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Say Yay or Nay on My New Christmas Build

By captaincranky ยท 18 replies
Dec 21, 2008
  1. I'm on Newegg's email promotional list so I fell "victim" to the Black Friday mailer. I'm certainly not complaining, to be very clear. In fact I'm a very happy and willing "victim".
    I bought a copy of XP before they "stopped" selling it. Yeah I know, everybody still seems to have it in stock, but who knew right? Sooo, I have to use it right? After all, it's doing nobody any good sitting in the envelope.

    So, with what I had laying around and the Christmas sales, here's what I came up with;

    Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45-UD3R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128359
    @ $108.99

    Memory: Kingston Value RAM DDR2 800Mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134117
    2GB Kit (2 x 1GB) @$24.49 (I don't believe it actually went down in price to $23.99 ATM)

    HDD: Seagate 250GB 16MB Cache http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148262
    @ $54.99

    DVD Drive : Pioneer DVR116 Black IDE model http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129023
    @ $27.99 ("free shipping" price)

    PSU; Antec EA-380 "Earthwatts" http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371005&Tpk=Ea-380I bought this for 30 bucks for no particular reason during the summer. Well, a promo email got me. Besides, a spare PSU is like money in the bank.

    Video Card: EVGA 9500GT This has 512MB of GDDR3, which on paper at least, gives it a massive bandwidth boost over GDDR2. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130383
    @ $69.95 Black Friday email price (-$25.00 MIR)

    Case: Antec 900 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021&Tpk=Antec 900
    This came from Best Buy after I bullied them into matching price with Microcenter.
    @ $79.95 (+PA sales tax (6%))

    All of the parts from Newegg were free shipping items.

    Last but obviously not least, the CPU: Intel E7300 45nm "Wolfdale" @ $104.95 from Microcenter. At least my kid swears he bought me it. Ah, he did, I'm sure.

    Whoops, almost forgot, CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX2 ($32.99 @ Microcenter) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103031&Tpk=Coolermaster Hyper TX2This is the only part that wasn't on sale. I loathe doing business with Cooler Master, but this HSF seems to get good reviews.

    This isn't the final configuration, to be sure. It will at least get another HDD and DVD drive. Here we're thinking Seagate Barracuda SATA 2 640GB, and a second Pioneer DVR116. Hey, or maybe this Blu-Ray ROM Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129016
    I suppose I should bump the PSU up to an Antec EA430 the first chance I get.

    Whaddya Thimk..?
  2. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Not bad. Certainly not gaming worthy, but not bad at all for a budget system. Nice one getting everything on sale too :) Should last you a good while. If you're building a new system with those parts though, I'd have to assume that the system you have now is pretty dated ;)

    Couldn't agree more.
  3. jamesbondleo

    jamesbondleo TS Rookie

    what will be the total amount spent after the display ,key and mouse
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 12,539   +2,322

    Well no actually, I just have very little self control with respect to spending money. My last build is a G31 Gigabyte / E2200 combo. This new jobbie is going to have more blue lights, who could resist that?

    For the s*** I normally use a computer for, my Emachine T-5026 is usually quite enough. Soon it'll be four years old. It's like a freaking miracle.
  5. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    A four year old Emachine?! Incredible.

    So I guess you just build PCs for the fun of it?
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 12,539   +2,322

    I have all that junk laying around so for me that's sort of a moot point. I'm not trying to be flip. If you're asking what might be good products to match up with a mid price system such as this, I could probably come up with some ideas.
    Assuming this thing will boot and run, I'm going to move my 24" Soyo LCD monitor and my M$ Wireless Optical Desktop Pro set over to this machine. For sound I'll likely patch it into my home audio system and use it, at least in part, as a home theater server.

    Here's the keyboard and mouse combo : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823109127
    This is a nice setup, but I doubt that it would be what a gaming enthusiast would want.

    Anyway, the Soyo was $270.00 last year, and the desktop set was about $70.00.

    If I had to buy these thing with the new machine I'd likely try to find a decent 22" WS LCD in the $200.00 price range and perhaps this OEM M$ optical wireless keyboard mouse set, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823109048 this is a bargain ATM ($32.00), and it has a 5 button mouse.

    The Wireless Optical Desktop Pro (OEM) is on sale for $35.00 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...10290063 50001149 1084907094&name=RF Wireless but....it comes with an old version (2.0) of the receiver. I had one board a G965WHMK Intel which wouldn't detect it after awake from standby. (!) or (?) as the case may be. Boy, was that annoying.
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 12,539   +2,322

    You just say, "I deserve this, and by golly I'm going to have it..!

    Really, I don't know whether to shut up about it, or shout it from the rooftops. I'm conflicted I suppose. Feb 14th is it's birthday, I'm hoping to give it another happy birthday thread. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed. I hope, I hope, I hope......

    Well, it's not that simple. First you have to convince yourself that you simply can't live without it
  8. jamesbondleo

    jamesbondleo TS Rookie

    im actually in the middle of building a similair system and i cant decide wether to go with a good mobo and a dual core or a budget mobo and a quadcore.

    i already purchased a used antec 900 case in great condition for $30
    22x dvd-rw $22 new
    seagate 500gb sata for $55 new
    22" lcd $170 new
    i had the same key amd mouse from microsoft laying around

    cant decide wether to go with the E8400 or the Q6600

    cant decide wether to go with crossfire or sli

    trying to stay under $800 for the whole bulid

    still need to get a mobo, cpu. gpu, psu. memory and cooler
  9. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    go with the E8400 and a nice Motherboard and overclock that baby trust me if you like games get the E8400. an XfX MB 750i or 780i are great also they are sli boards and Nvidia drivers are updated alot faster than ATi and are more stable.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 12,539   +2,322

    I guess I'm hard to reason with, but the quad core propaganda really doesn't impress me. In any material I've seen, the C2Ds out perform the quads in gaming. So unless you decide to suddenly take up HD video production, buy the dual core E8400

    As far as the Crossfire or SLI issue, I think everybody has to take a long hard look, and be honest as to how much their gaming ability is the system bottleneck. The new high end video cards perform great with only a single card and don't require the investment in PSU or Mobo that the dual card systems do.

    A GT 8800 will outperform two lower cards (such as 2 GT8500s) in the series easily, and winds up being cheaper to boot. Look at the comparison on this Nvidia page http://www.nvidia.com/object/geforce_family.html Food for thought, definitely.
  11. jamesbondleo

    jamesbondleo TS Rookie

    i was leaning towards that idea as it is 3.0 ghz stock but i was also thinging of the resale value when you say dual core or quad core the value shifts toward quadcore.

    which will have better performance when oc

    the e8400 should do 4.0 ghz no problem
    the q6600 should do 3.6 ghz no problem

    45nm versus 65nm any bench marks out there for these two chips

    what do you think
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 12,539   +2,322

    My god man, where did you get the idea that computers have resale value? I'm just sayin'
  13. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    lol a Q6600 on air will get maybe 3.2Ghz and with water maybe 3.6Ghz. The E8400 will get 4Ghz easy on Air and around 4.5Ghz on water. there is no value on quads and the q6600 is almost 3 years old man get the duel core trust me.
  14. jamesbondleo

    jamesbondleo TS Rookie

    i am saying if i wanted to sell it after i build it which system will get me more money in return
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 12,539   +2,322

    I really don't think you can build a system based on what you believe the resale value might eventually be. The woman next door to me claims to have bought a Dell X- something or other gaming box with a GT8800 and a high end C2D, used on Ebay for $450.00. Discounting the fact that she's an ***** and a liar, it still doesn't speak well to the used computer market. Besides, haven't you heard, nobody's got any money anyway. Just make the best deals you can, and try to figure the focal point of where your ability and the machine's abilities meet. Build the computer to be a twitch better than you, and have fun.
  16. jamesbondleo

    jamesbondleo TS Rookie

    so all you guys think that the dual core should be my choice . after reading this now im banging my head on the wall cant deside

    I ran some tests so I hope this helps those sitting on the fence with their processor purchase. For my upgrade, I originally decided to go with the E8400. However, I wanted to see a better comparison to the Q6600 with both of them overclocked. I was hoping for some good toms benchmarks to make things easier but unfortunately they are slow at getting them out this time.

    I decided to make my own benchmarks with the Q6600 overclocked to 3.6 Ghz, the E8400 overclocked to 4.2 Ghz, and my old E6400 overclocked to 3.33 Ghz. I picked these frequencies because they are easily obtainable for these three processors without risking too much heat or significantly shortening the CPU's lifespan.

    Just as a warning, I had my memory timings set to 1:1 for all of the tests, so E8400 will have a slight advantage with the memory clocked at 933 Mhz. The memory for Q6600 testing is clocked at 800 Mhz and for the E6400 its clocked at 833. The timings are 4-4-4-12 for all three.

    I've already seen enough benchmarks to know that most games won't take advantage of four cores. I also know that when you overclock either CPU to these high frequencies (3.6 and 4.2), that the bottleneck is mainly going to be in the video card so gaming performance isn't really a factor in deciding which CPU to go with. Instead I chose two applications that people frequently use and could potentially utilize four cores. DVD Shrink to convert dual layer DVDs to single layer and virtualdub to convert an HD movie to DivX.

    I was impressed with the Q6600 as it handily outperformed the competition. I'd also like to point out that even when encoding the HD movie, the Q6600's four cores never maxed out. They usually hovered around 65% usage which allowed me to use windows and a few random apps without any noticeable slowdown. I can only assume that had the DivX codec been able to fully utilize all four cores that the tests would have shown even more impressive results in the 6600's favor. Before my test, I was set to go with the E8400. Although its still a very good option and great for gaming, it just wasn't worth it to upgrade from my E6400. The performance difference with the E8400 isn't big enough to justify buying a new CPU. The Q6600 on the other hand offers significant performance increase over my old CPU and also allows for more multitasking.

    If you are on a strict budget or don't see yourself using your computer for much other than gaming and browsing the internet, then I would still say go with the E8400. However, if you are upgrading from a lower end C2D like I am, then the Q6600 will offer a much more noticeable upgrade than an E8400 would.

    I included the SSE4 mode that the newer DivX codec supposedly supports (it does say "experimental" ) in my tests as well. The performance actually decreased in these tests so it looks as if programs still aren't being written to be optimized for SSE4 which gives me much less of a reason to wait for the Q9450. Other than slight increase in L2 cache, the Q9450 isn't really worth the wait as likely it won't clock much higher than the Q6600 without using dangerously high FSB speeds.

    Anyway, enough of my rambling. Here are my results:

  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Topic Starter Posts: 12,539   +2,322

    So Basically Then Mr Jamesbondleo......

    You've read all this material, done all this bench marking, and still can't make up your mind.

    Wasn't the point of this thread to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to my choices on a new desktop?

    I enjoy pulling a thread off topic as much as the next person but why not simply start your own?

    Some random thoughts:
    My E2200 -G31 <<<< machine will analyze, compile, and burn a DVD from a file in about 12 to 15 minutes using Nero >>> 6.6 <<<<. Ya know, sometimes it seem like an eternity! Nah, just kidding.

    You can't shrink a file much past 80% in DVD shrink without having unacceptable losses in quality. The less you shrink the file the better it will look. The less you shrink, the faster you go.

    As near as I can figure, you already know all you need to know to make an informed decision about which processor to buy. So, consider this. Buying a new CPU really isn't an earth shattering decision to anyone but the guy who buys it. We're not actually therapists, so we're not qualified to treat buyer's angst, buyers remorse, or even a bit of after purchase anguish.

    So, the customary advice is this; if you're going to game, get the E8400. If you're going to do video production, buy a quad. You seem to have all the paperwork to back up that statement, so what's the problem?
  18. adweston

    adweston Banned Posts: 242

    It's ok... Not a gaming system.. but if you're not looking for a gaming system then who cares, right?

    I really don't like Kingston Value RAM. It's not a good module at all. Crucial makes a far better product for pretty much the same price.

    Love the Seagate.

    Jury is out on the Gigabyte board. I'm just starting to play with them again. For the longest time Gigabyte boards were dogs.

    The PSU? For the price it's pretty hard to beat.

    The VGA is really wussy.. For the basics it will be more than adequate (like WoW for instance).

    I hate those cases for building, but you sure can't beat the price you got it for. w00t!!! :)
  19. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    I like your style, sir.

    If I had the disposable income, I'd be doing that too.
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