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1st time builder here! Its exciting but I need help :(

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August 26, 2006 8:54:56 PM

After debating a month whether to upgrade now or wait for Windows vista/DX10. I finally decided to after weeks of reading these boards to buy a new box (thanks to all the people here who posted countless pages of invaluable information on system/parts/compatibility issues etc, coming from a noob you guys helped out A LOT!) I've never built a computer before from scratch so I'm hoping you guys could lend me some of your time and helpful advice on the $1200 gaming system I think I have in mind. (I"ll play WoW for now, Vanguard and Warhammer in the future. Prolly try out Oblivion soon too)

INTEL SYSTEM

Processor:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1066MHz FSB 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor (193.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Mother Board:
ASUS P5W DHDELUXE/WIFI-AP Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard?(269.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Memory
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit System Memory (270.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (79.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

GPU:
SAPPHIRE 100154 Radeon X1800XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card - OEM (199.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

PSU:
Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 115/230 V UL, TUV, CB, FCC CLASS B, CUL (84.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

DVD ROM:
NEC Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2M Cache IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner (29.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Case:
APEVIA (ASPIRE) X-CRUISER-BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (64.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Total Cost = $1195

What do you guys think about this system? Is this the best bang I am getting for my $1200? Is there anything I can downgrade a bit so I can save some money and not lose too much performance (i.e switch to AMDX2 X3800+/Mobo/video Card/PSU/Case etc?) I'm not made of money but this system I hope will last me 3-5 years (200-400/year is a good deal on entertainment IMO)

Thanks in advance to all those who reply! I'm really looking forward to hearing some positive feedback and changes if need be. Hopefully when I assemble the finished product, it'll be exciting as it was choosing the parts lol.
August 26, 2006 9:08:59 PM

You can't really buy a system to 'last you' 3-5 years - we don't really know what's going to be going on then.

What you can say is that the system you have designed will be ready for Vista, and you'll be able to drop in a DX10 graphics card as and when you so desire.

As a system for today, it looks very good.
August 26, 2006 9:23:47 PM

Since money seems to be a concern, you'd save some by going to an AM2 3800 cpu and motherboard to match. Then you would have more when it comes ot migrating to to Vista and getting a good graphics card. Other than that, your proposed build looks good.
Related resources
August 26, 2006 9:51:33 PM

By "AM2 3800 cpu" do you mean the 3800+ or X2 3800+? I think his current choice is fine but that system won't last 3-5 years for gaming.
August 26, 2006 10:06:47 PM

Sailor - Since money seems to be a concern, you'd save some by going to an AM2 3800 cpu and motherboard to match. Then you would have more when it comes ot migrating to to Vista and getting a good graphics card. Other than that, your proposed build looks good.


I have a few thoughts regarding an AMDX2 3800+ & Mobo. I keep reading that this . . .

Processor - AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor 2000MHz HT Socket AM2 Dual Core Processor Model ADA3800IAA5CU - (152.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

And this Motherboard - ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail (93.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...


. . . come highly recommended. I was just wondering will this Motherboard be DX10 compatible and vista ready aswell? I'd love to save a few bucks and put it towards a DX10 card down the road. The extra $200 would come in handy!


Oops and I meant ~ AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+. Thx for pointing that out Heyyou27 :D 
August 26, 2006 10:06:55 PM

Quote:
By "AM2 3800 cpu" do you mean the 3800+ or X2 3800+? I think his current choice is fine but that system won't last 3-5 years for gaming.


Yeah, I typed too fast and left out the X2 and the + sign. I need to pay more attention. True enough, no system will last 3-5 years for top performence, but it may be usable for that long before becoming totally outdated.
August 27, 2006 12:52:57 AM

Seems like the Intel System I had laid out is ok but I was just wondering what do you guys think about this system?

Processor:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor 2000MHz HT Socket AM2 Dual Core Processor Model ADA3800IAA5CU - (152.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Mother Board:
ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra MCP ATX AMD Motherboard (92.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Memory:
Patriot 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit System Memory (229.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

GPU:
SAPPHIRE Radeon X1800XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card - OEM (199.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (79.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

PSU:
Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 115/230 V UL, TUV, CB, FCC CLASS B, CUL (84.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

DVD ROM:
NEC Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2M Cache IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner (29.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Case:
APEVIA (ASPIRE) X-CRUISER-BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (64.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Everything is the same other than the CPU/Mobo/RAM & $250.00 Question is, will there a noticeable differance between the Intel system and this AMD system if I were to play Oblivion? And is a system like this Vista and DX10 upgradeable too? Thx for the replies so far :) 
August 27, 2006 1:06:24 AM

Nice AM2 system! Good choice, as Oblivion likes ATI cards. You will be able to run Vista and stick in a DX10 card without problems.

If you have some cash in December I would upgrade the CPU to a 65nm one, or go quad core in 2007 for a nice performance boost. :) 
August 27, 2006 1:28:16 AM

Thx for the encouraging words and advice shadowduck! I'm starting to lean towards this AMD setup rather than the intel one since the money I'll be saving is a free LCD monitor + Cooling Fan. I'll prolly start ordering this set up within a week but does have any suggestion on a cheaper but proven PSU? And how do you guys suggest Overclocking this rig? Should I do CPU or GPU or Both? I'm new to overclocking aswell and people on the overclocking boards have some seriously confusing write ups too. Anyone with some Overclocking expertise help me out? :D 
August 27, 2006 3:51:27 AM

Quote:


. . . come highly recommended. I was just wondering will this Motherboard be DX10 compatible and vista ready aswell? I'd love to save a few bucks and put it towards a DX10 card down the road. The extra $200 would come in handy!


Yes, that motherboard should work with Vista and DX10. Virtually all new design hardware will work, with the exception of graphics cards
August 27, 2006 2:17:44 PM

Quote:
Thx for the encouraging words and advice shadowduck! I'm starting to lean towards this AMD setup rather than the intel one since the money I'll be saving is a free LCD monitor + Cooling Fan. I'll prolly start ordering this set up within a week but does have any suggestion on a cheaper but proven PSU? And how do you guys suggest Overclocking this rig? Should I do CPU or GPU or Both? I'm new to overclocking aswell and people on the overclocking boards have some seriously confusing write ups too. Anyone with some Overclocking expertise help me out? :D 


I wouldnt overclock the GPU right away. Start with the CPU. Its easier and less chance of frying something. You can buy a factory overclocked GPU which will give you warranty support at the higher speed.
August 28, 2006 5:44:17 AM

Thanks guys for all the tips and especially Shadowduck for the extra help via the private message. The following list is the final build I have chosen for my new computer for the next 1-2 years or until 2nd-3rd generation DX10 cards come out :) 

AMD System

Processor:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor 2000MHz HT Socket AM2 Dual Core Processor Model ADA3800IAA5CU - (152.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Mother Board:
ASUS M2N-E Socket AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra MCP ATX AMD Motherboard (92.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Memory:
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit System Memory 4-4-4-12 (270.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

GPU:
SAPPHIRE Radeon X1800XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card - OEM (199.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (79.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

PSU:
Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 115/230 V UL, TUV, CB, FCC CLASS B, CUL (84.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

DVD ROM:
NEC Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2M Cache IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner (29.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Case:
Thermaltake Tsunami VA3000BWA Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (111.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Display:
HannsĀ·G JW-199DPB Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 700:1 Built in Speakers 0.283mm x 0.238mm Pixel Pitch (189.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

TOTAL : $1210 -$25 Mail in rebate for the case!
Overclocking CPU ~
(Might buy factory Overclocked GPU for warranty & an extra fan) :D 

Thanks to everyone for the posts, benchmarks, PM's & replies. See you in Vanguard & Warhammer when it comes out! :) 
August 29, 2006 7:48:13 AM

AH hell! Newegg doesn't ship to Canada. Anyone know any good Canadian sites?
8O :evil:  :cry: 
August 29, 2006 8:47:09 AM

NCIX has a really good reputation but cant compete with neweggs prices at all.

supernovadj111 realizes free healthcare comes at a cost.... :D 
August 29, 2006 2:09:59 PM

Gah! That place NCIX has some insane prices! I think this place is a bit cheaper but I'm not sure about the reputation http://www.directcanada.com/ . Anyone purchase components here or anything at all and had any problems with them? Lemme know before I start ripping out chunks of my hair!
August 29, 2006 3:40:35 PM

Quote:
Gah! That place NCIX has some insane prices! I think this place is a bit cheaper but I'm not sure about the reputation http://www.directcanada.com/ . Anyone purchase components here or anything at all and had any problems with them? Lemme know before I start ripping out chunks of my hair!


Canada Computers has retail outlets in the TO area, you can check them out.

I use Memory Express a lot which is located in Alberta, but will ship to anywhere in Canada.
August 29, 2006 5:04:59 PM

Quote:
After debating a month whether to upgrade now or wait for Windows vista/DX10. I finally decided to after weeks of reading these boards to buy a new box (thanks to all the people here who posted countless pages of invaluable information on system/parts/compatibility issues etc, coming from a noob you guys helped out A LOT!) I've never built a computer before from scratch so I'm hoping you guys could lend me some of your time and helpful advice on the $1200 gaming system I think I have in mind. (I"ll play WoW for now, Vanguard and Warhammer in the future. Prolly try out Oblivion soon too)

INTEL SYSTEM

Processor:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1066MHz FSB 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor (193.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Mother Board:
ASUS P5W DHDELUXE/WIFI-AP Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard?(269.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Memory
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit System Memory (270.00)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Hard Drive:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (79.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

GPU:
SAPPHIRE 100154 Radeon X1800XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card - OEM (199.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

PSU:
Antec TRUEPOWERII TPII-550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 115/230 V UL, TUV, CB, FCC CLASS B, CUL (84.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

DVD ROM:
NEC Black 16X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 16X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2M Cache IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner (29.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Case:
APEVIA (ASPIRE) X-CRUISER-BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (64.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Total Cost = $1195

What do you guys think about this system? Is this the best bang I am getting for my $1200? Is there anything I can downgrade a bit so I can save some money and not lose too much performance (i.e switch to AMDX2 X3800+/Mobo/video Card/PSU/Case etc?) I'm not made of money but this system I hope will last me 3-5 years (200-400/year is a good deal on entertainment IMO)

Thanks in advance to all those who reply! I'm really looking forward to hearing some positive feedback and changes if need be. Hopefully when I assemble the finished product, it'll be exciting as it was choosing the parts lol.


Buying in Canada huh...:p 

First off you can have your cake and eat it too. You don't have to settle for AM2 in the price range you want. You can get a Core 2 Duo system (E6300) that will completely outperform that AM2 system for around the same price. The trick is knowing what components to buy.

With an AM2 system you NEED PC2 6400 memory in order to get performance above the older 939 socket configuration. AM2's memory controller is VERY VERY picky with latency and bandwidth available to it. Also worth taking into account that AMD's 65nm CPU's will NOT be faster per clock then current 90nm CPU's. The upside is that they MAY clock faster. As for Quad Core... nobody can claim that the current AM2 board you're buying will work with AMD's Quad Core.. as it hasn't been tested or certified (vs Intel's current boards even shipping with "support for Intel's Next Generation Multi-Core CPU's" as quoted on the box and tested and certified by xtremesystems.org/forums).

Here's what I would do. First of all ditch the Antec Power Supply. For around the same price you can get an Enermax, Seasonic, OCZ or Forton power supply that will perform better (more efficiency and more stable 5v/12v rails). If you want proof.. just ask and I will provide.

Secondly we move from the highest end Intel 975x based motherboard to a mid-range Intel 965P based motherboard. The Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 available for $124USD is perfect for your needs. With certified support for Intel's Quad Core CPU (Kentsfield) as well as being based on the best all around platform (Core 2) makes it a winner.

Thirdly we move to the segment about memory. With AM2's you need super duper highend PC2 6400 to get the most out of the system. Whereas Core 2's architecture doesn't get a boost from PC2 6400 but does rather well with PC2 5300 or 5400 and looser timings. So this is the part you save a bundle compared to AM2. We go for the G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5400) Dual Channel Kit System Memory for $169USD.

So on one side you have the slower AM2 rig with the CPU, Motherboard and RAM coming in at ~$474USD on the other you have a newer faster cooler running more future oriented (proven not speculatory) Intel Core 2 Duo platform for a mere ~$486USD.

Really... which one is the better deal here?
August 29, 2006 6:50:59 PM

Quote:
Here's what I would do. First of all ditch the Antec Power Supply. For around the same price you can get an Enermax, Seasonic, OCZ or Forton power supply that will perform better (more efficiency and more stable 5v/12v rails). If you want proof.. just ask and I will provide.

Also, if you're only powering MB + Video + 1xHD + 1xDVD you probably don't need 550W of power. ~400W would probably be plenty, and will save you a few bucks.

For example: [Enermax for ElMoIsEviL]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103459
could save you $20.
September 5, 2006 5:10:34 AM

Woohoo fellow Canadians! <3
Thx for the replies guys, you're making my decision more fun! (I Think lol)

Anyways, will the proposed system Elmoisevil talked a better buy than my AMD one I listed? I'm worried that conroe is flawed since its so new and really don't want to blow up my computer while trying to put it together. I"m going to start ordering really soon! Help out a Canadian :) 

Btw, sorry for the late repsonse, I just got back from a loooong 19 hour drive to Halifax for holiday weekend, Yarrr! Lobster Ahoy :) 
!