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Retail sucker tries for his 1st build. Suggestions welcome!

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December 14, 2006 5:33:10 AM

I'm almost ready to order the parts, just trying to decide between a few components.

-Overclocked E6400 (or overclock an E6600?)
-ASUS Striker Extreme Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX *OR* eVGA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard? (I'm assuming the difference is mainly in overclocking?)
-700 Watt Thermaltake Tough Power Extreme Power Supply (too much?)
-SUPER TALENT 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) *OR* OCZ 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-pin DDR2 800 (which?)
-NVidia GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB GDDR3, Dual DVI, HDCP. But do I go with eVGA, BFG, ASUS, or XFX??? If I get the ASUS mobo, I'll probably get the ASUS video card and vice versa...
-Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi FATAL1TY (the one with the front I/O Console, NOT the XtremeGamer model). Almost set on this, don't know if I need that front I/O panel, however.
-Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM 16MB (for the main OS partition and important programs)
-2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 SATA 320 gb *OR* 2x Western Digital Caviar SE16 7200 RPM SATA 320 gb??
-LG 18X DVD RW w/ Lightscribe +- Dual Layer (I'm used to using Lite-On drives, but I heard this was good. Anyone know?
-Case.... I'll have to look into this further. Something aesthetically pleasing, but not huge is what I'm looking for. There are so many options.
-Cooling? Perhaps this is something for the overclock forum, but I want something that sits inside the case, not outside. I don't want a machine under my desk pumping water.

Do you see any problem areas here?
December 14, 2006 6:04:38 AM

I always thought that 375+ bucks is too much, even for an ASUS board.
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December 14, 2006 6:24:56 AM

Thank you, I will make note of the hard drives and a case that will fit the 8800GTX. That's a handy feature of Newegg, by the way, I'll utilise it next time!

I didn't really want to spend so much on a mobo, but I heard it was better than the eVGA because the eVGA has some boot issues etc, but perhaps that's fanboy talk?
December 14, 2006 6:26:43 AM

Quote:
I'm almost ready to order the parts, just trying to decide between a few components.

-Overclocked E6400 (or overclock an E6600?)
-ASUS Striker Extreme Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX *OR* eVGA nForce 680i SLI Motherboard? (I'm assuming the difference is mainly in overclocking?)
-700 Watt Thermaltake Tough Power Extreme Power Supply (too much?)
-SUPER TALENT 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) *OR* OCZ 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-pin DDR2 800 (which?)
-NVidia GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB GDDR3, Dual DVI, HDCP. But do I go with eVGA, BFG, ASUS, or XFX??? If I get the ASUS mobo, I'll probably get the ASUS video card and vice versa...
-Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi FATAL1TY (the one with the front I/O Console, NOT the XtremeGamer model). Almost set on this, don't know if I need that front I/O panel, however.
-Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM 16MB (for the main OS partition and important programs)
-2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 SATA 320 gb *OR* 2x Western Digital Caviar SE16 7200 RPM SATA 320 gb??
-LG 18X DVD RW w/ Lightscribe +- Dual Layer (I'm used to using Lite-On drives, but I heard this was good. Anyone know?
-Case.... I'll have to look into this further. Something aesthetically pleasing, but not huge is what I'm looking for. There are so many options.
-Cooling? Perhaps this is something for the overclock forum, but I want something that sits inside the case, not outside. I don't want a machine under my desk pumping water.

Do you see any problem areas here?
I would take the eVGA mobo, the Supertalent RAM, E6400, and the 2 Seagates. If you plan to overclock the GPU, then it doesn't matter which brand you buy(buy on price/bundles/warranty). Try and get a fair-sized case that has good airflow(120mm fan-front and back). You don't want to try and cram everything into the case, and have the heat building up. GL :) 
December 15, 2006 9:26:16 AM

I seem to be getting lots of conflicting advice. I was told in the overclocking forum to get the E6600 due to its 4mb of cache and higher multiplier, and a Zalman fan for cooling. In this forum, I was told to get the Striker Extreme mobo.

Looking at Newegg, it seems that the Striker Extreme is only a tiny bit better than the eVGA, and it comes with a free game. That's hardly worth the price. I suppose I want someone with experience with both boards to say "this one is better, trust me" or something like that. Maybe I need to post a new topic with a subject along the lines of "Make my decision for me, please" :) 
December 15, 2006 11:34:55 AM

No conflicting advice out there from anyone who knows what they are talking about. If you got the dollars (apparently you do based on your build) then get the E6600. That thing has been stable aircooled at 3400. The cache itself is worth the extra money. Best value for your dollar.

The 8800 is 11 inches long. It's a whopper. Can't use it in my rig. :(  Waiting for the g84 line to come out before I upgrade.

P.S. eVGA make good stuff!
December 15, 2006 1:25:52 PM

Agree with everything here so far too.

-mobo: OUCH on the expensive Striker. Not worth the extra $$$
-vid card: very nice, make sure you got a case to fit it
-hard drives....yeah, the 7200.10 ones
-EVGA makes good stuff

CPU: here's where it sounds like the apparent "conflict" comes from. Flying, the info you have is correct, but it's not the whole story. A 6600 and a Zalman is "better", that is true. But a 6400 with any aftermarket cooler will overclock like a cheetah. The performance difference between them overall will not be as noticeable as you may think. However, it will cost ALOT more. That's the big difference. Both will give amazing performance, but the 6400 combo will save you quite a bit of cash, that you can invest into something else.....like a bigger case, some silent fans, a fan controller, or whatever. So it's a question of budget.

Having a 6600, 680i mobo, and a Zalman is amazing, no doubt. Having a 6300, Gigabyte 965P-S3, and an Arctic Freezer will give an amazing overclock to minimum 3.0 ghz for FAR LESS MONEY. So it's a question of what degree you want to go, not that there's conflicting information. Both suggestions you've received are correct. And one combo DOES give better performance, but it comes at a much higher cost.

So you need to ask yourself:
-what do you actually need?
-what are you willing to pay for that?
-is that savings better invested on other parts?

There is no wrong answer. It's totally dependent on your opinion and desires. It's your money, we're just giving you the facts and options. You can then make an informed decision, that's all. Nothing worse than spending alot of money, only to realize you were uninformed and made a mistake. Better to be informed and then knowingly waste your money :wink:
December 16, 2006 12:26:42 PM

Thank you for the advice and for making it very clear. I thought about it and what I want is X6800 performance without the cost. I tried to come up with a budget, but I don't really have one. I have some money, but I don't want to spend it all. I started out with a budget maximum of 3000$, but now I'm thinking I can get something for half that, maximum of 2000$ with everything.

I would like a rig that can play all the latest games at high resolutions (hence the 8800GTX) until my 3-year-old laptop finally dies. Then it will be used for everything else and I'd like at least X6800 performance for that. So the components that I'll buy should be good for general processor overclocking. I want to do this with air, not with water, and I don't plan on overclocking the GPU.

I am presently using is an Alienware Area 51-m 766 laptop (pentium 4 3.2, ATI 9600 128Mb AGP, 1 Gb RAM) and I haven't been able to play the latest games since a few months after I bought the thing. I swore I'd never buy another laptop again after owning this one, and I swore I'd never go with Alienware. I live in Norway and it was the fastest and easiest thing that I could buy and bring here from the States. I'm willing to go through a little more trouble now in order to have a desktop again.

With that said, Skyguy, you have some really good advice as I've witnessed in other threads. What would you suggest for me for 1500$ and my above requirements? Would I be able to get something for even 1000$???
December 16, 2006 1:00:33 PM

Do you need a monitor? Do you have any hard drives or parts you can reuse? That will make a difference in the total cost.


There are many people here that can suggest a GREAT system for $1000, $1500, or $2000. Again, just depends HOW great ;) 

My suggestion is to post what your budget range is, and then see what comes up. There will be many similarities but some differences. Then analyze them and see which you prefer for which price. That'll give you options.

But first state what exactly you need (just a tower, a whole system including monitor, etc?) and what you want it for. From there, it's really quite easy to specify components to suit a budget range.

Off the top of my head:
-Some case with decent 120mm fans and ventilation
-E6400 CPU
-2 x 1 gig DDR2-800 RAM (SuperTalent, OCZ, or Corsair for a good overclock)
-Gigabyte 965P-DS3 mobo
-CPU heatsink (Arctic Freezer, Scythe, Tuniq, or Zalman. All are good)
-320 gig Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 w/16 mg cache hard drive
-any optical drive/ DVD burner
-GOOD power supply. OCZ 600w GameXstream will do fine and won't break the bank
-EVGA 8800GTS vid card
-LCD monitor if you need one and can afford it.....22" LCD's are a great performance for the price. Seriously.

That'll fit your budget range, will hit 3.0 ghz no problem, and will kick A$$ in games. You'd be very pleased, and it will definitely be cheaper than what your originally started out with ;) 


If you end up on a much tighter budget, then it's easy to drop the price:
-downgrade to 6300
-Gigabyte S3
-2 x 1 gig DDR2-800 G.Skill RAM
-Arctic Freezer cooler
-cheap 19" monitor (if you need one)
-$50 case (Thermaltake Matrix VX comes to mind, it's a very overlooked case)
December 20, 2006 4:30:38 PM

Hi Skyguy, thank you for your response. I couldn't reply earlier, because I was travelling from Norway back to the States.

I have a Dell 2005FPW (20.1 in widescreen, no idea about brightness, contrast, or response time on that). I'll probably get a 24" widescreen the next time I travel back to the States. That will be in 1 or 2 years and prices will have dropped even more.

I have three external drives connected to my laptop: A Lite-On SOHW-1673S external DVDRW, A Maxtor OneTouch II 320 Gb hard drive, and a Western Digital My Book 500 Gb hard drive. I plan on buying all new internal drives for this new computer anyway.

I just posted a new topic to the forums concerning my build after doing a lot more research and checking my parts out again. The build hasn't changed much, but I feel more confident with the parts. I'm someone who cannot buy anything without researching it several times!
!