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Gaming Rig Build

Last response: in Systems
April 8, 2009 4:15:53 PM

Hi everyone, so the time has finally come to build my computer. I will start ordering parts this month. My monitor is a 2253bw Samsung 22" 1680X1050 resolution. Here are the parts I have so far, any comments/recommendations?

CPU: E8500 --> Should I get the E8500 or just get the E8400? Will I really notice much a performance increase?
PSU: Corsair 750W
MB: Gigabyte UD3P --> Not sure if I should use this one. I do not ever plan to use 2 GPU's. Should I go with the UD3R to save money?
RAM:G.Skill F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B or G.Skill F2-8800CL5D-4GBPI or Mushkin 996587 --> Which one should I go for? Is the extra price worth the extra performance? I will be getting 8 GB of ram.
Heatsink: Xigmatek S1283 Dark Knight
Hardrive: Western Digital WD6401AALS
Case: Antec 900
OS: Windows Vista 64bit Home Premium / Kubuntu 64 Bit (gaming in Windows)
GPU: Here is my problem. I am in Canada and I was thinking of getting a GTX 295, but I think this will be overkill for my monitor. I want to max out all games on this monitor but I think I can do that with a 4870 X2. The problem is that the 4870 X2 is about 40$ less then the GTX 295. Should I just spend the extra $$$ and get the GTX 295? I also run Linux and ATI's drivers suck for Linux. Any other recommendations for cards?

I do plan on doing some overclocking.

Thanks for any input.

More about : gaming rig build

April 8, 2009 5:09:18 PM

Just go with the E8400, it's not a huge difference from E8500.

Get the UD3R to save money and get an additional PCI slot.

Get the F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B (G.Skill PI Black 4-4-4-12). If it's just for gaming you can stick with 4GB, no need for 8.

Good cooler/HDD/DVD/case/OS choices.

Yes the GTX 295 is overkill for 1680x1050. Even the HD 4870 X2 can get over 60 fps even at 1920x1200 in any game, let alone at 1680x1050. More than 60fps is wasted anyway with LCDs refreshing at 60Hz.

If you can't use ATI cards because of Linux then maybe a GTX 285 is appropriate here.

If you get the GTX 295 or HD 4870 X2 then the 750TX is perfect. For a GTX 285 you can downsize to Corsair 650TX.

April 8, 2009 5:17:39 PM

One more thing: the E8400/GA-EP45-UD3R costs $209+$144 at

Consider this combination instead for $175+$140
Phenom II X3 720 + GA-MA790X-UD4P

It depends on what you do with the computer. If it's for gaming, you won't notice a difference between E8400 and X3 720. (Except for GTA 4 and FSX where the third core will help the X3 720 a lot.) If it's for things like video encoding or other areas that use multiple cores, you might even want to consider a quad like Q9400 or Phenom II 920.
Related resources
April 8, 2009 5:31:23 PM

Yep I would say the GTX 285 as well. And really, if you are saving $200 there why not just put it towards an i7 and X58?

Then, if at some point you get a bigger monitor, you could throw in a second GTX 285.

I don't really know the state of the various motherboard drivers for Linux though.
April 8, 2009 6:02:43 PM

Well I dont think I need the computing power of an i7. All I will be doing is gaming and regular internet, office, etc.. I am considering a PII 920 though since it is pretty close in price here.. Is it worth spending the extra to get a Pii 920? or should I just stick with the E8400?

As for the GTX 285 will it run everything I can throw at it at my resolution?

thank you
April 8, 2009 6:09:36 PM

All right, stick with the E8400. Office and browsing the Web and most games don't need more than 2 cores, so the Phenom wouldn't add much value.

I'll try to find you some benchmarks for GTX 285. I think it's plenty for 1680x1050, but let me find the numbers.
April 8, 2009 6:11:11 PM

A 4870 1GB or a GTX 260 core 216 will run anything you can throw at it at that resolution. The one exception might be Crysis and Crysis Warhead, where those two cards would have to go just one notch down from max settings (DX 10 Vista 64).

The GTX 285 just gives you a bit more cushion, although getting Crysis running at absolute max settings might be hard still.

One thing you have to consider with the AMD CPUs is that the better benchmarks for them usually come from the better motherboards and RAM, so that savings are minimal.

Anyway, an overclocked E8400 will be better in gaming than a 920.
April 8, 2009 6:13:36 PM

OK, here's a review.

Crysis, at 1600x1200, GTX 285 gets 43 fps. GTX 295 gets 56 fps. This is one example where the GTX 295 is perfect (ideally you'd get 60 fps) but the GTX 285 is still very good too. Mind you, even HD 4870 at 32 fps is doing well IMO.

CoD5: GTX 285 gets 59 fps, i.e. perfect, as much as the monitor can handle.
The GTX 295 gets 79 fps in theory but only 60 fps are actually used so it's overkill in this game at this resolution.
The HD 4870 with 51 fps is also doing great in this game.

April 8, 2009 7:01:59 PM

So should I go with the GTX 285 over the GTX 260? I want to pretty much max out all the games I can throw at this machine except crysis of course. Will this machine be future proof for a year? Also it is not worth to invest in 8 gb ram? Thanks for all the help
April 8, 2009 7:08:29 PM

I think the GTX 285 is a good buy today for a good long lasting single card at normal resolutions. I've always liked the $300 price range for cards.

There is also the 4850X2 2GB:
But I'm not really a big fan of multiple GPUs where one will do.
April 8, 2009 7:09:28 PM

Yes, if you can afford the GTX 285 go for it. It will last more than a year IMO, unless you get yourself a 24" monitor.

The difference between 4 GB and 8 GB is described here:
There's a similar article here too:,2264.html

I'd say you're OK with 4 GB. On the other hand, upgrading to 8 GB is only $60 more and you seem to have a better budget than the average poster. Try with 4 GB and see how it feels. See in Task Manager how you're actually using. If you see that you're using close to the 4 GB then do buy another 2x2GB set.

April 8, 2009 7:16:17 PM

Proximon said:
I think the GTX 285 is a good buy today for a good long lasting single card at normal resolutions. I've always liked the $300 price range for cards.

There is also the 4850X2 2GB:
But I'm not really a big fan of multiple GPUs where one will do.

I like that 4850X2, myself. Great bang for the buck these days. Also, the part about supporting 4 monitors is something I'd really love to have. However, the OP prefers to try nVidia's Linux drivers, so I guess that's not an option.

April 8, 2009 9:07:06 PM

which will give better performance? 4850x2 or GTX 285? the problem again with the ATI card is that I run linux and ATI drivers are very poor.. The reason I wanted 8 GB is because I have read that Vista uses around 3 GB so I thought its always better to have extra ram for performance. Thanks again for all the help
April 9, 2009 2:12:17 AM

I think the GTX 285 will be better. At least that's what Crysis benchmarks say. It's pretty hard to find benchmarks comparing those two cards directly.

It looks like you don't have a choice anyway because of the Linux thing.

April 9, 2009 3:42:14 AM

Vista does not use 3GB. Last I looked at my home sytem it was using 1.3GB after about 3 hours of internet usage. Right now this laptop is using 47% of 2GB physical memory.

No benefits beyond 4GB for most systems.
April 9, 2009 7:00:57 PM

Ok I ordered my parts here is the list. Will be building it at the begining of May.

CPU: E8400
PSU: Corsair 650w
RAM: G.Skill F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B
HS: S1283 Dark Knight
Case: Antec 900
OS: Windows Vista Home Premium 64 Bit & Kubuntu
Arctic Cooling Silver Thermal Paste

Thanks to everyone for the help will post pictures of the build!
April 9, 2009 7:26:04 PM

GTX 285 would be great
April 9, 2009 9:25:03 PM

aevm should I spread the thermal compound with something? Or make a thin line and twist the heatsink a little bit? Or should I put it on the three pipes?

thanks again
April 10, 2009 6:17:25 AM

ooh and one more thing does the xigmatek dark knight cooler fit in the antec 900 case without any problems?
May 8, 2009 5:49:25 AM

Hi all I just finished putting together my new gaming rig... I am going to try overclocking tonight or tomorrow. I would like to thank everyone for all their help. In Bios i get an idle tempurature on the CPU of about 34C is this too high?

May 8, 2009 12:13:40 PM

34C idle is fine. What do you get under load? What's your room temperature?

May 8, 2009 5:50:22 PM

My room temperature is about 17 - 20 C. I have not tested it under load yet I will test it soon I am still reading about it.
May 8, 2009 5:54:22 PM

Geez thats cold...

Run some test when you can and post for more info ^_^
May 8, 2009 5:55:57 PM

well i live up north in canada haha.. its more like 20C = 70 F but yeah ill try to test it... in windows at idle its at 39C in realtemp. I have not touched any of the settings in realtemp but thats what i get. Thanks for any info
May 8, 2009 5:58:32 PM

I hear its real nice there must be rich ^_^
May 8, 2009 6:03:41 PM

haha its okay it was super rich until the recession :p  but i guess thats how it is in lots of places..