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First Build, Gaming Rig, Advice/Suggestions/Comments Please!

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January 30, 2007 3:38:14 PM

After reading reviews online and getting feedback from these forums I think I finally have a good gaming machine! ;) 

Here's the spec and please don't hold back if you think i could do better for a few bucks more etc let me have it :) 

CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8GHz = 1550SKR / $223
Mobo - ASUS P5B-E PLUS = 1499SKR / $216
Memory - Crucial DDR2 - 667MHz PC5300 2048MB CL5 Kit w/two matched DDR2 PC5300 1024MB CL5 = 1999SKR / $289 this seems like good memory but im no expert it doesnt have a heat sink but i've heard crucial are good and that CL5 is good too, what do you guys think about this ram?
Graphics Card - Sapphire Radeon X1950Pro 256MB GDDR3 = 1749SKR / $250. I may upgrade to a 8800GTS/GTX when they become more reasonably priced.
Case - Thermaltake Armor Jr. (Have already)
PSU - iGreen Power 500W. (Have already)

HDD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 16MB 7200RPM. = 895SKR / $129
DVD-R - NEC AD-5170 IDE Svart OEM DVD+R/+RW/DVD-R/-RW (Dual layer). = 299SKR / $44
FDD - Sony 1,44MB= 79SKR / $12
Cooling - Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. = 219SKR = $32

Accessories -
Saitek Eclipse II Keyboard = 595SKR / $86
Logitech Precision Gaming Headset = 295SKR / $43
Steelpad QcK Pro Mouse Mat = 89SKR / $13
Logitech MX518 (Have already)

Operating System - Windows XP Pro 32Bit OEM = 1495SKR / $216.

I'm still shopping for a 19" LCD monitor so your advice, comments and suggestions on how i can improve this build are gladly recieved ;) 

Total 10819SKR / $1533 Prices are including tax.

EDIT: So after your feedback i've started to shape what I hope to be a great Gaming Rig i'm not there yet but with your help im sure i'll get there (Check out my updated spec).
January 30, 2007 4:34:35 PM

The Arctic Freezer 7 Pro comes with thermal paste already on it, and its great stuff, so no need for the Arctic Silver 5. Also, I would be concerned about your PSU. How many 12v rails and how many amps?
January 30, 2007 6:22:51 PM

2nd'ed. Is it Coolermaster psu? It's alright. Not great.

As for mobos, I'd suggest ASUS P5B-E/P5B-DELUXE/P5W DH DELUXE, GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3/DS3/DQ6 or INTEL D975XBX/D975XBX2.
Related resources
January 30, 2007 9:29:44 PM

Quote:
The Arctic Freezer 7 Pro comes with thermal paste already on it, and its great stuff, so no need for the Arctic Silver 5. Also, I would be concerned about your PSU. How many 12v rails and how many amps?


Thanks for the info on the Cooler! i'll drop the Arctic Thermal Paste - To answer your other question heres a link to the iGreen Power 500W I believe it has 3 x 12V rails but im not a 100% on that.

Quote:
2nd'ed. Is it Coolermaster psu? It's alright. Not great.

As for mobos, I'd suggest ASUS P5B-E/P5B-DELUXE/P5W DH DELUXE, GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3/DS3/DQ6 or INTEL D975XBX/D975XBX2.

Wow thats alot of options could you be more specific? Thanks for the reply i appreciate it! I can rule out some because im not interested in SLI or Xfire etc... But still trying to find the ideal board for this rig I want bang for buck and longevity.

The search continues...
January 30, 2007 9:55:49 PM

How about an ASUS Commando?
January 30, 2007 10:08:58 PM

Quote:
After reading reviews online and getting feedback from these forums I think I finally have a good gaming machine! ;) 

Here's the spec and please don't hold back if you think i could do better for a few bucks more etc let me have it :) 

CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz = 2095SKR / $301
Mobo - Still undecided on this some advice would be much appreciated! I'm not interested in SLI or Xfire, I may wish to OC at a later date when the processor becomes dated and or upgrade the CPU. Can spend upto 2000SKR / $286
Memory - OZC DDR2 PC6400 2048MB Kit, Spec Ops Ed. CL5-5-5-12 = 2179SKR / $312
Graphics Card - Sapphire Radeon X1950Pro 256MB GDDR3 = 1749SKR / $250. I may upgrade to a 8800GTS/GTX when they become more reasonably priced.
Case - Thermaltake Armor Jr. (Have already)
PSU - iGreen Power 500W. (Have already)
HDD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 16MB 7200RPM. = 895SKR / $129
DVD-R - Samsund DVD - Burner SH- S182D. Only SATA2 I can get atm. = 349SKR / $50
FDD - Sony 1,44MB = 79SKR / $12
Cooling - Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro + Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste. = 288SKR = $40

Accessories -
Saitek Eclipse II Keyboard = 595SKR / $86
Logitech Precision Gaming Headset = 295SKR / $43
Steelpad QcK Pro Mouse Mat = 89SKR / $13

Operating System - Windows Vista Home Basic = 895SKR / $129. Is this good/stable?
LCD - 19" Would appreciate some advice here can spend up to 2500SKR / $360

Ok So I'm just missing a mobo and a lcd display to make this gaming pc complete as i said before any comments suggestions on how i could improve this build are gladly recieved ;) 

Total SKR 14008 / $2007

Do you mean E6600 for that much?
January 30, 2007 10:11:28 PM

Quote:
Do you mean E6600 for that much?

its in swedish currency.

That PSU does seem to provide enough W and Amperage, although I would be very concerned to use it with an 8800.
January 30, 2007 11:03:50 PM

if future proofing is important to you i would recommend the evga 680i. it is sli ready but more important for you it is one of the most upgradeable mothers available. also, a larger psu would be a good idea.
January 30, 2007 11:07:28 PM

btw, evga 680i will be compatible with intel yorkfields and wolfdales at the end of the year. 680i is suppose to be good for overclocking as well but i haven't tried.

i would suggest the vista home prem oem from newegg its 120.
January 31, 2007 12:21:35 AM

Quote:
After reading reviews online and getting feedback from these forums I think I finally have a good gaming machine! ;) 

Here's the spec and please don't hold back if you think i could do better for a few bucks more etc let me have it :) 

CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz = 2095SKR / $301
Mobo - Still undecided on this some advice would be much appreciated! I'm not interested in SLI or Xfire, I may wish to OC at a later date when the processor becomes dated and or upgrade the CPU. Can spend upto 2000SKR / $286
Memory - OZC DDR2 PC6400 2048MB Kit, Spec Ops Ed. CL5-5-5-12 = 2179SKR / $312
Graphics Card - Sapphire Radeon X1950Pro 256MB GDDR3 = 1749SKR / $250. I may upgrade to a 8800GTS/GTX when they become more reasonably priced.
Case - Thermaltake Armor Jr. (Have already)
PSU - iGreen Power 500W. (Have already)
HDD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 16MB 7200RPM. = 895SKR / $129
DVD-R - Samsund DVD - Burner SH- S182D. Only SATA2 I can get atm. = 349SKR / $50
FDD - Sony 1,44MB = 79SKR / $12
Cooling - Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro + Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste. = 288SKR = $40

Accessories -
Saitek Eclipse II Keyboard = 595SKR / $86
Logitech Precision Gaming Headset = 295SKR / $43
Steelpad QcK Pro Mouse Mat = 89SKR / $13

Operating System - Windows Vista Home Basic = 895SKR / $129. Is this good/stable?
LCD - 19" Would appreciate some advice here can spend up to 2500SKR / $360

Ok So I'm just missing a mobo and a lcd display to make this gaming pc complete as i said before any comments suggestions on how i could improve this build are gladly recieved ;) 

Total SKR 14008 / $2007


Judging by your use of SKR i assume you cannot buy from Newegg?

Motherboards - ASUS P5B-E LGA 775 Intel P965 Express - Intel ICH8R - 6 x Internal SATA - 1 x Internal SATA 3.0 Gb/s port; 1 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port.
RAID 0/1/5/10 Matrix RAID - 6x USB 2.0 - PCI Express x16 =1

$150.99 USD

CPU - Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775

Quote:
I bought this CPU with the ASUS P5B Mobo and Kingston 2x1Gig PC5300 DDR2 RAM. Over-clocked easily to 2.8 Gig on stock cooling at a BIOS Vcore setting of of 1.25. I’ve had it to 3.0 (bus speed of 334) but decided to add a better CPU heat-sink / fan before taking it further. Both Bus Speeds were stable under SP2004 Blend tests. The x9 multiplier makes reaching 3gig fairly easy even without the very best RAM and Mobo. Good choice for budget over-clocker
- $178

Cheaper better overclocking CPU that has much greater flexibility.

RAM - G.SKILL 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 DDR2 800 - Great Deal right now = $184 USD

Good overclocker RAM

PSU - Antec True Power Trio TP3-550 ATX12V 550W - $99

The rest looks good to me.
January 31, 2007 9:07:59 AM

Quote:
Do you mean E6600 for that much?


I didn't mention, i'm from Sweden and these prices are all from Komplett.se its the cheapest online store i've found so far :roll:

Quote:
Do you mean E6600 for that much?

its in swedish currency.

That PSU does seem to provide enough W and Amperage, although I would be very concerned to use it with an 8800.

Thanks thats good too know. If I decide to get a eight series card it will most likely be the 8600 ultra for price/performance etc but we'll see what the next month brings

Quote:
How about an ASUS Commando?

Unless I'm mistaken, it's a crossfire board. You said you're not into CF/SLI.

I cannot give you a definite answer. Each board has pros & cons. Get some ideas.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/11/13/shootout_at_the_...

Oops my bad thanks for the link i'll look into it some more! ;) 

Quote:
if future proofing is important to you i would recommend the evga 680i. it is sli ready but more important for you it is one of the most upgradeable mothers available. also, a larger psu would be a good idea.


Thanks for the tip i have been looking at this board, life time warranty and all the great reviews it's been getting but the cheapest I can find this board here is 2649SKR / $379 i'll see if I can up my budget.

Quote:
btw, evga 680i will be compatible with intel yorkfields and wolfdales at the end of the year. 680i is suppose to be good for overclocking as well but i haven't tried.

i would suggest the vista home prem oem from newegg its 120.


I do not know much about Windows Vista at all could you explain why home premium would be the best buy?

Thanks Again ;) 

Quote:
Judging by your use of SKR i assume you cannot buy from Newegg?

Motherboards - ASUS P5B-E LGA 775 Intel P965 Express - Intel ICH8R - 6 x Internal SATA - 1 x Internal SATA 3.0 Gb/s port; 1 x External SATA 3.0 Gb/s port.
RAID 0/1/5/10 Matrix RAID - 6x USB 2.0 - PCI Express x16 =1

$150.99 USD

CPU - Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz 2M shared L2 Cache LGA 775

I bought this CPU with the ASUS P5B Mobo and Kingston 2x1Gig PC5300 DDR2 RAM. Over-clocked easily to 2.8 Gig on stock cooling at a BIOS Vcore setting of of 1.25. I’ve had it to 3.0 (bus speed of 334) but decided to add a better CPU heat-sink / fan before taking it further. Both Bus Speeds were stable under SP2004 Blend tests. The x9 multiplier makes reaching 3gig fairly easy even without the very best RAM and Mobo. Good choice for budget over-clocker
- $178

Cheaper better overclocking CPU that has much greater flexibility.

RAM - G.SKILL 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 DDR2 800 - Great Deal right now = $184 USD

Good overclocker RAM

PSU - Antec True Power Trio TP3-550 ATX12V 550W - $99

The rest looks good to me.

Thanks for the suggestions and links I appreciate it but you're right I can't buy from Newegg unfortunately :roll: i'll be getting most of my parts from www.Komplett.se

If I was to down grade some items what are the main components I really need to buy premium?

Thanks everyone I really appreciate the feedback :D 
January 31, 2007 1:40:56 PM

Finding a mobo is proving very hard indeed there are so many options!

What do you guys think about the Abit AB9 QuadGT in performance, upgradability and longetivity?

Alternatively i've also been looking at the AW9D Max but these boards seems like overkill but i do want a board that will live long and take a few upgrades.

Your thoughts on these boards or alternative boards are appreciated good layout, bells and whistles are nice but not necessary this is my first build so stability is probably a starting point ;) 

Thank you.
January 31, 2007 2:28:59 PM

While you may not be interested in SLI or Xfire, you might seriously consider getting a SLI or Xfire board, purely because all of the better chipsets that you will find will support them by default. While you may not use the SLI/Xfire, you will benefit from all the other additional features that a 680i board, for example, will profvde you. (E.G. 1333FSB support on the 680i SLI chipset for future upgradeability, etc.)

Also, for a 19" monitor, I would suggest a Samsung 940T, it is a very reliable monitor with a high contrast ratio, that is worth the 300 dollars if you can fork it over.

Lastly, I didnt check up on the specs for you DVD burner, so it may be good, however dont limit yourself by the SATA2 interface! The interface is where the bottleneck is on optical drives, and if you can find better read/write speeds from another IDE or SATAI burner, I would reccomend going with that.

I would also, like others, reccomend you get a better power supply, personally I would reccomend the Seasonic M12-600 or M12-700 depending on how many watts you want. They are both powerful, reliable, and effiecient, and are modular to boot (only use the cables you need to use).
January 31, 2007 3:15:15 PM

Thanks for the replies guys! I'm starting to get an idea of where im going with this build. As i said in my first post i've already bought the case and power supply I'm surprised you dont like the iGreen Power 500W it seemed pretty good when i was choosing a case and PSU last week i'm sure it will be good I know its not a huge name in PSUs but with over 85% efficiency and 3 12V rails It seemed good for the $130 price tag so i'll keep it for now ;) 
January 31, 2007 3:22:09 PM

Taken your advice and changed the E6400 C2D to the E4300 C2D

Thanks again!
January 31, 2007 3:40:09 PM

Quote:
Taken your advice and changed the E6400 C2D to the E4300 C2D

Thanks again!


Let me reiterate... the E4300 is a good choice if you are going to overclock... otherwise I would stay with the 6000 series CPUs.

And the power supply you chose may seem like it offers a lot, but do not make the decision based on what you see - rather what you don't see.

I don't know a thing about igreen PSUs, and it is likely they are fine, I would just try to stay within the list of ranked PSUs to be safe since the stakes are getting high.
January 31, 2007 4:22:17 PM

Hmm about the MSI Platinum P965?

Still searching but the MSI won over 6 over boards in the latest Tom's Hardware Review although i think they have the X075 PowerUp edition picture.
January 31, 2007 4:58:23 PM

Thanks for the info but we cant get biostar in europe or atleast i cannot find a reseller here
January 31, 2007 5:26:34 PM

Quote:
Well Agentsmith957, since everyone isnt made of money.....
There are many nice 4ms 19" LCD's on newegg for under $200, some with rebates, even samsungs. I highly recommend BenQ. I bought one and recommended them to friends who now have them.
As far as powersupplies, there are many brands that are sufficient and reliable for far less money than a Seasonic.
Is the 680i worth the outrageous pricetag for future upgradeabiltiy? Most likely not. By the time your ready to upgrade to 1333fsb, you'll be able to pick up a compatible board for $100. You'll save in the long run by just going with a good 965P. You can sell it later if you desire.


First off, he stated he had $360 to spend on a monitor, so the $300 pricetag on the monitor I suggested would be no problem, and well worth the money.
In terms of a power supply, I agree with you wholeheartedly about there being other power supplies that have close to if not the same reliability as a seasonic. However, it is a little harder to find a 700 or 600W modular from one of those companies, and the price difference isnt all that much, and you cant put a price on peace of mind.
Lastly, in terms of future upgradability, based on the current system specs and that hes going to be running vista, its almost guaranteed that he is going to upgrade AT LEAST ram at some point (he even says hes probably upgrading the video card). So he can either spend and extra $100 now and have better performance and upgradability, or buy a whole extra motherboard that he is probably going to replace in the future. I mean, if he upgrades in 1-2 years to a 8800, another 2 gigs of ram, and already has the motherboard in place, he can spend another $200 bucks and put in a quad core and have practically a new system. I dont think I would want to have an 8800 and 4 gigs of ram limited by a "slow" core 2 duo and P965 board... Not to mention the customer reviews of each board on newegg and the increased performance that he would have for before the upgrade...

So how much money did I add to his system?
Monitor = 300 - 360 = Saved $60
Power supply (600W M12) = $160
Motherboard = 250 - 140 = $110

$210. For all that. What would you do?
January 31, 2007 5:53:29 PM

Some great points there perhaps getting a better mobo is the right choice so you think the eVGA 680i is the best core 2 duo platform at the moment? Also from doing a bit of research online anything over 500Ws is overkill for my system specs and this PSU is one of the best ive found i know they do not sell it on newegg (perhaps its not in the states yet?) But it looks like it'll do the job I have the Case and the PSU in my Living room everything else I'd gladly change for better performance after all you're the experts not me.

That monitor the 940T is 3795SKR / $547 here. NEWEGG PLEASE COME TO EUROPE!!! hehe.
January 31, 2007 6:31:17 PM

Just wanted to add it seems that the majority of the forum is our friends accross the atlantic so to explain the prices as im sure you're thinking are very high

my budget is around 14000SKR / $2000 but here in sweden we pay 33% tax on everything im not sure how much you guys have to pay in tax but I think its fair to say from the prices ive seen on Newegg and the prices i can find here that we seem to be paying 30% more on the same components.

So perhaps a $1400 Gaming Rig might be closer to the actual cost.
January 31, 2007 7:37:07 PM

Thats a shame about the monitor price... however, you can get that same power supply i suggested in 500W. Seasonic M12-500! even less money than the 600. See if you can find it!
February 1, 2007 12:35:15 AM

On more than one occassion in this thread My choice of Power Supply has been slapped around more times than Whitney Houston :lol:  Now I dont mind criticism at all infact I welcome it i'd just like to understand it is all ;) 

I don't understand how this iGreen Power 500W PSU can be faulted it was the first PSU on the market to achieve over 85% efficiency! Yes it is only a 500W But out of those 500Watts it has 396Watts dedicated to 3 12V rails compared to Seasonics M12 500W which has 330Watts dedicated to 4 12V rails which costs more.

Ive even seen larger Watt PSUs which do not dedicate this many watts to thier 12V rails. The iGreen is also near silent with its intellegent fan controller. I think this PSU fits my needs perfectly and thats why I bought it, but if im wrong please let me know why.

Thanks for the comments guys keep it up please! ;) 
February 1, 2007 1:15:21 AM

I'd just like to thank everyone thats posted so far you've been a great help and also to let you know i've taken your advice and updated my specs on my first post check it out and let me know what you think.
February 1, 2007 1:30:20 AM

Quote:

CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8GHz = 1550SKR / $223
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Or MSI Platinum P965 = 1249-1365SKR / $180-$197
Memory - Crucial DDR2 PC5300 2048MB CL5 Kit w/two matched DDR2 PC5300 1024MB CL5 = 1999SKR / $289 this seems like good memory but im no expert it doesnt have a heat sink but i've heard crucial are good and that CL5 is good too, what do you guys think about this ram?
Graphics Card - Sapphire Radeon X1950Pro 256MB GDDR3 = 1749SKR / $250. I may upgrade to a 8800GTS/GTX when they become more reasonably priced.
Case - Thermaltake Armor Jr. (Have already)
PSU - iGreen Power 500W. (Have already)
HDD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 16MB 7200RPM. = 895SKR / $129
DVD-R - NEC AD-5170 IDE Svart OEM DVD+R/+RW/DVD-R/-RW (Dual layer). = 299SKR / $44
FDD - Sony 1,44MB= 79SKR / $12
Cooling - Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. = 219SKR = $32

Accessories -
Saitek Eclipse II Keyboard = 595SKR / $86
Logitech Precision Gaming Headset = 295SKR / $43
Steelpad QcK Pro Mouse Mat = 89SKR / $13
Logitech MX518 (Have already)

Operating System - Windows Vista Home Premium = 1135SKR / $164.


Everything but the Operating System is good. Avoid Vista for now, it's not really worth the money at the moment and DX10 isn't worth losing all the stability in the world with older programs you use and DX9 games.

If you don't plan on over-clocking, get the E6300 over the E4300.

If you DO plan on over-clocking, the E4300 is amazing.
February 1, 2007 1:45:48 AM

Quote:
Everything but the Operating System is good. Avoid Vista for now, it's not really worth the money at the moment and DX10 isn't worth losing all the stability in the world with older programs you use and DX9 games.

If you don't plan on over-clocking, get the E6300 over the E4300.

If you DO plan on over-clocking, the E4300 is amazing.


Was worried about Vista might be buggy but im not buying until the end of the month so I can see if its more stable then. As for over-clocking erm i've never done it before but i'll give it a go i've been told the E4300 is easy to overclock so it'll suit me for my first build but i may up it to a E6400 again alot can happen to the prices in four weeks ;) 

What did you think about my motherboard choices any ideas? The Gigabyte DS3 has been getting lots of great reviews same can be said for the MSI Platinum P965 but they seem a bit bare i want this mobo to last an upgrade or two, so if i have to spend more so be it.


Thanks for the replies I appreciate it!
February 1, 2007 2:54:36 AM

Quote:


What did you think about my motherboard choices any ideas? The Gigabyte DS3 has been getting lots of great reviews same can be said for the MSI Platinum P965 but they seem a bit bare i want this mobo to last an upgrade or two, so if i have to spend more so be it.


Thanks for the replies I appreciate it!


I suggest, like i said previously, a 680i board. The most stable one so far looks to be the eVGA board, on newegg it has the part number listed as eVGA 122-CK-NF68-AR... I only see one board on the eVGA site though, and i dont see any spec differences between that board and the other eVGA 680i board listed on newegg. If you can find that board you will have PLENTY of headroom for upgrading in the future! Not to mention the dual gigabit LAN and all the other goodies that come with that board.
February 1, 2007 1:53:38 PM

Ok I've updated the setup and i think its more or less complete i've added the ASUS P5B-E Plus and im also thinking about updating my DDR2 so i can get a good over clock!

Now to finish it off i need a good LCD monitor 19" "bang for buck is key here" i'll mostly be playing First Person Shooters such as Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142 So perhaps the best resolution will be 1280 x 1024. So if you've had experience with a good LCD which fits the bill let me know! ;) 

Thanks for the replies all its been a great help!
!