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Hardware Specification Check, Please!

#1
Now, a few of you may have noticed my warnings a little while ago... It's that time of the decade, when I finally spend way too much on a PC!

Soooo.. hopefully the end of September, I'll be ordering the following items (or as close to as I can find). But basically, if anyone who's free/bored could take a look through and give me any advice on what I'm buying, any opinions on it etc.. because last time I built my pc you guys helped me out a bunch setting up the specs, and even a PC building guide iirc - and hell, it's lasted me almost 4 years :p

Here comes the spec spam:

Proc: Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 LGA775 "Wolfdale" 3.33GHz (1333FSB)
Proc cooler: Zalman CNPS9700-NT nVidia Tritium CPU Cooler
Memory: Corsair 4GB DDR2 XMS2 QUAD Dominator PC2-8500CS (4x1GB)
Mobo: Asus Rampage Formula Intel X48
Graphics: BFG GeForce GTX 280 OC
Case: Antec Nine Hundred
PSU: Antec Quattro 1000W PSU
NCI: Linksys WMP300N 300Mbps PCI Network Adapter
HDD: 500GB SATA-II
Soundcard: Audigiy 4 (from this current pc)
Speaks: Creative 7.1 set up (from current pc)
Keyboard: Logitech G15
Mouse: Logitech G5
OS: Vista Home Premium SP1 64-Bit OEM
Monitor: Dell TrueColour 24" LCD
Optical Drives: Asus DRW, possibly a new black DVD/CD-RW combo drive also

Anything I'm missing on there? or anything you'd advise to avoid/change?

Thanks for yours time!

p.s. 2x 120mm Zalman Silence Case Fans also!
 
#4
Re: Spec Check Plx!

guess an x-fi wouldn't be too bad, no idea what a Xonar D2 is :p and blu ray doesn't interest me

edit: Done my research now!

edit edit: X-Fi Titanium actually looks ****ing sweet (excuse my french).
 
#6
There are three things I see where you could shave money and improve performance:

It's possible that you're spending too much on the PSU, cooler, and motherboard. You may be better off using stock Intel cooling that costs you nothing and spending that extra money on getting a better processor. Same thing for the PSU...the total system draw under load is going to be around 350-375W, and even an additional GTX 280 would only add ~220W.

You can shave $125 off the motherboard (not going to get much extra over a P45), $70 from the processor cooling, $100 off the power supply. That 400-500W you aren't using/dropping 4 degrees in temps/1-3% performance gain from a better motherboard chipset could be invested in getting more for your money. How much better of a processor could you buy for £160? How much better of a video card?

The rest is up to your personal taste. The 4870x2 exists and the 4850x2 is just around the corner (just dropped a 8800GTS for a 4870 myself and it's great!). There's nothing particularly wrong with the GTX 280, but hopefully you're not shooting yourself in the foot by being loyal to a company who isn't even aware of your existence.
 

Perris Calderon

Administrator
Staff member
Political User
#7
Now, a few of you may have noticed my warnings a little while ago... It's that time of the decade, when I finally spend way too much on a PC!

Soooo.. hopefully the end of September, I'll be ordering the following items (or as close to as I can find). But basically, if anyone who's free/bored could take a look through and give me any advice on what I'm buying, any opinions on it etc.. because last time I built my pc you guys helped me out a bunch setting up the specs, and even a PC building guide iirc - and hell, it's lasted me almost 4 years :p

Here comes the spec spam:

Proc: Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 LGA775 "Wolfdale" 3.33GHz (1333FSB)
Proc cooler: Zalman CNPS9700-NT nVidia Tritium CPU Cooler
Memory: Corsair 4GB DDR2 XMS2 QUAD Dominator PC2-8500CS (4x1GB)
Mobo: Asus Rampage Formula Intel X48
Graphics: BFG GeForce GTX 280 OC
Case: Antec Nine Hundred
PSU: Antec Quattro 1000W PSU
NCI: Linksys WMP300N 300Mbps PCI Network Adapter
HDD: 500GB SATA-II
Soundcard: Audigiy 4 (from this current pc)
Speaks: Creative 7.1 set up (from current pc)
Keyboard: Logitech G15
Mouse: Logitech G5
OS: Vista Home Premium SP1 64-Bit OEM
Monitor: Dell TrueColour 24" LCD
Optical Drives: Asus DRW, possibly a new black DVD/CD-RW combo drive also

Anything I'm missing on there? or anything you'd advise to avoid/change?

Thanks for yours time!

p.s. 2x 120mm Zalman Silence Case Fans also!

it seems to me if you are gonna want this system to last ten years you should get quad core 64 bit cpu, I do believe the next generation of os's will not be 32 bit
 
#8
Thanks for the advice guys - I'll definitely be looking at a re-think of the mobo/psu etc.

It's not really going to last me 10 years perris, just wishful thinking! :p

The whole quad versus dual core thing is still a bit of a mystery for me - I've been told on many occassions that the dual cores are cheaper than the quad core, and CURRENTLY (important word there) that nothing is really made for the quads anywho... meaning officially I could get a faster processor by just getting a dual core.... if I understood correctly! (My brain's too frazzled today to even function)
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#9
I looked at this not too long ago when I bought in January (clock speeds vs. more cores). I ended up going with a quad core myself, but it really depends on what you are using it for. If you are doing heavy tasks like high end gaming, video or audio encoding and the like, you may be better off now and into the future for more cores. If you just do normal run of the mill stuff, you will probably benefit from more clock speeds. There are lots of cool apps you can use to specify which applications use which cores, so although they can't do it natively, you can force them to use all your cores to increase producitivity.

I'm very happy I went with the quad core, hope you enjoy your choice too :)

I can't stress the next point enough - although I have always loved Intel, except for a short time where AMD was champ, you NEED to get a 3rd party HSF. Personally I hate HSF's that require you to unmount your motherboard, and I hope that goes away because it's overcomplicated for your standard builder. Take a look at this HSF from Thermaltake - looks a little odd but has some great results!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835106114

And, of course, easy installation :)
 
#10
you NEED to get a 3rd party HSF
I dunno about "need". My brother uses a stock Intel cooler on his E8600 and it never strays out of the 30s-40s. And I haven't had to pop any motherboards out when shifting coolers around, stock or not. Is there a sentence or two you deleted from your post somewhere?
 
#11
Depends on use. My Quad-Core Q6600 needs a 3rd party HSF else it gets close to 60C, but it does do a lot when I use it.

Also for higher end CPU's the budget chipsets will hold you back. You can still get the high end chipsets but look for boards with less "extras" on board.
 
#12
Now it's probably quite a common argument of the moment.. but what would people say about the whole GTX 280 vs the 4870 X2, twice the memory, GDDR5 vs GDDR2? (confused :() and like.. 60 quid difference..

I've never been an ATI man, but is it time to risk it for a biscuit?

And on the CPU front - the two at roughly the same price are:

Core 2 Duo E8600 Wolfdale, 3.33GHz (1333FSB)
vs.
Core 2 Quad Q9300 Yorkfield, 2.5GHz (1333FSB)

or... splash out extra for the more expensive quad Xeons, with 6 meg extra cache and small speed upgrades, I don't knows :( Don't think there is a much more expensive duo (unless I'm blind)
 

kcnychief

█▄█ ▀█▄ █
Political User
#13
I dunno about "need". My brother uses a stock Intel cooler on his E8600 and it never strays out of the 30s-40s. And I haven't had to pop any motherboards out when shifting coolers around, stock or not. Is there a sentence or two you deleted from your post somewhere?
Nothing deleted at all, my experience is just that Intel CPU's tend to be on the hotter side when running a stock HSF. If he's getting 30 or 40 with a stock HSF he's damn luck, and I'd almost have to call BS :p

No scentences deleted - a lot of the more popular after market HSF require mounting boards under the motherboard which I think is silly. I would like to see manufacturers move away from that because I think it overcomplicates the install process. I did it once or twice, but it can be a PITA.
 
#14
Pretty sure my Zalman on my MSI board required me to remove the current mounting bracket from the back of the mobo, and the "use the hairdryer to warm the glue" trick didn't work. Almost got frustrated and snapped the board :p
 
#17
Now, a few of you may have noticed my warnings a little while ago... It's that time of the decade, when I finally spend way too much on a PC!

Soooo.. hopefully the end of September, I'll be ordering the following items (or as close to as I can find). But basically, if anyone who's free/bored could take a look through and give me any advice on what I'm buying, any opinions on it etc.. because last time I built my pc you guys helped me out a bunch setting up the specs, and even a PC building guide iirc - and hell, it's lasted me almost 4 years :p

Here comes the spec spam:

Proc: Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 LGA775 "Wolfdale" 3.33GHz (1333FSB)
Proc cooler: Zalman CNPS9700-NT nVidia Tritium CPU Cooler
Memory: Corsair 4GB DDR2 XMS2 QUAD Dominator PC2-8500CS (4x1GB)
Mobo: Asus Rampage Formula Intel X48
Graphics: BFG GeForce GTX 280 OC
Case: Antec Nine Hundred
PSU: Antec Quattro 1000W PSU
NCI: Linksys WMP300N 300Mbps PCI Network Adapter
HDD: 500GB SATA-II
Soundcard: Audigiy 4 (from this current pc)
Speaks: Creative 7.1 set up (from current pc)
Keyboard: Logitech G15
Mouse: Logitech G5
OS: Vista Home Premium SP1 64-Bit OEM
Monitor: Dell TrueColour 24" LCD
Optical Drives: Asus DRW, possibly a new black DVD/CD-RW combo drive also

Anything I'm missing on there? or anything you'd advise to avoid/change?

Thanks for yours time!

p.s. 2x 120mm Zalman Silence Case Fans also!

Let me start my answer by telling you what's in my main two computers:

QX6700 & Q6700, both have an 8800GTX, 32 bit XP Pro & Vista Ultimate 64 bit, 2GB sticks G.Skill RAM (2X2GB & 4X2GB), Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme in both, PC P&C Silencer 750 power supplies in both, Cooler Master 810 case (both). I don't regret any of those choices.

As you see I like quads but the E8600 is faster and cheaper. I run quads because I crunch World Community Grid. If I were building another quad computer today I'd buy a Q9650. Whether or not you are going to overclock comes into play too. If you are, you can bump the quad up to the same speed as the E8600 runs stock.

The Zalman 9700 is nice CPU cooler. I have one on a Q6600 that is used strictly as a WCG cruncher. It's fine for dual cores (and quads at slightly overclocked speeds). It doesn't really keep up with a highly overclocked quad though. I run the 9700/Q6600 ~3.2GHz where I run the TRUEs/6700s ~3.5GHz (in the summer, a little higher in the winter). I don't like stock coolers because they just stir up the air in the case. I like a cooler that blows the hot air towards a case fan so that the hot air can be evacuated from the case quickly.

I like nvidia video cards but I'd seriously consider a 4870X2.

RAM:

I have two sticks of this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166 and four sticks of this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231145

Whatever RAM you buy I recommend 2X2GB rather than 4X1GB.


I used a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series sound card when I built my son's computer. That one has Vista Ultimate 32 bit. Had a heck of a time getting the sound card to work with Vista. So much trouble that I'm using onboard sound in my Vista computer. I really don't know what to say about the Creative / Vista situation....
 

ming

OSNN Advanced
#18
Hi Moonwraith!!!! :devious:

I'd go for the Quad-core processor. Think you've already mentioned the Q9450. Vista x64 is running very smoothly on my machine. yippee!
erm. Don't know if you have a large HDD that you can swap from your existing machine, but you do, maybe opt for a WD raptor hard disk for your C: drive.

edit: btw, don't get the 36GB drive if you do go for a raptor drive... You may not have any disk space left after installing your softwares on top of Vista.
 

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