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Advice for a Non-overclocking gaming build

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey all, first post! I've been in a sad gaming state for the past four years at college, struggling (at times) through recent games like Half-Life 2, Company of Heroes and Call of Duty 4 - all with a Dell Dimension XPS laptop dating back to Summer 2004!

Needless to say, now that I'll have more time on my hands, I'm looking to put about $2000-2200 towards a new gaming desktop. However, I'm generally NOT interested in much overclocking at all, so keep that in mind. I'll also be looking to play the latest games - COD4, Crysis, World in Conflict, etc., as well as what's to come in the next couple of years, on pretty high resolutions on pretty high settings.

I'd love your advice on this proposed setup - I'll be purchasing the parts in about a month, so some things will probably change, but please comment with your expertise! One more thing - I'd like this to be very upgradable for the next couple of years.

OS: Windows Vista Home 32-bit
Case: Antec 900
Mobo: EVGA nForce 780i SLI
CPU: Intel Q9450
Ram: 4 GB (2x2gb) DDR2 800 (Patriot Extreme)
GPU: GeForce 9800 GTX (G92) 512 mb
Monitor: Samsung 2253BW 22''
Cooling: Thermalright Ultra-120, Scythe SFF21F 120mm case fan
PSU: PC Power + Cooling Silencer 750w Quad
Storage: Western Digital Caviar WD7500AAKS 750gb 7200 rpm
Optical: Sony NEC Optiarc 20X DVD-R


So there it is, and if I bought it today, it would come out to about $2000. But here are my main issues that I need some help with:

CPU: I would go with a Q6600, but since I am not looking to overclock and I have some extra cash, am I right to be thinking about the Q9450, assuming it becomes available? If it's reasonably faster stock than a Q6600 stock, then I'd be happy with the price diff.

GPU: Always hard. I know the 9800 GTX is immature, but we're talking about starting from stratch, not upgrading from a 8800 GT or something. However, I've also considered the following cards:
- 8800 GTS 512 x2 SLI
- 9600 GT 512 x2 SLI
- 8800 GTX 768 (single)
But again, I'm looking for future upgradeability. Also, keep in mind, I'm going to be gaming on a 22'' LCD. The 8800 GTS 512 in SLI is a little pricey and leaves no expansion room, whereas if I went with a single 9800 GTX, I could buy another one down the road to run in SLI. And the 8800 GTX just seems too old for a brand new system... And the 9600 GT in SLI seems promising for now, but again, how upgradable would that be? Or would I be better off just getting a next-gen single card anyway? Note: I'm not really into AMD/ATI, so don't worry about that side of things.

OS: Is Vista Home 32-bit okay for gaming? I've heard Vista 64 is too finicky and RAM hogging, though I'll have 4gb. And XP might be good now, but I'll want the new OS looking forward.


Those are my most obvious issues, but feel free to comment on other potential issues. I'm also ok paying up to about $2200, so any other suggestions are welcome.

Thanks!
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core2Quad Q6700 XFX 780i 2x MSI 8800 GTS OC SLI 4gb DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD Caviar 750gb Windows Vista Home 64-bit Samsung 2253BW 22'' LCD OCZ 1010w 
Case
Thermaltake 
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My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core2Quad Q6700 XFX 780i 2x MSI 8800 GTS OC SLI 4gb DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD Caviar 750gb Windows Vista Home 64-bit Samsung 2253BW 22'' LCD OCZ 1010w 
Case
Thermaltake 
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post #2 of 5
Well, the CPU doesn't make that much of a difference after a certain point, so I would say any quad is good. The newer quad may be better for you if you are not OCing. As for GFX, I would look into 2x 8800GTX. The prices on those are very low right now and would be way more than enough for a 22". I am personally not impressed with the 9 series for the price. Vista 64 isn't as bad as its reputation from what I have read. I have yet to try it, so I will leave that one alone.



edit: look here for some insight as to what GFX to look into. I am a fan of single card solutions, so SLI/xire isn't my thing.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/03/...ming_graphics/


edit2: Welcome to OCN


edit3: Save some time and money and overclock It is well worth it. Even mildly.
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i5 6600k MSI Z170-A Pro RX-480 
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback - glad to be on the boards! A few things:

As for that Tom's article, I've already given it a run through - it's very helpful, though it won't really be up-to-date enough to address the possibility of the 9800 GTX. Definitely a good reference, though.

Regarding overclocking, I'm not really opposed to it in any way, I just have no experience with it. I'm sure I'll try it at some point, but even then I'll do it mildly, as you said - that's why I'm not too concerned about the Q9450's lower multiplier.

Also, would this build have enough juice for Vista 64, assuming 64's apparent issues get resolved in the near future?
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core2Quad Q6700 XFX 780i 2x MSI 8800 GTS OC SLI 4gb DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD Caviar 750gb Windows Vista Home 64-bit Samsung 2253BW 22'' LCD OCZ 1010w 
Case
Thermaltake 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core2Quad Q6700 XFX 780i 2x MSI 8800 GTS OC SLI 4gb DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD Caviar 750gb Windows Vista Home 64-bit Samsung 2253BW 22'' LCD OCZ 1010w 
Case
Thermaltake 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by cjrhobbes View Post
Thanks for the feedback - glad to be on the boards! A few things:

As for that Tom's article, I've already given it a run through - it's very helpful, though it won't really be up-to-date enough to address the possibility of the 9800 GTX. Definitely a good reference, though.

Regarding overclocking, I'm not really opposed to it in any way, I just have no experience with it. I'm sure I'll try it at some point, but even then I'll do it mildly, as you said - that's why I'm not too concerned about the Q9450's lower multiplier.

Also, would this build have enough juice for Vista 64, assuming 64's apparent issues get resolved in the near future?
Well, as I said, the performance of the 9800GTX isn't worth the money. If you are set on it, thats fine as it is a nice card, it is just expensive compared to the high end 8 series which can be had for much, much less.

I am not sure what problems with Vista you mean. I am sure there are some on here that can assist you with that. Like I said, I have yet to use it, but have read that it isn't as much of a resource hog as many have claimed and that it doesn't inhibit gaming much, if any.

I also don't want to see you make the same mistake I( did. I bought components and didn't plan to OC. That all changed once I read up on it more and tried it. It is addicting, lol. It's not like you won't be able to overclock the system you are thinking of, just that you should consider it when buying the pieces as you may end up wanting to do it more and more.
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CPUMotherboardGraphics
i5 6600k MSI Z170-A Pro RX-480 
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I hear you, good point about the possibility of wanting to OC more after I try it the first time. The good thing is that I won't be putting this system together for another month or two, so I'll be able to read up on the Q9450 once it's more widely released (and reviewed). If it still doesn't look positive, I'm sure I'd still be well-served with a Q6600.

Same thing goes for the 9800GTX, although so far the reactions have been mainly negative. Hopefully the prices will come down in the next month or so, although if the 8800 GTS 512 goes down enough as well, I may just SLI two of those.

I also have a couple of case/cooling questions. I've read many good things about the Antec 900, and it looks pretty, so I'm probably going with that. Will it leave enough room for a big cpu cooler like the Thermalright Ultra-120? And after that, would I still have room (and power) to add another card for SLI?

Sorry about all of the questions, I'm doing my research but as this is my first build ever, there are some things that are harder to figure out. That's why I'm here!


Thanks
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core2Quad Q6700 XFX 780i 2x MSI 8800 GTS OC SLI 4gb DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD Caviar 750gb Windows Vista Home 64-bit Samsung 2253BW 22'' LCD OCZ 1010w 
Case
Thermaltake 
  hide details  
Reply
My System
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core2Quad Q6700 XFX 780i 2x MSI 8800 GTS OC SLI 4gb DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD Caviar 750gb Windows Vista Home 64-bit Samsung 2253BW 22'' LCD OCZ 1010w 
Case
Thermaltake 
  hide details  
Reply
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