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Thread: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

  1. #1
    Ex-MSFT Paul Adams's Avatar
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    Question Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    Looking at buying a couple of new rigs, and as this is becoming a routine annual thing I'm going for a pre-built jobby from Komplett rather than have the hassle of building them.

    I don't tend to keep tabs on news regarding current and upcoming processors, motherboards or graphics cards, and I'd hate to buy now when I could wait a month and get the "next best thing" if it warrants it.


    Here are the components I am considering:

    Motherboard (decision made on nothing other than "it has 2x GigE NICs"):
    XFX nForce 680i SLI, nForce-680i SLI, Socket-775, 2xGbLAN, DDR2, 2xPCI-Ex16

    CPU (decision made on "this is where the price break appears to be, and I want 4 cores"):
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz Socket LGA775, 8MB, BOXED w/fan

    Graphics Card (decision made on "this is where the price break appears to be, and I want to support gaming at 1920x1200":
    XFX GeForce 8800GTS 600M 640MB XXX GDDR3 ,PCI-Express,2xDVI/HDTV/HDCP,600/1900Mhz


    The rest of the components are not an issue; case, PSU, 8GB DDR2, 2x500GB HDD I can take care of.
    The OS will be Vista Ultimate x64, and I will most likely go with RAID0.

    Note, pointing out specific alternatives is not what I am after - the "configure your own PC" options are a pre-set list anyway - but I would be interested in horror stories about any of the above.

    I am mainly looking to see if there is a good reason to hold off for a few weeks because of next-gen kit on the horizon which will either be better or drive the price down of the above items.

    Any input much appreicated.


    [update following feedback and research]
    65nm quad-core CPUs:
    Kentsfield (1066MHz) = Q6600 / Q6700
    Kentsfield XE (1066MHz) = QX6700 / QX6800
    Kentsfield XE (1333MHz) = QX6850

    45nm quad-core CPUs:
    Yorkfield (1333MHz) = Q9300 / Q9450 / Q9550
    Yorkfield XE (1600MHz) = QX9770 / QX9775

    Komplett can offer the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3GHz 1333Mhz Socket LGA775, 8MB at present as the highest spec CPU in their pre-built systems.
    Given the base FSB for the 45nm is 1333MHz, I'll definitely hold out to see what options are available then, or what it does to the price difference.


    The default motherboard, however, DOES appear to meet requirements - Asus P5K Premium/WIFI-AP, P35, DDR2 Socket-775, ATX, 2xGbLAN, 2xPCI-Ex16
    ASUSTeK Computer Inc.


    Tempted to just go for the EVGA GeForce 8800Ultra 768MB GDDR3, PCI-Express, 2xDVI/Tv-Out/HDCP, 384bit instead of waiting to see what happens with the GTS range, however.
    Then the only thing to wait on in the CPU... roll on January...
    Last edited by Paul Adams; 12-12-2007 at 12:07 PM.
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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    Would you ever consider upgrading that machine in the future, or will it be passed on/used only as is?

    I ask because the nVidia chipsets have been struggling to work with the new Intel chips (penryn, 45nm) that have recently been released. If you've no plans of using a penryn chip in that computer then it doesn't matter, but if they offer an Intel chipset for that computer I'd take it over the nVidia chipset.

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    Paul Adams (10-12-2007)

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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    CPU (decision made on "this is where the price break appears to be, and I want 4 cores"):
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz Socket LGA775, 8MB, BOXED w/fan
    Wait for a week or so and the new Quads will be here. Cooler, Cheaper and more powerful.


    Graphics Card (decision made on "this is where the price break appears to be, and I want to support gaming at 1920x1200":
    XFX GeForce 8800GTS 600M 640MB XXX GDDR3 ,PCI-Express,2xDVI/HDTV/HDCP,600/1900Mhz
    The NEW G92 8800GTS is released tomorrow and will be up for sale on Thursday this week. There was one on pre-order yesterday(not Play.com) and it was £200. Exceptional value seeing as how that is cheaper than the old GTS you have mentioned and around the same price as a good 8800GT, neither of which are as fast or quiet (especaiily 8800GT) as the new version.


    Give yourself 7 days and i think you will pleasantly suprised that you will do alot better for your cash.

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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    also, am i right in saying that the nvidia 680 chipset isn't compatible with penryn chips

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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    If there's no dying urgency, out of pure curiosity I'd hold off to have a look at the upcoming Q9450 chip due to be released in the new year.

    Don't know about penryn and 680 actually NVIDIA Forums -> Nvidia 680 MBd's do not support Intel Penryn
    Last edited by godsdog; 10-12-2007 at 11:41 AM.
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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    Thanks for the feedback, just what I was after

    This will be a one-stop shop - the idea of buying it pre-configured is that I can relieve myself of the hassle of future upgrades or maintenance thanks to the RTB warranty.

    It would most likely be relegated to a hypervisor-capable Windows Server 2008 box in the (possibly distant) future so no changes should be needed inside the case.
    This is why I'm looking at maxing the memory and having the processor and disk setup "good enough", and in the meantime as it'll be a gaming rig the graphics card needs to be able to cope with whatever I want to throw at it for now.

    The other motherboard options also appear to be mainly nVidia 680 chipset-based, here is the list running from cheapest to most expensive:
    MSI P35 NEO-F, P35, Socket-775, DDR2, 1333FSB, ATX, GbLAN, PCI-Ex16
    MSI P35 NEO-FI, P35, Socket-775, DDR2, 1333FSB, ATX, GbLAN, Firewire, PCI-Ex16
    Asus P5K, P35, Socket-775, DDR2, ATX, GbLAN, PCI-Ex16
    Asus P5N-E SLI, nForce-650i SLI, ATX, Socket-775, GbLAN, DDR2, 2xPCI-Ex16
    Asus P5K Premium/WIFI-AP, P35, DDR2 Socket-775, ATX, 2xGbLAN, 2xPCI-Ex16 (default)
    XFX nForce 680i SLI, nForce-680i SLI, Socket-775, 2xGbLAN, DDR2, 2xPCI-Ex16
    Asus P5E, X38, Socket-775, DDR2, ATX, Firewire, GbLAN, 2xPCI-Ex(2.0)x16
    EVGA nForce 680i SLI,Vers-A1, DDR2, ATX, Socket-775, 2xGbLAN, 1333FSB, 2xPCI-Ex16
    ABIT IN9 32X-MAX WiFi, nForce-680i SLI, Socket-775,ATX,2xGbLAN,DDR2,2xPCI-Ex16
    I guess I'll check again after the new year to see what the options are.
    Thanks again guys!
    ~ I have CDO. It's like OCD except the letters are in alphabetical order, as they should be. ~
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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Adams View Post
    and I'd hate to buy now when I could wait a month and get the "next best thing" if it warrants it.
    Just as well you posted then

    The new 45nm Quads should be out in January, and you may find yourself a better deal there. Definately worth the wait.

    As for the graphics card, at the moment you should get a 512MB 8800GT, next week the best deal will almost certainly be the revamped G92 8800GTS. But if you are waiting until January for a 45nm Penryn Quad then you might aswell hold for nvdias top of the line 9xxx series card, which is reportedly coming out in January.

    Good luck

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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Adams View Post
    The other motherboard options also appear to be mainly nVidia 680 chipset-based, here is the list running from cheapest to most expensive:
    Is it just me, or were there more P35 chipsets (intel + very good) than 680 on that list?

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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Is it just me, or were there more P35 chipsets (intel + very good) than 680 on that list?
    Ahhhhhh, maybe
    But the default one is actually described wrong - it's not 2xGigE, just 1, and I think all of the dual-NIC boards are 680-based.

    Dual-GigE support isn't a show-stopper, but it would be nice to have it multi-homed.
    ~ I have CDO. It's like OCD except the letters are in alphabetical order, as they should be. ~
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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    GigaNet 1000BASE-T Ethernet Low Profile PCI Express Host

    Seriously, I concur with the January delay - couple of new products coming out that you should consider. Might pay a bit of a premium because they're so new, but performance/longevity should be worth it.

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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    I'd agree in holding off unless you really want something spasfic.
    In Jan you should be able to pickup a jan sales/older model sales to ge thoes current specs a bit cheaper

    And as you say you don't really plan to upgrade it, then I'd not bother with a 680i motherboard, the main thing it has going for it is SLi

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    Re: Pre-purchase sanity check (mobo, CPU, gfx)

    If you want a dual Gigabit NIC onboard, then you can get it in an aBit IP35 Pro, it's P35 based so no hassles with nVidia chipsets, plus should quite happily support the Penryn processors without a problem.

    See if you can get them to build you a rig based off that, if not, try contacting Scan's 3XS team to see if they can help you.

    Oh and to give you a rough idea, my system (see specs in my profile) cost just under £900 for everything except monitor and OS's self built. Expect say another £100 ish if Scan will build it for you.

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