First time builder, need advice

Here is what I ordered for my first home-built pc.

cooler master cosmos 1000

EVGA nf68 a1 lg775 680i mobo

EVGA 512-P3-N841-A3 GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

Thermaltake W0116RU Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version 750W Power Supply

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model BX80562Q6600

CORSAIR Dominator 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1142 (PC2 9136) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-9136C5D

Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFDRTL 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model LH-20A1S

Creative 70SB046A00000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series

ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler

Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Ultimate for System Builders Single Pack DVD

I would like to add a second HD but I have no idea how to go about hooking up two of em. Any pointers here? Anything else I need to get here? Since this is my first build, I'd like to have everything I need the first time around, lol.
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  1. First of all, what is the computer going to be used for primarily? If it's gaming, then I strongly recommend going for an E8400 instead of the Q6600. The E8400 will clock higher and almost always beat the Q6600 in the gaming scene. (if for no other reason than it can be OC'ed higher) This will eventually change as more games become optimized for multi-cores

    What size monitor are you using? If it's 17-22" LCD, then you won't ever need SLI capabilities... so spend about $100 less on the motherboard and get something like the: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L. It's a simple board that OC's great, supports 45nm dual-cores, and has a more reliable Intel chipset. The only advantage to that 680i motherboard is the fact that it allows for SLI (dual graphic cards), but depending on your resolution... it may no benefit you at all. So it's only logical to save money and get something that better suits you.

    Also, since you're going with Vista, get 2x2GB of RAM instead of 2x1GB (also, don't go 4x1GB - this will take up 4 ram slots and require the purchase of larger RAM modules if you ever want to expand the amount of RAM you have) The 4GB of RAM will help immensely with the resource hungry behemoth that is Vista. You also are going for the 64bit version that will handle 4GB+ of RAM, so again, it only makes sense. Make absolutely sure that all drivers you get for your hardware are the 64 bit version or else you're going to get crashes and BSODs like no other.

    I would like to add a second HD but I have no idea how to go about hooking up two of em. Any pointers here? Anything else I need to get here? Since this is my first build, I'd like to have everything I need the first time around, lol.
    Are you referring to RAID? That is where you hook two drives up to function as one in order to increase speed. If that is the case, I strongly recommend against it since this is your first build. The Raptor is plenty fast as it is and can almost be matched by some of the Seagate Barracudas @ 7200 RPM.

    As for a second HDD for storage, you will definitely want one of those. Go for a 7200 RPM HDD with a 16MB+ cache and high storage capacity. (300GB+) Use this drive for all pictures, photos, files, etc. Use the Raptor for all applications: OS, games, photoshop, etc. This will make for a faster, more smoothly operating system.

    Post back and address my concerns so we can help you get this thing going.
  2. Get 2 of these one for the OS the other for Games, Video, mp3's, Data, etc - Seagate Barracuda ST3500320AS 500GB 7200.11 RPM 32MB Cache

    Get this optical drive it is very reliable - Samsung SH-S203B SATA also order the retail version so you get the software NOT the oem version.

    And as rgeist554 stated that knowing some additional information will help to determine better suggestions based on your budget and usage.
  3. I think you should wait a bit on the OS go with XP Pro SP2 I even think SP3 is coming out soon at the very least wait till Vista SP1 comes out, Vista is flakey. I just don't see what it has to offer. There really isn't anything new... the indexing service kills your HD for a day or so... the prefetcher and other services cause an idle of 700-900MB of page file usage... for what?
  4. I went with vista so I'd be prepared down the road for dx10 when it actually comes into play, and I went with the 64 cause i eventually wanna run 8 gigs of ram. I only went with two 1 gig sticks for the time being, cause that was all i could fit in my budget for now. Will be a few weeks before I can get more. My monitor is a 24" widescreen ACER, and I do plan on going sli on down the road. And gaming is about all I do with my pc's. So if I did some more research and decide to do the RAID config, is there anything else I have to get besides the HD's? I saw some raid cards for sale on newegg and I don't even know what those are, lol, will I have to have one of those?
  5. oh yeah, one other question. Is this all I need to get the rig going or are there any other parts I'm missing from the list that I need? Based on what I've read, I think I'm good to go, but as I said, this is my first one and I'd hate to think I was done then find out I'm missing something. I read somewhere if u don't install a floppy drive that u have to disable it in the bios. Do I have to do that before installing the OS?
  6. You don't need to go with RAID just 2 hd's increases the systems performance. As the transactions needed to run your computer IO read\writes, processes, etc you don't want to slow it down with running games and stuff on the same hard drive.

    2 of these would be awesome: 500GB 7200.11

    I think there are better SLI boards out there look at some reviews.
  7. and ive never done any OC'ing before, and don't really plan on it as long as this setup will run my games smoothly. If I decide to try some OC'ing in the future, I may be back again for some instructions, lol, if yall are cool with that.
  8. k, i'll scratch the RAID idea then. I've already ordered all the stuff on my list, so, I'm stuck with that mobo for the time being. I'll order another HD. How do I go about setting up a second one though? Just plug it in and go?
  9. The E8400 is going to beat out the Q6600 at stock speeds for gaming. The only reason to go quad atm is for extreme multi-tasking, encoding, etc. Also, the Q9450 (45nm version of the Q6600) is going to improve on the Q6600 in many ways and be competitively price... so it could be worth the wait.

    As for as a second HD. You just plug it in if it's SATA, which most new ones are. Just install the OS like normal, choose a disk that will be your master disk (if you get the 10k raptor, choose that -although, the 7200.11's are nearly as good and not quite as loud). After you install the OS on that drive, boot into Windows and use the disk manager to format the second HD. **You can even format during the initial OS install.** Done. It's that easy.
  10. sweet, thanks fellas
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