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E8500 GTX260 Build Games focused

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June 18, 2009 7:46:45 PM

First time builder. Did a lot of research… However practical issues may be unclear. Please feel free to aggressively comment.

Previous computer purchased 12/05; Dell XPS 600, Processor, 80547, PENTIUM D SMITHFIELD, Nvidia 7800 GTX, 2G Ram. Computer died; Motherboard failure.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: June 30, 2009

BUDGET RANGE: $1000ish

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT – Heavy gaming & Microsoft Office. The games are/will be;
Strategy games; such as Civilization IV (still my favorite game)
MMO; WAR, WoW, COH, etc…
RPGs; Might and Magic, Diablo 2, Diablo 3.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers,

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel, Nvidia, Corsair, Gigabyte

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No games I play do not use SLi

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Current Monitor Dell™ UltraSharp™ 2007FP 20.1-inch Flat Panel LCD 1600x1200 pixels 16 ms high contrast ratio of up to 800:1 1 x VGA cable ¦ 1 x DVI cable ¦ 1 x USB cable

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
Quieter operation is better, no crazy lights please.

Operating System
Plan is to use either OEM XP 32 or Vista 64 OS.

Plan to upgrade to Windows 7 after the first Service Pack.

These argue a 32 bit operating system based upon my uses, until Windows 7 SP1. Does this sound correct? Or is Vista 64 the only logical choice before 7?
Your 64-Bit Check List: Potential Issues You Might See
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/64-bit-vista-instal...
Gaming In 64-Bit: Tom's Tests, Microsoft Weighs In
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/64-bit-vista-gaming...

The build

Motherboard:
Question: Besides SLi etc… is there a performance difference between these boards for my uses? Leaning to UD3L

$99.99 ($94.99 after rebate)
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$134.99 ($119.99 after rebate)
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$109.99 ($94.99 after rebate)
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:
DDR2 800 or 1066 all I need no OC (brand OCZ, Corsair, GSkill?)
2x2 GB 4

Processor:
Intel
$189.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Fan/cooling:
Question: Size an issue with case options? Which one is quieter? Better option? Most important do I need one or stick with stock Intel (everyone I ask says grab a new one)
Leaning to S1283 Rifle

$36.98 ($31.98 after rebate) ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$31.49 ($21.49 after rebate)
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$39.99
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Graphics Card:
Questions: 260 is huge and needs 2 x 6pin PCI-E power plugs 500W min, work with case options? Best non-OC’d 260 (216) option?

$194.99 ($169.99 after rebate)
EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Hard Drive
$74.99
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD DRIVE:
$26.99
SAMSUNG SH-S223Q Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X 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 with LightScribe – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case
Comment: No idea which will fit Video card and CPU Cooler! Extra Fans?
Least heavy choice best
Need a few options for Combo deals Antec 900 & 300 have combo deals
No preference atm.

$69.99 ($59.99 with rebate)
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW Black/Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$63.99 (made for extra fans)
GIGABYTE GZ-X8BPDX-400 Black SECC / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$69.99 ($54.99 after rebate)
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$54.99 ($44.99 after rebate)
COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$99.99
Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$79.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119137– Retail



PSU
Comment: Minimum of a 500 Watt power supply. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 36 Amp Amps.) Two available 6-pin Molex hard drive power dongles (with 260 GTX card)

Question: better option as it appears I need only 550 watts Amps/dongle needed for 260 the issue

$99.99 ($89.99 after rebate)
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Misc.
$6.99
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Questions:
What am I missing? Cables?


June 18, 2009 7:56:12 PM

Really i highly suggest you "break the chain"....seriously your spending 190$ on a dual core...when you could go with an AMD 940BE for 190$ btw you can actually find discounts around 160$ anyways the 940 can get to 3.8GHZ no problem and alot of users can move all the way up to 4ghz..

Either way you are getting a quad core that has no problem keeping up in gaming performance with the E's and beating them as well....the increase in performance from the dualcore's extra clock speed doesn't justify its lifespan as a dual core....these performance benchmarks can easily turn around with quad core supporting games etc....
June 18, 2009 8:03:52 PM

Nice build you have going. :)  Maybe take a look at a few changes. This case gives you more room to work with, and it has great cooling. The psu is modular and has plenty of juice to push a gtx 260. Now I know you stated no over clocking, but if take all of a few minutes in your bios and move up your fsb (9 x 400) you run a nice cool 3.6GHz @ 1600 fsb and you save $. This heat sink down below comes with great thermal compound which also saves you a few dollars not to mention it's more than sufficient.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.95
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $74.99 ($49.99 after MIR) Free Shipping
OCZ OCZ550FTY 550W Active Power Supply Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $167.99 Free Shipping*
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $29.99 ($19.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate)
Sunbeam CR-CCTF92-4 92mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $46.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.... <--- Save yourself some money on an o/s until March 2010 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 OCZ psu posted above
Related resources
June 18, 2009 8:27:07 PM

Here's my 2 cents:

If you can budget for it, upgrade to the GTX 275. It is a significant step up from the 260 (not that the 260 is a bad card).

I always tell people not to worry about installing aftermarket CPU coolers unless they plan to overclock, or where ambient temperatures in the room the computer is in are consistently over like 80F. Stock coolers are underestimated IMO, and aftermarket coolers can be a pain to install.

With regard to the 32-bit vs 64-bit argument... You won't be able to use more than around 3GB of the 4GB of RAM you install in your system if you use a 32-bit OS. 64-bit OS's typically have problems ONLY when trying to play old, old games (Windows 9x old). You can use a virtual machine, or dual boot if you want to also have a 32-bit OS to play these ancient games, since they usually can't use more than 256MB of RAM at best anyway. For additional reading/explanation, I direct you here: CLICK

With regard to Windows 7, I had severe problems playing games on the BETA version, and I haven't had the time to test the RC, so I don't know if it's improved those issues or not, but it's definetely worth a try since it's free.

There exists a 64-bit version of Windows XP, but I advise against it for gaming unless you have a SERIOUS grudge against Vista. It was never intended for gamers, and thus drivers are sadly lacking in both quantity and quality.

Good luck with the build.

EDIT: fixed broken link
June 18, 2009 8:59:58 PM

rewindlabs -
I do not fear my chain :sweat:  Seriously Quad Core will provide limited benefits for my use vs the additional component costs. I will skip this generation of Quad Core (waiting for i5 or newer).

Why_Me -
On my first build, I am concerned of introducing the instability of OC. Maybe later on after six months of use I may change my mind, but I think a shakedown with stock parts will give me confidence in the self build process going forward. Thanks for the case suggestion!

kufan64 -
I thought I studied the GTX275 vs GTX260 (216) issue, maybe not as well as I should have? I did not see any information on how a GTX275 would greatly improve my system based upon my uses (no FPS games). Any additional thoughts?

After market cooler was suggested for cooling and noise reduction, does anyone else agree the stock cooler would be fine, save a few $ or good insurance? XP 64 I agree is not an option. It appears the choice of XP 32 or Vista 64.

I am not an XP snob... I do not know enough to be one :kaola:  So if there is a "coupon for Windows 7 with Vista purchase that will make my decision if XP costs more.

Thanks for all the good advice and wishes of luck!
June 18, 2009 9:37:56 PM

halt said:
rewindlabs -
I do not fear my chain :sweat:  Seriously Quad Core will provide limited benefits for my use vs the additional component costs. I will skip this generation of Quad Core (waiting for i5 or newer).


What additional component costs?

You said you weren't going to OC.

e8400 runs @ 3.00 GHz stock for 167$
e8500 runs @ 3.16 GHz stock for 189$
e8600 runs @ 3.33 GHz stock for 270$ (why in the world would ANYBODY every buy this)

Phenom II x2 550 runs @ 3.1 GHz stock for 102$
Phenom II x3 720 runs @ 2.8 GHz stock for 139$
Phenom II x4 920 runs @ 2.8 GHz stock for 159$
Phenom II x4 940 runs @ 3.0 GHz stock for 189$

With the new dual core Phenom II's, where is the value in the exxx series now?

And tell me, how do you get 64% more performance with a lower stock speed?

(and don't say by OCing, because he's not going to OC and the pII 550 OC's almost as good)
June 18, 2009 10:05:14 PM

Heres one link that helped me when I was deciding on what GPU was right for me (GTX 275):
CLICK HERE

I noticed that the average difference in FPS between the GTX 260 and 275 were fairly significant, and that there wasn't nearly as big of a gap between the 275 and 285.

Aftermarket coolers may run a little bit quieter, and a little bit cooler, but for my time and money, it's just not worth it unless you plan to overclock, or you notice your temps are higher than you would like.

If you want to be able to take advantage of all 4GB of RAM that you are buying, you really should go for 64-bit. You can download the 100% free 64-bit version of the Windows 7 Release Candidate (.iso) at the link Why_Me provided, but know that it will stop working after March 2010, and you will have to reformat. I believe Microsoft has actually stated almost word for word that they don't intend to give out "free Windows 7 coupons" with copies of Vista until after a certain date. I don't remember when, you'll have to Google that to confirm I even know what I'm talking about. :) 
June 19, 2009 12:00:05 AM

drunknmunkys
You are correct I do not plan to OC. I doubt my plans will change. I have read many articles about how AMD's speed is not equal to Intel's speed. Regardless... I concede you know way more than I do. However, I will stick with the Intel E8500 for this build as I need to make a choice, I still think it is a reasonable choice and move forward, However I do appreciate you advice as I have read many of your comments during my research and they always were thoughtful and very informative. I do thank you.

kufan64
I will do more research thank you for the GTX 275 link.

I have the Win 7 Link RC. I am worried about stability. Like OC, I wonder if it may mask an error in my build and create frustration. Will consider this carefully thank you. Yes I am aware of the 3ish+ Ram limit of 32 bit XP, from the links I referenced it did not seem to have a significant effect on the games or games I play.

Why_Me

Thanks for the link! The reviews of that card are not great... Complain about Noise. Do you have this brand? Any thoughts?
June 19, 2009 12:19:16 AM

I would hold off on choosing a video card until your ready to add it to your cart. The 4870 1gb performs the same as the GTX 260 Core 216 and the 4890 performs the same as the GTX 275. Wait until your ready to buy and see what you can get the best deal on.

Prices on Newegg right now
MSI 4870 1gb $144.99 after rebate
MSI GTX 260 Core 216 $144.99 after rebate + Free Shipping better deal

MSI 4890 $179.99 after rebate + Free Shipping better deal
PNY GTX 275 $199.99 after rebate + Free Shipping

Also check out slickdeals.com, I've seen the 4870 1gb for $121 and the 4890 for $160 within the last week. There are always good deals flying around now as both companies are positioning themselves for the release of new products. When I was looking to buy a card I was looking at the 4870 but the GTX 260 Core 216 was $20 less at the time so I went with that. Don't limit yourself to one card, keep your options open.

After writing this I logged onto slickdeals and found this, 4890 for $135. Outstanding price.
June 19, 2009 12:33:12 AM

ausch30 said:
I would hold off on choosing a video card until your ready to add it to your cart. The 4870 1gb performs the same as the GTX 260 Core 216 and the 4890 performs the same as the GTX 275. Wait until your ready to buy and see what you can get the best deal on.

Prices on Newegg right now
MSI 4870 1gb $144.99 after rebate
MSI GTX 260 Core 216 $144.99 after rebate + Free Shipping better deal

MSI 4890 $179.99 after rebate + Free Shipping better deal
PNY GTX 275 $199.99 after rebate + Free Shipping

Also check out slickdeals.com, I've seen the 4870 1gb for $121 and the 4890 for $160 within the last week. There are always good deals flying around now as both companies are positioning themselves for the release of new products. When I was looking to buy a card I was looking at the 4870 but the GTX 260 Core 216 was $20 less at the time so I went with that. Don't limit yourself to one card, keep your options open.

After writing this I logged onto slickdeals and found this, 4890 for $135. Outstanding price.


Nice find :) 
June 19, 2009 12:36:56 AM

Why_Me said:
Nice find :) 


Thanks. The key is to not get locked into one vendor or one brand or one model, keep your options open until your ready to pull the trigger and you'll get the most for your money.
June 19, 2009 12:59:33 AM

ausch30
This is the kind of actionable advice I really appreciate... Thank you.
June 19, 2009 1:05:52 AM

halt said:
drunknmunkys
You are correct I do not plan to OC. I doubt my plans will change. I have read many articles about how AMD's speed is not equal to Intel's speed.


You shouldn't be making blanket statements like this. Either you've read articles about the Phenom I, or the Core i7. The Phenom 1s are bad. That is true. They are only good for very-low-budget encoding and such. The i7s are not comfortably within your price range. In your price range, the Phenom IIs are very, very strong contenders. ausch was talking about not getting locked into one brand?
June 19, 2009 1:28:57 AM

smithereen
I did not comment about Ausch's suggestion friend he was talking about graphics cards not CPU's. As to the Phenom II vs E8500 I have made a choice to stick with Intel for this build. The statement was more about my needs than a blanket.

not moose
Thanks but prefer E8500 for this build friend
June 19, 2009 1:55:30 AM

I know you have your mind on the E8500 and it's a great chip but for the same price you could have this.
AMD Phenom II X4 940

The Quad core Phenom II Black Edition would easily beat the E8500 in most things now and in the coming months and years as programs become more multi-threaded the lead would only increase.

Here are a couple reviews. The 940 performs on the level of the Q9550.
http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=658&type=expert
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/phenomii940/

Another good thing about going with AMD instead of the Socket 775 Intel chips is that it provides you with an upgrade path for the future. 775 is a dead socket, there will never be another CPU produced for that socket and the prices are pretty much as low as their ever going to go.

The chip I linked is a Black Edition which had an unlocked multiplier. If at some point down the road you decide you'd like to try out overclocking that's a nice feature to have. You said you don't want to overclock though so you could get by with the X4 920 for $159.99. Right now neither chip will give you the gaming performance out of the box that the E8500 will with the exception of a couple games that take advantage of multiple cores. It's just an option you might want to consider.

The choice is yours obviously and as I said the E8500 is a great chip and an outstanding gaming chip but I agree with the others that you might be better off looking elsewhere.

I just quickly priced out a i7 920 build and you could fit that under your $1000 limit which would blow anything else away.
June 19, 2009 4:25:16 AM

My rig is close to what your thinking about m8. I have the GTX 260 tho not the 216 but it runs crysis @ 30 to 40 fps at times it will dip to 20 fps its still very playable and looks grate @ 1680x1050 2x AA at high details. I know your not into fps games, that setup will kill WOW @ max setting in 40 mans if your into raids, i was they stucked the life out of me lol anyways gl on your build
June 19, 2009 7:43:46 AM

ausch30
Thank you very much for your thoughts and information.
The 550 and 720 BE were two of my first choice CPU options. After taking a considerable amount of time doing research on the games I play, including going to each game forum and searching builds and results their I switched to E8500. The main reason is that today E8500 is better today and most games I tend to play are not going to see Quadcore optimization for a few years (RPG’s, MMO’s, Strategy “non-rts” are technological leaders in games).

The i7 920 was a consideration as well. I did not see any research suggesting I would get any advantage on the types of games I play today and it would just cost more money. If I was going SLi or Crossfire it might make sense, however the types of games I play have not seen SLi optimization yet either let alone for Quadcore. As I read it i7’s will have a limited upgrade path as well. Therefore felt saving capital today for an i5 build in a few years was better.

Here are some of the types of threads I read on the E8500 vs i7 debate.

E8500 vs i7 920 with a GTX295 comparison
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=807

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/258420-31-bang-buck-d...
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/260596-28-e8500-pheno...
http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=28&t...
http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=28&t...
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/forum/printer_friendly_post...

niklas_13
One area I considered changing was upping the GTX260. I do think the GTX260 is all I need for every game out today with my 20” monitor (or the max 27" I could see me using in the future). I think it would be better off getting a GTX260 now and consider a new card in 12 months. Probably get a cheaper better option. Thoughts?
June 19, 2009 2:23:12 PM

As people suggested Phenom 2 is what I would of went with over the E8500. Gaming perspective E8500 is a tad bit better, but with quad cpu the computer just seems to run smoother. If you plan to upgrade very soon then go for the E8500, if not I highly recommend the quad (seems more efficient this route). Best of Luck. =]
June 19, 2009 3:06:00 PM

Looks like you've got a good build picked out. I'm sure you will enjoy it very much.
June 19, 2009 3:14:50 PM

I will make two final comments before respecting your decision and leaving you alone.

You will not have a CPU bottleneck for at least two years with any CPU you choose. You may see 1-3fps leads with your C2D over a Ph2, 2-4fps losses under an i7. But when games start becoming quad-threaded, that will change. The Ph2 9X0s will have about a 1.7x advantage over your C2D, the i7 about a 2.0x. Which would you rather have?

Secondly, benchmarks are done on a clean, freash install of Windows with nothing running in the background. Any CPU thread produced by MSN, spyware, Windows Update, etc, will slow down a dualcore rig, but get picked up by the extra cores in a Ph2/i7.

There, I rest my case. Good luck with whatever build you choose.
June 20, 2009 5:02:08 AM

Final build choices looking for last minute “mistakes”. Is the case too cheap, better no LED option? Intel stock Heat Sink ok, no OC?

Motherboard:
$99.99 ($94.99 after rebate)
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory:
$46.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231122
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ – Retail

Processor:
Intel
$189.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU Fan/cooling:
Stock Intel Heat Sink as no OC in this build
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSI...

Graphics Card:
Note: 260 is huge, needs 2 x 6pin PCI-E power plugs 500W min

$194.99 ($169.99 after rebate)
EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
evga Precision overclocking tool to raise fan rpm’s to avoid overheating

Hard Drive
$74.99
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD DRIVE:
$26.99
SAMSUNG SH-S223Q Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X 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 with LightScribe – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
$69.99 ($54.99 after rebate)
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
Comment: Minimum of a 500 Watt power supply. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 36 Amp Amps.) Two available 6-pin Molex hard drive power dongles (with 260 GTX card)

$99.99 ($89.99 after rebate)
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Misc.
$6.99
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 20, 2009 1:03:31 PM

From what i get out of it is a 260 is the sweet spot for that setup. A 285 would be even better but do reviews and see if the more fps is worth the money. i will upgrade in the next 8 months also gl m8
June 20, 2009 1:13:50 PM

I would suggest changing the memory to this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Slightly better timings, slightly better voltages

I would change the video to this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
same performance as the GTX 260, less money

Hard drive is fine but you might consider this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Extra 90gb for an extra $4

The PSU you chose is very good but for less money you could get this
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
Also very good. More powerful to allow for any future upgrades you may want, it can handle almost anything you might ever want to throw at it.

I would also consider getting an aftermarket cooler simply because it will lower temps as well as noise from your system. Even at stock speeds it's a good idea to upgrade from the stock HSF. It doesn't have to be expensive, $20-$30 would do it.
Something like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Great case, great price, Free Shipping (saves about another $25) very good choice.
June 20, 2009 5:30:55 PM

Thank you for all the great advice.

One last question... Is there any specific component that a swap should be considered to reduce noise levels?

I will post my final build, price, etc... for reference at the close of this thread.
June 20, 2009 6:02:29 PM

If you are really concerned about noise levels then check out this site
http://www.silentpcreview.com/
Lots of great ideas on quieting a system and reviews of products.

As far as noise goes, it's really up to the individual to determine if a system is too loud. It's a very subjective thing and not all noise is created equal. I've heard some fans, for instance, that weren't loud but just had a barely audible whine that drove me nuts. You chose a good case with good cooling I would suggest some fairly slow moving fans (~1200 RPM) that would keep the air moving but would keep the noise down.

These are expensive but worth the money
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These are even more expensive but wildly considered among the best
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These are much cheaper than either and are the fans of choice for many enthusiasts
http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l3/g/c15/s60/list/p1/b119/...

If I were you though I would consider getting a few of these.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cheaper than the 1200RPM model and will allow you the flexibility, either using the motherboard speed control or an additional fan controller, to tune the noise levels and cooling to the optimal level for you and your system.
June 20, 2009 6:08:23 PM

ausch30 said:
I would suggest changing the memory to this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Slightly better timings, slightly better voltages

I would change the video to this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
same performance as the GTX 260, less money

Hard drive is fine but you might consider this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Extra 90gb for an extra $4

The PSU you chose is very good but for less money you could get this
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...
Also very good. More powerful to allow for any future upgrades you may want, it can handle almost anything you might ever want to throw at it.

I would also consider getting an aftermarket cooler simply because it will lower temps as well as noise from your system. Even at stock speeds it's a good idea to upgrade from the stock HSF. It doesn't have to be expensive, $20-$30 would do it.
Something like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Great case, great price, Free Shipping (saves about another $25) very good choice.


ausch30
Thank you for your great advice and taking the time to get specific on my needs… truly appreciate your time and effort.

I took your advice on Memory, Cooler and PSU. I will call New Egg and ask if they can offer the MIR to keep the entire order with them.

On the HDD, I actually think 640GB is too much for me! I download no music or videos. I almost considered a Velocity Raptor 150GB for +$100. Only reason I decided not to, after research for the games I play the improvement appears to be on the margin in real game situations. Not saying it is not better as it clearly is, rather that its benefit is situational and for this interim build (caught between chip cycles), I am going to err on the side of financial prudence for a change 

I did a lot of research on the GPU and CPU for this build, 3dguru, Tom’s, Tech, anadtech, game specific forums as well, and felt that the GTX260 “appeared” to provide better real life performance for the types of games I play. That said paying a more for this specific card makes sense to me as my box is more GPU reliant… I could be dead wrong on this issue, time will tell.
June 20, 2009 6:13:41 PM

halt said:
ausch30
I did a lot of research on the GPU and CPU for this build, 3dguru, Tom’s, Tech, anadtech, game specific forums as well, and felt that the GTX260 “appeared” to provide better real life performance for the types of games I play. That said paying a more for this specific card makes sense to me as my box is more GPU reliant… I could be dead wrong on this issue, time will tell.


Certain cards do perform better or worse depending on the game but you should also look at the date of the review and the drivers use since over time as drivers mature performance changes.
!