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Your help would be greatly appreciated on this build

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May 9, 2006 6:38:17 AM

I am preparing to build a new computer, my third build and would appreciate any feedback or suggestions the community can offer. I expect everyone gets tired of these threads, but I wouldn't ask if I didn't need your help.

I realize many of you prefer AMD. For this system however I will be using an Intel Desktop Board D945PSN and Pentium D processor 820. I was able to buy these components along with some software for $230 direct from Intel since I work for an electronics retailer. They will be the backbone for my new system. I will be using my existing sound card and hard drives, but will need to buy new memory and a graphics card. I would also like to replace my existing optical drives and power supply.

Here are the components I have or am considering:
CPU: Intel Pentium D processor 820 (purchased)
Mobo: Intel Desktop Board D945PSN (purchased)
RAM: CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB DDR2 SDRAM PC2 5300
Video: eVGA 128-P2-N368-TX Geforce 6600GT 128MB 128-bit
Sound: Audigy 2 Value (existing)
HD: Seagate 160GB and 300GB SATA drives (existing)
Case: Antec P180 (purchased)
PSU: SeaSonic S12-430 ATX12V 430W
Cooler: Thermaltake Big Typhoon CL-P0114
Optical Drive: Plextor PX-750A

This computer will be used primarily for general computing (web, email, word processing), editing digital photographs shot in RAW, audio encoding/decoding and some audio production. I may also do some gaming. Though since I bought an XBOX 360 I've not played any games on my current system so it isn't a priority.

A few considerations:
1) I've been shopping for memory but I'm unsure what to choose. I've been comparing standard and performance memory but don't know if performance memory will really benefit me.
2) I'd prefer 2GB of memory since I spend a considerable amount of time editing large digital photographs in Photoshop. I have 2GB on my current system.
3) Since gaming isn't a priority I'd like to spend less than $150 on a new graphics card. Less is better in this case.
4) I would like as quiet a running PC as possible without going to extremes. Thats why I bought the Antec P180 case and am considering the SeaSonic PSU and Thermaltake Big Typhoon.


Thanks for your help! I really appreciate it.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 9, 2006 12:08:23 PM

If not really into the absolutely highest res possible in FEAR, COD2, then the 6600GT (or an X850XT variant) should do nicely...

(Although *if* you would like to play FEAR. COD2, etc., at decent resolutions, I'd look hard at a 7600GT, at about $200)
May 10, 2006 1:48:35 AM

Thanks for the advice. I probably won't be playing any games on my PC. Fear is coming to XBOX 360 and Call of Duty 2 is already out. With an XBOX 360 and soon to have a PS3, the computer will be for other things.
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May 11, 2006 1:50:15 AM

I need your help! Please!!!
May 11, 2006 1:48:58 PM

Have you checked out the G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) kit? for $149 it may be slightly more than the value ram, but you get CL4 (value is probably cl5) and heat spreaders. And as a bouns - they look cool.
May 11, 2006 2:20:05 PM

If your not going to be gaming on this machine, don't worry about upgrading your GPU. It'll handle anything else just fine.
May 12, 2006 10:02:05 PM

Great, thanks for the advice
May 12, 2006 10:03:19 PM

No, I hadn't seen that memory. It looks like a great option. But how does Geil stack up to Corsair or say Kingston?
May 12, 2006 11:25:47 PM

If you're not going to be overclocking, performance RAM will do nothing for you.

That RAM the previous poster linked looks really nice, but I've never used G.SKILL RAM or even heard of it (that's not saying much though)... :) 
May 12, 2006 11:52:39 PM

For the past 2 years or so I have only used Patriot/PDP and G.skill in all my builds over the "value" name brands, and have never had a problem. quality stuff for without the high price, definitly not generic by any means. I did try the Geil brand but had to RMA once so I shy away from them now.

A new brand I am looking to use is "super talent" they have some great deals over at ewiz, great reviews and the price is very competitive.
May 13, 2006 12:14:43 AM

Your list of remaining items makes perfect sense for a value priced, quiet photo editing system. All brands of ram mentioned above work fine, but Nobly is right that the fancy ram won't help you. Get 2 gigs of value ram and the 6600GT and all will be well.
May 13, 2006 1:20:53 AM

Ram: I suggest getting OCZ... one of the better brand for it... just get OCZ value kit or sumthing

Video Card: Well, you can always go for an x1600 or sumthing just cause you dont game


I would change some stuff, but since you already have it, i can't do much bout it
May 13, 2006 7:16:26 AM

Quote:
If you're not going to be overclocking, performance RAM will do nothing for you.

Thats good advice. Thank you.

Quote:
TSIllusion said: I would change some stuff, but since you already have it, i can't do much bout it

I wouldn't mind hearing your suggestions. Any advice is appreciated.
May 13, 2006 6:48:22 PM

There's really nothing wrong with the items you've already bought.
The 2 key factors for you are:
1). This is not a gaming machine.
2). You want cool and quiet so no overclocking is anticipated.
Based on this you can finish building your system and looking down the road for upgrade potential you may trade up the mobo, CPU and probably the videocard. It's likely that the ram you buy will work later in a new AMD CPU/mobo setup, since AMD is moving to DDR2.
I probably would not have bought what you did either, but my needs are different. The D945PSN/D820 was a good deal. You are building a good system for very little cash. :) 
May 13, 2006 7:49:38 PM

Quote:
I wouldn't mind hearing your suggestions. Any advice is appreciated.

Since you are considering an eVGA 128-P2-N368-TX 6600GT, Have a look at the
HIS Hightech H160PRQT128GDDN Radeon X1600PRO which is at a similiar price.

positive points:
-dual-DVI (which is a godsend for dual-monitor LCDs)
-excellent interface to TV-out, DVI/component HDTV & svhs
-DHES (direct heat exhaust system) helps keep case temps lower
-more quiet than evga gpu HSF
-better picture quality than 6600gt
-performs better than 6600gt in games


On the down side:
-dual-slot cooler (but is more effective, cools with less fan rpms)
-newegg rebate is only $10 vs $20 for evga

I have used this card for HTPC builds, a great performer & looks awesome on a big screen (too bad I can't afford one :cry:  )

There are also fanless cards for complete silence like the GIGABYTE GV-NX66T128D-SP 6600GT which is at a lower price and no rebate (which may help if budget is a priority). Personally I hate waiting for the MIR.

Newf is correct, the items you already have are great, but if you have not gotten memory or GPU as of yet we can recommend some since you are asking.

As far as the memory goes, for years I have used low-latency memory in servers (i.e. ECC DDR@CL2) and the server firmware forces high-latency CL3 for stability and to completely eliminate memory timing issues. I will agree not to spend *a lot* of $$ trying to get low-latency memory for tighter timings.
May 13, 2006 8:01:34 PM

i think u would have saved a lot getting a pentium d 930 and a 945g chipset if you wont be gaming. and for the ram, u should suggest g.skill, crucial, ocz, or mushkin, but never corsair. at least if you want memory to ACTUALLY overclock
May 14, 2006 9:06:45 PM

Quote:
i think u would have saved a lot getting a pentium d 930 and a 945g chipset


I work for an authorized Intel reseller and was able to buy my new motherboard, processor, Windows XP Pro and Adobe Elements for the low low price of $230. I would have considered other options, AMD included if I'd had the choice but this was a deal I couldn't pass up. ;) 
May 14, 2006 9:17:46 PM

Quote:
i think u would have saved a lot getting a pentium d 930 and a 945g chipset


I work for an authorized Intel reseller and was able to buy my new motherboard, processor, Windows XP Pro and Adobe Elements for the low low price of $230. I would have considered other options, AMD included if I'd had the choice but this was a deal I couldn't pass up. ;) That's a deal I wouldn't pass up either! :D 
May 14, 2006 11:16:40 PM

You have a very nice looking system. The Seasonic S-12 line is top notch. The Big Typhoon is too but probably more than you need. You can save some $ by getting the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64PRO and it is one of the quietest. As others have mentioned you don't need performance ram.
May 14, 2006 11:24:26 PM

The freezer 64 is only for AMDs. Won't fit Intel.
May 14, 2006 11:50:04 PM

Oops, should have said Freezer7 Pro.
May 15, 2006 1:32:45 AM

Quote:
I'm not familiar with HIS Hightech as a graphics card manufacturer, how do they compare to other makes?


IMO they are quality stuff (although I have only used 5 in builds so far - all HTPC/media players!). The biggest selling point is the IceQ, although you could get a "made by ATI" card and go through the pain of installing the ATI silencer. If you are really into HTPC check out the X1600XT version w/ the AVIVO feature, looks incredible on an HDTV!
May 15, 2006 4:31:42 AM

Quote:
Oops, should have said Freezer7 Pro.


The Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro looks good. Thanks for the recommendation. What I'm planning to do is get setup with the stock cooler and then change if it is too noisy.
!