Want to do it "RIGHT" this time.....need expert advice please.

Hi all, this will be my second build. My first was over 2 years ago and I was a little nervous then but all went well and now it's time for me to do it again. I learned from my "mistakes" during the first build but I never really got into testing to make sure that everything was okay and that nothing was defective, etc. This time I want to do it "RIGHT" as the title says but I need some help. I don't know WHAT exactly I should use to test different components and what programs/apps may be helpful to me. I guess I will list what I plan on getting for the build and tell you what I think I know I need.

Case: Cooler Master Centurion 5 CAC/ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119068
PSU: OCZ GameXStream 700W/ http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16817341002
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R/ http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813128050
CPU: C2D E6750/ http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16819115029
RAM: Patriot eXtreme Performance (2x1GB) PC26400/DDR2 800/ http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820220144
Video Card: EVGA 7600GT KO /http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16814130017
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 320GB 16MB cache 7200RPM 3.0GB/s SATA/ http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16822148140
Optical Drive: Lite-On 20X +/-R SATA/ http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16827106070

Okay, now you know EXACTLY what I plan on getting...so once it is all put together what should I use to make sure that nothing is bad? How do I test the RAM for example? What about the CPU? I've heard PRIME.....is that for the CPU? I'd need to run 2 instances then being dual core? I wasn't sure if there were better programs to run on different componenets to test them. For example I have an nVIDIA based video card in my setup so an ATI based app may not be the best.......see what I am getting at? Sorry for being so lame I just want this build to go perfectly and I need YOUR EXPERT ADVICE! Don't hate me cause I am less experienced than you. I guess what I am mainly looking for is advice to make things go smoothly, advice on which programs/apps to use, and comments on what you would change about my setup. Keep this in mind: I DON'T want to spend a TON of money, preferably no more than I have listed with the above components. Yeah my video card choice may be on the low end of things but it's only gonna set me back $80 and I only play BF2 so I won't need DX10 support....all I want is to be able to play the game maxed out of nearly close to maxed out. The 88000GTS I was looking at is well over $250 and they will most likely come down in price in Jan (right?...that when the 9xxx series is being released?) so I can get it THEN if I want/need it).
I also plan to possibly OC the CPU and I will be getting an Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro if I do and I will DEFINITELY be using AS5 on the CPU initially. How thick should I put that on BTW? Any tips on that applying it? I heard too much can be bad! Well, I think that's about it as far as me needing to know stuff. Thanks in advance for any help/info you all are able to provide me with.
19 answers Last reply
More about want right time need expert advice please
  1. You have a lot of questions I'll try to address them one at a time.

    First of all it looks like a nice system although I might consider a 500gb drive due to the fact that at this time it is the sweet spot and can be had for about $20 more.

    For testing most use Orthos, Intel Thermal Analysis Tool (TAT), Mem Test, CPU Stability Test, Si Software Sandra, Everest, Prime95 (there is a new version which stresses RAM and allows you to choose how many cores you have), PC Mark, and 3D Mark. All are good programs and have different features which you might like.

    Other good programs for monitoring your system are Right Mark CPU Clock Utility, Core Temp, Speed Fan.

    As far as AS5 just check the site they have a PDF with the application instructions.

    Lastly don't be nervous, just take the things you learned from the first build and apply them to your component selection and assembly with this one and have fun. :bounce:
  2. Thank you for your reply and for your help. I will look into all of those programs and I'm sure I will use all of them and more.
    I just may go with a 500GB HDD. I DID see that they were around $100 and $25 more on top of $800 isn't going to break the bank LOL. Especially since I plan on using the "Bill Me Later" thing newegg offers.....no payments or finance charges for 6 months!!!! COUNT ME IN LOL. Why don't they call it "Play Now, Pay Later"? LOL. Really though, sweet deal (NO I don't work for NEWEGG and I realize other places offer similar things).
    I also thought about getting a second HDD in the future and running them in RAID...not sure which configuration I'd use (I have NO experience with it).
  3. The most common types of RAID are RAID 0, 1, and 5. Raid 0 is striped and writes half the information to each drive which improves performance. Raid 1 writes all the information to both drives which decreases write performance but provides security against data loss. Raid 5 requires 3 or more drives and provides striped as well as data parity but if your using Raid 5 you should get a dedicated controller due to a severe performance hit your CPU will take using onboard Raid 5.
  4. Thanks for the helpful RAID info! LOL.......looks like I'd most likely be using RAID 0 as I don't have any "useful information". So just as a "what if" if I was using RAID 0 and I loaded a file (pic, music, whatever) onto my computer it would be put in BOTH drives? And if I deleted it from one would it STILL be on the other? If so is there an easy way to delete it from both at the same time? Thanks again.
  5. Raid 0 writes half the information to each drive so both drives act as 1. Once you setup the array it's just the same as if you only had 1 drive just faster and bigger.
  6. Quote:
    Raid 0 writes half the information to each drive so both drives act as 1. Once you setup the array it's just the same as if you only had 1 drive just faster and bigger.


    no bs6749, it won't write the same data on the 2+ drives (you can use as many as you like say 4 or 5 or something =more performance)

    lets just say you have 2 drives in raid 0..then it will write HALF the data on one drive and the OTHER HALF on the other. it will both erase as one file..because it is. btw, windows will recognize it as one drive anyway, so dont worry about deletion.
  7. I'm sorry you two...I understand what RAID 0 does and it IS what I would go with. What I was talking about I guess is RAID 1. Would I have duplicate copies on the two separate drives in RAID 1 since it "protects against data loss"? If not, HOW does RAID 1 "protect" so to speak?
  8. raid 1 makes a mirror image on another drive.. i think that it is still considered one drive by windows? (i dont use it)..anyway, its not worth it unless you use your PC for critical data storage IMO because of the decreased performance. yes, you'd have duplicates of everything mirrored to a second drive
  9. In windows if you open the RAID software for your RAID controller you will see the individual disks. Some RAID controllers will even let windows know about the individual disks in adminstrative tools/computer management. But if you open My Computer it will only show the C:. RAID is supposed to be completely invisible to the user, but visible to the administrator. Do take note that if you buy 1 drive now and another one later, when you set up the RAID your hard drives will be erased when the array is initialized. So make sure you are prepared for that inevitability if/when you get to that.
  10. cyberjock said:
    Do take note that if you buy 1 drive now and another one later, when you set up the RAID your hard drives will be erased when the array is initialized. So make sure you are prepared for that inevitability if/when you get to that.


    I was wondering about that actually...thanks for the heads up!
  11. Seagate are having trouble with their platters. buy a western digital.....................
  12. The Nvidia MCP used with the 6 series chipsets allow you to go from a single disk to a Raid array with out reinstalling the OS. I know the older Intel southbridges didn't allow this but I'm not sure about the ICH9R used with the P35 northbridge.
  13. leadbottom said:
    Seagate are having trouble with their platters. buy a western digital.....................





    What? Where did you get that? Seagate has the best warranty in the business. I currently have 5 Seagate drives in my system right now and one of them is a 7200.7 which I bought about 5 years ago and it's still going strong the other 4 are these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148151, that said I would actually suggest these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152052 very good hard drive at a great price.
  14. So what happens if you have 1 raptor and 1 7200RPM HDD? They both run at the same speed in RAID 0 or what? I was thinking about getting a raptor with Vista 64, bad idea?
  15. You may want faster RAM.

    I'm not sure how well that RAM will OC, but @ DDR2-800 speeds your CPU will only hit 3.19 Ghz. This CPU should do 3.6Ghz before breaking a sweat, 3.8Ghz with a little push, and 4.0 if you want to floor it.
  16. zenmaster said:
    You may want faster RAM.

    I'm not sure how well that RAM will OC, but @ DDR2-800 speeds your CPU will only hit 3.19 Ghz. This CPU should do 3.6Ghz before breaking a sweat, 3.8Ghz with a little push, and 4.0 if you want to floor it.


    If I OC it, I only want to do a mild one. I won't be water cooling so I'd have to rely soley on the Freezer 7 Pro and the AS5 to cool that bad boy down.

    As far as the RAM being able/not being able to overclock well, I've seen reviews on Newegg saying it DOES OC pretty well, one reviewer said speeds of PC28500 @ 5-5-5-15 settings 475Mhz(950MHz FSB). I'm not gonna act like I know a lot about OC'ing, cause I DON'T, but what I DO know is that Micron D9's are supposed to be one of the best chips to OC with. Supposedly, these sticks have a decent chance of having some "variation" of the D9 on them. Stupid question: How do I tell when I get them? Is it as simple as them saying "Micron D9" on the modules?

    Also, the E6750 has a locked multi right? That's what I thought I heard.......but I just looked in a review and someone changed the multiplier from 8 down to 6.... can anyone confirm the capabilities of the CPU for me please? If it has a locked multi @ 8, I could run the FSB at 475MHz (assuming that the RAM could handle it) and I would get 3.8GHz this way..........which would be on the upper limits of what I would be comfortable with...atleast initially. Did I do it right? Please correct me if I am wrong. Now time for a stupid question. The CPU and RAM should be at a 1:1 ratio as far as FSB speed is concerned for optimal performance correct? Can I set the FSB different for each the RAM and the CPU or is there one spot I go in the BIOS to set the FSB that will change BOTH the RAM and the CPU to that speed? Or does it possibly depend on the MOBO used? I'm assuming that the MOBO I chose for my build has quite a few options in the way of OC'ing but I don't know for sure.

    Okay, how about these as an alternative: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146565
    ? I had actually thought about going with them in the first place but I was SO tempted by the $50 off of the other sticks. Crucial is a division of Micron/owned by Micron or something like that so I am nearly guaranteed the D9's right? The thing is, I don't want to spend over $100 on RAM as my goal has been to keep this buid relatively low budget. I don't think I need RAM that will go over 450MHz, which should give the CPU a total of 3.6GHz, unless I am mistaken. Can you recommend an alternative brand to me if Crucial isn't good to go with? G. Skill seems to be popular here...must be for a reason.
  17. First off the RAM you picked is fine and a great price, Crucial is a great company and makes very good products so either one would be a good choice. The FSB is used for the CPU to communicate with the RAM. When the RAM and CPU are running at the same speed it's called 1:1 but there are many other multipliers to make them work together it's just that 1:1 is the most efficient. You could set to multiplier manually in the BIOS or set it to auto and the board will figure it out itself. All the E and Q chips have locked multipliers which don't allow you to increase it but do allow you to decrease it, sometimes you have to decrease it to reach your max FSB or max OC. Yes the motherboard you picked has a lot of options but don't get overwhelmed because unless your doing some extreme overclocking with water or phase change cooling most are fine set to auto.
  18. Thank you for the reply. I thought they were okay sticks too by reading the reviews. I also like the colors of the Patriot ones better. But when it comes down to it all I care about is performance.......even if the sticks are pink lol. I don't have a clear window on my case that I plan to use so I won't see them anyway unless I decide to get a clear side for it in the future.

    P.S You may have to help me figure out the OC'ing when I am ready to do so LOL. I think I'll be able to get it for the most part, I'd just hate to burn up the CPU though!
  19. That Arctic Freezer 7 pro is a good cooler and with that and only changing the FSB you should easily get to 3.2Ghz before you really have to start messing with voltages.
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