First time builder, need a build review!

Greetings all! I'm new around here, as you can see, but I've come here for advice on a new PC I'll be building. This is the first one I've ever built. First and foremost, I want to make sure that these components are compatible. I need to know that everything here will work ok together. If you have any suggestions about trying something different, feel free to let me know. This PC will mainly be used for gaming, mostly flight sim (IL2, LOMAC, etc.). No SLI at the moment, and no plans for over-clocking yet. This PC will be running Windows XP since I know that it will work with the programs I'll be using.

Here's what I have so far, in no particular order:

Case -

Motherboard -

Harddrive -
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive:

Sound Card -
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE SB0570LPVP 5.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Low-Profile Sound Card:

Video Card -
EVGA GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor:

Power Supply-
OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply 100 - 240 V:

Disk Drive-
SAMSUNG 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model:

Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory:

CPU Cooler-
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler:

I've been researching PC building on the web for several months and I've tried my best to think of everything compatibility-wise in this build. This is actually a few hundred dollars UNDER my budget. Thanks in advance guys!
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  1. I like all your choices.
    But let me throw a couple options out there for you to consider:
    RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2GB DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) $60 after rebate

    Core 2 Duo E6750 Conroe 2.66GHz $180
    Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz $250 (due in stock 3/28)

    Sound Card - this is one item you can always order later if you're not happy with the onboard sound of the Gigabyte DS3L motherboard. I'd wait till you've had a chance to test your games and other stuff to see if the onboard is good enough for you.

    HD - the 320GB model is only $5 more than the 250.
    PSU - is a bit more than you really need. But the 700watt model is less expensive than the 600watt model. Good find.

    Im a fan of LOMAC myself.

    Stay up late - or get up early and see if you can't grab yourself an E8400 Wolfdale.
  2. Power supply;
    Agree with WR2 on the CPU: wait it out on the E8400, they should start returning any day now.
  3. Thanks guys! I realize you all get a ton of threads like this, but I personally appreciate your responses.

    I here you two about the Wolfdale. I noticed the date too. I wish those weren't so scarce! I'm not sure if I'm ready to purchase the parts yet but if I wait I'll probably miss the opportunity to buy one. Thank you for the idea about the sound card. My initial thought was not to get one since I only use 2 speakers and a subwoofer. That RAM you mentioned was what I wanted, just couldn't find it. The PS suggestion has me considering other options too.

    I have two questions about the motherboard that I need to clear up:

    1. It has an on-board ethernet port. Is this sufficient for a cable modem or will I need to get a separate card?

    2. Everyone likes the motherboard but I here people talking about SATA connectors being far away from your drives. Do you think this will be a problem? Can you get SATA extension cords?

    Thanks again!
  4. 1. You're good to go with the on-board networking port.
    2. SATA power connectors are not usually an issue with a mid-tower case and the higher end PSUs. Where you start to see possible issues are in full ATX tower cases and in systems where cable management (hiding cables) is important to the owner and the older style, budget PSUs.
    [:wr2] The Corsair 550VX PSU chuckm linked is actually a good match for your system, saves you $25 after rebate and is known to have slightly longer cables to boot.
    if I wait I'll probably miss the opportunity to buy one
    Actually as the pent-up demand tapers off it should be easier to find the E8400s and E8200s and the prices should drop back closer to the suggested list prices $183/$163. It may still be a while yet till supply catchs up with demand though. The E6750 is a better option (IMO) than the E6850. Your motherboard utilites will easily and safely auto-overclock the E6750 to E6850 speeds if/when you decide to do a little OC'ing.
    It isnt that big a deal if you don't want to wait. The difference between the E6750 OC'd to 3Ghz and the E8400 at stock 3.0Ghz would be very small. The E8400 is extremely popular because of its excellent OC'ing potential, and it has that "bling" factor going on at the moment.
  5. Since you don't have plans to overclock you can just run with the stock cooler. I'd really try to get one of the Wolfdale procs for gaming. Keep an eye on the Xeon E3110, it's the same chip as the E8400. I ordered one from today. I've never used NCIX before so I don't know how well it will go. ;)

    For RAM, I'd get a 2x2gb kit. XP will only see about 3.25-3.5gb but ram's cheap and I think you're better off going with 4gb now so you could add another 4 if you decide to go Vista 64 in the future. You don't need PC 8500 RAM unless you're looking at going for a really high overclock. DDR2 800 is fine. ($110)

    I agree with ditching the sound card for now.

    Check out the 8800GTS (512mb) cards. For a bit more than the GT you get a faster card that runs cooler.

    1. The onboard ethernet port is fine.

    2. You could get longer sata cables if necessary. I'm not sure where the drives are in relation to the motherboard with that case.
  6. uguv said:
    Since you don't have plans to overclock you can just run with the stock cooler

    Thank you for clearing that up, I wasn't sure about that.

    I like your video card suggestion better, uguv. I think I will go with 4gb of RAM too.

    WR2, do you think the E750 is better because it could easily be overclocked to 3.0 ghz, and therefore be the same speed for less money, or is there another consideration?
  7. The E6750/E6850 both have a reputation as good overclockers. E6750 OC'd to 3.0Ghz and $80 (for the video card and RAM upgrade?) is about the main consideration. How best to spread your $$ around for the best bang for each buck. The stock Intel cooler will handle 3Ghz OC' just fine. Even a stock E6750 would handle your games just fine.
    [:wr2] uguv's XEON E3110 3.0Ghz Wolfdale for $207 @ NCIXUS website website has the E8400 OEM in stock $220. OEM CPU comes without the stock intel cooler.
  8. ClubIT has the OEM versions for the E8400 and E8200 in stock.
    E8400 @ $215
    E8200 @ $175

    Here is a Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro alternative:
    Coolermaster Hyper TX2 @ $25
    CM Hyper TX 2 review @ THG
  9. Thanks for everyone's input. I have a question about a video card I was looking at relative to the motherboard.

    Will this video card-

    Fit into this motherboard?:

    Things look a little snug between the northbridge and southbridge. I looked at other motherboards, even very expensive ones, and they don't look like they have much more space either. These video cards are almost the size of VHS tapes. I'd hate to get the card and find out it doesn't fit the motherboard. :cry:
  10. Yes it will. There isnt anything on the backside of the video card that will conflict with the Northbridge and the PCI-e x-16 slot raises the video card just high enough off the motherboard to not have a problem with the southbridge heat sink.

    You'll loose the ability to use the 2nd (of 3) PCI-e x1 slots with the double slot cooler but you will be able to use the PCI-e x1 left of the PCI-e x16 slot if you ever have a need.
  11. Also - the video card you linked to above was the older G80 model of the 8800GTS with 640MB RAM.

    You want the G92 8800GTS with 512MB of RAM.
    (which will also fit that motherboard)

  12. uguv said:

    For RAM, I'd get a 2x2gb kit. XP will only see about 3.25-3.5gb but ram's cheap and I think you're better off going with 4gb now so you could add another 4 if you decide to go Vista 64 in the future. You don't need PC 8500 RAM unless you're looking at going for a really high overclock. DDR2 800 is fine. ($110)

    I disagree, I think you should go with the DDR2 1066 as that's what your mobo was designed to support. RAM is cheap, it won't cost you that much more and it will definitely pay off for you. Especially if you do decide to overclock later.

    I also think 4GB is a good idea, but not totally necessary. That decision will be up to you in the end. I've only got 2GB in mine, but I think I'm going to try to get a set of these sometime soon.
  13. Going with PC2 8500 vs PC2 6400 will get you a small increase in performance - something along these lines:

    To be honest you would probably not notice any performance difference between them.
    For 2GB vs 4GB - again you'd not notice any difference based on what you plan to do with your new computer.
    Since you're sticking with Win/XP it really would be OK to go with 2GB now and maybe upgrade later if you switch to Vista.
    If you are thinking about going with 1066 RAM I've changed my suggestion to Kingston HyperX based on the good reviews from DS3L motherboard owners:
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