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Final Review Before Purchase on Monday!

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January 4, 2008 1:43:54 AM

So I'm finally taking the plunge and building my first system. I am going to be using it primarily for gaming (with overclocking), and my budget is about $1700. I already have a monitor (BenQ FP241w), keyboard, mouse, and sound card. Here's the parts I have on my list:

Case: Antec P182
Mobo: Gigabye P35-DS3L
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (G0)
Video:GeForce EVGA 8800GTX
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad (750W)
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ
HDD: Raptor 150GB
HSF: Thermalright Ultra 120 with Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120mm Fan
Optical: ASUS 20X DVD Burner with LightScribe

I'm going with the 8800GTX since I figure I'll pay now and use the step-up when the 9000 series comes out. I have a few questions about this build before I click the submit button:

1. Is the motherboard I selected future proof for the quad core penryns?

2. I picked what seemed to be a fairly priced 4GB memory package. Any comments or suggestions for the RAM?

3. is the PSU overkill in terms of 750W?

4. Since I'll be using the 8800GTX, which I hear generates a lot of heat, should I go with the Antec 900 case for its better cooling?

I appreciate any feedback!! Thanks again, and wish me luck!
January 4, 2008 2:13:57 AM

1. Yes (but not extremes ie 1600FSB part)
2. Looks good Geil, OCZ and Patriot all have good 2x2gb around. good for adding more later also
3. The PSU is overkill for the system, it would power SLI GTX and a gazillion hard drives. Its an excellent PSU, however, money could be saved here with a PCP&C 610 or even Corsair 520HX
4.P182 has good cooling but the 900 has better through airflow if you can put up with the extra noise... the 900 is also cheaper. It also doesnt have a front door which i hate in a case.

I still think it would be better to go with a 8800GTS (G92) but you do give a decent point for getting the gtx
January 4, 2008 2:20:17 AM

You really need 2 x 8800 cards to game on that monitor at full 19x1200 res..

Either wait for the 8800GTX replacement or go for 2 x 8800GT or 8800GTS 512mb cards. This of course is going to require an SLi motherboard if you opt for 2 cards.

I would also save money by dropping the Raptor and going with a new 500gb 16mb cache disk from WD or Seagate for $100ish.
Related resources
January 4, 2008 2:53:46 AM

get an sli mother board and get 2x8800gt 512, raptor 150 is fine but it will fill up quickly I would imagine
January 4, 2008 12:57:42 PM

Im fairly new here but from what ive read sli or xfire is not a good buy. a single card is fine. by the time a dual card solution will help a new 9series card will be out. also keep in mind two 512mb card in sli still only use 512mb of memory, its not doubled to 1g, as I originally thought. doesnt seem to be cost effective.
The new evga GTS 512<g92> approaches gtx fill rates with less heat. Its also 339 w/crysis at newegg.
make sure that cpu cooler fits in the case. if not the thermalright ultima 90 is a close second and a good deal smaller, if you can find one, which I cant. its the one thing im waiting for before I build.
are you getting the raptor for raid? I was going to do the same thing but after looking at it raid isnt worth it. sure its faster, but how much in real world gaming. might load faster but I dont think it will have any effect on FPS at all. you can get a 500gb perpindicular drive for $120 from seagate. more space just as fast.
I went with the PC&P 750, overkill but it is the best. and from what ive read the psu is the most important pice of your build.
I bought the G skill 2x2 also. seems like a good buy, and 4 4 4 12 timings. though I dont plan on overclocking the ram

ive been reading here for over a month and Im still not sure of a MB. so take your time. If im wrong on anything people please point it out. I am a noob after all :) 
January 4, 2008 1:33:16 PM

The DS3L board now supports the 45nm QX9650 cpu with the F6 bios. I see no reason why it would not support lower clocked versions. They can not announce support for unreleased products.

A fine PSU. The silencer610 would also suffice and be cheaper.

I would get the EVGA 8800GTS-512-G92 instead. It is almost as fast as the 8800GTX and is cheaper. One of the rules for step-up is that the new part costs more than the old part. You would be most unhappy if a 9800GTX shows up at a price below the currrent 8800GTX so you can't step-up.

If you anticipate upgrading to a quad penryn, It might be better to install a lower cost cpu in the interim. A E6750
would cost less, and perform better than the Q6600 in most of today's games. And that is before any overclocking.

Newer cpu's and vga cards are more efficient, and perhaps do not require as much cooling. If you value a quiet pc as I do, read this review on the 900: http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=996&pageID=2739

Of interest is the fact that at the same noise level, all three cases cooled equally.

---good luck
January 4, 2008 5:46:13 PM

Thanks so much for the helpful replies. I'll definitely go down to the lower power supply, and great call on the step-up program. I didn't realize you can't step-up to a lower priced model even if it's newer.

Couple of last minute questions... for the thermaltake ultra 120 installation, is there thermal paste already on the stock processor that I must remove before I attach the HSF? Also, should I buy aftermarket thermal paste to install the HSF?

Also, is there any benefit of getting RAM of a higher frequency (going from DDR2-800 to DDR2-1066)?
January 4, 2008 8:59:51 PM

That is thermalRIGHT ultra, not ....TAKE. The processor will not have any paste pre-applied. If you get the retail cpu, the supplied heatsink is where the material will be pre-applied. Yes, you will need to supply your own paste. Arctic silver 5 is a reasonably good pick. A small tube will do, it is nice to have it incase you want to remount the heat sink for any reason. If you ever need to remount, use pure alcohol that you might get in a pharmacy to clean it off.

For real world(vs. synthetic benchmarks) application performance there is perhaps 1-2% benefit from faster ram. Anything over ddr2-800 does not seem to be worth it to me.
January 6, 2008 10:20:38 PM

Thanks all for the really helpful replies. I think the computer is finalized at this point. I was wondering though, since I have a lot of expensive components (Z-5500 speakers, FP241w monitor, etc.) should I get a UPS to provide battery backup? If so, any suggestions on the voltage or watts required for my setup?
January 7, 2008 8:38:41 PM

DEFINETLY GET A UPS. 650-800VA should be enough. Im running my rig 24" dell modem/router and 16 port gigabit switch off my 650VA and its about 50% loaded.

APC, BELKIN
January 12, 2008 2:34:19 AM

Thanks everyone for all of the help. I just pressed the power button and installed Vista with no problem! I have a couple of questions though:

1. There is no case speaker sound on post. Everything starts up fine, but I have no beeps. Anyone know what could be the problem?

2. My Q6600 in CPU-Z is showing as 266.7*6=1600MHz instead of the 9 multiplier. I haven't gone into the bios, so i'm not sure why this is happening.

3. The idle temps on the cores are all in the mid 30's. Does this seem reasonable pre-overclock?

Thanks again for all of your help!!
January 12, 2008 3:08:32 AM

Forget the Raptor and get 2x Sata2 drives. Don't RAID them. Put the OS on one, your data on the other. You'll be very happy with the speed
January 12, 2008 3:09:36 AM

I'm just about to go to bed but I just saw your second question. That's just the result of Intel's speed step technology, it's basically saving you money on your power bill. It'll go back up to default speeds once it's actually needed.
January 12, 2008 3:13:27 AM

Ok, I just stressed the system and the multiplier went back up to 9 for the full 2.4 GHz. After running prime95 for about 10 minutes, the temps rose on all the cores to the fifties, ranging from 47 to 59. Do those numbers seem right w/ no overclock and the ultra-120 extreme HSF?

Also, any info on the case speaker?
!