First Custom Build - Need opinions

First build and first post, Hello!

Anyways, I am building my first computer and I am asking for everyone's help so I make correct choices and not end up burned! Budget is not an issue, but I'm not looking for outrageous but rather the best bang for the buck. I have a few ideas, but I don't have the confidence nor the experience to purchase these things w/o some help.

Originally an AMD fan (currently on x2 4400+) but want to switch to C2D
Processor - Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor
Fan/Heatsink - ZALMAN 9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

One of my bigger worries, I want to be sure I get the correct mobo with the best options
EVGA 122-CK-NF68-T1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
The above mentioned MOBO supports DDR2 1066 RAM and comes combo'd with the ram, good choice or should I stick with a different MOBO and DDR2 800?

Not sure here. A lot of good ones, but I don't know which would best suit me. Not going to use SLI, but isn't high AMPS on the 12v rail recommended? Multiple 12v rails better than single?

Depends on the MOBO I guess, but if I would go with DDR2-800...
CORSAIR XMS2 DOMINATOR 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel

Would like to go RAID 0
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive x 2

I want to make sure I have enough room for everything, so if the case is huge it doesn't matter. But I want to make sure the MOBO fits too.
Choice #1 - Thermaltake SHARK VA7000SWA Silver 1.0 mm All aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Choice #2 - NZXT Zero Black/Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case

I want to go widescreen with the best bang for the buck
SAMSUNG 226BW Black 22" 2 ms (GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1(DC 3000:1)

That's it for the basics. I already have the keyboard (Saitek Eclipse II) / mouse (Logitech G5 Laser) / GFX card (8800GTS 640mb DDR3) so those are covered.

So, if I could have your opinions AND recommendations for the parts! All of these I have listed are just my best guesses and are by no means correct.

Thanks in advance for everyone that helps me out!
10 answers Last reply
More about first custom build opinions
  1. CPU and cooler are good
    That Mobo is great, the combo sucks.
    Your PSU thoughts are correct. Watts and Amps matter on a custom build. The best? I think PP&C are great, the 750W silencer. I also reqad about the EnerMax Infinity, which is fairly new with many new things that were interesting, like system cooldown, lets the fans run after you shutdown
    Memory If you like that brand, that is what you want
    I might go with 2 smaller drives in RAID 0 and then 1 big drive for data and backup. You need to backup a RAID setup often, as what they give in speed, you lose in data integrety.
    Not sure on those cases, it is more what looks good to you. All full towers will fit an ATX MB.
    Excellent choice on the Samsung.
  2. Thanks alcattle!

    About the combo: What don't you like about it? (low quality ram or price?)

    I've heard alot of great things about PP&C, sounds good.

    I've never set up a RAID array before, do you think I should go for something like that and then another HDD as backup like you mentioned, or do you just recommend one decent SATA 3.0gb/s drive?

    Thanks again; hoping for more input!
  3. The price on the combo is almost $100 higher then the two pieces MB/800 RAM would be. Not that much added by getting the faster RAM.
    PSU, what can I say?
    I would drop RAID and get two drives. Small one for the OS and a big one for Data.
  4. Is this the PSU you speak of?

    Now, let me ask this question: What is the difference / benefit of having more than one 12V rail, or having a single 12V rail that is as powerful as that PP&C (60A, wow).

    What would you recommend MOBO/RAM wise? Get that mobo with DDR2-800 ram or DDR2-1066 RAM, or get a different MOBO altogether with DDR2-800 RAM?
  5. Sorry I was not clear.
    Goto the PP&C site to read some of the reasons they do things their way. Very interesting.
    I was saying you should get the eVGA motherboard and the XMS DDR2_800 RAM.
  6. Speaking of HDD's:
    What model / type would you recommend for the boot-drive(OS)? I understand your logic about one drive for purely the OS and one larger HDD for DATA, I like the idea.
  7. Any of the 80gb model should be fine. SATA all run about the same, I would for price and warrenty
  8. So any 80GB that are SATA 3.0gb/s, okay.

    Do WD Raptor's come as SATA 3.0gb/s or just SATA-150 (the old way)?
  9. About the monitor:

    Does the 2ms make a noticeable difference? It seems that the lower the response time is, the higher the price goes (obviously). But, would 2ms be a huge difference than lets say, 5ms on a 22" widescreen LCD?
  10. The old SATA :D it is the older version but still kicks ass. PATA is old and nothing like SATA in performance. You pay alot for the small speed increase, and they tend to be noisier than 7200 drives.
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