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Stroke victim needs performance building confidence

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April 14, 2008 6:15:19 AM

As a recent stroke victim (typing one-handed but blessed to be sensible and regaining right side strength), I am going to reward myself by building a system, which I've not built for 5 years! I'm a wannabe semi-enthusiast with sensible ($1000-1400) tastes...

Problem: I can't remember every spec because my concentration span is shorter than it used to be. So, am I headed the right direction?

I want a near-quiet (heat pipe) PC that will perform. Price-performance and all that...

- Cooler Master Cosmo S 1100 (I love this case!!)
- Abit IP35 Pro or Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 (or P35 DS3L) or MSI Neo2 FR (or Platinum)
- CPU 6600 Quad (8 MB L2)
- Graphics Card 9600 GT (512 MB) or 8800 GT (256 MB)
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.1
- Crucial Ballistic (2 GB RAM)

What do you think? I'm open to your thoughts.

I really appreciate your contribution! You don't know how much a help it is.

Barry
April 14, 2008 4:26:18 PM

Summary of suggestions, details below:

Case: Cooler Master Cosmo S 1100 - $250
PSU: Corsair 550VX - $85 - $15MIR
Motherboard: Gigabyte P35-DS3L - $90
CPU: E8400 OEM - $200
CPU Cooler: Xigmatek HDT-S1283 - $37
HDD: WD 640GB - $130
Video Card: MSI 8800GTS 512MB - $230 - $30MIR
DVD/RW: LITE-ON SATA DVD/RW - $26
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2GB kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800 - $61 - $25MIR
Total Cost: $1109 before shipping - $70 Mail in rebates

Details:
For that budget, you can get an excellent PC to play with. Top question, do you need anything beyond the box (monitor, keyboard, OS, etc..)?

Next important question, for what are you going to use this (gaming, video editing, etc..)?

My recommendations are going to be based on thinking that you only need the box and use will be gaming.
Go with a P35 chipset. I've heard good things about the ABit IP35 Pro, and I have the Gigabyte P35-DS3L. It is a very solid board.

I don't know much about the case you've chosen, but the Antec P182 is very good and very quiet. However it might be hard to work with if you have limited mobility. The case is heavy and big.

chuckm's suggestions for PSU and cooler are good. The Xigmatek is easy to install and works very well.

The RAM you've chosen is good.

For HDD, get the Seagate 7200.11 500GB or the WD 640GB drive. Both have plenty of room, are quiet, cool and perform very well.

For processor, the Q6600 is a decent choice. However, I would try and get a newer, 45nm processor (E8400 or Q9300). They will overclock better and use less power.

Your video card has a lot of room for variance. Get the 8800GT or 8800GTS 512MB. Both are powerful, and will handle lower resolution gaming like champs.
Related resources
April 14, 2008 4:40:26 PM

You should steer clear of any 256 MB video cards at this point... and like the guy above me said, try and find one of the newer Intel processors (E8400/Q9300)

You're being very realistic when you say you want a "near quiet" PC... people that demand total silence are making WAY too many compromises for those last few decibels.
April 14, 2008 5:57:08 PM

litlrabi said:
Total Cost: $1109 before shipping - $70 Mail in rebates

Details:
For that budget, you can get an excellent PC to play with. Top question, do you need anything beyond the box (monitor, keyboard, OS, etc..)? Next important question, for what are you going to use this (gaming, video editing, etc..)?

My recommendations are going to be based on thinking that you only need the box and use will be gaming.... Go with a P35 chipset. I've heard good things about the ABit IP35 Pro, and I have the Gigabyte P35-DS3L. It is a very solid board.

I don't know much about the case you've chosen, but the Antec P182 is very good and very quiet. However it might be hard to work with if you have limited mobility. The case is heavy and big. [snip]

For processor, the Q6600 is a decent choice. However, I would try and get a newer, 45nm processor (E8400 or Q9300). They will overclock better and use less power.

Thank you, guys! Your feedback helps so much.

1) I need just the box - because I have re-usable stuff (monitor, keyboard, OS, etc.)
2) Ironically (I almost feel guilty!), I'm not a gamer. I want audio (serious sample work) and video rendering - multitasking, multitasking, multitasking!!

So, it looked like the Q6600 was a good choice. But I have to admit 45nm looks good... What do you think? And easy OC'ing IS pretty important to me, hence the motherboards with easy-but-comprehensive software. (And hardware control!)

On the case, good suggestion... ! the 182 is nice (and quiet - one of the quietest - and smaller). I just love the Cosmo, ever since it's MaximumPC KickASS award.

Thanks, guys!
April 14, 2008 6:13:46 PM

Well, since you're into audio and video you should probably should be aiming for the Q6600 or one of the newer quads from Intel. Here's a good post on the topic of Q6600 vs. Q9300. Just glancing over the posts that group seems to be leaning towards the Q6600 if you're into overclocking.

http://www.overclock.net/intel-cpus/316306-q6600-q9300....
April 14, 2008 8:08:31 PM

Wow! you guys are awesome!

I love the PS and Cooler suggestions! (I forgot I need those!!)

And the Quad sounds right - what's the next best Quad (moving up).

And thanks, litlrabi, on the Vid and RAM sugg! Is OCZ better? (What about Geil?)

I'm about to order! (Is NewEgg the best vendor!)

Thanks, Barry
April 14, 2008 8:19:25 PM

Newegg is a great vendor, but you can get better deals on some items elsewhere (note the Corsair 550VX linked above is from Buy.com). Shop around.

OCZ is a top brand, and so is Geil, from what I've read. Crucial Ballistix is very reliable, as is the Corsair XMS line. If you're not pushing the absolute limits, any top end will do, so look at price.
April 15, 2008 12:51:13 AM

Any better CPU? Any next move up from the Q6600?

And what's this about different FSB and GO on 6600? Someone said BE SURE to get....

Barry
April 15, 2008 1:36:01 AM

Next CPU up would probably be a q9450. Couple that to a higher fsb mother board like the x38/x48 and you should be able to OC fairly well, at least that's what I'm hoping! (just bought one today)

Q9450 OEM - $300
April 15, 2008 2:02:01 AM

Another thing to keep in mind: There is no such thing as a 100% silent computer. You absolutely need at least a little airflow, even with the best heatsinks. A good fan undervolted to 5-7v will likely be below any ambient noise though
April 15, 2008 2:11:02 AM

If you are getting the Q9450.....
Don't get the Abit. It does not officially support the Q9450.
The DS3L officially supports it, but may not be able to OC it that far.
The Gigabytes one step above the DS3L officially support the Penryn Quads at a 1600FSB which means they should clock even a little further. It's important to get a good Mobo that can support very high FSB speeds if you are looking to OC the Penryn Quads.

I almost got the DS3R to OC by Q9450 which I bought from the Link above. However, I decided to resell it for a profit.
April 15, 2008 3:56:09 AM

Great info on Q9450!

But does anyone have info on GO or what fsb I need to get on Q6600 (if I go that way)? Someone said to be sure to get it with a certain setting (as if there were different versions available)...

Thanks,
Barry
April 15, 2008 4:09:28 AM

There the B3 Q6600 and the G0. Its revisions in stepping. The difference is a higher temp limit and the G0 produces slightly less heat and a little less voltage. Im not sure what u mean by "FSB ull need" but to overclock to 3.6 would either be 400x9 or 450x8 both attainable by many motherboards.

On another point....good luck with ur recovery

Truthfully between Q9450 and Q6600 u wont be disappointed with neither. Both are amazing CPUs.
April 15, 2008 4:54:26 AM

Thanks so much for the well wishes - I feel great!

And thanks for the explanation - that must have been it.

Thanks so much, everybody!!
April 15, 2008 6:40:10 AM

Hi Polyphon
i am running a Q6600 (GO stepping) on an Abit 35 pro with 2gb of Geil low latency DDR2 800 memory ( should be 4gb though )

It is a great system and overclocks very well with minimum effort.
The Abit tools that come with it make overclocking a breeze especially if you are a little nervous of damaging anything.

the 8800gt 512mb are a good buy at the moment performance / price wise here in the UK, im not sure how that works with US prices though.

And lastly i found the best way to keep noise down but still keep everything nice and cool was to use a case with a 250mm fan in the side.
the fan is speed adjustable and running at about 50% it is all but silent and the inside of my case is a nice 35 degrees c under load, IE playing Crysis etc.
a big slow moving fan is much quieter than small high speed fans whirring away.
Hope this helps
Andy
April 16, 2008 4:05:25 AM

Boy! big help, indeed. Especially the 8800gt and the 250mm fan (what case do you have? the new Cosmo has a 200mm side fan).

Thanks so much! Barry
April 16, 2008 5:42:26 AM

Hi Barry,

Everyone here has already given you great advice and theres not much else to say. I sent you a pm and if you need help give me a nudge if you need it.

Btw Barry. you dont need any more confidence. You have knowledge, which translates to confidence and you have shown you have that by doing your homework and asking very tangible questions to validate what you were already thinking. Great Job!

Good luck!!
April 17, 2008 1:03:09 AM

polyphon said:
Boy! big help, indeed. Especially the 8800gt and the 250mm fan (what case do you have? the new Cosmo has a 200mm side fan).

Thanks so much! Barry


Hi Barry
the case i have is discontinued but this is a similar one with the 250mm side fan,

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/134828

it is nothing special and nice and cheap too
i used one of these to build a computer for my kids using my old e6600 and msi 975x board with a 8800gt gfx card
and it works very well.

you will be fine, just take it slow and dont try to rush the build and im sure it will be a great rig

good luck

Andy
April 18, 2008 7:01:45 AM

Finally...

...here's what I've decided upon:

- Coolermaster Cosmo
- Abit IP35 Pro
- Q6600 Kentsfield
- Corsair Modular 520HX PS
- Corsair Dominator RAM (PC2 8500)
- 2 Seagate Barrucuda 7200.11 500GB HD (already have 2 Raptors)
- MSI NX8800GT 512M OC
- XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler

What do you think? Would another cooler be quieter? What happened to the beautiful Zalman's?

And if I'm not concerned with games - but very concerned with quick photo, video, and application redraws - should I go for something different? But this card sounds good and QUIET! Any final thoughts?

Thanks, Barry
April 18, 2008 7:59:40 AM

You have a rock solid setup for what you are going to be doing. I would stick with that list.

The Zalman 9500 or 9700 series coolers are great. You could go with one of those at a premium price. It will likely be twice the price of your current choice and the 9700 may be tight in your case.

I had it in my last system and it works really good so its a great choice if you want to spend the money on it. You dont build a system that often and I think you will be proud of it so to make it a little fancier looking I say go for it.

The quad core cpu will take care of the quick photo, video, and application redraws you mentioned.

As I said before, give me a buzz if you need any immediate assistance with everything. I sent you my contact info in a pm. You can see those in your profile.

Oh yeah, I take it your going with Vista 64? If so, get 4 gigs of ram, minimally 2 gigs to start with.

Keep us up to date as you go along.

Again, good luck Barry...

April 18, 2008 5:35:13 PM

englandr753 said:
You have a rock solid setup for what you are going to be doing. I would stick with that list.

The Zalman... [snip]

As I said before, give me a buzz if you need any immediate assistance with everything. I sent you my contact info in a pm. You can see those in your profile.

Keep us up to date as you go along.

Again, good luck Barry...

Thank you so much - I love the Zalman (and feel like treating myself! ;) , so I think I'll go for it! I just have to see what'll fit in my Cosmo case. (I would think it big enough!?)

BTW, thank you so much, englandr753, for your kind helpfulness. You and all my helpers have been lifesavers to an improving stroke victim (with shortened attention). I saw your PM and will write with any questions! Again, thank you.

Barry
April 18, 2008 9:47:04 PM

I myself am building a new system. I chose a quad core too, the Q9450, for the video editing and rendering. Some say the 6600 might be easier to overclock because of the multiplier, but I am only planning to oc a little bit.

Totally separate thought. I had carpal tunnel a few years back. Got surgery and it's no problem now. But before I did that, I taught myself to touch type with the dvorak layout. Made a big difference to me, as I write code all day. I don't know if it would be helpful to you, but there are two alternate dvorak layouts, one that favors the left hand and another the right. You can check them out in Windows control panel--Regional and Language settings.
April 19, 2008 5:04:51 AM

Thats a good suggestion chavey. Its definitely worth looking into.

Barry,

Your more than welcome. I enjoy helping people whenever I can and dont mind if you write or call. Im 3 hours ahead of you and you can call me anytime. My job has a lot of idle time, Im in sales and its slow right now so feel free to call me and if I can answer I will. If I cant just leave me a message and I will call you back.

Btw, that music you have on your site in your profile, was that you playing the piano? That was awesome. You guys need to go and check it out if you havent already...

Rodney
!