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My First PC Build...Any thoughts?

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June 19, 2007 7:50:16 PM

After much debate and thought, I'm coming to the end of my planning phase of building my new PC. Soon, I'll be able to start buying parts, but I wanted to get some feedback on my planned setup. This PC will be used primarily for gaming, mind you. Also, please let me know if there are any compatability problems that I over-looked. Thanks a ton.

(Main links are to manufacturers' sites. Newegg sites are just for info, although I'll probably buy most of the parts through them)
Monitor: Viewsonic vx2035wm (Newegg)
Case: Antec 900 (Newegg)
PSU: Antec TruePower Trio 650W (Newegg)
HDD: WD RE 250GB 7200RPM (Newegg) (2 of them in RAID 1 config)
DVD Burner: Plextor PX-800A (Newegg)
Sound: Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer (Newegg)
Speakers: Altec Lansing vs4221 (Newegg) (I currently have no physical place to put 7.1 surround, will upgrade in future, hence the sound card)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (Newegg) (after the July price cuts)
GPU: EVGA 768-P2-N831-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB (Newegg)
MB: Asus P5N32-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i (Newegg)
RAM: Corsair Dominator DDR2-800/PC26400 2x1GB (Newegg)

Additional Info: I'm not huge into overclocking (but I might do very little) and I wanted the 680i chipset MB should I wish to put a second GPU in there. I like having that option. On this note, I figure the 650W PSU will be sufficient for 1 GPU, but would it be enough for 2 of them? Also, the 900 case sports some pretty large fans. Should I still invest in some additional cooling system? And if so, any suggestions? Thanks in advance for taking the time to review my plans.

More about : build thoughts

June 19, 2007 8:13:16 PM

Build looks great. Here are some quick thoughts :) 

For 8800GTX SLI, that will definitely not be a big enough PSU. For one, it will be fine.

I don't really care for that monitor..for nearly that price, you can get a 22", or this new Samsung 21.6" (weird size..same resolution as 22" though) Samsung 216BW for $260. If I didn't already have a 22" I'd get this monitor ;) 

Otherwise the Sceptre X20WG is pretty decent. (just throwing out more suggestions!)
June 19, 2007 8:15:24 PM

Oh, are you planning on getting an aftermarket cooler? Stock Intel's are...bleh..IMHO.
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June 19, 2007 8:19:07 PM

Aftermarket cooling is one of my primary concerns now that I have most of the big stuff figured out. Although I'm not knowledgeable at all about cooling options. But I definitely don't want my PC getting ridiculously hot and putting excess wear on parts. Any suggestions on good cooling solutions that are priced fairly?
June 19, 2007 8:57:55 PM

On your Psu choice, it might be ok. But you also have 2 HD's you will be running, besides that 8800gtx and Creative soundcard.

If money is a issue, then check out the Mushkin 550150 ATX12V 750W Maximum Power; 650W Continuous Power Power Supply $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If is not then check this one, OCZ GameXStream OCZ850GXSSLI ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 850Watts Power Supply $199.99 ($169.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That would still give you enough if you ever wanted to go SLi with that 8800gtx.
June 19, 2007 9:02:34 PM

Update: I failed to mention that I plan on starting out with Windows XP SP2 for the OS and upgrading to Vista later on down the road.
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
June 19, 2007 9:28:28 PM

I would suggest you start with Vista first. First of all, it will be cheaper than buying two products. Most of the problems that people have with vista is with upgrades. Either they have old hardware that is unsupported, or they installed software that causes compatibility problems. With all new stuff, you should not have driver problems. If there should be some problem, it is much easier to fix it when you have a new system without any critical files on it. After running a while, you will be worried that an upgrade will make you lose something important. Vista runs well now. It does not really need more memory, it just uses memory in a different way to improve performance. 2gb is usually enough. Check out this article (and part 1) on what is good about Vista: http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/vista-under-the-hood....
All your parts look good.
---good luck---
June 19, 2007 9:56:06 PM

Recommended cooling: (from Core2Duo Overclocking Guide)
-Scythe Infinity
-Scythe Ninja Plus
-Scythe Mine
-Tuniq Tower 120
-Thermalright Ultra-120 or SI-128 or SI-120
-Noctua NH-U12
-Thermaltake Big Typhoon

I have the Thermaltake Big Typhoon and it keeps my CPU very cool (and is pretty quiet). All of them are good and reasonably priced.
June 19, 2007 10:07:02 PM

The Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro is a cheaper solution for CPU cooling, and does a great job. As usual, the more you pay, the more you get.
June 19, 2007 10:14:20 PM

Thanks for all the help so far. I've been thinking about it, and I think I will go with Vista from the start. Also, as far as the PSU goes, would a 750W PSU do the job? I read through the PSU 101 thread and it seems that amperage is a prime concern. I checked EVGA's website, and they said the 8800GTX needs a "Minimum of a 450 Watt power supply. (Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 28 Amp Amps.)"

Granted that is for only 1 GPU. I suppose the 28 Amp rating is the total rating of the PSU (which, according to the PSU 101 thread is calculated by dividing the wattage rating by the 12 Volts) since I haven't seen any multi-rail PSUs with a 28A rating on any single +12V rail. So would 2 GPUs then need 56 amps? (Or does it not work that way?) And if so, i suppose a 750W would work. 750W/12V=62.5A as opposed to my original 650W/12V=54.2A. Or should I give myself more of a margin considering my HDDs and other parts, maybe a 850W PSU?

I appreciate all the help, and I welcome even more advice.
June 19, 2007 10:24:24 PM

Well I am not an expert, and I don't know exactly how it works. But I do know the way you said is not correct. You don't need 56 amps on the 12V rails. By my estimation... 2 8800GTXs will require a 650W PSU minimum with maybe 44 amps on the 12V rails. I'm sure someone else could give you more exact numbers though. So as to your first question, yes, a 750W PSU will do the job.
June 19, 2007 10:39:23 PM

I figure a 750W PSU would work, but after checking the SLI psu recommendation site, I found that there aren't very many recommended, certified 750W PSUs. Most of them were of the 1000W variety (possibly for big overclockers?) so that threw me off. That being said, can anyone recommend a reliable 750W PSU for around $150-$200?

On a separate issue, any thoughts on extra cooling for my GPU? Mind you, at the start I'll only have 1 8800GTX. I'm not really concerned with overclocking ability. I just want to make sure I won't destroy my machine from heat after cranking up video settings on games.

For the CPU cooling, I like those Thermaltake Big Typhoon and the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. I'll probably go with one of those. Thanks for the tips.
June 19, 2007 11:11:25 PM

There are a few SLi certified Psu's, but the costs of them start around 180 and go around 560.

PC Power & Cooling are single 12v rail, their 750w will support dual 8800gtx.

Enermax 720 Infinity and up are multi rails and also are SLi certified (+12V1@28A,+12V2@28A,+12V3@ 30A) plus are modular.

Thermaltake 750 thru 1200w are SLi certified too. Plus their 850w PSU is Quad SLI certified. The 750 & 1200w are non modular and the 850 & 1000w are modular.

So it is your choice which you want. Top tier or 2nd tier.
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
June 20, 2007 12:41:40 AM

The 8800GTX requires two 6 pin pci-e connectors. For two gtx's, you would need a power supply with 4 connectors, and there are not many. Look at this list to find some candidates: http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam...
I think there are some 12v molex to pci-e adapters, so other PSU's might work. From the list, I would look at the PC P&C 750W $210. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...
It seems to me that investing in futureproofing is not a good strategy where technology is concerned. Get what you want for now in a balanced configuration, and replace it in the future, if needed, with something better and cheaper later. A single 8800gtx is the best card out now, and it should keep you for some time.
As to cooling, the 8800 cards generate more heat than anything else, but the good news is that their coolers exhaust most of it out the back. Quietly too. For under $10, you could add a slot cooler under the vga card which will exhaust the hot air that leaks out of the four slits in the back of the card.
June 20, 2007 1:10:05 AM

Thanks for that last bit of info on the 6-pin connectors. Saved me a bunch of headache. As of now, it looks like the PC P&C 750W PSU is the way to go. 60A on one rail, plenty of wattage, plenty of amperage for my GPU (and 2nd one in the future), CPU, HDDs, optical drives, etc.

Thanks a bunch for everyone's input. Especially with some of these compatibility problems with the PSU. I wouldn't have seen them.

So the changes to the very first list I posted are now as follows:
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad - Copper EPS12V 750W Power Supply 90
OS: Windows Vista
CPU Cooling: Thermaltake CL-P0114 120mm CPU Cooler

If anyone else has any other advice, I'm all ears. Thanks for all the help thus far!
June 20, 2007 4:32:49 AM

I officially announce this system as complete ownage. Well designed mate. I'm sure it will make you proud when up and running.
June 20, 2007 12:06:44 PM

Thanks for all the help. I hope it turns out nicely. Sure it looks good on paper, but paper is free. Now all I need is all that green to buy the parts...slowly getting there.
!