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Jay

Building a New computer

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Hey Guys,

I'm building a new computer. I've priced out something thats pretty much at the top end of what I want to pay. Here is what I have designed, let me know what you think:

Motherboard: EVGA NForce 790i - Takes DDR3 Ram, Socket 775, PCI-E 2.0 SLI Ready

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 Processor - 2.66GHz, 6MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB, Yorkfield, Quad-Core

RAM: 2X2GB Dual Channel DDR3 RAM CL 7-7-7-20

Video Cards: Two X EVGA GeForce 9800 GT Superclocked Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0

HD: Seagate 1TB Serial ATA HD 7200/32MB/SATA-3G

I chose the two video cards that I did as they were priced at $150 (Canadian) each. I could've moved up to the X280's but they were priced at $550 per card and I couldn't see the benefit of spending another $250. Plus the dual cards are SLI'd.

Let me know what you think please.

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DDR3 is very expensive and provides pretty much no additional performance at all.

I would go with 4 or 8 gb of DDR2 RAM instead. Much cheaper, and same performance.

I would be very tempted to go with a quad-core. Although I've heard that the dual-core at 3 GHz outperforms a quad-core at 2.66 GHz in most scenarios.

I agree with you that the GeForce 280 cards are way too expensive. I've heard a lot good about the ATI Radeon 4870 too, although I heard it runs pretty hot. I am not sure what you intend to use your computer for, but I think that one video card is enough. Though, if you intend to play a lot the latest games in high resolution, then perhaps you would like to go with two.

Your disk choice is nice. 1 terabyte is very big, and its not really all that expensive either. 32 mb cache is nice.

Personally I think building a computer out of high-end components cost way too much, and doesn't provide all that much over one built of mid-range components. Costs like 2-3x more, but you only get 25% better performance?

Well, it depends on your needs, if you do 3D modeling & rendering, video editing, compiling, high-res every-day gaming, etc.

I would go with a motherboard with Intel P45 chipset, Core 2 Duo 3 GHz, 4-8gb DDR2 RAM, Radeon 4850, 750 gb disk.

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Hello Jay, welcome to the forums.

I see you did some home work there but I fail to understand why you go with nVidia. The system is for sure going to run Vista 64bit so let´s stay away from nVidia. Why? They still can´t make their drivers stable enough, so you will not be pleased, especialy when you are going to pay that much cash for the new rig.

Like Eldmannen pointed out, a P45 with Crossfire, and yes ATI cards, would be a better option. Intel and nVidia is just war! So would you expect from ATI as they are part o AMD, but it´s not. The Intel chipset, P45, as you know only runs Crossfire setups. ATI cards perform more stable than nVidia cards and support the full Direct X 10.1, besides that they are cheaper than nVidia cards and perform the same or even better. Image quality will be about the same, that´s just a matter of taste in my eyes.

DDR3 could be an option, but it´s still no use when it comes to Intel CPUs until the i7, the memory controller is build into the chipset and not into the CPU itself so the Bus will hold everything back. DDR2 is still the way to go.

Let us know if you are willing to change your mind on the nVidia cards and chipset, if needed we can go way deeper in detail :jump: .

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Hm. Well, Thanks for the feedback guys.

The reason I chose NVidia and will refuse to change from them, is simply past experience. I had a few ATI cards and I never liked them, I had to call their company due to a problem once, didn't like them. So I will not return to their product.

Is DDR3 not faster than DDR2? I know it may not be extremely faster, but it is still faster yes?

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I've read tests that show that DDR3 does not really perform better better than DDR2. If it does, it is just marginally worth it.

DDR3 is very very very much more expensive than DDR2, yet I doubt it performs 5% better.

Nobody in their right mind would buy DDR3, its simply not worth it.

You would think that DDR3 is faster because it offers higher bandwidth, but DDR3 has much higher latencies.

"P35 supports either DDR2 or DDR3, and we found no real difference in current performance of DDR2 and DDR3 on the P35 platform" - AnandTech

If you look up reviews of the ATI Radeon 48x0 series, you will see that it a really good card. It has been known as a card offers good performance/price ratio. Nvidia had their fair share of problems too, lots of their chipset for GeForce 8 were defect. Not saying that ATI is better than Nvidia or vice versa, I think that both ATI and Nvidia sucks. They make big, loud, power-hungry graphics card with bloated device drivers, refuse to give out specifications, and it is claimed that they have some illegal agreement in which they agree release their cards in the same time frame.

If I didn't go with a ATI Radeon 4850, I would probably go with a GeForce 9600 or 9800, I am sure its a very nice card too. I just wouldn't go SLI. It is very good that you do not buy from companies which you have had problems with, I wish more people did that.

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Not saying that ATI is better than Nvidia or vice versa, I think that both ATI and Nvidia sucks. They make big, loud, power-hungry graphics card with bloated device drivers,...

I hope you are not going to say to get windows 98 and a video card that only needs a driver of 1MB (so it could fit on floppy) :jump: .

The reason why the drivers are so big to download is that they support mostly the WHOLE video card line of a company, not all that comes with that package will be installed. Remember that a video card isn´t just a simple device; it has the "same power" as a complete computer IF not more, so it´s not strange that they consume as much as a GPU, Motherboard and RAM :jump: . So, you can imagine that you need a complete software package to get these monsters running!

DDR3 is only “worth” it when you go 1600MHz and higher with low timings (under 8ns), sure you get more bandwidth but if access times are low it´s not much use indeed. Compare some DDR2 1066 against DDR3 1333.

If you OC all (not that good on chipsets from nVidia) you can get 1600 to 2000MT/s on a Intel P43/P45 chipset, so you would gain more when going with an Intel chipset and ATI in crossfire, and yes, the(200USD) HD4850 (800 processing units) would be "best pick" or wait a few weeks more for (150USD) HD4830 (640 processing units) and about 25% cheaper :jump: . If you like the best, but they get hot, there is the (250USD) HD4870 with GDDR5 (3600MHz effective) or even the insane (500USD) X2 (4 GPUs in a row when using crossfire, yummy). Remember that the HD4870(X2) is getting very hot! You can also forget LSI or Crossfire and go with the X2 cards from ATI or nVidia…

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Not saying that ATI is better than Nvidia or vice versa, I think that both ATI and Nvidia sucks. They make big, loud, power-hungry graphics card with bloated device drivers,...

I hope you are not going to say to get windows 98 and a video card that only needs a driver of 1MB (so it could fit on floppy) :jump: .

Windows 98? Absolutely not. That was a really crappy operating system. Horrible architecture. Horrible kernel.

But yeah, 1mb sure. That sounds good to me. It is amazing what you can fit into 1mb.

The reason why the drivers are so big to download is that they support mostly the WHOLE video card line of a company, not all that comes with that package will be installed. Remember that a video card isn´t just a simple device; it has the "same power" as a complete computer IF not more, so it´s not strange that they consume as much as a GPU, Motherboard and RAM :jump: . So, you can imagine that you need a complete software package to get these monsters running!

Well most of the cards probably work the same way, so the device drivers don't need to be totally different. They can probably share much of the code.

Well we shouldn't confuse power (performance) with complexity as it differs in efficiency. A graphics card is great at some things and have a lot of power, but motherboards are complex with PCI, USB, Ethernet, sound, northbridge, southbridge, etc. So it is not fair to compare a graphics card against a motherboard or RAM.

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So it is not fair to compare a graphics card against a motherboard or RAM.
Yes you are right, a video card like the 48x0 ot G2x0 is more complex indeed than a motherboard with the CPU and RAM together.

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