New build. Please critique

I am in canada, I live near a place called memoryexpress and they have some pretty good prices there. I am relatively limited to buying from there. Here is a breakdown on the computer I am buying in may. My main uses will be:
1. Gaming
2. Encoding
3. Watching movies/tv
4. Overclocking

I want to keep it under 3500.00CAD. I'm sticking with the case, intel core 2, and the CPU cooler (i like what i've heard from the zalman, and its got a backplate + easy install). Other than that please critique my build and share your opinions about it, i am happy to hear any and all advice.


Antec Nine Hundred Ultimate Gamer Case
Manufacturer: Antec
SKU: 9164
Part No: NINE HUNDRED Our Price: $124.95

eVGA nForce 680i SLI w/ DualDDR2 1200, 7.1 Audio, Dual GB Lan, 1394, Dual PCI-E x16 SLI
Manufacturer: eVGA
SKU: 9219
Part No: 122-CK-NF68-AR Our Price: $299.95

Intel Core™2 Duo Processor E6600 2.4GHz w/ 4MB Cache
Manufacturer: Intel
SKU: 8655
Part No: BX80557E6600 Our Price: $379.95

Corsair 2GB XMS2-6400 Dominator TWIN2X Dual Channel DDR2 Kit (2 x 1GB)
Manufacturer: Corsair
SKU: 9240
Part No: TWIN2X2048-6400C4D Our Price: $359.95
Mail-in Rebate:
Mar 09, 2007 to Mar 19, 2007
After Rebate: $319.95

Western Digital Raptor 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA w/ NCQ, 16MB Cache
Manufacturer: Western Digital
SKU: 7141
Part No: WD1500ADFD Our Price: $289.95

Western Digital 500GB Caviar RE2 RAID Edition 7200rpm SATA II w/ NCQ, 16MB Cache
Manufacturer: Western Digital
SKU: 8928
Part No: WD5000YS Our Price: $239.95

Zalman CNPS9700 NT Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler for Socket 775, AM2 / 754 / 939 / 940
Manufacturer: Zalman
SKU: 9496
Part No: CNPS9700NT Our Price: $84.95

LG Super Multi DVD Writer 18x18x8 DVD +/-RW Dual-Layer w/ Lightscribe, Black (OEM)
Manufacturer: LG
SKU: 9076
Part No: GSA-H22L-BK Our Price: $44.95

Asus Extreme N8800 GTX 768MB PCI-E w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out
Manufacturer: Asus
SKU: 9330
Part No: EN8800GTX/HTDP/768M Our Price: $749.95

Samsung SyncMaster 225BW 22in Widescreen LCD w/ DVI, 5ms, Black
Manufacturer: Samsung
SKU: 8980

Our Price: $399.95

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium x86 (32-bit) DVD, OEM, 1-Pack
Manufacturer: Microsoft
SKU: 9701
Part No: 66I-00715 Our Price: $139.95

Corsair HX 620W Modular Power Supply w/ Triple +12V
Manufacturer: Corsair
SKU: 9811
Part No: CMPSU-620HX Our Price: $169.95

26 answers Last reply
More about build critique
  1. All top of the line parts. Only thing I see is the RAM. Not sure on CAD$ but it seems high. It is good and fast so your prices could be what it takes. It is within budget and will do everything you are looking for.
  2. Look for the Samsung 226BW 22" widescreen. From what people say, the 226bw is a good up gradeover the 225bw. Circuit City seems to have them. They say to look for a "S" or "A" after the model number. Supposedly "S" is better, made at Samsung factory and "A" is done at some other factory for Samsung. Or something like that.
  3. Very good specs there Eric, well done. One thing: I wouldn't recommend the Zalman 9700. Not the quietest, nor the best performer, and it's the most expensive......that all equals a bad buy in my book. I'd seriously look into a Tuniq Tower, Scythe Infinity, or Thermalright Ultra Plus if I were you.

    @alcattle: The Dominator prices are reasonble here in Canuckland...there are some places that are a bit cheaper but not much. Those are fair market prices here, he's getting a decent price.
  4. Yes when I saw the specs, I figured that it would be higher and as always Skyguy knows his stuff. Good luck on the build! :!:
  5. "I was sitting in my room on a cold winter afternoon and overclocking with reckless abandon....."

    Sorry man. It was just fun to see "overclocking" as one of the uses :)
  6. Glad to see approval on my build. Been tinkering with it since core 2 came out. I have the option to get the Scythe Ninja at the store i'm getting my other stuff at, but i'm not certain how it compares to the infinity. I think I just might have to go online for better cpu cooling. Thing is, for a rig that will see a few lan parties, what would the best cooling option be for me? I like the tuniq and everything, its just that i've heard that it's hard to install (something about screws breaking) and lacks a backplate. From this site what would you recommend to be my best option? Also, can I just buy a third party backplate so i dont stress the mobo via transit?

    Also, thanks for the advice on the samsung, I will keep an eye out for the "S" and opt for the 226bw when it becomes available. This is one area where I don't mind spending money since its the only part that will still look good after a year :P

    Thanks for the feedback guys, I'm getting really stoked about getting this rig. My last one until I graduate from college! (4 years)

    EDIT: Did some searching, Tuniq tower 120 does come with a backplate, I guess some people didnt use it and failed to mention it giving me the impression it lacked the much-needed support. Anybody have experience with the tuniq to let me know if the mobo can live through careful transportation?

    Hehe, good one :lol:

    Tuniq Tower for Canada - for only 50 bucks CAD.
  7. Ninja is basically just as good at cooling as the Infinity, so no worries there. However, if you can get the Tuniq then that's awesome. However, lugging this stuff to a LAN party.......that'll be a heckuva workout LOL. Good luck there! If you don't jostle it around alot you should be fine for transportation, but your case won't be light though, that's for sure ;)

    Samsung.....I have 225's.....MOST excellent monitor. When I saw the 226's though I almost died.....because they're darn sexy and I want them too!! LOL. Oh well......regardless, the 22" Samsungs are wet dreams on an LCD so you'll be very pleased with either of them :)

    I've dealt with Direct Canada alot, great prices and never had a problem, I highly recommend them.

    And be PATIENT with takes some finagling to get things tweaked properly. And depending on what games you play, load times might be slower (BF2, CoD2) and/or laggy for a few minutes when it first loads up. It's a driver thing, it'll take time to get the 8800's and Vista playing like old buddies.......I like Vista, but it does take some getting used to. Use the Help area in the Start Menu, it'll be your best friend for a couple weeks ;)
  8. Thanks for the advice skyguy, i lolled at your description of the moniter i chose :P

    I've done some research and found the tuniq really is somethign incredible, and it looks so bad-ass my friends will know i'm a hardcore badass gamer with serious overclocking in da howz. I'll figure some way to minimize stress on the mobo, because the more i read on the tuniq the more i want it.
  9. I love my Noctua HSF. I is incredibly quiet and the cooling capacity is just amazing. I would never buy a TT over a Noctua.
  10. Am loving the Noctua as well. I'm just looking for an excuse to convince the wife I need it.......;)
  11. The samsung 226bw is in at memoryexpress now, but it sold out pretty much instantly. MAN thats a sexy monitor. I'll be buying this as soon as they have them in stock again.
  12. Got the 226bw. I got the S varient made my samsung. I'll start with the pros. Magicbright is part of the OSD now, my sammy 193+ uses the software varient. Note, if you want to dual moniter the 226 and the 193+ you will not be able to make changes to the 193+ settings, the software magicbright will not load and error out.

    My first impression of the 226bw is just how big it is! I've always liked samsung's style and liked the quality even better. First off, the stand is not height adjustable, but it swivels and bends. Using the calibration tool provided with my sammy 193+ called Natural Color I had to do very little changes, really, the only setting to change would be the contrast about 3 points lower. Optimal color resulted by turning off Magicolor as it seemed to wash out deep reds and provided an unrealistic hue to it.

    However, like i mentioned earlier, gaming with magicolor can make things look prettier, my preference is color accuracy. I played a quick match of DOTA, the game is highly texture based and very colorful, so I felt it was a good game to test the quality of the monitor. The results impressed me, keep in mind I've used the 193p+ for gaming up till now so I am comparing it to a superior panel type as the 193p+ is not TN. The game was undeniably ghosting free, Dota can have alot of fast action going at at one time, which means it is sensitive to ghosting affects. I could tell the response time was faster than my 8ms 193p+ which exceeds my expectations. It probably isnt 2ms GtG but ghosting still was nonexistant. RTA didnt stutter the frames, and i didnt notice the black and white frames inserted, surely playing a game with higher requirements would show some jitter, but I have not heard any reports of such (therefore it must be minimal). RTA is enabled by default, it can be turned off, however, it enables itself again once the moniter is power cycled.

    I watched "The Return" using the "movie" mode offered by the OSD. This softens whites and as far as i could tell, was pretty much the optimal 6500 warmth for watching movies in. There was no sparkling to speak of, none. Colors were accurate, there were no jitters, no motion blurs, and very even blacks (the backlight bleeding was the only area of uneven blacks). Whites were perfect, this is an area backlight bleeding means nothing in, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

    I want to go over the weaknesses of this moniter because that is likely more useful than my subjective impressions of the moniter. First off, there is bleeding, blacks are not as deep as my 193+ and as such, I give it an average rating. I have a benq that has much worse backlight bleeding, but that monitor is 3ish years old. The good thing is that the backlight bleeding is limited to the top and bottom regions, and quite frankly, it only shows up when watching movies due to the black bars cropping the picture. The uniformity is very good; only the areas with bleeding didn’t match the area's surrounding it, thus, the "meat" of the display is very uniform making it suitable for Photoshop, gaming, and even word processing. Viewing angle once again doesn't even come close to matching the 193p+, horizontal angles are good, and hold true to the specs, however, the vertical limited, especially when viewing at a downward angle. Just be sure to use the tilt function to ensure you hit the sweet spot. I'm not saying it’s bad by any means; it is just more limited than the 193p+.

    In case you want to know if you have an "a" or an "s" variety, the sticker located on the rear of the display. You have to pop off the cable cover to see it. It will show as "Samsung 226bw S", if you have an "A" variety, your results may differ from mine. It is likely made by AUOptronics which isn’t necessarily bad as every brand has monitor models made by them AFAIK.

    Overall I highly recommend this monitor, the style, OSD, and performance is top notch, and arguably second to none. Aside from some backlight bleeding (the norm for TN panels), the performance is excellent in every area I tested it in. The monitor is well suited for dual or single monitor use, and excels in gaming especially. The increased contract ratio really shows its muscle when viewing dark pictures. Based on my experience with monitors and my sensitive eyes, I can state definitively that this is the best 22" monitor I have ever used. Out of the box it performs very well, and achieves near perfect status once it’s calibrated. This is a monitor that will not disappoint and will continue to impress you for a very long time.
  13. Very good analysis, thorough and objective.

    Thanks Eric, great writeup!
  14. Quote:
    Corsair 2GB XMS2-6400 Dominator TWIN2X Dual Channel DDR2 Kit (2 x 1GB)
    Manufacturer: Corsair
    SKU: 9240
    Part No: TWIN2X2048-6400C4D Our Price: $359.95
    Mail-in Rebate:
    Mar 09, 2007 to Mar 19, 2007
    After Rebate: $319.95

    Dominator series are a total rip off. They're just some Corsair marketing shyt to make ppl think they're good modules, by placing a different cool looking heatspreader there. I'd definitely go with other brands that are better, and yet cheaper. You might want to look into the Buffalo FireStix, they're proven to be great overclockers, the 6400 CL4 series hit above 1GHz very often with just a 0.1-0.2V bump.
  15. I'm all for better/cheaper ram. From what would you recommend I get for Ram, or,

    I'm in canuckland so my selection sucks, we have nothing like newegg at all. Memoryexpress matches any canadian stores price; online and brick and mortar. So if I can get all my parts from one place, than I can save myself shipping and waiting.
  16. Direct Canada has a decent selection but it depends how hardcore you want to overclock.........? They have Micron D9 chips, but obviously more expensive. They also have cheaper DDR2-800 stuff that's very affordable for Canuck prices (which are alot more than U.S pricing on RAM unfortunately).

    So, how hard you gonna push your OC?
  17. Ideally to 3.6ghz so i can have my 1:1 ratio. Do you think this is too much of an overclock for everyday use?
  18. Wow. It's possible but you better have some good cooling there. You need top-end air cooling at least. Tuniq Tower, Thermalright Ultra Plus, that sort of thing.

    Since you'd be going 1:1, I'd suspect you'd need at least good PC6400 or higher (and a mobo that will take it), and probably some D9's to juice up.

    This is a QUICK list from Canuckland, I'm at the office with little time, so you'll need to verify these for sure. I'm pretty sure these are all D9's:

    Team Xtreem PC6400 @ 4-4-4-10 - $324

    Team Xtreem PC8000 @ 5-5-5-15 - $417

    G.Skill PC6400 @ 4-4-4-12 - $298

    Mushkin PC6400 @ 4-4-3-10 - $305

    Mushkin PC8500 @ 5-5-4-12 - $411

    OCZ Platinum PC8000 @ 5-6-6-15 - $470

    Obviously, the stuff above PC6400 costs more. But it all depends how hard you'll push your OC and what cooling to keep it stable. You might not hit 3.6 ghz, who knows. So you gotta decide what speed RAM you want. All those are great chips, prices vary but results will vary too.
  19. This looks like a great build, the only things i would change.
    1)Ram- I would suggest skimming through this tomshardware review, it tested most of the value ram that is currently available, the top performers being buffalo firestixs and patriot extreme.

    2)Asus 8800Gtx, I would go with evga instead their warranty is far supperior to any company out their, and they have a great stepup program just incase the 8800 ultra pops up :wink:.

    3)If you have plans of an 3.6ghz o/c then you should deffinetly only buy the best, that being a tuniq tower or an ultra 120 with a great fan.

    4)Evga 680i, This is something for you yourself to analyze, this is a great motherboard but will you ever really use sli? Especially with the 8800's only being the first generation of dx10 hardware on a pc. A p5n-e might be a better choice or just a standard non sli motherboard.

    -Just so you know, you can easily o/c the ram that i specified above (firestix or patriot) to 1000+ mhz stable with a 5-5-5-15 timing (maybe better if your lucky) and then you can set your motherboard to unlinked and have your cpu run at whatever speed's you would like, without the 1:1 ratio.
  20. Firestix and Patriot Extreme are virtually impossible to find in Canada, especially the Firestix......which is why I suggested those other brands that are D9's.
  21. Im doin a build I aim to finish in May myself. I work with computers for a living and a HUGE part of my job is staying current with Computer related products in order to brief my superior, infact it seems that is my only job these days. Anyways.. So Im building a rig and I considered the antec 900 but I could not live with so many holes so I kept digging.. I purchased the Thermaltake Aguila and the Samsung 226bw (S panel - AMAZING TN for the record) I had no idea just how well these two would match but they sure do!..

    So the theme for my build is black/mirror brushed aluminum and blue LED accents on each piece.. 226's power button, fans in the case and the G15 backlit keyboard. Here's a pic for you and for anyone who is interested in matching the 226 with a case and designing a stylish and powerful box.
  22. Quote:
    Firestix and Patriot Extreme are virtually impossible to find in Canada, especially the Firestix......which is why I suggested those other brands that are D9's.
    You could always use eBay, i am sure it would end of costing less then actually buying ram in Canada :wink: . ex. firestix 8000 for ~$250 and it ships worldwide
  23. No kidding eh! that is a very nice match indeed! Funny thing about the mobo I chose is that I very likely wont be going SLI on it, since I plan to buy the R600, thats why i'm waiting untill ~may, or whenever it comes out. I haven't seen the 900 in person yet, so it isnt a 100% decision on that one either. My main concerns, however, are the ram and the mobo. If I go with ATI I'd like to have the option of CF at some point, but if it comes down to which is easier to OC on, I will simply stick with the 680i or even the 680i LT version. Both overclock the same, just the LT doesnt have the extra pci-e and something else. This will be a gaming rig, but the faster it can encode and edit (video) the better, which is why I place high presidence on the proc Ocing.

    Honestly, I havent OC much at all, my proc doesnt OC worth crap so I gave up on it very quickly. The easier it is the better, the core chips have lots of headroom so it will be a good chip to play with.

    I prefer to shop at memoryexpress because i can walk in there, match online prices, and walk out. So unless something is SOOOO much better that i need to buy it online (like the tuniq) i'd rather just stick to what memoryexpress has to offer.

    Thanks for the inpuit thus far!

    What exactly makes ram d9's? Is the dominator series not d9?
  24. It is, but its way overpriced just because of its nifty looks. As for a tuniq, you can easily have idle temps of 35c when you have mounted it properly (use as5 and spread thin layer over cpu with plastic baggy) on a E6XXX clocked to 3.2, so its pretty dam good and only around 50$. As for memory,
    is what i currently have in my p5n-e and it will do 1000mhz at 2.08v at 5-5-5-12 timing or 900mhz at 2.08v at 4-4-4-12 timing, also many people claim that it will hit 1000mhz at 4-4-4-12 @2.2v timing but i never felt the need to go above 900mhz or technically void my warranty.

    As for not having o/c experience, once you buy your computer you can post a thread asking for recipes that contain similar setups and it will make your job much easier.
  25. Good advice, I will definately ask for recipes once I build my rig! All the better to save time tinkering and more time playing some finger flicking funtastic games!
  26. Nice rig 5010. I'm actually gonna be doing a build for a buddy and he has thinking of the Antec 900 but I convinced him the Aguila is better overall. Very nice case, almost bought one for myself before I went with the P180.

    Samsung 226.....VERY nice. I got the 225's last fall, simply top notch.
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