System advice on new build - water, air, or both?

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System advice on new build - water, air, or both?

Post by cotswoldcs » Thu Mar 27, 2008 6:05 pm

Firstly, like others I'm a huge fan of SPCR and have been reading the website and forums for many years with interest and admiration.

I need some advice about my next PC build. The PC will be my main machine and be used for general office stuff and some gaming.

I already own a Zalman Reserator 1 Plus and want to make use of it in my new build. I want to produce a powerful, overclocked system that is as quiet as possible. I know that this is the hardest thing to achieve but it doesn't stop me wanting to try! I'm looking at building a new PC with the following components:

Antec P182
Abit IX38 Quad-GT
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 or Q6600 G0 stepping
Corsair 620HX
4Gb DDR2 Ram (spec to be decided)
EVGA/BFG 512Mb 8800GTS
WD Raptor 150Gb in Scythe Quiet Drive (already own)
Zalman ZM-GWB8800 GTS VGA Water Block
Zalman ZM-NWB1 Northbridge Water Block for Reserator1
2 x Noctua 800rpm 120mm case fans

Now for the stupid/crazy part:

2 x Zalman Reserator 1 Plus (remember I already own one)

My plan is to run one Reserator for the CPU and the other will cool the graphics card and Northbridge. I understand the 8800GTS draws 120watts at full load and a Q9450 has a TDP of 130watts. And that's before I overclock! I would hope to be able to overclock a little even with a semi-fanless system. The PC won't be totally fanless as there will be two slow running 120mm fans plus the PSU fan.

In time I plan on replacing the noisy Raptor - but not until something considerably faster comes along. I'm sure it will but until then I'm sticking with it.

My alternative and more rational approach would be to cool the CPU with a Noctua NH-U12P CPU Heatpipe Heatsink with NF-P12 premium fan. This would be a cheaper (£89UK) solution but a little noisier.

I would be most grateful for your comments and suggestions.

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Post by nitram_tpr » Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:34 am

Have you thought about getting one of the dual core CPU's instead? Have a look at this latest Anandtech review of the AMD Phenoms, in the gaming benchmarks the E8200 beats the Q6600 and the Q9300 in Crysis benchmarks. Plus it's failry well overclockable. As it's a dual core it'll be easier to keep cool with your WC kit.

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Post by cotswoldcs » Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:49 pm

Thanks for your response. I've read that the 8500 doesn't overclock that well and that the Q6600 G0 stepping CPU represents the best value for money at present, especially as it overclocks so well.

However, I'm really not sure that for my general PC usage (& some gaming) I really need four cores. The 8500 is something I'm still considering but at present am favouring the Q6600

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Post by majicjack_11 » Fri Mar 28, 2008 3:25 pm

I initially wanted the Q6600 as well, but the folks here and on other forums convinced me to get the E8400. It runs much cooler, has 6MB cache, 1333 fsb, uses much less power, and as stated before beats the Q6600 in almost everything. Unless you use specialized software that takes advantage of the quad core (and not much does) then go for the Q9xxx.

As for price, I believe they are pretty equal, maybe the E8400 being slightly less than the Q6600, and the Q9450 being about $100 more.

Anyways, I strongly suggest you look into the E8xxx!

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Post by cotswoldcs » Fri Mar 28, 2008 5:34 pm

I seem to be swinging like a yoyo between the dual and the quad. I think I will do some more reading...

Any links to reputable reviews would be appreciated.

The 8500 is within my budget. Is there any reason not to go for it over the 8400?

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Post by m^2 » Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:14 am

Currently dual will be better for most tasks, but quads are the future. I don't think that there will ever be many home - office programs that utilize even 2 cores. But games...that's a different matter. Currently most new gaming machines use quad core processors (especially Q6600 :D ). Currently most games can use only 2 cores, but it changes already...and will change pretty quickly. If you want this computer to live 1 year or less, I think that dual is a better option. Otherwise - take quad.

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Post by FartingBob » Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:51 am

The 8500 is the exact same processor as the 8400 but with a 166mhz clock increase, and it costs alot more. If your OC'ing then the 8400 is easily the better choice. Save the money and put it towards something else.
although it should be noted all 45nm chips are in short supply right now, so you might have to shop around, dont give up and go for something else, it'll be worth the wait when you get it.

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