Need Help! Tired of looking at unused parts.

I beg you to help. I have been reading and searching for the past 3 months and can not decide on the final (CORE) pieces of my build. I am ready to buy what ever you guys decide on. I just want to get this stuff on its way so I can put this build together

Mobo: I am lost with this, do I spend $260 on a 780i setup, is a EVGA 680i gona take care of my needs and be stable? What will be most upgradeable? I really don't know who to go with on this. And it is killing me to have all this and a empty case. =(
Memory: I know I want 8GB, I don't know if I need something SLI certified or why I would. Is it worth $200 more to go 1066?
CPU Cooler: Zalman? ZeroTHERM Nirvana? Tuniq Tower 120? Would like something that can perform but wont be hella loud all the time. Looks are always nice too.

Sound: Is on board going to slow things down that much right now if I'm just needing to run a 2.1 speaker setup? They seem to be a lot better than they use to be. Plus like the optical out to send to a HTReciever.
HDD Main: 2x Raptor X? Was thinking RAID, but would $350 on a HDD be dead weight in a year with SSD coming out? Should I just buy a temp drive for now and then wait to RAID or go SSD? Would 2x $70 Barracudas be something good to tide me over till SSD is affordable?
HDD Storage: Hear great things about Samsung's new Spinpoint F1, cool and quiet are prob good with me for storage speeds. Is this the way to go?

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 Stepping Kentsfield 2.40GHz
GPU1: EVGA GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB w/Crysis
GPU2: EVGA GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB w/Crysis
OPTICAL: SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner w/ LightScribe
CASE: Antec P182 Gun Metal Black
PSU: Ultra X3 1000w PSU

Purpose: Graphic/Web Design (Photoshop), Gaming, 3D Modeling (Never had a computer powerful enough to learn)
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  1. Man, onboard sound is fine unless you have to have the best, you won't hear too much difference if you have a decent mobo. Like me, I have a Gigabyte board on my AMD setup, and it's actually got HD sound outputs. Next, maybe lose one of the gfx cards as that's probably overkill for any system. Also look at the PSU, some of the guys on here don't care for Ultra PSU's, for me, I've used them and they weren't bad, but you can get better for your money. Hard drive, look at Seagates, some of those are supposed to be as fast as the raptors, but more space and less price. Mobo, you can do better than 250 I think....On my AMD setup, I think my Gigabyte board was only 85-100, and that was with HD outputs on sound, front USB, 6 sata ports, SLI support, full ATX, so decent feature set.
  2. I guess I should clarify that the bottom list is of hardware I have already purchased and received. I have both 8800's already, don't think I'm gona send one back, the purpose was to do SLI.

    I agree Ultra is not the higest quality, got the X3 $100 off during a sale tho and I really like the full modular cable. I would not recommend that PSU due to its size tho. Looks like it might cause some problems in the lower chamber of my P182 case. I really don't want to blow the hot air off the HDDs onto the video cards either. I think some 90 degree SATA adpaters might alow me to get both the fan and HDDs in there tho.
  3. Unless you are going to be upgrading the processor and video cards, a 680i should be just fine for that setup. Unlike the 780i motherboards, the 680i boards do not support the 45nm processors nor pci-e 2.0. The 45nm issue is supposedly a motherboard design issue not chipset, but AFAIK there are no 680i boards supporting the 45nm processors. Although the 8800GTS boards support pci-e 2.0 they're backwards compatible and should not be bottlenecked at all. So yes, 680i should be fine.

    Is it worth $200 to go 1066? well that depends on how much $200 is worth to you, and how much the minor performance increase will be. Personally I would say "no" and SLI-certifed ram is not necessary. Its just a certification. Conceivably you may get better support with the ntune software or similar auto-overclocking but if you're not into that or just going to overclock it yourself then dont bother.

    Personally I have a Zalman CNPS 9500, I wouldn't recommend getting it nor the 9700 anymore. The reason I got it was due to space contraints primarily but its not really /that/ great of a cooler, it just costs a fair amount. The Tuniq Tower 120 and Thermalright Ultra 120 are currently great buys if you have the money to spend, while the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro is probably one of the best "midrange" coolers out there.

    I would not suggest going for raid solution if you're planning on upgrading in the near future, nor would I suggest going for a raptor setup at this point either even as your main drive. There are two families of drives with > 300gigs/platter, both the Samsung F1 & the WD GP that provide comparable performance and are significantly less annoying to be sitting next to. Yes, the F1 drives are great, unfortunately they're not available where I reside and consequently no valid waranty can be acquired until they start shipping them here which vetoes them for my work. It would probably be better to just get two of those drives.

    I've been toying with an 8GB SSD (its not mine) for OS(profiles, temp files, swap etc are elsewhere) and apps but finding its just not enough. If believe 64GB will be the sweet spot but that's way out of my reach.

    Good luck.
  4. Nice parts. I wondered what that distant chittering was, now I know it was your parts mocking you :lol: .
    Still, just because you have a pair of video cards doesn't mean you need to use them. Performance is likely to be fine with just one of them (although Crysis might like the pair if you've got a big monitor). That opens up additional mobo choices. Sell the second video card on eBay.
    I personally would not do RAID, particularly RAID-0. It may be faster, but the risk of data loss is higher than I like. Both my primary and secondary drives are bootable into WinXP, and I copy anything important to both of them for backup purposes.
  5. the x3s are the good ultra psus, so don't worry about that. for mb, get the 750i from asus. full 16x 2.0 on both pcie, only $150. for cooling, the ultra 120 is well liked. with a s-flex sff21f fan they are very cool and quiet. you don't need 1066 ram, you won't get the fsb that high. don't get the raptor, waste of money. the new 1TB drives have the same read/write speed and are much quieter and cooler. cheaper with more storage too obviously. the onboard sound is fine unless you need the advanced options of a descrete card.
  6. Praeses... What is it like with that SSD? Does it just seem to be a huge boost in response and make everything glide? Done any gaming? Just wondering real world impact of them.

    As far as 2GPUs... I will be using dual vid cards no matter what because I have a 3 monitor setup. (2xmonitor) + (1xmonitor,1xHDTV) So, I guess I like the fact that I add that second card's power when playing single or dual monitor games.

    MOBO: Some guys on another board are recommending I go with 780i to "future proof". If they don't support the Penryn then what is futureproof about it? Are the new boards more stable? Any thoughts on what PCIe2.0 will offer in the future? Bc I am deff not going to Triple SLI so what would my benefit be?

    MEMORY: If it really that minimal of an increase then sounds like I will prob go 800 on memory. Wait for everything else to come down in price. Any suggestions on brands that OC well? Best deals...?
    $110 GeIL Esoteria -
    $90 CORSAIR XMS2 -
    $120 OCZ Titanium XTC -
    $100 OCZ Reaper HPC Edition -
    .. Others?

    CPU COOLER: Looks like newegg is out of the Thermalright Ultra 120. I have heard a bit of buyer's remorse from a few people on the Zalman now and I don't particularly care for the copper look. I am a bit scared of the Tuniq Tower's size and being able to get to the board but like what I hear about it's performance and being able to replace the fan. The Nirvana looks nice but I hear it is loud and I don't like that I could never replace the fan. Dunno what to think about the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7. I guess I can always decide on this a lil later.

    SOUND: Gona go with On-Board for now.

    HDD: This is my upgrade so near future will be year+ for the HDD I would think. Unless SSD make a huge difference and come down a bit in price in the next year or two. I'm past the Raptor setup it looks like. But why is everyone so against RAID these days? As far as reliability, I already have/use an external HDD I keep for storing important things I wana keep. Any input on that? Would a 2x250GB Spinpoint be a good setup for OS? (I will prob be dual booting XP & Vista transition a bit)
  7. i have a zalman and i can tell you that at full speed it still isn't louder than my 80mm case fans. i haven't tried it at its lowest but i heard it was near silent at that rate.
  8. The older 6xx chipsets didn't officially support the new penryns, but the new 7xx do. It's as future proof as you can get as the next chips after penryn will require a new socket.

    Wow, they are out of the entire Thermalright line of HS across the board! Well, the Tunic is a good second choice. The Freezer 7 pro is good too.
  9. Any one know what the 790i board will add and when they are suppose to come out? Like maybe in the next week or two =)

    EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX
    ASUS P5N-T Deluxe LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI

    RAM: (2x = 8Gb)
    G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000)
    EPP(/SLI Ready?) OCZ Titanium XTC 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb - ST3500320AS
    (Will consider RAID setup at later date, have secondary HDD for storage already)

    Still stuck...

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 Stepping Kentsfield 2.40GHz
    GPU1: EVGA GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB w/Crysis
    GPU2: EVGA GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB w/Crysis
    OPTICAL: SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner w/ LightScribe
    CASE: Antec P182 Gun Metal Black
    PSU: Ultra X3 1000w PSU
  11. Look at newegg ratings. The eVGA board is loved by 78% and hated by 1%. The Asus is loved by 22% and hated by 28%. No contest, IMO. In fact, with ratings where the * outnumbers the *****, maybe Asus should stop selling the board. Mind you, lots of newegg reviewers are idiots, and for each newegg reviewer there are 10 or more people who bought the board, it worked, and they never bothered to review it. Still, all things being equal, I'd get the eVGA.

    I'd pick the G.Skill, of those two.

    Cooler: Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme with Scythe S-Flex SFF21F. It beats the Zalman/Nirvana/Tuniq (and any other air cooler) as far as performance, it is quieter under load than all three of them, and it fits in the P182. It does cost more, true. The Scythe Ninja is also a good choice, i.e. low noise, high performance, and it's cheaper.
  12. How about the new Scythe Zipang

    Reviewed here:

    140mm fan included (Scythe none-the-less), $55 and almost performs as well as the TRUE.
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