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Need advice on must build this week > $600

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Last response: in Systems
May 11, 2009 2:20:43 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next 2 days (been looking longer, but current problems with current build-2003-have me pushing up my timeline)
BUDGET RANGE: 600-700 USD

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: General home/work usage, photoediting and eventually video editing, internet, minor gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: speakers, OS (xp sp2), keyboard, mouse, monitor, dvd burner, floppy?

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe later (said that before though)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not at this time

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024 x 768 until new card/monitor

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Preferrably a cooler, quiet pc, stable & around for awhile without hardware problems. Have built with Abit & Asus but this
gigabyte board seems to have exactly what I was looking for. Need the pci slot for older fax/modem (need the fax).

This is what I currently have in my newegg cart:

[145] Antec Sonata iii case w/ earthwatts 500 p/s
Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM (combo deal)

[170] Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz

[140] Gigabyte GA-EP45T-UD3P LGA 775 Intel Motherboard

[58] Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

and so far 3 video cards:

[90]MSI N9600GT-2D512-OCv2 GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
[90]SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
[80]MSI R4830-T2D512 Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail

approximately $600

Other notes:

Don't want i7 yet, have had no time to research.

Having no experience with gigabyte, wondering if that's a smart move since I'm in a hurry. I'm basically looking for obvious conflicts that I missed in all my reading. I'm sure the memory could be better, but have had good
luck with the crucial, so it's a place to start. Will need to use the onboard sound vs. transferring a sb live (it's so old the realtek has to be an improvement).

Went ddr3 vs ddr2 & E8400 vs. E7400 to give it some future.

Have/currently used all Matrox video cards, since I can't seem to find a suitable one at this time (no longer made), are there any major drawbacks to any of the above? Would like to upgrade later, but need something stable to get this box started and my agp card won't work.

I'm currently running sp1 and can't install sp2 with my current hard drive space (80 + 40 gb WD ide's). Must be cleaned up now, so it's the time to do this. Would like to eventually try a better (if ever) version of Vista or will wait for a stable Windows 7.

The dvd burner is sata lite-on lightscribe 22x. Have zip & plextor cdr both scsi that I may or may not carry over (probably not-but the 2nd pci slot is there just in case).


Thanks for any comments, sorry I posted in wrong place 1st time,
have been reading so much on these and other tech forums, missed the forum header.




More about : advice build week 600

May 11, 2009 3:03:56 PM

I'm not real sure why you went w/ that board/RAM. It's not going to help you future proof at all. The new intel cpu's use a different socket. If won't be able to get an i7 down the line and just slap it on that board.
May 11, 2009 3:04:18 PM

I would start with something like this. the total is about ~$609(depends on ram kit) before any rebates take place. I think this build would suite your needs pretty well. Depending on your os (32 or 64 bit) and if you want to deal with rebates would make the decsion between the ram kits.

CPU and Motherboard combo
Asus p5q Pro & E8400 $268

Case and PSU combo
Antec 300 & Antec earthwatts 430w $115

Hard Drive:
WD black 640 $70

Vidoe Card:
Saphire 4830 1gb $109

Ram:
2x2gb Crosair xmf ddr2 800 $47
or
OCZ platinum ddr2 800 $51 ($31 after rebate)
with 32 bit os
2x1gb OCZ ddr2 800 - If you do not have a 64 bit OS


The graphics card might still be a bit overkill since it was ranked last on your priorities so depending on your input we can scale the graphics card back a bit more than increase you to a quad core.

@at forum members
Gosh this template idea is great. I got all the info I need right at the start :) .
Related resources
May 11, 2009 3:14:01 PM

That's why he stated he doesn't want a Core i7 right now. And i think is fair to say there will be more Core i7's out later which will be more powerful and efficent. The components should be fine and work really well together. DDR3 is a plus in my opinion...

As for the graphics...i would go for an HD 4770 or HD 4850 or higher... Even the 9600GT is good ^_^

The 8400 should OC high with little effort... For CPU coolers, i would recommend a Zalman 9700 CNPS or higher.
May 11, 2009 3:25:16 PM

I'm not sure if i agree with killdor's comments.

I would deffiantly not reccomend ddr3 unless you are building an i7 rig. There is such a small preformance increase that it does not warrent the added cost.

I would say go lower not higher on the graphics card. If you are not planning on gaming/running intence graphics then you don't need a graphics card as powerful as the 4850. You'd be buying increased preformance (which means extra cost) in areas that you won't be using. So to this point...there's no point in it.

Yes the 8400 should overclock nicely. But i'd wait to see if you even need to before buying an upgraded heat sink (vs stock).
May 11, 2009 3:45:48 PM

Kill@dor said:
Even the 9600GT is good ^_^
What are you smokin' today? The ATI 4670 runs with the 9600. The 4770's are nice, or I'd bump up to a 4870 if you can. The 4850 might go to the way side because the 4870 is cheap and the 4770 is at $100. If you look at the 4850, for $10 you can get a 4870.
May 11, 2009 3:55:45 PM

I agree w/ kubes. For what the OP is looking to do, the higher end graphics isn't that necessary. I know I have DDR3 on a socket 775. I got a real good deal, so I went that route. However, I don't think the difference is worth the price. Besides, when/if the OP goes to an i7 system, it'd be better to buy a single kit for the trichannel setup.
May 11, 2009 3:56:44 PM

Well, I don't really think there is "future proofing" in any board. I'm currently running an Asus p4p800 deluxe, 5+ years now, have upgraded memory and that's about it. But I can't reuse the video card (that's from a previous system), or any of the memory either. But it's gotten us by for a long time.
I know this one won't take an i7, but I really don't have the time or $ to go that route right now. I know the core2duo is a "safe" choice, and the board does have some upgradability as far as a better cpu/memory (when prices come down). That's why I went with the ddr3 vs ddr 2. The sonata case is for the quiet, this one is upstairs next to bedrooms, and I would like to start with a nice case for a change. Without the hard drive it's 110 with the p/s & free shipping right now.
Why the change on the HD?
I originally started with just the 9600, being told that 9800 and above were more for gaming needs. Then read more reviews & added the possible ati cards. I will
look at the 2 you mention.
I can spend a little more I just want to do it in the right places, other things can be upgraded later.
p.s. I'm a mom, with college students, that's why I'm trying to keep the costs reasonable, but looking down the road.
May 11, 2009 4:09:48 PM

I don't feel good today Rowe...

There is nothing wrong with running DDR3 with that CPU...
May 11, 2009 4:11:28 PM

He said minor gaming Rowe...9600GT would be fine...although he can get a better price/performance with AMD.
May 11, 2009 4:12:40 PM

Its Killador...not killdor Kubes ^_^
May 11, 2009 4:19:12 PM

One other thing, my current video card is a Matrox G400 - 16 mb, any card is going to be a major step up. I'd like to keep that around 100.00, but not end up with something finicky and constantly needed new drivers to just do the basics.
May 11, 2009 4:48:09 PM

The main reason for the HD change is that the drive I recommended is much faster and is a bit larger than your other one. Its probally the best bang for you buck hard drive out there right now. The other one you noted is already starting to be dated.

Case If you'd preffer the sonta iii then i'd say go with that one otherwise you'll regert any other case you'll buy. I only picked the antec 300 cause it was a combo deal with the psu. I mean all i'm giving ya are recommendation. If you prefer something else that go for it.

DDR3 vs DDR2
Like i noted above DDR3 is not an effective item to buy when using an x48 or p45 motherboard. The ram kits these boards use are ussualy over 1.65volts which is what the i7 uses. So there not even comptabile if you wanted to go with the i7 down the road. There is maybee a 0.5% increase in preformance using the DDR3 standard due to core 2 duo's not taking advantage of the memory controller like the new i7 cpu does. So when it comes to preformance vs cost ratio the cost heavily outweights the preformance.

I'm still going to stay behind my desion with the graphics card I recommended. Even with that one it still might be overkill. If you trying to save money this is the spot you can save money. The other posts are recommending an increase in your graphics card which i just simply don't agree with. I think the 9600 is also a great option, but i choose ati card because your using I recommended a p45 board. ATI = p45/p43 chipset and Nvidia = nforce chipset

@Kill'a'dor
was it nessary to do three post there? I'm sorry i spelt your name wrong *rolls eyes*
May 11, 2009 5:09:11 PM

Kill@dor said:
He said minor gaming Rowe...9600GT would be fine...although he can get a better price/performance with AMD.

It would be fine, but might as well get the best bang for the buck, right. PS.... I think the MOM part gave away her identity as a female. So SHE can get a better price/perforance with AMD. The 4770's are $100, for the price they are awesome and don't suck alot of juice.

I agree with the DDR3 argument as well. It never really made much sense to go DDR3 until now with the x58 boards.
May 11, 2009 5:14:54 PM

I know it wasn't Kubes...but it was quite fun for me ^_^

You guys are right tho...no arguments here. The performance would be higher than .5% tho...LOL
May 11, 2009 5:18:43 PM

surprised no-one suggested the 720 BE over the old 84.
May 11, 2009 5:22:04 PM

^
I've focused alot of my reading in the i7 lately. But I've checked out a few of the 720 reviews. They look good. From what I've seen in NON-gaming applications the 720 seems to beat out the e8400. However in gaming situations the e8400 usually one ups the 720.

She may want to look into this as an option as well.
May 11, 2009 5:25:01 PM

^from what I've seen they exchange blows, until you get to apps which can use more than 2 threads.
May 11, 2009 5:31:23 PM

8400 FTW!! LOL ^_^
May 11, 2009 5:33:51 PM

8400 for fanboys and idiots!!! lol
May 11, 2009 5:35:19 PM

How so?
May 11, 2009 5:37:23 PM

well the 720 is way more future resistant and performs about the same in other apps.
May 11, 2009 5:38:21 PM

I'll be honest the only reason why i didn't go down the amd trail is because I spend most of my time researching intel. So i must confess that my knowledge of putting together the best bang for your buck amd is very limited. AMD i fancy is best for mid range gaming rigs and very low end machines. I think intel is best for highest end gaming rigs with i7 (handles sli the best) and non gaming pc's (multi-taskers) with the q6600 ect...

So to back up why i went intel vs amd was this: It's not a gaming build, and its not a sub $400 build. *shrugs*.
May 11, 2009 5:42:10 PM

^ I can see you haven't researched amd.

1) 4890's in crossfire are better than GTX 285's in SLI

2) AMD cpu's and Core 2 cpu's easily out perform the i7 in current gaming

3) the AMD 940 is cheaper than the Q6600 and out performs it.
May 11, 2009 5:45:38 PM

So that makes anyone who purchases an 8400 an idiot...hmmm?

I think the basis here is price/performance...not name calling :(  Besides, i've seen the 8400's performance and i have to say hands down for core 2 duo its wicked fast even without an OC... I haven't seen the 720, but have read about it. 3 cores, 2 cores...4 cores... the only difference is what you use it for. Most PC even with high end games/applications only need a Core 2's...

Either way, when it really comes down to it...speed is the only limiting factor. But a good system with the right parts is always something to admire...for me at least.

May 11, 2009 6:42:14 PM

"I think the basis here is price/performance" "Most PC even with high end games/applications only need a Core 2's... " exactly what I'm looking for. And tried to put together. I changed out the hard drive (another combo w/the sonata) for only 20.00 more. I finally "get" the nvidia vs. ati argument (p45=ati), I have a perfectly good mitsubishi diamond pro 710s, but would like a larger flat screen (that's more research) later on. Would staying with the 512mb over 1gb card make that much difference in performance right now? If & when we change out this monitor is when I'd like to put the money into a higher end video card.
still comparing the boards.
May 11, 2009 6:49:33 PM

the size of the screen doesn't matter, it's the pixel count.

if you really wanted to future proof for a new screen then you'd need to get a graphics card with displayport but the cheapest card I could find with DP is a 4870 which is about $190.

also you will really want the 720, it will last you longer than the e8400 and it costs less too.
May 11, 2009 6:53:03 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
well the 720 is way more future resistant and performs about the same in other apps.
I agree with that.

Helloworld_98 said:
^ I can see you haven't researched amd.

1) 4890's in crossfire are better than GTX 285's in SLI

2) AMD cpu's and Core 2 cpu's easily out perform the i7 in current gaming

3) the AMD 940 is cheaper than the Q6600 and out performs it.


1)Better, in what way? Cheaper, Yes? But performance, it's debatable. Some games yes, most, no. It also depends on your resolution and the rest of your hardware. I'd op for the (2) 4890's myself because the 285 is $100 more, meaning $200 for a dual card setup.

2) Um... that is debatable to. Stock Vs Stock the i7 beats out the AMD everytime. However stock vs stock the e8500 will take the i7 in some games and certain setups. However the x58 chipset handles mulitple cards much better. Alot of current Games favor a high clock over multiple cores, just wait 6 months to a year and you will notice that trend change.

3) True... But the Q6600 is old. Compare it with the Q8400, which is close in price, a little cheaper. It trades punches with the 940, although the AMD tends to be slightly ahead of it in most cases. Lets be fair.
May 11, 2009 6:59:35 PM

Right now I think if I didn't have an i7 I would have looked at the AMD lineup myself. But I was hellbent on getting an i7 and cranking it up. The Crossfire and SLI option were very appealing to me. Plus the quad core with hyperthreading. I think once more games start utilizing quad cores more, people will start to see a shift in performance.
May 11, 2009 7:01:01 PM

You won't see much difference between 1GB or 512MB. Although, some of the newest GPU intensive games will probably need over 512MB to run stable... Even Cyrsis Warhead (very gpu dependent but really uses all resources in your computer) runs with a 512MB card. I would recommend 1GB only if you were planning on Crossfire or SLI in 2010 PC titiles that will utilize that GPU memory. But even then having x2 512MB GPU's will be enough...512MB + 512 MB does not equal 1GB...but will match performance if not pass a 1GB card.

Conclusion: Right now one 512MB card is more than enough for many games...

As for the monitor, you are right....you might have to research that on your own. But once you have an idea of what you want...let us know and we can figure out the same...price/performance/size. I will tell you now if you really want the most out of your screen you need a high resolution of 1920x1080 (which is high def)
May 11, 2009 7:06:06 PM

^ well 1GB for 1680x1050+, anything below 512MB is ok.
May 11, 2009 7:13:03 PM

Yea, but he can also lower the resolution if he doesn't like it...from 19x10... He still wins because he still has high def for either other games or applications ^_^
May 11, 2009 7:26:32 PM

Its a she...oh my mistake...

May 11, 2009 7:53:33 PM

Helloworld_98 said:
^ I can see you haven't researched amd.

1) 4890's in crossfire are better than GTX 285's in SLI

2) AMD cpu's and Core 2 cpu's easily out perform the i7 in current gaming

3) the AMD 940 is cheaper than the Q6600 and out performs it.



I was talking about AMD in the sense of processors not their graphics cards. Usually when you say an AMD build you refer to the processor not the graphics cards (that would be ati vs nvidia). I guess I even question you bringing up your points due to them not having any relation to the OP other than to take a shot at me or being a fan boy? They don't add any value in this thread.

Here are my thoughts about your points...

1) There is only a select few games that this is true. Most will favor the gtx 285 in sli.

2) I disagree with this statement. Easily - no? Especially if you have multiple gpu setups. A lot of it depends on how you optimize your processor. Here let me help you with some bench marks tom's benchmark review (amd's processors were not available at the time of this review)

3) Well the Q6600 is quite a bit older too. Its not even in the same price range as the 940. This is a very unfair comparison.
May 11, 2009 8:12:32 PM

Ok back on topic. To the OP. Here are my suggestions. Go for the e8400, it seems to be your preference and what you know. You will be happy with it. I'd stick with the Gigabyte DDR2 motherboard though and get some nice DDR2 1066 memory. The ATI 4770 will do the job you want with graphics, its enough to run games and inexpensive. I'd take the rest of your money and invest in a larger monitor. From what it sounds like you do alot of work on your PC, and all that performance isn't going to mean crap if you are on a 15" display. A nice 22" will suit you well, they seem to be prices really well.
May 11, 2009 8:29:17 PM

kubes said:
I was talking about AMD in the sense of processors not their graphics cards. Usually when you say an AMD build you refer to the processor not the graphics cards (that would be ati vs nvidia). I guess I even question you bringing up your points due to them not having any relation to the OP other than to take a shot at me or being a fan boy? They don't add any value in this thread.

Here are my thoughts about your points...

1) There is only a select few games that this is true. Most will favor the gtx 285 in sli.

2) I disagree with this statement. Easily - no? Especially if you have multiple gpu setups. A lot of it depends on how you optimize your processor. Here let me help you with some bench marks tom's benchmark review (amd's processors were not available at the time of this review)

3) Well the Q6600 is quite a bit older too. Its not even in the same price range as the 940. This is a very unfair comparison.


Everything I've seen is the opposite to what you've said.

1) http://xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/gtx285sli-hd4890cf_9.html#sect0 the benches there majoritively either put the 4890 CF ahead, 1-2 fps difference or past 60fps.

2) in the benches I've seen the i7 only wins in multi gpu setups, other than that the core 2's and P2's win because of a) the more cache and higher clock or b) better handling of cache and higher clock.

3) it is in the same price range over here, +/- £15 and even when compared to the Q8400 it will still win overall, and it's close enough to the Q9450 if you wanted to compare those.
May 11, 2009 9:31:53 PM

A 22" is what I'd like, and told the recent college grad (who actually found a good job) that is what I want for christmas. So I have time to find what I want & the card to go with it, current is a 17". As far as the amd vs. intel argument goes, at one time (long time ago) I started to look at amd but back then is when they were having major heat issues. I know that has been fixed but don't have enough info to make an informed decision on one today so will stick with Intel for now. To kubes, besides backing down to ddr2 was there a reason other than price to suggest the Asus board over the Gigabyte? The gigabyte ga-ep45 & 45t only have a 5.00 difference. But I did find a combo on the ep45 & E8400 for 288. The Asus comes in 20.00 under that, and while I will try to save the 20 on a vid card today, don't want to have to replace this board for awhile. The reviews for the gigabyte from anand's & here just seem to suggest a little more solid board. Which leaves me at memory, and the corsair 1066 is the same price as the crucial I listed in the first place. I haven't been through all the oc'z yet (I'm at work). I matched voltages and speed the first time around, and some of the suggestions don't so do I not need be as concerned with those as I have in the past.