Well, I'm building a new PC for the first time in 5 years...
My Let me show you what's become of my computer after 5 years of abuse traveling around, banged around and tossed into a frat house. 5 years of roommates sabotaging my rig and breaking off the front door.. Note the wonderful cable job courtesy of drunken roommates and drunken adventures in general.
Take note of the artful dead HD resting on a top bay slot. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v431/dd4/IMG_1701Smal... http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v431/dd4/IMG_1704Smal...
I have my own place now so future computers should be subjected to less abuse. But as you can see my P4 Northwood 2.5 has to be put to rest.
*/end reflective babble*
I'm using my winter break to build this thing so it needs to be done around December. Although id like to wait till January-February when products are fresh in their cycle I don't think it's going to be an option.
I have a $1500-$1650 budget. Planning on a case that will last me for gaming during the next 3 years (hell this PC with a Geforce ti4200 runs TF2 on low settings). I also plan to overclock moderately so I've tried to research around that. This is going to be my first overclock so if anyone notices any "noobish" hardware mistakes thats why. After those 3 years I'll be deep in grad school with no time for gaming so it'll just be running Word docs and presentations I imagine for who knows how long.
Any help is greatly appreciated.
Case- Up in the air really, wanted something with a mobo tray. However current choices are:
Antec P182 http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16811129025- I like the styling and cable management features, don't care about the noise levels though so all the noise reducing stuff would be unneeded. I also like the fact it's quite sturdy. However, cooling worries me on the P182. Especially during the summer when it's 30C ambient and I'm using air cooling. The lack of a speaker for POSTing and the fact my PCP&C silencer 750w may not fit the bottom bay also bothers me.
Oh and if anyone can confirm that the new P180 revisions are identical to the p182 they would save me much money and I'd love them for life.
Cooler Master 690 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137- This case is nice and minimalistic with the opinions of forum goers seemingly pointing towards the best bang for buck around. However I also hear it has an issue with IDE cables currently. It's not that big of a deal but still a negative. I also Googled "690 review" and found reviews that tested its thermal performance gave it a normal score. Although I don't know how it compares to the P18x
The Antec 900 I just plain don't like astheically, I think it looks like the bastard child of a truck and a pc case. Although I'll admit it's a nice case and an option if all else fails.
Any other case suggestions would be nice as well
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813128059-Heard good things about it on the overclocking end and it comes with all the options I really need/want. I also hear the P35 chipset is (with BIOS updates for some mobos..) supported by upcoming processors. It's about all I need from a motherboard. Although anyone with alternative suggestions is welcomed as well.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16817703009- Reviewed
as one of the top brands on a few sites and comes with some long cables for the P182 if I choose it. However, like I said it might not fit too well. You may notice this is a tad overkill for this machine as well. This is because although the power supply calculator only says I need ~520 I'm accounting for the possibility of adding a RAID card+Extra fans+2extra SATA HDD in the future. Along with 30% capacitor aging to go with it. Might still be overkill but I'm not sure. If anyone can give me input on that I'd also appreciate it.
TOTAL:~$1640 (depending on case with included vista 64 license)
looks like a nice setup u have planned out. as far as a case goes. i have a cool master stacker and is a rather nice and stylish case not to mention it keeps my hardware pretty cool. here is the link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
two other things just from i have seen. g skill memory isnt a favorite of mine by far. i would look at the mobo man. to see if they recommend that brand of memory. i would say go with corsair or something similar. im using corsair dominator memory and works nicely with my setup and it also has some fans that u can place on it to help it stay cool as well the 750gb Caviar WD7500AAKS is a nice hard drive from what i have read and heard as well. i would get one 150 gig raptor to put the os and some games and use the 750 for mass storage.
yea i about cried when i saw that price i paid twice that when i got it... but its a damn nice case and i highly recommend the case but ill warn you, its about 30lbs empty and mine weighs i bet 50+ now and the front of the case i know looks different not too sure other than that
A lovely setup if you ask me, and not too far off from what I am using. I have to disagree with DW about the mem though. I am using G. Skill now (in fact just ordered another 2gb today to bring me up to 4gb), and have been very impressed with it. I have the timing set below spec, and running slightly over spec clock speed, completely stable. I am not necessarily saying that it is better than other brands, but it is certainly not to be discounted as a fine product. Not to mention the price can't be beat (2gb of 6400 ran me 50 bucks, hell, i blow more than that in one night at the bar!).
As far as the cooling goes, I went with the thermalright ultra with a scythe fan... OCed to 3.6 right now, no lapping, no issues. Can't vouch for the Tuniq one way or the other, but can say "don't fear the TR".
Cases to me are more a matter of personal taste. I went with the Antec 900 for the sake of inside real estate and the fact that it didn't have doors or anything otherwise impeding my access to DVD drives or the xfi bay punchout. Cooling is superb in this case, and it fits the massive HSF (though it is a snug fit).
Personally I would stick with the EVGA card, if for no other reason than the customer service there is awesome. I just used my step up to a 8800gt, and was amazed at how fast they processed the request despite the part being on backorder. I have had to call them twice with general questions and was treated marvelously and efficiently. I'll always recommend a company that takes that good care of its customers.
Good setup. Why go with 8800 GT though. Board doesn't have PCIe 2.0. So kind of like a waste to buy both a mobo and a video card at the same time and not be totally compatible to get the best performance. If this were an upgrade situation I would totally understand. Also the only boards supporting PCIe 2.0 only support crossfire. nVidia is not planning on even making supporting drivers b/c there are no boards that support PCIe 2.0 and SLI/nVidia. You will only use you video to part of its potential. Money to performance doesn't make sense, but only b/c of unused potential. Probably still a great build. Good Luck.
I would go with Antec btw. I've got Cooler Master Cosmos, but its not for everybody (off topic).
They have good boards with ddr2. PCIe 2.0 is also very new. so it probably doesn't make a difference yet. But it seems like the future to me. So I'm sure it will make a difference soon. But my "thoughts" on that don't really mean much, in this market things change so quickly. Perfect build with 2 video cards right now would probably be x38 mobo with 2 ATI 3870's. But I don't believe the hype about 2 graphics cards and haven't since day one. Why put money into 2 cards when the next generation will out perform 2 cards with 1?