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BUILDING A NEW SYSTEM

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January 22, 2008 5:30:27 PM

I first want to thank everyone for their input and taking the time to reply.

Well this is quick & easy, I'm not looking to spend the highest dollar amount for the absolute best, top-of-the-line equipment but just wanting the best for the money (reliability & performance).

As George Foreman said... "I'm not going to pay alot for this muffler" hmmmm can a muffler be used in a computer to dissipate heat :o )

I'm starting with a Intel E6850 and was looking for advice on how to continue from there:

More about : building system

January 22, 2008 5:47:09 PM

I just bought a new computer with the E6850 instead of the Q6600. I choose this because I didn't fell the need for those 2 "backup" processors, and I would much rather have 2 very-fast cores instead of 4 medium-fast cores.

You see, I already had an 2 core - 2,4 gHz AMD processor and I wanted to fell a difference with my new computer. So now I'm running the E6850 at 3,6 gHz with no problems and I couldn't do that with a Q6600, because it generates twice as much heat. (I could probally only get it to 3,00 gHz.)

The Dual core I better for gaming and 'big' software, because most games/programs can only take advantage of 1 or 2 cores. So if you want a quad core, then you must consider if you need that ekstra power for running several programs at one time.

But I have to say, that I'm good at keeping my computer clean of software I don't need, so I don't have the need of those "backup" processors.

Hope this was helpfull :) 

January 22, 2008 5:47:48 PM

Budget? and usage ...Mainly Gaming?
Related resources
January 22, 2008 5:48:04 PM

Hmmmmnnn....instead of the E6850, i suggest you go for the Intel E8400 Penryn Processor(cheaper and faster and cooler than the E6850).... The Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L motherboard (the v best mobo for non SLI) ...... 2GB DDR2 RAM ......an Nvidia 8800GT GPU (i guess you've heard of that:) ) ....and a Corsair 450W PSU (34 amps on 12v rail)
January 23, 2008 12:51:03 PM

Really just usage, just want the fastest processor at this time for the least amount of money. Don't really play any games. Settled on the E6850 because it seems to be the fastest processor for under $350 (at least I think so but not sure). Also I heard Asus was the best mobo but got conflicting info from them that confused me more like they have 3 choices P5K-Deluxe or P5N32-E SLI or Blitz Formula and me being clueless how do I choose...
January 23, 2008 1:32:25 PM

To answer whats the best equipment for you...tell us what you plan on doing with your system? If not for gaming then for what? Storing music or videos, editing video, internet surfing...?
January 23, 2008 1:34:59 PM

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037&Tpk=E8400

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128059&Tpk=GA-P35-DS3L

XFX PVT88PYDF4 GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Corsair 520 HX is made by Seasonic (Arguably one of the best if not the best PSU maker) and the VX series are made by another OEM, that's why I recommend the HX series over the VX, even though the VX are pretty good units on their own right.

I also have one of these and I STRONGLY recommend them if budget allows:

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
January 23, 2008 1:46:18 PM

^^^ is a good system (same as mine besides the proc.)

Depending on budget you could get the new GTS 512.
Quieter and little better performance than the GT
January 23, 2008 2:11:46 PM

Ahhhh, maybe I should buy a corvette to haul my groceries from the market. <smile>

After all, being ABLE to go fast is not the same as GOING fast,
however, being ABLE to go fast is better than NOT being able to.
We should have an Autobahn in this country.
January 23, 2008 2:15:10 PM

mlaporta said:
Don't really play any games.

Why recommend that system to someone who says they don't game?
January 23, 2008 2:32:59 PM

Do we know what the budget and purpose of the build is?
January 23, 2008 2:34:03 PM

I didn't read that part, but that system is good for anything really, if he throws in the sound card the only thing that the system can't do is his coffee. Some people don't play games because they can't due to their current specs, if he wants to get into gaming he can perfectly do it, also some others have no interest in games, in that case an HD2600XT would fit the system just fine too.

That's the system I'd buy for myself if I already didn't have one, he can tweak it to his own needs.
January 23, 2008 2:42:11 PM

I agree, just wanted to fit into his budget, whatever that is. Your build didn't have any issues that I was referring to, but just wanted to get a little more info before going all out and recommending parts.
January 23, 2008 2:52:40 PM

I agree with emp's suggestions, in general.

The GA-P35-DS3L is a great board, but it will limit you to one DVD burner and 3 hard disks (assuming you don't want any IDE devices in there). If that's not good enough, get the GA-P35-DS3R. If you need Firewire and/or support for 3 monitors (or 4), get the GA-P35-DS4. Asus P5K-E or P5K Deluxe are also good boards, but I think I trust Gigabyte more these days. aBit IP35Pro is an excellent motherboard too, and a bargain at $150 (at newegg).

That system would work even better if it had a hard disk :)  I like the Western Digital 750GB (WD7500AAKS) because it's very fast and it tops the price/performance chart at Tom's. That is, it's very cheap for its size and speed.

Which processor is faster actually depends a lot on the type of application. For example a Q6600 will beat an E6850 at video encoding, while the E6850 will beat the Q6600 at (most) games. mlaporta, name the 5 programs you use most, then we'll be able to tell if you're better off with a quad or with a higher-clocked dual-core.

A case would be good here too. There's the RC-690 for example, pretty good and cheap.

If you don't have a monitor yet, I recommend looking for something 22" LCD widescreen (or 20" or 21.6"). Samsung makes some of the best models, but LG and Viewsonic and others are also good. Preferably get one that comes with a DVI cable and can be rotated. For example I'm very happy with my Samsung 216BW. I'm assuming here that you are willing to spend $200 to $300 on the monitor. If you can afford $1000 there's the Samsung 275T, which of course is much better.

January 23, 2008 2:53:40 PM

ImajorI said:
Budget? and usage ...Mainly Gaming?

ImajorI said:
To answer whats the best equipment for you...tell us what you plan on doing with your system? If not for gaming then for what? Storing music or videos, editing video, internet surfing...?

lunyone said:
Do we know what the budget and purpose of the build is?

Mlaporta - emp's system is a good one but please tell us what you will be using your computer for so you don't waste money?
January 23, 2008 4:01:01 PM

Wow great responses my best was "buying a corvette to haul my groceries from the market" this is a true statement though. Really only use office apps (including project & visio), email, adobe apps (acrobat & photoshop), web surfing, playing music video's & music (.mp3). So not a gamer BUT just want the best system... THE BEST for 1,200 and under. I am not stuck on any processor either, I thought (which I should't being a newbie) that the E6850 was the best for under $350.

So I would propose this question for you high-end folks... if you had 1,200 bucks to build the best system you could (without the monitor) "WHAT WOULD YOU BUILD???"

Answering that question would get me to the grocery store minus the corvette...
January 23, 2008 4:20:51 PM

Greeting from Houston's East side. :) 
If you want to build , go for it, its fun. Aevm, Lunyone and Emp all know alot more than me, but for $1200 you could try these:
Abit IP 35 Pro MB
WD 320 MB HD
Q6600 CPU
G Skill (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 Ram
CORSAIR 520HX Power Supply
Light On 20X DVD RW Sata
Vista 64 Bit
Silverstone Kublai KL01B Case
Saitek Eclipse II Keyboard
Add an inexpensive video card

This should handle your needs quite well. I built a similar system a few weeks ago for gaming its under my name to the left. You can order from Newegg or go to Fry's on the North Freeway. Good Luck and people here will help you if you want to try building. :) 
January 23, 2008 4:30:36 PM

EMP's System is good. I would recommend a few changes. I would skip the 2GB 1066 and go with 4GB of 800. It's about the same price. here is some from Patriot which has decent timings.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If I didn't skip any components, Emp's system comes in at juster under $900 with the memory I suggested. that leaves you with 300 to play with. Personally I would go with the Q6600. With the G0 Stepping you should be able to overclock it to 3.0 with absolutely no effort. with an Aftermarket cooler like the Zalman

Q6600 = +$50
Cooler = +$50
Case = +$100
OS = +100 -> vista home premium

And that takes care of the extra dough. If you don't want to overclock, then perhaps you should go with the 3GHz dual core but definitely make sure you get the penryn 45nm core. That will free up $100 you could use elsewhere. You could either save it, or get a better motherboard that leaves room for SLI later like the P5N-D. I have no experience with this motherboard, and haven't heard much about it but at first glance it looks quite nice. Plus, I have always had good luck with ASUS.

Also note, if you go with the Motherboard I suggested, the memory spec is DDR2800 so EMP's suggestion of 1066 would be wasted as it will be downclocked to match this specification.

I would stick with the 8800GT if you will be editing photos.

*EDIT*
Oops, forgot about the Hard drives and optical drives. Given that I would probably forgo the q6600 and cooler and use that hundred to grab a 500GB HD and $30 DVD burner.
January 23, 2008 4:34:41 PM

Aevm, Lunyone and Emp: If you had 1,200 bucks to build the best system you could (without the monitor) "WHAT WOULD YOU BUILD???"
January 23, 2008 5:07:44 PM

would you overclock???
January 23, 2008 5:34:53 PM

All right, let's see. I went to my favorite local shop's Web site and put some things together.
http://www.shoprbc.com/ca/shop/configurator.php?cgid=6
Prices are in Canadian dollars, but it's about the same. You will get better prices at newegg, I think.

Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz 8MB/1066FSB S775 CPU, Retail $295.00
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L S775 P35 ATX (Audio/GbE,Optical Out $102.00
OCZ Vista-Upgrade 2GB PC2-6400 DDR2 Memory Module $50.00
WD SATAII 750Gb 7200RPM 16Mb Hard Drive, 3Yr $203.00
LG GSA-H62N 18X DVD+/-RW SATA Drive BLACK, OEM $29.00
Asus Radeon HD 3870 512MB PCIe Video Card, Retail $271.00
Antec Sonata Plus 550 Mid Tower Case w/550Watt $171.00
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, OEM $125.00
Total: $1246.00

A few things in there are overkill for you, I suspect.
January 23, 2008 5:58:52 PM

All right, just for fun, let me compare my list with ImajorI and see how each piece compares.

Abit IP 35 Pro MB - GA-P35-DS3L is cheaper, good enough, but has fewer features. The aBit is a better choice, if you can fit it in the budget.

WD 320 MB HD - the WD7500AAKS I picked is faster and much larger and usually cheaper per GB. However, it may be total overkill for what you need.

Q6600 CPU - same as my pick. It's overkill for you, for now, but it's future-proof.

G Skill (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 Ram - this depends a lot on what you're doing. I think 4 GB is overkill for you, but I may be wrong. If you do need that much, the OCZ I picked also has a 4 GB version at $95 (which I bought for myself, paying $229 in July...)

CORSAIR 520HX Power Supply - this is a fantastic PSU. The one I picked is also good, and cheaper, but it's not this good.

Light On 20X DVD RW Sata - I believe it's spelled Lite-On, if you want to buy it :)  LG, Asus, Samsung are also good.

Vista 64 Bit - this is a more future-proof and better-looking choice than mine (XP Home, 32 bit). But, with XP Home you pay a bit less and have fewer worries about driver/application compatibility.

Silverstone Kublai KL01B Case - no clue about this case. I have a Silverstone myself but it's a different (and annoyingly expensive) model. In general, for a low-budget build I like Antec cases that come with PSUs. It's cheaper than buying a quality PSU separately, and you actually get a quality PSU. Generally, PSUs that come with cases are a bad idea, but Antec is an exception.

Saitek Eclipse II Keyboard - oops, I forgot to add one. My own keyboard is a Microsoft, $24, no frills. OK, it has a few weird buttons which don't work because I didn't install the keyboard's software. I don't need them. As for mouse, anything with a USB connection and a scrolling wheel would do.

Video card - my choice, the HD 3870, is in fact quite expensive. It is the cheapest card that can still play Crysis without too much pain. It really depends on your needs. If you never play games, HD 3870 is overkill, and something cheaper like the 8500GT would be plenty.
January 23, 2008 6:06:36 PM

Aevm helped me build mine. Thanks Aevm :) 
January 23, 2008 6:36:18 PM

No problem, you're very welcome. So, I guess your computer actually works, since you're not mad at me. Yay!!! :) 

January 23, 2008 6:44:32 PM

It works great and building it was cool, very enjoyable.
January 23, 2008 7:37:49 PM

I agree with aevm on the processor. When building a pc esp your first you need to make things last or you WILL be disappointed if you build for the future or plan for it its the smartest thing you can do. The 3 MAin things you must consider are CPU MAINBOARD MEM

Like i said the Q6600 good choice.

Again i think either MB is good Abit IP 35 Pro MB or the GA-P35-DS3L depend on your budget

The MEM all you want at the moment is max 2GB nothing out there that you will use in normal life will need more then that at the moment (Again choice is yours here depending on what you want G Skill, Chaintech Apogee(Ihave this its quite good and well priced)).

now you can concentrate on other things like drives and stuff like that...

250GB i consider thing the standard at the moment they are becoming cheaper and is a good starting size.
Any one will do i prefer Seagate or Western Digital

Light-On Aopen LG SAMSUNG are all good i use an LG but have worked with all mentioned

PSU for future get a 500W - 600W reason being for upgrading if you want to sli/crossfire add more HDD etc. Which will happen at least for HDD I have CoolerMaster 550W And runs like a dream...

Ok with regards to the graphics you could go anywhere from Ati X1550 at the low end this you will pay almost nothing for to a 8600GT which you can pick up for little nowadays. Depends on budget If you Have the money splurge on the graphics card and go for the 8800gts 320 (good value for money) or 8800GT512 I have point of View brand.

Case you can go for Antec P182 i think that is its model number but not 100%. Its good value for money and has extra fan ports etc Normally i tend to tell people to get a bigger case because it makes maintaining it easier better airflow managing cables easy and ensures the case doesn't become an oven. Get a couple extra fans they are really cheap heat is your worst enemy.

unfortunately i can't give you prices because i don't work with dollars or buy over the net. Brands are also up to you
look for ones that offer good warranty and support but with good performance look at eg. graphics the core clock and mem clock to see why its so cheap and be wary with HDD look at the model number and see if you can find the failure rate of it i believe WD80AAJB for example is a bad batch.

Good decisions will Aid you in the long run take your time to research products YOU ARE interested in and NEED and you will be on the road to a good system build with no disappointments.


January 24, 2008 11:13:29 AM

Another spare-no-expense build, is it?

Call up Intel for a limited Skulltrail (unavailable elsewhere) for $600+, get 2 socket-771 server cpu's (preferably QX9775) for about $800-1000/each at newegg, get 4 EVGA 8800 ULTRA's, get 4-8GB FB-DIMM (fully buffered), and the rest like Raptor drives, you can decide on yourself.

Stability is Intel boards' strength. Skulltrail is the ONLY Intel chipset that supports SLI. The rest are from nvidia (6x0i/7x0i).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_SkullTrail
http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/intel_skulltrail_pr...
January 24, 2008 12:17:15 PM

Ok I have somewhat narrowed it down to this configuration and once again your input to these choices are much appreciated (and needed):

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
-
ASUS P5N32-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS4 Rev. 2.0 LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
-
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
-
EVGA 512-P3-N802-AR GeForce 8800GT Superclocked 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI Supported

EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported

XFX PVT88PYDF4 GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express
-
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
-
CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply

CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 620W Power Supply
-
COOLER MASTER GeminII RR-CCH-ANU2-GP CPU+ Board Cooler

SILVERSTONE NT06-LITE CPU Cooler

Thermalright Ultra-120 CPU Cooling Heatsink
-
2-Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
January 24, 2008 12:20:48 PM

Looks good.

If you are not going to do SLI, then take out the P5N32-E motherboard and the 620HX then seems like overkill unless your getting more hard drives and such. That 520 otherwise is plenty.

Also take out the 320mb GTS, the GT's are faster.

Another cooler (if bought off newegg) is the ZEROtherm Nirvana. Its just under the TR 120 extreme and is $35 last i checked.
January 24, 2008 12:47:34 PM

1. let's decide if SLI is needed. Are you going to play graphics-intensive games like Crysis or Oblivion on a 24" (1920x1200) or bigger monitor? If yes, then you want the P5N32-E SLI and the 620HX. If not, get the DS4 or IP35Pro (the differences between these two are negligible) and the 520HX.

2. Will you overclock? If yes, get the Crucial RAM and the Thermalright Ultra-120. If not, whichever RAM costs less, and no aftermarket cooler at all. (I am assuming you get the E8400 retail, with the stock cooler.)

3. Video: 8800GT 512MB. There's also a Gigabyte 8800GT that comes with a Zalman cooler. There's also a 8800GTS G92 512MB.
January 24, 2008 12:58:53 PM

^^^Agreed

Get the DS4 or Pro, the 520HX, and if you can stretch it get the 512mb GTS (G92, it has a rectangular look to it not rounded). The GT is just very loud with the stock cooler and the GTS gets rid of that with the dual slot cooler
January 24, 2008 1:11:22 PM

Also, be advised that the thermalright ultra 120 doesn't come with a fan. So if you are interested in a quiet cooler, I would stick with that one. If you don't overclock, no fan is needed. Then if you ever decide you want to try it, you can just throw a fan on it. With the case you have chosen, you won't need a fan on it at stock speeds.

For the Graphics Card, I would probably get the EVGA 8800GT 512

Motherboard has already been covered. I agree.

I would probably go with the 620 if you plan to SLI later. If not the 520 will be plenty.

I think the 2 750GB harddrives might be a bit overkill. How much space do you have right now? Are you even close to filling that up. It would take a lot of music to fill up 1.5 Terabytes of space. As you stated earlier, if you plan on using it to listen to a lot of music, I would probably skip the second Hard drive and grab an aftermarket sound card like the x-fi. That suggestion is, of course, dependent on the quailty of speakers you use. If you don't have good speakers, or use headphones, the onboard sound will be fine.
January 24, 2008 4:02:16 PM

I first want to say aevm, Silverion77 & Jedi940... "you guys are GREAT", I don't see how us novice\newbie's could do without your kindness. For you to take time out of your days to provide much-needed advice\input on computer equipment really puts a warm-fuzzy in my heart and I mean that with all sincerity (I am sure there are others that deserve this praise also). Also I must say that I love your picture Silverion77 the "FAIL" with that picture is too funny ROFL. Thanks again guys your words-of-wisdom are appreciated.
January 24, 2008 4:14:55 PM

mlaporta said:
I first want to say aevm, Silverion77 & Jedi940... "you guys are GREAT", I don't see how us novice\newbie's could do without your kindness. For you to take time out of your days to provide much-needed advice\input on computer equipment really puts a warm-fuzzy in my heart and I mean that with all sincerity (I am sure there are others that deserve this praise also). Also I must say that I love your picture Silverion77 the "FAIL" with that picture is too funny ROFL. Thanks again guys your words-of-wisdom are appreciated.


Thanks for both complements.

Im not really taking time out. Its regents here, school's out

Yeah I love the pic. Its amusing
Amazing what Photoshop can do!
January 24, 2008 4:19:10 PM

OMG, I looked at that avatar and thought it was some explosion. I never realized what it really showed until now. Cool!!! :) 

(Moderators might not approve of it though, be prepared with another one just in case.)
January 24, 2008 4:21:08 PM

When I uploaded it, it said that it will appear when the moderators approve and its here, so wth

My friend didnt get it for like 30 mins and I had to help him
January 24, 2008 4:37:43 PM

OK I plan to use SLI and over-clock so is this configuration good or is there any better components to use (not neccesarily more expensive)?

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
-
ASUS P5N32-E SLI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
-
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
-
EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported
-
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
-
CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX ATX12V v2.2 EPS12V 2.91 620W Power Supply
-
Thermalright Ultra-120 CPU Cooling Heatsink
-
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
-
1-Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Is there a better 1.) MOBO (I heard Gigabyte is better), 2.) Video Card ($275 or less), 3.) Case (Is the Antec 900 the best for this configuration) and 4.) Heatsink (with a fan) and 5.) Am I missing anything???

P.S. This card is really pushing my budget trying to stay around $275 (EVGA 512-P3-N841-A3 GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported).
January 24, 2008 4:50:25 PM

1) Do not get the 320mb GTS. The new 8800GT (not new GTS) is better.

2) If you can push the new GTS in, do it

3) Are you positive you need SLI (how big is your screen and are you gaming)
January 24, 2008 5:29:19 PM

Yeah, push that budget and get the 8800GTS G92 512MB, even if it means not getting the X-Fi yet. You can live with onboard audio for a while (you might even like it enough to save $100 permanently and never get the X-Fi).

This Leadtek version of the 8800GTS G92 512MB is $300 and it even has a dual-slot cooler and Neverwinter Nights.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814122045

There's an eVGA 780i motherboard which is better than the P5N32-E SLI (it has PCI 2.0 slots and it will work with Penryn quads) but you don't really need those features and it's more expensive. There's also Gigabyte GA-N680SLI-DQ6 which I would prefer to P5N32-E SLI, but it's also more expensive. Of all 3 I'd pick the eVGA. Still, since your budget is limited and you don't need either PCI-E 2 or Penryn quad support, the P5N32-E SLI will be fine.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188024&Tpk=evga%2b780i
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=242713-OP

The Antec 900 is perfect here. It's also on sale at newegg right now, it comes even cheaper than the RC-690 because it has free shipping.

Heatsink: The one you picked is $60+$6 and out of stock at newegg, and it would cost you another $15 or $20 for a good fan because it doesn't come with one. You can get a Scythe Ninja, including fan, for $40+$6. It usually comes in the top third in comparative reviews of coolers. I have one and know it's quiet. The Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme usually comes first in the reviews, but it costs twice as much, and the one you picked is not the Extreme, and you need expensive RAM and hard work to get an overclocking record and really see a difference compared to the Ninja. Warning about the Ninja though, it can be hard to install. You could also look at the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro - it's cheap, easy to install, quiet. It won't do as well as the Ninja, but it's still very popular.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185038
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134&Tpk=Arctic%2bFreezer%2b7

You're missing DVD burner, keyboard, mouse, monitor, USB device to heat the coffee, USB device to cool the Pepsi, and a few other things. Still, you got the interesting part.
January 24, 2008 5:48:47 PM

Personally I like EVGA when it comes to graphics cards (love their support and warranty). The GTS is $320 and comes with Crysis
January 24, 2008 6:57:21 PM

First dang you guys know so much, I don't see how you keep up with all that knowledge... "geesh" I have trouble remembering my name :p 

Okay this is embarrassing to say I really don't know what SLI is (Mike cringes ready for the impugnment of his character), was just thinking better safe than sorry I guess kinda like this is an investment and I don't want to be missing anything down-the-road.

Biggest monitor I may get is 22", I never heard of eVGA, I thought the 3 best were Asus, Gigabyte & Abit and heard Gigabyte had better reliability. Should I all-together skip the SLI support and if so what's the best MOBO for reliablity & performance for non-SLI, also what's a good DVD burner, oh is there any USB devices for doing the laundry and mowing the grass :o )
January 24, 2008 7:08:03 PM

I learn everything by reading it all

In terms of overclocking, Intel cased boards (X38, P35) are better than nvidia based boards. But Nvidia boards give you SLI and intel X38 has Crossfire (SLI for ATI cards)

Essentially, SLI links 2 graphics cards together to improve framerates, but it only does anything noticeable with LARGE screens (24+).

But the main thing with SLI besides actual necessity is that say one year from now that GTS gets slow, so you think lets add a second, but after 1 year, there are new cards out that beat both of your 2 cards together.

I use the Samsung SH-203B (optical). Its good and quiet
January 24, 2008 7:14:51 PM

So for SLI do you think the eVGA 780i motherboard is the best (and if I never plan to get 24+ displays do I really need SLI)? And for non-SLI what is the best motherboard for a E8400??
January 24, 2008 7:19:28 PM

SLI means using two identical nVidia video cards to display a game on a single monitor with more frames per second than with a single card. OK, that "identical" is not 100% accurate, but you get the idea.

Crossfire means the same thing, with ATI (AMD) cards. It works differently internally but who cares.

You don't need either of them IMO for a 22" monitor and a VERY good card like the 8800GTS G92.

All righty, let's find a good motherboard for a single video card. My favorites in this category are below. (Prices are from memory, from newegg, and may not be correct today.)
GA-P35-DS4, $170
aBit IP35Pro, $150
GA-P35-DS3R, $127
GA-P35-DS3L, $100

I tend to stay away from Asus because I don't like their prices. As far as reliability, I think they're OK, at least for their P35 motherboards.

The DS3L is best if you have a limited budget, only need one or two monitors, only need one/two/three hard disks at most, you don't go for maximum overclocking, you don't need FireWire or RAID or eSATA.

The DS3R is like the DS3R but allows 7 hard disks (and a burner) and overclocks higher and has RAID support. You still get to use only one or two monitors.

The DS4 and IP35 Pro are like the DS3R but they add eSATA and FireWire and a second PCI-E x16 slot which can be used with a cheap video card to handle monitors #3 and #4. The DS4 overclocks very well, I saw it right at the top in some reviews.

DVD burner: Samsung SH-S203N. SH-S203B is $3 less and just as good if you don't need LightScribe.
January 24, 2008 7:24:01 PM

I guess the 780i would be. Allows 45nm quads (if you ever upgrade) and has 3 PCIE slots (tri SLI but the new GTS doesnt support tri)

For one card, the P35 motherboard is the best (+ you save some $$$ for the GTS and such). Gigabyte and Asus are the best.
The Gigabyte P35-DS3L is great but does not have many features. It has only 4 Sata ports (for hard drives and opticals), no firewire.
The Gigabyte P35-DS3R is the same but has 8 sata ports
There is also the DS4 which has extra stuff.
And theres also the Asus P5K-E which is very good. Its very stable for quads especially and duals.

All those boards are good and should do you well


Edit: UGHHH, AEVM BEAT ME!!!!! :cry:  :cry:  I agree completely ^^^
January 24, 2008 7:56:49 PM

* I'd go with a 8800gts 512mb for $30 more like AEVM stated. It's worth the extra $30 for a better cooled GPU and faster than the 8800gt.
* I'd go with the Corsair 620hx or the PCP&C 610w Silencer. Both are quality PSU's and have plenty of power. I'd go with the cheaper of the two, if you need to save some $.
* Antec 900 case or CM 690 would work, which ever one is cheapest, they are both good cases.
* I'm with AEVM on the CPU HSF, get the AC Freezer 7 pro, it's around $20 and does 90% of the work needed. If you get extreme later, than you can upgrade, but for 90% of the OC it will do.
* I'd drop the sound card for now and use that $ for a better GPU (8800gts 512mb g92) or whatever you need the $ for.
* I'm not a fan of SLI/Xfire right now, unless you have a monster screen, something using 19--x12-- or bigger. I'd stick with a p35 mobo, DS3L/IP35-e (if you don't need RAID or too many SATA ports), DS3R/IP35/Asus p5k. I'd only spend over the last mobo's listed if I needed other options or a bazillion USB ports or other ports. I see alot of buids with way overboard mobo's and 90% of the time they don't even use the other options offered on them.

Here is my dream build for under $1200:
CPU - q6600 or e8400 $280 or $220. I'd get the e8400 if I was just gaming mostly. If I was using alot of compression software or doing a ton of CPU intensive stuff alot than the q6600 would probably be favored. The e8400 would be able to OC more, so I think it is a smarter choice in general. The q6600 is no slouch either and can be OC more, but will need a little more attention when pushing the OC'ing. You decide, but for me right now I think I'd lean towards the e8400, since it'll save you $60 upfront and possibly more if you end up getting a aftermarket HSF for the quad.

Mobo - Hard one to select here. $80-$140ish. If on a tight budget I'd get the DS3L or IP35-e, both OC well and have 90% of what you need. The only minor drawbacks are the limited amount of SATA II ports on them. IIRC there is only 4 of them, so you'd be limited to 4 SATA II drives, but there is at least 1 PATA port, but not always a prefered one to use. That would get you up to 6 drives.
Okay onto the selection that I'd probably get, which would be the DS3R/IP35/Asus P5k. Any of these would do fine, just check out the options that you want and get the mobo that fits best.

DDR2 - 1st off get CAS4 DDR2 800mhz at a minimum. Just about any DDR2 at that speed and latency will do. I prefer Crucial and Corsair, but G.Skill, Patriot, or OCZ will do. Just make sure it's 1T and not 2T. That means that its rated to move your information at 1T and not at 2T (which means the 2T is slower than 1T). I've only found this on one of OCZ memory sticks. OCZ is good, but just found this out recently, so I've been cautious at recommending them until I verify the speeds.
Right now 2x1 gig is good for XP and 2x2 for Vista x64, if you get Vista.

PSU - $60-$110. Depending on build and future plans depends on the PSU needed. If you start with a Corsair 520hx or PCP&C 610w Silencer you won't be dissapointed. Some builds are fine with a Corsair vx450w PSU and some need more, but in general I'd stick with a minimum of the Corsair 520hx or PCP&C 610w PSU's. Price can change things a little, but don't skimp on the PSU, you'll regret it later if you do.

Case - $35-$100. This is usually a personal preference, but I'd get a CM 690 or Antec 900 in your budget. The Antec Sonata III case w/500w Antec earthwatts PSU combo is also a smart move. The Sonata is nice and cool and if around $100-120 for the combo, this would make it affordable too. In your case I'd stick with the CM 690 or Antec 900, since you have the budget for it.

DVD Burner's - $30-$40. I like Liteon burners, since I've never had a problem with any of them. They are affordable and reliable, nuff said :)  Don't get Sony, I'm boycotting any thing they make after the rootkit crap they like to pull!!!

GPU - $170-$300. At a minimum I'd get a 3850, but for your budget I'd go with a 3870/8800gt/8800gts. With the 8800gts being the one to get right now. I'd get the 3870, if it was cheaper than the 8800gt, for 2 reasons. First is it's about equal to the 8800gt and second is that it runs cooler (in general) at stock configuration. The other reason I'd pick a 3870, is that Intel mobo's are generally going for Xfire setups and this would allow you to pick one up later and upgrade your mobo and be able to Xfire them later. Now I'm sure there will be better single card GPU's out by that time, but just an option to consider.

HD - $60-$100. I'd go with at least 160gb's or more here. I don't use alot of HD space, but you might so a 320gb HD would be my general minimum to get. Avem likes his 750gb HD and that works for him. For me it's overkill, but that is just not needed for my needs. Yours could be different, so go with what you can afford and still get all of your other parts.

Did I miss something?
January 24, 2008 10:37:36 PM

Yes you missed something... my compliment "I first want to say aevm, Silverion77 & Jedi940... "you guys are GREAT", I don't see how us novice\newbie's could do without your kindness. For you to take time out of your days to provide much-needed advice\input on computer equipment really puts a warm-fuzzy in my heart and I mean that with all sincerity (I am sure there are others that deserve this praise also)."

Wow we may need to call lunyone "Confucious" with his profound wisdom & knowledge... do you have any fortune cookies :o )

I am still confused about only 2 items, okay it seems that I dont need SLI but would like to over-clock to maybe a fair amount like say 4ghz (is that do-able with the E8400?) that being said 1.) should I go with a
GA-P35-DS4 or aBit IP35 Pro and 2.) what is the best heatsink that comes WITH a fan?
January 24, 2008 11:00:56 PM

OK here is the build... is this all I need and most importantly will all this work together??? (AM I MISSING ANYTHING?????):

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
$220
-
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS4 Rev. 2.0 LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
$170
-
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
$75.00
-
EVGA 512-P3-N841-A3 GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported
$315
-
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$120
-
CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 620W Power Supply
$160
-
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
$22
-
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 750GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
$150
-
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
$80
January 24, 2008 11:18:31 PM

Looks good.

You need an optical drive (Samsung SH-203B)
!