New build - stable and cool

Hi..

It's about time I upgrade my 5 year old desktop. Thought I'd post my ideas and
voice a few concerns here in case anyone can help me out deciding what to get.
I'm only looking for motherboard, gfx card, ram, cpu and cpu cooler. Got a nice
ATX case and a mist 500W PSU I want to reuse.

My priorities:
- I don't care if system can be upgraded. I'll probably buy new mb, ram,
cpu when I want to upgrade.
- I want the system to be dead stable, including on a summer night with
25 degrees celsius inside.
- I want the system to create very little noise, preferrably without neeting
water cooling.
- I don't need state of the art gaming hardware. I want to play WoW and Civ4
on 1920x1200 resolution though.

My current selection of components:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4 GHz Socket LGA775, 4MB (NOK 1950)
- Moderate power consumption, should help making quiet and stable system.
Asus P5K Socket-775, DDR2, ATX, PCI-E x16 (NOK 1199)
- Have no reason to believe older chipsets are better, so new sounds good.
- Asus got good cred. Hoping card will be stable.
Corsair DDR2-533 VS2GBKIT533D2 (2x1024 MB pair, 4-4-4-12-2T) (NOK 695)
- DDR2 memory seems still good as DDR3 memory has high CL.
- Price/performance ratio seem good.
- Corsair got good rep, so hoping these will be stable.
Gainward GeForce 8600 GT 512 MB GDDR3 SilentFX (NOK 1449)
- Max powerconsumption of 8600 GT was 43W if my search for info was correct.
- Twice as much memory as most 8600 GT card seems good.
- Passive cooling, should keep noise level down.

Concerns:

Is this a good chipset/motherboard for this setup? Looked at the deluxe version but seemed
to have twice the cost with only wifi option added. Looked at recent article at tomshardware.com
which rated P35 boards to perform similarly, but dunno if they perform good compared to other
chipsets.

From what I see around, it seems much more common to buy PC6400 memory than
PC4200 memory, but if my calculation is correct, the FSB is 4x266 MHz and
PC4200 memory runs at 2x266 MHz. Which to me sounds like a perfect match.
Is there any point in spending extra cash in something like the following ?
Corsair DDR2-800 TWIN2X2048-6400C4 (2x1024 MB pair, 4-4-4-12-2T) (NOK 1149)

What's this DDR3 stuff? Will I get considerably better performance with
DDR3 1066 MHz memory with my FSB being 4x266 MHz ? Going for DDR3 seems very
expensive, and timings aren't exactly close to as strict as they are for DDR2,
so guessing I won't get much of a performance gain by using DDR3.

Is there a good overclock setup I can use to get considerably improved
performance with minimal stability risks, little heat generation and without
using a lot more expensive components? Seems I can easily run memory faster by
buying faster memory than PC4200, but to get a gain I reckon I have to overclock
the FSB of the CPU.

A bit concerned about whether the gainward card will keep cool enough without
a fan, especially as the ribbons will sit on the side of the board that is not
pointing towards the CPU cooler and PSU fan. But hoping this will be oki. I
guess I can allways manage to mount a fan here later if necessary. Also a bit
worried about whether gainward cards are stable. Have had problems that might
have been related to a gainward card earlier. Would something like the
Asus GeForce 8600 GT 256MB GDDR3 (EN8600GT/2DHT/256M) (NOK 1199)
be a safer choice?

The plan behind getting a GeForce 8600 GT card is that I want an nvidia card due
to better linux drivers, and I don't want to get a power guzzler like the 8800
cards. So buying a fairly cheap one know, I can upgrade to a better one once
the gfx producers starts using 45 or 65 nm technology to limit their power
consumption. Dunno if this will happen in reasonably time though.
15 answers Last reply
More about build stable cool
  1. - forget the 8600gt, get something decent.
    - 2gb of pc2 6400 memory can be found for under $100 these days. why not get it?
    - an antec p180 is a quiet case thats designed for sound supression. it might not run as cool as something like an antec 900, though.
  2. Agree with prof_chaos, it makes sense to get the DDR2 800. The Antec Sonato II is very quiet and has good cooling Unless you're significantly overclocking heat should not be a problem
  3. get some kingston value ram ddr2 800, its nice stuff, your aren't going to be ocing so it will be apt, and it is cheap. also, change that 8600GT to a 1950pro, the 1950 pro is dropping in price like a lift with the cable cut. the 500W psu should eb fine, if it is of a high quality.
  4. Thanks for the feedback..

    First of all, I got a case I'm gonna keep http://www.sundialmicro.com/Cooler-Master-Praetorian-computer-case-pact01e1_1701_434.html

    Second, I see you all think I should get ddr2-800 memory, but none of you say why. I can see the following possibilities:
    *So I can reuse the memory somewhere else later.
    *Because you think running memory faster than FSB improves performance.
    *Because you think I should overclock my FSB.

    I don't care about reusability, cuz I'll probably hang onto mb/ram long enough that I need another RAM standard next time I buy anyways. I don't want to overclock my FSB if that has a reasonable chance of making my system more unstable. And I haven't found any resource online saying that there's any gain by choosing not to have 1:1 FSB/RAM ratio. If you know of any, please let me know.

    6400 memory is also almost twice as expensive as 4200 memory where I live, so 4 GB of memory instead of 2 GB sounds like a much better idea to me than buying 6400 memory and run it on 4200 speed.

    I'd love to get a better GFX card than the 8600GT, but I don't want a card needing a nuclear power source to run, nor one that costs a fortune. I want to be able to reuse my very nice 500W MIST PSU, and I don't see any reason why that shouldn't be possible. I also don't want to spend a fortune on a graphics card. DirectX 10 is just released so card support for it will probably be refined considerably in the near future, the industry will probably soon shrink GFX card designs to 45 or 65 nm technology, and prices should drop once ATI gets their next generation cards out, so the radeon 8800 gets some real competition, so I think I'll rather wait a bit with investing a fortune into a GFX card. The alternative is thus to buy a gfx card that is just sufficient for my needs, and otherwise as cheap as possible, until something that suits me better arrives.
  5. I agree with you in almost every aspect, especially that about the current generation of DX10 cards. But you see, prices in the States are lower and marketing spending is higher than in Europe, so people buy more high end and first generation products or at least people are more inclined to do so.

    On the other hand, i see that you probably have not realised that overclocking a 6600 does not carry risks of instability. As you can see in my sig, i have overclocked mine to 3.0 Ghz using only a mediocre cooler. If i could live with a little bit more noise, i would have done the same using the stock cooler. All you need to get to reach this overclock is DDR2 5300, i.e. 667Mhz RAM. You will still be running 1:1 with a mild overclock of the FSB @333, without pushing any component much. So i see no harm done if you choose DDR2 5300, unless it is significantly more expensive than DDR2 4200 in Norway (it's Norway, isn't it?)

    Now, about the vga. The 8600GT is power hungry as well (not as much as series 8800) but this will not be your main problem. The resolution you want to use will be. Now, i do not have any alternative that would fit your needs since you rule out ATI, just be sure you will get the 512MB version of the 8600.

    Good luck!
  6. A few comments, my two cents if you will.

    Why buy 4Gigs of Ram, are you running a 64bit system?
    Going with the 6400 will support the OCing you will do, or most likely do with the E6600, also, as you seem to rebuild over upgrade, and I assume this takes a few years to save for, you may want to consider the Q6600, not a lot of gain today, but in about two years I would venture it will be worth it, and it will cost about the same in July.

    You mentioned DDR3, I think most people would agree with me that right now, it isn't worth it. Performance, speed and cost make it just the wrong way to go right now. As for future plans, many believe it will be the way to go for performance in about a year, I still think it may be cost prohibitive for almost another two years, that is when you consider buying top line memory in the 2Gig area. Now because of that I would say you don't need to worry about going to a P35 board, that is unless you want to be able to run the DDR3 later.

    Finally, and this is just me, I am not a big fan of ASUS, not the best customer service around.... I would suggest a different board, just my opinion.

    Okay, since I am going on and on, suggest going to an EVGA card, understand it may have a higher draw going with the 8800 but it would be worth it in the long run. Consider your resolution requirements.

    Hope you found some of my opinions helpful, and in keeping with my post I have one last comment. Remember in the end you are the one who has to be happy with your purchase, weather you take the advice and comments from everyone here on the forums or not, you make the decisions, so best of luck to you, and the decisions that are before you.
  7. Yeah.. The US prices seems very low compared to here in Norway, given the current dollar price.

    Revised my plan a bit.. The PC5300 corsair chips are same price as the PC4200 chips, but with CL5 instead of 4.. The PC5400 chips though, have CL4 and is only a little bit more expensive.. So reckon I can get those so I have the option of overclocking the FSB a bit. I assume they will run nicely at 266 MHz too if I want them to.

    I also think I'll go with the MSI P35 Platinum instead of the ASUS card. Found a review online saying the ASUS card got very hot during heavy load, which the P35 card didn't.

    Found out that my PSU is actually a 600W one. So I reckon I might be able to use an XFX Geforce 8800 GTS 320MB card and still have plenty power. If so I should have way much graphics power than any of the old games I play require. Got 4 +12V channels at 20A, which can total 530W so hopefully that'll be plenty.. Is there any decent power calculator to check how much power one actually need?

    So current plan is:
    2x Corsar TWIN2X2048-5400C4 (Total of 4 GB)
    MSI P35 Platinum motherboard
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
    XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 320 MB
  8. Quote:
    Is there any decent power calculator to check how much power one actually need?


    As Requested!

    http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    There is a pro version but the light should do, unless you want to pay for the pro!
  9. Thanks..

    Accord to that I should have no trouble at all with my PSU..
  10. Get DDR2 1066 if you can afford it, but 800 would probably work fine.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145033

    On the processor, wait until July 22 for the price cut and get something like an intel e6750 for $183 or a q6600 for $266.
  11. My friend, the corsair memory you have selected is just factory overclocked RAM. It needs 2.1V in order to operate instead of 1.8V that the JEDEC specification for DDR2 dictates. Now, i'm not saying that it is not good memory, just that you will be paying more for something that you can do yourself if you desire for free. If you get RAM that runs @ 1.8 volts 5-5-5-15 @ 667 you can easily overclock it to higher speeds or lower latencies (not that C2D cares much about lower latencies, but anyway). So my advice is: get memory that works @ 1.8V, it is far better, cooler and more stable than any other config (and is overclockable as well!)

    About your selection of VGA: Since you took the trouble to go 8800GTS 320, you should get the model with more RAM, i.e 8800GTS 640. The resolution you will be using, even for older titles, is asking for a large frame buffer. That means more memory on the card. You would be crippling your config with the 320 MB version, unless 1900X1200 is only your max res and you will be running most games at significantly lower resolutions.

    Also, might i suggest getting the Gigabyte GA-P35-DQ6 instead of the MSI Platinum? It has a 12 phase voltage regulator instead of 4 phase that the MSI has (that means better, cleaner, more stable current for your mobo and parts), a better design and better sound chip among others. Even better, get the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 which is cheaper but shares the same superb characteristics of its sister board.
    http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=643&p=0
    http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/index.php/taxid;1776357743;pid;3612;pt;1
    http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Products_Spec.aspx?ProductID=2531

    All in all i would say that changing to the above selections would not have to make you spend significantly more (since mobo price is about the same, memory should be cheaper and vga more expensive) but will provide you with a much better, faster and more stable solution (quite a bit cooler also) than the parts you have selected.

    Search for prices and always ask questions! Good luck. :D

    Edit: Links, conclusion.
  12. Thanks for the input.. Have ordered now..

    Went for the gigabyte board suggested.. Bought some ddr-800 corsair memory that runs at 1.8V. And the 8800GTS 320MB as I posted above..

    I'm running WoW and Civ4 on my current ATI X800XL now on 1920x1200 with acceptable quality, so it's probably way overpowered for my use, but figgered then I could wait a good while before upgrading it, and the one I found was fairly cheap.. Half the price of an 8800 GTX card.

    Added a zalman CNPS9500LED fan too, so should get reasonably quiet and leave me with components I can try to overclock if I want to.
  13. Very good choices. Did you get 4GB of ram?

    Happy building!
  14. Bought 2 GB to begin with.. Easy to add later if wanted..
  15. Hmm..

    The gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 board does not seem compatible with the corsair PC6400 pro memory I bought.. The motherboard seems very touchy as to what memory it will use.. The system just kept restarting or freezing up.. Most of the times very early, often even before anything comes to the monitor.

    Have bought me some Kingston KVR667D2N5K2/2G sticks and they seem to work correctly. Yet at least.. Reckon I'll have to stress them for a while to be reasonably sure it is all ok now..
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