Please help me do it right......

Hi there,

I'm not a hardware guru but a pretty advanced user and I'm currently in the market for a new system. After several years of AMD, I'm going with Intel C2D.

I'm planning on spending some good money and wanted to ask for help regarding my proposed setup and compatibility of its components, to make sure nothing represents a bottleneck to nothing ;-)

My goal is to run this machine on WinXP for a while before upgrading to Vista/DX10, so I guess I won't need the best video card right now, but anyways, here it goes:

Budget $3,000
Networking: Dual Integrated Gigabit LAN Adapters
Software: Windows XP Professional DSP
CD/DVD Drives: 16X DVD+R/RW-R/RW Dual Layer Drive
Keyboards / Mice / Input: Saitek Eclipse Blue Illuminated Gaming Keyboard
CD/DVD Drives: 52X32X52/16x CDRW/DVD Combo Drive
Keyboards / Mice / Input: Razer Copperhead High Precision Blue Gaming Mouse
Hard Disk Drives: 300GB RAID 0 Stripe (2 x 150GB SATA 10K)
Desktop Computers: Systemax ATX Blue/Silver Gaming Case
Memory: Corsair TwinX 2GB PC6400 DDR2 Memory
Power Supplies: OCZ GameXStream 700 Watt SLI Power Supply
Processors: Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.67GHz 4M Processor
Components: Sound Blaster X-Fi Sound Card
Video / Graphics Cards: GeForce 7950GT 512MB PCI-Express (2 DVI)
Desktop Computers: Systemax TigerShark Intel Dual Core Gaming PC
Motherboards: Asus P5N32-SLI Premium nForce 590 SLI Motherboard
Link (bare system before I made above additions)

I will be new to overclocking and will be very careful doing so. Is this Mobo/power supply sufficient enough to overclock and upgradable for Vista/DX10 and the higher voltage neccesary for DX10 video cards.

Please bear with me, I researched the forums and they have helped me greatly to put this system together, I just want to make sure this system is upgradeable within the next 12/24 months.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

15 answers Last reply
More about please right
  1. Looks like your set up is fine. Tigerdirect is a bit pricey though. If you don't mind doing a bit more research, I'd suggest getting your parts through Looks like it could save you quite a bit of cash. If you're determined to have it built for you, I'm gonna recommend Haven't personally oredered through them, but they have great prices. Was going to till my financial director (read wife) slashed my budget. Also had a client of mine who did purchase through them, and gave them a great review.

    They're currently offering the free Vista business upgrade when you order your PC with XP Pro. If you decide to check them out, do NOT use the custom configurator. It's more expensive that way. I found that the Gamer EX package was the cheapest route. Can configure it any way you want as well.
  2. Quote:
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.67GHz
    Graphics Card: GeForce 7950GT 512MB PCI-Express
    Motherboard: Asus P5N32-SLI Premium nForce 590 SLI Motherboard

    My recommendation would be to get the E6600 and save $200 vs E6700.
    Then use that $200 to upgrade the 7950GT to a 8800GTS.

    The nForce 590 Intel motherboards are not very good during overclocking. I'd recommend the EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboard instead - it's $80 more but easily worth that amount since you'll be able to better overclock your E6600 CPU.
    PSU is good to go for overclocking and DX-10 video cards.
  3. Thanks guys.

    I read somewhere that the 8800GTX (or is it GTS?) needs 26 volts?! Can that be correct? If so, would the 680i SLI be capable to run this card?

    Honestly, I've been thinking about going with a new DX10 card and the 680i mobo, should be worth the extra money. I'd still stick with the 6700 as I'm not an overclocking specialist ;-)

    Any thoughts?

  4. 8800GTX needs 28Amps of 12volt power. 450W PSU recommended.
    8800GTX needs 26Amps. 400W PSU recommended.
    Any PCI-E x16 motherboard with the right PSU can run either 8800 video card.
    The PSU you picked will work with either the 8800GTX or GTS. If you plan to use 2 video cards in SLI that PSU is good for 2 GTS but not 2 GTX (according to the 8800GTX Certified SLI-Ready Power Supplies list)

    Doing a light overclock is surprisingly easy. It only becomes difficult when you start in on heavy overclocking. You'll be able to send the E6600 to X6800 like speed (2.97Ghz) with almost no effort.
    That 680I motherboard should be able to easily hit 3.6Ghz and I've read that people have the E6600 hitting 4Ghz and above.
  5. oops, I must have confused amps with volts :oops:

    I don't think I'll run two video cards ever, most of my gaming is flight simulator, which doesn't take advantage of a 2nd card.

    Am I right in assuming the GTX is the faster of the two?

    Thanks again, you've been a great help.

  6. Pet peeve of mine, something else you should change. (though I doubt people on this forum would agree...)

    Either dump the AID0 idea, or at the very least, get a large harddrive for OS and backups. You can always install your games and OS swapfile on the AID0 setup, and WHEN the array gets lost, you won't have to reinstall windows. Frankly, I would dump one of the raptors, and get a nice 320GB+ drive instead of the second one. Install OS/games on the raptor, data files, etc on the large one. This way no AID driver to get corrupted, and everything is nice and safe.

    Ok, let the name calling begin....
  7. Not to 'fork' the thread, but if you are even slightly concerned about what PSU to pair with a high end $3,000 (apx) system, and want to use video cards that need a combined 26 A+, over 2 x 12 V rails at 18 A+ though usually, then check out:

    Enough people have been asking that I figure it is damn time the old hands stepped up to the challange and put an end to potential PSU 'problems' once and for all.

    Do consider the PSU will lose maybe 20% - 25% of its efficiency over 18 - 36+ months, so always give yourself breething room for upgrades and reduced output with age.
  8. You guys are awsome!! Here's the config, considering all of the above advice:

    CAS: RaidMax Smilodon Med-Tower 420W Case w/ Side-Panel Window
    CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6700 CPU @ 2.66GHz 1066FSB 2x2MB L2 Cache EM64T [+330]
    HDD: Extreme Performance (RAID-0) with 2 Identical Hard Drives [+18] (300GB (150GBx2) Gaming Western Digital Rapter 10,000RPM SATA150 16MB Cache WD1500ADFD [+418])
    HDD2: 250GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM Hard Drive -- Recommended [+82]
    KEYBOARD: Logitech Deluxe 104 PS/2 Keyboard (Black Color)
    MOUSE: Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse (BLACK COLOR)
    MOTHERBOARD: (Quad-Core Supports) Asus P5N32-E nForce 680i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1066 DDR2 Mainboard [+142]
    MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory [+180] (Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader [+45])
    OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition w/ Service Pack 2 & $49 Upgrade for Windows Vista™ Home Basic
    PRO_WIRING: Professional Wiring for All WIRINGs Inside The System Chasis with High Performance Thermal Compound on CPU [+19]
    POWERSUPPLY: **Recommended** Thermaltake ToughPower 750 Watt Power Supply - Quad SLI Ready [+180]
    SOUND: New! Creative Labs X-FI XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro 24-BIT PCI Sound Card [+135]
    SPEAKERS: (BLACK) Logitech X530 70Watts 5.1 Configuration Speaker System
    VIDEO: NEW!!! NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB 16X PCI Express Video Card [+426]

    BTW, I just read the mobo review of the seven P965 mobos. I'm just curious why the 680i over other boards? Is it just overclocking capability?

  9. Just wondering, but what site did you do your build through?

    And that's one hell of a machine to play flight sim on, unless your doing a lot of heavy work on it as well. Could be you just have money to burn... :)
  10. This last quote is from

    Now if only I know if there's really so much benefit from the 2 Raid0 Raptors? I've done some more reading and learned that data loss can be a problem.

    I did pick another HD for storage purposes but wonder if I went with some 7,200 rpm drives instead, would they represent a bottleneck to the rest of this config?

  11. I've tried telling people that you don't really need AID0, at least for normal or gaming systems. Programs that the average person uses simply don't access the harddrives enough to make AID0 worth it. Add in the risk of drive failure, and the near certainity of driver loss. It simply isn't worth it. If you were doing something that constantly accesses the harddrive, then yes it makes sense. But most of us don't run a large Database on our computer. And as much as people on these types of forum try to argue, a level for a comptuer game doesn't benefit as much from AID0 as some people believe. You are talking a couple hundred megs, difference of mere seconds.
  12. Fair enough. I think I'll go with 2 seperate 7,200 drives (no raid) then. That'll save me a few bucks.

  13. with the money you save on the HD's.. step up to the X6800... :) love it.. than setup the speed thing in the bios for it :) keep CPU temps WAY down when idle.. I run at like 25-27c idle on the cpu
  14. See this all the time - Makes me wonder sometimes:

    IMHO a Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic is heaps, the 'over AU $300' sound cards are just not adding that much overall value. - Yes even with the drive panel / front-access to ports.

    Real musicians don't use X-Fi cards anyway, so I doubt you'd get that much utility for such an expensive sound card.

    $25 mouse on a $3,000 PC just seams wrong to me:

    Why build a $3,000 system, and not use a good mouse (eg: Logitech MX510, MX518, G5, etc) ? - The plain optical Logitech compared to their G5 laser is a huge difference in user 'feel' and the mouse is something you'll be using to 'interact' with the PC heaps.
  15. I'll vouch for Raid 0 not being the best idea for reliability. If one HDD goes out, you lose everything. Unless of course, you back up! I had Raid 0 and felt it would never go out...Well, it DID! and I lost everything.

    As for having a place build your system FOR you, if you're really set on that, try You can pick out what you want and they charge 79 bucks for assembly and even slap a warranty on it...
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