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My First Build on a $1300 budget

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January 27, 2007 4:39:10 PM

Since I was born, my Dad has always given me his computers and built them for me. I am 16 now and it is time I take on the task of buying and building my own PC. We have a great hand me down system in this family so the rest of my family will get upgrades too! Over the years my last major upgrade has held me over, but now I find that is has fallen behind as all of the latest games will not work on it at all.

Old PC Specs:
ECS Model something or other. :p 
Pentium 4 1.6ghz
512mb PC233
GeForce 4 MX4000
Audigy 2
Antec 350w (I forgot the model and I am too lazy to open the case right now)
80gb Seagate ATA Hardrive

About two years ago I found that the above PC was no longer enough to play new games well (and I am not that picky) or keep up in the programs I have to use for work. (Web Design)

After my first two major websites I finally saved up enough to build a new PC! I had only $1300 to spend because I was saving the rest for future expenses. :p 

The New PC specs are as follows.

Intel Bad Axe 2 Motherboard
Intel E6600, 2.4ghz CPU
Corsair XMS2, 2 x 512MB, DDR2 800mhz RAM
Antec True Power Trio, 3 +12v rails at 18a, 550w Power Supply
EVGA GeForce 7950GT, 512mb, Superclocked Edition (I am going to throw on a Zalman VF900 CU 2 Ball VGA Cooler just in case this over clocked version runs hot...)
Western Digital SE, 16mb Cache, 250GB Hard Drive
Audigy 2
XionII Case

A big upgrade for me. :p 

Does anyone have any advice regarding future upgrades? Or talk about your experience with any of the above mentioned hardware?

Comments are appreciated too.

Thanks!

More about : build 1300 budget

January 27, 2007 5:14:16 PM

A very good upgrade for you ;) 

But a few comments and questions that can make it even better :) 


First, are you gonna be overclocking? If not, then you can save a bundle of cash on a cheaper (but still good!) motherboard. You can also save money on the RAM too. If not OC'ing, just get an MSI or Biostar 965 motherboard, they will do you just fine. And then get 667 RAM, not 800. Get Value Corsair instead.

Next, ditch the sound card. These new mobos have very good onboard, unless you're going with a total surround system or home theatre. Save yourself the money there for sure.

Next, the Zalman VF-900 is an excellent cooler, I have owned both the 700 and 900 versions. However, a factory-overclocked vid card is not overclocked much AT ALL, and really won't run any hotter than a stock card. If it does, it'll only be a degree Celcius or 2, no biggie. Save your money, go with the stock cooler. The ONLY thing is that a stock cooler will be louder than the Zalman, but if you're not too worried then save your money there for sure.

Next, change your hard drive to a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 w/16 meg cache. It's faster than the Western Digital, more reliable, and better warranty. I've owned Seagate, WD, Hitachi, and every single drive I've fried has been a Western Digital. No probs with any others.

Case. XION II. Meh. If you like the look then fine, but the Coolermaster Centurion 5 (I think that's it) is a better case with better airflow and more room. Just a thought.....


So, now here's the bonus ;)  With the money you've saved from all the above stuff, get 2 gigs RAM :D  Get 2x1024 sticks and you're laughing for a long time. You may want to upgrade your vid card in a year or two for Vista and DX10, but the 2 gigs will help your system overall now with everything, not just games. And RAM doesn't go out of style quick like a vid card, it'll last a long time.


Overall, a much better investment of your money for the system. One last option: Get an EVGA 7600GT now, it'll handle most modern games no problem, then when the mid-range DX10 cards come out and prices drop a bit, then give the 7600 to someone else in your family like you said and get a MUCH BETTER mid-range DX10 card that will spank the 7950 ;)  Much better I think. Takes a bit longer to wait, but a wiser choice in my opinion.
Related resources
January 27, 2007 5:19:07 PM

i'd save money and go with a different mobo...or for the price of the badaxe go with the abit ab9-quadgt

the p5b-deluxe is a good choice too
January 27, 2007 5:35:01 PM

If the higher-end features aren't needed (such as Wi-Fi, etc), I'd just go with a Gigabyte 965P-DS3. Excellent, stable board, overclocks very well, and is ALOT cheaper too.
January 27, 2007 6:04:06 PM

Also, if am not mistaken the Xion II case you have chosen comes with a Power supply. The case itself shouldn't be a problem but I would buy another PS or just buy another case without the PS and buy a good PS separetly.
January 27, 2007 8:05:16 PM

YES, don't use the included PSU if it has one, definitely ditch it. Get a good standalone PSU or you'll be crying later, spend a bit of money and it's a very wise investment......so you don't end up burning out parts or something.
January 27, 2007 11:10:06 PM

I'd recommend staying a bit less expensive on your system. I would personally limit the budget to $1000....

This is what I'd do...

Intel Core 2 Duo E4300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Gigabyte GA-965P-S3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2-667 Dual Channel Kit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
XClio A380 Case (Black or white)
(Former) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
(Latter) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
2 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, in RAID 0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
XClio Greatpower X14S4P4 600-watt ATX12v Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Lite-On Black ATAPI/E-IDE DVD-Rom drive, OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (32bit), OEM DVD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1683...
Internal Card Reader and 3.5" Floppy Combo
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...
EVGA GeForce 7300GT, 256MB GDDR2, PCI-e
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Ok some notes on that...
-The case is a bit out-there... the two 25cm fans are good for OCing, and it's quiet.
-Two Barracudas for RAID 0, get similar preformance to a WD Raptor.
-The eVGA GeForce 7300GT is a hold-you-over for the GeForce 8600 Ultra-probably the best preformance for your money, when DX10 releases. You can return to NewEgg for a 15% restock fee (about $10.50) within 30 days. Then, buy a GeForce 8600 Ultra.
-Cheap DVD-ROM drive, you can upgrade to a DVD burner for a little bit more.
-A pretty good modular power supply, a bit of overkill if you don't SLI two 8800GTX's (which I doubt you will). Fill in the blank with some other decent PSU.
-Yes, that's Value-RAM! You can overclock safely to about 3GHz easily with that stuff... good overclocking potential as you are only overclocking the CPU (you are putting the RAM at the correct clock, from an underclock).
-Inexpensive motherboard. It was designed for low-cost overclocking.
-A good overclocking CPU. You can reach 3GHz without risking your RAM.
-Windows Vista Home Premium... you can easily swap that for something else. Vista will, however, give you a nice experience with Aero, and you will get DX10 support when those games are truly mainstream (a few titles for DX10 are coming out in a few months, though they will be on-par with DX9 for a bit).
-You can drop the MCR and Floppy drive... I included them because I use SD cards and you might need to flash your BIOS if it's not at F9 (or some other release).

Subtotal: $1057.15
Shipping (to me, estimate for you): $36.11
Grand total: $1093.26

I hope that helps! It's a huge upgrade, and you can definately play all games out there (older ones on max settings or newer ones on mid).
January 28, 2007 12:02:37 AM

The Kingston Valu memory is great!
January 28, 2007 12:35:36 AM

The best thing is the low price/gig for that speed of memory. Kingston is a good brand for RAM... not the best but definately nowhere near the worst!! The point with that true value-RAM is there is no harm overclocking to 3ghz with it! 333*9=2997 (about 3ghz). That's a 1:1 ratio that Core loves!!

Besides... you spend $190 for 2gb of RAM... most RAM is $100-110/gig for OC...
January 28, 2007 2:11:03 AM

Yes, with a higher multiplier your RAM isn't stressed as hard when you go 1:1 ratio. Even Value RAM can handle an extra 0.1v, so you can get a moderate OC on value RAM, it's just not as "guaranteed" as the more expensive stuff. So you basically get what you get for an OC and that's it, no "pushing it".
January 28, 2007 3:58:37 PM

Quote:
First, are you gonna be overclocking?


At first I am probably not going to be doing any over-clocking. Later on down the line I might do a little, so I would like to have a few options to do so if I wanted to. The extra power/flexibility never hurts.

Quote:
You can also save money on the RAM too. If not OC'ing, just get an MSI or Biostar 965 motherboard, they will do you just fine. And then get 667 RAM, not 800. Get Value Corsair instead.


Definitely sound advice, but I might be over clocking in the future, and from what I read you need fairly fast RAM, decent quality RAM to pull anything off. No extreme over clocking like some of the people here, just smaller simple over clocks for fun when I am bored.

Quote:
Next, ditch the sound card.


I forgot to mention that I was carrying it over from my old PC. Sorry about that. Also, a few places mentioned that the Intel Bad Axe 2 Motherboard has crummy on-board sound, so bad that it effects game frame rates.

Quote:
Next, the Zalman VF-900 is an excellent cooler, I have owned both the 700 and 900 versions. However, a factory-overclocked vid card is not overclocked much AT ALL, and really won't run any hotter than a stock card..


The temperatures really are not that different? Even when the card is clocked 50mhz over stock? How would it effect case temps though? I have been out of the hardware loop since the GeForce 4. :p 

Quote:
Next, change your hard drive to a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 w/16 meg cache. It's faster than the Western Digital, more reliable, and better warranty. I've owned Seagate, WD, Hitachi, and every single drive I've fried has been a Western Digital. No probs with any others.


I have had nearly the exact opposite experience. Only Seagates die on me. Talk about bad luck and PC Voodoo. I read that the Seagates are hooter than the Western Digitals, is this true?

Quote:
Case. XION II. Meh. If you like the look then fine, but the Coolermaster Centurion 5 (I think that's it) is a better case with better airflow and more room. Just a thought.....


I spent three days browsing New Egg for a case. The only one I found that allowed for all those fans, in those positions, in those sizes, for a price under $100 was that case. I think I am going to stick with that one...

Quote:
So, now here's the bonus Wink With the money you've saved from all the above stuff, get 2 gigs RAM


Now that *is* tempting. The computer I am using now runs out of RAM fast once I get all my programs up. More RAM never hurts.

Quote:
And RAM doesn't go out of style quick like a vid card, it'll last a long time.


A very good point. I agree.

Quote:
Overall, a much better investment of your money for the system. One last option: Get an EVGA 7600GT now, it'll handle most modern games no problem, then when the mid-range DX10 cards come out and prices drop a bit, then give the 7600 to someone else in your family like you said and get a MUCH BETTER mid-range DX10 card that will spank the 7950 Wink Much better I think. Takes a bit longer to wait, but a wiser choice in my opinion.


Yeah. I just might do that... One thing though. How well will that card play Oblivion? As that is the game I originally built this system for. It was also the game that made me want to buy a new PC. That and the fact that Doom 3 gave me 6-15 fps. Lol.

Thank you very much for your questions, suggestions and time Skyguy. If all the members of the forum are like you, I just joined the right place!

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Quote:
i'd save money and go with a different mobo...or for the price of the badaxe go with the abit ab9-quadgt

the p5b-deluxe is a good choice too


Asus is nice, but it doesn't seem to be what it used to be. They also seem to be RAM picky. Originally that was the motherboard I was going to get, until I researched it, and asked around. I tend to avoid Abit boards though. :p 

Thanks for the suggestion rquinn19

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Quote:
If the higher-end features aren't needed (such as Wi-Fi, etc), I'd just go with a Gigabyte 965P-DS3. Excellent, stable board, overclocks very well, and is ALOT cheaper too.


I read many good things about that board and chipset and motherboard! It is on the top three of my list of Motherboards to research and buy. I am personally a tad bit bias to Intel though... and I have never heard of Gigabyte until a few months ago. So I am still searching it. Thanks again for the advice!

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Quote:
Also, if am not mistaken the Xion II case you have chosen comes with a Power supply. The case itself shouldn't be a problem but I would buy another PS or just buy another case without the PS and buy a good PS separetly.


Yes. I do plan to get a different power supply, but I also plan on keeping the Xion case. The power supply I chose to replace the Xion is an Antec True Power Trio, 3 +12v rails at 18a, 550w Power Supply.

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Quote:
so you don't end up burning out parts or something.


Yes! That is the last thing I want to do. :p  I also bought a UPS with AVR to help with that. It was an APC Back-UPS XS 1300. The power in my house can occasionally be funky. :(  So I need one. :p 

_____________________________________________________________
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Quote:
I'd recommend staying a bit less expensive on your system. I would personally limit the budget to $1000....

This is what I'd do...


Good advice, but I am not too fond of the CPU as I do not want to have to do any over clocking right away. I was kinda hoping for stock speeds to be enough... :p 

That case is though! I am definitely considering that one! Can anyone else comment on it?

Quote:
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium (32bit), OEM DVD


EEEK! I wish to avoid Vista for as long as I can manage. At least until DX10 forces me over.

Quote:
EVGA GeForce 7300GT, 256MB GDDR2, PCI-e


A little weak for Oblivion according to what I read, but that is not hard to upgrade. :D 

Pretty good computer for $1000! :D  Thanks!

_____________________________________________________________
===============================================

As far as RAM goes I guess it comes down to Kingston vs. Corsair. Any ideas folks?

Thanks again for all the advice! I really appreciate it.
January 28, 2007 4:28:49 PM

Well, go with a 7600GS instead of the 7300GT. Oblivion should run smoothly with lower settings (remember even the 8800gtx will drop to 30fps outside while on highest settings). Just settle for lower settings for a bit... you'll end up with an excellent video card that has half the horsepower of the GTX for a third of the price. You might want to look at a SLI board; you could just buy two 8600 Ultras and SLI them---it will probably work much better out of the gate. Equal to the 8800GTX and it gives you a second card to run physics and whatnot off of.

Anyways... a 8600 Ultra is $180. A pair in SLI will be $360. Choose a mobo with SLI (nForce 650i or 680i) and you'll have some real kick-arsch preformance.
January 28, 2007 4:34:31 PM

Is the 8600 Ultra is out at the moment? A lot of people are talking about it.
January 28, 2007 4:57:01 PM

Unfortunately, it's not out yet. I am holding off asking for money for a new PC from my mom until the 8600 Ultra is released. We are all talking about it because of the sheer value of a upper-mid-range card!! 64 pixel shaders for $180. It beats out the 8600GT for price/preformance.

The point is you can get preformance equal or better then either 8800GTS OR 8800GTX if you SLI two 8600 Ultra. $360 for a true kick-ass setup with the processing power equal to 8800GTX, plus you can use the second card to run your physics, as will be implimented. These cards look like they can trump basically anything else on the market for a fraction of the price. They will have at most 512mb of onboard GDDR3 256-bit memory, so SLI two of those and you have 1GB of memory... we don't even fully use 512mb! most of us are very stretched to use 256mb. We can use the ultra-hi-res textures without a big preformance decrease.

Oh, 8600 Ultra expected in a month; late February to early March. nVidia is on the ball right now; they own the market as ATI is failing to bring high-end products to the market. The 8300GS/GT/8600GT/Ultra/GTS(lite) will be coming to market shortly. ATI has nothing to combat the first of the DX10 generation for a while... nVidia is going to get ALOT of market share by following Intel's strategy; reinvent your tech and fill all markets quickly. The 8800's are filling the high-end gap, pushing down basically all of ATI's offerings that are limited to DX9. It will take quite a while, as not many people are buying 8800's and few people will be able to afford R600. The ATI vid card will be lagging behind; they'll have less time to spread it widely. Don't forget that the 8300/8600 will be mainstream products shortly... ATI will probably have nothing to fill that market area until after the release R600.

nVidia is dominating right now. I will feel like having a party when the 8600 Ultra is released... doubtful though!
January 28, 2007 5:00:59 PM

So ATI's stuff will be out by then too. Good. Some competition. I think all the available DX10 cards are too expensive for me at the moment.
January 28, 2007 5:03:12 PM

They won't be to expensive for long. ATI's flagship will be out around the same time as nVidia does the mainstream DX10 stuff... ATI will probably followup with mainstream stuff within a month of R600's release-i don't know much about ATI's roadmap.
January 28, 2007 5:52:38 PM

dude ONE advice
do anything with any other hardware ... BUT
dont change ur mind from da d975xbx2 "BADAXE"
i have 975xbx .. i am very very satisfied

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
January 28, 2007 5:56:07 PM

Quote:
I had only $1300 to spend because I was saving the rest for future expenses.

You should be able to get a quite nice PC for that price, even though you will need to compromise on some components. Basically I think you have selected some very good components - you won't regret.
I do have a few comments, which I will list below:

Quote:
Intel Bad Axe 2 Motherboard

Good board - Rock solid. I would get that, but you could also consider a Gigabyte P965 based board, which are also very good. I don't know how much you will save, as Gigabyte's boards do not come cheap.

Quote:
Intel E6600, 2.4ghz CPU

As you will not be overclocking (much), I think it is good choice price/performance wise.

Quote:
Corsair XMS2, 2 x 512MB, DDR2 800mhz RAM

Good price/performance as well. You could also consider Kingston DDR2-800 value RAM. Get 2GB now!

Quote:
Antec True Power Trio, 3 +12v rails at 18a, 550w Power Supply
XionII Case

Case preferences are highly individual. If you can live with the smaller Antec Neo HE430 PSU you could get the Antec P150 case which includes the Neo HE430. Quiet case, and I like the way it looks.

Quote:
EVGA GeForce 7950GT, 512mb, Superclocked Edition (I am going to throw on a Zalman VF900 CU 2 Ball VGA Cooler just in case this over clocked version runs hot...)

If you are not planning for Vista anytime soon, and you are going to play Oblivion you WILL need a relatively powerful board now. But there are lot's of alternatives. For 50$ less you can get the X1950XT, which actually outperform the 7950GT in Oblivion. For 100$ less, I just got the MSI NX7900GS-T2D256EZ, PCI-E, 256MB, which is passively cooled (oh, sweet silence). But of cause that is slower than the 7950GT or X1950XT.
For 100$ more you can get the 8800GTS, which is very much faster in Oblivion than the 7950GT or the X1950XT and gives you DX10.
Forget SLI/Crossfire now or in the future - its not worth trouble.

Quote:
Western Digital SE, 16mb Cache, 250GB Hard Drive

As others has commented, get the Seagate 7200.10 320GB instead. I have also had WD's fail on me, and the price delta betwen 250 and 320 is very small. The sweet spot is 320GB for the time being.
What about a DVD+RW? Don't forget that.
January 28, 2007 6:07:14 PM

The point I made with SLI is that two 8600 Ultra's will have theoretical power greater then a $600 card, plus likely to have more memory storage overall, and will be able to offload physics processing to the second card. It can be a good idea and whatnot. I'm thinking seriously about doing that.
January 28, 2007 6:10:16 PM

That ATI card is a good option! For Oblivion especially. Unfortunately, other games I enjoy run better on nVidia so that is where I have to make a choice and comprimise. I am also something of an nVidia fan since the TNT2 days. :p 

Personally I think I might skip on the Value RAM. It does look like a cost effective solution... but I dunno... All my life my Dad has told me to never skimp on RAM. :p  I guess back then cheap RAM was NOT a good thing. Lol.

I really seems like a lot of you choose Seagate. I think I will go with that... even though it will run hotter than the WD. This will be my first Seagate in a while... I hope it doesn't die like the others. :p 

Sparko, I think I will be staying with the Intel Bad Axe 2 as well. It seems to be fairly future proof depending on where you predict Intel is going. I hope that I will like it as much as you have.

I am trying to decide between the Clio and the Xion. I will probably get the Clio unless the shipping is too much...

Thanks again everyone for your advice! You have all been helpful!

I do have another question however...

What do you recommend for CPU cooling? How hot is "hot" for a CPU? and how hot to C2D CPUs get?

At the moment I plan on using stock cooling...
January 28, 2007 6:18:52 PM

Ok with the value RAM... it's the normal good stuff; if it doesn't work RMA it and get it replaced. Kingston is among the good brands; it's not anything like noname brands like Ultra. The point with that RAM is you can overclock an E4300 to 3ghz without even pushing the stuff.

I would recommend against the Bad Axe; P965 is better for overclocking without breaking the warentee on it. You have to mod Bad-Axe to change anything. The Bad Axe 2 is older then the P965, and doesnt preform quite as well. The added features you will unlikely ever use, etc.

The XClio case would be your best bet for great air-cooling. You could probably carry that case over to future builds, the air cooling will really chill the CPU. You can stay on stock if you have that case.

C2D generally has a themal max of 55deg for guarentee. They run overclocked at 65deg, safely. Stock cooling, stock speeds, it will probably run 35deg-45deg. I would recommend some highquality thermal grease.
January 28, 2007 7:27:28 PM

Quote:
That ATI card is a good option! For Oblivion especially. Unfortunately, other games I enjoy run better on nVidia so that is where I have to make a choice and comprimise. I am also something of an nVidia fan since the TNT2 days. :p 

Ok, but then I would splurge on the 8800GTS. More than dobble fps than the 7950GT, and Oblivion can use every one of them!
As far as I can see on newegg the 7950GT overclocked is 285$ and a 8800GTS is 380$.

See the VGA charts for the 1950XT/PRO, 7950GT and the 8800GTS:
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics.html?modelx=33&m...

Quote:
All my life my Dad has told me to never skimp on RAM. :p 

I would not recommend a "noname" RAM. Kingston is a good brand - if you can save compared to the Corsair RAM, then do it.

Quote:
I do have another question however...
What do you recommend for CPU cooling? How hot is "hot" for a CPU? and how hot to C2D CPUs get?

If you do not plan on overclocking, or only a small overclock, the stock cooler is fine. I saw a review on anandtech which came to the same conclusion. Also remember that most aftermarket coolers is 3 pin, while the stock cooler and the new Intel boards are 4 pin, which gives the chipset a chance for controlling fan speed. You can use a 3 pin CPU cooler on a 4 pin MB, but you lose the advanced fancontrol. Conclusion: Use stock cooler, as it is free and very quiet on a new motherboard. Only overclockers or extremely silent PC's (using only passive CPU cooling) should buy aftermarket CPU cooling at the moment.
January 28, 2007 7:51:01 PM

The XClio case would be great for overclocking. Here is another extreme-air cooling cases, for a quite a bit less. It's glossy too! :p  I will think about it for my own build, instead of the nicer XClio I showed you.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
250mm side fan and 120mm front fan. $70 less too!
January 28, 2007 8:45:24 PM
January 28, 2007 9:39:47 PM

Wow! Great list! Thanks! I shall check those out.
January 28, 2007 10:32:10 PM

The XClio case at the $50 point are probably the best I've seen! I think I like it more then the A380! It's a classic design; sleek and still has all the stuff I want. I hope that list helps you guys out... I look at a number of cool cases and I'm going to be using the XClio 188A when I do my build.
January 29, 2007 2:55:09 PM

Arg. I just thought of something about the Clio... When those fans die, they will be hard to replace. Where on earth does one fine 250mm fans? :p 

It's a nice case... but usually I end up owning a case for 10 years or more, so the parts that can die must be easy to find and replaceable.

I am still liking the Xion. I like the Antec900, but it just costs WAY too much for me.
January 29, 2007 3:14:16 PM

You can RMA the fan or something... there are some 250mm fans out there but you have to go to specialty vendors.
January 30, 2007 8:24:44 AM

Yeah... something that might be a pain to do in the future. :p 

Anyone know of a good CPU cooler? It gets pretty hit in here in the summer. Don't ask why, but the computer room in the coldest in the winter, and hottest in the summer. So late spring I am thinking of picking up what ever is good now, for cheaps later. :p 
January 30, 2007 10:00:40 AM



Whilst it was cool to come up with that list could you of possibly renamed the links to include the part name i cant stand lists of newegg products (sorry one of my pet hates)
January 30, 2007 11:11:52 AM

And why would I put so much effort to this? It's a hobby--not a profession. I did it by price; I searched through about 500 cases at NewEgg and evaled all of them, saving those that looked like they had a large case fan. Went through each and closed tabs without a good fan. It took about 20 minutes... I usually don't take that long.
January 30, 2007 1:21:07 PM

sorry if i offended you its just that it would actually be quicker to cut and paste the parts accross with out links. if your going to suggest with links (and take the extra time to do so ) it would be alot better to label them even if its only
6300
asus p5b
8800gts
etc...

as i said its just a pet hate because i dont really want to take the extra time opening up all the extra tabs to check on it but the links are very useful to the OP but not necessarly to others trying to help them
January 30, 2007 2:02:59 PM

I put in enough info and stated my intent. I was not making some formal guide I wanted to be stickied; I did that for my own reference and for that of other people on a budget who wants a good inexpensive case with excellent air cooling.

Good luck with your build, KingSkully.
January 30, 2007 10:03:26 PM

I hope I won't need it, but if I do, I hope it comes in handy. Thanks. :p 
January 31, 2007 2:55:38 PM

By the way, when I was referring to CPU coolers, I wasn't referring to the case fans.

Does Zalman make CPU coolers as nice as their VGA coolers?
February 1, 2007 1:31:15 PM

I have the 9500 CNPS. Very good, very sexy, very quiet at LOW speeds. At high speeds it is much more audible. So I just use a fan controller to solve that issue. The Zalman 9500 is more expensive than alot of other brands though, so someone on a tighter budget should probably go for something else.

But it has very good performance, looks nice in a windowed case, and is quiet. Not the best in each of those categories, but good in all of them.....a good balance, but at a cost though.
February 2, 2007 2:49:26 PM

Great! I did a little more reading and it does seem to be a really nice HSF. Costs quite a bit though, but come summer when I need it, I am sure I can justify the price. With a little luck it will be cheaper then. :D 
February 2, 2007 3:22:37 PM

Prices on heatsinks don't really drop much or drop fast......not like vid cards and CPUs. So don't expect much price difference......maybe a few bucks. Or if you're lucky and can get it on sale....rare though.

Generally speaking, any heatsink that is GOOD and will keep your CPU cool, and especially if you're overclocking, will cost $50+/- Just a question of which one you want and how much exactly it'll cost.
February 4, 2007 5:22:29 PM

Hmm... Then maybe I will wait for their new model. I dunno. Right now it is not a major need.

I just ordered should be here soon. Probably Thursday.
February 4, 2007 6:33:15 PM

What are your final specs?
February 5, 2007 12:48:27 PM

This is a final configuration.

Intel Bad Axe 2 Motherboard
Intel E6600, 2.4ghz CPU
Corsair XMS2, 2 x 512MB, DDR2 800mhz RAM
Antec True Power Trio, 3 +12v rails at 18a, 550w Power Supply
EVGA GeForce 7950GT, 512mb, Superclocked Edition + Zalman VF900
Western Digital SE, 16mb Cache, 250GB Hard Drive
Audigy 2
XionII Case

I am practically loosing my mind waiting here. :p 

Oh, I threw in a copy of OEM XP Pro and a tube of Arctic Ceramique too. Came with a Vista upgrade I may never use.

Anything I should know before I build this up? Any common mistakes goobers like me will make?

Oh, and one thing that has been bugging me... What slot should I position the video card in for the best cooling? All of the slots on this board can operate at 16x so I have three choices, and I don't know what one! :p 
February 5, 2007 4:27:07 PM

Only thing I'd change is the video card... a bit expensive for DX9...
February 5, 2007 9:31:39 PM

I ended up getting it for a couple of bucks cheaper that what NewEgg has it listed for now, and at the moment I cannot afford, nor do I want to buy into DX10. I am waiting for DX10 to actually come out, for the prices fall, and for it to have a few games that support it. For now DX10 is "Vaporware" :p 

So for the money (under 300) this was the best nVidia I could buy.
March 2, 2007 2:41:08 PM

I return! :p 

I built the system a little under a month ago. Everything ran great. Speeds WAY beyond what I am use to. Oblivion at 30fps in the most stressful parts of the game, all details sliders maxxed out. Battlefield 2 at over 80 fps. Details cranked. :p 

But then I come across a wierd problem. when I came back to my computer the next day... the keyboard would not work in Windows. (It worked in Bios) I rebooted, and then it the keyboard worked fine.

I rebooted again and everything was ok.

The next day... no keyboard in Windows, but it worked in Bios. I rebooted and everything was fine.

After some diagnostics and let the system cool down, I booted again. No keyboard in Windows. I tried a few other keyboards. Same thing.

At this point I was at a loss, so I plugged in a USB mouse. Let the system cool and rebooted. No mouse or keyboard. I hit the reset switch and everything was fine.

I pulled the Motherboard out of the case to see if there were any grounding issues, but there were not any.

I have come to the conclusion that the PS/2 ports do not work properly when the system it cool.

I could not belive it. I am still shocked.

I RMA'd the board with NewEgg because Intel did not want to know me once I told them it was an OEM board. (What Jerks! :p  )

As soon as the board arrived at NewEgg... it went out of stock. (Total bad luck... all the way through this project)

So I have them hold the refund check to put towards a replacement when they get back in stock.

They never came back in stock.

So I re-ordered the board somewhere else. :p  Now it has cost me 300 total. Most expensive Mobo I have ever seen! O_O

To top it all off... it was supposed to arrive today, and now there are weather warnings all over and UPS may have cencelled the delivery until Monday. (AAAAUUUGGGHHH!!!)

Bad luck all the way... I am in shock. Lol.

I am surious if anyone else has had the cold PS/2 port issue I mentioned, as it seems VERY myterious.
!