New system shopping list, feedback requested :)

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Thread Starter
Sep 8, 2008
Hi all,

Apologies in advance for the long thread.

I am in the process of building a new CPU (well shopping for the parts to have someone else help me put it together). I already have an Alienware case with water cooling in it that I plan to reuse, but pretty much everything else I'd like to replace.

My computer literacy should probably be considered intermediate at best in this area. I know I want quad core for example, but I don't know if 1798x model is better than the new cool 3874t, etc.

I have asked various friends for their recommendations and received many mixed opinions. Not necessarily trying to start any debates over what's the better choice in manufacturer, all I'd like is some feedback on this shopping list before I start ordering the parts.

(I am basically looking for top of the line parts, except for those brand-spanking-new technology pieces that cost $400 extra for a 10% performance upgrade. Looking to spend roughly $2000 total on new hard drives, RAM, power supply, motherboard, processors, video card(s) -- could possibly go higher if that's not enough of a budget though.)

Video card: I was told to get a GeForce GTX 280 1GB card, but I am not sure which "sub-brand" to go with. On that linked page there are about 6 different manufacturers for that same card, and I am absolutely clueless as which to pick. I can just pick the most expensive one assuming it's the best, but I try not to be that ignorant of a shopper. My current computer has been using two cards w/ SLI, but I just recently found out that my favorite game doesn't even support SLI when in windowed mode, so I've basically been playing with one card all along without even realizing it. I will probably just get one (nice) video card this time unless someone advises against it. It was also suggested to me to get a GIGABYTE Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB. Is this a much better choice with it being 2GB? They are in roughly the same price range so I'm sort of confused.

Mother board/processors: First I should note I don't really plan on overclocking, mainly because I do not even know how (and I have minimal desire to learn after hearing some people's horror stories). I understand some models are designed to handle overclocking better, but for me it should not be much of a concern. One of my friends told me to buy this EVGA nForce 750i SLI Motherboard CPU bundled with Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 Processor 2.66GHz OEM, while my other friend said that motherboard or processor (forget which) is already outdated and runs at a slower something rate (I won't pretend to understand what he said), and suggested I get an ASUS P5Q Pro ATX Intel Motherboard with Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Yorkfield 2.5GHz Processors. Again, I am just truly confused and have nothing to base my decision on besides two people's varying opinions, so any advice here would be terrific... Also, if I don't plan on using SLI, is there a better board I can get that doesn't have SLI support? Or is that pretty standard nowadays?

Memory: Finally something that shouldn't be too much of a debate, was suggested that I get G.SKILL 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM, haven't received any other suggestions. I assume this will depend on which motherboad I choose as well? Do most motherboards have four memory slots?

Power Supply: A SILVERSTONE ST1000 1000W Power Supply was suggested, and I am kind of awed at the $320 price tag. Do I really need something this expensive? I don't want to take any risks with a cheap power supply, but wow!

A COOLER MASTER GeminII Sleeve CPU Cooler was also suggested, and I am honestly not even sure where this thing even goes or what purpose it serves? Is it just meant to be an additional fan attached to the inner case?

Hard Drive: I was looking at buying two SAMSUNG Spinpoint 1TB 7200 RPM Hard Drives, is there anything else I should be looking at? I hear Raptor is supposed to be good?

I believe that covers all of the needed hardware upgrades, I won't be replacing the CD/DVD rom drives or anything. The last thing I was curious about, is it safe to go with 64Bit Windows XP? I understand that if you're not using 64Bit you can only benefit from a combined total of 4GB of memory/video card RAM, but I really do not wish to use Vista. Someone mentioned they don't even make 64Bit Windows XP anymore? Obviously it's still available at Newegg, but just curious if it has completely discontinued support compared to Vista or even the 32Bit XP.

Thank you so much for any help. I am really just as confused as I can be and wanted to run this list by some more qualified people before rushing out and ordering anything. Sorry again for the long thread, I don't expect people to answer every part, but any advice or input you may have would be greatly appreciated. Also please keep in mind I don't have to get something I mentioned on here, if there's some better piece of hardware I'm not aware of, please mention it!

Additionally, if anyone knows of any really great deals on pre-built systems in the ~2k price range, I'd love to see them and hear your opinions about them. Thank you again.
Dec 31, 1969
I don't know how you found that pricey of a SS 1000 W PSU. Suggestions: or
Here's a free shipping version of the 4870x2 Anyways, 4870x2 is a bit better than GTX280, performance-wise. A thing to note is that they seem to perform worse in CF than gtx280 work in SLI. Maybe. I'm not sure if I misread that from tom's hw, but anyways. AAAAND: The manufacturer of the video card makes no difference in quality. Othe than the cooling system they have on it, and the high-end cards seem to all come with the same cooling solution. So just get the cheapest one that you find.
Anyways, here's a decent board and another: or

If you don't know CPU cooler is, you propably don't want to install one. Except the one that comes with the PCU itself. If you want, get this one:
That bundle is overpriced, especially the CPU with it. Either get a Q6600 to save money, or then go all the way to the Q9550.
That RAM is very expensive, and propably not worth the price. Consider getting two kits of: They are guaranteed to work with both Gigabyte boards I linked.
Get the Spinpoint F1s, or then go all the way up to VelociRaptors. Not the old ones.
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