First time build hoping to get all the right parts

Ok, this is my first time building a PC and I hope I have all the parts I need.

The PC will be used for streaming video to my Xbox360, gaming (WoW, MOH:Airbourne), graphics design (Photoshop and Illustrator) and some development (MS Visual Studio) so I need something versatile, yet fast.

I had a hard time deciding between the Q6600 and the E6850, but finally settled on the Q6600. Hopefully I chose the right motherboard since I am thinking of possibly going SLI in the future too.

I also tried figuring out how to choose memory and extra fans that I might need. I may be going overboard, but I don't know because I have never done this before.

Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003BWS Black Full Tower Case w/ 25CM Fan - Retail
EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail
EVGA 768-P2-N831-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
2 x Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
SAMSUNG 18X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write, LightScribe Technology Black SATA Model SH-S183L - OEM
Creative 70SB046A00000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series - Retail
Tagan TG1100-U96 ATX12V / EPS12V 1100 Watts Power Supply - Retail
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-2GBHK - Retail
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM
ZALMAN 9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
ZALMAN CNPS9500 LED 92mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan with Heatsink - Retail
ZALMAN VF700-CU 2 Ball VGA COOLER - Retail

Here is a link to my public wishlist on
9 answers Last reply
More about first time build hoping parts
  1. That power supply is absolutely nuts. A 500w PSU is more then enough power for that system. A 750w is overkill, and 1100w is throwing $200 down the toilet.
    Why 4x1GB ram? 2x2GB should be cheaper.
    And, I know it's only $5, but you should know that every test shows that the heat savings from Artic Silver over generic thermal compound is so small as to be negligible.
    Since you're already going with a RAID setup, the speed gain by using the Raptor for housing your OS (which I assume is the plan) is fairly small. I don't think the cost is justified, but it's your system.
  2. I had no idea I didn't need that much power. I plan on overclocking and adding a few more hard drives and another 8800GTX so I thought I would need a lot more power.

    As for RAID, I didn't give it any thought really. I just need that much storage for video. I almost have a 1 TB external drive full already and I have only had it a few months.

    I will look into the 2x2GB RAM. That sounds like it would be a better idea.

    When it comes to cooling, I don't know much except for what I read and I have read a ton of people use Arctic Silver for cooling so I thought I should get it too.

    Remember, I have never built a PC before and I really don't have anyone to help me so I am worried I won't have the right stuff.
  3. Ok seeing as this is your first time building a rig like this i'll let the fact that this system is SERIOUSLY overpriced slide. So basically you need a gaming rig that's fast, reliable, stable, and leaves the SLI option open down the road. You've made a good start so far but let's see if i can save you from making a few rookie mistakes.

    Your case is a good choice stay with that. The EVGA board is not that bad. It has a FSB of 1333 and takes alot of the newer Intel chips. I like the newer P35 boards better because they have higher memory speeds of 1066 and are built to support the future 45n chip sizes but this board will fit your needs.

    CPU wise go with the E6850. Suprisingly it performs better than the quads in terms of gaming in alot of the benchmark test i have seen. Quad core's are more better when it comes to video, audio, and photo editing software or anything that does rendering. So going Q6600 and E6850 is a toss up for you. Depends on your major usage of this rig. Will it be more work than gaming or vise versa. I'd personally choose the E6850 but others may have a different opinion.

    Graphic's card is also not a bad choice. If you fall into budget issues go with the 640MB GTS model instead. That'll shave off a good $200 bucks.

    The 150GB raptor is also a good choice. If i were you i'd keep your OS on this drive. Maybe make like a partition about 15 to 20GB big and dedicate it to C: alone for the OS and use the remaining space for programs. This is of course if your choosing to go XP. If it were Vista then make that partition 30GB since the install of Vista alone is 15GB. Now i'm a bit concerned about the two 750GB drives you have. Do you honestly need that much space? If your budget is high and you need that much drive space for work purposes go for it. If these drives are going to be used to store mass data then don't raid them and just use them as individual drives (trust me on that). If you fall into budget issues just go with one for now and buy the 2nd one later.

    Keep the DVD rom you chose and that sound card as well. One note on the sound card is that they make a model about $15 bucks more that comes with a front audio panel. Really comes in handy and you can plug everything you need directly into the front of the PC instead of in the back.

    The PSU you chose is seriously overkill. A 1100w PSU is not needed for that card you chose. Go down to a 600W and you'll save about $150. I can understand if you were SLI'ing two 8800GTX's or something off the bat but paying $300 bucks for a PSU is just cash going into the fire. The components you have don't warrant a PSU of that power and capacity. Consider this one as a replacement:

    Memory modules are also a bit overkill. Unless your running your programs in a 64-bit OS you don't need 4GB of ram. a 32-bit OS can only see i t hink 3.0GB or something along those lines so 4GB is a waste. Go down to 2GB.

    CPU cooler, choose the Zalman 9700 NT (it's not on your list). You wont go wrong. It's a great cooler and comes with a very nice thermal compound. Here it is:

    Here's a updated look at your rig:

    Thermaltake Armor case: $160
    EVGA SLI Mobo: $220
    Intel Q6600: $290
    650W Thermaltake PSU: $145
    2GB DDR2 800 Memory: $106
    EVGA 8800GTX: $530
    150GB Raptor: $200
    750GB Cavier: $200
    Samsung DVD Drive: $34
    Fatality Platnium Sound card: $146
    Zalman 9700NT: $60
    New Cost: $2091

    That's about a $550 savings from what you have in your wishlist with alot more areas you can save a bit of cash. OS wise i'd do some research first before choosing one.
  4. Wow, thanks for the tips. I'll jump back a bit so you know my plans.

    I was hoping to go SLI with 2 8800GTX's within 2 months. I don't know if that still warrants something a little bigger in terms of a PSU, but I wanted to make sure it is clear that I am aiming for SLI sooner rather than later.

    As ofr the memory, I will probably use my MCE 2005 until I move over to Vista Ultimate. I don't want to get Vista until it has been around long enough for plenty of driver updates and such.

    I had no idea on the RAM, but how do you know what RAM is good? I would like to learn how to overclock my PC in the near future as well. I really wouldn't mind getting the E6850 if it weren't for the graphics and video editing. I currently have a P4 3.6 with multi-threading and it just doesn't cut it for me. It's a Dell so there really isn't anything I can do to make it faster.

    Thanks again for your tips. I think I will be modifying my wishlist a bit and see what I can come up with.
  5. wingsofzion said:

    Memory modules are also a bit overkill. Unless your running your programs in a 64-bit OS you don't need 4GB of ram. a 32-bit OS can only see i t hink 3.0GB or something along those lines so 4GB is a waste. Go down to 2GB.

    dolphin03...Nice system specs! Since you want to overclock and SLI in the near future, you will want to consider a PSU just a little larger than the 600+ mentioned. That one MAY suffice, but better a little too much than not enough. I would recommend a 750 to 800 at a minimum.

    Now to the memory... a 32bit OS can and DOES use 4 GB of RAM. The problem lies in the fact that the OS takes 1GB+ for graphics addressing and other administrative tasks. If you plan to upgrade to a 64bit OS in the near future, I would definetely go with a minimum of 4GB (2 x 2GB) now and consider upgrading to 4GB+ (8GB???) when you go 64bit. Anandtech has an excellent series of articles on the memory issue with 32bit OSes that may interest you. Links below:

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    I would SERIOUSLY recommend that you consider going to a 64bit OS as soon as possible. 64bit is considerably more effecient in handling memory, more stable, and in my experience seems to operate faster and smoother than a 32bit OS

    My Setup:

    Thermaltake Armor
    Asus P5B Deluxe
    US Modular Cold Fusion 8GB (4 x 2GB)
    eVGA 8800GTX
    Creative X-FI Fatal1ty FPS (64MB xRAM) and front bay device
    BlackMagic Design Intensity Pro Video Capture Device
    2 x WD Raptor 74GB (Raid 0)
    4 x WD Cavier 250GB (Storage non-raid)
    Addonics ST5X1PM External Storage Tower (silver) with 1 5X1 Port Multiplier installed (eSATA)
    2 x Samsung SH-S183 SATA LIghtscribe DVD Burner
    2 x WD Cavier 500GB HD
    2 x Hiper Type-R 580w PSU
    Custom Water cooling system (Mostly Koolance parts)
    Creative Inspire T7700 7.1 Surround Speakers
    Window XP Pro x64bit OS
    Miscellaneous odd other goodies

    Stupid money to build this one? My wife would say yes! Does it serve my purposes (Video capture/editing/production and some gaming)? Yes. Will it serve me for a while? Most certainly

    Hopefully this will assist you in your decisions.
  6. My comments.

    I second keeping the OS on a partition with the programs and games on the second partition.

    Also those HD's are huge, way overkill in my opinion. I have a nice collection of my photos, business files and of course there is my p_rn collection and I have yet to fill much more than 150GB.

    (and yes, my p_rn is stored on my business computer. It is a family business and I am not about to be fired by my mom.)

    Those files are important to me. I like having dual drives. I never use RAID mirroring. I backup all of my important files on the 2nd drive and hide my p_rn collection on the 2nd drive. Because my p_rn is not on my primary data driver, I would not want my HD's to be mirrored.

    (because I don't want mom to accidently find a p_rn file when she is looking for a historical data file on my primary HD)

    Even if you have a need for such big drives, do you seriously need access to the entire collection at one time?
  7. I like wingsofzion's setup. Maybe a few minor changes:

    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W PSU
    Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme cooler
    Five or six 500GB WD5000AAKS disks instead of the Raptor+2x750 GB disks (lose some speed, lose some noise, gain 1 TB, about the same price). Mind you, I've never tried this myself yet, I only have 3 so far.
    Xtreme Music instead of Fatality Platinum, save $50.
  8. Thanks for the tips everyone. I have modified my wishlist on Newegg some and I will do some more research before buying.

    To answer StevieD, yes, I am a huge movie buff and like to use Tversity with my Xbox 360 and stream to my home theater. My collection is well over 800 movies and it is a dream to be able to pick and choose any movie any time I feel like it.

    I haven't had a person come by and choose a movie to watch that I don't already have. :)

    Also, I am going to look into the 64-bit OS. I never really gave it much thought. I assume it can run 32-bit applications so any games or programs that I currently have will be compatible.
  9. Actually I would wait on the 64-bit OS it is the waive of the future but you will loose stability in older software products. It's great for video editing, and 3D rendering but most software isn't designed for it yet. I would check with your software manufacturer's to see about compatibility.
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product