Hello folks, I'm planning to build a new system since my old system's GPU is busted (if you wonder why I don't just replace the GPU I can explain it but its a long story ;P), and I have already done some research on what I need/want but would like to hear your opinions if its really wise to choose these components or if I should change some of them.
CPU: Intel® Core 2 Duo E6300 (Boxed, FC-LGA4, "Conroe") (Why is this CPU listed as "Allendale" on some websites/shops?)
Mobo: MSI P965 Platinum or Abit AB9
RAM: 2048MB Corsair PC2-800 CL5 KIT TWIN2X2048-6400
HDD: 2 x Western Digital Caviar RE WD1600YS
GPU: Sapphire Radeon X1950 Pro Ultimate
Case: A+ CS-Twin Engine SM Black
PSU: Seasonic S12-430HB | Seasonic S12-500HT or Zalman ZM460B-APS
I'm quite uncertain about the mobo (I need LAN, RAID, soundchip and SATA II on it) and PSU since I tried to go after reviews but not sure if those are the best suitable for my system. I'm happy with the CPU, GPU and case choice. Regarding HDDs.. it looks like Samsung and Western Digital are leading but WD's 16MB cache looked quite attractive to me (I want to use them in RAID).
I'm also wondering how big the difference between the RAM I chose and normal DDR 400 (would be also 2GB) ones is.. I'm also not sure if you can even use DDR RAM on a 775 socket board (or lets say on a board for Intel Core 2 Duo). I should also mention that I'm not planning to overclock my system but I would like it to run stable over a long time like 12 hours or even a full day or more sometimes (for those wonderful times where you have to work till the morning without sleep).
Last but not least.. what I'm going to do with my new system? I'm not an hardcore gamer but I would like to play games up and then (WoW prolly more often). I'm going to start a design school soon and will use this system for all kind of multimedia applications.
You'll need DDR2 for most if not all of the p965 chipset. If you were going to overclock your c2d, you might want higher rated ddr2 RAM (like the ones you have listed.) If not, you can easily skimp with much cheaper RAM but it'll still have to be DDR2 and fit the requirements. Say like a ddr2-533 kit - won't be overclocking but you can save yourself some money. If you want to leave the door open for the future, then you should stick with your original plan.
That isn't to say that there aren't motherboards for the c2d platform that can't accept DDR but the setup you are choosing right now doesn't allow for this. Anyway alternative recommendations: The p965 Gigabyte S3 and the Biostar equivalent are both cheap entry level p965 boards I believe and might be better than what you have listed. For a bit more cash, you could get instead the p5b-e, ds3 or even the p5n-e (nvidia 650i if SLI floats your boat but I don't recommend it for what you are trying to accomplish.) You can easily find some reviews online. If you want one that can accept DDR, you'll have to look around but some people now and then recommend a board that can if you look through past posts.
Some websites list it (incorrectly) as Allendale because it only has 2mb of cache which was cut off. WoW doesn't take much to run anyway.