I know I've annoyed you over the last few days about new build advice. Well I've taken all your advice into consideration and voila, my new build. Please feel free to comment on it as I will be buying the parts sometime this week and assembling it myself (first time).
Couple of comments:
- went with quad core because i won't only be using it for gaming
- will not probably be OC'ing
- will be crossfiring as soon as $$$ for 4870 drops
- native rez of monitor is 1680x1050
What do you guys think? What are the weakest components that I should change? Is it worth going to the p5q Deluxe or stick with the Pro? Can I get a better system for cheaper? Are there any better components that will cost a little more but add substantial increase in performance?
Thanks for your help guys. I'm really psyched to buy this beast.
I just did a build that is very similar. I went with the Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066/PC-8500, no real good reason but I liked the price with the fan at NCIX and I think they will overclock fine. I have an E8400 because I use the machine mainly for gaming and I don't think I would see much benefit in a Quad Core. The 3.0 GHz stock makes a difference to those CPU bound games. The HD 4870 is an amazing card and I am very happy with it. My old machine has a G8800 GTX and I am surprised at how technology just keeps rolling on.
There are always more parts that you could improve on, as long as money is no object! :) Nice build, I am sure you'll be very happy with it when you boot it up. Will you be running XP or Vista? I bought the Vista 64 and have not found any real problems yet. Seem solid and dependable.
I plan on running Vista Ultimate 64, since I want to be able to use all 4gb of memory.
I'm a conservative person, OC'ing would be sweet but I really don't want to bung up my new system. If I went for the DDR2-1000 for an extra $15, it would give me room if I decided to OC, so maybe that's something worth considering and changing. Thanks SugarJ.
I've received advice from a friend saying that a Gigabyte X48-DS4 would be better suited for crossfire, since it allows full x16/x16. This is around $100 more than the P5Q pro. Since I'm using a 22' LCD, would it be better to get this board instead?
I'm trying to future proof as much as possible, so I don't mind spending a little extra now and making it last for longer.
If you're gonna crossfire it, get the 4870X2 instead. Also, the P5Q Pro is PCI-E 2.0 so even though it runs at 8X in crossfire mode, it should offer the same bandwidth as PCI-E1.0 16X. Bottom line, I say stick with the P5Q Pro.
Since you're using a 22" LCD. I don't see any reason for you to crossfire.
For your sound card, I'm not sure about the HT Omega. You're on your own for that. And I say try integrated sound first before going for a discrete sound card. What speakers are you going to use?
I can't really afford the HD4870X2 at the moment, which is why I plan on crossfiring it later on once the price for a single HD4870 drops.
I don't really understand your comment on PCI-E. I realize one card will run at x16, and crossfire will run at x8/x8 for the P5Q Pro setup. But the Gigabyte X48-DS4 also offers PCI-E 2.0, with x16/x16 compatibility in crossfire mode. So in crossfire, wouldn't the X48-DS4 perform better?
I plan on picking up a set of Logitech X-540's. I'll definitely use your advice and try the onboard first.
Ah I see. But if you're going to game on your 22" monitor, I don't see the need for crossfire unless all you're gonna play is crossfire. Maybe others can comment in on this.
Currently, there should be little to no cards on the market that will be limited by the 8X bandwidth when you're running in crossfire since all P45 chipsets use PCI-E 2.0. If I'm correct, PCI-E 2.0 operating at 8X should be the same as PCI-E 1.0 operating at 16X. Don't know if that made sense, but bottom line is that even if there is a performance deficit when you're running crossfire in 8X instead of 16X, the performance deficit should be less than 10%. If it was running at 16X/4X like the old P35 chipsets, then that would be a problem.
IF the 4870 was being bottlenecked by PCI-E 2.0 x8, you'd see a big performance jump by going to an X-48 board. It's not, so you won't. IIRC, X-48 chipsets outperform P-45 chipsets by a slim margin (less than 2%). Will you be able to tell if your system boots in 49 sec vs. 50 sec?
Now, it may seem hypocritical of me to say all this when I have an X-48 board, but I only paid $130 for it (review sample). That's the reason I bought it instead of a P-45 based board.