Review My Build Please...About $1200 to spend

Hey, if you guys could review this build and tell me what you think, that would be awesome. All of my parts will be coming from ncix.com, as I am from Canada, making it my best option.

This computer will be used for gaming (Crysis, CoD4, The Orange Box, etc.) as well as for a few engineering programs (Solidworks, Visual Studio, etc.) that I use in school. I will be playing/using this computer on a 22" monitor (1680x1050 resolution).

CPU-Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
The quad will be nice for some of the programs I will be running for school. It will be nice for the multi-tasking ability and it still runs games good. I will overclock it to the acceptable level with air cooling.
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=22211&vpn=BX80562Q6600&manufacture=Intel

Heatsink-OCZ Vanquisher or Scythe Katana 2
I really have no idea which of these to choose.
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=26163&vpn=OCZTVANQ&manufacture=OCZ%20Technology
or
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=23713&vpn=SCKTN-2000&manufacture=Scythe

Motherboard-Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L
Heard great things about this board. Don't really plan on SLI, so it seems to be the best choice.
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=25369&vpn=GA%2DP35%2DDS3L&manufacture=Gigabyte

HDD-Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500 GB
not much to say about this...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=27144&vpn=ST3500320AS&manufacture=Seagate

GPU-XFX Geforce 8800GTS (G92)
It was down between this and the EVGA version. This comes with a lifetime warranty (didn't see if eVGA did) as well as a free copy of CoD4.
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=27371&vpn=PVT88GYDF4&manufacture=XFX

Memory-OCZ Platinum XTC REV.2 PC2-6400 2GB 2X1GB DDR2-800 CL4-4-4-15
Good price. Solid timings. Will add another 2 GB of this in a couple months.
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=19337&vpn=OCZ2P800R22GK&manufacture=OCZ%20Technology

Case-Antec 900
Not much to say here again...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=21123&vpn=NINE%20HUNDRED&manufacture=ANTEC

PSU-OCZ GameXStream 700 watts or Corsair HX520 Modular
Couldn't decide here. Between more wattage, or the modular ability. Opinions?
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=19832&vpn=CMPSU%2D520HX&manufacture=CORSAIR
or
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=18185&vpn=OCZ700GXSSLI&manufacture=OCZ%20Technology

DVD Writer-LG GSA-H55N
solid reviews. It's just a dvd writer...
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=24468&vpn=GSA-H55N%20BLACK&manufacture=LG%20Electronics

Operating System-Windows Vista Home Premium 64-Bit
I plan to get to 4 GB, so I want the 64-Bit version.
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=22438&vpn=66I-00788&manufacture=Microsoft


So what do you guys think of my choices. My main questions are around the power supply and the heatsink, but other general opinions are welcome and appreciated.
29 answers Last reply
More about review build please about 1200 spend
  1. I'd get the GameXStream, just because it's a few bucks less and gives more room for upgredes.

    Can you get the entire 4 GB from the start? If you're going to overclock and do stability tests and so on you might as well do it all just once. Plus, Vista and Visual Studio are big memory hogs, they'd benefit.
    Try this:
    OCZ Reaper OCZ2RPR800C44GK 4GB DDR2 2X2GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL 4-4-4-15 , $95 after rebate
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=26564&vpn=OCZ2RPR800C44GK&manufacture=OCZ%20Technology

    Get this burner:
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=24649&vpn=SH%2DS203B%2FBEBN&manufacture=Samsung
    The LG's are great, except they have a speed lock in the firmware that makes them lousy at ripping DVDs.


    You could get a better cooler. From NCIX's list, I'd pick one of these:

    Ninja, $45, includes fan
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=21163&vpn=SCNJ-1100P&manufacture=Scythe
    Ultima-90 + SFF21F, total $47+$15 (or Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme + SFF21F, for $18 more)
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=23531&vpn=ULTRA-120-EXTREME&manufacture=THERMALRIGHT
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=25999&vpn=Ultima-90&manufacture=THERMALRIGHT
    http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=17749&vpn=SFF21F&manufacture=Scythe

    All 3 are among the quietest air coolers. The Extreme is the best air cooler out there.

    Edit: consider the Q9300, for $50 more than the Q6600. Without any overclocking at all, you gain about 10% from faster default clocks and improved architecture. It also overclocks better thanks to the new 45nm technology.

    No objections to the MB, video card, HDD, case and OS, all good choices.

    The motherboard comes with 2 SATA cables, so you're all set with your one hard drive and one burner. Youc an have up to 4 SATA devices in there (i.e. two more hard drives, for example). If you need more or you'd like to try RAID I suggest the GA-EP35-DS3R.
  2. I will never need more than 4 SATA connectors I don't think. 2 Harddrives + 2 optical drives is probably all I will have, since I have a laptop as well and a 500 GB external harddrive.

    I will also probably end up spending the money on 4 GB of ram right away. I just like to pretend to myself that I won't go over budget. lol.

    And if the Ninja is worth the extra $20 as a heatsink, I will spend the money on it.

    I don't think I will get the q9300 though. The retail one is $335, meaning it is $65 more then the q6600, not worth it in my opinion.

    I actually won't be building this for a month or so though, until school is over. I just wanted to lay it out now, so I have an idea on what to go on, then if new things come out, or price drops occur, I can change it accordingly. For example, if the q9300 drops to $275 or something, then I would probably switch it in.
  3. Good, then the DS3L is a great choice.

    The Katana is actually pretty good, for only $30. It really depends on how high you're trying to overclock. Here's a review:
    http://www.silentpcreview.com/article271-page1.html

    and a quote from it:

    Quote:
    The Scythe Katana won't be competing with the Ninja for the performance crown, but it's much more reasonable in size and price.


    If you're only looking for a mild overclock, say 3 GHz, then the Katana (or the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro) would be just fine. If you'd like to try for 3.6 or 3.7 you will need an expensive cooler.
  4. I have no problem spending the extra $20 if it means I can get an extra .4 GHz out of the OC.
  5. Not much to say on that, but I'd go for the modular PSU, you won't need any more power than that for your set up, and modular really does make it nice.
  6. Drop the OCZ Vanquisher/Scythe Katana 2. The OCZ Vanquisher is probably the worst heatsink design of all time (notably the push pins, I almost broke one of the ones pins). Scyth is not the best performance(cooling wise) for the $. If you want a quality cooler take a look at Xigmatek HDT-S1283. (Ranked #1 on Frostytech) see:http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm You can usually fin it at about $35-45.

    My recommendations:
    P35-DS3L (or DS3R if you need RAID extra SATA ports)
    Q6600/Q9300
    Crucial Ballastix DDR2 800
    Corsair 520HX (very high quality PSU)
    Every thing else (ie case,etc) the same.
  7. Shadow703793 said:
    If you want a quality cooler take a look at Xigmatek HDT-S1283.


    Agreed, but NCIX doesn't sell it. If the OP can find it in Canada then yeah, he should get it.
  8. ^ Lol sorry didn't realize he was buying from Canada. ;)
  9. Yeah, so many goodies at newegg that we can't get here in Canada. :(

    Anyhow, I found a place that sells that cooler here:
    http://www.sigelectronics.com/PC-Mac-Hardware/Computer-Accessories/Xigmatek-HDT-S1283-CPU-Cooler

    I have no clue if this is a reliable shop. If the OP lives in Toronto he can just visit the retail locations.
  10. I'd probably consider the place. I live close enough that if they **** me over, it isn't a big deal to get there.

    And yes, not being able to buy from Newegg is a huge pain.
  11. escapee88 said:


    I didn't notice that because of the sale.

    Basically, for things like that, I will need to look for those right when I am ready to buy. I am able to interchange video card and cpu no problem, since quality and performance are pretty cut and dry. It was more the other parts that I need advice on.
  12. Get the 8800GTS over the 9800GTX, it performs better at equal clocks.

    http://en.expreview.com/2008/04/03/geforce-9800gtx-review/12/
  13. I didn't know that it was that close. With the price difference, the 8800GTS is probably my sweet spot too.
  14. nkarasch said:
    Get the 8800GTS over the 9800GTX, it performs better at equal clocks.

    http://en.expreview.com/2008/04/03/geforce-9800gtx-review/12/


    what cooling do you use to get your q6600 to 3.6?
  15. ^ High end CPU cooler like ThermalRight Ultra 120 (ousted new #1,Xigmatek HDT-S1283) or most likely water.
  16. I am now wondering if maybe I should go for the e8400 instead of the q6600/q9300?

    It will give me better performance in games, and other programs that don't use all 4 cores, but I assume it would not be as good for solidworks and visual studio?
  17. Chuck the q6600. Get the q9300 if you HAVE to get a quad. Else got for the e8400. And stay away from the 9800gtx. lol
  18. Ok, so after the changes, I am feeling this:

    CPU- E8400
    $249

    Mobo- Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L
    $103.07

    GPU- XFX 8800GTS
    $329.99

    HDD- Seagate 7200.11 500GB
    $115.00

    Case- Antec 900
    $120.67

    Heatsink- Scythe Ninja
    $44.99

    RAM- OCZ Reaper 4 GB (2x2GB)
    $94.99

    PSU- Corsair HX520 Modular 520 Watts
    $109.99

    DVD Writer- Samsung SH-S203B
    $34.98

    Total- $1203.67 + Operating System
  19. The E8400 is $250?? Thats a little steep...i strongly suggest you wait for a week or so...prices are gonna drop.

    Excellent build though.
  20. Everything is sortof costly though........

    one silly solution..you can buy the hardware from newegg and have it shipped to a friend of yours in the US... and you can have your friend ship it to you :)
  21. Instead of the E8400, look for an E3110 on google shopping or pricegrabber, it's essentially the same CPU (but a Xeon) but it looks to be around $200-220.
  22. mihirkula said:
    The E8400 is $250?? Thats a little steep...i strongly suggest you wait for a week or so...prices are gonna drop.

    Excellent build though.


    I definitely am waiting a week. Its not going to be built till May-ish. I want to wait till school is done at this point.

    I also know everything seems a little expensive, but thats how it is in Canada.

    I actually just built the exact some computer on Newegg. Came to about $1150. The only real difference in prices was the processor.
  23. cjv4 said:
    I am now wondering if maybe I should go for the e8400 instead of the q6600/q9300?

    It will give me better performance in games, and other programs that don't use all 4 cores, but I assume it would not be as good for solidworks and visual studio?

    If planing to use SolidWorks get a quad.
  24. I think I will get the quad if the q9300 has dropped to around the price of the q6600/e8400 right now (~$250). If not, I will grab the e8400 I think.
  25. Just some notes...

    There is a new 640GB Western Digital hard drive which is slightly faster than the Seagate. You know, decrease your load times by 2%.

    The Antec 900 is a jet engine.

    I certainly believe you should start out by getting 2x2GB (4GB) of RAM now. Either that, or during your first ram upgrade, get a total of 6GB of RAM.
  26. Just so you know, the extra cash might be worth it for the q9300 if you leave your pc on a lot, you might not notice it but it could save you more money then the difference between the q6600 because of the less power it uses.
  27. Hmm, just notice this new post. The power isn't a big deal. In the apartment I am living in next year (in university), all utilities are included, so it doesn't matter how much I use.

    I am also laughing at this build now, since what I am going to do now is nothing like it.

    q6600
    Zerotherm Nirvana
    eVGA 750i SLi FTW
    eVGA 9800GTX
    OCZ Reaper 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) PC6400 RAM
    Corsair HX620
    Samsung SH-023B DVD Writer (or whatever)
    Seagate 7200.11 500 GB
    Coolermaster 690/Antec p182 case
  28. Looks good. :). Swap the Nirvana to the Xigmatek HDT-S1283 if possible. #1 at Frostytech. http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSINK
    and cost about the same.
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