An Upgradable Build - Give Suggestions

GeForceX

Supreme [H]ardness
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Mar 19, 2003
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Hello guys,

I was reading an article and it said something along the lines of (paraphrasing):

"Would you rather pay $3,000 for a computer that would be outdated in six months or would you rather pay $1,000 for a computer you could always upgrade every six months?"

I'm thinking that makes so much sense - I'd go with the latter.

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I'm seeking to build something that is affordable, upgradable, and can potentially be used in the long run. My budget? Less than $1,000. This does NOT include a monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, or any other accessories.

I'm a gamer. But I don't play on an LCD monitor. I play on a CRT monitor. I usually play below 1600 x 1200. Therefore, resolution is not a factor on this build.

I make music and I listen to music quite a lot. I have an old Sound Blaster Audigy 2 sound card that I still consider to be excellent. Unfortunately, it's a PCI card. I may need a motherboard that works with a PCI card.

I will overclock, but only mildly. I am torn between buying a fancy Antec P182 or P190 case and buying a cheap no-frills Antec Three Hundred. How would either cases impact the overclocking?

I definitely would like to watch DVD's on my computer. So I'll need a good quality and silent DVD-RW drive.

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OS: Vista x64 (but which version? Ultimate or Premium?)
PSU: FUTURE-PROOF Strength & Compatibility - ???
CPU: Intel Q6600 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017
MOBO: P35 or P45 - ???
HDD: WD 640GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218&Tpk=Western+Digital+640gb
GPU: ATI HD 4850 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121253
DVD-RW: Samsung - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151154
CASE: ??? - What would you suggest?
CPU Cooling: Should Be FUTURE-PROOF - ???
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2x2GB) PC-800 (4-4-4-12) (Should I get 1066 for OC?) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231148

------

I hope I didn't forget anything else! Thanks to all of you who have input any thoughts or suggestions. :)

Jeff
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Nice to see more and more people come around to that latter argument.

Anyway to answer your questions and some recommendations:
- Both cases are good for overclocking. Though theoritically, the Antec 300 should cool a bit better.

OS: Stick with Premium
PSU: Corsair 750TX from provantage or buy.com
MOBO: Definitely P45 since it has PCI-E 2.0 which might be useful for future video cards. Some motherboard recommendations:
Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L Intel P43 Motherboard - $95
MSI P45 Neo3-FR Intel P45 Motherboard - $120
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R Intel P45 Motherboard - $135
Asus P5Q Pro Intel P45 Motherboard - $150
DFI Lanparty DK X38-T2R Intel X38 Motherboard - $180
Asus P5E Deluxe Intel X48 Motherboard - $220
Gigabyte GA-X48-DS4 Intel X48 Motherboard - $225

Just to help you out: All of these motherboards have PCI-E 2.0 which may be useful for future GPU upgrades. If you don't need RAID, more than 6 SATA ports and only need semi-decent overclocking, check out the DS3L. If you need 8 SATA ports, RAID, 4 PCI slots, and legacy ports, then get the Neo3-Fr. If you don't need more than 6 SATA ports but want RAID, firewire, a second PCI-E x16 port, a second gigabit port, support for 16GB of RAM, optional eSATA, x8/x8 Crossfire, and high overclocks, then get the DS3R. If you like the DS3R but need 8 SATA ports, want an onboard pre-installed fast booting Linux setup, only need support for 8GB of RAM and don't need a second gigabit port, get the Asus P5Q Pro. If you want Crossfire with full x16/x16 bandwidth, get the Lanparty DK X38. If you have cash to burn and don't give a damn about getting the most value for your money, get the Asus or Gigabyte X48 motherboards. Do note that the Asus website can be slow sometimes.

CASE: I love my P180 so my recommendation for the P182 is a bit biased. :)
CPU Cooling: I recommend this:
Xigmatek HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle HSF - $37 & Retention Bracket - $7

RAM: Stick DDR2 800 RAM for the Q6600. DDR2 800 RAM is all that you need. Though I recommend getting this RAM instead since it comes with free shipping:
G.Skill F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ 2 x 2GB DDR2 800 RAM - $80

Just an FYI though, No CPU, motherboard, RAM or HSF that we recommend today will be compitable with Intel's new Nehalem CPU and motherboards since they use two new sockets that are incompatible with socket 775 and only use DDR3 RAM. So CPU wise, Mobo, RAM wise and HSF wise, you're SOL. But at least every other part we recommend today will be upgradeable later on.
 

Rydawg5143

Supreme [H]ardness
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it makes me happy to see Danny sporting new now ordered DS4 in this mobo stuff, makes me all warm n fuzzy
 

Alai

2[H]4U
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Jul 19, 2008
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Looks like Danny covered almost everything. Definitely stick with Premium.

As for the case, I have been debating between a Cooler Master 690 ($87 from provantage) and an Antec Nine Hundred (little over $120, but $80 MIR from newegg). Prices include shipping and taxes. These cases are well known for being cool, decent looking, cheap, and necessitating all of one's needs. The one thing I am unsure about is the noise.
 

Southend

Limp Gawd
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Jul 24, 2008
Messages
217
lol @ danny again, yeah nehalem will be insane but the prices of DDR3 and the new mobos/procs will be enough to drive most people away for a good year or two anyway and then we can go and upgrade 1000$ agian ! upgrading is fun anyway wasting 3000$ is a waste
 

GeForceX

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Mar 19, 2003
Messages
4,172
@ Alai: I have built three computers for friends and my parents using the Antec 900 case. They are great cases that not only look good, they are also relatively silent and they have a lot of functionability when building a computer.

@ DannyBui: "want an onboard pre-installed fast booting Linux setup" - what in the world are you talking about? This Asus P4Q has Linux pre-installed on the board? Or did you mean their "Express Gate" feature? And what does this necessarily mean?

Just to be absolutely sure - so these motherboards already have regular PCI slots (and according to the pictures, they seem to). So this means my Audigy 2 should work just fine, right?

Right now I'm absolutely torn between three motherboards:

Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L Intel P43 Motherboard - $95
MSI P45 Neo3-FR Intel P45 Motherboard - $120
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R Intel P45 Motherboard - $135

You see, I want firewire for video editing. But the DS3R's forcing all these frills on me that I don't need (but they are really nice!). And if I go for the Neo3-FR, there's not much I need from there. The basic DS3L is fine but I'm missing a lot of the nice features. I like the DS3R and I wouldn't mind buying it because I'll definitely have fun tweaking my PC but... it has two x8 crossfire slots. I really doubt I'll even be buying another one down the road. I could always just let it alone and let it take up space. So, what's your advice?
 

GeForceX

Supreme [H]ardness
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@ DannyBui: The RAM link you suggested were 5-5-5-12, not 4-4-4-12 like my link. What gives? :p
 

GeForceX

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Messages
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Revised Build @ 7:22 AM:

Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 x64 - $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488

Case: Antec P182 - $139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129025

Power Supply: Corsair TX750W - $97.61
http://www.provantage.com/corsair-cmpsu-750tx~7CSMC05E.htm

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R - $134.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128344

Processor: Intel Q6600 - $194.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

Heatsink/Fan: Xigmatek HDT-S1283 & Retention Bracket - $36.99 + 6.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233003
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233019

Memory: G.Skill F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - $79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231122

Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 4850 - $187.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121253

Hard Drive: Western Digital 640GB SATA - $89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

Optical Drive: Samsung 20X DVD-RW /w LiteScribe - $27.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151154

Total: $1,107.51

Would have liked it to cost less than $1,000 but if it's that good, then I'll go for it. :)
 

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
Build looks good... go for it.

@ DannyBui: The RAM link you suggested were 5-5-5-12, not 4-4-4-12 like my link. What gives? :p

Outside of synthetic benchmarks, there's no difference performance-wise between CL4 and CL5 memory.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Yes I did mean their Express Gate feature which is pretty Linux preinstalled on the motherboard itself.
Yes those motherboards do have at least two PCI slots IIRC.

And tiraides is right about the RAM: Won't notice the lower latency at al.

Anyway, your build looks good as is. Have fun with it!
 

GeForceX

Supreme [H]ardness
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Mar 19, 2003
Messages
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Alright, my build looks good indeed.

I was seeing if I could cut my costs down even further.

I was thinking of buying one of the few good cards from the FS/T sub-forums for almost $100 cheaper than the HD 4850. How well does the 8800GT (512 MB G92) stack up to the HD 4850? Offering about $115 - is it worth the price? What about the 8800GTX OC2 from BFG Tech? $180. Remember, I'm on a CRT monitor.

Opinions?

Thanks,
Jeff
 

Dangman

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Messages
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I was thinking of buying one of the few good cards from the FS/T sub-forums for almost $100 cheaper than the HD 4850. How well does the 8800GT (512 MB G92) stack up to the HD 4850? Offering about $115 - is it worth the price? What about the 8800GTX OC2 from BFG Tech? $180. Remember, I'm on a CRT monitor.


Read the review of the HD4850 and decide for yourself:
http://hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTUyNCw0LCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==

(The 9800GTX is roughly the same as the 8800GTX)
 

lt_shiro

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Messages
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I suggest you get either sapphire or msi versions of the 4850 with aftermarket cooling.
 

enginurd

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Messages
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Though, VisionTek has the best warranty and customer support for ATI cards.

Since you're on a CRT, the 8800GT 512MB would be fine. $115 shipped is about the most I'd pay for a used one, just make sure it has lifetime warranty still. XFX has double lifetime warranty, btw.
 

GeForceX

Supreme [H]ardness
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Messages
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Thank you all. :D

I scored a Windows Vista x64 Ultimate for only $100. :eek:
 

enginurd

Fully [H]
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Jul 17, 2006
Messages
21,825
The Antec 900 is horrible for cable management.

Oh, and P45 seems to fit your needs. Don't think of dual 8x Crossfire as a pricey feature thats forced upon you, because the P45 is actually a mainstream chipset that just so happens to do Crossfire -- so think of it as an added bonus (Though, I'd use it for a RAID card instead of another vidcard, lol). If you want real Crossfire, you'd want dual 16x from an X38 or X48 board instead. :p

Oh, and don't forget to post some pics.
 

GeForceX

Supreme [H]ardness
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Mar 19, 2003
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Perhaps I'm on the other side - I've learned to manage the cables and such in the Antec 900 build pretty well. I admit I had to do a lot of tucking and hiding though. :D

And I will post some pictures up! :)
 

Rydawg5143

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I've been working on cable mng this last week, finally got my 8 pin 12" extender
 
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