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Another "Pls critique my build" thread *groan* :P


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#1
ajensl

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Hello all, I've been to several different techo forums getting these builds together. The price difference between them is negligible, the only main difference is the graphics card, motherboard and whether it's DDR2 or DDR3 RAM. Hoping you can help me decide here, or even suggest a totally new system design if you're feeling generous.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz
Mobo: Asus P5E64 WS Pro
RAM: Kingston 2x1Gb DDR3 @ 1066mMhz
Gfx card: XFX 8800GTS 512mb
HDD1: Seagate 250Gb 16mb 7200RPM
HDD2: Same as above.
Optical drive: Pioneer dual-layer 20x DVD-RW
Case: Silverstone Kublai 01
PSU: Antec 650w
CPU heatsink: Thermalright Ultra 120
CPU fan: Noctuna P12 1300RPM

OR

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz
Mobo: Gigabyte EX38-DS4
RAM: Kingston 2x1Gb DDR2 @ 1066Mhz
Gfx card: Asus 3870X2 1Gb
HDD1: Seagate 250Gb 16mb 7200RPM
HDD2: Same as above.
Optical drive: Pioneer dual-layer 20x DVD-RW
Case: Silverstone Kublai 01
PSU: Antec 650w
CPU heatsink: Thermalright Ultra 120
CPU fan: Noctuna P12 1300RPM

Thanks in advance for the jedi-like tech knowledge you will bestow on me.
Also, I'm not taking the piss, I know a bit about computers. But I want to make sure I'm gettting a good rig here, something that will last me awhile. I know it's a big exercise in futility because of Nehalem at the end of the year, but hopefully I can hold off another year or so before I have to get a new motherboard.
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#2
SOORENA

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Hi and welcome to G2G!!

I recommend the first build since the Video Card is better than the second one and also I don't know if you need to go with DDR3 because I don't know the purpose of this build so if you could give us an insight of what this rig is for example gaming, office, etc, then we will recommend something suitable.

Soorena
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#3
ajensl

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It's gonna be used 99% for gaming. And later down the track maybe a little bit of overclocking to squeeze a few more months out of the gear until I have to upgrade.

First build 'ey? Different forums say different things. Also I've seen benchmarks and in-game tests w/ Fraps where the 3870X2 smokes the 8800GT, GTS and anything except the Ultra really. Now I just don't know...
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#4
james_8970

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Get the second build for the following reasons
1. DDR3 posses very little advantage at this time and you will see no difference between the DDR3 memory and DDR2 memory you have chosen.
2. The GPU in the second build is a fair amount better then the 8800GTS.

By the looks of it your planning on doing a RAID0 setup. This offers no performance boast and puts your data at a greater chance of being lost. I highly recommend a single 500GB hard drive.
There are better PSU's out there for a similar price.
Very good choice on the fan, I'm plan on purchasing a few of these within the next month. They are very good fans, too bad they aren't all black.
James

Edited by james_8970, 08 March 2008 - 06:35 PM.

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#5
ajensl

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Yeah it was a bit of a toss-up between getting a good fan and an ok fan with cool blue LED's :)
But I've never been one for spinning rims on my car or neons on my case. Quality always over aesthetics. Anyway...people in all the forums I'm posting on are 100% divided when it comes to whether I get the 8800GT/GTS or a 3870X2. Though I'm pretty sold on the 3870X2 because I've actually seen benchmarks of it outdoing the 8800GT/GTS. And with the new Catalyst drivers it should make it a little easier still.

What are your thoughts on the Q6600? Other forums think it's better than sliced bread. Then others still think it's some kind of reincarnation of the plague sent to over-heat by computer a wreak havoc.

Also I wasn't gonna go a RAID0 setup. I was just gonna have two disks. One for OS, programs, games etc. And one for all my media. I could just partition a 500Gb drive. BUt then if it breaks I lose everything. This way I still keep a functioning computer if one conks out.

Edited by ajensl, 08 March 2008 - 06:43 PM.

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#6
james_8970

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Anyway...people in all the forums I'm posting on are 100% divided when it comes to whether I get the 8800GT/GTS or a 3870X2.

Without a doubt, the HD3870X2 is better then the 8800GTS. But at the same token two individual HD3870 cards in crossfire achieve superior performance then the HD3870X2, as do two 8800GT in SLI. This may have changed since the catalyst 8.3 drivers were released, but because drivers change to frequently for ATI cards, it's difficult to know what really is better then the other at times.

What are your thoughts on the Q6600? Other forums think it's better than sliced bread.

It's a great CPU, just don't think that it'll overclock to 3.8GHz like the older stepping did. The newer G0 steppings don't overclock nearly as well. Some struggle to get them over 2.8GHz. If overclocking is not your thing I'd suggest getting a higher clocked dual core processor and 800MHz DDR2 RAM.

Then others still think it's some kind of reincarnation of the plague sent to over-heat by computer a wreak havoc.

This impression would come from the Pentium D. The Pentium D was a dual core processor with two Pentium 4 dies in one chip. It was very difficult to cool. The Q6600 is similar as it's two E6600 under once chip but there is one key difference, the manufacturing process is much smaller at 65nm compared to the Pentium 4's 90nm which translates into lower heat output. Basically, it will have a higher heat ouput then a dual core processor, but it's not significantly more like the Pentium D was, primarily due to the newer and superior Conroe microarchitecture.

Also I wasn't gonna go a RAID0 setup. I was just gonna have two disks. One for OS, programs, games etc. And one for all my media. I could just partition a 500Gb drive. BUt then if it breaks I lose everything. This way I still keep a functioning computer if one conks out.

True, but if one goes, you still lose a lot of information. The only real way to prevent such a disaster is with continuous backups or RAID (I don't recommend RAID for any user). Not only that, but performance is higher on newer 500GB drives such as the F1 series from Samsung or the 7200.11 for seagate.
James
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#7
ajensl

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So assuming I want my PC right now and the E8--- series are all way over the horizon somewhere ([bleep] Oz....backwater boganville damned beer chugging inbred rip-snorting flanney wearing monkeys) I should be looking at something like an E6850 in terms of a higher clocked dual-core setup yeah?
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#8
stettybet0

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I wouldn't say the HD3870X2 is "without a doubt" better than the 8800GTS 512MB. Nor would I say two HD3870s in Crossfire are always better than the HD3870X2.

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Also, many people are having great OCing success with the G0 Q6600. It seems that most overclock to 3.6ghz pretty easily and are almost certain to hit 3.2ghz, but of course every chip is different. (Source: http://www.xtremesys...d.php?t=152603) But whether you are overclocking or not, I'd go with a higher clocked Core 2 Duo in order to get better gaming performance, as very few games utilize 4 cores currently. The E8400 would be my CPU of choice for a gaming computer.

Edited by stettybet0, 08 March 2008 - 07:35 PM.

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#9
james_8970

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I should be looking at something like an E6850 in terms of a higher clocked dual-core setup yeah?

Correct. Again, if you don't intend on overclocking, I strongly recommend you get 800MHz memory and drop the Thermalright Ultra 120 as it's extreme overkill.
Though there is one thing I want to make you aware of, while you can overclock down the road you cannot add cores to your CPU. While the higher frequency will help you today, more cores will help you tomorrow as things begin to utilize more cores.
James
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#10
james_8970

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I wouldn't say the HD3870X2 is "without a doubt" better than the 8800GTS 512MB. Nor would I say two HD3870s in Crossfire are always better than the HD3870X2.

The problem with the release of the card is that there was beta drivers being released daily, meaning that many of the reviews would have conflicting reports.

Also, many people are having great OCing success with the G0 Q6600. It seems that most overclock to 3.6ghz pretty easily and are almost certain to hit 3.2ghz, but of course every chip is different.

Many people are having great success with these chips, but many are also having problems. It could be people new to overclocking or some batches reach an FSB wall earlier then others. Who knows.
James
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#11
ajensl

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I think I'll stick with the Q6600 for the moment. It isn't like I won't be able to run anything (my old PC was P4@2.4Ghz with stock everything. Couldn't even run DX10 on my faulty 8600GT) and I'd rather have lastability than awesome performance right off the bat.

And 3870X2 vs 8800GT is almost in the same boat I would think. It'll only get better with age like a fine red wine, as opposed to 8800's whose only improvements will come from tweaking within the driver updates..then there is SLi...but with the mobo i've got I can crossfire two 3870X2s for four GPU cores...and to think the rest of my house is geared towards saving the planet.
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#12
james_8970

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.but with the mobo i've got I can crossfire two 3870X2s for four GPU cores

Just a heads up, if you ever attempt to go this route, you'll need a 1KW (1000W) PSU. Bear in mind, I have no idea how crossfirex scales at this time and the difference may be minimal on a small resolution.

to think the rest of my house is geared towards saving the planet.

Yeah, two HD3870's and a quad isn't exactly enviromentally friendly. :)

Lastly, nVidia is also coming out with it's own dual GPU on a single PCB solution at the end of the month, if rumors hold true.
James

Edited by james_8970, 08 March 2008 - 08:19 PM.

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#13
ajensl

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I wouldn't be Crossfiring two X2's for a long time if at all. So by then all the major kinks will hopefully have been worked out. And I don't know why, but I've always had trouble with nVidias cards. ATi always served me well...I was only going with 8800GT because as far as I knew nVid had pretty much dominated the market again for this round of cards. But who knew...bottom line is I'll be happy with whatever I get really.
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#14
james_8970

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Sounds good to me. Lastely, I'd recommend changing your Antec PSU out for a different unit. There are better PSU's on the market for a similar price, if you are up to a change in PSU I can suggest one if you like.
James
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#15
ajensl

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Yeah any PSU reccommendations would be ace. As long as it can power all the stuff I've got in there atm plus a little overhead for possible expansion (nothing like Crossfire) I'm happy. Also, pref it would have to be available from www.scorptec.com reason being they're building my system for me. I'd build it myself but I've had bad luck with DIY hardware before, so I'd rather pay through the nose and get extra warranty than DIY and risk throwing $2k down the faecal recepticle :)

Edited by ajensl, 08 March 2008 - 11:55 PM.

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