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*UPDATE AGAIN (2)* I'm a 1st time builder, How is my build?

Last response: in Systems
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April 12, 2007 6:06:08 AM

OK I'm going to list my build, then list my questions about my parts afterwards. kay? (UPDATED, Again) only a couple questions

$169.99 - NVIDIA SLI Certified Chassis Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003BWS Black Full Tower Case w/ 25CM Fan – Retail

$159.99 - SILVERSTONE ST75F ATX12V / EPS12V 750W Power Supply 115 - 240V - Retail

$209.99 - Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM

$69.99 - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KSRTL 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
$239.99 - EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

$308 - Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail

$53.99 - ZALMAN CNPS9500 LED 92mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan with Heatsink – Retail

$328.99 - OCZ Flex XLC 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1150 (PC2 9200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

$559.99 - EVGA 768-P2-N831-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card – Retail

$182.99 - Creative SOUND BLASTER X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - RetailOptical Drive

$42.99 - LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model LH-20A1L-05 - OEM

$59.99 - Razer DeathAdder 1800 dpi gaming mouse – Retail

$54.99 - Saitek PK02 2-Tone 104 Normal Keys USB Standard Eclipse II Keyboard – Retail

$25.99 - Razer eXactMat Mouse Pad - Retail

$319.99 - SAMSUNG 226BW Black 22" 2 ms (GTG) DVI Windscreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1(DC 3000:1) - Retail


1. the motherboard supports DDR2 - 1200 ram wooo! means i won't get as bottlenecked?

2. whats the difference on the creative xi-fi fatality sound card vs. the xi fi elite pro? the pro is on sale for like 159.99 at frys...

3.what keyboard would you recommend? make sure its sexy =]
April 12, 2007 6:12:34 AM

It looked like you had more questions but my first look says nice rig, but the RAM sticks out more than a sore thumb, more like a broken arm! Do you know how hard you have to overclock the system to use PC9200?? NOt sure of the numbers but I am guessing over 5mhz, or something like 575 FSB. Good luck with the water cooling 8O
April 12, 2007 6:22:16 AM

hmm ok. haha thanks for answering one of the questions =]. so what would i have to do to work with the ram without uber clocking it lol? yup ill buy like a koolance system later if its still tooo hot.
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April 12, 2007 6:36:56 AM

It is not a question of getting the RAM to work, it is that you might be paying twice as much as needed for RAM. You can get real nice stuff for $150, unless you are in Canada, where memory is like gold.
April 12, 2007 7:08:53 AM

lol is it that my ram is getting bottlenecked, if so by what? and will the ram work fine though?
also i plan to use the liquid cooling feature on it, so that is a deal breaker.

and also could you help me with the other questions i listed?
April 12, 2007 8:40:38 AM

If you are happy to pay that much, it should be very good RAM.

1.Not sure on either, the armor get good reccomendations here, LianLI is more expensive, I do not know that model, I have the 60B? Big boxy and very plain.

2. Cheap is not something to look for in a PSU, you want 4 connectors for dual video?

3. ECS is a good brand but they have poor quality control. If it works, you will be happy.

4. OCZ is good, not the best

5. Like what? get the samsung for $31 and you will have no problems.

6. More people here like the samsung 226s, real users who know good parts
April 12, 2007 11:32:30 PM

ok, thanks for all your input!

im not just looking for a super cheap power supply, the silverstone had 4 pci-e connectors, but spending 160 bucks on a PSU sounds a little much but w/e.

if ocz is not the best, than who is?

ok ima hope that i don't get the "a" panel =]

thanks again
April 13, 2007 5:14:44 AM

more input please!
April 13, 2007 5:43:21 AM

Quote:
5. dvd/cd burner all the burners on newegg have bad reviews, any ideas?

I've always had good luck with Pioneer and NEC. My Lite-On was a bit spotty but I understand their quality has improved.

Also do you really need the X-Fi sound card? You already have decent sound on the motherboard you listed. (of course it might just be something you gotta have! ... perfectly understandable) It seems better these days to have as little in the case as possible. The video card would be the only card in the entire computer... certainly cuts down on both space usage and potential compatibility issues. (*cough* Vista *cough*)

I would consider multiple hard drives. It's always great to use a utility like Drive Image or Ghost and backup your system drive once your OS and drivers are setup properly. (of course you could do this just by partitioning as well). Multiple drives also allows you to setup your swap space (assuming windows here) on a different drive than the one you run your apps/games on. If anything just have an extra 80GB drive for data storage in case something bad happens... I'm ridiculous and have 4 physical hard drives.
April 13, 2007 6:16:38 AM

haha ok im sure i could splurge another 90 bucks on another hard drive

well i just started getting interested in computers last month, so i don't know that much.

when u access different hard drives, is there an option during boot up to choose which hard drive you want to use? i have no idea i just was using my friends computer and there was like window 1, and 2 option which i assumed were the two different hard drives.


well considering that im just using my dads 8 year old computer, with 128 megabytes of ram and 400 mhz Pentium 2 , nothing has gone bad with the computer, so i don't think that hard drive failure is that big of a problem.

would you recommend going raid 1 or just setting up 2 different hard drives?
April 13, 2007 6:51:25 AM

all is good, the armour is a nice case, its is sturdy, yet light, big, yet elegant, also, good airflow. everything else is fine, might wanna tone down the ram a bit, but other than that, it is all fine.
April 13, 2007 4:30:15 PM

Quote:
haha ok im sure i could splurge another 90 bucks on another hard drive

when u access different hard drives, is there an option during boot up to choose which hard drive you want to use? i have no idea i just was using my friends computer and there was like window 1, and 2 option which i assumed were the two different hard drives.
...

would you recommend going raid 1 or just setting up 2 different hard drives?


You'll have access to both drives in Windows... They will show up as specific drive letters depending on how you set it up. It sounds as though your friend had a dual boot system. That is more for running multiple operating systems and has little relation to the number of hard drives.

I would only consider RAID if I had an extra hard drive around for when it potentially fails. While the performance boost is great, it's a calculated risk. If you had an industrial setup with hot swappable hard drives... then RAID would be very appropriate. If you're intending to use this system for ages and want to avoid the risk of having it break down, the performance boost may not be worth it. Hard drives do fail sometimes, RAID or not...

If you haven't considered any sort of backup scheme, and want to be on the safe side, I would look into various storage options. Even a basic USB thumbdrive can be a life saver if you backup important documents etc. each evening. External hard drives are also becoming very popular and often come with basic backup software that makes the process a breeze.
April 13, 2007 11:09:28 PM

hmmm sounds good.. thanks it was very informant.

well im 14... so i don't have very valuable stuff... probably the time invested into my games or something like that.

how does 2 separate hard drives work? - is it just 2 different hard drives like i.e. drive C: drive: D, both accessible once u log in? and you can decide where your saving into?

raid work?

and finally... what would you recommend for me? to a 14 yr old's point of view.
April 14, 2007 12:26:08 AM

What 14 year old has over 1500 dollars to spend on a comp? Jesus.
April 14, 2007 4:14:15 AM

uh this one? i spent my summer doing a summer job.
April 14, 2007 6:53:59 AM

yea but the mobos im looking for are nforce 680i's so the gigabyte doesn't qualify lol. the gigabyte nforce 680i is like 300+ bucks too expensive..
April 15, 2007 3:49:48 AM

Quote:
lol is it that my ram is getting bottlenecked, if so by what? and will the ram work fine though?
also i plan to use the liquid cooling feature on it, so that is a deal breaker.

and also could you help me with the other questions i listed?

That RAM would get "bottlenecked" by every other component in your system. To take full advantage of DDR2-1150 you would need to run the FSB at 575 MHz (which would correspond to what Intel would call 2300 MHz FSB, compared to the 1066 the E6600 is advertised with). With this FSB speed, the CPU would need to run at 5175 MHz, which is far beyond anything you can get with a Conroe on air or water, and probably beyond most of the exotic coolers as well. Also, none of the current good overclocking motherboards (680i or p965) are likely to support that, especially without some major cooling on the northbridge. I think it's odd you'd be worried about saving $ on the PSU with that RAM in there. DDR2-800 is plenty for typical applications, and would support getting an E6600 up to 3.6 GHz. Also, that super high end memory requires higher voltages than normal (2.35 V, compared to typical 2.1 for DDR2-800) so make sure your board supports that if you insist on going with that stuff. And if you care that much about water cooled RAM, OCZ has a DDR2-800 version for about $100 cheaper.

I would also skip the sound card. At the very least, give the onboard audio a try, and then go get the sound card if you aren't satisfied.

If you're worried about an "a panel" samsung, pay a little more and buy the monitor at a place like circuit city where the return policy is more generous in case you get the wrong type. Last time I checked it was only $10 more than at newegg.

I don't recommend the zalman 9500, go for a Tuniq Tower or Thermalright Ultra 120 for better cooling at comparable or better prices.

Is there any particular reason you are limiting the mobo to 680i such as future SLI plans? Because if not, the P965 based boards overclock about as well and are a lot cheaper, and seem to be less "picky" with RAM. If you have to get 680i, the eVGA is a lot more popular than the ECS and seems to be about the same price. The Asus Striker is probably the best 680i but is very expensive.
April 15, 2007 6:35:06 AM

dude, seriously, ECS sucks. I have a board, and I can't get in touch with their customer support, and I really wish I would have gone with ASUS or GIGABYTE, even the eVGA board. I would recommend getting the ASUS P5N32-E ( i think thats what it is ). it's a 680i board with 2 16X PCIe lanes and 1 8X for a future physics card, amazing overclocking and still is only $200, muuuuuuch better than that ECS piece! check it out:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 16, 2007 6:33:13 AM

if i drop my memory down to ddr2-800, what memory would you recommend?

i've been hearing alot about the tuniq tower, but there are several bad review for it... how about the new thermaltake maxorb?

yes im planning to go sli in the future... when game make the next step. or should i go with the p965 boards since that leap in gaming won't be anytime too soon?

my plan was to buy that sound card and if the total cost was too much i would skip it at first.

the motherboard i really want is the MSI P6N Diamond which hasn't been released yet...

what 680i boards would you guys recommend?
April 16, 2007 3:30:54 PM

For a P965 board, I'd recommend any of the Gigabyte boards from the S3, DS3, DS3P, DS4, DS4P, or the DQ6. All fantastic boards and have amazing overclocking if you plan on doing that. Personally I have used an S3 and it works wonders and is stable.

For a 680i, I'd check out the ASUS P5N32-E or the eVGA 680i.
April 16, 2007 4:47:45 PM

Ditto for me on ECS sucking, nearly all of their boards arrive dead with me. If you want something to work right out of the box (without returning it a couple of times first), dont buy ECS.

Go for one of the quality motherboard brands, such as Asus, Abit, Gigabyte or MSI. Picking any of those should guarantee a good, stable motherboard.

Memory I find isnt too much of a bottleneck providing you get enough of it (and your 2Gb is enough for most things) and it runs at a respectable speed. The difference between premium low-latency DDR2 and normal DDR2 normally equates to a couple of FPS in games. Things may be different when overclocking however? (more timings to relax/better quality control)

On the 680i v P965, I'd say stick with the 680i unless you really are trying to trim your budget. The option of upgrading to a pair of 8800GTXs in the future will give you an easy way to add more kick to your PC further down the line. Plus theres the advantage that when games become too demanding for a single 8800GTX, they will be down in price significantly.

I take it the WD Raptor is for your system drive? It might be an option to replace it with a Raid 0 pair of normal drives, but Im not sure about difficulties/speed benefits. Can anyone who has experience with 680i raiding comment?

For the other 250Gb drive, the best price/data capacity is currently around 400-500Gb drives. Of course if you dont need/want that much space then ignore this comment.
April 16, 2007 11:59:44 PM

ok thanks kurita and hashbrown.

im decided to get an evga motherboard the sli 608i A1 version. the motherboard supports ddr2-1200 yummy! good for my memory. would the memory be bottlenecked slightly less now because my motherboard supports it?

the raptor x is for all my games and the caviar is my multimedia drive. i don't want to spend the extra money for a 400-500 gb hard drive lol. but ill go check it.
April 17, 2007 1:43:41 AM

You're memory should be fine. You might even just want to run it on a 1:1 ratio at 1066 with tighter timings, or higher if you're overclocking.
April 17, 2007 4:43:36 AM

hmmm ok thanks. the only thing im probably goign to oc is the e6600 to ~3ghz and maybe adjust timings to 55515 for the memory.
April 17, 2007 11:53:16 PM

bump more input plz
April 18, 2007 9:47:01 AM

Well you got everything right, looks like a super system, with lots of O/Cing room. Kick ass RAM and that is the best GPU right now.
April 18, 2007 10:49:28 AM

But seriously, that RAM is still a massive overkill. 8O
Even if the motherboard supports ddr2-1200 your processor wont reach anywhere near it...

But hey, it's your money, you can use it like you wish
April 18, 2007 11:16:40 PM

ok thanks =] lol yea the ram is overkill i guess >_> but its ok i tlooks sexy.... bragging rights and liquid cooling =].

ok ima put up a slightly cheaper by 800 dollars small form factor build in a moment.
!