My first build ($1200 gaming)

jason11

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This is my first build, and even with doing research, I still need some questions answered.

Goal of the PC: Play high end games with high FPS. Fast load times would be nice to, but FPS takes precedent. I also plan on this PC having a long life time (~4 years), so I don't want anything that's unreliable etc.

Note1: Build is posted after questions
Note2: If I do OC this system, it only be a minor one. It is not a priority
Note3: I don't plan on adding much cooling beyond a couple fans

Questions-

1) Hard drive- What's best for loading time of game zones? One 10k rpm 16m cache Raptor ($290) or two 7.2k rpm 32 cache Barracudas in Raid ($160)? Or am I better off just using 7.2k 32m cache hard drive and using the cash on something else? I'd probably wouldn't be installing a floppy drive if I don't do a raid setup, and I hear raid setups can shorten the lifespan of your HDs. Obviously the raptor is pretty small, but 300 gb is plenty for my uses.

2) Ram- Should I go for 2x ddr2 800 with 3 latency ($240), or DDR2 1066 with 5 latency ($140)? Or is neither worth the extra cash over something more simple?

3) Motherboard- I'm going to be using an ATI card, but I don't plan on using crossfire. I'm having a hard time finding information because most bench marks with p35/45+x38/48 are using crossfire.

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CPU $190 Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 - Retail

GPU $285 VisionTek 900244 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

Case $120 Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

MB $130 ASUS P5Q LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

RAM $140 CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

OS $110 Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32-bit English 1pk for System Builders DSP OEI DVD - OEM

PSU $115 OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W ATX12V Power Supply - Retail

CPU cooler $30 ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail

HD $110 (single 7.2k) SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD753LJ 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Subtotal: $1230

Edit: Any comments at all are encouraged =) And if anything is blatantly not worth the cash, please say so - there isn't anything wrong with building under budget.
 

shadowduck

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7200RPM drive and use the cash elsewhere. Raptors are overrated.

Buy the E8400 instead and overclock it.

Don't buy 1066 RAM unless you plan on overclocking past 400FSB (FSB1600). CAS3 is not worth $240.

P45 is your best bet not using crossfire. Look at the Asus P5Q Pro.

EDIT: Yes I know thats a Crossfire board- but its only $10 more than the non Xfire version and it has better cooling also.
 

jason11

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E8500 reviews I've read tested it OC`d to 4.2-4.3k, so I'd probably aim for the mid to upper 3k's. I plan on keeping this PC awhile so I don't want very high voltages stressing the system. But with that being said, I only have minimal knowledge about OCing and I could be wrong.
 

jason11

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Since there are probably a lot of people contemplating p45 vs x38/48...

http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&threadid=2203881

I read that as drivers for the p45 get updated, that Xfire in a p45 (x8/x8) will be perform closer to the x38/48 (x16/x16.) This is good news because I want to get a single 4870, but if I need the extra boost later on I can get another 4870... and by than it may be cheaper and the p45 drivers will be updated.

Whether or not that's true is another story though. And do you guys think a 700w ocz PS could handle 4870s in xfire + slightly overclocked e8500 etc etc?
 

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