I am finally getting a new computer after years of being with my lovely P4 3.0 Ghz, 1 GB of memory, eVGA 6800 system. But with the latest Intel Core Duos, Direct x10 finally taking shape; I am glad I waited. I read alot of tech related news so I have a good idea of what parts to get and not to get, but I figured these forums were a great way to check with people who have recently built their own systems and have suggestions.
My budget is $2000-$2250 (with no monitor and speakers, since I have both already) and I am going to use this for gaming, but I also want it very strong for everyday use (ie: Probaly no SLI at this point in order to get a better CPU/ram)
Thermaltake Kandalf VA9000BWS (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...): I am not really sure what case to get...all I know is I want one which has a window and one which lights up. I was also looking into the Silverstone TJ09 and the latest Zalman Z-Machine, but those are too expensive for a case. I guess I'm too picky....
Asus P5N32-E SLI (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...): This is another spot where I am not entirely sure. Alot of people really like the eVGA motherboards, which I've heard some good things and some bad things about. I really like the Striker Extreme, but thats a bit pricey, so this looks like the same board without alot of the bells and whistles. I would perfer a 680 chipset over Intel's P35.
I had a pentium 4 rig with 6800 GT, too. And I decide to build a whole new computer for myself.(I usually build computers for sale and for my friends who have more money than I do;;) Anyways, I went with P35 Chipset because it features 1333MHz FSB natively. 680i motherboards are good, but only the Asus Striker Extreme can be compared with my P5K3 Deluexe WiFi Motherboard.
I decided to use E6600 until those new 45nm processors come out in 2008. (P35 will support 45nm CPU's when they come out.) I was able to OC it to 3.6GHz. obviously, you need more than just a stock cooler for that kind of cooling. Thermoelectric cooler or a water cooling set-up like mine will cool the CPU effectively.
For the choice of your CPU (the Q6600) I would wait because they are not quad core natively. They are just two dual cores glued together. (In Short, it's hard to utilize all cores with windows vista.)
For the graphics card, I would go for XFX branded GTS's because they are the best if you want to buy OC GPU's. (I have 8800 Ultra XXX edition, which is factory overclocked to 685MHz)
Now, there is one problem with my Motherboard. It is that it only suppports DDR3. It was okay for me because I was planning on spending 5000 dollars US on memory sticks, but I'm not sure if you are planning on spending 500 dollars on RAM. If you are, buy XMS3 from Corsair or the ones from Kingston. I have corsair, and it is blazing fast at 1333MHz. If you don't have that kind of budget for Memory, buy a P35 chipset motherboard with DDR2 support. I think Gigabyte had a couple of them.
Power Supply is another area where you should spend a lot of money on because it has to power everthing stably. I went with the toughpower 750W for my set up, but I suggest that you get a 1000W+ PSU with 80% efficiency or higher. I recommand Ultra modular power supplies. (Tigerdirect.com has some.)
I don't know a lot about case because it is all about personal choice. I have coolermaster stacker, which has all the features that i want in building a computer: such as motherboard tray, aluminum, rigid chasis, lots of room to expand and plenty of air circulation. I also like Lian-li cases and Antec Cases as well. Agian, it is all personal, so choose whatever feels good for you.
If you are planning on Over Clocking, you should most definitely choose dual-core over quad-core because heat is an issue. and power consumption is another. And most importantly, it take too long to get it right. I know this becuase I overclocker 2 Q6600 for my friends. It is extremely hard. Get dual core or Extreme dual-core.
last but not least get 32-bit OS. There are a lot of issues concerning softwares and drivers with 64-bit. I know it is faster, but trust me I have dual boot setup and I barely use 64-bit. As a result of that, you won't need 4GB's of ram because the OS simply won't recongnize all 4GB's for 32-bit. (64Bit will see all four.)
*Your choice of sound card and hard drive is excellent in my opinion!
*By the way, with my setup, I got around 13000 in 3DMark06. You should aim at near 10,000 when building your PC.
please send me an email at postpet04 at hotmail dot com
i'd suggest to get a non-overclocked GPU, ive heared so many problems with the overclocked GPU versions and they are lil bit buggy, and safely to go with the normal one
also personally im in love with this case, the best feature of this case is u can almost put some blankets in th ecase and it will be a bed instead of case and u can put someone to sleep inside it http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Zidane, That's my case!!! I really rocks!! although, there are a couple of things wrong with it. You have to remove fifteen screws to remove the motherboard, and it is really heavy becuase it's made out of steel!!
Also, I agree with Zidane. unless you really need an over clocked Graphics card, get a regular one from XFX or Sparkle. Sparkle has some good cards.