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Please review - proposed first build

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December 17, 2007 9:24:22 PM

Hello again

this is a continuation of a thread you can find Here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/247281-31-building-base-computer-expand-later

I have a basic sense of what it is I want to get now, thanks to several members of this board including roadrunner, caamsa, lunyone, eric, and tlmck. They're all great guys.

My goal is to build a photoshop / video editing machine for around $650. I would like to overclock, and this is my first build. Here is what I'm thinking of building:


Processor: Intel core 2 duo e2180
$90
I chose this processor because it is cheap, I can overclock it, and it is what I can afford. When I can afford it, I'll buy one of the new Penryn quads.

Motherboard: MSI P35 Neo2-FR
$120
I chose this motherboard because it can overclock (supposedly) and because it will work with Penryn's when they come out.

Case: I like the Centurion 5.
$50
It looks good, seems to be well-recommended on here.

Ram: 4 gb ram (GeIL Value Series 4GB(2 x 2GB) DDR2 800)
$120
I could go with less, but is this a good brand? (for video and photo, I probably only need 2 gigs, right?)

DVD burner: Sony NEC Optiarc 20X SATA DVD±RW Burner
$25
this doesn't really matter, they're all so cheap...


Graphics card: any suggestions?
someone suggested: HIS Hightech H260XTF512DDN-R Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 CrossFire Supported Video Card
$90
I'd love the nvidia 8800 gt, should I keep this in mind when looking for PSU?

PSU: No idea

Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar SE WD5000AAJS 500GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA
$100
I really want alot of space. This one seems to be a good choice.

Fans: I don't know..Are there any special fans I would need?



All that came out to about $595, and that's not even including the Power supply yet. What do you guys think?

More about : review proposed build

December 17, 2007 10:25:27 PM
December 17, 2007 10:33:02 PM

I don't think that board has onboard firewire if you need it for something like a camcorder. This ASUS does but if you don't need firewire, that board got a good review. If you're editing video, you don't need an 8800GT. If you want to go with nVidia you can an 8600GT for that price with rebates or a 7600Gt would work for video. Either of these PSUs would work. Might want to consider a smaller hdd, an 80GB Seagate for about $44, for the OS and programs. Will save you a lot of grief when you have to reinstall Windows. What your doing is really CPU intensive and if you need to save could do with 800GB of RAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E1681...
Related resources
December 17, 2007 11:09:02 PM

Get the Asus Maximus formula, even if you got to save an extra month.
The one click upgrade kicks ass. Later you can upgrade to a lowend quad penryn and one click it to the $1400 version just by clicking. I'm buying this board 100% from now on.
December 17, 2007 11:21:03 PM

While there is nothing wrong with the ASUS Maximus I think you'd be better off putting the money towards a CPU rather than a mobo given what you'll be doing. Your talking $125 to $15o more for the Maximus
December 17, 2007 11:28:49 PM

g-paw said:
While there is nothing wrong with the ASUS Maximus I think you'd be better off putting the money towards a CPU rather than a mobo given what you'll be doing. Your talking $125 to $15o more for the Maximus



It would cost $130 more for the board. He is new to overclocking and the Maximus lets you overclock jusy by picking what Cpu you wish you had, then the board sets it to that speed up to e6850.

It would cost $185 dollars more to but the e6850 instead of e2180.
CPU isnt future proof.
Mother board will accept new Penryn quad cores when he feels the need for one.
He might fry something overclocking the other board manually.

You can get the maximus and still be in the $660.00 range. I'll even give him a Vista OS disk I got from M$, to help make it happen.
December 18, 2007 1:15:09 AM

i someone still dont think "ignorance" is worth 185 dollars, get a ds3l or a p5k board, and just start reading ur butt off until you are satisfied with urself that u can overclock, or use ur old system and start overclocking that and get urself familiar with certain terms and such, although the "1 touch overclock" feature is really nice to me its not worth the extra cash on a budget build
December 18, 2007 1:17:03 AM

On the Asus the ocing feature sounds amazing, it is far out of his price range though.
December 18, 2007 1:19:55 AM

and roadrunner ill take that os off ur hands lol, i gotta go with xp cause i dont have cash in my budget
December 18, 2007 1:21:33 AM

monste4321 said:
i someone still dont think "ignorance" is worth 185 dollars, get a ds3l or a p5k board, and just start reading ur butt off until you are satisfied with urself that u can overclock, or use ur old system and start overclocking that and get urself familiar with certain terms and such, although the "1 touch overclock" feature is really nice to me its not worth the extra cash on a budget build



I agree by all means if your are confortable overclocking old school buy a cheaper board. Mine is a P5K SE. $104.00
Some people dont have the skill to play in a Bios no matter how much they read. If the OP thinks he can do it after reading then Ya any P35 should work nicely.

Now that I found this one I'm gonna use it in my systems that I sell so customers can get system to OC or I can OC it for them and get it set up lots faster then trial and error.
December 18, 2007 1:23:00 AM

but theres less room for markup if u charge per part and not by system
December 18, 2007 1:24:45 AM

As long as I make $100, I'm good. Takes me less then 1 hour to get one up and runnning from assembly.
December 18, 2007 1:30:25 AM

lol a "friend" of mine offered me 200 to build him a budget comp, which prob means around 500 dollar computer for him, and i wouldnt even have to overclock it
December 18, 2007 1:34:11 AM

I could build a quad core with that board a q6600 and a 8800gts (92) 2 gigs ram, 500g HD, DVD burner, for $1200.00 and over clock it to QX 6850 specs. I bet it could sell for$1600 on Ebay. You buy a stock quad core from a retailer and it gonna cost over $1750 and up for stock speeds. Prices based on similar setup on newegg.
December 18, 2007 1:36:22 AM

I can build a budget e2180 3.0 for $300 and sell for $500 no problem I'm sure. Thats fine and dandy but $100 an hour is plenty for me. I just like building them.
December 18, 2007 3:11:19 AM

true, how you find people to build em for, im look for people to build it to specs for, not build it and hope u sell it on ebay
December 18, 2007 3:14:02 AM

:pt1cable:  Soon as I get Tax refund I,m gonna take the plunge on Ebay. But I do repairs in town and its easy to talk people into a new one after I let them sit down at mine. :pt1cable: 
December 18, 2007 3:16:40 AM

and im in wisconsin usa, i just dont read what i write thats why it sounds dumb
December 18, 2007 3:18:10 AM

Nebraska. Been to Wisconsin lots though.
December 18, 2007 3:27:02 AM

Hey - Ok, something I read has me a little worried.. turns out I might not have an operating system after all. I have an unused windows xp disk meant for (as in it came with) my dell pc. I never used it, but would it work in my own build?

Other than that, I like your suggestions. why do you guys suggest other motherboards though? Chookman, you chose the GA-P35-DS3L. Why is it better than the one I chose? G-paw, you chose the asus p5k. Why is that better? Oh, and roadrunner - I actually think I want to learn to do the overclocking myself first. That motherboard sounds really cool, but a little too expensive.


I like the suggestion about using two separate hard drives - I'm definitely going to do that.
December 18, 2007 3:37:39 AM

well there are slight differences in whats on the motherboard such as raid or esata or 1394a optical inputs, and then there are bios differences such as different terms for the main settings and other changeable settings, you basically pick the board that has everything you want for the price you want, a motherboard is the one thing were many are very similar and you choose more on preference, and then you can also read reviews and if your interested in overclocking you read what others have been able to do with the board you want and if it will be able to do what you want it to, granted even the exact same motherboard brand and type can have slight differences in preformance becuase really no chip is perfect all the time, if it were mean and your trying to stay in your budget go with the ga p35 ds3l cause its cheap and it doesnt sound like you want raid, and you can be a 1394a card for cheap if you actually do need it, its a good preformer and a good reliable brand and its ez on the pocket at clubit its only 85 bucks which is cheaper then newegg
December 18, 2007 3:38:03 AM

hope that clears some things up for u
December 18, 2007 10:16:06 AM

While monste4321 is right, you can always add a firewire card if you need one, the problem I see is that at most you'll get 3 PCI slots. If at some point you want a wireless card, that's one slot, a sound card and that's 2 leaving one free for an eSata or something else. For what ever reason, mobo mfg insist on no more than 3 PCI slots and there are very few PCIe cards out there right now. That being said, there is no reason to pay for firewire or anything else if you'll never use it. Agree with everyone that it comes down to what features you need and your budget given there really isn't a lot of difference when you look at good mobo mfg such as ASUS, Gigabyte, or MSI. The reason I brought up the firewire in the first place is that you're doing video editing and a lot of camcorders connect via firewire
December 18, 2007 11:10:01 AM

I wish you luck trying to get that Dell OS disk to work on a non-Dell computer. Let us know either way though.
December 18, 2007 11:21:40 AM


I'm with Chookman here on his build, just a few cheaper prices on a couple of parts.

ANTEC Sonata III Mini Case Retail
$100 shipped!! - $40 MIR = $60!!!!
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

GIGABYTE Intel P35 + ICH9 Chipset DDR2 1066 ATX GA-P35-DS3L Motherboard Retail
$80 shipped!!!!
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

About $77 savings, so this would put you within budget!!!
December 18, 2007 11:39:00 AM

The "Mini Case" you selected does not include the 500w Earth Watts PSU. ZZF is selling that for an additional $83.

But that is a good price for the Mobo from ZZF.

December 18, 2007 2:29:57 PM

I liked the GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775. . looks like a great motherboard, and nice price on that, lunyone.

Hey roadrunner - just a thought, I looked at that motherboard you were recommending, it looks awesome. did you have a suggestion for how I could make it work with my budget? I'd have to cut something out, but I am interested.


So, chookman. You changed my configuration around a bit, giving me less ram and a better video card. Looks pretty cool. Tell me, will that video card be able to play counterstrike multiplayer? that's the only game I really want to play. Otherwise, I'd rather go with a cheaper interim card, and buy a better one later.

I do not need firewire, so that won't be a problem.
December 18, 2007 3:14:05 PM

I play CSS multiplayer with a 9600xt, x1400, and a x1800 w/out any issues. So a 3850 will smoke all of the ones that I listed. I bought the 9600xt 3-4 years ago and is now showing it's age. I'd go with Chookman's build, it's close to what I'd do. You could even get the $40 CM case and seperate case, but the 500w one on the Sonata III case is a good buy. I found it here for less:
http://www.buy.com/prod/Antec-Sonata-III-Super-Mini-Tow...
It's $120 shipped, which I think is $10 cheaper than the one Chookman linked. You won't be sorry with the build listed above.
December 18, 2007 3:35:32 PM

First, if this is for video/photo, you will want to make three changes:

1. Get a CPU with a larger cache. The e4500 goes for $125. It OC's well, and has double the cache of the E2180.
2. Get the 4GB of RAM. Even if you only end up with 3.5 usable, it is worth it. Video editing is VERY RAM intensive.
3. Skip the big graphics card. As long as it has 256 or 512 of memory, you don't need the pipelines/shaders. A 7600, 7900, 2600 or 8600 is plenty of power for photo/video. In fact, by saving over $100 on the GPU, you could even spring for the E6550 with 4mb of cache, which will help even more. ($179)

You might want to also consider a smaller hard drive to use for the OS and apps. You will see about a 10-20% boost by having two hard drives for video editing.

I have the Antecx Sonata III case. It is cool and quiet. It has plenty of room for expansion.
December 18, 2007 3:39:49 PM

zenmaster said:
The "Mini Case" you selected does not include the 500w Earth Watts PSU. ZZF is selling that for an additional $83.

But that is a good price for the Mobo from ZZF.

Just checked the details at ZZF and it says that it comes with the PSU, so I'm pretty sure that it comes with it!!
December 18, 2007 4:32:29 PM

ajsellaroli said:
I liked the GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775. . looks like a great motherboard, and nice price on that, lunyone.

Hey roadrunner - just a thought, I looked at that motherboard you were recommending, it looks awesome. did you have a suggestion for how I could make it work with my budget? I'd have to cut something out, but I am interested.


So, chookman. You changed my configuration around a bit, giving me less ram and a better video card. Looks pretty cool. Tell me, will that video card be able to play counterstrike multiplayer? that's the only game I really want to play. Otherwise, I'd rather go with a cheaper interim card, and buy a better one later.

I do not need firewire, so that won't be a problem.



I can get in your budget with that mobo I think. Before I go shopping do you got and parts I can reuse?
December 18, 2007 8:09:48 PM

Lol what do you mean before you go shopping? you don't mean actual shopping, do you? I don't know what I can re-use. I have a dell pc now, 2003. it has an 80 gb hard drive, no dvd burner.

Oh, that's good to know lunyone. I really want to play that game - looks like fun. I think I will go for that e4500, from the reviews it looks like lots of people have had success overclocking it. Then again, I am new to overclocking, so maybe it would be a better idea to start with the e2180 in case I fry it (then I won't have lost as much money). I don't know about the 4 gigs, I might start with 2 to save money, and upgrade later.
December 18, 2007 8:20:05 PM

Given the choice between the better processor and the extra RAM, get the better processor.
December 18, 2007 9:16:33 PM

Qty. Product Description Unit Price Savings Total Price

Update Rosewill R220-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: R220-P-BK
Item #: N82E16811147074

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

In Stock
$24.99 -$5.00 Instant $19.99

Update ASUS MAXIMUS FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: MAXIMUS FORMULA
Item #: N82E16813131227

Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy

In Stock
$259.99 $259.99

Update EVGA 256-P2-N751-TR GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Model #: 256-P2-N751-TR
Item #: N82E16814130085

Return Policy: Limited 30-Day Return Policy

In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
$109.99 $109.99

Update Thermaltake Purepower W0100RU ATX 12V 2.0 500W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: W0100RU
Item #: N82E16817153052

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
$69.99 -$20.00 Instant $49.99

Update Intel Pentium E2200 Allendale 2.2GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E2200 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E2200
Item #: N82E16819116063

Return Policy: Processors (CPUs) Return Policy

In Stock
$95.00 $95.00

Update A-DATA Value Series 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model VDQVE1A16K - Retail
Model #: VDQVE1A16K
Item #: N82E16820211165

Return Policy: Memory (Modules, USB) Return Policy

In Stock
Mail-in Rebate
$36.99 $36.99

Update LG 20X DVD±R Super Multi DVD Burner Black ATAPI / E-IDE Model GSA-H55NK - OEM
Model #: GSA-H55NK
Item #: N82E16827136117

Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

In Stock
$24.99 $24.99
Subtotal: $596.94


Youll have to use your 80G HDD for this build, but by the time its full you' ll have money for bigger one. And this board will be pimping when you get the Penryn Quad to go in it someday. Some might laugh at the ram, but that is the ram i got but I paid 1o more for mine, I'm ordering 2 more gigs tonight.


If I was building this is what I would do without a doubt. I would get a coolermaster case though for $39 cause I like the way they look.


I picked the e2200 for this build and it should hit 3.7 GHZ by pushing one button. You might need a better heatsink at that speed though. Stock will be good for atleast 3.0- 3.4.
December 18, 2007 9:19:39 PM

Oh $55.00 mail in rebates also. You cant beat it IMHO. The graphics is available for stepup to for a 8800 later on.
December 18, 2007 9:26:13 PM

That Rosewill case is Tier 5, IIRC. I would get better one. I would also got for Crucial Ballistix, Geil or G-Skill RAM. BTW, if your hard drive is not SATA, it won't work. Being 3 years old, I'm not sure. I still say you should get an e4500 or e6550 for video editing. I do have extensive experience in that area.
December 18, 2007 9:40:44 PM

The HDD wont work? Why not? This board as PATA. look at the picture.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.aspx?CurImage=1....

A case is a case imo. Are there bettre ones ya. Do you need it? No. Does a case make your software faster. No. What I'm trying to accomplish is the fastest machine $600.00 can buy. Theres nothing wrong with the ram at all. It's overclocking my system to 3.4. e4500 $25.00 more for 1mb cache, worth it? Not imo. Last time I checked 1 mb isn't very big. e6500 is a total waste in this case. The multiplier on the 6550 is only 7, you would really have to kick up the FSB on that one. 7 vs 11 you be the judge.

I got bench tests that show the e2180 at 3.4 faster then a 3.0 penryn with 6mb cache. Message me your email if you want to see.
December 18, 2007 9:41:14 PM

Rosewill PSUs are tier 5 not their cases.
December 18, 2007 10:39:39 PM

Hey roadrunner, I'm sorry man, I don't think that motherboard is going to work for me this time. I really wanted it to, trust me, it looks amazing, but I'm not going to have more money for quite a while, and when I finally do have more, it'll be a lot more (as In I'll end up buying the asus maximus formula anyway). I do need to be able to use this computer for at least 6-12 months before upgrading, so I want to spend some good money on the processor, hard drive, and ram to tide me over. I still definitely want to overclock, but I guess I'll just have to learn to do it the way you guys do it.

oh, and by the way, I couldn't find that p5k-e you talked about, roadrunner. It wasn't on newegg

One other thing guys - I sorta want to do raid (the kind of raid where your system automatically loads information onto two separate drives). That would save me alot of time. I'm constantly backing my photos up to a backup drive. What would my options be?
December 18, 2007 10:59:25 PM

Its a P5K SE. If you get it I can tell you what to set the Bios. If your budget is still $600 you might want to get a quad.

Raid isn't my department.
December 18, 2007 11:20:14 PM

IMHO don't go with a $260 mobo. That is waaaay toooo expensive for what he wants to do. The Gigabyte DS3R, Abit IP35, or the Asus P5k mobo's around $130 would be more than enough. Even the DS3l, IP35-e, or p5k-se would be just fine too. I'd much rather spend the $130-160 difference on a better more roomy case and PSU combo (like the one I linked, which ends up cheaper than the one RR linked), but that is my opinion. Yes you can get by with a cheap case, but then you lend yourself to a hotter environment, especially if you start to OC much. These are just my opinions and you can take from it what you will.
December 19, 2007 1:15:45 PM

Obviously, I did not recall the info on the case correctly, as forbdwiz notes, it's the Rosewill PSUs that you should avoid.

The only bench tests pertinent to the thread are ones on video and photo editing. The jump from 1MB to 2 MB cache DOES make a difference in those areas.

I may be incorrect in saying a PATA drive will not work. On my system, I can't set a hard drive to boot from PATA, even though I have a 1 IDE PATA channel. Regardless, the OP said he wants a larger hard drive, and I can fill an 80GB hard drive while working on a 90 minute video, and the performance difference between an old PATA drive and a WDxxxxAAKS drive is substantial. Even an 160 GB WDxxxKS or Hitachi 7k250 series hard drive will smoke an old PATA on running Photoshop/Premiere...
December 19, 2007 3:36:09 PM

Quick question - what's an OP? several of you have called me that.

Later today I'll post my almost-finalized build. hope you guy's will take a look
December 19, 2007 3:40:28 PM

OP=Original Poster
December 19, 2007 4:16:24 PM

Processor
E4500
$125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115031&Tpk=e4500

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
$80 with rebate (thanks lunyone)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128059

OR

P5K-SE
$100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131189

Case
Antec Sonata III Mini-Tower w/ Earthwatts 500w Power Supply
$120
http://www.buy.com/prod/Antec-Sonata-III-Super-Mini-Tower-w-Earthwatts-500w-Power-Supply/q/loc/101/204559259.html
Just wondering, why is it called a minicase? Looks normal sized to me…

Ram
OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2
$50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227089

DVD Burner
LG Black 20X DVD+R
$25
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136117

Graphics Card
GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express
$110
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16814130085

PSU
Earthwatts 500w Power Supply
(Price included with case)

Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar 500gb 7200rpm SATA
$105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073

Heat Sink/Fans
I intend to overclock. Do I need any special heatsinks/fans?


Total: $610, or $666 with tax.





What do you all think? Do I finally have a system?
December 19, 2007 4:24:38 PM

Looks great to me! I assume you have an OS.
December 19, 2007 6:12:44 PM

Sweet, thanks singinigo! I might/might not have an OS. I have a dell-issued windows xp sp2 disk that has never been used. Is this workeable? If not, what OS would you buy?? I looked on Newegg, and it seems like there are several variations of the same OS for different prices.
!