Help with specs on new PC

By gamerguy79 · 41 replies
Jan 25, 2008
  1. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Intel/AMD Dual core / Quad core

    I read a recent issue of a PC magazine (I think it was MaximumPC?) which ran some tests and said that definitively, right now, Intel processors are better than AMD. I'm definitely going with Intel.

    Re. the processor, I checked that performance comparison chart (for Photoshop, which I do also use for photography), which showed the Quad 6600 performing SLOWER than the duos? How is that possible? These are the kinds of things that don't help decide on new components!

    I am totally in agreement that building a PC myself would be the ideal situation, for all the reasons you've all given. I guess I would be more willing to do that if I had someone with me walking me through the first parts (how to attach the mobo to the case, setting jumpers, etc.). After that I'd be golden. Damn inexperience! On that note ... does anyone know of a good online (free, preferably) video walkthrough of how to install a motherboard, processor, etc.?
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    The CPU frequency and application support is what affects the Q6600's performance. Overclocking gives a very substantial performance increase. But overall, for gaming the E8500 is a better choice since it offers more performance over the Q6600 and it's a 45nm chip, which translates into lesser heat output and power consumption, which also makes it a superb overclocker. But even without an OC, it still packs quite a punch.
    As for the videos, check out YouTube. There are lots of great videos that tell you how to get it right.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)
  3. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Outside of overclocking (which I have absolutely no clue how to do), why do you say the E8500 offers more performance? Is it solely because of the 45 nm aspect?
  4. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    Yahh the 45nm makes alot of difference, there is so many intel cpus out there at the moment but the one rage has told you about is i think the bets one which will suit for what you are looking for.
  5. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I know this may be a silly question, and one with different answers, but how long do you think that E8500 would be the sweet spot for processors? How long before the quad-core makes financial sense?
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Still a long time off methinks, since applications and games will need to be written so as to take advantage of all four cores. Apps such as Photoshop already show benefits when running a quad-core CPU but lots of others don't. As far as the E8500 is concerned, it has a higher stock frequency and performance than the Q6600. Check out the Tom's Hardware CPU Charts for confirmation. As far as being the sweet spot goes, I have no idea, since new hardware comes out all the time so it very well might be AMD's X3 that takes the cake this time. But it will still last for a long time down the road and with its performance potential, I doubt you'll have any problems.
  7. Crosscourt

    Crosscourt TS Rookie Posts: 72

    Very few games take advantage of dual cores presently so its definitely going to take time and software makers arent in any rush with multicore systems still being a minority.
  8. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    so if I build myself ...

    Is the E8500 the best dual-core Intel out there? I am not trying to build a rig on $1000 - I have some money to spend. If I were buying parts individually and putting them together, what direction should I head in?

    I did some research on mobos, and have come to the conclusion that I have no idea what I'm doing in that department. The prices vary wildly, and I don't know what means what. I assume since I want nvidia GPUs that the nForce is good, and I figure the higher the DDR and FSB ratings the better. But this is confusing:

    Why is the first one below $254 and the second one $97? Is it just the DDR vs DDR2? I pulled these from pricegrabber.
    1) eVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 Motherboard
    Intel Socket T LGA775, nForce 780i SLI, ATX, 8GB DDR2, 1333MHz FSB
    2) GigaByte GA-P35-DS3L Motherboard
    Intel Socket T LGA775, P35 Express, ATX, 8GB DDR, 1333MHz FSB

    PS. I want to use as good quality/speed RAM as I can get (within reason). Is the low-latency stuff worth the extra expense?
  9. Grafficks

    Grafficks TS Rookie Posts: 302

    As for those two motherboards you mentioned, the difference in price is almost entirely due to the northbridge chipset.
    The nForce 780i chipset was just recently released and is the successor of the well-renowned nForce 680i chipset.
    The second one uses the slightly-older Intel P35 chipset, which is also a great chipset.
    I'm pretty sure they both use DDR2 (the "8GB DDR" on the Gigabyte should be a typo).
  10. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    The Gigabyte does support 8GB of memory. I checked the official specifications on the their website.

    The new 780I based motherboard dosen't offer any performance gains over the old 680I based motherboards except for native PCI-E 2.0 support which dosen't help even the fasterst GPU out there now. The EVGA board is a waste of money if you don't plan to run an SLI setup, and Nvidia based video cards don't run any faster on Nvidia chipsets than they do on Intel or ATI/AMD based chipsets.

    Is low latency memory worth the extra expense? No not usually.

    Processor Intel E8500 Core 2 Duo $300.00 roughly (out of stock)

    Motherboard $358.00 (and you may want to wait until Nvidia comes out with the 8900 line of GPUs if you are really interested in an SLI setup)

    Video Cards $450.00 each (suggesting you should get two and you may want to wait until Nvidia comes out with the 8900 line of GPUs if you are really interested in an SLI setup)

    4GB Memory $515.00

    Power Supply $230.00

    Storage Drive $160.00

    System Drive $190.00

    Case $190.00

    Sound Card $136.00

    Water Block $72.00 roughly (out of stock)

    Radiator $125.00 roughly

    Water Pump and Top Combo $110.00 roughly

    Water Reservoir $34.00 roughly

    4 Fans $30.00 roughly

    10’ 1/2” X 3/4” hose from Home Depo $6.00

    Various Barbs and Hose Clamps $25.00 roughly
  11. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I was planning on doing an SLI setup. There are no DISadvantages to it, right?

    And I, too, seem to be having trouble finding anyone who has the E8500 in stock. I can find the E8400 - is the .16 GHZ difference worth the hassle/wait/cost?

    Also ... the whole cooling aspect of building a new machine is a bit intimidating - how hard is it to add liquid cooling?
  12. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How does this setup look?

    This setup totals ~$2780 so far with taxes and component shipping. This is $1000 below Alienware, and has a few more upgrades to boot. The hole I see is cooling - is this liquid cooling compatible, and if so, is it enough with whatever fans come with the case? If not, suggestions?


    Case $175.00 Cooler Master COSMOS 1000 Black/Silver Tower

    Motherboard $190.00
    eVGA 122-CK-NF68 Motherboard

    Processor $300?
    Intel Core 2 Duo E8500

    Windows Vista Home Premium

    Sound Card $140.00 Creative 70SB046A00000 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series - Retail

    Power Supply $260.00 Ultra / X3 / 1000-Watt / ATX / SATA-Ready / PCI-E Ready / Energy Efficient / Modular Power Supply

    Graphics Card 1 $280.00 XFX Geforce 8800 GT Video Card

    Graphics Card 2 $280.00 XFX Geforce 8800 GT Video Card

    Memory Sticks $208.00 Corsair DOMINATOR 2GB PC2-8500 DDR DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit

    Hard Drive 1 (Raid 0 with HD2) $190.00 WD1500AHFDRTL Raptor X 150GB Hard Drive

    Hard Drive 2 (Raid 0 with HD1) $190.00 WD1500AHFDRTL Raptor X 150GB Hard Drive

    Hard Drive 3 $160.00 Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

    Optical Drive 1 $27.00 ASUS Black 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E616A3T - Retail

    Optical Drive 2 $55.00
    I/OMagic IDVD16DLS Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer w/ LightScribe

    Liquid Cooling $120.00 Thermaltake BigWater 12cm Liquid Cooling System Model CLW0005

    Fans ??
  13. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    Yeah the E8500 seems to be out of stock. I don't have enough information on the E8400 to be able to give you advice in that area. I read this review and didn't like what I saw for the E8200.

    Liquid cooling isn't hard, but it's not for the beginner. If you don't feel comfortable with the liquid then save it for another time. Without the watercooling stuff you'll save between $300.00-$400.00. The computer will work fine with the stock CPU cooler; I'm assuming that the processor will come with a stock cooler. I picked a very expensive motherboard with built-in water cooling features. The board will work without water cooling but you may want something different if your not going the water route.

    SLI isn't a bad thing, but to get the most for your money you'll need an HD monitor or both SLI and Crossfire will be a waste of money.

    Oh, I thought DDR3 would be a huge boost in memory bandwidth but after a little reading that doesn't seem to be the case.
  14. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, I have a 32" Toshiba HD LCD monitor (and its 20" little brother that I use when doing Photoshop).

    Anyone know what cooler comes with the E8400 or E8500?
  15. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    SLI is not worth the heat and power penalty unless you plan to game at 1600x1200 or higher. But it's upto you.
    IMO, for SLI the eVGA motherboard is unnecessary since similar performance to it is achieved by the P6N SLI motherboard for a lower price. Also, it uses the 650i northbridge which runs much cooler than the eVGA's 680i one.
    The X-Fi card is overrated. Get a cheaper Audigy SE or a Diamond Extremesound card and you should be fine.
    That PSU is not recommended, besides being overkill. I'd recommend the Corsair 620HX if you're going SLI or the Corsair VX550 if you're not.
    I'd suggest getting a Pioneer or a Lite-On DVD burner instead of that ASUS one.
    Bear in mind that you'll need cables for the HDD since it's OEM, so it won't come with any.
    Lastly, make sure you get the 64-bit version of Vista Home Premium, so you can upgrade your RAM later if you need to.

    As for liquid cooling, it will some time to set up and test. So you'll need a lot of patience. But once it's up and running, with the right stuff, it won't need much maintenance at all. If you're willing to forego it, I recommend getting the Zerotherm Nirvana or the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme instead. Paired with a good fan like a Panaflo L1A, a Scythe S-Flex SFF21F or a Yate Loon D12SM-12, it'll keep any processor below 40C at the highest loads.
  16. gamerguy79

    gamerguy79 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for those suggestions. So are you suggesting I go with a single videocard setup instead? If so, it'd probably make sense to get a more expensive one. Maybe the 768 MB 8800 GPX instead. Does anyone have suggestions about XFX vs eVGA vs BFG?

    A complaint on the reviews: Only 1 internal CD audio connecter, Only 1 IDE cable, difficult to get the stock CPU cooler attached. Does that mean it will only take one optical drive?

    Also, the description for this board says it uses the 680i chipset, not the 650. But, it IS cheaper!
  17. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    Two devices for the one IDE controller.
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