First Build, highly appreciate some input

I have been reading up on hardware for two days now. I have assisted in putting together PCs before, but I have never done it alone. I don't think that should be too much of a problem as I am familiar with working inside the case.

My main problem lies in choosing the components. I have trolled this forum, and have read a lot of things, some of which are of opposing views.

The purpose of the PC will be gaming, and some academic software use when PhD in PoliSci starts next semester. Nothing too fancy I suppose, so I guess the main worry is gaming.

I have zero experience overclocking, but I do plan to give it a mild try with this machine. I am not willing however to spend too much time trying to get to peak ratings however. Key word is MILD OCing here.

So far I have:

-DFI INFINITY 975X LGA 775 Intel 975X ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
-Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
-HIS Hightech H195PRF256DDN-R Radeon X1950PRO 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
-CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC, C-tick - Retail

-Kingston HyperX 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KHX6400D2LLK2/2GN - Retail
-2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Kingston Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR667D2N5K2/2G - Retail
-BUFFALO Firestix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory -

The case I am in doubt between:
110US$ NZXT Nemesis Elite Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811146030

70US$ NZXT Apollo BLACK NP Black SECC Steel Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

70US$ Thermaltake Swing VB6000BWS Black 0.8 mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

as well as some Lian-Lis... basically, I've spent hours looking through cases but have no idea. Would like some input into a decently cool (temperature wise, not aesthetics) case, below 120US$, and not too complicated to install, and which won't crumble when I have to fly or drive them back home from University. Taking any recommendations.

+random stuff:
-ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler - Retail
-Pioneer 16X DVD±R DVD Burner With 5X DVD-RAM Read Black ATAPI Model DVR-111D - OEM
- BELKIN F8E066 Professional Computer Tool Kit (36-Piece) - Retail (Left all my tools in Brazil when i moved here. These are enough for a complete install, right?)
- APC BE750BB 750 VA 450 Watts UPS - Retail
- Arctic Silver 5

So my doubts are:

1) Since I won't be overclocking the E6600 to much more than 20%, or around 3.0ghz, would i really benefit from DDR2 -800s or should i stick to 667s or 533s? In either case, is one of the above RAMs appropriate? I would rather have problem-free sticks since I don't have any spare components to test anything out here, so i thought to go with Kingston or something else that is reliable. Someone mentioned OCZ, but i saw that their price is about the same as Kingstons, so I figured go with the Kings, right?

2) Is that Mobo a good choice? I dont plan on doing Crossfire or SLI, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to at least have that choice in the future. Should I consider a 965 chipset board? I really don't need too many perks from the Mobo. If the Audio on a board you recommend isn't very good, what cheap audio card should I get? It doesn't have to be too high end, 50 US$ cap. Thinking:
49US$ Creative Sound Blaster SB0610VP 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Audigy 4 SE Sound Card - OEM

I also saw that Taco is raving about the RD600 boards with E4300 cpus. My calculation is that since I don't know how, and am not so inclined in going for a 4ghz E4300, the more reserved E6600 with the 975 or 965 chipsets is best?

3) Is the video Card alright? Better to go with one with more long-term reviews?

4) Case... Pretty lost here.

5) HD. The SG 7200.10s are pretty standard, and I dont need anything more than 160gb, but the 13US$ for 90 more gb from 160-> 250 seemed well worth it. I am considering buying another one of these soon for a Raid 0... My doubt is whether the speed gain is very worthwhile (which would make me buy it now).

6) Pioneer DVD ok? Seems like every brand has its legions of followers and uh, haters?

7) PSU. I have tried doing some calculations, but am not too sure on the whole calculating the Amps on the 12v rails thing. Is this PSU enough for this system? Should i get something more towards 600W for a possible future upgrade? If so, what's a good unit under US$150, closer to maybe 130?

8) Depending on the case I will probably buy another 12cm fan. I was wondering whether I will need to buy any extra cables for the OEM HD, but i guess the mobo comes with the SATA cable, right?

I already have my old mouse, keyboard, headphones, etc. I have to research on a LCD monitor atm. I am thinking 22" widescreen. I am correct to say that I have to consider only those with 5ms response or less, and more 6-bit instead of 8-bit comps? What brands to go for; Dell, LG? Any to avoid?

Sorry for the long post, I am known to be painfully prolix, but also incredibly grateful for any input. Like some of the other folks asking for advice right now, I plan on finishing off these considerations by this weekend and buying on monday.

Again, thanks a lot for your time guys.

4 answers Last reply
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  1. Hi rotten.
    sounds like youre gonna have some fun.
    As for the case, i'd go for a Lian Li A60 or B60 if you can get youre hands on one. Great case, all aluminium,lots of cooling options. removable backplate for the mobo.removable harddiskbay etc. Price should be around 100 dollers.
    A good second choice would be the Coolermaster Ammo, which i use for Lan Partys because its easy to carry around and its really sturdy, If not somewhat heavy. As for the videocard, i'd go for the 8800GTS. If you ever want to upgrade to Vista and want to use DirectX 10 you will need it (I have 2 in SLI).
    For the motherboard, go for the ASUS P5B deluxe wifi ap, a great motherboard with lots of options and exellent for wireless internet and online gaming. It has the intel 965 chipset.
    Or if you want to splash go for the ASUS P5N32 SLI Premium Wifi ap, with has even more options, including an exellent sound card and three PCI express slots, two for videocard and one for a future physics card! It has the NV 590 chipset. I have this board.
    Youre choise for Kingston is exellent, but why not go for PC8500?
    For the lcd, go for IIyama or Belinea. I just bought a Belinea 19" ,It has onboard sound and 2 MS and a beautfull picture. I only use this for Lanpartys because its lite. my main screen is a IIyama Vision master pro 450 flatscreen CRT 19" simple because you can not get the high resolutions
    on an LCD. I run mine on 1600 *1200.
    Theres nothing like building youre own! Have fun!
    Wacky. :wink:
    sys. specs.:OCZ game extreme 700 W PSU, Kingston hyperX PC8500 2Gb,ASUS P5N32 SLI Premium Wifi ap MOBO,E6600 dual core,2 eVGA 8800
    GTS videocards, Creative XFI music soundcard, WD Raptor 37 Gb HD for OS,Maxtor 300Gb HD for the rest,Zallman 7900 CPU cooler, Creative Fatality mouse,Logitech G15 keyboard,Logitech Z3 2.1 speakerset,Plextor P716 A DVD burner, ASUS DVD player,Lian Li A60 case.
  2. Sweet Wacky, thanks for the input.

    I think I have settled for the LIAN LI PC-61 USB Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

    As for the 8800GTS, I had considered it and did again after you posted. I just can't get over all the driver problems people mention, and the fact that it is still too early to go with DX10. I am sure that a X1950 Pro can last me a good while until I need to make a switch. Consider that until now I am still runing a MX 420 64mb GeForce 4, from a Dell i bought 5-6 years ago.

    For the Mobo, you sold me on the ASUS P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

    I am still working on the monitor, but will look into what you suggested.

    My main problems now are:

    1) Deciding on the Ram. Any inputs? Are you sure that I can benefit from PC8500 RAM? What sort of bottleneck am I looking for in my system?

    2) The video-card just became a new issue. I have:
    a. 190US$ GIGABYTE GV-RX195P256D-RH Radeon X1950PRO 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
    Cooled with Zalman VF700-ALCU 2 ball VGA cooler

    b. 200US$ DIAMOND X1950PRO256PCIE Radeon X1950PRO 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 VIVO Video Card - Retail

    c. US$215 SAPPHIRE 100176U Radeon X1950PRO 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Ultimate Video Card - Retail

    and d. 230US$ HIS Hightech H195XT256DVN-R Radeon X1950XT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail

    I guess the 230US$ is the highest I am willing to go for GPU. Now, is HIS a trustable brand? Should I go for a 1950XT on a HIS, or should I go for a known brand 1950PRO? And in the Pro, which one is the best bet?

    Thanks a lot for the input Wacky. I hope some other people can throw their 2 cents in too. I am looking forward to building this next week.

  3. For the monitors, I think I got down to three:

    260US$ SAMSUNG 931C High Glossy Black 19" 2ms (GTG) DVI LCD Monitor - Retail

    SAMSUNG 204B-BK Black 20.1" 5ms DVI LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 800:1 - Retail

    NEC Display Solutions 90GX2-BK Black 19" 4ms DVI LCD Monitor 400 cd/m2 700:1 - Retail

    Any comments?

    I will drop by Best Buy tomorrow to have a feel for them first though. Thanks.

  4. Hi Rotten.
    Good choice on the case and mobo!
    Strange thing about the 8800 driver issues though, with the latest NV drivers i have no broblems at all! Half life 2, Call of Duty, F.E.A.R.,Dark Messiah,etc all run at full speed without any problems!
    As for the ram, go for the Kingston hyperX PC6400,Its sweet! The bottleneck would be the FSB,PC8500 runs at 1066 Mhz and PC 6400 at 800 Mhz.
    As for the Vcard, If youre going for ATI, Sapphire is the best, as is XFX for NVidia.
    Did you get a PSU yet? If you want 600 Watts, look into an Enermax 600W,they are great and the fan is adjustible on the back(outside of the case).
    I also think the Samsung 931C would be the best choice.I forgot to mention Samsung,they win a lot of "best of" awards!
    Any choice on a soundcard yet?
    See ya,
    Wacky : :D
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