College Gaming Rig Comments Please

I'm going to buy this new gaming computer for college and wanted some comments/suggestions, all input is greatly appreciated. I will be ordering this from newegg, and dont plan to go SLI. May overclock a bit.

Case: Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003BWS Black Full Tower Case w/ 25CM Fan - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133021

^ I've read that in this case the ultra-120 just barely clears the 25cm fan. is the fan worth it, or should i just buy the case without the fan.

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16813128050

PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower W0128RU ATX12V / EPS12V 650W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E16817153040

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16819115017

CPU Cooler: Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16835109140

CPU Fan: Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120mm Case Fan - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16835185006

GPU: EVGA 768-P2-N831-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16814130072

RAM: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148070

Monitor: ViewSonic X Series VX1932wm Glossy Piano-Black 19" 2ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16824116088

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (Perpendicular Recording) ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148136
17 answers Last reply
More about college gaming comments please
  1. I'd get DS3R for about $130 if I don't need IEEE & Crossfire.

    Pick a tier-2 psu out from this:

    http://www.tomswiki.com/page/Tiered+PSU+Listings?t=anon

    If you are still undecided, how about 520-600W:

    OCZ GameXStream
    Corsair HX
    Seasonic S12
    Thermaltake Toughpower
    PCP&C Silencer
    Silverstone EF

    The sound card isn't necessary. The onboard is about the same. Buy only top-of-the-line sound or nothing.
  2. Not a bad set up, very similar to my recent gaming rig. PSU wise i would go with something 550W+ because your going to want to make certain that 1) it powers that GTX card the right way and 2) powers your future cards the right away as well. In my last few rig's i've used Thermaltake PSU which i have found to be of very high quality. You can go with this 650W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153040. Not bad for the price. It's modular and will power your devices well.

    CPU wise going with the Q6600 is not a bad choice. I personally would look into the E6850. It many benchmarks the chip has really performed extremely will and on par with the quad's. It clocks at 3.0GHZ running at 1333 FSB. It's a great gaming chip. Price wise i'd say it would be between $5 to $20 bucks more than that Q6600 (it goes for $285 to $300 depending on the sit. Zipzoom has it for $285).

    Monitor wise for the same price you can get a Westinghouse 22inch widescreen. This is just an alternative to that viewsonic. Worth a small peak for consideration: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824255002

    There may be one issue with the CPU cooler you chose and that is the fact it may not completely fit within the case. The armor case, i have the same, has that 25CM fan on it's side door directly over the cpu. The thermalright heatsink is a huge and unfortunately very tall. There is a possibility that it may hit that 25CM fan preventing the side door from closing all the way. This is something you need to look into before making this purchase. I have a Zalman 9700NT in my Armor case and there is about a half an inch space between where the top of my Zalman ends and the 25CM case fan. Now that Thermalright is taller than the Zalman by more than half an inch and this is why i see that there is a real possibility of this issue. It would suck if you found this out during the actual build so i hope its not too late.
  3. What most people forget, and I dont understand why it's not mentioned more often (no one told me), is the 2:1 RAM speed to FSB ratio.

    Bottom line - its not worth gettting high Mhz RAM. I dont know this systems performance limitations and you'll have to do your own research, but more than not, the Q6600 will not get to a high FSB. Anything below 400, and even DDR2 800Mhz is wasted.

    Of course if you want to future proof yourself you should go with higher Mhz etc. Also, if its the same price as lower Mhz, you might as well get the higher one etc. There are tons of decision factors that go into this, so you decide. Just be aware of the prob.

    Check my sig and see the where my money was wasted. Good luck.
  4. Alright. im just going to throw this out there.. but your case selection would be a big mistake.

    issues with that case:

    1.) Its a full tower.. meaning its going to be HUGE, and a pain in the ass to take to a LAN (and there will be many).

    2.) It lights up.. I dont know about you... but i prefer to sleep at night without a super bright blue light in the corner of my room. I made this mistake once and will not do that again.

    3.) 25cm fan... dear lord that thing is going to be LOUD. you will hate it, your roommate will hate it.


    My advice would be to pick up a sturdy midtower with some good fans.
  5. Actually, if he's going to be at college, he's probably not going to be going to any LAN's since they can set up a LAN over the actual campus network. If he has a problem with the lights, he can turn the computer off. And, the 25cm fan won't be loud...big fans spin at lower rpm's, thus making less noise.
  6. If I were going back to college, I'd be content with the rig I have now. Of course your proposed GPU will blow my 7900GS out of the water, but the small case is nice where there isn't a lot of room and would be easy to take to LAN parties.
    And just for insurance, should my GPU fail, I could fall back to the integrated video on the GA-G33M-DS2R and still get my assignments done.
  7. i have updated the above list. thanks for your comments. its not too late to make changes still, and now i am undecided on which cpu to buy. sure the q6600 may run crysis better, but the e6850 was my original choice because i play alot of cs:s =) then again i read this article http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-q6600_12.html and it made me want to buy a q6600 -_-

    should i buy the case with/without the 25cm fan? will it keep the case significantly cooler than without?

    also i dont plan to change the monitor, i am a viewsonic fan + it has the lowest ms time. size doesnt matter too much to me, just as long as it performs well.
  8. nvm ive decided on buying the q6600 and just oc'ing it to 3-3.2ghz.
  9. Besides being large the case you're looking at is expensive. Compare the Armor Jr and Coolermaster RC 690
    Both mid-tower cases will keep your OC'd system cool without a problem.
    A step up in monitor to 20" widescreen isnt a bad idea: ViewSonic 19" and 20" Widescreens

    The sweet spot for your Q6600 should be ~3.2Ghz or 400FSB. At 400FSB even DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) is not "overclocked". DDR2 800-(800 divided by 2) has the I/O bus running at 400Mhz. And when both the FSB and RAM are running @ 400Mhz you have 1:1 synchronous operations. Synchronicity is good [:wr2]
    4x1GB CasLatency4 is better than 2x2GB of CL5. CorsairXMS DDR2 800 CL4 2x1GB $65 after rebate is looking very good.

    You CPU cooling needs are not "extreme" even @ 3.2Ghz 400FSB. $85 for HS&F is more than you need to spend.
    Scythe Ninja $35 or Zalman 9500 $48 will get the job done nicely.
  10. Let me premise this by saying that I own the ultra 120 extreme and my dad owns the armor case.

    Ok, about the case. It is awesome. contrary to what skittle thinks, this case is dead silent. the 25cm fan runs rather slow and makes less noise than the the other fans in the case. The case has great airflow and good cable management possibilities. The only down side is the filter method. All the removable front panels have a filter in them to keep dust out of the case. You would think this would be good but there is no easy way to clean them. You would either have to pop everyone of them out or blow compressed air from the inside of your case out. Neither of these suggestions sound good.

    As for the ultra 120 extreme - it is HUGE. As soon as I unboxed my dad's new tower i wanted it. I thought it was awesome. However, after we got the motherboard in, I started taking measurements and comparing them to my current case. There is NOT enough room for the ultra 120 extreme to fit into this case. It WILL hit the fan. This SUX. I was so dissapointed. I measured from the surface of my current motherboard to the top of the heatsink and compared this measurement with the one I took from his case - surface of mobo to 25cm fan. Bad news - not enough room. If you only plan to overclock a little, you may want to try the zalman. Although not as good as the ultra, it is still quiet, comes with a fan, and *drumroll* will fit in your case.

    I just don't want you to get a case that you can't use with your heatsink. My recommendation is to get a case that doesn't have a side fan if you are set on going with the ultra 120 extreme.

    Good luck
  11. If you're looking for a case with rediculous airflow and low volume, I'm gonna throw out the Antec P182. It's big and heavy, but it's dead-quiet and just plain looks nice. It comes with 3 12cm fans installed with room for a 4th up front. And, it would be a little cheaper than the Armor you're looking at, I believe. I don't know about the Armor's construction itself, but coming from a guy who owns a Thermaltake case (I have a Tsunami), I'd get something that's a little higher quality and can take a lot of movement without getting banged up.

    Just my $.02.
  12. jedi940 said:

    As for the ultra 120 extreme - it is HUGE. As soon as I unboxed my dad's new tower i wanted it. I thought it was awesome. However, after we got the motherboard in, I started taking measurements and comparing them to my current case. There is NOT enough room for the ultra 120 extreme to fit into this case. It WILL hit the fan. This SUX. I was so dissapointed. I measured from the surface of my current motherboard to the top of the heatsink and compared this measurement with the one I took from his case - surface of mobo to 25cm fan. Bad news - not enough room. If you only plan to overclock a little, you may want to try the zalman. Although not as good as the ultra, it is still quiet, comes with a fan, and *drumroll* will fit in your case.

    I just don't want you to get a case that you can't use with your heatsink. My recommendation is to get a case that doesn't have a side fan if you are set on going with the ultra 120 extreme.


    People have this case and fit the ultra 120 in. although it is a very tight fit, it does fit with the 25cm fan. Anyway I will probably be getting the case w/o the side fan to rid myself of the hassle.
  13. Really? I measured i and I came up short. I guess I'll have to get out the caliper and check again. I would like to have that case.
  14. Just to add that you can definitely find cheaper prices if you dont do all your buying from newegg. I originally planned to do that but I found I could save over $150 from buying from muliple places. ($25 for that fan is ridiculous, I paid $13 including shipping.)
  15. i find it easier to order everything at once, and by ordering it all from newegg at once it seems to be less of a hassle than ordering from multiple companies for one build.
  16. Get the P180 case. I've never looked back.
  17. Get the P180 case. I've never looked back.
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