Hey Folks. After working inside various pre-built computers I’ve decided I want to take a stab at building my own. I’ve done the reading and have come up with a list of components that satisfy the needs I’m going to place on this machine. So that leaves me looking for opinions on tweaking the fine details. I’m planning an OC for the system but it may be a while down the line. I’m also building for expandability and an overall long system life with possibility for upgrades over the lifespan.
Prices in the links are listed in CAD, I’m going to shop around before I order for best prices.
I want to be able to adopt DDR3 when it is ready, have no real need for SLI but want this to last. It has also received good reviews.
I have a card manufactured by eVGA selected. I’ve read that eVGA is reliable yet BFG or XFX may be a better choice. If eVGA should be avoided choosing another manufacturer is not an issue.
Corsair 2x2GB PC2-6400
I’ve gone with 2x2GB rather than 4x1GB so that I can add when I need to without loosing some of what’s in already. If there is a significant cost advantage to 4x1 I’d be willing to go that way but when I was looking they seemed to be at similar prices to the 2x2GB. Also, 4GB will not be an issue for my OS.
PC Power & Cooling 750W
This is probably the component I’m least sure about. I’ve only read good things about PC Power & Cooling however I’m not sure if I’ll need the full 750W. I want to be able to draw on this PSU through several component upgrades and through OC. If 750W is excessive I’d be very willing to drop lower.
Seagate 7200.10 320GB Seagate 7200.10 500GB
I want to be able to add another drive and RAID with one of these (probably the 320GB) in the future. It’s all going to get chopped into smaller partitions anyway. I’m not too worried about this selection.
Antec Nine Hundred
I’m looking for good airflow and relatively quiet. I know cases can be subjective but if there are any other good suggestions toss them out there.
I’m mostly basing this off reviews so shout out your opinions.
Are you planning to use the stock cooler or buy an after-market cooler for the CPU?
My thought has always been that if you are going to use the stock heat-sink on the 6750, you might as well get the 6550 and put the extra $25 towards the memory. The reason is that the over-all speed of your OC will be limited by heat and you can easily get the 6550 up to the OC level of the 6750 with the same heat levels using the stock cooler. The thing that will limit the 6550's OC is the memory, since both processors have locked multipliers. But, by moving the funds from the processor to memory and doing a good job at OCing the memory, you end up with a slightly faster system using the 6550 than the 6750.
Now, if you are planning to get a good after-market cooling to seriously crank out some OC, then the 6600 might be better with a higher multiplier allowing for more flexibility. The difference in FSB of the new 6x50 and 6x00 series is "negligible".
As for everything else, they look good... I would recommend you go to a Best Buy or local retailer that has the monitor you want and look at it and compare it to other monitors before buying. Just because a monitor is rated well, doesn't mean it is the best for your needs...
I was debating the need for an after market CPU cooler. I have an Arctic Cooler listed towards the bottom of the first post, but since I wasn't planning on jumping into the OC right away I may just hold off and pick it up locally when I decide to go ahead. I am going to swap out the stock cooler when I do OC. As for using a 6600 vs the 6750 everyone seems to be split both ways. Half say the 6600 is better and half say the 6750 is better. Using the after market cooler and based on what I've been reading the lower multiplier isn't a 'huge' deal. The 6600 was also listed at a significantly higher price at both of the Canadian retailers I looked at.
As for the display I'll also pick that up locally if I can and you're exactly correct, I want to see one out of box before I decide on it.
Considering that the price between 8800GTS/640 @ $CAD380 and 8800GTX @ $605 isnt all that great I think its worth trying to squeeze a GTX into your budget. No other upgrade will give you better enjoyment while gaming.
I've been a fan of the AC Freezer 7 Pro for a long time now. Good price, excellent cooling compared to the stock intel cooler and quieter than the intel cooler. Installation is on par with the stock intel cooler and its also good for moderate overclocking (~3.2Ghz 400FSB). For better overclocking performance keep the Thermalright ULTIMA-90 $47 plus the cost of a fan in mind. Thermalright Ultima-90 review
I'd had a feeling that the PSU was going to be oversized. So, I'll swap for the Zeus and look around a bit more. I may pick up the Patriot Ram and do 4x1GB, that's a rebate I'm willing to work for. Some of the work this machine is going to do is memory heavy so I do want 4GB but 2x2x1GB works for me. The second HDD also needs to stay in as it's replacing another failing drive.
If the GTX is that big of an upgrade over the GTS I don't mind that, I'll hop around looking at prices. There are a couple things I can chop from the build like the soundcard if I need to trim the budget for that much of a performance boost. Any particular advice on manufacturers for the GTX?
For <30$ I don't mind picking up the ACF7 Pro now and changing it out later if I need more cooling.