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first time build...suggestions welcome

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November 10, 2007 6:15:49 PM

This is the first time i've ever tried to build a pc, and would dearly love some feedback/suggestions.
I do play online games, fiddle around a bit with photoshop, and will be putting my music on it.
Any help would be appreciated.



Newegg.com - ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail $65

Newegg.com - Seagate SV35.2 ST3320620SV 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $90


Newegg.com - EVGA 512-P3-N802-A1 GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Vid.. $290

Newegg.com - GeIL Black Dragon 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $60 w/rebate

Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail $195

Newegg.com - ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $165 w/rebate

Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Real Power Pro RS-650-ACAA-A1 ATX12V / EPS12V 650W Power Supply 90 - 264 V Nemko, TUV, cUL, CE, BS.. $85 w/rebate

Newegg.com - Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail $81

Newegg.com - Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail $90 w/rebate

More about : time build suggestions

November 10, 2007 6:41:20 PM

Looks like a great rig.

Do you plan on overclocking? If not, then you probably don't need the cooler.

I always wonder if the PCI sound card is that much better than the on board sound. If it were me, I'd save the $81. If it didn't end up meeting my expectations, then I'd go ahead and buy the PCI sound card.
November 10, 2007 6:50:15 PM

Hey hey stranger :D . I'm fairly new at this too but I do have some things to say (though very little) :) . For the CPU cooler, i'd recommend you use a Zalman 9500 instead. It's older but works just as well from what I can tell and it's cheaper so :D  :D . As for the harddrives, i'd recommend you run your OS off a second 10k+/rpm harddrive for speed (that's what I'm running right now and it's godlike). Also, I've never bothered getting a PCI sound card since I personally can't tell the difference (shame on me). Also, are you planning on having a quiet machine? I heard the 8800 GTs were really loud, I'm assuming "Superclocked" won't make it any less quiet.

That's about all I can say now (that's right, point and laugh at the noob). I do have a question though. I'm building a machine myself too right now and I was wondering if there was any reason you picked your current case over the Sonata III? :) 
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November 10, 2007 7:06:26 PM

Good advice on the sound card. I don't know if i'd be able to tell the difference or not on the sound, but sure could on the pocket book. Will drop that for now.
I've never messed with overclocking before, sorta doubt i will now, especially if this will play my games better than my old emachine with the 6600 gts or gt or whatever i put in it a long time ago. So thank you again for helping me save a few bucks.

Umm, the case, well...embarassingly, i've read so much stuff lately, i really don't know why i chose that one anymore. Although, i did see it just went on sale today at newegg...big plus for me. I believe i chose it cuz of a review i read on Sharky website. They used it in thier high-end gaming system and said something about good airflo.

I should have taken notes while reading about this stuff. So horribly confusing.
Thank you for the suggestions!!!
November 10, 2007 7:31:53 PM

loy said:
This is the first time i've ever tried to build a pc, and would dearly love some feedback/suggestions.


Drop the Zalman. Not needed since you won't overclock. There are cheaper and quieter coolers out there anyway.

The Q6600 is better than the E6750 for Photoshop or Hellgate.

I'd replace the PSU with something like a PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610W or Corsair 620HX for example.

If the 8800GT is too noisy for you look for a Thermalright HR-03 GT cooler for it.

The only weak point of the IP35 Pro is the speed of the network connection. If online games are important to you and you'd also like to save some money get a GA-P35-DS3L instead.

Thermaltake Armor is great, but overkill for a single hard disk, no overclocking, no monster card like 8800GTX. Also, there are quieter cases out there. Look at the Antec P182, for example.
November 10, 2007 8:00:31 PM


You are right, that case is probably overkill.
Online gameing is important, so will check out the mb you suggested.
I'm not too worried about the noise of the card.
Q6600 doesn't look anymore expensive than the E6750, and if it works better...

You guys are great!!!

(puts reading glasses back on and takes two more asprin)

Thanks so much for all the suggestions!!
November 10, 2007 8:06:10 PM

Oops, the Q6600 is a bit more. Will have to look at that a bit i guess.
November 10, 2007 8:08:49 PM

Aevm, I don't plan on overclocking either so I was wondering if you could name a few fans that are quieter than the Zalman :) . I was also wondering, how does the Sonata III compare on a noise level to the P182?
November 10, 2007 8:10:40 PM

I would upgrade the PSU to the Pure Power or Tough Power series. The Real Power are not very good regardless of the power rating.

The Corsair 550vx would be a better quality choice in the same budget range.
November 10, 2007 8:53:25 PM

The Corsair 550vx looks good and is decently priced. Thank you.

I have a question about OS tho...I've read a lot of bad stuff about Vista and am leaning towards sticking with Windows XP for now. At least until i start hearing more good stuff about Vista.
Anyone have any thoughts/opinions/rants/raves?
November 10, 2007 8:55:34 PM

I'd say stick with XP :) . The only reasons I can think of to use vista are for Aero (for which you can skin XP) and DX10.
November 10, 2007 9:26:25 PM

cowsled said:
Aevm, I don't plan on overclocking either so I was wondering if you could name a few fans that are quieter than the Zalman :) . I was also wondering, how does the Sonata III compare on a noise level to the P182?


Don't know about the Sonata 3, sorry. I liked the reviews I've read so far.

Quiet CPU coolers: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro ($20), Scythe Ninja ($60), Thermaltake Ultra-120 Extreme ($80 including a good fan like SilenX IXtrema or Scythe SFF21F). If you don't overclock, you don't need any of these. If you overclock only a bit, either buy the Freezer or stay with the stock cooler. The Ninja is very close to the top performance, and the Ultra-120 Extreme is the best. These last two are really only for overclockers.

Here are some charts to help. Notice how the 9700 behaves nicely like everybody else until things get hot, and then the fan goes to 2800rpm and the noise goes to 57 dB. What the chart doesn't say is that it also has an annoying pitch when it does that. OK, that's subjective, maybe others wouldn't have a problem with that.
http://anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i=3068&p=5

If you want a quiet PC it's important to get a quiet PSU and a bunch of quality case fans too. Corsair, Seasonic and PC Power & Cooling make high quality PSUs that also make less noise than others. (No surprise, they are all based on Seasonic's designs.)

Good quiet fans include Scythe S-Flex (I use SFF21E, 20 dB) or Noctua.

November 10, 2007 9:40:21 PM

loy said:
Oops, the Q6600 is a bit more. Will have to look at that a bit i guess.


:lol:  I was wondering about that. Yeah, the Q6600 is typically $100 more than the E6750. If you use that PC 8 hours a day doing Photoshop or video encoding, then it's worth it. If all you really want is a gaming machine that occasionally gets used for other stuff then the E6750 will be just fine.

BTW, in Photoshop the Q6600 is 9% faster than E6850, according to some benchmarks I've seen. That means 23% faster than E6750, if my math is right.

If you play Crysis, Hellgate, Supreme Commander, Company of Heroes or Flight Simulator X then a Q6600 would be better than an E6750. In other games the E6750 will be a bit better (10%, thanks to higher clock, if the game only uses 1 or 2 cores). In future games, I'm guessing that some will do better on a Q6600 and some on a E6750. If you intend to keep this CPU for 3 years or more get the Q6600.

I hope that helps you decide. I have no idea what is best for you, it depends on what you do most of the time.
November 10, 2007 9:51:05 PM

I think i'm with you on the Vista thing, Cowsled. Going to stick with XP for now.

Isn't this exciting, building something new!?!?
Reminds me of making fresh cherry jam for the first time, standing back and looking at all the jars, and thinking...wow, i did that!
Nice sense of accomplishment.
Although one batch was a bit runny...hope the computer won't turn out that way when i try to put it together.

Thank you everyone for the help!!
November 10, 2007 9:57:55 PM

I just dabble with photoshop, mostly scrapbooking stuff...gaming would be priority.
I will be looking to replace another computer, probably next year. Am thinking finances will be better then, and the Q6600 more within my range, tho may still decide to go with it this round.
Guess I will make up my mind once i've looked at the end price when i finally decide.
You have been a great help. So glad there are resources like this and all of you out here.
November 10, 2007 10:14:58 PM

If you're planning on getting a new computer next year, then just stick with the E6750. By this time next year, they will have cheap CPU's based on the Penryn architecture that will kick the Q6600's a$$... and will also probably be cheaper at the time.

I personally just got a Q6600 but then again, the missus don't let me upgrade often (actually said, "NO!" to this but I ordered it anyways... heh) so I need something that will last me a bit longer... *cries*
November 11, 2007 4:17:21 PM

Well, the Q6600 was a smart investment. Tell the missus I said so. If that doesn't get you out of trouble try offering her some candy :)  Good luck!!!
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