programming \ occassoinal gaming rig $1500 all in - need pointers

yariman

n00b
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
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47
Hi there, done lots of reading and found the holy questions to ask post so here we go

1) What will you be doing with this PC? Gaming? Photoshop? Web browsing? etc
Programming (Ruby - for now), Some photoshop, lots of broswing and READING pdfs, when time permits gaming (its been ages and i really want ot try out all those games ive missed because my current pc is so crap)
2) What's your budget? Are tax and shipping included?
lets call it $1500 including tax. Im actually in Japan and will buy from japan but prices are rougly similiar bar one or two things. for simplicity sake assume im living in america paying american prices. Ignore rebates, crazy sales and shipping costs.

3) Where do you live? Japan

4) What exact parts do you need for that budget? CPU, RAM, case, etc. Please be very specific.
Already have mouse and an old 5.1 creatvie sound card plus speakers which will suffice for now. Ill need
monitor, case, power supply, dvd cd burner (no blu ray), harddrive. network/lan adapter, graphics card, keyboard, cpu, heatsink and leads basically everything else.
5) If reusing any parts, what parts will you be reusing? Please be especially specific about the power supply. List make and model.
just the mouse and sound card / speakers.
6) Will you be overclocking?
not done it before but always wanted to try it out. Yeah why not, if not at first eventually! baby steps.
7) What size monitor do you have or plan to have? 24 inch. Exact brand not sure but looks like benq 2400v. If therers a monitor thats worth paying a further 150 bucks more then ill pay it with extra money i.e. it doesnt come out of the budget but from my girlfriends bank.
8) When do you plan on building/buying the PC?
ASAP

i was thinking of the following core stuff (its from a guide on extreme tech and ive heard the parts mentioned individually on these forums in good light)

Motherboard Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 with stock cooler
Memory 4GB (2x2GB) Kingston KVR800D2N6K2/4G 800MHz
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gbps
Video card as mentioned above hd 4850 crossfire or the 4870.
keyboard: logitech wave board for about
monitor: benq roughly $400
case: coolermaster 590 \ thermaltake m5 aprox $110

notes

memory wise ive heard danny mention g.skill. Its around in japan but not so popular. can anyone reccommend other equally good products from different makers.

graphics cards - i read hardocps recent value article and they rate the hd4850 crossfire. I heard one or two users saying sli / crossfire wasnt so good or are they two different things (im new to this technology) . IS the crossfire the guide mentions 2 * 4850s requiring 2 slots or simply one big mutha of a card requring only one slot on the board?

processors - intel seems popular now ( it was amd when i last built a pc 7 years ago) but some people talk 8XXX or the 66xx`s in the same thread. Im not sure how they differ.

motherboard - Should i switch the seemingly popular Asus P5Q Pro Intel P45 ?

case: funnily enough cases and power supplies seem to be more expensive here in japan. Everything else follows us prices to an extent. Cooler Master 590 is about 70$ if i remember correctly but here its $110. the same price difference for the branded power supplies. Anyway i found a thermaltake m5 case for about 110$ on offer ( though dont know the orignal price). Is that a better case?

Sorry for long post but any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

Alai

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Jul 19, 2008
Messages
2,701
Memory wise, Patriot and Corsair are fine. Check them out.

4850 CF is two cards that sync together via software and a physical bridge. It requires two slots and is the best bang for the buck for a 24", 1900x1200 monitor. If you don't want to step into the high end cards and you want a single card solution, which perform better in some games that don't work so well with CF, the 4870 1GB version is said to be your best investment, currently.

As Danny (or tiraides) has said before, the AMD processors are best for the under-$100 range. If you want anything higher, Intel VASTLY outperforms AMD processors. The E8500 is great for gamers. If you were to do any intensive processing power tasks, I would recommend the Q6600, especially if you will OC in the future.

For your mobo, keep in mind that when you use Crossfire (4850 CF), the PCIE 8x of a 45 Mobo will slow your CF performance. If you want to stick with single card, the P5Q is great. If you want the most out of your CF, get an X48 Mobo. Danny or someone will soon list the best in the price range for you lol.

The CM 590 or 690 are very good. I don't have experience with the Thermaltake cases so I don't know about them. You should rummage around the Case forums. The most popular are the Antec P18* cases and the CM *90 cases.

Also, for a PSU, the Corsair 620HX or the EA650 should hold you down just fine. If you want to be sure of your power load being stable, grab the Corsair 750TX or the BFG 800.
 

tiraides

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
11,066
Here's Danny's list of motherboards. Choose one based on which features that you need.

Danny Bui said:
Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L Intel P43 Motherboard - $87
MSI P45 Neo3-FR Intel P45 Motherboard - $110
Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R Intel P45 Motherboard - $120
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R Intel P45 Motherboard - $120
Asus P5Q Pro Intel P45 Motherboard - $135
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P Intel P45 Motherboard - $137
Biostar TPower I45 Intel P45 Motherboard - $160
DFI Lanparty DK X38-T2R Intel X38 Motherboard - $185
Asus P5E Deluxe Intel X48 Motherboard - $220
DFI Lanparty DK X48-T2R Intel X48 Motherboard - $220
Gigabyte GA-EX48-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 great overclocks, then get the DS3R. If you like the DS3R but want better overclocking capability and 8 SATA ports, then get the UD3P or the UD3R if you don't need that second PCI-E x16 slot. If you like the DS3R but need 8 SATA ports, want an onboard pre-installed fast booting Linux setup, just support for 8GB of RAM, and don't need a second gigabit port, get the Asus P5Q Pro. If you want a motherboard with excellent overclocking capabilities above all else (feature wise), go with the I45. If you want Crossfire with full x16/x16 bandwidth, get the Lanparty DK X38. If you have cash to burn, need x16/x16 Crossfire, and don't give a damn about getting the most value for your money, get the Asus, DFI, or Gigabyte X48 motherboards. Do note that the Asus website can be slow sometimes.

Regardless, the Asus P5Q Pro is a good choice in a motherboard. (If you're still considering one of the Gigabyte DS3L motherboards, get the P43 version -- there's little difference between the two models.)

We often recommend a single high-end card over a(n) CrossFire/SLI setup because it's easier to maintain and upgrade. One HD4870 may be enough for your needs, but if you like playing games at high (graphics) settings, you should consider the HD4870X2 or the GTX 280.

A high-end dual core (like the E8500) would be enough for your needs, but if you're more of a multitasker, you should consider a quad core. If you plan on not upgrading your main components (motherboard, RAM, processor) for a long time, you should definitely consider a quad core. (In that case, the Q6600 is a good, inexpensive choice.)
 

yariman

n00b
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
47
Thank you so much for your help.

Ok im trying to decide between

Gigabyte GA-EP43-DS3L Intel P43 Motherboard - $87

and

Asus P5Q Pro Intel P45 Motherboard - $135

as stated above, ill use the pc mostly for programming and occasional gaming. I dont plan to immediately overclock but would like to maybe in a few months after reading up on teh subject (im a newb at that)

ill be using the quad 6600

I think both have RAID which will be good as in the future a second hd may be needed.

Re PCI slots, apart from a future 7.1 soundcard purchase, network card and perhaps a tv tuner i cant think of anything else that will be plugged in.

Then its to memory. Can anyone reccommend some models from patriot, corsair and cruciall(particular models) for these two boards which i can overclock in the future (as im a newbie i dont need anything too hardcore in the oc department). Price range similiar to the g.skill ddr2 800s or 100os that danny reccommends. Though +-15 dollars wont hurt.

apart from that this is my current pc setup

display: benq v2400.
tower: coolermaster 690
psu: antec earthwatts 650W (is this overkill - can i move down to a 500w)

cpu: q6600
cooler: XIGMATEK > HDT-S1283

harddrive: western digital caviar WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200
cd drive: samsung optical (cant remember the model number)
graphics card: saphire 4850 1gig

memory: undecided as per above
motherboard: undecided as per above

keyboard: logicool (logitech) wave - about 50$ version.

thanks again. Hopefully i can pop down to tokyo and pick the gear up today and then post some pics.
 

Alai

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Jul 19, 2008
Messages
2,701
4850 1GB? Are you sure you don't mean 4870 1GB? 4850 1GB... not sure if that will actually help with performance compared to the 4850 512. You should ask around.

I would go with the Asus Mobo. They are so solid and hard to complain about imho. As for memory, you can pretty much get any of their 800 or 1000 or 1066 models. Stick with the 800 because for the Q6600, getting it to 400 FSB (800 equivalent in RAM, 3.6GHz equivalent on Q6600) during overclocking is nigh impossible for the first time overclocker.

Other than that, you look set.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
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Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
The P5Q Pro would be a better overclocker than the DS3L due to the better NB cooling. As for RAM, ANY cheap set of DDR2 800 RAM will be good enough for the Q6600, even with overclocking in mind. Some math:

Stated FSB/4 = Actual FSB
Actual FSB x 4 = Stated FSB
Multiplier x Actual FSB = CPU Speed
1:1 Ratio: 2 x Actual FSB = RAM Speed
1:1 Ratio: FSB = 1/2 RAM speed

Q6600:
Multi x Actual FSB, Stated FSB, RAM Speed = Clock Speed
9 x 266Mhz, 1066Mhz, DDR2 533 RAM = 2.4Ghz <== Stock Speeds
9 x 333Mhz, 1333Mhz, DDR2 667 RAM = 3.0Ghz <== Good OC
9 x 400Mhz, 1600Mhz, DDR2 800 RAM = 3.6Ghz <== Excellent OC, About the Max

As shown above, no need to overclock the RAM at all if you keep to a 1:1 ratio and any set of DDR2 800 RAM will be enough. So go for the cheapest DDR2 800 RAM you can find and you'll be set.
 

yariman

n00b
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
47
Thank you again. I grabbed everything bar the graphics card and the psu as the pricing surprised me a bit (im in japan). The cards are generally 100$ dollar more than the us. The 4780 1gb is around $400 and its 512mb version is $300. Nvidias cards are priced similiary. So im wondering with my 24inch monitor which to go for, the 512 or 1gb. Im not going to want to update the card for a good 2-3 years and as im only an occasionally gamer im thinking the 512 but perhaps thats not good enough for the 24inch anyway.

PSUs are the same. An antec 650 Earthwatt is 120$. Im wondering if its wise for me to go down to 500W, would that leave no room for future upgrades?

finally vista, 32 bit home version will be good enough i presume.

wow ive nearly got all teh gear.
again thank you so much for your help!!!
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
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With premiums like that...I'd definitely check out the FS\FT forums...
Not many sellers in the FS\FT will ship to Japan.

Anyway, what are the prices for the GTX260 w/216SP and GTX w/192SP? If the GTX260 (Either version) is priced as the same as the HD4870 512MB, then get the GTX260 instead. Otherwise, get the HD4870 512MB and don't crank up the AA.

As for the power supply, how much does the Earthwatts EA500 and Corsair 550VX cost over there? Oh and yes a good quality 500W PSU will be enough for your system will enough headroom for future upgrades.

If you don't mind not being to use all 4GB of RAM (you'll only be able to use 2.75 to 3.5GB of RAM depending on the video card), then yes 32bit Vista is good enough. Otherwise, get Vista 64bit in order to use all 4GB of RAM.
 

yariman

n00b
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Oct 16, 2008
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the antec eathwatts ea500 is around $97.

Corsair 550VX is about $130

the gtx260 216 is the same as the 1gb radeon at $400

I cant seem to find any of the older ones on the price comparrison site im using. ill keep checking but will probably just get the 512mb version.

oh and these prices arent just expensive because this is Japan. In terms of real money they really are more expensive here for some reason and ive noticed americans saying the same for pc parts in general (im british). as for the conversion rate ive used the historical average of 1$ = 100 yen as the currencies are all over the place at the moment.
 

yariman

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Oct 16, 2008
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sorry for late reply - time difference is pretty big.

the corsair 450 is 98$

i cant find any old gtx 260s so i guess ill just get a 512mb 4870 card for $300. Ill have a look in the graphics card forum for a particular brand recommendation but if you have reccommendations please let me know.

Thank you once again.
 

yariman

n00b
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
47
oh and whats a good 4870 512mb brand to go for, on newegg the vison tek seems to have the higher rating and sales count. Not sure if thats in japan. Saphire,
Asus and Powercooler seem to be readily available though.
 

Alai

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Visiontek is high quality imho. Asus and Powercolor are my next fav.
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
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If you can't find Visiontek, than Asus is a good choice. PSU wise, get the Corsair 450VX due to it's better warranty (5 years compared to Antec's 3 years)
 

yariman

n00b
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Oct 16, 2008
Messages
47
right ive found a supplier of asus 4870 and its cheaper by 20$ than the sapphire - bonus!

ive also foudn the corsair psu 450vx but just to check, will this give me room to upgrade? originally i was looking at the 650 antec so it seems like a big jump down (though i know theres more to numbers).
 

Alai

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Jul 19, 2008
Messages
2,701
right ive found a supplier of asus 4870 and its cheaper by 20$ than the sapphire - bonus!

ive also foudn the corsair psu 450vx but just to check, will this give me room to upgrade? originally i was looking at the 650 antec so it seems like a big jump down (though i know theres more to numbers).

What kind of upgrades are we talking about? And if you want to go the EA650 just in case, then do it. It's a solid PSU and it will hold you through increased loads.
 

yariman

n00b
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Oct 16, 2008
Messages
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well i was looking at probably upgrading in 2 years time or 3 at the latest to bring the pc upto a similiar performance level as now for that time in the future.
 

tiraides

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The EA650 has more power in its 12V rails (540W/12=45A) than the VX450 (396W/12=33A), making it the better choice for a long-term power supply.
 
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