Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Core2 duo build suggestions and help? RAM concerns

Last response: in Systems
Share
September 9, 2006 10:37:09 PM

Hi, I was reading other people's builds, and saw lots of great suggestions, was hoping to get some for my build as well. Most of the parts aren't set in stone, so please feel free to comment. I haven't built a system in 6 years, and I'd say i'm only slightly above-average in terms of computer knowledge, so all comments and suggestions are welcome! Anyway:

Purpose of computer:
Gaming primarily, perhaps some light video editing

Price Range:
Looking at 1-3 steps below top of the line to avoid inflated prices. Budget is important, but I won't be too cheap :wink:

-Processor: Core 2 Duo E6600 (set in stone)
-Mobo: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3
-Vid Card: Radeon X1900 GT
-Case: Raidmax X1
-PSU:
Not sure
-RAM: Not quite sure, but looking at a variety of RAM. Would appreciate comments on RAM compatibility and the Mobo i'm looking at.
Hard Drive: I have a couple of old hard drives sitting around, I'll upgrade to SATA when I find a good deal
-Monitor: Whatever good deal I can find on various dealsites

Many of my decisions were based off of Anandtech's articles, and friend's recommendations.

Edited: Updated and deleted stuff answered by various posters
September 10, 2006 2:07:51 AM

I'm only going to cover some of your points Gomer as I'm not the best one on memory.

Vid cards. There can be differences between cards, but they all have to comply with a minimum spec for the type. Unfortunately for the buying public, it's not necessarily readily appararent when there is no difference between two cards by different manufacturers, and a given manufacturer can make the same card to different (all at least meeting the minimum) specs by doing factory overclocks or redesigning the card. For example eVGA make at least 4 versions of the 7900GT 256MB. They charge extra for the higher spec cards that were overcl;ocked by them. Sometimes though, when you are dealing with 2 manufacturers of teh same card there can be no difference but the price, packaging, extras (like cables) and sometimes color of the card.

Here is a review of the Connect3D X1900 GT and here is a comparison with the Sapphire card of the same make.

LCD monitors: You want at least 8ms response or faster, and you want it to have good color and a real black (some LCD/TFT don't do black terribly well). Sadly color and black are hard to judge over the internet. I own this one by ACER which is a 19" widescreen running in a native 1440x900. You may not want a widescreen (some game compatability issues there I'm looking at you CivCity Rome), but you do want one that will run natively in the resolution you want - unlike CRTs LCD/TFT doesn't look so hot when running outside of it's native mode. Old VGA connectors are fine, but DVL-I is the wave of the future. Yes, there are adaptors.
September 10, 2006 5:11:24 AM

Thanks Robo, the articles on the vid cards helped a lot. Concerning monitor, I caved and picked up this hanns-g monitor. Never heard of the brand, but the price was right, and commentors on newegg and fatwallet had pretty positive experiences. Hopefully the rebates work out.

An additional concern arose though. Would 450watts be enough juice for this proposed system? Or should I get the X1 without the PSU, and buy some other PSU?
Related resources
September 10, 2006 5:15:51 PM

Suggested Changes:

Power Supply: Antec NeoHE 500W <--- Active PFC, 18A on the 12V rails, modular cabling..... much better than the PSU that comes with your case.

Video Card: eVGA Geforce 7600GT <--- Grab one of these until DX 10 arrives, then get a high end card.

RAM: Corsair XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2-800 <---- Get this set form Corsair if you can afford it. If not, this 2GB OCZ Gold set should do fine.

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2.

Monitor: LG L1752TX

To your questions:

1. If the board really does ONLY support 1.8V ram, you're going to have a hard time finding ram for the board, at least any form a good manufacturer (btw, A-Data sucks). I would suggest switching to the Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3

2. SPD is present in most every ram stick. It's so common now that sites don't even obther listing it as a feature anymore.

3. In some cases, yes there are differences between brands of the same video card model. For Nvidia, the best manufacturers to look for products from are: BFG, XFX, and eVGA. For ATI cards, look for products directly from ATI, or from Sapphire.

4. In LCD monitors, look for the following characteristics: Pixel pitch (lower is better), Contrast Ratio (higher is better), response time (8ms or lower is good), and if you're really picky, look at the viewing angle (140 degrees horizonal and vertical is alright, the higher the better).
September 10, 2006 6:13:46 PM

I see you have two components set in stone. I felt the same way about my Asus P5B Deluxe/Wifi until....

Anyways, I am serious thinking about scrapping this board and either going Intel mobo or something else. Any joy I thought I was going to have with my e6600 was lost when my P5B turned out to be a hunk of junk.

Word of advice, Intel mobos only can use 1.8v memory...regardless of speed. I do believe the A-Date is 1.8v. But, if you decide in the future you'll need to oc you will have to buy a new mobo and new ram.

I can't give any advice on the graphics card because I don't do one lick of gaming....sorry.

You do need to buy the absolutely best monitor your money can afford. There is nothing worse than having a high powered system only to watch images on a low-mid range lcd or monitor. Don't cheat yourself. Be willing to spend at a minimum $500 for a good monitor with high contrast, tight dot pitch and a fast response rate. You'll thank me for this advice.

Good luck on your build and I hope the DP965LT doesn't turn out to be a piece of garbage like my P5B.
September 11, 2006 12:13:09 AM

Thanks for the advice all. I was thinking about the Geforce 7600GT, or even the 7900GT, but felt that the radeon x1900gt was a better bang for the buck. I'm not planning on blowing more cash on a high end vid card when DX10 arrives. Current cards will still function well, just not optimally, right?

As for the Intel board, is there anyone else with an intel board that can confirm that ONLY 1.8v RAM will work? RAM is really the largest concern I have right now with this system. Also, I don't plan to OC any parts... well, probably not :wink:
September 11, 2006 12:37:47 AM

im not sure about the 965 board, but my 975xbx is running 2gb patriot ddr800 @4-4-4-12 timings at 2.2 volts. So i dunno where the 1.8v limit is coming from.

Just curious, why is the 965 board set in stone?
September 11, 2006 1:10:08 AM

Agree with Prophecy as usual. Especially on the PSU...

I had a 450W PSU from RAIDMAX. Its horrible. The case was rather crappy too.
September 11, 2006 2:21:43 AM

Quote:
...
Newbie questions:
1. Intel suggests 1.8v and 5-5-5 RAM latency for my particular mobo, do I absolutely have to adhere to this?

The timing doesn't matter, but 1.8V is the accepted standard voltage for DDR2 RAM. If Intel doesn't provide an option in the BIOS to change that value, then you are stuck running your RAM at 1.8V. However, ALL DDR2 RAM should run at 1.8V (perhaps at slightly higher-than-advertised latencies), so if it doesn't work, just RMA it.
Quote:
2. Intel also suggests Serial Presence Detect to be present in the RAM. Looking at RAM specs, I haven't seen anything about SPD.

All DDR2 RAM has SPD, that's why nobody mentions it.

Here's some VERY solid memory that will work fine at a decent price (start w/1GB total, you can always add more later if you need it and when prices go down): Crucial 2x512MB DDR2-533 CL4 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
September 11, 2006 2:31:44 AM

Funny how nobody told you that you will have hard time attaching IDE drives to the board with 965 chipset unless it has additional IDE controller.
September 11, 2006 2:55:58 AM

good point.

be careful as many manufacturers advertise their memory at lower timings at non-standard voltages. Seems like a trend for higher clocked memory (800+)

so keep that in mind :wink:
September 11, 2006 3:35:36 PM

Thanks again for more information all. As for the 965LT, reason why it was in stone was because I thought I was getting it at a very very premium price. Checked froogle, turns out I wasn't =P. I'm considering the Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 as per prophecy's suggestion(more gigabyte specs).

I've always regarded crucial RAM highly, and since their website pretty much does the work for me in terms of what kind of RAM is compatible, that's what I used in the past. But I'm always open to less expensive, but just as high quality RAM.

The Raidmax X1 was spoken highly in this anandtech article. It IS a less-than top-of-the-line case. Anyway, the temp display's nice. So, everyone's suggesting getting a real PSU. Now the question is, what do I look for in a power supply? Other than wattage (I'm guessing I'd want 500+)
September 11, 2006 4:36:08 PM

What is wrong with A-Data? I have some 667MHz running at 850MHz without the need to up the voltage or anything and it works a treat. Cost me £72 for 2Gb including delivery from ebay!
September 11, 2006 5:02:55 PM

Quote:

The Raidmax X1 was spoken highly in this anandtech article. It IS a less-than top-of-the-line case. Anyway, the temp display's nice. So, everyone's suggesting getting a real PSU. Now the question is, what do I look for in a power supply? Other than wattage (I'm guessing I'd want 500+)


yeah you ought to get a psu separte from the case, what you need to look out for is the number of 12v rails (2 rails should be sufficent) and the number of amps on the 12v rails, seeing as most hardware nowadays uses the 12v rails you need to look for the amps on these rails. unbranded, no name psus usually show a high wattage but fall behind on the number of amps on the 12v rails, the bulk of the wattage is in the lower voltage rails(+3v and +5v).

i recomend the enermax liberty 500w or 650w enermax. or the ocz gamestream or modstream series. :D 
September 11, 2006 6:07:05 PM

Quote:
So, everyone's suggesting getting a real PSU. Now the question is, what do I look for in a power supply? Other than wattage (I'm guessing I'd want 500+)


My standard recommendation is the Seasonic S12 500 - 500w PSU. It's very quiet, reliable, and efficient as well. But it does cost $130 + $8 shipping. I have this PSU.

Less expensive recommendations are:

Antec NeoHE 500 ATX12V 500W - $99 + $8 shipping

ENERMAX Liberty ELT500AWT ATX12V 500W - $105 + Free Shipping - $15 mail in rebate

FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX500 - $85 + $6 shipping
September 11, 2006 11:21:53 PM

I built a system for my niece a couple of weeks ago using this Coolermaster Ceturion case and i wished i had gotten it for myself. Spacious, quiet, and looks good.
For my rig this is what i got Ultra and really love the power supply. The case is good but i prefer the coolermaster.
I have the Seagate 320GB HDD and it's pretty sweet for the price. Fast and Quiet.
September 22, 2006 3:03:56 AM

Quote:
I built a system for my niece a couple of weeks ago using this Coolermaster Ceturion case and i wished i had gotten it for myself. Spacious, quiet, and looks good.
For my rig this is what i got Ultra and really love the power supply. The case is good but i prefer the coolermaster.
I have the Seagate 320GB HDD and it's pretty sweet for the price. Fast and Quiet.


Sorry to dissapoint you but CoolerMaster Centurion is everything but spacious. I had troubles fitting 7800GTX and 7900GTX because it clashed with HDD. Also, full ATX board for that case is out of the question. It is a bitch to work with. Friend of mine threw it in a trashcan and got big tower Chieftec case. Now he can fit even 2x 7950GX2 in there without any thermal or space concerns.
September 22, 2006 10:57:50 AM

Sorry the CoolerMaster didn't work out for you. I haven't done many builds, so comparaitvely speaking with other cases I've used (mainly recycled Gateway and Dell cases), this case was spacious for me with a mATX mobo, Radeon 9800 Pro, and 1 HDD. I guess everything is relative. To the OP, you might want to disregard my case recommendation and look at other reccomendations.

Peace out!
!