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Power PC - MB+gfx recommendation

Last response: in Systems
September 19, 2007 2:13:13 AM


I need a PC to run a few virtual PCs on it simultaneously (around 4 to 6, OS=winXP), which will run scripts 24/7. I will also use it for general PC tasks (browsing/watching video) and perhaps some encoding in the future. I'm not planning on playing games on it yet cos I do most gaming on consoles, a good mid-range card should do. So I'm going for something powerful on the CPU side. The components that I've already decided upon are:
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB Cache, socket 775 Processor)
  • Corsair (TWIN2X2048-6400C4) 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2 6400 PC Memory non-ECC unbuffered 4-4-4-12 (I'd like to buy more but because of budge I will look into upgrading later, so it will be awesome if I can get a motherboard with 4 DDR2 slots)
  • Antec P180 Advanced Super Mid Tower
  • Antec TRUE POWER TRIO 550 WATT TP3-550
  • I won't be looking to upgrade it later, cos I usually just buy a new one after a few years
  • I don't plan on doing any overclocking with it.
    But I am swamped as to what motherboard & graphics card to choose because there are so many choices!!
    The most important things to me are (in order of importance from most important on top):
  • Noise level: I need minimal noise as this will be running in my room 24/7 and sometimes I need to just forget about it
  • Power Consumption & heat generated: I'd like to keep these to minimal too for obvious reasons
  • Stability: something stable & durable
  • Cost ... minimize this too :wink:
    Please comment on my choices and recommend a good motherboard + gfx card for me.
    Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
    September 19, 2007 7:04:22 AM

    Motherboard: ASUSP5K , GIGABYTE P35DS3R , ABIT IP35PRO ,(i recommend these boards OVER ASUS P5KC and P35C DS3R , because although they have both DDR2 and DDR3 support but their DDR3 is limited to 4GB but their DDR2 option is limited to 8GB ,)

    VGA: as long as u dont want to game , go for 8600GT
    September 19, 2007 1:23:05 PM

    Finally, someone picked out the right cpu for his needs. Quad is exactly what you need.

    One thing to note is that quad generates a LOT of heat. Your case would be best to have a 120mm intake & exhaust fans. Also, you can pick out a good cpu cooler such as Freezer 7 Pro for about $20US to further reduce the fan noise & heat.

    For this build, I would not recommend overclocking at all.

    The minimum HD video card would be 8500. Anything up would handle high def better.

    The mobos mentioned above are top picks. I would get a deluxe/premium or any flagship board from the manufacturer. ASUS has deluxe/premium. Gigabyte has DQ6. These boards have much better cooling heatpipes & sinks. P5K-E/WIFI would be a bit better than P5K in terms of cooling. It doesn't cost that much more.
    Related resources
    September 19, 2007 10:46:44 PM

    Thanks for the tips.
    I didn't know the quads were THAT hot, I always thought the core 2 models were the coolest on the market, but I guess when you stick two core 2 duos together you gotto expect more heat. This makes me want to go back and pick out a Core 2 Duo instead, but I guess I'll need the power that Quads have to do my work.

    Ok so I'd really love to go for the GA-P35-DQ6 (since the website says its optimized for quads), but thats nearly twice as expensive as the GA-P35-DS3R. The P5K and IP35PRO are above my budget too and they don't seem to offer anything which I need that badly. I was originally going to go for a
    GA-965P-DS3 or intel's original i975x board, but the gigabyte seems to offer more and the P35 chip is suppose to be newer than both of these chipsets. So I guess I'll go with the GA-P35-DS3R. Any other comments before I burn some money?

    For gfx I've seen three models (most expensive on top):
  • Inno3D Geforce 8600GT 1400MHz 256MB
  • Xpertvision 256MB GeForce 8600GT TV/2XDVI PCI-E
    I wouldn't mind going for the XFX card but the noise level is apparently high, can someone please recommend a DirectX 10 card that doesn't make too much noise?
    September 19, 2007 10:59:31 PM
    September 21, 2007 11:12:58 PM

    Awesome! The silent 8500GT cards sound exactly like what I need.

    I'm going for the "Asus EN8500GT Silent MAGIC/HTP/512M-512MB DDR2 PCI-E DVI-I HDTV Graphics Card" ... although I have no idea what "MAGIC" is suppose to mean !?!!? Anyone know?