Building New PC, Help choosing parts

By rmdl51 ยท 20 replies
Mar 30, 2009
  1. Hello! Recently I asked your help to replace my Video card (8800GT) and I got suggested for the HD 4870, but I have the chance to sell my current setup to a friend and build a new system for myself.

    In my signature is my current setup, and here are my questions...

    I have two CPU's the Q6600 and the E7300, is the Quad Core much better than the E7300? I would like to keep my Q6600 for my new system and sell the one I have to my friend with the E7300, I'm just willing to know if the 45nm and the 3MB cache make the E7300 better than the Q6600 or not.

    I was thinkinh about the i7, but at the moment it's too expensive, so I rather keep my Q6600 (if it's better than the E7300) and buy something like this... P5N-T Deluxe

    I really like that motherboard, because it has what I need, eSata, SLI (for future upgrade) 6 SATA side ports, is it a good choice to replace the P5K-E I currently have?, I replace that Motherboard because it's Crossfire and I'm willing to get SLI mainly but if you have other suggestions please let me know.

    I'll be getting a GTX 260, but I don't know if I should go with the 216 cores or stick with the regular 192, what do you suggest, the price difference it's only about $20, I would like to keep it under $200 for video card also what power supply would you suggest to power up this card, I was thinking on this one...

    It has a single 12v rail with 52Amp, I don't know if that's better than dual and triple rails or not, what do you suggest?
  2. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    The Q6600 (@ 2.4Ghz) is much slower than the E7300... and even when overclocked the E7300 @ 2.66Ghz may be faster since it's 45nm, but I don't really know. It depends on what you want to use the system for. In general, gaming rigs will use Duos and multimedia machines will use the Quads... but both are great for gaming. Quads are better suited for multitasking if you like running all kinds of stuff at once. Most games won't use more than two cores at once anyways, so it may be wiser to go with the E7300. Either way it's going to be a decent machine, and there's a lot of room for overclocking with both CPUs if you're into that type of stuff. Q6600s are fairly easy to push past the 3.0Ghz mark on a good platform, like P45, but then again Duos are better overclockers in general.

    As far as the video card goes, the more cores the better... so if you can afford it just do it. 52amps on a single rail is more than enough for a single 260.
  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    A single rail is not electricly inferior than two or three, its actually easier because there is no need to balance out your power, so its actually better.

    It should probably be enough for SLI 260's.

    I would personally prefer the dual core.

    I would actually recommend getting a single 4870 512 or 1gb or a 4850 512, along with maybe a slighytly cheaper corsair powersupply, a 450 would be enough for a single 4850, 4870, or gtx260 (I recommend the core 216, the price is worth it).

    I would recommend a P45, but I don't think you can SLI or Crossfire, so as for the motherboard, I can say the 780i is a good board, but it is expensive and I honestly don't remember any of those old boards O.O. I think the 750i is a greater value.
    Like this one: ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    I just did a search maybe look into the ASRock P45XE LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail, apparently it won the 2008 tomshardware award.
    the ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail seems to have 2 PCI slots, and supports Cross fire (4850/4870/4890?!), I never knew the p45 had enough lanes for dual pcie ports O.O.
  4. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    The P5N-D is a terrible motherboard, do NOT buy one.

    Also, I think he has ruled out the 4870 as a possible choice, and wants to stay under $200 on a video card, otherwise I would have recommended the 4870 as well. Either way on the CPU, the P45 is one of Intel's best platforms. Great driver support, balanced performance, and reliable overclocking. As you suggested HK, the P5Q Pro is a solid choice, and yes there are P45 boards with due PCIe 2.0 slots.
  5. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

  6. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    It's not that you don't know what you're talking about, but that is one awful motherboard, trust me... I've owned one. Not sure if I just got a bad one but I had more problems. Horrible driver support, poor stock NB cooling, limited BIOS options; the list goes on. I could rant for hours but I'm not gonna because I sold it and never looked back since I got my X48; rid myself of nVidia-based boards forever.

    /rant :)

    Looks like the price on HD4870s has come down quite a bit though... makes me hate myself for buying two when they were above $250 :mad:
  7. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 244

    Ok, Thank you very much for the input... however I'm uncertain about the E7300 being a much faster CPU, it's only .26 Ghz faster, I mainly want my system to play games and capture and edit video, well I don't know I was thinking 4 cores are better than 2, but I might be wrong. I have OCed my Q6600 to 3.2Ghz stable on my current motherboard and I like how it performs, however I don't know much about the E7300 on OCing.

    The motherboards you have suggested are great, however it must have eSata port, I have an external drive which is connected via this port and I need to keep it like that.

    So the P5N-T is not recommended because it has nvidia chipset? I thought that could be helpful when using nvidia graphic cards for SLI, well I'll look for P45 chipset if they are more reliable, that's what matters for me.

    I don't know if I have discard the possibility of getting an HD 4870, I'm just saying I'm more into nvidia cards, but I haven't tried any ATI since my old 9600XT.

    So, can I find a P45 which is SLI compatible?
  8. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835


    I am actually running a Q6600 (G0) @ 3.2Ghz too and it's quite fast, but it's an older chip (65nm) and the E7300 (45nm) is surely faster with even a moderate overclock. But, if you like the Q6600; find it easy to overclock, then just keep it. It's no slouch by any means. I'm not going to discourage you from buying an nvidia-based board; you will need one in order to run SLI. I, personally, have had really bad luck with them so I have turned to Intel boards; the P45/X48 is such a good platform to build off of so I haven't looked back.

    I strongly recommend the HD4870 over the GTX260. The price has come down since I bought mine and they are a great buy still. More powerful than the 260 and in some cases they even rival the big 280. You will NOT be disappointed with its performance, I will tell you that.
  9. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 244

    I've been told the HD 4870 is a better card than GTX 260, however I'm not sure, I hope I could try them both before buying, I had so many problems with older ATI cards, but I'm really putting everything on a balance and see how it turns out.

    So one more question, you said there are P45 Mobo's with dual PCIe, are those exclusively for Crossfire?
  10. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    The drivers for the newer ATI cards are pretty stable/reliable, although I highly recommend skipping the installation of Catalyst Control Center (CCC) and using only ATI Tray Tools and RivaTuner. Sometimes CCC will get a little buggy and it can be a real pain to sort out.

    To answer your question about CrossFire, not all P45 boards that have two PCIe slots support it, but a good deal of the mainstream boards do. The ASUS P5Q Pro, I know, supports it which is a good choice.
  11. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I think he may be asking about SLI support, which i don't know about...

    Actually the GTX 260 and 4870 are similar, it sometimes just depends on the game.
  12. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    ^You're right, I read it wrong.

    There are no P45 boards that support SLI. (P45 = Intel & SLI = nvidia) They are NOT interchangeable on 775 boards.
  13. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 244

    Yes HK, I've read it depends on the game and since I finally want to play Crysis I've read nvidia performs better with that game, but I don't know, maybe that's the only game I've read it performs better since all others seem to have better overall performance with ATI, mainly speaking of the GTX 260 vs HD 4870.

    I like the idea of the HD 4870 having 1GB for my new 24" monitor, but I keep thinking it's still a 256-bit card and the GTX 260 even though with 896MB it's a 448-bit, however I don't know how that affects the performance of the games, I think both are great and I'll buy depending on which motherboard I choose, if I go with the P45 chipset I'll definitely use the HD 4870 in case I want to go Crossfire in the near future
  14. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 244

  15. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    the 4870 is 256 bit but makes up for it with GDDR5 and 3600 total throughput or something, which is a lot higher than the GTX's, but don't worry about the memory, just know the 4870 has better memory.

    I believe Crysis favors NVidia cards, though crysis is overrated and overhyped, It wasn't that great of a game and didn't completely blow me away with astounding graphics. But they are good...

    Edit: There is actually an edit button, you can revise your posts with it. I would go with a P45 and 4870's, I believe it is possible to hook up a 4890 once those come out soon, if you wan't.
  16. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    I found Crysis to be a little overhyped too... but it's fun to play and the graphics are top-notch with a good card. Not exactly sure how a game would "favor" one vendor over the other but I guess it could be hardcoded into the game to work with the drivers or something. Maybe it just has better SLI support than Crossfire... Regardless, I've played it through on a single 4870 and it looked quite good. Don't know a whole lot about the P5Q... but from what I understand it's a good Intel board... much like the P5K, which was a P35. And yes, it does support CF which is a big plus.
  17. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 244

    Ok, so probably I'll go with the P5Q Pro Turbo, the HD 4870 and now what PSU? is the corsair any good? I know they are good in memory but what about PSU? I like Antec but everything goes over $100 and the link on my first post to the Corsair it's $95 minus $20 rebate, is it good enough for Crossfire in the future? I would like to avoid having to buy another PSU by then..

    what suggestions do you have for PSU?
  18. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    The corsair 650 in the first post is great, though just days ago it was merely $89, the same as the 550, which would probably be enough.
  19. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 244

    What about the brand for the Videocard? I know you suggest Sapphire but that's only 2 year warranty, I would like to get a card with Lifetime Warranty, what are my options? I've been told to stay away from Powercolor cards, I don't know what kind of warranty they offer, what about XFX? it's the only one I've seen with lifetime warranty but it's a bit expensive
  20. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    XFX is expensive, but they are considered one of the best. I just recommend the Saphire for price, The likeliness of failure is low, and if it is outside the two year warranty, you *MAY* want to just get a newercard, though CF mitigates that somewhat. Anyway, its your choice. XFX and Sapphire are both good brands.

    Just to clarify, I meant the 550w corsair should be enough for CF 4870's.

    EDIT: The 4890 should have come out and on sale by now, but it is still relatively new and expensive, so overclocking results are not known (I don't know anyway) and the price/performance is supposed to be lower than the 4870.
  21. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 244

    The recent release of the HD 4890 keeps me wondering if I should go for it or not, as you said some reviews say the performance is not that high compared with the 4870, but this is very tempting:


    The Price is not much higher than the XFX HD 4870 1GB and with the rebate I might get it for the same price.

    The Lifetime warranty is important because like you said probably by 2 years I may want another card, but then I will sell this card and advertise with the lifetime warranty through the manufacturer, so I'm probably gonna stick to XFX...

    However I was considering the ASUS Black Knight HD 4870, which have 3 years of warranty,
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