To build, or not to build...yada, yada.


Complete newbie here.

Well, my old PC is now pushing up daisies, so I've been browsing about to find the best deal I can get for upper midrange PC. I'm seriously considering trying my hand at building my own. Well, shopping around at, I've put together a PC that I like--and if anyone knows of any reputable online hareware vendors outside of California, it would be much appreciated (CA taxes on these are pushing newegg and Mwave out of my price range). But I also found an HP PC that seems to be fairly nice itself. So, what do you think? Note that I have minimal experience in putting together a PC.


Here's the list of specs on the build from

CP1-DUO-Q6700 :: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 Processor BX80562Q6700 - 2.66GHz, 8MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB, Kentsfield, Quad-Core, Retail, Socket 775, Processor with Fan (1.6 lbs) $579.99

M17-7414 :: Windows Vista Home Prem 64-bit DSP OEM DVD (0.25 lbs)$109.99

L12-1134 :: Lite-On LH-20A1L-06 SuperAllwrite Retail Lightscribe DVD Burner - 20x DVD±R Burn, 16x DVD±R Read, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD±R DL, 12x DVD-RAM, 48x24x CD-R/RW, Black, SATA (1.5 lbs) $39.99

M333-3000 :: ZEROtherm / Butterfly BTF90 / Socket 775/754/939/AM2 / Copper Base / Heatpipes / CPU Cooler (2.2 lbs) $49.99

O261-8038 :: OCZ SLI-Ready Dual Channel 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2x2048MB) (0.3 lbs) $119.99

TSD-500S :: Samsung Spinpoint T166 500GB Hard Drive - 7200, 16MB, Serial ATA-300, OEM (1.5 lbs) $109.99

E145-2034 :: EVGA nforce 780i SLI Motherboard - A1 Version, NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI, Socket 775, ATX, Audio, PCI Express 2.0, Dual Gigabit LAN, S/PDIF, USB 2.0, Firewire, Serial ATA, RAID (2.65 lbs) $259.99

B52-7876 :: BFG GeForce 8800 GTX OC2 / 768MB GDDR3 / SLI Ready / PCI Express / DL Dual DVI / HDTV / Video Card (3.5 lbs) $479.99

TC3J-2324 :: Thermaltake Black Armor Full-Tower ATX Case Bundle - 11 External Drive Bays, Clear Side, Front USB, Firewire and Audio Ports, 700-Watt Power Supply (76.7 lbs) $279.99

SUBTOTAL: $2,029.91

Shipping: $108.35

Tax: ------

TOTAL: $2,138.26 (this is assuming I remembered everything, which I doubt)

Does it look like an alright build to you? Any suggested amendments, etc...?


Here's the HP:

Shipping is only: $39.95 No Tax.

Total: $1788.95

The HP is obviously a not as powerful as the build, but is the difference in performance between the build and HP enough to justify the additional cost ($350. +) and headache of building the PC?

Any comments/criticism/advice/concerns are welcomed. Thanks!

Gary K.
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  1. #1) Get the Q6600 not the Q6700. The Q6600 will clock as High.
    #2) Don't get the 8800GTX. Get (2) 8800GTS 512MB for SLI.

    The Dell will not be able to compete.
  2. Samsung SH-S203B SATA

    (Get the "Retail" version of the optical drive in order to get software with it. This will include the decoder you'll need to watch movies on it.)

    Operating System - Seagate Barracuda ST3250310NS ES.2 250GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    Data, Swap File, Video, mp3. etc - Seagate Barracuda ST3500320AS 500GB 7200.11 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    Both have 32mb of Cache
  3. Get the q6600 and 2 8800GT's in SLI, everything else looks good though if you could wait about 2 months (like me) you could get a 45nm core 2 quad and see whatever Nvidia has in store for us with the 9*** series.
  4. Thanks for the advice!

    A couple things:

    1. My old PC used an Full-tower Xpider Aluminum case and has an Asus P4C800e DLX motherboard in there right now, would the box work with the newer motherboards out there like the one I selected (I think the Asus mobo is ATX, so I’m assuming the box is likewise)?

    2. What kind of a socket would the “45nm Core 2 Quad” use (Socket 775)? And will the motherboard I selected above work with it? I’m not is THAT much of a hurry, but it’s a good itch nevertheless. Will it really be coming out in a month or so, or might we see a case of the slows develop.

    3. @mlaporta: You might have to translate that using “newbonics.” I don’t think I fully understand what you are saying. Which one is the retail version and where does the OS fit into that equation?

  5. garyknowz1 said:

    Does it look like an alright build to you?

    Are you kidding? It looks "SuperAllwrite"... really sorry... couldn't resist. I agree w/ the q6600 comment... much cheaper, and just as overclockable. I'd also suggest getting the HD3870x2 if you're already willing to spend $480 on a vid card. It takes the 8800's and smacks them around a bit (but IS power-hungry).

    RAM & OS look good.. dunno about your optical, but it's cheap. Mobo looks good for the 8800 (but if you get the HD3870x2 and want to crossfire with another card, you'd need to swap mobos).

    I'd get a larger HD these days, but you do have enough bays available to grow by adding drives.

    Seems like a very reasonable machine, overall.

    ....oh, and as far as the RETAIL vs. OEM goes, mlaporta's talking about the DVD drive... if you get OEM, it will not come with decoding software packaged with it (overpriced if you were to buy it alone). If you get RETAIL, it will (most likely a copy of PowerDVD will come with it). Note the DVD drive you picked out DOES say RETAIL -- just make sure you keep it that way.
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