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Comment/Suggestions On First Build Please

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December 30, 2007 5:58:11 PM

I'm taking the plunge and building my long overdue upgrade myself (Currently still running a 800Mhz P3). The computer will be used primarily for gaming and office applications with some light photo editing. I'll start out running XP Pro, but will upgrade to Vista in the future. I've been doing a lot of research and I think I'm set. I'm not the type of person that wants to upgrade every year, so I'm hoping this system will last for a while. This system will also be my first attempt at overclocking. Nothing crazy, 3.0Ghz maybe which I've read is fairly easy to obtain with this processor.

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16819115017


Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16819115029

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813128059


ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16813127030

Power Supply:
OCZ GameXStream OCZ600GXSSLI ATX12V 600W Power Supply 100 - 240 V CB/CE/CSA/UL/FCC - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16817341001

GPU:
EVGA 512-P3-N802-A1 GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16814130303

RAM:
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820231098


Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820146565

Hard Drive:
SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16822152052


Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16822136073

Monitor:
SAMSUNG 226BW Black 22" 2 ms (GTG) DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 700:1(DC 3000:1) - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16824001096

DVD Writer:
SAMSUNG Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16827151153

CPU Fan/Heat Sink:
ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16835118019

Case: (Already Own)
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021&Tpk=Antec%2bNine%2bHundred


Questions:

-Should I wait on the processor until the new quads are released in the next few weeks? Will the new processors be significantly better? or will they drive the price of the Q6600 down?

-Is there a motherboard in a similar price range that supports Fire Wire? I've been looking at the Abit IP35 Pro, but it costs a lot more. I don't need SLI or Crossfire, RAID or eSATA. Just want a solid overclocker.

-Is there a superior brand of the 8800GT? I know EVGA supposedly has good customer support, just not sure if that is worth paying a couple extra bucks for.

-As far as hard drives go, both Samsung and Western Digital got good reviews. Is one more reliable than the other?


Thanks in advance for your help!
December 30, 2007 6:18:35 PM

hi dlauver,

looks like a pretty good setup so far, heres a few answers to your questions:

1) Personally I think the new 45nm quads are worth the wait, but check motherboard compatibility for these. yes they will be better but yes they will also drive down the price of the Q6600.

2) Just google P35 chipset (if thats what you want??) and I think you'll find most recent mobos will support Firewire.

3) A lot of brands of 8800GT are good - worth having a look at EVGA as you said, XFX, BFG and also maybe Asus

4) Either hard drive companies are reliable but my personal choice would be Western Digital. Have a look at the Hard Drive Chart on the Toms Hardware main site.

hope this helps you a bit.
December 30, 2007 7:00:59 PM

The only issue I see is the Gskill ram. It can an be problematic on Gigabyte boards. Probably why it is not on the approved list. If you want to go for cheap ram, Geil is on the approved list, is better quality than Gskill, and likely cheaper after rebate. The best, and most stable OC ram for that board would be Crucial Ballistix. Corsair XMS works well also. Both are on the approved list.

Based on build quality, the best Nvidia vid cards are XFX, EVGA, and PNY in that order. EVGA has the step up program, but XFX has lifetime warranty making it a better resell candidate.

The 45nm are still up in the air as to release date, but your MB will support them. Since you will overclock anyway, one option would be to get a cheaper Core2Duo such as the E6750, and drop in a quad Penryn later. Should be more quad capable software by then.

Everything else looks great.
Related resources
December 30, 2007 10:37:02 PM

Only thing I don't like is the Samsung HDD, I only trust Hitachi, WD, or Seagate for HDDs.

The other thing I'm not sure you've taken into consideration is that you're going to need thermal compound (especially if you plan on OC'ing), if you do get some, I'd recommend preferably Masscool Shin-Etsu X23, or if you can't find it (probably will be the case) the Arctic Silver Ceramique (almost as good as the previous one), both are better than the Arctic Silver 5.

OH! and before I forget, If I were you, I'd get an Aftermarket HSF to keep that CPU cool, especially if you're OC'ing. Try Tuniq Tower 120 for extreme (and affordable) air cooling or Zalman 9500/9700 for pretty good silent cooling.
December 30, 2007 10:48:57 PM

Agree with tlmck regarding the 6750 CPU especially for gaming. If you were doing something like video editing the Q6600 would make sense. My experience with Samsung has been, quieter than either my LG or Lite-On
December 31, 2007 5:03:56 AM

Stay with xp at least for one more year. Why upgrade to vista? in 2009 WIndows Vienna will launch. Theres only about 3 DX 10 titles. Will take about 1 year to develop games fully dx 10 optimize. Dont let Vista Aereo fool you. Performance is the most important. Me and my 15 programming group we dont have to upgrade to vista to play Only Dx 10 games. We found the way to hack DX 10 from vista to integrate to XP and some other modification to play only Vista games into XP. Just like other group of programmers found the way to convert Xp pro to Media center. Soon we will post benchmarks xp Dx 10 vs Vista Dx 10, and a video of Halo 2 running on both OS. xp Dx 10 has a 13% increase over vista. Unfortunately we wont share our final software to the world due to illegal issues. The video will show the world is possible and has been done. It was a six month project. Our Next project is to run pc games in ubuntu without Cedega or other emulator. We will integrate Dx 10 and tons of Windows Xp files Direct X sources to run pc games native on linux. Will take us about 1 year 8 month to accomplish this. Will be open source. Anybody can be part of this creation. Our goal is to switch xp gamers to Linux, if successful done.


December 31, 2007 5:48:23 AM

rickpcnerd said:
Stay with xp at least for one more year. Why upgrade to vista? in 2009 WIndows Vienna will launch. Theres only about 3 DX 10 titles. Will take about 1 year to develop games fully dx 10 optimize. Dont let Vista Aereo fool you. Performance is the most important. Me and my 15 programming group we dont have to upgrade to vista to play Only Dx 10 games. We found the way to hack DX 10 from vista to integrate to XP and some other modification to play only Vista games into XP. Just like other group of programmers found the way to convert Xp pro to Media center. Soon we will post benchmarks xp Dx 10 vs Vista Dx 10, and a video of Halo 2 running on both OS. xp Dx 10 has a 13% increase over vista. Unfortunately we wont share our final software to the world due to illegal issues. The video will show the world is possible and has been done. It was a six month project. Our Next project is to run pc games in ubuntu without Cedega or other emulator. We will integrate Dx 10 and tons of Windows Xp files Direct X sources to run pc games native on linux. Will take us about 1 year 8 month to accomplish this. Will be open source. Anybody can be part of this creation. Our goal is to switch xp gamers to Linux, if successful done.
I am with you on the Linux thing. I run all my games on it except the newer ones that will not run. Actually, I think the games would run fine, but the DRM software will not. Will wait as usual for the hacks/cracks to come out.

Why gaming companies would want to tie their games to Windows is beyond me. It would seem an open source video solution would allow them to write one game, and have it run on multiple platforms. leave it up to the OS and hardware vendors to comply. I believe the gaming industry has that kind of clout. If OpenGL will not work, fix it, or create something new.

January 2, 2008 1:21:49 PM

Thanks for all the replies. I've made some changes based on your suggestions and newegg reviews. I decided to go with the e6750 and the ABIT board. Even though I may not use all the board features initially, it will give me the option of using them in the future - which is what I'm looking for - a board that will last me a while. I'll upgrade to a quad processor once the penryn processors come down in price and/or more software is able to utilize the four cores.

I missed out on the end of year sales, so I'll probably wait a week or so to see if any of the prices come back down (and the 8800GT is in stock).

Thanks again for all your help!
January 3, 2008 12:07:57 PM

Any other suggestions?
January 3, 2008 2:19:58 PM

The ABIT IP35 LGA 775 has Firewire for $130. One of the best things to do to speed up a system is run JBOD RAID - just a bunch of drives. I'd get 2x 250GB drives instead of 1x 500. Put your OS/apps on one and your data and paging file on the other. *Much* faster than a single disk.
!