Custom Vista/DirectX 10 Build

I am in the process of deciding what to put in a new computer. I am only able to make build/upgrade a computer every three or four years so I am trying to go for Vista and a DirectX 10 card. I am also trying to conserve money simply because this is a build my family is paying for. So, if you have any suggestions on how to decrease cost or if I am missed something that I need, please help. This will be my first build and I don't want to forget anything. If, I need Thermal Paste, tell me because I don't know what comes with what. Thanks.

Processor - $226
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115003

Cool Master Hyper TX – 29.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103011

MSI P965 Platinum – 132.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130055

Patriot eXtreme Performance 2GB - 149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220144

MSI NX8800GTS – 289.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127278

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache – 119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073

****SILVERSTONE TEMJIN - 99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163030

AeroCool ZERODBA – 123.66
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817331002

Sony NEC Optiarc – 29.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827152075

Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Ultimate 199.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116215

As you can see this is almost an entire copy of the system from System Builders Day 2. I am trying to buy everything from one place for simplicity sake. Is Vista Ultimate even worth it, or is there a cheaper version that will have anything that I need. I will just be gaming, doing photo editting, browsing, and basic word processing.

Also, do you have any suggestions on an alternate case because the SILVERSTONE TEMJIN is out of stock. Also, any suggestions on just making the build cheaper will not making it possibly worse. For instance I could do a smaller hard drive but comparing all these benchmarks are confusing me. Thanks.
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  1. Quote:
    I am in the process of deciding what to put in a new computer. I am only able to make build/upgrade a computer every three or four years so I am trying to go for Vista and a DirectX 10 card. I am also trying to conserve money simply because this is a build my family is paying for. So, if you have any suggestions on how to decrease cost or if I am missed something that I need, please help. This will be my first build and I don't want to forget anything. If, I need Thermal Paste, tell me because I don't know what comes with what. Thanks.

    As you can see this is almost an entire copy of the system from System Builders Day 2. I am trying to buy everything from one place for simplicity sake. Is Vista Ultimate even worth it, or is there a cheaper version that will have anything that I need. I will just be gaming, doing photo editting, browsing, and basic word processing.

    Also, do you have any suggestions on an alternate case because the SILVERSTONE TEMJIN is out of stock. Also, any suggestions on just making the build cheaper will not making it possibly worse. For instance I could do a smaller hard drive but comparing all these benchmarks are confusing me. Thanks.

    This build looks pretty good overall. Here are a few things I might change:

    Motherboard - I prefer the Gigabyte DS3 Alternately, boards absed on Intel's new P35 chipset chould be coming out later this month, you might want to wait to check those out.

    OS: If you REALLY want Vista, get Home Premium instead to save some money. It has almost all the home use things Ultimate - it lacks the business oriented features, a license that allows it to be run on a virtualized machine (if you don't know what this is you don't need it), and (I think) support for more that 4 cores.

    Graphics: Wait a few days until ATI at least releases the NDAs regarding their cards. At that point you can tell whether the 8800GTS is the best choice for the money or not (and maybe nVidia prices will go down if ATI offers good stuff). The GTS is a good card, but I've already found it to be lacking at 1680x1050 in demanding games like Oblivion. For 1280x1024 or lower the 8800GTS performs fine.

    CPU Heatsink: Are you planning to overclock the CPU? If not, try just using the Intel heatsink and you won't need thermal compound this way. If you do want to overclock (which I guess you do from the DDR2-800 RAM), get a Tuniq Tower or Thermalright heatsink, and use Arctic Silver 5 for thermal compound if you want the best stuff that Newegg sells. Shin-Etsu X23 is a little better but harder to find. Supposedly the thermal paste that Thermalright provides is decent, but I've never tried it.

    Case: Cooler Master Centurion Series - Take your pick. These are, IMO, by far the best "budget" cases. I like this one but check the lineup out yourself. These will save you a bit of $ compared to the case you originally picked.

    PSU: For a solid system that will last several years, a quality PSU is key. This is a nice one: PCP&C Silencer 610. This Seasonic is also nice. For future compatability with new graphics cards, this Silverstone has one of the new PCIe2.0 (8 pin) connectors.
  2. Thank you very much for the information.
  3. Look at his suggestions for saving some money, and wait till the NDA lifts. If 8800s are still king, look at a 640MB version for $329.99 (at newegg, other places may be cheaper). Performance is much better when AA/AF is on and the large textures of future games will make good use of the space. HDD looks good, lots of room. Newegg has some A-DATA DDR2-800 RAM for $100. Probably a little looser on the timings, but tight timings only get you ~1-2% better performance anyways. The Gigabyte DS3 1.3 is at the egg for $100 as well, so that saves $80 toward the 640MB 8800GTS right there. Skip the Ultimate, not needed for you, just get the Premium. An "academic" OEM version is $76 if you look around, saving you a ton of money. And then you can cut the price of CPU in half by buying an E4300/E4400 and giving it a mild OC to 2.4 with the stock HS/Fan to match the E6600. Hope this helps.
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