First home build, gaming rig for around $1700


I plan on getting a new computer this fall. For the first time I'm plannig on building it myself, with som help from friends.

I've been looking around some, mostly on tomshardware but also on some swedish computer sites, and come up with a system that I think I can afford and that will suite my needs:

Case: Antec P182
PSU: Corsair HX Modular 520W
Mobo: MSI P965 Platinum iP965
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
CPU cooler: Noctua NH-U12F
RAM: Patriot Extreme Performance 2024MB DDR2 PC2-6400
HDD: Western Digital Caviar WD5000YS RAID
Graphic card: Asus Extreme GeForce 8800GTS 320MB
Case fan: Noctua NF-S12-800

Ok, to the questions. Is this a balanced system? The content is very similar to the one reviewed in the System Builder Marathon, mid-prize system.

Is it worth the extra $100 for an 8800GTS, compared to an X1950XT? What I've heard some of the X1950XT is quite noisy. Is this correct?

Over to overclocking. I've never done this and have'nt decide if I'm going to try or not. When you read about guys that clock their E6600 at over 3,0 GHz you start to get a bit greedy. If I'm NOT going to overclock, is it overkill to buy a different CPU cooler? How good is the stock version?

Has anyone any experience of building in the P182 or P180 case? Is there any problem with the fact that the PSU fan is facing the bottom of the case? Is 520W enough?

Well, that's all I can think of right now. Comments anyone?

Help is greatly appreciated!
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  1. Your build looks very well balanced, you shouldn't get bottlenecking. To answer your question, if you're planning to overclock then you should use an aftermarket cooler because the one that comes in the retail package is no good for OCing.

    About the mobo, if you can try to get a P35 chipset mobo (965 is still great), and as personal preference i'd go with a Gigabyte mobo, but i've heard good things of MSI.

    Oh yeah, and the corsair PSU should be more than enough.
  2. Your English is excellent, don't bother with the warnings from now on. Your computer is even better :lol:

    The 8800 GTS is definitely worth the $100 difference.

    What resolution does your monitor have? What games are you planning to play?

    Get the Gigabyte P35 indeed, it will help later when you want a new CPU.
  3. I'd say get the 8800GTS, and if you don't plan on overclocking at all the stock cooler is fine. By the way, your English is better than most native speakers. :lol:
  4. I have an E6600 and used the stock cooler and paste for a while. When I got a $50 Zalman and some Arctic silver it dropped in temperature about 6 degrees Celsius. Now it idles around 20 degrees.
  5. I'm going to build soon. I'm going with a Q6600, after July 22 it's $266.00. Definitely get the P35 mobo with DDR2 support. For an OC get the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme with a Scythe S-Flex SFF21F 120mm fan.
  6. Thank you for all your feedback!

    About the mobo. I've always felt like the one I chose was'nt the best one but I never had any other good recomendations. But of course, it sounds bright to go for the P35 chipset due to its compability with Quad Core CPUs.
    When I'm still at it. Should I go for a mobo that supports DDR3 as well? I can't see me upgrading my system that often and when I do decide to do so the DDR3 might be the one to get.
    With this in mind I've found a mobo that is'nt to expensive but might be good enough for me, Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R. Is this a good one?

    About my gaming. I'm not a hardcore gamer but I still like to be able to play all the new games without sacrificing the graphical experience to much. My maximum resolution is 1280x1080 (LG L1950SQ) so I should be set with a 8800GTS, right? The 8800GTX is a bit overkill if you don't go beyond 1600x1200, correct?
  7. If you're not planning to upgrade that often then I'd suggest waiting until July 22 and getting a Q6600.

    Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R gets some great reviews. Sounds good to me.

    Agreed about the 8800 GTS, it should do nicely at 1280x1200.
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