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This is it... Please Look Before I Pull the Trigger!

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January 23, 2008 1:35:40 AM

I've been trolling the forum for about two weeks now sucking up information, and I think this is the final build. I NEED you to please look it over for any last minute fixes, and also if I forgot anything. This list should include EVERYTHING I need to do this build.

In the end I have a few goals:

1) I have a new 24" Widescreen monitor that runs in a native resolution of 1920x1200. I want to be able to view video, and play games in that resolution as much as possible.
2) I want to be able OC this as much as possible, within reason. I'd love to hit 3.6Ghz, but understand that to a certain extent it depends on the chip. The inclusion of the DS3R over the DS3L, and the 120 Extreme were both chosen to help make that OC more likely.

CPU: Q6600 - Retail
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R - Retail
GPU: XFX 8800GT 512MB - Retail
Memory: 4GB (2 x 2GB) Patriot Extreme 4-4-4-12 - Retail
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB - OEM
PSU: Corsair 520HX Modular - Retail
Case: Antec P182 - Retail
Thermal Compound: Arctic Cooling MX-2 - Retail
Heatsink: Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme - Retail
Heatsink Fan: Thermalright A1280 120mm - Retail
DVD: Sony NEC Optiarc 20x AD-7190S - OEM
OS: Windows Vista 64 Home Premium - OEM
Keyboard: Logitech USB

Total Cost Before Shipping: $1339.83
$40 in Mail in Rebates

I have a mouse, so that's okay. And I wish I could get two drives and dual install XP and Vista... but I am pretty much at the end of my budget. The Vista/XP choice was a hard one, but in the end I chose Vista because its the future, and I probably need this build to last as long as possible. I will partition the drive as I read about here.

I plan on getting the Heatsink a day or two early and then lapping it. If I had any balls I'd lap the CPU too, but I'm big wuss.

Please let me know of if you see anything here out of whack. If all is well I plan on placing the order (mostly from New Egg) on Friday.

Thanks in advance.

More about : pull trigger

January 23, 2008 2:06:59 AM

I like the IP 35 Pro instead (heard its on sale for $149) but your build looks great to me.
January 23, 2008 7:31:18 AM

Looks good hey no problems. Mabey one suggestion get a few extra case fans if you are overclocking, if you intend overclocking 8800GT get rid of the stock cooler maybe get the DuOrb from ThermalTake or water cool it hear they run hot hot,
Related resources
January 23, 2008 12:01:16 PM

You a puzzy? :D  3.6 is child play.

A perfect overclocker. Carry on.
January 23, 2008 5:35:48 PM

@BlackSheep86... you are talking about cooling the Video Card specifically? I hadn't read much on that.
January 23, 2008 6:14:15 PM

Looks good, the only thing I'm not sure is the power supply. It will ok but if you ever add other things it will be just, maybe 600w-750w will be better and more stable.
January 23, 2008 6:53:14 PM

What about it folks? Bigger PSU? I loved the idea of modular, since I hate extra wires...

The 620HX is around $35 more. Is there a better choice?
January 23, 2008 7:41:07 PM

Nice choices. Yeah, the 620HX is worth it because it gives you more room for upgrades.
Edit: I also like the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610W, same quality as the 620HX, cheaper at newegg now because it's on sale, rated tier 1, but not modular.

If you have some money left, you could upgrade the motherboard to GA-P35-DS4. That one overclocks like a champ, and it may be worth the price difference over the DS3R because it has a second video card slot and FireWire and eSATA. It depends on your needs. (Gee, I have recommended the DS3R hundreds of times, now I get to tell somebody NOT to buy it :)  ) The second video card slot won't do you much good with an nVidia card because you won't be able to do Crossfire, but it can be used for a cheap second card to handle its own monitor(s).

I object to your choice of burner, but that's mostly because Sony is on my black list since the rootkit scandal. I'd get a Samsung SH-S203B or SH-S203N (the N costs $3 more and adds Lightscribe).

The Gigabyte version of the 8800GT has a very nice cooler, check it out too. This one doesn't need an after-market cooler.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125087

If you get one of the hot versions of the 8800GT, consider a good aftermarket cooler for it. E.g. Accelero S1 or Thermalright HR-03GT. (Edit: and the DuOrb, yeah...)

The Heatsink fan you picked moves a lot of air but makes a bit too much noise. Check out the Scythe S-Flex SFF21E and SFF21F too.
Thermalright A1280: 78 cfm, 34 dbA
SFF21F: 63.f cfm, 28 dbA
SFF21E: 49 cfm, 20.1 dbA
That is, with the A2180 (and some expensive RAM) you might establish a record overclock, but it will be noisy. With the SFF21E it will still reach very nice clocks and you won't hear it.
January 23, 2008 8:34:33 PM

@aevm... Thanks again for all the great info. Most of my current build come off your early recomendations... like the DS3... lol.

I'm all for stickin' it to the man... so I'll definately switch the Burner.

If you had to choose one upgrade (since I'm at the end of my budget) Would it be the DS4, or the 620HX?

And I definatley would have ended up buying NWN2... so... that is a good deal for the Giga8800GT.

I'll look at the Scythe. But I heard (no pun intended) that the P182 is really quiet. Even with a loud fan, won't the P182 block out a significant portion of the sound? And I have another thread about the TRUE... fan in or out? Does seem to be a consensus.

Thanks again for all the advice!

January 23, 2008 8:45:51 PM

Yeah, the P182 absorbs a lot of noise, I love it.

Tough choice, between the 620HX and the DS4. Technically, you don't need either of them. You'd be happy with the 520HX and DS3R. But both are so tempting :pt1cable: 

Upgrading the 520HX to 620HX would give you no benefit right away, it's strictly for the future.

Upgrading the DS3R to DS4 would give you some benefits right away. Let's try to figure out if you need any of them:
- I assume you don't care about FireWire.
- I also assume that a monitor at 1920x1200 plus the ability to add a second one to the same 8800GT is enough for you, so you won't need a second PCI-E x16 slot any time soon.
- This means the only immediate benefit you'd get from DS4 is eSATA. If you have an external hard disk with eSATA and use it a lot then this is useful, otherwise it isn't.

Maybe you should just stay with the 520HX and DS3R...
January 23, 2008 8:53:55 PM

I do not have a external hard disk... so I think you are right... I'll stick with the original setup. (BTW... how have I totally missed Lightscribe? I didn't even know it existed. Very cool.)

Heatsink fan in or out?

Thanks!
January 23, 2008 8:58:13 PM

Instead of buying an 8800GT and an aftermarket cooler, you might as well go ahead and get a 512MB 8800GTS.

That's a great looking build, but honestly unless you are interested in RAID you can save a few bucks and get the DS3L.
January 23, 2008 9:01:46 PM

If aevm is right, then the Gigabyte cooler should do nicely and its only a few bucks more. (It also appears to be bundled with NWN2, which is plus for me). I am a little concerned that it only has one review on NewEgg... ?

I read the DS3R was better for OC'ing... so that was my main reasoning behind going with the R over the L.
January 23, 2008 9:38:11 PM

more wattage, more gigabytes. (Your choice of modest 250gb surprised me the most)
January 23, 2008 9:56:35 PM

ZozZoz said:
more wattage, more gigabytes. (Your choice of modest 250gb surprised me the most)


Sorry, I don't quite follow. Can you explain what you mean? What would you suggest?

Thanks for the advice.
January 23, 2008 10:24:51 PM

He is recommending a bigger PSU (which you don't need) and a bigger hard drive (a good suggestion). Get at least a 320GB drive. The price difference is minimal and you can never have enough hard drive space.
January 23, 2008 10:43:18 PM

Got it... was reading it as though there was an A to B relation between wattage and gigabytes. I see now they are independent recommendations.

Okay, so upon advice of council I squeezed another $15 in the budget to get a 320GB 7200.10 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
January 23, 2008 11:13:11 PM

The 520w is more than enough power.
The only way he would ever come close to needing more than that is with SLI.
He does not have an SLI mobo.

If you really want a steal for a high powered PSU.........
Buy.com has the 750w Corsair for $119 After Rebates.
January 23, 2008 11:50:53 PM

I agree that your current PSU is more than enough and would stick with it since you won't be running multiple gfx cards.

Since overclocking is important, you may want to buy a few extra fans to fill out the rest of the 182 to maximise cool air in/hot air out flow. I think the 182 can take two additional 120mm fans, one on the side and one up front.
January 24, 2008 12:29:54 AM

I think I would go with the Intel e8400 core2duo. The sucker is clocked at 3.0 GHz and should be faster than the e6850 core2duo and in the majority of the benchmarks of the Q6600. Plus it only costs $219!!

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

45nm baby! Less power, more performance
January 24, 2008 12:34:44 AM

After reading the article on the front page... I'm wondering about PCI-E 2.0... Do I need to looking at a Mobo that supports that? Is it worth it?

I guess I don't understand if it will impact my 8800GT or if its only a Crossfire/SLI thing.

Great article aevm. In it he speaks of updating the BIOS on the 8800GT to improve the cooling. I did read a question on the forum here about someone not being able to find the new BIOS on GIGABYTE'S site. Anyone know anything about this? Is this a reason to not go with GIGABYTE?

Damn that Accerlero is sexy.
January 24, 2008 12:44:09 AM

Accelero S1 - quick note on this. I just bought one. I haven't really got to test it out. But few problems I had was the tape on the ramsinks were horrible. On half of them it only coverd half the sink. Might wanna buy some thermaltape if going here. I bought the fan kit for it also but the clips don't really reach through the fins. And its HUGE!!
January 24, 2008 1:06:30 AM

althius said:
After reading the article on the front page... I'm wondering about PCI-E 2.0... Do I need to looking at a Mobo that supports that? Is it worth it?.
If you are putting together a new build I would say you would HAVE TO go with PCI Express 2.0. It is what I would do.

THE REASON: I believe the future of videocards is Multi-GPU cores. Today ATI's new graphic card the HD3870X2 came out. A single HD3870 by itself has enough bandwidth to fill up a PCI Express x16 slot. Now imagine how much bandwidth TWO HD3870 GPU chips on a single card would pour out in to a single PCI Express x16 slot? I think the data would bottleneck. That is what the HD3870X2 will do. That is like pouring Crossfire in to a single slot that normally fills two slots.

Dual GPU cards are going to revolutize the Graphics Industry just like Dual Core CPUs revolutionized the Processor industry. In order to accomadate that you need PCI Express 2.0 type bandwidth.

I read an article that ATI's new R700 chip this summer is going to come in 3 flavors
One core - Entry Level
two cores - Gaming level
three cores - Enthusiast level

That is 3 GPU chips on one single card.

With games like Crysis single cards are going to have to be built with multiple GPUs to handle tomorrow games.

Now I have listed ATI in every example I have given but I am sure that Nvidia is heading down the same multi-gpu path also. Their 9800GX2 is coming out and I am sure the GT200 coming out this summer will be multicore for several cards.

So I say to you if you are building today, build planning for tomorrow.
January 24, 2008 1:27:10 AM

Only two comments: XP Pro and dual hard drives. Nothing you are going to run requires 32-bit *or* Vista. DX10 is highly overrated and hardware inefficient. Dual drives (no RAID) will double your disk performance by allowing simultaneous access to OS/apps and data.
January 24, 2008 1:29:46 AM

Considering that hard drives are the slowest part of a computer I would agree that RAID is highly desireable.
January 24, 2008 7:43:49 AM

Yeah cool it specifically take a look at the DuOrb its really good and cools better then the stock cooler hey, Do this only if you are overclocking it or to preserve it because extra cooling does reduce wear and tear from heat only of course.
January 24, 2008 9:57:05 AM

althius said:

1) I have a new 24" Widescreen monitor that runs in a native resolution of 1920x1200. I want to be able to view video, and play games in that resolution as much as possible.
2) I want to be able OC this as much as possible, within reason. I'd love to hit 3.6Ghz, but understand that to a certain extent it depends on the chip. The inclusion of the DS3R over the DS3L, and the 120 Extreme were both chosen to help make that OC more likely.

CPU: Q6600 - Retail
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R - Retail
GPU: XFX 8800GT 512MB - Retail
Memory: 4GB (2 x 2GB) Patriot Extreme 4-4-4-12 - Retail
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB - OEM
PSU: Corsair 520HX Modular - Retail
Case: Antec P182 - Retail
Thermal Compound: Arctic Cooling MX-2 - Retail
Heatsink: Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme - Retail
Heatsink Fan: Thermalright A1280 120mm - Retail
DVD: Sony NEC Optiarc 20x AD-7190S - OEM
OS: Windows Vista 64 Home Premium - OEM
Keyboard: Logitech USB

And I wish I could get two drives and dual install XP and Vista... but I am pretty much at the end of my budget. The Vista/XP choice was a hard one, but in the end I chose Vista because its the future, and I probably need this build to last as long as possible.

Please let me know of if you see anything here out of whack.


A Q6600 and a single HD is whacky...what's the point of that? 99% of the games out can't even use 4-cores.
Loading your OS on it's own and games on another greatly increases performance (go for 2x250gb 16mb cache)

Why not ditch the Q6600 and $40+ cooler and get the 3.0ghz 8400 45nm Wolfdale with it's 6mb L2 cache for $220?

But if you're stuck on the Q6600, buy it OEM (no fan) and a known stepping (G0) for overclocking, while saving $$:
http://clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=A1938460

At 19x12, a single 8800GT seems lacking. At buy.com you can get the XfX 8800GTS for $270 if you sign up for their Visa $30/$20 rebate/$10 google checkout with free shipping. This card not only has a little more power, it has a dual slot cooler stock.

That case is also killing your budget. Newegg just had a 24 hours sale on ALL case yesterday. You could have gotten a nice Lian Li for $89 shipped (vs $130+$15+ shipping original price)....

Vista is not the future. It's a bump in the road to Windows 7 in 2009. I have Vista Home Premium on my laptop and can't stand it...it feels like it's made for old people, kids and stupid people who know nothing about PC's. There are more illicit ways of getting an OS and putting more in your build...
January 24, 2008 1:03:31 PM

rwayne said:
Considering that hard drives are the slowest part of a computer I would agree that RAID is highly desireable.
Two drives *without* RAID are faster than two RAIDed drives.
January 24, 2008 1:10:55 PM

Im looking to build a new gaming PC around March-April and the components that ive been looking at are very similar to the OP's.

I've got a head full of questions, would be great if anyone can clear things up a bit for me.

Im currently looking at a BFG 8800GT clocked at 675MHz from OCUK, is this a better choice than going for a similar GTS version? worried about cooling mainly.

Also im hoping that in the future i can add another card (SLI?) in when prices fall and games demand more power, what sort of mobo is the best option for this setup.

The processor that i have been looking at is the Q6600, but ive read magazines saying that there will be a Q6600 with a penryn architecture(?) out soon and that its worth waiting for, is that just magazine blabber?


Vista or XP 64-bit? ive not heard anything good about Vista but im not that great with computers and im not sure how an OS can restrict performance, will the 64-bit version of XP work fine if im planning to use a Quad-core PCU and around 4GB of RAM?

What sort of storage setup should i be looking at? RAID or just a single HDD?
Ive been looking at 10K RPM drives as storage for games to boost loading, but ive also seen people saying that "Express Card SSD" is better for loading times, are they any good?
January 24, 2008 1:48:41 PM

Looking at the images here, I see the 8800GT OC2 has a single-slot cooler. I would recommend spending more and getting the BFG 8800GTS G92 OC. Same 675 MHz, 14% faster because it has more stream processors, no cooling/noise issues. Mind you, I have a BFG 8800GTX OC2 and I'm very happy with it, but BFG's GTX cards do come with some excellent dual-slot coolers.
http://www.bfgtech.com/bfgr88512gtoc2e.aspx
http://www.bfgtech.com/bfgr88512gtse.aspx

Best mobo for two 8800-series cards: probably the eVGA 780i.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188024&Tpk=eVGA%2b780i
You absolutely need 680i or 780i for SLI. 780i offers compatibility with Penryn, while 680i may not have it. Also, 780i has PCI-E 2 slots which bring 6% or more additional speed in some games with some cards compared to the PCI-E 1 slots in 680i motherboards.

Q6600 is not a Penryn. Q9450 will be a Penryn, about $316 to $350, about 15% faster than Q6600, better overclocker. I expect it to be available in March, but I'm just guessing.

I think your best choices are XP Pro 32-bit (fastest fps, fewest compatibility issues with drivers and applications, but no Direct X 10 and no more security patches soon), and Vista Premium 64-bit. I would avoid XP 64 because some things refuse to work on it. I use it at work and I had trouble when I switched to it. OK, at work it's less important, you just find a similar application that does work on Xp 64, but with a game you can't fix it.

I looked very seriously at RAID and decided it was just too much trouble. However, depending on what you do, it may be useful to you. There's a wikipedia article about RAID, read it.

10K disks tend to be noisy and extremely expensive and they really help less in games than you'd expect.

SSDs are a beautiful technology. They can be several times faster than hard disks. They also are supposed to last longer (no moving parts). Too bad they are not ready for primetime yet. When prices drop to half of what they are now, and sizes go up 4 times, I'll be happy to buy one. Probably in 2009.

For now, I'd recommend just getting one or two normal disks. My favourites are WD7500AAKS (Western Digital 750GB, it matches the WD Raptor in all but access time, 5 times less $/GB, great for videos and other work involving large files), Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB (even faster than the WD7500AAKS at reading/writing large files), and the 7200.11 series from Seagate.
January 24, 2008 1:57:23 PM

Listen here Mr. Hijack-my-thread....

:) 

Most of these questions are going to take some reading. I spent HOURS in the Vista section reading. There are many, many factors to consider. In the end I went with Vista 64 because A) Its the future (although Noya disagrees) and B) I wanted to use 4GB of RAM.

There are many differing opinions out there, but my take from reading it all was that maybe, just maybe, its to the point where VISTA's pros outweight her cons. Especially if you plan on buying everything new. If you have a lot of legacy equipment/software, XP might still be the better choice.

This MOBO cannot SLI, so you need to look at something different. But from everything I read, SLI / Crossfire just doesn't justify the cost. Its mostly for people with extra money to burn who want crazy perforamance at any cost.

It looks like the Penryn chips are delayed. They will be better than the Q6600 (10% or so?), but my computer is dying (and 4 years old) so I need to move now and can't wait.

And the question of the best way to configure the hard drive(s) still eludes me. I've asked a lot of questions, but I haven't really found an easy answer. In a perfect world I would get XP and Vista on seperate drives and Dual Boot. But finanacially that just isn't in the cards for me.

Look at this post. It has lots of good information on setting up a Hard Drive for maximum performance. I was going to follow it, but now I'm just not sure.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/244654-32-hard-drive-size-limitation#t1737771

Read the post that aevm linked above in regards to the 8800GT. Lots of good information in there.... (especially about cooling).
January 24, 2008 2:42:45 PM

Last time I checked, 40A on the 12V rail is plenty for any GPU out there. The 620 would leave more room for SLI/Xfire, but the 520 can even run that quite comfortably too. If you want more power and don't want to spend much more than the PCP&C 610w w/49A on the 12v rail and is only about $20-30 more than the 520hx than the one at buy.com.
PC Power & Cooling Silencer 610 EPS12V EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, cUL, CE, CB, TUV - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$119 - $10 promo code (EMCABCCBG) = $109 assuming the code is still good.

$100 - $10 MIR - $10 Google checkout = $80 for 520hx!!!
http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-520w-sli-certified-modu...

I'd get the 520hx if the $ was tight or if you can still get the 610w Silencer that woud be the steal at $109 shipped, no MIR's to worry about either.

If your not buying right now the PCI-e 2.0 mobo's would be the ones to consider, but it sounds like your buying soon. If that's the case than the DS3R or IP35-pro is a good option. You can always wait for better technology, but then you'll never buy. If I were buying today I'd get what you have listed except I'd probably get the better cooled 8800gt or get the 8800gts 512mb. If I could get the 3870 for cheaper than the 8800gt than I'd probably swing that way, since it is pretty equal to an 8800gt and generally runs cooler than most 8800gt's.
January 24, 2008 4:45:13 PM

Sorry about that, i was reading away and saw your PC was looking like what i was after so i thought id save making a new topic :D 

Thanks for all the information tho, hope it helps other people aswel.

One last question, will there be any problems putting 4GB of RAM into Windows XP-32bit Home?
January 24, 2008 5:02:07 PM

Nope, no problems. You will only see 3.5 GB (or 3.25, whatever) but it's still a good idea IMO with RAM so cheap. It will help if you switch to Vista later or play Supreme Commander or the Witcher or compress videos.
January 24, 2008 6:29:51 PM

Yeh, i think Vista needs some time to smooth out, hopefully they will make a lite version with less of the non-essential shiny things.
January 24, 2008 10:10:18 PM

I was going to get my 520HX and HS at buy... and then shipping was 17 bucks! My whole system is 14 at New Egg.
January 24, 2008 10:22:26 PM

CLICK THE "BUY NOW" BUTTON!
January 25, 2008 1:50:41 AM

Newegg has a combo sale ($230) with the P182 and their 650W PSU which will save $45 off the originally listed combo. Don't need the extra wattage but savings is there.
January 25, 2008 3:12:52 PM

ITS DONE.

I wasn't this nervous the last time I bought a car, or even when I got my wife's diamond.

(oh and Jack, I checked out that combo at NEWEGG with the 650W PSU... but got nervous when I saw that the last 5 or 6 reviews spoke of how terrible it was... and even started a few fires. All the reviews before that were good, so maybe there was just a bad batch? I dunno... but a fire in my case scares me... )
January 30, 2008 1:00:52 AM

Everything but the CPU... sigh...

January 30, 2008 1:50:31 AM

I am SOOOOOOOOOO JEALOUS!! That looks totally KICK A$$!
January 30, 2008 8:22:26 AM

I think your missing the tie wraps? Ahhhh, I think your going to have to deny the package and have it shipped back until you get the tie wraps with it! LOL!!!
January 30, 2008 9:16:48 AM

i highly suggest getting 8800GTS 512 instead of the 8800GT..few bucks more and u get higher speed and lower power consumption and cooler tempreture.
its worth the extra $20
January 30, 2008 9:36:42 AM

neocortex said:
i highly suggest getting 8800GTS 512 instead of the 8800GT..few bucks more and u get higher speed and lower power consumption and cooler tempreture.
its worth the extra $20

Did you look at the picture? It has a 8800gts Alpha Dog in it. Unless I'm mistaken, it's a 8800gts?
January 30, 2008 12:49:19 PM

Yep. XFX 8800GTS 512.

And I have tons of cable ties around already, so its all good. :) 
January 30, 2008 11:40:41 PM

Good Pick!! I like XFX any how. If I were to go Nvidia on my next build I would go with XFX or EVGA. Probably XFX.
!