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I could use some thoughts on my first build

Last response: in Systems
February 29, 2008 6:15:21 PM

Hi there. I'm new to PC building, but I've been hanging around a lot of hardware forums, trying to gather opinions on the parts I've selected. This will be my very first build, and will be used for gaming, general purposes, HD video, and some audio encoding. I'll have enough money to buy all the parts some time around June. Here's my wish list:

I also plan on buying a Blu-Ray drive for my PC in the future, but I won't do that until prices are lower. Any thoughts on this build in general? I've been told that I should go with a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L motherboard instead, but I'm a little bit worried that I'll run out of SATA ports (2 HDDs, 2 Optical Drives once I get my Blu-Ray), and I want to make sure I've got room for expansion. Also, this DS3R board has DDR3 capability for whenever DDR3 becomes a standard and isn't ridiculously priced.

Any comments would be appreciated. I'm sure you guys know your stuff, and that's exactly the kind of knowledge I need right now. Thanks!

More about : thoughts build

February 29, 2008 6:27:05 PM

Probably only need one cpu... not 9.

Other than that, look at the MX-2 compound from Arctic, it's supposed to perform better than AS5.

Everything else looks good to me. If you're not dead-set on 1066 ram you can get some nice ddr2 800 from G.Skill for $45 (2x 1gb) or for $90 you can get 2 x 2gb from them.

Other than that I'd say stick with what you've selected.
February 29, 2008 6:31:08 PM

O_o 9 CPUs? Y'know... For the longest time, they kept disappearing off my wish list each time I would close Firefox. I could never figure out why, so I kept re-adding them. It still only shows up as one CPU for me. No clue how to fix this though... Any ideas?

I'll look at the MX-2 compound as well, thanks.

Also, I've actually decided on DDR2 1066. Found a good deal on ZipZoomFly a few weeks back and ordered them. So I'm stuck with 1066 now. No big deal though, after rebates, I've only paid $10 extra.

Other thoughts?
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February 29, 2008 6:35:21 PM

I think the 9 will stay because of the link at the time had 9 on the list maybe. Not sure, just kinda funny because I looked at total cost and saw $3k, it really doesn't matter though.

Sounds like a good deal on the ram you got. Other than that, the 8800gts (g92) that you picked is top notch. And with EVGA there's a 90 day step-up program... so if the 9800 comes out and is amazing or whatever, you'd be able to upgrade to that and only pay the difference in cost.

Good case selection for the money. If you wanted to spend more I'd recommend the P180 or 900 from Antec. But I think it's more a matter of personal preference than anything else.

Also like the motherboard choice. Deffinitely better for you than the DS3L I think.
February 29, 2008 10:49:51 PM

I don't see a processor on that list!
I also wouldn't suggest a board that takes DDR2/DDR3 ram, by the time the price/performance of DDR3 gets real, there will be platforms to make the most of it. If you're locked into Gigabyte, go with this;
This Asus board is also pretty good, you can get it with built in wi-fi for $10 more;
Here's another cooler to consider;

March 1, 2008 1:30:54 AM

I've got a C2D E8400 on there as my processor, and as I said before, Newegg just won't cooperate with me. If it shows more than one now, just know that I'm only buying one.

Also, I see what you mean about the board... And I like the way that Asus board looks. I do plan to overclock, so if it's a good overclocking board that'll support 45 nm processors, then that's great. 6 SATA ports should be great as well. I won't need Wi-Fi necessarily (we're buying a router for my new PC, but I have a few hundred feet of ethernet cable I can use), so that won't be a big deal. Question though, with the second PCI-E x16 slot... what's the point in having that? Are there any devices other than GPUs that utilize PCI-E x16? (I have no intentions of using SLI or Crossfire)
March 1, 2008 2:20:43 AM

The second PCi-E slot can be very useful if the video card already serves two monitors and you need to add a third monitor - you buy a cheap second video card and put it there. Don't laugh, it happens. For example I might have to replace my motherboard just because I didn't think of this when I got my current PC. :( 
March 1, 2008 2:24:19 AM

I see, I see. I'm going to go with the DS3P then. No risk of a video card blocking my SATA ports, and it natively supports my DDR2 1066 Ballistix Tracers. Excellent! And I don't think I'll ever have a situation where I'll need three monitors, but it's good to know. Thank you for the advice!

Any other thoughts on my PC? I'm having a good time learning about all of these different components, so if anybody's got something to add, please do!
March 1, 2008 5:30:25 PM

I'm buying my E8400 off Micro Center, actually. $40 cheaper than it is on Newegg, and $20 cheaper than TigerDirect. Works for me!

Got one question for you guys though: I think I remember reading that the CM 690 case doesn't have a speaker built into it for the motherboard to communicate error messages. If I can't get my machine to POST, how am I supposed to figure out what's wrong with it? Will there be some other mechanism on my motherboard (Gigabyte DS3P) that can do the same thing as the POST beeps?
March 1, 2008 5:47:46 PM

I don't think they're in stock at Microcenter, when you add it to the bag, it's not available. I edited this, while you posted a response, I was checking the site.
March 1, 2008 5:50:09 PM

Huh, I guess they're not. Shoot... Oh well, I'm sure I'll be able to get my hands on one somewhere.
March 1, 2008 5:54:29 PM

Good luck, I called Newegg earlier this week, I have a customer bitein' at the bit, they did not know when the E8400 would be back in stock.
March 1, 2008 6:13:44 PM

Okay, one last question: How many fans will I be able to install with my current list of components? Newegg's description doesn't list how many fans can be run off of the DS3P motherboard, and I'd like to know before I find a few more to add to my case. How do you tell how many fans can be plugged into a motherboard, and if you run out of room to plug them in, is there another device you can buy to add additional ones?
March 1, 2008 6:40:57 PM

I'm not sure how many fan headers are on board, some one else may know, or maybe check the Gigabyte website. There are fans that can be hooked up to the molex connectors of the PSU.
March 1, 2008 6:50:10 PM

1x CPU fan header (I assume this is the Tuniq Tower's fan)
1x Power fan header (Fan in my Antec Earthwatts 500W)
2x System fan header

So I assume this means I can only attach two fans to this motherboard before I have to use molex connectors?
March 1, 2008 6:52:34 PM

The fan in the power supply does not have to be a seperate connection, it comes on when the PSU powers up.
March 1, 2008 7:02:42 PM

I see. Okay, I know my PSU has six molex connectors on it, so I should still have at least a few spare ones after hooking up all my other components. I should be okay.

Thanks for all the help, everybody. Special thanks to chuckm as well for helping me out quite a bit. You guys have been great.
March 1, 2008 8:04:10 PM

I would see how the fans than come with it do before you worry about hooking up more. Monitor your temps but you might be fine the way it is. I haven't used that case so maybe someone that has can help you out there.