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Old October 10, 2008, 11:47 AM
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Default First time gaming build - Critique me...

My poor old Dell P4 system has finally popped it's geriatric clogs so I have decided to build a replacement system for gaming. I have already ordered the following from ADMI Limited - AWD-IT.


CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550.
CPU Cooler: Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme with Antec Tricool 120mm fan.
Motherboard: Asus P5Q Pro.
Graphics: Sapphire Radeon HD4870 1GB.
RAM: 4GB OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-8000.
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F1 750GB.
DVD Drive: Samsung SH-S223Q 22X SATA Lightscribe Dual layer DVD±RW Writer Black - OEM.
PSU: Coolermaster Real Power M700.
Case: Antec 1200.
OS: Vista Home Premium 64bit OEM.


Just a few things to bear in mind when considering my build:

I chose the quad core processor as I know the Nehalem core processors will be coming out soon so I wanted a system that will be as future proof as possible, given that the Nehalems will require a new mobo and DDR3 RAM. I realise dual cores are cheaper and better for gaming but this was the rationale for this decision.

I already have all other peripherals, monitor is a Dell 2407WFP. The 4870 1GB should allow me to run most games at 1920x1200 on this.

I will be OCing this system, hence the PC2-8000 RAM and TRUE. What sort of overclock should I expect from the Q9550? (safe and stable rather than bleeding eyes speed please).

The PSU, has anybody on here heard any reports, good or bad, about this one? It is the only component I have any doubts about, just a notion I've got, it may be perfectly capable. Unfortunately, I cannot cancel items before they are shipped by that website so if it is not suitable I will order a replacement and then ship that one back once I receive it. If it is not, any suggestions in the 700-800w range?

Any other criticisms/recommendations you folks may have about the build?


I have another 2-3 weeks to think about it as they have to wait to get some components into stock (RAM and
Graphics card, despite all product pages saying they are in stock ) This will be my first attempt at a complete build, though I have changed many components (PSU, RAM, Graphics card) in my Dell over the years so I am not entirely new to this.
Thanks in advance for your feedback.
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Old October 10, 2008, 12:08 PM
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CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550.
CPU Cooler: Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme with Antec Tricool 120mm fan.
Motherboard: Asus P5Q Pro.
Graphics: Sapphire Radeon HD4870 1GB.
RAM: 4GB OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-8000.
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F1 750GB.
DVD Drive: Samsung SH-S223Q 22X SATA Lightscribe Dual layer DVD±RW Writer Black - OEM.
PSU: Corsair TX750
Case: Antec 1200.
OS: Vista Home Premium 64bit OEM.

You have a pretty descent system there, I would just change few things in there, overclocking will be better, a better heatsink as well..

Graphics: Sapphire Radeon HD4870 512mb, as far as I have seen, the 1GB version doesn't offer much improvement over the 512mb, and considering it is almost $100 more than the 512mb version is just a little too much for my likings.

PSU: Corsair TX750 or PC Power and Cooling 750 Quad, either one of these are better power supplies, and will perform outstanding, go with the cheaper one as both are pretty competitive.

RAM: 4GB Mushkin Ascents PC-8500 or PC-8000 DD2, this is more like an overclocking God like memory lol, overclocking potential on it is extremely good..

Case: Cooler Master HAF 932, bigger, better and cheaper. Ok it does look like a badly beaten person with scars and bandages on his face (outside is not as appealing to lot of people), but the inside is definitely a plus, and the airflow is better on my liking. Plus in future, if you want to go water cooling to stay future proof, it is ready for it.

CPU Cooler: OCZ Vendetta 2 with Antec Tricool 120mm fan or a different fan like a Noctua, the main point of changing the fan on it is because the stock fan isn't that bad, but a better a fan would do a little better. Also pick up a thermalright LGA 775 bolt thru mounting kit for a better contact and safer mounting..

Other than that, you're going to have a nice time with that Q9550...
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Old October 10, 2008, 05:32 PM
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@miggs78
I didn't think the Vendetta 2 had any better cooling performance than the TRUE 120 Extreme, all the reviews I've read seem to indicate similar performance. I have also ordered a tube of Arctic Silver 5 to remove the TIM as a variable.

The 1GB 4870 seems to cope better with games that rely on larger textures, I regard this as further future proofing this system. Again, this is all about getting the best bang for my buck and making the system last longer before I must replace components.
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Old October 10, 2008, 05:51 PM
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Listen to what miggs said. You might want to drop the RAM down to DDR800 since you won't really need it. DDR800 RAM can easily overclock to DDR900 and above.

Cooler: OCZ Vendetta 2. I have one and it's great. It's cheaper too =D.

Hard drive: Seagate/Samsung/WD 640GB (320GB platter). Those are faster than your 750GB hard drive that you have planned.
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Old October 10, 2008, 11:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeroman_IR View Post
@miggs78
I didn't think the Vendetta 2 had any better cooling performance than the TRUE 120 Extreme, all the reviews I've read seem to indicate similar performance. I have also ordered a tube of Arctic Silver 5 to remove the TIM as a variable.

The 1GB 4870 seems to cope better with games that rely on larger textures, I regard this as further future proofing this system. Again, this is all about getting the best bang for my buck and making the system last longer before I must replace components.
You'd have to see the price difference between the 2 coolers though, the OCZ Vendetta 2 is cheaper, also considering the fact that the OCZ does come with a fan and the Thermalright doesn't, you'd have to spend extra on the fan.. Now replacing the stock fan of the OCZ is kind of recommended for even better cooling, the price difference between the 2 coolers can get you the fan, and also a suggestion would be to get a thermalright lga 775 mounting kit... I'm not saying the Thermalright isn't that good, it still there.. but the OCZ cooler are direct heat touch system which takes care of heat much faster and more effectively with a cooler with a copper/metal base. The real problem in the Thermalright cooler is the fact that you'll have to lap the base of the heatsink because it isn't flat, and you might or not have problems with higher temps because it doesn't make proper contact with the cpu hence cooling might not be the best. Sorry for the long post but only way to explain..

As for the 4870 card, have a look at this.. GeForce GTX 260 reloaded vs. the Radeon HD 4870 1GB - The Tech Report - Page 1

The only game that the 1GB card has a real advantage is on GRID which on very high resolutions.. Imo a performance increase in 1 or 2 FPS doesn't make buy something more expensive..
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Old October 11, 2008, 05:21 AM
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Thermalright seem to manufacture their coolers with curved bases for some reason so I had already allowed for having to lap the base of the TRUE.

The point about the 1GB 4870 is well made though. I will order a 512 model and return the 1GB once I receive it.

Thanks for your suggestions, keep them coming.
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Old October 11, 2008, 07:15 AM
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Hi there. Cases are a real subjective thing so do some good research for what you like in a case. Do you want a window? Cable management should be a consideration, can you run the cables behind the motherboards mount or tray and then run them back into the case? Many cases have loads of room behind the tray for cables, many don't. Do you need lots of internal room for water cooling or is air cooling all you ever plan to do? Full tower, mid tower etc. All that said, I like the Antec cases, and the 1200 has a lot of room and some good cable management features.

HEXUS.net - Review :: World Exclusive! - Antec 1200 (Twelve Hundred) : Page - 1/11 is a good review of the case. Note that if you may need an extender for the 4 or 8 pin motherboard power connector, especially if you run it behind the motherboard.

Another vote for the OCZ Vendetta 2 here, and the bolt through kit too. I have the pair and have been very happy with the performance. I have an E8400 with a split on the temps, but at full load under the most extreme conditions my CPU cores only get up to about 56/54. Right now my machine is folding with both CPU and GPU and my temps are 50/42 at 100% CPU usage. OC is 3.6 GHz all through FSB speed.

Nice build, I am sure you will be pleased with it.
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Old October 11, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwayne View Post
Another vote for the OCZ Vendetta 2 here, and the bolt through kit too. I have the pair and have been very happy with the performance. I have an E8400 with a split on the temps, but at full load under the most extreme conditions my CPU cores only get up to about 56/54. Right now my machine is folding with both CPU and GPU and my temps are 50/42 at 100% CPU usage. OC is 3.6 GHz all through FSB speed.

Nice build, I am sure you will be pleased with it.
Thank you Dwayne :)
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Intel E8400, Biostar TPower i45
G-Skill PC2-8500 4GB, Saphire HD4870 512mb
Cooler Master HAF 932, Enermax Galaxy DXX 1000W
Samsung 931BW 19" LCD, Logitech MX Revolution
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Old October 11, 2008, 03:09 PM
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@Dwayne
Thanks for the reminder about the extension cable, that hadn't occurred to me. The case window appeals to me, if I'm going to go to the trouble of building this myself I want to be able to show it off. lol
On that note, does anybody know if I can swap one of the illuminated case fans for the Antec Tricool I've ordered for the TRUE?
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Old October 11, 2008, 03:11 PM
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You can't swap unfortunately, you'd have to buy it extra.. I'll still suggest the HAF 932, it really is a nice case to be honest, and cable management is a charm on it plus its cheaper..

But hey it is your choice, buy whatever makes you happy :)
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Intel E8400, Biostar TPower i45
G-Skill PC2-8500 4GB, Saphire HD4870 512mb
Cooler Master HAF 932, Enermax Galaxy DXX 1000W
Samsung 931BW 19" LCD, Logitech MX Revolution
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