Build #1 - Power + Gaming

Building 2 new systems, looking for advice, compatibility issues, and suggestions. This system will be 40% CAD, FEA, & number-crunching, 40% gaming, and 20% office apps.

I wanted to design something that was overclock-friendly , upgradeable to more RAM, upgradeable to run SLI, and able to run drives in RAID 0. I took cues from this forum, and THG. My OS choice is undecided at the moment, but will probably be XP-Pro. I will be using this with a Samsung 22" LCD, model SyncMaster 226BW.

Lemme know what you think! I'll post my "family" system next.


CoolerMaster Hyper TX2

MB (& Sound Card):
MSI P7N Diamond w/SB X-Fi Extreme

VIDEO CARD (one for now, maybe a second later):
MSI NX8800GT 512M OC GeForce 8800GT 512MB

Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 Black/Silver Steel ATX Full Tower

RAM (4GB for now, maybe an extra 4GB later):
GeIL Esoteria 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

2 Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s

ASUS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model DRW-2014L1T

OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply

Newegg Subtotal: $1417.90 USD
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  1. the Q6600 CPU at is the G0 stepping which is better for OCing. No one knows for sure that the newegg one is the G0 stepping.

    how did you pick that CPU cooler? Is that the same as the Coolermaster 212 on this list? In any case, a 92mm fan is going to be louder and/or less CFM of air than a 120mm fan. Pick a 120mm fan from the list, preferably something closer to the top of the list. FrostyTech's CPU Cooler Review

    the G92 8800GTS 512MB video card would have been my choice but see what others say.

    there is a list of PSUs rated by tier you might want to look at if you haven't already done so.

    i'm not familiar with that motherboard but i don't recall seeing too many people build with it.
  2. Go with the Xigmatek

    4 more dollars and amazing cooler

    For the PSU

    If you arent that good with cabling, go with a modular from tier2.

    For HDs id recommened Baraccudas
  3. HAM: I got the cooler from THG's 2008 CPU Cooler Chart:
    but I will check out FrostyTech's list and take a closer look at the G92.
    Thanks for the info on the Q6600 - that is a good point. I was wondering how I could ensure that I'd get G0 stepping!
    Monster - I will look into the Xig' also.
  4. Updated my previous post........ but a little slow
  5. The Seagate 7200.11 kicks butt on the WD's.

    If you were buying a 1 TB drive, I'd suggest the Samsung but the F1 only has the fast 350 GB platters in the 1 TB model and not in any of the others.
  6. Swap out that Nvidia for a nice xfire MB and an x2 and you are off.
  7. If you're planning on going with 4gb or more of memory then you need a 64-bit OS, which means going with Vista 64 because it's just flat out better than the 64 bit version of XP for stability and driver support.

    Depending on how much you plan on overclocking that Q6600, I'd recommend either a Tuniq Tower 120 or a Thermalright Ultra-120 (which does not come with the 120mm fan) because those quads can get pretty hot.

    I'm not a huge fan of nVidia's SLI motherboards support, but if you're sure you want to go SLI down the road (as opposed to Crossfire) then you don't have much choice!

    And I can't help but throw in the thought of getting the Coolermaster 690 case, it's value is amazing ($80) in my opinion with its fan options and space. Will definately help push that hot air out of your case from SLI/OC'd quad better than most cases that cost twice as much!
  8. Great feedback everyone... After re- researching the hard drives, cooling, and power supply, those will be getting swapped out. Good point on the 4GB for XP, Jevon. Didn't want to go Vista, but it might make sense after all (i see headaches in my future).
    Jerseygamer... sorry for my ignorance, but what is an x2? I guess you're not a fan of the Nvidia video cards and therefore recommend a different setup, or can I run the Nvidia cards in crossfire, too?
  9. You can run nvidia cards in SLI mode.

    As for the CPU cooler, im still sticking with the Xigmatek
  10. Crossfire is for ATI only. And only Intel chipsets allow xfire. Nivida uses SLI, and only Nivida chipsets allow SLI.

    You choose. Intel chipsets have been better for massve OC, Nividia does okay.

    Unless you need massive FPS for games a single GPU is enough. SLI or Xfire can be ugly to get working right for new users.

    The ATI 3850 or the 8800GT is a great setup. And since you won't need SLI or Xfire, the mobo choise (Nivida or Intel) doen't matter.
  11. jevon said:
    If you're planning on going with 4gb or more of memory then you need a 64-bit OS,

    You don't actually NEED a 64 bit OS. A 32 bit OS should access 3.5gb so will only miss roughly 500mb. While this may seem like a large loss when you take into account the fact that 64 bit addressing means all your applications take up more memory than they do on a 32 bit OS the actual system performance/resource management ends up being very similar. If you check alot of benchmarks for 32/64 bit systems you will see that often the performance is close to identical with 4gb installed on either option.
  12. Monsterpuff - definitely going with Xigmatek, thanks for the review link.
    Conundrum - thanks for the clarification.
    And Mikos - Good point on the OS. I have a new copy of XP Pro that I can use, so even if I miss that last .5G, it won't kill me. If I decide to "upgrade" (?) to Vista, at least I'll have room to add more RAM.
    Great feedback everyone. Having this resource makes building for people like me possible.
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