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Critique build - first timer

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March 2, 2008 7:44:48 PM

I already own a sufficient graphics card that will work for awhile and also a DVD-CD RW drive.
Please critique the build as I am new to the process. Thanks

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail

MOBO - MSI P6N SLI Platinum LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

HARDDRIVE - Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3500320NS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

RAM - G.SKILL 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

CASE - Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

CPU Cooler - XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX ATX12V V2.2 550W Power Supply 90 - 264 V UL, CUL, CE, CB, FCC Class B, TUV, CCC, C-tick - Retail

More about : critique build timer

March 2, 2008 7:52:09 PM

I would consider a nice xfire chipset. They usualy perform better and next year you can purchase a dx10.1 card. 550w psu is just about as low as you can go. Slap an 800w-ish in that puppy for future proofing.
March 2, 2008 7:59:23 PM

jettmorrison said:
MSI P6N SLI Platinum
CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX
Planning for a SLI rig? What are GPUs are you looking at running?

Related resources
March 2, 2008 8:31:54 PM

Alright...can you guys be more specific. I don't know all the lingo you are using. Sorry

SLI? xFire Chipset?

Could you guys list specific parts you are referring too? Thanks
March 2, 2008 9:02:39 PM

SLI Crossfire FAQs

SLI is what the Dual PCI-Express Slots are for on the MSI P6N SLI Platinum you're considering.


March 2, 2008 9:39:41 PM

My thoughts at this point, considering that I have to build this computer in stages because of finances, is that I want to build the guts with the future in mind. I don't have a graphics card picked out yet but I'm thinking that this mobo will be able to handle most stuff that would be coming out in the future. Also, I can upgrade the other parts (harddrive, RAM etc.) as the finances become available. As long as I get a good MOBO, CPU, and PSU that will take me into the next four to five years, I'll be super happy.

If you guys think I should think of some other manufacturers or that I'm not considering some key ingredients. Let me know.
March 2, 2008 10:02:05 PM

The 650i is not the ideal Nvidia chipset to use. SLI requires that you use Nvidia while Crossfire, which uses Intel chipsets uses ATI.
March 2, 2008 11:14:21 PM

can you recommend a different mobo to go with the processor?

March 2, 2008 11:41:26 PM

That would depend if you're going to go dual GPU's. I'm not a gamer, so I would go with a P35 board. If you want to do SLI look at the 680 and higher Nvidia boards. I'm not certain off the top of this ole head which ones will run that Quad.
March 3, 2008 2:15:36 AM

I'm not planning to go with two monitors if that is what SLI means
March 3, 2008 2:29:36 AM

SLI means running two GPU in one computer, usually on one monitor.. If your planning on just using an individual GPU (video card) I would suggest getting a p35 board as well.
March 3, 2008 6:04:38 PM

WR2: thanks for the GPU feedback. I'll keep all that in mind when I buy them in the future.

MOBO: which one from the two below is better? I'm still a bit confused about chipsets, dual x8 pci express vs. single x16 pci express slots etc. I've had many differing opinions on my mobo. Simply put, which one has the best SLI chipset for GPU, has the capability to add a second GPU, has SATA stuff, and the processor that I'm considering? Thanks again peeps.

MSI P6N SLI Platinum LGA 775
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS P5K LGA 775
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 3, 2008 6:11:20 PM

What about this MOBO?
EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

It's obviously twice the cost but I'm building this puter to be great over the next five years (fully upgradable etc. etc.). What advantages does this have over the other two boards previously listed?

Also, I see that EVGA has a spdif out. Stupid question but does anyone know if this can be an 'in' also? I have an 8 ch. s/pdif lightpipe analog/digital converter that would be cool to patch in.
March 3, 2008 6:28:00 PM

to tell you the truth i would not buy any of the two you have there...
first of all the bottom one will not support sli (dual graphic cards from nvidia), for that you need a nvidia based mobo
the top one is 650i, so will support sli, but its not the best nvidia has ever done. if you desperately want sli wait until the 790i comes out (however this is only ddr3 i think.... i think its due 2nd quarter and prices on ddr3 should drop by then) if you really need the computer now consider the 780i or 680i. from my experience the 680i is bad with quad cores but there might have been a bios update to fix it. the 780i i dont know much about.
never cheap out on the motherboard it will only cause you grieves.
is sli really necessary? when the new 9 series comes out you will have 2 cards in one anyway (but this might need nvidia mobo?? someone correct me please)
go for evga on the gpu, especially if you are buying now, their step up plan is great and will let you switch from the 8 series to 9 series for nothing.

basically what i think is the best thing to do, is to wait a month or two, see what hits the market (q9440, 9series,) [790i?], look for price drops, performance gain and make your decisions then. i thought of building a computer myself right now, but figured it would be better to wait. technology is about to take a step up and it would be worth waiting for it, even if it is just to catch the clearance items (aka what is used now)
March 3, 2008 6:46:45 PM

So to sum it up...I should either be looking at the EVGA 780i right now...or wait a bit for the price to come down on this stuff.

Can someone give me a brief explanation of going DDR3 over DDR2?
March 3, 2008 6:59:47 PM

i think that would be smart, but it all depends on your funding, if you are a hard core gamer that has to have the newest and greatest, and your patience. the 780i might be good enough and you wont need ddr3.
this is the new type of ram that is supposed to be faster than ddr2, but isnt yet. Thats what i am saying, in a month or two there will be more clarity about this. personally i am postponing my first build so i can at least see whats coming, even though i propbably wont buy it. parts found today were more or less around a year ago too, but are still just about the best you can get today.

the 780i you were looking at does not support DDR3, but i dont think it matters. personally i think ddr3 with significant performance gain to a reasonable price wont be around until fall / christmas, but others know more about this than me.
if you build now using the parts you have mentioned you will have a great computer, but as said before somewhere around mid march the q9450 processor is launched (intels new 45nm q6600 replacement) and the geforce 9800 is released. both of which you should consider in your build.
March 3, 2008 7:15:09 PM

If you're not going to do dual GPU's I wouldn't be considering an SLI board at all. With DDR3,the the price you pay for the performance you get is not worth it to me. When the new platforms come out and DDR3 becomes the standard, then maybe it will be. If your building now, and not waiting til the end of the year for the new stuff, go DDR2. Either way unless you are definately going to run dual Nvidia cards get a P35 or an X38 DDR2 board. Of the 2 boards you mentioned, the MSI is a Nvidia chipset, the Asus is P35.
March 3, 2008 8:05:42 PM

If I were to get into a system at this point, I would not be disappointed with the EVGA 780i MOBO and the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600. That is a good combo with lots of features and upgradability? I wouldn't be screwing myself by missing some key feature that limited me in some way or another?
March 3, 2008 9:02:46 PM

780i is the way to go as far as buying a SLI board TODAY is concerned.

Be advised that the new Nvidia GPU's are being released soon, I would wait for a 9800*** video card.
March 3, 2008 9:10:08 PM

the EVGA 780i MOBO is a three way sli... Are you really going to buy three vid cards for this thing?

I would strongly consider an X38 board, they are crossfire so you have to run two ATI cards...
March 3, 2008 9:15:10 PM

you would in no way be screwing yourself, but i would wait 2 weeks and see the price and performance of the q9450 aswell as the 9800 series. but no you are not limited to upgrade with the 780i (except for ddr3) but whatever you might want to upgrade to will be out in two weeks. the prices on the "old" stuff might even drop then too
March 3, 2008 9:17:44 PM

x38 boards are supposed to perform better (in what way i dont know), but another possibilty is to go with the 780i, wait for the 9800 series and buy two cheap 8800 series card in sli. or a single 9800 card on x38 / p35
March 3, 2008 9:22:21 PM

when you say 9800 series, are you referring to the CPU?
March 3, 2008 9:23:14 PM

ogab0ga-

also...what is the brand of the x38 mobos?
March 3, 2008 9:47:26 PM

9800 series is nvidias newest / upcoming graphics card series. q9450 is intels new / upcoming quad core processor

x38 is intels newest mobo chipset. google it for more detailed info. almost all mobo manufactures will produce a card using it. you can go to newegg and use the filter to find them. x48 is the upgraded version of x38 but super - high end and not very useful or worth the price. (see grieve's post) most x38's are pretty high end, but very good mobos. generally 250$
in addition to the one grieve reccomends look into the asus maximus formula http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
i am personally looking at this or the one from grieve because they are great boards and a lot of people use them-- plenty of info / troubleshooting / help online in forums which is great for a first timer like me (and you?) the downside is that they dont support sli, for that you need the 780i or lower. when buying a mobo also be sure that it supports 45nm processors, which i dont think the 680i or 650i do. 780i does. the new q9450 and several duo core processors are 45nm processors
i am no expert and have little to no experience with any of this new stuff, i only know what i have read elsewhere, just so you know
also, even though the x38's do not support sli, they do support crossfire, equivalent of sli but with ATI cards insetead
March 3, 2008 10:00:54 PM

i think the x38 is just a better / higher end version of the p35 targeted at gamers and overclockers, but i am not 100% sure. edit:most p35 have pci-e 1.0 while x38 has 2.0 meaning graphics cards can go as fast as they are built to do.
a p35 will do just as well i think for less money. all depends if you are on a budget or not. and of course if you are a hard core gamer that doesnt have anything else he wishes to use his money on.
you ll get a great system that lasts for under 1000$ (maybe not including monitor) watch out so you dont buy a mobo that only supports ddr3 unless you want to dish ou on it
March 4, 2008 12:56:59 AM

ogab0ga-
all great stuff man...I'm totally new at this stuff. totally new. Just trying to learn the ropes before getting into it. All the info. you got, I totally want it.

if you come across anything in the next few days, let me know.
March 4, 2008 10:54:35 PM

you might want want to look into the 750i series too. i dont know anything about it, but i started a new topic to see how it compares with the 780i
750i is 100$ cheaper
March 5, 2008 4:01:47 PM

I'll be interested to see the results of the comparison.
March 5, 2008 4:12:45 PM

What's your budget looking like, and what resolution are you going to be playing in?
!