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Yet another help me built a system post...

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April 29, 2007 5:00:13 AM

Ok, first I am a post veteran of home builds, but I haven't payed much attention to the newest batch of hardware to come out the pipe except nVidia's massive trouncing of ATI in the GFX department with the 8800GTX and SLi. Other than that, I know Intel took the Crown when it comes to multi-cores and performance(if you aren't worried about price) but other than that, I don't know what in either camp has to offer, cause I just stopped paying attention to the Intel vs. AMD war.(opinions about nVidia and Intel are as various as they are numerous, pls don't flame)

Ok so my past Home Build was built in mid 2004 and was pretty decent for only $1250, and has lasted me up to this date and will likely last for several more years if I play nice. Aside from some heating issues do to my choice of case and bad airflow I just couldn't help(bad at cable bundling). Athlon XP 3000+, 1 gig ram, 250 gig hd, ATI 9700 PRO, good Asus mobo, 350 watt psu, dvd-rom... nothing too fancy. But my computer is starting to show its age, and I feel the old boy deserves some quiet retirement as my new pron storage device... kidding.

I am going to have $4,000 dollars comming my way soon, and while I would love to get a Dellieanware Laptop for nearly all of that, I kinda don't want to be left with only $52 in my wallet. Conversely, I can go home build again and build something decent, say $2-3,000 and spend the last on a M1 Carbine(love WWII weapons, already have a Garand). Now this is where anyone who cares to voice their ideas comes in.

I would like to hear a few ideas about a new system I could put together myself(or a decent laptop) that will last me for another 3 or so years, and will let me play games comming out that make my 9700 PRO gasp for air as it tries to swallow even the lowest graphics settings. Plus I am kind of tired of keeping my window off my case, and using a small house fan to keep the air flowing inside to keep the parts that need it cool. So I already decided to go water-cooling, and have 5-6 articles from magazines ready to be used, not to mention Tom's. Base line, I wanna step up to DX10 and dual-core atleast. Doesn't need to be tip-top of the line, and I don't want to OC. Like to have an 8800 something, and maybe in SLI, 2gig ram atleast maybe 4, and a multi-core that will play games with ease.

Opinions and builds appreciated, and wanted.

More about : built system post

April 29, 2007 6:04:59 AM

hmm, if you aren't a hardcore gamer... a $1250.00 comp will be more than sufficient. In that 1250 bucks to waste WILL include 8800 card you desire and a dual core processor. As for watercooling... i dont see a point in that if you aren't planning to overclock, but i'd understand if you wanted a silent machine, but thats not to say that air-coolers aren't quiet. For the memory, it has been said that 4 gb's of ram is useless, and that 2gb of ram is the perfect amount for the casual pc gamer.

As for the build.... there are plenty of experienced builders to provide the needed hardware for your system.

Good Luck with the build.
April 29, 2007 6:15:31 AM

Agree with phamily, you do not need to water cool. Good air cooling can be silent.
Suggested built list.
e6600
Gigabyte DS-3 rev 3.3
2xDDR2-800 RAM
Evga 8800GTS 640mb
Samsung 500gb HD
DVD-burner
Antec 182b case
PP&C 600 PSU
Noctua UH12F CPU cooler
Noctua case fans as needed ~2-3 forget what spaces that case has.

There are small things you can change if you see something you like better but read the specs and make sure you are getting parts on this level
Related resources
April 29, 2007 7:09:57 AM

Quote:
hmm, if you aren't a hardcore gamer... a $1250.00 comp will be more than sufficient. In that 1250 bucks to waste WILL include 8800 card you desire and a dual core processor. As for watercooling... i dont see a point in that if you aren't planning to overclock, but i'd understand if you wanted a silent machine, but thats not to say that air-coolers aren't quiet. For the memory, it has been said that 4 gb's of ram is useless, and that 2gb of ram is the perfect amount for the casual pc gamer.

As for the build.... there are plenty of experienced builders to provide the needed hardware for your system.

Good Luck with the build.


lol, if by hardcore you mean plaing every chance I get, oh I do that... and I don't consider having every bell and whistle turned on making a game any better, but I would love to do it. I don't need to erk out 5-10% more power it won't do much, so I dont bother to OC. Also cause I don't want to fry something.

And thanks alcattle for the build, I will check out all the parts you suggested on newegg.

Keep em comming!
April 29, 2007 4:35:07 PM

Alcattle did very well with that. Only thing I'd add is that with your budget, you might be able to add in a WD Raptor hard drive (fast seek times = lower game loading times) and go with an 8800GTX instead of the GTS. I'll third the notion that you don't need watercooling for a quiet system if you don't overclock.
April 29, 2007 7:01:26 PM

Quote:
Alcattle did very well with that. Only thing I'd add is that with your budget, you might be able to add in a WD Raptor hard drive (fast seek times = lower game loading times) and go with an 8800GTX instead of the GTS. I'll third the notion that you don't need watercooling for a quiet system if you don't overclock.

You can have a quiet system with air cooling even if you DO overclock. Just buy good fans (like Noctua or Scythe) that have a good CFM to noise ratio. My system is very quiet - although I know where the OP was coming from, my previous P4 system sounded like a jet and produced about as much heat. By the way, the GF8800s run pretty hot. My video card IDLES 23C hotter than my OC'd CPU runs at full load.

Also, to the OP - overclocking a C2D, especially a "lower" model like the 63x0,64x0,4300,4400 can get a lot more than 5-10% more performance benefit. A mild OC on the C2Ds is pretty easy - it's trying to get that last little bit like going from 3.6 to 3.7 GHz where you're likely to fry something. But it's fine if you're not comfortable overclocking, the better C2Ds are very fast even at stock speed. I would say that if you don't want to OC you should go for an E6600 or an E6700.

Also, if you don't mind the bulk of a full tower, it's nearly impossible to screw up the airflow on a case like the Thermaltake Armor.

I second the suggestion of looking at Alcattle's build with a GTX and Raptor added.
April 30, 2007 5:35:35 AM

PLEXTOR Slot Load 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model PX-716AL/SW-BL - Retail
Item #: N82E16827131352

Antec P182 Gun Metal Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811129025

Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822136011

SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822152052

EVGA 768-P2-N837-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 KO HDCP Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814130078

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 EPS12V EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817703005

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400PRO - Retail
Item #: N82E16820145589

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128012

Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 Conroe 2.66GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6700 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115002

Grand Total: $2180

Appreciate any other tips or critique of this build I KNOW i left out some cooling fans... worry about them when i can find them.
April 30, 2007 10:33:10 AM

You said you don't want to oc, in which case, you only need 533MHz RAM (make sure it's C4 stuff). You may even want to use the $$ saved by dropping to 533MHz RAM to get some Cruical Ballistix stuff that runs at 533MHz but is C3.
On the HDD front, why are you getting the Raptor X? The only difference between the standard raptor and the raptor X is that the X has a window on it (pointless, as you're not getting a window case).
As far as cooling fans go, you could get the Noctua UH12F CPU cooler to reduce noise, and you could get some Scythe S-Flex case fans to replace the ones in the Antec (they're uber quiet).
Finally, you don't really NEED the E6700. In gaming, it's the graphics card that will matter most. You'll notice minimal difference between the E6600 and E6700, but it's completely up to you if you want to save that slight bit of money or not.
April 30, 2007 2:28:30 PM

What monitor resolution do you plan on using?
May 1, 2007 9:36:16 PM

Well the case isnt my final choice... I had been looking at a Silverstone a year or two ago, to replace my current case, but it's about $150 more but its a nice case. I thought having 800 speed ram was ok, cause it just runs faster, unless I am missing something. Been running my games on my 17 inch NEC SuperBright Diamotron at 1024 x 768, and figure I would step up a res or two in games and turn on the bells and whistles. Maybe get a bigger monitor too, or go to a good LCD. Some suggstions on that would be nice too.

One last question, on Newegg, some notes about that motherboard I choose say something about not running ram under CAS 5... Notice: Only DDR2-800 memory supporting JEDEC approved 1.8V operation with timings of 5-5-5 or 6-6-6 is supported on Intel Desktop Boards based on Intel 965 Express Chipsets.
May 2, 2007 2:00:52 AM

That disclaimer is standard for all 965P chipsets, you can still o/c the rig and run faster RAM but they won't help you when it does not run right. No biggie.
May 2, 2007 4:10:02 AM

so al, since I am not up on my tech, like a previous poster said, should I drop to 533 hmz ram or stay with my choice? I mean I saw a few good ones below cas 4 or better, in 800 mhz, but I also won't likely OC. To worried about blowing something up :?
May 2, 2007 5:12:23 AM

Quote:
so al, since I am not up on my tech, like a previous poster said, should I drop to 533 hmz ram or stay with my choice? I mean I saw a few good ones below cas 4 or better, in 800 mhz, but I also won't likely OC. To worried about blowing something up :?

If you're worried about damaging your computer it's fine to not overclock. As said before, even at stock speed the E6600 and up are blazing fast. Some of us are just never satisfied :D  . But a 6600 or 6700 will do you fine no matter what.

Regarding RAM, it's up to how much $ you want to spend. You can make use of DDR2-800 even if you don't OC. You can either let the motherboard raise the ratio between bus speed and RAM speed - instead of 1:1 you can run 4:5 or even 2:3, or you can run it at 533 with very tight timings. Running a C2D at stock speed with 2:3 speed ratio will get you to fully utilize the RAM at 800. This will give you some theoretical bandwidth improvement, but may not have as good a latency as slowing the speed down and tightening the timings. I'd recommend running the DDR2-800 at 1:1 (533 MHz) with tight timings like 3-3-3 or even 2-2-2 on some of the really nice stuff. Alternately, you can buy the cheaper RAM to save money. I would recommend at least DDR2-667 though, since Intel's new procs coming this fall run 1333 FSB so you will want DDR2-667 to be compatible with them in case you want to upgrade.

By the way, the first round of P965 boards were pains in the butt for RAM compatability. Most of them have fixed this with BIOS updates since then but the disclaimer is still on there.
May 2, 2007 5:17:03 AM

Hey Al,
Love the new sig. They ought to make "google is your friend" a sticky in some of the forumz.
May 2, 2007 5:40:47 AM

That MOBO you listed only has one 16x PCI express slot, you said something earlier about the possibility of SLI and if that's something your interested in I would suggest either a 680i board or the ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus which is a 650i board with 2 16x slots. You could easily pay for a more expensive board by going with something like a Lite-on or the DVD drive I have rather than the overpriced Plextor.

Personally I don't feel the performance increase for the Raptor is worth the price premium or the limited capacity but that is up to you to decide but I would definitely stay away from the Raptor X unless your planning on showing it off.

Lastly if your really against OC'ing get some low latency 533 RAM and run it at 1:1, that would be your cheapest and best option.
May 4, 2007 3:37:16 AM

Well, ok I have one last question before I relist my price count... Vista... or Stick with XP Pro and go to 64 bit?

oh and..whats the diff between the 650i and 680i chipsets?
May 4, 2007 4:04:57 AM

At this time right now there really isn't any reason to go with Vista, if you have a copy of XP laying around I would use that. If not and you are planning on purchasing an OS I would suggest Vista simply due to the fact that everything will be moving in that direction and for DX10 games when they come out. As for 64 bit there really is no compelling reason to use it at this time, in fact you will have to install 64 bit drivers for all your peripherals and for some things those can be difficult or impossible to find.
May 4, 2007 4:49:59 AM

Since Vista is the future, I suppose I will get the 32-bit ver then.

oh and I came across more questions as I was looking at ram and, I saw some 1066 mhz Crucial..so if my processor is a 1066 fsb, wouldn't a 1066 mhz DDR2 ram just be perfect? I am still slighty confused in ths front. When I bought my Athlon 3 yars ago, I was told to match FSB and ram speed for best results...
May 4, 2007 5:17:32 AM

1066fsb is actually 266 quad pumped (info sent 4 times per clock)

This is from Wiki:
"in DDR2 the bus is clocked at twice the speed of the memory cells, so four words of data can be transferred per memory cell cycle. "

The actual bus for the computer is 266 but since both the CPU and memory are sending data 4 times per cycle it adds up to 1066.

The correct RAM to run at 1:1 would be 533.
May 4, 2007 8:56:55 AM

Yeah, it's 533MHz RAM you need. The RAM is actually 266MHz, but because it's DDR (double data rate), it's equivalent to 533MHz. Then, running the RAM in dual-channel brings it up to 1066, matching it to the processor FSB of 1066.
May 4, 2007 3:04:27 PM

ok, gotcha. Oh and what is the diff in 650i and 6801 chipset? Aside from about $30.
May 4, 2007 3:30:03 PM

680i boards have 3 graphics card slots (two x16 slots and one x8 slot). The 650i boards have two graphics card slots, but only allow you to have one card at x16. If you have a SLi setup on a 650i board, the cards will only run at x8 each. However, you can get some 650i boards that allow two cards to run in SLi both at x16. I think the 680i boards have a lot of others things too, like loads of SATA slots and lots of USB slots (as well as e-SATA).
Bottom line, if you want a decent SLi setup, you'll need to either get a 650i board with two x16 slots, or a 680i board.
May 4, 2007 3:38:28 PM

Read this

It has to do with number of PCI-E lanes and USB ports although Asus P5N32-E Plus is 650i but uses a different southbridge to provide dual channel 16x PCI-E.
May 4, 2007 4:20:31 PM

Your parts look great so far, but if you're not going to overclock and you want this thing to be good for the next three years, I suggest going with the quad core processor, Vista Ultimate and an EVGA 680i motherboard to do SLI. I also suggest going with a full tower case if you have the room, much more builder friendly and will stay cooler.

No, there are no programs out to take advantage of all four cores, but there will be over the next 3 years. Direct X 10 will only be in Vista, so just go with that if you don't have a re-usable copy of XP. If you have XP, stick with that for now.

Vista will recognize 4 gigs of RAM, but you can always add more later. However, Vista is a huge memory hog so you might want to use the money you save by dropping down to 533 RAM to go ahead and get 4 gigs.
May 4, 2007 6:17:33 PM

I have been doig some research myself into the diff between the Asus boards with 32 lanes and the 650i and 680i chipsets, and they are pretty damn close to each other in regards of tech.

I think this is my final build:

SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write, LightScribe Technology Black SATA Model SH-S183L - OEM
Item #: N82E16827151141
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

SILVERSTONE TJ09-BW Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811163073
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822136011
Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy

SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822152052
Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy

BFG Tech BFGR88768GTXOCE GeForce 8800GTX 768MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 OC HDCP Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814143080
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 EPS12V EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817703005
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT12864AA663 - Retail
Item #: N82E16820146567
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

ASUS P5N32-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813131073
Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy

Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 Conroe 2.66GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6700 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115002
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Total: $2154.92

This is about $30 less than my previous build :D 

I took the advice to take the slightly faster RAM incase I upgrade my processor, its CAS 3, and I have been told I can run it. I might go with 2 more gigs cause it wont cost much more. I took the BFG 8800 GTX card cause they OC but they have warranty on it. Got a full tower, which was also the Maximum PC Rig of the Year chassis last year, and I like the look. Will need to get some of those Noctua or Sythe fans to replace the 120mm in the case, and then I guess I am all set. Well I need some Arctic Silver, and a processor heat sink which I have an eye on another Silverstone product, but I will deal with that when I get my money. Otherwise I am satisfied with this build. Let me know some opinions, as all are welcome.

Oh and, if and when I decide to actually get the second vidcard, will the PSU I have actually be able to handle 2 of the card I chose?
May 4, 2007 7:07:29 PM

Yeah, I'd still take a look at that motherboard and processor. I like to do the same thing as you and build for about three years. Had I known what I know now, I would have bought the quad core processor and gone with a Gigabyte DS3. Reason being, two video cards in SLI only give you the ability to play in higher res. So if you plan on using a mongo monitor, SLI is a good thing. If 1600 x 1200 is good for you, it's a waste to do SLI. Quad core processor will set you up for taking advantage of multi-core processor aps that will eventually come out in the next couple years.

Good thinking on the case you got. After having a full tower case, I'll never go back to mid towers.
May 4, 2007 7:21:44 PM

If you're looking SLi 8800GTX's, you'll probably want a PSU that's around 800W and has 50A or more on the +12V rails.
The Asus is a good 680i board. eVGA also do a good 680i board, which I'd recommend looking at.
Again, save the few $$$ by getting the standard WD Raptor drive instead of the X. The only difference between the two is that the Raptor X has a window on it - pointless unless you have a fancy window case.
On the cooling front, I'd say Noctua U12F CPU HSF and Scythe S-Flex 120mm fans for the case.
May 5, 2007 4:23:44 AM

Well, I picked a Heatsink and 6 fans, and a LCD that has some good refresh and alot of good reviews, but its from a company I haven't seen but one other time at my work place, in its box still. I decided to stay with the 2 core Duo cause when the quad cores come with 1333 FSB then I can just get the new processor since I will have the ram.

Hanns·G HG-191RPB Black 19" 2ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
Item #: N82E16824254015
Return Policy: [LCD] Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
Item #: N82E16835100007
Return Policy: Consumable Items Return Policy

Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Ultimate for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116213
Return Policy: Software Return Policy

SilenX IXP-74-14G 120mm Green LED Case Fan - Retail
Item #: N82E16835226010
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Scythe SCNJ-1100P 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail
Item #: N82E16835185038
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

Final total, a respectable: $2,789.62 with shipping.

And I swear if UPS breaks a thing, I will hae to go into my workplace and kick someone... since I too work for UPS.
May 5, 2007 7:55:21 AM

Heard some good things about Hans Monitors, you should love it.
I think that Ultimate Vista has both version included (only way to get 64 right now)
Gonna be awesome
May 5, 2007 9:20:13 AM

Yeah, I've also heard good things about Hanns monitors. What do you mean by both version, alcattle? 32-bit and 64-bit?
May 5, 2007 11:06:51 AM

I guess I was wrong, what I thought that only Ultimate has both versions of Vista in the box. ON the Vista site there are 64 bit version of every version of Vista. Read more here:
Choices for 64-bit comsumer versions
May 6, 2007 7:28:49 AM

Newegg has a Vista Ultimate retail with the 32 bit and 64 bit DVD, but its almost $400 compard to the almost $200 32 bit only DVD. I figure I will wait until its absolutely neccesary to get a 64 bit OS before I step up.

And can anyone tell me what playing at 1440 X 900 is like? I only know 1024 X 768, and I don't have my regular monitor hooked up right now..nor do I know if I can do that one with my card.
May 6, 2007 8:13:52 AM

Oh, I made a mistake... I took another look at build and the monitor, and I came across this, Hanns-G 22 inch monitor and well, good price for that size and well... its my new monitor :p 

Whatch'all think?
May 6, 2007 9:34:21 AM

Looks pretty awesome. I imagine that's 1680x1050 resolution, right? That's the same as my housemates 20" Samsung, and it looks incredible in games.
May 6, 2007 8:28:07 PM

for under $300 for that resolution and the refresh rate, its not a bad deal at all. Especially since almost all the other ones I was looking at 1440 x 900 like the one I was getting, they were pretty much under $300. Then I looked into 1600 x 1200 res monitors, and almost all of them are over $500, some into the low $1k range.

I am fairly certain, from the major amount of positive feedback on newegg of all the Hanns-G LCD's that I will enjoy this one.

Hopefully monday I will be able to actually order all this stuff. Crossing fingers.
May 7, 2007 5:20:07 PM

Quote:
Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Ultimate for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM


I could be mistaken but I believe the OEM license doesn't allow you to upgrade your machine at all. You can install the OS and reinstall as needed on the same machine but once you change anything it stops working. The retail Ultimate comes with both 32 and 64 all other versions, I believe including OEM, you can get the 64bit from the MS website for the cost of shipping. For this reason alone I went with the retail Home Premium so if I choose to upgrade in the future I wont have a problem.
May 8, 2007 12:38:46 AM

if anyone can confirm that, I might just get the retail DVD and both 32 & 64 bit versions.
May 9, 2007 9:04:55 PM

Yea, that realy doesn't tell me much still... even as I read it. But just cause it would save me time later when I do want to get 64bit Vista, I put on the retail with the 32 and 64 bit. Hopefully I will be able to make a nice clean transfer of all my XP info to the new comp, and keep the old one for playing games at lan parties and such...

All in all, under $2500 for the system before custom heatsink and fans, more arctic silver and the OS. Happy am I.

And I can order the parts as soon as I move out of this place I am living in... the moment I know we are going to our new house is when order!
May 10, 2007 4:35:36 AM

The first link is the full retail version of Vista Ultimate which includes both 32 and 64 bit versions. The second and third are OEM versions which only include either 32 or 64 depending upon which you buy.

64 bit computing won't become common until, in my opinion, after MS releases the next version of their OS. Most processors sold now support 64 bit but the vast majority of people with computers don't have current systems. There are plenty of little old men and women out there that have no interest in spending for a new system, the one they have works just fine. Until a majority of consumers have systems which support 64 bit most companies just won't bother spending the time and money developing programs for 64 bit systems. Software companies are in business to make money and to get the best return on their investment they program for the majority of systems which for the forseable future will include 32 bit computers.
May 10, 2007 6:27:26 PM

yeah well, even if I do get the OEM, will I be able to reuse it later if I updrage my parts? or will MS tell me to go shove it? I seem to remember back when XP came out, if you changed more than 5 parts, you needed a new OS.
May 11, 2007 1:35:48 AM

OEM is for system builders, if you change anything other than your RAM or hard drive it is considered a new system and wont work.
May 11, 2007 5:19:02 AM

well the I should look for the retail then... damn.
!