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First Custom Build II: The Final Decision... Input =)

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December 31, 2005 11:56:54 PM

Heyas. First, thanks to eveyone here for being so helpful. I'm not a total n00b but been a while and much laziness and poverty since upgraded anything and this is first total custom built everything. So, after much painstaking research and inputs and reviews... and thinking of my needs to last a few years...

The Needs: Powerful gaming system, play a lot of online games, HL Source, and mmorgs. Will do SOME video editing, no encoding yet, wait till dual cores drop. And basic surf web, do school work stuff.

The Budget: Not including monitor yet, or speakers or anything reuse that stuff for now this is purely the rig. Was 1250, I actually suprisingly got a bump of work in my job, work at a toy store, after christmas nothing but returns really. So...

NEW BUDGET: 1400 (rounded, not including shipping, all from Newegg... gives some more room to play with, and prefer spend less as can =) And to think hear people saying 2500 is steep, what id give for 2500 to bathe myself with =)

To OC or not OC?: A little. It's fun to do but I play around with friends comps, and am still newbie at it. I dont trust myself much nor really need to OC a lot to get results I want. And stock speeds prob good enough anyways. Really will effect RAM choices later...

The Rig Setup:
OS: Windows XP Pro Sp2 147$ have to spend =(
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 225$
(Sure, 3200 would be cheaper and suffice enough for great HQ gaming. BUT... I need to edit video a bit too, for a year or so until can upgrade more so best bang for buck =)
MOBO: EPoX EP-9NPA+Ultra 105$
(Mobo's been one of hardest decisions. I want quality and stability and non headache layout. This has been reccomended a lot, and reviews give it great ratings and seems best priced for everything. Minimal review issues with USB 2.0 ports on newegg... overall good mobo for needs?)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda ST3250823AS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM 105$
(Bad experience with OEM HDD in past... however, this drive seems be well recieved, SATA, perfect storage for me for now, 7200rpm fast enough for gaming. Just hope the reviews do it justice and it is RELIABLE and will LAST)
GPU: eVGA 256-P2-N517-AX Geforce 7800GT 320$
(Was going 6800GS, but, for 100 more as everyone suggest definitely notice the 7800 GT)
PSU: FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX500-A 500W 91$
(I know from my own dealings, QUALITY psus. And this one, enough watts, very powerful and reliable, reviews all great. How about yours? =)

and now come to real still up in air decisions:
DVD/CDROM/RW: NEC Black 40$ OEM
(Dont want to spend hundreds, I know PLEXTOR everyone recs. But, eh not sure want money manage budget around... this drive good enough? Need to research drive more)
RAM: CORSAIR XMS 2GB (2 x 1GB) 208$ (yeeps!)
(More $$$ than like to spend on RAM, especially if I dont plan on OC much if anything for a while. However, dont want to suddenly get urge and be hindered by ValueSelect. And 2gb because of MMORGS I play WHICH do notice the difference with 2 gigs than 1. So money vaccuum here, maybe VS still?)
CASE: Cooler Master Centurion RC-531s 99$ or 50$!
(Pending side window and psu... dont need ps it comes with, get same case basically 50 dollars less, minus a cool side panel window...

CON'T: Been hardest decision really, the case. I want Great airflow, easy set up, reliable and durable and to last a while. Looking at Antec P180as well, 125$. Steep... more fans, great reviews, not sure which... cough up money for Antec, or RC good enough, (and seems to be by reviews =) (and side panel windows worth extra 50 dollars???)

And there it is folks. Grandtotal (including 100 dollar case to round between 50-125 choices) = 1360 rounded. Inputs really appreciated and always help, best forum! =)

More about : custom build final decision input

January 1, 2006 3:11:15 AM

I've already weighed in your case, but as for the NEC drive, I think it's a great drive for the price, and firmware updates are readily available from NEC website. As for the RAM, personally I'd opt for the OCZ at $192 ($172 w/$20 rebate) at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682.... Spend the extra $$ on the case.
January 1, 2006 4:09:56 AM

The Centurian cases are great. I love the fact that there are filters on almost all the intakes. I think on my last case (Raidmax), I found enough hair to create a second dog. :lol:  They make others that don't come with the PSU.

The 7800 GT you mentioned is great. You can get by on stock cooling with that one since the cooler is pure copper. I love mine although I think I may add an Arctic Cooler. It will reduce noise and vent out the back of the case (I am not a fan of venting the heat internally).

HD is great. I one the 250 and the 160 versions. Very happy with both.

Consider an aftermarket CPU cooler. I have been very happy with my Zalman 7700-CU. It's huge, so check to see if its compatiable with your motherboard. Also, the 7000-CU is an option (go for solid copper).

Lastly, consider Abit for the MB. I have been very happy with mine (KN8 SLi).
Related resources
January 1, 2006 7:47:58 PM

Thanks. Found OCZ RAM talking about. Seems just as good as the XMS. And cheaper, may go that way and get more for case if need be. Just always been Corsair and always been great.

any other opinions/suggestions appreciated. Also case see:
Lian Li PC-7 B

Also a 120 version if cough up 30 bucks... not sure now, honestly, come down to own personal preference I dont need psu but do prefer fans already placed and hq for great airflow. Prob worth extra $$ or else id just get fans myself for more or same price.
January 1, 2006 8:22:28 PM

try the kingwin KT-424-BK around 87.00
slide out motherboard tray 100% tooless
zip zoom fly may have it newegg sometimes does
and the kingwin cpu cooler around 20.00 w/shiping
January 1, 2006 8:43:45 PM

If you use Lian, DO NOT use a MB with heat pipe cooling (versus fans). The MBs are inverted in the Lian cases and heat pipes will not work.
January 1, 2006 9:16:03 PM

Quote:
If you use Lian, DO NOT use a MB with heat pipe cooling (versus fans). The MBs are inverted in the Lian cases and heat pipes will not work.


Know if Epox mobo does? Don't think has that, only CPU has heatsink and fan if that factors in...
January 1, 2006 11:49:04 PM

It looks like you're good. No heatpipes on the board.

BTW: you can use heatpipes in the Lian for CPU coolers, etc. It is the inversion of MB heatpipes that creates problems.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.
!