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Gaming PC: compatibility check!

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May 24, 2009 7:49:05 AM

Hi all! Just signed up but I've been coming here for computer advice for years. Now I'm ready to upgrade my system, and I have components picked out, but unfortunately I'm not sure if they're all compatible to the fullest extent. The mobo supports crossfire and the psu has the necessary connectors for the cards, and the mobo supports the speed of the ram, but I need your expert advice anyway, because it's highly likely that I'm wrong. :)  I suppose my budget is around $2500.

CPU: Core 2 Quad q9650 (4x 3.0GHz/12MB L2 Cache/1333FSB)
Mobo: Asus P5E x48 (w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, IEEE-1394, Dual PCI-E MB)
Ram: (2GB X4) Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066 pc2 8500
GPU: 2x Radeon HD4870 1gb DDR5 PCI-E 16x (CF)
PSU: 750w Corsair CMPSU-750TX
Sound: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer
Network: Intel Pro 10/100/1000
HDD: 2x 500gb HD SataII 7200rpm
CD1: Sony 20x dual format/ double layer dvd/cd
CD2: 6x blu ray LG dvd burner
Cooling: Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer
OS: Vista Home Premium 64-bit
Case: NZXT Guardian 921
Logitech g15 keyboard
24" Widescreen 1080p LCD 16:9 3ms 10000:1 1920x1280

Comes to about $2150 with shipping. Unfortunately I don't have the links to the parts because I just configured the system on ibuypower.com (I don't trust myself to buy the components and put it together on my own)

If anything strikes you as a bottleneck to the system, or is easily/cheaply upgradable, please let me know! I'm open to all suggestions. Thanks!
May 24, 2009 8:39:06 AM

Personally if you're gonna put that much into it why not just go with an I7.

You could take away one of the 4870, and just get a 4890. You don't need crossfire at the resolution.

Don't get vista, hold onto that cash till win7 comes out, and just burn you the win 7rc 64. I'm on p.o.s computer right now, and it doesn't cause me any grief even with my games if anything they run a tad smoother then they did on xp... To be fair though it could just be that it's fresh lol.

This is just my personal opinin. As I'm no pro and don't claim to be.
May 24, 2009 8:44:33 AM

Yeah, I could do something like the i7 940... are they faster because they extend to the 8mb L3? Faster fsb? Also, wouldn't crossfired cards give me better frames anyway? Or is crossfire mostly for hi res? The idea is that I want this system to be as time-proof as possible, so I want to go a little over the top (maybe) to get the longest life. Win7 64 is a good idea; I won't be buying anything for about 2 1/2 months, hopefully it will be out by then (idk). Thanks for your help!
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May 24, 2009 8:45:47 AM

With a budget like that, you can score yourself a core i7
why settle with a c2q??

replace:
CPU c2q 9650 ---> Core i7 920
MOBO P5E x48 --->Asus P6T Deluxe V2
RAM 2x4GB DDR2--->2x3GB DDR3 Corsair XMS3 Dominator

(optional)
VGA 2x HD4870 --->2x HD4890
CASE NZXT Guardian 921 --->CoolerMaster HAF 932 (or any other case with many front I/O connections: USB, audio,FW,e-SATA)
Cooling stock cooler --->XIGMATEK Dark Knight 120mm

if you want to cut down the price, ditch a VGA, you can always add one later, (and it's very easy, you can do it yourself)
May 24, 2009 8:52:14 AM

Thanks Billroidis,

with your total recommended config (actually Core i7 940, and 2x4890 1GB) and all else the same it comes out to about $2500 even. That seems like a kickass comp. My question is though... is the extra 300 bucks spent just to get the edge of the envelope in tech? Or is this just a relatively avg gamer these days? It's been too long :)  Thanks!
May 24, 2009 8:53:00 AM

The i7 is simply built better. It won't show much of improvements in games, but in all other areas it shines. Not to mention I don't see them making anymore socket 775 cpu's anytime soon. If intel sticks with socket 1366 as long as they did 775 that's the way to go.

Crossfire/sli is mostly for high resolution, ya you can get it to jump up your framerates, but it's simply overkill for 1920x1280. And like bill said you can always throw one in later as games advance more.
May 24, 2009 8:56:09 AM

Right. Okay that makes sense... why spend the extra money now when I can just buy another 4890 later, pop it in the pci-e slot, hook up the little crossfire connector and power. That seems like really good advice, I mean the 4870 512mb I have right now will run crysis with the ultra dx10 hack, so a single 4890 1gb should be good for a while. I'll make that change in my wishlist, thanks :) 
May 24, 2009 9:03:21 AM

Here's twice the build for less money. This build included two factory over clocked gtx 275's in SLI, not to mention this rig is set up to over clock, comes with twice the case as that pre built, etc... Everything on this build is free shipping with the exception of the thermal compound. I would really take the time and put a build together if I was you. It's not difficult to do and you end up with a lot more for your money, especially seeing how ibuypower, and cyberpower are notorious for not putting in the specified parts people order and pay for. Those places are a total hose job.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159.99 ($109.99 after $50.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
COOLER MASTER Storm Sniper SGC-6000-KKN1-GP Black ABS Bezel, SECC Body ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99 ($109.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U4P $219.99 | $204.99 after rebate Free Ground Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4P Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CorssFireX & 3-Way SLI/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $264.99 Free Ground Shipping
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $41.99 Free Shipping*
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $4.99
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $234.99 Free Shipping*
BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OCE GeForce GTX 275 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... $234.99 Free Shipping*
BFG Tech BFGEGTX275896OCE GeForce GTX 275 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... $94.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99 Free Shipping*
LG Black 6X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 6X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Internal Blu-ray Burner 6X Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive Model GGW-H20L - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $23.99 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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $81.99 Free Shipping*
Logitech G15 104 Normal Keys 29 Function Keys USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $219.99 Free Shipping*
ASUS VW246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail
With HDCP support

Total: $1,972.86 | $1,897.86 w/mail in rebates

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.... <---Save yourself some money on an o/s and dl the 64 bit version of Windows 7

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <--- more pics, specs, and customer reviews of the mobo used in this build.

May 24, 2009 9:11:17 AM

Oh, wow. Thank you for taking the time to put that together! Now I can clearly see that this would be a better build, however... I'm not sure that I would be able to put it together. I've replaced the gpu, the psu, ram, dvd drives and done a few other minor things but I've never messed with the motherboard and processor. If it's as basic bolt-in as the other components I might give it a shot, but I'm just not sure. I've never put cards in SLI either, I don't know if the bios has to be changed. Basically I'm asking if you think my cautiousness is unfounded. I don't want to buy 2k in parts and end up with an unusable pile of scrap because I didn't put it together right :/ 
May 24, 2009 9:17:43 AM

airmanwalls said:
Oh, wow. Thank you for taking the time to put that together! Now I can clearly see that this would be a better build, however... I'm not sure that I would be able to put it together. I've replaced the gpu, the psu, ram, dvd drives and done a few other minor things but I've never messed with the motherboard and processor. If it's as basic bolt-in as the other components I might give it a shot, but I'm just not sure. I've never put cards in SLI either, I don't know if the bios has to be changed. Basically I'm asking if you think my cautiousness is unfounded. I don't want to buy 2k in parts and end up with an unusable pile of scrap because I didn't put it together right :/ 


Plugging everything in together is the easy part. "A" plugs into "B", etc... Where it sucks is the MS updates dl...which takes forever on my 256k connection here in Alaska. Then you want to download the latest drivers for the vid cards...that take all of a minute, then you download "cpuz" and "realtemp"...both are free proggy's and you will use those to check your temps. Then after that you will download "memtest" to check your memory out...run it for a few hours, if no errors then your good to go. It's sounds like a pain in the arse but it's really not...other than the MS updates and the constant reboots that you will do while updating your Windows.

Even flashing your bios these days is a breeze...it's all done on a USB memory stick, unlike the old days with the sucky floppy disk...and then it was a pray you don't fry your mobo experience. Things are easy today...which it should be...that's what technology is supposed to be about...making things easier and better.
May 24, 2009 9:22:59 AM

hmm okay. I've used cpuz and memtest, and I've loaded OS's before, and installed vid card drivers etc.. the internet on base is quite fast so the dl's aren't that much of a biggie. And I assume that writing the win7 iso to dvd will create the boot disk, so once I plug all my A's into my B's I should just be able to pop that dvd in there, format the drive and load the OS (I think). Maybe I'll pull apart a junker computer around here to take a closer look and make sure I want to buy the components separately. Thanks though, I really wasn't considering building it because I thought it was more difficult.
May 24, 2009 9:31:24 AM

you could always take the cpu and motherboard to Best Buy. I think they have the "Geek Squad" techs there the will charge you a fee for putting them together. You could probably do the rest yourself. This site might even have articles on how to do sli and mounting the cpu...
May 24, 2009 9:38:30 AM

Hmm. A little googling shows that cpu mounting isn't that difficult, just a few steps (get the pins right) and make sure power is hooked up to the fan.. SLI uses that little connector between the cards, again idk about any bios changes. Highrider, I just hate the geek squad, that's why I'm avoiding your suggestion :)  I suppose trying to build a pc from scratch would be good for me. Tough, but interesting. I'd have to look up how to flash the bios on that mobo if that's something I have to do, and also how to tell if the ram is running in triple channel. This is starting to sound fun :) 
May 24, 2009 9:39:06 AM

Building your own computer brings new feelings to owning one. She becomes your baby and makes ya swell with pride, unless she's have a bad hair day. lol
May 24, 2009 9:45:33 AM



Haha :)  Yeah, I guess in the information age with internet EVERYWHERE, I really don't have an excuse to buy a pre-built comp. I'll just have to buckle down and study up, and hope I don't F myself sideways :o  (did that cover all 3d movement?)
May 24, 2009 9:52:57 AM

Quote:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6899261001


Aha! That's ingenious! I'm constantly touching the case whenever I do component repair/replace. That would definitely make things much easier.
May 24, 2009 9:56:33 AM

Yah, I never used geek squad. Putting the cpu on isn't hard and usually the heatsink for the cpu has thermal paste on it already. First you put the cpu in the board then mount the heatsink, just make sure you understand how the clips work on the heatsink to mount to the board. You don't want to sit it on there then take it off.. the thermal paste will have to be reapplied then. trust me it is no biggy, only follow any directions you have and you should be ok. I have built quite a few machines and i enjoy it. Have fun!!
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