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First Solo Build...need help

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February 28, 2006 11:48:59 PM

Updating computer!! Giving the old one to my fiance and i'm looking to spend some of my summer intership money on a computer (and alchy... but mostly computer). Need help picking out parts as this is my first solo build.

Things I use the Computer for:
I do a lot of word processing, number crunching (mathematica), computer simulations, and picture/video editing plus listening to music and killing the occasional alien and general baddies (gaming).

My budget: 1500-2500 (USD) willing to negotiate (smaller is better)

My wants:
Dual Core AMD processor
water cooling?
Lots of HD space
I also need a new monitor
Nice and big case (i have big hands need to be able to work in there without cutting myself everytime i open the case)

I have some stuff left over from my last computer so this should make getting under the budget a LOT easier.
6800GS (possible SLI)
Thermaltake TR2 W0070 430W Power Supply - Retail
NEC Beige IDE DVD Burner Model ND-3550A - OEM (on a side note, how do i update the firmware for an OEM product on the NEC website it says that it does not support OEM firmware updates)

Thanks for your help!

More about : solo build

March 1, 2006 12:34:56 PM

I'll recommend getting one or more (depending on budget) Western Digital Raptor hard drives. I just put one in a new system and it's niiice! If you just get one, use it to run the OS from.

For massive storage and reliability, RAID 5 is a good choice. However, RAID 01 or 10 will give slightly better performance at a higher price.

You can get 400GB drives for $200 or less.
March 1, 2006 12:57:22 PM

Thank you. Which dual core do you think I should get? Also, which water-cooling kit is easy to install and efficient?If it's water cooled I'll definitely overclock the system. So if it's watercooled I'll need a bigger case, so which cases are good for watercooling?

Thanks!
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March 1, 2006 1:30:36 PM

I'm not a real expert on CPUs, but I purchased an Athlon 64 X2 3800+. For my situation it was the best mix of power, price, and overclockability.

I don't really know anything useful about water-cooling, sorry.
March 2, 2006 6:58:51 PM

If you're looking for budget, I would suggest going with the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Here's a review from Tom's about it and it's overclockability.
http://www.tomshardware.com/2005/08/01/dual/

I would go with 2GB (2x1GB) Dual Channel RAM, preferably from Corsair, Mushkin, or OCZ.
!