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Building 2 Rigs...Have Tricky Questions

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August 7, 2007 9:02:48 PM

Hello. I am building two systems in the coming months and I would like to get some professional opinions.


FIRST:SATA DILEMA


I am going to use an Asus M2N-E. Anyone currently using this mobo with a SATA HD?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If so, my question is do I need to go through the hassle of getting a floppy for the SATA HD installation or will the mobo automatically detect the drive?

I don't want to buy a floppy and I don't want to have to download the drivers from the net, (because my PC won't even exist to download to and the pc that I am on and its floppy doesn't work).

I ask because I am going to buy an OEM Western Digital 10,000 RPM SATA drive that will probably not come with any drivers. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... If not, should I just break down and buy the retail box so I will get a disk with the drivers just in case?

SECOND: XP or VISTA
This is very debatable I know. I have read alot of reviews and I am still undecided. I want the build to go smoothly and without headache. Some people swear by VISTA and others swear by XP. XP hasn't let me down in the past so maybe I should stick with what works? I have heard that there could be compatibility issues with NVIDIA 8800 series GFX cards. I wonder if this is true. I am a gamer and this rig will have a 8800 GTS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

THIRD: RAM
I don't know too much about RAM but this looks good CORSAIR XMS2 2GB DDR2 800 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

FOURTH: QUIET PSU

I want a powerful and quiet and cool PSU. This OCZ gamerXstream 600w looks good? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

FIFTH: COOLING
I want to get this ZALMAN HS/FAN http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1683...
and I want to get a VGA fan for the 8800GTS GFX card, has anyone modded a 8800 series NVIDIA card before with heatsinks and a new fan? Is it worth it? Is it hard? As the look of the 8800GTS you would have to break through its outer plastic shell which scares me.

SIXTH: CASE

This case makes my mouth drool..Cool Master Stacker http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Should I buy a couple 120mm fans for it? Considering this one... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

SEVENTH: CPU

Finally, I am thinking of getting AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ http://www.newegg.com/product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

I appreciate in advance any recommendations or answers to some of the burning questions in this post.
August 7, 2007 11:34:22 PM

I just thought that I'd pitch in about the SATA drivers. If you decide to get Vista, there's a very good chance that it will have the SATA driver already and a floppy isn't necessary. If by chance you do need to install the driver for Vista, you can now use a USB flash drive instead of a floppy to 'F6' the driver. For XP, however, you'll need a floppy.
August 8, 2007 12:23:48 AM

First off I'd like to know if you were planning on overclocking with this build, ever. What will you be using it for, Home theater PC, Game station, or your Masturbation Machine.

Motherboard
I have the M2N-E and it was my first motherboard for my first build and everything went smoothly you will only need a floppy if you are setting up raid which you aren't. Only restriction on this board is the memory it accepts. It won't take any memory higher than 1.95.

OS
I was lucky enough that when I bought my XP MCE it came with a free upgrade to vista. So I had the opportunity to try both. I would say to hold off on the Vista, it is annoying, and you've got a 50-50 chance that your game or program will work with it. I got annoyed so much that I uninstalled it after 3 days.
The Ram
The ram you have is fine, but if you look into overclocking than there are other options you should consider to get the most out of your chips.
The PSU
OCZ make good PSU's and thats a good choice, but look for future-proofing get something 700W+ and since you are getting a 8800GTS its another reason to get a 700W + PSU.
The COoling
Don't get that Zalman, get this sucker it fits both LGA775s and AM2s and is a great cooler and cheaper... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The Case
Get whatever case, it really doesn't matter. Worrying about cases are dumb, unless you go to lan parties like nerds and show off your gigahertz.

I have a AMD X2 3800 2.0ghz with Asus M2N-E and 2gigs of Mushkins. Now, that I've said that I'd rather of had a Intel C2D, only because I've played on a kids laptop while I was in class one day and it seemed faster, plus all the articles i've read on the matter.

You get a C2D if you overclock, You get an AMD if you don't.

If you choose to go the Intel route; I'll recommend a motherboard and some chips:

Comparable price to the 6000: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... 343+1050722265+1050922263&name=Conroe
and motherboard:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


What ***I, ME, MYSELF*** would get for gaming if you can afford the extra 50$ or so:

I'd get the E6750
( http://www.mwave.com/mwave/viewspec.hmx?scriteria=BA240... )
and Mobo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
August 8, 2007 1:11:40 PM

Great info everyone. Thanks for clearing up some info on SATA.

Aljazera, I have never built an Intel rig before. But maybe I should break out of my comfort zone this time. I checked out that Intel cpu at Mwave, and wow a quad?

How about this one at newegg for a 100 dollars more.
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am trying to stick with newegg since I have a preferred account and no payment for 6 months there.

I really think you convinced me to go Intel this time. By the way what is future-proofing in a PSU? I will take your word on the Heatsink Fan.

I still would like to get Vista but I am still very weary about it. Its like taking a gamble. So I will probably stick with XP for myself and as far as the other machine I will let the new owners (next door neighbors) figure out what OS they want and let them deal with it.

And thanks supremelaw for clearing up the SATA.

August 8, 2007 9:25:23 PM

Failed to mention that this will be strictly a gaming machine. I am a big MMO player and this rig doesn't have to have bleeding edge hardware. Just enough to handle the massive amount loading that can be involved in massive raids in these games. I will be playing Warhammer Online, and WoW. However I will dabble in other games such as some FPS games like, BF2, Crysis and Call of Duty 4 and finally, for RTS games; Supreme Commander and Starcraft 2. And like I said before I want to get Vista but I am still very weary of it.

Lastly, will the Antec case width of 8.1 inches be wide enough for the Torque Fan?

Physical Spec of the HSF
Fan Dimensions 120 x 120 x 25mm
Heatsink Dimensions 131 x 108 x 153mm

Phys Spec of the Case
21.3'' x 8.1%u201D x 19.9%u201D(HxWxD)

Update on current build


CASE:
Antec P182 - 159.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

HD: Western Digital Raptor 150GB 10,000 RPM - 194.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

MON ITOR:
SAMSUNG 226BW Black 22" 2 ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - 319.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

PSU : OCZ GameXStream 600W - 109.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

RAM : CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit - 104.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

MOB O: GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - 114.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

CPU :
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model - 309.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

HSF : Tuniq Tower 120 P4 & K8 CPU Cooler - 45.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1683...

GFX: EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 - 280.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

TOT AL: 1659.00 with shipping.

Not too bad. My budget is 1500.00.

So according to what I just described the use for this system (Heavy MMO and RTS gaming) is it on the right track? Personally I think it will get the job done and then some.

August 8, 2007 9:33:29 PM

Just a sidenote...I installed Vista-64 on this system, and even if you need 3rd party software, it can now look on CD, not just floppy, hence, no floppy here

Thanks for that article Supreme...I'm going to look into a new cooler I think
August 9, 2007 1:24:27 AM

MrTechnoFreak said:
Just a sidenote...I installed Vista-64 on this system, and even if you need 3rd party software, it can now look on CD, not just floppy, hence, no floppy here

Thanks for that article Supreme...I'm going to look into a new cooler I think


So you didn't have any problems with Vista detecting and properly installing? And you used similar hardware that I have listed? How does it run? Fast?
August 10, 2007 8:52:37 PM

arson said:
So you didn't have any problems with Vista detecting and properly installing? And you used similar hardware that I have listed? How does it run? Fast?


I'm running:

GA-P35-DS3R
E6850
4gb Crucial Ballistix
eVGA 8800GTX
Antec 900
Corsair HX620w
2x 74gb WD Raptors

on Vista 64, and it's blazing! The only thing I had a problem installing was my Belkin Nostromo n52 (addon game controller) because of unsigned drivers, but I found a pretty good link for that and got it fixed quickly. Fear maxed is really sweet

My 3d mark:


This is not OC'ed either. Once I get a new heat sink for the CPU, we'll see.
August 11, 2007 12:16:29 AM

I flashed my BIOS from a USB stick as I too didn't want a floppy- worked great

You have to format the USB so only the BIOS is on the stick and its named the correct ".BIN" - I'm sure Asus has instructions if you download the manual from their site and read through it. I did it on my Asus P5N32-e Board without a problem and wasn't in a windows environment.
!