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New build evaluation

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March 20, 2008 6:45:56 PM

This is for a mid-range system ... target is about $1200 or below (after taking in to considering I am transferring some components from previous rig).

This system will not be overclocked

Nine Hundred case
OCZ 600w SLI psu
Asus P5K motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo e8200 w/stock cooler
2x 74GB Western Dig Raptor 10k HDs (Raid mirrored, for op sys)
Seagate 500GB w/32MB cache 7.2k HD (programs & data)
4GB dual channel OCZ DDR2 PC-6400 (four 2GB sticks?)
eVGA nVidia 8800 GT 512 MB
X-Fi Xtreme Gamer fatality
Lite-On (I think the brand was) Dual Layer 20x SATA DVD-RW w/Lightscribe
Windows Vista Business 32 bit

I already have the 8800 video card and psu and copy of Vista as well as a DVD-RW (so will end up having 2 optical drives).

My only concerns were:

a) Is the PSU going to be enough power considering the dual core, the 8800, and the 3 HDs
b) The last PC I've built was over 5 years ago so don't have any experience with dual channel RAM. Can someone point me to a resource regarding setup of this? In order to have 4 GB of dual channel (and yes, I know with Vista 32 bit that it's likely I won't be able to access all of the 4 GB) ... do I need to have 4 GB total ... or 2 sets of 4 GB?
c) Will the stock cooler be enough cooling power?

More about : build evaluation

March 20, 2008 7:17:32 PM

a) Yes, that PSU will be enough. Personally, I would buy the Corsair 550 VX on Buy.com. $85 with a $20 MIR. They also have a 650w TX model for $97. Great PSUs.

b) If you have 4gb total, it will run in dual-channel mode. Just make sure the sticks are all the same speed and size (only use a 1gb DDR2 800 stick with other 1gb DDR2 800 sticks). If I were you I would buy the Crucial Ballistix 2x1gb kit (or 2 of the kits) on newegg.

c) Yes. For little/no overclock, the stock cooler will be fine. Especially considering the 45nm architecture that CPU utilizes.
March 20, 2008 7:34:37 PM

PSU will be fine, although corsair does make a good PSU. Only downside to VX is that it's not modular.

Other than that I agree with what was said above, looks like a good system.
Related resources
March 24, 2008 5:49:25 PM

Any suggestions for memory to get for this system? (Keep in mind, mid-range ... not looking for any $300 memory modules)
March 26, 2008 4:55:45 AM

Nine Hundred case

OCZ 600w SLI psu
(Corsair, Antec, Tagan or Silvestone are better)

Asus P5K motherboard (I would go for ASUS P5E X38 or Gigabyte Ga-X38-DS5)

Intel Core 2 Duo e8200 w/stock cooler
(Consider also E3110, it has about the same price(at least here in Germany))

2x 74GB Western Dig Raptor 10k HDs (Raid mirrored, for op sys)
Seagate 500GB w/32MB cache 7.2k HD (programs & data)
(forget 74GB WD with 10k rpm, choose 3x Seagate 7200.11 500GB 32MB)


4GB dual channel OCZ DDR2 PC-6400 (four 2GB sticks?)
(Corsair, Crucial are my favorite)

eVGA nVidia 8800 GT 512 MB
(nVidia 9600 or 9800 series? or ATI X3850 or 3870 series?)

X-Fi Xtreme Gamer fatality

Lite-On (I think the brand was) Dual Layer 20x SATA DVD-RW w/Lightscribe

Windows Vista Business 32 bit
April 6, 2008 3:08:24 PM

Revised my case and ended up getting a M9 by Thermaltake.

My co-worker next to me just got an Asus Striker for his new system and had to flash his BIOS in order to run his Core 2 Duo. The BIOS flash worked but as a result it screwed with the onboard NIC. I was thinking about an Asus P5k board for my system ... until I heard this. After that I started researching a little at other mfg.

Just wanted to get opinions. Asus P5k vs say something like a Gigabyte GA-EP35C-DS3R

Bout the same price range and the GA board uses solid capacitors so seems like it might be more durable in the long run.

How do these boards compare? I haven't used a Giga board in forever so don't know how their reputation has been fairing the past few years. Or is there another GA board with might be better for a mid-range system?
April 6, 2008 6:21:06 PM

I've also noted something else. Doing some more research on the GA board, the 1066 DIM slots are rated for 1.8v and all of the RAM I've seen listed is around 2.2v .... it's been a long while since I've done anything with voltage settings. My question is will the board likely detect and adjust the voltage accordingly or will it be best to go in and manually set things? I figure it's better to ask things here even if they seem silly than do something wrong and fry the memory, or worse.
April 6, 2008 6:25:37 PM

I had mobos from both ASUS and Gigabyte, both of them are good, have about the same prices. I have never encountered any problems using them.
hmmmm.......I just buy the best bargain I can get but I have also find that only those two are the best there are on the market.
I think ASUS uses also solid capacitors in its new mobos (example P5E X38, etc.).
So between Gigabyte or ASUS ?...just follow your heart..

If I may, I would like to suggest you :
Gigabyte GA-X38-DS5
or
ASUS P5E X38
April 6, 2008 6:33:08 PM

I just made my purchase last night, EVGA 780i sli x3 board, Intel C2D E8400, Xigmatek HDT s1283 120mm heatsink, EVGA 8800GTS g92 sli x2 cards, corsair xms2 2x2gb dual channel kit pc6400, 320gb seagate 7200.11 sata 3.0gb/s 7200rpm drive, (will get another later for striped raid for performance and 500gb for storage) coolermaster 750w powersupply, coolermaster centurion 690 case with crazy cooling, and samsung 20x sata dvd burner with lightscribe.

all for right around 1300 with mail in rebates ect.

if you already have the video card and some of the other parts then you should easily be able to get into this type of setup... that is if your wanting a gaming machine.
April 6, 2008 6:39:35 PM

hmmm...EVGA? never tried to use one of EVGA's mobos...so...don't have any comments. But VGA cards from EVGA are good (included also in my shopping list).
April 6, 2008 8:20:24 PM

I guess 800 RAM uses 1.8v and 1066 uses 2.2v so it looks like no matter what 1066 memory I buy I'm probably going to have to manually adjust the voltage on the mb in order to get the memory up and working. Going to newegg and looking at the feedback that certainly seems to be the case.
!