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New System Build Please Rate/Advise

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August 11, 2007 11:08:19 PM

Hi there, I've been swaying back and forth lately a ton about buying a system vs buying two systems (lower quality) or what to do... and I haven't really figured anything out.

Here's what I'm currently looking at getting:

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
$49.99

GIGA BYTE GA-P35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
$129.99


EVGA 256-P2-N615-TX GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
$89.99

Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
$99.99

Intel Core 2 Duo E4400 Allendale 2.0GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E4400 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
$125.99


G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
$88.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
$74.99

M icrosoft Comfort Curve 2000 B2L-00047 Black USB Ergonomics Keyboard Mouse Included - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
$21.99

A cer AL2016WBbd Black 20" 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
$179.99


LITE-ON Combo Drive Black SATA Model SHC-52S7K-05 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
$24.99

A SUS Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E616A3T - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
$19.99

Total: $906.89
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Her e are a few questions I have:

1. How does the Coolermaster Centurion 534 case compare performance-wise to the Antec 900 series or the P180.
2. Is that PSU overkill?
3. If I upgrade to an 8800GTS 320 would that PSU be enough?
4. There's a 430W Thermaltake on Newegg for $40 that has 1300+ reviews which looks appealing... would that sufficiently power this build?
5. If I got that 430W psu would it power an 8800GTS 320 on top of that? (If I upgrade)
6. Is there any way to reduce cost without reducing quality?
7. Overall do you see any flaws in my thinking for this build? I have nothing like kb/mouse/opticals or anything to add to it, so I do need to purchase them all.
8. Will the CPU/GPU selected be enough to run the games I play (Listed below) at a good framerate, if not a good resolution?

I'm pretty set on Intel for the CPU type, I want to be able to get a Quad core in the future, and the board I've chosen will allow for that.

The RAM I'm pretty set on as well, I don't really want to spend more on memory, and that stuff gets good reviews.

Here's a short list of some of the games I play (Or will play):
1. Oblivion
2. Battlefield 2
3. Half Life 2
4. CS:S
5. WoW
6. C&C 3
7. SC2 (Wishful thinking... knowing Blizzard it'll be 2010 before it hits shelves)
8. Titan Quest - Immortal Throne
9. Various other older games, and whatever cool new rpg/rts titles seem to come out in the near future.

Another note, I do love having two optical drives, but didn't know if the second DVD was necessary... I just figured for the couple extra dollars it cost (above a regular CD drive) it was worth it.

As for the total cost, it may seem high given the components, but I do have to purchase a monitor and that's something I don't really want to skimp on too much.

Budget for this is kind of whatever... I wanted to keep it close to 900, which I did, I can't really see spending an extra $200 just to get an 8800 video card.

Anyways, thanks for looking, if I left anything out let me know, and also if I was unclear about something please ask.

I feel real bad for making so many posts asking for build advice when I can't seem to just buckle down and buy a system, but better safe/well informed than un-happy with my purchase... right?

Also forgot to add that all this has to be from Newegg, because I don't like multi-site ordering, and also because they've given me a hefty financing allowance with 6 months no interest :D 
August 11, 2007 11:45:52 PM

hey, you don't really need the second DVD drive. If you are low on cash, why not get the cheaper DS3L board from gigabyte?

I don't think you'll be getting high FPS from that card you picked on some of those games, especially oblivion. I think, if you can, lower the board and use that money to get an X1950Pro for around 137. It will do much better in games and keep you happy longer. The 8800 GTS 320 is definitely worth it, but if you can't afford it, just the X1950pro.

The psu you picked it great, but you can get something cheaper. something around 500W will do just fine for the card you have for a 8800 GTS 320 MB if you want to upgrade later on. The thermaltake one should be fine for the build now, but won't be enough if you upgrade video cards.

You can try this FSP 500W psu:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But really, if you have a lot budget, you can always make a better, cheaper AMD system, if you aren't going to overclock that is, and be happier with that in game performance.

If you have any questions, just hit me up on aim or yahoo, Maximus9102.
August 11, 2007 11:52:35 PM

1. How does the Coolermaster Centurion 534 case compare performance-wise to the Antec 900 series or the P180.

I'd suggest giving your card some room and get a full tower case. But the Centurion and the Antecs are good cases.

2. Is that PSU overkill?

No, stick with that 550. The GTS requires a min of 400 watts so stick with that 550.

3. If I upgrade to an 8800GTS 320 would that PSU be enough?

I'd suggest upgrading to that GTS now and save you from inevitibly doing it a few months down the line anyways. And yes, that PSU, the 550, will be enough

4. There's a 430W Thermaltake on Newegg for $40 that has 1300+ reviews which looks appealing... would that sufficiently power this build?

For reasons i stated in question 2, stick with the 550.

5. If I got that 430W psu would it power an 8800GTS 320 on top of that? (If I upgrade)

Refer to question 2

6. Is there any way to reduce cost without reducing quality?

Hmmm. 1st off axe that second optical drive. It reduces how many devices you have that PSU powering and you don't need two drives that do the EXACT same thing. I can understand if you had it for specific work reason but it just seems a waste of bay space and power. Take that saved cash and get a E6550 CPU instead of that E440.

7. Overall do you see any flaws in my thinking for this build? I have nothing like kb/mouse/opticals or anything to add to it, so I do need to purchase them all.

If you bumped your budget to about $1100 you can add a few better things. Get a bigger case, maybe a Thermaltake armor, and get that GTS 320. Or go wireless with your opticals instead of corded. Or imporantly beef up your cpu to a E6750 or a E6850. Up to you.

8. Will the CPU/GPU selected be enough to run the games I play (Listed below) at a good framerate, if not a good resolution?

CPU should be good but look into bumping it up to something above 2.30 maybe. Look into how you can get a GTS and you should be fine. DONT get a 8600GT. Waste of cash as they are budget cards and will perfom like budget cards.
August 12, 2007 12:32:16 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. I've given it a lot of thought and decided to go with an 8800GTS 320.

Now I'm looking into the possibility of the larger case, the Thermaltake Armor found here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is excellent, and I've seen it in action on a friend's computer.

The other case I was thinking about was the Antec P180 or 900 series... both are comparable to price, but still the mid size. I was wondering if it's really necessary to get a nice big case for airflow, or if a higher quality mid size case with good fans could do the same thing?

For the price ($179.99) that's not a bad monitor I've chosen is it? I like that it has 16xx by 1050 rather than the 1440x900 that most had in that price range.

Still contemplating getting a faster CPU, but the whole idea with this build was that I could upgrade later... and it seems like I'm doing most of that now ^_^ not necessarily a bad thing... just frustrating.

Um.. other than that I think I should be good. I'd be interested to learn more about 'wireless' optical drives... I'd want to know 100% for sure that they perform at the same level as corded ones, if not better.

Thanks again for your replies.
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