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Building gaming/graphic editing rig ASAP. Input appreciated.

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August 4, 2007 5:27:27 PM

I'm building my dream gaming, video and graphic editing rig. I plan on fairly aggressive overclocking and upgrading to dual gforce ultra cards in the future. Does anybody know if the ZALMAN CNPS 9700 NT CPU Cooler has any space issues with my configuration. I liked the reviews of Ultra ChillTec Thermo Electric CPU Cooler but it seems like it will be too large for my configuration as I am using Corsair Dominator Series memory(I plan to upgrade to 4GIG later on). Any wisdom? Should I go for water cooling or is this a good start?

  • INTEL Core 2 Duo E6850 3GHz FSB1333MHz 4M LGA775 Retail BX80557E6850 Processor $289.50
  • Asus Striker Extreme nForce 680i SLI Socket 775 1333MHz DDR2-800 ATX Motherboard $299.99
  • EVGA 768-P2-N881-AR GeForce 8800 Ultra 768MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card $589.99
  • Corsair Dominator Series TWIN2X2048-6400C3DF 2GB Kit DDR2-800 XMS2-6400 Memory $305.00
  • 2X Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB Serial ATA 10,000RPM Hard Drive w/16MB Buffer $387.80
  • Thermaltake W0131RU ToughPower 850W Modular Power Supply w/APFC EPS $249.99
  • ZALMAN CNPS 9700 NT 110mm 2 Ball Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler 59.99
  • Antec Performance One P180B Advanced Super Mid Tower Case (Black) $129.99
  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatality Pro Series Sound Card $134.98
  • SAMSUNG HD501LJ 500GB SATA 7200 RPM 16MB Hard Drive $118.89
  • SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write, LightScribe Technology SATA Model SH-S183L $36.99
  • Sony NEC Optiarc Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1615/B2s $17.99
  • BenQ FP241W Black 24" 16ms (6ms GTG) DVI Widescreen HDMI LCD Monitor 1080P $739.99
  • Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound $5.99
  • CREATIVE LABS HD7600L Gamer Mouse $48.98
  • I haven't picked out my keyboard yet
  • Total approx $3300

    Thanks for the input.
    August 4, 2007 5:37:02 PM

    First off, if you are going to do a significant amount of video/graphic editing, I'd definitely suggest for you to go with the Q6600.

    The 8800 Ultra is just a waste of money - pay 200$ less for the 8800GTX which will only give you around 3-4 frames less on games.


    The Dominator series do not seem much of an improvement over the regular XMS2, the heatsinks only go so far - I'd stick with the regular XMS2, since they both use PROMO ram chips, not Micro D9.
    August 4, 2007 5:58:48 PM

    1. Get a quad. You are overclocking anyway, so why miss out on extra 2 cores? Upcoming games like Crysis and UT3 will utilize all 4 cores fully. Q6600, definitely. E6850 is for people who want a gaming machine but don't want to touch overclocking, at all. Get guaranteed G0 stepping here:
    http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A193845...

    2. Forget SLI, it's not worth it. in November nvidia promises to release 9 series, which is expected to be 2x faster than an Ultra 8800. Just buy 8800 Ultra later this month (17th 18th 19th), then use EVGA's step up program and get a card 2x faster for only $50 more or so: http://www.evga.com/stepup/default.asp?switch=3
    With no SLI, you can save a ton of money and go Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R, all the overclocking features you need, DDR 2 & DDR 3 support, future 45nm penryn support, rock stablitiy.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    3 . Ram. I wouldn't pay that much for a DDR2 800 kit, even with such timings. If you want great headroom for overclocking, pick Crucial DDR2 1066.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


    4. PSU, pick PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W Quad. It's the best their is in my opinion in the $200 range. Your system won't even utilize 600W, so there's still a ton of room for potential future upgrades. Did I mention this is one of the best PSU's ever?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Coolin g: Not that there's anything wrong with Zalman, but for $5 more you can get Thermalright 120 Ultra, which is arguably the best air cooling solution there is. You can see some tests vs Zalman 9700 here: It sometimes cools 10 degrees C better than the 9700.
    http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i...

    it will also need an extra fan, i recommend Scythe S-flex:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    With all the saved cash you can get some monstrous audio like Logitech Z5500 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Good luck



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    August 4, 2007 6:10:59 PM

    I second the Thermalright 120 Ultra and quad core.
    I personally wouldnt bother with the Dominater ram its not worth the extra money.
    The 8800 Ultra is also a waste. The GTX is only just less powerful.
    I have the Antec P182 which is almost indentical to the P180B and I can tell you that 1 8800 Ultra wont fit let alone 2. You have to remove one of the HDD cages. Your best bet would be an Antec P190.
    August 4, 2007 6:36:59 PM

    First of all get A P35 board instead , if u want only ddr2 , then get asus p5k or gigabyte p35 ds3r , if u want ddr2 and ddr3 , then get asus p5kc or gigabyte p35c ds3r , also 8800ULTRA is exactly 8800GTX OCed , no difference in architechture , get Q6600 instead

    Q6600 VS E6850 :
    http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3038&p=...
    August 5, 2007 6:11:35 PM

    Thanks for the input. It has been a great help.

    Here are the updates I have made to my system based on your ideas.

    1. ASUS P5K LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
    2. PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad (Black) EPS12V 750W Power
    3. Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
    4. ANTEC P182 Aluminum Mid Tower Case
    5. Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) PC2-8500 1066MHz 240-pin DDR2 Memory
    6. EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB PCI Express x16 Video Card

    Any more comments would be appreciated. I'm purchasing tomorrow. :bounce: 
    August 5, 2007 6:23:09 PM

    thats awesome . enjoy it
    August 5, 2007 6:46:16 PM

    I second the Thermalright 120 Ultra. The 9700 Ultra Quiet is anything but quiet, it was one of the noisiest under load in a comparative review. If you care about noise then Thermalright 120 Ultra and Scythe Ninja are excellent choices, and the Thermalright cools better. Get an S-Flex or Noctua fan for the cooler.

    I would eliminate the Sony DVD-ROM. Three problems with it: Sony, IDE, unnecessary because you have a DVD-RW already.

    The Fatality is overpriced, get X-Fi ExtremeMusic instead.

    RAM: don't get 1 GB modules, get two 2 GB modules. It will improve performance a lot and give more room for upgrades.

    The rest is awesome indeed.
    August 5, 2007 7:22:03 PM

    I am so jealous of that build :lol: 
    August 6, 2007 1:02:55 AM

    Sweet! THX for all the help. I made a few las changes(See below) and put the order in! :sol: 

    I went with the Thermalright 120 Ultra with the Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm fan.
    Stayed with the 2GB modules
    Bought the Fatality soundcard because amazon.com had it for $85.95.
    Changed up my DVD to the ASUS Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E616A3T.
    Decided I didn't need lightscribe so changed my burner to the Pioneer DVR-112D 18X DVD±R DVD Burner
    Added WESTERN DIGITAL WD7500AAKS 750GB SATA 7200 RPM 16MB Hard Drive.
    Also got the Logitech G15 Gaming Keyboard and CREATIVE LABS HD7600L Gamer Mouse.

    Now I've got to wait patiently for the FedEx man...

    Cheers all!
    !