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Building a new computer from scratch and would like some advice

By Classic Rock
Jun 1, 2008
  1. I am about to build a new computer for the first time, and I have questions. A lot of them.

    What I come up with so far is:

    Intel Quad Core Q6600 $245
    Gigabyte EP35C-DS3R Motherboard $146
    4GB Ram (2x2GB) 'A-DATA' / 'Transcend' 800 Mhz $85
    2 x 250GB HDD's @ 7200rpm $140

    I'm pretty sure about the parts mentioned above, but I would like some advice on the following.

    Armor Plus Case, without LCS $287
    1200w Toughpower PSU $330

    and I can't decide between the "Inno3D 8800GT Overclocked" for $265
    (With this card I would need to buy a HR-03 GT and fan as well. So add $80) or,

    a 9800GX2 Superclocked Edition, 1GB DDR3, PCI Express 2.0, Dual DVI, HDMI for $480


    So all in all, the system is, with the 8800GT & heatsink $1,578.
    With the 9800GX2 it's $1,713



    Well, those are my specs and problems, here are my questions.

    - Has anyone seen another Motherboard similar to this one with 2 PCI-e slots?
    I only have one PCI-e slot avaliable on the motherboard, (so dual 8800GT's are out at the moment).

    - Will the 9800GX2 work with my system?

    - How much power do I need?
    - for the 9800GX2
    - for the 8800GT O/C (by itself, and in SLI) ?


    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,094   +86 Staff Member

    What are you intending to do with this system and what is your max budget?

    In my personal opinion, you should opt for 2GB of RAM (unless you'll be using a 64-bit OS) that takes advantage of the EP35C-DS3R's DDR2 1066MHz "memory standard" (Click Here).

    Not too sure what you want to be said about the case, it's big, it's expensive (cheaper here, though), it's more than you "need". If you can accept that and are cool with it, go for it.

    How much power do you need? Not 1200W that's for sure. A solid 500-600W PSU is more than you'll need. Take a look at this.

    If I were going to choose between the two I'd go with an 8800GT right now (and definitely consider a 9600GT). The 8800GT can be had for a lower price, if you poke around on Newegg (and elsewhere, of course).

    I wouldn't concern yourself with a SLI compatible motherboard as the increase in performance with SLI is marginal with the way average users game etc.

    *Edit*

    You are paying about $0.28 a GB for those HDDs, that's expensive compared to what I am seeing right now on the market. Consider looking around a bit more...
     
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    The Q6600 is a waste of money IMO, go with a cheaper and faster dual-core like the E8400.

    Also, Zenosincks is right, you don't need a 1200W PSU, although I'd recommend this one, which can be had for about the same price (after rebate) as the VX550 and is much more powerful.

    In addition, I recommend a better RAM kit from Crucial or Corsair over the A-DATA kit, unless you're not looking to OC.

    Lastly, I recommend the 9800GX2 over two 8800GTs. It will work fine with your motherboard and with the PSU I recommended above.
    Zenosincks has covered everything else.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)
     
  4. Classic Rock

    Classic Rock TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Thank you Zenosincks, and Rage_3K_Moiz,

    My max budget would be about $1,700(Australian). I was hoping to run XP Pro
    and Vista Ultimate (both 64 bit) in RAID 0, with one one each hard drive so I can get Direct X 10 Gaming, and the reliability of XP. I have both programs thanks to a generous friend, but no-one I've talked to has done that. They say it's very tricky. Do you have any advice?

    The main thing I would be using it for is gaming, but also as a student's work station.

    I'm fond of Thermaltake, so I was thinking of a 700 or 750 watt Toughpower(Although the "Corsair TX 650W ATX12V" that Rage_3K_Moiz suggested looks almost too good to be true).
    I want to get a PSU a little bigger than I need, because I am going to be overclocking the CPU when software becomes more power hungry.

    (I was told that the Q6600 could hit close to 4 Ghz per core with the right cooling).


    I looked at the website you highlighted for me Zenosincks, but the cheapest shipping and handling to Australia is another $210 on top of the actual case, and as for the 8800 GT, the fellows at newegg don't ship to Oz. Thankyou anyway though.

    As always, anything else you have to say would be appreciated,
     
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    Ah, so that's Australian dollars. Forget the PSU link then, because I think it's US-only. Could be wrong though... Oh and BTW, that motherboard only supports Crossfire, so you can't use two NVIDIA cards in it for SLI. That would need an SLI motherboard. But as Zenosincks pointed out, it's not worth it and the 9800GX2 would be plenty for any game IMO, even for Crysis.

    As for your original questions, the 8800GT will work with a minimum 450W PSU providing at least 26-28A on the +12V rail(s). The 9800GX2 on the other hand requires at least a 580W PSU providing 40A on the +12V rail(s). Be sure that if you get a multiple +12V rail PSU, it has a total amperage rating for all the +12V rails that is at least equal to the given figure for each card.

    Also, while the Q6600 may be able to hit 4GHz with extra cooling, the E8400 can go much higher, upto 4.4GHz on air with a good-quality air cooler, as reported here. No need to say that it's way faster than the Q6600.

    Lastly, keep in mind that there are few programs that use both the cores on a dual-core chip, much less apps that use all four cores on a quad-core chip. So while it may look cool to have four cores at 4GHz each, the E8400 at similar frequencies will still be faster. Also, the Q6600 will likely throw out much more heat than the E8400 and consumer more power at the same frequency due to the two extra cores and due to the E8400 having the smaller die.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)
     
  6. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,423   +7

  7. Classic Rock

    Classic Rock TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Thank you for your advice Rage_3K_Moiz, I'm really tempted by that E8400 now, (3 Ghz out of the box is impressive). The only thing is, I want this computer to be as "future-proof" as possible.
    Do you think that in the next three to four years the E8400 dual core will still be better than the Q6600? (whichever I choose, I won't have the money to upgrade for a long time).
    I thought that some of the newer games were already being programmed to use two cores - so won't more cores now, mean better performance down the road?

    Thankyou again for your help Rage_3K_Moiz.
     
  8. Classic Rock

    Classic Rock TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Zipperman

    Do you mean ?
    2 PCI Express-x4 and x16


    Sorry, I'm not too sure what you mean above, but my OS would be Vista Ultimate and XP Pro in RAID 0, over the 2 HDD's. No idea how to do that yet, though I have been told that it can be done.

    Sorry, don't know what a browser is. I thought it had something to do with the internet.
     
  9. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    I have never yet seen a reason to buy VISTA Ultimate. What do you actually get extra over Business?
     
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    If you're not going to be upgrading for the next five years at least, then a quad-core CPU will be the better choice. If you have the money, go for a Q9300 if you can. It's essentially the same as an E8400, but with two extra cores and a lower stock frequency and multiplier. Otherwise, go for the Q6600 instead.
     
  11. Classic Rock

    Classic Rock TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 92

    Rage_3K_Moiz,

    I will look for the Q9300 and see if I can afford it. I realy appreciate your advice and help. Thankyou.
     
     
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