- For real-world gaming performance and for the highest OC, the E8400/E8500 Core2Duo will be your best bet.
- For multi-tasking/encoding/folding and games that utilize all 4 threads, a quad-core CPU would serve you better. In this case, I would have to recommend the Q9450. Yes it is currently ~50% more expensive that the Q6600 (Intel price drops July 20th!) but it runs much cooler thanks to the smaller process (45nm) which equates to higher overclocks that you will achieve with a Q6600 (especially with the newer G0 stepping items). I would also recommend an aftermarket CPU cooler for whichever CPU you choose, the reigning champ is the TRUE, but Sunbeam's Core Contact Freezer
has performed extremely well in recent tests (outperforming the TRUE in some cases). The Core Contact Freezer is 2/3's the price of the TRUE and comes with a fan.
- Keeping in mind that I am a bang-for-your-buck performance fanboy
, I would have to recommend an X38/X48 motherboard and an ATI GPU. The 4850 is a amazing buy and the 4870 can keep up with the big boys (GTX280) in some tests for half the price. Of course newer cards with soon be released that will embarrass the current market offerings, but this is true of any computer component (especially GPUs), and is therefore impossible to avoid. With an X38/X48 board, should you decide to go CrossFire down the road, you will get the full benefit of dual X16 PCI-E lanes. If your price range allows it, you could pick up 2X 4850 and a nice X48 board (like this
) and have an smoking fast gaming machine.
- As far as RAM goes, you are probably safe with the OCZ Reapers that you listed in your first post. If you're looking to save a few dollars you could also look at G.Skill 4GB kits as they seem to the the most inexpensive kits and they OC nicely.
Good luck and remember... this is just my
!Edited by MCBrown.CA - 7/14/08 at 2:04pm