My first home-built computer

After several times of buying a pre-built computer from Dell, I'm going to try and build my own this time.

I've been looking around at parts for the past several days, and what follows is pretty much the final list:

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

Motherboard: Intel DG965WH Motherboard

RAM: Corsair 4GB PC2-6400 DDR2 DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB Hard Drive (Two of these)

GPU: XFX GeForce 8800 GT Video Card 512MB

Sound Card: Creative SB X-Fi XtremeGamer

Power Supply: Corsair TX CMPSU-750TX 750W Power Supply

Disc Drive 1: LG Electronics GGCH20L Black Blu-ray/HD-DVD Reader & Dual Layer DVD±RW Writer

Disc Drive 2: Sony DDU-1615 DVD-ROM

Modem: Best Data Smart One V92 V44 56K Internal PCI Data Fax Modem

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

OS: Windows XP Professional SP2 / Windows Vista Ultimate (Going to dual-boot the two)

Monitor: ViewSonic VX2835wm Black/Silver 28" Widescreen LCD Monitor

Speakers: Creative Inspire P7800 7.1 Speaker System

Since I'm new at this, I may not know exactly what I'm doing, so I thought I would ask you guys: Will all these parts work together nicely? Are there any better parts I could get for roughly the same price?
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  1. Looks like a solid build. The Motherboard selection suggests this is going to be a HTPC, correct? With the 28" monitor, it might be wise to go with an 8800GTS G92 or a sli motherboard so you can later add in another 8800 GT to be able to game at higher resolutions, if building a gaming computer is what you are aiming for. With the state that HD-DVD is in right now and with the finalization of a standard Blu-ray drive (if one will ever exist), I dont know if it will be worth the extra $300 or so dollars. On top of that, reviews claim that the included software doesnt even play Blu-ray or HD-DVD, and that they can only be played on software that costs $100. It seems it would be cheaper to watch HD-DVD die slowly and purchase a playstation 3 ( which is the only futureproof blu-ray disk player)

    By all means I am no professional though and that is just my opinion.
  2. Couple of questions.
    Are you going to use the 64bit version of either O/S? If not then you'll be wasting Money on all that RAM because the 32bit versions will only recognize up to 3 GIG of RAM.

    With the Blu-Ray are you going to be doing any Video editing or burning onto Blu-Ray Disks or are you looking at using this to watch DVD movies?
    If so I'd recomend you go with a Quad Core like the Intel Q6600, why you ask? Because it'll make rendering and editing videos much faster than Dual Core and it's only a little more than what you're spending on a CPU anyway.
    Allot poo poo Quad Core but in the last few Months software manufacturers have really stepped up with driver support for Quad Core tech and you'll notice a big difference in performance even though the Quad Core is slower in GHz.

    Other than that you've really go ta nice Rig comming together. SLI M/Boards are about the same price or just a tad bit higher than what you're looking at so if you might think of getting a second Card to SLI in the future for H/D gamming etc, you might want to concider getting one.
    Allot of older as well as new Games are using good SLI drivers and they really do make a difference.
    It all depends on 2 things really. How hard core are you going to be into gamming and video editing and how long are you going to keep this Rig.

    P.S. Like Stang said before I posted this, spend a little extra Money and get the 8800 GTS. It's faster and has more video RAM, you will notice a difference with a non SLI system. Then if you go with an SLI Board you can upgrade later and have one heck of a screamer!

    P.P.S. Sorry. I looked at the M/Board you're thinking of buying and it doesn't support Quad Core, just thought I'd let you know.
  3. Great build, looks almost like mine. I am in no way an expert but let me throw my opinion.

    I would suggest you get 8800 GTS 512 instead of GT(get the EVGA one that comes with crysis). If you have the extra money, throw it on 8800 GTS 512 it runs better, quieter, less heat and more performance.

    I have a Corsair PSU and I tell you this brand is high quality and I'm very satisfied with it. But since you're not going SLI why don't you consider the Corsair HX 620w instead?

    These are my two cents.
  4. I'm getting the 64-bit version of Vista, and 32-bit for XP.

    No, I'm not going to be burning any Blu-Rays, I'm only watching them. (I will, however, be burning DVDs and CDs, but I don't need a faster CPU for that.)

    I thought about getting the Q6600 initially, but a guy I knew said that the new dual-core Wolfdale range of chips were better than the Kentsfield quad-core ones. And he said for gaming, dual-core is fine. This is going to primarily be a gaming rig, not primarily watching Blu-Rays. I'm planning on keeping this for several years, at least.
  5. Unless I missed a memo, I do not think that MB is compatible with the newer E8 Wolfdale processors, or even any current E6 1333 FSB processors. It is also not compatible with DDR2 800 memory.

    A P35 chipset MB would be the correct choice. although this one does not list on board video.

    Other than that it looks solid.
  6. Very good catch tlmck, this M/Board doen't support the RAM you're looking at.
    Also as I said before, you'll be wasting Money on 4 GIG with the 32bit O/S as well.

    P.S. another good point is that Blu-Ray drives need allot of software support to play Hi-Def DVD's Windows media player won't do it and if you're going to be watching Hi-Def DVD's then you really need the 8800 GTS.

    I got a Blu-Ray drive for my build and so far none of the video editing software I have or am thinking of getting right now supports it so it just sits there. If I had it to do again or if I was building a Rig like you want I'd have spent the Money on a PS3 that not only plays great games but also plays Blu-Ray DVD's as well.
    I think Blu-Ray burners are just too far ahead of the PC Curve right now to see spending that kind of money on One, I'll sell ya mine... LOL!
  7. Alright, I decided to hold off on the Blu-Ray player, and wait until it becomes more stable before I get one. However, I will get the 8800GTS video card.

    And thanks for the heads-up on the motherboard incompatibility. That would have been bad...

    Another guy I was talking to, he said I should stay away from Intel boards, and get this ABIT IP35 Pro instead:

    But I figured that having an Intel CPU on an Intel board would mean more stability, right?
  8. Not necessarily. P35 boards all use Intel chipsets and most have greater overclocking options than an Intel board. If your getting a video card there is no reason to buy a board with on board video. Search the P35 MB's on Newegg and find one with the features and price you like and go from there. You do not need a 750 Watt PSU, I'd go with this;
    Good luck with your build.
  9. The ABIT board the guy recommended looks pretty good. It should work with all my other stuff, right?

    And for the PSU, are you sure? I was going to get a 520 Watt, but I was told I should get a 750 Watt instead.

    EDIT: On second thought, this Gigabyte motherboard looks pretty good, but the memory standard says DDR2 1066 rather than DDR2 800. Will my DDR2 800 memory work in it?
  10. There really isn't much of a difference between the prices of the two, so why not spend a few bucks more for an extra 100W? Any particular reason?
  11. Intel boards are very good for stock speed systems, although they can be a bit picky on ram. Definitely not good for overclocking.

    I generally prefer Gigabyte boards myself.

    In any case, your original Corsair memory choice will work on all the aforementioned motherboards.

    Any top quality 500w PSU will run your system, but there is never an issue with having more power than needed. The Corsair 620 is considered one of, if not "the" best PSU out there based on quality and efficiency. Your original Corsair would be a fine choice as well, as would the 550vx.
  12. I'm still $500 below my budget, so I was thinking of going SLI and getting a second 8800GTS card. (The motherboard and everything supports that, right?) And then, should I get the 620W PSU? Because that says it's SLI certified, whereas the 750W doesn't.

    Also, I just found out that the Creative sound card drivers are currently very unstable on Vista. What other sound card can I get?

    EDIT: Nope, I just looked, and that motherboard can't do SLI. Any recommendations for one that does?
  13. I have decided on the 780i SLI since im not patient enough for the 790i and I am certainly not paying top dollar for ddr3 until next year.
  14. Well, now I'm thinking that rather than go SLI, I should upgrade the single card from a GTS to a GTX.
  15. GTS is only slightly worse then a GTX and the cost difference of $100+ is not worth it, either get just a GTS or SLI'd GTS's
  16. Ok... I just looked at the Gigabyte board again, and it doesn't have any Firewire ports... And I need those.

    So, since I'm changing motherboards anyway, I'll get an SLI one and get two GTSs. Does the ASUS P5N-E SLI board support the Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU?
  17. I think your CPU choice is great ! If you are going to have vista, your 4gig of ram is NOT a waste. I also like your Antec casing. Regarding the videocard you choosed, i would keep the 8800gt but would get the Asus one with the last Asus motherboard you suggested, the P5N-E SLI (if compatible with E8400). The reason i say this is because i read on Tomshardware that 8800gt in sli beats the 8800gts in overall FPS...that is if you go sli one day. You're built looks solid, give us an update when it will be up and running.
  18. X-bolt, i'm about to change my computer too...i went on to try to find all my parts on one web site. Here is what i founded to be within my budget :(btw if a something doesn't work togheter please let me know)

    Case/ps 106$: Antec Sonata 3
    Proc 218$: Intet E8400
    Hard drive 80$: Western Digital 320GB CAVIAR SATA II 7200 RPM 16MB
    Ram 4gig 110$:OCZ 2GB (2 x 1GB) PC2-6400 Dual Channel Gold XTC
    Screen 242$:ACER X223WBD 22 INCH TFT LCD 1680X1050 2500:1
    VC 255$:Asus En8800GT 512meg
    Witch all goes for 1221.47$ plus 15$ for shipping plus Taxes = 1421.94$
    This respects my 1500$ budget, now i need your comment about it; anything would help me big time. Hope it helped you to Xbolt.
  19. Beauchee: I saw that chart too, but it was comparing the older GTSs. The newer, 512MB, is better.

    And that motherboard is only a 650i. The new 780i boards are designed to work with that CPU, but if I upgrade to this one, it squeezes out the last few dollars of my budget.

    EDIT: Just for fun, I tried going to the Alienware customize thing on their website to see how much a similar computer to the one I'm going to build costs. As I expected, it was much more. However, when I added the dual graphics cards, it said that a 750W PSU wasn't enough to power them, and recommended getting a 1000W PSU instead. So I thought, "Ok..." And I looked for a kilowatt PSU. Unfortunately, Corsair, my brand of choice, doesn't have a kilowatt PSU out. They're currently developing one, but no release date has been announced yet as far as I know. So, should I trust the advice of Alienware, and get a different brand, or stay with the 750W and hope they're wrong?
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