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New Home Build - Any modifications suggested

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February 22, 2007 1:58:38 PM

Well, it's been almost 2 months since I've last posted. With the recent drop in computer prices, I'm ready to get a fairly budget minded system.

I'm glad I caught the other post with the coupon for the E6400 for $159 at Microcenter which there happens to be one around 2 miles from where I work in Cincinnati.

So, here goes my current build.

Case/PSU: The Antec Sonata II. It's 65 bucks after MIR and shipping. I know the PSU isn't the greatest but it'll do for awhile until I pay off this system.

I then plan on getting the SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus 550W. I've found it through Froogle for around 90 bucks. Though, the 650W model is around $120. Would it be worth spending the extra 30 bucks when I decide to upgrade the PSU?

CPU: Intel E6400 Core 2 Duo. If it wasn't for the coupon I was going to get the AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (65 W) Winsor just because it was so cheap at $109. I can't pass up spending only another 50 bucks and getting one hell of a processor which I will oc when I get the better PSU.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3. Was going to get the BFG Tech Nvidia 590 SLI until the deal for the E6400 came along.

Video Card/Memory: There's a combo deal for the Sapphire X1950XT and OCZ ATI Crossfire 2x1GB memory. Plus the MIR for the memory makes it a very good deal.

I'm tired of waiting for the R600 series. And now I hear it's pushed back until April. I'll wait until Vista SP2 comes out before I even plan on touching a new MS OS. I will then worry about getting a DX10 compatible card unless I absolutely need the power of one before then.

HDD: Seagate Barricuda 7200.10 Perpendicular Drive 320GB SATA 3.0GB/s. It just went down by 5 bucks and stand at $90. Great deal.

I already have a DVD recorder, keyboard and mouse from my previous computer. I also have a retail version of WinXP. It's the original, so I'll have a lot of updates to perform through the net.

When I decide to overclock, I will see how much I can get from the stock heatsink. But I hear they are not very good for the Intel chips, so I have the CoolerMaster Hyper TX in mind. It's one of the smaller ones, I have read some good reviews and it's only around 30 bucks which fits the bill.

With all of the MIR, the final cost is around $840. I am also selling my old XP 2400 system for $200. So I'm really getting this for $640.

If anyone has any suggestions (3lfk1ng), please let me know.

Well, there it is.
February 22, 2007 2:55:57 PM

Thats a great build. If $30 is your spending point for a new HSF then why not get a Arctic Freezer Pro 7 for $27.74 @ NCIX.com. I know you don't live in Canada but they also ship in the U.S. But I'm sure its cheaper where you live.

As for the PSU, I think that would do fine with your system.

Enjoy the new system! :) 
February 22, 2007 4:04:44 PM

Could you post the prices and any links you can for the stuff you're getting. I'm in the same boat as you, and if you can a great system like yours for under $900, I wanna hear it. :D 
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February 22, 2007 4:36:37 PM

Spotbrooklyn,

Here you go:

Case/PSU: Antec Sonata II with 450W SmartPower 2.0 PSU. - $65 after MIR

MB: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 - $130

Update: I found this MB at another site for $111 after shipping, here. So, if you want the best deal, I'd go here. I'm just going to go through Newegg anyway since I want to buy all my components through them (except the CPU) in case one of the components is bad and Newegg is great for RMA'ing.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 - Coupon at MicroCenter - $170 after tax

If you are lucky to live near one.

Video Card/Memory: Sapphire Radeon X1950XT & OCZ ATI Crossfire 2x1GB DDR2 800 Memory - $381 after MIR
The link goes to the video card. Just scroll down to see the combo deal.

HDD: Seagate Barricuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Drive) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s - $90
The drive also has 16MB of cache.

Total Price: $836

Hope this helps.
February 22, 2007 5:24:16 PM

nice build, im gonna do one like it soon
February 22, 2007 7:46:44 PM

I just got done reading that the R600 is delayed until May. Well, I wouldn't of been able to afford the X2900XTX anyway. And I already read this was the month that the mainstream cards were going to be introduced anyway. I'm glad I decided not to wait any longer.
February 22, 2007 8:23:14 PM

if you rgoing budget then drop down to the 6300 a small OC will see you to 6400 levels without a problem and savce you $30 you could put towards something else
February 22, 2007 8:56:19 PM

Quote:
if you rgoing budget then drop down to the 6300 a small OC will see you to 6400 levels without a problem and savce you $30 you could put towards something else


He has that coupon that brings the price down to 159.99, I haven't seen a Core2duo chip cheaper. (Good find purdueguy!)
February 22, 2007 11:48:16 PM

Well, it was mostly a good deal. I went to Microcomputer to buy the E6400 and it was the OEM part and not the Retail part.

I did buy it but I need to spend another 30 bucks on the heatsink.

I'm considering in taking it back and just order the E6600 retail part from Newegg.

Because of the PSU, I do not want to attempt to OC at least right away. Like I said above, I will wait to OC when I get a better PSU down the road.

So, should I stay with the E6400 and get a cooler or return it and get the retail E6600?
February 23, 2007 6:18:08 AM

You should keep that E6400, if you decide that its not powerful enough just upgrade in a few months when the core2 prices really drop and sell the 6400 on ebay. Looking at the benchmarks the performance difference is not worth double the price. For around $30 the Arctic-Cooling Freezer 7 Pro is a good choice for a cooler. Also your power supply is not that bad,with a little over 21amps on the 12v. rail.
February 23, 2007 10:12:18 AM

Since the E6400 is OEM, I forgot that there is only an exchange on the CPU anyway. I am going to go with the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro.

The only thing I don't understand is that the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro is 70 bucks at Newegg and they are out-of-stock.

NCIX.com has it for a good price but then S&H is 18 bucks.

Every place I'm looking for this cooler now doesn't have it. At least not paying an arm & a leg.

Anyone have a link to this heatsink for around 30 bucks including shipping?
February 23, 2007 11:37:06 AM

I just built my computer and installed the Artic. I have my stock HSF laying around and would mail that up to you if you want to hold off on spending any more money until you find a deal on the Artic. Shoot me a PM if interested.
February 23, 2007 12:43:03 PM

If you are willing to spend a little more, the Scythe Ninja Rev.B is highly rated and is on sale at Newegg for 39.99 + 6 shipping. It is quiet for every day use but also very powerful for overclocking in the future.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1683...
February 24, 2007 12:06:35 AM

Sup purdueguy,
Nice to see you again :D  . I'm glad to hear that my previous Athlon Xp buddy is finally upgrading to a Core 2 Duo.... join the crew :lol: 

Sounds like a really nice build, you cannot beat the DS3 and the E6400 for the price, especially with that coupon.

When you decide to get an after market cooler the CoolerMaster Hyper TX is a great choice from what I have read. Nothing better at that price range really comes to mind besides the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. Looks like the price has gone up on newegg to a ridiculous amount... Frozencpu has it out of stock for $29.99 and performance-pcs has it in stock for $34.99. Be sure to read the reviews to decide on which one you would prefer.

When you do get a new psu.... look no further than the one that Dario has. Modular, Sleeved, Quiet, 18amps /4 rails =72amps of coverage and everything, it got great reviews and the efficiency is absolutely fantastic.

The 7200.10's are great although you may experience issues trying to get Windows XP Pro to recognize more than 127gb on Seagate drives (I had that issue with mine, and so did my friend on the 7200.10 250gb's) ...if that happens... pm me. Other than that they are great Hard Drives and extremely fast and yet silent.

Your choice of memory and your choice of video card is spot on. The memory has no issues and overclocks really well and the Saphire x1950xt is the best card for the price although some people might consider the reference cooler a little noisy...but I wouldn't worry about it, it's a fantastic card for the price.

Everything looks great, best of luck man, let me know how everything goes.

~3lfk1ng
February 24, 2007 1:39:31 AM

3lfk1ng,

Thanks for the reply. I was a bit torn to go Intel. Initially, I just wanted to spend a little bit of money which the AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ fit the bill perfectly. $109 with heatsink. Couldn't beat that.

And the BFG Tech Nvidia 680 for $109 seemed like a steal also. I would of picked up the Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro to hopefully get it to overclock to 2.7 or above which would of been a big improvement over my current system as you well know. ;-)

Then I happened to catch the coupon from another thread. I called Microcomputer to ask if the E6400 was OEM or Retail. The boob over the phone told me retail. I went there and it was the OEM part. I was kinda torn but by that time I had already ordered the motherboard from Newegg and decided that I was going to be buying an aftermarket heatsink anyway (not soon but eventually). So this just forced my hand to get one right away.

The one thing I learned about the C2D was that the "pins" aren't really pins. At least in the traditional sense in that pins usually have a length associated to them. I thought this was interesting. Are the new AMD chips the same way?

I always liked the OCZ ATI memory and read a very good article on it before I bought them just to make sure they OC'd well, which like you said, they do.

As far as the PSU is concerned, there might be 72 amps of "coverage" but isn't availability the key? There isn't 72 amps available. The PSU never really specifies the max voltage to the 4 rails but just based on the max wattage across the 5 & 3.3 V is 160 W so this leaves 490W across the 4 12V rails. So, this knocks it down to just over 40 A. And this doesn't count the draw on the other 2 lines which from what I've seen is minimal compared to the others. I hope I did the math right.

But anyway, 40A is still great and the efficiency is also very good. I'll keep this one in mind in the future. Though, I'd like to keep the PSU costs around 80-90 if possible that's why I mentioned the Seasonic 550W S12. Doing a froogle search shows some better prices than Newegg on this PSU.

I guess from what you are saying, I will more than likely have to partition my hard drive 3 times. Sounds like 120/100/100 would be my best choice.

I was going to get the X1950Pro for $160 after MIR but getting the combo price of the memory and X1950XT was too good to pass up.

As far as the cooler is concerned, sillyrabbit was going to send me his retail cooler from his C2D. I'm going to use this for the time being until the ACF7 Pro is available again.

I've read good stuff on both the ACF7 Pro and the CM HTX. I would need to go back to some of them to really understand the difference between them. Though without any real justification (other then the aestetic value that I like better), I'm leaning towards the ACF7 Pro.

Thanks for the input.

I should of bit the bullet and ordered the E6600 from Newegg with the rest of my components. Damn, damn, damn. ;-)
February 24, 2007 1:48:03 AM

Arrrrhhh. Chiefvalue is showing that they have the ACF7 Pro in-stock. But when I click on the link, it's not there.

What a tease!!!
February 24, 2007 2:23:32 AM

Quote:
Sup purdueguy,
Nice to see you again :D  . I'm glad to hear that my previous Athlon Xp buddy is finally upgrading to a Core 2 Duo.... join the crew :lol: 

Sounds like a really nice build, you cannot beat the DS3 and the E6400 for the price, especially with that coupon.

When you decide to get an after market cooler the CoolerMaster Hyper TX is a great choice from what I have read. Nothing better at that price range really comes to mind besides the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. Looks like the price has gone up on newegg to a ridiculous amount... Frozencpu has it out of stock for $29.99 and performance-pcs has it in stock for $34.99. Be sure to read the reviews to decide on which one you would prefer.

When you do get a new psu.... look no further than the one that Dario has. Modular, Sleeved, Quiet, 18amps /4 rails =72amps of coverage and everything, it got great reviews and the efficiency is absolutely fantastic.

The 7200.10's are great although you may experience issues trying to get Windows XP Pro to recognize more than 127gb on Seagate drives (I had that issue with mine, and so did my friend on the 7200.10 250gb's) ...if that happens... pm me. Other than that they are great Hard Drives and extremely fast and yet silent.

Your choice of memory and your choice of video card is spot on. The memory has no issues and overclocks really well and the Saphire x1950xt is the best card for the price although some people might consider the reference cooler a little noisy...but I wouldn't worry about it, it's a fantastic card for the price.

Everything looks great, best of luck man, let me know how everything goes.

~3lfk1ng


Er.

What's the problem with more than 127GB on Seagate drives, specifically? Last I checked, all you needed, regardless of brand, was XP SP2, a BIOS that supports 48-bit LBA, and a controller that supports 48-bit LBA, which any SATA controller, even on the motherboard, most certainly should, and every new IDE controller does now too.

Sorry, just a little confused by that.
February 24, 2007 4:56:38 PM

Unfortunately, I don't have XP SP2. I have the original XP OS when it first came out. I guess this will pose a problem?
February 24, 2007 5:43:50 PM

Not a big problem, install as you normally would. Get the drivers in and everything going, then go to the net and XP will d/l the needed updates. Be prepared for a few resets and restarts as sometimes you have upgrade in steps. I hope you have a fast net, on dial up this could take all day. If you have a MS Disk they used to send the upgrades by mail for a small fee.
February 25, 2007 1:09:27 PM

That is good to know. I'll call Microsoft and see if I can't get XP SP2 since I already have the original disks. Great idea. Thanks.
February 25, 2007 2:16:06 PM

You can download the complete SP2 first and burn it to disc. Install this before you connect to the net. Its 266MB so it will take a while. Here is the link: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=13...
It says not to use on a single computer but they are only trying to save bandwidth.
March 1, 2007 8:22:22 PM

I did some searching on combining the original WinXP Pro with SP2. I learned of a process called "slipstreaming".

I'm sure this probably has been discussed on the software side but I'm not sure as I'm mainly a hardware person. If anyone is interested in hearing about my experience on this, let me know.
!