New build need suggestions

New build for a friend, I've built one before but not an intel, looking for about 4.0Ghz out of the E8400
CPU: E8400

CPU Cooler: ZALMAN 9500A

Thermal Paste: MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu

RAM: OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 2GB (2 x 1GB)

Graphics Card: BFG Tech 8800GTS (G92)

HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS

PSU: Corsair VX550W


Optical: Sony NEC Optiarc Black 20X

mainly concerned about the motherboard, it should work with a bios flash but this one pc needs to last a while and a might as well get a good board with everything else so can anyone suggest a good board under about $300? and a good monitor under $400?
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  1. $80 after rebate and google checkout- it's a better PSU and it's modular:

    Two seperate drives will give better performance than a single. Put OS on one and games on the other:

    Man that case is fugly!

    Why not the Antec 900?:
  2. I used that PSU in my build and I think it's older than the VX, and just because it's modular doesn't mean it's better Corsair also admits the single 12V rail design on the VX which is much better. The 550VX also has a rebate on it bringing it down to $85 after MIR and has better deals on PSUs anyway but it's easier to buy from the same place.
    Seperate drives offers more performance but first off those are Seagates which in synthetics do rather well but from what I have seen in real world benchmarks they are slower, just read a review on a 7200.11 they slowed down in some cases. Both of those drives together only total 640GB or about ~600GB after format and the 7500AAKS has loads of performance as it should be the PMR drive released by Western Digital.
    A case is more by the tastes of the end user and I have one as well.. a little fun with the fans and it gets plenty of airflow and is also cheaper and runs pretty quiet 24/7 I know for sure.
  3. Excellent build, almost the same as mine. I used the GIGABYTE P35 DS3L motherboard. You need to flash it in order for it to work with the E8400 though.
  4. How exactly does one go about a flash exactly? and all I have to work with will be the E8400
  5. It looks like a great build, but i have some recomendations:
    1-Thermal Compund:I prefer this thermal compund:
    It worked great for me, it is not conductive, and doesn't need a break in

    2-VGA:for 10 bucks more u get a free game, and double lifetime waranty (that makes it easier to sell if u need to)

    another option is evga (30 bucks more) and step up program, so u can upgrade to a 9800GTX if it is worth it

    this is pretty much your pfreference, personaly i would go with Evga

    3-monitor: samsung 226BW i have one and it is amazing i love it
    and i think is a good deal at $270 after MIR

    there are 24" monitors for around $400, but i personaly haven't tried one

    4-Mobo: I have an abit p35 pro, i like it very much, but there are plenty of good boards for under $200, do u plan to go SLI?

    5-CAse: i like the Cooler master cm 690
    but as u said its up to the end user

    Hope it helps and sry for bad english
  6. No SLi is too much cost and not enough performance to make up for it. Went with a 24" Acer 1920X1200 and this is just about making it last a while.. my friend doesn't buy parts often so just one that will last a while that is sorta cheap. Also got an OEM 2005 Media Center (it's not Vista so it's fine) and I have a question about it.. will we need SATA drivers on install of XP?
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