Build comments greatly appreciated - Build now complete

Greetings all:

Here is a build I put together today. I am looking to buy the parts very soon so any an all criticism is appreciated.

I have not followed hardware closely so I am sure I have made some errors. Also I am currently clueless on which video card to pick. This system will be for my general use and gaming as well. I hope to future proof as much as is reasonably possible.

I would also appreciate recommendations on which 64-bit Vista to get. My concerns there are gaming and minimizing the dreadful Microsoft DRM and other BS.

Proposed Build

COOLER MASTER Stacker 830 Evolution RC-830-SSN3-GP Silver Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX ATX12V / EPS12V 750W Power Supply - Retail (Still debating virtues of modular)

Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E6850 - Retail (Will wait for 45nm processors in the next two weeks, 2 or 4 core will depend upon pricing)

Thermalright Ultra-120 CPU Cooling Heatsink - Retail

Scythe S-FLEX SFF21D 120mm Case Fan - Retail

ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail (Mobo is on heatsink compatibility list)

CORSAIR XMS2 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5DHX - Retail

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM (Will add on later and form RAID array)

SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S203N - OEM

EVGA 512-P3-N841-A3 GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

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  1. Good layout so far. For OS I would get recommend Home Premium 64. I use it and have had barely any problems with it.

    As for the video card, you say one of the uses is gaming. You haven't said a lot about your budget but seeing as you have an Intel chipset based board you have 2 choices. Either go with 2 ATI cards in crossfire eg 2 x 3870 or 3850 or go with one nvidia card in the 8800 series preferably a single GTX as you can't do SLI. As I say it pretty much depends on your budget and the types of games you'll be playing.

    I see you are also torn between and core 2 duo and a quad core. This really depends on what you mean by general use and what programs you will be using. Not many games take advantage of quad core CPUs at the moment and not a lot of programs do either. You will only benefit from a quad core if you are doing things like photoshop or using 3D design softare.

    Saying this, if the 2 are the same price, then you may as well go with the Q6600 and have the 2 extra cores for the future. Just be aware that there are new CPU's (both core 2 duo and quad core) coming out within the next few weeks. I know you say you want to build soon but the new 45nm chips would be worth the wait if you could.

    I would recommend to try and go with 2 x 2gb ram instead of 4 x 1gb (obviously if you can afford too) as it helps in numerous ways eg less stress on the memory controller, less heat, less chance of a module being faulty, better overclockability etc. Anyway ballistix is good stuff.

    Another thing is you say that you will add a second hard drive later on to form a raid array. You may know this but some raid arrays require both hard drives to be formatted and so if you add the second HD later you may have to completely wipe the first.

    hope this helps a bit. any more question just ask.
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