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Old September 19th, 2008, 07:21 PM   #1
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Q6600 & Parts for under $500?

Hi all,

This is my first post here. This seems like a great forum. I found a great review on the SR12 and ended up buying it for the projects I'll be doing.

Anyway, my challenge now is that I have to build a new PC. Here are the parts that I need. I think this is everything.

1. CPU
2. Mobo
3. Power supply
4. RAM
5. (Perhaps a new video card if I have to)

I'm almost positive that what I want is a Q6600 since my budget max, is $500 (although of course I'd like to go cheaper if I don't have to sacrifice too much quality). I also want to be sure I get a G0 chip, since I read that's the best version for temp and OCing...unless that's irrelevant these days.


I posted on Tom's Hardware and got these mobo suggestions. Which would you guys recommend?

"Look at the G31/33/35 or G43/45 motherboards if you want integrated graphics P43/45 without integrated graphics."

G31 budget at $50 Biostar with graphics
Newegg.com - biostar g31

G43 Asus P5QL $105 with graphics
Newegg.com - ASUS P5QL-EM LGA 775 Intel G43 HDMI Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

P45 Gigabyte DS3L $80 after rebate without graphics
Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

RAM 2x2 GD DDR2 800 1.8v Mushkin $67 after rebate
Newegg.com - mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

Also someone said: "you could always go p35 ds3l and get it even cheaper plus decent overclock ability, look at the antec earthwatt 500 $45 at newegg right now a steal
and whatever 4gigs of ram you find cheap"


I read on another thread here that I should go for integrated graphics since I'm running Sony's Vegas, and the graphics card isn't that relevant since Vegas is all CPU. I also read that 1066 RAM vs. 800 isn't that important, but if the RAM is cheap maybe I should consider the 1066. Any thoughts on that? Perhaps I should get one 4GB stick and upgrade in the future if I need to, if it's not too pricey.

The machine I have now is a Dell Dimension 8300. I read that you have to worry about if stuff will fit in the case properly, but if I have to I'll just buy another case. The graphics card in this machine is: NVidia GeForce FX 5200

Also, a friend of mine told me: "You can get some cheap ram A DATA is the cheapest, but it gets hot when you overclock. I'd recommend either a Gigabyte or Asus motherboard just make sure that it's a LGA 775 775/T socket." He also told me to make sure it's future-proof with 45nm chip compatibility.

I've been out of the PC building game for a few years and it seems like everything is so crazy nowadays. Any help would be appreciated. I'm almost thinking perhaps I should spend a bit more and get a pricier mobo if I have to, that way I could upgrade without too much hassle, but I really don't have much money to spend on this right now.

Thanks!

David H.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 07:54 PM   #2
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If you want to pinch cost down as much as possible, I'd suggest looking at an AMD Phenom X4 and a motherboard built around AMD's 780G. A Phenom 9950 will give you close to the same performance as a Q6600, at a slightly lower cost. The lower speed Phenom X4s may not be quite as fast, but they aren't exactly slow either (generally quite adequate for HD editing), and cost a bit less. The 780G motherboards have much better onboard graphics than boards available for Intel CPUs, and are quite economical.

A-Data is a good brand for memory. I've seen better pricing on Corsair and OCZ memory (also decent brands) lately though. I don't suggest overclocking. There's no such thing as future proofing. What is available today, will be fairly obsolete in a couple years.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 08:11 PM   #3
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This might work well for you (and save a few bucks):

CPU - AMD Phenom 9950 $173.99
Newegg.com - AMD Phenom 9950 BLACK EDITION 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 140W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

Motherboard - ASUS M3A78 Pro $102.99
Newegg.com - ASUS M3A78 Pro AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

Memory - OCZ DDR2 800 $47.99 (after rebate)
Newegg.com - OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

I strongly suggest using a Corsair power supply, like this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817139005

Cheap power supplies can really rain on your parade in the long haul.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #4
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Hi Robert,

Thanks for the reply. I think I want to stick with Intel for some reason...probably because I will have more money to spend on upgrades in the future. Maybe what I should do is go a bit more expensive on the mobo and add a better cpu in the future if that's what's called for. My friend was talking about 45nm chip compatibility, which seems like a good point.

If Intel is a bit faster I think I'll go ahead and spend the few more dollars to get that chip. I was working with Izotope's Rx audio restoration suite, along with rendering AVCHD to DVD video in Vegas and on my friend's Intel dual-core each of those processes took somewhere between 6-8 hours for 2 hour length files.

Thanks for the suggestions on the RAM brands. I'll look into that once I decide on the mobo and PSU.

Does anyone have a suggestion on an Intel mobo based on what I mentioned above...and thoughts on if that's a good plan? ie, to spend a bit more on a mobo with the possibility of upgrading the chip, and/or getting more RAM in the future.

Another thing is that I'm running 32bit XP right now...I might want to run a 64bit OS in the future, and that's mobo dependent correct?

Hey btw, why do you recommend not OCing?
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Old September 19th, 2008, 10:56 PM   #5
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I think I've narrowed down my search.

CPU & PSU combo deal: $235

Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

Newegg.com - Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 650W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply with Three 12V Rails - Power Supplies

mobo: $60

Newegg.com - BIOSTAR TForce TG31-A7 LGA 775 Intel G31 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

So now all it looks like I'll need is some RAM and a fan since the mobo has onboard video...unless I need to buy a cheap case too. How do I know which RAM is compatible with this mobo?

These two look good for the price with a rebate, but I'm not sure what timing I need, and a review said the board has limited RAM timings:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820104060

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820145215

I hear certain brands won't work with certain mobos. I also didn't see this model on the Biostar website. And is there a fan that's good since this is an OEM chip?

Thanks!

David H.
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Old September 20th, 2008, 01:53 AM   #6
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Hi David,

I'm up in Novato so I'm pretty close to you. I'd check out Fry's in Concord if you want to get some good cheap parts. They have some Corsair Twinx DDR2 PC6400 (2x2GB) RAM on sale through Tue. for $49 after MIR. I'd stick with the Intel CPU instead fo AMD. The Q6600 is still a very good chip but it does run hotter than the Q9450 or Q9550. If you do get the Q6600 I'd suggest getting a Zalman fan.

I'm not real big on BIOSTAR MOBO's. I'd stick with the ASUS or Gigabyte MOBO's. I would not use the onboard video as it will eat up memory and the MOBO's with it will be more expensive. You won't need a powerhouse fo a Video card to do NLE but you will need something that can pump out 32-bit color at the native resolution of your screen with will probably be at least a 19".

Stick with the 800 RAM. Going with 1066 and a cheap MOBO may present some problems as most will want to sync at 800 by default.

If you want to go really cheap here's a pretty good deal:

San Jose Mercury News | San Jose Shopping - Computers & Electronics - Fry's Electronics

The MOBO is about equal to the BIOSTAR and the Q8200 is a decent chip. It should be able to run equal with the Q6600 even though it has a slightly slower clock speed it is a 1333 FSB.

Hope this doesn't just ad to the confusion. I've been building a lot of systems lately and now adays you have to be willing to make con the fly subsitutions. Things are literally changing by the day.

Garrett
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Old September 20th, 2008, 02:42 AM   #7
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Hi Garrett,

Nice to meet you. Wow, is that a quad core AND mobo for $199??? Sounds like a steal. I think I will go down to Fry's and make a purchase tomorrow. You seem like you know what's up. Thanks for the info and if there's anything else out there you think I should go for let me know. I really am trying to save money atm. (no pun intended :P)

I was going to go with this fan:

Newegg.com - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - CPU Fans & Heatsinks

A friend of mine said he's got a video card and PSU he can sell me for $100. Perhaps I'll do that as well.

Cheers,

David H.

Oh, I just realized it's a micro ATX board which I was wanting to avoid. I think I might get the Biostar for now, it got really good reviews and it's cheap with onboard video. In the future I might spring for better parts, but right now I need something quick and cheap. The memory standard for that Biostar is rated at DDR2 1066. Will the 800 RAM still work with it?



Ok, I wanted to get this down so I can purchase asap. This is my newegg list as of now:

$6, Arctic Silver 5: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835100007

$43 after rebate, OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P8004GK - Retail: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227248 (if this kind of 800 RAM will work with the board specced at 1066)

$60, BIOSTAR TForce TG31-A7 LGA 775 Intel G31 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813138121

$32, ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835186134

$235 combo deal, Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 650W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply with Three 12V Rails - Retail and Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model HH80562PH0568M - OEM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371001 and http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819115018

Thoughts? My main concern right now is if that RAM will work with the board. Everything else seems legit as far as I can tell. Perhaps I won't OC as I read it shortens the life of the chip and it already runs so fast...although for rendering I'd like ludicrous speed. I guess I'll just see how it goes before deciding to OC. Any thoughts on this quote btw?

"Beware of OEM if you intend to overclock. Each CPU has a VID which among other things is a voltage that overclockers use as a general measure of the potential of a CPU's overclocking ability; the lower the number the better. Mine is 1.325, which is the highest voltage that Intel releases; average is around 1.25ish I think. After doing a little research I've heard that you are more likely to receive a higher VID if you buy OEM. So buy retail if you want to overclock, otherwise, this CPU is perfectly fine."

Last edited by David Horwitz; September 20th, 2008 at 03:36 AM.
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Old September 20th, 2008, 06:21 AM   #8
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Hello David and welcome to DVINFO. Just wanted to point out that we don't really allow linking to non-sponsors of our site, especially if they sell the same things. Granted, our sponsors aren't really computer centric, but just wanted you to be aware of that.

Also, I second the suggestion to not overclock your NLE system. You run the risk of system instability which is NOT what you want in the middle of a long project. And definitely not if that project is for a paying client. The slight benefit you gain in speed will all be lost on the first lock-up where you have to restart and hope that your project was saved recently so that you don't have to go back and re-do a lot of it. That's a time killer and time is money if you're doing NLE work on a professional basis.

regards,

-gb-
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Old September 20th, 2008, 12:02 PM   #9
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Hi David,

The quote about OC'ing OEM chips is something I've heard but I don't know how true it is. It is true that each individual chip has various abilities for OC'ing but I haven't read or heard of any hard stats as to OEM versus retail. In my experience almost all of the newer Intels have some overclocking abilities. If you were going to try to really push it it might make a difference but I wouldn't go too far.

I've got a Q9450 based machine for editing now and I'm OC'ing it to 3.2. I had it up to 3.4 stable without too much extra voltage but I cut it back so I wouldn't have to up the voltage and the performance gain was not really noticeable only on bench tests. I did have it up to 3.8 with only minor clitches but since this is my main editing machine I need it to be rock solid. I haven't had one lock up or BSOD (knock on wood very quickly).

The PC6400 RAM will work but it will throttle back the data going into the CPU. It may be worth it to spend a littel extra and get the PC8500. I just got some Corsair at Fry's for $70 (2x2GB). If you are going to OC the CPU I'd say definately get the faster RAM. One of the things about anything less than the Q9450's is that they don't have as much L2 Cache. Some people will argue about the significants of larger cache on the CPU but I've got a lot of friends in the hardware development side (a great advantage of being this close to Silicon Valley) and they have shown me some test results that lead me to believe it does make a measureable diffence for NLE.

Check that the CPU fan doesn't already come with some thermal grease. I know my Zalman did.

Going with the BIOSTAR will give you the ability to try the Onboard video first and if you find that you need a dedicated video card you can get one after. I think you'll find that you will want to get one in the end. The onboard video will use shared RAM which means more than just taking up some memory. It also works your Northbridge harder since it will be deciding how to allocate memory to the CPU and Video. If you do decide to get a video card, for your budget machine I wouldn't get much more than a HD3650 which goes for around $90 after MIR. I'm an Nvidia guy so I'm not real familiar with ATI cards but since the BIOSTAR is a Crossfire ready board you probably would want to go with an ATI.

Greg has a good point about OC'ing your rig especially if you're using it for business. I usually do a 3 day intensive burn in of my final config before using it. I figure if I can't break it with 3 days of 24hour testing it probably will be pretty good.

Just to make you jealous, I'm spec'ing a build for a someone right now that is on the other end of the budget spectrum. They are looking at putting together an editing machine for around $4000 including a Canopus HDSTORM card.

All in all the machine you put together should be a pretty good editing machine that won't cost you a mint. What hard drive set up are you going to use. If you can afford it get at least two drives. One for you OS/Programs and one for your scratch drive. You'll see a good increase in performance by doing that. If you can go a little more make your scratch a two drive RAID 0. Again these are things that can be done later as you replenish your funds.

On a different note what do you shoot with and what types of projects do you like to do?

Have fun with the build and good luck.

Garrett
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Old September 20th, 2008, 04:13 PM   #10
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Hi Garrett,

Thanks for the informative reply. Greg, thanks for the welcome and sorry about linking to newegg. I have seen links to zipzoomfly in other threads so I didn't know this was the policy.

I think for now I will not OC since I've got so many other things to worry about. I'm sure this QUAD core machine will be suitable for what I'm doing. I have just started doing projects for clients so I am only doing very simple stuff. That fan I got has the grease on it, but I've read that Arctic Silver is better, so I think I'm going to replace it. I figure it's an investment that's worth that little bit of money, and I may use it again in the future. I may want to build another machine fairly soon if I can get the funds together for it.

Here's the RAM I was thinking of getting...seems pretty good: Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KHX8500AD2K2/4GR - Retail There are no reviews on it on newegg though, but Kingston isn't a bad brand right? I read some reviews on the HyperX that said it was solid. Also comes with a free SDHC card, which I can use for my Zoom H2 audio recorder!!!

Someone said this at Tom's Hardware though: "get ddr2 800 ram you wont be overclocking past that speed with that board" Is this true?

To tell you the truth Garrett I'm not too jealous of your clients machine. ;) I feel lucky that I can get a setup that works for me for around $450...that is if everything goes smoothly when it gets here! X fingers But yeah, I agree that it does sound like a badass rig, and I'm sure they'll be pleased with it. I'm curious to know what the final components will be if you want to post them when you're done.

I've got 2 drives. One of them is IDE and the other is sata. I also have 2 DVD drives, one is a burner. I might have to get another sata drive after awhile cause I don't think I'll be able to connect 3 IDE pieces on 1 slot right? I forget.

and btw, before I forget, is there a case model, or a place where I can get one, that's not a piece of crap and is at a really good price (or free even)? I don't think I want to order from newegg because the shipping would be too much for the case. I was looking at this place called GreenCitizen, which recycles electronics, but I'm not sure if they sell or give stuff away. Really, a free case someone doesn't want would be best. I'm not picky about the way it looks or anything as long as it holds everything together well and without mucking things up. I'm sure there's got to be one around here SOMEWHERE!!!

As far as what I've been doing for projects, my roommate got me a gig shooting video for the business school he TAs at. Wish I could do more for them, but apparently they haven't had a need for regular work yet. I've also started doing projects recording what they call satsang around here (essentially these are talks and q&a sessions). So far so good!!! Oh and I shoot with the SR12 I got. In the future I may want to buy a pro camera, but for what I'm doing atm I think it's ok.

Garrett if you're ever in Berkeley and want to do lunch feel free to send me an email through my profile. Would be fun to talk about this kind of thing...and I'm new to the game too, so I've got a lot to learn!


Cheers,

David H.
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Old September 21st, 2008, 01:54 AM   #11
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Hi David,

Kingston in this level of RAM is just as good as Crucial, Corsair or OCZ. I was actually going to get some HyperX myself but by the time I got around to buying it it wasn't on sale anymore and the Corsair was.

If you're not going to OC anyway (and I'm not sure how mcuh you could with the Q6600/BIOSTAR setup) you may want ot save a little money and get the PC6400 RAM.

You are correct about the IDE setup. But you will want to either get a new SATA HD or get an SATA DVD burner. You shouldn't hook up the IDE HD on the same channel as the DVD. By doing so you'll restrict the HD down to the DVD tranfer speed.

I work in Oakland so lunch could be a possibility. My days are usually pretty crazy and for the next few weeks it's going to be even more nuts. Maybe after then. If you ever need an extra shooter on one of your projects keep me in mind. I have a Canon XH A1 and an HV20. Since doing videography isn't my main job I usually do a few big projects a year and then do some freelance work to fill in.

I'm pretty new to the video business too. I've been playing with shootign and editing for years but only for family stuff. A couple of years ago I did a dance show with 4 SD handycams and then I was hooked. I sold about 20 of those DVDs and used that to start a getting equipment. I've been building machines for years. I think the last time I bought a boxed computer was an Intel Pentium 2.
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