New gaming rig / 1000$-1500$

Haven't posted on here before, don't yell at me too too much! :p

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next week or two, soon-ish. BUDGET RANGE: Roughly 1000$-1500$

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming first and foremost, general entertainment.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Processor, monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, router/network adapter, motherboard, hard drive (will be buying a new one down the line, though).

Some backround info on already-purchased/acquired parts..

Processor: I already have a Q6600 lying around (only a stock HSF)
Motherboard: I already have a EVGA nForce 680i board (A1 revision, will allow quad-core OC'ing)
RAM: OCZ DDR2-800 2 x 2GB (PC2-6400, part number OCZ2N800SR2G)
Hard Drive: Relatively obscure frankenbuild part, Samsung 7200RPM 220GB.
Monitor: 24" LG (1920 x 1200, 60Hz)
Mouse: Razer Diamondback
Keyboard: Razer Tarantula
Speakers: Logitech X-540
Router: Linksys WRT54G
OS: will be installing Vista 64bit.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: ncix.com, tigerdirect.ca if needed.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I already have an Intel processor, so no Intel/AMD debate needed. Open-minded for video cards, mind you the motherboard (680i, already acquired) doesn't support Crossfire, just SLI (however it will run ONE ATI card).

OVERCLOCKING: Certainly. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: SLI, Crossfire not supported with the motherboard. Planning on starting with one video card, then eventually adding another for SLI down the line (assuming Nvidia, at that point)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: - Noise shouldn't be a huge concern, mostly performance.

- My only concern with the already-owned parts is the motherboard. Although recent Nvidia chipset motherboards may differ, I have heard some disturbing things about the Nvidia 680i boards. Even though I have the A1 revision, so I can overclock the Q6600, it is still concerning at best. I could relatively easily pick up a P5Q or similar Intel-based motherboard, especially considering the recent price drops as a result of newer DDR3 set-ups. ($150 CAD ish?)

- For now, I think I'll stick away from the i7/DDR3 set-ups, simply because of the high cost of all that is involved with i7/DDR3 and such.

- Also, adding the two brands/timings of RAM together seems kinda sketchy, let me know.

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Currently selected parts (looking to purchase)

- EVGA GeForce GTX 280 Superclocked 621MHZ 1024MB 2.268GHZ GDDR3 Dual DVI-I HDCP HDTV Out Video Card
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=39227&vpn=01G-P3-1282-TR&manufacture=eVGA
After Mail In Rebate: $308.12 CAD

- Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme 6 Heatpipe Cooler LGA775 Heatsink *Fan Not Included*
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35564&vpn=U120E-BP-775&manufacture=Thermalright
Reg. Price: $64.43 CAD

Figured I'd go for a high-end cooler, to make the Q6600 last longer (higher overclock potential, more viable down the line)

- Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound Paste NON-ELECTRICAL Conductive 4 Gram
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=26895&vpn=MX-2T&manufacture=Arctic%20Cooling
Reg. Price: $9.99 CAD

- Cooler Master Haf 932 Full Tower Black EATX Case 6X5.25 1X3.5 5X3.5INT No PSU USB eSATA 1394 Audio
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=33029&vpn=RC-932-KKN1&manufacture=COOLERMASTER
Reg. Price: $177.99 CAD

- Corsair TX850W 850W CMPSU-850TX 12V 70A 24PIN ATX Active PFC 140M Fan Power Supply
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35156&vpn=CMPSU-850TX&manufacture=Corsair
After Mail In Rebate: $149.99 CAD

Should be more than enough for a 280, future SLI potential will probably require one of Corsair's HW1000's, though.

- Patriot Viper Extreme Performance 4GB DDR2 2X2GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL 4-4-4-12 Memory Kit
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=27526&vpn=PVS24G6400LLK&manufacture=Patriot
After Mail In Rebate: $54.99 CAD

Slightly concerned about the differences in timings between this and my current OCZ memory.

- Scythe Slip Stream Kaze Jyuni 120MM Fan 1900RPM 110.3CFM 37DBA
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=26749&vpn=SY1225SL12SH&manufacture=Scythe
Reg. Price: $8.76 CAD

2 of these, one for the HSF, another for the additional fan slot on the bottom of the HAF 932 case.

- Thermalright HR-05/IFX High Riser Northbridge Chipset Cooler Passive 80MM *Fan Not Included*
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=25823&vpn=HR-05%2FIFX&manufacture=THERMALRIGHT
Reg. Price: $24.84 CAD

Figuring that this is worth the small price, considering the NB gets fairly warm when overclocking, so I've heard.

80mm fan to go with...

Arctic Cooling Fan 3 80MM Fan 1900RPM 28CFM 3PIN
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=18652&vpn=ACF3&manufacture=Arctic%20Cooling
Reg. Price: $5.99 CAD

Couldn't find anything with better CFM, might have to look s'more.

- ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 Channel PCI-E Sound Card 24BIT Dolby Digital 116DB SNR W/ Low Profile Bracket
After Mail In Rebate: $73.99 CAD
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=29395&vpn=XONAR%20DX&manufacture=ASUS

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I believe I have included most of the necessary info, hopefully I didn't forget much. If I did, please lemme know!

I'm checking for compatibility information, any issues that may arise or what not. Also, any advice in terms of picking better parts, alternative value-based options, or any other general suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Just for entertainment's sake, I figured I'd give you an idea of my current system. Pentium D @ 2.8Ghz and a MSI 8500GT... and a .. get this.. Asus EMERY board. EVER heard of it? Nope, that's the point. Should make for QUITE an improvement, ya think? :p
4 answers Last reply
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  1. Hi... thats a pretty good setup...
    But my suggestion would be...

    1. Drop that GTX280...

    2. Get 2 of these cards for nearly the price of 1 GTX 280...and 2 of that in SLI even beats the GTX 285 easily...
    Bfg Geforce Gtx 260 Oc MAXCORE55
    http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=23310BD4508&vpn=BFGEGTX260MC896OCDE&manufacture=BFG

    3. Drop the PSU to Corsair 750TX...And actually that 850TX is more than suffice for GTX 280/285 SLI with an overclocked CPU...Dont know how you thought you would need 1000W for GTX 280 SLI...People run GTX 295 SLI with that 1000W PSU so it will be an overkill for your requirements no matter what...

    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=26415&vpn=CMPSU%2D750TX&manufacture=Corsair&promoid=1078
    And this 750TX is more than suffice for o/c Q6600 + 2x GTX 260 SLI...

    So for nearly the same price...actually less, you would get much more performance...And anyways 2x GTX 280 might be little too much for that CPU...
    And 2x GTX 260's would easily satisfy your needs till you get a new PC or till the newer cards come out...

    4. Which OCZ RAM do you have ??? I would say try that out first and then if it creates a bottleneck for o/c, then change your RAM...

    Rest of the specs are very good...
  2. Thanks for the quick reply.

    1 & 2) Only reason I was leaning towards the 280 was because I was considering adding another in a couple months. Now, if I were to start with the 2x 260, I wouldn't be able to add another card, because the board doesn't support tri-SLI or higher. Also, SLI performance depends on specific games and drivers a lot, and can often times do worse than similar single-GPU solutions. Sometimes it's worth it, other times it seems to falter, whereas a single-card solution is guaranteed consistent performance.

    Just my thoughts though, nothing written in stone considering I am not all too knowledgeable with the 260s, SLI or otherwise.

    3) Again, because of the plans to throw in another 280 down the line, I was thinking that 850W would be a safe bet. Also trying to get the Q6600 to 3.4 or higher, so I figured I'd get some insurance, so to speak. The extra 100W is only about 40$ difference (with rebates), so I just thought that would future-proof a wee bit more.

    4) Um, the RAM is a little .. obscure, for the moment. If I'm not mistaken, from the product number I was able to track down the following on Newegg.com,

    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227377

    That should clear up any RAM wonderings. Only reason I opted for another brand of RAM is because of that snazzy deal for some pretty solid Corsair Dominator DDR2, quite a savings from Ncix.

    Thanks again.
  3. Yes I do understand you concerns with the SLI...But currently the SLI drivers are not as flaky as they were before...And all the current games are well optimized to take advantage of the multiple card configuration...

    My main concern with the SLI would be the mobo as I have not seen many positive reviews on SLI boards apart from X58 mobos...But have seen people running those fine though...
    So maybe for this only reason I would suggest a single powerful card...but not the GTX280...Instead the GTX275...
    Reason - http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-charts-2009/compare,1199.html?prod%5B2462%5D=on&prod%5B2460%5D=on

    So save money going with GTX 275 without loosing any performance...And if you buy this item, then you get Free Ground shipping on entire order :)
    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=37655&vpn=896%2DP3%2D1170%2DAR&manufacture=eVGA&promoid=1078

    And as for the PSU, like I said before you wont be needing 1000W any time...
    And if you change you card to GTX 275, still the 750TX holds very good...

    You should check out the TOMs review of a gaming PC from Cyberpower...
    It has 2 HD 4890s in crossfire + O/C Phenom II X4 955 to 3.6 and this rig was just powered by a Corsair 650TX...And it went through the testing problems without any power issues...
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cyberpower-gamer-dragon,2337.html
    Not that am saying you to go with 650TX :P ...Just that the 750TX would be perfect for your needs...

    As for the RAM, it looks pretty decent...
  4. You can check yourself how much power you would need with this tool...
    http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp
    Choose capacitor aging - 25/ 30%...
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