I'm trying to build a fairly high-end system that I can overclock easily. This will be my first attempt at OCing so I tried to get parts that quite a few people have said they had little-to-no trouble OCing. I am mostly trying to build a system where I won't have to be required to upgrade for at least 3 or so years (current system I built is about that old, so I'm trying to shoot for that age). But I'm being told by a few friends that now isn't exactly the best time to buy a new VC and I should just stick with what I have and wait a few months (I have a Raedon x800). Here is what I'm going with right now.
Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case Reason: Lots of people recommended this case for general and light OCing.
Motherboard:EVGA 122-CK-NF68-AR LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard Reason: Reviews on this motherboard is mixed. Several have said its one of the easiest motherboards to help with overclocking, yet quite a few have had problems with it. I am really confused as to what motherboard I should be aiming for.
Video Card:EVGA 640-P2-N825-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Reason: 2nd best video card out there at the moment (and about $200 cheaper...), does what I need and probably will need for quite some time. Not really sure if I want to spend the money right now if new video cards will be coming out soon, dropping the price.
Power:OCZ GameXStream OCZ600GXSSLI ATX12V 600W Power Supply Reason: I saw someone recommending this PS in another thread. I had a 700W one picked out, but this was cheaper, and 700W seemed a bit much.
CPU:Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6400 Reason: Its about $150 cheaper than the E6600 and supposedly can be OCed to almost equal speeds as the E6600.
RAM:G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-2GBHK Reason: Lots of people were recommending G.SKILL and I have no idea about RAM timings or volts... So I just picked what others recommended.
CPU Fan/Heatsink:ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler Reason: I never really liked stock Heatsink/Fans, and this is supposedly one of the best and I do want to be OCing my CPU without frying it.
Price is about $1,500 in total (other small things not listed, like HDD, etc). So my main question is, is this setup good? Anything cheaper that can get equal results? Might I be missing something?
I'm not too optimistic about getting a PC to last for 3 years anymore, technology seems to be advancing faster than ever before. But we don't really know, and you can never really futureproof a system.
Your build looks very nice, only thing I'm gonna comment on is the CPU, you can easily overclock a E6400 to match a E6600. But you can also overclock a E4300 that high. So if you're looking to go a bit cheaper you can go that route.
Your friend make a good point about the video card. 8600, 8900 etc are just around the corner, could be the next few weeks. But we don't know for sure.
If you really want to save money, however, you can just go with an E4300 and a 650i motherboard if you want SLI, or a decent 965 mobo that'll overclock well (like a Gigabyte 965P-DS3). This setup will save you quite a bit of money and will still overclock really well too.
The 680i is an "enthusiast" motherboard. Is it needed to get high OC's? No. Is it a great mobo? Yes. Same with the CPU.
Will either of these setups last 3 years? Dunno. Moore's Challenge figures that your setup will be "obsolete" in 2 years. So if you can get great performance like I described above with cheaper components, then it's a compelling argument NOT to get the expensive stuff. But it depends on your buget and how much the good stuff is worth to you. But keep in mind that the good stuff is only good today, and won't be good in a year or three.
Tough call, neither is right nor wrong. Just depends on your priorities and perspective really.....
Thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming if you can.
I'm probably going to be sticking with the e6400, while I do want to OC, I don't want to push it too hard. I'll look into a 650i motherboard when I get home (Work doesn't allow me to goto newegg, etc, because they are considered "shopping"... Hate websense). The board I selected has a bit much on it that I know I probably won't use (3rd PCI-E slot mostly, not sure if I will want to do SLI with it yet).
I'm probably going to wait for the next VCs to come out, then go for the 8800GTS when the price drops a little.
The case is nice, but for a few less money you can have yourself more room: Thermaltake Armor
The processor will work well, but for a few dollars more, you can get 4 megs of L2 cache and the ability to OC higher than the x6800: e6600
The 8800 GTS is a nice compromise if you can't afford the GTX.
The memory is probably good, although Corsair is very nice too.
The motherboard for what you're going to be using it for, is overkill--especially if you don't plan to SLI. But if you want the machine to be good for a few more years, you might find it beneficial to add another videocard rather than building another machine. I'd stick with what you got since the other motherboards are comparable in price. It's the best OC'ing board there is and again, keeping the future in mind, the more you can OC the longer your system will last.
I am planning on a new build in the very near future and I would suggest you wait a couple of months before you buy. Computer tech is always advancing and as one poster wrote recently more faster than in the past but I feel that there will be very signifigant changes in the very near future that will impact prices and available technology.
AMD has been very quiet for a while and I would like to see their answer to the C2D before I buy. Also with Vista and DX10 in their infancy the video card market is primed for a major shift.
I recently sold my P4 3.2 system planning to build a new one but I just feel that come spring and the release of this years big game titles C&C, Crysis that the hardware will blow away what is currently available and today's technology will be considerably cheaper.
It may be considerably cheaper and it may not. The amount you wait depends on your patience, needs and wants. If you can wait, that's good advice. If you don't want to wait, go ahead and buy--you'll be upgraded for at least two years, probably three with overclocking, upgrading to a quad core processor in the future and going SLI in the future. Shoot, there aren't any games that take advantage of the current hardware yet. And if you can't wait, go ahead and buy.
Keep in mind there are no benchmarks available for what "might" be coming out in the near future. But for all of our sakes, I do hope AMD and ATI come out with something that at least competes which will bring down costs for fans of every platform.
I upgraded because I had to--old PC was three years old and crapping out. I upgraded as high as I did because I could, but certainly your proposed machine is nothing to sneeze at. Nice build.
Like everyone here, I usually buy from other e-tailers ... but CompUSA has the Antec Nine Hundred for $90 after instant discounts. While not reflected on the product page, there is a $25 mail-in-rebate on that case from CompUSA through 2/13/07, bringing it down to $65.