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New Computer Build : First Time Builder

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Last response: in Systems
March 24, 2008 5:11:34 AM



I’m looking to build a new computer, but have never built a full one before. I have installed video cards, RAM, and hard drives before but besides that the rest would be new to me.

What I’m looking for in this system is to have a powerful gaming computer, that will be upgradeable as needed, runs cool, and will be as quiet as I can get it. I’m trying to keep it below $3000 cdn total, but closer to the $2500 if possible.

I have been doing research for the last week or so on what I think would be a pretty good build. Here is a list of what I’m thinking of getting, and after the list will add in comments and specific questions etc…



Operating System

Windows Vista Home Premium DVD


Motherboard

EVGA nForce 780i SLI - A1 Version NVIDIA

CPU

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700

OR

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600

Power Supply

Ultra X3 1000w


RAM Memory

Corsair XMS2 DHX 4096MB Dual Channel PC6400

Video Card

DUEL EVGA GeForce 8800 GTX SLI

OR

EVGA GeForce 9800 GX2

Sound Card

Creative Labs X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatality

Hard Drive

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB


The Video card I’m not sure on because I’m not sure what version of the card to get. EVGA, BFG, or XFX, and is it worth the extra for the overclocking? (leaning towords the duel 8800 GTX)

I would also like a CD / DVD Burner but I’m not sure what one to get.

What cases would you recommend keeping it mind I want it cool, yet quiet. Looks are also important to me, since it has to be something I wont get bored looking at. Obviously it has to fit all of my components (even the long 8800 GTX cards, possibly up to 3 of them if I want ot add one down the road) Some of the features I have read about I kind of like are the tool-less ones, with removable motherboard tray, side-windowed, and dust filters for the fans. From the looks of it my price range to have some if not all of these features will be $100 – 200. I don’t spending up to $200 as long as it’s well built, and will last me a long time.

A few cases that have good reviews from what I’m reading our…

Ultra m998
Ultra Aluminus
Soprano DX Black
NZXT Lexa Black/Silver


The one thing that has also prevented me from attempting building my own the most is not knowing anything about cooling, so I would really need some advice on what to do there.

What tools (tool kit) should I have to built this computer?

Please suggest / make comments on all of the above, and I will keep checking back. Also if there is anything else I’m forgetting to add please let me know.

Thanks

Eric
New Builder




More about : computer build time builder

March 24, 2008 11:48:17 AM

Print this out:

http://www.corsair.com/systembuild/report.aspx?report_i...

Critique:

An overclocked gpu will produce more heat than a stock one and maybe noise since the fan needs to be running at a higher speed.

Look at ASUS dvd writers.

Is the pc going to be overclocked? How much?

Your primary objective is to achieve the highest FPS possible?
March 24, 2008 12:15:00 PM

PSU looks like overkill to me, but I guess not if your looking to OC with 3x 8800s

heard EVGA board aren't the greatest.

I'm all for removable mobo trays. dont cheap out on the case. I prefere a small case with clean lines, but it sounds like are tastes may be different

dust filters are good if you don't like cleaning

a pair of 9800gx2 is about the same price as 3 8800gtx, but I dont think most games scale up to quad GPUs

for tools; philips screwdriver and maybe plyers to install standoffs

in my experiencce, a DVD burner is a DVD burner.

sounds like you might want to look into watercooling, for the OC and the eye candy. research it before you start buying.
Related resources
March 24, 2008 4:18:13 PM

Quote:

Print this out:

http://www.corsair.com/systembuild [...] t_id=12472


Looks like a helpful reference for when i'm building it thanks :) 

Quote:

Critique:

An overclocked gpu will produce more heat than a stock one and maybe noise since the fan needs to be running at a higher speed.


ok well that's good to know, maybe i will stick with not overclocking it, since i would rather the noise, and heat be lower then, it be slightly faster. Once i have it built I may try to overclock it to see what the difference is then make my decision.

Quote:

Look at ASUS dvd writers.


ok i will look into them. Also something i forgot to mention in my first post, Blue-Ray drive is not something i'm looking to get right now.

Quote:

Is the pc going to be overclocked? How much?


I would like to overclock my CPU, but i'm worried about making it unstable.
what are your thoughts about the CPU choices I listed

Q6600 2.4mhz or the Q6700 2.66mhz?

how much can / would you remmond overclock both of them to?

would i be able to find a guide for the specific CPU i choose to get for overclocking?

Quote:

Your primary objective is to achieve the highest FPS possible?


yes my primary goal is to have the highest FPS possible, with still being stable, cooled properly, and close to silent.
March 24, 2008 4:45:02 PM

Quote:

PSU looks like overkill to me, but I guess not if your looking to OC with 3x 8800s


The reason i chose this one over others is because of the high rating, and because it's modular which should make it easier for me to use, and reduces the clutter of unused wires in the case.

Quote:

heard EVGA board aren't the greatest.


i have heard mixed reviews on most of the companies that produce them, but have no personel experience with them, what ones would you suggest, based on experience or reviews etc?

Quote:

I'm all for removable mobo trays. dont cheap out on the case. I prefere a small case with clean lines, but it sounds like are tastes may be different

dust filters are good if you don't like cleaning


for size I do want to try and get a mid-tower ATX, but if it wont give enough room for everything etc, I still will go with a bit bigger one. For weight doesnt really matter to me, since I wont be taking it to a LAN party or anything. What would you think I should be looking for as for approximate price for the specs i'm looking for in my case?

Quote:

a pair of 9800gx2 is about the same price as 3 8800gtx, but I dont think most games scale up to quad GPUs


I think i will stick with the two 8800 GTX's for now, with the option of adding a third down the road, when the prices drop a bit more, and/or i feel i need the added boost in speed.

Quote:

for tools; philips screwdriver and maybe plyers to install standoffs


that sounds easy enough to get, but in your opion is it worth getting a small kit, that includes a few extra tools, along with the anti-static strap etc?

Quote:

sounds like you might want to look into watercooling, for the OC and the eye candy. research it before you start buying.

watercooling would probally be best since it should run quieter then an air cooling system, but I would want something that's easy to maintain, and setup aswell. I dont know what I would need for my setup, i assume, CPU and Video Card cooling, but is there anything else? Watercooling also seems to be fairly expensive in comparison to air cooling. So not sure if my spending limit of $3000 CDN would be enough...

For buying my components where do you suggest I buy from?
I have been looking as TigerDirect for the most part but is there anywhere else I would be able to get them? I looked at newegg and some prices are slower, but the fact that they dont ship to Canada would be a problem :( 

Is buying OEM for some parts, such as a Burner, CPU, and Hard drives a smart idea?



March 24, 2008 4:55:57 PM

Before you build go to the Tweak Guides site and download the Vista Tweaking companion which has good information on BIOS optimization and driver installation order. The tweaking Companion is a free PDF file with a ton of valuable information.
March 24, 2008 5:16:14 PM

thank you Whiznot, that definatly sounds like it will be perfect for that part of my build, i'll go download that now :) 
March 25, 2008 3:44:43 AM

EricCDN said:
Quote:

heard EVGA board aren't the greatest.


i have heard mixed reviews on most of the companies that produce them, but have no personel experience with them, what ones would you suggest, based on experience or reviews etc?

Quote:

I'm all for removable mobo trays. dont cheap out on the case. I prefere a small case with clean lines, but it sounds like are tastes may be different

dust filters are good if you don't like cleaning


for size I do want to try and get a mid-tower ATX, but if it wont give enough room for everything etc, I still will go with a bit bigger one. For weight doesnt really matter to me, since I wont be taking it to a LAN party or anything. What would you think I should be looking for as for approximate price for the specs i'm looking for in my case?
Quote:

for tools; philips screwdriver and maybe plyers to install standoffs


that sounds easy enough to get, but in your opion is it worth getting a small kit, that includes a few extra tools, along with the anti-static strap etc?

Quote:

sounds like you might want to look into watercooling, for the OC and the eye candy. research it before you start buying.

watercooling would probally be best since it should run quieter then an air cooling system, but I would want something that's easy to maintain, and setup aswell. I dont know what I would need for my setup, i assume, CPU and Video Card cooling, but is there anything else? Watercooling also seems to be fairly expensive in comparison to air cooling. So not sure if my spending limit of $3000 CDN would be enough...

For buying my components where do you suggest I buy from?
I have been looking as TigerDirect for the most part but is there anywhere else I would be able to get them? I looked at newegg and some prices are slower, but the fact that they dont ship to Canada would be a problem :( 

Is buying OEM for some parts, such as a Burner, CPU, and Hard drives a smart idea?



I've had good luck with Abit, and heard good things about Gigabyte, MSI, DFI. I hear Asus if sliding. biostar makes some good boards, but they strike me as cheap from my limited experience with one of thier vid cards.

if you want to watercool. there are some cases made specificly for watercooling, any case can be watercooled.

I've built 2 computers. one in an Antec case, one in an Ultra case. the Antec was higher end, and easier to work with, but I wanted a micoATX cube for my second build (weight wasn't my concern, it was size and looks), so that realy restricted my choices. it hard to say what will be good, and what will be junk. try to stay away from cheap plastic pannels and doors, and you generaly get what you pay for.

an old boss of mine needed an antistaic strap just to keep from frying his laptop, but a vast majority don't need them. be sure to touch the case of the computer to discharge any buildup before you touch the electronics, and you should be fine.
I keep some cheap tweezers in my "kit" for dealing with the little plugs and the like, but I've also got realy fat hands.

I've looked into watercooling alot, but never took the plunge. lots of people say thier loops are good for years after they are set up. dont get a premade kit, as all thier stuff is cheap and overpriced.

don't bother watercooling HDDs, northbridge, or memory. Vid cards are optional.

the more heat going into the loop, the bigger the radiator you need.


I buy everything from Newegg. ZipZoomFly and Mwave have similar prices. there is also Amazon, Fry's.
Tiger has been around forever with decent prices, but not good prices.
for WCing, look at some of the more specialty stores. Ask the WC nerds, they are helpfull

have any friends in the States?

OEM is fine for a HDD. a retail burner usual comes with Nero (that burner only license), OEM usualy not. OEM CPUs come without coolers (fine if your using aftermarket cooling) and a shorter warantee (thats probably voided by OCing or aftermarket cooling). I've purchased both types of all 3 components. ask youself if the money savings of OEM is worth it to you. I haven't had any computer component fail on me in the last 15 years apart from fans.

the point of OCing is to make cheap components perform like expensive components. there is no garantee that a q67000 will OC higher than a q6600. there is no garantee that either will OC at all. general concencios is get the 6600.
maybe put some of that money toward you water cooling.

you never mentioned what resolution screen you were planning to use. I could not recomend any SLI unless your running high resolution. I wouldn't spend that kind of coin unless I was a 24" or greater screen.
March 25, 2008 11:00:37 AM

Quote:

if you want to watercool. there are some cases made specificly for watercooling, any case can be watercooled.

I've built 2 computers. one in an Antec case, one in an Ultra case. the Antec was higher end, and easier to work with, but I wanted a micoATX cube for my second build (weight wasn't my concern, it was size and looks), so that realy restricted my choices. it hard to say what will be good, and what will be junk. try to stay away from cheap plastic pannels and doors, and you generaly get what you pay for.

an old boss of mine needed an antistaic strap just to keep from frying his laptop, but a vast majority don't need them. be sure to touch the case of the computer to discharge any buildup before you touch the electronics, and you should be fine.
I keep some cheap tweezers in my "kit" for dealing with the little plugs and the like, but I've also got realy fat hands.

I've looked into watercooling alot, but never took the plunge. lots of people say thier loops are good for years after they are set up. dont get a premade kit, as all thier stuff is cheap and overpriced.

don't bother watercooling HDDs, northbridge, or memory. Vid cards are optional.

the more heat going into the loop, the bigger the radiator you need.


Well if i did use watercooling I would use it for my video cards aswell. How hard are they to setup compared to air cooled consider i'm completly new to it with very little knowledge about it?

Thanks for the tip about discharging any build up of static, by just touching the case, ill keep that in mind :) 

Quote:

I buy everything from Newegg. ZipZoomFly and Mwave have similar prices. there is also Amazon, Fry's.
Tiger has been around forever with decent prices, but not good prices.
for WCing, look at some of the more specialty stores. Ask the WC nerds, they are helpfull

have any friends in the States?


Tiger direct seems to have a few good deals but on some parts i can get cheaper other places, not all of them ship to canada... has anyone bought or heard of infonec? they ship to canada and prices are pretty good on the few thing si have checked so far, but i have never seen them mentioned when people buy parts...

Quote:

OEM is fine for a HDD. a retail burner usual comes with Nero (that burner only license), OEM usualy not. OEM CPUs come without coolers (fine if your using aftermarket cooling) and a shorter warantee (thats probably voided by OCing or aftermarket cooling). I've purchased both types of all 3 components. ask youself if the money savings of OEM is worth it to you. I haven't had any computer component fail on me in the last 15 years apart from fans.


I probally will overclock some but not to extreme, not worried about the HDD or Burners etc since if they fail they are relativly cheap to replace, but a CPU I'm undecided still.

Quote:

the point of OCing is to make cheap components perform like expensive components. there is no garantee that a q67000 will OC higher than a q6600. there is no garantee that either will OC at all. general concencios is get the 6600.
maybe put some of that money toward you water cooling.


i will consider that, since i was originally going to go for the Q6600 , but there is a deal on TigerDirect 780i motherboard, and OEM Q6700 bundled for $500 which is less that what i found the 780i , and thr Q6600 selling for...

Quote:

you never mentioned what resolution screen you were planning to use. I could not recomend any SLI unless your running high resolution. I wouldn't spend that kind of coin unless I was a 24" or greater screen.


1280 x 1024 is what i'm currently running on my 19" but i plan to get a 24" in the near future so the resolution will be higher.
March 25, 2008 11:22:18 AM

Here is a list of the componets i have somewhat decided on now, to get a general idea on price.

$280 --- Vista Premium DVD

$500 --- EVGA 780i Motherboard & Intel Q6700 Quad Core OEM

$415 --- Ultra X3 1000w Power Supply & 4GB Corsair TWINX DDR2 RAM
- 40 Rebate

$110 --- Seagate 7200.11 500GB Hard drive OEM

$171 --- X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatality sound card

$531(1062) --- BFG 8800 GTX OC2 (Duel)
-35(70) rebate

Total $2539
- 110 rebate
-------------
2429 (no taxes or shipping applied)

the lowest i could get it down to using infonec for a couple parts...

$110 --- Seagate 7200.11 500GB Hard drive OEM
-10 rebate

$142 --- X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatality sound card

$429(858) --- BFG 8800 GTX OC2 (Duel)
-50(100) rebate

Total $2306
-150 rebates
------------
$2156 (no taxes or shipping applied)


Both of these do not include yet...
- CD / DVD Burner (max $50)
- Case (max $200)
-air cooling / water cooling (not sure the cost, and what i would need going either method)
March 25, 2008 11:23:10 AM

It's not a good idea to buy from the States to Canada as you'll be charged import tax for total over $20. Yup. 20 bucks. Possibly provincial tax.

The best place to buy parts are your local stores. ncix.com is a good source for light parts. Price-match directcanada.com for lower prices. For cases and maybe psu's, get them from your local stores. canadacomputer.com is a good start. Their service is another story. Otherwise, the shipping may kill the deal.

Q6700 is 600-700 bucks. E8400 for half the price beats it out. E3110 is the same as E8400 for less. If FPS is your goal, then go with a dual core as they can generally overclock higher than quads.

Unfortunately, nvidia chipsets don't overclock as well as Intel ones. My buddy's Q6600 on X38 overclocked to 3.2ghz on the 2nd try. Prime/orthos stable. His previous nvidia chipset would crap out at anything higher than 3ghz. I'm not saying it can't be done on nvidia. I didn't have enough time. Just one day a week minus time for shopping & meals. If I have access to the pc 24/7 for 1 week, I can o/c Q6600 on 780i to at least 3.2-5-ish with either H2O or TEC (see my sig).

True that the overclocking isn't guaranteed. It's luck of the draw. Sometimes you o/c higher, sometimes lower. Don't expect to use the same bios settings for the same o/c on the identical setups.

A good H20 loop costs $300-ish. If you're cooling only the cpu, get a TEC. It cools better than H20.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_cooling
http://www.coolitsystems.com/index.php?option=com_conte...

Click where to buy & buy direct. The manufacturer in canada sells refurbs for less than half the retail at $150 US + shipping. I got my refurb. Works like a champ. Reason for refurb is that if you send the new one to them for repair, they'll replace it with a refurb. $250 US down the drain. You can google for reviews. Some good some bad reviews. The Freezone takes time to be effective. At power-on, it cools like an air cooler. After 5-30 mins, your jaw will drop as you compare the low temp to that of an air cooler. The peltiers (blue blocks on both sides) are as cool as the fridge in the kitchen. I think some reviews failed to wait for the cooler to be effective or it wasn't installed optimally. The cpu fan can be plugged in the circuit board for max speed.

My 4.2ghz cpu idles at 19'C right now & loads at 45'C tops. How? I turn on energy-saving features in bios so the cpu runs slower at idle. You say the E8400 temp sensors are forked up. Sure. How do you explain the even lower temps on my buddy's Q6600 which doesn't have faulty sensors? :)  11'C lowest. At 3.2ghz it's 21'C idle & 35'C load. His TEC is modded with 2 Delta fans & a new coolant. Mine is modded with a Vantec Tornado fan at half speed.

Oh, I forgot to mention tools. Don't, I repeat, don't buy cheap tools. They can harm you. Get MasterCraft from Canadian Tire. They're comfortable to hold and are quality. Pick up a small pack of screw drivers, a pair of tweezers (for jumper caps, standoffs), plier and a toolbox. Throw the accessories & screws, etcs in the toolbox.
March 25, 2008 11:34:36 AM

I wouldn't bother with 2 vid cards until you upgrade your screen.

TECs are a good idea for subambient, but just waste energy for warmer than ambient. there are also TEC waterblocks, the easiest way to go subambient, but subambient has its own problems.

If you want easy, good CPU only cooling the Freezone is a decent option. I'd considered it myself, because of my limiting case. but its TEC and therfore an energy waster.
March 26, 2008 3:49:15 AM

Quote:

It's not a good idea to buy from the States to Canada as you'll be charged import tax for total over $20. Yup. 20 bucks. Possibly provincial tax.


The best place to buy parts are your local stores. ncix.com is a good source for light parts. Price-match directcanada.com for lower prices. For cases and maybe psu's, get them from your local stores. canadacomputer.com is a good start. Their service is another story. Otherwise, the shipping may kill the deal.


By local stores do you mean, Best Buy, Future Shop, staples etc? if your meaning just the smaller computer shops I havnt had good luck with any of those in the past, since they never seem to stay in business very long, and not the best service. There is also not alot of them around here.

So you would suggest these online stores in canada...
TigerDirect.ca
canadacomputer.com
ncix.com

any other good online dealers I should check out?

Quote:

True that the overclocking isn't guaranteed. It's luck of the draw. Sometimes you o/c higher, sometimes lower. Don't expect to use the same bios settings for the same o/c on the identical setups.


I dont mind taking the time to slowly overclock, all i need is help with what to values to adjust, if i cant get a really high overclock i'm not too worried just want it stable, it's something i will try after my computer is all setup and working properly.

Quote:

A good H20 loop costs $300-ish. If you're cooling only the cpu, get a TEC. It cools better than H20.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_cooling
http://www.coolitsystems.com/index [...] &Itemid=26


Click where to buy & buy direct. The manufacturer in canada sells refurbs for less than half the retail at $150 US + shipping. I got my refurb. Works like a champ. Reason for refurb is that if you send the new one to them for repair, they'll replace it with a refurb. $250 US down the drain. You can google for reviews. Some good some bad reviews. The Freezone takes time to be effective. At power-on, it cools like an air cooler. After 5-30 mins, your jaw will drop as you compare the low temp to that of an air cooler. The peltiers (blue blocks on both sides) are as cool as the fridge in the kitchen. I think some reviews failed to wait for the cooler to be effective or it wasn't installed optimally. The cpu fan can be plugged in the circuit board for max speed.


My 4.2ghz cpu idles at 19'C right now & loads at 45'C tops. How? I turn on energy-saving features in bios so the cpu runs slower at idle. You say the E8400 temp sensors are forked up. Sure. How do you explain the even lower temps on my buddy's Q6600 which doesn't have faulty sensors? 11'C lowest. At 3.2ghz it's 21'C idle & 35'C load. His TEC is modded with 2 Delta fans & a new coolant. Mine is modded with a Vantec Tornado fan at half speed.


would you suggest me cooling both the CPU and duel 8800 GTX 0C2 cards with watercooling? the TEC only cools the CPU? even with water cooling is it nessesary to have a fan or two aswell? If I decide to go with air cooled instead what do you suggest? will it be enough for what I will have?

Quote:

Oh, I forgot to mention tools. Don't, I repeat, don't buy cheap tools. They can harm you. Get MasterCraft from Canadian Tire. They're comfortable to hold and are quality. Pick up a small pack of screw drivers, a pair of tweezers (for jumper caps, standoffs), plier and a toolbox. Throw the accessories & screws, etcs in the toolbox.


Thanks for the advice i will go pick up a set as soon as I get all the parts i need decided on and delivered :) 
March 26, 2008 4:08:30 AM

Quote:

I wouldn't bother with 2 vid cards until you upgrade your screen.


It wont be too long until I have the new 24" screen, maybe 2 weeks after I get my computer setup at most, I guess i could always hook it up to my 42" tv until then :kaola: 

Quote:

TECs are a good idea for subambient, but just waste energy for warmer than ambient. there are also TEC waterblocks, the easiest way to go subambient, but subambient has its own problems.


sorry but i dont understand what most of that means, i'm just a complete begginer when it comes to cooling.

Quote:

If you want easy, good CPU only cooling the Freezone is a decent option. I'd considered it myself, because of my limiting case. but its TEC and therfore an energy waster

OK i will consider that, but most likely if i go water cooling i will cool both the CPU and Video Cards though
March 26, 2008 4:16:09 AM

For choosing cases (since I have read lots of reviws on lots of different ones) what brands should i look at and what ones should i avoid buying?

Is there a good way to tell if all of my components will fit in the case and still have good airflow ect? for example, I keep reading 8800 GTX cards are pretty long and some cases say they interfere with the other components, or are atleast a tight fit which might result in it not getting cooled properly.

What's the best type of material for a case?


I also was wondering what is the best way to setup my hard drive (s)
1) stick with the 7200.11 Seagate 500GB
2) get a second smaller one to install vista on and use the 500GB for storage only.
3) get two and set to raid 0
4) use a faster rpm drive, for games, and then the 500GB partitioned for vista / storage
5) any other way of better way of managing my hard drives?

please let me know your thoughts or advice for this, or anything from the above posts :) 
March 26, 2008 10:57:34 AM

Yep, I mean local computer stores. I understand they won't last very long. 30 days is enough as that the is max length of time they guarantee your money back. :)  canadacomputer has stores across the country. ncix is only in BC. Their prices are ok, but their service is top notch. They help customers get their rebate checks. If say you order Wed or Thur morning with express shipping, you should get it Friday. Their sales start every Wed night. Do price-match directcanada.com which is the same co. http://www.anitec.ca/ is a good online store, but their shipping is a bit excessive.

This is a beginner's guide to o/c'ing 780i:

http://evga.com/forums/tm.asp?m=222688

Well, it's a LOT of work to cool cpu, mobo & gpu's. Yes, watercooling them will lower the noise by a quite a lot, but the radiator still needs a fan or 2 or 3 or 4. I don't recommend beginners to go all out on H20 until they get their feet wet. If the 1st experience turns bad, they may not come back to H20. This is a good all-in-one kit. Swiftech has been manufacturing good cooling for ages. It needs just distilled water available at supermarket for a dollar or 2. The cpu block is no match for Dtek Fusion. It does only 1 GPU. You could add a gpu block & some tubing, and maybe a T-line (optional).

Swiftech H20-220 Apex ULTRA+ Complete System Liquid Cooling Kit
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=20943&vpn=H2...
http://www.swiftnets.com/products/H20-220-APEX-plus.asp
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=485

Unless the radiator is the size of a tower (Zalman, Thermaltake), it will need a fan or more.

For air cooling, stick with the top dogs: TR U120E (TRUE) or Noutua NH-U12F.

All GPUs will fit standard ATX cases. Ideally, the case should have 1 120mm intake & 1 120mm exhaust. Antec P182's are pretty decent. Quiet. Functional. No frills. Other good names are Silverstone & Lian Li.

Option 2 would be the best. 1 small drive for software; another for storage/My Documents. Regardless of which option you pick, back up your stuff regularly. XP & Vista have built-in backup.
March 26, 2008 1:19:20 PM

The reason TECs wast energy is that they use electricity to transfer heat from one side of the plate to the other. think refrigerater in a small scale. this is one way to get you computer to run at below ambient temperature (colder than room temperature) the problem with that is the condensation that can form, kind of like the sweet on a cold can of beer. there are ways of dealing with that, but it adds complexity, and is best reserved for the extreme nutjobs amungst us. so I'd advise against sub ambient cooling. assuming you don't do sub ambient cooling, you're warmer than room temperature.
it your warmer than room temperature, you might as well not waste the extra power draw of a TEC. its quite a bit more than a water pump and fan (that the freezone uses anyway). and no sense in blowing the extra money for a TEC either.

Water cooling is something you can add later. if you get a case with 2 or 3 120mm fans exhastint right next to each other, that is a perfect spot for a radiator. its quite a bit cheaper and simpler to run 1 big radiator than 2 small radiators. you might also look at cases with an eye to be easily modified for a radiator.

March 26, 2008 2:29:14 PM

Also, DONT get the q6700, save your self the money and get the Q6600. Since you will overclock extremely high (water cooling), just get the q6600.
March 26, 2008 10:24:20 PM

Quote:

Yep, I mean local computer stores. I understand they won't last very long. 30 days is enough as that the is max length of time they guarantee your money back. canadacomputer has stores across the country. ncix is only in BC. Their prices are ok, but their service is top notch. They help customers get their rebate checks. If say you order Wed or Thur morning with express shipping, you should get it Friday. Their sales start every Wed night. Do price-match directcanada.com which is the same co. http://www.anitec.ca/ is a good online store, but their shipping is a bit excessive.


Well there is a couple local stores i can try, one has the sound card i wanted for $25 less (save on shipping cost), and if i can ever decide on a case they might have it (but mostly custom order)

Quote:

This is a beginner's guide to o/c'ing 780i:

http://evga.com/forums/tm.asp?m=222688


thanks i will check it out when i'm about to OC :) 

Quote:

Well, it's a LOT of work to cool cpu, mobo & gpu's. Yes, watercooling them will lower the noise by a quite a lot, but the radiator still needs a fan or 2 or 3 or 4. I don't recommend beginners to go all out on H20 until they get their feet wet. If the 1st experience turns bad, they may not come back to H20. This is a good all-in-one kit. Swiftech has been manufacturing good cooling for ages. It needs just distilled water available at supermarket for a dollar or 2. The cpu block is no match for Dtek Fusion. It does only 1 GPU. You could add a gpu block & some tubing, and maybe a T-line (optional).


Swiftech H20-220 Apex ULTRA+ Complete System Liquid Cooling Kit
http://www.ncix.com/products/index [...] e=Swiftech
http://www.swiftnets.com/products/ [...] X-plus.asp
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=485


Unless the radiator is the size of a tower (Zalman, Thermaltake), it will need a fan or more.


For air cooling, stick with the top dogs: TR U120E (TRUE) or Noutua NH-U12F.


I think I might stick with just good air cooling for now, but will it be easy enough to switch over to water-cooling down the road if i find the temps are too high, and / or the noise is to loud?

TR U120E (TRUE) or Noutua NH-U12F are those both 120mm fans? do i need 2 fans, one for intake and one for outtake for the case airflow, and then extra cooling for the CPU / GPU's?

What if i did a combination of CPU water-cooled and the rest air-cooled ?

sorry for so many questions about cooling, i'm just worried about that the most since that's the part i'm least confident in doing for my build the rest I know i can do fairly easy.

Quote:

All GPUs will fit standard ATX cases. Ideally, the case should have 1 120mm intake & 1 120mm exhaust. Antec P182's are pretty decent. Quiet. Functional. No frills. Other good names are Silverstone & Lian Li.


I will go and checkout that case and those brands now... what are your thoughts on Thermatake, NZXT, or ultra brand cases?

Quote:

Option 2 would be the best. 1 small drive for software; another for storage/My Documents. Regardless of which option you pick, back up your stuff regularly. XP & Vista have built-in backup.


that would be fine with me, so would you suggest making a partitition for Vista Prem on the software drive?
should this smaller drive also be a faster one say 10,000rpm?

I know western digital has a 36GB raptor would this do for the software drive or do you recommend something else? actually what do you suggest for both drives? 500 GB seems like a ton of space for me (currently have only 80GB) so dont think i need anything larger then that at this time anyways.

March 26, 2008 10:24:36 PM

Quote:

Yep, I mean local computer stores. I understand they won't last very long. 30 days is enough as that the is max length of time they guarantee your money back. canadacomputer has stores across the country. ncix is only in BC. Their prices are ok, but their service is top notch. They help customers get their rebate checks. If say you order Wed or Thur morning with express shipping, you should get it Friday. Their sales start every Wed night. Do price-match directcanada.com which is the same co. http://www.anitec.ca/ is a good online store, but their shipping is a bit excessive.


Well there is a couple local stores i can try, one has the sound card i wanted for $25 less (save on shipping cost), and if i can ever decide on a case they might have it (but mostly custom order)

Quote:

This is a beginner's guide to o/c'ing 780i:

http://evga.com/forums/tm.asp?m=222688


thanks i will check it out when i'm about to OC :) 

Quote:

Well, it's a LOT of work to cool cpu, mobo & gpu's. Yes, watercooling them will lower the noise by a quite a lot, but the radiator still needs a fan or 2 or 3 or 4. I don't recommend beginners to go all out on H20 until they get their feet wet. If the 1st experience turns bad, they may not come back to H20. This is a good all-in-one kit. Swiftech has been manufacturing good cooling for ages. It needs just distilled water available at supermarket for a dollar or 2. The cpu block is no match for Dtek Fusion. It does only 1 GPU. You could add a gpu block & some tubing, and maybe a T-line (optional).


Swiftech H20-220 Apex ULTRA+ Complete System Liquid Cooling Kit
http://www.ncix.com/products/index [...] e=Swiftech
http://www.swiftnets.com/products/ [...] X-plus.asp
http://www.legionhardware.com/document.php?id=485


Unless the radiator is the size of a tower (Zalman, Thermaltake), it will need a fan or more.


For air cooling, stick with the top dogs: TR U120E (TRUE) or Noutua NH-U12F.


I think I might stick with just good air cooling for now, but will it be easy enough to switch over to water-cooling down the road if i find the temps are too high, and / or the noise is to loud?

TR U120E (TRUE) or Noutua NH-U12F are those both 120mm fans? do i need 2 fans, one for intake and one for outtake for the case airflow, and then extra cooling for the CPU / GPU's?

What if i did a combination of CPU water-cooled and the rest air-cooled ?

sorry for so many questions about cooling, i'm just worried about that the most since that's the part i'm least confident in doing for my build the rest I know i can do fairly easy.

Quote:

All GPUs will fit standard ATX cases. Ideally, the case should have 1 120mm intake & 1 120mm exhaust. Antec P182's are pretty decent. Quiet. Functional. No frills. Other good names are Silverstone & Lian Li.


I will go and checkout that case and those brands now... what are your thoughts on Thermatake, NZXT, or ultra brand cases?

Quote:

Option 2 would be the best. 1 small drive for software; another for storage/My Documents. Regardless of which option you pick, back up your stuff regularly. XP & Vista have built-in backup.


that would be fine with me, so would you suggest making a partitition for Vista Prem on the software drive?
should this smaller drive also be a faster one say 10,000rpm?

I know western digital has a 36GB raptor would this do for the software drive or do you recommend something else? actually what do you suggest for both drives? 500 GB seems like a ton of space for me (currently have only 80GB) so dont think i need anything larger then that at this time anyways.

March 27, 2008 11:07:09 AM

I'm not going to call others names even though they disagree with what I say.

Regarding TEC causing condensation, if you stick a peltier to a h2o loop, yep, it will cause condensation cuz there's no control of the coolant temp. Freezone comes with a thermal control module (I would've hoped some people would download the PDF or at least read a review posted at coolit before jumping to conclusion) that controls the coolant temperature. My buddy has had his Freezone for nearly 1 year. His apt is a/c'ed sometimes, but he's moving so there's no a/c. At no time has his Freezone caused condensation. I have had mine for months now. No condensation whatever. Now if you put a bear on the peltier for a while & move it to a warm place. Yes, condensation will form on the bear can since there's no thermal control. Hope that makes sense. Or you can download the PDF or read one of the reviews.

Quote:
...This system alleviates any risk of condensation...

http://www.coolitsystems.com/index.php?option=com_conte...

The TCM I mentioned is pictured here:

http://www.hardcoreware.net/image.php?src=4936&ts=11416...

Like I said, you must have one fan or more if you go H2O. If you remove the fan or not install one, the cpu may overheat. Unless the radiator is of a very large size & located outside the case.

The average watercooled pc always has some fans like intake & exhaust.

If you want to watercool only the cpu, sure. Why not? Keep in mind it will cost about the same as the Freezone refurb.

If you go with TRUE, you add 1 fan at least. If you go with Noutua, you can use the bundled fan. Unless you overclock the cpu extremely, 1 fan is fine.

I know non-believers will jump to conclusion about TEC cuz well, they're non-believers. I was one until my buddy was fed up with ANY air coolers. He literally tried all the top dogs. Until Freezone. We looked around. I did most of the research & install for him. He can't be happier with the low temps. On air, his Q6600 was like 65'C tops in summer. At one point, his pc shut down out of the blue due to heat. He had to wait til night to use the pc. Right now his quad tops out at 35'C at load on TEC.

Thermatake & NZXT cases are def. good looking. I'm not into bling. I'm a functionality kind of guy. To each his own.

As for the Ultra X3,

Quote:
Tier 2 Brands - Top Quality components With Top Notch Stability - For Those With Price/Availability Issues With Tier 1

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=10...

Their old line of psu's were crap. The X3 is a good one.

No, I wouldn't suggest partitions at all when you can afford 2 harddisks. Install software on the small one & save everything else on the large one.

Well, wether to go with a Raptor or not is up to you. Not for me. Too costly. If you can afford it & have the need for it, go for it.

I use an old Maxtor 80GB for os. Yup, slow as hell. There's something called defragmentation. I defrag my os drive once a month. & optimized my os, the one in my family pc & the one in my buddy's. Both security & performance -wish. Right now it takes 3 secs to load Firefox with add-ons on my old maxtor. I store my data on a 750gb which is the important one. I back up the os drive to storage drive with Acronis True Image. In the event of a screw-up like malware, etc., it takes me 10-15 mins to get the os back. I also back up my storage to DVD-/+R/-RAM & CD-R/RW.
March 27, 2008 11:40:06 AM

Many people just watercool thier CPU. Many also have a seperated loop for video (I bet at least some of those did it because they already had a CPU loop before deciding to WC thier video)

you would probably see more performance and memory for fewer dollars out of a RAID array (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) of normal disks, than a Rapotor and another drive. RAIDs are a whole new can of worms, I'd suggest looking at the raid forums here. 500 seems like alot, but "Man is like a gas that expands to fill all availiable space". Rip your CD collection, start taking digital photos, I'm sure you'll find ways to fill it eventualy. I thought the same thing when I got my first computer with a HDD, it was 120 mb. Now, I wouldn't bother with a flask card unless it was at least 4 time that.
March 27, 2008 11:51:09 AM

I never said a freezone would cause condenation, I said subambient cooling would cause condensation and I didn't see the point of TECs if you not going subambient, as watercooling can cool to near ambient with much less energy. I researched the Freezone rather thoughly because it would fit in my rather confined microATX cube. I ended up with a OEM cooler from a hot chip and a low wattage CPU (an Opteron 165 heatpipe cooler on an OEM Brisbane CPU). I figureed It was cheaper in the short term and even more so in the long term.
April 1, 2008 12:07:03 PM

Thanks for the advice and suggestions everyone, i'm hoping to make the final decisons hopefully this week, and order all my parts, and build it the following weekend, or earlier during the week depending on work...

sorry it's been a few days since i could check back and post a response, but i have been working more then normal so just havnt got a chance... will post comments ect a bit later today, just worked a night shift so have to get some sleep :p 
April 2, 2008 12:52:53 AM

for the hard drives i will probally skip on the raptor, they are more expensive, and i have heard they are kind of loud aswell. I will get a couple Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drives 500GB for storage for sure, second one i'm not sure on the size.
April 2, 2008 1:03:12 AM

for cooling I'm pretty sure i will go with air cooling for now, but make sure i have the right case to upgrade to water-cooling if either the noise, or heat is too high for me.

what are your thoughts on the Thermaltake Black Kandalf LCS case, or just the regular air-cooled one? is the LCS a good water-cooler, or would it still be best to just get an air-cooled case, and add in my own water-cooling (cooling you suggested above)

is it best to get more larger/slower rpm fans, then a couple faster speed ones? for noise? cooling?

what are your thoughts on fan controllers, temp monitors?
April 2, 2008 1:16:29 AM

after reading the forums I read some people suqqesting the Q9300 over the Q6600. Is it worth the extra $50? what's the differences in the cpu's? still overclockable? compared to Q6700?
April 2, 2008 12:13:18 PM

Go with a big 750GB cuz their prices are lower than that of 500GB when they're on sale. Say 18-19 cents per gig. Regular is 22 cents per gig. The new Samsung F1 & 7200.11 are crazy fast. On my o/c'ed pc, it takes 6-10 secs to unrar a 700mb file. And I have background apps running meanwhile.

Kandalf is a popular choice as well. Also look at Stacker. Most cases come with enough fans. Unless you're an extreme overclockers, you don't have to add more fans.

Oh yes, instead of wasting money on quiet fans, how about picking up a $20 4-fan controller? Problem solved.

Q9300 & Q6600 are about the same, but Q9300 has less cache 6MB VS 8MB, but its FSB is 1333mhz VS 1066mhz and it uses less power thanks to 45nm. If you were to buy a stock quad, go with Q9300. Oh yes, the 45nm cpu's have new features that will speed up things like video decoding (watching movies). Unfortunately, quads are never the better overclockers. Dualies are. Yorkies may hit around 3.6-4ghz on air. Also, Yorkies have lower multipliers than Kentsfields (Q6600) which limit the overclocks. Lastly, you can't compare 45nm to 65nm cuz 45nm is faster than 65nm clock for clock. i.e. 45nm 3GHZ > 65nm 3GHZ

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-...
April 8, 2008 11:56:04 PM

Operating System
- Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32bit DVD (Best Buy $250) (TigerDirect $280)

Case
- Thermaltake Armor+ (1Click2Computers $213) (TigerDirect $280)
- Antec Nine-Hundred (NCIX $99) (1Click2Computers $105)

Power Supply
- Ultra X3 1000w Modular (TigerDirect $415 -$40 rebate *bundled with RAM*)

Motherboard
- EVGA 780i (TigerDirect $305)

CPU
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Retail (OCing 3.0 - 3.6) (NCIX $246) (TigerDirect.ca $280)

RAM
- Corsair TWINX 4GB PC6400 800Mhz (TigerDirect $415 -$40 rebate *bundled with PSU*)

Graphics Card 1
- BFG 8800 GTX OC2 (NCIX $531 - $35 Rebate)

Graphics Card 2
- BFG 8800 GTX OC2 (NCIX $531 - $35 Rebate)

Sound Card
- Creative Labs X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatality (NCIX $146) (TigerDirect $171)

Hard Drive 1 (Software/Vista)
- Seagate Barricuda 7200.11 500 GB SATA (NCIX $94)
- WD Raptor 36 GB 10k rpm SATA (1Click2Computers $117)

Hard Drive 2 (Storage)
- Seagate Barricuda 7200.11 500 GB SATA (NCIX $94)
- Seagate Barricuda 7200.11 750 GB SATA (NCIX $135)

DVD / CD ROM Burner
- Samsung SH-S203N Lightscribe (NCIX $32)

Other
- Fans (Noutua NH-U12F cant find any selling in canada)
- Multi-fan controller (drive bay)(maybe with temp monitoring too)
- small Tooldriver set (mastercraft canadian tire)
- keyboard (Razer Tarantula / Lycosa, Logitech G11 / G15
- mouse (Razer Lachesis / Tempest, Logitech G9 / G5


I want to place my orders at tigerdirect, 1click2computers,and NCIX as early as tonight so please give your thoughts now on my choices, and recommendations on the areas I have more then one option (case, HDD, other)

Also has anyone had any experience with 1click2computers? tigerdirect, and NCIX i was already told were good ones to try...

Will my motherboard come with all the required connectors to hookup 2 Hard drives, and my dvd rom drive with SATA? or do i need to purchase them separatly?







April 9, 2008 5:48:47 AM

I'vr heard raptor arent any faser than the 7200.11s
I think toms might have a HDD comparison chart somewere
April 9, 2008 11:23:03 AM

No info on the store. If you're buying a few inexpensive items, it's ok. They won't vanish overnight.

http://www.resellerratings.com/store/1click2computers

A new computer case, a new PSU & a new mobo will come with all the cables, wires, connectors, screws, standoffs necessary for a basic build.

http://c1.neweggimages.com/NeweggImage/productimage/13-...

You don't have to have Noutua. There are a few other top air coolers like TRUE, Xigmatek HDT-S1283, and now OCZ Vendetta 2 available at nxic.com.

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...

Fan controllers. I suggest analog with dials. The inexpensive digital ones are not very precise - i.e. you want 1399 rpm, but the controller skips to 1500 rpm.

http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?minorcatid=1112&...
April 9, 2008 12:07:52 PM

Quote:
No info on the store. If you're buying a few inexpensive items, it's ok. They won't vanish overnight.
http://www.resellerratings.com/store/1click2computers

well it would probally only be the case, if i decide to go with the Thermaltake Armor+ since it's quite a bit cheaper.
Quote:
A new computer case, a new PSU & a new mobo will come with all the cables, wires, connectors, screws, standoffs necessary for a basic build.
http://c1.neweggimages.com/NeweggI [...] 024-07.jpg

Ok that's good to know ill have everythingI need.
Quote:
You don't have to have Noutua. There are a few other top air coolers like TRUE, Xigmatek HDT-S1283, and now OCZ Vendetta 2 available at nxic.com.
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index. [...] mitstart=8

Thanks for the list of the test results and air coolers, i will look over them, and check out the prices on NCIX
Quote:
Fan controllers. I suggest analog with dials. The inexpensive digital ones are not very precise - i.e. you want 1399 rpm, but the controller skips to 1500 rpm.
http://www.ncix.com/products/index [...] rcatid=178

Ok that's good to know. How hard is it to setup the controller for fans rpm, and temps of cpu, gpu etc? Are all controllers connections compatible with my motherboard, and case ? if not what do i need to look for when making my decision?

Thanks for all your help so far ;) 








April 10, 2008 5:23:13 AM

Thermalright ULTRA-120 Extreme 6 Heatpipe Cooler LGA775 Heatsink *Fan Not Included*

Noctua NF-P12-1300 120MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan

will these two products be good for my Q6600 overclocked to 3.0-3.5?

April 10, 2008 7:30:28 AM

EricCDN said:
Thermalright ULTRA-120 Extreme 6 Heatpipe Cooler LGA775 Heatsink *Fan Not Included*

Noctua NF-P12-1300 120MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan

will these two products be good for my Q6600 overclocked to 3.0-3.5?


I am in the process of building a new PC - Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3P and Q6600. The system is breadboarded and connected to my KVM switch. Eventually it will go into an Antec 900 case. I am using an Ultra 120 Ext. with an S-Flex fan.

It runs solid at 3.3 GHz @ 1.32 volts. At 3.6 GHz, I need to run vcore at BIOS set 1.42 volts (CPU-Z indicates 1.38 volts). I have the motherboard temperature alert set at 70 deg. C. Loading all 4 cores with Prime95, I get an occasional temp alert.

Because I expect the temps to rise slightly when I install the system in the case, I will probably permanently run it at 3.3 GHz.

I like the Ultra 120 Ext. HS. However, the machine work on the bottom of the CPU block was not as good as I had expected. I hand lapped it, working down to 1500 grit. Had the side effect of grinding away the aluminum on the bottom and exposing the copper.

You should be able to reach 3.3 GHz easily with a G0 core, with a good case and cooling - possibly 3.6 GHz.
April 10, 2008 8:37:49 AM

I would try to buy OEM on the OS. You should be able to get it for 149.99 and save 100.00 or so to apply to something else. Basically what you are getting with the retail version is a pretty box, a manual and "no customer support".

OEM will come in an evelope with the serial keycode label. Its all you need anyway.

I would go with this case:

http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=CA13068...

It goes as low as 159.99 at times but is not a bad deal now if you cant wait. I dont know for sure if this company ships to Canada either.

I have the same setup you are thinking about building and everything fits perfectly! Its a quite large case so be sure you can acomodate for a large case. Its very deep and pretty tall.
April 10, 2008 12:22:42 PM

^^^ Agreed. The reason you upgrade the pc is so you have a new OS. Maybe not. :)  Anyway, look at OEM Vista. They're cheaper than retail. It must be bought with a mobo &/or cpu, depending on the store's policy.

We do have Stackers in black or silver for about the same price.

Regarding cpu cooling, either TRUE/Noctua is fine for the o/c job. With TRUE, you have to pick up a fan. Say Scythe 60cfm-ish 120mm or Yate Loon.
April 10, 2008 12:34:29 PM

I was told OEM could be purchased with any internal component. I qualified for the Vista upgrade with te purchase of a video card.

I believe the OEM locks you into 32 or 64 bit now. the older licenses would work with both versions, like the retail
April 10, 2008 12:56:37 PM

Quote:
I have the same setup you are thinking about building and everything fits perfectly! Its a quite large case so be sure you can acomodate for a large case. Its very deep and pretty tall.


you have the Cooler Master CM Stacker 830 SE(clubit doesnt ship to canada), duel 8800 GTX's? how is the temps? and noise with your setup? The size doesnt matter too much, since i have enough room on my table (Thermaltake Armor+ is about the same size just a few inches taller) I was originally looking for a smaller case but it looks like for the componets I want, keeping it cool, and making it easy to install it's best with a larger case.

for vista i will consider getting the OEM version

if I decided to get the stacker 830 SE what other fans would I need? (quiet, but effective)

Quote:
Regarding cpu cooling, either TRUE/Noctua is fine for the o/c job. With TRUE, you have to pick up a fan. Say Scythe 60cfm-ish 120mm or Yate Loon.


ok that's what i will get then :) 
April 10, 2008 4:17:31 PM

Im looking at HW monitor now and its 147*F (64*C). These cards run hot and I am overclocking. I was using the Antec 900 with a different mobo/cpu and it was tight but it did fit.

I would get the Coolermaster 120mm led fans. They are quiet, brighter and cool very well. You will need to buy 4 for the door, 1 for the top of the case, unless you decide to mount an extra hard drive there but I suggest installing a fan. The front comes with one already and the rear is plain. If you want that to be led you will need to get 6 total. If you are running like me with 2 cards atm then get thermaltakes led pci slot fan to go in between the cards for extra airflow.

Im currently running one video card atm until my new psu gets here. I also had to eliminate 1 door fan to allow room for my Ultra TEC cooler but its worth it. Ther airflow is still freaky good.

When you open the case, the wow factor is impressive. My buds are jealous... ;) 

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c170/nwozephyr/a625e5...

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c170/nwozephyr/4a9a48...

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c170/nwozephyr/a9e482...

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c170/nwozephyr/171bce...

Thanks to this little guy for the lighting:


http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c170/nwozephyr/avatar...
April 11, 2008 11:29:48 AM

Ultra Chilltec, awesome. What's your idle & load temps? What's your o/c?
April 11, 2008 1:54:32 PM

Update
Here is the updated list after deciding on a few other parts, after your suggestions...(note: I price matched for NCIX saving around $100 before taxes etc also reduced it to two stores for all the parts NCIX, and TigerDirect)

Operating System
- Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 32bit DVD (Best Buy $250) (TigerDirect $280)(OEM $150)

Case
- Coolermaster CM Stacker 830 Evo (Black or Silver?) (NCIX $234)

Power Supply
- Ultra X3 1000w Modular (TigerDirect $415 -$40 rebate *bundled with RAM*)

Motherboard
- EVGA 780i (TigerDirect $305)

CPU
- Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Retail (OCing 3.0 - 3.6) (NCIX $246) (TigerDirect.ca $280)

CPU Cooling
- Thermalright ULTRA-120 Extreme (NCIX $49)
- Noctua NF-P12-1300 120MM Ultra Quiet Cooling Fan (NCIX $18)

RAM
- Corsair TWINX 4GB PC6400 800Mhz (TigerDirect $415 -$40 rebate *bundled with PSU*)

Graphics Card 1
- BFG 8800 GTX OC2 (NCIX $531 - $35 Rebate)

Graphics Card 2
- BFG 8800 GTX OC2 (NCIX $531 - $35 Rebate)

Sound Card
- Creative Labs X-FI Xtreme Gamer Fatality (NCIX $146) (TigerDirect $171)

Hard Drive 1 (Software/Vista)
- Seagate Barricuda 7200.11 500 GB SATA (NCIX $94)

Hard Drive 2 (Storage)
- Seagate Barricuda 7200.11 500 GB SATA (NCIX $94)

DVD / CD ROM Burner
- Samsung SH-S203N Lightscribe (NCIX $32)


Other
- Cooler Master Neon Blue LED 120MM Case Fan x 6 (NCIX $31)

- Multi-fan controller (drive bay)(maybe with temp monitoring too)
- tv tuner (compatible with expressview)
- small Tooldriver set (mastercraft canadian tire)
- keyboard (Razer Tarantula / Lycosa, Logitech G11 / G15
- mouse (Razer Lachesis / Tempest, Logitech G9 / G5 [/b]

Fan Controller
I still dont know what multi-fan controller i should get, that will go with my case...

here are a couple i kind of liek the looks of ...

Sunbeam Rheobus Extreme
]http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=28419&vpn=RHK%2DEX%2DBK&manufacture=Sunbeam]

Scythe Kaze Master
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=28082&vpn=KM01%2DBK&manufacture=Scythe&promoid=1061

TV Tuner
not sure what to look for in a good tuner, i would like it so i can record shows for expressview, to watch later (i work 3 or 4 different shifts for work and i'm on call so it's last minute) well anyways what would you recommend?

April 11, 2008 3:02:04 PM

Your list looks pretty strong. For the most part its solid. Coupla things though.

Get an OEM version of the OS. MS makes enough coin, buy the cheap version.

Buy a 750 watt PP&C Power supply if you can. 1kw is a waste, and frankly Ultra is crap. It will easily power 2 8800 GTX's.

2 8800 GTX's will offer enough future proofing for now. They will easily support a 24" monitor. Im willing to bet that the next gen of video cards, whether its Nvidia or ATI will blow the doors off the current tech. 9 series Nvidia cards are nothing more than slightly warmed over 8 series cards.

Heatsink is good. You should be able to hit 3.4 and maybe 3.6 with some luck.

Stay away from Creative sound cards. Company is going down. Bad support and only an average product anymore. Asus makes a decent one. Azentech (sp?) is right there as well.

Too bad your in Canada. You could save a ton of coin buying from Newegg.
April 11, 2008 4:08:55 PM

Im running 3.0Ghz @ 121*F idle. It runs 82*F idle at stock speeds.

As far as the PSU is concerned he is getting the 780i motherboard and he will actually need a 1000 watt psu if he goes 3 way sli. I know, EVGA told me that is recommended and Im sure it would be close to the same for other brands.

I would go with the Corsair 1000 watt psu for that setup and it lists for 280.00 but isnt in stock yet. I should be by the time you need it though. Its a much better psu and is certified by Nvidia for 3 way SLI and has 6 - 6 pin power connectors for the video power.

http://forums.extremeoverclocking.com/t286482.html
April 11, 2008 4:13:06 PM

3 way SLI is a waste. Driver support is iffy at best. Do a little research. Scaling from 1 to 2 graphics cards is pretty good. Scaling from 2 to 3 isnt worth the money. OP is only running a 24" monitor, not a 30". The resolution hes gonna be seeing wont validate running 3 way SLI. But OMG the Crysis fanboys should jump all over this pretty quik Im thinking....
April 11, 2008 4:43:11 PM

Im sure this is the case for now but 2-3 years down the road may be a different story. He is like me, he will be running 2 cards for a while and later when the prices come down a bit then add the 3rd card.

Getting the 1000 watt is simply preparing the system to be able to handle the 3rd card. Even if 3way isnt that much better it will be very easy to get a lot of your money back out of this type of setup if you want to sell it later. I usually have no problems recovering a large amount of my money when I sell high end hardware even if its 3-4 years later.
April 11, 2008 4:57:54 PM

The problem right now is that nothing is set in stone. Next gen cards could and likely will, hit the performance level of 2 8800 GTXs in SLI, on a single card with a single core. Intel is changing chipsets with the next gen of processors. It wouldnt surprise me if AMD did the same. The point here is that its not worth it the extra money for something that will be good, but technically obsolete in 12-18 months. 3 way SLI's scaling is bad which has been proven in multiple reviews. A 24' monitor will have no use for it anyway at 1920 x 1200. That resolution isnt high enough to push 2 8800 GTXs, let alone 3, unless your running that poorly coded game called Crysis. Besides, can your eye tell the difference between 60 and 120 fps?
April 11, 2008 5:37:59 PM

Kaldor said:
Besides, can your eye tell the difference between 60 and 120 fps?


sure, you can turn on the little indicator on some games.
April 11, 2008 5:43:03 PM

groo said:
sure, you can turn on the little indicator on some games.


ROFL, good point...
April 11, 2008 6:02:22 PM

I agree. If that actually does happen then it will be time to sell the 8800's and get the new ones!

Things constantly change and basically my mindset is to find something I can land with and not spend money on upgrades for a couple of years or so.
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