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Nearly final list w/questions - comments/suggestions please?

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January 15, 2007 9:58:05 PM

This is for a mid-range system primarily used for home office apps, internet/email and some movie/video/picture editing. I would like to OC eventually. I would like to spend as close to $1000 as possible, though I am OK to go over a bit ($1300 max).

Here is what I came up with so far:

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 532 RC-532-SKN1 Black Aluminum bezel, SECC chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811119094 $44.99
(I like this one because it has the ports on top - also looked at Thermaltake Matrix VX. Comments?)

Case Fan: COOLER MASTER SAF-S12-E1 120mm Case Fan - Retail
Item #: N82E16811999072 $7.99

PSU: FSP Group (Fortron Source) AX450-PN, 12cm FAN, version 2.2, 2 SATA, PCI Express, 450W Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817104954 $53.99

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822148144 $79.99

Video: XFX PVT73GUGD3 GeForce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814150182 $145.99

RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4 - Retail
Item #: N82E16820145034 $276.00

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-965G-DS3 LGA 775 Intel G965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128018 $134.99

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6300 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115005 $195.00

CPU Fan: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler - Retail
Item #: N82E16835186134 $29.99 (I believe akhilles suggested a cheaper place than NewEgg for this - about 1/2 price)

DVD Burner (SATA): SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write, LightScribe Technology Black SATA Model SH-S183L - OEM
Model #: SH-S183L
Item #: N82E16827151141 $46.99

DVD-ROM: SONY Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1615/B2s - OEM
Item #: N82E16827101131 $18.99

Sound: for now just onboard

What's left is a monitor and I will use the OS (XP Home), kbd/mouse from the machine this is replacing. I hope I didn't leave anything else out.

This brings up a few questions primarily about the mobo, CPU and the RAM.

Which of the following 4 mobos would you recommend? (I would like Firewire, but I can get that on a PCI card, right?)

Mobo 1 - GIGABYTE GA-965G-DS3 LGA 775 Intel G965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128018 $134.99 (listed above)

Mobo 2 - ASUS P5B Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131045 $179.99

Mobo 3 - ASUS P5B-E LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131070 $150.99

Mobo 4 - BIOSTAR TForce965PT LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813138037 $104.99

2 of them have Firewire and 2 don't. 2 have ICH8R Southbridge, 2 don't. ICH8R is not terribly important and if I get the Gigabyte it supports RAID on board w/o the ICH8R (would need another HDD). Are there huge differences between these mobos for my purposes or would you just go according to the price?

Am I better off with E4300 or should I stick with the E6300?

Finally, is the RAM OK or is it overkill? I want 2 GB and since I do want to OC (eventually), should I go for the better timing (4-4-4-12)? Do I need DR2-800 or is DR2-667 sufficient? Does that depend on which CPU I eventually get?

I am planning to build it in February and I can't wait.

Thank you in advance for your help. David
January 15, 2007 10:39:41 PM

If you get the E4300 you'll be able to chug along merily with DDR2-667 due to the E4300's lower FSB. Plus you'll save money on ram and CPU that way, just make sure you get some nice 4-4-4-X timings
January 15, 2007 10:46:24 PM

I would say his RAM is perfect if he is going to overclock ;) 

From the mobos you have mentioned, The DS3 and the P5B-Deluxe are your best options :) 
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January 15, 2007 11:25:00 PM

Thanks for suggestions.

In your opinion, is lack of Firewire support on a mobo a reason enought not to get it? Or get the mobo and a PCI card for the firewire? If you use a PCI card is there a way to bring the port to the front of the case?

Any other suggestions and comments?
January 15, 2007 11:30:24 PM

Firewire? Bah, just because a motherboard doesnt have it doesnt mean is not a good board. You can always get a PCI card with firewire ports ;) 

As for your question, the only way to have a front firewire is to look for a firewire card with internal firewire port (you know, with a firewire port but in pins) and thats it.
January 15, 2007 11:31:32 PM

I'd get the board with firewire built in, it just means less piss farting around installing cards and drivers, and being able to wire up the front port is a maybe with a PCI card.
January 15, 2007 11:41:44 PM

actually the ds3 and p5b-deluxe should come with built-in firewire, they are high-end boards.

since i dont own the boards, i cant confirm 100% but im pretty sure they do come with it.
January 15, 2007 11:46:28 PM

Unfortunately the DS3 doesn't come with firewire. The P5B-Deluxe does. Actually, if I end up getting the board w/o firewire, I already found a PCI card that has internal pins to bring the port to the front. Thanks for that in a previous post.
January 16, 2007 12:13:43 AM

Dont worry, we are here to help ;) 

BTW, you also tought me something :D  thx!
January 16, 2007 12:20:45 AM

Quote:
BTW, you also tought me something :D  thx!


No problem; as you yourself said:
Quote:
Dont worry, we are here to help ;) 


Does anyone else have any comments/answers to my questions re: CPU, mobo and RAM posted at the top? Thanks.
January 16, 2007 12:30:23 PM

One more question - I see lots of recommendations on this board about tight timings on the RAM and using 4-4-4-12 RAM for good OCing. However, all of the mobos (P965) that I am looking at say that they require CAS5 or 6. Isn't that inconsistent?
January 16, 2007 7:02:51 PM

Quote:
One more question - I see lots of recommendations on this board about tight timings on the RAM and using 4-4-4-12 RAM for good OCing. However, all of the mobos (P965) that I am looking at say that they require CAS5 or 6. Isn't that inconsistent?


I never heard of ram running at cas 6. But for overclocking, get the lowest timings you can. 4 is cheap and good. 5 is not that good. 3 is perfect but tooooooooooo expensive.
January 16, 2007 8:01:40 PM

SATA has no real advantages as far as optical drives go. Apparently they sometimes are worse then their IDE counterparts.

Until it goes more mainstream, I recommend getting an IDE DVD-Burner
January 16, 2007 9:46:21 PM

Yes, I dont recommend SATA drives right now. Some people even report they cant boot in DOS to install XP so whats the point??
January 17, 2007 1:28:01 AM

Harty and Slim - thanks so much for your insight. I am told by a friend that Lite-On is the way to go rather than Samsung.
January 17, 2007 7:39:22 PM

Lite-On and plextors are good right now

I also have a Sony DRU-820A which performs really good too, never had a problem with it. (Although there is a 830A now)
!