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The Ultimate 'Build-A-PC' Thread. Complete With Pricings & Recommendations (06/06/10)


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#211 SOSTrooper

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 06:25 PM

Yeah, my budget is about $700 for right now. Currently my newegg wish list is at $833 and after rebates it is about $750. So I probably won't be getting a cooler to start with.

That is with the UD3P Mobo and Q9400. The Q9400 should be dropping $20 before I buy it, and hopefully I can get some of the other parts cheaper.


Looking at your wishlist, I would downgrade your 4870 2GB to the Sapphire 4870 1GB version instead. There is absolutely no benefits in getting the 2GB version, it's just a marketing ploy to get you to pay more for twice the memory. There is zero performance gain between the 2 versions, especially if you're only running your games on the 22" LCD you picked out. Check out this article for some benchmarks. I think from that article, the only game that see a performance boost from 2GB of video memory is STALKER, at 1920x1200 with every detail on high. This saves you about $25 to $30, and along with the $20 CPU mini-price drop, is enough to get you a good 3rd party CPU cooler and artic silver 5.

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#212 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 07:12 PM

This saves you about $25 to $30, and along with the $20 CPU mini-price drop, is enough to get you a good 3rd party CPU cooler and artic silver 5.


one thing to keep in mind is if your budget is really tight, you can always use the stock fan for now, and when you can afford to buy a better fan and arctic silver 5 later. you dont have to OC right off the bat, and you may even find that you performance is good enough that OC isnt necessary.

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#213 darthbudge

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 07:46 PM

Looking at your wishlist, I would downgrade your 4870 2GB to the Sapphire 4870 1GB version instead. There is absolutely no benefits in getting the 2GB version, it's just a marketing ploy to get you to pay more for twice the memory. There is zero performance gain between the 2 versions, especially if you're only running your games on the 22" LCD you picked out. Check out this article for some benchmarks. I think from that article, the only game that see a performance boost from 2GB of video memory is STALKER, at 1920x1200 with every detail on high. This saves you about $25 to $30, and along with the $20 CPU mini-price drop, is enough to get you a good 3rd party CPU cooler and artic silver 5.


That isn't my wishlist. :lol:

I am a Intel/Nvidia man myself, here is my wishlist:

http://secure.newegg...Number=14384448


#214 DukeEdwardI

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 09:26 PM

Lol, is it bad that I haven't overclocked my Q6600 or my 8800GTS 512? I built just about a year and a half ago and I guess it never seemed like I had to since it ran everything I threw at fairly well. Besides, I've always felt that overclocking shortens the lifespan of the hardware and that I'd probably spend too much time fiddling with temperatures and not enough time playing games :p

So yeah, I'd settle with the stock cooler for now. But when you get the money, definitely get one (I have a Zalman and am very pleased with it), just to be on the safe side.

ALSO, I kind of need some help of my own.

I'm looking into upgrading from my 8800GTS 512. It's a great card and can run everything I throw at it, but i've been noticing that the framerate has been dipping a little bit, especially in the newer games. And I want to be prepared for Dragon Age, Borderlands, Bioshock 2, etc etc etc.

My 2 choices are the GTX 275 or the GTX 285. The GTX 295 is not even feasible right now ($500? Seriously?). I'm leaning more towards the GTX 275 though because according to some tom's hardware benchmarks, the GTX 275 is only slightly behind the GTX 285 and costs a ton less. Here are those benchmarks:
GTX 275 Benchmark
GTX 285 Benchmark
The GTX 275 benchmark better shows the performance of the GTX 285 since it was no longer using beta drivers, and the GTX 275 was right behind it most tests when it was using a beta driver. A difference of about 5-6 FPS max.

If I were able to afford a video card today, right now (just spent 270 on a hard drive and a new monitor), I'd probably get this one: Link. I'd pass on the FTW and Superclocked editions as I don't think it's worth an extra $20-$60 for a tiny performance boost.

And here is the GTX 285 I was looking at: Link. As you can see, it costs over $100 more (even after rebate). Based on those benchmark results earlier, the GTX 285 doesn't seem worth it, which is why I'm leaning towards the GTX 275. Unless there is something under the hood that I'm completely oblivious to.

Sorry about this super long post.

#215 sublime90

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 09:31 PM

GHz dont really matter that much anymore nowadays. As long as you get something like a Core 2 Duo E7400 or above, you're in the clear for some serious performance gain. $400 should be more than enough to get you a very decent upgrade. You can probably reuse your DVD burner and case, but just make sure your case supports regular ATX motherboards too, and not just MicroATX. You should double check that before you make a decision on a motherboard. Here's what I would recommend:

Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 - $120
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L - $100
Corsair 4GB DDR2 - $47
OCZ 550W power supply - $50 after rebate
WD 500GB Caviar Blue - $57

You didn't mention whether you need a video card or not. But in the original post there are many choices for the price you might be looking for. Definitely go with Intel CPU right now, AMD is still a viable alternative, but you are paying less for less performance, so it really balances out as not much benefits can been seen.



thanks! i currently have a Geforce 7600 so i'll upgrade at another time in the future, im probably going to need a new dvd burner though because the one i have is shot, sometimes it would read discs most of the time it wouldnt. my case will support a regular ATX mobo because it currently has a regular ATX in it now.
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#216 darthbudge

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 11:33 PM

How do you guys feel about Newegg's open box deals?

I can get a open box UD3P mobo for $15 cheaper after rebate than the new model, with no rebates.

EDIT:

Also, somebody help me decide between a WD Black drive and a Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 drive. Which one is better?

Edited by darthbudge, 22 July 2009 - 11:45 PM.



#217 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 12:15 AM

i got an open box HDD, keyboard and mouse from newegg, havent had any problems with either of them.

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#218 ChernobylCow

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 12:19 AM

Hey guys I asked for some assistance over at Tom's Hardware but they don't seem to understand the principles behind a 'cheap ass'. I've upped my budget from $400 to about $500-600 and someone suggested this build, what do you guys think?
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Web-surfing (multi-tabbed, multiple windows), Gaming (Fallout 3, Bioshock, Source games: TF2, L4D, HL2, CIV4, nothing newer), general office app useage.

"
If you are a hardcore gamer I would suggest you up that budget to at least 800.00$ and then we would have some headroom to work with.... that wish list you came up with is kinda weak for the gaming you want to achieve.

But I will give you my 600 dollar opinion :

1. LG Black 22X DVD+R SATA 22X DVD Burner - Bulk LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827136168

2.Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811129042

3. Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136319

4. GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]Motherboard[/COLOR][/COLOR] - Retail
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128387[/COLOR]

5. SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102770[/COLOR]

6. Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371007[/COLOR]

7. G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231166[/COLOR]

8. AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition Kuma 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103678[/COLOR]

9. Scythe SY1225SL12M 120mm "Slipstream" Case Fan - Retail x3
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835185058[/COLOR]

Total : 585.86$ (200.00$ more and you can have a much better build...) "

Someone suggested to upgrade the PSU to this:
Upgrade that PSU to something like this: [COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] %20corsair[/COLOR]


What do you guys think? I had originally set my eyes on Coffeedge's $425 build. If I did that one [COLOR=#000080]http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/ [...] r=10287205[/COLOR] what would be the best way to spend an extra $75 to $100. It's at $425 now.

#219 RAMSTORIA

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 12:50 AM

clean up your post, its ugly.

the 3 extra fans are a bit over kill, you already have 2 included with the case and you dont really have a system that looks like itll be running very hot, thats $30 you just dont need to spend. the PSU is fine for what you have, but you might want more power if you plan on adding a 2nd card.

coffeeedge has a nice build (cheaper too). if you were going to upgrade one thing from there id say upgrade the processor, go with something like this.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115056

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#220 HowStern

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 01:25 AM

Hey guys I asked for some assistance over at Tom's Hardware but they don't seem to understand the principles behind a 'cheap ass'. I've upped my budget from $400 to about $500-600 and someone suggested this build, what do you guys think?
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Web-surfing (multi-tabbed, multiple windows), Gaming (Fallout 3, Bioshock, Source games: TF2, L4D, HL2, CIV4, nothing newer), general office app useage.

"
If you are a hardcore gamer I would suggest you up that budget to at least 800.00$ and then we would have some headroom to work with.... that wish list you came up with is kinda weak for the gaming you want to achieve.

But I will give you my 600 dollar opinion :

1. LG Black 22X DVD+R SATA 22X DVD Burner - Bulk LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827136168

2.Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811129042

3. Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136319

4. GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]Motherboard[/COLOR][/COLOR] - Retail
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128387[/COLOR]

5. SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102770[/COLOR]

6. Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371007[/COLOR]

7. G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231166[/COLOR]

8. AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition Kuma 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103678[/COLOR]

9. Scythe SY1225SL12M 120mm "Slipstream" Case Fan - Retail x3
[COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835185058[/COLOR]

Total : 585.86$ (200.00$ more and you can have a much better build...) "

Someone suggested to upgrade the PSU to this:
Upgrade that PSU to something like this: [COLOR=#000080]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] %20corsair[/COLOR]


What do you guys think? I had originally set my eyes on Coffeedge's $425 build. If I did that one [COLOR=#000080]http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/ [...] r=10287205[/COLOR] what would be the best way to spend an extra $75 to $100. It's at $425 now.


There's some dummies on tomshardware. That build is awful for the price. Check this out:

http://secure.newegg...tNumber=8815514

Just don't get the Arctic Cooling heatsink. I only added that because you can both unlock the 4th core of the cpu with that 790x mobo and overclock it easily since it's black edition.

With the rebate on the PSU (and not including the AC64 heatsink) it comes to about $610 and is much more powerful.

You could substitute the graphics card for the 4850 from the tomshardware build. Bringing it down to $560ish.
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#221 SOSTrooper

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 01:50 AM

one thing to keep in mind is if your budget is really tight, you can always use the stock fan for now, and when you can afford to buy a better fan and arctic silver 5 later. you dont have to OC right off the bat, and you may even find that you performance is good enough that OC isnt necessary.


That's a very very good point. I think everyone should take note of this one.

.

That isn't my wishlist. :lol:

I am a Intel/Nvidia man myself, here is my wishlist:

http://secure.newegg...Number=14384448


Whoops. I'm sure I quoted the wrong wishlist because I was at work and I had to type everything fast before my boss sees me slacking haha. But your actual build is very good, I dont see anything that needs improvement. Great job.

.

There's some dummies on tomshardware. That build is awful for the price. Check this out:

http://secure.newegg...tNumber=8815514

Just don't get the Arctic Cooling heatsink. I only added that because you can both unlock the 4th core of the cpu with that 790x mobo and overclock it easily since it's black edition.

With the rebate on the PSU (and not including the AC64 heatsink) it comes to about $610 and is much more powerful.

You could substitute the graphics card for the 4850 from the tomshardware build. Bringing it down to $560ish.


That's a good build, I put that on the first post, whether it is your build or not ;)

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#222 HowStern

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 02:51 AM

^haha nice! and,yes, it's my build :) I've been having a blast with it. It's the first system I've built. Definitely put a lot of research into making the best bang for the buck. :)
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#223 aihuman

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 07:34 AM

^haha nice! and,yes, it's my build :) I've been having a blast with it. It's the first system I've built. Definitely put a lot of research into making the best bang for the buck. :)

Very similar to mine.The only thing preventing me from pulling the trigger is the OS(Windows 7).Hopefully,itll show up on Club bing so I could get it for free.
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#224 darthbudge

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 02:54 PM

Ok, well I just saw that the UD3P motherboard only supports CrossFireX, and I tend to only use Nvidia graphics cards.

So is there any benefit of the UD3P over the UD3R if I am not going to be using CrossFireX?


#225 HowStern

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 03:11 PM

Yeah with no CF I would go UD3R for a tight budget.

This one says it supports SLI and both PCIe 2 slots are 16x. Usually one is 16x and the other 8x. Bottlenecking both vid cards.


http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128375

But it's pricy.
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#226 darthbudge

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 03:36 PM

Yeah with no CF I would go UD3R for a tight budget.

This one says it supports SLI and both PCIe 2 slots are 16x. Usually one is 16x and the other 8x. Bottlenecking both vid cards.


http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128375

But it's pricy.


Yeah, and that Mobo only supports i7 processors.

The only difference that I can tell is that the UD3P has two Ethernet ports on it, compared to only one on the UD3R.


#227 HowStern

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 03:46 PM

Ah, yeah. There's a couple positives for the 2 ethernet ports but nothing most people would use.

http://www.nvidia.co...00i_module.html

Check out the little part that say dualnet.

If the UD3R is cheaper I would just go with that.

The open box thing I'm weary about because newegg says accessories aren't included. So, I wonder would the brass standoffs and sata cables and stuff be included in an open box?
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#228 SOSTrooper

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 04:45 PM

Ok, well I just saw that the UD3P motherboard only supports CrossFireX, and I tend to only use Nvidia graphics cards.

So is there any benefit of the UD3P over the UD3R if I am not going to be using CrossFireX?


If you're not going to CF, then save the $10 and get the UD3R. UD3R has one less PCI-Express X16, one less ethernet, but adds the support for DDR3 (so you can choose between DDR2 and DDR3. If you're going to use nVidia card (you can only do SLI on nVidia motherboards, like the 790i series), get the UD3R since you wont ever use the CF.


The open box thing I'm weary about because newegg says accessories aren't included. So, I wonder would the brass standoffs and sata cables and stuff be included in an open box?


It usually only comes with a white box and nothing else. Probably not even manual and driver CD and I/O shield plate. So I would stay away from them. You may get lucky and receive the full package, but I wouldn't bet on it.

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#229 darthbudge

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 04:56 PM

If you're not going to CF, then save the $10 and get the UD3R. UD3R has one less PCI-Express X16, one less ethernet, but adds the support for DDR3 (so you can choose between DDR2 and DDR3. If you're going to use nVidia card (you can only do SLI on nVidia motherboards, like the 790i series), get the UD3R since you wont ever use the CF.


Just curious, would I notice any difference using DDR3 RAM vs. DDR2 RAM?


#230 Moxio

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 05:20 PM

From what I've heard there's really no difference, and DDR2 is much cheaper.

#231 darthbudge

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 05:34 PM

http://www.compusa.c...AIN#detailspecs

Moxio just pointed me that board. It looks great since it is SLI compatible, and all of EVGAs products are very top notch. Plus it will save me about $15 after rebate and cash back.

Any reason not to get that instead?


#232 SOSTrooper

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 06:30 PM

http://www.compusa.c...AIN#detailspecs

Moxio just pointed me that board. It looks great since it is SLI compatible, and all of EVGAs products are very top notch. Plus it will save me about $15 after rebate and cash back.

Any reason not to get that instead?


Here's the link to Newegg's product page to the EVGA 750i board. Read up on some of the comments. The rating is quite mediocre, with people listing problems such as bad DIMM slots, bad network port, etc. CompUSA.com is now owned by Tigerdirect.com, which has bad reputation of returning items (if you happen to get an unlucky draw). The board looks very good on paper, and the price is killer for what it offers. But if it were up to me to decide, I wouldnt get the low end nVidia boards at CompUSA/TD just to save myself some headaches. It's just more of my opinion on both the service from the website and the chance of drawing a bad board that is swaying me away from jumping onto that particular deal.


.


*EDIT* If anyone is interested, HardOCP did an article on i7/LGA1366 heatsinks, pitting the best against the best. Linked.

Edited by SOSTrooper, 23 July 2009 - 07:37 PM.

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#233 darthbudge

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:18 PM

Yeah, I think I am going to go with the UD3R board instead.

Using some combos that Newegg has going (which I can't show in a wishlist) I am able to get a Q9550 for $10 more dollars over the Q9400. Plus I also get a free copy of Acronis True Image Home 2009.

The total for my system comes to $826.92 shipped. Then after you add in the 2.5% cashback and rebates, the system comes to $721.47. Which is a mere $21 over my original budget.

Just curious though, how long do Newegg combo deals stick around for?


#234 SOSTrooper

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 09:44 PM

Just curious though, how long do Newegg combo deals stick around for?


I think their combo deals stick around for a while, but their prices do change from week to week. So I'm sure you're ok if you need to wait another week or 2 before pulling the trigger.

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#235 darthbudge

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 04:53 PM

Sorry for all the questions, but I have just a few more. :lol:

How much difference does RAM speed and timings make?

Currently I have this RAM in my cart: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820227364

It is DDR2-1066, but it has fairly slow timings. However, I saw this DDR2-800 RAM that has faster timings and is about $15 cheaper. http://www.newegg.co...t PVS24G6400LLK

How much difference would there be between those two sets of RAM? Also, if DDR2-1066 RAM is the way to go, how much difference does the timing make? Should I pick out a kit with better timings?


#236 HowStern

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 05:03 PM

I think most 1066 ram is factory overclocked 800.

You could just grab the 800 and overclock it yourself.
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#237 aihuman

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 01:12 AM

I plan to buy Windows Vista 64bit w/Windows 7 coupon upgrade.Does anyone know if Windows 7 upgrade coupon has an expiration date?
http://www.newegg.co...&Tpk=32-116-677
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#238 Psionic Jinx

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 07:54 PM

I plan to buy Windows Vista 64bit w/Windows 7 coupon upgrade.Does anyone know if Windows 7 upgrade coupon has an expiration date?
http://www.newegg.co...&Tpk=32-116-677


"The upgrade coupons will supposedly expire after January 31, 2010"

http://www.tomshardw...upons,8074.html

#239 uricmu

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 08:25 PM

Quick question, everyone.
I'm trying to build a mid-range gaming machine on a budget, and considering the NewEgg combo on and AMD Phenom II Deben.

http://www.newegg.co...st=Combo.213770

The problem is that the CPU is a power hog at 125. Is that peak or is that what it draws all the time?

I want to use the machine also for office work and HTPC, but don't want to draw 125W.

I know that in Mac OS X I can shut down cores, but can you do that in Windows?

#240 HowStern

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Posted 25 July 2009 - 10:17 PM

^here you are
Spoiler


Some motherboards will come with an energy saving feature. You'll have to check the details of that one and see if it has anything.
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