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Building my first PC...a couple of questions

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December 13, 2006 11:42:59 PM

I'm planning on building a new PC by the end of January for when Vista comes out. This will be my first time building a PC myself, though I have done some of the procedures at a past job and helped friends. Anyways, I'd love to have your opinions on the components I have selected thus far and also three other things.

1. What do you think of my components I have selected?

- Asus P5B-E Motherboard
- Intel Core 2 duo E6400 2.13 GHz (plan on overclocking to around 3 GHz)
- GeForce 8800GTX GPU
- 2GB DDR2 667 Ram (not sure which brand yet...want to pay sub $200)
- Soundblaster audigy 4
- Seasonic S12 550W power supply
- 250GB SATA Hard drive
- DVD-RW Drive
- Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS case
- After market CPU heat sink and fan

2. If these are pretty much the components I will get, I was probably going to start checking prices right after Xmas for sales and maybe buying it end of December early January if so. Would there be a reason to wait another 2 weeks to be closer to Vista release? Any competitor components (like a DX10 ATI GPU) coming out in January that could bring down prices or offer a better alternative?

3. If I end up getting the components and building the PC a few weeks before Vista, should I install XP until then to make sure everything works ok or just wait until Vista comes out? Is installing Vista on an XP machine an easy transition, or would a clean install be better?

4. How much do you think I could sell my current computer for (eBay)? The specs are below:

Alienware Aurora

- Radeon x800 pro
- AMD 64bit 3400+
- 1 GB corsair RAM
- Audigy 2 ZS
- 120 GB Hard drive
- DVD drive
- CDRW drive
- Floppy drive

I know that's a lot, but any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
December 13, 2006 11:56:59 PM

Quote:
I'm planning on building a new PC by the end of January for when Vista comes out. This will be my first time building a PC myself, though I have done some of the procedures at a past job and helped friends. Anyways, I'd love to have your opinions on the components I have selected thus far and also three other things.

1. What do you think of my components I have selected?

- Asus P5B-E Motherboard
- Intel Core 2 duo E6400 2.13 GHz (plan on overclocking to around 3 GHz)
- GeForce 8800GTX GPU
- 2GB DDR2 667 Ram (not sure which brand yet...want to pay sub $200)
- Soundblaster audigy 4
- Seasonic S12 550W power supply
- 250GB SATA Hard drive
- DVD-RW Drive
- Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS case
- After market CPU heat sink and fan

2. If these are pretty much the components I will get, I was probably going to start checking prices right after Xmas for sales and maybe buying it end of December early January if so. Would there be a reason to wait another 2 weeks to be closer to Vista release? Any competitor components (like a DX10 ATI GPU) coming out in January that could bring down prices or offer a better alternative?

3. If I end up getting the components and building the PC a few weeks before Vista, should I install XP until then to make sure everything works ok or just wait until Vista comes out? Is installing Vista on an XP machine an easy transition, or would a clean install be better?

4. How much do you think I could sell my current computer for (eBay)? The specs are below:

Alienware Aurora

- Radeon x800 pro
- AMD 64bit 3400+
- 1 GB corsair RAM
- Audigy 2 ZS
- 120 GB Hard drive
- DVD drive
- CDRW drive
- Floppy drive

I know that's a lot, but any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Response, in succinct numerical form:

-1. building a computer is like the greatest thing ever. just don't be afraid to ask questions, and it can be extremely enjoyable. plus it just sounds soooo much cooler to non-computer-ites.

1.i think your components are fine. i would, however, not count out the r600, as you talked about a little later in your post.

2. post-christmas is a good time for prices, generally speaking. i'd definately wait for the r600 (ati's dx10er), which comes out ~ jan 20. vista, on jan. 30, won't be that big of a deal i believe, however i do like to fantisize that it will bring down ram prices :|

3. xp is a go. i would recommend that you wait for a while even after vista, unless you have tried some of the betas and are hooked. although it is touted as the "most mature OS launch of like ever," it is still not going to come without its kinks. i'd stay in my xp trench for a while. think of it this way: thats like $300 less on that one paycheck :wink:

4. i've heard that people have more success breaking up their machines (not literally though, however). what you could do, is put it up, if nobody bids, take it down, and sell the diff stuff (vid card, your proc would prolly go...) or you can always recycle parts onto your next system if the don't sell! (media drives, sound card, FLOPPY!). this is a totally out-of-my-ass number, with no thought at all (aren't i so helpful?!), but lets go with.... uh...... $200 to $300. or something.

5. sorry for not elaborating more on each, i was just trying to get all of your points! don't worry about the size of your post, and i hope that helped atleast a little.
December 14, 2006 12:05:31 AM

Thanks for the reply lordaardvark2! You mentioned waiting for ATI's R600...how is it supposed to compare to the 8800GTX in terms of both power and price? Would that bring a price drop on the 8800GTX's also?

As far as Vista goes, I probably will end up getting it at launch. I know it will be quirky, but I am really excited about a lot of the features...plus it would be nice to start completely fresh on a new machine and not have to do an OS install later down the road.
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December 14, 2006 12:11:10 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the reply lordaardvark2! You mentioned waiting for ATI's R600...how is it supposed to compare to the 8800GTX in terms of both power and price? Would that bring a price drop on the 8800GTX's also?

As far as Vista goes, I probably will end up getting it at launch. I know it will be quirky, but I am really excited about a lot of the features...plus it would be nice to start completely fresh on a new machine and not have to do an OS install later down the road.


hey, good point with the vista! i like that approach. nice idea. that would be cool, turning over a new leaf and all. nice.

from what i've head, much of which is still unfortunately speculation, the r600 is supposed to pwn the 8800 gtx, be smaller and take less power, and i believe i heard that it would be cheaper, too. all of those good things are obviously a little too good to be true, and the smoke will most likely settle when production copies get around and get tested. anyway, although i haven't had economics yet, i would imagine that it would challenge the 8-series' prices. however, around that time, i believe that nvidia is releasing other 8 series cards (like perhaps an 8600, you know how they role). so that could be a less expensive dx10 alternative.

point is, at this time, 8800gtx is obviously the leader. i believe that will change this january. who knows? hopefully the r600 won't be a quadfx.

some reading that may interest you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radeon_R600
December 14, 2006 12:48:55 AM

Yeah, with all that info I will probably wait until the R600 comes out to see how the two compare. I looked up Quad FX real quick since you made that sound like a bad thing, and that's an AMD platform...if R600 is Quad FX, does that mean I'd have to use an AMD CPU something?
December 14, 2006 1:09:16 AM

Quote:
Yeah, with all that info I will probably wait until the R600 comes out to see how the two compare. I looked up Quad FX real quick since you made that sound like a bad thing, and that's an AMD platform...if R600 is Quad FX, does that mean I'd have to use an AMD CPU something?


nah nah, sorry, i was kidding about that. quad-fx was/is amd's "answer" to kentsfield, which is a core 2 quad (quadcore) processor by intel. quadfx, also known as 4x4 (which is easier to type for me) came out, and pretty much got bashed by all of computer-dom. i was making a joke that hopefully r600 won't do that. yeah, to use quadfx you do have to have amd procs, two of them. it combines two dual core procs to make a "quad core," and when true single-die quads are released by amd, they can have an 8-core machine.

r600 is a graphics card, you can plug it into anything with a pci x16 slot and a suitable power supply (well, maybe not anything.....). so, no, you do not need an amd proc to use r600. sorry for the mixup, and happy hunting!
December 14, 2006 1:27:55 AM

If you plan to OC to 3.0 or above, get the 800 ram. Makes it easier to run your ram at a 1:1 ratio. ie. 400 FSB gets you 3.2, which should be a piece of cake with your setup.
December 14, 2006 3:03:41 AM

Completely agree there Thunder.

Get some DDR2-800. Don't get no-name 667 garbage, or you won't be doing any overclocking, let alone hitting 3.0 ghz.

Brand completely depends on your budget. You can get some good 800 RAM with 5-5-5-15 timings that will overclock fine. Don't worry about the looser timings, C2D doesn't care about the timings so much as the bandwidth and FSB. It'll be alot cheaper too, and still get a great overclock out of it.

I know a number of people have reported the G.Skill 800 RAM has some good results.....the ones with the RED heat spreaders.
December 14, 2006 3:04:39 AM

Completely agree there Thunder.

Get some DDR2-800. Don't get no-name 667 garbage, or you won't be doing any overclocking, let alone hitting 3.0 ghz.

Brand completely depends on your budget. You can get some good 800 RAM with 5-5-5-15 timings that will overclock fine. Don't worry about the looser timings, C2D doesn't care about the timings so much as the bandwidth and FSB. It'll be alot cheaper too, and still get a great overclock out of it.

I know a number of people have reported the G.Skill 800 RAM has some good results.....the ones with the RED heat spreaders.
December 14, 2006 11:35:47 AM

Quote:
Completely agree there Thunder.

Get some DDR2-800. Don't get no-name 667 garbage, or you won't be doing any overclocking, let alone hitting 3.0 ghz.

Brand completely depends on your budget. You can get some good 800 RAM with 5-5-5-15 timings that will overclock fine. Don't worry about the looser timings, C2D doesn't care about the timings so much as the bandwidth and FSB. It'll be alot cheaper too, and still get a great overclock out of it.

I know a number of people have reported the G.Skill 800 RAM has some good results.....the ones with the RED heat spreaders.


I looked up G Skill ram on Newegg and found the red ones you were talking about. There are some other G Skill that are only $10 more with better timing....would you still recommend getting the red ones? Thanks for the info!
December 14, 2006 2:01:55 PM

Is it DDR2-800 though? Make sure you don't misread by accident and look at the DDR-400 stuff.

Here's what I was talking about:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

I assume you were talking about this stuff?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

It has better timings for a similar price. However, look at the volts. It seems a few of the 965 mobos have issues with the voltage and won't boot.....at least they didn't. So to be completely honest, I can't verify if it would work for you or not. I'd hate to recommend something that won't boot up.

The red ones will work, they're 1.8v. And they'll overclock too. I think AMDThunder has these? Can't remember.........but in any case, the timings really don't matter much with C2D systems, the differences are very minor. Any decent overclock will more than compensate for any minimal performance loss.

The red ones are the safe bet. Unfortunately, I don't know about the other ones so I don't feel comfortable recommending them. Maybe someone else knows or has them and can speak from experience.
December 14, 2006 2:20:02 PM

Yep, the red ones are the ones I have. Only the 1GB kit, but will be adding another gig in a couple of months. Anyway, those work flawlessly, both at stock speeds and at 400 FSB. I've had my system as high as a 425 FSB (2.975) with the memory running at 850 w/o issue.

I have the 6300 so your numbers will vary a bit, but I'd say you can't go wrong with the G. Skill. Saves you money too. :) 
December 14, 2006 3:17:08 PM

Cool, I'll stick to the red RAM. I know the RAM and CPU are compatible, but does anyone have the P5B-E motherboard and the 8800GTX or know anyone that does to verify the two fit and work well together?
!