New build, first build: your thoughts.

Good day to you,

This is my first post on THG forums, although I have been around for some time. I game, but am not a hardcore gamer (no fps). My plan was to wait as long as possible before upgrading, since I didn’t feel any kind of unbearable pressure when playing games or doing various other activities on my computer (as logic dictates). Here’s my current system:

Pentium 4 3.0 ghz (Northwood I think)
1.5 gb ram
Ati 9800 pro
Wd 36 gb raptor
MSI Neo2 Ls motherboard

I wanted to wait until at least Amd’s response to core 2 duo was out and r600, but lurking in the forums here is beginning to skew up that logic. Any who I set up a build just for the fun of it (I swear…) and would like your thoughts and opinions. All prices are in Canadian dollars and purchasing from

core duo 4300 205.99$


arctic 7 freezer pro 22.79$


GA-965P-DS3 164.30$

Videocard (have a Diamond pro 2060u monitor and don’t plan to go over 16 x 12):

8800 gts 320mb 1.7gz evga 345.56$


OCZ Gold XTC PC2-6400 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-800 204.47$


Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 3GB/S 7200RPM 99.99$


Antec Nine Hundred Mid Tower Gamer Case 900 ATX 123.20$

Power supply:

Ocz Gamexstream 700W ATX12V 24PIN 117.61$

antivirus/firewall bundle:

Kaspersky IS 6 oem 29.61$

Keyboard and mouse:

Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard USB Black Silver 80.25$

Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse 2000DPI USB 48.15$

Total cost of bundle (including other items: drives, O.S. and such):1796$ CAN free shipping

Now my questions:

I would want to take advantage of the 4300 overclocking potential. Would the actic 7 pro be enough or would I need to purchase a better heatsink?

How many 120mm fan would i need to maximize air flow? Would this rig require other type of cooling (e.g. northbridge heatsink) to optimize overclocking performance?

Would it be possible to run this build 1:1 with the ram?

I’ve chosen to go with vista 64 bit despite all the controversy, be cause this is a new machine (drivers already exists) and when 64 bit programs do show up, I don’t want to have to buy another copy of Vista again. Despite this fact, I am still open to arguments saying otherwise from people more knowledgeable than I am. What would you suggest?

I have 3000$ saved up and can go up to that but I don't really need to, merely mentioning it to say that I'm not necessarily constrained by a tight budget, and so am open to slightly more expensive suggestions.

Sorry for the long post, what are your thoughts?

12 answers Last reply
More about build build thoughts
  1. anyone?
  2. Please make a list of new components because the links are hard to follow and time consuming, and I doubt anyone will bother...
  3. here you go :wink:
  4. :trophy: Looks pretty good. Good call going for the Superclocked version of the 8800GTS, its incredible that it's only $5 more.

    Personally I've taken a scunner to OCZ ram recently, but at that price, can't complain. Looks like a bargain.

    About overclocking: Your CPU probably couldn't run 1:1 with the memory in sync. That'd be a 100% overclock, and outside of dumping liquid nitrogen on it every few seconds, it's unlikely. You'll have to either run your RAM faster with a ratio to take advantage of its speed, or run the RAM slower than spec to sync with the FSB and tighten its timings. I've always preferred to take the slower, tighter path, but you can experiment yourself.
  5. Oh, just read about your monitor. 16x12, I've heard, is borderline for the 320mb GTS- you might want to consider going up to the 640mb version, though it's a darn sight more expensive.
  6. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for your reply. Yeah, I've though that running 16 x 12 would stretch the memory and have thought about another option:

    EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800 GTS 500MHZ 640MB 1.6GHZ GDDR3 462.35 $

    However its actually slower than the other one and is the extra 320mb really worth 120$ more? Might as well go for the gtx than or wait for r600 cards.

    Wouldn't be a mainstream build anymore though :?
  7. Well, the 320MB and the 640MB cards share the same core, they just have different amounts of memory. So there should be no reason why the 640MB card isn't overclockable to 320MB speeds, and the extra RAM would be well worth it.

    If, on the other hand, the 8800GTX is not significantly more than the 8800GTS 640MB (from a performance/price perspective), then I'd go for that.

    Gigabyte's 965P-DQ6 or ASUS's P5B Deluxe might be worth the extra <$100 (give or take) if you ever plan to stick a second video card in this system, regardless of when (i.e. SLI), as they both have 2 PCI-E x16 slots while the DS3 only has one.

    Also, if you've got your heart set on Vista, and particularly if you're going 64-bit (even if it were XP x64, which it isn't), I'd be hard pressed to NOT recommend 4GB of RAM.

    Other people will tell you how much of an advantage having a Raptor or similar is, but as for me, I'm more about the storage than the speed, as 7200 rpm SATA drives are more than enough for me. It's all up to personal preference.

    Another question is whether or not you only game-i.e. is a quad core worth it, and whether or not you can wait until the Q6600 drops from $851 to $530 in late April. But if you don't use apps that can take advantage of 4 cores, than dual core will certainly suffice. Quad is just a bit more future proof-you could always upgrade to one later, but Penryn may or may not be compatible with current boards (hasn't been conclusively determined yet) due to different voltage needs, and you'd basically have spent the money on the E4300 for nothing if you did upgrade to a quad core at some point in the future.
  8. I reckon one thing would be to spend another $100 to get a second hard drive and run raid 0. I know people will whinge about doubling the chance of losing your data etc but really how often does a HDD fail, and also if it's that important, back it up!!
  9. Hi again guys,

    Thanks for all your suggestions. Now, what about this question:"

    How many 120mm fan would i need to maximize air flow? Would this rig require other type of cooling (e.g. northbridge heatsink) to optimize overclocking performance? "

  10. 700 wats for that
    You just need 1or2 120mm case fan + a few 90mm will be fine as long as its an ATX Mid Tower or larger.
    Unless your going to do an extreme amount of overclockin your be fine with stock cooling on the mobo.
    If you have xtra cash you can go ahead with a sound card. Much better then onboard. Have fun hope more people can give more suggestions
  11. I know I know.

    Well, taking a look at the website its cheap, it was ether that or a 430w for 90$

  12. Great setup.
    On first eyeing, I'd say more to CPU and less to the GPU, but the 8800 is really something. Anyway, if you're planning to upgrade, this might be a different story.
    I'd say: more money to CPU, Less to GPU, Less to RAM (for the moment, slower base speed, great cache of the cpu will compensate), and more towards HDD in a raid 0 for the system and raid 5 for the data (or just plain single drives for them, as long as you monitor SMART). But as many would say, it is about what YOU need.
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