Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Is this Gateway a good option?

Last response: in Systems
Share
October 24, 2007 5:59:46 PM

I'm shopping around for a new computer. This is a setup from Gateway. Will be doing some gaming on it, but I want it to last me a good two-three years like my current PC has. I can get this one including shipping and taxes for $1,400. I'd like to stay in that price range. I don't really have brand preference, but from what I'm seeing as opposed to when I got this current system three years ago, Intel is the way to go. I do not intend on using any of my current parts. I will NOT be doing any overclocking.

Pricing out the individual main parts on newegg comes out to $1,200. Plus I'd have to pay someone to build it, cause I don't know how. Plus the gateway comes with a 1-year warranty, and no payments, no interest for one year.

I've been out of the hardware scene for some time now. Is there supposed to be a new Geforce 9-series coming out next month that will affect the 8-series prices by a whole lot?

Appreciate any advise, thanks in advance.


Gateway® FX530XG
Hide Details
1014387R 1 $1,320.99 $1,320.99
Instant Discount (reflected in unit price, limited-time offer) -$100.00
Customized Options
Operating System Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium (32-bit)
Processor Intel® Core™ 2 Quad Processor Q6600 (2.40GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 8MB cache)
Memory 3072MB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (2-1024MB modules & 2-512MB modules)
Hard Drive 250GB 7200rpm Serial ATA II/300 hard drive w/ 8MB cache
Optical Drive 16X Super MFDVDRW/DVD-RAM+/-R Double Layer
Video NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS w/ 320MB, Dual DVI-I Dual link TV Out (Factory Overclocked) w/ VGA adapter
Media Card Reader 9-in-1 Memory Card Reader
Speakers No Speakers Selected
Application Software Microsoft® Works 8.5
Backup Media Cyberlink Power2Go (for Windows Vista® Home Premium and Ultimate)
Chassis Gateway® 7-bay BTX tower case
Chipset Intel® 975X Chipset with DDR2 Support and Intel® Core™ Duo support
Color FX Logo Accent - Black Steel
Keyboard Gateway 104+ Elite Wireless Keyboard & Mouse (Windows Vista® Certified) [$15.00]
Motherboard Intel® 975X Chipset with DDR2 and Intel® Core™ Duo support
Mouse No Mouse Selected [-$15.00]
Network Integrated Intel® 10/100/1000 (Gigabit) Ethernet
Operating System Backup Media Windows Vista® Home Premium Backup Media (32-bit)
Power Supply 700-Watt Power Supply
Security Software McAfee® 90-day Internet Security Suite Complimentary Subscription with VirusScan, Personal Firewall Plus, SpamKiller & Privacy Service v. 1.2 (for Windows Vista®)
Software Documentation End User License Agreement for Non-Microsoft Software
Warranty 1 Year Value Plan (Tech Support - Parts - Factory Labor)
Quote Estimate: $1,320.99



Also, just from a CPU stand-point, how much of a difference will I see from my current setup:

AMD Athlon 64 3400+
Geforce 6800 Regular 128MB
2GB DDR RAM

Obviously there will be a big difference from a gaming point of view, but just from doing things on Windows. My current PC handles 90% of tasks with ease. But you notice a little slowdown with something like iTunes (loading it, and using it with a large playlist).

More about : gateway good option

October 24, 2007 6:09:58 PM

I would really suggest building your own system, but if you can't or don't want to - this option seems ok. The RAM setup is kinda weird, but it'll be fine.

As for performance - this computer will probably kick yours in the balls. Dual Core + 8800GTS = Fantastic Pair, you'll see what I mean if you get it.

Quote:
I've been out of the hardware scene for some time now. Is there supposed to be a new Geforce 9-series coming out next month that will affect the 8-series prices by a whole lot?


No, there are no 9 series cards coming out next month either. Just the 8800 GT which is SPECULATED to be more powerful than the GTS and use less power in the process, all the while being cheaper than it's GTS brethren.
October 24, 2007 6:31:28 PM

That might be a good computer for someone who does not know how to build their own. As far as performance goes the price me be about 100-200 dollars more then you could build your own. When it comes to gaming computers major brands charge more then build your own, but when it comes to low end majors brands kicks ass. The ram and hard drive they really went cheap, also the 975x is last years models.
Related resources
October 24, 2007 6:44:36 PM

Thanks for the quick replies. Good eyes, I didn't notice the funky RAM setup, but your saying it will be fine?

What about the HD, is it going to be a big deal?

Same with the MOBO, I'm not planning on doing any overclocking, is this MOBO ok?

Again, I would like to be able to play the latest games, but I'm not going to overclock anything, nor will I freak out if there's a hiccup here and there. As long as it does the job, and does it well.

OH, and one more thing...I read on some threads people talking about the G0 and some other configuration of the Q6600. I guess there's two different makes of them? And one is supposed to be inferior to the other?
October 24, 2007 7:01:13 PM

I would avoid gateway, I were you. Gateway just got bought out by Acer, so there is no telling what to expect in terms of support of that purchase.
October 24, 2007 7:04:22 PM

The RAM will be fine, and unless you're upgrading to a 64bit OS, your computer won't recognize more than 4GB of RAM (usually less). If the RAM sucks, just buy a nice dual channel kit since they're pretty cheap now anways.

HD... Is meh... you can always buy a 2nd, higher quality drive for storage if you're worried about it. I really doubt it will just fail in the first year or so.

Motherboard - You can't really tell much about it because they only tell you the chipset. I'm guessing there is only a single PCI-E slot (so no SLI) again, not really a big deal unless you want to do it.

Quote:
OH, and one more thing...I read on some threads people talking about the G0 and some other configuration of the Q6600. I guess there's two different makes of them? And one is supposed to be inferior to the other?


The G0 variety runs cooler and OC better. So nothing that you really need to worry about.
October 24, 2007 7:30:27 PM

Looks Good.
If you fret about building your own, this looks OK.
October 24, 2007 9:38:46 PM

Thanks guys. I'm looking at ordering this later tonight or tomorrow. Any other input?
October 24, 2007 11:55:24 PM

Hey guys,

I just found a VERY similar system on Best Buy's website.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8540867&p...

The only negative difference is in the graphics card which is a 8500 GT 256 MB. The price is much cheaper though. The system in the OP is direct through Gateway and it will cost me $1,400 TOTAL including shipping and taxes.

This one on BB website is $979.00 NOT including taxes. Even if I upgrade the card to a 8800 GTX, for $280 through Newegg, I still come out at $1,260 total. This one from Best Buy also has a bigger HD (500GB vs 250GB).

SO....what do you think? I know buying pre-built HP's and Compaqs from big retail is not a good idea, but what do you think of buying a Gateway through big retail? This one seems like a better deal, but I would appreciate your opinions. Thanks.
October 25, 2007 12:45:21 AM

If you buy the one from BestBuy, you likely will not be able to upgrade the GPU w/o buying a new PSU. The BestBuy model likely has a MUCH weaker PSU.

So be prepared to swap out the GPU and the PSU.

I think I would go with the first to avoide the mess of having to swap out the PSU and the GPU. The 8500 GPU is worthless for gaming.

October 25, 2007 1:51:00 AM

My friend just got the one you saw. The exact same model. You should probably get this, and upgrade the VC and PSU after the new cards come out. The PSU, yes, sucks. 400W, I think 20-22A on the 12V rail. Replacing a video card and PSU is exceedingly easy, though, and you can ask for help if you need it. Don't act on just my advice, however.
October 25, 2007 2:04:46 AM

Well, 400w is not all that bad.
I thought it may be worse.

I wager the 8800GT would work fine on a 400w PSU.
October 25, 2007 2:09:36 AM

Neat, thx for the input. That sounds like a good plan, wait for the 8800GT to come out? I'm sure even an 8500GT is better than the 6800 Regular I have been using for years.
October 25, 2007 2:27:58 AM

The RAM setup is normal among OEM's. Where I work, there are a few HP's, Gateway's, and a Lenovo that have the same ram setup (2X1GB, 2X512MB). It's mainly due to the fact customers don't know anything about 32-bit vs 64-bit OS's and will whine BIG TIME (as in lawsuits) if a machine did came with 4GB installed, but they can only can use 3.2GB. So, instead of facing a thousand complaints and legal actions, the OEM's are justing installing 3GB so not to upset the mindless zombies better known as customers.
October 25, 2007 2:33:30 AM

zenmaster said:
Well, 400w is not all that bad.
I thought it may be worse.

I wager the 8800GT would work fine on a 400w PSU.


It shouldn't. The 12V rail is really bad.
October 25, 2007 3:38:15 AM

Ok, just to make myself feel better...Here are the complete speccs for the retail system at Best Buy, but through Gateway's website (more accurate speccs I imagine).

I spoke with the tech support guy at Gateway, and he confirmed that it is a 400W PS. I don't know what the 'rail' is? It is a BTX case though, so I guess I would need a BTX power supply if I wanted to upgrade?

Also there is a difference in the MOBO. The FX ($1400) one has a Intel® 975X Chipset with DDR2 Support and Intel® Core™ Duo support.

while the retail system ($980) has a Intel® G33 Chipset. Anyone know of any glaring differences that will make a difference is system stability, and can it hold a newer GFX card (power supply not being an issue)?

And one more question, scrolling down through the speccs, you will see

Expansion Slot

Total Available
1 - PCI-E x16 0 - PCI-E x16
2 - PCI-E x1 2 - PCI-E x1
1 - PCI 0 - PCI

This says that the one PCI x16 slot is being used by the video card. What are the 2 PCI-E x1 slots that are both available?



Specifications:

Operating System

• Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium

Processor

Intel® Core™2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core Processor with VT
Each core operates at 2.40GHz | 2 x 4MB L2 Cache | 1066MHz FSB

Chipset

Intel® G33 Chipset (Viiv™)

Memory

3072MB DDR2 Memory, Dual Channel
(2 x 1024MB + 2 x 512MB), 667MHz (PC2-5300)
Expandable to 8GB
4 DDR2 Slots (Total) | 0 DDR2 Slots (Available)

Video

NVIDIA® GeForce® 8500GT (with 256MB on board memory)
DirectX® 10, BluRay/HD-DVD Capable
Ports: VGA, DVI-I w/ HDCP, S-Video

Audio

8-Channel (7.1) High Definition Audio
Amplified Stereo Speakers (USB Powered)

Hard Drive

500GB SATA II (7200RPM, 8MB Cache)

Optical Drive

18x DVD±R/RW Multi-Format Dual Layer Optical Drive featuring Labelflash™ technology 1
Up to 8.5GB with Dual Layer Media
Write max: 18x DVD±R, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+RW, 8x DVD±R DL, 12x DVD-RAM, 48x CD-R, 32x CD-RW
Read max: 16x DVD-ROM, 48x CD-ROM

Digital Media Manager

High-Performance 15-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader
Up to 40x faster
xD-Picture Card™, CompactFlash I (CF), CompactFlash II, Secure Digital™(SD), Mini Secure Digital™ (Mini SD™)2, Multi Media Card™ (MMC), Reduced Size MMC (RS-MMC)2, MMC Mobile2, MMC Plus, Memory Stick™ (MS), Memory Stick Duo3, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Pro Duo3, SmartMedia, IBM Microdrive™

Communications

56k ITU v.92 ready Fax/Modem (RJ-11 port)
Intel® 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)

Interfaces

8 - USB 2.0 Ports (2 Front, 6 Rear)
2 - IEEE 1394 Ports (1 Front, 1 Rear)
1 - VGA
2 - PS/2 Ports (Keyboard and Mouse)
5 - Audio (Rear): Center/Sub, Rear (Stereo), Line-in/Side (Stereo), Front/Headphones (Stereo), Microphone, plus S/PDIF Optical
2 - Audio (Front): Microphone, Front/Headphone (Stereo)
1 - RJ-45 Ethernet Port
1 - RJ-11 Modem Port

Expansion Slot

Total Available
1 - PCI-E x16 0 - PCI-E x16
2 - PCI-E x1 2 - PCI-E x1
1 - PCI 0 - PCI

Expansion Bays

Total Available
3 - 3 1/2" 1 - 3 1/2"
2 - 5 1/4" 1 - 5 1/4"
Gateway Portable Media Drive Bay

Input Devices

Elite Multimedia Keyboard
USB Optical 2-Button Wheel Mouse

Case Design

Premium System Design

Dimensions

15.60" (H) x 7.20" (W) x 16.10" (D)

Weights

23.4 lbs. | 10.6 kg (system unit only)
Approximately 35.8 lbs. | 16.2 kg. (box)

Warranty

1 Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty4
October 25, 2007 4:11:11 AM

I would not touch that thing.

If you don't know enough about computers to build your own, you sure will after all the upgrading you'll need to do to be happy with that thing.

Also, they don't mention the part vendors for it. God knows how crap the PSU is.

Pick out all your components off Toms and get opinions.

Your computer you have now is GREAT to use while you build your own PC. You can research, get advice, and order stuff with it, and read build articles. It is just a matter of patience then.

Start slow. Buy a case you like that has good reviews, and get a good Motherboard by Asus or something. Install your processor by reading how to do it, stick in your ram, then install your PSU. It is good to install the PSU last so you can have wrist-room to place the Motherboard on the standoffs.

The rest is very basic, videocard etc. Just take it all slow. You build one once, you won't ever need to rely on service, which are just people who don't care about your stuff.

I shudder to think of some pimply teenager jam around in my case, bending pins, overtightening screws, using crap components.

REMEMBER, 1320.99$ is ALOT of money to get ALOT of shoddy components. They don't deserve your money. Then they give you no PROPER Windows CD, and toss a bunch of Trialware on your PC that makes it run like junk. Don't bother.
October 25, 2007 4:28:51 AM

Hey,
your 6800 will probably still kill that 8500gt.. the 8500 really isn't anything to write home about. As for general windows tasks like Internet/word processing you probably won't notice a huge difference. I run a machine at home with an e6550 oc'ed to 3.3and 2 gigs of ram and to be honest when it comes to just running your basic windows tasks I dont notice a huge difference between that and the p4 1.8 with 512 i use at work...
If i were in your shoes I would build my own.. because the quality of system you will get will be much higher... that being said.. if you buy the gateway system I am sure you will love it.. from the sounds of it you are not an enthusiast like many on this site.. including myself... heck if you lived anywhere near me I would build your computer for you for free I like doing it so much!
October 25, 2007 4:43:22 AM

Same.
October 25, 2007 5:17:26 AM

chevellerocks said:
Hey,
your 6800 will probably still kill that 8500gt.. the 8500 really isn't anything to write home about. As for general windows tasks like Internet/word processing you probably won't notice a huge difference. I run a machine at home with an e6550 oc'ed to 3.3and 2 gigs of ram and to be honest when it comes to just running your basic windows tasks I dont notice a huge difference between that and the p4 1.8 with 512 i use at work...
If i were in your shoes I would build my own.. because the quality of system you will get will be much higher... that being said.. if you buy the gateway system I am sure you will love it.. from the sounds of it you are not an enthusiast like many on this site.. including myself... heck if you lived anywhere near me I would build your computer for you for free I like doing it so much!



Thanks for your responses, much appreciated. 8)

Yeah, like I said, I'm not so much of an enthusiast anymore. Honestly, I don't get the time to game nearly as much as I used to. The game I play the most is still 9 year old Starcraft. Sure, I check out all the newer games, but I still keep going back to SC. I'd like my new computer to let me play around with UT2007, and Crysis, but it doesn't have to be at 1600x1200 max settings. More like 1280x1024 med-high/high settings ;p

The problem is, I'm not too patient to begin with, and right now my 6800 died on me, so I'm running on a temporary Geforce 4 TI 4200. Which is a DirectX 8.1 card, so I can't even run Starcraft without crashing to desktop or BSOD every 5 minutes. Sometimes I'm crashing while browsing the web even, its frustrating. I have an AGP slot, no PCI-e, so there's no point in just getting a newer video card, might as well re-do the system.

If the Gateway system just runs, and does what it's supposed to, I should be happy. As far as support, if Gateway can't help me, I could always come here and post and try to fix the problem myself.

It does suck that you get a 'restore disk' and not a full copy of the OS though...
October 25, 2007 3:37:29 PM

Quote:
I spoke with the tech support guy at Gateway, and he confirmed that it is a 400W PS. I don't know what the 'rail' is? It is a BTX case though, so I guess I would need a BTX power supply if I wanted to upgrade?


The only reason you would have to buy a PSU that is made by the company that made the case is if they are terrible (making their own dimensions for the HDD bays, CD bays, motherboard tray, etc.) so that only their own custom-built parts fit it. This way they can charge you extra for bad parts. If this is the case and you plan on upgrading, don't buy from HP, dell, gateway, etc. since most of them use skewed dimensions so that you can't just throw in a new stronger PSU whenever you want - you have to buy "Our fantastic HP brand PSU that will only work on HP boards!"

The +12v rail is extremely important, read up on PSU's to know what this is. If the guy at gateway didn't know what the +12v rail was, he shouldn't be trying to sell gaming computers.

Quote:
If the Gateway system just runs, and does what it's supposed to, I should be happy. As far as support, if Gateway can't help me, I could always come here and post and try to fix the problem myself.


You'll need to be careful here as to exactly what you're repairing. Usually Gateways / Dell / HP will slap some stickers ("If this seal is broken, you warranty is void") type things all over the innards of your computer. So if you break one, then no more hardware support via the manufacturer.

Quote:
It does suck that you get a 'restore disk' and not a full copy of the OS though...


This is because the copy they give you is OEM, so it's not going to work with new hardware. This is why OEM can be bad.
October 25, 2007 4:34:29 PM

If you buy a prebuilt machine you will have difficulty replacing pieces. Plus you have to pay for the worthless pieces that need replacing. The savings are lost after all this...

If you do buy an HP or Gateway or whatever and decide to get a new PSU: you have to be very careful about the physical dimensions. Measure your current PSU and make sure the new one is the same or smaller. I just replaced a $17 Hipro PSU in my Dad's HP yesterday. I wanted a Silencer 610W or Corsair 520HX but neither would fit. I ended up with a GameXStream 600W, which is a pretty good PSU but not my first choice.
October 25, 2007 4:36:07 PM

the gateway one will be fine if you aren't looking to do much other than just use it at home for starcraft once in a while. its priced fairly competitively and a hell of a lot better than the one you get at best buy. you are running winxp i would assume so if you are worried about the bloatware gateway will inevitabley stick on your machine just wipe the em-effer clean with your windows disk and pretend the nightmare of recovery partitions, mcafee/norton and aol was just that, a bad dream.

good luck
October 25, 2007 10:51:51 PM

Ok, so I went out the Best Buy and played around with the Gateway. I liked what I saw. It was very fast loading up Windows Media Center, Office Word and PwrPoint, and anything else I tried to load that was already on the system. I even had the guy open up the system so I could look inside. This is a picture of the sticker on the power supply I snapped with my camera phone:



The pic came out pretty bad. You can see it's made by Delta Electronics, so I looked up the company and found this:

http://www.delta.com.tw/product/ps/sps/sps_product.asp?...

Selected the 400W supply, there is this PDF document on it.
http://www.delta.com.tw/product/ps/sps/desktop/download...
Can someone tell me if it is a +12V Rail supply? Is it a decent PSU? And most importantly, will it power an XFX 8800GTS 320MB card?

The RAM is 667MHZ, not 800. But again, it's got double the HD capacity for anything else I'm looking at.

SO......I'm down to two options, this Gateway from BestBuy or the option detailed below.

If I don't go with the Gateway from BB, I can get this custom build. I'm still not going to build it myself, but rather have a local shop out of Orlando build it. They built my current PC, and it's lasted me almost three years (the vid card just died) with minor, if any, problems. This is what the speccs are:

Intel Q6600
Intel BOXDQ35JOE LGA 775 Intel Q35 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Does anyone have any experience with that MOBO? There are very few reviews of it on newegg. I asked him if it's really a good option, he says it is very stable. He says he has a 680i himself, and he had to work at it to get it properly stable as opposed to this which is stable from the get go...

XFX Geforce 8800GTS 320 MB
Western Digital 250GB 7200RPM HD
3GB 800MHZ DDR2 RAM
DVDRW
ULTRA WIZARD ULT31795 CHASSIS - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

This will run be about $1380 including taxes.

Good?

I really do appreciate the time and input you guys are investing in helping me out here. It's a not too often, large purchase for me, but I'm trying to save money if I can, while not regretting it in the long run.

So if the power supply from the Gateway @ Best Buy can handle the 8800 GTS, is there really a big difference between the custom build above and the Gateway?
October 26, 2007 12:17:29 AM

Maybe I'm reading it wrong (somebody please correct me if necessary) but from that pdf I understand the PSU has 250W (390-140) on the 12V circuit, which means about 21A. The 8800 GTS needs 26A. No, that Gateway won't accept an 8800 GTS unless you replace the PSU. Also, the PSU has a weird shape, 150 x 140 x 86 just like my Dad's, but with the 150 mm on the width. It may be very hard to find a PSU powerful enough for the 8800 card and still shaped like that. Plus, honestly, a PSU should be selected by quality and power and price, not by its width, yuck.
Please, do yourself a favor and get the custom build. The computers at BestBuy are absolutely great for people who use them for work, e-mail, Solitaire, even Simcity, but if you need to make upgrades you are in trouble with them.

I don't like that motherboard. First of all, micro-ATX means it's small, and they have to cut some serious corners to achieve that. That board even reduces your RAM choices a lot (only 1.8 V allowed). Stick with a P35 motherboard, don't go with Q35.

Does this local shop in Orlando have a Web site, so we can see what parts they have and their prices? If they do, give us the URL and we'll see what can be done for $1380. Do they let you order parts from newegg or other places and bring them in?
October 26, 2007 1:49:43 AM

aevm said:
Maybe I'm reading it wrong (somebody please correct me if necessary) but from that pdf I understand the PSU has 250W (390-140) on the 12V circuit, which means about 21A. The 8800 GTS needs 26A. No, that Gateway won't accept an 8800 GTS unless you replace the PSU. Also, the PSU has a weird shape, 150 x 140 x 86 just like my Dad's, but with the 150 mm on the width. It may be very hard to find a PSU powerful enough for the 8800 card and still shaped like that. Plus, honestly, a PSU should be selected by quality and power and price, not by its width, yuck.
Please, do yourself a favor and get the custom build. The computers at BestBuy are absolutely great for people who use them for work, e-mail, Solitaire, even Simcity, but if you need to make upgrades you are in trouble with them.

I don't like that motherboard. First of all, micro-ATX means it's small, and they have to cut some serious corners to achieve that. That board even reduces your RAM choices a lot (only 1.8 V allowed). Stick with a P35 motherboard, don't go with Q35.

Does this local shop in Orlando have a Web site, so we can see what parts they have and their prices? If they do, give us the URL and we'll see what can be done for $1380. Do they let you order parts from newegg or other places and bring them in?


Thanks for your reply. Interesting input on the MOBO. Their website is www.cheapguys.com. I'm not sure if their entire inventory is on there, but there are some boards there. I'm not sure if they let you order outside and assemble to be honest. Problem is, I live about an hour to 1 1/2 hour from Orlando now, so I'm not sure if I wanna order a MOBO take it to them, have them build it, then go back to get it. Hopefully their website has something decent on there. Thanks for the help!


Also, I just read something about PCI-e 2.0?? The PC I'm not which I got two years ago, I got with an AGP slot, and sure enough about a month or two later PCI-e showed up and I was screwed. What's the deal with PCI-e 2.0? Is it coming fairly soon, and will I end up in a similar situation?
October 26, 2007 2:15:46 AM

:ouch:  How the heck do these people stay in business? They only have 3 motherboards for socket 775, and they are based on chipsets like P965, 650i and Q35. Not a P35, 680i or X38 in sight. OK, with a name like "cheap guys" I shouldn't expect 680i or X38, but there are P35-based mobos like GA-P35-DS3L that cost less than their 3 models (at newegg) and are better. Even worse, two of those 3 motherboards are MSI. Also, they only have 3 video cards, and all MSI too. The MSI 8800 GTX is $100 more at cheap guys than at newegg, so they're not even that "cheap" after all.
Let me clarify: I don't hate MSI, I just don't trust them. Reviews are mixed, some good, some stink.
Man, I'm really sorry, I can't pick a decent motherboard from that list.

Is there some other shop like that, maybe closer to your home? There are about 20 in Ottawa, so I'm assuming your area has several too. How about finding a friend who would assemble the PC for you from parts ordered at newegg, for $100 and a couple of beers?
October 26, 2007 2:42:55 AM

aevm said:
:ouch:  How the heck do these people stay in business? They only have 3 motherboards for socket 775, and they are based on chipsets like P965, 650i and Q35. Not a P35, 680i or X38 in sight. OK, with a name like "cheap guys" I shouldn't expect 680i or X38, but there are P35-based mobos like GA-P35-DS3L that cost less than their 3 models (at newegg) and are better. Even worse, two of those 3 motherboards are MSI. Also, they only have 3 video cards, and all MSI too. The MSI 8800 GTX is $100 more at cheap guys than at newegg, so they're not even that "cheap" after all.
Let me clarify: I don't hate MSI, I just don't trust them. Reviews are mixed, some good, some stink.
Man, I'm really sorry, I can't pick a decent motherboard from that list.

Is there some other shop like that, maybe closer to your home? There are about 20 in Ottawa, so I'm assuming your area has several too. How about finding a friend who would assemble the PC for you from parts ordered at newegg, for $100 and a couple of beers?


Heh, yeah I think their choice of company name wasn't too bright. If I'm not mistaken, I think they are one of the larger mom & pop PC stores in the Orlando area. I know they have a warehouse and a few retail outlets. I did a quick search for computer stores in the Melbourne, FL area and dozens of them came up. It's hard to pick just one of these and trust them to build it and not close up shop in a month. There is one person I may be able to call and see if he would do it.
October 26, 2007 2:43:00 AM

And go with an 8800GT 512, not a 8800GTS 320.

Edit: And to be honest, building a computer really isn't that hard.
October 26, 2007 5:11:38 AM

OK...I may order all the parts and consider building this thing myself. If not try and find someone else to do it. Here's a list of parts I've selected from Newegg. Could definitely use some input.

CASE - COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681... - I want something that looks sleek. No fancy lights. This one looks ok, if anyone knows of another model that isn't too expensive, I'd appreciate it.

MOBO - EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

PSU - OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...

MEMORY - G.SKILL 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model F2-6400PHU1-1GBNR - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...
AND
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

HARD DRIVE - SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...

OPTICAL DRIVE
- LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with 12X DVD-RAM write and LightScribe Technology Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model LH-20A1H-185 - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1682...


That MOBO has plenty of reviews on it. Has it been a hassle to setup for anyone? I know this one doesn't, and I've been having trouble finding one, but I would like a good MOBO that has onboard video, for backup if the video card should ever fail. Can someone recommend a good one?

nukchebi0, you recommend the 8800 GT, however it is not out yet, right? Mid-November? I also read somewhere about new AMD and Intel processors coming out. Is now not a good time to build?

All the other parts are ok?

Also, I know the memory and the video card are easy to install. I've never really done the other stuff. I'm assuming these things come with instructions on how to assemble? Does anyone know if the Q6600 heatsink requires fumbling with pastes, or does it have a sticker on it? I dunno...metal screws, static, computer chips...scary stuff!
October 26, 2007 5:41:00 AM

Could you handle waiting to January?

If so, then wait. Other wise, go with the Q6600 and the 8800GT, which is out on Monday

For RAM, your dual channel won't work with the 1GB stick by itself.

Are you wanting SLI? If not, then you don't need the 190 motherboard. You could get a Gigabyte for 100-120 and be fine. The Evga doesn't have video onboard either.

You said that your old video card broke, I believe. Was the slot it was in AGP or PCI-e?

For HS's, I would recommend going with the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. No fumbling with paste, just attach like normal. Make sure you read the box to align it properly.

This all really matters how pressing your want to get a new computer is.
October 26, 2007 6:02:05 AM

nukchebi0 said:
Could you handle waiting to January?

If so, then wait. Other wise, go with the Q6600 and the 8800GT, which is out on Monday

For RAM, your dual channel won't work with the 1GB stick by itself.

Are you wanting SLI? If not, then you don't need the 190 motherboard. You could get a Gigabyte for 100-120 and be fine. The Evga doesn't have video onboard either.

You said that your old video card broke, I believe. Was the slot it was in AGP or PCI-e?

For HS's, I would recommend going with the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro. No fumbling with paste, just attach like normal. Make sure you read the box to align it properly.

This all really matters how pressing your want to get a new computer is.


I can't really wait till Jan. My video card is dead, and I'm now on a temporary GeForce TI 4200, Direct X 8.1 card. Not stable.

So I need to get (2x1GB) sticks for a total of 4GB to work? Is this a good deal on RAM and will it work?
Super Talent -STT DDR2-800 2GB (2x1GB) CL5 S-RIGID Memory Kit - http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=T8UX2GC5&ref=lmcd1

Do the Gigabyte boards have on board video?

The old video card slot was AGP. This computer does not have PCI-E. 8(

Thx for the help.
October 26, 2007 6:31:22 AM

Do you have a friend with a more stable AGP card?

The RAM you had earlier was 2x1 and 1 1GB stick for a total of three. You need 2(2x1s) for 4GB. What OS do you want? I can't advise about the RAM, unfortunately.

No, the boards don't.
October 26, 2007 8:17:54 AM

Thank God you aren't buying either of those Gateways for about five reasons. Why in hell do you want a 680i mobo. The only reason to go with that mobo is if you plan on SLI, which is highly unlikely because you almost bought a Gateway. Get any P35 mobo, the Bearlake chipset is the latest technology available. Gigabyte has a range of them to fit your budget/needs. The P35 will OC the Q6600 to 3G/1333FSB so easily that anyone can do it. It's a free automatic OC. Get a good cooler (not required) to keep that Q6600 cool for long life, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme or equivalent. Get the Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800 RAM 2G pack, it works flawlessly with the Gigabyte P35. Get a SATA DVD.
October 26, 2007 11:55:03 AM

You keep pushing the OP to build a system but he really isn't ready. He also doesn't need to get a Q6600 based system. He doesn't want to OC or need premium parts, he just wants a decent system.

My suggestion is this. Find a low or mid level C2D prebuilt system with MB graphics, purchase a decent PSU, an 8800 GPU, and additional ram if needed from the EGG or other e-tailer Take this to a local computer shop and have them replace the OEM parts and install GPU. (Even the Geek Squad at BB will do it and it won't void the warranty.) Later add a faster CPU if needed when the price drops. They can also strip the the bloatware and clean the registry. Sell the OEM parts to someone locally or on ebay.

There are often good deals to be had 'open box' units. Even a base unit could be upgraded this way (including CPU) resulting in decent system. I have done this for friends. Short of OCing they are dependable, competitive machines with home builts and about the same costs or less. The needs you have stated don't require a Quad core set up and almost any store bought dual core box with even a 8600GTS or better GPU will seem like light speed over what you have for those tasks.

So OP, don't get pressured into building something if your not comfortable doing it. A lot of people here are admitted tech freaks and addicted to upgrading to the latest and greatest! Just remember,you may not get a better performing or dependable machine, despite premium components, if you don't know how to set it up properly. All of us have fried one or more components while learning to build things right. Don't make your first build with top of the line stuff or you may just end up poorer and frustrated.
October 26, 2007 3:22:05 PM

Zorg said:
Thank God you aren't buying either of those Gateways for about five reasons. Why in hell do you want a 680i mobo. The only reason to go with that mobo is if you plan on SLI, which is highly unlikely because you almost bought a Gateway. Get any P35 mobo, the Bearlake chipset is the latest technology available. Gigabyte has a range of them to fit your budget/needs. The P35 will OC the Q6600 to 3G/1333FSB so easily that anyone can do it. It's a free automatic OC. Get a good cooler (not required) to keep that Q6600 cool for long life, Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme or equivalent. Get the Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800 RAM 2G pack, it works flawlessly with the Gigabyte P35. Get a SATA DVD.


Your right, I won't be doing any SLI. Didn't know that was the purpose of the 680i.

Can someone recommend a good MOBO from the Gigabyte one's on this page? Or any other MOBO? I'd really like onboard video as a backup option, and also because I may wait till the 8800 GT comes out, and with oboard video at least I'll have a working system till then. But if it's just not available, then so be it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Craxbax, thanks for your response. I have found someone locally that I can trust to build this thing. I am going to go ahead with the Q6600, even though it's probably overkill. Just want to futureproof myself.

Need some more advise on the RAM as well. Is the Crucial Ballistix necessary? It is $40 more expensive than the G-Skill, and I can get the Super Talent (4x1GB) for $106. Will the Super Talent work?

I've selected this SATA Optical Drive - LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm going to order this thing soon, so appreciate any recommendations, and making sure the parts will work together. Also, again, I'd like the MOBO to have on-board video. Thanks.

EDIT: Oh, and also, I should get Home Vista Premium 32-bit right? I'm going Vista for sure though, not XP.

EDIT (Part Deus - Get it? ;p): Should I go with an EVGA GFX card instead, since they have the "Step-up" program?
October 26, 2007 3:33:35 PM

I think the Q6600 is a good choice, considering you intend to keep it a few years. Quads will have much better software support a year from now, I'm sure. For now it's just Crysis, Hellgate, CoH, and SupCom AFAIK. Mind you, I only need Hellgate until 2010 :lol: 

I would replace the eVGA 680i with a GA-P35-DS3L or GA-P35-DS3R (save $100) and the Spinpoint with a WD5000AAKS (same price, more reliable). The eVGA board is excellent, but overkill for a single video card.

Don't bother with a special cooler for the CPU. The stock cooler is fine since you're not planning to overclock. Or get the Freezer 7, that's easy to install and worth the $20.

I really don't know about onboard video. It's best not to have it, if you have a video card. I tried looking for a good mobo based on G33 at newegg but without much success.

8800 GT out on Monday? Seriously? Yay :bounce:  :bounce:  OP, please do wait until Monday. If the 8800 GT really costs $250 and beats the 8800 GTS then it's a fantastic deal. I hope some good site reviews it right away.
October 26, 2007 3:53:44 PM

The Step-up program is mostly useless, because of the way they price the new cards. However, I do recommend eVGA video cards anyway, because they have great quality and support and warranties. So do BFG and XFX.

If you get 4 GB of RAM you might as well get Vista 64-bit so the 4th GB can actually do something.

If you get the GA-P35-DS3R I'd recommend one of these:

Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (two of these for 4 GB total)
$95+$55 (only one gets the rebate, I think. If that's true get a friend to order one for you.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146565

OCZ Vista Upgrade 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
$191 including shipping after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227195
That's what I'm using for my GA-P35C-DS3R.

OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (two of these for 4 GB total)
($99+$5)*2-$35 (only one rebate if you buy 2), that's $173
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227231

The Ballistix at $150 sounds best, even if it limits your motherboard to 4GB. The Vista Upgrade version allows an eventual upgrade to 4 sticks of 2 GB each (plus, I got it on sale)

October 26, 2007 4:10:25 PM

aevm said:
The Step-up program is mostly useless, because of the way they price the new cards. However, I do recommend eVGA video cards anyway, because they have great quality and support and warranties. So do BFG and XFX.

If you get 4 GB of RAM you might as well get Vista 64-bit so the 4th GB can actually do something.

If you get the GA-P35-DS3R I'd recommend one of these:

Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (two of these for 4 GB total)
$95+$55 (only one gets the rebate, I think. If that's true get a friend to order one for you.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146565

OCZ Vista Upgrade 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
$191 including shipping after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227195
That's what I'm using for my GA-P35C-DS3R.

OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (two of these for 4 GB total)
($99+$5)*2-$35 (only one rebate if you buy 2), that's $173
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227231

The Ballistix at $150 sounds best, even if it limits your motherboard to 4GB. The Vista Upgrade version allows an eventual upgrade to 4 sticks of 2 GB each (plus, I got it on sale)



Lining up those two boards for comparison:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...

The DS3L shows that it has onboard USB 2.0...while the DS3R does not? No USB, that can't be right...

And it seems as the DS3R is picky about which kind of RAM it takes, not good?

I'm leaning towards 32-bit OS. I'm not too concerned about the extra 500MB that won't be used, so much as avoiding troubleshooting with 64-bit? Can anyone comment?
October 26, 2007 4:39:27 PM

There's 4 USB on the back of the DS3R (just check out the DS3R picture), newegg just sucks and posting the right specs. Just look at their processor specs. Sometimes they list L1 Cache size, other times they give L2 or L3. Very inconsistent. I still love newegg, but you've really got to look around for 100% correct specs. :p 

The DS3R also has what appears to be 4 points for external USB devices. This will give you the ability to hook up like 8 devices w/ usb ports. So plenty of USB. :) 

I'd say avoid 64-bit for now, as I understand finding drivers for 64bit OS is a pain atm. Maybe try again in the next few years when it has a more solid standing.

October 26, 2007 4:53:40 PM

Wow.. you guys are steering him all over the place. Why don't you listen to what he's asking for and helping him out from there? I mean, if he's looking at premium parts, it's not a bad thing, right?
For instance: why go with the 680i? Oh, I don't know... maybe because in the future, he can just add another 8800gt or gts (whatever he gets now) and put it in SLI and keep up for another 4 years? Hell, in 2 years the 8800GT or gts will only be about what, $150 or so? The extra $60 now is well worth the investment considering that a new SLI MB will cost at least $100 later on. Granted, if he's not going to OC, there's not much advantage to it other than the SLI, but you can't fault him for looking for quality components. Hell, I'd even say that it's better that he buy the high-end components now than waste his money on that POS OEM Gateway MB that's probably a 2nd tier E-machines special.
It's obvious that he doesn't understand about 32bit vs. 64 bit, so I don't think that you guys' explanation of 3gb vs 4gb is really sticking. Dues-Dues: If you want to go with 64bit Vista, know this: it's not supported from a driver standpoint by about half of the hardware vendors out there. Maybe this has been getting better lately, but last I checked, the 64bit drivers for components and peripherals were lacking to say the least. With that in mind, do you want the enthusiasts' recommendation where you (who obviously doesn't want to screw with it that much) have to constantly tweak and fiddle just to make it work, or do you want it to work straight out of the box?
If the answer is the latter, I'd almost say to go with XP Pro SP2 and then upgrade near the end of next year because it's still not going to be worth it until then. All these guys will tell you that you need it, but you don't. DX10 isn't going to go mainstream until 3Q or 4Q of 2008, so don't try to keep up with the "enthusiasts" on this board, but rather keep yourself in your comfort zone.
I already know what you guys are going to say: but DX 10 games are coming out NOW!!!
My response: 1) The cards out now (except the Ultra and SLI'd GTS's) can't even handle the DX9 versions cranked up all the way at higher resolutions. I run 1680x1050 and my GTS bogs down pretty hard compared to what it can do at 1280x1024. Most people these days are running widescreen LCDs, so the higher resolutions are a must just to get the most out of your display.
2) DX10 (just like Vista) still has a LOT of developmental progress left to go before it becomes really viable for the mainstream (i.e. actually runs smooth and clean)
Dues Dues: Take your budget, get the Q6600, 680i MB, 2GB of 6400 RAM at low latency (4 or 3), a 500GB HD with perpendicular recording on a SATA 3.0 interface, a Sound Blaster Xfi Fatal1ty or other $120 Sound card (yes, it makes that much of a difference), a nice case, a 650W PS, a 8800 GT or GTS (your choice) and get to gaming! I can guarantee you that it will all work for your $1400 budget and it will smoke that Gateway system hands-down. You can even add the extra 2gb of RAM and run Crapta if you want and still come in under budget.

October 26, 2007 5:21:32 PM

That's a decent rig to be coming from Gateway. I personally wouldn't buy it, but that's just me.
October 26, 2007 5:25:33 PM

@DJ_Jumbles:
He said he won't be doing any SLI and he also said he definitely wants Vista. But sure, if he gets the eVGA 680i A1 he gets a chance to change his mind later. He pays $100 more now but avoids the need to pay $200 for a new mobo when/if he changes his mind. His decision. To be fair, if that happens 2 years from now he may want a new mobo anyway, to support Nehalem for example, and the $100 would be wasted.

About drivers: since he wants Vista anyway, the choices are whether to trust 32-bit Vista drivers or 64-bit Vista drivers. All Vista drivers are developed and tested in parallel for 32 and 64, because Microsoft requires it for certification. That is, the 32-bit is not safer as far as drivers are concerned, it's the same. What you're saying is 100% true when talking about XP, of course.


October 26, 2007 5:26:34 PM

Once again, thanks for the input.

I'm really not sure which MOBO out of those two to get, so if someone could pick one for me, I'd appreciate it. I'm thinking the DS3L since it isn't so picky about RAM?

DJ_Jumbles...thanks for the reply. I honestly don't see myself going SLI, ever. Just don't see the value in it. Two years down the road, I'll just swap out the 8800 for a 10-series or whatever is hot at the time. So I'll probably go with the Gigabyte MOBO, just not sure which one.

As far as OS, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna go with Vista 32-Bit. From what I understand it's not too bad now that it's been out for a little while. And I'm not a complete newbie at computers either, just not so much on the hardware side. I've been gaming and playing around for a little over a decade now, so I can do some troubleshooting. Plus, I enjoyed playing around with Vista at the store, its a refreshing change from seeing the same OS every day.

****...perpendicular recording on a SATA 3.0 interface? Does this WD 500 GB have perpendicular recording? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Also, for the past several years I've used the onboard audio. Is the uber soundcard necessary? I know soundcards can tend to cause problems here and there with different games and things; another piece of hardware to troubleshoot?

So for now, I need to nail down the MOBO and the RAM. I'm not too big on the best quality RAM, just decent, lower priced RAM. I'd like to stay around $120 for the RAM. And again, I'll take the Gigabyte board if thats the best option, but I would REALLY like something with onboard video, meanwhile the 8800GT arrives + incase the video card fails, I can still use the computer.
October 26, 2007 5:26:50 PM

Looking at your original post, I think you are getting some good advice here. The oem PC vendors do a good job of the lowest end PC's, but if you want more, then the best way to do it is to select the parts, and do it yourself or pay someone to do it. Here are some of my thoghts:

CPU Q6600 is a good choice. Don't worry about the D0 vs B3 stepping issue. D0 is better because it runs cooler, but the performance is the same.

VGA card. 8800GTS-320 has been the best buy for some time, but the 8800GT which is about? to be launcehd might change that. Best to wait and see.

Mobo: The performance of your system is primarily related to the power of the cpu and the vga card, not the mobo. Pick the lowest cost mobo from a good vendor that has the features that you need, or might want in the future. Gigabyte has been mentioned here, and is very good. The major limitation of the DS3L model is that it does not support raid(which I do not recommend), and it only has 4 sata connections. If, in the future, you need more features like firewire, wifi, or more sata ports, then you could always bur an add-in card to supply that need.

Memory: 2gb is minimum, 3 or 4 is better. The C2D processors are not very sensitive to memory speeds, so there is little value in paying more for high performance memory unless you will be overclocking. Saving a few hard page faults with more memory is worth much more than the 1 or 2% difference in application performance. I think I would get 4gb right off the bat. Get the least expensive 4gb you can find from a quality vendor. This could be 4x1gb or 2x2gb. Go to that vendor's web site and run their configurator to get a list of memory parts that they say will be compatible with your selected mobo.

OS: I would recommend Vista to start with. This is where microsoft is spending their resources, and it already runs well. Most problems have come with driver support for old hardware. You have a choice of OEM, or retail. OEM is what you would get from gateway, and it limits your ability to install the OS to the original motherboard. It is still possible to upgrade your motherboard, but you have to talk to microsoft, and convince them that you are not trying to use the OS on two PC's. With OEM, you do not get microsoft support. Because of limitations, OEM costs less. If you have XP on your old PC, and if you are going to abandon it, then you could install XP on the new PC and buy a Vista upgrade program which costs more than OEM, but not as much as retail. To eliminate any OS hassles, consider the retail version. With the retail or upgrade version of vista, you can send microsoft $10, and get a dvd which lets you load the 64 bit version. I have had no driver problems with my vista-64, and I expect that for your parts, you won't either. The only incompatibility I found was that 16 bit dos based programs like civ-2.42 won't work. There are some security enhancements in 64-bit, and my sense is that it runs cleaner and snappier.

On assembling it yourself:

First, I would download the installation instructions for the motherboard and the case from the manufacturers web site. Read them before doing anything. If you don't like what you read, then by all means, have the PC assembled by your local guy. It might be a good idea too have him do this anyway, just to establish a relationship in case you need future help.

Putting the parts together will take you an hour if experienced, 2-3 if not. loading the OS and drivers will be a couple of hours if you have a fast internet connection. There are several places that have a visual guide to doing this.

The value of the experience: priceless!

---good luck---

October 26, 2007 5:39:13 PM

DeusDeus22 said:
Once again, thanks for the input.

I'm really not sure which MOBO out of those two to get, so if someone could pick one for me, I'd appreciate it. I'm thinking the DS3L since it isn't so picky about RAM?

****...perpendicular recording on a SATA 3.0 interface? Does this WD 500 GB have perpendicular recording? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

Also, for the past several years I've used the onboard audio. Is the uber soundcard necessary? I know soundcards can tend to cause problems here and there with different games and things; another piece of hardware to troubleshoot?



I would say go with the onboard audio for now. Avoid X-Fi cards because their drivers for Vista are terrible.

Get the DS3R because it's more future proof and has the better onboard audio.

For RAM, there's a Crucial Ballistix 2 GB kit of DDR2-800 for $95 ($55 after $40 rebate) at newegg. How does the rebate system work if you buy two of those, do you get one rebate or two? Anyway, have a friend buy the 2nd one if necessary. That's $110 for 4 GB of high-quality RAM, wow...

SATA 3... no such thing on the market AFAIK. Do you mean SATA 2 (3 Gbps). WD5000AAKS does have that.

PMR - not in WD5000AAKS, yes in WD7500AAKS. The speed difference is absolutely annoying, for someone like me who has WD5000AAKS. The WD7500AAKS is as fast as a Raptor in a bunch of benchmarks.
October 26, 2007 7:12:57 PM

Geofelt, awesome post, thanks a bunch!

Ok, so I'm going with the MOBO and RAM you recommended aevm.

Going with this HD if it's good you think. Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Unless you think WD7500AAKS is worth it.

And the gentleman building my PC recommends going with Vista 64-bit, and since you guys seem to think its no problem with drivers, I'll go ahead. Are the issues, if there are any, mainly with drivers, or also with software (games/apps) when it comes to 64-bit?

So, I guess I'm pretty much set then?
October 26, 2007 7:31:45 PM

WD7500AAKS is worth it IMO because it's faster than the WD5000AAKS. It costs $180 instead of $110 but you get 50% more space. $100 + 50% means $165. $180 - $165 is $15, that's all you pay for the additional speed. Plus, if you're like me and end up with 1.5 TB it's nice to have 2 disks instead of 3.

About the Vista drivers... I believe that the difference between 32-bit Vista and 64-bit Vista is negligible as far as driver availability and quality. However, Windows XP SP2 32-bit is safer than both, simply because device manufacturers have had several years to make and debug their drivers. If you have any older programs that are absolutely vital (for example you use them in your work and can't do without them) and they don't have Vista versions or equivalents, then you may need XP. If this box is just for playing games never mind, Vista will be fine.
October 26, 2007 10:18:56 PM

OK, so I've pretty much got the parts finalized. Heres the list:

CASE - COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

PSU - OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

MOBO - GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80562Q6600 - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...

HEATSINK - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is this an unecessary $20 to add? Also will I need
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail to go with it?

HARD DRIVE - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

OPTICAL DRIVE - LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model LH-20A1S - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

MEMORY - Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model BL2KIT12864AA804 - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1682...

OS - Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1683...

This I'm still kicking back and forth between 32 and 64-bit. Those of you that have 64-bit Vista installed are without issues?

VIDEO CARD - I was going to go with
XFX PVT80GGHD4 GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported HDCP Video Card - Retail - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?item=N82E1681...
but since the 8800GT is reportedly out Monday, I'll probably go with that.

Total Cost (including 8800GTS): $1364
Total Cost (no video card): $1064


Everything look good? Any changes? Will probably place the other later tonight or first thing tomorrow. Thanks again everyone for all the help! It's great to be able to come here and get educated and pointed in the right direction.
October 26, 2007 10:36:46 PM

You can safely remove the Arctic cooler and the compound. Let the overclockers spend their $20 on that, you don't need it.

Yup, wait for the 8800 GT, smart move. You really don't want to spend $270 on the 8800 GTS this weekend, only to see the 8800 GT listed at $250 on Monday and hear that it's faster... If the card is in stores on Monday I'm sure there will already be good reviews out there by Monday evening.
!