sherm79

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My wife's laptop is ageing so she wants my desktop and for me to build a new one. We pretty much only play WoW, and if we're not playing that then I dabble with CoD4, Crysis, and Farcry2. I was thinking of an i7 build but they are pretty expensive and I think that may be overkill for the games we play. My current setup that she would be getting is a AMD Phenom 9850BE with Gigabyte 790GP mobo, 4 gigs of ram, 260 216core gpu, and Soundblaster Fatality 64mb sound card, with a Rocketfish 700w psu pushing all this. All of that hardware is inside an older alienware case running Microsoft XP. The system is hooked up to a 24in widescreen monitor which I game at 1920x1200 res. This rig rus WoW maxed out at around 30fps average, and in congested areas around 18fps. If we're out and about or in an instance its in the 40s. Now WoW runs fine, but I can tell on the other FPS games that this system seems a bit taxed. Not sure what the weak component may be (Proc or Gpu). Anyways with her wanting this computer I thought I might go the Intel route this time, so I put together this build and would like you guys opinion on it. I dont plan to overclock it (1 i dont know how, 2 I dont want to damage or void any warranties). With all this in mind what do yall think? If I'm missing any information or you have other questions reguarding the usage of the pc please ask : )

Proc - Intel E8500 3.16

Mobo - Gigabyte GA EP45

Case - Antec ATX 1200

Ram - G.Skill 4gig DDR2 800 PC2 6400

GPU - Nvidia 285GTX SC 1gig

PSU - Termaltake 750w

Sound - Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional 7.1

Hard drive - unsure

Optical Drive - unsure

As far as the soundcard goes, even though it says 7.1 would it still suport 5.1 speakers?

also I have looked at several different hard drives and Optical drives, there are so many different ones to choose from I'm unsure which would be best for this rig.

Thanx in advance
 

fullmetall

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Looks good, for Harddrive, you can go:
WD black 640gb.

optical drives, im unsure aswell, haven't messed with them that much at all.

for gigabyte GA ep45, is that the ud3r or ud3p?
if u didnt know: the only difference i see in them is the ud3p has 2 pci-e 2.0 x16 slots to the ud3r's 1 pci-e 2.0 x16 xfire only

for ram, what i would suggest is the G.Skills PI Black ddr2 800 (2x2gb)
why?
tighter timings, good reviews, something i plan on going to because im sure my ocz copperpiped 1066 are blue screening me.

for psu: the 650tx or 750tx would save you around $50-60
 
The weak component in Crysis is the GTX 260. It's a very good card but Crysis at 1920x1200 is too much for it.

Which GA-EP45? The GA-EP45-UD3R sounds good here.

The GA-EP45-UD3P is only $10 more and supports Crossfire, but that's not likely to benefit you if you prefer nVidia cards like the GTX 285. It's worth it only if you get an HD 4870 1GB and intend to add another at some point.

You could get a PC Power & Cooling 750W or Corsair 750TX, they are very good and cost less than the Thermaltake 750W.

HDD: WD6401AALS
Optical: SH-S223F

Yes to the 7.1/5.1 question. My X-Fi XtremeMusic comes with a program where I can pick 2.1 speakers, 4.1, 5.1, etc. Do you even need a sound card? Why not try the onboard audio first, it's very good.

The E8500 and the RAM are good choices.

The Antec 1200 is expensive, and you could save $100 there easily with a cheaper case (RC-690 for example). Also check out the CoolerMaster Haf 932.


Edit: I hadn't seen FullMetall's post. Just to clarify, we're both talking about the same hard disk :)
Also, keep in mind the UD3P has 2 PCI-E slots but it doesn't support SLI, only Crossfire.

 

fullmetall

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"I thought i might go intel this time" Yea the PII 720 is a good cpu, yea it is better than the e8400-e8500, not by much, there both good cpu's. I use the e8500 aswell, it runs all games you've listed there just fine.
 

xthekidx

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It depends on what you are doing. The E8500 is still better at gaming. The extra core doesn't do anything in games because most games only utilize 1-2 cores atm.
 
@sherm79: are you doing anything that would work better on 3 cores than on 2 slightly faster cores? For example: Flight Simulator X, GTA 4, database work, programming, video editing or compressing, running two instances of WoW in parallel, doing downloads in the background while playing, etc.? If yes, I'd pick the AM3.

If it's just for gaming, the AM3 720 trades blows in benchmarks with the E8400, and the E8500 is a little better.
 

sherm79

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Thanx for all of the advice thus far guys : D You guys have mentioned the AM3 a few times, so I looked into a build for that chip as well and this is what I came up with.

Proc - AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8 Ghz trip core

Mobo - Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P AM3

Ram - G. Skill 4 gig (2 x 2gb) 240 pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

PSU - Thermaltake w0116RU 750w (I like this one cause u can plug in which wires u want)

GPU - EVGA 285GTX SC 1GB

Hard Drive - WD6401AALS 7200rpm SATA 3.0 Gb/s

Optical Drive - SH-S223F

Soundblaster sound card

still havent picked a case yet.

So how would you rate this against the Intel build? Will I get anything from the DDR3 ram? If I go with the 8500 will I be upgrading in another year? I guess I'm trying to get a gaming pc with future upgradability. The only thing I can think of I would be "Multi-tasking" would be recording pvp matches in WoW using FRAPS, but who knows whats around the corner. The cost of the AMD build is $1158.92 without the case picked out and the cost of the Intel build is $1141.91 without the case. Do you guys have a preference on where the PSU is located in the case. A lot of the cases I'm looking at have the PSU located at the bottom. All of the computers I have ever owned the PSU has been situated at the top of the case. Seems like the wiring would be messier with the PSU on the bottom <shrugs>. I could go for the i7 but I still think that its overkill for what I do, and by the time games are set up for the i7 I'm sure something better and faster will be out. Anyways, I think it will come down to these two builds so please critique. Im still up for swapping different Mobos, PSU ect. but I think these two builds are pretty solid (still in the air for a case). Thanx guys
 

fullmetall

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As i've seen in other posts, the AM3 mobo's aren't much better than an am2+ mobo, or if they even are.

and throwing in DDR3 would raise the price,

would stick with the am2+ mobo and DDR2 to lower your price for a good case/psu.

If its just for gaming, then IMO, intel build.

the Thermaltake psu you chose is priced pretty high against the 750tx or the red pc power&cooling 750w which are probably more suitable for you.

 

xthekidx

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I would go for the intel build instead, The E8500 will give you better performance if you overclock, it will go higher and the chip is better clock for clock.

But I wouldn't get the GTX 285 on those mobo's, they are for xfire. If you won't get 2 gpu's in the future, you can downgrade the mobo to the UD3R instead and get cheaper PSU, like the 650tx. If you don't use some wires you can just tie them up with zipties to keep them out of the way.
 

sherm79

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cool, thanx guys. Like I said before, I wont be overclocking as I dont know how and would hate to damage something and waste the money. So if not those mobos, which ones would you recommend for the single gpu nvidia flavor? and would you stick with the intel build? The prices as I have built are only 50 bucks difference with the AMD build being more. . .
 

xthekidx

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ASUS P5QL PRO LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard for intel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131329

ASUS M3A78 Pro AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard for AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131325

If you won't overclock and only 1 GPU. Other fancier and more expensive boards are good for overclocking and adding more GPU's, but for neither you can go with those more basic boards. I would go the AMD route with a PII x3 720 if you won't overclock because it will brace you better for the future when programs and games start to use more cores.
 

sherm79

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So correct me if im wrong, but it looks like you have to have an AMD chip already compatable with the ASUS M3A78 Pro in order to update the bios so you can put the AM3 chip in it? Is that right?
 

bossman34

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Unless you have some fancy schmancy sound system you're going to hook up your system to, I really think you can forgo the sound blaster card. The on board audio nowadays is pretty darn good and should do you just fine while saving you a few $$$. I have a Logitech THX 2.1 system on my Gigabyte on board audio and it sounds great.
 
Go to hardwaresecrets.com and read their review of the Rocketfish 700W PSU. I think hardocp.com has a review too, and maybe jonnyguru.com. Basically, it is a piece of junk. You may be ok with it only because you are probably using maybe 350W-400W, but I would not trust it.
If you want a modular PSU, check out the Seasonic "M" series. Otherwise, the non-modular ones that previous posters have linked should be solid.
I'm a little surprised your FPS in WoW is so low, although you do have a high resolution. You probably want your new GPU to have 1GB of RAM. If I were the one buying, I'd probably choose a 4870, or if I were sure I wouldn't have driver problems, a 4850X2; either would have 1GB of RAM. A 4870X2 would bust my budget I think.
You can pick up a cheap Sempron for $30 to flash the BIOS of a new board for a PII; that seems like a waste, but a local shop would probably charge you $65 (or more) to do it.
 

sherm79

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Thanx again for all of the advice. My question now concerning the PSU would be, how big of a PSU would I need to run either the AMD or Intel build? Is 700w too much for those systems even with higher end gpus? if 700w is overkill then what would the minimal psu be for those 2 builds?
 

xthekidx

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The PSU is highly dependent on how many GPU's and what GPU's you will use, not so much the CPU. For 1 GTX 285, 600-700W is about right, but more important is the Amperage on the +12v rails, you want probably 40A or more and then you need to have the right PCIE connectors on your PSU.
 
The question is also, is the PSU label accurate, or is it a bald-faced lie? The Rocketfish label, for example, has been shown by tests to be a lie. Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, OCZ, Enermax, and a few others have been shown to have accurate labels, and can be trusted to put out their claimed power.
 

gula

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My post has nothing to do with this guy's rig. I just wanted to know if someone knows the framerate in Crysis (2007)I can expect to get in 1400x900 resolution.
The rig is as follows:

Intel Core 2 Q9550 (12MB, 2.83GHz, 1333 FSB) I will overclock it to 3.3-3.4GHz.
RAM- 6GB DDR2 at 800MHz
1 TB Performance RAID 0
ATI Radeon HD 4870 1024MB (will overclock)

As well, is there a significant difference between the 4870 1GB and the 4870 2GB?
 

xthekidx

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You can probably expect around 30-35 average FPS with highest details. The 4870 doesn't come in a 2gb version that I am aware of, you have to get the x2 for that, and the difference is huge, you have 2 of that card put into one.
 

gula

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Is the difference only noticable at the higher resolutions like 1920x1200 and above. The x2 has a lot of memory and I thought that only helps at the higher resolutions. I've read that on the lower resolutions the x2 and the 1GB are about par. I asked because because I wanted to know what I read was in fact true.

And also, is that 30-35 fps avg. with AA enabled?