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Updating a PC, need some guidance...

By Xypher-9 ยท 20 replies
Dec 5, 2007
  1. Am updating my current PC and need some feedback to check if everything is in order or if anyone can recomend any improvements.

    The setup is as follows(am using the same ATX case, CD-ROM and HDD):
    XFX LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i LT SLI MCP Intel Motherboard
    Core 2 Duo E6750 Processor
    XFX GeForce 8500GT 512mb 500mhz core SLI ready(128 bit)
    Kingston - Memory - 4 GB - DIMM 240-pin - DDR II - 667 MHz / PC2-5300(kit of 2 )
    Ultra X-Finity ULT31848 600-Watt Power Supply Unit (Black)

    Unfortunately, I came to knowledge that I could get a better graphics card but I bought this one right away so am asking for guidance, in order for not making the same error again.

    The setup is for a gaming performance pc that can last some years using games at max performance(later on with some extra earnings I'll put another equal video card for dual SLI card interface, but meanwhile it is like this).

    My budget(without taking in consideration the money spent on the video card) is of $500 of which the current setup is at $498.41.

    What am asking is if anyone could check is all the previous hardware has compability which each other and if anyone is able to find any improvements taking in consideration the budget for it would also come in handy. Thanks a lot.

    P.S.: Am not really sure about the RAM being compatible with the motherboard because the site doesn't specifies if the RAM is ECC/Non-ECC or if its fully buffered or not, thats my mayor doubt. Again, thanks a lot.
  2. you're right, the RAM won't work because the following reason: your motherboard supports DDR2 800mhz, not 667mhz. you need to look for PC2-6400 ram. and that being the case, that might free up some cash. because generally, the slower RAM costs more i've noticed. 2 gigs of 333mhz RAM costs more than 2 gigs of 800mhz. marketing ploy? i'm not sure.

    and do you really need a 600 watt? i mean, yeah that will power everything nicely. it's a great quality psu. but, an antec neo HE 550watt will power that thing easily, and quite possibly be less expensive. more money you could poor into a better graphics card for instance.

    i don't really know what you plan on using the computer for. it looks like you're making a gaming computer. but i could be wrong. if your priorities don't necessitate a nice graphics card, then by all means you can stick with the 8500.

    i also don't really know if you do all your shopping on newegg.com or some other website. that could have a major impact on the price and the parts you can get.

    also. the difference between the buffered and non-buffered ram is performance difference, and the type of computer it is used in. you usually find buffered ram in a server computer, not a desktop for your house. considering how fast unbuffered ram is already, i don't think it will matter if you get buffered or unbuffered anyway. just stick to unbuffered. it's cheaper and you get good results no matter what anyway.

    like i was saying. the only places i would make changes is the memory, seeing as it's the wrong type, the graphics card, and maybe a PSU that's slightly cheaper but still delivers. the Neo HE is very very efficient, and pretty cheap. and will easily power that beast and leave head room. it's up to you though. and if you can save on those two parts, that can give you some more money to go after..say...an 8600gt instead? that would give your system a bit more kick, and keep you up to date for longer. but, if you want that setup, feel free. i can only offer you an alternative. i can't tell you what to get for yourself. tis your cash, not mine.
  3. Xypher-9

    Xypher-9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Huh? The motherboard doesn't support 667mhz RAM? I thought that it supports up to 800mhz(in fact I've read a review of this same motherboard supporting 1066mhz and that it can be easily overclocked to 1150mhz, so you've just confused me even more O.o)

    The 600 Watt PSU I surely don't need, but if you can link me the Antec neoHE at a price lower than $59.99 I'll surely buy it, because that psu I put there is at $59.99 which is surprisingly cheap (IMO) and can last me long... Plus I have the benefit to know I'll always have enough power...

    I go where I find it more cheap, Amazon, Newegg, PC Universe, whichever is better. (as long as its good and cheap =D)

    Thanks for the explanation on Buff and Un-Buff, it surely clears some doubts.

    Thanks for your help I really do appreciate it, but am in a budget and I need the prices or at least some clue on how expensive it gets... Sure if it goes cheaper I could try buying another GPU but I need to know where to get the money for an instance...

    Again thanks for help and sorry if am too much of an intense guy. xD
  4. this is exactly why i shop at newegg. newegg will show you the product, and the stuff it supports. and according to newegg's specifications, the 680i can only support 800mhz RAM.

    the key word in your last post was "overclocked". that means the guy literally went into the BIOS and turned the voltage up, and set the timings differently so it would OPERATE AT 1066 or better. they probably used 800mhz RAM to do it. that's the only reason you would see higher speeds for the memory on that motherboard.

    as for the 600 watt, i'm starting to doubt if you're really getting a quality product. 60 bucks for a 600 watt? doesn't that scream..."don't buy it, it will crap out" to you?

    a good quality tier 2 power supply will typically be in the 75-130 dollar range. the neo HE is about 90 bucks. i know, budget. but, it won't crap out on you. and whatever you do spend on it, you'll get back through paying less on your electricity bill.

    i use a guide that a friend of mine found for dealing with quality of power supplies and stuff. http://forums.firingsquad.com/firing...read.id=111309

    i'd say, whatever money you save on the RAM type, spend on the power supply. without a good PSU your computer is worthless.

    and i would be careful with shopping around on all kinds of sites like you are. the shipping charges are what really gouge you. if you can, order it all from the same site. in fact, try building the whole thing on each site and compare the final prices. that might be a better way of seeing where you're getting a better deal from.

    anyway. take it easy buddy. unless you're like...really haggling me and being all pompous, and a jerk, then i take no offense to anything. i'm actually very happy to help. i have techie knowledge and rarely get to use it except on these forums. and lately the forums have been tapering off in terms of interesting topics.

    what i really have a lust for is building stuff. so this is thing that i LOVE helping people with. so don't worry about it. no thanks are needed either. i'm satisfied if you are. :D
  5. i have no idea how much you were paying for said memory that you were looking at. but i can only assume it was about 130 dollars.

    i've done some searching. i've seen that on newegg, 667mhz memory, 4 gigs worth, tends to be about 130 dollars and above.

    the ddr2 800mhz memory i've seen can go as low as 80, 90 dollars.

    but that's low quality stuff.

    here's some memory from OCZ.

    it's about 115.

    use that cash to get the better psu, and then you're golden.

    but again, i have no idea how much you would've spent on that 667 stuff. if you really start getting price issues, then i'd say perhaps it's time to either really search high and low, or settle for 2 gigs instead of 4.
  6. Xypher-9

    Xypher-9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I liked that memory due to thew fact it wass 4gb for less than $100. To be honest I had always thought that if a motherboard supports 800mhz speed in ram it could also support slower speeds, instead of only supporting that specific speed..

    Am going to link the PSU and RAM in another post because I need one more post to be able to post links...

    Also, in fact am buying all from Amazon.com but the only +shipping am having is the PSU which ships from TigerDirect and the RAM that ships from PC Universe...
  7. Xypher-9

    Xypher-9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

  8. joytime360

    joytime360 Banned Posts: 57

  9. well, with the PSU, if you look to the guide i posted,
    it will show you that the 600 watt is tier 4. whereas the neo he is number one in tier 2.

    tier 4 is not recommended because even the tier 3 stuff has FAR better performance for the price.

    i would have recommended the antec earthwatts. but right now, the Neo He is the same price as the earthwatts on newegg. and considering the earthwatts is tier 3, and neo is tier 2, i know which one i'd pick.

    as for the RAM, motherboards and the manufacturers that make them are very very picky about their compatibilities. as far as i know, it can't support slower ram. and i have one good point for you. even if you COULD support slower RAM, why would you WANT slower RAM if you can get faster RAM for the same price?

    it all depends on where you look. besides, 4 gigabytes is a little...ambitious. isn't it?

    well, whatever. i won't question it. if you want that much, that much you shall have.


    there's some very decent quality RAM for almost exactly 100 bucks. in fact, with the shipping, i think the price is maybe only 10 bucks more expensive than buying 2 sets of that kingston 667 you showed me.

    and...here's a good question...why exactly are you buying such an expensive motherboard?

    there are some other recent models for way cheaper that have similar quality.
    unless of course you're looking for some specific things in the motherboard.

    as a matter of fact, would you mind posting what exactly you're looking for in this computer? it's obvious it's for gaming. but i need more detail. do you intend to go sli, do you necessarily need top of the line technology to do it?

    i'm putting together my own gaming computer, and i'm going to be using the P35 motherboard for mine. it has similar qualities to your motherboard. the only thing i can see off hand is the number of PCI-e 16x slots, and the ability to run at 16x for both slots, should you go sli.

    for me, SLI is a little bit of a debated issue. mainly for the following reason: you can get amazing performance in terms of gaming and framerates and all the wonderful jargon by just using a single graphics card. the card just has to be really good. and lucky for us gamers, the 8800gt is available. that thing will power through anything. and for 250 bucks it's irresistible.

    basically what i'm saying is, i think you're trying to go a little overboard with the motherboard, and with the whole SLI idea. SLI is great and it offers some good potential. but unless you want to run Crysis at FULL graphics, i don't think you'll need it. a single GT or 8800 ultra should do just fine.

    but that's all an opinion. you're free to do as you please. i just think it's a waste of money if you can get already amazing performance for half the price if not less.

    i've seen that 680i go for almost 300 dollars in some places. the p35 is about 95 dollars. and with 2 or 4 gigs of RAM, an intel e6750, and an 8800gt, i could tear into anything. i don't need sli or the 680i for that.

    i think it would be a better idea to cut back on the motherboard if anything, and pour whatever money you free up into the RAM, PSU, and graphics card.
  10. Xypher-9

    Xypher-9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The main idea of this computer is in fact as you said gaming. Also I do want to use the SLI capability and thats why I want the lite version of the Nvidia Nforce 680i which is at @ $150 even at newegg. Basicaly, thats the only solid piece of the PC that I don't want to change, even if the budget is low for a motherboard like that one, it's just love at first sight.

    About RAM, yeah I was being ambituos. I've only used kingston RAM throughout my PC history thats why I found so appleaing the fact of a 4gb ddr2 memory at $100 bucks, but since its not compatible I say I might be prompt to the idea of that g.skill RAM if you recomend it.

    On the PSU, thats my worst topic. I just need a good PSU thats can support enough energy for the MOBO, Dual GPU's(when I add a second one eventually), etc...

    For instance, if you can recomend me the RAM, PSU and Processor, using this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188015 and not going higher than $500, that setup would really help me out..
  11. well here's what i'll do.

    i STRONGLY recommend that you go with just 2 gigs for now. and upgrade to 4 later. 2 gigs of 800mhz RAM is definitely very very good considering. it saves money and it gives you leisure. you can just upgrade it whenever you feel like it when you have the money.

    the PSU was my worst topic too. thats why i found that guide. and i've had others reassure me the neoHE was top notch and could handle such a heavy load.

    as for the rest, your wish is my command :D

    intel e6750

    antec neoHE 500watt

    Your EVGA LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i LT SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

    G. Skill 2x 1 gigabyte sticks

    Grand total: 499.96

    i think you may need this though:

    that is thermal compound that you use to cool the CPU. its not guaranteed that the thermal compound comes pre-applied on the CPU for when you attach the heatsink or fan and whatnot, nor is it guaranteed to be good quality. this stuff is excellent, and it's only 6 bucks. it might not be a bad idea to have it on hand just in case.

    with that paste, it's total goes to 505.95.

    i think you might find this satisfactory ;D

    and with that, i'm off to bed. tis 3:30 in the morning and i have classes tomorrow. i'll reply again later tomorrow night. in the meantime, let me know what you think of the setup.
  12. Xypher-9

    Xypher-9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I do Indeed. If there is a compliant, that would be that I didn't got my ambitious 4gb, but as you said, eventually I may add it.

    I want to thank you again =P but I have one more question: Would I need any other extra coolings for this setup?(my case in fact only has one fan that goes just above the HDD and I don't think it can really help a lot)
  13. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    IMO, drop the SLI motherboard unless you're going to be using it for two 8800 cards in SLI. Two 8600GT's in SLI is useless since it draws more power and emits more heat than a single 8800GT or an HD 3850, which will outperform the SLI setup easily despite being of about the same price, unless you're talking about ultra-high resolutions like 1600x1200 and above, which is where SLI really shows it's performance potential. IMO, ditch it for a P35-based motherboard like the Abit IP35 or the MSI P35 Neo-F since that will allow you to have a newer and cooler-running chipset than the 680i.
    Also, if you have budget problems, drop down to an E2180 and get an 8800GT or a Radeon HD 3850 instead of the 8600GT. A good video card is the main requirement for running games well, followed by RAM and then the CPU, in that order. Plus, with a good cooler, the E2180 is a great overclocker and can achieve the level of performance expected from more expensive Core 2 Duo chips. In addition, I'd recommend this PSU instead of the Antec one you've chosen. It provides a single +12V rail with 41A which is more than enough for your system and also leaves you room to upgrade later.
    Lastly, keep in mind that you'd need a 64-bit OS to take advantage of all 4GB of your RAM, if you do get that much.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)
  14. Juanra

    Juanra TS Rookie Posts: 19

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it better to have a single 12v rail on the PSU? I've heard that multiple rails can reduce output. And that Antec PSU has three 12v rails of 17a each. I'd prefer one that has at least one 12v rail of at least 18a, such as this one:
    What do you guys think?
  15. it doesn't make any difference as far as i know. and that antec i suggested has a very high efficiency. his setup will be drawing probably close to 260-300 watts. and with an efficient psu like that, he won't be drawing very much more than that from the socket, and it has enough output to easily power such a system as the one he plans to build.

    if you'll look to the PSU list/guide i posted above in the other posts, you'll find a fairly complete list of tiers categories that pins a good number of PSUs into their respective quality/performance tier.

    the neoHE is number 1 in the tier 2 category.

    and rage, i already suggested that he shouldn't go after sli since it was ambitious and somewhat pointless, but it seems that at some point he will go sli with some top of the line stuff. so, i didn't question it. it's really his choice.

    that's really the only big point to be made. don't go sli, save the money and buy an 8800gt. otherwise, continue as you were, and buy the material later.

    anyway. xypher, i was actually beginning to wonder about that myself. i was thinking about what kind of case you'd be putting this all in, but i assumed more than i should have i guess...

    yeah one fan aint gonna do it for ya. plain and simple. and with that being the problem, then it means you need a new case. and that means spending another 50-80 dollars.
  16. Xypher-9

    Xypher-9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What about buying extra fans for my current case, wouldn't that cut it?
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    Yes a single +12V rail is better adapted to a system that draws a lot of power from that rail, which almost all systems do nowadays. The reason is that with multiple rails, power tends to get 'stuck' (for lack of a better term) on the multiple rails. Suppose the PSU supplies 40A on two rails and the CPU only uses 18A. It is not possible to re-allocate the rest of the power to the video card or any other component and it gets 'wasted'. In a single-rail system, power can be allocated to each component dynamically depending on the component's power requirements and so power can be delivered to each component as efficiently as possible.
    The Antec NeoHE, while good, provides lesser power on the +12V rail than the Corsair PSU which is available for a similar price. IMO, you'd be okay even with the Corsair 450VX, which gives 33A on one single +12V rail. It's quite a bit cheaper than the NeoHE and is of superb quality, as all Corsair PSUs are. However, avoid the Antec Basiq series since they're not really designed to handle heavy loads and are meant for PCs with less-demanding video cards such as the 8600GTS and the like.
    As for the case fans, get as many as you can. IMO, you can never overcool a PC. ;)
  18. Xypher-9

    Xypher-9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    As many as I can... how many fans is that? And where should I put them?
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +36

    The page with the case's information should tell you how many fans it supports. Also, consider buying an nForce 650i SLI motherboard instead of the 680i SLI. There's practically no difference in performance between the two chipsets aside from the 680i being more OC-friendly. But it's also more expensive and runs hotter as well. Just a suggestion.
  20. Juanra

    Juanra TS Rookie Posts: 19

  21. Xypher-9

    Xypher-9 TS Rookie Topic Starter

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