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Any advice on this setup (budget, £1200)

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November 19, 2007 8:41:04 AM

Hi all.

Currently looking to get myself a new rig after I'm fed up I can't game at all on my MacBook. I'm looking to get something no more than £1200 (ideally £1000). Oh, and it would be great if I had something that I could keep for about 2-3 years ideally, with only minor upgrades (maybe swapping the gpu/cpu after a year and a bit) - rather than having to buy almost another whole system.

I already have a hard-drive and nice LightScribe drive, along with keyboard and mouse that I l'll keep, so iirc I just need a display, mobo, processer, gpu, and some RAM (hopefully I haven't forgotten anything!).

Here's what I'm thinking about getting at the moment:
600W FSP Sparkle Epsilon FX600-GLN SLi
2GB (2x1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2 Pro, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800)
Antec P180 V2 Advanced Super Midi Tower Case, Black (God I love this!)
Asus P5N32-E SLI PLUS NF650i (C55), S 775
Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q6600 G0 SLACR, 95W, S775, 2.40 GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB Cache (Retail, should I get OEM?)
640MB XFX 8800GTS

How does this look? This would total to £809.77 from Scan, and then I plan to get the Acer P223W 22" which is £159.99 I believe.

Any ideas? What would you change?
November 19, 2007 10:23:20 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums mate :) 

its looks very nice, some suggestions:

change the PSU too OCZ STEALTHXSTREAM 600 or CORSAIR 620
change the 8800GTS to 8800GT because 8800GT is better
Get Q6600 retail not OEM
If u are going , SLI then keep that ASUS ,its a solid board, but if u are not going to SLI, get a P35 board like ASUS P5K-E (Get the WIFI version if u are going to OC, because it has better cooling) , GIGAYBTE P35 DS3R or
ABIT IP35 PRO

Answer this if u are going to OC : What are the timings of that RAM?

November 19, 2007 11:22:53 AM

Looks pretty good. OEM = about 3 months of warranty & no fan. Retail = 3 years. So get retail Intel cpu.

Mobo - get at least 680i since your budget is quite high. See the differences between 650i & 680i:

http://www.nvidia.com/page/nforce_600i_tech_specs.html

If you go SLI, get one more card. I would get 2 x 8800gt. Then upgrade the psu to 750W or more. You will be able to max out everything in games. The monitor is just 1680X1050.

Noise - the 8800GT has a single-slot cooling solution which is rather loud at full speed. The card is pretty hot under load. If noise is an issue (i.e. running the pc 24/7/365), either upgrade to GTS/GTX or replace the stock fan with a good one like:

http://www.thermalright.com/a_page/main_product_hr_03gt...

You can also get a fan controller to control the case fan speeds. And then a 3rd-party cpu cooler like:

http://www.thermalright.com/a_page/main_product_ultra12...

There are other good choices. Just ask.

Related resources
November 19, 2007 1:18:24 PM

cycles said:
Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q6600 G0 SLACR, 95W, S775, 2.40 GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB Cache (Retail, should I get OEM?)
If you get the OEM CPU you'll need to get a CPU heat sink/fan. The retail version comes with the stock HSF.
The retail HSF is excellent for stock and light overclocking.

The PSU you picked is actually a good choice. But for only 3 quid more the Corsair 620HX seems to be the better choice. We know the cables are long enough for that Antec P180 and the PSU is modular which means you won't have extra, unused cables floating about inside your case. The 620HX will be fine with 2x8800GTS or 8800GT in SLI.

You mentioned you already has some RAM plus you're getting the Corsair XMS2 Pro PC2-6400? What is the memory you have on hand that you're re-using?
November 19, 2007 1:24:07 PM

Hi thanks for the warm welcomes :) 

I've taken these comments in to account, and have changed the graphics card to a 512Mb XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog XXX, but this is cheaper than the GTS above - is this an indication that it's worse? I checked benchmarks (http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews.php?/gpu_displays/xf...) and it still looks like a very powerful card.

In regards to the PSU, I've changed it to a 620W Corsair HX Series Modular SLi PSU, which is about the same price.

I'm not sure about Sli or not, I need to do some reading about this. Would it be better to get 2 of these 8800XXXs, or invest in a beefy 8800 Ultra?

I like the look of that cooling, but that's not an option if I go SLI is it? I'm reasonably conscious about noise.
November 19, 2007 2:06:59 PM

WR2 said:
If you get the OEM CPU you'll need to get a CPU heat sink/fan. The retail version comes with the stock HSF.
The retail HSF is excellent for stock and light overclocking.

The PSU you picked is actually a good choice. But for only 3 quid more the Corsair 620HX seems to be the better choice. We know the cables are long enough for that Antec P180 and the PSU is modular which means you won't have extra, unused cables floating about inside your case. The 620HX will be fine with 2x8800GTS or 8800GT in SLI.

You mentioned you already has some RAM plus you're getting the Corsair XMS2 Pro PC2-6400? What is the memory you have on hand that you're re-using?


Yea, I read about the Corsair PSU now, and it seems very neat :)  I don't have any RAM already, sorry if there was some confusion there. I only have a hard-drive that I'm re-using (and disk drive)
November 19, 2007 5:50:31 PM

Dont even think of 8800ULTRA, because 8800GTX performs near a ULTRA (the difference is 5-20 FPS) and costs cheaper , about 2 8800GT vs 1 8800GTX:

2 8800GT outperform a single 8800GTX in most games but not all (if u want , i will give the links of it)
also when it comes to very high resolutions, a single 8800GTX does better(again i have the benchmarks ) also 2 8800GT will consume more power and also are more hotter than single 8800GTX

remember MUTIGPU doesnt always double the performance:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/245454-15-crossfire...
November 19, 2007 7:30:39 PM

The 8800GT is only loud at start up - after that its about as loud the 8800GTS/8800GTX which are pretty quiet.
The nice thing about SLI is you can see how well just 1 card performs on your favorite games and 16x10 20" WS LCD.
If you're not happy with the performance and your game(s) can benefit from SLI you can always add in a 2nd card.
It's always less expensive to reduce the image quality a bit to get better performance but some people want nothing less than the Ultra Quality graphics settings.
Here are a few more XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog reviews. The FiringSquad review also shows 8800GT/SLI performance.
And it also shows the 8800GTS 640 and 8800GTX in a wider range of games. Yes 8800GT is better & less expensive.
8800GT review @ FiringSquad 8800GT review @ ExtremeTech
November 19, 2007 9:21:30 PM

The HR-03 GT can be installed upside down or vice versa. So there'll be enough space.

The 8800GT is overall a faster card than the old 8800GTS. The new 8800GTS will be faster than GT, but a bit more expensive than GTS. If you really want more powerful cards, wait for the next Geforce series which may come out as soon as Dec.

Like I said, I wouldn't get 650i if I had your budget. Go with 680i. See the link for comparsions between the chipsets.
November 21, 2007 10:55:53 PM

Pushed it up to the 680i now (2x16x SLI looks nice!) and changed the card to the 8800GT.

Here is the current spec:

Intel Core 2 Quad-Core Q6600 G0 SLACR, 95W, S775, 2.40 GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB Cache, Retail

Antec P180 V2 Advanced Super Midi Tower Case, Black (no PSU)

2GB (2x1GB) Corsair TwinX XMS2 Pro, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800), 240 Pins, Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 5-5-5-12

620W Corsair HX Series Modular SLi PSU, ATX, EPS 12V

512MB XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog XXX, PCI-E (x16), 1950 MHz, GDDR3, GPU 670 MHz, 2 x Dual Link DVI-I, Fan

Asus P5N32-E SLI NF680i SLI, S 775, PCI-E (x16), DDR2 533/667/800, SATA II, SATA RAID, ATX

Is that all compatible, and good choice? Thanks for all your help so far, you've made choosing these components a lot easier!
November 22, 2007 5:25:48 AM

Looks very nice but if u want to OC, then change the RAM and get a
DDR2 800 RAM with 4-4-4-x or lower timings
November 22, 2007 2:00:00 PM

No incompatibilities. I'm not a big fan of OCZ & Corsair. But to each his own.

I'm not sure if the 620W can power 2 8800GT cards. I'd get a 750W for SLI & leeway for overclocking.
November 22, 2007 2:43:06 PM

Everything looks great man. I am not a fan of those PSU by OCZ or Corsair. If you have the money man just buy yourself a PC & Power Cooling 750 Quad Silencer PSU and put an end to it all. You can run a quad core along with two 8800 Ultras with no worries at all with that PSU. And very quiet on top of that and low heat output. PC & Power Cooling make the best PSUs I have ever seen very very stable power. And don't worry about your memory it is perfectly fine unless you plan on OCing the balls off of your stuff. I have the same Memory and I can OC without any problems at all. Just my 2 cents other then it looks great man I wouldn't change anything but.... well maybe just add yourself a CPU cooler better to do it from the start so you don't have to take everything back apart to install it later on. NOW that is just my 2 cents lol...
November 22, 2007 2:53:18 PM

PC&POWER COOLING 750 is a solid PSU no doubt about it, but OCZ and Corsair PSUs are very good too
November 22, 2007 7:28:19 PM

Oh i agree they are not bad PSU or anything like that but lets look at prices...
PC&Power Cooling 750 Quad $168.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair 620HX $169.99-$30.00(MR)=$139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

so for $29.99 more you are getting 130watts more and IMO a better PSU. Now i do understand that you are not going to be buying it from newegg or anything but I am just saying it might be worth looking into if there isn't much money difference. Now if there is a huge price def. just get the Corsair and save yourself the huge bucks. It is personally up to you...
!