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Please comment on a new build for a $1200 budget or less...

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December 12, 2006 1:32:07 AM

Hello. I am trying to build a budget gaming build with some light photo editing too. I will be re-using the optical drives and the hard-drives from an older machine as well as the keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Can anyone please comment on the build. I have never done any overclocking and would like to try if possible. Is the RAM too much?

Thanks in advance for the comments.

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW Black/Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: CAC-T05-WW
Item #: N82E16811119077

Price: $49.99

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-965P-DS3
Item #: N82E16813128012

Price: $134.99

eVGA 256-P2-N624-AR GeForce 7900GS 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 KO Video Card - Retail
Model #: 256-P2-N624-AR
Item #: N82E16814130056

Price: $179.99

Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 ATX12V 650W Power Supply with Three 12V Rails - Retail
Model #: TP3-650
Item #: N82E16817371001

Price: $124.99

Update Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6400 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E6400
Item #: N82E16819115004

Price: $217.00

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4 - Retail
Model #: TWIN2X2048-6400C4
Item #: N82E16820145034

Price: $279.00

Update ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler - Retail
Model #: ACFZ7-PRO
Item #: N82E16835186134

Price: $29.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: ST3320620AS
Item #: N82E16822148140

Price: $94.99

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
Model #: ARCTIC SILVER 5
Item #: N82E16835100007

Price: $5.99

LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner W/ LightScribe and 5X DVD-RAM Write Black ATAPI/E-IDE Model SHM-165H6S - OEM
Model #: SHM-165H6S OEM
Item #: N82E16827106019

Price: $31.99

Subtotal: $1173.92

Mail-In-Rebates: $85.00

Total: $1088.92
December 12, 2006 11:36:18 AM

In addition, I have Vista Home Professional running on the hard drives that I plan on using, should I re-install the OS with the new build? I am planning on moving all of my personal files over to my external hard-drive before doing anything with the old or new computer. Thanks.
December 12, 2006 4:03:15 PM

Yes fresh install. With a massive hardware change like that it is unlikely the copy of Vista on your HD will boot. Plus you'll start from scratch and shouldn't have to worry about driver conflicts with the old hardware that was installed.
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December 12, 2006 4:18:33 PM

If $1200 is the max you can spend I'd look at a higher end video card. You can get a 7900GS for about $50, $60 more than the 7600GT. You'd still be well under $1200.

My $.02
December 12, 2006 4:29:36 PM

I was definitely thinking fresh install, but will I have to get another license for Vista Home Professional or is there a way to revoke it on the old hardware and use it again on the new hardware?
December 12, 2006 4:29:43 PM

Maybe even consider the e6600 but thats all up to u i doubt ull feel a whole lot of real life performance change but overclocking it sure will be fun.
December 12, 2006 5:25:33 PM

Don't bother with the 6600. You have everything you need there to run an amazing overclock on that system and beat the stock 6600 no problem. You get easily overclock with your components and achieve rock solid stability. Besides, on your budget you're better off going with the 6300/6400 and save some money.

A better video card would be nice, but it depends on how much gaming you're doing, how demanding those games will be, how long you want to wait to upgrade, and how much money you want to spend now.

Other than that, your specs look good to go.
December 12, 2006 7:29:08 PM

Is this power supply sufficient? I would like to possibly upgrade the GPU when the prices for DX10 go down next year.
December 12, 2006 7:59:43 PM

Should be good, I think it's sufficient to power an 8800GTX, but who knows about the DX10 cards?? Without starting a flame war, my *guess* is they won't be less consumptive than the NV cards.

So depends how hardcore you wanna go....SLI? GTX? More? But for what's on the market now, it's looks good.
December 13, 2006 2:21:45 AM

Quote:
Hello. I am trying to build a budget gaming build with some light photo editing too. I will be re-using the optical drives and the hard-drives from an older machine as well as the keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Can anyone please comment on the build. I have never done any overclocking and would like to try if possible. Is the RAM too much?

Thanks in advance for the comments.

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW Black/Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: CAC-T05-WW
Item #: N82E16811119077

Price: $49.99

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-965P-DS3
Item #: N82E16813128012

Price: $134.99

eVGA 256-P2-N615-TX GeForce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
Model #: 256-P2-N615-TX
Item #: N82E16814130062

Price: $129.99

Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 ATX12V 650W Power Supply with Three 12V Rails - Retail
Model #: TP3-650
Item #: N82E16817371001

Price: $124.99

Update Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6400 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E6400
Item #: N82E16819115004

Price: $217.00

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4 - Retail
Model #: TWIN2X2048-6400C4
Item #: N82E16820145034

Price: $279.00

Update ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler - Retail
Model #: ACFZ7-PRO
Item #: N82E16835186134

Price: $29.99

Subtotal: $965.95



Check out my build here

It is similar to yours. Here are the differences and why I picked them.

Graphics Card: Go at least to 1900X. It gets good reviews at a decent price. If graphics are REALLY your thing, bump the RAM and CPU down (Try the slower clock corsair) and get a much better graphics card. You will notice it way more. For me, graphics weren't my primary concern.

RAM: I went with the supertalent. More info why in the thread.

CPU Fan: The Scyth and Turniq Tower seem to be the most used fans for overclockers in general, so I went with the masses there.

HD: I was going to reuse my hard drive, but was able to easily fit a SATA3 one on my budget. You could too, unless your current harddrive is good enough.

Power Supply: I went SeaSonic because of their noise level. It's also one of the most recommended power supplies I could find. What you have is more than enough power for your system. Check out the powersupply list at hardforum here for good recomendations as well.
December 13, 2006 1:54:21 PM

The reviews on that Scyth cooler say that it is huge and won't fit in a lot of cases. Is it really better than the Arctic Cooler 7?


Also, I checked out the power supply that you mentioned and it looks pretty good, it seems like that would be much more quiet than the one I looked at, is that true?
December 13, 2006 2:23:47 PM

It looks like a pretty solid rig for the price. The only thing I would change is the video card. I have nothing against the 7600 series, but I would prefer a 256 bit card over 128.
December 13, 2006 2:37:53 PM

The Scythe is not really necessary. The Arctic cooler will do fine, unless you're looking at very high overclocks. It'll fit into your case easily, is inexpensive, and will do the job just fine.
December 13, 2006 3:36:54 PM

Quote:

eVGA 256-P2-N624-AR GeForce 7900GS 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 KO Video Card - Retail
Model #: 256-P2-N624-AR
Item #: N82E16814130056

Price: $179.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: ST3320620AS
Item #: N82E16822148140

Price: $94.99

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
Model #: ARCTIC SILVER 5
Item #: N82E16835100007

Price: $5.99

LITE-ON 16X DVD±R DVD Burner W/ LightScribe and 5X DVD-RAM Write Black ATAPI/E-IDE Model SHM-165H6S - OEM
Model #: SHM-165H6S OEM
Item #: N82E16827106019

Price: $31.99

Subtotal: $1173.92

Mail-In-Rebates: $85.00

Total: $1088.92


I have updated my build with the above posted. I changed from the 7600 to the 7900 and also added an optical and a hard drive and have updated the price.

Are these options that I selected good ones? Thanks.
December 13, 2006 3:50:13 PM

Looks GREAT. You'll have a very respectable system for a reasonable price. Even better, it's highly overclockable (if you wish) and will be able to handle Vista (if you wish)......might just want a DX10 vid card at some point.

The ONLY thing you may want to consider is getting some cheaper RAM. That Corsair stuff is overpriced. There are other models/makes out there that will allow you to overclock at a better price, as long as you're not looking to push an overclock really high. A moderate overclock is easily done on cheaper model RAM. DDR2-800 is preferred but not necessary. Consider some G.Skill DDR2-800........should be a fair bit cheaper, depending on any deals:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Other than that, looks like you're good to go.
December 13, 2006 4:38:13 PM

Very nice 1k build!
December 13, 2006 4:57:18 PM

Quote:
Looks GREAT. You'll have a very respectable system for a reasonable price. Even better, it's highly overclockable (if you wish) and will be able to handle Vista (if you wish)......might just want a DX10 vid card at some point.

The ONLY thing you may want to consider is getting some cheaper RAM. That Corsair stuff is overpriced. There are other models/makes out there that will allow you to overclock at a better price, as long as you're not looking to push an overclock really high. A moderate overclock is easily done on cheaper model RAM. DDR2-800 is preferred but not necessary. Consider some G.Skill DDR2-800........should be a fair bit cheaper, depending on any deals:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Other than that, looks like you're good to go.


Would it be better to save $40 and drop the Corsair timings from 4-4-4-12 to 5-5-5-12 or are there any other RAM you would suggest. I am not going to overclock that much, so maybe some other RAM would be a good idea. I could maybe talk the wife into a monitor upgrade as well.
December 13, 2006 5:11:31 PM

Core2Duo chips aren't as affected by timings very much. They like bandwidth and higher FSB numbers when overclocking. Honestly, getting the lower timings won't really translate into noticeable performance differences. I think a much better investment of your money would be to try to get a bigger/better monitor or something like that if you can. THAT is something you'll notice, not 0.7 seconds off a Super-Pi time or some other synthetic benchmark.

Even with the 5-x-x-x- RAM, you'll still be able to overclock the snot out of it if you want, and that performance gain will trump any minor hit due to the timings, hands down no question. No even close. So I'd save the money and invest in something more tangible. A bigger monitor is icing on the cake if you can pull it off ;) 
December 13, 2006 6:15:39 PM

You don't need the Arctic Silver 5 as the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro already comes with Arctic MX-1 thermal compound on it. It is generally expected that AS5 and MX-1 perform similarly.

The advantages of the MX-1 are that it doesn't contain any silver so it isn't electrically conducive (no chance for shorting) and it doesn't increase capacitance.
December 15, 2006 1:02:30 AM

I have just ordered all of the parts and now I am just waiting for them to come in.

Am I going to need to flash the BIOS or will the latest and greatest be on there. Also, will I need to get the drivers for all of the MB components or will those be on there too?

THanks.
December 15, 2006 2:50:33 AM

Install the drivers that come with the mobo. After you're up and running, get your Internet installed (or use a USB key) to download the latest BIOS from Gigabyte's site. Then just update the BIOS through the Windows method. Very, very easy. No flash required. Then just go from there with any other driver updates, etc, etc.
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