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Thanks for all the help!! Take a look at Parts.

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What do you think?

Total: 13 votes (1 blank vote)

  • Great starting point for a multi stage build
  • 17 %
  • Looks interesting
  • 50 %
  • I could have done much better
  • 25 %
  • What a mess
  • 9 %
  • It wont work
  • 0 %
May 28, 2007 4:02:50 AM

TGforum folks, thanks a lot for all the discussions. It has led me to try to do my 1st build.

Here is what I got for it and pic (hope it shows).

CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E4300 1.8 GHz OEM
Mobo: EVGA nFroce 680i SLI (A1 Version)
Case: Ultra Gladiator Black
Mem: Corsair TWINX 2048Mb PC6400 DDR800
GPU: 2 x XFX GeForce 7600 XXX 256Mb
HDD: WesternDigital/CaviarSE16/500GB/7200/16MB/SATA-300/OEM
Fan: Cooler Master Hyper TX Intel 775
DVD: SODRU120C 16x DVDRW Burner
PSU: Ultra / V-Series / 600-Watt / SLI

I will create a log of the build, with more info, plus ask lots of help, cause me and my 11 year old daughter a complete n00bs ;-)

The basic logic behind this, is to re-use some existing parts (1 GPU, PSU), and create a platform for ever increasing power, but starting with a good Mobo, and Memory.

I also selected the E4300 because of all the comments on how well it overclocks. I'd figure this is a good choice for my 1st OC experience.

My next purchase is a Dell 30" monitor, and some games.

Thanks again for all your help. If you ever asked question or answered one, you helped!

Take a look a the picture of components in my Yahoo Photo:

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/speedyvroomvroom/photo/294928804401052420/0

More about : parts

May 28, 2007 6:39:31 AM

Quote:
TGforum folks, thanks a lot for all the discussions. It has led me to try to do my 1st build.

Here is what I got for it and pic (hope it shows).

CPU: Intel Core2 Duo E4300 1.8 GHz OEM
Mobo: EVGA nFroce 680i SLI (A1 Version)
Case: Ultra Gladiator Black
Mem: Corsair TWINX 2048Mb PC6400 DDR800
GPU: 2 x XFX GeForce 7600 XXX 256Mb
HDD: WesternDigital/CaviarSE16/500GB/7200/16MB/SATA-300/OEM
Fan: Cooler Master Hyper TX Intel 775
DVD: SODRU120C 16x DVDRW Burner
PSU: Ultra / V-Series / 600-Watt / SLI

I will create a log of the build, with more info, plus ask lots of help, cause me and my 11 year old daughter a complete n00bs ;-)

The basic logic behind this, is to re-use some existing parts (1 GPU, PSU), and create a platform for ever increasing power, but starting with a good Mobo, and Memory.

I also selected the E4300 because of all the comments on how well it overclocks. I'd figure this is a good choice for my 1st OC experience.

My next purchase is a Dell 30" monitor, and some games.

Thanks again for all your help. If you ever asked question or answered one, you helped!

Take a look a the picture of components in my Yahoo Photo:

http://new.photos.yahoo.com/speedyvroomvroom/photo/294928804401052420/0


Looks good. You should have her assembled and up and running in about 45 minutes. :lol: 
May 28, 2007 6:54:36 AM

Instead of the Hyper TX, get an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. They're virtually identical, and the Freezer 7 costs a little less.

Other then that it looks good.
Related resources
May 28, 2007 2:05:48 PM

I'd like to say it looks great from a skim;

a little more in-depth brings a small amount of concern.

you may not get the full performance of the cpu as a first time overclocker - not being insulting.... however I'm sure you can squeeze
more out of it without too much trouble.

next being the GPU. I like the idea of retaining your current an adding
an identical.... however with a 30in monitor, I believe (depending on what your doing) you might not have enough invested in that department.

a single higher end card (7900-8800) would work much better than that solution...

but if you just going to make it a music, internet and casual gaming machine then that should suit just fine at those resolutions. but if you intend on playing oblivion then you got another thing comin to ya bud.
May 28, 2007 2:56:33 PM

I agree with Raven_87

what is the point of getting 2 mid range right away for SLI
if you can afford 2 now?
get one upgrade later?

I would only do this for the sake of passive heat-sinks on the video cards for a quiet build, but the 7600 XXX has a fan.

for ~$90 more {of one 7600} you can get one of these

XFX Geforce 7900 GT 256MB PCI-E (470MHz) w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out
XFX Geforce 8600 GTS 256MB PCI-E XXX Edition (730MHz) w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out

and get added performance later with the SLI addition

you could of had 2x 320GB WD SATA 16mb NCQ for the price of the one $500

what games did you plan on playing?
May 28, 2007 3:19:00 PM

Quote:
Instead of the Hyper TX, get an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. They're virtually identical, and the Freezer 7 costs a little less.

Other then that it looks good.


TY. I agree with the Artic choice (based on this forum anyways). I just took the HyperTX, which was 2nd choice because they had it at the TigerDirect store I went to. I did not want to wait for the build to start.
May 28, 2007 3:54:09 PM

Quote:
I'd like to say it looks great from a skim;

a little more in-depth brings a small amount of concern.

you may not get the full performance of the cpu as a first time overclocker - not being insulting.... however I'm sure you can squeeze
more out of it without too much trouble.


Raven, no insult taken. Constructive critique is what I am seeking. I read 100s of post re:o verclocking, this $160Cnd CPU will allow (I hope) to learn how to do it, with trial and error. I dont think reading any more post would have taught me anything . I have to get my hands "dirty". I really did want a very fast CPU, but i'd rather fry a $160CPU twice and learn, than get a Q6600 for $760 and stay stock.



Quote:

next being the GPU. I like the idea of retaining your current an adding
an identical.... however with a 30in monitor, I believe (depending on what your doing) you might not have enough invested in that department.

a single higher end card (7900-8800) would work much better than that solution...


100% agree, please can you send my wife an email telling her that? :wink:

I had a discussion on the GPU thread about this, and that is why I ended up with this setup. Let me explain why I need 2 GPU to drive 3 monitors.

1st Priority: LOTS of desktop space, meaning 30" main, + 2 x 20". What I will be using this for is work. VMWare, running software development tools, Email, Word processing, Internet. LOTS and LOTS of instant msg window at the same time. I work with a world wide team, so IM is all over the place.

2nd Priority: Good rig for recording and digital audo workstation (DAW), for my guitar playing.

3rd Priority: A platform to learn more about HW. I am a SW guy. I want to be able as a hobby to learn more about OC, modding, and things like that. Also my 11 daughter said that she wanted to learn more about how computers work. Not OC or that stuff, but what is a CPU, RAM, mobo, GPU, etc.

Trust me, the experience of drawing pictures to explain HW components, building a parts list, going to tigerdirect with her to pick out the pieces, and now clearing up space to start the build, was worth every penny!!!!!

4th: create a platform for great gaming. I love playing xbox with my kids. I was going to upgrade to PS3 or Xbox 360, but figured that because of the 3 priorities above, I'd rather spend the money on a gaming rig.[/quote]


Quote:
but if you just going to make it a music, internet and casual gaming machine then that should suit just fine at those resolutions. but if you intend on playing oblivion then you got another thing comin to ya bud.


So that was my plan, get my priorities done 1st, while able to get a good mobo, to allow myself to upgrade the gaming aspect as I negotiate new budget for new CPU\GPUs\Vista\DX10, etc.

So what you are telling me is Oblivion is a good game to get to show the wife I need new GPUs right? :wink:

BTW, I am giving myself 6-12months before I upgrade the CPU and graphics subsystem. By then 8800GTXs will be much cheap or there will be much better DX10 cards.

At that time I will donate my 7600 GTs. Unless I fry them trying to OC them. :( 

Does this make sense? Feel free to shoot holes.
May 28, 2007 4:30:54 PM

the chip prices are dropping and in july will go even further.
This morning I saw two different x6800's for 625.00on eBay new retail box.

the one card over the sli is a better way to go for gaming unless you are using a large screen with really high resolutions.

i would go for a faster gpu though 8800gts, or gtx, as somone mentioned you can always get another one when prices drop if you want to run sli.

now if you are going to run sli, then that mobo chipset is the way to go, otherwise you might want to look at the p35 chipset motherboards, no sli, they use ati crossfire instead, but again for gaming you really dont need it unless as mentioned your running large screen high res stuff.

the chipset offeres an improved memory controller though and other goodness you might want.

579.00 gets you an 8800 gtx overclocked to 620/2000 out of the box a lot better performance than two 7600's are going to deliver.

good luck and enkoy the process it is lots of fun.
Lump
May 28, 2007 4:47:45 PM

Quote:
the one card over the sli is a better way to go for gaming unless you are using a large screen with really high resolutions.

i would go for a faster gpu though 8800gts, or gtx, as somone mentioned you can always get another one when prices drop if you want to run sli.


Um, the OP did say that he was gonna work with 2x20 inch monitors and a 30 Inch monitor. I do not think that one gpu with two dvi ports will connect to three monitors...

In my opinon, I believe that it is a good build, nothing wrong with it. There are always gonna be BIGGER, BETTER, FASTER options out there and you can't get that unless you have lots o' $$ to work with. (If only...)


Good work. Can we see more pictures of the final build?
May 28, 2007 4:50:33 PM

absolutely, and you are right, just making sure he understood the trade off.

it is a good looking build and I am sure he will enjoy it.
Lump
May 28, 2007 5:04:50 PM

Quote:
I agree with Raven_87

what is the point of getting 2 mid range right away for SLI
if you can afford 2 now?
get one upgrade later?


Sorry if I was not clear, but I only bought 1, as I already had 1 7600gt

Quote:

I would only do this for the sake of passive heat-sinks on the video cards for a quiet build, but the 7600 XXX has a fan.

for ~$90 more {of one 7600} you can get one of these

XFX Geforce 7900 GT 256MB PCI-E (470MHz) w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out
XFX Geforce 8600 GTS 256MB PCI-E XXX Edition (730MHz) w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out

and get added performance later with the SLI addition

coldmast, I actually agree with your point and my initial plan was to get an 8800 GTX for the 2nd card (I need 2 GPUs, see previous reply).

But I decided to take the budget for the 8800 vs 7600, to get a better mobo, and better DDR2-800 memory, and some $$$ left to buy some games.

Hey, I am planning to build this up in stages, and figured that good mobo and better memory, would be better right now, because those are harder to mobo is harder to swap, and I can really use faster memory right now for my work (average 10hrs/day) instead of gaming (1 hr/day).

Besides, from a lot of threads I had to agree that if you dont need it right away, it might be a good idea to wait DX10 games to see what cards really work out well. I was not encouraged by the state of Vista and DX10 drivers for the 8800s.

I have to admit, that the idea of trying SLI in itself sounded like "fun", so that helped tip the scale :oops: 


Quote:
you could of had 2x 320GB WD SATA 16mb NCQ for the price of the one $500

Uhmm, but at Tigerdirect the 500G HDD was on sale for $129Cnd, vs $119 for the 320G with only 8mb buffer instead of 16.

That seems such a great price, I am thinking of getting 2 more of the 500s and RAID5 them. What do you think?

Quote:
what games did you plan on playing?

I bought my 1st PC game to test out the rig: Supreme Commander. You think it will work well?

I will now need to buy some games for the kids, like Simpsons and stuff like that. Prob not too GPU intensive ;-)

My type of games to purchase in order of pref are:
- Racing Games (uhmm got to get a good steering wheel)
- WW II Games
- Anything with awsome graphics and not too complicated to play ;-)
- Spider Solitaire - just a joke, but kind of fun during boring conference calls


Can you suggest any?[/list]
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2007 5:16:23 PM

It might be better to ask for advice before you buy instead of after. In this case, it looks good. I don't think you will be able to run 3 monitors with sli. I would run the two smaller monitors with one vga card, and the big main(gaming) monitor dedicated to the second vga card. If gaming performance is less than what you want, then swap it out for a better one. Also, with all of those tasks active, you might want more main memory. With a 32-bit OS you would only be able to address 3.3gb, but that is still a 60% increase.
May 28, 2007 5:30:39 PM

Quote:
It might be better to ask for advice before you buy instead of after. In this case, it looks good. I don't think you will be able to run 3 monitors with sli. I would run the two smaller monitors with one vga card, and the big main(gaming) monitor dedicated to the second vga card. If gaming performance is less than what you want, then swap it out for a better one.


geofelt. I asked for a lot of advice before the purchase, and i took all those ideas before making the purchase.

BTW, the best advice I got is, "make sure you write out the requirements, before the build". Hence my list above.

And yes, based on research, I know i cannot SLI across 3 monitors. The idea is 1 GPU for the 30", and the other GPU for the 2 20". The nice thing about the NVIDIA XP driver is that I can turn on\of SLI on the fly without rebooting for when I need to play a game on the 30" and therefore use all the Gjuice I can get to drive the 2560x1600 monitor.


Quote:
Also, with all of those tasks active, you might want more main memory. With a 32-bit OS you would only be able to address 3.3gb, but that is still a 60% increase.


Uhmm, that is a great point. VMWare in itself usually will use up 1.5G ! 8O

Can you give me a bit more info on that?
- What happens to the other 0.7Gs? (I am old enough to remember that I used the rest of the memory above 640K on of my 1Meg of RAM for a RAMDISK in DOS. That was SOOOO Kool :lol:  )
- Do I need any special settings on BIOS\XP Pro?
- Should I buy 2G or 1G?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2007 6:01:50 PM

The loss is due to hardware addressing. Read about it here: http://h20331.www2.hp.com/Hpsub/downloads/RAM_Allocatio... The exact amount of loss seems to vary, but it is not clear what the factors are. The loss is similar between vista-32 and xp-32. Your list shows 2gb of ram, but does not indicate if it is a single 2gb module or the more common 2x1gb kit. Fron the photo I assume the latter. I think I would get an exact duplicate and go to 4gb that way. Different sizes and brands might have characteristics that the mobo can't handle. You will populate all 4 slots, but this will not be a problem until/unless you need more than 4gb, and that implies a 64-bit os.
May 28, 2007 6:04:39 PM

2 monitors DVI the 3rd VGA....

unless your 7600GT's are both Dual DVI? =(

for right now, said system works fine.... later down the road is a different story though.
May 28, 2007 6:13:13 PM

Quote:


Looks good. You should have her assembled and up and running in about 45 minutes. :lol: 


Badge, I NEED HELP!!!! I just opened the 680i mobo, and I used up the 45 min to read the friggin manual!!!!! :cry: 

I am now freaking over all them BIOS setting I read in the manual.

Anyone know what are the BIOS settings (or where I can find it) for spec install of all my components in this mobo??????

I am so scared that I will turn the UPS and fry all the components in the 1st go, my daughter will be so disappointed in her dad, that she will turn into a life of pshycotherapy, booze and drugs!!!
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2007 6:23:51 PM

Don't worry. You are in the minority if you actually read the manual. I have no experience with that particular mobo, but in general, see if you can boot with no bios changes, excepting setting the date and time. I suggest no passwords for now. If you have it, run memtest to do a basic check with one monitor and vga card first.
May 28, 2007 6:38:06 PM

Quote:
2 monitors DVI the 3rd VGA....

unless your 7600GT's are both Dual DVI? =(

for right now, said system works fine.... later down the road is a different story though.


Yes, one of the reasons I stuck to the my original 7600GT. they are Dual Link DVI able to drive 2560x1600. At least that is what the spec sheet says. Once I receive the 30" I'll find out for sure.
May 28, 2007 6:43:17 PM

Quote:
Don't worry. You are in the minority if you actually read the manual. I have no experience with that particular mobo, but in general, see if you can boot with no bios changes, excepting setting the date and time. I suggest no passwords for now. If you have it, run memtest to do a basic check with one monitor and vga card first.


geofel, I was in a support job for a while and it really pi#%ed me off that people would 1st complain that products dont have good documentation, but then, when it did, it would be obvious that they would not RTFM!!.

This might be a dumb question, but are you saying that if I leave everything in the BIOS at default (or automatic), it will "know" what are the spec settings for CPU\Memory\HDD\GPU\DVD???

Are you saying also, only install one of the 7600s 1st? That seems like a good idea.
May 28, 2007 6:54:44 PM

you can boot up without having to manually set all your hardware specifics (unless you want to change the boot sequence) and you'll be just fine.

its an intel specific board therefore it has to support the desired default voltage, FSB etc etc... fear not
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 28, 2007 6:57:28 PM

Yes, the defaults should be safe. The memory will be at safe settings, and the vga card will be in basic mode. I would look through every bios option to see what is there, but don't change anything except date/time. With no raid, the HDD should be detected ok. You will see this in the bios boot sequence options. When you load windows, the display will look crummy until you load the nvidia drivers.
May 28, 2007 7:10:16 PM

"I am so scared that I will turn the UPS and fry all the components in the 1st go, my daughter will be so disappointed in her dad, that she will turn into a life of pshycotherapy, booze and drugs!!!"

lol, you will be fine.

Just triple check all your conneectrions, hook up as little as possible at first to get a benchtest and post, then one step at a time, leave everything at default settings at first rather than jump right in to the bios unless you need a flash or a particular setting changed to post or boot order etc..

once you get loaded up and update your os, you can go back.
I would normaly add only the min ram, without any drives even to get a post and make sure my platform was ok, ie: mobo, mem, cpu, gpu, then I would mount in it in the case, and add the drives and set the boot order and begin loading an Os, unless as I said you already know you need a flash either to accomodate a 64 bit install or whatever, if so then you would have already made a flash disc on a floppy and that would be first thing after post.

anyway dont let all the settings bug you out.

you can get her all together and verify everythng works, then as you update your os and drivers and get her all set up you can go back to the bios and change any performance settings your hardware allows you to.

Also it is a good idea to install 1dimm of memory to do all that, maybe two but to avoid any posting issues sometimes I will just add one dim and after windows is all loaded I will then add the others and one at a time.

you can take all the time in the world to go through it all in your head, make sure you have the drivers you will need, the bios revisions, read up on limitations or issues others had and just be prepared.

This will also be a great way to introduce your daughter to the build, measure twice cut once, nothing wrong with taking your time and understanding each thing you do.

The great part is after you do complete it in this way you will know and understand your system like no other you have used, each component and how it works is supported and functions, making operating the rig afterwards a dream and with very little if any guess work when there is an issue.

good luck and as you have questions just stop what you re doign and post them, while you wait for a response search around for it, realize theres no rush.
Lump
May 28, 2007 7:39:48 PM

lumper, thank you so much for that post! With it, I think I am ready, and I will follow your instructions. It makes a lot of sense, and no I am in no rush at all.

The one thing you said, "...unless as I said you already know you need a flash either to accomodate a 64 bit install or whatever, if so then you would have already made a flash disc on a floppy and that would be first thing after post.", begs the question, "Do I need a floppy drive?". Cause i had no intention of getting one. I thought I read that new mobos allowed you to flash with a USB flash mem? I do think chances my next OS will be a 64-bit OS.

I think this is a good time to end this thread, with the conclusion that 1/2 the folks think this is an interesting build, and the other 1/2 think that a better GPU would have been a better choice. Based on my requirements I would have thought a better mobo and better memory was a good trade off, but I more than willing to accept that that was a questionable decision or a mistake.

So I will create a new thread, to log the progress of the build, and update pictures on the Yahoo space. Please come by, as I am sure I will have lots of questions.

That will start tonight, with opening the boxes and checking all the parts. My daughter wants me to wait for her to come home from school so she can open the boxes.
May 31, 2007 5:21:07 PM

Quote:
"Do I need a floppy drive?". Cause i had no intention of getting one. I thought I read that new mobos allowed you to flash with a USB flash mem? I do think chances my next OS will be a 64-bit OS.


You will likely need a floppy to load drivers for a SATA HDD during XP during install. I didn't realize that until the computer was built and XP was loading.

If you go Vista, you can load from a flash drive.
May 31, 2007 11:25:48 PM

a floppy drive is also convient for any type of bios flash that you may need.
June 1, 2007 3:09:39 AM

Ok, I am convinced.

I was hoping not to have to get a FFD, my god if my friends find out I bought floppies they are going to die laughing!!!! How 80s can you get.

BTW, I also found out the hard way that I could not proceed with my build because I only have a USB keyboard. Fortunately I have a neighbour that has a stash of "useless" old computer equipment.

Thanks again for the help MattJD and Raven_87

PS. If you have a chance drop by my diary of the build. Lots of pics.
As if being a n00b is not a challenge enough, I have decided to let my 11 and 9 year olds do the build ;-)
June 1, 2007 5:01:51 AM

"the master in anything was once a beginner"


that said; I run a floppy.... its conveinent, quick and small multi use storage. sure as hell better than burning an iso cd to boot from...
June 11, 2007 12:05:55 PM

Hmmm... Postal is always a hit among the kids... Another kid friendly game I like is Diablo II.
!