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I Need Help & Critique on a New Gaming Rig Build Please...

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February 7, 2008 9:55:39 PM

Sorry so long, but I value TH Coummunity's opinion. Been a reader of the site for 11 years, but until now, haven't used the forums.

This is a build I'm getting ready to order, but I have some issues/questions...

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , ATX case.
SILVERSTONE ST50EF-Plus ATX 12V 2.2 500W
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L
XFX PVT88PYDE4 GeForce 8800GT Extreme 512MB (640MHz, CoHeroes Incl.)
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
x1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
ASUS Black 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe
ASUS Black 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive
Logitech Internet 1500 Laser Black USB RF Wireless Keyboard/Mouse

For a monitor I will be using my Samsung HLR-5087 1080p DLP

$957.48 Shipped on Newegg. That does not include $25 Mail Rebate for Ram.

I will be running XP Media Center.

This will be my 5th build, but first in 8 yrs or so, so I'm rusty.

I'm on the fence on a couple of things. I have a crap load of questions.

1st is PS: The Siverstone I have here would work perfect I know, but it is kinda pricey @ $90. I realize that's not that much, but I'm not planning on adding anything else. Most people overkill on the PS but I don't want to. I just want a quality, stable, reliable, affordable PS. My other choice would be:

Antec earthwatts EA430 ATX12V v2.0 430W Power Supply

I like the efficiency, and it's rated tops by users @ Newegg, but is it enough for this rig? It's cheaper @ $54.99

What does the v2.0 and v2.2 signify? The Antec is v2.0 and the Siverstone is v.2.2. What does that mean?

Only thing I might add later on is 1 more gb Ram and possibly another HD.

2nd component I'm not sure about is the processor. How much fast/better/efficient would the E8400 Wolfdale be over the E6750. It is $60 more and currently out of stock. I will only be Gaming, surfing, burning movies, and using MS Office on this rig. What will the Wolfdale have over the Conroe? Is it worth the wait and extra $60?

3rd question is Ram. I'm pretty sold on getting the cheaper DDR2 800 over the 1066. I read that the performance boost is minimal compared to the money (twice as much $). The MB is set up for 1066, but I don't think I need it. You think otherwise?

My second question on Ram has to do with XP. I read someone say XP limits Apps to 2gb of Ram, and that unless you are seriously multi-tasking, then any more is a waste. Have any of you heard that? I was going to get 3gb (1gb x2, 512mb x2), so is the extra gb a waste??

I pretty much went by cas, timing ratings and overall customer reviews in choosing the Crucial (cas 4, clk 4-4-4-12). It sounds like quality Ram. Any body have a solid argument for another brand?

Lastly is Wireless Keyboard and Mouse. I will be using from my recliner approx 10ft away and wanted a high quality wireless Mouse and Keyboard to game with. I know those are few and far between, but I found this one on Newegg and reviewers seem to like it for gaming and everything else. I will spend whatever it takes to a certain extent on these components, because I definately need wireless and definately need quality for gaming. I'm jonezing bad for a good mouse/keyboard after playing shooters on 360 for the last two years. Anybody know about this Logitech setup? Know of a better wireless setup for gaming?

Again sorry so long, but I need your nerd gaming helps...

Thanks ahead...
February 7, 2008 10:13:07 PM

#1, get a modular power supply, you will love it.
#2, get the E8400 for about the same price as the E6750 and get 4Ghz easily or stay at 3ghz stock.

other than that it's all great. Consider an 8800GTS 512mb card over the GT. Better cooling and performance for about $50 more.
February 7, 2008 10:21:23 PM

Looks good. THe E8400 would be worth the extra cost, at least in the states the 8400 is only $30 or $40 on newegg. That Silverstone is good and I wouldn't go below 450w and 500w would be better, not overkill and better to have a bit too much than too little. If your running a 32bit OS, e.g., XP home it will not recognize more that 3.25 or something like that but given how cheap RAM might speed it up a bit but 2GB would work. A DATA makes good inexpensive RAM if you're not overclocking. You won't notice the difference between cas 4 and cas 5. I believe with that mobo you'll need the 2nd to the most recent BIOS to recognized the the E8400.
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February 8, 2008 8:56:58 AM

3gb is better than 2gb, but not critically important

get the 8800GTS 512 if you can afford it

get the E8400; it OCs better, runs cooler, will last longer, and gets something like 6-10% improvement (i'm not 100% about that figure, though)
February 8, 2008 1:55:37 PM

The e8400 is overpriced at most place, but I bought mine at $220 + tax. Rumor has it that Intel is holding back on the 45nm cpus in order to clear the 65nm stock, same thing for X48 which is being delayed, FWIW. Low stock is an excuse for retailers to jack up the price.

The Wolfdale is blazing fast at stock. I'm gonna overclock this muthafork. Getting Wolfdale to work on 680i proved to be a challenge to me: memtest checked out every time, xp bsod'ed & froze & flat out rebooted out of the blue. Turned out it wasn't the bios, but the voltages. Right now orthos passes every time, so does super pi. The only thing is the intelppm.sys in system32\drivers is made in 2004. The new one is 2007 - only availabe at MS. Why the heck doesn't Intel host this file? AMD does all their cpu drivers & then some.

The Silverstone is quality, hence the high price tag. You gotta look for deals if you want cheap. The Corsair 450W VX at buy.com is very affordable. The minimum for your pc would be 425w 28a. The earthwatt 430w will work too.

Quote:
# ATX12V 2.0 — 24 pin main connector, 4 pin secondary connector (Pentium 4, Core 2 Duo, and Athlon 64 with PCI Express)
# ATX12V 2.2 — One 20/24-pin connector, one ATX12V 4 pin connector. Many power supply manufacturers include a 4 plus 4 pin, or 8 to 4 pin secondary connector instead, which can also be used as the secondary EPS12V connector.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX

Stick with ATX 2.2 if possible. A bit future-proof, but most parts come with split power adapters like the 6-pin PCI-E to molex, or you can buy one.

The Ballistix 800 can be overclocked to 1000mhz hands down at higher vdimm.

Stick with 2GB if you're running 32-bit OS. Up to 3gb will be seen in Windows. 4GB+ is for 64-bit os.
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