My new system? Please help me finish off designing it!

Ok, well, the time has come for me to ditch my old main computer. I do everything with this computer (ok, maybe not that!), it helps me work, play and love life a little better. It's solid as a rock, but as slow as one too.

Current system is!

P4 1.6Ghz Willamette with 256kb L2 cache
512MB DDR 2100
... you get the idea, oh and a GF2 ti :D

I know that whatever I buy is going to feel like someone shoved a rocket under my computer so I don’t need to know that. I'm more concerned about which system to chose and if the components 'fit' together nicely and will help to create a, fast, very quiet, cool, wonderfully cute (maybe not) PC.

Now the contenders, first from Intel:

Gigabyte GA_965P_DQ6 £164.44
Intel Core 2 DUO E6600 £252.57
Patriot Signature 2GB (2x1GB) PC5300 667MHz DDR2 Dual Channel Kit £140.94
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB £197.40
XFX GeForce 7600 GS Extreme Edition £99.82
Zalman CNPS9500-AT Aero Flower £34.02
Antec P180 Advanced Super Midi £93.94
Zalman ZM460-APS 460W £64.57

£1,047.70

The reasons behind these choices are vast, so I'll try to keep it at a minimum.

I usually like to go for nForce and Asus if possible, I do love those guys and think they crack out top notch products, especially when working together. But they haven't got ready for the launch and looking at that Gigabyte board, I was impressed with the array of features, especially quad core future support (didn't even know that was possible). So, should I stick with this choice or wait to see what Asus throws up in the form of SLi support in the near future?

The E6600 appears to give the edge in price/performance. I want something super fast to cope with Vista, games, and world conquering plans all at once. If I go down the Intel route, I can't imagine someone suggesting a better alternative that's going to keep it in line with a 5000+ system.

As for the ram, the only other difference between the systems, I have no clue. It seems cheap, PC5300 is supposed to work great with Conro, am I missing something? Is there anything else I should consider? I know didely squat about high-end ram, and don't want to waste my money on something that's only going to give minor performance improvements and cost twice as much.

Now from AMD:

Asus M2N32-SLi-DLX nForce 590 SLi £140.94
X2 Dual Core 5000+ £223.19
Crucial 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 PC2-6400C4 800MHz Ballistix Dual Channel Kit £211.44
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB £197.40
XFX GeForce 7600 GS Extreme Edition £99.82
Zalman CNPS9500-AM2 Aero Flower £35.19
Antec P180 Advanced Super Midi £93.94
Zalman ZM460-APS 460W £64.57

£1,066.49

There's that Asus nForce board, what's better? It's like the Ken doll, dreamy, maybe. Ok you guys wouldn't understand. AM2, compatible with AM3 products, apparently, SLi, lots of features, what could be better?

Well, the 5000+ is a really enticing, so cheap and great performance. Not as good as an E6600, but surely worth considering? The only thing is, it feels like I would be spending my money on an under-par chip, for the sake of a possible world beater from AMD in X-months time. I don't know, this is the big question.

The ram, great speeds, good quality? I don't know, need big advice here, really I do!

The rest of the system and what it's going to be used for:

A 500GB hard drive for under £200? Wow. I'll be adding more of these when I really put my 10Mbit connection to the test. Unless of course the .10 versions are really inferior to the .09. I like quiet, fast and cheap, who doesn't? Am I going to get what I want here?

The graphics card, well, I don't want to waste my money on something that isn't DX10, but what can you do? So I went cheap, and passive cooling (I hope that’s what it is anyway). My lovely LCD is native at 1280x1024 and does not go beyond that. It's gorgeous though, so who cares?

My gaming catalogue is really limited. X2 and SL are about as advanced as it gets for me. Although, I will be going for X3 no doubt, there's just something about building yourself a space empire. And I love to dream about being a space queen. Not like the Borg Queen, but you know, as powerful just not as eww. Maybe a space pirate queen with an eye patch? No, wait, forget that. I'll be getting a better card when DX10 gets here, and won't consider anything else unless someone here is really convincing.

The Zalman, Antec, Zalman combo! I really love Zalman and have read great reviews about this case. I presume everything's going to fit together and I haven't made a stupid rooky error? I know Zalman isn't everyone’s favourite, so if you have something better to suggest, please feel free. Also, if something is terribly wrong with the size, compatibility or general fit-together-ness of these builds, please God, tell me now!

When I'm not playing games, I'm listening to music, using the PC as a tool to create media, but not high end media because I can't with my current setup. I'd like to change that, so figure 2GB of ram and a fast processor is important, so is dual core as I love having my taskbar full. High end gaming isn't a must right now, and figure the card specified will get me through cool and quietly until the time arrives to ditch XP.

The prices aren't for certain, as I may shop around more to get better deals when weighing the secure delivery charge against any possible price gains. Otherwise, the floor is open to you guys, please help me decide what's best to do, so I can finally put this old monster on a shelf and use it for backup storage and my days will be brighter and happier no doubt.
27 answers Last reply
More about system finish designing
  1. I'd go with an E6600 system.
  2. Quote:
    I'd go with an E6600 system.



    I'm probably gonna go with Pentium D with my build. DON'T GET HTE 5000! It's way over priced for nothing. Just overclock a little.
  3. That Conroe system is a very good choice. Get the 6600; or if you really want AMD, the 5000 isn't a bad choice, but the Conroe is still better.
  4. So you guys are saying Intel, but does my build make sense? Right mobo, right ram, everything should fit together properly?

    I really need as much as much advice as you guys can give, before I spend this much money, please!!!

    Edit: thanks to the contributions so far :D
  5. Everything should fit together. What I would be concerned about is airflow, power/stability, and GPU power. I would look into a more powerful PSU, like five hundred, five hundred and twenty watts just for good measure; I would also look into some more GPU power if you plan on gaming often.
  6. Ok, that's great, I think Seasonic do a more powerful yet still very quiet PSU - not much more expensive either.

    And like I said, I only will be running games (moderate gamer at best) at 1280x1024 and wanted a GPU to tide me over until DX10. Will the card I am thinking of not do that?
  7. Quote:
    Everything should fit together. What I would be concerned about is airflow, power/stability, and GPU power. I would look into a more powerful PSU, like five hundred, five hundred and twenty watts just for good measure; I would also look into some more GPU power if you plan on gaming often.
    Yeah, if you're really interested in gaming performance, go at least for a 7600GT but preferably a 7900GT...if you can find a way to stretch your budget. Then if you go SLI down the road, you'll have a killer gaming machine. I think a lot of people are denying themselves great GPU's in anticipation of DX10. This could be a mistake.
  8. I don't know, I am an ATi guy, and it seems you want an nVidia card, I will have no problem recommending an nVidia card to you. I will search Tom's site for a benchmark, they are bound to have one.

    As for PSU's, Seasonic is okay. Good brands are: Antec, Silverstone (workstation PSU's, very stable and very, very expensive sometimes) Enermax just to name a few. Generally PSU's aren't very loud.
  9. Some comments

    Go Core2duo

    The 7600gs is an AGP card you need the 7600GT

    Get a Seasonic, Antec, OCZ, Enermax or Silverstone psu
  10. Quote:
    Everything should fit together. What I would be concerned about is airflow, power/stability, and GPU power. I would look into a more powerful PSU, like five hundred, five hundred and twenty watts just for good measure; I would also look into some more GPU power if you plan on gaming often.
    Yeah, if you're really interested in gaming performance, go at least for a 7600GT but preferably a 7900GT...if you can find a way to stretch your budget. Then if you go SLI down the road, you'll have a killer gaming machine. I think a lot of people are denying themselves great GPU's in anticipation of DX10. This could be a mistake. I won't even suggest SLi OR Crossfire, they are a waste. But if you have the more than double the money to burn for another ten, fifteen percent, by all means.
  11. I'd go with the intel system.

    Might be worth thinking about a sound card if you can find a little extra money since you enjoy your music and creating media

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=421270

    56 pounds for the OEM Creative labs X-fi Xtreme Music
  12. Quote:
    Everything should fit together. What I would be concerned about is airflow, power/stability, and GPU power. I would look into a more powerful PSU, like five hundred, five hundred and twenty watts just for good measure; I would also look into some more GPU power if you plan on gaming often.
    Yeah, if you're really interested in gaming performance, go at least for a 7600GT but preferably a 7900GT...if you can find a way to stretch your budget. Then if you go SLI down the road, you'll have a killer gaming machine. I think a lot of people are denying themselves great GPU's in anticipation of DX10. This could be a mistake. I won't even suggest SLi OR Crossfire, they are a waste. But if you have the more than double the money to burn for another ten, fifteen percent, by all means.I feel the same about SLI/X-Fire, but that may be in the back of the OP's mind. Why else would they be picking an SLI board? :?
  13. If he were to go SLi I would suggest a pair of 7800 GT's. But if you are going single card, 7800 GT or 7900 GT is your answer. Unless, of course, budget doesn't permit. Original poster, a little more guidance?
  14. The card I am looking at is at the bottom of this list: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/7600_Series.html

    Another reason for going with this card, is passive cooling, no noise! Noise is the biggest cause of annoyance (above the slowness of my PC) and is something I want to basicaly eliminate, which is the reason I'm going for that P 180 case. If I can get a better card, with passive cooling, maybe an ATI solution? I have no preferences between ATI and Nvidia right now.

    Thanks for the suggestion Noggin, but I forgot to mention I have a lovely Extigy box hooked up to a CA system. I probably wont want to upgrade that - for a while yet to come (but some of the new Creative solutions are worth looking at for sure)

    Waylander, I've switched my basic outline to a Seasonic S12 500W Silent ATX2.0 now :D , That takes my total up to £1,059.45 inc vat

    Caboose1, he is a she, and forgot to mention, thanks for all the advice, you guys rock, please keep it up! More guidance, erm, don't want to spend anymore than £1100 total, £1000 was my original limit, but that wont leave me with much spare cache (lol edit: cash) to enjoy the summer on.

    Further edit: the board is dual PCI-E but does not say it supports X-Fire or SLi. From what I read, this is so you can run two cards for some bizzar reason, independantly, I gathered. Going for that board because it is apparantly a real good performer along with great support. http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2797&p=8
  15. Quote:
    The card I am looking at is at the bottom of this list: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/7600_Series.html

    Another reason for going with this card, is passive cooling, no noise! Noise is the biggest cause of annoyance (above the slowness of my PC) and is something I want to basicaly eliminate, which is the reason I'm going for that P 180 case. If I can get a better card, with passive cooling, maybe an ATI solution? I have no preferences between ATI and Nvidia right now.

    Thanks for the suggestion Noggin, but I forgot to mention I have a lovely Extigy box hooked up to a CA system. I probably wont want to upgrade that - for a while yet to come (but some of the new Creative solutions are worth looking at for sure)

    Waylander, I've switched my basic outline to a Seasonic S12 500W Silent ATX2.0 now :D , That takes my total up to £1,059.45 inc vat

    Caboose1, he is a she, and forgot to mention, thanks for all the advice, you guys rock, please keep it up! More guidance, erm, don't want to spend anymore than £1100 total, £1000 was my original limit, but that wont leave me with much spare cache to enjoy the summer on.
    A lot of the ATI cards have noisier HSF's.
  16. I'd get the Core 2 set up but..............you should use the cpu's stock cooler because it is good enough for the cooler running Core 2. So that saves you money.

    Get a less expensive hd like 150Gb and saves you money.

    Get a cheaper PSU like 400watts and that saves you money.

    Now spend that saved money for a 7900GT card.
  17. Quote:
    The card I am looking at is at the bottom of this list: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/7600_Series.html

    Another reason for going with this card, is passive cooling, no noise! Noise is the biggest cause of annoyance (above the slowness of my PC) and is something I want to basicaly eliminate, which is the reason I'm going for that P 180 case. If I can get a better card, with passive cooling, maybe an ATI solution? I have no preferences between ATI and Nvidia right now.

    Thanks for the suggestion Noggin, but I forgot to mention I have a lovely Extigy box hooked up to a CA system. I probably wont want to upgrade that - for a while yet to come (but some of the new Creative solutions are worth looking at for sure)

    Waylander, I've switched my basic outline to a Seasonic S12 500W Silent ATX2.0 now :D , That takes my total up to £1,059.45 inc vat

    Caboose1, he is a she, and forgot to mention, thanks for all the advice, you guys rock, please keep it up! More guidance, erm, don't want to spend anymore than £1100 total, £1000 was my original limit, but that wont leave me with much spare cache (lol edit: cash) to enjoy the summer on.

    Further edit: the board is dual PCI-E but does not say it supports X-Fire or SLi. From what I read, this is so you can run two cards for some bizzar reason, independantly, I gathered. Going for that board because it is apparantly a real good performer along with great support. http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2797&p=8
    First, I would like to apologize for the gender assumption, forgive me.

    This system will do well, and it conforms to your budget.

    I suggest if you were to go ATi, you go with this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814161160 I have one in my mid-range system. You can control the fan speed to practically silent (less than twenty decibles, inaudible), it stays cool, you can massively overclock it if you wish, HDR support, enhances video picture, comes with a couple of older games (funny) and does somewhat better than a 7600 GS in games. And the best part is the price. When I bought it, it was one hundred and eighty dollars. It is now one hundred and forty.
  18. Wow that is a good card, and after checking some reliable benchmarks, it does seem to be a quality solution compared to the 7600GS. Then right next to that would be the Asus ATI Radeon EAX-X1600 XT SILExtreme, which runs only a fraction slower but with no fan! Although, that fan control does seem to be the business on the HIS Excalibur ATI Radeon X1600 XT ICEQ Turbo 256MB. Oh yeah, either that or the HIS 1800GTO 8)

    Sorry Chuckshissle, but there's no way I'm going for a power hungry, noise bugger like the 7900GT. Reducing noise and heat is a major part of this system design. Just about every review I have seen says that tiny little fan spins so fast and sounds horrible. I'm now really tempted with Caboose's ATI solution which looks very sweet indeed.
  19. get the 5000 after the price cut, it will be like half that. And maybe with extra money get better video card, like 7900gt or something.
  20. Your Intel Core 2 Duo system would cost about $1467 here in America, or about UK 793. Pounds @ about $1.85 current exchange.

    UK 1048 Pounds - 793 Pounds = UK 255 or about $471 savings.

    You should have a friend in America buy the stuff and mail it (with the exception of the case and PS [too big and heavy] ) by US Post to you as a "gift" so you don't pay duty or customs. Pay them back through PayPal.

    Go to http://www.newegg.com and take a look.

    Cheers,

    gar
  21. corvetteguy, those are price-cut prices for the 5000+

    garyhope, I dont have any American friends that could do that for me, I wish! But also, if a product is defective and has to be sent back, it's going to get complicated and a nightmare. It's a good idea, just not really practical for me unforunately. :(
  22. The 5000+ will be the best bang for buck processor after the price cuts. I'm getting it with a new am2 system cause i think amd has a better future next year.
  23. Quote:
    The 5000+ will be the best bang for buck processor after the price cuts. I'm getting it with a new am2 system cause i think amd has a better future next year.


    Strange. Then why wouldn't you just hold off on your purchase until next year when AMD is having a better year?
  24. Because i will get the mb and ram now and later get a better processor. Its not like the 5000 is crap. A month ago it woulda been top of the line almost. I need to get a new comp cause right now i'm using my p2 366mhz from 98, and i hate it so much.
  25. Wow corvetteguy, I thought I was using the worst computer in the forums. I'm not surprised you hate it, that can't be good for much more than office, web-browsing and email?

    If you want forward compatability, the motherboard I'm going with claims to support quad core? Neither way appears bad, but the overwhealming support for the new Conro system just can't be ignored. I guess it makes sense if you have that much faith in AMD though.
  26. Quote:
    The 5000+ will be the best bang for buck processor after the price cuts. I'm getting it with a new am2 system cause i think amd has a better future next year.


    This is flat out wrong. The 5000+ will cost about the same as the Conroe E6600 after price cuts, and it gets annihilated by the E6600.

    Edit: Oops, I was looking at the EE model 5000+. The regular 5000+ will indeed be around $35 cheaper. Even still, Intel wil have the price/performance advantage for some time.
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