Building my first, accepting assistance!

First I'd like to state that any time spent and assistance is greatly appreciated! I will be accepting help over the weekend(Fri-Sun) and most likely purchasing on Monday morning.

This computer will be for every day internet use, gaming, and serious school work. All of the components are selected from some items out of stock that I found via other websites and stores)

Will run XP Home Until Vista seems like a good idea.

I already have a 19" Monitor and a 5.1 Sound System. I will most likely upgrade those eventually.

I also plan on over clocking a little ;D


Computer Case
Antec Nine Hundred

Power Supply
SeaSonic 700W


Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz

G Skill 2 x 1GB

Video Card

Sound Card
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic
(Buying from different site because newegg is out)

Optical Drives
LG Burner - $29.99
LG Reader - $17.99

Floppy Drive
Nec Black
$6.25 (lol this isn't worth posting)

Hard Drives
Western Digital 150GB Raptor $219.99
Western Digital 250GB 7.2K RPM $74.99


Power Protection
APC 10 Outlet 450 Watt

Sony Studio

Tool Kit
Belkin Professional

CPU Cooler
Tuniq Tower

Logitech Standard Gaming Keyboard
Logitech G5

Grand Total: $2,508.31 (Including Shipping)
About $360~ of which are extras

Any assistance or opinions for current or additional items is extremely welcome! Thank you again for reading, or at least skimming.
59 answers Last reply
More about building first accepting assistance
  1. Looks fine, although you may want to consider RAID 0 of two 7200rpm hard drives instead of 1 Raptor. I'd only use Raptors if they were striped for maximum performance - like two 36GB or 74GB Raptors. Either THG or Anandtech did a comparison of 1 Raptor vs RAID 0 7200rpm drives, and the RAID 0 array performed better in most benchmarks - I believe web serving/database retrieval are the only benches that the Raptor performed better.

    Also, skip the surge protectors and get an APC battery backup. Surge protectors don't help with voltage drops (brownouts), battery backups do. I'd get the SeaSonic or OCZ 700W PSU over the Thermaltake. Read up on the eVGA 680i issues so you're not surprised if you have a problem.. DFI will have a 680i board out very soon..
  2. Good advice, thank you.

    I don't know how to set up RAID 0 but I'm sure i can figure it out.

    Does this APC look alright?
    Or should I get a higher watt?
  3. Quote:
    Good advice, thank you.

    I don't know how to set up RAID 0 but I'm sure i can figure it out.

    Does this APC look alright?
    Or should I get a higher watt?

    After you physically install the hard drives in the case and connect the SATA cables to the RAID-capable SATA ports on the motherboard (read the manual to see which are)..

    When Windows starts to install, at the bottom of the screen it'll say something like "Press F3 to install third party SCSI or RAID driver".. press F3 and insert your RAID/motherboard CD/floppy and follow the prompts - you'll want to select RAID 0 (striped) as your array type. It's not really any more difficult than installing to just one drive, just a couple extra steps.

    That APC will be fine.. the higher wattage ones will just allow you to keep the computer powered for more minutes when the power in your house is completely off. Really, you just want it to provide steady power through surges and weaknesses in power, and give you a couple minutes to save and shut down if the power goes out.
  4. hope the long post isn't scaring people away!
  5. I doubt it - it's probably the fact that there's no complaints about the components you've selected. I personally would go for a 965P motherboard if you're not going SLI.. or hold out until DFI releases their 680i board soon.. or if you need it NOW, get the Gigabyte 680i board (not available at newegg, but it's on the net).
  6. More good advice Silencer!

    I'll look into it, most likely going to buy soon though :x
  7. I can't find any places to look at prices or possibly buy Gigabyte 680i ={
  8. Your setup sounds similar to mine, except I went with a midtower case NZXT Nemesis as it has to fit on top of my desktop. I also got the AR version of the eVGA mobo mainly for the extra included cables, but identical video and sound cards. Just have to make sure the eVGA BIOS is up-to-date since there were SATA issues with prior versions.

    I blew some bux and got the QX6700 CPU and 4 gigs of Crucial Ballistix PC2 8000 memory, since I also ordered Vista 64 ultimate OEM, and a couple of Raptor 150's as well as the Seagate 320's - will stripe each set. Also I went with the Zalman 9700 cooler and a Thermaltake toughpower 750W PSU. Finally, I opted for a pair of Pioneer 111D optical drives as I've had good luck with Pioneer's.

    For a keyboard, I got the Saitek Eclipse 2, even though I was disappoiinted with the Eclipse 1 that I've used for a couple years now - that laser-etching of the keys sounds great but the opaque paint coating tends to wear off over time. My "N" key looks like a big blob now :lol: . I might try some of my wife's clear nail polish on the new one's keys, but first in an inconspicuous spot because I'm not sure how the acetone is gonna affect the key paint and plastic.

    Total system price incl. shipping was $4144.46 from Newegg. This is my first build since my P4 2.5GHz rig from about 4 years ago :wink: so I felt entitled to blow my EOY bonus. When I priced a similar system from Falcon (dual 7800GTX cards however) it was well over $6K a couple months ago.

    I'm holding off on a new display for now too - I hear that Dell is coming out with a new version of their 30" LCD similar to the 27" - >90% gamut - and maybe then they'll drop the price on the 27" version :P
  9. going with the case, and optical drives

    sound card is out of stock, if it comes back soon i'll get it
  10. ah the case is out of stock too <dies>
  11. I suggest a Logitech G5 for your mouse.
  12. Quote:
    I suggest a Logitech G5 for your mouse.

    Those are very nice if you can live without the 2nd thumb button. I can't, so I use the Logitech MX518. Why Logitech decided not to include it is beyond me - they've lost a ton of sales over 1 button. Both are excellent mice though.
  13. Quote:

    Good, if you don't plan on using it with your motherboard. You need 240pin DDR2 memory..

    This would work and is very inexpensive:
    At 667MHz, that'll get an E4300/E6600 to at least 3.0GHz, maybe make it to 3.15GHz when slightly overclocked - Kingstons don't usually go much further than rated speed, but they're a quality brand and is a great deal at that price.
    You could go for some GeIL DDR2-800 for $20 more.. but I've had mixed experiences with that brand. Either way, it would get you to 400MHz bus.. 3.6GHz on the E4300/E6600 (E4300 may not make it that high anyway, and E6600 will be at about it's limit without watercooling):
  14. Uh-huh. An eVGA NVIDIA 680i motherboard, an E6600, Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty. and an eVGA 8800GTX. And a RAIDed pair of Seagate 320GBs. I think when your described your usage expectations what you really meant to say was something like
    "This computer will be for every day internet use, :!: :!: 8O gaming 8O :!: :!: , and serious school work. "

    No? If this machine is primarily intended for "school work" that must be one hell of a demanding academic program you're entering. :wink:

    -john, the ostensibly clueless redundant legacy dinosaur
  15. I like the mouse but I'm not sure if I'll go with cordless

    also the rd600 is a brand name I've never heard of that is more expensive then one of the most popular mobos, also it has less fsb and less ports as well as no sli

    and 6600 is better then 4300? O_o
  16. lol well I'm going to have a lot of internet classes, and I do like to play a lot of games, and I'm also looking forward to some dx10 games like crysis :)
  17. very persuasive, taco

    should i be focused on having upgradeable parts or just rebuild every few years?
  18. Quote:
    very persuasive, taco

    should i be focused on having upgradeable parts or just rebuild every few years?

    Keep in mind that with RD600, if you want SLI.. you'll have to use hacked drivers and they aren't guaranteed to work without issues. If you're planning on SLI in the future, I'd stick with an nvidia chipset.
  19. Such a confusing world for a newb like me!
  20. I've got all weekend to figure out a solution, but I feel as though I at least have a decent build.

    Just have to swap a few similar items around to save some more cash, I suppose.
  21. God my necks killing me from looking at hardware for like 8 hours. Still accepting constructive criticism.
  22. Quote:
    should i be focused on having upgradeable parts or just rebuild every few years?

    That's a personal decision so the only one who knows the answer is you. :)

    FWIW, my current plan is to pick up an E4300 at some "appropriate" point during February. This is mostly because I'm looking forward to the products and price cuts Intel is expected to let loose sometime in May or June of this year. (See, for example, this thread: Rumoured Processor Roadmap of Intel / AMD for 2007)

    Since I have limited funds and a really ancient system it seems most prudent to start small and then re-evaluate my need for speed later. I expect I'll be real happy just moving to an E4300 since I'm coming from a Pentium III world. OTOH, I can never see me going with a 680i motherboard or an 8800 GTX video card. If I could throw that kind of money at I'm not sure what shape my plans might take. :wink:

    -john, the ostensibly clueless redundant legacy dinosaur
  23. Thank you Taco. I really do appreciate the help.

    Thanks all for posting.
  24. Good guideline :)

    I pretty much just know the basics, I can put together a decent system but when it comes to really saving a lot of money and getting good performance, I have problems.

    Is there anything you think I should change, on my updated list?

    I really like the Antec Nine Hundred, by the way.
  25. Quote:

    But silencer-I don't think that a person who is buying a 6600 or 4300 could really afford sli 8800gtx's, and by the time he can, there's gonna be something new that's better out for less than the overall price of sli. RD600 it is. No questions asked, if you want to try to prove me wrong on this, just go bother someone like 3lfk1ng that has an rd600 and then be told off by them

    And by that token, a P965 would be the ideal choice. If he was investing in more than 2 hard drives for more than a simple RAID 0/1, an R600, and X6800/QX6700, the RD600 is fine.. I personally feel both 680i and RD600 are both overkill for an E6600 without SLI/CF. He's gonna max out the CPU before the P965 anyway.. much less come close to the limits of the RD600/680i, especially on the RAM he's looking at.

    I'm not slamming the RD600 - it been shown it's a fantastic board.. but you suggested for him to get it and used hacked drivers for SLI, then say not to get the 680i because he won't use SLI. If he's not using CF and doesn't have the other components (RAM/CPU/cooling/hard drives) to really utilize it like 3lf, what's his need for it? His wallet is too heavy? He simply hasn't picked out high enough components to make the extra $130 over the P965 board worth it. Multiple RAID arrays? Yes, it's fantastic. CF+PhysX? Yes, it's got that too. If it's just overclocking he needs.. the P965-DS3 will get to the 407MHz that 3lf used for his 3DMark score.. nioin3k hasn't picked the X6800 and cooling to get to 5.3GHz though. You tell him the advantage of spending $130 on something he simply won't use.

    Save some cash and get a Gigabyte DS3 or Asus P5B Deluxe.. Clock that to 400MHz FSB and enjoy your 3.6GHz E6600. And if 400MHz isn't enough.. it's been over 500MHz @ Anandtech.
  26. Quote:

    If you knew a thing about the rd600, you'd know it incorporates many things that no other board has before, such as independent memory clocking. There are other reasons that overclocking for suggesting the rd600. And physx is a waste if you have an oc'd 8800gtx

    Oh yeah that's right.. I forgot independent memory clocking is worth the $130 to him. nioin3k - definitely buy the RD600.
  27. I don't really know a whole lot between the hardware argument, but I'm gonna keep this posted and updated over the weekend, hopefully collaborate with some people that know more then me.

    Thanks all for posts, silencer and tacos for the most assistance : )
  28. OK, thank you.
  29. I'm sure it can be a lot of fun :)

    Youth and Camping sounds like a good time to me.
  30. I'm very sleepy, so I wont be around to respond until morning, but feel free to post if you're reading this!
  31. Your proposed system looks OK overall. Some of the comments made by I_Love_Tacos are very appropos. You may want to consider some strategic spending issues.

    I am not going to comment too much on specific hardware components like particular brands of RAM, as I think that these are details that are - excepting outright conflicts that prevent function period - secondary. I will make some suggestions and recommendations about specific issues.

    You should always remember that performance differences less than 50% are imperceptable. In other words, you will not be able to physically see the difference in things like load time or execution time if the performance difference between Brand X and Brand Y is 10%, despite the fact that the "faster" brand may be considerabley more expensive. It has always struck me that spending lots of extra money for a marginal performance improvement that I cannot actually percieve is extremely stupid, to put it kindly. Especially when the price difference could be applied to components that will actually make a perceptable performance difference. Be very careful not get sucked into the "more money than brains" operational mode.

    1) Your OS choice is incorrect. Get the Pro version of XP. It has better security and connectivity features. You may wish to check out the following site: specifically the FAQ sections re XP. Do NOT get Vista until it has been out for a minimum of 6 months - it will take at least that long for any major "unexpected" security holes to show up and get patched. Not to mention issues with software and hardware glitches. This is a Microsoft OS, after all.

    2A) You should re-assess your choice of optical drives. For starters, you don't need 2 burners. Secondly, the LG line is very good, and to the best of my knowledge, will burn anything, regardless of format. You should get one DVD reader and one burner.

    2B) You should also get a Y-splitter audio connecter cable so that yuou can use both drives to play back audio. This is acable that allows both optical drives to be connected to the soundcard simultaneously.

    2C) You may want to consider getting a DVD Burner with either Lightscribe or Lite-on capabilities.

    3) Sound card. You may want to reconsider the specific model of SB card. Unless you are seriously into creating audio, the features and performance of lower-priced X-Fi cards will be equivalent to the card you propose. The add-on port connector is nice, but you can always get it later, and the cash you save can be applied to other components and/or software.

    4) Case. The case you propose is pretty nice, and looks snazzy. You may want to consider taking a very close look at the Thermaltake Armor Jr or Armor cases. The Jr is less expensive than your proposal, it also looks snazzy, and is upgradeable to BTX format. It is also designed to handle a water-cooling system, if you should decide to get into overclocking your system. It comes with either a clear or solid side panel.

    5) Hard Drives. You may want to consider the following configuration: a single WD Raptor 150 GB drive as your root / boot drive and a single 200 - 300 GB 7200 RPM drive for your data, etc drive. You would also be wise to remember that RAID 0 has the following disadvantages: It provides no data security, it cannot be partitioned into discrete units and it is less secure from damage by malware. Additionally RAID 0 is subject to total data loss if either one of the drives in the array fails.

    5A) Getting a Raptor as your boot / root drive will give you a noticeable perforamnce advantage over any 7200 RPM drive, no matter what configuration you have the slower drives in. The 150 GB Rapto is the better deal in terms of price / GB ratio compared to the 75 GB Raptor.

    5B) If you do decide to get the Raptor, you should partition it as follows: 1) ~ 40 GB for the OS, utilities like Antivirus and firewall, files that must be installed on the C drive, your swap / page file etc.. You should set up your swap / page file to be a permanent size by making the min/max size the same. This will prevent the fluctuation of the swap file size form fragmenting the disk. 2) Approx 10 - 20 GB for your applications. 3) the reminder for your games. This scheme will enable you you to isolate your OS from your apps and games, protecting each from the other.

    5C) Single 7200 RPM drive. Create at least 2 partitions on the drive for data and downloads. This will make backing up your data files easier.

    6) Video card. You may want to consider waiting on the purchase of a high-end DX-10 based card until ATI/AMD release their own version of same. Even if the nVidea product conmtinues to outperform the ATI product, competition will guarantee a price reduction. Right now, you are looking at a significant premiuim due to lack of competiton.

    6) Don't forget to budget for the software you need other than the OS.

    7) I note that you haven't included items like printers, scanners, game controllers and other peripherals. You may want to consider revising your budget to include any such items that it may be necessary to replace. Don't forget that new MoBos don't include support for parallel ports. At the very least, you should budget for things like parallel to USB adaptors, assuming that you have devices that use either parallel or serial ports,

    Hope this helps.
  32. So two 250GB 7200s in raid 0 wouldn't be as good as a raptor and a 7200 for security and speed?
  33. You were very right about LG, wizard, I removed the nec for some LGs.

    I had a raptor/7200 at first but then I was told raid 0 was same speed so I figured I could save some money but now I'm considering going back to raptor/7200.

    I don't need a printer or game controllers or anything, all of the stuff i included should be more then enough. Only thing I'd want more of is a sound system and a monitor, but I need to use the ones I have now because they work pretty well, and I wouldn't be using them if I upgraded.
  34. As for the video card, is it possible for me to use my old ASUS V9280 128M video card until I can get a better deal on a dx10?

    It's like 4 years old, trying to find more info and a picture but having trouble O_o
  35. So most important thing on my mind right now is if I'm able to use my

    ASUS v9280 128M NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti4200 Series Graphic Card

    with my current system spec, instead of

    eVGA GeForce 8800GTX

    and then eventually get a dx10 card in a few months. I think it'll work but I'm not sure O_o
  36. I must agree with other posts, I would go RAID 0 with a couple of 200 gig 7200 rpm drives, and if you need parity go RAID 0+1. You'll notice the difference in the speed of access and writes in most cases.
  37. Two people say raid 0 two people say raptor/7200...

    I don't know much about either so I guess I'll try to do some more research, still need to know:

    "So most important thing on my mind right now is if I'm able to use my

    ASUS v9280 128M NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti4200 Series Graphic Card

    with my current system spec, instead of

    eVGA GeForce 8800GTX

    and then eventually get a dx10 card in a few months. I think it'll work but I'm not sure O_o"
  38. Yeah, looks like using my old card isn't an option, still confused about raid 0 or raptor though
  39. Looks great, but why the floppydrive? It will only slow down youre system (virus scanner). I turned mine off in bios and bought a external USB floppydrive for the once in a liftime that you might need it (NOT!).
    Wacky :wink:
  40. Quote:
    Two people say raid 0 two people say raptor/7200...

    I don't know much about either so I guess I'll try to do some more research, still need to know:

    "So most important thing on my mind right now is if I'm able to use my

    ASUS v9280 128M NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti4200 Series Graphic Card

    with my current system spec, instead of

    eVGA GeForce 8800GTX

    and then eventually get a dx10 card in a few months. I think it'll work but I'm not sure O_o"

    Raptors are expensive, and about to become obsolete. Hybrid drives and flash drives are almost here...You're going to want good quiet storage. Pick up a couple of 7200rpm drives. Get the 16mb buffer's from WD, doesn't really matter which you get, just a get a good deal. Raid-0 would be fine, but not necessary. It will speed things up, it can be a bit tricky to set it up but it's not that hard. I would get two 160gig HDD's in Raid-0 for now, and then pop in a hybrid drive for an OS drive later on, and transfer anything over. Just don't lose anything important. Then you can raid-1 your two drives if you want, and use them to store images and videos and whatnot. Raid-1 will make them both identical so you won't lose your data.
  41. Quote:
    ASUS v9280 128M NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti4200 Series Graphic Card

    Uh, yeah, it's an AGP card, right? So it can't be used in a PCIe system. Amazingly enough I think there are adapters out there to let you bridge an AGP card into a PCIe slot. I can't imagine anyone actually using one at this point in time though. But you could "settle" for a less expensive but "good enough" card for now and move to DX10 later. I'm sure lots of people do this every day. :)

    Two people say raid 0 two people say raptor/7200...
    I don't know much about either so I guess I'll try to do some more research,

    I don't like either approach but for purely personal (emotional) reasons so I have nothing to say with any technical merit. I will however propose another possible alternative you don't seem to be considering: Wait and see.

    The way you frame the question it's as though you must pick one alternative or the other before you can order and build your system. Not true. You can get the one common piece to both proposals, a 7200 RPM drive, and build your system and see how you like it. It may turn out that you'll be quite happy with what you get and won't feel the need for even more speed. If that happens, great! You've saved some money and are still happy.

    However, if that's not the case you can then pick one of the two alternatives and get either another 7200RPM drive or a Raptor. It's not like you'd be locked into using forever your initial purchase configuration. No?

    -john, the ostensibly clueless redundant legacy dinosaur
  42. Quote:
    Yeah, looks like using my old card isn't an option, still confused about raid 0 or raptor though

    RAID info here:

    A very good site Very strongly suggest you follow up to clear up any confusion.

    RAID 0 is usually recommended in terms of perfromance improvement.

    But see here for limitations, especially RAID 0:

    Raptor = 10,000 RPM, which is 2800 RPM faster than Seagate (or any other brands) 7200 RPM. Faster access and therefore boot / load times. More expensive than 7200 RPM drives, but if you really want superior performance, this set-up is worth looking into.

    Note that RAID arrays are not generally able to support multiple partitioms. And that data back-up is a real concern. Not to mention negative consequences of infestation of a "one big drive" approach to storage when you have to deal with the prtoblem.

    You may wish to consider the fact that the majority of treue security experts recommend a multi-partition set-up similar to what I recomended.

    Comments by other posters here that Raptors and other high-RPM drives are soon to be obsolete need to be confirmed and taken with a very large truck-load of salt.

    If you want to discuss this further, contact me byu PM.
  43. Thank you very much Wizard, always well written responses with good information.

    My work is going to be very important to keep safe, and I do want superior speed. I think getting a Raptor is the right approach.

    Other then that I still have a day before I order, so I'm still accepting assistance. Thanks for reading and don't be afraid to give me your opinions!
  44. I was thinking about OCZ 700 Watt over SeaSonic 700 Watt. The SeaSonic is obviously better, but I'm not sure if it's worth 40 dollars more. Anyone have opinions on that?
  45. is about the same price as

    but ocz has more power and a fan that will blow on some of my other parts

    seasonic has more power and two fans compared to the one of both of those

    X_X idk
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