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Please review this newbie's selection

Last response: in Systems
November 20, 2007 5:03:11 PM

Hi everyone, I have been lurking around here for quite some time - some info as to what I will be doing with this build:

- video editing + TV show recording
- Not a lot of gaming, too busy with studies for games
- probably will not be overclocking
- will keep the computer on for extended periods of time, most likely 18 of 24 hrs in a day

Here's which I am thinking of getting, please tell me if my selections are good:

  • INTEL CORE 2 QUAD Q6600 2.4 GHz 1066MHz L2 8 MB
  • Western Digital 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB (WD5000AAKS)
  • Antec Sonata III w/ 500W PSU
  • OCZ 2G (2 x 1G) PC2-6400 Platinum Dual Channel (OCZ2P8002GK) 4-5-4
  • Sapphire HD 2600 PRO 512M DDR2 PCI-E

    I already have a TV Tuner and monitor that I like. Please don't burn me for getting a low end graphics card, once again, I am not into gaming and I am a graduate student, so working with a small budget really ties up my hands. My questions are as follows:

    1) Are my choices solid? What changes should I make and why?
    2) Are those RAM good to go with the motherboard? (Just making sure)
    3) Will the stock Antec 500W PSU do the job for me?

    Thank you
    November 20, 2007 6:24:18 PM

    1. For the most part, yeah. Since you're not going to game - going with an HDCP or TV Tuner card is probably your best bet. (The 8600 GT is also capable of these functions, I think, but it's all a matter of personal preference)

    2. RAM is fine. You aren't OC'ing so timings shouldn't even really concern you. If anything RAM will be the last thing you need to worry about when considering a bottleneck.

    3. Antec is pretty reliable from what I hear, but w/o more information (ie. model # / name) I can't really tell you more.
    November 20, 2007 6:27:47 PM

    Thank you for your insight, should I go with 4GB ram instead of 2GB? Also the PSU that comes with the Antec Sonata III case is - Antec’s EarthWatts 500 W PSU which is 80 Plus Certified
    Related resources
    November 20, 2007 6:33:17 PM

    I would only go with 2GB unless you're using a 64bit OS. 32bit OS won't recognize the full 4GB (usually 2.7-3.5GB max). If you plan on doing 3GB you'll want to do 2x1GB and 2x512MB in dual-channel mode as opposed to 3x1GB, which will force your ram into single-channel mode. I personally would just go with 2GB of RAM though.

    As for the PSU - Yeah, the EarthWatts are pretty solid from the comments that are posted around here.
    November 20, 2007 6:56:26 PM

    Looks good. Here are some additional thoughts:
    1) Go for the 4gb of memory up front. With a Q6600, you will be able to do considerable multitasking. It helps to be able to hold all those tasks in memory without demand paging. DDR2 memory is cheap these days. It is better to get a matched set of memory up front to avoid any problems with upgrading later. Sometimes memory vendors change their specs slightly over time, potentially causing problems.
    2) For the same price, Consider the antec designer 500 case : It has the same psu(which is very good, and will do the job), but the case has better ventilation, and comes with lots of sound deadening features. I also like cases without front doors; they are a pain. Don't be put off by the white color, I had the predecessor P150, and it looks very nice in the flesh.
    3) Do you need wi-fi, or other features on the motherboard? For about $50 less, there are other good choices for P35 motherboards.

    ---good luck---
    November 20, 2007 9:37:46 PM

    I will be running 32bit Vista - am I better off with 4GB or 2GB ram?

    @geofelt - Yes I need the wi-fi feature

    Going to go pick up the parts tomorrow or thursday, hope everything I picked is good!
    November 20, 2007 9:51:08 PM

    Yes, you are better off with 4gb. A 32 bit OS will only see about 3.3gb, but that is still much better than 2gb. Some games will even make use of the extra memory all by themselves.
    November 20, 2007 9:58:15 PM

    what if I were to run 64bit Vista? I know a lot of programs and games are not even capable of running 64bit right now, but will that have an advantage with 4GB ram?
    November 20, 2007 10:12:00 PM

    Forget Vista - stick with XP Pro. You get a performance boost and some redundancy is you go for 2 - 250GB hard drives instead of 1 - 500GB.
    November 20, 2007 10:16:39 PM

    I think 64 bit vista is a good deal, I have had no problems. In fact, it seems a bit more responsive to me when I changed from 32-bit. The advantage is that you can use all 4gb. In addition, there are some additional security features and other goodies that I can't remember. I don't imagine that there are any games that will detect a 64 bit os, and take advantage of it.

    I had no driver problems. The only problem I had was that vista-64 will not run any 16bit dos programs like civ2-2.42. No matter, civ2-mge runs fine with a patch.