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Yet another first time builder...

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April 7, 2009 5:55:47 AM

What seems like months ago now I decided I wanted to buy my first true gaming machine. I had a healthy budget but of course I didn't want to drop that cash on something just because it looked cool, I wanted to be informed. So began a never ending spiral of reviews, reviews of hardware, reviews of gaming machines, reviews of their builders and even reviews of reviewers. In the end I knew so much more about hardware than when I began I decided I'd go ahead and build my own gaming rig. This may seem logical to most of you but for me it was a very big step. When this all began I could have provided a one sentence description of all the major components of a computer but the terms "form factor", "socket type", "chipset" and so on were new to me.
There's a lot out there when it comes to hardware people a LOT, after endless google sessions, more reviews and comparisons and technical explanations I found the hardest part of being a first time builder can be deciding (choosing between x48 or p45 consumed my life). In the end though you just have to choose and I feel I have made some very good choices but fear factor won't allow me to be confident until my build is purveyed, surveyed, critiqued and given the nod by people far more knowledgable than myself so please, if you're inclined....rate my first build.


Case: HAF 932
PCU: CM UCP RS900 900W
Cooler: Noctua NH-C12P 120mm
DVD: LG 22x SATA
HDD's: 2 x SATA WD Caviar Black 500GB
MOBO: ASUS Rampage Formula (x48)
CPU: Core 2Duo E8500
Memory: 4GB G.Skill DDR2 1066
GPU's: 2 x Gigabyte GV-R4850C

I do intend to overclock after I've learned a bit more.

I'll be using Vista Ultimate 64bit.

I'm most concerned about my choice of motherboard, I guess my only other concern would be my choice of memory.

If any of you had an extra two or three hundred bucks what would you change?

I know you've seen thousands of these posts (I've probably browsed a hundred myself) so your input truly is appreciated and I thank you in advance for your advice.

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April 7, 2009 5:58:56 AM

Go with an Core i7 system if money is not a problem, x58
the rest looks pretty good. but if your a first time builder, you might want to get someone to help you.

those are some expensive parts your dealing with for your first time.
April 7, 2009 6:37:44 AM

The rest of my budget needs to include a monitor, keyboard, speakers, mouse etc. so I have some wiggle room on what I spend and where I spend it but those improvements won't mean anything if I have to settle for a sup par monitor. I originally intended to go with i7 but the extra cost of DDR3 and the CPU pushed me just a little too far outside my comfort zone and I would have had to compromise in other areas. Besides all that I'm happy to go with socket 775 as I'm also getting a great education and it gives me exposure to a technology I would miss entirely if I went straight to i7.

I did intend to put this all together myself as this I've put a lot of effort into this project but I'm going to take your advice and recruit a friend to help me out :) 
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April 7, 2009 7:11:00 AM

There is no real good reason to get the X48 chipset anymore. For an enthusiast rig, you should be looking x58 and i7, if you can't afford that then either go with AMD AM3/AM2+ 790gx or Intel P45. P45 is maybe .5% slower than X48 in an xfire setup, indistinguishable in a single GPU setup, and the mb cost $50 less. Your PSU needs to go, its way overpriced for the performance it gives. PC P&C 750w, Corsair 750tx or 850tx would be good choices. DDR2 800 is the best choice for ram on the LGA 775 socket processors, you will see almost no gains out of faster memory, but lower timings will give you a boost.

If you feel like the i7 was a little too much, then I would encourage you to look at something like this, its just one step down from the i7 build:

PSU/CPU: Decent combo on two awesome parts, the fastest Core 2 Quad (which will help future proof) and a PSU good enough for two 4870's in xfire if you wanted.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MB/GPU: Maybe get another 4870 if it tickles your fancy, or a 4850 if the second 4870 is too much. You can xfire 2 cards from the 4800 series together, although pairing a lower-end card with the 4870 will result in less performance than 2 4870's.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Ram: CL4, 1.8v. The signs of high quality ram.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Whatever you like. CM 690, CM Haf, CM Storm Sniper, Antec 900, Antec 902, Antec 1200 would be my picks for good spacious and well cooled cases.

HDD: these are faster and larger. Check out the combo deals, they throw in free sata cables and other useful stuff with this drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler: One of the best for the money
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 7, 2009 7:56:20 AM

Thanks a lot....you just saved me money with an overall improvement in performance. I love a win win!!
April 7, 2009 8:56:19 AM

DDR3 isn't worth it on LGA 775. Just get the DDR2 configuration. You will see almost no performance increase.
April 7, 2009 9:00:58 AM

Thanks a lot for your help....I'll drop a T off of my board and stick with DDR2.
April 7, 2009 3:02:58 PM

A minor problem - the Antec cases do not come with a system speaker. At least my 900 didn't.
April 7, 2009 3:45:37 PM

jsc said:
A minor problem - the Antec cases do not come with a system speaker. At least my 900 didn't.

I wouldn't let that stop you from buying the above parts.

http://www.pcloft.com/casespeaker.html - problem solved. :) 
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