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A Power Users First Gaming PC!

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December 17, 2009 1:04:51 AM

Hi, (I want to keep this as short and sweet as possible. So here it goes.)

I've been a power-user all my life, but have lived on Pentium 4's and Pentium D's. 2 weeks later I will be building my first ever gaming PC and need some help doing so. I just want to clear this up before we start... I can NOT build an i7/DDR3 rig. Sorry.

Alright, now that's out of the way, lets get down to business. I have a few components already with me that I purchased during my life time to either build others PC's, or to sell them for profit. I'm either going to keep them, or sell them to replace them with something else. Now here's where I need you help. You need to let me know if I should sell them, or keep them. Please note, that I will be overclocking:

- MSI P7N SLI-FI nForce 750i - On the box it says it supports 45nm - 1333FSB - PCI-e 2.0 - 1066Mhz RAM (OC)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Asus GTS250 Graphics Card - Supports PCI-e 2.0 [I don't own the exact same model, but you get the idea]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- Core2 Duo Desktop Processor E7400
http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SLG...

O.K These are the main things I have so far, the rest are basic bits like DVDRW and HDDs. For starters, for us to move on, I need to know if this motherboard is any good for OC'ing? Or if its any good at all. If it is, I would need it to achieve beyond 3.2Ghz on the CPU, for it to boost GPU performance. Should I sell it or keep it? If so, we need to move onto the CPU. Is the CPU any good for at least a years of gaming? I personally wanted to build this once, and not touch it again. So I was hoping to go for a Quad Core. Most probably the infamous Q6600 G0. - Good idea? Yes... No? For the RAM, I wanted to get 8GB's of DDR2 800 (4x2GB) But I am convinced that it will be an overkill and a murder on my wallet, which is why I wanted to settle with 4GB's 800 Dual Channel (2x2GB's.) If you want, you can convince me that 8GB's will be needed down the line. OK. So to sum this up so you see everything clearly:

- MSI P7N SLI-FI Motherboard (Keep it or sell it? If so, what should I get in its place)
- GTS 250 Graphics Card (Keep it or sell it? If so, what should I get in its place)
- Core2 Duo E7400 or the Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 (if neither, what would you recommend?)
- 4GB's of DDR2 Dual Channel or 6GB's Single Channel or 8GB's Quad Channel?

After all this is built, I will need a semi-decent PSU to go with the setup. Somthing from Coolermaster or OCZ perhaps. But NOTHING from their extreme range. I'm really not looking to blow more then $100 on a PSU. Not that I'm trying to skimp on it, I just don't want silly price tags sent my way. (I don't think I would need more then 600W's, even for SLI.)

Thank you!

More about : power users gaming

December 17, 2009 1:04:19 PM

Wow. Not even one reply?...
December 17, 2009 1:21:44 PM

Do NOT! go with the socket 775 processors. They are quickly becoming obsolete with the inclusion of i7 and i5. Now, if you want to stick with intel but don't want to fork out the cash for a bloomfield processor then I would suggest going with an i5 build. Also, why don't you want to use DDR3? DDR2 is also becoming obsolete and DDR3 will give you much better future proofing. Other than this I suggest you maybe add a quick edit to your first post to follow this guideline to make it much easier to understand what exactly you want.
Related resources
December 17, 2009 1:34:36 PM

Well, I would keep the current motherboard as it seems to suit your needs. Same with the graphics card and cpu, since you can easily upgrade them if you find out that they're not fast enough for you. Also, not many games support 4 cores yet.

I don't know how overclockable the cpu and motherboard combo is, but getting a 2.8ghz cpu to 3.2ghz doesn't seem like much of a stretch to me.
For gaming, you're not going to need more than 4gb of ram.

All of this depends on what kind of games you're planning on playing, at what resolution, and whether or not turning graphics settings to medium on the newest games sounds like a terrible idea to you.

As far as a PSU goes, you can't go wrong with something like this 550W from corsair. They have a great warranty and fast rma as well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Xigmatek s-1283 is a good, reasonably priced heatsink
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

e:
mavanhel said:
Do NOT! go with the socket 775 processors. They are quickly becoming obsolete with the inclusion of i7 and i5. Now, if you want to stick with intel but don't want to fork out the cash for a bloomfield processor then I would suggest going with an i5 build. Also, why don't you want to use DDR3? DDR2 is also becoming obsolete and DDR3 will give you much better future proofing. Other than this I suggest you maybe add a quick edit to your first post to follow this guideline to make it much easier to understand what exactly you want.

You could also go with a Phenom II + ddr3 for upgradeability, and there isn't much of a price difference between ddr2 and ddr3 ram. Of course the cheapest solution would be to stick with the somewhat out of date parts you already have

December 17, 2009 2:00:07 PM

mavanhel said:
Do NOT! go with the socket 775 processors. They are quickly becoming obsolete with the inclusion of i7 and i5. Now, if you want to stick with intel but don't want to fork out the cash for a bloomfield processor then I would suggest going with an i5 build. Also, why don't you want to use DDR3? DDR2 is also becoming obsolete and DDR3 will give you much better future proofing.


I don't think you read a word I said.
December 17, 2009 2:02:31 PM

I did, but I figured that it would be better for you to know that there is no future for your computer.
December 17, 2009 2:04:12 PM

Quote:
Follow the sticky http://tsutton.site90.net/imgs/signature_smiley1.jpg ... what your budget first of all?


Ahh, the infamous bugdet. Well I don't have one, for a number of reasons:

1) I have most parts already. I just need to know if I should keep them or not.
2) If you had reccommend me somthing, I would probbally savage for it on ebay, so it will be way below retial price.

BUT if you want a number, I would probbally say no more then $200 + what I already own. I own a CPU/Mobo but I need to know if its the right one for my needs. I'm not looking for a rebuild for at least 2 years, thats why I wanted to go with a Quad Core, but wasn't sure. I think I would need a quad, but couldn't make up my mind on which to get. I had in mind the Q6600 G0. - It's a very infamous CPU. The only bad point is that its 65nm. Now, if you have a better recommendation, please let me know.
December 17, 2009 2:06:28 PM

mavanhel said:
I did, but I figured that it would be better for you to know that there is no future for your computer.


For me? Yes there is. For benchmarks? No. I see your point, but I doubt that the build will suffer in playing games, seriously. If I can get games beyond 40-50FPS on all maxed out settings, then what else could I want? What is the point in going beyond 70FPS right? I'm not a benchmark buff, I'm just a gamer that wants to play games. If I can build a rig that plays better then a PS3, then I am beyond happy.

They said the same thing for the Pentium D when Core 2 came out. Yet, it still plays GTAIV with a 8800GT on 1280x1024 on medium settings. Belive me, for an semi-high end gamer, the LGA775 is a good build "today." I'm not planning on keeping the thing for more then 3 years, so its not a problem. And so what if DDR2 is becomeing rare? It dosn't make it *** does it. The only difference would be speed, and thats not to much of a problem. As I said, I'm not a benchmark geek. It's all about the gameplay for me.
December 17, 2009 2:09:26 PM

irkjab said:
Well, I would keep the current motherboard as it seems to suit your needs. Same with the graphics card and cpu, since you can easily upgrade them if you find out that they're not fast enough for you. Also, not many games support 4 cores yet.

All of this depends on what kind of games you're planning on playing, at what resolution, and whether or not turning graphics settings to medium on the newest games sounds like a terrible idea to you.

As far as a PSU goes, you can't go wrong with something like this 550W from corsair. They have a great warranty and fast rma as well.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

e:

You could also go with a Phenom II + ddr3 for upgradeability, and there isn't much of a price difference between ddr2 and ddr3 ram. Of course the cheapest solution would be to stick with the somewhat out of date parts you already have


To be frank, I'm not looking to upgrade in the future, it will need to hand out till the end of 2011 at least. Thats why I know a Quad will be needed, but I'm just not to sure on which one to go for. As I said in previous posts, I'll savage for them on ebay to fit my budget, but I will also sell of the old items I get rid off so I can expand my budget. I have around 200 bucks + everything that I currently own. The main thing I'm stuck on is the motherboard, I need a thumbs up from people for it.

Games? Hmm... Lets see. I hated Crysis, it was the shittest game I have ever played in my life, and I think its only good as a benchmark tool :)  I'm more into games like GTAIV, MW2 etc etc. I would also like to play these on maxed settings with decent frames. (I was playing MW2 on 1280x1024 medium on my friends PC, looked awesome. So anything beyond that.)

To be honest, the GPU is the least of my worries, I know it will live up to its name. what I'm worried about is the CPU/MoB. I need some great advice on either. If you think that selling the CPU/MoB and switching over to AMD is a better option, then by all means please let me know.
December 18, 2009 1:17:47 PM

hopeless bump.
December 19, 2009 6:34:26 AM

Last bump. If no other suggestions come through, I'm going to keep the motherboard, and sell of the CPU for the Q6600 G0. I was really hoping to get a few AMD reccommandations before I went on with it.
December 19, 2009 7:11:22 AM

godbrother said:
Last bump. If no other suggestions come through, I'm going to keep the motherboard, and sell of the CPU for the Q6600 G0. I was really hoping to get a few AMD reccommandations before I went on with it.


The benefit of going with a AMD/DDR3 setup is that it features great upgrade potential for the future, easy to OC, and offers stronger performance compared to your current setup. Since you said you wanted to see some other recommendations, I thought you would like to see another option. I'm not sure what you meant about DDR3 though.

The 720 gets 52 fps on GTAIV, and once you over clock it, it will get even better. The 720 even does better in GTAIV than the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (which is pretty similar to G0 version.)
http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2009-desktop-cpu-cha...

As you can see, the 720 does just as a well as a quad in gaming:





AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$119 -Free Shipping


ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$60


Crucial 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Desktop Memory Model CT25664BA1067 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$78 for two sticks -Free Shipping

Total = $257
December 19, 2009 4:31:11 PM

That is pretty impressive I guess. But the Motherboard + RAM would be nothing other then a flush. Think about it for a second:

1) It's not triple channel DDR3 (which is one of the main fetures of DDR3) plus the ram you selected is only cheap for a reason. It's clocked at 1066, which is what DDR2 was clocked at so it's a pointless option going for a DDR3 build if its not far apart from DDR2.

I would need at least 1600, which is double DDR2 for it to make sense, and a triple channel DDR3 board.

But the CPU is impressive, let me check on eBay and see how much they sell for on bids.
December 19, 2009 4:44:40 PM

^ A question regarding how Tom's tests its CPU's. What GPU's does Tom's use when creating benchmarks for CPU's? becuase they mention the resolution and settings they use, but they don't list the GPU. They could be useing the top of the range, bank busting graphics cards for all I know.
December 19, 2009 4:45:57 PM

godbrother said:
That is pretty impressive I guess. But the Motherboard + RAM would be nothing other then a flush. Think about it for a second:

1) It's not triple channel DDR3 (which is one of the main fetures of DDR3) plus the ram you selected is only cheap for a reason. It's clocked at 1066, which is what DDR2 was clocked at so it's a pointless option going for a DDR3 build if its not far apart from DDR2.

I would need at least 1600, which is double DDR2 for it to make sense, and a triple channel DDR3 board.

But the CPU is impressive, let me check on eBay and see how much they sell for on bids.


You can simply over clock the ram.

Having three sticks of ram is irrelevent. The AM3 and LGA 755 only use dual channel memory, only the i7 uses tri channel. If you need more ram, simply get 8gb. There isn't any significant advantage for getting 3 sticks instead of 4.
December 19, 2009 4:48:49 PM

godbrother said:
^ A question regarding how Tom's tests its CPU's. What GPU's does Tom's use when creating benchmarks for CPU's? becuase they mention the resolution and settings they use, but they don't list the GPU. They could be useing the top of the range, bank busting graphics cards for all I know.


They always use the top end gpus when testing cpus. This way, any potenial gpu bottle neck is removed, and you can see how the cpu itself affects performance.
December 19, 2009 7:09:21 PM

MothMusic said:
They always use the top end gpus when testing cpus. This way, any potenial gpu bottle neck is removed, and you can see how the cpu itself affects performance.


It's a shame they don't tell you which GPU they used. I was hoping to use the GTS250 with my build, so being that, I doubt I'll get the FPS it was getting in the benchmarks.
December 19, 2009 7:24:38 PM

godbrother said:
It's a shame they don't tell you which GPU they used. I was hoping to use the GTS250 with my build, so being that, I doubt I'll get the FPS it was getting in the benchmarks.


You can get solid, playable performance with a 250 at 1600 res:
December 19, 2009 7:26:33 PM


Heres the link:
http://www.*****/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/17623-geforce-gts-250-roundup-asus-gigabyte-sparkle-evga-18.html
December 19, 2009 7:29:14 PM


Here it should work now:
December 19, 2009 7:52:02 PM

Wow, thats actually pretty good for GTAIV. Maxed out? what about view distances etc etc? And this was done on a Phenom II correct?
December 19, 2009 9:24:12 PM

godbrother said:
Wow, thats actually pretty good for GTAIV. Maxed out? what about view distances etc etc? And this was done on a Phenom II correct?


" ...view distance was limited to 65%."

"In this test we used a didn’t use the typical built-in benchmark but rather used a 10 minute gameplay sequence of which approximately 6 minutes were spent on foot while the remainder was spent driving. All results were recorded with FRAPS."

"Processor: Intel Core i7 920(ES) @ 4.0Ghz (Turbo Mode Enabled)" Don't sweat over the cpu, the 720 will do fine and get similar fps. Cause remember, modern games are very gpu dependent, not cpu dependant.
December 20, 2009 1:48:26 AM

MothMusic said:
" ...view distance was limited to 65%."

"In this test we used a didn’t use the typical built-in benchmark but rather used a 10 minute gameplay sequence of which approximately 6 minutes were spent on foot while the remainder was spent driving. All results were recorded with FRAPS."

"Processor: Intel Core i7 920(ES) @ 4.0Ghz (Turbo Mode Enabled)" Don't sweat over the cpu, the 720 will do fine and get similar fps. Cause remember, modern games are very gpu dependent, not cpu dependant.


GTAIV and Crysis where the two only games that where the most GPU AND CPU intensive game ever to be realesed on the PC platform in the past 2 years. GTAIV for its poor porting, and Crysis for its ridiculously insane requirements on all componants.
December 20, 2009 2:03:45 AM

godbrother said:
GTAIV and Crysis where the two only games that where the most GPU AND CPU intensive game ever to be realesed on the PC platform in the past 2 years. GTAIV for its poor porting, and Crysis for its ridiculously insane requirements on all componants.


Yea I know that. But they aren't that demanding. Simply turn off some of the extra features, like shadows and things to get playable fps.
!