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C2D Build: About to order my first ever build, advice please

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September 16, 2006 10:34:28 AM

All,

I would really appreciate your input on my final spec for my first build.

Intended Usage:
- 80% Heavy multitasking - Mail, browsing, downloading movies, playng music with Mediaplayer, decoding movies, online poker
- 20% Games - Warcraft, Flight sims, RTS

Other Info
- I will be using my existing Dell 20 inch LCD, running 1600x1200
- I will experiment with moderate overclocking, but this is my main system so I want a stable box that will run for 2-3 years
- I don't want the extra complexity of RAID
- I am not interested in SLI. I will buy the top of the line DX10 graphics card next year, the current choice is only a stop gap.
- Based on what I have heard above the minimal cpu impact I am going for on board sound rather than a separate card
- In future I see myself upgrading to quad core
- I will run XP 32 as my main OS, with Vista on its own partition until I am happy to move to Vista (late next year?). Will also have another OS partition on the main Harddrive for messing around with Linux

Questions
- What are your general thoughts?
- How does my memory choice look?
- Does my PSU look ok for the future? I would like a modular unit. I won't go SLI, but do see myself having Quad core and a beefy DX10 GPU, as well as 3+ SATA devices.
- Is there an ATI alternative to my graphics card choice, as I hear ATI is the way to go right now? Also I want to avoid reinstalling my OS if I move to an ATI DX10 card (I have hear that you should reinstall the OS if you are changing between ATI & Nvidia drivers)
- What's the view on my case? I want something with good cooling, quiet, space to move around in and good looking. Suggestions?

Spec
These parts are available in online & local stores (i live in Holland).

Processor - Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
Motherboard - P5W DH Deluxe (Intel 975X) (I changed this from a Gigabyte DQ6 after hearing about a lot of memory problems)
Cooler - Zalman CNPS 9500AT
Memory - 2GB - OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 Platinum Revision 2 CL 4-4-4-15
OR
2GB Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X 6400 DDR2, 2048MB CL5
Video - XFX GeForce 7600GT 256MB (will upgrade to DX 10 card(s) next year)
Hard Drive #1 - Western Digital Raptor WD1500AD) - (Windows XP, Vista, Linux, Games partitions)
Hard Drive #2 - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 - (another of these to be added later for backup)
Case - GigaByte 3D Aurora (I have been bouncing between a Coolermaster Mystique 631, a Coolermaster Praetorian and a Collermaster WaveMaster, now I have this choice)
PSU - OCZ Modstream 520W or Antec NEO 500W
Floppy/cardreader - Mitsumi 7in1 FDD+Cardreader
Optical - NEC AD-7173A DVD burner
September 16, 2006 1:11:46 PM

I believe the equivalent to the 7600GT for ATI would be the x1800GTO, you might want to look up the price/performance on that.

I'm using the modstream right now and I have no problems with it. The PSU looks gorgeous if you have a side window. I wish they had a 600W version but max is 520.
September 16, 2006 2:24:01 PM

For Intel, the CAS4 Corsair RAM won't help you that much. You can actually get by just fine with DDR2-667 RAM and save some money.

As the other poster suggested, like the ATI for your video card. The X1800GTO is a great card, or for $100 more ($230- use the money you saved on the RAM) get the X1900XT 256MB will which smoke that 7600GT completely.

You don't need an aftermarker CPU cooler. The stock cooler is more than acceptable.
Related resources
September 16, 2006 2:28:16 PM

Well since you dont want sli/crossfire why get a board with 2 pci-e cards? Your paying an extra 100bucks for sumthing you dont want. The DS3 would suffice for your needs. Also why the cpu cooler if you dont plan to oc?

Fot the mem thats some high performance stuff, which wont react its actual potential (800) if you dont oc.

That Cpu is a good choice
September 16, 2006 2:41:34 PM

I'll only hit a few areas-

Case - The Gigabyte 3D Aurora is awesome. Big, great airflow, excelletn retention of drives. I bought it for my C2D build and couldn't be more pleased.

Memory - I would still get the PC6400. Right now it's not a big advantage, but with Vista coming, who knows...

Board - Again, prepare for the future. Either SLI or Crossfire. Get a board that is future ready!

My Rig:
Core 2 Duo X6800 Conroe (Stock Clock for Now)
Intel D975XBXLRK
Thermaltake Big Typhoon HSF
2 GB Corsair Pro PC6400 4-4-4-15
74GB 10k Raptor
ATI X1900XTX
SB Audigy 2 ZS
NEC DVD OEM Burners (x2)
Ultra X-Finity 600w SLi Certified PS
Gigabyte 3D Aurora Case
September 16, 2006 3:01:32 PM

Quote:
Well since you dont want sli/crossfire why get a board with 2 pci-e cards? Your paying an extra 100bucks for sumthing you dont want. The DS3 would suffice for your needs. Also why the cpu cooler if you dont plan to oc?

Fot the mem thats some high performance stuff, which wont react its actual potential (800) if you dont oc.

That Cpu is a good choice


I agree with OCnewb. I think you're configuration is a little over the top. I suggest you select a different MB and skip the cpu cooler.
September 16, 2006 3:25:54 PM

Quote:
Memory - 2GB - OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 Platinum Revision 2 CL 4-4-4-15


I would stay away from OCZ with this motherboard. I have this board and I had some problems with my 2GB of OCZ, so I switched it to my Corsair XMS and no problems.
September 16, 2006 8:35:07 PM

havent i seen this thread before ?

http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...

anyway i guess its because you want to sum up your (almost) final build.

1.If you dont plan on sli or crossfire then dont gewt a board with 2 pciex6 slots, like OCnewb said. get the ds3 or if you want raid then (yes i know im contridicting what i said above but) get the ds4 (it has the ICH8R which means it has raid and JBOD).

2.get the corsair ram ifyou can, get it at 667mhz 4-4-4-12 and underclock it to ddr2 533 cas 3-3-3-8. (there shouldnt be any problems with corsair ram on gigabyte or asus motherboards)

3. if you do want an aftermarket cooler get the artci cooling freezer 7 pro, it should be cheaper than the zalman and it outperforms it.

4. yes like the others said have a look at the x1800 series or even the 7900 GS (i think it is a little more than the 7600gt but should perform better than a 7800gt or gtx, i think...)
!