New gaming box advice needed

By fenris
Aug 26, 2008
  1. I was in the process of building a new gaming box a few months ago but I had to put the plans on hold for a bit. Now I'm back in the saddle and I should be pulling the trigger on the parts in the next month or so. These are the parts that I have so far:

    Case - Antec 900
    Monitor - Acer 22" with max resolution of 1680 x 1050
    OS - Vista 64 bit​

    I need some help picking out the rest of the components. I haven't built a pc in over six years so it's going to be a work-in-progress. The new pc is going to be used primarily for gaming (MMO, FPS, and strategy games) with some video editing on the side (HD home videos of family).

    I know that there is no such that as building a "future proof" pc. However, I would like to be able to put together one that I will be using for the next 2 -3 years without a lot of problems. I have never OC'ed a pc and to be honest, I'm really hesitant to do so unless the machine can't handle current games and I can't afford to upgrade it. I'm afraid that I'll stress something to the point of no return because I had no idea what I was doing and fubar it.

    This is what I have in mind so far. Please feel free to interject and let me know if there are better options out there.

    CPU: E8500/E8600 or Q9550 (age old faster duo core vs. slightly slower quad core dilemma)
    CPU Cooler: ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 120mm (seems to have solid reviews)
    MOBO: No idea
    GPU: This is the really hard part. See below.
    PSU: 750w that will fit into the Antec 900 and can run the it solidly
    Memory: 4 GB, not sure of the make though
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST3750330AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 32MB Cache (pretty cheap and large HDD)​

    My monitor will only support a maximum resolution of 1680 x 1050. Am I correct in that the higher end cards such as the 4870x2 and GTX280 cards may be a bit of an overkill because I won't be running anything at 1920x1200? Because this box will be primarily used for gaming, I don't mind investing in a solid graphics card. I'm just not sure which way to go. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Future proof imo would be a xfx 790 motherboard with 3 way sli(for future added cards) or you can go with a striker 2 extreme from Asus. Throw a 9800gtx in there for now, those run a little over 200 usd if I remember right. Then you can add 2 more in the future...if you'd like. 4 Gb's of ddr3 of your liking.

    Those items will run you about 500 usd or so all together. That's as future proof as you're going to...until the "future" comes that is.

    I'd say go with the quad so you wont have to upgrade your cpu anytime soon.
  3. fenris

    fenris TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I've spent the better part of tonight glued to my computer reading video card reviews and comparisons. All in all, I think that the 4870 is going to be the best bang for the buck at around $275. I can always pick one up later when they drop in price for a crossfire setup.

    As far as processors go, the E8500 is selling for a low $190. I just don't see the E8600 worth the extra $80 for .17GHz. The Q9550 would be a big jump in price to $330 but I'm not sure when games will be written to properly utilize quad core processors. Have any of you noticed a difference in gaming with a quad core box?
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Go for an ASUS P5E if you're considering Crossfire. In any case, get the E8400. The E8500 is not worth the small increase in frequency.

    For a PSU, the Corsair TX750W and PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 are great choices.

    Lastly, get a 4GB kit from OCZ's Reaper collection. They provide the cheapest high-performance RAM. Corsair's Dominator series is another alternative, but is more expensive. Keep in mind that you'll need a 64-bit OS to be able to use all your RAM.
  5. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    On a side note, my previous post is for "future" proof machines, if you have that kind of money, but the Asus crossfire boards arent bad at all. Maybe in the future you can consider adding a second card. to top your performance.
  6. fenris

    fenris TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the advice guys. I looked at the ASUS P5E mobos on newegg and they have a ton listed, each with their particular bells and whistles. I haven't shopped for a mobo in years so I'm not sure what options I need and what options I don't. Is there a particular model that you would recommend?

    I also took a look at those PSUs RAGE recommended and both look great. If I decide to throw in another 4870 down the road, will the 750w PSU handle the load?

    Lastly, the ASUS P5E mobos list the below memory specification:

    "Memory Standard: DDR2 1200(O.C.) / 1066 / 800"

    Without sounding like a total noob, am I correct in that I should be purchasing DDR2 1200 or slower memory? I took a look at the DDR3 but I didn't think that the P5E boards supported it. If DDR3 isn't an option, should I be pricing out the DDR2 1200 memory or the 1066 memory?

    Thanks again for the help.
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    I recommend the P5E vanilla board (i.e. the one without any suffixes in the name). Here is the link to it.

    As for the RAM, any RAM will do, provided it's from Corsair, Crucial or OCZ. Others may or may not work, but any high-end kit from these three manufacturers will work for sure. If you want to get DDR3, get the P5E3 Deluxe instead. Here is the link to it. I own the same board and highly recommend it if you want to buy a board that will last a long time down the line.
  8. fenris

    fenris TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I think that I'm going to go with the below build so far with prices from newegg:

    Case: Antec 900 (already bought)
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz ($190)
    CPU Cooler: ZEROtherm Nirvana NV120 120mm ($50)
    MOBO: ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard ($225)
    GPU: VisionTek Radeon HD 4870 512MB ($270)
    PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V ($120)
    HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST3750330AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 32MB Cache ($120)

    I used the memory selection gui on newegg for the P5E mobo and filtered the search for 240-pin DDR2/ 4GB (2 x 2GB) and it only gives the below options:

    Corsair Dominator

    I have never used the memory selection gui so I'm not sure it even works.

    These did not show up in the above search but looked good:

    OCZ Platinum 4GB
    OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB *out of stock*

    Any suggestions?
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Go for the Dominator or Reaper kit, whichever you prefer.
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