Initial Build (Be Crule)

This will be my first full computer build, so I was hoping for some help.

Price
The biggest factor in my build is price. The price, of my build, is right under $850 and I would like to keep it around there. There is some wiggle room ( IE if the power supply will jeopardize my build ), But I do not want to go much higher than that at all.

Usage
The computer will mostly be used for gaming ( TF2, COD4, L4D, ECT. ). More to the point, it will be a gaming machine. However I will start some of my programming classes next year so the build will need to be able to handle some light compiling. The only other aspects I dabble in are level design ( Source SDK ) and lollygagging in Photoshop.

Overclocking
Overlocking is not a huge deal in this build, and is not what I was going for. That being said, getting better performance out of stock cooling would be nice - or have the option open for later down the road. All in all a nice bonus.

Parts
Motherboard
Open Box: ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

My questions with the open box special is simply: Will it come with everything I need to properly set it up? In addition what risks do I run with the open box? In your experience is it worth it?

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E6550

GPU
EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16

Memory
CORSAIR XMS2 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model

Case
RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black SECC STEEL ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply

This is one area I am a little concerned with. For the case and the PSU the price seems good, as in they will either skimp on the case or on the PSU. Will this work or should I go ahead and shell out for a better PSU?

Hard Drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

As far as raid goes, I do not think I am that interested in a RAID0 configuration, unless I will see significant ( Huge ) speed increase in load times ect.

DVD Drive
LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model LH-20A1S

Thermal Paste
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

What I am looking for is: What else do I need to be able to complete the build. More importantly though, where my bottlenecks are going to be. Where can I cut back to improve another area, ect. The kinda things experience teaches. Also if I could get a good why, not necessary, with the suggestions always looking for a good learning opportunity.

Thanks.
29 answers Last reply
More about initial build crule
  1. One thing to consider....the hard drive, consider 2 smaller drives instead of a larger one. Reason being you can install your OS to one drive, install all your games and what not to your secondary drive. Also, makes it nice for backups. So you can back everything up on the second drive, then if your computer ever crashes, you can just nuke the first drive, reinstall windows, and all your data is still on drive number 2.
  2. Alright thanks, and on that note another quick thing: I will be running Windows XP Home edition.
  3. Try to look at my system plan.
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/249724-13-tell-guys-this
    compare that to yours.
  4. you spelled cruel wrong.
    is that cruel enough for you?
  5. I agree with Ohiou on the harddrives, just don't raid, unless you are plaining to have a good back up system. Drop to 3GB of ram, or get xp 64 bit, because you can't use 4GB with the 32 bit Os's (you won't need more then 2GB of ram unless you do a lot of level designing). You can drop in the possessors a little, if you need too, but I find that any thing running in the 2.4 range tends to hold up well with anything thrown at it. In fact 2GB of RAM would probably give you some wiggle room for a better PSU, and give you room to put in more RAM latter.
  6. @OP: The PSU that comes with the case is cr@p. (it's a RaidMax :lol: )


    I highly recommend you get a quality PSU. See:
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088
    for PSU tier listing. Get a PSU listed in the top tiers there. I recommend a Corsair 550VX/520HX or PP&C 610.

    Every thing else looks good :D.
  7. Boggs said:


    ..........
    My questions with the open box special is simply: Will it come with everything I need to properly set it up? In addition what risks do I run with the open box? In your experience is it worth it?

    ..........

    Open box will not come with any thing. All you will get is the motherboard. You will not get a cables, drivers DVD, I/O plate,etc.
  8. Agreed to Shadow7037 93
    and if you buy an open box item in an unknown store, then it is possible that the item, that you wanna buy, is a second hand, other words, not new!!
    So beware with open box items.
  9. firetatoo said:
    you spelled cruel wrong.
    is that cruel enough for you?


    my thoughts exactly
  10. I would probably get an 8800 GT 512MB over that 8800 gts 320MB....
  11. Hrm.

    Would a EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 for a $30 price increase over the original EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 be the best spot to spend the last of the wiggle room?

    I will, more than likely, be playing at a resolution of 1280 x 1024 - until I upgrade my monitor that is ( which won't be a for a while, a couple of months at least )
  12. I would get the 8800gt
  13. I would get a 9600gt. It's on the egg for $139-$149 AR which is by far the best price/performance. I would get the gigabyte P35-ds3l. Much cheaper and has everything you need. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128059

    and you can get the corsair psu from buy.com for cheaper and without a rebate. http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-vx-550w-atx-power-supply/q/loc/101/205852646.html

    so that's like almost $200 bucks lower and you're not giving up much at all.
  14. Agreed...Tell'em shoota!
  15. looks pretty good. one thing to keep in mind tho is that this doesnt do raid so if you wanna save a couple more bucks get one 320 gb seagate instead of two 160 gb. unless you have some sort of plan i'm not aware of. have fun with it!
  16. You can get 2gig of regular ballistix without the LED's for $28.99 after rebate;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146565
    You can get the power supply cheaper here;
    http://www.buy.com/prod/Corsair-VX-550W-Power-Supply/q/loc/101/205852646.html
    Why are you buying thermal compound but no cooler?
  17. If you want to chip more off of the price, you could go with this Case/PSU combo. It has a >80% 500w Earthwatts PSU (34A on the 12V rails) and the case is pretty good too. It's only $110 shipped, so you'd be saving about $80 over your selections. Mind you the Corsair PSU is good too, so keep that in mind.
    ANTEC Sonata III Mini Case Retail
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10005323

    Than with the $80 in savings you could upgrade to a 8800gts (g92)!!! which is better than the hotter (temperature wise) 8800gt that you selected.
    EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130325
  18. The CPU comes with a cooler already. If you dont plan to overclock, that cooler will serve you just fine.
    With that said, drop the thermal paste, the cooler that comes with the cpu comes with some applied already.

    (Being Cruel)

    Not overclocking on a budget build is like shooting yourself in the foot. :)

    I have a e2180 OCed at 3.00 ghz. I can reach much higher if I wanted to, but theres no need. Just do what I did and buy and e2180, and overclock the living poop out of it!
  19. lunyone said:
    If you want to chip more off of the price, you could go with this Case/PSU combo. It has a >80% 500w Earthwatts PSU (34A on the 12V rails) and the case is pretty good too. It's only $110 shipped, so you'd be saving about $80 over your selections. Mind you the Corsair PSU is good too, so keep that in mind.
    ANTEC Sonata III Mini Case Retail
    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=10005323

    Than with the $80 in savings you could upgrade to a 8800gts (g92)!!! which is better than the hotter (temperature wise) 8800gt that you selected.
    EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130325


    Doesn't the 8800 gts 512 Overclock better than the 8800 GT? I know you just said it runs cooler...


    @SuicideSilence: Could you post some benchmarks or 3Dmarks on you CPU?
  20. Actually, toms hardware did an artical about how the e21x0 series of CPUs are a beast to overclock. In the artical they use a e2160, which is the same as an e2180 but with a multipiler of only 9, while the e2180 has a multplier of 10. Also, they could only get to 3.0 ghz stable, but i have gotten up to 3.33 ghz. Ive heard stories of some getting even higher!! Heres the link,
    http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/09/12/pentium_dual_core/
  21. Also, they use the stock cooler!
    Maybe i can get some benchmarks in later today.
  22. Thanks for the link...
  23. physx7 said:
    Doesn't the 8800 gts 512 Overclock better than the 8800 GT? I know you just said it runs cooler...
    Yes, but that's really because GTS has a dual slot cooler and GT does not. This GT should fare better, since its cooler is better than the GTS's stock cooler.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127329
  24. The motherboard should be fine. You;ll still get teh 3 year warranty. I prefer Abit but hey Asus isn't that bad.

    For the CPU check out the E8200. The new series with higher FSB and cache.

    Memory looks fine. 2x2GB is good.

    I've used Raidmax cases and I don't like them. Look nice, built cheap. I'd sooner go for an el cheapo OEM mid tower for $25 adn get a good power supply like an Antec Trupower.

    I'd reconsider the GPU. 320MB is really lacking these days. I'd sooner go for the GT 512MB which is cheaper or up to the GTS512MB.

    Don't get 2 smaller hard drives as recommended. You can easily partition the 500gb for backups and such. In 2 years would you rather have 250gb dries or a 500gb drive? Get the 500gb and add a second one as needed. It's nice to have 2 drives cause they do crap out and it's nice to have a backup. But don't get smaller jsut to get 2. Partitioning will handle your needs. Get teh 500GB. Seagate is my choice.

    I don't like Liteon drives. High failure rates with them. I'd go Pioneer. But NEC and Samsung are supposed to be good. Plextor is awesome but too pricey.

    You mentioned thermal pasted but not the cooler heatsink. Get a good aftermarket heatsink and use the paste that comes with it. The method of installing the paste makes more difference than the brand itself. If you want some good pasted try Arctic Silver.
  25. gondo said:
    I don't like Liteon drives. High failure rates with them. I'd go Pioneer. But NEC and Samsung are supposed to be good. Plextor is awesome but too pricey.

    Well I beg to differ on that statement. I'm sure all manufacturers have some failures. I have about 10 LiteOn DVD/CD burners in use for the last 4+ years and haven't had a single problem with any of them. Does this mean that they aren't prone to have a bad one now and then? No, but my point is that I have hands-on experience with them and haven't had any issues. You can do your research and see if you want to buy LiteOn or which ever DVD burner you like.
  26. Lite-On, and Plextor are Good. I've used em each about 4 years and never have a single problem with 'em. I don't know 'bout NEC and Samsung.
    And Why should you even bother with 8800 series? Hey, 9600 and 9800 series are already in the market!
  27. guanyu210379 said:
    Lite-On, and Plextor are Good. I've used em each about 4 years and never have a single problem with 'em. I don't know 'bout NEC and Samsung.
    And Why should you even bother with 8800 series? Hey, 9600 and 9800 series are already in the market!



    The DVD drives only cost around $30. It's old technology, so their quality should be around the same. It's lottery. Don't be too concerned.

    8800gt, 8800gts(g92), and 9800 all use g92 gpu core, and perform on the same level. 9600 use the g94 core, which has around half as many processing units, and perform on a lower level. The 8800gt and gts(g92) gets you the best bang for the buck.
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