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Old October 2, 2008, 08:49 PM
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Default Build almost decided, need opinions on mobo + cooling

Hi, This is my first ground up build of a PC and after days of research I think I have a pretty solid system. The only part I cant decide on is the Motherboard.So far it looks like the PC will come in a hair over 1k. The budget I initially set for myself is 1200 so there is some wiggle room left. I'm basically trying to build the best PC I possibly can with a modest budget ( aren't we all ).

PC Use:

It will mainly be used as a work machine. Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash will be open 100% of the time. I also use VMWare with CentOS+Apache as a testing web server. Multitasking is a focus with this build.I will be playing around with OCing. My goal is to get the CPU to 3.0ghz and I might tweak the mobo, ram and gpu.

I'm more of a console gamer, but I have an open mind to change that. I hate the feeling of getting a new game and turning the graphics down to nothing. As long as the PC can run the latest and future games at mid-high ill be happy.

Already Purchased:

- Antec P182 Case
- Antec Truepower Trio 650W Power Supply

Got these as a bundle for $169.99

The Probably Pile:

These are the parts that im pretty sure ill be getting. Feel free to recommend any changes.

- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core - $195.88
- HIS Radeon HD 4850 ICEQ4 Turbo 512MB - $179.99
- Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB - $89.75
- Pioneer DVD - $27.48
- OCZ Reaper 4GB - $69.99 ( trying this out, will upgrade to 8GB later )

Now the Motherboards:

Here are the ones i'm considering. Please recommend any other boards you think will best fit my build. There are so many conflicting reviews and opinions on all these boards that im finding it hard to decide. Thats why im asking the experts ( you guys ^_^ ).

The Maximus II Formula is in a different league, but I dont know if I should cheap out on the Mobo or go all out. Its obviously the best on this list, but the price might not be worth it. Second place is currently a tie between the MSI Platinum and ASUS P5Q Pro. I dont know much about the DFI other than it being recommended and looking cool.

- MSI P45 Platinum LGA775 P45 - $205.20
NCIX.com - Buy MSI P45 Platinum LGA775 P45 ATX DDR2 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 RAID Sound GBLAN 1394 Motherboard - MSI-7512-010 In Canada.

- DFI LP Dk P45-T2RS+ - $185.45
DFI LP Dk P45-T2RS+ ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2OC 2PCI-E 2PCI CrossFire SATA2 RAID HD Sound GLAN Motherboard - DirectCanada

- ASUS P5Q Pro ATX LGA775 P45 - $139.99
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS P5Q Pro ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2 2PCI-E16 CrossFire 3PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN eSATA Motherboard - P5Q Pro In Canada.

- ASUS Maximus II Formula LGA775 - $285.60
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS Maximus II Formula LGA775 P45 ATX DDR2 2PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 2PCI SATA RAID GBLAN 1394 Motherboard - MAXIMUS II Formula In Canada.

Cooling:

For cooling im planning on getting...

Thermalright ULTRA-120 Extreme
NCIX.com - Buy Thermalright ULTRA-120 Extreme 6 Heatpipe Cooler LGA775 Heatsink *Fan Not Included* - ULTRA-120-EXTREME In Canada.

And three of these fans to replace my stock case fans and 1 for the Heat sink.

Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120MM
http://www.ncix.com/products/product...er=1&sku=17749

My only concern with this setup is the size of it all. If this Heat sink wont fit into any of the mobos above with this case then it might be a deciding factor.

If you know of a better more affordable cooling option please let me know :) I appreciate any feedback you give me, this is all pretty intimidating stuff for me... thats why i'm making sure to do my homework. Tanks!

Last edited by Peppaaro; October 2, 2008 at 08:54 PM.
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Old October 2, 2008, 09:23 PM
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Great price on the bundle case and powersupply and good for you for replacing your stock case fans, simply put Antec case fans = pile of steaming dog poo. I make some more recommendations, however I am not intel user and there are many more people that would be better assisting you then I.
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Old October 2, 2008, 09:51 PM
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Firstly, don't forget about price-matching. That HDD in particular, can be had for noticeably less. A dollar's a dollar, right?

For your overclocking goals, the Maximus II is overkill. Very sexy looking, but definite overkill.

The replacement fans are good, although as case fans, you'll likely be fine with the SFF21E fans, which turn a little slower, but noticeably quieter. But replacing those Antec Tricools is definitely a good idea regardless.

At $65, the heatsink is overpriced. It's good, and it'll handle what you're asking from it, but overpriced. The Vendetta II has been getting good reviews, will handle what you're asking from it, and comes with a fan. It's also cheaper, even if the MIR falls through for some reason.

The 4850 is a great card, but if budget allows, the HD4870 or GTX260 are both a step up, and will offer a little more "future-proofing". On the other hand, any board with a P45 chipset will handle a second card without much trouble, so you could go with a 4850 now, and grab a second one down the road when necessary.
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Old October 2, 2008, 10:08 PM
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can you price match an item with a MIR item? for example, NCIX has those OCZ Reaper ram for 69.99 after MIR. If I were to price match that with another site that listed the price 59.99 after MIR, could I price match that?
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Old October 2, 2008, 10:35 PM
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You9 can price match any item that allows you to at NCIX. So if a link spot shows up when you hit the PM button you can price match.
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Old October 2, 2008, 10:39 PM
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You're not actually getting the MIR price from NCIX, you're just getting the chance to send in a receipt for a few extra bucks. So what you'd be matching is the pre-MIR price. Since the MIR should be same at different vendors if it's offered by the manufacturer, the price-matching discount should effectively be the same.

At least, I think that's how it should work. I don't think I've ever actually PM'd a MIR price before.
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Old October 3, 2008, 04:27 PM
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Thanks for the tips MpG. You're very helpful :)

After looking at reviews for all of your suggestions, you were 100% spot on. I found an 4870 card for just 50$ more than the 4850 I was going with before. Plus the fans and the heat sink you recommended look like the way to go.

Palit Radeon HD 4870 - $229.99
NCIX.com - Buy Palit Radeon HD 4870 Sonic Dual Edition 775MHZ 512MB GDDR5 2XDVI Display Port PCI-E Video Card - AE=4870S+0452 In Canada.

I still cant make up my mind with the motherboard though. Now Gigabyte has entered my radar with...

Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3L - $88 - $100.99
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte EP45-DS3L ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2 PCI-E 2PCI SATA2 HD Sound GBLAN Motherboard - GA-EP45-DS3L In Canada.

Gigabyte GA-EP45-DQ6 - $235.99
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 ATX LGA775 P45 DDR2 2PCI-E 2PCI SATA2 RAID Sound 4GLAN 1394 CrossFireX Motherboard - GA-EP45-DQ6 In Canada.

The DQ6 is overkill, but it looks like it has more than the Maximus II at a lesser price. The D3SL is super cheap, and only comes with the bare essentials.

I know it has gotten to the point where im just listing every P45 motherboard out there, but there doesnt seem to be a clear winner here. Each has their faults and each has their individual pluses.

Does anyone have any recommendations?

Thanks
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Old October 3, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Word for Word as what MpG said.

CPU Cooler: OCZ Vendetta 2, no doubt.
As for the mobo, I personally would go for P5Q-E, it is a nice P45 motherboard, one of the popular ones out there. That bundle of the case and power supply, definitely tempting, I'm not a huge fan of Antec Power Supplies.. I'd personally prefer a Corsair, or something else in those lines. But nonetheless, you got a nice build going.

If your budget permits, I would definitely get a Q9400 for $100 more, newer 45nm quad, cooler, better potential. The Q9400 is optimised with SSE 4.1 and could be of help with video editing, even though you aren't into video editing, still photoshop and flash use heavy tasks..
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Old October 3, 2008, 06:03 PM
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With your fairly low stated overclocking goal, I'd think the best route would be go for one of the higher end cpus paired with the lower end giga board. Pricing should even itself out going that route.

Bells and whistles on a board are nice if you're pushing for high overclocks, but a decent budget overclocking board will get you what you want. Paying around $100 for a board also makes it a lot easier down the road to convince yourself to upgrade to newer tech if it posts performance gains. :)
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Old October 3, 2008, 06:52 PM
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CPU Cooler: OCZ Vendetta 2. I have one and damn it's good. Don't forget to get some AS5.

Mobo. Any cheap P45 chipset motherboard will do, such as Gigabyte EP45-DS3L/DS3R, or the ASUS P5Q Pro. Those also have good overclocking features.

The ATI 4850 is an excellent card. What gaming resolution will you be gaming at?
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