Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Building Mid-October C2D E6600, SLI - the rest is up in the-

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 8, 2006 11:03:33 PM

air! Little help, pls?

Will build 2 exact same machines, Mid-October; one for me and one for my nephew - need help specking one out. These will be game machines first and foremost, running video games at high res.

I've decided on E6600 Core 2 Duo;

From there, I'm open to suggestions;

Want these machines to be eventually overclockable as well as SLI capable (want to start out with a relatively cutting edge GPU, say around $250-300, then plug in another in a year or so when prices have dropped, and more performance is needed.)

For the HD I want max throuput, fast access time/etc. and have been leaning toward the WD Raptor 74 GB 10K drive. Is this a good idea, or are there better, faster, cheaper, etc. solutions?

Im thinking 650 watts is enuf for a power supply...is it?


Motherboard: Unknown

GPU: Unknown

HD: WD Raptor 74 GB 10K

Memory: Unknown...here I'm out of my depth as I want 2 GB that can be matched to overclock the CPU...exactly what steppings, voltages, timings etc., I am unsure.

Power Supply: 650 Watt, manufacturer, unknown

DVD/RW: Unknown

Case: Open to ideas, but do not want/need a slimline or tiny half-tower.

Monitor: I'll be keeping my gateway vx900 most likely (from 8 years and 3 computers ago; it, along with my HP 1100 LaserJet, also of the same vintage, simply refuses to die!) But the nephew will need a 19" flat screen LCD gaming monitor or maybe even a CRT.

Total budget per machine is $1500-1800;

First build and I don't want to end up with two grand worth of strained silicon and smokin rubble on the kitchen table...and good guides, step by step with photos to assembly?

If I get cold feet, been thinking about http://www.jncs.com/jnmain.php J&N for a burned in SLI MB, and I can take it from there...but then again they seem to want about 2-300 bucks markup for that service...kinda expensive. Any one have any experience with them? Or should I build entire thing myself and put the extra cash into these builds?

Thanks in advance for your help, and if your recommend anything, pls include your rationale.

-RafterManFJM
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2006 1:12:39 AM

Your budget looks very good.
Articles like these (with pictures) can give you a good idea of what a build is like: Building Your Own Computer (DIY) Guide
Your first decision is to SLI (nVidia) or CROSSFIRE (ATI). That choice decides what motherboards you want to be looking at.
ATI Crossfire = 975 & 965 chipsets or CrossFire Xpress 3200 RD600 chipset (RD600s not readily available just yet).
nVidia SLI = nForce 590 or 570 chipsets (also some nForce 4 chipsets do Conroes)
Generally SLI nVidia needs "MATCHED" GPUs to do SLI which maybe a possilble problem on a later upgrade. Crossfire seems to be more flexible - with a Crossfire edition (master) GPU you can add a different GPU (X1900 with X1600 for example) in the same series.
September 9, 2006 1:51:16 AM

Quote:
Your budget looks very good.
Articles like these (with pictures) can give you a good idea of what a build is like: Building Your Own Computer (DIY) Guide
Your first decision is to SLI (nVidia) or CROSSFIRE (ATI). That choice decides what motherboards you want to be looking at.
ATI Crossfire = 975 & 965 chipsets or CrossFire Xpress 3200 RD600 chipset (RD600s not readily available just yet).
nVidia SLI = nForce 590 or 570 chipsets (also some nForce 4 chipsets do Conroes)
Generally SLI nVidia needs "MATCHED" GPUs to do SLI which maybe a possilble problem on a later upgrade. Crossfire seems to be more flexible - with a Crossfire edition (master) GPU you can add a different GPU (X1900 with X1600 for example) in the same series.

Definitely doing SLI, but unsure what board would be best for the C2D and SLI
Related resources
September 9, 2006 4:07:46 AM

Quote:
Your budget looks very good.
Articles like these (with pictures) can give you a good idea of what a build is like: Building Your Own Computer (DIY) Guide
Your first decision is to SLI (nVidia) or CROSSFIRE (ATI). That choice decides what motherboards you want to be looking at.
ATI Crossfire = 975 & 965 chipsets or CrossFire Xpress 3200 RD600 chipset (RD600s not readily available just yet).
nVidia SLI = nForce 590 or 570 chipsets (also some nForce 4 chipsets do Conroes)
Generally SLI nVidia needs "MATCHED" GPUs to do SLI which maybe a possilble problem on a later upgrade. Crossfire seems to be more flexible - with a Crossfire edition (master) GPU you can add a different GPU (X1900 with X1600 for example) in the same series.

Definitely doing SLI, but unsure what board would be best for the C2D and SLI

Sorry to burst the bubble, but you picked the absolutely WORST upgrade path possible. If you cannot go SLI with 90 days, SLI is a complete waste of your money. Waiting one year is the worst move you could make. Every 90 days or so new video cards are released that best then previous top one by usually 5-10%. Going SLI does NOT double performance, it only goes up around 30%. Within one year, you can expect the top card to be 20-30% better than any card now (esp. with DX10) and cost less. Say you buy 1 7900GT now at $250. A year from now the 7900GT will cost around $200. So you spend $450. Well a new top end card will only cost you around $400 and be 10% or so faster. Look at the 7600GT, the current example of this. ONE 7900GT spanks 2 7600GTs in SLI and costs LESS.

AVOID this trap, SLI/X-Fire is for the geek boy to brag to his classmates that he has the best system on the block to pump his ego. In the real world, its rarely needed, and especailly not in your time frame.
September 9, 2006 4:27:53 AM

Quote:
Your budget looks very good.
Articles like these (with pictures) can give you a good idea of what a build is like: Building Your Own Computer (DIY) Guide
Your first decision is to SLI (nVidia) or CROSSFIRE (ATI). That choice decides what motherboards you want to be looking at.
ATI Crossfire = 975 & 965 chipsets or CrossFire Xpress 3200 RD600 chipset (RD600s not readily available just yet).
nVidia SLI = nForce 590 or 570 chipsets (also some nForce 4 chipsets do Conroes)
Generally SLI nVidia needs "MATCHED" GPUs to do SLI which maybe a possilble problem on a later upgrade. Crossfire seems to be more flexible - with a Crossfire edition (master) GPU you can add a different GPU (X1900 with X1600 for example) in the same series.

Definitely doing SLI, but unsure what board would be best for the C2D and SLI

Sorry to burst the bubble, but you picked the absolutely WORST upgrade path possible. If you cannot go SLI with 90 days, SLI is a complete waste of your money. Waiting one year is the worst move you could make. Every 90 days or so new video cards are released that best then previous top one by usually 5-10%. Going SLI does NOT double performance, it only goes up around 30%. Within one year, you can expect the top card to be 20-30% better than any card now (esp. with DX10) and cost less. Say you buy 1 7900GT now at $250. A year from now the 7900GT will cost around $200. So you spend $450. Well a new top end card will only cost you around $400 and be 10% or so faster. Look at the 7600GT, the current example of this. ONE 7900GT spanks 2 7600GTs in SLI and costs LESS.

AVOID this trap, SLI/X-Fire is for the geek boy to brag to his classmates that he has the best system on the block to pump his ego. In the real world, its rarely needed, and especailly not in your time frame.

Ok your argument sounds reasonable...SLI would give no assurance of future upgradeability? May have to rething the SLI idea...
September 9, 2006 4:35:17 AM

Quote:
Your budget looks very good.
Articles like these (with pictures) can give you a good idea of what a build is like: Building Your Own Computer (DIY) Guide
Your first decision is to SLI (nVidia) or CROSSFIRE (ATI). That choice decides what motherboards you want to be looking at.
ATI Crossfire = 975 & 965 chipsets or CrossFire Xpress 3200 RD600 chipset (RD600s not readily available just yet).
nVidia SLI = nForce 590 or 570 chipsets (also some nForce 4 chipsets do Conroes)
Generally SLI nVidia needs "MATCHED" GPUs to do SLI which maybe a possilble problem on a later upgrade. Crossfire seems to be more flexible - with a Crossfire edition (master) GPU you can add a different GPU (X1900 with X1600 for example) in the same series.

Definitely doing SLI, but unsure what board would be best for the C2D and SLI

Sorry to burst the bubble, but you picked the absolutely WORST upgrade path possible. If you cannot go SLI with 90 days, SLI is a complete waste of your money. Waiting one year is the worst move you could make. Every 90 days or so new video cards are released that best then previous top one by usually 5-10%. Going SLI does NOT double performance, it only goes up around 30%. Within one year, you can expect the top card to be 20-30% better than any card now (esp. with DX10) and cost less. Say you buy 1 7900GT now at $250. A year from now the 7900GT will cost around $200. So you spend $450. Well a new top end card will only cost you around $400 and be 10% or so faster. Look at the 7600GT, the current example of this. ONE 7900GT spanks 2 7600GTs in SLI and costs LESS.

AVOID this trap, SLI/X-Fire is for the geek boy to brag to his classmates that he has the best system on the block to pump his ego. In the real world, its rarely needed, and especailly not in your time frame.

Ok your argument sounds reasonable...SLI would give no assurance of future upgradeability? May have to rething the SLI idea...

Sure you can upgrade, but adding a second card does not give you a 100% performance increase, its only around 20-30% and it costs more than a one card solution, uses twice the power, and has higher cooling requirments.

Right now with the current market, with Vista coming out and bringing DX10 cards, right now is especailly a bad time to consider SLI. Vista will require DX10 to take full advantage of Aero, so locking yourself into an SLI DX9 solution makes little sense.

I would look at ATI cards right now anyway. They really stomp nVidia. Look at the X1800GTO or GT. WHen DX cards come out, buy the best card you can afford at that time.
September 9, 2006 4:40:41 AM

Ok SLI is dead. No SLI for me!! How long till DX10 cards? Middle of October? Any idea? How about some component reccomendations, MB, Memory, HD that sort of thing? Thanks for your responses so far.
September 9, 2006 4:45:41 AM

Quote:
air! Little help, pls?

Will build 2 exact same machines, Mid-October; one for me and one for my nephew - need help specking one out. These will be game machines first and foremost, running video games at high res.

I've decided on E6600 Core 2 Duo;

From there, I'm open to suggestions;

Want these machines to be eventually overclockable as well as SLI capable (want to start out with a relatively cutting edge GPU, say around $250-300, then plug in another in a year or so when prices have dropped, and more performance is needed.)

For the HD I want max throuput, fast access time/etc. and have been leaning toward the WD Raptor 74 GB 10K drive. Is this a good idea, or are there better, faster, cheaper, etc. solutions?

Im thinking 650 watts is enuf for a power supply...is it?


Motherboard: Unknown

GPU: Unknown

HD: WD Raptor 74 GB 10K

Memory: Unknown...here I'm out of my depth as I want 2 GB that can be matched to overclock the CPU...exactly what steppings, voltages, timings etc., I am unsure.

Power Supply: 650 Watt, manufacturer, unknown

DVD/RW: Unknown

Case: Open to ideas, but do not want/need a slimline or tiny half-tower.

Monitor: I'll be keeping my gateway vx900 most likely (from 8 years and 3 computers ago; it, along with my HP 1100 LaserJet, also of the same vintage, simply refuses to die!) But the nephew will need a 19" flat screen LCD gaming monitor or maybe even a CRT.

Total budget per machine is $1500-1800;

First build and I don't want to end up with two grand worth of strained silicon and smokin rubble on the kitchen table...and good guides, step by step with photos to assembly?

If I get cold feet, been thinking about http://www.jncs.com/jnmain.php J&N for a burned in SLI MB, and I can take it from there...but then again they seem to want about 2-300 bucks markup for that service...kinda expensive. Any one have any experience with them? Or should I build entire thing myself and put the extra cash into these builds?

Thanks in advance for your help, and if your recommend anything, pls include your rationale.

-RafterManFJM


Wow- we have the same monitor.

Ditch the hard drive and get the new 150GB Raptor.

As far was what what CPU you should get, check out the interactive CPU charts THG has posted. Compare CPUs and see how they perform in the games you play, then check out the price/performance benchmark. You might find you don't need a C2D (or maybe you will want something faster).

Word.
September 9, 2006 4:52:52 AM

On a 19" LCD/TFT your nephew simply won't need a 2 card solution for graphics. So don't make Crossfire or SLI a make or break feature - nice if it's there (you never know, you might find a 2nd card on the cheap one day or you might want more than a 20" monitor someday) but not essential. For graphics you need to think about what you want to be doing now and when you next plan to do an upgrade in relation to your budget. You'll probably find yourself looking at midrange cards like the 7600GT or even the 7900GT for nVidia and the X1800XT and the X1900XT for ATI for performance now/near future vs. budget.

Also consider, Dx10 (the generation 8 nVidia) cards will be along soon (like 3 months) and then games will start comming out for it eventually (but only for Vista, Dx10 won't be available for XP according to M$) and that you may want another upgrade on the video that is combined with switching to Vista. If you think this will happen in less than 6 months for you, I suggest that you go with the lower spec card now and just upgrade when you are ready next year. If you think you'll be at least a year until you do this, then get a better spec card now.

Otherwise, the Raptor is a performance choice, I like the E6600 (plan to do that myself), plenty of power in a 650w PSU, 2GB is what you want for memory now and for that future Vista upgrade - just be sure to get a matched pair of 1GB DDR2.

For a case, well that tends to be a matter of taste. I understand the Centurion 534 is a nice choice - not too expensive while being a nice build. Maybe your nephew would like something a bit more 'mod looking' - there are a lot of choices that way out there on the market nowadays. My personal choice is probably a bit sophisticated and expensive.
September 9, 2006 7:21:34 PM

Quote:
On a 19" LCD/TFT your nephew simply won't need a 2 card solution for graphics. So don't make Crossfire or SLI a make or break feature - nice if it's there (you never know, you might find a 2nd card on the cheap one day or you might want more than a 20" monitor someday) but not essential. For graphics you need to think about what you want to be doing now and when you next plan to do an upgrade in relation to your budget. You'll probably find yourself looking at midrange cards like the 7600GT or even the 7900GT for nVidia and the X1800XT and the X1900XT for ATI for performance now/near future vs. budget.

Also consider, Dx10 (the generation 8 nVidia) cards will be along soon (like 3 months) and then games will start comming out for it eventually (but only for Vista, Dx10 won't be available for XP according to M$) and that you may want another upgrade on the video that is combined with switching to Vista. If you think this will happen in less than 6 months for you, I suggest that you go with the lower spec card now and just upgrade when you are ready next year. If you think you'll be at least a year until you do this, then get a better spec card now.

Otherwise, the Raptor is a performance choice, I like the E6600 (plan to do that myself), plenty of power in a 650w PSU, 2GB is what you want for memory now and for that future Vista upgrade - just be sure to get a matched pair of 1GB DDR2.

For a case, well that tends to be a matter of taste. I understand the Centurion 534 is a nice choice - not too expensive while being a nice build. Maybe your nephew would like something a bit more 'mod looking' - there are a lot of choices that way out there on the market nowadays. My personal choice is probably a bit sophisticated and expensive.


OK great ideas, SLI has been dropped; what motherboard would you recommend for the E6600 and what memory, with the understanding that we would be eventually be overclocking the CPU?
September 9, 2006 8:08:04 PM

For the motherboard I would go with the Asus P5NSLI ($120 at newegg) and pair it with some Corsair XMS DDR2 667 1gb x2 ($240ish-pricey but quality)


Motherboard
Memory
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2006 8:54:18 PM

Do you know what games you'll be playing yet? That detail can make a big difference when deciding a system build strategy.
I'm not convinced that SLI is dead. It's true many of todays games don't get that much of a boost from SLI to say it has a good cost vs performance ratio as opposed to buying a single more powerful GPU. But future games will likely be able to make better use of multiple GPUs (and multipe CPUs for that matter).
I AM convinced that for gaming at 1280x1024 (19th LCDs) that SLI is not the way to go. Where SLI begins to come into its own is at resolutions of 1600x1200 and above (1920x1200, 2048x1536, etc.)

These charts shows 2 games with a top GPU (7900GTX single and SLI) with different CPUs.


From these charts you can see that in many games the GPU is the limiting factor and so overclocking the E6600 maybe of limited benefit. Or at least limited till you find a 2007 game that needs a bump up in CPU power. It's nice to know its there if you need it. Is there a 20" (16x12, 16x1050, 1920x1600) or larger widescreen monitor in your future? If that possibility is there you want to keep the SLI option open for the future.

For 19" LCD @ 1280x1024 (the only res you'll play games at) a single high-end card like the 7900GT is the way to go. If you find any games in the next 2 years that run too slow on the E6600-7900GT combo just turning down the eyecandy mode (no AA/AF for example) will keep those future games very playable.
XFX Geforce 7900GT 256MB $232 after $30 rebate
If the new XFX 7900GS PCI-E version becomes available before you order that would also be a very acceptable option. A little less expensive and it's supposed to be very overclockable, as are the 7900GTs
7900GT vs 7900GS comparisonBe sure to read the final summary for a good overview of the price / performance issue.

Monitor: SAMSUNG 940B-SV Silver 19" 8ms $280

For the SLI motherboard the current choice should be the ASUS P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe $240
It's an older nForce 4 chipset but there are no newer nForce 5 chipset (590, 570) motherboards that I can recommend - at the moment. This could change in the next 5 weeks as quite a few 590/570 motherboards should hit the retail market shortly.
For a non-SLI, non-Crossfire MB I'd suggest GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 $150 is a good choice.

CPU: Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4Mb L2 Cache $340
I have no problem also recommeding the E6400 as well.

DDR2 RAM: Patriot Extreme 2GB DDR2 667 (PC2 5300)

PSU: Antec NeoHE 500 ATX12V 500W $100
Highly efficient, SLI certified. Will easily exceed your requirements IMO.
If you decide you need a bigger PSU you could choose the 550 NeoHE or go with Antec True Power Trio 650W $150

You want to offer any guidance on Case choices?
(1) Performace & Cooling as priority
(2) Eye Candy & "bling" factor as priority (case window, case lighting, etc)
(the 2 choices dont have to be mutually exclusive either, just want to know which way you're leaning)

Also guidance on what types of games you're interested in.
This is important when choosing peripherals like keyboard, mouse, gaming headset, speakers, etc. It makes a big difference for example if you play flight sims, driving sims, or FPS.
September 9, 2006 9:08:55 PM

In your price range, SLI would not be a good idea. Generally, I'd only recommend SLI/ Crossfire if your monitor's resolution is 1600x1200 or higher.
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2006 9:38:12 PM

Quote:
For the HD I want max throuput, fast access time/etc. and have been leaning toward the WD Raptor 74 GB 10K drive. Is this a good idea, or are there better, faster, cheaper, etc. solutions?
Are there better, faster, cheaper, solutions? Yes, yes, and yes.
Top end solution would be a 15,000RPM Ultra320 SCSI option.
Under that you would have the WD 10,000RPM Raptor SerialATA 150 option.
Next would be 2 7200RPM SATA150 in RAID 0 followed by a single 7200RPM SATA150 HD.
Im not a fan of RAID 0 arrays since any RAID glitch (it happens) will cause loss of all data and require installing OS and software from scratch.
The Raptor option is attractive because it noticebly reduces OS and game load times. But it has very little to do with improving game playability after the game loads. From a price vs performance view with stability as the important consideration single 7200 SATA150 drives just make more sense.
Raptor 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial ATA150 $330
WD Caviar 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s $120
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 9, 2006 11:59:25 PM

To give you an idea of what a $1800 system might look like:
(thats $1800 after rebates and before any shipping or possible taxes)

C2D E6600 $1800 WishList

Change from the list above for 19" LCD monitor:
SAMSUNG 940BF Black 19" 2ms LCD Monitor

Added to the list:
Antec P-160 Silver case
120mm Blue LED Light Case Fan
Logitech G15 Keyboard
Logitech G5 Laser Mouse
Logitech RumblePad Gamepad
Logitech USB Premium Headset 350
16X DVD±RW DVD Burner Silver
DVD-ROM Drive Silver

(Ok - still no speakers in the list :oops:  )
September 10, 2006 12:37:46 AM

Quote:
For the motherboard I would go with the Asus P5NSLI ($120 at newegg) and pair it with some Corsair XMS DDR2 667 1gb x2 ($240ish-pricey but quality)


Motherboard
Memory


Go with an SLI board even tho I'm not planning on an SLI route, and have that future option? Is this still a good idea to use an SLI board ie will it provide as good a preformance as a non-sli board? Is this board easy to CPU overclock?

Quote:
Do you know what games you'll be playing yet? That detail can make a big difference when deciding a system build strategy.
I'm not convinced that SLI is dead.


Oblivion, Chrysis, TF2, Sword of the Stars, Vanguard: Saga Of Heroes, IL-2 Sturmovick, pretty much anything except sports and driving games.



Raptor 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial ATA150 199.99 after rebate

This 150 GB 10K Raptor lists for 199.99 after rebate. Looks like a deal to me!
September 10, 2006 12:45:53 AM

Raptors are not worth $200. They are much faster on access but not on throughput. A Seagate 7200.10 drive is very nice, not much slower on access and vastly cheaper.
September 10, 2006 12:50:04 AM

Quote:
You want to offer any guidance on Case choices?
(1) Performace & Cooling as priority
(2) Eye Candy & "bling" factor as priority (case window, case lighting, etc)
(the 2 choices dont have to be mutually exclusive either, just want to know which way you're leaning)


Performance I suppose, cooling as well as OC is in the future.

Quote:


For the SLI motherboard the current choice should be the ASUS P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe $240
It's an older nForce 4 chipset but there are no newer nForce 5 chipset (590, 570) motherboards that I can recommend - at the moment. This could change in the next 5 weeks as quite a few 590/570 motherboards should hit the retail market shortly.


Perhaps I should wait then, as I will not begin ordering until mid to late october...but then this brings up the question of waiting an additional couple weeks for DX10 cards. Not really against waiting a few months. As far as OCing, what should you look for in choosing Memory? Thanks for the help so far people!
September 10, 2006 12:52:09 AM

Quote:
Raptors are not worth $200. They are much faster on access but not on throughput. A Seagate 7200.10 drive is very nice, not much slower on access and vastly cheaper.


Naturally I want throuput as that is what matters the most, right? How about one of those new drives featuring perpendicular recording technology ? Cost is an issue, but where adding more money to the specific component provides the biggest return on performance, it becomes less of an issue. (within reason as neither of us are internet millionairs)
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 10, 2006 1:20:57 AM

Asus P5NSLI is not that great an overclocker: ASUS P5NSLI

SLI or Not: Even with a single PCI-Ex16 slot you'd have an option to get a Dual GPU -single slot video card along the lines of 7950 GX2 in the next generation. You would not be able to, for instance, SLI a 7900xxx generation card with the next gen 8xxx DX10 video cards.

DX10 or not. None of the games you listed are DX10 games. VISTA will be required for DX10 supported games -even though DX hardware is due out for the Christmas shopping season and the consumer Vista wont be out till spring. Not all games releases in 2007 will be DX10 games. DX9 hardware (7900xx) WILL run DX10 games fine.

The GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3, E6600 (2.4Ghz) and Patriot Extreme DDR2 667 will be a strong overclocker. If you want to overclock beyond X6800 speed (2.9Ghz) you'll want to think about a higher performance heat sink & fan.

The $200 Raptor was a good find. Choosing the Raptor over a 7200RPM SATA drive will be up to your preferences and checkbook. If you only re-boot your computer once every 2 weeks or so like I do than the Rapor is overkill. A well maintained WinXP system with a WD 7200 SATA drive will actually outperform a similar system with a Raptor thats has a lot of bloatware & unnecessary programs/processes loading at bootup.

I think the Antec P-160W case is a good choice for overclocking & cooling and has enough "wow" factor for nephews.

You'll have enough time to refine your shopping list between now and mid-late October. Gives you plenty of time to check hardware reviews and check the prices.

The NewEgg wish lists are good that way. You can take that wishlist, move it into your shopping cart and make any changes you want, create your own wishlist to post here for people to review and comment on.
September 10, 2006 1:33:38 AM

You are running into some very debateable territory. SCSI is the fastest, as pointed out above. Raptors have the 'street cred' but there is a lot to be said for a RAID array of 2 7200.10 Seagates. Really, the HDD isn't where you are going to see the biggest performance/cash results. There is a thread over in Storage debating the whole 1 vs 2 issue.

SLI isn't dead per se, and like I said it's nice to have the option but I wouldn't let it be my deciding factor. You might use it to weight your decision on what chipset for your vid card though (among other factors).

Waiting is a game you can do forever with components - there's always something better comming. Don't wait so long that your work is wasted and you aren't enjoying what would be a perfectly good system just because something is comming - because when it comes it might not be good or in stock. To go Dx10 properly you will need to go Vista also. I'm inclined to wait on Vista, you might not care.

For a cooling/performance case, try looking for a reverse ATX case or one with good venting solutions. Modern cases are much better than they used to be, lots of options out there now for material (steel or aluminum?) color, form factor (ATX/Mini-ATX/BTX and others), size (desktop or server and a lot more), screw-less/tool-less, the options go on and on. Let your mobo help decide the case (it will be of a certain size and shape that will affect what cases you can put it into) and how you want to situate/use the case. Do you want it on your desk or sitting on the floor? Do you want to haul it around to LAN parties or will it sit forever where you set it? Size and weight become factors in these decisions, and through weight material (aluminum is lighter).

A LOT of people like the Antec P180. Others like the Thermaltake Armor or the Coolermaster Centurion or the Silverstone TJ05 - but all dfor different reasons. Read some reviews, see what YOU like.
September 11, 2006 4:04:17 AM

1 Antec Performance I P-160W Silver 1.2mm Anodized Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: P160W
Item #: N82E16811129173

In Stock
$99.99 -$6.00 Instant $93.99
1 ASUS P5W DH DELUXE/WIFI-AP Socket T (LGA 775) Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: P5WDH DELUXE/WIFI-AP
Item #: N82E16813131025
** This item may only be returned for a replacement of the same make/model within 30 days only.
Out Of Stock
ETA: 9/18/2006 10:04:00 AM
Auto-Notify
$269.99 $269.99
1 eVGA 512-P2-N572-AR Geforce 7900GTX 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
Model #: 512-P2-N572-AR
Item #: N82E16814130058

In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
$399.99 $399.99
1 Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 ATX12V 650W Power Supply with Three 12V Rails - Retail
Model #: TP3-650
Item #: N82E16817371001

In Stock
$159.99 -$10.00 Instant $149.99
1 Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E6600
Item #: N82E16819115003
** This item is warranted through the product manufacturer only.
In Stock
$339.00 $339.00
1 Patriot 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model PDC22G5300LLK - Retail
Model #: PDC22G5300LLK
Item #: N82E16820220095

In Stock
$179.99 $179.99
1 Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: WD1500ADFD
Item #: N82E16822136012

In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
$229.99 $229.99
TOTAL- $1663


Wish List New Egg


With the goals of eventual upgradebility, top-end current performance, and eventual CPU overclocking, how does this system look? Changes or ideas or improvements? Will this rig run current and short-to-mid future games at top resolutions and framerates? Any additions you can recommend? Sound card, speakers ETC? Thanks again!

Edit: Would this card be better? Radeon X1950 XTX
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 11, 2006 5:39:48 AM

Starting to look like a real top end list.
Its a mixed bag as to which GPU is best. Guru3D X1950 XTX preview with 7900GTX / 7950 GX2 comparison
Serious Sam 2 / Far Cry / Prey / Ghost recon: Graw / X3: The reunion / Call of Duty 2 / Half-Life 2 / Half-Life 2 Episode One / Doom 3 / Quake 4 / F.e.a.r / Halo: Combat Evolved
Remember you nephew will be gaming @ 1280x1024. On LCDs you lose performance if you game at other than the native resolution.
:arrow: Remember - the 975 motherboards are ATI+Crossfire boards. The can take nVidia GPUs but they cant do SLI.

It looks like you're leaning more toward an Insane :!: gaming rig.
The Patriot DDR2 667 is a decent overclocker easily reaching DDR2 800. Review
You may want to look at a good DDR2 800 kit that can OC to DDR2 1000 which would better match the quality of the other components. Be sure to get a good heat sink fan HSF.

Here is a good review of the P-160W Case
September 11, 2006 8:15:15 PM

Quote:
Starting to look like a real top end list.
Its a mixed bag as to which GPU is best. Guru3D X1950 XTX preview with 7900GTX / 7950 GX2 comparison
Serious Sam 2 / Far Cry / Prey / Ghost recon: Graw / X3: The reunion / Call of Duty 2 / Half-Life 2 / Half-Life 2 Episode One / Doom 3 / Quake 4 / F.e.a.r / Halo: Combat Evolved
Remember you nephew will be gaming @ 1280x1024. On LCDs you lose performance if you game at other than the native resolution.
:arrow: Remember - the 975 motherboards are ATI+Crossfire boards. The can take nVidia GPUs but they cant do SLI.

It looks like you're leaning more toward an Insane :!: gaming rig.
The Patriot DDR2 667 is a decent overclocker easily reaching DDR2 800. Review
You may want to look at a good DDR2 800 kit that can OC to DDR2 1000 which would better match the quality of the other components. Be sure to get a good heat sink fan HSF.

Here is a good review of the P-160W Case


Aight, so the board I selected can in fact handle the Nvidia or the Radeon, correct? SLI - I've written that off as an option as when it's needed, the dual-gpu graphics cards will be commonplace.

The Memory you mentioned, the DDR2 800, any specific brands or links? Thanks for the input...chomping at the bit to get started...

on a side note, just got a Gforce 6200 in the mail from UPS and TigerDirect...all smashed up (the box it came in) If it works, hope it will hold my current machine over till I build. (I have no red in my monitor and it does not appear to be the monitor, but rather the vid card. We shall see tonight.)

Any recommendations on a 20 or 19" Gaming monitor? 2-400 dollars? Heh, I feel like it's Christmas...
September 11, 2006 10:01:40 PM

https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/WishList/TemporaryWishList.asp?BundleExist=N

That would be my suggestion. Only thing not listed is the case as that is personal preference.

PSU:TT 700W. will prvide plenty of power, will be reliable, and not to mention its modular to help keep case clutter down. plus itll take anything you throw at it with 4 +12V rails at 18A each.

MB: its good, highly overclockable and works great with that memory out of the box (itll boot and run fine out of the box but just add +.3V in bios once booted.)

CPU: AWESOME cant say much more its just that good.

Video card: will be great and is basically just an underclocked x1900XTX as far as i know plus itll hold you over for atleast a year when you can get a DX10 card.

HDD: seagate 320 w/PRT all the way. provides good access times and good throughput. wont see a huge jump going to the raptor and is the extra 2 seconds when booting windows worth the extra $100 for the raptor?

Memory: its good stuff. will OC your CPU just fine (most likely youll be able to max it out but dont quote me on that.)

finally the monitor: its a good buy for a 19" 5ms respnse DVI input. looks like a winner but then i dont have nay experience with it so dont quote me on that either.

oh yeah if an x1950XT or XTX comes out at a good price before you buy id go with that over the 1900XT. good luck man and let me know what you think.
September 11, 2006 11:10:57 PM

Quote:
https://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/WishList/TemporaryWishList.asp?BundleExist=N

That would be my suggestion. Only thing not listed is the case as that is personal preference.

PSU:TT 700W. will prvide plenty of power, will be reliable, and not to mention its modular to help keep case clutter down. plus itll take anything you throw at it with 4 +12V rails at 18A each.

MB: its good, highly overclockable and works great with that memory out of the box (itll boot and run fine out of the box but just add +.3V in bios once booted.)

CPU: AWESOME cant say much more its just that good.

Video card: will be great and is basically just an underclocked x1900XTX as far as i know plus itll hold you over for atleast a year when you can get a DX10 card.

HDD: seagate 320 w/PRT all the way. provides good access times and good throughput. wont see a huge jump going to the raptor and is the extra 2 seconds when booting windows worth the extra $100 for the raptor?

Memory: its good stuff. will OC your CPU just fine (most likely youll be able to max it out but dont quote me on that.)

finally the monitor: its a good buy for a 19" 5ms respnse DVI input. looks like a winner but then i dont have nay experience with it so dont quote me on that either.

oh yeah if an x1950XT or XTX comes out at a good price before you buy id go with that over the 1900XT. good luck man and let me know what you think.


Great info, will review it in depth later tonight...but I dont think your wishlist link is working!
September 11, 2006 11:37:17 PM

seems to be working for me but here is the page copy and pasted.

Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price

Update
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DQ6 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-965P-DQ6
Item #: N82E16813128323
** This item may only be returned for a replacement of the same make/model within 30 days only. what's this?
In Stock
$239.99 -$20.00 Instant $219.99

Update
HIS Hightech H190XT256DVN-R Radeon X1900XT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 CrossFire Video Card - Retail
Model #: H190XT256DVN-R
Item #: N82E16814161027

In Stock
$299.99 $299.99

Update
Thermaltake W0106RU Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version 700W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: W0106RU
Item #: N82E16817153039

In Stock
$165.99 $165.99

Update
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E6600
Item #: N82E16819115003
** This item is warranted through the product manufacturer only. what's this?
In Stock
$339.00 $339.00

Update
Patriot 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Unbuffered Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model PDC22G6400LLK - Retail
Model #: PDC22G6400LLK
Item #: N82E16820220144

In Stock
$299.99 $299.99

Update
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: ST3320620AS
Item #: N82E16822148140

In Stock
$94.99 $94.99

Update
Acer AL1916WAbd Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
Model #: ET.1916B.WDA
Item #: N82E16824009091
** This item is warranted through the product manufacturer only. what's this?
** Dead Pixels Policy: Replacement or Refund for 8 or more dead pixels only.
In Stock
a c 90 B Homebuilt system
September 12, 2006 4:58:02 AM

Quote:
Aight, so the board I selected can in fact handle the Nvidia or the Radeon, correct? SLI - I've written that off as an option as when it's needed, the dual-gpu graphics cards will be commonplace.

The Memory you mentioned, the DDR2 800, any specific brands or links? Thanks for the input...chomping at the bit to get started...

Any recommendations on a 20 or 19" Gaming monitor? 2-400 dollars? Heh, I feel like it's Christmas...
Your motherboard choice can handle nVidia (single slot) or ATI in Crossfire mode (2 slots).
As you get closer to ordering be sure to check the price difference between X1950 XTX and X1950 Crossfire Edition models. Go with the Crossfire Edition if the price is fairly close even if you get the single card.

Either of these choices will keep RAM from being the limiting factor when you go to overclock.
G.SKILL 2GB (PC2 6400) F2-6400CL4D-2GBPK $280
GeIL 2GB (PC2 6400) GX22GB6400UDC $275

Monitor choices include 19"(12x10) / 20"(16x12) and widescreen 19"(1440x900)/20"(1600x1050) options in your price range.
I use a Dell 2007FP and Im really happy with it. The best feature is the USP ports on the monitor itself. It has a 16MS response time that is fine for what I do (gaming in flight and racing sims) but maybe not fast enough for "twitch shooters" like those you have on your games list.

Monitors:
ViewSonic VX2025WM 20" 1680x1050 $329
SAMSUNG 940B-SV Silver 19" 1280x1024 $279
My recommendation would be pairing the 19" monitor with a 7900GT or 1900 XT
For the 20" monitor get the 7900GTX or 1900XTX (or 1950 CE if close in price and if its available)
The 19" combo will have the same (or better) FPS playability as the 20" combo.

Quote:

With the goals of eventual upgradebility, top-end current performance, and eventual CPU overclocking, how does this system look? Changes or ideas or improvements? Will this rig run current and short-to-mid future games at top resolutions and framerates? Any additions you can recommend? Sound card, speakers ETC? Thanks again!
upgradebility = excellent
top-end current performance = very good (only X6800/E6700 with SLI or Crossfire will out perform)
"Will this rig run current and short-to-mid future games at top resolutions and framerates?" No - again that is the province of X6800/E6700 with 7900GTX SLI or 1900XTX Crossfire at resolutions above 16x12. But the E6600 1950XTX or 7900GTX comes within 10%-20 +/- for a lot less money. The 19" combo @ 12x10 will come close to matching the FPS playability of the X6800 7900GTX SLI @ 19x16 with only a marginal lowering of graphics quality.
Bang for Buck favors the 19" combo. While FPS performances above 50 can be measured a person playing the game will not be able to notice any differences between 50Fps, 75Fps or 100Fps.

Sound card and speakers. For your nephews situation. Is there a sister/brother (or nephews family members) to consider if you get him a 300w gaming speaker system? They may prefer you not shake the house down. Slightly off topic, but besides the nephew getting the new PC are there brothers/sisters of his? and are you taking care of them too? No answer required but my sister would nag me if I didnt raise that possible issue.

If the speakers won't be an issue any mid-range sound card and 5.1 speaker system will do for gaming. The sound card will actually off-load some work from the CPU as opposed to using the motherboard 7.1 sound chip. In any case a decent headset (headphones & microphone) is a great addition to any gamers system.

My personal preference is to not stint on input devices. Keyboard, mouse, gamepad are every bit as important as the actual computer hardware IMO.
I'd even go so far as to suggest backing off a bit on spending for hardware to add a little zip to the whole system with things like case lights and case decals and gaming input devices.
Saitek 2500 Rumble Pad $30
Saitek Pro Gamer Command Game Pad $40
September 14, 2006 5:00:17 AM

Still researching LCDs... Would like a widescreen LCD for myself, and a 19" for the Nephew...what sites allow you to compare LCDs to each other? Offer good reviews and advice on good gaming LCDs? Thanks again!
!