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Old October 27, 2008, 08:56 PM
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Default Under $2000 Gaming/Photoshop Rig Including Taxes

Hi All,

I am new to this forum and would like to say this seems to be the best Canadian computer forum out there.

As the title says, I'd like to build a new gaming/photoshop rig that can handle some intense games at high framerates. Don't have any parts from an old rig I can salvage except a logitech G5 mouse, since it is over 6 years old and will be used as an HTPC. This is what I have so far:

Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R w/ DualDDR2 1200, 7.1 Audio, Dual GB Lan, 1394, PCI-E x16 CrossFireX $169.99

Western Digital 640GB Caviar Black 7200RMP SATA II w/ 32MB Cache $99.99

Mushkin XP2-8000 Xtreme Performance Redline DDR2 SDRAM, 4GB Dual Pack (2 x 2GB) $109.99

Intel Core™2 Quad Processor Q6600 2.4GHz w/ 2x4MB Cache $239.99

Zalman CNPS9500 AT Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler for Socket 775 $64.99

ANTEC Nine Hundred Ultimate Gamer Case $119.99

Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB GDDR5 PCI-E w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out, HDMI $654.99

Corsair TX 750W Power Supply w/ 140mm Fan $134.99

LG Super Multi Security DVD Writer 22x DVD+/-RW Dual-Layer, Black (OEM) $29.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium x64 (64-bit) DVD w/ SP1, OEM, 1-Pack $154.99

Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard, v.2 $79.99

SUB TOTAL : $1,859.89

TOTAL: $1952.88


Longevity is key, and I plan on overclocking the Q6600 to at least 3.6ghz. This would ideally last me a couple of years before any significant upgrades. There are a few questions that spring to mind as I am not totally up to speed on the latest gear:

-I will be using my 32" samsung 5 series 1080p monitor, I want to play games like fallout 3, dead space, starcraft 2, diablo 3, crysis warhead, etc. at 1080p all on very high and running smooth, will the 4870x2 be overkill?

-Will this power supply be sufficient for my needs or should I bite the bullet and get an HX1000?

I'll probably pull the trigger in a couple of weeks here, just wanted to know your thoughts/opinions since you all seem very knowledgable.

Thanks in advance!

-Logos
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Old October 27, 2008, 09:31 PM
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Cut some of the parts... the Zalman for OCZ Vendetta 2 (mem.express doesn't carry it though...).
Antec 900 for something cheaper such as CM690/590.
Cut osme of the parts and get a 45nm quad (; .
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Old October 27, 2008, 09:55 PM
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Would the 45nm Quads see that much of a performance increase over the q6600 OC? Which of the 45nm would you recommend best for OC (3.4-3.6ghz)?
That looks like a great case though, I'll look into it. Thanks Kayen.
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Old October 27, 2008, 09:58 PM
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Based on what's available at memory express frosty tech rates the Scythe Infinity as a better option to the zalman 9500 and it's cheaper. You'd have to go to the 9700 version zalmans to get equivalent cooling. 3.2-3.4ghz are probably possible on air I'm not sure about 3.6 (unless you've already got confirmation on 3.6). It'll do 3.0ghz on stock voltage so it might be best to leave it at that level for the foreseeable future.

Crysis Warhead and Stalker CS - Multi-GPU Gameplay will give you a pretty good idea of what expensive setups will run like at a little better then 1080p. The motherboard only does one slot x16 and the second runs at x8. I've been told x8 is more then enough for a graphics card though so it should bottleneck any crossfire setup.

If you get a second 4870x2 you'd have problems (400+ watts on load) putting a single 4870 at around 200. So 750 is good unless you start crossfiring expensive cards.
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Old October 27, 2008, 10:40 PM
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Thanks a lot joeperson, that's really helpful advice. Do you think if in the future I tri-crossfired with a 1gb 4870 the 750W could sustain it? Or would the bump up to 850w or 1000w be a better safe guard? The idea is to spend a lot now so I don't have to for the next little while.
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Old October 27, 2008, 11:34 PM
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Assuming you mean crossfire on two 4870 rather then three, running at about 200 watts, a Q6600 at ~100, and a motherboard estimating at ~50 at most you'd probably see ~600 watts under load a lot less otherwise. (all estimates of course)

Don't think crossfire supports a third card, it'll do 4 cores but that's 4870x2 x 2.

How much is a lot? The higher you go the less good your money is actually getting you. Crossfired 4870x2 run you $1200+. They'll probably crash out a bunch or freeze and don't give you anywhere near four times the performance of a single 4870.

EDIT: 4870 googled out to as much as 260-300 watts :| 750 might be pushing it for two cards.
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Corsair Professional HX750W | Windows 7 | Crossbow mounted Xigmatek HDT-S1283 | LG W2242TQ-BF 22" | Samsung 2253BW 22"

Last edited by joeperson; October 27, 2008 at 11:41 PM.
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Old October 27, 2008, 11:52 PM
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There are a bunch of different things I can't really give you the best advise on where excessively expensive is concerned. This would include things like water cooling, the average useful life span of high end cards, how well buying a 1000watt system would work out for upgrades, the bestest motherboard (the gigabyte one is good, don't think it's the best), whether or not the new i7 intel chip are worth waiting and the paying through the nose for, and some other areas.

If you continue with the $2000 price tag I'd have a better chance sorting through thing.
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Corsair Professional HX750W | Windows 7 | Crossbow mounted Xigmatek HDT-S1283 | LG W2242TQ-BF 22" | Samsung 2253BW 22"
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Old October 28, 2008, 05:32 AM
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I say wait 2 more weeks. Nehalem comes out and it'll be a VAST improvement over the Q6600 for Photoshop and gaming. I'm also not sure if Adobe CS4 is specifically geared for NVIDIA GPUs or ATI, so that's something to look into.

Get 6GB (3x2GB) or 12GB (6x2GB) of DDR3-1333 CL7 or CL8. Then a Nehalem CPU and mobo. That'll put you up to about $1200 before taxes for 12GB + Core i7 920 + X58. That leaves you with $800 for the rest, or about $1000 if you go 6GB. And holy crap the price on that 4870 X2 has gone up! It used to be around $520-540.

Avoid the Antec Nine Hundred. There are many better cases in that price range, like the HAF 932. And if possible, expand your budget by $200 to include the NCIX Premier Partner membership. Once your PP membership gets activated, you can buy a lot of stuff for less. It'll save you on this system and on future purchases.

And I'm getting tired of the overestimation of power requirements. An entire overclocked system with a quad and a 4870 X2 will not use more than 500W. It'll only use more than that if you have a ton of other components like a bunch of HDDs.
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Old October 28, 2008, 07:42 AM
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Some good suggestions here.

Mine would just be a cautionary one on the Q6600 @ 3.6. Getting 3.6 out of a Q6600 is by no means guaranteed, and keeping it there under air will depend a lot on the chip itself. If you think that 3.2G would be sufficient, and everything above that would be gravy, you'll be fine with a Q6600. If on the other hand, you feel you absolutely need to hit at least 3.6 you should be looking at either one of the newer quads, or perhaps settling for an E8400 for now.

As far as Nehalem goes.... Unless a person has to have "bleeding edge" I can't see investing in this new tech until the prices come down substantially. Not only will the CPU/Motherboard initially cost an arm and a leg, DDR3 Memory is still quite expensive when compared to DDR2. I think you'll get a lot more bang-for-your-buck on a $2000 build by sticking with S775.
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Old October 28, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Welcome to HWC ..

My friend Calgarian.. nice..

That looks like a nice list, except for few things, I agree OCZ Vendetta 2, Samsung DVD Burner, I've had some good luck with them all the time, and lastly I know you like the Antec 900, I personally would rather go for a CM590/690 case.. Cable management can be a PITA, unless you have the time for modding the case, wrecking it, cutting holes that is, then go for it.

As far as memory express goes, you could also buy online from somewhere like Direct Canada, they take Paypal, and you do get free shipping for orders over $500 under 100lbs.. plus you'll end up saving much..

So total from Direct Canada:

Shipping & handling$0.00
Insurance$26.52
Sub Total$1,768.25
GST(5%)$89.74
No PST - Outside BC residents$0.00
Total$1,884.51

I know you only save $60.. Now you could do that, or NCIX (imo CS is much better than mem-ex).. Pricematch with the cheapest, unfortunately you do pay shipping, but you never know it could still be cheaper..

I am not discouraging you to order from Mem-Ex, they do have hek of a selection, some of their parts are priced off the roof, and they won't even pricematch for you. They'll calculate the price+shipping and then compare it with their price, which sometimes is still cheaper.

Good Luck on your build, looks great.

Logitech G15 2ND Gen Gaming Keyboard USB Black Silver Amber LCD Panel Programmable Backlit Keys $84.24

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 64BIT DVD OEM $135.36

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core Processor LGA775 Kentsfield 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 8MB Retail Box $229.88

Samsung SH-S223F/BEBS 22X Speed Plus Black SATA DVD Writer OEM $32.83

Corsair TX750W 750W Atx 12V 60A 24PIN Atx Power Supply Active Pfc 120MM Fan $20.00 CAD Mail in Rebate: $133.54

Gigabyte Radeon HD 4870 X2 750MHZ 2GB 3.6GHZ DDR5 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDCP HDTV Out Video Card $655.36

Coolermaster CM 690 Mid Tower Black ATX Case 5X5.25 5X3.5INT No PS Front USB Sound Firewire & eSATA $88.56

Xigmatek HDT-S1283 Direct Touch 3 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 LGA775 S754 S939 S940 W 120MM PWM Fan $34.56
w/Xigmatek ACK-I7751 Crossbow Mounting Kit for 3 Piece Heat Pipe for HDT-S963 HDT-S1283 RS-S1283 $9.72

Mushkin XP PC2-8000 Redline 4GB 2X2GB DDR2-1000 CL5-5-5-12 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit $105.88

Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200RPM 32MB Dual Proc 3.5IN SATA Hard Drive OEM 5YR Mfg Warranty $93.50

Gigabyte EP45-DS3R ATX LGA775 P45 2PCI-E16 2PCI CrossFireX SATA2 RAID Sound 2XGLAN 1394A Motherboard $20.00 CAD Mail in Rebate: $164.82

That was the list from DC by the way.

edit: One more thing I forgot to say was, I would recommend the Q9450, unfortunately they are quite pricey now.. cost you $400+
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