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haven't put a computer together since second grade, looking for advice

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December 19, 2007 5:53:51 AM

Hey guys,

Im looking to build a decent gaming machine on about 800 us dollars (i know, not good). The last time i put one together was 6 years ago in middle school, and its still working today. Here it goes:

cpu: Athlon xp 1800
motherboard: syntax sv266a
ram: 512 mb pc2200
sound: soundblaster audigy 2
video: fuzion geforce fx 5500
case: very cheap, very generic
power: 350 watt antec?

Im looking to upgrade as follows:

cpu: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550
motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P35C-DS3R
ram: 2 X 1 GB kingston 1150MHz DDR2-1150/PC2-9200
sound: soundblaster audigy 2
video: XFX - NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS Graphics Card
or SAPPHIRE 100213 Radeon HD 2900GT
case: APEX TU-163
power: Antec Power Supply NeoPower 480
cpu fan: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro

the grand total for this comes to around 750-850 us dollars. Im a student now so i have little money, so if you guys could help me out, any advice/recommendations would be awesome :D 
December 19, 2007 11:11:07 AM

The E6550 FSB is 1333mhz. Any ram you put in there will run at 666.5 or 667 mhz unless you set up the bios.

http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sspec=sla...

Since the 8800gts 512mb has the same power req. as the gt (425w 28a), so the antec 480w is sufficient. You might want a bigger one if you overclock. The rest looks good.
December 19, 2007 11:23:07 AM

so I can alter the bios to allow the ram to run at its full potential or would it still be limited by the cpu? If i do this, do you recommend purchasing a cooling system for my ram?
Thanks
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December 19, 2007 1:09:12 PM

You can change the BIOS setting to run the RAM at faster clock speeds, but realistically you won't see much performance increase. You're better off buying 800 MHz RAM and saving some money.More slower RAM is better than less faster RAM.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 19, 2007 1:55:24 PM

intel-igent said:
Hey guys,

Im looking to build a decent gaming machine on about 800 us dollars (i know, not good). The last time i put one together was 6 years ago in middle school, and its still working today. Here it goes:

cpu: Athlon xp 1800
motherboard: syntax sv266a
ram: 512 mb pc2200
sound: soundblaster audigy 2
video: fuzion geforce fx 5500
case: very cheap, very generic
power: 350 watt antec?

Im looking to upgrade as follows:

cpu: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550
motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P35C-DS3R
ram: 2 X 1 GB kingston 1150MHz DDR2-1150/PC2-9200
sound: soundblaster audigy 2
video: XFX - NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS Graphics Card
or SAPPHIRE 100213 Radeon HD 2900GT
case: APEX TU-163
power: Antec Power Supply NeoPower 480
cpu fan: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro

the grand total for this comes to around 750-850 us dollars. Im a student now so i have little money, so if you guys could help me out, any advice/recommendations would be awesome :D 

Where did you attend 2nd grade, MIT? :lol: 

At any rate, since you are on a budget, I would opt for the plain old P35-DS3R, or even the DS3L if you don't need raid. The "C" version really only offers DDR3 which IMO will not be anything to worry about for at least 18-24 months. I would also opt for DDR2 800 right now as it is just dirt cheap. Kingston is fine as are Crucial Ballistix, and Corsair XMS2, and Geil.

This will still allow some OC room, and also allow for a drop in upgrade to a 1600 FSB Penryn when it comes out. Not to mention saving a few dollars for the important educational stuff like games! :sol: 
December 19, 2007 6:01:36 PM

thanks guys youve been a great help :) 

a couple more quick questions:
will these video cards limit or be limited by the cpu, and what kind of power supply should i get if i were to OC?

December 20, 2007 2:10:16 PM

thanks all. Here's my newest setup:

cpu: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550
motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P35C-DS3R
ram: 2 X 1 GB crucial DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
sound: soundblaster audigy 2
video: SAPPHIRE 100216L Radeon HD 3850 256MB 256-bit GDDR3
case: APEX TU-163
power: Antec NEO-HE 550 Watt ATX 2.0 w/ crossfire support

For the cpu cooling i was looking at the ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro and the ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm. The zalman is twice as much as the arctic cooling, do y'all think it's worth it?
December 20, 2007 2:49:03 PM

ps, this is all less than $700 :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
December 20, 2007 2:51:18 PM

No, not on performance, but your call, if you're also buying on looks. If you'll be moving this system around a lot, you might choose the Zalman for its more secure mounting. The Intel-style pins of the Freezer 7 can pop out, although I don't think as easily as some people suggest (it's never happened to me).
!