New build - suggestions for upgrades/downgrades please!

kslghost

Distinguished
Mar 16, 2009
65
0
18,630
I do intend this to be a gaming rig, as well as one for work-related database building. The budget I'm working with is around 1000-1500, and there is some flexibility here.

So far I have these items selected based on different things that I have read.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro 92mm Aftermarket Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134

Gigabyte UD3P Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128358

G.Skill 4GB 1066 Dual Channel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166

EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 (Should I get the superclocked?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130434

Corsair 750TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

WD Caviar Black 750GB 32MB Cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136283

Antec 900
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

LG DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136152

Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116493

Which comes out to about 1100 dollars before shipping and tax.
Have my monitor, mouse, keyboard, sound card, and speakers already.

What do you guys think I can upgrade for the biggest bang for the buck? Is the overclocked EVGA GTX 260 worth it (it's also backordered)? How about the CPU? I'm not a huge fan of overclocking. I have the technical knowhow, but I really had stability problems with my last rig (which I still have, and is a AMD Athlon 2100+!!!) and I also like to have a quiet computer, so is it still a huge heat generation issue?

Also, if I intended to SLI in the future, would this setup work? Is there much of a performance boost from having a second HD? Finally, is Vista Ultimate going to be worth it to me? 64-bit is the way to go, right?

Sorry for having so many questions. Trying to get back in the game (as you can tell by my last rig, it's been a while!)

Thanks!
 

huron

Distinguished
Jun 4, 2007
2,420
0
19,860
Just my opinion, but I would change a few things.

First, you can get DDR2 800 RAM instead of the 1066. Even with a big overclock, you'd still be OK with the 800 (and can OC your RAM as well if need be).

Second, I would get a WD 640 GB HDD (black if you would like) instead - great drive - 2 platters.

About SLI - no, only SLI motherboards support. You'd have to get a 780i or 750i (or 790i - DDR3 only). The new X58 motherboards often support both SLI and crossfire, but not the P45 like you chose.

Good brand on the PSU. If you want to save $20, you can get the PC Power and Cooling 750w from microcenter right now - also a great PSU.

About the OCed 260 - if you feel comfortable, you can OC a regular one yourself with various utilities.

I would save some $$$ also and get Vista Home Premium instead. Unless you'll use the few extra features, you'll be just fine with Premium.
 

xthekidx

Splendid
Dec 24, 2008
3,871
1
22,790
Overclocking has changed a lot since you built your last rig. Its fairly easy to get a stable overclock nowadays, almost all mobo's and CPU's are designed for it.

That is a huge budget range, and I would suggest two very different computers at either end of the range. Are you ok with paying $1500? If you are, then build an i7 rig, it will be a big improvement over the Q6600. If you want to keep it on the lowend of the spectrum, then your current setup is pretty decent, I would just make a couple changes (go with a Q9400, its cooler or a PII 940; Get the S1283v Dark Knight CPU cooler instead of the Freezer pro; 4870 1gb instead of the GTX 260 so you can xfire, that mobo doesn't support SLI).

So here is the deal: the i7 is more expensive to build, and depending on what you do, it doesn't offer that much performance improvement over the Core 2 (gaming performance is almost nil vs PII or Q9550, but video encoding is like 2x faster). But LGA 775 is the old Intel socket that is phasing out (still very good though) and better processors will not likely be coming out for it, maybe 1 or 2 more (E8700 is rumored but not confirmed). Intel has moved on to two new sockets: LGA 1366 (i7) and LGA 1156 (i5 which will be coming out in a few months). The new sockets will offer upgrade paths for new processors that will be coming out. If you are ok with rebuilding your PC in 2 years, then core 2 makes sense, if you want this to last 4+ years, then i7 is a smarter choice as it is currently the best platform available and will be for a while, but it will cost you about $200 more than a core 2 (or Phenom II for that matter, don't know how you feel about an AMD build...).

AMD offers a good alternative to intel for the mainstream build, at the lower end of your budget, and I would probably chose a PIIx4 940 to build on instead because it will offer you more for your money. The PII 940 is between the Q9400 and Q9550 in terms of performance in most cases, and is priced about the same as the Q6600. Going with AM2+ will also offer more of an upgrade path than LGA 775 as AMD is currently developing new processors that is compatible with that socket, another reason it would be preferable to the Core 2 route.

On that note though there is another issue: The PII processors are not as fast as the Core 2 processors clock for clock (Q9650 vs. PII 940, the Q9650 wins hands down even though they both run at 3.0ghz). But PII processors come at higher clock frequencies and at lower prices, which evens the playing field there. Right now, the Best Core 2 processor is better than the best PII processor, but AMD is working to fix this (PII 980 or 990 is supposed to run at 3.6ghz I think, coming out Q3/Q4 this year).

So I realize that is a crapload to consider, think about it and let us know how you feel about it. If you are willing to spend $1500 though, i7 is the way to go, unless you want super gaming performance, in which case go with a cheaper CPU and get an Uber GPU.
 

MykC

Distinguished
Nov 24, 2008
480
0
18,780
Read xthekidx post twice, take it all in, its all good info. To paint a $$$ compairson.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129032 LG DVD Drive $22
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218 WD 640GD HD $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137 CM 690 $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005 Corsair 650TX $100 - $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233003 Xigma CPU Cooler $36 - $10MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145590 4GB DDR2 800 $45 - $25 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125256 1GB 4870 $200 - $30 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.165025 Phenom II 720BE and Biostar 790GX $212
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.164886 or Phenom II 940BE and Biostar 790GX + $48

720BE $850 - $85 MIR / $765 after MIR or 940BE $900 - $85 MIR / $815 after MIR


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827129032 LG DVD Drive $22
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218 WD 640GD HD $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137 CM 690 $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005 Corsair 650TX $100 - $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029 Xigma Dark Knight $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125256 1GB 4870 $200 - $30 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227366 6GB OCZ DDR 1333 $130 - $50MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130221 MSI x58 crossfire $190 - $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202 i7 920 $290

$1125 - 120MIR /1005 after MIR. You had a Nvidia 260 picked out, but if you plan to run a second GPU down the road IMO crossfire is the better solution due to its flexibility. Also, it provides a better head on comparisons to the two platforms since there isn't really a good AMD SLI system.

BTW the case and PSU you selected are perfectly fine, its just I had these parts in a previous post and too lazy to take it out (+$50 for your PSU/CASE). The difference in price of the two platforms is going to be about $200-$250 keeping everything equal (ie changing GFX card or something).

The next GFX upgrade I would look at though is this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102809 2GB 4850x2
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-radeon,2151.html good article on GPUs from tomshardware
 

kslghost

Distinguished
Mar 16, 2009
65
0
18,630
Thank you guys so much for the incredible replies! I suppose there are a lot of different things to consider here, considering the range I put up there. I guess I need to do some more research about i7 and the such before I make a decision here. Part of the reason I need to upgrade so badly is that my current computer is obviously seriously outdated and has basically 0 compatibility with today's formats, and I don't want to really get stuck like that again, though I don't see the build I posted being nearly as un-upgradeable as Socket A/AGP :p However, being able to plug in a new CPU in a couple of years is probably something I should consider.

I think I'll take my time and build up some of my own - I do prefer Nvidia and Intel at this point to AMD/ATI, but I'll go take a look at some numbers before I make that a no wiggle position.

Thanks again for all the advice so far!
 

xthekidx

Splendid
Dec 24, 2008
3,871
1
22,790
Ok some more info that we need in order to help you out:
What resolution is your monitor at? This is very important when determining what GPU you need for games.
What games do you play?
What programs do you use for your work-related needs?
 

kslghost

Distinguished
Mar 16, 2009
65
0
18,630
I've done a little more research, and I'm generally considering staying in the 775 era for now, as the i7 performance increases generally won't benefit me too much.

I generally use two monitors right now - a 1920x1200 24inch, and a 1280x1024 19inch. Currently, I've been gaming on my 19inch because my computer just can't handle 1920x1200. However, I'm getting pretty set on the GTX 260 Core 216 as it offers enough performance for the money. The only alternative that I see is the 4870, but they aren't a huge difference. I've decided I will probably *never* SLI or Crossfire.

The games I play right now are just WoW, Civ4, and TF2/CS:Source. None of these will tax the GPU or CPU (but they perform terribly on my current aging rig!). With the future considerations being unknown, I'd like to play SC2 and Diablo 3 for sure. :) As for current games that might have any sort of bottleneck, Fallout 3 and UT3 are considerations (thought I don't think that UT3 has any).

In terms of work-related needs, I use postgresql a lot, as well as a handful of Photoshop. Time is not generally a huge factor.

So far, I've considered dropping down to Home Premium as I figure I can get the backup features in Ultimate elsewhere. Additionally, I'm considering the Q9550 processor. I've also switched my HD to the 640GB Caviar Black 32MB cache. I understand this one has two platters? I don't really know what the advantage of that is, but it sounds like a good thing :).

Q9550
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041

640GB WD Caviar Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319

Should I still generally go with DDR800 vs 1066 if I make this processor change? I'm still thinking UD3P for motherboard - I'm not totally happy with the choices in SLI in terms of price/features/reliability. And if OC'ing is as easy as people say it is, I'll probably be doing such to some extent.

Thanks again!
 

kslghost

Distinguished
Mar 16, 2009
65
0
18,630
Also, is the 12MB L2Cache a significant difference to the 6MB L2Cache on the Q9400? Where would I see a performance difference in consideration to these differences? That appears to be the only major difference between these two CPUs, right? And something I forgot to ask before, all these components would fit inside the 900 comfortably, right? :) Oh yes, and since I won't be considering SLI, what wattage powersource should I be looking at? I was only considering the 750W for future purposes.
 
You could go with the GA-EP45-UD3R since you're getting an Nvidia GPU.

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128359&Tpk=ga-ep45-ud3r $114.99 - $15 MIR

There's no use getting a crossfire capable motherboard if you're not getting an ATI GPU.

Games love as much L2 cache as they can get. I'd consider the Q9550 a very nice upgrade from a Q9400.

Everything will fit inside an Antec 900 just fine.

You could go with a quality 650W PSU for your intended build.

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005&Tpk=650tx $94.99 - $20 MIR
 

xthekidx

Splendid
Dec 24, 2008
3,871
1
22,790

kslghost

Distinguished
Mar 16, 2009
65
0
18,630
Thanks again for the advice. I'm a little hesitant on the GPU (4850x2) with all the negative reviews. I realize that it was only recently picked up for driver support by ATI, but thank you guys for the advice on the mobo and the RAM. Quick question though, does the 8x PCI-e slot only serve the purpose of Crossfire? I may certainly have misread somewhere that it can serve another purpose, but I certainly could be mistaken.
 

TRENDING THREADS