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Flightsim / Xplane / CounterStrike Build

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April 19, 2009 11:18:33 PM

Looking for opinions on a build for around US $1000 that would be good for Flightsim games, shooters, and will likely do well for diablo 3 when it comes out. Here is what I picked:

2x 1TB WD 7200 RPM HD's
EVGA 9800 GTX+
Intel Q6600 (stock 2.4 ghz - likely OC to 3+ ghz)
Asus P5Q motherboard
6 GB DDR3 1333 Memory
April 19, 2009 11:31:54 PM

Do you really need 2TB of space?
WD Black 640gb is an excellent drive for $75

I would suggest at least a GTX 260 instead, $170

That motherboard does not support DDR3 memory. Get a 4gb DDR2 kit, $45

The Q9400 is a newer, 45nm processor, and is clocked higher than the Q6600. It is $5 more than the Q6600.

Which P5Q did you pick? there are at least 12 varieties.

Did you pick a...

Power supply?

Case?

Aftermarket cooler for overclocking?

Also, a phenom II build would likely get you better bang for the buck.
April 20, 2009 4:08:23 AM

Antec 900 case, Corsair 750w PSU, Artic Cooling Freezer 7 cooler.

2TB space - I'll likely be doing some testing on this box using VM's when I'm not gaming so will need the space.

I noticed that about the memory and will adjust

P5Q pro, didn't really do much comparison on them. Suggestions?

How is overclocking on the Q9400 - I read many people were easily getting 3+ out of the Q6600?

I picked the 9800 GTX+ over the GTX 260 because for many flightsim games it seemed to get better FPS. How much better of a card is the 260?
Related resources
April 20, 2009 6:12:20 AM

Yes, the Q6600 is a great overclocker. Mine is at 3.2 below stock voltage. The Q9400 should be as good or better since it is a 55nm part, the Q6600 is 65nm, both procs will easily overclock to 3ghz+ in any case.

I have the P5Q pro, I've had no problems with it.

The GTX 260 will get better fps in games, also, higher resolutions will benefit from the extra memory. You can use the Nvidia Comparison Tool to get a good enough picture.

If you do go for the 9800gtx+, grab a GTS 250 instead. It is an updated version of the same card, and you can opt for 1gb memory with it.
April 20, 2009 6:27:34 AM

I would double check your stuff. I've seen i7 builds for as low as $800, you should be able to get one with ease for $1000. Get the 920, a "cheap" motherboard, and 3GBs of DDR3 ram. This will probably be close to $500-$600 depending on motherboard. Add in the hdd and video card and you should be good to go. Sim games need CPU power, and the i7 has that. (not to mention SLI and CF support should you want/need that.)
April 20, 2009 6:56:18 AM

4745454b said:
I would double check your stuff. I've seen i7 builds for as low as $800, you should be able to get one with ease for $1000. Get the 920, a "cheap" motherboard, and 3GBs of DDR3 ram. This will probably be close to $500-$600 depending on motherboard. Add in the hdd and video card and you should be good to go. Sim games need CPU power, and the i7 has that. (not to mention SLI and CF support should you want/need that.)


So lets say $550 for the RAM, Mobo, and CPU

+ $220 for 2x 1TB Drives
+ $170 for a GTX 260
+ $110 for a PSU that can handle them in SLI (750W Corsair)
+ $100 for Antec 900 case
+ $25 for DVD Burner
+ $40 to replace the stock heatsink

Thats $1215.

Now, sure, you could get that down to $1000, but there's sacrifices to be made.
I'm not saying that the i7 system wouldn't be a better choice in terms of upgradeability and CPU power, but like it or not, it'll come at a cost in some form or another. In my opinion, an overclocked C2Q would be just fine for Flightsim X and the like.

April 20, 2009 7:14:44 AM

+1 for the i7...
But if you want more graphics power, I would suggest you get a Phenom II setup, and with the money saved you can get a powerful graphics card...and the P II would very well be as good as the intel quads and would provide a better upgrade path...
April 20, 2009 7:21:11 AM

Well as for irkjab...
How about this...

cPU+ Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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

HDD - 1 TB for now...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE - This would also do the job...Its a pretty good case...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - Plenty and Best and can handle future SLI as welll...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics card - GTX 260 - More than suffice even for a 22" monitor.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total - $1009 ...

Add $25 for a DVD Drive or reuse any old...

And I don't see any sacrifices made...
Just 1TB for now instead of 2TB. and still 1TB is lot of space for now and he could always add one more later...
April 20, 2009 10:27:35 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.95 Free Shipping*
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99 ($44.99 after $25.00 Mail-In Rebate)
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99 ($99.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
2 oz copper PCB + Easy Tune 6 for OC

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $219.99 Free Shipping*
Intel Core2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.99 ($29.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 Free Shipping*
XFX GX260XADJF GeForce GTX 260 Core Edition Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Call of Duty: World at War w/ purchase, limited offer

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $42.99
G.SKILL HK 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99 Free Shipping*
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=N82E168... $24.99 Free Shipping*
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

Total: $817.87 | $767.87 w/rebates *not including shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 Free Shipping*
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 ($149.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
ASUS VW224U Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ HDCP Support 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 5000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail
April 20, 2009 2:03:38 PM

Some good suggestions here.

I like the gkay09 list the best.

Flight sim, and I assume it is flight simulator-X, are very dependent on the cpu, and particularly multiple cores. The i7 with hyperthreading is heads and shoulders above the rest in that respect. The price delta of a i7 system for cpu, mobo, and ram is about $150 more than an equivalently spec'd Qxxx system. In this case, very much worth it.

Going with a single drive initially is not a bad idea, the prices of hard drives are still going down, so adding one later when/if you need more space is not a bad idea.

The gtx260-216 is a very capable card, and should run everything well. In the future, when 40nm parts arrive, the upgrade path will likely be to a more capable single card instead of sli with a second gtx260. For that reason, there is no need to spend more up front on a psu capable of running two vga cards. A very good unit would be the PC P&C silencer610, currently at $79.99 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 20, 2009 2:34:19 PM

i7 is definitely the best for FSX since it can use upto 32 threads.

IMO if you have the cash get a Nehalem workstation build except with a Gamers graphics card for FSX then you'll have used up half of the threads that FSX can use and therefore have a considerably better experience.
April 21, 2009 12:25:33 AM

irkjab said:
Do you really need 2TB of space?

yea he does.
X-Plane 9 (the newest) takes at least 70 gigs after the installation.
Each custom plane need alot of space.
Plus newer x-planes comes out, who knows how big it will be.
If he's going to play drive raping games :non:  , he should have a bigger harddrive.
April 21, 2009 12:30:22 AM

I was just asking

Wag your finger at everyone else, who included less HDD space in their builds why don't you? :p 
April 21, 2009 3:53:13 AM

geofelt said:
Some good suggestions here.

I like the gkay09 list the best.

Flight sim, and I assume it is flight simulator-X, are very dependent on the cpu, and particularly multiple cores. The i7 with hyperthreading is heads and shoulders above the rest in that respect. The price delta of a i7 system for cpu, mobo, and ram is about $150 more than an equivalently spec'd Qxxx system. In this case, very much worth it.

Going with a single drive initially is not a bad idea, the prices of hard drives are still going down, so adding one later when/if you need more space is not a bad idea.

The gtx260-216 is a very capable card, and should run everything well. In the future, when 40nm parts arrive, the upgrade path will likely be to a more capable single card instead of sli with a second gtx260. For that reason, there is no need to spend more up front on a psu capable of running two vga cards. A very good unit would be the PC P&C silencer610, currently at $79.99 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


:) 
And I like idea of a single card option in the future...

And here are few more PSU suggestions...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This PSU is also a good option and is comparatively cheap...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!