number crunching/mild gaming build, moderate budget UPDATED

I'm building a computer for a friend who's looking for large number crunching capabilities, good multitasking and probably some mild gaming. His budget is around $1200 CDN, but it could be bumped to $1500 or so. Here's something I quickly spec'd:

CPU: Core 2 Duo E6600 $381.89

Mobo: MSI P965 Platinum Socket 775 Intel P965 + ICH 8R $170.84

GPU: Asus EN7600GS Silent $159.00


BFG Tech - Nvidia GeForce 7300GS OC $89.99

RAM: Corsair DDR2 PC2-5300 667MHz Value Select 2GB KIT (2X1024MB) $188.94

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA $117.57

Case:Thermaltake Matrix VD2000BNS Aluminum Mid Tower (Black/Silver) $59.99

PSU: Enermax NoiseTaker II EG-425P-VE Ver.2.2 SFMA P Series 420 Watt $79.95

Optical Drive: LG GSA-H22L 18X $47.49

Generic keyboard: around $15

Total: $1220.67 + tax (7600 GS) or $1149.68 (7300 GS)

Overclocking is NOT a consideration, since I have very little experience with it, and the guy I'm doing this for is new to building. I'm giving him my old monitor for now, and he'll probably get an nice big LCD when he gets a bit more money.

He wants it for programming with lots of integer and floating point math (huge matrix operations, etc), plus decent gaming performance.
Now I know the E6600 blows away any AMD X2 out there in just about everything, but according to Tom's CPU charts, the X2's kill in the artificial floating point and integer math categories. My question is, would say, an X2 +5200 be a better choice? I'd be very surprised to hear that it is, but I just want to confirm that the Conroe is the better choice.

I'm also hoping to buy all this stuff locally, so some things I've chosen out of local availability.

Thanks for the help!
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More about number crunching mild gaming build moderate budget updated
  1. If this is the chart you saw, there's no 5200+ on the list. Should be above 5000+ in every benchy.

    I was surprised to find AM2 X2 5000+ beats out C2D E6600 in most arithmetic benchies. Show this to your friend & let him decide. If he goes AM2, his pc will be within his budget. Just change the CPU & MOBO.

    All the parts look good.
  2. Thanks. Yeah, I was surprised when I saw how much dominance the X2's and FX's had in those particular categories. Still, I think all around the E6600 is the better choice.

    Any critiques on the PSU or GPU?
    I have that exact Enermax and I like it, so thats why I chose it.
    The video card is just a possibility. I currently have a Radeon x800Xl, so I wanted to try out Nvidia in this build.
  3. Okay, heres a couple changes based on his preferences. He likes a micro ATX case:

    Case: Antec NSK2400 NEW SOLUTION SERIES CSX mATX $104.99

    Mobo: Asus P5B-VM DO Socket 775 Intel Q965 + ICH8 $164.99

    He'll probably use the integrated video to start, and throw in a video card later. Also, I recommended that he still use the Enermax PSU I suggested before instead of the one that comes with the case.

    Is this reasonable? Will the Micro ATX cause any space related problems? I've never used one before.

    425W 29A combined is plenty for 350W 18A requirements of the 7600gs. You can see how big an Enermax fan I am in my sig. Mine was replaced with a new one for free by Enermax.

    The Asus P5B-VM DO has everything in the back.

    The MicroATX desktop case is very professional looking. Has 2 120mm fans. I don't think heat will be a problem. Uses standard ATX PSU. Works great as a stand for a LCD. The majority of LCDs have no height-adjustable stands. They're too low IMO.

    Oh yeah, the case comes a 380w psu. Can be used as a backup.
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