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New to Building Own Computer

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November 27, 2006 8:30:35 PM

Hi an online friend directed me to this site to learn more about building my own computer, which I'm now interested in doing.

I've taken my computer apart before over the phone because my hard drive went bad and the company had me take a look at everything to figure that out, before they replaced it. There doesn't seem to be much to building one after you pick out all the hardware and make sure its compatible. Am I right?

My friend seemed to know a lot about this stuff, and said if they could get a new computer, they would go with a 680i mobo, E6600 cause they are a bit cheaper right now, 4gig ram, and 8800GTX. I was looking for opinions on what others thought about this spec or if something is better.

Altogether I want to pay only about 1500 dollars including everything. I also want the comp to last 3 or 4 yrs atleast. I just want to be able to play the occasional video game and watch movies and stuff like that. I'm into WorldofWarcraft right now. E6600 looks good for price and performance and I'd also like to get 4gig of ram too. Not sure on Video cards or mobos, still learning about them.

Basically I know this is a long post but any help or info you guys want to provide would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.

More about : building computer

November 28, 2006 1:21:14 AM

Quote:
Hi an online friend directed me to this site to learn more about building my own computer, which I'm now interested in doing.

I've taken my computer apart before over the phone because my hard drive went bad and the company had me take a look at everything to figure that out, before they replaced it. There doesn't seem to be much to building one after you pick out all the hardware and make sure its compatible. Am I right?

My friend seemed to know a lot about this stuff, and said if they could get a new computer, they would go with a 680i mobo, E6600 cause they are a bit cheaper right now, 4gig ram, and 8800GTX. I was looking for opinions on what others thought about this spec or if something is better.

Altogether I want to pay only about 1500 dollars including everything. I also want the comp to last 3 or 4 yrs atleast. I just want to be able to play the occasional video game and watch movies and stuff like that. I'm into WorldofWarcraft right now. E6600 looks good for price and performance and I'd also like to get 4gig of ram too. Not sure on Video cards or mobos, still learning about them.

Basically I know this is a long post but any help or info you guys want to provide would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.


Do you plan to overclock your computer? Do you want a monitor in that $1500? 4GB is way too much, 2GB is plenty.
November 28, 2006 3:40:28 AM

I'm fairly new here so take what I have to say with a grain of salt...there is NO WAY you can build that rig and only spend $1500.00. The 8800GTX ($650) is almost half your budget right there. Add in the cost of an E6600 ($300) and 4gig of RAM ($400) and you're already almost out of money. That's not including your case, power supply, motherboard, HD or anything else you'll need. Knocking it down to an E6400 ($200), an 8800GTS ($450) and 2gigs of RAM ($200) saves you about $500 and would probably get you under your $1500 limit. Check out these 2 guides:

http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.aspx?i=2839
http://www.sharkyextreme.com/guides/MVGSBG/article.php/...
Related resources
November 28, 2006 4:18:12 AM

Definitally agree with Pro.. go with 2gigs of RAM..

If 6months later you have Vista or some crap like that than you can always get 2 more sticks..

If you are just the occasional gamer.. nothing hardcore than the 8800 is just rediculous power you will never use.

Grab something like a 7900GT or GTO version.. they will do just fine for you :) 
November 28, 2006 5:48:28 AM

here's my input

for the RAM
WAY TO MUCH i have a 3200 dollar system i JUST built a week ago 8800GTX Core 2 E6600 680i motherboard etc(note that 3200 is everything including a monitor FEAR and nice keyboard/mouse)
currently no matter what i am doing i never go over 85% usage of that 2 gigz and 85% is with 50 background programs running and running an INTENSIVE data game like Flight sim X(FSX took up 15Gb's of my HD)

8800GTX is also overkill for what your doing, if you want DX10 compatability go for the GTS it is still more powerfull then a 7950GX2 so in escence you get AWESOME power and DX10 compatibility, should last for a while
November 28, 2006 6:02:50 AM

Again i have to agree with everyone else that 4gigs is pointless and that you are better off sticking with 2gigs for the moment than get two more later if you really need them for a cheaper price.

However i think if you can afford it than go with the 8800GTX, if you do want something cheaper however that supports DX10 then get the GTS but either way they are both good options, just depends on how much money you have :D 

I agree with you that the E6600 is the "sweet spot" at the moment with the main difference from the E6400 and E6300 is that it has 2mb of extra cache. You could also OC it alot aswell to get phenominal performance boost! :) 

For the other parts this is what i would also suggest you should atleast have a look at:

motherboard: asus P5W DH deluxe. This is a great board for OCing and anything else with everything you could possibly need for a MB. It aslo has the newer 975X chipset that works great with the E6600.

PSU: You will need around 700W. I would definately suggest either silverstone or thermaltake PSUs.
November 28, 2006 6:26:14 AM

Quote:

Do you plan to overclock your computer? Do you want a monitor in that $1500? 4GB is way too much, 2GB is plenty.


I don't plan on overclocking my comp, I wouldn't know how to do it, and it sounds like it is risky on the comp if you don't know what you're doing. I do agree 2gb ram is plenty now. I am looking to get a new monitor

You're right Pelican I can't spend 1500 dollars for all that stuff so I've been looking at different stuff.

I still want to stick with E6600 but the 8800 GTS looks good with price.
I am kind of hardcore gamer right now, got into WorldofWarcraft a lot. They're also coming out with an expansion soon. My current comp lags me too much while gaming and I don't do well for my party and stuff. But, I also want the comp I build to last for 3 to 5 years after I build it without having to upgrade it much.

Right now I'm kind of going through newegg looking at products. So far I've got this in my shopping cart, not buying yet but just getting as much together as I can.

There was a Bundle deal with a 680i motherboard and 8800gts video card

eVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail

eVGA 122-CK-NF68-AR Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$690 US dollars for both

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail $312

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4 - Retail $300

Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $58

Hard Drive isn't that important to me. I don't think I'll need a lot of space for media and stuff. I have 40gb now and it never fills up.

I think all this stuff is compatible. I know I need a psu with around 600 to 700 watts to run this.

Would 600watts work?
Is there a good 2gb of ram that is only $200 instead of $300?

So far this costs about 1350. I don't think I mind going a couple hundred over the 1500 dollars. If there is something better or about the same but a lot cheaper let me know and I'll look into it.

Also need to pick out a case, monitor, and a couple other things I'm looking at. Let me know what you guys think and thanks for all the help.

Just added PSU that looks good

Thermaltake W0106RU Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version 700W Power Supply - Retail $150
Getting kind of expensive though, so I don't know.
November 28, 2006 6:32:58 AM

PS. if you have an eVGA 8800GTS and decide to get a GTX or something better there is a step up program in witch you pay the difference in what you paid for your card and the card your going to usually 1-200 bucks or so
November 28, 2006 6:42:02 AM

Quote:
Again i have to agree with everyone else that 4gigs is pointless and that you are better off sticking with 2gigs for the moment than get two more later if you really need them for a cheaper price.

However i think if you can afford it than go with the 8800GTX, if you do want something cheaper however that supports DX10 then get the GTS but either way they are both good options, just depends on how much money you have :D 

I agree with you that the E6600 is the "sweet spot" at the moment with the main difference from the E6400 and E6300 is that it has 2mb of extra cache. You could also OC it alot aswell to get phenominal performance boost! :) 

For the other parts this is what i would also suggest you should atleast have a look at:

motherboard: asus P5W DH deluxe. This is a great board for OCing and anything else with everything you could possibly need for a MB. It aslo has the newer 975X chipset that works great with the E6600.

PSU: You will need around 700W. I would definately suggest either silverstone or thermaltake PSUs.


Thank I'll take a look at that motherboard. Motherboards seem to be pretty confusing cause they have so much going on. Hard to know whats best one to get.
November 28, 2006 7:16:35 AM

looks like youve got yourself a very nice build there
altho your going to be tipping over the budget with it if you want to go with a new monitor. but as far as they go you want to be looking at something like the Viewsonic VX922 19" LCD Monitor or the NEC MultiSync® LCD20WGX2 20.1" Widescreen LCD Monitor (i have the second one it is awesome) as far as the case is concerned i recently bought the new Akasa Zen which is an amazing case for its price havnt built into it yet so wouldnt be able to say whether or not the 8800 would fit in it (its longer than any other card) if you could build the monitor into a christmas present you would stay in budget.
November 28, 2006 7:33:13 AM

Seems like a nice build, but I still think I need a Disc Drive, Sound Card, Keyboard, Mouse, Case, and Windows and I don't know what else. I want to give my current computer to my Mom and little Brother to use. So I need everything. I have some more questions.

A case doesn't come with a Disc Drive right?
Do I need a sound card for the sound or can I just plug some speakers into the port on a motherboard and be good to go as long as I have proper drivers?

another question, a lot of these cases I'm looking at have different fans on them in different places, so How do I know there is enough fans for the hardware?

I'm thinking even though the 8800 is such a big card, that all this stuff will fit in an ATX midtower sized case. Not sure though.

I'm also thinking about changing motherboards from the 680i to

Intel BOXDP965LTCK Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

cause its about 150 dollars cheaper and it seems 680i is for overclocking, which I'm not interested in.
Let me know what you guys think about this spec.
November 28, 2006 8:50:15 AM

no the case does not come with disc drives a simple $30 DVD - RW will do you fine

for general use 2 fans are fine one at the front (intake) one at the Back (exhaust) all cases will support this as ATX standard anything extra should be a bonus

sound card, on board will do you for the time being if your trying to stick to budget other wise go with an X-fi if you can afford it

keyboard and mice are pretty much the same under $30 but above that your getting into the really nice area such as the G5 or the Habu actually MS recently re released the intellimouse which looks like a very nice mouse
key boards piss me off at the moment they all come with extra media buttons that are totally pointless imho look for something around $20 - $30 or if you want the G15 or saitek eclipse seems to be the gamer keyboard of choice at the moment, but personally i love my IBM Model M

as for the case size just read a few reviews and go with anything described as roomy or spacious alternativly Pick a case you like and give the vendor a call and ask whether it would specifically fit a 8800

dont know much about 775 mobos sorry i leave that for some one else
November 28, 2006 8:52:39 AM

You can use the onboard sound it works just fine. Its HD audio or somat and you really wouldnt notice that much of a difference with a sound card unless you got one of the more expensive ones.
November 28, 2006 11:08:36 AM

Thanks. This might sound weird, but I want to make sure I get a good mouse. Last 3 cheap ones I've gotten sucked really badly. I would buy a cheap rollerball mouse at walmart and it wouldn't roll diagonally properly and I recently bought a cheap optical mouse (hewlett pakard) and it seems to skip around the screen going the opposite way i'm trying to. And it does it way too frequently. These mouses cost like 10 bucks or less can't remember, but I'd like to get an optical wire mouse that doesn't break so easily or is so defective or whatever reason they don't work. A basic keyboard sounds good.

I'm looking at cases with no psu and have 2 fans in them at the moment, not many to choose from.
November 28, 2006 1:54:06 PM

Get the antec 900 its coool!! :D 
November 28, 2006 2:26:09 PM

Sounds like most people have done a good job answering your questions. The only other thing I might add/stress is... once you've decided on your components, come back to the forums and research them individually. Often you'll find that a particular video card doesn't work well in a particular case, or a particular power supply is weaker than expected, etc... .

My point is, there are often oddities that show up where you least expect it and this forum is great for picking out these issues.

Good luck with the build.
November 28, 2006 2:54:18 PM

One more thing to think about that most people seem to want to skimp on is the box. The case you choose now might be the case you use for years and years! Don't get a cheap case, but don't go crazy either. You want to make sure you have air flow! No you want lots of air flow! Get a large case! Lots of room so you can upgrade your system without cutting your hands to shreads! Trust me you will cut yourself inside your case! No point in buying a little case when you want to mod your rig 5 or 6 times a year. UNLESS you go to LAN Parties then you can go smaller.
November 28, 2006 3:29:24 PM

You'll need a long case especially with the 8800 series video card. They're long. I would do more research on cases if I were you particularily because of the card you have.
November 28, 2006 3:38:16 PM

Quote:

I am kind of hardcore gamer right now, got into WorldofWarcraft a lot. They're also coming out with an expansion soon. My current comp lags me too much while gaming and I don't do well for my party and stuff. But, I also want the comp I build to last for 3 to 5 years after I build it without having to upgrade it much.

If I had $1 for every 'lag in world of warcraft' email I read, I could buy that rig myself :)  Seriously, its not a gpu issue in any way.. the game is ram intensive especially around the busy city areas, and it gets worse if you have a stack full of mods. Dont know what youve got at the moment, but I bet you havent got 2gb of ram. Chances are, if you had your lag issues would end. And if you you have got a stack of mods, 2gb of ram with 512mb dedictated to addins will work wonders (check the addons section on the char selection screen).

Quote:
eVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail

eVGA 122-CK-NF68-AR Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$690 US dollars for both

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail $312

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4 - Retail $300

Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600JS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $58

Your build looks very good, but unless you plan to overclock it and get a second gpu at some point, its gonna be a massive waste of money (or, more specifically, a mass of silicon being under utilised).

With the gpu, Id actually get the 8800GTX (you say you a massive gamer; this component has the biggest impact on most games). It will not need uprgrading anytime in the next 3 years.

The 680i socket is very good; but its designed for a) overclocking b) sli (ie two gpu's). If these arent relevant, you are spending 2/3 times what you need to (go for the 965 chipset).

The C2D E6600 is my chip of choice at the moment. But it really comes into its own in multitasking other desktop apps. If you can afford it, get it. But if you want to save 30-40% your money downgrade it to the E6400 or even E6300; they will all perform really well for just games (knock the crap outta wow anyhow :wink: ) The choice here does not carry as much importance as the gpu (for gaming).

And your ram is overspecced. Again, great if your going to overclock; but if your just going to rn it at stock speeds it wont be used. 533htz will perform well.

And as for hard disk space, I always look at the cost per gigabit. If its only going to save you $5/10, why on earth would you not go for a 250 / 300gb HD? Crazy. At that cost, better to have it and not need it than vica versa.

Quote:
I think all this stuff is compatible. I know I need a psu with around 600 to 700 watts to run this.

Oh really? What are you, a psychic wattage tester???

Seriously though, (& I havent tested it), but Im guessing 500w is going to be ample. Maybe 550w on the safeside. Obviously throw in another gpu.. then 650w/700w is a requirement. And for brands, personally I stick to Enermax, Seasonic & Antec.

Test your final requirement here http://www.extreme.outervision.com/index.jsp.

So, if you want to bring the brice of this baby down without seriously impacting gaming performance / future-proofing;

E6300 / E6400 / E6600
Asus P5B Skt 775 Intel P965 or other P965 board
2gb 533 / PC4200 ram
8800 GTX / GTS
550w PSU

With these changes, Im guessing you may just squeeze in the monitor. Either way, TBC will be pwned with that rig :wink:
November 28, 2006 9:22:34 PM

Thanks, I've kind of noticed this is costing a lot of money and have been switching things in and out on my spec to make it cheaper and so I don't under utilize the hardware. Thanks for help on memory wasn't sure what 800 or 533 was good for.

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model VS2GBKIT533D2 - Retail

Intel BOXDP965LTCK Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

eVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail

Thermaltake Purepower W0129RU ATX12V 600 W Power Supply - Retail
was same price as a 550w

I'm looking at cases, this is the one that I'm thinking of getting

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

but someone mentioned not getting a cheap case so i can use it again and again, this one is $50 so not sure if I'm going to get it or not.

I'm at $1250 with everything on list and already got keyboard and mouse. I just need a monitor, cd drive, and case, and I should be good to go. Thanks for all the help so far, I'm learning a lot. Going to go look for other stuff now.
November 28, 2006 11:09:06 PM

Sounds good to me.

If you find your budget getting streched and you cant afford it, the first thing I'd pull back on is the cpu (especially if you would define its main use to be a gaming rig).

To understand why, take a look at the following;

CPU Comparison

This shows that running FEAR 1280 x 920, the minimum fps (frames per second) drops by a modest total of 9. And both processors are now performing at a better than human-eye speed (about 30).

Now look at the impact of your chosen gpu;

GPU Comparison

You gpu is waaaay off the scale. It will power through today's games without flinching. The principle of dx10 (once Vista arrives) is that the gpu will take grunt away from the cpu.. and whatever one you choose your not going to be dissappointed.

So, as I said earlier, if you can afford the E6600; or have some other processor hungry applications in mind (video editing, media file conversion, etc) then do it. But dont scrimp on other areas- especially the monitor. Why have a cracking rig and view the output through something cheap & nasty?
November 28, 2006 11:26:22 PM

Rereading your original post, if you wont play anything other than wow on your computer for the next year or so, I would take the advice given by k2gremlin.

Quote:

If you are just the occasional gamer.. nothing hardcore than the 8800 is just rediculous power you will never use.

Grab something like a 7900GT or GTO version.. they will do just fine for you :) 

You can pick one of these up for less than a third of the cost of the 8800; and maybe upgrade a year down the line once prices have normalised.

Then again, if it was me, it would be 8800 all the way 8)

And as a final note; dont forget to get some good quality thermal paste.. arctic silver will do nicely :wink:
November 29, 2006 12:43:53 AM

I heard good things about the Centurion case (despite the price) but I'd check to make sure an 8800 will fit in it.

I my opinion, if you are just looking to play WoW (like me) I think what you are buying is overkill. I'm currently playing with a P4 2.3 with 1gig of RAM and a 7600 GS AGP and I get no lag. I doubt the expansion is going to be much more taxing on your system. In my experience, MMORPGs need RAM more than anything. I'm in a similar position as you and in the process of building my first computer and this forum has been great for info.

The way I look at it, I'd buy the best possible processor you can afford since that is the hardest part to replace and just get 1gig of RAM and a "last" generation card (7800 or X1900) right now. Spend the funds on a great monitor and just buy 1 more gig of RAM (when the prices go down) and a midrange 8600 series card when they come out (and prices go down).
November 29, 2006 1:20:14 AM

The thing with the expansion is it will be 1gig ram recommended to run, just to let you know.

I have the money to spend, but I was also just kind of thinking of the future and not having to upgrade or change anything for a few years, but maybe its cheaper to get cheap stuff now and upgrade later when stuff gets cheaper?

I do plan on getting a good monitor someone posted ViewSonic VX922 Black/Silver 19" 2ms LCD Monitor - Retail earlier as a good monitor to get. Thats $270.

I am just looking at the monitors and learn the settings to make sure it will be able to display the graphics fully on it. Cause there's no point in having a good video card with a monitor that doesn't fully display the graphics properly, right?
November 29, 2006 1:20:42 AM

In all hoensty, buying a 8800 series video card to play WoW is the biggest waste I have ever seen. You should be fine with a 7900 GS video card and still be able to play on max settings.
November 29, 2006 1:30:22 AM

Quote:

And as a final note; dont forget to get some good quality thermal paste.. arctic silver will do nicely :wink:


Could you tell me what thermal paste is for and what it does? Is it necessary?
November 29, 2006 5:41:50 AM

Nice build, you wont regret getting the 8800, getting a DX9 card now just to upgrade later is pointless if you can afford it.
November 29, 2006 8:13:11 AM

Quote:
Could you tell me what thermal paste is for and what it does? Is it necessary?

A thermal compound that is put between the cpu and the heatsink (the part that cools the cpu) is a necessity. This is a material that conducts heat away from the cpu and onto the heatsink, keeping your processor running cool (and hopefully prolonging its life).

You will be supplied with some in with the cpu. However, it may be a pad (which are horrible); and the quality may not be particularly good.

This is arguably the best thermal compound; a tube of it will probably last a lifetime (for each cpu, you only use quantity equal to a grain of rice). Arctic Silver

It can also be very handy having this stuff lying around; just in case you end up mounting the heatsink more than once; thermal paste remover

Oh, you're right about TBC. Really, wow should have a recommended of 1gb RAM before the expansion- but they probably wouldn't have shifted quite so many boxes initially if they said that 2 years ago :wink:
November 29, 2006 8:03:19 PM

Ok, I'm going to get some of that, does that mean I don't need to use the pad that probably comes with the chip?

I've got almost everything picked out

eVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail

Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2B 1 Pack - OEM

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 - Retail

Intel BOXDP965LTCK Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory Model VS2GBKIT533D2 - Retail

Thermaltake Purepower W0129RU ATX12V 600 W Power Supply - Retail

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

MadDog 16X DVD±R DVD Burner With 5X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE Model MD-16X3DVD9-8X - OEM

Logitech S-100 BLK 5 Watts RMS 2.0 Speaker - OEM

Already got keyboard and mouse.

Alls that is left is getting monitor and I can't seem to figure out what monitor would be good with the build I'm using.

Kind of looking at this one for 200 dollars, but I don't seem to know much about monitors and how they work.

ViewSonic Q19wb Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD - Retail

I'm also thinking 200 to 300 dollars gets a good monitor right?
Also if something isn't compatible, could you let me know? I think its all compatible, but new to this so could have made mistake.
November 29, 2006 8:12:06 PM

yeah you gotta wipe of the pad that comes on it with a tissue and clean it with some colourless wiping alchohol. Or you could buy the arcti clean fancy stuff that "emulsifies" the little droplets on the HSF to give you a perfectly clean surface.
November 29, 2006 8:31:26 PM

Yea.. if the pad comes connected (doesnt always) you gotta get it off 1st (and clean it up). Pretty easy to do..

Sweet; sounds like your all sorted. I cant help with $ prices because im UK based- but Ive heard good things about that monitor; and 19" is a good size. Besides, doesnt everyone in the US use newegg? :wink:

One final piece of advice (you wont take it, but here goes anyways). Take a couple of days to think things over again.. read up on some of your parts choices / issues people may have had on similar rigs. Taking a couple of days to cool on your decisions can be a wise move. After all, your going to live with this baby for 2/3/4 years.

For a gaming rig, Id still take down the processor a level and get the GTX; and Ive heard mixed things about that P965... but Im picking holes here- it looks a good setup dude :) 

Let us know how you get on either way.
November 29, 2006 8:47:07 PM

Quote:
Ok, I'm going to get some of that, does that mean I don't need to use the pad that probably comes with the chip?

Yes, either you use the pad on the heat sink that comes with the retail CPU package or you use arctic silver or some other compound.

Definitely do not use both together. I believe that is supposed to give worse results that just using the pad.

Before you jump for using arctic silver I'd suggest you read up on it a bit more on their website. In particular, read through the install instructions for arctic silver so that you understand just what you'd be buying into!

The difference between the pad that comes with the stock heat sink and an after-market compound like arctic silver is only the difference between adequate and better. The pad will suffice (unless you are doing some serious overclocking) since that is what Intel spec'd it to do. Arctic silver is just supposed to result in a more effective thermal transfer from the processor to the heat sink. But I don't believe the difference is jaw dropping. With AS5 the CPU is supposed to be something on the order a few degrees C cooler than with the stock heat sink pad.

-john
November 29, 2006 8:59:18 PM

I cannot disagree with any of the above. Everything is true, accurate and an equally valid opinion. From memory, I read that it can help reduce cpu temps by 3-5 degrees- which only really becomes important in overclocking.

However, the only thing I would add it that changing the pad is very, very simple (Im not sure what you mean by 'buying into'.. were not talking about open-heart surgery here :roll: ). And your spending $1500 on a rig; spending another $6 to improve the heat dissapation of the cpu seems like a no-brainer.

But yes, lots of people build rigs with the stock compound. I just dont understand why.
November 29, 2006 9:26:14 PM

In the spirit of "you're going to be living with this for a few years", I figured I should point out that the LCD monitor you've chosen, ViewSonic Q19wb Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD, does not allow you to connect via DVI.

Currently there are primarily two ways (that I know of) to connect your monitor to your video card. One is the analog VGA D-sub connector which has been around since IBM introduced it back in the late 80's IIRC. The other is a purely digital interface called DVI.

With the VGA interface the video signal is converted from digital to analog when it leaves the video card. It is then converted from analog back to digital by the monitor. In other words, with VGA you make the signal jump through hoops for no particularly good reason other than you got locked into using VGA when you decided which monitor to get.

With VGA there is a little signal degradation as a result of the conversions from digital to analog and back again. I suppose you probably wouldn't notice a visible difference from this, so perhaps it doesn't matter. But the video card you picked does have 2 DVI connectors on it, not VGA. The card will also include two DVI to VGA adapters so you can still use that video card with a VGA only monitor.

One other point about this. If you do decide to get a different monitor that comes with a DVI connector, also check to see if a DVI cable is included with the monitor. It can cost anywhere from $10-$20 to purchase a DVI cable separately so, IMO, you want to avoid doing that if you decide to go with DVI.

-john
November 29, 2006 9:37:14 PM

Quote:
(Im not sure what you mean by 'buying into'.. were not talking about open-heart surgery here :roll: ).

No, we're not. But the install process for Arctic Silver is a tad more involved than using the pad. Figured it was better if he read about it and understood what would be involved before he purchased.

BTW, I'm surprised you didn't mention what I think is the biggest negative about going with the pad. I understand from what I've read that on first use it melts creating a sticky mess that binds to both the heat sink and the processor. So once you've used it, it can be a much bigger pain to clean up than if you never used it at all. Yes? No?

-john
November 29, 2006 10:27:09 PM

That's how pads work, they're a solid and then when you boot up the first time the pad melts because of all the thermal energy being passed through it, binding together the heatsink and CPU. It is messier than dealing with an unmelted pad, and if you take the HSF off the CPU after it melts you shouldn't put it back, you should completly clean it and go with a thermal compound like Arctic Silver.

About cooling, to the OP, when you build you have a great deal of ability to adjust the thermal properties of the system. If you were to add in a few case fans you might be able to drop your case temp by a few degrees, but you would probably create more noise than anything. Despite the amount of power contained in a build like this, still getting a quiet result is the best situation. As such, nice PSU.
November 29, 2006 11:38:54 PM

Quote:

No, we're not. But the install process for Arctic Silver is a tad more involved than using the pad. Figured it was better if he read about it and understood what would be involved before he purchased.

Im in all in favour of people doing more research. Ive known too many people that have just jumped straight in at the deep end.. so fair play to you.

Quote:

BTW, I'm surprised you didn't mention what I think is the biggest negative about going with the pad. I understand from what I've read that on first use it melts creating a sticky mess that binds to both the heat sink and the processor. So once you've used it, it can be a much bigger pain to clean up than if you never used it at all. Yes? No?

To be honest, I havent had to clean a padded one up for so long I'd forgotten (I used a pad on my 1st build many moons ago). Its why I bought the cleaner & purifier in the first place :D 

Nice spot on the monitor zjohnr.
November 30, 2006 3:00:16 AM

Quote:
Nice spot on the monitor zjohnr.

Thanks, but not really. I just bought a 19" Samsung 941BW to "augment" my IBM G96 CRT which I got back in 2000. (At least I think that's when I got it :?). So the current offerings of lower priced 19" LCD monitors have been tossing and turning in my mind for a week or two now.

I actually didn't do much research except for hunting around for a price. So I'm not sure if this is a good monitor to recommend to our OP. I'm very happy with it, but of course you have to factor in what I was used to before. :oops:  It does come with a DVI connector and both a DVI and VGA cable. One of the reasons why I bought it. :wink:

In case anyone is interested in taking a closer look at the offer, here's a link. I believe the Samsung 941BW is still available from Buy.com for a net price of $165 and change shipped after combining Google checkout with a rebate. The rebate actually appears to be good through 12/3, not 11/30 as it says in the buy.com description.

I think there is some "clearance" of the 19" LCDs going on at the moment, so there might be even better prices just ahead. I was just sick of waiting so I jumped on this one now.

-john, the redundant legacy dinosaur
November 30, 2006 3:49:28 AM

Thanks for all the info. I'm a little hesitant about taking a chance on cleaning off the pad wrong and screwing up the chip or heatsink, since I've never heard of this before. If the pad will work and the comp will still run well, that should be enough. I don't plan on overclocking and my case has 2 fans, front and back, and it looks like I'm getting a fan with the video card and chip, so that should be enough fans for keeping the temp down right? I tried to get stuff that customer reviews said were quiet too.

I know I should probably wait a little bit about this decision, but the idea of putting a comp together thats much better than you can buy for cheaper is exciting. I think the building something I'm going to use a lot is whats actually exciting. Also I'm saving $100 dollars or more with all the discounts on these items and the discounts end Nov 30 or Dec 1st. So I don't know.

DVI sounds like the future for monitors so I'll look for one like that. The samsung monitor looks good btw too.
November 30, 2006 5:58:35 AM

If your not over clocking, then all the stock cooling fans will work fine. However, they may also make a little more noise than a specialist fan; but thats something you can look at once youve finished your build.

I got the Samsung 913N- a older bro of the 941. and its a cracking monitor. The only thing wrong with all Samsung displays is out of the box they turn all the dials right up, so the first thing you see is a screen that almost scorches your retina 8O . Couple of buttons twiddled and your left with a very nice picture indeed.

See zjohnr, I knew you'd put him off using a proper thermal compound :roll:

Ah well, its your first build- I used a pad on my first one too. As zjohnr pointed out, if you ever have to remove the pad from the chip you wont be using a pad again :D 

And you'll be very happy with the end product Im sure. So, you cant be patient in ordering (I knew that too, jes Im smart :lol:  )- then at least find a decent 'how to build a pc' thread / guide. There is someone on these forums who has an excellent one on their signature.

And another tip- download the motherboard manual from Intel's website- that way you can be reading up on what everything does before you get it.

Anyways, dont forget to keep us posted- I feel excited for ya :lol: 
November 30, 2006 4:19:02 PM

i was just browsing this thread and i am in the process of building my own comp too but now i just read about the thermal paste compound and was wondering if i should get it as i'm not sure if i'll be ocing (like 50/50) since i'm a first time builder too...would you recommend that i use it or just stick w/ factory stuff for first time? Thx
November 30, 2006 4:31:39 PM

I would get the compound. Its much easier to deal with, and frightening simple to apply. You squeeze a grain of rice sized quantity onto the centre of the processor. If it had a pad attached, you remove it and clean it (and if you can afford the $6- use the AS cleaner & purifier linked above). I cant stress enough, if you are able to install components on a mobo I really dont see how you would not be able to perform this task.

As for its effectiveness- we will soon find out .
November 30, 2006 6:35:59 PM

Based in the UK, so I know nothing about compusa.. but $12 seems steep when its only $6 on newegg. However, the applicator & label looks exactly the same as resular artic silver to me.. just packaged for compusa I guess.

Never heard of the other one.
November 30, 2006 6:51:54 PM

Yea it's like 2-3 dollars more expensive in the store but lol i can't wait for it to ship to me as i was planning to build it tonight hehe....now also...does applying the thermal paste mean that i have to maintain it by reapplying it every couple of months? sorry still new to this process...
November 30, 2006 7:06:59 PM

Quote:
does applying the thermal paste mean that i have to maintain it by reapplying it every couple of months? sorry still new to this process...

No. If you apply it correctly, the thermal gunk shouldn't be disturbed until the next time you remove the heat sink from the processor.

Please go read the install instructions for arctic silver. Seriously! It should answer a lot of the questions you may have and perhaps a few others that you have not thought to ask. (And if you're using a compound other than AS5, check and see if its install instructions differ in any significant way from AS5).

It makes no sense to use an after-market thermal compound and then just "slap it on" in a way that won't let it work to its full potential.

-john
November 30, 2006 9:49:51 PM

hey, yea i read it but just wanted to ask questions just in case.

Now the installation guide says to put a thin line...is that thin line the size of the grain of rice?

Do i apply the arctic silver w/ the cpu on the mobo or place it on an anti-static bag and apply it?

Also is 70% isopropyl alcohol enought to clean the hsf or should i look for something w/ 99%? Sorry i'm a newb :'( . Thx

I hope i'm not bothering you guys w/ these dumb questions.
November 30, 2006 10:40:18 PM

Well, as you have been advised, the manufacturers instructions are your best reference point.. but this is how I would perform it.

Clean the heatsink 1st. Let it completely dry (give it at least 30 mins or so.. and no fingers on the clean area after youve cleaned it.. you dont want to be applying any grease from your fingers).

Mount the cpu on the motherboard & lock it down (I always do this using something to hold the cpu with other than my hands.. a new / clean plastic bag should do the job, for example). Then carefully apply the paste to the centre of the cpu (a grain of rice is best estimate of what you'll need). Then spead it evenly around just the centre of the cpu (dont go near the edges).

Now mount the heatsink on the cpu. What I have done in the past is to then carefully unmount the heatsink. Take a look at how much of the cpu surface area the paste has covered. You may need a tiny bit more.. but dont overdo it (it should have splodged to cover roughly the same area the thermal pad would).

This shouldnt happen if you followed the above- but if you happen to get any on the motherboard.. dont panic (you dont want to if you can avoid it, but its not the end of the world). The board circuitry directly around the cpu on the motherboard is usually very well insulated. Just take care to wipe the remaining off with a lint free cloth- or a substitute.

Now youve got me on the isopropyl alcohol; I shouldnt have skipped chemistry so much at school (prob why I stick to the arctic silver cleaning product). I do know you are suppossed to use high quality; 70% seems high to me. And Im assuming that water is the remaining 30%. Providing you have allowed the surface area to completely dry- you wont have a problem.

All this is in such detail your probably thinking its harder than it is (it really isnt). But, if you ever decide to get a new hsf- youve got a much messier job getting rid of an old pad- and then you'll usually have to use thermal paste anyhow ;) 
November 30, 2006 11:09:20 PM

I have just ordered almost the same system from newegg. Tried to use the combo's as much as possible.

EVGA 122-CK-NF68-AR Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 680i
eVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz
COOLER MASTER RS-600-ASAA ATX PSU
COOLER MASTER Ammo 533 - case
2 x Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM
ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink


I need memory and dvd drives.
Im thinking that this would be good. Any thoughts?
December 1, 2006 12:29:50 AM

Did the order, hopefully everything goes well. I'll let you guys know how it goes. Thanks for all the help.
!