TechSpot

Gaming Rig Help

By GrifterViper
Dec 19, 2008
  1. Hey All!

    I am thinking about building a new gaming computer but would love to get some assistance and advice on the parts to use.

    So far here's what I've come up with, trying to keep it to a budget of $1,000 CAD.

    Mobo
    Asus P5Q-E Socket 775 Intel P45 + ICH10R Chipset Dual-Channel DDR2 1200/1066/800/667MHz Dual Gigabit LAN 8-channel High Definition Audio 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 Slots 8x SATA 3Gb/s

    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Quad-Core Socket LGA775, 2.33 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 4MB L2 Cache, 45nm (Retail Box) (BX80580Q8200)
    OR
    AMD Phenom X4 9950 (125W) Black Edition Quad Core Socket AM2+ , 2.6GHz, 4Mb Cache, 1800MHz HT, 65nm (HD995ZXAGHBOX)

    Ram
    OCZ (OCZ2RPR10664GK) DDR2 PC2-8500 1066 MHz Reaper HPC Edition 4GB(2x2048) Dual Channel Kit $55 (after $30 mail-in rebate)

    HDD
    Seagate Barracuda (ST31000340AS) 7200.11 SATA NCQ 3.0Gb/s 1000GB (1TB) 32MB Cache (OEM)

    GPU
    SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

    Case
    Antec Sonata III Quiet Super Mid Tower with 500 Watt power supply

    For the drives not sure if I want just DVD +/- RW/DL or BluRay, etc. That'll push it a bit past the budget but will see later.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Scrap the phenom idea, wasted space I'd go with a 650-700 watt power supply though
     
  3. GrifterViper

    GrifterViper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Ah k. Ya a friend was saying to got with the Intel chip. As for cases, any tips? Not sure which case would be cheap yet good enough to ensure long life. I hear aluminum is the way to go.
     
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

  5. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Similar builds, i Always look forward to rage's post about rig setups. I can always guess 3-4 out of 6 maybe 7 items he'd choose(withing a 2 month period of course.) Apparently he does his homework as he's helped me with vga advise. I'd say go with his suggestions. You can overclock your cpu around 3.8 Ghz on the setup. Also have about 80 bucks for a case.

    A mid atx or full tower of your choice should be fine.
     
  6. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Full towers are generally better, I've found. More space for expansion, lower temps, room to hide cords easily, etc. It's all up to you though. If you can't fit a full tower, or don't want to pay extra for one, then a mid-tower is just fine too.
     
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,435   +145

    I would go mid tower, full towers are huge compared to average consumer PC's.

    I hear the 4870 1 GB is a very good card...actually worth the extra money?
     
  8. GrifterViper

    GrifterViper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    So I'm still debating on quad over dual. Here's my reasoning, I want to keep this system running for at least 2 years, hopefully, without having to do any upgrades. Personally I don't upgrade if I can help it. Also, this is a system that I'm putting together for my brother. Just trying to get a system that'll last 3-4 years and let him play the games with reasonable detail. Don't need high details later on. Was reading up on the differences and seems that a higher performing dual core would be the way to go for now. But what about a few years down the line? Wouldn't there be more games geared towards quads? The argument that I got from a friend was that by that time this quad will be so far outdated that it won't make much of a difference, so the higher dual is the way to go.

    What I was thinking and wondering was would it be worth while to drop the HDD to a 500 or even 320 sata, keep the same mobo, drop to a dual core, and up the gpu to the 1gb version instead of the 512? I read somewhere that the added 512 makes a big difference. Also, not gonna overclock it, so would I need an aftermarket cpu fan?

    Here's the newer setup I'm looking at. I've already purchased the ram, and now am just debating on waiting till after the holiday season to see if there are any possible price drops or some higher parts at or around the same prices.

    Mobo (Opt 1): Asus P5Q-E Socket 775 Intel P45 + ICH10R Chipset Dual-Channel DDR2 1200/1066/800/667MHz Dual Gigabit LAN 8-channel High Definition Audio 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 Slots 8x SATA 3Gb/s $189
    Mobo (Opt 2): Asus P5K SE/EPU Socket 775 Intel P35 + ICH9 Chipset Dual-Channel DDR2 1066/800/667Mhz GigaLAN SATA/eSATA HD Audio Support 1333Mhz CPU$85
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Socket LGA775, 3 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 6MB L2 Cache, 45nm$205
    Ram: OCZ (OCZ2RPR10664GK) DDR2 PC2-8500 1066 MHz Reaper HPC Edition 4GB(2x2048) Dual Channel Kit$62
    GPU (Opt 1): Diamond Radeon HD 4870 750MHZ 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E 2XDVI-I HDTV Out $320
    GPU (Opt 2): SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card$240
    CASE + PSU: Antec Sonata III Quiet Super Mid Tower with 500 Watt power supply$130
    Add another $150ish for HDD and DVD burner.

    Total is around 900ish. Can get the cash prices at CanadaComputers if that's where I make the purchase at. Not sure yet, have to shop around to see where the best deals are and if I order online how much shipping is gonna be plus any possible damages during shipping. Would love to have the option of crossfire for the future but would it really be worth getting a higher priced mobo now that won't use that feature for at least a year? My brother doesn't want to spend much, and now says that he might not even go for the 1GB gpu. Trying to gauge what his best option would be and move from there.

    Thanks again for all the help ^_^
     
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    The 1GB HD 4870 is about 10-15% faster on average. It's upto you whether or not you want to get it.

    And you will need a separate, higher-wattage PSU. The one in the Antec case, although good, is not sufficient. Also, go for a newer chipset motherboard if you can.
     
  10. GrifterViper

    GrifterViper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks! :grinthumb

    Hopefully he'll make up his mind on whether to make the purchase, using these parts, by the end of January.
     
  11. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    I've sold both of those mainboards. I rather like the P5Q better. The P5K SE/EPU is a nice little board, but not the same feature set as the P5Q. It's still a good value, but the P5Q will give you that little extra.

    That Sonata III is an awesome case. I love them and love building with them. Excellent choice. Another good choice is a Thermaltake Soprano RS with window. Very quiet, stylish case. You have to buy a PSU, though.

    The RAM is wicked too. I have a 4GB kit of it and it's just great. You won't be sorry with it, that's for sure. Seagate is a great choice, as is the CPU.

    Overall it's a great build. I would grab an Asus or BFG card over either of those, though. The Sapphire isn't too bad, but the Asus or BFG are better for not a lot more.
     
  12. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,435   +145

    I would say go with the P45 chipset, it should't be too much more than the p35 but is a nice sight better.

    No you will NOT need an aftermarket cooler.

    Are all your prices in USD? They are quite high o.o.
     
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    No mate, they're Canadian dollars.

    BFG doesn't sell ATI cards in the first place. I'd rather wait for an XFX HD 4870. Should release in a few weeks, and with XFX's reputation for quality and their warranty coverage, they should quickly become the best third-party manufacturers for Radeon cards. That is, until eVGA or BFG decide to step in. :)
     
  14. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    True that BFG doesn't.. but they DO sell a 9800 GX2 that will outperform the 4870.

    Anyways... XFX? No, not sure I'd recommend them either. I'm not thrilled with their quality and we've run into duds.. Frankly I'd rather go Sapphire than XFX. XFX is a Tiger Direct special.
     
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    I doubt that. The 9800GX2's performance depends on how well-optimized a game is for SLI. So you mileage may vary. No such problems with a single-GPU card.

    Interesting feedback about XFX though, you're the first person I've heard who actually goes far so as to recommend Sapphire over them. Almost every tech-savvy person I've met who owns an XFX card loves them. Nice to know they're not as great as they're supposed to be.
     
  16. GrifterViper

    GrifterViper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Hey again. My brother has made a couple final choices but is debating on changing some things.

    Here's the new purchased parts:
    Mobo: Asus P5Q-E Socket 775 Intel P45 + ICH10R Chipset Dual-Channel DDR2 1200/1066/800/667MHz Dual Gigabit LAN 8-channel High Definition Audio 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 Slots 8x SATA 3Gb/s
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Socket LGA775, 3 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 6MB L2 Cache, 45nm
    RAM: OCZ (OCZ2RPR10664GK) DDR2 PC2-8500 1066 MHz Reaper HPC Edition 4GB(2x2048) Dual Channel Kit
    GPU: ASUS ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB DDR5 2DVI-I HDTV HDCP PCIE2.0 (EAH4870 DK/HTDI/1GD5)
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda (ST3500320AS) 7200.11 SATA NCQ 3.0Gb/s 500GB 32MB Cache
    Case: Antec Sonata III Quiet Super Mid Tower w/ 500W PSU Metallic Charcoal Color

    Got a couple new questions. First, what psu should I get to upgrade to? Here are the ones I'm comtemplating:
    1. Tagan TG800-U88 BZ 800W Modular Power Supplier
    2. OCZ GameXStream 850W Power Supply - NVIDIA SLI-Ready, Active PFC, 120mm LED Fan
    3. Corsair TX Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX 12V 60A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan

    Next, would it be wiser to go for a Quad core since this system is to last about 2 years min, hopefully more?
    1. Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 Quad-Core Socket LGA775, 2.33 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 4MB L2 Cache, 45nm
    2. Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Quad-Core Socket LGA775, 2.50 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 6MB L2 Cache, 45nm
    3. Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 Quad-Core Socket LGA775, 2.66 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 6MB L2 Cache, 45nm

    Finally, would it be wiser to try to switch the case? The vid card is pretty close to the front fan, almost right on it, with the Sonata 3 case. Is the cooling sufficient for the Sonata with the 4870 1GB card? I have a Vantec Spectrum Fan Card. Don't know if he can return it to CC but would it be better to go for something else like:
    1. Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case
    2. Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Ultimate Gamer Case
    3. Thermaltake VG7000BWS SopranoRS 101 Mid Tower ATX Case

    Any help is appreciated. I know the budget he wanted was 1K but now he seems to be just getting this to work around the Asus 4870. He wants a good PSU and wants to possibly go Quad to avoid having to change later on. Also was told by a friend that even the Quads might be hard to find a couple years down the road.

    Thanks again. Sorry for the extra long post.
     
  17. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    For gaming, the Duo. The OCZ and Corsair are both really nice. From the cases, the Thermaltake.
     
  18. GrifterViper

    GrifterViper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    K cool. Thanks for the quick reply. I like that TT case myself, looks like it has a lot of ventilation and some good space, least form the pics. Have to take a look in person if any of the stores have a display case.

    So dual still is better? I'm getting mixed intel from friends, so kinda hazy on it. I'm told since my bro wants it for 3-4 years, that quad would be the way to go. Apparently the quads later on in a couple years might not work with the P5Q series?
    He doesn't want to upgrade. Just wants something that'll last and run the games a few years from now, hopefully. Trying to "futureproof" as best as possible close to the original budget. Again, not gonna overclock anything, so just going to be running on factory settings.
     
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    The new quads are from the i7 series, and require a new motherboard and new RAM. So in the future, if you wanted a quad, you would basically need a new system. So go with the dual-core.

    As for the PSU, try this PC Power & Cooling S75CF instead of those. You could also do with a Corsair 650TX, which also provides more than enough power for your brother's system. And may I suggest trying to buy from NCIX and Newegg.ca? Their prices are better than those offered by CanadaComputers.
     
  20. GrifterViper

    GrifterViper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Ah k. Question about ordering from Newegg.ca and NCIX, would we get hit with duties and charges if customs opens up the packages? I've ordered an Antec psu from Newegg.ca before and had no issues on duties or fees but what about other components?

    And Happy New Year too all! :wave:
     
  21. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Nope, I highly doubt that would happen. NCIX even has proper stores in Canada so you can just get your parts from one that's near you and save on shipping.
     
  22. GrifterViper

    GrifterViper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Good to know. When I go for my $1600 budget comp in a few months or a year, I'll make sure to hit all those places up to see the best prices. And of course gain some valuable advice from Techspot peeps ^_^

    Thanks again for all the help. Going to try to return the Sonata 3 and get the Coolermaster 690 with the Crosair 750w psu. The 4870 is pretty tight in the sonata 3 case with the front fan attached so the Coolermaster 690 should be more spacious and it's a little more with the psu and case together compared to the Sonata 3 but least don't need to worry as much with the psu capacity.

    Will post again with the final build that we go with, once it's built and up and running.
     
  23. GrifterViper

    GrifterViper TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Finally got it all built and going. Ran Crysis without any lags on high. As well as Supreme Commander and Far Cry 2. Just started a burn-in test with Prime95 to test the dual cores.

    System built for my bro:

    Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Ultimate Gamer Case
    PSU: Corsair TX Series CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX 12V 60A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 120MM Fan

    Thanks again for all the help everyone. I'm am really pleased with the 900 case over the Sonata 3. Much more room to work with. Didn't buy all the parts from Canadacomputers, but most were. Just linked some from Canadacomputers for people to read about, if they wanted. Will be looking for more help later in this new year, when I am able to afford my own new system.
     
  24. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    Very nice build. :)
     
  25. What about the new Phenoms 920 or 940?
     
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