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New Build, Need Advice

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May 6, 2007 5:32:55 PM

Im mainly going to be using this for gaming and maybe some OCing later on(all I know how to OC now is the GPU), I just need to know if everything will work ok together or if I should change anything. Im trying to keep a budget of around $1500 CND before tax and shipping so any advice would be great.

-Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
-ASUS P5N32-E SLI Plus ATX LGA775 DDR2 Nforce 650I + 570 SLI 3PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Motherboard
-Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB 2X1GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL4-4-4-12 Dual Channel Memory Kit
-EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800 GTS 500MHZ 320MB 1.6GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDTV HDCP DIRECTX10 Video Card(I chose EVGA because of the step-up program)
-Apevia X-CRUISER 11X Drive Bays 17 in Metal ATX Case W/ Side Window Black - & No Power Supply
-Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB SATA2 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB Cache NCQ Hard Drive
-Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 64BIT DVD OEM
-LG GSA-H50L DVD+RW 18X8X16 DVD-RW 18X6X16 DL 10X Lightscribe DVD Writer IDE 2MB Black
-OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black
-What CPU cooler should i get?

Total: $1544.50 (after MIR)

More about : build advice

May 6, 2007 6:14:42 PM

Are you planning on going to a SLi setup later on? If not, just get a Gigabyte DS3 mainboard. They're very good for overclocking. What monitor + resolution are running?
Do you already own any HDD's? I always feel safer having separate system drive and media drives, so if Windows dies, you can just format the system drive. Also, will you make use of Lightscribe (I'm guessing you will as it's including, but just checking)?
CPU cooler - the Noctua U12F is the quietest while maintaining decent cooling, but the Zalman 9700 will look nicer in your window case. Up to you what you prefer - aesthetics or silence. My personal opinion is that the Noctua would be wasted on that case (the fans are a bit noisy).
May 6, 2007 6:32:07 PM

Thanks for the quick response, I doubt I will ever go sli(which ds3 do you reccomend exactly? I see lots of different ones). Would an ECS NF650ISLIT-A Nforce 650I SLI LGA775 Conroe ATX 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 3PCI SATA2 GBLAN Motherboard or an ASUS P5N-E SLI Nforce 650I SLI LGA775 Conroe ATX 2PCI-E16 1PCI-E1 2PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN Motherboard be any better? someone else recomended one of those and they're about the same price as the DS3.
I have a 19'' CRT monitor with a max resolution of 1600x1200(I plan to go lcd some day, but not for a while yet).
As for a HDD, this is the part that Im really not sure about at all, I already own a 145GB but I have found it to be way to small so im looking to get something atleast twice as big but Im unsure if I should get a single 500GB or a couple of 320GB drives. I will be selling the old 145GB drive with my existing pc and want to get one that is bigger and possibly faster.
Lightscribe is something that could go either way, it really doesn't matter that much to me.
Should I get a different case? The main reasons for picking the one that I did were that it had some nice features(fan speed control and temp. gauge) and it looks nice. One last question, should I stick with the Patriot Ram or switch to Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400C4 2GB 2X1GB PC6400 DDR2-800 CL 4-4-4-12 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit. They seem to be about the same but the Corsair is about $50 cheaper.
Related resources
May 6, 2007 10:13:23 PM

Corsair is good memory stuff, although I'd personally get 667MHz stuff - you're never going to overclock a C2D fast enough to match the 800MHz stuff.
The DS3 is a strongly recommended overclocking board - plus, a lot of people on here have it, so they can help you with any problems. It doesn't really matter what revision you get - they're all good. Go with the cheapest.
Lightscribe is really for people that do stuff like recording their own music, so you can make labels easily. However, you might want that for other stuff, so up to you.
1600x1200 means you'll be ok with the 320MB version of the 8800GTS.
As far as HDDs go, Western Digital Raptors are fast, giving lower loading times on games. However, they're pricey. Depending on how much stuff you have installed at any one time, you may be able to go with a 74GB Raptor and a second storage drive. Otherwise, I'd say get a low-ish capacity Seagate 7200.10 drive for the system drive and another high capacity media drive.
Case wise, it depends on what you want. If you want something that's quiet, get an Antec P180B. Alternatively, if you want a quiet PC that doesn't weight a tonne, get the upcoming NZXT HUSH (out later this month). If you want airflow performance (which helps keep things cool), go for a CM Stacker. Other than that, get something you like the look of (ideally with 12cm fans, as they're quiet).
May 6, 2007 10:55:45 PM

I changed a few things, how does it look now?

-Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
-EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800 GTS 500MHZ 320MB 1.6GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDTV HDCP DIRECTX10 Video Card
-Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 64BIT DVD OEM
-OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black
-Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-5400C4 2GB 2X1GB PC5400 DDR2-667 CL 4-4-4-12 240PIN Dual Channel Memory($20 more than the 800MHz)
-Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Atx LGA775 Conroe P965 DDR2 PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 3PCI SATA2 Gblan Audio Motherboard
-LG GSA-H50L DVD+RW 18X8X16 DVD-RW 18X6X16 DL 10X Lightscribe DVD Writer IDE 2MB Black
-NZXT LEXA ATX Aluminum Case Black 4X5.25 2X3.5 5X3.5INT No PS Temp Display Window & Carrying Strap or NZXT Nemesis Elite ATX Aluminum Case 4X5.25 2X3.5 5X3.5INT 400W Top LCD TEMP. Display Black (A stacker was my first choice but I can't afford it so how are these cases?)
-x2 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB Cache Ncq Hard Drive. Can't afford the raptors. Also wondering, would it be better to get 1x 80GB and 1x 500GB or 1x 80GB and 1x 320GB?

btw, Im a little over budget.
May 6, 2007 11:28:36 PM

You won't need the CL4 memory, that is for overclockers, find the value RAM
These two sets are good picks:
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667
OCZ Gold Series 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667

I always like to go small OS drive and bigger data drive. How much bigger is up to you and your budget, but a good reason for going this way is you can back up the entire OS drive as that is the one that gets messed up the most, The 500GB is that added space you might need.
Any reason you are going for the Vista 64bit? Most people use the 64bit to be able to access more memory, and unless the program they use are 64bit enabled, you gain nothing else.
May 6, 2007 11:38:02 PM

Im thinking the 80/320 HDD's will be enough and for the OS, I chose the 64bit version of vista because I plan on eventually getting 4GB of ram and it was recomended to me on another forum, they said it was better than the other version. As far as OCing goes, all I know how to OC is the GPU but eventualy I would like to learn how to OC the ram and mobo, although that wont be for quite some time. If I dont OC the CPU right away is there any point in buying a cooler or should I wait until I learn to OC it?
May 6, 2007 11:46:39 PM

A better cooler is always worth it as it will preserve the life of the CPU, cooler is always better. And by putting it on to start, you have one less thing to mess up later as it is easier to install the cooler before the MB. O/Cing the CPU is not harder than the GPU, and many more people change only the CPU
May 6, 2007 11:52:57 PM

Ok, I'll get the cooler to start with and about the HDD, I'll probably get a 80GB and a 320GB, so I should put the only the OS on the 80 and back it up on the 320? just incase anything happens.
May 6, 2007 11:59:07 PM

You load the OS and all the drivers and anti virus on there. Try to load all programs on the big drive but some refuse to work there. Some people also say to put the swap file on the big drive, I would use a seperate partition for that but the idea is right.
May 7, 2007 12:18:08 AM

I think I understand what your saying, basicly all the essential files go on the smaller drive, and then partition the larger one for a back up and all other files(games,music,movies,etc.) Don't worry, I've got a couple of friends who know alot more than I do to help me get this up and running :lol: 

-Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
-EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800 GTS 500MHZ 320MB 1.6GHZ GDDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDTV HDCP DIRECTX10 Video Card
-Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 64BIT DVD OEM
-OCZ GameXStream 700W ATX12V 24PIN SLI Ready Active PFC ATX Power Supply 120MM Fan Black
-Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-5400C4 2GB 2X1GB PC5400 DDR2-667 CL 4-4-4-12 240PIN Dual Channel Memory($20 more than the 800MHz)
-Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Atx LGA775 Conroe P965 DDR2 PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 3PCI SATA2 Gblan Audio Motherboard
-LG GSA-H50L DVD+RW 18X8X16 DVD-RW 18X6X16 DL 10X Lightscribe DVD Writer IDE 2MB Black
-NZXT LEXA ATX Aluminum Case Black 4X5.25 2X3.5 5X3.5INT No PS Temp Display Window & Carrying Strap
-Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 80GB SATA2 2MB 11MS 7200RPM Hard Drive 5YR MFR Warranty
-Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB Cache Ncq Hard Drive
-Zalman CNPS9700NT Copper CPU Heatsink 110MM Fan LGA775 AM2 S939 1250-2800RPM 19.5-35DBA Green LED

New Total: $1582.50 CDN before tax. I'd like to try and knock about $100-$200 off the total if possible so I can get the 500GB HDD instead of the 320GB. Oh, btw the sites Im ordering from are; ncix and direct canada.
May 7, 2007 12:32:31 AM

places to save C$$.
Get the e6420 CPU
Get a good 500W PSU
Not sure about Cand RAM, Skyguy would be one to ask.
Still getting very close to a perfect rig.
May 7, 2007 12:38:42 AM

Quote:
places to save C$$.
Get the e6420 CPU
Get a good 500W PSU
Not sure about Cand RAM, Skyguy would be one to ask.
Still getting very close to a perfect rig.


I was thinking about going with the e6420, but not sure yet.
Would a 500W PSU be enough with o/cing?
What about going back to the Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400C4 2GB 2X1GB PC6400 DDR2-800 CL 4-4-4-12 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit its $20 cheaper than the PC5400 DDR2-667 Corsair.
Is there much difference between the Zalman 9700 and the Zalman 9500? or should I just get a cheaper cooler altogether?
May 7, 2007 12:40:19 AM

Switch to the E4300 processor then. Although it's only got 2MB (well "ONLY"), it has the same multiplier as the E6600, so it has the same overclocking potential as far as clock speed is concerned.
If the 800MHz RAM is actually cheaper, then get that (that's only if it's CAS4 as well). You could possibly see if it's cheaper to get 800MHz CAS5 RAM and then drop it to 667MHz at CAS4 (667MHz allows for a pretty stable overclock on the C2Ds).
The NZXT Lexa is a very nice case. Looks pretty cool and fairly quiet. Well built too.
You might be able to save a bit more by getting a lower tier PSU. I recently built a system for my housemate that runs on a Hiper Type-R 580W PSU. I think the Corsair HX 520W PSU also have enough amps to handle that build. I'm not sure how much the Corsair HX 620W PSU is, but it's a very nice bit of kit if you can get it (a massive 52A on the +12V rails!!).
The Zalman will look pretty cool in that case, so it's a solid choice.
May 7, 2007 10:48:08 AM

I switched the ram back to the 800MHz, I'll switch to a Corsair CMPSU-620HX 620W Atx Triple 12V 50A 24PIN Atx Modular Power Supply 120MM Fan 2X PCI-E as it is about $20 cheaper and supposed to be better quality. I might go with the e6420(I heard it o/c's almost as good as the e6600).
Now for a couple more noob questions, would it be better for me to just get vista basic? the main reason for the 64bit version was that I like having the option of adding more ram later.
For the video card, the more I read about the "step-up program", the less it appeals to me, but there is a BFG OC card for about $5 more but it is out of stock for now and that price expires at the end of the month. The EVGA crad is $299 if I buy today at the latest, if not it goes up to $349. So the question is should I pass on the EVGA and wait to see if the BFG comes back in stock? or just get the EVGA?
May 7, 2007 7:38:26 PM

bump for advice
May 7, 2007 8:39:23 PM

CPU: If you plan on overclocking, get the E4400 It's multiplier is 10 which is higher than either the E6600 or the E6420. If you want the extra cache, go for the E6600. I mean for $227, you really can't go wrong since it dropped by a hundred in the last month.

I bought the E6400 and used DDRII 800 memory. Therefore when I overclock and want a 1:1 FSB ratio for CPU & memory, I only go to 400 FSB. My multiplier is 8, so I get an overclock to 3.2 GHz.

Video Card: Wait until next week for the HD2900XT. Depending how it performs, it could bring down the cost of the 8800GTS.

PSU: Good PSU.

Heatsink: The Noctua is a nice heatsink. I have the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro which is about 2/5ths the cost and is quiet enough for me.

Memory:Definitely get 800MHz version of the memory for 20 bucks less.

HDD: For only 38 bucks I'd get another 320GB hard drive over the 80GB version.

OS: Don't have VISTA to comment on it.
May 7, 2007 10:55:37 PM

Thank you all for your help, it is very much appreciated. I've just about come up with a final build.

-Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3
-Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
-Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X2048-6400C4 2GB 2X1GB PC6400 DDR2-800 CL 4-4-4-12 240PIN Dual Channel Memory Kit
-Corsair CMPSU-620HX 620W
-Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2 3GB/S 7200RPM 16MB Cache NCQ Hard Drive x2
-NZXT LEXA ATX Aluminum Case Black
-LG GSA-H50L DVD+RW 18X8X16 DVD-RW 18X6X16 DL 10X Lightscribe DVD Writer IDE 2MB Black OEM W/ SW
-Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition 64BIT DVD OEM
-CPU Heatsink- the Noctua NH-U12F is sold out but I can get one thats open box. Should I buy open box or find something else?
-VideoCard- If Ati is releasing there new cards next week for sure, I'll wait and see what prices are like then.

Now as long as this all looks ok and prices aren't supposed to drop on anything other than the GPU by next week, Im going to order everything except the video card tonight or tommorow morning. One more thing, is there anything that Im missing? I already have a sound card, speakers, mouse, and keyboard.
May 9, 2007 1:14:04 PM

All looks pretty good. Perhaps look at the E4300/E4400 CPU's, as they overclock easily. If you really want the 4MB of L2 cache, then you could even get the E6320/E6420 and overclock them, although the E6600 overclocks better. The ATI card should be out this month, but probably end of the month. By then, the Noctua should be back in stock. Also, if you're looking for a quiet option, NZXT are releasing their HUSH case later this month.
!