I've never actually put together PC from scratch though I would consider myself quite tech-savvy. I'm replacing my Dell 8300, so to get exactly what I want, better upgrade + OC options. Done a lot of research, still some questions. Am new to overclocking but I'd like the option in the future to do that mildly (without elaborate cooling!).
The primary use will be for image editing, video editing/compression (no games). Already ordered the quad core.
$130 GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R
I understand that the new P35 chipset boards are a good bet. Given that I'm going for the Q6600, what advantage do the new P35 boards (like the GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R, $130 - seems like a good bet) offer me over the regular older ones like GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3, $103 AR.
Would like Firewire, tho can easily add later as PCI card.
$62 AR Patriot eXtreme Performance DDR2 800 RAM, Newegg
$50 AR BFG GeForce 7300GS Frys
Since this PC won't be used for gaming I won't need a high spec video card. Should help with reducing the PSU load too.
$75x2 WD320, Newegg
I believe a RAID0 setup will allow fast file access without the expense of 10k RPM drives. I'm not sure how to configure them.
Normally for video editing, there is a system drive (for the OS) and additional drive(s) for the large media files. If I have to maintain this traditional configuration with a single drive for the OS and say 2 other media drives configured as RAID0 for media, I'll see a speed increase in video file access, but what about programs and data loading? I'd rather see a speed boost there. Or is it better to have just two drives in RAID0 and put both the OS and media on them, perhaps partitioning them apart?
I'll use backup software to overcome the inherrent RAID0 risks.
If I want to install WinXP under a RAID0 setup (ie. across both drives), I've read it can be a pain with the GA-P35-DS3R motherboard. Any tips?
I'll get something decent for a good price, keeping an eye out for specials and rebates, e.g.:
$28 AR COOLER MASTER Centurion 532, ClubIt
Again, something basic for a good price:
$30 AR COOLMAX CP-500T 500W Power Supply, Newegg
$55 AR Frys: Ultra Grid Black Mid Tower Case ULT33137 INCLUDING 500W PSU
I would get the GA-P35-DS3P since you know you want FireWire, that allows you to leave a PCI slot free and you don't have to worry about buying a special card.
The 7300GS is really weak. Maybe a 7600GT, just in case you do want Vista later?
I read a very detailed ZeroTherm review and compared it wih my Scythe Ninja. The Ninja wins or matches the ZeroTherm in everything. The Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme is even better than the Ninja. Must admit though, I loved the butterfly.
Onboard sound is very good on the GA-P35-DS3P or GA-P35-DS3R. Comparable to my old SoundBlaster Live.
I would get a quality PSU, even if it costs more. Maybe a Corsair 520HX...
I thought about the GA-P35-DS3P, but for $20 more I would lose a PCI slot (and gain a PCIex16 - not needed), when I could plug in a $10 FW PCI card to the GA-P35-DS3R, so I think I'll stick with the DS3R.
As for the CPU cooling, if I use the stock fan, can I still OC?
Am I able to replace the stock for a better fan later, if required?
Sounds like responders aren't all that impressed with my two PSU choices. Are Ultra and Coolmax poor CPU brands? I guess it's hard for me to drop $50+ on something that just delivers power. Why are they able to make sub $50 PSUs if they're so unreliable? Why bother!!
You can still OC with the stock fan, it's just a bit noisier than a quality aftermarket cooler and it won't allow you to overclock that high and it will keep the CPU at a higher temperature (which shortens its life) . There are plenty of good reviews on this. Here's a sample: http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i=3062&p=4
leecreek - are you saying that you bought memory that was not on the mobo's approved list, it didn't work, and you waited a week for the official memory instead? Are you using the same Patriot/Gigabyte components I listed, or something else?
How much RAM are you getting for that $62? I'm guessing only 1GB. Even with XP, some of your cores may effectively go to waste if you're spending too much time paging data from disk. I would recommend at least 2GB, 4GB if you can afford it.