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Please critique my first build ever

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January 27, 2008 9:44:29 PM

I am getting ready for my first computer build ever and was wondering if I could get some input on the parts I'm planning on getting. It's mostly just for every day use, but I will also be using it for some higher end gaming.

Antec Sonata III w/ Earthwatts 500W Power Supply

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

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor

EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler

I was wondering if the power supply would be sufficient enough to power the system and also if there's any other things (aside from a 120mm fan for front cooling that I'm getting from a friend) to help keep the system cool.

Edit: Sorry I didn't mention this earlier, but I'm not really planning on overclocking. I have a friend who could help me out with it because he's done it a few times before, but I'm just going to stick with the basics since this is my first build.

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January 27, 2008 9:51:05 PM

Do you plan to OC?

If your not on a budget this is probably the best single video card - EVGA 512-P3-N841-A3 GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported $315, but it's pretty costly and you may find this hard drive possibly a bit cheaper and better -Seagate Barracuda ST3500320AS 500GB 7200.11 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive $120
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January 27, 2008 10:10:11 PM

Looks good. Agreed with above.

You will need to flash the BIOS for the CPU.
January 27, 2008 10:37:32 PM

Looks good, that's a good PSU. In you're not significantly overclocking you can use the standard HSF
January 27, 2008 11:39:13 PM

Spot on. Ideal price/performance gaming rig. I would spend an extra $25 on a Tuniq Tower or ZEROtherm Nirvana though, just for the better cooling/potentially higher clocks.

Edit: But I agree with G-paw, if you're not overclocking much, stick with stock.
January 28, 2008 2:22:20 AM

I'm too sleepy to research now if the Tuniq fits inside the Sonata 3.

With that kind of cooler you'd want an Antec 900 anyway, it's better for overclocking like crazy.

Don't like the Nirvana much. I read the Anandtech review and got all excited and then on the last page they showed the noise results and that ruined it all for me. Too bad...
January 28, 2008 3:11:36 AM

Just a couple of thoughts:
* GPU is good, I'd get the 3870 instead of the 8800gt, because it runs cooler and just about as good. Now with that said, I'd get the 8800gts 512mb (g92) over the 8800gt, if I could afford it. It has a double slot cooling solution and also runs faster. Now I don't know if the added $30-60 more can be handled, but I'd seriously consider it over the 8800gt.
* If you doing mild OC's on the e8400, than I'd stick with the stock HSF (which is pretty good). If you decide you want to do some heavy or extreme OC's than you should change to the Antec 900 case and a TT120, but that would increase your budget. Not sure if you had that in mind or not, but something to ponder.
* I'm hoping that the DDR2 you selected is CAS4, so you can have more OC room than the CAS 5 stuff.

The rest of the build is quite nice for $. I'd say that most budgeted enthusiasts would probably build something like what you've listed. :) 
January 28, 2008 4:58:39 AM

The 8800gt is great, it is a single slot solution because it uses a newer manufacturing process so it runs cooler and is smaller. Plus nvidia did some changes to the core itself. But it is just as good and even supports additional features over the gts or even the gtx.

The rest of the system looks great and you should have no issues. Just make sure you get the latest drivers for your os from a current system, and grab the latest bios, if its not already installed when you get it.

As for your hsf, stock should do just fine. The c2d runs so cool its not a problem even if you do overclock. Just make sure you put in several fans in the case for good air flow.
January 28, 2008 9:49:01 AM

Thanks for all the input. I think I'll stick with what I originally posted since I don't really plan on doing on any overclocking. The system is going to cost me around $800, so now all I have to do now is find a nice 22" or 24" monitor.
January 28, 2008 9:53:49 AM

it looks pretty good... you could try finding the samsung Spinpoint T 500gb HDD, but otherwise i think you're spot on :) 
January 28, 2008 9:54:53 AM

Samsung is making good monitors and has a set up that if you have to RMA it, you can do an exchange at a local UPS store so no shipping charges either way.
!