I've been lurking here and at anandtech just trying to do my research on a first pc build in 6+ years.
The pc will be a toss between music recording (Sonar), graphic 2D and 3D (DAZ, Bryce), media ripping/encoding, and I wouldn't mind doing some gaming on it while I have something newer and faster, still mostly gaming on my 360 though. I'm trying to keep it somewhat as a budget pc but still have some powa.
Not too sure I will OC it because stability is a must for me, I'd hate to loose music or graphic data due to crashes. However if I can do a mild OC that will be stable that would be a consideration if there was a noticeable gain.
Here is what I came up with and I think I'll be placing and order this week (newegg)
Core 2 Duo 6400
MSI P6N SLI-FI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Mobo
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR2 800 Dual Channel TWIN2X2048-6400
EVGA 256-P2-N624-AR GeForce 7900GS 256MB GDDR3
Ultra / X-Finity 500-Watt SATA/SLI Ready Power Supply
XION II Black Case
I have a Spectre X22WG monitor now that I can still return to Costco if I dont like it, so far its working out great with my 360.
Not including monitor this comes out to roughly $850.
Any suggestions or opinions on the hardware would be greatly appreciated.
Regarding the video card my monitor doesnt get very high resolutions so I'm more than likely not going to be using the card at its max resolutions wouldn't that save me some performance hits? This really isnt going to be an ubber gaming machine. Would the GS to GT jump make that much of a difference at lower screen resolutions?
I'll look around for some different power supplies, the only reason that I picked that one was that I found a number of good reviews on it and they all said it was quiet. Do you think 500W good enough for a single video card system with 2 HDs?
That's not true at all, the 7900GS is a good choice. Definitely a wiser move than the more expensive 7900GT. Also you might be able to get the factory overclocked EVGA 7900GS KO version for a couple bucks more, that'd be worth it.
I haven't read up on MSI's 650i board (though I expect it's not bad at all) but Asus's is pretty good.
EDIT: Also you could consider 965 boards like Gigabyte 965P DS3. And if you're willing to overclock you could save money and get the e6300. Core 2 chips overclock like demons, you should be able to easily get either the e6300 or e6400 to 3GHz.
I quickly looked up the MSI board and apparently it's a good solid board too. I'm not surprised, MSI is a good company. So you might want to research more extensively but I'd say either the MSI or the Asus 650is are good, and the GA 965P DS3 is a very popular board.
Ok, a few comments about your specs. For what you describe, your component selection is a bit......misguided. No offense. What your uses are and what you're showing are a bit unnecessary.......here's why:
-Since you're primarily interested in ripping, encoding, and 3D like Bryce, etc......you're needs are all about the CPU horsepower, plain and simple. You need a FAST CPU. A 6600, if you can spring for the extra $$, is the way to go. A 6400 is ok if you're budget-constrained.
-Unless you plan on using 3 monitors, ditch the SLI mobos. Not needed. At all. The suggested Gigabyte 965P-S3 or DS3 is a champ. It's a proven winner, very stable, great overclocks, BIOS easy to understand, good features, good board layout, not picky with the RAM, and very affordable. HIGHLY recommend it. Drop the 650i boards and get the S3 or DS3.
-If you're not overclocking, then your RAM is overkill and you're paying too much for it. If not overclocking, then value 667 RAM will do just fine. Either way, the Corsair is generally overpriced, there are better and cheaper options, especially for stock speeds (not overclocking).
-The 7900GS is ok. It's not needed for Bryce, etc though....a 7600GT will do just fine and also in gaming. Plus, that'll save you some money there.
Now, if you want to consider overclocking, listen to this for a minute:
-G.Skill or OCZ Platinum DDR2-800 RAM
-consider an aftermarket CPU heatsink.
Now, with this setup you can still hit your budget and can overclock it like a BEAST. I've put together a little S3/DS3 overclocking Guide for Newbies (PM me if you want) that will let you hit very good clocks on the cheap. You can basically beat a 6600 CPU performance without breaking a sweat, and all alot cheaper too. And/or you can put that money you saved into a better graphics card if you want.
This will let you have great CPU horsepower that will chew through your encoding and renderings, and have a respectable graphics card that will let you do some gaming if you want.
For what you need to do, it's all about the CPU, not the RAM or whatever. So either go with a 6600 and cheaper RAM and mobo and don't overclock, or else go with a 6400, decent RAM and mobo, and overclock it past a 6600
The 7900GS KO card was the one I that I picked out, I forgot to put that on the description.
I may OC down the road but for now, I think I'm using the stock cooling fans and dont want to try to push things too hard just yet. If that makes any sense.
That 965 board looks nice too, I have firewire peripherals so I'd like a board with that built in, I'm sure that there are 965s in the ieee flavor. The ASUS has a better name and rep vs the MSI but that mobo has better built in sound and an extra PCI slot.
Others have suggested different boards and I agree with their assesment. Personally, I'd avoid MSi because of past experience. ASUS is generally a good board, but so is Gigabyte. I'd suggest OCZ ram instead of Corsair. Same performance, less money spent. Apache lives suggested a better psu. I totally agree. Look for something from Seasonic, Enermax, Thermaltake or Antec. 500wt -550 wt should be fime for your present machine specs. You might take a look at Tom's guide for the best video cards for the money and go from there.
Don't pull the trigger, your life is worth more than having some brass and copper go inside of it.
Imagine all the people u could help with your life!
there's blind and deaf, theres homeless ppl
just walk up to a homeless person right now and say hey how ya doin..
make converstation with them.
You would see that a homeless person on the street has no computer, whereas you do.
You could then see you have more self worth...PLEASE DONT PULL THE TRIGGER!!!
Ah, guy, have you read anything that has been in this post? This isn't about suicide, but about ordering parts for a computer. Maybe you should take a course in reading and understanding before you post again.
I definitely say go for a DS3, and an 8800GTS. $259 is a really good deal for something that will not need to be upgraded as soon. The e6400 is a good CPU and is easy to overclock, so that should last you a good while. Ultra makes mediocre PSUs, I like FSP PSUs myself.