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Help narrowing down, and any tips with new PC.

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February 23, 2008 10:24:54 AM

I need help narrowing down my list, asking for suggestions, any tips you might have, and anything else really (such as if my listed items are ridiculous/overpriced/etc). No real limit to the price, but I would prefer around 2000-3000.

First Question - I'm fairly sure I'll stick with WinXP Pro 32-bit for this new PC, but due to ram limits I'm considering 64-bit also. I tend to play a lot of older games (windows 98, some DOS games, along with new games) and the problems that 64-bit has is it worth it? I've pretty much ruled out Vista for now.

For everything else below, suggestions are welcome. I need help with deciding starting with the video card.

Case - Antec cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Nothing to really ask about this, any suggestions would be helpful (such as a possibility of my video card not fitting and airflow).

Motherboard - EVGA LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I see no real problem with this either, a little pricey though.

Harddrives - WD 400GB SATA-300 and WD 1TB SATA-300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
400GB will hold my OS, 1TB will be storage. I was considering a 10,000RPM 150GB for my main HDD, but decided against it due to heat. Also considering partitioning off a portion for Linux or something, but it's of no importance right now.

PSU - Thermaltake 850W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Might be a little much, but then again maybe not.

Video Card - EVGA GeForce 8800GTS or 8800GTX or "Superclocked" 8800GTX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $350, but slower than GTX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $450, standard 8800GTX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $500, but could heat be an issue?
If I had missed any other cards that would be better, feel free to tell me. I'm leaning towards the standard 8800GTX, or should I SLI the GTS or GTX?

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700, Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Q6600, $260
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Q6700, $500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - QX9650, $1000
I'm leaning towards the Q6600 because the price is just so good! Q6700 has a slight boost for almost TWICE the price. and the all-powerful QX9650 is a little over $1000. But for being $750 more than the Q6600 is it actually worth that price? If I buy it will it drop to 600-700 a few weeks later? Is it just overpriced? Or do all my choices just suck? (I doubt the Q6600 does)

RAM - G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) PC2 8000 or PC2 8500.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $100, very good price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $150, faster, more expensive, and possibly more heat.

Soundcard - bluegears 7.1 24-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Sound card isn't really needed, but I thought I'd list it anyways.


I think I've listed everything I've been concerned about. Out of everything, I'm worried about heat, price, and longevity of the PC parts the most. My last PC(I didn't build it) had a horrible airflow and I would like to avoid that this time. I'll probably get a 19"-23" monitor or something, so I don't need to worry about running Crysis or w/e in a giant resolution, just around 1280x1024 with modest settings, I'm not exactly going for maxing out everything as you can see. I have upgraded plenty of PCs before, but this is the first time I'm building one from the ground up.

Thanks.

More about : narrowing tips

February 23, 2008 10:57:50 AM

hdd - 400gb for OS??? seems a bit excessive, but meh... as for the 1TB, somehow i get the feeling you could be better off RAIDing them... oh, and be aware, if you use sata drives, you might have a problem installing windows dude to outdated drivers, so include a floppy into your costs, or reuse one from another pc if pissible.

vid card - get the GTS512, or wait to see what nVidia brings to the camp next refresh... which should be soon

processor.. q6600... the others are for enthusiasts and just overpriced, except the 9650... but damn... 1k for a processor??? or you could wait for the Q9450... will you OC?

it's a pretty good build, and ought to last quite a while... if you're concerend about airflow, get the Antec 900 case, btw

others can help you refine the other parts ^^
February 23, 2008 11:10:43 AM

Quote:
hdd - 400gb for OS??? seems a bit excessive, but meh... as for the 1TB, somehow i get the feeling you could be better off RAIDing them... oh, and be aware, if you use sata drives, you might have a problem installing windows dude to outdated drivers, so include a floppy into your costs, or reuse one from another pc if pissible.

Thanks for the quick reply lol, and yeah I was going to go for 2x1TB drives but decided to go for a slightly faster, smaller drive for windows. The current PC I have now has only 1 sata 250GB drive and it worked fine on installing windows, but thanks for the heads up. EDIT: Oh and, it will be a while until I retire a floppy drive from my PCs, I just didn't list it or the CD/DVD burners because.. I haven't searched for any yet, but I doubt I'll need help in finding something suitable.

Quote:
vid card - get the GTS512, or wait to see what nVidia brings to the camp next refresh... which should be soon

Kinda interesting name you have.. I use to be an ATI fanboy... and an AMD fanboy.. what's happened to me?! O= Anyways...

Quote:
processor.. q6600... the others are for enthusiasts and just overpriced, except the 9650... but damn... 1k for a processor??? or you could wait for the Q9450... will you OC?

No, with being worried about overheating (a lot of fans should fix this.. and the case..) in addition with possibly messing up an expensive computer, I will not be OCing.. though I will consider adding a better CPU fan to replace the stock fan. And yeah 1000 is a bit high, I would just prefer to not have to upgrade for.. a while.

Quote:
it's a pretty good build, and ought to last quite a while... if you're concerend about airflow, get the Antec 900 case, btw

others can help you refine the other parts ^^

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Nice case, I was wanting to get a case with lights and stuff.. guess I'll have to now =D
Thanks again!
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February 23, 2008 11:17:32 AM

about the HDDs, i meant, chaining liek 2x samsung spinpoint Ts (the 500GB ones) to create your 1TB...

lol. about the name, the name i normally use is taken, and i don't have an AMD in my main rig :( . defo an ATI fan, though :p .

cpu - you could get a LOT more performance from your q66 if you OC - look here http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=15.... only if you heavily overvolt it is it going to be a problem... but slapping like a Zalman CNPS9700LED will do wonders - i'm sure take it to 3.ghz without a problem... of course you could use the thermaltake ultra-120... still your choice... personally im going to overclock the crap out of my processor :p 

and with that case, things will be frosty inside your PC :p . you could add a couple of blue lights inside if you want :p 

no problem by the way; it's always nice to be helped...
February 23, 2008 11:24:51 AM

Ah! I've never set up a RAID before but I will look into it, and you must be a mind reader because I was pretty much set on a thermaltake ultra-120... lol. Other than I couldn't find it on newegg so I didn't list it, but I found the Zalman http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168....

I'll look more into OCing once I've actually ordered the hardware, probably early next week. Thanks for the link and blue LEDs ftw.

February 23, 2008 11:38:05 AM

lol... cool... any other questions, feel free to fling a PM into my inbox or ask around :p 
February 23, 2008 11:57:32 AM

I don't know about that RAM i don't particulary like G.Skill. Geil is currently pretty cheap. Very good overclocking RAM (just got to tweak those timings)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do you really want to run Sli? It might be worth to get 2x8800GT's or 8800GTS' i wouldn't go for the 8800GTX since it doesn't offer the same price/performance anymore.

What cooler will you be using? If you choose the q6600 you'll defiantly want to overclock.
February 23, 2008 12:22:50 PM

I've never had any problems with G.Skill personally. And I wasn't exactly planning on having two cards, but I'm not opposed to it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Two of these together would be great, but what about the heat they will both cause after a few hours of gaming? Or should it not be a problem? And cooling... probably a Zalman CNPS9700LED, if not something similar, for the CPU.
February 23, 2008 12:36:19 PM

well, i wouldn't know... probably stick an exhaust fan or summat there... next to the GPUs...

the zalman ought to be a cool cooler... comes with a blue LED too, if i'm not mistaken ^^
February 23, 2008 1:31:42 PM

if u r spending that much. ill tell u. WAIT. just couple of monthes. newe video cards are coming out. so is the new quads.
!