor is the top rated "hardcore gamer" model:
    I don't know if that would be worthwhile for you or not. I really feel you are better off visiting Best Buy or some such armed with a list, when choosing a monitor. Buy local, so that when you get home and find a bunch of dead pixels or bad backlight bleed you can take it back :)
  5. Sounds good.. will definitely be getting the LCD local.

    How to do you feel about the i7 chip versus the quad-core (q9550)? I have a little flexibility.. just want to make sure I have everything set for now so when windows 7 comes out I still have a great setup.
  6. The i7 chip is definitely better than the Q9550, but to go to the x58 chipset costs roughly $250 more. You have to decide if that is worth it to you. The i7 overclocks like crazy and is the best setup out there currently, however in gaming you won't see much of a difference at all and that money is better spent on a better GPU or monitor if gaming is your main concern. The i7 excels in Video editing/rendering, photoshop, CAD and those kinds of CPU intensive tasks. The i7 will be around longer than Core 2 Quads however, and so if you want this rig to last as long as possible then i7 is the best choice.

    If you chose to go that route, then do this:
    Case and CPU (I really like this case, I think you should switch ;))


    Ram (you could go cheaper here, but this is a pretty good deal for this quality of ram):
  7. Change both HDD to WD Caviar Black 640GB.
  8. I would say it's probably worth the extra cash, in your case. You would not need 12GB, 6GB of memory would be fine, so that's not a big added expense.

    Another 100 bucks for the motherboard, or maybe 150, and the processor is almost the same. You'll have another round of i7 CPUs coming, so a possible upgrade if needed later.

    P6T deluxe V2
    i7 920
    G.Skill 6GB 1600Mhz
  9. I had to swap back to the EVGA GTX 280 because I play a little bit of WoW and it doesn't support Crossfire or SLI.

    Think I'm going to go with the i7 and P6T Deluxe V2.. not too keen on that case, though. Sorry xthekidx. :(

    I did also change the 2nd harddrive to the black caviar 640GB like theAnimal said. I prefer to keep the Raptor 10000RPM 74GB drive for the operating system, though.
  10. rfranklin said:
    I had to swap back to the EVGA GTX 280 because I play a little bit of WoW and it doesn't support Crossfire or SLI.

    Think I'm going to go with the i7 and P6T Deluxe V2.. not too keen on that case, though. Sorry xthekidx. :(

    I did also change the 2nd harddrive to the black caviar 640GB like theAnimal said. I prefer to keep the Raptor 10000RPM 74GB drive for the operating system, though.

    The Black is faster than that old model Raptor.
  11. alrighty.. If you say so. I'll drop the 2nd harddrive then and just get one with a little more space. thanks!
  12. Go with the GTX 285 then. Better performance and power consumption, and should you get the urge to SLI next year you'll still have availability.
    XFX GX285NZDFF GeForce GTX 285 1GB
    (they are also handing out two free games with it, looks like.)
  13. Sure thing. Thanks again.
  14. Last question.. switching to the i7 and gtx285.. is the 650W PSU still sufficient?
  15. For a single card, yes.

    A very high quality, but not top-tier, Corsair 850TX would power two GPUs in the future should you have the urge:
    It's really the better value. Antec Signature is an extremely elite PSU that has recently dropped in price. Corsair is just one rung down the ladder.
  16. Thanks again, I appreciate it. Should be ordering in the next day or two.
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