A first timer looking for some advice

Hey guys like the title implies I am looking to build my first computer, like most of the other new build posts I have had limited hardware experience and just wanted to make sure my money was put to the best use.

I mainly want a system that I can throw anything at with no problems, not just gaming. I have a 21” widescreen (1680x1050) and would love to be able to run games with the highest settings possible with out sacrificing performance. I mainly only play FPS but sometimes I will venture into other realms.

Here is my list of parts so far.
CPU: C2D E6700
GPU : XFX GeForce 7950GT
RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
Motherboard: EVGA 122-CK-NF68-AR Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 680i
PSU: OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply 100 - 240 V
Case: Antec Performance One P180B Black
CPU cooler: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro
Optical Drive: ? ? ? (probably doesn't really matter)
Main HDD: ? ? ? (is a 10,000 rpm drive worth it?)

I was also wondering if I sacrifice the E6700 for a E6600 (save myself $200, I plan on over clocking anyways with the help of a friend) and go for a GeForce 8800GTX instead of the GeForce 7950GT would that be a worth upgrade. I know the price of video cards drop rather quickly and I just don’t know if this trade off is going to be worth it. I know the 8800 series is a complete dominator, but the price is a little high.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks for you time and expertise.
9 answers Last reply
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  1. I agree, go for the 8800GTX - it'll help your games way more than 266 extra MHz you get from a 6700. It just isn't worth $200, as you'll have no trouble at all overclocking well past X6800 stock speed with a E6600.

    These Conroes overclock like crazy. I'm currently testing my E6400 at 3.52 GHz, a 65% improvement over its stock 2.13 GHz. Even if this doesn't work out, I've tested extensively at 3.4 GHz, still almost a 60% increase. Granted, my Zalman 9700 probably takes me a bit further (or at least, to the same place with lower temps) than the AC Freezer 7 Pro would, but you should still do pretty well.
  2. Next I was planning on asking exactly that question. How well will the ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro handle over clocking? I have looked at the Zalman you mentioned but I didn't know if it would be over kill or not.

    Also looking at the available 8800gtx cards out there, in your guys opinions what company makes the best card? I currently have a XFX 7600 GT. I really don't have much knowledge in this area, so again any suggestions?

    Also thank you prozac26 and NotAPimecone for your very fast and helpful responses. You guys already help to convince my brain that the extra $$ for the 8800gtx is worth it. And with some over clocking it looks as though X6800 speeds are easily possible.

    Thanks again guys I truly appreciate it.
  3. Well, even an E6400 on stock cooling can surpass X6800's stock 2.93 GHz.

    Still, you might want to consider something a bit beefier for overclocking, I've never owned the Freezer 7, but skimming over newegg customer reviews it seems it isn't all that great for overclocking. For $10 more (after rebate) you could get this, supposed to be very good (if you can fit it in your case - 150mm is pretty tall).
  4. FYI for the OP.. The Scythe Ninja (linked in the previous post) fits in the Antec P180B case. I've done it a few times now..
  5. So in your guys opinions the rest of the configuration looks all good and well. There are no glaring mistakes on my behalf?

    Thanks guys for all of your time and help. It is greatly appreciated.
  6. No one backed up their answers with any real proof that I could see. Here is an article from tomshardware about the 8800. This could help you out a lot in your decision.

  7. I don't know if anybody is still watching this thread but I have made a few changes to my build and was wondering what your thoughts were. (Had to save a few $$$ to get this to happen.)

    First of my my motherboard is now the ASUS P5B-E Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard. Will I be sacrificing too much by not going with the 680i boards?

    The gpu I decided to go with is now the BFG Tech BFGR7950512GTOCE GeForce 7950GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 OC Video Card because I want to see what ATi can offer with their new direct x10 cards. I can always upgrade, but for now the 7950 GT should do the trick.

    My psu is now the Thermaltake toughpower W0117RU ATX12V/ EPS12V 750W. I wanted a modular psu and this as I was told by a friend is a very good psu.

    Lastly my cpu cooler is now the Scythe SCINF-1000 120mm CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink. Again I was told by this same friend that this cooler does an excellent job.

    If you guys have a chance could you let me know the ups or downs of my modifications.

    Thanks again for all of your guys inputs.
  8. Hmm, you lose a couple of PCI-E X16 slots...but I don't think you really need them, SLI and CF aren't worth it unless you have $ to burn. Oh, and you'll have to set some RAM settings in the bios because the board doesn't recognize EPP, so it can't set them for you.

    Depending on just what you're after, consider the Gigabyte S3/DS3. They do have RAID (0/1 on 2 of the ports), it's just a little more limited than the P5B-E (0/1/5/10). Also, the P5B-E has an ESATA port and the Gigabyte doesn't. I can't think of any other features you'd be missing out on. If none of that is important to you, you should be able to save a few $ by going Gigabyte.

    Since you're kind of just waiting to see what kind ATI's DX10 offering, you might also consider going cheaper on the video card. I guess it's up to you to decide whether you want to spend this much now on a card you're planning to replace in a few months (at least, it sounds like you're planning to move up to DX10 - either an 8800 or an R600 - as soon as some benchmarks are available for ATI's upcoming toy).
  9. Yeah the loss of the extra PCI-E x16 slot didn't worry me too much. And definitely don't have the $$ to burn for SLI so then now worries on that end.

    What are you meaning about setting some RAM settings?

    And for the card I really just want to be able to run at a resolution of 1680x1050 with most all of the game settings on high. So which ever card will do that. I will probably keep it for at least 1 year maybe 2. So it will need to last for a while.

    Also what are you thoughts on sound cards. I love to listen to music and have heard that off loading the sound to a dedicated card again improves system performance. I have looked at the x-fi cards. I love the front panel portion, also the remote is completely cool (would be awesome to change my iTunes song while partying w/out having to constantly walk into my room, slows down the beer pong a little too much)

    So again I am setting here wanting a 8800 GTX but not really wanting to spend that money.

    Thanks again for your help.
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