First time building a rig ground up...

Hey everyone!

I'm trying to building a stable gaming computer ground up, and I'm probably not going to overclock it, mostly because I don't really have any prior experience with overclocking.

So anyway, I've found the parts that I'm going to use to build my rig, and I was hoping that maybe some of you guys with much more experience could double check my list for me? Let me know if there are any compatibility issues between the components or if I've made a poor choice.

So here it is;

Motherboard: ASUS P5Q Deluxe
Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3GHz Wolfdale
Video Card: (x2) VisionTek ATI Radeon HD 4850
Power: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W
HDD: Seagate ST3640323AS 640GB
DVD: Samsung SH-S223F DVD-RW
Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower

What do you think? Will it work? Is this going to do its duty when it comes to gaming? Do all these components function well with one another?

I really need this to work because I don't have that much money and I cant afford to purchase the wrong stuff. This is my first attempt so don't be too harsh! :kaola:

Thanks in advance
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  1. Seems good, that case is insane and you could go with the 900 to save a little money. You should see if you can afford the 1GB ATI 4870, that card is killer for the money. Also back your memory off and get some cheaper DDR2 800, that corsair XMS is complete overkill and a waste of money if you do not plan to overclock.
  2. Oh cool. :)

    I was actually considering the 900 case, but I just was'nt sure if it could fit everything in it; it looked so small haha. So it can comfortably fit my Mobo and the dual video cards? If it can then maybe I'll go with that.

    In terms of the Video card, is the 4870 considerably better than the 4850? At the Visontek website the 4850 sells for $199.99 whereas the 4870 goes for $299.99; that's quite a sum of money especially when i wanna purchase 2 of them to utilize crossfire.

    With the memory, should i just purchase two Corsair 1GB DDR2 800 instead? or maybe four?

    thanks for your reply!
  3. Do you actually need Crossfire? Or do you just want "it"?
    What size monitor are you using.
    The 4870 is about 15-20% better than a 4850.
    And the going prices should be somewhere in the vicinity of 4850 ~$130 and 4870 ~$170.
  4. Going to be using Win/XP? You could get by with 2GB of RAM but with RAM costing about $10 per GB 4 is probably what you want.
  5. I just kinda want it i guess...

    Its really because i figured that maybe 2 4850's would be worth it, over 1 4870. Is that assumption correct? If i do purchase a 4870, then which manufacturer do you recommend?

    As for my monitor im not too sure yet, i may salvage an older LCD monitor until i can afford to purchase a better one.

    Thank you
  6. If you're getting a 24" 1920x1200 LCD monitor 2x 4850s are a good choice.
    For a 22" 1680x1050 monitor a single 4870 should be good enough. And you'd have the option of adding a 2nd 4870 later on if you find a game that needs it.
  7. The 900 won't have any problem at all fitting your parts.
    An even better value right now it the CM RC-690 $60

    RC-690 with 2x 4870 Crossfire
  8. thermalburn said:
    With the memory, should i just purchase two Corsair 1GB DDR2 800 instead? or maybe four?

    No, you don't want to buy 1GB sticks. It's best to get RAM in a matched pair. A 2x2GB setup is ideal. A very good indication of quality is tight timings at a low voltage. These two kits fit that description nicely:

    You should also get a 64-bit OS to take advantage of all your RAM.

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM $99.99
  9. @WR2: Thanks for the heads up about the case. That CM RC-690 looks like a really good deal, i may end up going with that.

    @shortstuff_mt: wow those are really good sticks and much more cost efficient than what i had in mind. Thanks, I think I'll substitute those instead of mine.

    1. A quick question about the that OS you linked; is there any difference between that one from newegg and one i buy from retail?

    2. Also, If i were to purchase a single 4870 instead of dual 4850s (for now), would that be able to comfortably run modern games like, COD5 and Empire: Total war?

    3. Another thing, regardless of which vidcard i choose (4850 or 4870) I intend on purchasing another one down the road. Will my Asus P5Q motherboard have enough room to accommodate both cards? And if so, is my PSU powerful enough?

    I know I'm asking too many questions at once but i wanna be certain, this my first time and im kinda nervous...
  10. The OEM (system builders version) of Vista is supposed to be locked to the hardware it was originally installed on. That means that you may run into problems when you upgrade a major component like the motherboard. You also can't call Microsoft for support on OEM software. I've never seen these things as negatives. I always buy the OEM version. I don't know why I'd ever need to call Microsoft for support and the $100 price tag is a lot easier to swallow than retail (~$225).

    the 4850x2 ($270) is much cheaper and it 2 4850's in one package and the antec 900 can fit the 11 1/2 inch monster

    i remember the first computer i built i said i wouldn't overclock that lasted about a week
  12. @shortstuff_mt: Yeah that's way better than the $259.95 version. Lol and yeah why would you ever call Microsoft! :lol:

    @cal8949: whoa that's cool, i didn't even know they did that...

    So then is it better to purchase that 4850x2 right now, or to purchase a single 4870 now and an additional 4870 down the road?
  13. Get a 4870. Should cost you about ~$180 max, that too with a game or two bundled. 4850 should be ~130. 2x4850>4870>4850. You will lose only 5 or 10 frames with 4870 as compared to 2x4850, but you can always add another 4870 when they get cheaper, which will smoke the 2x4850 system.
    so in a nutshell I would suggest a single 4870 system right now. You wont notice a difference between a single 4870 and 2x4850 right now in any game.

    Also, if you are using the puter for gaming only, then go for 4GB(2x2GB) DDR2. Saves a lot of money over tri channel RAM and performs almost the same.

    As for the third question, somebody please guide him.
  14. What size monitor are you going to be using, thermalburn? The resolution of the monitor you will be using really controls what card you need.

    A single 4870 should be fine and is cheaper than the 4850x2. Look at the Sapphire 1GB version. It is only $190 on newegg.

    The other option is to get a 4890... I think those are running around $250.

    Not to mention not all games can utilize crossfire. If you come across a game that does not like it, you can actually get worse performance than if you only had a single card.
  15. Thanks hellraiser06, i like how you layed that out; it was very helpful. I may just consider going with a single 4870 and then getting another one later. And yeah, i think i'll do the 4gb(2x2gb) ram thing.

    @xX StitcH: Yeah that sounds like a plan, i'm just going to single card the 4870 for now until i buy another. I'm using a an older salvaged monitor for now, but i plan on buying a new monitor later; probably a 22" or 24"

    Now that I'm deciding to go with a 4870 ( dual 4870s soon) is my 700watt power supply gonna be enough? should i go 850watt?
  16. 650~700~750watts is about the right ball park for 2x 4870. 4870 power reqmt - look under System Requirements
    But you'll want 4x 6pin (or 6+2) PCI-e connectors for two 4870s.
    A PC P&C 750 Silencer or Corsair 750TX would be a great choice. And they're relative bargains in the 750w class too.
  17. excellent! thank you very much WR2!

    one final question; will my ASUS P5Q have enough room to hold (x2) 4870s? I know technically it has two pci-e slots but 4870 is a beast! what that mobo from the picture you posted, it looks very "spacious."

    EDIT: oh crap and i almost forgot! Is a sound card necessary?
  18. You can definitely start without a sound card. The ASUS P5Q Deluxe has a good 8 channel sound system built in.

    The MB above is one of the Gigabyte variety. But I think the ASUS P5Q Deluxe is hard to beat and it has about the same nice layout for 2x Crossfire video card setup.

    review link:
  19. One think we haven't mentioned is an aftermarket CPU cooler.
    Optional, but recommended for the CPU & MB you've chosen.

    Here are a couple good choices: XIGMATEK Dark or ZEROtherm ZEN
    XIGMATEK Dark review - ZEROtherm ZEN review
  20. sweet thanks! I'm definitely getting a CPU cooler once my wallet recovers haha!

    but i just noticed that the deluxe has (3) pci-e slots, is that correct? I know the blue one is the main, that's where i put my single 4870 card. however when i do get my second card, which of those 2 black pci-e slots am i supposed to stick it in? does it matter?

    sorry for the "noobish" questions
  21. It matters - and you'll figure it out as soon as you look at the slot specs. One is x16 but x4 electrical. The other is x16 but x8 electrical. The main x16 is full x16 electrical.
  22. thermalburn said:
    I'm definitely getting a CPU cooler once my wallet recovers
    You'll need to have the motherboard out of the case to put on the back plate for those coolers - so may you don't want to wait till later. Much easier to do that during the initial build.
  23. Hmmm...that makes sense. I suppose you're right, but its no biggie; the coolers that you linked seemed very affordable.

    Also do you know of anywhere i can go to read up on that "x16x4electrical/x16x8 electrical" thing for the pci-e? To be honest I only have a very faint idea on what those mean. :(
  24. All you really need to know is "more is better" and you'll be good to go.
  25. so: x16x16electrical>x16x8electrical>x16x4electrical? Is that a true statement?

    Therefore I'd put one card in the main x16x16 and another in the x16x8?

    LOL i swear it, THIS is my last question!
  26. That is a correct statement.

    Not to mention that if you tried to use the bottom and top pci-e slot, you would most likely have a tough time finding a long enough crossfire bridge.
  27. thermalburn said:
    so: x16x16electrical>x16x8electrical>x16x4electrical? Is that a true statement?

    Therefore I'd put one card in the main x16x16 and another in the x16x8?

    LOL i swear it, THIS is my last question!

    Yes, that's true. The motherboard manual should also tell you which slots to use for crossfire.
  28. @xX StitcH: Oh yeah, i should have thought of that... -_-

    @shortstuff_mt: oh the manual will tell me? sweet!

    Thank you everyone for your help. I couldn't have done this with out any of you!

    I guess I'll begin slowly ordering the parts by the end of this week. I'm still open to tips and help though; if anyone remembers something else don't hesitate to post. ;)
  29. Have you thought about going sli? You can get slighty better performance than running crossfire. Also the G Skill PI Black DDR2 800 has tested to be fast and efficient during gaming because of the lower latency.. You can get the ne GTX 275 which will outperform the 4870 1GB and the 4890 512 for about $249.. Later on u can add a 2nd or even 3rd GTX 275 depending on whuch MoBo u have, and will smoke most crossfires set ups except the 4870 X2's or the upcoming 4890X2's but thats why nVidia has the gtx 285's and the GTX 295.. Think about SLi it usually smokes crossfire set ups.. You can even run 2 GTS 250's and play anyrhing out there..
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