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March 19, 2009 1:06:30 AM

Hi,

I'm building a system for gaming (RTS games like Supreme Commander, Company of Heros, C&C) and experiments with virtual PCs. My monitor has a max resolution of 1400x900. I've added a few questions/notes after some of the items. In addition, I'd like some comments of the overall balance of the system. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Video Card
EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130434
Is this enough/too much video card for 1400x900 and max settings for above types of games.

Motherboard
Which of these will work well with the above video card? I can't figure out if either of these supports SLI or crossfire. Does anyone know? Do I need to consider this?
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128358
or
GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128369

CPU
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041

Memory
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK (For first mobo)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166
or
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ (For second mobo)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231190

Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148262

CD/DVD
LITE-ON 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS122-04
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106287

OS
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit for System Builders
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116485

Power supply
RAIDMAX QUANTUM RX-700 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC SLI Power Supply
Case
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Case
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042" target="_blank">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152033[/url
Is this enough or too big of a power supply.

[Case
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042[/b] " target="_blank">
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More about : build comment

March 19, 2009 1:39:30 AM

The 260 is close to the overkill mark for that resolution, but its not overkill. You will be able to play all of those games fluidly.

Get the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard, its a very nice board.

Get the 1333 RAM....its faster and not much more at all :) .

I dont see anything wrong with the PSU, a 650W may be better, but im not sure what the power requirements for the GTX 260 are......
March 19, 2009 3:44:00 AM

Hmm my general feel is it is definitely overkill for 1400 x 900 and for me this would suffice:

E7400+ P43 // x3 710 + Gigabyte 770-UD3
hd 4830
2 x 2Gskill
Related resources
March 19, 2009 5:08:29 AM

GTX 260 is about right for that res if you want to play everything with maxed settings, I use it on a 1440x900 monitor and with everything turned up in crysis and Far Cry 2 I get a little bit of slow down every once in a while, but its still playable.
March 19, 2009 8:31:27 AM

WBTL said:

Motherboard
Which of these will work well with the above video card? I can't figure out if either of these supports SLI or crossfire. Does anyone know? Do I need to consider this?
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128358
or
GIGABYTE GA-EP45T-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128369




Both are Crossfire boards...

And one more suggestion...If u are goind with NVIDIA, then get this...save $20 cos u cant anyways SLI on those boards so why do u have to spend the extra cash...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if u are willing to CROSSFIRE, then this boards is gud...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The other board is DDR3 and the performance difference between DDR2 and DDR3 with the core 2 is very negligible...so dont waste money on DDR3...
March 19, 2009 4:33:32 PM

Raidmax PSUs are crap. Choose a quality brand like Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, or Seasonic. For a single GPU, 650W should be enough.
If you get a DDR2 board, there's no need for DDR2-1066 RAM. Get DDR2-800 that will run at the JEDEC standard 1.8V. I prefer Mushkin, but there's some G.Skill that runs on 1.8V-1.9V that seems to be getting more popular around here. I just got some, but haven't tested it yet. I will say its heat sinks are extremely tall, so you'd want to make sure of placement and fit.
Consider Vista 64, or wait for Windows 7, but get a 64-bit version. Driver problems seem to be going away, you'll see all 4GB of your RAM, and you'll be more future-resistant. With your stated purpose of experimenting with virtual PCs, you may ultimately want even more RAM.
I think your balance looks pretty good, again considering your stated purposes. The P45 mobos are Crossfire- rather than SLI-capable, so you might consider a 4850 or 4830 instead (in which case get a 750W PSU if you think you might run two).
March 19, 2009 5:08:20 PM

1) Those boards support crossfire, not SLi. You should consider getting a Radeon 4850 or 4870 instead since that will allow you to run crossfire latter

2) Go with DDR2. There isn't really much of an advantage going with DDR3 and due to the higher latency it may offer slightly lower performance in some instances with a P45 board. You could argue that you will be able to use that DDR3 in a future build, but by then it would be as attractive an option as using 2x1GB of DDR2 533 is now.

3) Get a better PSU. Friends don't let friends fry their systems with Raidmax PSUs. That PSU would probably be able to handle your build, but it would probably pose stability problems with overclocking and could fail if you add a second video card. Go with a good quality PSU from the likes of Antec, Corsair, or FSP instead.

If you are going to overclock your CPU you should also consider getting a good aftermarket cooler. Also the Hard Drive is kinda small. With newer games taking over 10GB of space that 250GB HD can feel small pretty quickly. For just a few bucks more you can pick up this Samsung drive with twice the space

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But I think you should seriously consider getting this 640GB Cavalier Black

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 19, 2009 6:26:37 PM

+1 for Vista 64-bit and for DDR2.

March 20, 2009 1:28:13 AM

Thanks to all for the advice! It led me to do some more research which steered me away from an SLI system. The reviews for SLI motherboards were less favorable than for their Cross Fire contemporaries. Obviously I'm a newbie so I could be wrong. However I am curious if others have reached the same conclusion?

I'm not planning to over clock initially. I'll do that down the road to get some extra return on the investment. Following your advice I think I've left room to 'grow' this system later by adding a second video card, more ram and an after market cooler. I'd appreciate any other thoughts. Thanks again.

Video Card
SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102810

Memory
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231209

Hard Drive
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=N82E16822136319

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
6813128358 ]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128358

OS
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488

Power supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

CPU
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80569Q9550 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041

CD/DVD
LITE-ON 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model iHAS122-04
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106287

[Case
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042


March 20, 2009 2:22:46 AM

Looks pretty good. I would get the cooler now though, because most good coolers require a backplate, which means you have to remove the mobo in order to install it. Save yourself some time and a headache later and just get it now.
March 20, 2009 2:53:44 AM

WBTL said:

[Case
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042


Well I just cant believe how xthekid dint give the case recommendation...The CM 690 :o  ...
Get this case and make urself and xthekid happy :sol: 

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Maby the best case for around $80...am sure u wil be happy wit this case...Is very roomy and has very gud airflow...
March 20, 2009 3:04:28 AM

^+1 4870 1GB...
!