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New Computer Build - Final Check Before Ordering (Critique)

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November 6, 2007 3:16:58 PM

With the help of people here and lots of reading I believe I have assembled a pretty viable machine - compared to my 5+ year old machine I'm currently using at home. This is meant as a last checklist to make sure I have accounted and thought of everything before I take the plunge and order. As always any input, recommendations and/or criticisms are welcome.

All prices were found using PriceCanada.com and are valid until the end of the day today.

I want to order ASAP unless there is a VERY good reason to wait until mid to late November.

Samsung SyncMaster 226BW 22IN Widescreen LCD Monitor Black 1680X1050 3000:1 2MS VGA DVI-D HDCP
Price: 309.99
- My First LCD monitor. Wanted something that looked appealing and was highly rated. I'm a Samsung fan.

Antec P182 ATX Black Mid Tower Case 4X5.25 1X3.5 6X3.5INT No PS Front USB Audio Firewire
Price: 132.98
- Reducing noise is my biggest concern. This case seems to do it all and more people preferred it
to the Antec 900. I would have preferred to have a clear side panel like the 900, ah well.

Coolermaster Ultra Silent Fan 120MM Black Case Fan 13DBA 11.27CFM
Price: 12.00
- I saw other people recommending additional fans for the HD's so I'm going with this one.

Corsair HX520 CMPSU-520HX 520W ATX Triple 12V 40A Continuous 24PIN ATX Modular 120MM Power Supply
Price: 97.99 (10.00 Rebate)
- Another selection based on recued noise. It also fits in my selected case which is important.
My only concern is if this PSU is powerful enough for my build (see below). Any thoughts on this?

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Quad Core Processor 2.40GHZ 1066FSB 8MB Retail
Price: 285.98
- The plan is to do some light overclocking to push the processors to 3.0GHZ (First time)

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L ATX LGA775 P35 1333FSB 1PCI-E16 3PCI-E1 3PCI SATA2 Sound GBLAN Motherboard
Price: 97.99
- Don't know much about this one. Saw it recommended for similar builds.

EVGA E-GEFORCE 8800GT Superclocked 650MHZ 512MB DDR3 PCI-E Dual DVI-I HDTV Out DIRECTX10 Video Card
Price: 284.99
- 8800GT seems to be the best card out there in my price range. Both recommended here and in Tom's
November article. It's a pre-order so thats the only thing I'm skeptical about.

Western Digital SE16 500GB SATA2 7200RPM 16MB Cache 8.9MS NCQ Hard Drive OEM 3YR MFR Warranty
Price: 199.96 (99.98 x2)
- Saw this in similar builds. This would be for Files/Music and other data. I plan to burn
digital pictures and other important files to DVD's as backup. Is this an ok method?
- Originally I had planned to purchase a smaller drive for the O/S and games, but this special
offer is so cheap it makes it a steal to purchase two. I can't really wrap my head around the
Raptor and justify it. Additional input here is definitely required.

OCZ Platinum XTC REV.2 PC2-6400 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-800 CL4-4-4-15 240PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit
Price: 53.88 (35.00 Rebate)
- Seems like a steal with the rebate. Highly rated as far as I can see. Is this RAM great?
Is there point in doubling this up or getting different RAM?

Samsung SH-S203N Black SATA DVD+RW 20X8X16 DVD-RW 20X6X16 DL18X/12X Lightscribe DVD Writer OEM W/ SW Price: 34.99
- Seems like a good drive.

Logitech Z5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers 500W RMS SILVER-BLACK Analog Coax Optical
Price: 288.88
- Never had a sound system better than basic before. I guess I'm sort of spoiling myself here
- Still undecided on a sound card to compliment this system. Recommendations?

Arctic Silver 5 HIGH-DENSITY Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound 3.5 Gram
Price: 12.47
- First build. Seems like good stuff.

Total is (1806.96(After rebates) + shipping) + surge protector + Sound Card (undecided) so far.

Thanks!
November 6, 2007 3:27:04 PM

Everything looks good right now in combination (if you're not on a budget) EXCEPT the power supply.

FYI the quad cores use more energy than others, so you might want to up the PSU to AT LEAST 600W if you want to overclock.

http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine

Use this sight to find how much Watts you need.

This is a good build compared to your 5 year old computer.
November 6, 2007 5:10:49 PM

you are overspending by $80 on the case
you are overspending by $100 on the optical audio speaker system.
you are overspending by $30 on the psu
you are overspending by $100 on the cpu
you are overspending by $100 on the HDD

Take that money ($400+) and upgrade your ninny little baby monitor to a 32" LCDTV. (Something that you'll actually use every time you use it.)

Ditch one of the hard drives. By the time your first one fills you'll be able to add a second one for even cheaper.

Ditch the garbage intel quad and get a E6550 or E6750, both of which can be clocked higher and will run 90% of your real-world stuff faster and will require a less beefy power supply.
Related resources
November 6, 2007 5:32:03 PM

Everything looks good to me. The power supply is fine.
November 6, 2007 11:17:36 PM

So is the PSU in need of an upgrade or is it fine? I'm not too sure how much overclocking will increase my power consumption. I'm planning to overclock the Quad by 25% if that means anything.

Shadowmaster are you being serious?
- You said I'm overspending by 80 dollars on a case, so that means I should get a 50 dollar case?
- I read the reviews between the Z500E and the Z5500 Logitech systems and it seems it's a HUGE improvement to get the Z5500, so I don't see that as overspending, unless it's total overkill?
- The point of having 2 drives was to run the OS/Apps/Games off one and use the second for storage to increase performance, not strictly for storage
November 6, 2007 11:53:40 PM

If you want to overclock it that much, you're going to need a better PSU, and I mean it.

http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculator.jsp

Check out how many watts you're going to need and add maybe 50W just in case.
From what I see, you probably need a 700W PSU if you're planning to OC that beast, cause it basically DRINKS electricity (kinda).
Guessing what you might want:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Buy a new heatsink/fan for your CPU, cause OC is gonna BURN that thing.
Check this one out of you have the money:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Oh yeah, and keep your current stuff if you plan on using it for a LONG time, like 3+ years, cause your build is close to a long term build.
!