Ok, first off I haven't ordered my computer yet but I'm 100% sure I'm getting it here in the next two weeks. Theres things I'm still deciding that's why, but heres what I know I'll get or have so far and the questions will be at the bottom.
Case: Cooler master stacker 830 (big chunk of $$, wish I didn't spend it)
PSU: Thermaltake toughpower 700W
CPU cooler: Rosewill RCX-Z3 heatsink/fan
4x250GB HDD - two 250GB WD caviar 3.0GB/s and 2 250 Seagates (older data drives) 1.5GB/s
Going to get for sure:
Sound blaster X-Fi professional sound card
Still deciding -
Video card(probably R600)
Cooling for other things on the mobo/GPU/case fans
#2 - What chipset should I really want for my motherboard? P965 / 680i / 650i / 975x - I plan on overclocking, and features are ok, but I want it future proof. I'm scared if I get a p965, that the 680i will be really good in the future after bios updates. I'm not an extreme overclocker so a little sac on OC for future proof (1 1/2 - 2 years at least)
#3 - Ram, 6400 or 8500? I have my eyes on 2 types of ram right now.
OCZ 8500 and patriot 6400 - They both are killer deals right now. I know I need to get a 1:1 FSB ratio with my ram, is this going to change anything?
#4 - Ok, I know overclocking overall heats up my computer case and all and my motherboard. Should I be worrying about the northbridge heating up? I have 9 spots for fans on my computer. Currently I have 3 120MM's. Front/back/Side. I'm thinking of 2 more side fans that are quiet.
#5 - I'm running raid on my new computer, but I have an OS my my HDD that i'm going to use for raid, is there a way to get this current HDD into the raid with an image copy? I want to run raid 0 (or should I run raid 1? I download and move media files, mainly video around a lot, but I'm scared raid 1 will slow all of that down)
I would really like help, if someone can respond to most of these questions, I'm sure I have more to ask. If I can hop on ventrilo or teamspeak with someone very good with this, It'd be lovely. I wouldn't mind donating to this community afterwards. (does tom have a donation link?)
I can't answer all your questions, but I can help with some:
#1 This is very difficult to answer, as there are so many variables to take into account. As a general guideline, I would say that 3GHz should be easily achievable, and on air with a decent heatsink and sufficient ventilation, maybe 3.2 - 3.4 GHz. Unfortunately, I have no experience of the specific heatsink you have, and I could only find 1 review. Whilst that review did do some performance analysis, the comparison heatsinks were also unknown to me :? As you stated that you are not a big overclocker, I would target 3GHz and be happy with anything more that you are able to achieve.
#2 I can't really help on this one. I went for the 975X, but can't really provide any reasoning behind my decision
#3 I would recommend PC2-6400. As you stated, you want to achieve 1:1 ratio. PC2-6400 is rated at 800MHz, so that will allow up to 400MHz FSB at 1:1. 400MHz on an E6600 is 3.6GHz (which I was unable to get close to with my OC on air). I think PC2-8500 would be excessive unless your planning to go water-cooled.
#4 I don't think you need to be concerned with excessive heat on the chipset. Most motherboards provide more than adequate cooling, and as you say, you have plenty of scope to improve ventilation with that case (I have an older version of the same case with 2 front 120mm fans, 1 rear 120mm fan, 2 rear 80mm fans, 1 top 80mm fan, and a cross-flow fan installed).
#5 I'm not sure I understand your problem here. With this upgrade, your going to have to reinstall the OS, so other than moving any data files from your existing disks to either an external disk (or one of the non-raid disks), there shouldn't be a problem. Assigning any disk to a Raid array (either 0 or 1 or any other) will delete all files from that disk. Raid 1 will slow everything down a bit, but would provide extra data security. I personally run with Raid 0 and love the extra speed. Others may warn you about the increased risk of disk failure with a Raid 0 array, but I personally consider this a minimal risk. If your going to be moving lots of large files, you will appreciate the extra speed Raid 0 provides. However, don't neglect to backup any data that you don't want to lose (this advice applied whether you run Raid 0 or not).
Hopefully, someone with better knowledge of chipsets can provide some help with your choice of motherboard.
As for mobo, should wait for DFI Infinity 965P. This is the most powerful mobo to come in. but im not sure when. u can google around and search for some reviews. Madshrimps done 1 so far. Gigabyte DS3/DQ6 also are great for OC Enthusiasts too.. they sure dont dissappoint.
i think the Rosewill HSF will do fine for 3.2Ghz++ speeds.
For rams, u can find those with D9 chips. Search for D9GKX or D9GMH - Crucial rams will give u a better chance of getting it . Both are great overclockers! better dont miss it.
my rams (D9GKX) can do 1ghz 4-4-4-10 with no prob :wink: