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New computer advice.

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December 31, 2006 10:32:05 PM

It's been a few years since my last upgrade. I've been able to eek by on minimun game settings, but the time has come to buy a new PC. It's been so long though, so advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Old PC (without opening it up for specifics): P4 1.5Ghz, Gigabyte SiS645 mobo, 128MB Radeon 9000, 512MB Brandless RAM. The mobo's built in sound card broke, so I've got a Creative Labs Sound Blaster installed which may well be 4-5 years old (or older.) 40 GB HD limited to 31 GB (it semi-broke.)

New PC: It's for gaming, I'm looking to do a bit of overclocking, though nothing too fancy. I intend to make it last as long as possible another 2+ years would be nice but I might be dreaming. Budget is $2000 CDN, less is better. Advice on components would be great. So far I've got..

CASE: Antec 900 or P180
- I've read great things about the cooling on the 900, and disparaging things about the rest of it, but it just looks so pretty. It's going to need to sit under my desk so below 21 inch in height.

MOTHERBOARD: Asus P5B-Deluxe or Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3
- I'm leaning heavily towards the DS3, the price is right and people have only nice things to say.

CPU: Core2Duo E6600 or E6400
- Either should be in budget, I'm thinking E6600.

CPU COOLING: I'd like to toss a better fan on the CPU than what comes with it, for overclocking purposes. I can't find any kind of concensus on what's hot and what's not though, help!

HD: Seagate 7200.10 320GB
- I've been using a 40GB drive limited to 31GB for ages, so 320 should be more than enough. At around $110 it seems a nice drive.

MEMORY: OCZ Special Ops 2GB kit
- At under $300 CDN, it seems a great buy, but I'm suspicious of the price. Cheap in more than one sense? I can find Corsair Memory for similiar prices.. hrm!

VIDEO CARD: XFX GeForce 8800 GTS or something less robust..
- My only splurge, a good card should keep me going for awhile and I'd like to avoid upgrading again later for DX10. I've two Samsung monitors. A 20' and a 19'. Max resolution on the 20' is 1400x1050. Is it worth the money?

PSU: Enermax 535W, OCZ GameXStream 700W, Corsair 620W.
- Least to most expensive, I'd like a little room for tossing in more cards. Any suggestions?

Integrated sound will be fine for me. I've already got a DVD-RW, plus a finicky microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse to top off the package.

All in all the parts I'm thinking of buying come in at just under $1700 CDN, which is ideal. A good setup?

More about : computer advice

January 1, 2007 3:06:38 AM

Good setup. You sound like you need help with CPU cooling. That for me was also a herdle. Anything that keeps the CPU under 55c is worth the money. I've heard others on this forum say that the boxed cooler lets the CPU run upto 80c before the fan cranks up. 2 coolers that I highly recommend are the Thermaltake Blue Orb II ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683... )or the ZALMAN 9700 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683... ) the ZALMAN one has support for the AM2 socket if you ever need it. Use the ASUS mobo instead, more features better OC capability. Otherwise you're doing fine.

My System:

AMD 64 X2 3800+ OC'ed to 2.2 Ghz
BFG 7900 GTX 512 mb OC'ed
ASUS A8N-SLi Deluxe
2 Gb Kingston Value RAM CAS Latency 2.5-3-3-6
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 4
Westen Digital 74 Gb Raptor ADFD
2x Western Digital 250 Gb Caviar SE
3x Thermaltake Hardcano 14 HDD coolers
Thermaltake Blue Orb II CPU cooler
Zalman VF-Cu 900 Blue LED VGA cooler
Thermaltake Extreme Spirit Northbridge cooler
PC Power & Cooling 510w PSU
January 1, 2007 3:55:59 AM

I love my DS3. The P5B-Deluxe is supposed to be very good too. I think the P5B-Deluxe has more features, like the ICH8R chipset that gives you more RAID options (the DS3 uses ICH8, and only supports RAID 0 or 1 on 2 ports through an add-on JMicron controller on the board), and a second PCI-E X16 slot, but also costs quite a bit more.

The 6400 and 6600 are both excellent CPUs. Whichever way you go, you won't be disappointed.

Air cooling? You can't beat the Tuniq Tower 120.

Good choice of hard drive.

Have you seen the tiered PSU list? Also, if you act quick, you can get the OCZ GameXStream 700W for $99.99 CDN after rebate at NCIX.com until January 2nd, I think.
!