First off, I give you all respect for the information you all share with each other. If only other hobbies/industries were so forthcoming with information!
Anyway, the reason this is not a "this is my first build" thread is because I find those very funny and annoying. "This is my first build for 1500 what do i do?!" I have wanted to build a comp for over 7 years and finally am going to give it a shot. But it's not so much building the cpu that interests me, its the fact that over the past 3 weeks of spending 3-4 hours a day on this and other forums, I learned an incredible amount of information. I would like to thank all of you, because I probably gained a little insight from each one already.
I plan on using my computer for gaming. I love MMO/RPG/FPS games. Not as much as I used to (not my choice - I recently got married). I want to be able to expand and build off of this for a very long time.
I come at my 11th hour to post and ask for your final opinion and to make sure I don't spend a good amount of money with nothing being compatible.
MOBO - Asus P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... (My choice is this or the gigabyte DS3) I am looking for a good board that is easy to use/overclock. Obviously I save 50$ with the gigabyte however I think the Asus offers me a potential crossfire future (am i right or completely wrong - i got smart but not that smart!)
HD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS 320GB Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (I don't want to go with raptors. I think the 100$ is a little expensive. I may eventually want to RAID but we will see.
VCARD - SAPPHIRE 100186L Radeon X1950XT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 VIVO HDCP Video Card - Retail http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681... (OK here is my big situation. I would buy the GS however I have confidence in ATI and there ability to pretty much beat Geoforce punch for punch over the past couple of years. I think with the ASUS being crossfire compatible it offers me lots of "outs" (if the dx10 cards suck, i could run 2 of these) anyway i think a solid graphic card till 6-12 months from now when the dx10's become reasonable. For $215 after rebate on newegg it is a great deal IMO.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 EPS12V EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply - Retail $169.00
SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write, LightScribe Technology Black IDE Model SH-S182M/BEBN - OEM $36.00
Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail $120.00
Ok cool! Lol. Anyway here are a couple of recap questions: 1. Will everything work?
2. Mobo - Asus or Gigabyte (am I wrong about the Asus being crossfire compatible?
3. Vid Card - some of you will say take the jump I really think I made the right decision.
4. PSU - Good choice? Is it to powerful? How much headroom do I have?
5. Should i get a zalman or any kind of cpu cooler? Will the cooling be enough? Should I install more? Will it fit?
Thanks for reading this far down ~ I appreciate your time, your all doing a great job, and can't wait to join you with my "limited" knowledge =)
If you are not overclocking much "conservatively" then the stock cooler will be plenty you may wish to get some Arctic silver thermal paste but the C2D Stock heatsink is good enough for what you need.
All in all I think you have a great spec I'm in the process of configuring my build and I have the armor case you'll have no problem fitting any ATX power supply in there and as you're not going SLI with two 8800GTX I think the 610W will be fine and still give you the headroom you'll need to expand. Personally SLI and Xfire is overkill and I would never do it, as you can see from the reviews on this site there isnt a whole lot of difference between SLI/Xfire 8800GTX and single 8800GTX at normal resolutions, you would have to have an insane disply to fully take advantage of it not to mention a mobo capable of 32X channels e.g. eVGA 680i etc.
That video card will be good for atleast a year then as you said the DX10 cards will be reasonably priced. You have to realise most of the guys and gals here are enthusiasts ofcourse they will say get 8800GTX SLI with 4 displays but most of us don't need that.
I have to agree with you about this community its nothing short of excellent, I have learnt alot from them over the last few weeks and i'll be putting what i've learnt to test at the end of the month .
Good luck to you and i'm sure those more tech savvy than me will chime in and help you more with your choices as for me I havent gone with the DS3 or the ASUS i'm going with the Abit AB9 QuadGT
PSU is good, vid card is good, CPU is great, case is great, RAM is fine, great choice on the optical.
Ok, so mobo is the question. Both boards you mention are good. I have the DS3 so I'm somewhat biased. However, it does overclock very easily, is stable, isn't picky about RAM, and costs quite a bit less than the ASUS. Can't go wrong at all with the DS3. The ASUS is more geared toward "enthusiasts", but you get what you pay for, so can't complain with its features offered. If you're not going to be very aggressive with your overclocking, then I'd say go with the DS3.
In which case, the stock cooler is fine for you. However, if you want an aftermarket, don't get the Zalman. I own it. It looks good and is quiet at low settings, but NOT at high RPM's. Too loud, and overpriced for what you get. Since you're getting an Armor case, you'll have plenty of room, so get a Scythe Ninja Plus....they're on sale now just about everywhere, excellent cooling, and very quiet fan attached to it. Yes, there are other air coolers that will beat it, but not by much.....and not as quiet or as cheap.
Other than that, looks like you're good to go. Great specs, good job!