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Build info/questions...sorry

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April 14, 2007 10:51:12 AM

Hi guys, I was originally going to do my first full build with this pc, but circumstances have made that not an option now so I'm going with cyberpowerpc.com since I get to pick and choose pretty much all the parts i was planning on using anyway and it's not a whole lot more than building it myself. Sorry if this is technically the wrong category, but it's not exactly a prebuilt either.

Anyway, my uses for this computer (aside from upgrading an old pos celeron 2.8 and nvidia 4000 8O ) will be an HTPC (don't have the new tv yet though - just an older 30" widescreen hdtv - not plasma/lcd), light video editing (home movies), gaming (mainly just WoW though lol), and basic office programs. My goal is to be spend a lower amount of cash, and make up for it with overclocking though I'll be back on the forums when that time comes since I'm a newb at that lol. I am waiting a few weeks to order to see the price drops for the c2d's and seeing official reviews on the new nvidia cards compared to the 8800gts 320mb. And no, I don't have time to wait for ATI, so don't suggest that, rofl.

The build:

• CASE: X-Cruiser Mid-Tower 420W Case W/ WINDOW, MultiMeter Display & Control
• POWERSUPPLY: NZXT PF-500 500Watt Power Supply
• CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4300 CPU @ 1.80GHz 800FSB 2x1MB L2 Cache EM64T
• MOTHERBOARD: (Quad-Core Supports) Asus P5N-E nForce 650i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard
• MEMORY: 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)
• VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB 16X PCI Express (EVGA Powered by NVIDIA)
• PVR: TV Tuner with FM Stereo + Remote Control
• FAN: CoolerMaster Liquid CPU Cooling Fan System Kit + 2 EXTRA CASE FANS
• HDD: Single Hard Drive 500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
• OPTICAL: LiteOn LH-20A1H 20X Double Layer DVD+-RW Super Allwrite + Lightscribe Technology
• FLASHMEDIA: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer
• NETWORK: ONBOARD 10/100 NETWORK CARD
• OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
• SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
• FREEBIE: FREE! CyberPower Multi-Purpose Carrying Briefcase ($19.99 Value)
• FREEBIE: FREE! Cyberpower Unleash The Power T-Shirt ($19 Value)
• FREEBIE: FREE! Dark Messiah - Might And Magic
• PRICE: $1,395 – after discount/shipping = $1,390.25


I can get links for newegg on all this if you guys want, but i figured everyone knows all these components already anyway so you wouldn't need them. I'll be running a 19" wide lcd with this - http://www.westinghousedigital.com/details.aspx?itemnum... - i know it isn't the best (res = 1440x900), but i was able to get the thing for $150 on "black friday" so i couldn't pass it up (replaced a 17" emachines crt so it's very nice to me lol).

Basically, i'm asking for opinions on this build based on what I'll be doing with it, and if you think it would be easy to get to 3.0ghz and keep it stable all the time. I don't want to downgrade to a 7k series vid card either, but maybe an 8600 if it will perform decently and the price difference is significant enough. I've set $1,400 as my budget, but am trying to get it as low as possible (again, due to unforseen circumstances).

Thanks in advance to all who reply.

More about : build info questions

April 14, 2007 12:31:47 PM

Build looks good except for a couple major concerns:

-To hit 3.0ghz you'll need better RAM. Value stuff won't cut it. Get something like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-next, your PSU is garbage. NZXT?? Get something else. FSP, Hiper are 2 brands that are better and not junk. Something like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There are cheaper out there, so I'm sure you'll get other good suggestions.

-next, don't waste your money on that Coolermaster CPU-liquid wannabe. Not necessary, a waste. Just get a good air cooler, less hassle and breakage. Noctua UH-12F highly recommended....Thermaltake Big Typhoon will work well for you too.

-lastly, this is simply a suggestion, not a problem. It's such a waste to buy that case/PSU combo and then chuck the PSU. Consider a standalone case....something cheaper for your budget but still very good. I recommend the Coolermaster 534.....not fancy, but very good and affordable:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Re-examine your list, consider some changes. I think you can get a better setup, and for less money.
April 14, 2007 1:02:33 PM

Thanks for the response...

I don't know if you've been to cyberpower's site, but they have other options so what if I made these changes...

I should have deleted the psu that comes with the case because the 500w one is an upgrade option that replaces that. How about replaceing it with this one instead?

Xion ATX Power Supply(500 Watts Dual Silent Cooling Fan)

They don't say much on the cooling except that I can get this for $42 less than the liquid:

INTEL LGA775 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK + 3 EXTRA CASE FANS - doesn't say anything about brand or anything though. The other liquid cooling they offer is: Monsoon II Lite CLT-M2LI LGA775 CPU Air Conditioner Cooling System - but that would put me over my budget (unless these price drops help out :D )

I was under the impression that pretty much any 800mhz ram would work (thought by "value" they meant something like that gskill, adata, or patriot) for overclocking with that Asus motherboard, but what if i upgraded it to:

Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader (same speed and 2g) - this is $45 dollars more so getting rid of the liquid cooling would equal about the same cost in the end.
Related resources
April 14, 2007 1:50:58 PM

I don't really know much about the E4300 or how it overclocks, but maybe a slightly better CPU would benefit you for light video editing? I think the E4300 overclocks well, but if you've not oc'ed before, it might be safer to get a better CPU and overclock less aggressively.
April 14, 2007 2:09:50 PM

well, i was originally getting the e6600 (still might with the price drops), but still had the intention of overclocking...the only reason i haven't done it before is because of locked mobos (prebuilts/notebooks). since the e4300 came out, i've been reading everything about it and how much easier it supposedly is for overclocking, and that asus mobo comes with their oc'ing ai so those two things considered doesn't seem too tough - especially since it's something i really just want to "play with". i'm not really worried about being safe with it because 3ghz is only my max...i'm not even going to oc it at first and my actual goal is between 2.6-2.8 for good performance. from what i've seen and heard this should be very easy to do. and, in the end, even at 1.8 it blows the crap out of the processor running my son's vidoes currently :D  . thank you for your input though.
April 14, 2007 5:07:02 PM

Ok, the 4300 is very easy to overclock. But you can't really use Value RAM because normally it can't take the excess speeds and/or voltages usually required to overclock. But with a 4300 you only need some decent brand-name 667 RAM, so don't blow the budget on it though. Both of those I showed you will work.

The other thing is why the TEC cooling for the CPU? Are you serious about going TEC or liquid? I would say that's a very big waste of your money because you're on a tighter budget AND you're not overclocking much. Seriously, ditch it. Even use the stock heatsink until you plan on overclocking. That'll save you some GOOD money right there combined and that will still let you get a better PSU. Xion = crap as well. Get a brand name like FSP, Hiper, Antec, OCZ, Enermax, Seasonic. First ones are the cheapest, last ones are the best (and most expensive) in the list there.

Your system specs are good except your PSU is all wrong. You need a good PSU or else you'll be crying when it takes out other components when it dies. You can't use a crappy PSU when you're overclocking and/or using a beast of a graphics card like the 8800. It's just a matter of time until something blows. Eat 2 less pizzas next month and put that money into a better PSU. Seriously.
April 14, 2007 5:31:53 PM

Yeah, I'd have to seriously agree on the PSU front. If you're running an 8800, I'd highly recommend the Corsair HX (50A on the +12V rails, giving plenty of scope for a future upgrade).
April 15, 2007 12:33:06 AM

The GameXstream OCZ 600W is the premier choice if you are going with a 8800GTS - cheao, too.
April 15, 2007 1:01:38 AM

To only respectfully disagree with Skyguy I'm using Corsair Value Select 667 DDR2 5-5-5-15 with an E4300 and have successfully reached 2.97Ghz. Memtest run for 3+ hours solid, not fully stability tested but it's run games on both cores for 5+ hours with no problems.
April 15, 2007 1:12:39 AM

Wow, that's great! Never expected that.

Try running dual instances of Prime95 for 12 hours and see if it comes up with no errors and good temps. If so, then I'd say you hit the jackpot! :D 
April 15, 2007 1:23:00 AM

Thanks! ^_^

Good temps...lol, I wish... But I know the reason why I don't have very good ones, my case is absolutely cluttered with cabling, I'm just no good at routing the blasted things... Besides I had to use a 36 inch IDE cable to get a DVD burner and HDD working...not enough $$$ to go all SATA yet. And that ribbon blocks my intake fan pretty as you please. =P

I agree with the testing...I really should. Maybe I can do that tonight, but the most I can get is 6 hours while I'm asleep. The rest of the time it's in use.
April 15, 2007 2:09:05 AM

I've got this one. =D

http://badpeople.us/files/pictures/casemod.html

I think the manufacturer is APS...or something like that. Cost me a pretty penny too...then I took my dremel and hacksaw and drill to it. XD XD XD

EDIT: SWEET cabling job by the way! VERY cool. :) 
April 15, 2007 4:52:45 AM

ahhh, i've been hijacked..lol, anyway, thanks for the input so far guys - i really appreciate it. just so you know, i'm not wasting your time either, i'll be buying this as soon as the cpu price drops hit and these midrange gpu's get reviewed (on here :D ). ok, i redid the build with the suggestions you guys have given so far:

• CASE: APEVIA X-Cruiser Mid-Tower W/ WINDOW, MultiMeter Display & Control
• CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4300 CPU @ 1.80GHz 800FSB 2x1MB L2 Cache EM64T
• CD: LiteOn LH-20A1H 20X Double Layer DVD+-RW Super Allwrite + Lightscribe Technology
• FLASHMEDIA: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer
• FAN: INTEL LGA775 CERTIFIED CPU FAN & HEATSINK + 3 EXTRA CASE FANS
• HDD: Single Hard Drive (500GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
• MOTHERBOARD: (Quad-Core Supports) Asus P5N-E nForce 650i SLI Chipset LGA775 FSB1333 DDR2 Mainboard
• MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader)
• OS: Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
• POWERSUPPLY: Enermax SLI Supports Power Supply Unit (535 Watts Enermax EG565P - SLI Ready)
• SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
• PVR: TV Tuner with FM Stereo + Remote Control
• VIDEO: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB 16X PCI Express (EVGA Powered by NVIDIA)
• PRICE: $1,421.60 (after shipping/discount)
*MONITOR(already have): 19" WS LCD 1440x900

The bold items are the ones i changed from the original build and the grand total is only ~$20 higher which looks good for April 22nd's cuts :D .

So how's it look now - please keep in mind that i'll still be thinking about switching the cpu (e4400 or e6600 maybe) after the drops and possibly one of the 8600's as long as i can max everything on WoW and watch HD movies on it
April 15, 2007 10:04:09 AM

If you're going to overclock, I'd highly recommend an aftermarket HSF. It'd be much quieter and cooler, which are both good things. The Zalman CNPS9500 is a good choice there, as it's well fixed (comes with a backing plate to help support the mobo), quiet, and not too heavy. The Scythe Ninja or Infinity are both very good coolers, but I'd never get one because they weigh nearly 1kg (which is a lot, considering Intel say the mobo can only take up to around 430g of weight). Also, with the RAM, try and see if you can get the CAS4 stuff rather than the CAS5 version.

Oh, and finally, the Gigabyte 965P-DS3 is a good, proven overclocker, and would be a better choice than the 650i (I think it might be a bit cheaper too, but not by much).

The Enermax is a good choice of PSU - well known brand with 34A on the +12V rails.
April 15, 2007 10:16:36 AM

Quote:
If you're going to overclock, I'd highly recommend an aftermarket HSF. It'd be much quieter and cooler, which are both good things. The Zalman CNPS9500 is a good choice there, as it's well fixed (comes with a backing plate to help support the mobo), quiet, and not too heavy. The Scythe Ninja or Infinity are both very good coolers, but I'd never get one because they weigh nearly 1kg (which is a lot, considering Intel say the mobo can only take up to around 430g of weight). Also, with the RAM, try and see if you can get the CAS4 stuff rather than the CAS5 version.

Oh, and finally, the Gigabyte 965P-DS3 is a good, proven overclocker, and would be a better choice than the 650i (I think it might be a bit cheaper too, but not by much).

The Enermax is a good choice of PSU - well known brand with 34A on the +12V rails.


I really appreciate your replies. I have to point out again that I can't build the system from the ground up now, so my options are somewhat limited through www.cyberpowerpc.com . The cooling option IS something I'm going to do (that Zalman most likely) but not for a few months after I get the rig and play with it a bit first. They don't have many other options for ram other than mushkin or mushkin extreme. How well do you think this most recent setup will overclock before i need to change out that hsf? will i get 2.6-2.8 with good temps for a few months you think? think the e4400 will be better with the higher multiplier and the corsair xms ram?
April 15, 2007 10:43:57 AM

For that kind of money I would build it yourself.

I struggled with this very question with much anguish. 4 1/2 years ago I took the plunge and stopped buying off the shelf proprietary systems such as Compaq and went with an internet based company to build my current component rig.

That company was Internetishop and they went bankrupt within a year due to horrible machines and service. Thank God my rig is running 4 1/2 years later but I fried a video card and PSU with no OC - just general use. That is because these places use the cheapest parts available and sneak them into your box.

This time I almost went the have-them-build route again but decided not to, and I am saving a TON of cash through Newegg AND getting exactly what I want.

Check out the reviews for Cyberpowerpc.com from Pricewatch users - they are one of the worst companies out there (and they don't even bother to respond to negative comments like most reputable companies do):

http://www.pricewatch.com/public/Feedback.aspx?q=1029&p...

Note: CyberPower, Inc. is CyberPowerPC.com

Save yourself some cash and heartache. Build it yourself.

And if this is still an issue for you, have someone other than those crooks build it.
April 15, 2007 11:04:35 AM

ok, maybe i should clarify a little here on WHY i can't build it myself anymore. i'm in the military and currently deployed (almost done thankfully). anyway, my intention was to order all parts slowly while out here and build it when i got home - well, things change...my wife told me in the middle of this deployment she is leaving and ALL my shit is in storage (well, what's left anyway) so my time, space, and resources are a little jacked up, BUT i need the new pc to be able to communicate with my son (a toddler), store/make his movies, and gaming is my little escape from reality (i.e. the heartache) so this thing needs to be ready as soon as i get home, as it will be to a new and very small and empty apartment. usually i don't like posting personal details, but everyone seems to be trying to talk me into building it myself like i originally wanted to - i just can't now. at least this way i can still upgrade whatever i want in the future unlike an actual prebuilt like hp or something.

thank you for your research on that, and i've been there and seen those reviews...i wouldn't use them except for the fact that a good friend of mine ordered from there and loves his pc - only issue he had was a wire was disconnected from the optical drive (probably during shipment).
April 15, 2007 1:40:47 PM

Fair enough then, that's a bit harsh. To be honest, just see how the system runs without any overclocking first. If you need to overclock later on, then add in the Zalman and go for it. But I doubt you'd need to overclock straight away, so stick with the stock HSF for now.
April 15, 2007 4:49:16 PM

Thanks a lot for that!!! I wasn't too sure about the Noctua or Scythe for my next system build due to the weight (I go to LANs a fair bit), but from what you said, the Noctua seems perfect. I do still like the aesthetics of the Zalman, but it seems the Noctua is the way to go :) 
!