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JimJones586

Building a system... Have some ideas but need input!

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So my brothers machine is really old and its finally to the point where he really can't play any of the newer age games out currently. Hes running an old Athlon XP 2600+ with a gig of ram and a 9700pro. Needless to say he's hurtin' for a new rig.

 

I've been throwing some ideas at him and we've talked it over a bit, but I'm somewhat out of the loop with hardware as the machine in my sig is the last one that I built personally. I still try to keep up with the newer stuff today by reading, but when I'm not really tinkering with hardware I never really retain anything.

 

Anyway... I'm gonna list some ideas that we've been throwing around... Mind you his budget is about 800 bucks for a new motherboard, cpu, ram, and video card.

 

We're pretty dead-set on purchasing an 8800gts 640mb card in some form or another. Probably the eVga option. We are open to suggestions though.

 

We put together an intel option, which would consist of an Infinity p965-s and a Core2duo e4300 (1.8ghz, 800fsb, 2mb L2, etc.) Thats definitely the budget motherboard+cpu option... The e4300 is $122 @ 1.8ghz, and the step up is the e4400 @ 2.0ghz for $126. I've read rave reviews on the e4300 chip as being the best budget option available currently because it OCs so well, but would it be worth the extra 4 bucks to get 200mhz more right out of the box..?... or does the e4400 not overclock as well as the e4300?

 

The next question is should we go ahead and bump up to the Infinity 975x/g? I don't think they even sell that board on the egg at the moment, so we'd have to order it elsewhere, which isnt a problem but just throwing that out there. I think we're really looking for an overclock in the 2.6-3.0ghz range, and if the p965-s will do it perfectly fine I dont know if it's worth it to jump to the 975x/g. I've heard good things about both boards, so tell me what you guys think.

 

Next on the agenda is what processor to actually purchase. Budget in mind, the e4300 seems like the best idea, but would it be worth it to shelll out the extra $70-100 for... say an e6600? I've read about the e6320's and the e6420's as well, as they are a more cost efficient cpu that still provides 4mb of L2... The e6600 is $225 at the moment, the e6420 is $205, the e6320 is $180, and the e4300 is $122. I'm just wondering if it would be worth it to splurge a little bit and get the more powerful chip. He probably won't upgrade this machine for quite some time I imagine, so give us some ideas in this area as well please.

 

Now... we aren't dead set on intel, but it seems like the best budget::performance option currently. I have been gazing at the AMD X2 6000+ though, and at 3.0ghz out of the box at $170, it seems like a good option as well. I haven't explored too many motherboard options for an AM2 chip, so any suggestions on a board if you think a high powered X2 chip would be the better option would be appreciated.

 

As for memory... I'm pretty baffled as there are sooo many options. We have looked at a few different models, and ill throw out some links below. They are all 2gb kits.

 

G.Skill DDR2 800 2GB Kits:

- These kits are all relatively similar... The timings on the last kit seem really low. I didn't know if it was a misprint or what. If someone could inform me of the major differences (if there are any) in these three G.Skill kits I'd appreciate it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820231098

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820231065

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820231114

 

Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800 2GB Kit:

- Great deal on this kit. $70 after MIR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820146565

 

GeIL DDR2 800 2GB Kit:

- I've heard great things about GeIL over the years about their product quality and support. What do ya think about their RAM?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820144062

 

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Yeaaaaaa I know this post is long and drawn out. If you've taken the time to read through it and respond my brother and I greatly appreciate it. We're open to suggestions on anything and everything, as suggestions and opinions never hurt. Thanks in advance!

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No real reason to go with AMD right now, if you were on a real low budget I would say go for it.

 

Go with the 965 chipset, the 975 is not a step up from a performance standpoint. Haven't seen much on the Infinity, they were a little late getting it out so everyone I know went with an Asus P5B of one flavor or another.

 

The crucial memory paired with a 965 based board is sweet and for the price it can't be beat.

 

As far as the CPU, As much as I think the E4xxx are a deal I would still go for an E6420, which will be capable of getting the speeds you desire or a bit more, plus the 4MB L2 will not hurt.

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Alrighty so do you think you would recommend an Asus P5B 965 board over a DFI Infinity 965 board? Or did you mean you just dont know enough about the Infinity board to comment on it?

 

Also how do you like your 8800gts? Is it the 640mb version?

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I don't know enough about the Infinity to comment on it. I had a 975X Infinity that ran fine with an E6400 (420FSB) but when I changed to an E6700 it just wouldn't do over 340 FSB regardless of what I did so I skipped the next round of DFI boards and went with an P5B like everyone else. I was very happy with the P5B and would recommend it to anyone that was looking for a 965..

 

I have the 320MB 8800GTS and run at 1680 X 1050. It will handle everything I can throw at it with my resolution, if you running a monitor larger than a 21" I would at least go for the 640MB, if not the 320 will handle it just fine.

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We put together an intel option, which would consist of an Infinity p965-s and a Core2duo e4300 (1.8ghz, 800fsb, 2mb L2, etc.) Thats definitely the budget motherboard+cpu option... The e4300 is $122 @ 1.8ghz, and the step up is the e4400 @ 2.0ghz for $126. I've read rave reviews on the e4300 chip as being the best budget option available currently because it OCs so well, but would it be worth the extra 4 bucks to get 200mhz more right out of the box..?... or does the e4400 not overclock as well as the e4300?

 

I'd easily go this route and the E4400. Don't look at it as "extra 200Mhz out of the box" which is a great deal for $4 no question there, but look at it as "that one extra multiplier" meaning instead of a 9x200 cpu (9x200 = 1800Mhz), but for $4 more you get 10x200 cpu. That 10 multiplier is a godsend for overclocking, especially if you go for some "normal" ram (heh, like any DDR2-800 kit for about $75-$100 that has Micron D9 chips on it which will usually do at least 1000Mhz, and most I've seen will do 1150+ on 965 and P35 and 975 chipsets). Sometimes RAM won't clock all that high, and that means if you have a lower multi, you could be missing out on some easy clocks.

 

The other side to that is that to get to say...3Ghz (every single 1066FSB Core2 will do it, I don't know that much about the 800FSB Core2's but let's assume they are easily capable cpu-wise of hitting that Mhz mark) on an 800FSB (200Mhz quad-pumped bus), you'd have to do 333x9...which could be a serious problem and/or require a pretty harsh memory divider (like all the way down to 400 on boards that don't tolerate overclocking much, but usually 533...but you ideally want to stay on the 800 or 667 dividers...but a cpu that has a 10x multiplier, you only have to 300...1200Mhz or if you are on the 667 divider then it would be...what...(help me out here math nerds haha) about 1000Mhz?

 

Ok so let's say you don't give a rat about overclocking so all that I just spouted is useless to you or your brother. In that case, we are back to the $4 difference for 200Mhz right out of the box. Easy decision. But when I say Core2 chips are some of the easiest overclocking chips I've ever had my hands on, I can guarantee you that every single person that has bought one besides me and even halfway-decent board/RAM combos will tell you that only a monkey with head-trauma couldn't pull a 3Ghz out of them.

 

Again the 800FSB Core2's are a relative unknown to most of us because we just tend to buy the more expensive ones that are 1066...but you'll not notice much difference between them in performance for the fact that the core cpu architecture is exactly the same. The difference in bus will show a slight performance difference, but only in the same sense that a 512k L2 cache AMD64 cpu will show a performance difference to a 1MB L2 cache AMD64 cpu...just about nil except for PURE cpu tasks, and gaming really ain't one of them (so the 800FSB cpu might give you 1-3fps less in your games than a 1066FSB one would, but even that is suspect honestly since the video card is doing all the work these days)

 

8800GTS 640 = proper card. We don't have you punch you or your brother out for wanting a lesser card haha.

 

 

RAM = Crucial Ballistix are GUARANTEED Micron chips, since Crucial is just a company that is owned by Micron, run out of the same city by people who answer to the bigshots at Micron. I talked to one of the reps today about the Ballistix 1066's they sent us to review, and he assured me that Crucial DDR2 memories at 800 or faster would only carry Micron chips...since Micron makes the chips and Crucial just packages them into a module. For the price, they can't be beat. Plus it's an American company (sort of a badly run one like most American companies tend to be lol), and there's lifetime warranty on it...and we have a part-time Crucial guy here at the forums as well...and they've made big strides lately to insure customers are given proper care (every company goes through a few dark-ages ya know?)

 

I've no doubt other memories will work just as well. I always prefer OCZ, Corsair, and Buffalo as my other choices. We have Corsair and OCZ reps here who can pinpoint Micron D9 modules that carry their brand names, plus a big chunk of us users also tend to stick with Corsair, OCZ, Buffalo.

 

Make sure you get a proper power supply. I cannot stress this enough. OCZ, Corsair, and Antec (the TRIO line) power supplies are top notch for the money, and they are very familiar to the majority of us here at this forum. PCP&C, Silverstone, Tagan, Fortron, Enermax are all decent, but tend to be a little more (or a LOT MORE lol) expensive for no real gain, most of the time overkill. Killer deals can always be found on OCZ, Corsair, and Antec power supplies. You want at least a 550w Antec Trio as your minimum for the rig you are proposing. I'd go with the Antec Trio 650w, OCZ GameXstream or StealthXstream 600w or 700w, Corsair HX-620 (the 520 Corsair would probably be just fine too).

 

Cases = individual tastes vary...pick one that has plenty of room to work in and lots of ventilation. CM Stackers, Lian Li's, a few others are favorites around here.

 

sound, hdd, dvd-rw = Creative or Azuntech (gaming for creative, tv/dvd/music/recording for Azuntech), just about any hdd that has 8MB-16MB cache and 7200RPM on a SATA II interface, Lite-On, Samsung, NEC all great DVD-RW drives for $27-$35, stick with a SATA DVD-RW if possible (I'm really starting to like mine a LOT which is odd because DVD-RW drives to me are normally just...there...ya know? you don't pay much attention to them unless they don't work right).

 

Should be able to cram all this in for about $800-ish. If you overclock to about 3Ghz (give or take), you'll have turned an $800 rig into a $1000-$1500 rig. Plus it will play STALKER, Bioshock, Rainbow Six Vegas, etc real good heh.

 

 

oh ps I didn't recommend a motherboard...I tend to recommend Gigabyte, Asus, MSI over anything else. Better service and support in the long run with many more bios updates and bug fixes (USUALLY lol...more than any other companies for sure) than the rest of them.

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