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Help me tweak my system

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Last response: in Systems
September 23, 2007 6:41:21 PM

Hi all :hello: 

I have been reading for the last month about building my own computer here at Toms. Would you guys take a look at my newegg list and tell me if anytihing is wrong with my future system. I would like to spend less then $1500 and I really would like this build to last three years. :) 

I will be using it for photoshopping, and gaming about 50/50. Toss in DVDD, DVDshrink, Ripit4me and DVDRBPRO to the mix.

I don't know how to overclock but it sounds exciting. Any suggestions on where to start reading?

I would like to start building in the middle of next month. I feel I can do this but I am nervous about setting up the Bios.

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3P LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Thermaltake Toughpower W0128RU ATX12V / EPS12V 650W Power Supply - Retail

Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6850 - Retail

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16K - Retail

Pioneer 18X DVD±R DVD Burner Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model DVR-112D - OEM

I have XP PRO but would love to here what you guys think of Vista. I am concerned about my DVD programs in vista.

Judy :love: 

More about : tweak system

September 23, 2007 6:58:58 PM

GA-P35-DS3R [$130]
Q6600 [$280]
eVGA 8800GTX [$520]
Barracuda 250GB 7.2K rpm [$70]
4GB G.Skill DDR2 800 ram [$190]
Antec NeoHE 550 [$99]
Samsung DVD-RW (SATA) [$32]
Cooler Master Centurion 5 [$50]

Total before taxes and shipping $1371.

I picked out 4GB for you because if you're going to be photoshopping I believe it'll take advantage of the extra ram, also I picked a very powerful PSU, the one you picked is a bit more powerful but the efficiency is wasted due to the fact that it'll be running under 50% load all the time, just think of it this way, unless you'll be running SLI/Crossfire setups on the future all that you'll need is a powerful, high quality 500W unit (like the one I picked).

I also picked for you a Core 2 Quad running at 2.4Ghz each core instead, which is the best CPU on the $250+ range in my opinion. And I changed the P35-DS3P to the DS3R, which is known for it's great overclocking capabilities.

Link for the ram:
Related resources
September 23, 2007 7:14:16 PM

@Emp: so none of my stuff is any good? I worked really hard to find what I thought would work.

@lostandwandering: My monitor is an old NEC 17inch. I will up grade to a 24 inch lcd at christmas. What card do you suggest with that upgrade in mind?
September 23, 2007 7:19:47 PM

Most 24'' monitors are 1920x1200. At that point you would be better off with the 640 version or the GTX that Emp listed.
September 23, 2007 7:25:23 PM

Don't get me wrong, what you picked is not bad, but not properly focused to your needs and you're not focusing enough on the graphics section with the kind of budget you have (Especially if you're ever planning to power a 1920x1200 24" LCD).

For example, you don't need that 650W unit at all, if you're going with a single graphics card setup the one I picked can power ANYTHING out there. And if you ever wanted to SLI/Crossfire (Dual cards) you'll need something bigger than that 650W anyway.

The Q6600 has 2 more cores than the E6850 running at a measly 600Mhz slower, but since you're planning to OC a bit anyway, you can set the Q6600 at 3Ghz with 4 cores, instead of having 2 cores only. (Hell of a lot more processing power even at stock)

I've heard that photoshopping takes it's toll on the ram, that's why I put 2x2GB modules to make sure you don't run short on ram. Also the optical drive you picked is ATA, you want a SATA drive.

Finally, I haven't heard either positive or negative feedback from the DS3P board, but I have only heard excellent things about the DS3R, placing it probably as the Top #1 P35 chipset board.
September 23, 2007 7:28:08 PM

@Emp: I would love to have more the 2GB. I am a noob at computer building. Is it not true that XP will not use more then 3GB.

@:lostandwandering thnak you I did not take upgrading the monitor into the picture

September 23, 2007 7:33:11 PM

If your OS is only 32-bit, it will only recognize 3.X. If you use a 64-bit OS it will recognize all 4gb and there is an XP Pro 64-bit.
September 23, 2007 7:37:22 PM

You will need XP 64 or vista 64, which are 64-bit OS that can allocate up to 128GB of ram. Do not be fooled by what other uninformed people might tell you, I use only XP 64 and Vista 64 and I have yet to find an incompatibility issue that wasn't related to Vista itself. (I haven't had any problems with XP 64)

Microsoft Windows XP Professional 64Bit SP2C - OEM

Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM
September 23, 2007 7:40:34 PM

My OS is 32 bit. Memory seems inexpensive, if I stick with XP PRO 32 bit It might be worth the extra money for the extra GB of Ram.

Anyone have suggestions on Vista?

@Emp: you type faster then I do

September 23, 2007 7:46:19 PM

If you're into playing any of the upcoming titles in all their glory then I'd get Vista 64 Home premium for the DX10 support. I didn't find any problems with it, just had to ditch Mcafee for good to get Avast! as an antivirus (Which is A LOT better), all of my other software worked just fine.
September 23, 2007 7:51:19 PM

I was looking at Bioshock.

I am going to newegg and take a look at your processor and Motherboard now.

September 23, 2007 7:56:48 PM

You'll have fun with Bioshock, I loved the whole Little Sister/Big Daddy thing :D  Soft particles in DX10 do make the game look better, but that's up to you if you want to buy a new OS to support DX10, in my opinion it's worth it as long as you pay either Home basic or Home Premium 64, Ultimate is not worth anyone's money.

September 23, 2007 8:10:22 PM

I think you are right about the quad. I am really excited about learning how to overclock it. I don't want to destroy my system but I do learn fast. Is it dreadfully hard to learn how to overclock?

So you think vista home Premium 64 is the way to go for the long run?
September 23, 2007 8:25:08 PM

The quad is a good idea. For example DVD Shrink uses all 4 cores and finishes the job faster on a Q6600 at stock than on an overclocked E6850. For best results you also need a good DVD drive, like the PX-810SA for example.
September 23, 2007 8:34:56 PM

I think on the long run Vista 64 (Home Premium) will be the best OS out of all the different Vista versions, the performance on games is already comparable between Vista and XP as far as my tests have indicated. You can always buy it later too, but don't expect it to drop in price, after all, XP is still worth quite a bit even though it's quite old.

It depends on how much you care about formatting your PC, in my case, I format every month or so, sometimes switching to Vista 64 others to XP 64, and that's what keeps my rig speedy all the time.

Now my personal opinion, if you do not own a 64-bit OS, then buy it. What apps will take advantage of it in the foreseeable future? Crysis for one, according to the developers crysis is not only completely multithreaded (meaning it uses of dual and quad cores properly), but also designed to run better under a 64-bit environment. According to them each core will gain about 10-15% more performance under a 64-bit OS compared to running on a 32-bit OS.
September 23, 2007 8:35:23 PM

@aevm Thank you for the information about shrink. That is a major consideration.

Will the Quad be able to max all settings on Bioshock with the card Emp suggests?

September 23, 2007 8:37:10 PM

Yes it will.
September 23, 2007 8:39:50 PM

What, the 8800 GTX? That is the best card available. If you've got the money for it then get it, you won't be sorry.