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$1115 build: e8500,x25m,GA-EP45-UD3L,hd 4890,750tx psu,4gb gskill

Last response: in Motherboards
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August 18, 2010 11:24:38 PM

Going for a reliable, value gaming PC, so I picked older pieces with lots of newegg reviews: socket 775 motherboard/CPU + DDR2 RAM over an i5 or i7 build.
Thanks for any help. The questions are at the bottom. My main concerns are getting RAM that works without having to change any BIOS settings (“plug and play” RAM), and whether or not I should wait for out of stock pieces.
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CPU
$195 e8500 3.16ghz dual core CPU Model:BX80570E8500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I think dual over quad, because faster cores and less power/heat.
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MOTHERBOARD
$90 GA-EP45-UD3L (“OUT OF STOCK”)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
$80 GA-EP43-UD3L
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I choose gigabyte over asus, because it seems more reliable and better performing. The first mobo has a p45 chipset, which is suppsedly a little better for overclocking.
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RAM
$105 g.skill 2x2gb DDR2 800 F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B, 450 newegg reviews, 5star avg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
$90 g.skill 2x2gb DDR2 800 F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ, 2400 newegg reviews, 5star avg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The $105 RAM seems to be newer, has listed timings of 4-4-4-12, and has 1 reviewer saying he used it with GA-EP43-UD3L, the older P43 version of the motherboard I want.
The $90 RAM has listed timings of 5-5-5-15 and has 2 reviewers saying they used it with GA- EP45-UD3L, the motherboard I want but is out of stock.
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HARD DRIVE, PRIMARY
$220 Intel X25-M SSDSA2M080G2XX (“OUT OF STOCK”, this is item N82E16820167027)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
$230 Intel X25-M SSDSA2M080G2XXX (newegg note: “Discontinued, replaced by N82E16820167027”)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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HARD DRIVE FOR STORAGE
$110 Western Digital 1.5TB Caviar Black Model:WD1501FASS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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VIDEO CARD
$190 Radeon HD 4890 Model:HD-489X-ZSFC (“OUT OF STOCK”)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
Or $200+ Radeon HD 5830?
Or $160+ Radeon HD 5770?
Toms hardware charts FPS charts show 4890 performing equally with 5830. I choose 4890 because it may be more reliable. Some bad recent reviews for the 5830s on newegg. 4890 and 5830 performed better than 5770.
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POWER SUPPLY
$110 Corsair 750W PSU Model:CMPSU-750TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'd like the 750W over 650W just to be safe with these monster video cards that use a lot of energy.
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CPU COOLER:
$35 Xigmatek HDT-S1283 CPU fan/heatsink
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Not planning to overclock. I just want to be safe.
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CASE:
$60 Cooler Master 690 Mid Tower ATX case Model:RC-690-KKN1-GP
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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OPERATING SYSTEM
XP 32 bit
or
Win 7 64 bit?

Total, with first choice for each, excluding OS price, is $1115.
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Questions:
1. A GA-EP43-UD3L motherboard reviewer said he used F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B RAM with his build(which is why I want to get that RAM). Should the RAM also work for GA-EP45-UD3L(the P45 mobo I'd rather get)? Likewise, if a reviewer says such and such ram works for GA-EP45-UD3R or GA-EP45-UD3P, should it also work for GA-EP43-UD3L and GA-EP45-UD3L?

2. Should I wait for the P45 gigabyte motherboard, the newer X25M SSD, and the HD 4890 to be in stock, or go with the alternatives? Anyone know how long it will take them to come back in stock, or know of any website that tracks newegg item availability history? And which memory and OS should I get?

3. Why did newegg stop selling GA-EP45-UR3R and GA-EP45-UD3P motherboards? Those were a couple of their most popular boards.

4. Does anyone have a link for G.skill's RAM naming scheme?

5. Will 5-5-5-15 DDR2 800 ram be faster than 6-6-6-18 DDR2 1066 RAM? Will it be faster than 6-6-6-18 DDR3 1066 RAM?

6. Does anyone know the difference between the above 2 solid state disks? And does anyone know the difference in performance/features between the older SSDSA2MH080G2C1/ SSDSA2MH080G2R5 and the newer SSDSA2M080G2GC / SSDSA2M080G2GN?

8. These HD 4XXX and 5XXX video cards say they require at least a 500W PSU. Should I go with an 850W PSU to be safe or is 750 fine? Using only 1 video card. Using 2 hard drives: 1 traditional and 1 intel SSD.

9. Why I haven't been able to find sites with graphs showing XP performing better than 7? After googling “win 7 vs xp”, the sites from the first two pages of google have graphs showing win 7 performing about equal with xp, but a good amount of commenters at the bottom say things like xp is better than 7 in every way. (e.g. http://www.maximumpc.com/article/reviews/windows_7_revi... ) If that's true, how come I didn't find any sites with graphs showing XP performing significantly better?

10. It seems like newegg offers weekly discounts and combo deals on their items that don't sell so well. Would it not make them more money to offer deals on items that do sell well?

11. How high could this build be overclocked? What about with 1066 RAM? And with what FSB speeds? Or is it better to keep the RAM timings low?
a b V Motherboard
August 19, 2010 4:10:53 AM

For $1100 you could buy a much faster computer which would perform faster. Socket 775 is really left for budget builds, no point buying a brand new PC based on a relatively dead platform. An overclocked Core i5 760 would outperform an overclocked Core 2 Duo E8500 if they are both at the same speed. Overclocking the Core i5s are really easy, just upping the BCLK to the 150 from 133, which will most likely require no voltage changes, will get your Core i5 760 up to the speed of a C2D E8500, and it would be faster in gaming.

Here's what I suggest (approximate newegg prices):

Intel Core i5 760 2.8 GHz - $209.99
Asus P7P55D-E Pro - $179.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $102.99
MSI N460GTX Cyclone 1 GB - $234.99, $7.56 shipping
OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB SSD - $169.99, $20 rebate available
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB 7200 RPM - $74.99
XFX 650W Modular PSU 80+ Bronze - $99.99, $30 rebate available
Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced - $89.99
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus - $29.99 (not at newegg, other stores like Amazon or Frys.)

Total = $1,150.47 with shipping and rebates. ~ $35 more for a faster processor, twice the cores and faster architecture, a CrossFireX, SLI, SATA III and USB 3.0 ready motherboard, a faster graphics card, an SSD with faster write speeds and an arguably better case. 650 W is more than enough for GTX 460 SLI, which outperforms HD 4890 CrossFireX and even HD 5850 CrossFireX.

For the O/S, go for Windows 7 64-bit, no point getting XP unless you plan to run programs which will definitely not work with 7. 32-bit will mean you'll only have around 3 GB usable RAM too, while W7 can handle up to 16 GB for the Home Premium versions, and 192 GB for Professional and Ultimate versions.

Questions:
1. Most of the time it should work, there's no definite way of knowing unless it's stated on the QVL.

2. Take my suggestion. ^^

3. Because LGA 775 is obsolete/Gigabyte has stopped making the boards and spent more time developing/producing newer boards.

4. I don't sorry. PI just means PI series. NQ normally means high latency budget RAM, with basic heatspreaders.

5. CL5 800 MHz RAM should be faster than CL6 1066 MHz. There is virtually no difference between CL6 1066 MHz DDR2 and DDR3 RAM.

6. The newer SSDs are just a faster/improved generation.

8. The cards do not require 500 W, the whole system does. 500 W should be enough for any HD 5870 card as long as it isn't a dodgy and or generic PSU.

9. Windows XP is a ligher OS, it's not surprising that it's not behind W7. Windows 7 offers updates which will be soon cancelled for XP, and DirectX 11, a more visually pleasing interface, and other features.

10. No. The point of combo deals/shell shocker is to get rid of less wanted stock, or stock in very high quantities, not stock which is constantly sold out etc. That's why you very rarely see well known motherboards in Shell Shocker deals for example.

11. Your old build... not sure. But this one should hit around 3.6 GHz or more.
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