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Longtime lurker, first time poster.... My 1st upcoming build

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April 4, 2007 5:23:35 PM

Good afternoon all, I've been a lurker of the forumz for a few months now, and I've mustered up the courage to build my next PC. Quick background info, so that I can get some good advice from the experts on the board.

I currently run a P4 1.7 Ghz system with 768mb of ram, and I'm looking to upgrade to a dual core system, I mainly use my computer for gaming (Everquest 2) and do photo/video/music editing with Photoshop CS, Nero and other various programs. I also do web page creation with MS Frontpage and Macromedia Dreamweaver, and use Excel/Word/Powerpoint extensively for work. I download music/movies/videos/apps daily, so that is a big part of my computer experience. I'm in no way a "hardcore" gamer, but the games I do play, I spend at least 20 hours a week playing. BUT, because I have been hindered by my system's EXTREMELY slow performance, I haven't dabbled in games like Call of Heroes, Vanguard etc because I just cant run them properly on my system.

SO, after that long winded explanation, this is my current "dream" system that I plan on purchasing within the next month or so. PLEASE, and advice, comments/critiques would be greatly appreciated.

PS Overclocking is not a major factor for me, but I do want to have the ability to do so If the need arises. Same thing goes for SLI

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6400
MB: GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Memory: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Video card: EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP
Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s
Power: HIPER HPU-4B580-MS ATX12V v2.2 580W Power Supply 100 - 120V
DVD/CD: LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner 12X DVD-RAM Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model LH-20A1H-185
Processor Fan: ZALMAN CNPS9500 LED 92mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan with Heatsink
Fan paste: Arctic Silver Ceramique Thermal Compound
April 4, 2007 5:46:19 PM

All excellent choices, though I'd prefer a scythe ninja to a zalman 9500, but that's not a big deal.
April 4, 2007 5:49:10 PM

Thanks Jeff, but Im a little confused now, as I just went to the eXtreme power supply calculator site, and according to my specs, (ie with the possibilty of overclocking) I'll be needing a 778w power supply? God im confused.
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April 4, 2007 5:53:13 PM

Haha no that PSU calculator must be on crack, the PSU you listed easily has enough juice. It wouldn't do SLi, but neither would your motherboard and that graphics card is a poor choice for SLi anyway.

If you want to prepare for SLi you'd need a SLi motherboard, bigger PSU, and the 640mb GTS. Usually, it's not worth it.
April 4, 2007 5:56:14 PM

Again, thank you :)  As you can see, Im only a casual gamer, but I do want to have this system for a tleast 3-5 years, without a dire necessity to upgrade. How does the MB look to you Jeff for casual gamer/app user?
April 4, 2007 6:00:38 PM

That board is very popular, proven to be reliable and one of the best overclockers there is. You certainly wouldn't be playing the newest games 3-5 years from now at high quality on that graphics card, but that's just how it is with this stuff, you can only futureproof for a little while.
April 4, 2007 6:05:53 PM

True, but I would be able to swap out to a Dx10 card once they drop in price a year or two down the road, without having to revamp the entire system?
April 4, 2007 6:07:14 PM

For sure, although the 8800GTS is also DX10.
April 4, 2007 6:25:32 PM

Quote:
Haha no that PSU calculator must be on crack, the PSU you listed easily has enough juice. It wouldn't do SLi, but neither would your motherboard and that graphics card is a poor choice for SLi anyway.

If you want to prepare for SLi you'd need a SLi motherboard, bigger PSU, and the 640mb GTS. Usually, it's not worth it.


Jeff, not sure I understand this right. Would the 320MB GTS not work in SLI mode?

He may want the 640MB version for future-proofing anyway, what with all these new games that feel cramped in 320MB.

I'd also recommend the Q6600 if you're planning to keep the same CPU for 5 years. The OP didn't specify a budget, but if we're talking about graphics cards in the 8800 family I assume it's a pretty good budget.

I'd also wait until the price cuts promised for April 22. You could get an E6600 then for the price you'd pay now for an E6400, if I remember right.
April 4, 2007 6:26:11 PM

No, it is all about amps! The Hiper PSU has enough power on the 12v Rails to power your system.
April 4, 2007 6:27:31 PM

Any 8800 cards will work in SLi. But an SLi setup with two 8800GTS is not as good as just one 8800GTX.
April 4, 2007 6:33:24 PM

Quote:
Jeff, not sure I understand this right. Would the 320MB GTS not work in SLI mode?


It'd work but I meant it's a poor choice IMO. 320s in SLi have more processing power than a GTX with less than half the memory. Playing demanding games at high resolutions and quality settings would overflow 320mb of graphics memory and there'd be a huge performance drop. At low resolutions and settings you don't need two 8800s anyway.

And ya waiting for the price cuts is probably a good plan at this point, the end of April isn't all that far away.
April 4, 2007 6:40:02 PM

Hi guys, keep the posts coming, I do need the help, and it's greatly appreciated. I'm looking to spend in the $1200 range, so that's how my system was set up, with that price point in mind. I've also been reading about a price drop later this month, and I will not have purchased most of these components by then, so Im hoping I can pick up the E6600 at the E6400 price, as I never envision myself overclocking the PC past 3.2 Ghz max anyway. Also, I really wouldnt mind If I wasnt running games at 100% highest settings, as Ive been used to minimum settings for years now with my current system, its become second nature, lol
April 4, 2007 6:46:51 PM

I just did a e6420 vs q6600 post in another thread, so I'm going to copy and paste it here...

If I was building a gamer now I'd get a e6420 because it's cheap ($183), overclocks easily and it'd play any game splendidly- most current games wouldn't get any performance boost with quadcore. Then in Q3 I could get a Q6600 because they cost $266.

So in the end I'd save money ($183+$266=$449, vs the current $530 Q6600) and get have a quadcore before they're really needed anyway and have an extra Core 2 CPU to sell or use in a another rig.

But for someone who doesn't mind paying a little more and not having to worry about swapping CPUs for longer, the Q6600 is a nice CPU.

Although, I probably wouldn't get a Q6600 in Q3 this year because I honestly don't think they'd be recommended for gaming over a dualcore until well into 2008. By then Penryn will be here in force and a better performer than the Q6600.
April 4, 2007 6:48:05 PM

I will sell you a P4 3GHz HT LGA 775 for $50. And if you want to save some money on an HDD and get a wicked fast set-up I will sell you 2 SCSIs.

If not then the E6600 will be the same price as the current E6400 after April 22. Seagate Barracudas are always a good choice and a great bargin. I would definately go GTX not GTS.
April 4, 2007 6:51:21 PM

one small tidbit from me on the sli. i believe it is beneficial pending on the resolution of the moniter your using to be able to get the benefit of sli. if i'm correct you will need a fairly large moniter resolution to see the benefit of sli in the first place. for instance, i have a 20inch wide screen at 1680x1050 and i've been told that at that resolution i won't even need sli especially if i were to get one of the g80's running on it as it would do the job greatly as a single. now if you were to have a 30inch moniter then you would need a g80 sli setup to handle gaming smoothly. not totaly sure on this but i'm sure that someone will come along and clear this thing up for me.
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