My initial decision was on the E6750 and P5E based on the reviews here in the Tom's Hardware mobo/processor overclocking articles, but seeing the responses in the thread I started to change my mind. I still haven't decided on a monitor yet.
Most of my work comprises:
1. Web browsing, forum posting, general web surfing
2. DVD burning, Unrar/Rar
3. Medium weight website design (Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Adobe CS3, etc.) minimal Flash
4. Some movie editing and video encoding (AVI to DVD, MPEG, MP4, etc.)
5. Some photo editing
6. Occaisional gaming (Rome Total War and the Total War types of games)
7. Occaisional large spreadsheets, word documents and pdf builds and disassembles.
So given the above, what do ya'll experts feel would be more oriented toward my core workload? Obviously modifications are welcome. I have about $1200 to play with including the monitor I haven't purchased yet.
There is no reason to get an E6600. The E6x00 are older slower versions of the E6x50 processors, and as is mentioned above, the new E8x00 series based on newer manufacturing technology is becoming available. Also, I think that for your uses an X38 based motherboard is overkill, so the DS3L would be a good change to your original system.
CM Stacker RC-832 is a great case and its got an excellent price at the moment - $110 after rebate. Still is almost 10% of your budget and one area you can cut back in. For example you could get a COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 @ $45 and save enough to upgrade the 8600GT video card to a HD 3850.
After some further research and reading the suggestions from y'all I've decided to go for the overkill and build toward the future. Here's the revised list of components.
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400
ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
XFX PVT88PYDE4 GeForce 8800GT Extreme 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI
WINTEC AMPO 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3750330AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Antec earthwatts EA430 ATX12V v2.0 430W Power Supply
COOLER MASTER Stacker RC-832-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case
ViewSonic Graphic Series VG2230wm Black 22" 5ms DVI Widescreen LCD Monitor
Two quick questions:
1. I've used View Sonic CRT's for a while now (currently typing this on a G220fb) I saw the Samsung but noticed there were issues with true color. So I'm in a comfort zone place with View Sonic but would like to know if in your opinions there is a better monitor in the 22-24 inch range at a better price?
2. Do I need additional CPU cooling above and beyond the fan and heat sync included with the E8400 in this build?
decided to go for the overkill and build toward the future
I see you stayed with the X38 motherboard (Crossfire capable) but also chose the 8800GT.
Just on the chance you might want to try a future Crossfire (two ATI cards) and cram a few more goodies into that huge case it might be good to think about a PSU upgrade (and the rebate expired on the Antec 430 as well so now its $60). Antec Earthwatts 500watt PSU $50 after rebate is about the lowest I'd suggest. Cable length might be an issue with a big full tower case. Review over at JonnyGuru.com Coolermaster Real Power Pro 750watt $80 after rebate looks pretty awesome at that price. I was going to suggest the 650W model but its $99 after rebate.
The Viewsonic LCD looks decent for the price. ViewSonic 22" compare VG2230 vs VX2245 Whoooo VX2245 - built in Ipod dock! And USB ports! And Sub-Woofer! 8-in-1 card reader! And only $250
For a LCD with the best color reproduction you may want to look at the 20" or 24" panels. All the 22" are using the TN panel and not the better S-IPS, S-PVA/MVA panels. LCD Panel Types
Its not a critical issue but I've come to REALLY appreciate the four extra USB ports my monitor has - USB Flash Drives, gaming peripherals, camera, etc.
You can easily get away with the stock Intel heat sink cooler. Its actually very good, even for light to mild overclocking. It also comes with thermal compount already applies so you can get away without the Artic Silver 5.
HDD - Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3750330AS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Monitor - ViewSonic X Series VX2245wm Black-Silver 22" 5ms ViewDock DVI Widescreen LCD
Went with the VX2245 because of all the features. Looks like a TN panel but the other choices that seemed worthy of that were all about twice as much.
Antec Earthwatts 500W PSU got a great review from JonnyGuru so it's in the cart as well, and has long cables to compliment my gi-normus case.
Only real question is the RAM which is 4 Gb PC 6400. I'll be getting 4 Gb of whatever type of RAM I purchase, but just wanted to get any parting shots on these sticks. They've gotten good reviews from what I've seen so I figure I'll throw it out there for any last minute scrutiny.
I want to thank you all for your patience, assistance and general willingness to help me out in this process I appreciate you all immensely.
Well, having just built a system with an e6750, I can say that overclocking to 3.2 GHz was extremely simple and actually, just clocked it up to what it should be running at. This also allowed my memory to run at rated FSB. I ran Prime95 for 12 hours, no hiccups, and core temps remained well below 60c on stock cooling.
Now, this is in an SFF case, on a DS2R mobo, but the new NZXT case is a beaut for air cooling (five 120mm fans), so this might be a factor on the core temps. However, I did all these tests prior to installing the last two (optional) fans.
As far as quad core, I can only see this being worth the bucks if you frequently have 5-8 programs running simultaneously. If you're only doing 2-3 out of the list you posted above, stick with C2D, until programs start catching up with the quad core craze. Even then, it will be pretty high-end games taking advantage of them. Doesn't sound like you're into that, so no worries.
As far as mobos, just pick one up that supports current and 45nm architecture, so that you'll have some upgrade capability in a couple of years. I got an MATX board with that support for $100, so they don't break the bank.
I also recommend G.skill RAM (single-stick 2GB) for the OC, it's got some good timings and seems to clock well up to standard. I never had to touch the timings from the 5-5-5-18 standard, and it can be clocked down to 4-4-4-12, I believe. Darn cheap, too - although there's probably some high-performance RAM out there for a few bucks more.
I'm nowhere near "l33t" or a hard-core overclocker. I know a few things from researching my current system. But I thought I'd toss the OC stats in there for the e6750, and let you know that 3.2 runs off of stock volts, does not raise the temp on a stock cooler. I could probably hit 3.6 or 3.7 GHz with stock cooling in my case; not sure how far with an aftermarket heatsink. But I'm willing to bet it would be damn close to 4 GHz.
One more thing to consider - if you are using XP or Vista 32-bit, that 4GB RAM is wasted. With a 512 MB video card, 3GB hits the cap. Remember that vram counts toward the 4GB limit, as does every PCI/PCI-e card you have plugged in. dansdata.com has a good explanation of all this, and I've seen more than a couple of my friends spring for a 4GB quad-core with two 512 GB video cards look at my actual performance on my PC and weep. Now, their numbers on tests were far better, but actual responsiveness and such did not warrant the $2K plus over my expenses they spent on their new toy.
If you're going for 64-bit on the OS, then good luck to you, and make sure the drivers for everything are available.
EDIT: Just out of curiousity, I ran coretemp after installing the additional fans and then Orthos. The core temps never broke 50c during the test, so my stock cooling OC estimates might be low.