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Thread: first time gaming computer build

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    first time gaming computer build

    Hi guys,

    I'm new to this and i'm not too sure what problems could occur. Any advice would be appreciated about potential conflicts or possible cheaper parts i can use. I'm trying to achieve a stable computer that doesn't bottleneck the 5850 but also isn't overly expensive. Cost effectiveness and actually having it work are my key concerns. I'm also not sure what to get for certain parts so recommendations would be nice. Also, please point out if there's anything missing... It is my first time after all. Trying to spend under 900usd, cpu not included.)

    Mainboard: (Advice needed on which mainboard supports the q6600 and DDR3)
    cpu: Intel Q6600 quad core (Hoping to keep it here since already have it)
    gfx card: asus 5850
    RAM: Kingston DDR3 1333mhz (1 *4gb) (Advice needed if DDR2 will bottleneck this setup, if not, it seems more attractive as it is cheaper)
    HDD: Hitachi 320gb 16mb cache (IDE or SATA-II though SATA-II seems cheaper. Size isnt really a concern)
    CPU FAN: COOLER MASTER HYPER TX3 (Looking for a good fan, is this a good one?)
    Power: Vantec 550W Ion2+ 80+ (Will it meet the power needs?)
    COOLER MASTER GLADIATOR 600 CASING (Will it fit everything?)
    Sound: (Recommend one please. Not very important, looking to get a cheap one)

    Thanks
    Last edited by waterwaterwater; 01-04-2010 at 04:35 PM.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: first time gaming computer build

    OK, first things first. Why are you using a Q6600? Seems like a poor choice for a new build, so unless you've already got one / are getting it cheap off a mate I'd advise a complete rethink...

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    Re: first time gaming computer build

    Ah, as you mentioned, i do have one. Oops, should have mentioned it first.

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    Re: first time gaming computer build

    Sound - your motherboard will most likely have onboard. DDR2 vs DDR3 - I'd go DDR2 if it's cheaper. Get 2x 2GB and you'll be fine. Don't need to get anything too special - Corsair XMS is fine.

    Mobo - I'm a big ASUS fan...something like a P5Q will do the job. I run a Q6600 on one at home and it's on 24/7 and runs fine.

    PSU - spend a few quid and get something decent. I'd suggest getting an Antec (if on a budget) or a Corsair. 450 watts or or so will be enough.

    Can't comment on the GPU as such, but a GTX 260 is still pretty good for the money.

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: first time gaming computer build

    Ok lets run through it.

    DDR3 on socket 775 = don't bother, running the memory faster than a 1:1 raito on a socket 775 has little effect.
    Remember the actual base speed things are running at are, memory = listed speed / 2, CPU Listed FSB / 4.
    So Q6600 listed 1066 MHz FSB so actual speed is 266
    say DDR2 PC2-6400 listed 800mhz so actual speed is 400
    So running both at stock means a memory ratio of 2:3 aka 1:1.5
    The reason a scoket 775 system get little benefit fromrunning the memory faster than the cpu is that the data is going between them via the north bridge which is running at the base fsb.
    In the above case the while the memory is running at 400mhz the cpu can only talk to it at 266mhz
    The reason you do get a very small performance benefit from running the memory faster than the cpu is down to latinces, basicly the faster and lower the timeings on the memory the shorter it's cycles so quicker it can respond to call on it.
    However these wait cycles are very short compaired to the speed at which the data can be sent to and from the memory, which is why running the memory faster than the base fsb give little in the way of a performance boost.

    A simular situation for the memory sticks you use, 2x2gb is better than 1x4gb because it can be run in dual channel alowing both the memory stick to be talked to at the same time. (also 2x2gb sticks are generally cheaper than 1x4gb)

    On to what you should be looking at.

    a P45 or P43 chipset motherboard, these will be your best bet.
    P45 = not very cheap http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...-SATA-RAID-ATX
    P43 better price http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ASUS-...TA-II-RAID-ATX
    EDIT, just spotted 900USD so I take it you're USA based not UK so let's have a quick look at newegg
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128414
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131377


    RAM, ddr2 pc2-6400 is the sweet spot for a q6600 gives you a theoretical overclock of 3.6ghz at 1:1 ratio ie before you even have to start overclocking the memory.
    Ideally CAS 4 or 5 (lower is better, however as above it doesn't have much effect on a socket 775 system)
    For lower costs it's worth looking 2nd hand, you may be able to pick up a 4x1gb kit fairly cheaply.

    PSU, DON'T skimp on the PSU, don't need to buy something massively expensive or super high wattage, something in the 450-550watt range is fine as long as it's a decent unit.
    Corsair, Seasonic, Enermax, OCZ, Antec (not Basiq model) Xigmatek and silverstone are decent too.
    Although it's harder to call here, as there's a load of PSU in the US that never come across this side of the pond eg PCPower&cooling (although I know they went under)

    Ooo just spotted this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817341016
    OCZ modular 500w after rebate $40 nice price.

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    Re: first time gaming computer build

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Ok lets run through it.

    DDR3 on socket 775 = don't bother, running the memory faster than a 1:1 raito on a socket 775 has little effect.
    Remember the actual base speed things are running at are, memory = listed speed / 2, CPU Listed FSB / 4.
    So Q6600 listed 1066 MHz FSB so actual speed is 266
    say DDR2 PC2-6400 listed 800mhz so actual speed is 400
    So running both at stock means a memory ratio of 2:3 aka 1:1.5
    The reason a scoket 775 system get little benefit fromrunning the memory faster than the cpu is that the data is going between them via the north bridge which is running at the base fsb.
    In the above case the while the memory is running at 400mhz the cpu can only talk to it at 266mhz
    The reason you do get a very small performance benefit from running the memory faster than the cpu is down to latinces, basicly the faster and lower the timeings on the memory the shorter it's cycles so quicker it can respond to call on it.
    However these wait cycles are very short compaired to the speed at which the data can be sent to and from the memory, which is why running the memory faster than the base fsb give little in the way of a performance boost.

    A simular situation for the memory sticks you use, 2x2gb is better than 1x4gb because it can be run in dual channel alowing both the memory stick to be talked to at the same time. (also 2x2gb sticks are generally cheaper than 1x4gb)

    On to what you should be looking at.

    a P45 or P43 chipset motherboard, these will be your best bet.
    P45 = not very cheap http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Asus-...-SATA-RAID-ATX
    P43 better price http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ASUS-...TA-II-RAID-ATX
    EDIT, just spotted 900USD so I take it you're USA based not UK so let's have a quick look at newegg
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128414
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131377


    RAM, ddr2 pc2-6400 is the sweet spot for a q6600 gives you a theoretical overclock of 3.6ghz at 1:1 ratio ie before you even have to start overclocking the memory.
    Ideally CAS 4 or 5 (lower is better, however as above it doesn't have much effect on a socket 775 system)
    For lower costs it's worth looking 2nd hand, you may be able to pick up a 4x1gb kit fairly cheaply.

    PSU, DON'T skimp on the PSU, don't need to buy something massively expensive or super high wattage, something in the 450-550watt range is fine as long as it's a decent unit.
    Corsair, Seasonic, Enermax, OCZ, Antec (not Basiq model) Xigmatek and silverstone are decent too.
    Although it's harder to call here, as there's a load of PSU in the US that never come across this side of the pond eg PCPower&cooling (although I know they went under)

    Ooo just spotted this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817341016
    OCZ modular 500w after rebate $40 nice price.
    i wonder why all the parts suppliers in the US offer fantastic rebates on their products, if we could get an OCZ Modular PSU for around £30 i'd be over the moon!

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: first time gaming computer build

    Quote Originally Posted by marshalex View Post
    i wonder why all the parts suppliers in the US offer fantastic rebates on their products...
    They rely on most people failing to meet all the requirements of the mail-in rebate which are usually fairly exacting, while increasing the sales of their products by appearing to offer huge discounts, which only a fraction of 1% of buyers will ever redeem.

    As to why they don't offer them over here - I have no idea!!

    If you've got a Q6600 then I'd definitely go along with Pob's suggestion of using DDR2. If you get a motherboard with dual channel memory then DDR2-800 (also known as PC2-6400) will saturate an overclocked FSB right up to 400MHz / 1600FSB, which would put your Q6600 overclocked at 3.6GHz. Of course, none of those overclocks are guaranteed - YMMV etc. But even at its stock speed a Q6600 is still a good processor, and well worth using if you've already got one.

    A 5850 will probably see a slight dip in performance running with a Q6600 as oppose to the usual review rigs, which are normally top end i7 Extremes, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a bottleneck.
    On the other hand, a lot depends on what resolution you plan to play your games at, as a cheaper HD5770 or GTX260 can holds its own admirably at 1920x1200, and would free up some budget for, e.g., an SSD...

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    Re: first time gaming computer build

    Thank you very much for the replies, it has helped clear up many of my questions.

    In the end, i think i will go for this set up. I think i may not be able to get the recommended mainboards in local stores so i figure i'll go with the P5KPL-EPU G31 instead. This mainboard IS compatible with the other listed parts right?

    P5KPL-EPU G31
    Q6600
    Sapphire HD5850 Vapor-X 1GB GDDR5
    PC 6400/800 Kingston DDR2 CL5 (2 *2gb)
    WD 500GB 32MB
    COOLER MASTER HYPER 212
    EnerMax MODU82+ 525W
    CM Gladiator RC-600

    Questions:

    Is the COOLER MASTER HYPER 212 needed as a separate fan? Excuse me if this is an obvious question but im not too familiar with building pcs
    Will this set up work together in terms of cooling/potential hardware conflict/power needs(Especially the current usage, im really unsure about that)?
    Last edited by waterwaterwater; 02-04-2010 at 04:47 AM.

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    Re: first time gaming computer build

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    A 5850 will probably see a slight dip in performance running with a Q6600 as oppose to the usual review rigs, which are normally top end i7 Extremes, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a bottleneck.
    On the other hand, a lot depends on what resolution you plan to play your games at, as a cheaper HD5770 or GTX260 can holds its own admirably at 1920x1200, and would free up some budget for, e.g., an SSD...
    If it does I havent noticed It will run fine. Maybe a 2 Fps loss?
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    Re: first time gaming computer build

    The stock fan on the hyper 212 + is actually very good, I've been seriously impressed with mine, it's currently keeping my i5 750 @3.2ghz cool, while the fan speed rarely goes over 1000rpm

    I'm really not sure about the G31, many of the G31's lacked a full set of overclocking controls, so didn't have any overclocking options.

    You don't need to look for thoes exact motherboards, the important thing is it's based on a p43 or p45 chipset.
    You could also look around for the slightly older p35 chipset, which is still very good and will work well with a q6600 although it's only pci-e 1.1 not pci-e 2.0 that shouldn't have any major impact.
    Also the G41 or G45 Or even the x48 or x38 although the X tend to be far more expensive.

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