New Intel build, need some ?'s answered

Hi all

With the latest Intel price drops, it’s time to build a new rig. Now I haven’t built a PC for almost 4 years now so I’m a little rusty with some of the technology. My main use for the PC will be some Photoshop (mostly Photoshop Elements but on occasion some heavier Photoshop stuff), basic office tasks (Word, Excel, Internet), some light home movie editing, mp3 playing, and running a couple of instances of Virtual PC or similar software. I have no plans on Over Clocking and over all price I want to be around $800. Here is what I was thinking.

Motherboard – Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R
Processor – Intel E6750
RAM – 2GB of Crucial DDR2 667MHz
Video Card – Yet to be determined
HDD – Probably a pair of 500GB drives.
PS – Antec Earthwatts 500W PS

A couple of questions that I have are…

1) Processor - Would I be able to skimp some on the processor and maybe go with a E4xxx series and still be plenty happy with the speed and performance. Or should I stick with the 6750 or maybe even move up to the Q6600.
2) RAM – I’m thinking 2GB should be plenty, but when running Virtual Machines maybe more would be better. I know XP has a limit of around 3.5GB, but I’m wondering if it would hurt anything by filling up all the RAM slots with 1GB sticks for a total of 4GB. Or going to 3GB of RAM 2 512’s and 2 1GB’s. I’ll eventually be going to Vista, but not until at least the first SP is out.
3) RAM Speed – Is 667 OK, or would it be beneficial to go up to 800? If 800 I was looking at the G.Skill for $90 at the Egg.
4) Anyone recommend a good video card that is not terribly expensive. I’d like it to have a passive heat sink if possible, and again I don’t game.

Thanks in advance for everyones help.
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  1. i think that you should probably have a good processor because video editing, and photoshopping... are more processor heavy

    the more ram the better, try 2 igb stick and 2 512mb sticks to keep it in dual channel mode if you aren't getting a 64 bit os

    if you aren't over clocking 667 is a good speed

    this would be a nice, new passively cooled and cheap, $135, video card
  2. I reassessed my needs and the stuff I do in Photoshop elements it nothing major. My main concern is running a couple of Virtual PC sessions at the same time. Also, it seems that the E6750’s are a PITA to find at a “decent price” right now. I was thinking of switching it up and wanted to get your alls thoughts on it. See below…

    Motherboard – Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R
    Processor – Intel E4400
    RAM – Start with 2GB of G. Skill DDR2 800, then maybe add a pair of 512MB with the money I saved from the difference in the processor price for another 1GB if I feel I need to.
    HHD – Missed out on the Maxtor deal, looking for another deal.
    Video Card – Still up in the air
    Case and DVD-RW – From existing system
    PS – Antec Earth Watts 500


    Would I be better off maybe going to a P965 chipset Mobo and saving a few more bucks? I like the idea of future proofing the system, but in all honesty if I upgrade my processor, I’d probably be upgrading my Mobo as well as new technology is coming out all the time.
  3. if you aren't planning on upgrading your cpu in the next year and a half then yes a p965 would be fine but you wouldn't be able to take advantage of the 1333 fsb

    get a e6550, instead not a e4400

    plenty of good deals on hdds, only $110 for 500gb

    generally i don't like the earth watts, but it would work and antec a reputable company...
  4. But for my needs would the 1333 fsb "really" be noticable?
  5. The 1333 fsb brings between 2% and 6% speed improvement over 1066 fsb. Some guys at Extremetech (or was it Anandtech???) proved this in a review. If I remember right they did it by comparing a QX6800 (overclocked to 3.0 GHz) with a QX6850 at stock (3 GHz).
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