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Some advice if you would be so kind....

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March 2, 2007 3:49:40 PM

I'm upgrading the main components of my PC for the first time in 4 years and would appreciate advice on the suitability of the following:

CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 socket lga775 1066fsb
Motherboard Asus p5b deluxe
Ram Corsair 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 PC2-6400 (TWIN2X2048-
6400C4D) DOMINATOR
Graphics Card Connect3D X1900GT 256MB GDDR3 dual DVI VIVO
256bit PCI-E
Hard Drives 2 X 500GB DRIVES SATAII 300

Is the balance about right or am I going to create performance bottlenecks? Perhaps I have gone over the top with some components?

My main use is video editing/encoding and occasional gaming.

Any advice appreciated. Tia.

More about : advice kind

March 2, 2007 3:53:09 PM

Dominator RAM is unnecessarily expensive, not worth it. Also you don't need DDR2-800 unless you're overclocking, but those are all good overclocking parts. The e6300 is cheaper though. What power supply?
March 2, 2007 4:02:53 PM

Thanks jeff.
PSU = Casecom 500w at the moment. I think it will be powerful enough.
As far as RAM, I suspected it may be over the top. What RAM would be sufficient please?
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March 2, 2007 4:41:30 PM

Quote:
The e6300 is cheaper though. What power supply?
Actually, my understanding from some of the other posters on this forum, is that video editing/encoding is cache intensive, and you're better off with the E6600 (like you), because it has 4mb L2 cache instead of the 2mb found on the E6400 and E6300. Worth considering, esp. with the other gear you're considering. Where did you come up with that PSU? I'm not familiar with that brand. Cost? Also, for the same price as that Connect3D, you could get yourself a X1950Pro card that will way out perform the one listed.
March 2, 2007 4:48:38 PM

lookz goodz
March 2, 2007 5:11:57 PM

Quote:
Actually, my understanding from some of the other posters on this forum, is that video editing/encoding is cache intensive, and you're better off with the E6600 (like you), because it has 4mb L2 cache instead of the 2mb found on the E6400 and E6300.


It certainly helps a little, but it's not huge. Check benchmarks in case I'm totally wrong, but if I remember correctly, for stuff like video encoding or picture rendering you'd need a ~2.5GHz 2mb chip at most to match the 2.4GHz 4mb chip. But if you're willing to spend the money the e6600 will obviously be faster, significantly so if you don't intend to overclock much or at all.


Quote:
Also, for the same price as that Connect3D, you could get yourself a X1950Pro card that will way out perform the one listed.


Good catch, somehow I read that as X1950XT. The Pro is similar in price to the GT, but has a slightly faster core and faster memory than the GT. 512/657 for the GT and 581/700 for the Asus Pro I think. But the Asus card may be factory overclocked. Regardless, it's faster.
March 2, 2007 5:42:11 PM

Agree totally with Jeff, turns out the 2MB L2 cache is virtually as good as the 4MB for vid editing, and the 1950Pro would be a better card. All else looks good. :) 
March 3, 2007 12:23:53 PM

Thanks for the input so far....

I did have a look at the E6600 but with a price increase of £60 ($117) I was put off. I had read very good reports of the E6400 and think it will be sufficient.

As regards the Graphics Card, I shall certainly look at the X1950XT.

The PSU was from ebuyer.com (http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/61308)

Jeff suggested the RAM might be over the top for this set up. Can anyone advise me on optimal RAM please?

Tia.
March 3, 2007 12:38:58 PM

Depending what you need from RAM, you can drop down in speed of level of parts. I am not sure of the math but a lot of the Core2Duos will use pc5300 (667MHZ) and 800MHZ not used to the full potential. I would go 800mhz just so I can reuse it when speeds are used. Without overclocking, you can use a "value" brand. Most major companies have such a thing. I like Kingstoon but all are good.
March 3, 2007 1:47:17 PM

I understand the other ^^^poster's reasoning for recommending cheaper RAM sticks, but IMHO, it is somewhat misplaced. I don't think the savings by going to a slower clock speed, or cheaper brand, are significant enough to justify, if you can afford the better stuff in your budget. Read some of the posts on NewEgg regarding stability from users with the same mb and other sticks. You also have to be careful with the P965 chips, because they can be picky about which RAM will lead to the most stable system. While not an end in itself, check the vendor's qualified vendor list (QVL), in this case, ASUS, for recommended ram. (Some posters will tell you that there are sticks on the QVL that don't work, while others that aren't on the list will work. IMHO, it is at least a starting point) The list is here:

http://www.asus.com/999/download/products/1295/1295_10....

I have the same board as you, and I use this RAM. It'll save you about $40 over your original choice. It has worked flawlessly from first boot, and has been very stable. For me, that alone justifies any extra expense when you have to start wasting time dealing with boot failures, system crashes, etc. If you choose to overclock in the future -- you might, you never know -- at least you haven't limited yourself in that capacity and won't find yourself re-purchasing a stick you could have bought in the first place. Plan ahead.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

The card we were recommending ^^^ was the X1950Pro, not the XT. In this case, don't know if the extra cost of an XT is really justified.

Finally, that PSU is SCARY!!! You don't put a $25 PSU in a system like this. Take some of the money you save from some of the ^^^ suggestions, and get a really good PSU, it is the heart of a stable system. If a cheap psu blows, it will take a lot of components with it, in the least your hard drives, and more likely the motherboard, too. Plus that psu won't run any of the components you are considering -- I don't see that it even has a pci-e connector for your video card. I'm sure other posters will have lots of suggestions, but a good starting place would be some of the Seasonic psu's. If budget is a consideration, maybe FSP. Surprised some of the other experts didn't catch this!!! Here's a range for you:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
March 3, 2007 4:17:16 PM

Just realised you are in the UK not US..... duh :oops: ...... that changes things a bit due to different prices here (UK). In that case:

The X1900GT is very similar to the X1950Pro but a bit cheaper, so if you can get hold of it then it's well worth it.

The Dominator isn't worth the extra £20 over the standard XMS2, and if you want to save a bit more, then overclockers.co.uk are selling Geil Ultra PC6400 cas 4 for £115, a £54 saving on the dominator. Performance will be virtually identical, and I've not heard of any compatibility issues with this RAM yet, but as murph says, ASUS boards are a bit picky sometimes.
March 4, 2007 9:51:24 AM

Thanks again for all your help.

I shall certainly be buying a decent PSU! I didnt realise a good quality PSU was so important. I've also noticed it hasn't a PCI-E connector which would of rendered my system built virtually useless. Nice spot.

Lots of great advice their, both technical and financial which is appreciated.

Shall have a very close look at everyones contributions and let you know how I get on.

Cheers
March 4, 2007 3:58:49 PM

This is how my homebuild is looking after all the great advice:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 socket lga775 1066fsb
Motherboard: Asus P5B Deluxe
RAM: GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400C4 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit (GX22GB6400UDC)
Graphics Card: Connect3D ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express)
Hard Drives: 2 x Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB SATA II 7200RPM 16MB Cache
PSU: Hiper HPU-4M580 Type R 580W ATX2.2

Total Price from UK suppliers: £724 ($1,407.78)

Any other advice/adjustments greatly received : )
March 4, 2007 4:13:58 PM

Quote:
This is how my homebuild is looking after all the great advice:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 socket lga775 1066fsb
Motherboard: Asus P5B Deluxe
RAM: GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400C4 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit (GX22GB6400UDC)
Graphics Card: Connect3D ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express)
Hard Drives: 2 x Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB SATA II 7200RPM 16MB Cache
PSU: Hiper HPU-4M580 Type R 580W ATX2.2

Total Price from UK suppliers: £724 ($1,407.78)

Any other advice/adjustments greatly received : )


I have that PSU. Some on here will knock it because apparently the output through the 12V rails isn't as good as some.
But it knocks out 30A and in my new build is so far solid as a rock.
It looks awesome too, and the box it comes in is amazing. If you think I'm going over the top about a box, wait till you see it. It was the most useful thing I had during the build.

2x 500GB HDD? Are you going to RAID? Or are you going for enormous storage?
March 5, 2007 6:26:32 AM

Initially I was going for 1 drive as primary and the other as a back up but have started to look at RAID configs to see which would be most suitable.
First impressions are that raid will be ideal for my needs.
March 5, 2007 6:35:53 AM

What are you looking for from your hard drives. You have a lot of storage. If you want speed, get 2 smaller drives for a RAID 0/1, then use one of the 500 Gig as the data drive. That is probably the most used system on the forum. But like you said, there are many forms of RAID and they can be used for different purposes.
March 5, 2007 8:27:44 AM

What case are you using?

Are you going to have some fans cooling the HDDs? I have a 500Gb Western Digital and it gets really toasty if you dont have some air going over it.

If you can stick a couple of fans in the front of the case then you should. If you are concerned about noise then wire two of them in series making them run on 6v. This will still give enough air to keep a disk cool and won't make any noticable noise.

And don't forget the NEONS!! :lol: 
March 6, 2007 5:40:56 PM

I've just come back from hospital after a routine op so shall use the time off work to look at the hd config. I take your point Al on 2 smaller drives and one large data drive. tbh i hadn't considered that.

I shall be buying my case from a local pc supplier. I have already reserved it and made sure it will be ok for my needs. I shall have a fan sucking air from the front and have an exhaust fan to the rear so ensuring constant circulation. (i hope!) I shall have to monitor the hd temps to make sure they are adequately cooled by the sounds off it.

Lol@neons! i'm quite a minimalist at heart so 'no neons allowed' I'm afraid!

ty all 4 the advice.
March 6, 2007 7:17:25 PM

Not too sure about overclockers.co.uk now. Just got my second 2GB of Geil RAM from them and it totally screwed my computer at first. Working fine now but had to re-install XP, and when I looked into their returns policy it's pretty shocking..... they can charge you £10 + VAT + shipping if they deem your returned part to be working (at their discretion), or if you send your goods back within 7 days as it your right under distance selling regulations, they will refund you within.........wait for it............. 30 DAYS!?!?!? I could swear we lived in the developed world.... doesn't take them 30 days to take your payment though funnily....

Got the first 2GB from Microdirect, so they may be worth a look. Hope it all goes well.
March 8, 2007 6:21:45 PM

Thanks for that ste. I'm planning on buying most of my components from them!

I think a call might be in order before placing my order!
March 8, 2007 7:22:25 PM

You're getting most of them from OCUK? Scan is probably cheaper.... I've had a fair bit of trouble with them sending dodgy stuff as well, but at least they take it back no questions asked..... I suppose I do go there in person though which could affect their decision (I lift weights) :)  Let us know how you get on
March 9, 2007 10:02:16 AM

Just thought I'd let you know that the Geil RAM I bought from OCUK IS defective after all and I will be sending it back. The kit I've got, one stick looks new, and the other used..... the pins have wear marks on them. Just in case you do buy from them, the serial number of this RAM is SN7005208 and Part No PN2291, in case they try and palm the same stuff off on you! :) 
March 9, 2007 12:20:10 PM

mmm.....thanks for that. It's a bit poor sending out obviously faulty goods.
I did a price check against scan and found ocers to be cheaper for all my components. I live about 20 miles from stoke so at least i can go and face up to them if theres a problem.

The only trouble I'm having now is the case. I originally placed a deposit but after popping in was told they had sold out and wouldn't be getting additional stock. I demanded my money back and left. Trouble is I can't remember what case it was! I would recognise the front but after searching loads of case sellers cannot find anything similar! Perhaps it was an old case and thats why they cannot get any more.

It seems I will have to start a new case search. I'm willing to pay up to £70 and have looked at the Antec series of cases. I'm just not sure if they are worth the money. I'm just off to have a look at the forums now.....
March 9, 2007 12:33:44 PM

I've got an Antec 900, and I absolutely love it. Plenty of space, good airflow and I like the looks as well. I've stuck four 120mm red LED fans on it, and it looks cool if you like that sort of thing. Modular HDD cages are also handy. Does get dusty inside though because of all the mesh, but I'm happy to live with that. Certainly the best quality case I've owned. Only niggle is the way the side fan attaches to panel.... plastic clips instead of screws, and they don't quite fit right, so the fan was very noisy. Put a rubber vibration dampener on it, and its better, but you can still hear it.
March 10, 2007 5:05:28 PM

Really appreciate your advice!

For some reason I hadnt looked at the 900. It looks quite roomy compared to the other cases I was looking at. Plenty of variations on where to locate the drives, etc. Some very good review on ocers aswell.

I think that case might be the one!! : )
!