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New Here, New Build - High Budget, Photo&Gaming Machine

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October 9, 2007 12:35:09 AM

Aight everybody! Totally new here, been lurking for a while, and now finally signed up to get some feedback.
I'm planning on putting my next system together by myself. I don't have a budget limit (although I don't feel like blowing 5-big-ones!), but do need to spread the purchase out over 2-4 weeks (several paychecks).

Here's what I have in my cart at NewEgg right now:

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2 x 1 GB DDR2-1066 RAM
ABIT IP35Pro LGA 775 Motherboard
2 x 80GB 7200RPM WD Caviar SE SATA II HDD (for OS and Apps)
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler
Cooler Master Centurion 5 ATX Mid Tower Case
APEVIA 520W Power Supply
-----------------------------
$840 plus shipping

So this is my first planned purchase. The basic components to get my system up and running.
I want to run the 2 80Gb drives in RAID 0 and dual boot Vista and Linux. I have a few older video cards lying around I'll use to begin with (either a GeFroce 7300GS or an ATI X1300XGE). The next purchase will be:

EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 Video Card
Crucial Ballistix Tracer 2 x 1 GB DDR2-1066 RAM
2 x 500GB 7200RPM WD Caviar SE2 SATA II HDD (Matrix Raid 0 for Data)
-------------------------------
$774 plus shipping

My intended use is, not necessarily in order:
1. Heavy multi-task office use
2. PhotoShop, LightRoom, & similar for work on RAW files and RAW -> JPG conversions
3. Average Gaming
4. Use as HTPC, possibly eventually get Blue Ray DVD
5. Video editing and DVD/Mpeg/Divx/Xvid conversions

How does it sound? ... Am I making some really obvious mistakes in my component choices?
Are there cheaper & equally good components?
I am planning on upgrading to DDR3 RAM down the road, and definitely planning on OC'ing the Q6600.

Thanks for any feedback!
October 9, 2007 1:19:52 AM

Please get a better powersupply!! Apevia's SU(K Big TIME!!!
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October 9, 2007 1:40:56 AM

Look at 800mhz RAM instead of the 1066 you should get some money back from that and wont notice anything in performance.

The Abit is a good board also maybe look at P5K-e this has a few extra features, and may help with video editing etc.

Power supply need to be upped, Corsair520/620, AntecTrio, PCPC are good ones.

If you are only doing average gaming on a "smaller" screen the 320mb 8800gts will do you and will save a little more dough there as well
October 9, 2007 1:47:09 AM

I would get regular Crucial Ballistix over what you chose, you don't really get much more improvement if any with Tracers. Also I'd get a GA-P35-DS3R motherboard, probably the best P35 motherboard out there, and is priced at only $130.

Now my biggest complaint (And only serious flaw on your build) the PSU! It's so horrible that it's not even funny anymore. I recommend a Seasonic M12 500, Antec NeoHE 500, Antec NeoHE 550, PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610, or Corsair 520HX.

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 EPS12V EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, cUL, CE, CB, TUV - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec NeoHE 500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply 100Vac to 240Vac +/- 10% UL, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB, C-tick - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec NeoPower NeoHE 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB, C-tick - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SeaSonic M12 SS-500HM ATX12V / EPS12V 500W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, TUV, FCC - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 9, 2007 1:54:51 AM

Higher speed RAM is not as important as having enough RAM.

Since more than 4 GB of RAM is possible with 64bit XP or Vista, and for the photo & video work you might "need" or justify the upgrade to more RAM, I would evaluate my RAM purchase and consider buying 2x2 GB versus buying 4x1.
October 9, 2007 3:09:37 AM

Like others stated, you will not need DDR2 1066 RAM. DDR2 800 will be more than enough to allow you to overclock.

Get a better power supply. I would suggest the recently released Corsair 550VX for $80 after a rebate (add shipping).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004


Also, RAID 0 for data is dangerous if you do not plan on regularly backing up your data. If one drive dies, you loose all your data.
October 9, 2007 3:50:31 PM

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2-800 RAM
ABIT IP35Pro LGA 775 Motherboard
2 x 80GB 7200RPM WD Caviar SE SATA II HDD (for OS and Apps)
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler
Cooler Master Centurion 5 ATX Mid Tower Case
Antec NeoHE 500 ATX12V 500W Power Supply
EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 Video Card
2 x 500GB 7200RPM WD Caviar RE2 SATA II HDD (Matrix Raid 0 for Data)

Thanks so much for all your input folks!
How about that now? Made some changes, different PSU, 800Mhz RAM, cheaper video card. As for the motherboard, I like some of the features the Abit has to offer (Dual Gigabit LAN, Optical IN, superior sound) so I think I'll stick to it. How about the RAM? Is G.Skill enough even for some basic OC'ing?

As for RAID 0 on the 2 x 500GB drives - I was actually planning on doing Matrix Raid 0/1, meaning 200GB of RAID 0 and 400GB of RAID 1, respectively, at the beginning and end of the drives. Other idea would include doing Raid 1 only on the entire 500GB, and using the boot drives for booting, programs, and minor temporary file storage.

Might have to upgrade the case to something bigger though if I want to fit more harddrives, huh?

I'm ready to order, really itching to get the system! Any other suggestions? What's recommended as far as HD TV tuner goes? How about BlueRay/HDDVD drives? (All this, including the video card and the extra HDDs will be ordered in a 2nd order ~2 weeks down).

Thanks again!
October 9, 2007 4:49:13 PM

You say you have no budget right ??
Obviously without blowing 5 big ones !!

I would lose the 2x 80GB drives for sure, and get a Western Digital 150GB Raptor, 10,000 RPM.
Offers virtually the same size, and will be faster for uner $200.

OK I'm sure you do have a budget, but the hard drives are the 'biggest'
bottle-neck in any system.
Don't go with some bottom of the range 80GB hard drive.

And I'd lose the Mobo aswell in favor of a nForce 680i based board.
Like the EVGA or BFG, which has all the features you wanted, dual GB LAN, etc etc.

October 9, 2007 4:49:46 PM

You say you have no budget right ??
Obviously without blowing 5 big ones !!

I would lose the 2x 80GB drives for sure, and get a Western Digital 150GB Raptor, 10,000 RPM.
Offers virtually the same size, and will be faster for uner $200.

OK I'm sure you do have a budget, but the hard drives are the 'biggest'
bottle-neck in any system.
Don't go with some bottom of the range 80GB hard drive.

And I'd lose the Mobo aswell in favor of a nForce 680i based board.
Like the EVGA or BFG, which has all the features you wanted, dual GB LAN, etc etc.

October 9, 2007 5:05:19 PM

Nooooooooooooooooo :D 
Was just about to order, now you put more doubt into me! lol
So, ok ... nForce 680i vs. P35 ..... what do others say?

As for the Harddrive, i'll look into it, thanks! What about the 10k HDD vs. 2x7.2K HDDs in RAID0 ... is it still faster?
October 9, 2007 5:46:28 PM

Ooook, I somewhat modified my system. I will stick to the P35 Chipset and the ABIT motherboard, the decision is made. For the price, the ABIT board still has a useful feature that the EVGA and XFX don't have - Optical/SPDIF IN.

Changed the RAM to Crucial Ballistix 4 x 1GB with 4 CAS Latency (cheaper, too, with nice MIR). And changed the OS disks to one WD Raptor.

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Crucial Ballistix 4 x 1GB DDR2-800 RAM (4-4-4-12 Timings)
ABIT IP35Pro LGA 775 Motherboard
1 x 150GB 10kRPM WD RAPTOR HDD (for OS and Apps)
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Mid Tower Case
Corsair HX Series CMPSU-520HX 520W Power Supply
XFX PVT80GGHE4 GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 (560Mhz)
2 x 500GB 7200RPM WD Caviar RE2 SATA II HDD (Pure Raid 1 Mirroring for Data)
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S203B - OEM

I think I'm set. I've ordered the case from ZipZoomFly (nice sale!) and will be ordering the rest of the components from NewEgg very SOON!

Thanks!
October 9, 2007 7:07:32 PM

Data Backup?
I hope you are planning an External HDD or something?

RAID-0 is not a safe place for data for many reasons.
If you are backing up fine, but it better be regular and you are not backing up 1TB of data to DVDs.
October 9, 2007 8:42:50 PM

I got this PSU, seemed like a good price with MIR.

https://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Produc...

Pure "BACKUP" will be done with 2 external 250GB HDD's - there I will back up whatever I absolutely need to back up (my digital photo collection, documents, Mp3 collection).

I never mentioned RAID 0 as a backup solution! MATRIX RAID 0 might be my 'temporary' data storage solution (Raid 0 and 1 on same volume). Data backup is icky - it's becoming more of an issue because we need to backup 500GB+ of data, but then again it's also becoming much cheaper thanks to cheap hard drives.

I will be looking into a more durable, long-term data backup solution as I start using my new system. External HDDs don't seem the optimal solution.
!