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New Self built system- Feedback requested

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November 22, 2006 5:39:07 PM

Hi, I haven't built a computer for a few years now. I have a budget of $1000, and will be doing gaming mostly, with some video and image editing, and mp3 encoding. I want to overclock this system to ~3 GHz, using stock cooling. I'm trying to get the best value for my money, so if I'm buying faster RAM than I need if I only plan on overclocking to this level, etc, then please let me know. Here's the build:

1 Rosewill R5717-P SL 120mm Fan ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $24.99

1 COOLMAX V-400 ATX v2.01 400W Power Supply $9.99 (after rebate)

1 ABIT AB9 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard $124.99

1 eVGA 256-P2-N624-AR GeForce 7900GS 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 KO Video Card - Retail
$159.99 (after rebate)

1 Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6300 - Retail $180.00

1 CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 675 (PC2 5400) Dual Channel Kit $244.00 (after rebate)

1 NEC Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive $6.25

1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - $74.99

1 Microsoft S82-00032 Black USB + PS/2 Wired Standard Keyboard Mouse Included - OEM $26.99

1 LITE-ON 18X DVD±R Burner Black IDE Model LH-18A1P-186 - Retail $33.99

1 Samsung 19in Widescreen LCD monitor 920BW 4 ms Refresh Rate $129.99 after rebate, Black Friday Special

Total: $976.17
November 22, 2006 5:58:21 PM

i figure you have two choices when it comes to the psu you chose, 1. throw your computer off a clif into the sea. or, 2. get a better psu. I dont really trust cooler master to begin with, but if its 9.99 after rebate that thing cant be quality in anyway, shape or form. to get a quality psu your probably going to have to go over your $1000 budget, but its better to spend $70 now then lose $1000 later. (ie: 5 minutes after you power up) other then that you have a good system. im not sure your going to get to 3ghz on stock cooling though, maybe 2.5-ish max, the people who get to 3ghz on stock are using an E6600 or better, if you get better cooling you'll probably get to 3ghz though, something like a scythe infinity would work.

something like this should work.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103930
November 22, 2006 6:01:44 PM

I haven't done serious component shopping in awhile now. Who are some trusted PSU manufacturers? I thought Coolermaster was (it's originally $30, -$10 instant and $10 rebate), but obviously not.
Related resources
November 22, 2006 6:06:33 PM

antec, ocz, thermaltake, just to name a few.
November 22, 2006 6:20:15 PM

Well, if i was you I and I needed to stay within a $1000 budget; I would ditch a gig of that ram and get a better power supply and case. The case is obviously not as important as the power supply, but working with a $24 case is not fun. Going cheap on a power supply is a big no-no because it is the most important part of a system in my opinion.
November 22, 2006 6:54:02 PM

Thermaltake PSUs are just fine, less expensive and pretty stable, I've got the 430 W, but I'm not sure if it is enough for your GForce card. Intel's stock heatsink is terrible, don't use it at all, you won't overclock with that crap, anything else made of copper will be fine, and buy good thermal paste too. Don't cut on the memory, you'll regret later. CoolerMaster Centurion cases are sturdy inexpensive cases, just find sth on sale from a local shop, but without PSU. Seagate drive is good, where did u find it for 74?
November 22, 2006 6:59:59 PM

Quote:
Intel's stock heatsink is terrible, don't use it at all, you won't overclock with that crap.


wtf are you talking about?! intels stock cooler may not be the best, but its just fine for moderate oc's, even high ones if you know what your doing and have a decent mobo and ram.
November 22, 2006 7:19:24 PM

i agree on several points:

1) you need a reliable power supply costing at least $60 - $70

2) spend no less that $80 - $100 on a case. skimping here will cause headaches

3) go for a 6400 or 6600 $218 - $300. skinping on THIS, you'll wish you didn't in a month i promise.

4) 1 gig of ram is all thats needed. Crucial Technology Ballistix 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 $170

the 7900gs you have is a good price, so stick with it. The same goes for the mother board.

So:
Power supply: 70
Case: 100
Cpu: 308
Mb: 130
Ram: 170
Video card: 170
Hard drive: 80

Total: $1028

And you’ll only overspend by $28. I wouldn’t go any lower than this, I just built my last single core system just before the price drop this august. My only advice if you don’t upgrade anything else, go for the big ticket items NOW. Ram can always be added later.
November 22, 2006 7:29:21 PM

i agree with almost everthing you said.

1. if your going to get the E6400, just get an E6300 and oc it a little, like im going to do. (execpt for the "little" part) 2. while i like the Crucial Ballistix, there overpriced for a budget system, and it would be better to get a 1gb stick instead of 2 512's that way when you upgrade to 2gb you dont have to fill up all your ram slots.
November 22, 2006 8:42:10 PM

Wow, thanks for all the quick feedback, you guys are great.

I'll take the advice offered by pretty much everyone and spend more on the power supply and case. I did the power calculations, and they came in well under 400W, but it sounds like I may want to go with a quality 500W PSU.

The reason I picked 3 GHz for a goal is that I saw a thread here on the forums about a guy who did with with a 6300, stock cooling, and a $115 gigabyte board, the 965-S3 I think. I wanted potential for RAID in the future, and went for some higher quality caps for about $10 more. So I'm thinking 3GHz is possible. I wouldn't spend $40 extra for cooling it, I'd rather just spend the $40 on a 6400 and go that route.

miroslavhm-
Seagate drive was at Newegg

heyitsmorty-
That configuration sounds good, but leaves me monitor-less.

apt403-
I wouldn't mind just going for a gig stick and upgrading later, but how much performance would I lose by not doing dual channel?

For anyone-

I'm getting 2 impressions here, besides everything that was spelled out for me (like that PSU is crap, buy quality):
1) 2 GB of RAM is overkill for this machine. Is 1 stick of 1 GB better? Or would the RAM be the bottleneck if I manage to get my CPU up to 3 GHz?

2) 400W isn't enough power for the system. Is 500W closer to what I need?

Thanks a ton!
November 22, 2006 8:47:27 PM

Quote:
apt403-
I wouldn't mind just going for a gig stick and upgrading later, but how much performance would I lose by not doing dual channel?

1) 2 GB of RAM is overkill for this machine. Is 1 stick of 1 GB better? Or would the RAM be the bottleneck if I manage to get my CPU up to 3 GHz?

2) 400W isn't enough power for the system. Is 500W closer to what I need?


You lose about 10-15% on certain tasks if i remember correctly. 2gb isnt exactly "overkill" but until you upgrade to vista 1gb with be fine. Technically 400w is enough for your system, but the psu would be hurting to supply enough power.
November 22, 2006 9:13:06 PM

Cool thanks.

I've noticed lots of PSUs are coming with dual 12V rails. Is this mainly for SLI type setups, or is it useful for a more general system as well?
November 23, 2006 1:26:48 AM

Dual rails on 12v splits the power between motherboard/cpu and the rest of your computer, it was originally because of some rule that capped one rail to 24 amps or something stupid. Don't get me wrong, I like the concept, my psu has 4 rails.

If you look through the case/psu section you'll find some good recommendations and some bad imo.

I personally like: (1st choices) PC P&C, Tagen, FSP (Fortran), Seasonic, OCZ, Silverstone; Second choices Antec, Enermax, Thermaltake.
!