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A few questions on 1st Time Gaming Build $500-$1000

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May 3, 2009 8:35:34 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I plan on ordering this sometime on 5/3...or at least the monitor if I need to research more as it's a weekend only deal.

BUDGET RANGE: $500-$1000...I can go a little over if I need to

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: WoW, surfing the internet, watching movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, OS (XP Pro, let me know if I need something better)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: open to any-best value/bang for buck/sweet spot/deals

OVERCLOCKING: Yes-at least a little OC of CPU

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future-but not right now

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050...I think this is right for a 22" LCD, let me know if different

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is mainly needed to play WoW at 1680x1050 on a 22" LCD with all the bells and whistles at the highest settings. I know almost anything we come up with will probably be a big overkill to what is needed, but I'm OK with that...as long as it's an excellent value. For example, I know I could get by with a cheaper GFX card and Hard Drive, but the ones I have listed are supposed to be really good deals for what they offer. I also prefer a black/blue theme everything else being equal.

CPU: Intel Pentium E5200=$69.99
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L=$84.99
GFX Card: HIS Hightech H477F512P Radeon HD 4770=$89.99
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W=$44.99
Case: NZXT Guardian=$59.99
RAM: mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800=$43.99
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar 640GB=$69.99
CD/DVD Burner: Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive=$23.99
Monitor: Hanns·G Hi-221DPB Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD=$139.99
Heatsink: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm=$29.99

Total=$657.90+$10.22 Shipping=$668.12

Or, I could actually bring the total to $606.46 if a GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L would work in place of the current mobo. I also have a few quick questions while you're here...

1) Do I need to get an anti-static wrist strap?
2) Should I get a 3rd party heatsink fan?
3) Should I get Arctic Silver 5 if I get a heatsink, or will Dynex Silver Thermal Compound work well enough?
4) I have heard that there might be some issues with drivers for the 4770. Does anybody else know anything about that?
5) Will XP not recognize a SATA drive without some extra effort?
6) Will 800 or 1066 RAM work the same with the E5200 and OC'ing?
7) Is this case OK, or should I just modify an Antec 300 with a window and blue leds?
8) Will this PSU be enough to run this build? What if I get another 4770 for x-fire later, will it still be enough to run it?
9) I would not be against a AMD Phenom II X3 720 setup if I could find a good deal. Should I wait and see?

Thanks to all who participate/advise/suggest/nitpick/help me in this endeavor. :) 

-TG
May 3, 2009 10:25:39 AM

1/ yes , they are cheap insurance . Only wear cotton clothes when you build and if possible work on a wooden table in a room with a wooden floor .

2/if you want to over clock the e5200 yes , but often you are better off spending the money for the cost of the heat sink on a more powerful processor like an e7400

3/fanboy stuff .. the most important thing about thermal compound is to use as LITTLE as possible . You wont need any if you use a stock cooler as its already applied

4/ no , and unlikely to be a true

5/ modern motherboard have a feature in BIOS called native IDE mode and xp will be fine if you select this option and disable another called AHCI

6/generally stick with 800MHz , but if you buy that G31 MB then buy the faster RAM because it will make that system easier to overclock . For your purpose though get aa cheaper P43 board and save $30

7/ personal choice

8/ the psu will be enough for your build , maybe even for crossfire which you wont need for WOW
May 3, 2009 2:57:26 PM

Outlander_04 said:
2/if you want to over clock the e5200 yes , but often you are better off spending the money for the cost of the heat sink on a more powerful processor like an e7400


The E7400 is $50 more than the E5200 straight up. A lot of the reviews for the E7400 said the stock heatsink fan was crap, so I may have to get a 3rd party one anyway. I did find a combo for the E7400 + Gigabyte GA-EP43-UD3L for $199.99 which seems decent. Would you suggest I go with that?

Would I want the 1066 RAM then because the E7400 has FSB of 1066, or wouldn't it matter?
Related resources
May 3, 2009 8:41:10 PM

I like the build as it's listed pretty much. I think you really should OC the processor, using a decent cooler. If you don't want to try, then at least get the new E5400.

As I hate push-pins, that sort of makes my options limited :) 

Xigmatek Dark Knight
Your choice of thermal paste:
MX-2 OR AS 5

MX-2 is a bit more forgiving, and has no cure time. AS 5 has a long cure time and then does not last as long, but probably once cured has slightly better temps.

At these current Corsair prices you should grab the 450VX:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I think that would be more better for an OC build with the single GPU.

Or, if you want to crossfire two of those 4770s you'll probably need a bit more:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 3, 2009 8:59:21 PM

i recently bought a processor from ewiz , there even some assorted coupons floating around to sweeting the deal. But if you were to consider going to a e7400 check here

http://www.ewiz.com/combo.php?cat_id=228

Mike in Duluth
May 3, 2009 10:55:23 PM

Guys, I think I might be going crazy. I need your help. I'm such a perfectionist, I'm having such a hard time settling on something.

I think if I can just get the CPU/MOBO combo, I'm all set. (except 800 RAM or 1066 depending on that decision) Please help me!!! I want to get this ordered tonight if possible.

1) E5200+GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L=$122.98
2) E5200+GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L=$154.98
3) E5200+GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P=$184.98
4) E7400+Gigabyte EP43-UD3L=$199.99

If 1) can accomplish my goals I should probably go with that. I don't plan on upgrading any time soon...but, will it accomplish my goals? I've read that WoW has a more CPU dependent bottleneck than a GPU botleneck.

2) gives a better MOBO, but will it really do that much more for $32?

3) lets me be able to x-fire in the future, but...by the time I couldn't get by with current setup, I'd probably want/need to upgrade the whole thing anyway.

4) would it give me $77 worth of value over 1)? Also, I think it would bother me that I missed out on the ~$212 deals for the PII x3 720BE+MOBO combos of a couple months ago. Will they come again?

Also, I do want to OC whether I need to or not for the experience of doing it. Which is the preferred 3rd party heatsink?

XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm=$39.99
Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120mm=$29.99
or
something else?

Thanks again everyone. I do appreciate it.
May 3, 2009 11:41:52 PM

The Sunbeam will fit the UD3L, but not the UD3P.
The Sunbeam and Xig are very comparable temp wise, it's more a matter of what works best with your board... the Sunbeam doesn't play well with a lot of high heatsinks.
The UD3L will be the better overclocker and you need that.

Go with 2 and the Sunbeam.

As you say, the 720BE deals we had would have been ideal. Now, AMD realizes what they have there and are less likely to sell at that price again.
You can get into a 720 + board for 220 still, but you won't get much OC room, and have an inferior board.
May 4, 2009 12:01:42 AM

Thanks for the reply,

Which RAM for that that board...800 or 1066?

Should I get AS 5, MX-2, or just use the TX-2 Thermal Paste that comes with the Sunbeam?

Also, just want to make sure...that board's specs say Core 2 Quad / Core 2 Extreme / Core 2 Duo / Pentiu for CPU type...the E5200 is dual-core...does this still work?
May 4, 2009 12:07:45 AM


1) Do I need to get an anti-static wrist strap?

I never used one in 3 years and i work with 3+ computers a day, just make sure you touch the case before messing with the computer parts.

2) Should I get a 3rd party heatsink fan?
Doesnt matter unless your plan to OC your system, then i would suggest a Zalman but don't worry about it unless you have an issue where OC would help.

3) Should I get Arctic Silver 5 if I get a heatsink, or will Dynex Silver Thermal Compound work well enough?
I use atric ceramique it works really well and its not conductive. use about a pea size drop on the cpu and wiggle the heatsync around to get rid of any bubbles

4) I have heard that there might be some issues with drivers for the 4770. Does anybody else know anything about that?
Never had an issue and i have messed with the 4770. though i dont play WOW.

5) Will XP not recognize a SATA drive without some extra effort?
Not true, i made an XP system 5 hours ago with sata everything not 1 issue with XP.

6) Will 800 or 1066 RAM work the same with the E5200 and OC'ing?
stick with 800 MHZ.

7) Is this case OK, or should I just modify an Antec 300 with a window and blue leds? the case is fine i am not use your question its all looks its up to you.

8) Will this PSU be enough to run this build? What if I get another 4770 for x-fire later, will it still be enough to run it?

X-fire is annoying and not worth it, save the money and buy a cheaper mobo and buy a new video card when you want to upgrade, the market changes so fast that the 4770 will be $60 and the next big one thats 5 times better then the 4770 will be $100 and you will hate your self, i have done this 3 times trust me :) .

9) I would not be against a AMD Phenom II X3 720 setup if I could find a good deal. Should I wait and see? Never trusted the x3 and if your going to over clock dont get a X3 something about a bad core on that chip makes me hard to trust the other 3 to be tip top shape, but i have no science to back me on that.

you asked a question about ram. Basicly your ram should be half of your FSB so 1066MHZ FSB = 800MHZ ram.
May 4, 2009 12:36:11 AM

Because of the high multiplier and low starting bus of the E5200, I doubt very much you'll ever get near 400FSB, so 800Mhz RAM will be fine.

The TX-2 that comes with the Sunbeam is good stuff, making it an even better budget choice.

You can find the MB CPU support list here:
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/Motherboard/CPUSuppo...
May 4, 2009 1:49:54 AM

Deal is done!!!

Thanks everyone for your help. Not sure I could have done it without you.

Wish me luck. :) 

-TG
!