Gaming build, need advise.


Limp Gawd
Aug 2, 2004
Hello chaps,

Fairly soon I'll be spending a fair amount of dough on a new rig for Crysis (surprise surprise) and I'd like some opinions on the parts I picked, to be honest I just picked the most expensive in some slots and assumed their the best, if this isn't the case please let me know, I'm really not made of money.

Intel Core 2 Quad Pro Q6700

Asus P5K Intel P35 (Socket 775)

Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 PC2-8500C5 1066MHz x2 (4GB)

Western Digital Raptor X 150GB WD1500AHFD 10,000RPM

CoolerMaster Stacker 832

Zalman CNPS9500-LED CPU Cooler (Socket 478/754/939/940/LGA775)

Advise wise I'm looking for compatibility issues, future proofing issues, bang for the buck and just generally any help you wish to give. I won't be able to spend this sort of money on a computer for a very long time, so I need something that's future proof and that'll last.

One other thing, I currently have a 640MB 8800 GTS, would I see a big difference going to an Ultra? I play at 1680x as that's my monitors native res.

Oh and before I forget, I'll be getting Windows Vista also, I want DX10 and I want my 4GB of RAM to be used, my question is do I need Premium for gaming needs, or will basic do the job?

Thanks for any advise, tips and suggestions.
Get a Q6600 instead and for the cooler get a 9700 or Thermalright Extreme.
How come? I'm guessing because it's so much cheaper. How much better is the one I chose over the e6600?
The hiper isnt' great, but should be ok.

The Q6600 and Q6700 both have the same OC potential. The only difference is the multiplier, which results in a higher stock speed. Go with the Q6600, OC it, and save your money. These Core2 chips are so easy to OC, you can get a nice performance boost without compromising the stabliity and reliability of the system.

You don't need DDR2-1066 with any Core2 with at least an 8x multiplier. The Q6600's multiplier is 9x, so stick with DDR2-800. Forumlas for Intel platform @ 1:1 settings:
(CPU Multiplier) x [Base FSB speed] = CPU Clock speed
2 x [Base FSB speed] = RAM speed
4 x [Base FSB speed] = Effective FSB speed

On Intel platforms, running the RAM higher than a 1:1 ratio with the CPU is useless. Keep it linked at 1:1. Here's some possible clock speeds:

Q6600: 9 * 266 = 2.4Ghz, DDR2-533 << STOCK speeds
Q6600: 9 * 333 = 3.0Ghz, DDR2-667 << Nice OC
Q6600: 9 * 378 = 3.4Ghz, DDR2-756 << Good OC, near max for B3 stepping
Q6600: 9 * 400 = 3.6Ghz, DDR2-800 << Great OC, near max for G0 stepping

Ditch the Zalman. Go for one of these instead:
Tuniq Tower 120
Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme + S-Flex fan

Raptors are nice... but not worth their price premium, imo:

78MB/s: WD Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB, $160AR
65MB/s: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS 320GB, $80
65MB/s: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3300620AS 300GB, $60
52MB/s: WD Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB, $70
112MB/s: RAID0 'cuda's, 600GB total, $120 (ICH9R on P35-DS3R)

As you can see, the 'cuda is twice the size and half the cost, for nearly the same performance. Stick them in RAID0, and you've got an even more cost effective solution. Though, the seek time of the Raptor can't be beat. If you have cash to burn, do so on a Raptor if you really want it. Otherwise, there are better cost effective solutions.

I'm not sure how much a difference you'll notice going from a GTS to a GTX at 1680x1050. I'd suggest waiting for the next gen of cards, though. Then, sell the GTS and pickup the GTX replacement if needed.
Thanks for the help so far, it's going to give me allot to think about.
Ditch the Zalman and get a Thermalright (U90I,TRUE,SI128-SE,HR-01+) Any of tjhose beats the Zalman,more so when you oc.

I'd grab the 150Gb Raptor if you can swing it,and dont want to bother with RAID.imho.
Consider everything Enginurd said... He's correct on all points. Don't waste money on a Q6700 when a Q6600 G0 has the same OC headroom. The Q6600 is the best chip from a quad-core value / performance perspective.

Also, with any quad, you absolutely don't need 1066mhz RAM. PC-6400 / 800mhz will do just fine. Consider Enginurd's chart.