My first [custom] computer

And also my first post. Is there a slogan or a phrase I need to say? Haha.

Anyways, the synopsis of my situation is that I'm sticking to a budget of ~ $1,000 for the entire computer; save for the monitor, graphics card, and speakers; as I have those right now. Basically, before I buy, I'd like to get some approval and suggestion from you guys as to what's better/best/going to save me money. A list of parts is as follows:

DVD Burner's name is too long to type

RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black SECC STEEL ATX Mid Tower

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3200820AS 200GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

Antec NeoHE 500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 (rev. 1.3) LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775

ZALMAN 9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

---

Phew. Just a few footnotes I want to add:

1) I haven't decided on a sound card yet. I'm completely clueless as to what's good out there; but, if it helps, I have a Logitech Z2300 2.1 set.

2) I'm even more clueless on what's Vista-friendly and what isn't. If XP is going to be out of mainstream support in a year, am I going to have to rebuild a computer, or are high-end parts going to be supported in Vista?

3) I'm leaning towards Intel over AMD for... well, I don't know. Because of what I heard, and the reviews I've read.

4) My computer right now is garbage. It's a five-year old $300 Dell ($300 when I bought it...)

Thanks for all of your help. As you can probably tell by now, I'm not the most computer-savvy person in the world, so thanks for understanding.
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  1. The motherboard and RAM ... might be incompatible?

    RAM:

    Timing 5-5-5-12
    Voltage 1.9V

    Mobo:

    "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."

    --

    I might just be really really picky, but does the 0.1V difference matter in the scope of things?
  2. I would get a P35 series motherboard..leaves you the ability to upgrade in the future. For example:

    Gigabyte DS3R

    I would suggest any of the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Series. THey sound fantastic. In most cases though..the onboard sound is fine. I sold my X-fi to my roommate because onboard was good enough for my purposes. I've also heard that there has been a bunch of problems with the X-Fi lineup in Vista. Eventually they'll get working drivers out, or you can find some modified ones to suite your needs.

    Vista isn't too bad in hardware compatibility, so you shouldn't have too much trouble converting over if that's what you're planning to do.

    Intel is fine. Everything else looks good.

    Hope this helps :)
  3. itll be fine youll just have to cold boot if i were you id drop the corsair xms and get the gskill 2x1gb for 80.99 on newegg and id drop the antec neohe for a better powersupply such as the antec trio 550 (its on sale at newegg for 79.99)

    with all that money saved you can buy a better hard drive something more meaner like with a 16mb cache

    bump that lg dvd burner go for a sony nec or a samsung

    sony nec, samsung, and plextor are the best drives

    if your worry about your pc being old school you might wanna get a better motherboard such as the evga 680i

    oh yeah wheres your video card?

    id drop the raidmax case and get the centurion 5! better cooling and a decent design! for 50 buckaroos on newegg

    zalman is ok you might want to look into thermal take typhoon which is 44.99 on newegggsors

    what thermal compound are you gonna use? arctic silver 5 is pretty good

    instead of buying a seperate sound card put the money towards a better board and use their integrated sound as long as you avoid the ac 97 :)

    intel over amd eh? - still debateable dont bring it up on this forum people will flame you to hell lol (pm me il talk to you about it)
  4. Quote:
    itll be fine youll just have to cold boot if i were you id drop the corsair xms and get the gskill 2x1gb for 80.99 on newegg and id drop the antec neohe for a better powersupply such as the antec trio 550 (its on sale at newegg for 79.99)

    with all that money saved you can buy a better hard drive something more meaner like with a 16mb cache

    bump that lg dvd burner go for a sony nec or a samsung

    sony nec, samsung, and plextor are the best drives

    if your worry about your pc being old school you might wanna get a better motherboard such as the evga 680i

    oh yeah wheres your video card?

    id drop the raidmax case and get the centurion 5! better cooling and a decent design! for 50 buckaroos on newegg

    zalman is ok you might want to look into thermal take typhoon which is 44.99 on newegggsors

    what thermal compound are you gonna use? arctic silver 5 is pretty good

    instead of buying a seperate sound card put the money towards a better board and use their integrated sound as long as you avoid the ac 97 :)

    intel over amd eh? - still debateable dont bring it up on this forum people will flame you to hell lol (pm me il talk to you about it)



    680i would be a bad choice IMO. His current mobo or a P35 would be a better choice.

    Read his post. He HAS a video card.

    Thermaltake Big Typhoon is a good cooler! I have it..love it. That + Arctic Silver = very cool CPU

    If anything, if he's going to bump up his CD/DVD burner, he should get a Sata interface one at least.
    Samsung

    or

    Lite-On
  5. Daredevil:

    I'll leave that option open, thanks for the reccomendation on the mobo.

    Jdsm:

    I replaced the LG drive with an equally-priced Samsung, and I'll look into another mobo. However, since that's a big decision, I'll save that for last. I already have a 7300GS PCI-Ex -- I'll upgrade later. This is just fine for now.

    How is the cooling on the Centurion 5 better than the Raidmax? Can you give me more details please?

    I'm sticking with the Zalman fan; I'm absolutely insane when it comes to product reviews, so I read through every review and decide from that (after I made an initial decision to be interested in it :P)
  6. Daredevil:

    You win, haha. I'm going to get that SATA-interfaced Samsung DVD burner, but here's another thing I was thinking of:

    I might just drop that E6600 and get the E6400, it's so much cheaper, and with the cooling power I have, it wouldn't make a difference. It'd save a bundle of money, which I can then use to upgrade other parts... such as a case, perhaps? Do you have any suggestions on a case?

    The reason I got the Raidmax was because of the fans. I'm pretty much a cooling freak, hence the $60 Zalman fan. I'm not taking any chances whatsoever on the temperatures, and the Zalman is boasting some seriously high reviews plus excellent brand name.


    --

    Edit: With the price dropping down a substantial amount, now I need to finalize my choice on PSU and Mobo.

    The current Antec PSU listed up above and the current Mobo have some serious compatability issues, so maybe... the Corsair would work just fine? I still have some extra cash I can pump into the mobo... let me read up on it really quickly.
  7. what is wrong with the antec neo he 500w and your motherboard? also i would recommend getting the e6420 over the e6600 if you're on a budget, you should be able to get it to clock almost as fast if not faster than the e6600 with decent cooling.
  8. Shooter:

    Antec said there was a compatability issue. I dropped the CPU to the E6400 and upgraded the PSU to the Corsair one I listed up above. Corsair has higher respect points in my book than Antec does, anyways. I'm finalizing the mobo and the case right now, maybe a sound card too.
  9. you must get the 6420 instead of the 6400, they are the same price but the 6420 has 2mb of extra l2 cache.
  10. Awesome. Thanks dude.

    I'm going to put off finalizing the computer until Monday (I emailed customer support for Antec regarding compatability with that particular mobo, and also Raidmax regarding the availability of USB drives) but any further advice would be very well appreciated. I'm looking at other cases, since the Raidmax requires me to open up the front to use the USB drives -- and I'm ALWAYS using at least one drive. Centurion5 is on my list right now. Also, the mobo is still up for debate / consideration. There's only one review for the P35, but I'll google some other reviews or look up some on tomshardware.
  11. you should really get the p35 as its very simmilar to the p965 cept it supports the future 45nm processors and if you get the p35c from gigabyte it supports ddr3. I bought the antec neo he 500w for my system that im going to put together and i was going to use it for a gigabyte ds3 (before i decided to go with the p35 version of it) I haven't heard any problems with ds3 and neo hes I think you may be thinking of problems with neo he's and asus motherboards as that has been documented. Let me know what antec says about it...
  12. Shooter:

    Does it matter if it's ASUS or GIGABYTE, as long as it's the 965?

    My grand total for everything minus the sound card is ~ $809 (not including S&H), which is really good. I'm exceptionally pleased with the parts that I have right now, here's an updated list:

    Samsung DVD burner's name is too long to type

    Coolermaster Centurion5

    CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply

    GIGABYTE GA-P35C-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX

    Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 Conroe 2.13GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775

    ----

    This is just a list of parts that have been updated, the rest are the same. (The rest being just the fan and the RAM, haha) but I also want to read up some more on the mobo, there's only one review so far on that particular model. If not GIGABYTE, what manufacturer should I go for?
  13. those are all great parts, just about what im going to build in a few weeks...

    the reason there is only one review is because the p35 chipset just came out this month, its an updated version of the p965 chipset and that board in particular is an updated version of the gigabyte p965-ds3 which is a very good and relatively cheap board for overclocking the c2d. Some people like asus but since most people around here recommend the ds3 now the logical step for me is to the get p35-ds3r. If you want to save a few more bucks and you don't plan on using ddr3 anytime soon you can just get the p35-ds3r instead of the p35c-ds3r i think they only difference is that the p35c supports both ddr2 and ddr3 while the p35-ds3r only supports ddr2 ram
  14. I don't mind not having DDR3 RAM; I'd like to think the 2 gigs of dual-channel DDR2 Corsair RAM will suffice for a few years, so I'll get the other mobo, thanks for the tip. Hopefully now I have enough money to buy myself a X-Fi soundcard... only problem is, the ones that are Vista-friendly aren't sold on NewEgg and therefore cost a fortune, or are crappy (Audigy SE). Any suggestions on that?


    Edit: My current Corsair RAM isn't supported by that mobo, so I'll stick with the P35C. $30 extra for DDR3-capabilities seems reasonable


    Edit 2: Does it matter if the RAM is 1.9V and the mobo supports only 1.8V?
  15. the cooling on the centurion 5 is pretty good in my opinion i have an amd x2 5200 with stock heatsink and fan + centurion + arctic silver and my pc idles at 25C loads on 28-30C

    only problem with the centurion case is its soo small stupid mid tower cases! in my opinion full tower cases are more fun theres massive holes in the front of the centurion 5 thats pulled in by the 80 mm front fan and the air taken out by the rear 120mm and the air duct on the side

    Quote:
    I'm sticking with the Zalman fan; I'm absolutely insane when it comes to product reviews, so I read through every review and decide from that (after I made an initial decision to be interested in it Razz)


    sorry to burst ur bubble but tuniq tower and thermal take big typhoon performs better il find the little charts later and post em

    if your going to spend that much money on that corsair get the antec trio 650W itll do soo much better then the corsair hx520 (btw what compat issues did they say? i dont think theres any? lol)

    like i said get a motherboard with integrated audio hehe

    you might want to get a 16mb cache hard drive just a tad bit faster ^^
  16. Okay. I'll look into the new power supply and tower/fan, also one more question: Does it matter if the mobo supports 1.8V RAM and the Corsair RAM that I picked is 1.9V?
  17. The Corsair power supply looks better than the Antec 650W Trio, from stat sheets. Are there performance benchmarks I can take a look at anywhere?


    Edit: JDM, I'm sticking with the Zalman fan:

    http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2045

    Check that out
  18. i guess if you want to stick to zalman ull get good cooling either way

    look at mplich's psu thread

    Antec Truepower Trio 650W 52A 2 x 6pin 3 CL NO (72%-84%) ACTIVe
    Corsair CMPSU 520W 40A 2 x 6pin 3 CL YES (77%-82%) ACTIVE

    Corsair:
    Pros:Modular, High Efficiency, Cool black design, More peripheral connectors (8 pin connector for that new thingie mabober for ati 2900xt still weak in amps!)
    Cons: Low in amps compare to antec and watts Lower Rebates

    Antec:
    Pros: High Wattage and Amps , More Rebates
    Cons: Lower efficiency and not modular and the old same look plain ol silver color Less peripheral connectors no 8 pinner


    id still say go with antec trio 650! :evil: but thats just me you might want to ask mplich on his opinion hes a psu guru!

    also antec has THREE (TRIO!!!) 12+ v rails vs 2 12+v rails
  19. I must be very easily swayed, I decided to go with the Antec 650W... :oops:

    I also PM'd mpilch, let's see what he thinks... also, I've sent three different emails to some manufacturers regarding their parts and compatability. I've been building this computer for about two weeks now, so you can see I take things very seriously haha. It's a huge refinement from what I had originally going, yeah? I'd say it's for the best, too. I've done all of my research, and everything seems to be finalized now, except for the emails from various manufacturers. So thanks for all of your help, I really appreciate the advice you've given me!
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