Slapping together something for the first time, using scorptec.com.au to select bits as they're nearby here in Melbourne, Oz in case of issues and have good feedback...
Quite excited, (current systems 6 years old) totally going to be a gaming box with just a bit of video editing and other work, but must admit my selections a little random based on just 2 days of online research so would really appreciate any feedback
note, prices are in AUD (not that much difference to USD these days)
CPU Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 $259
Motherboard Gigabyte - GA-G33M-DS2R $149
Memory Corsair Micro - TWIN2X4096-6400C5 (2x2G) $149
Video Card eVGA 8800GT Superclocked Edition, 512MB 650/1900mhz $349
Hard Disk Western Digital - WD5000AAKS (2 x 500gb SataII 16mb) 119 each - $238
Case Thermaltake - VF6000BWS (lanbox lite) a cool mATX case $135
Power Supply Zalman - ZM750-HP (wante to keep noise down) $225.00
CPU Cooler Zalman - CNPS8700NT $69
-wanted to go matx simply because of the looks of the thermaltake lanbox, do you think an matx motherboard is a performance sacrifice?
-went the evga 8800gt based on an online review... I assume if i find myself performance challenged adding another 8800 GT would be a good option.
cheers for the advice dagger.... the thermaltake case looks like its quite well ventilated, do you think heat problems could be adaquetly solved with a better cooling system? possibly even watercooled?
Cheers for the great feedback from you both, I've taken it into consideration and have revised:
Still looking at the matx thermaltake landbox option $135. It'll look f'n cool, though I wouldn't be overclocking and could never go SLI.
G33M (is there a better matx intel capable mb out there? don't want to go with the AMD option) $150
Corsair 4gb $150
XFX 9600 GT extreme $280
Seasonic PSR650 $190
Zalman CNPS8700NT (if it doesn't fit then Zalman CNPS8000) $70
$1235 before peripherals + storage.
Now, here's a question, with an optical drive in there, how many HD's could I fit?
I have 2 in my current PC which I'd consider bringing over to the new machine + the new 1tb.
Would love anyone else's opinions, If i do get swayed away from the matx because of heat/space issues I'd go:
Which'll come in a bit heftier at $1410 but will allow me to play with overclocking in the future and (i'm guessing) leave me with the option of a second XFX 9600 GT extreme (my inexperience shines through here.. will these work in SLI with that MB?)
As far as prices, they are AUD and things are a little more expensive down here.
I know I could still probably hunt for these parts cheaper elsewhere and assemble it myself (and may still do so) but the ease of having a single place to check any conflicts for me and return to with any hassles is tempting me to have scorptec put the whole thing together.
Thanks for anyones input. Forums like this and people willing to contribute time to help absolute strangers makes life alot easier. Thankyou!
with your second build, if you decided to go sli later you will find it quite difficult. the X38 is a crossfire board. might consider an xfx or asus 780i sli chipset instead. it will probably push your price closer to 1500 overall.
You do sacrifice some top-end OC'ing performance with a mATX motherboard.
That's not to say they can't be OC'd by a respectable margin - just not as high as P35/X38/i750/i780 boards.
AnandTech reviewed some of the mATX boards and showed their OC potential (and quirks). mATX review
ASUS P5K-VM and Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R both reviewed.
CPU choice; Q6600 is a good option of course but for a mostly gaming machine I think you want the E8400 (or (Xeon 3110 if it's available). E8400 @ 3.4Ghz OC should beat a Q6600 @ 3.0Ghz OC in most video and audio editing tasks. It's certainly better in gaming.
Seasonic PSR650 is a great PSU but its not-modular. And cable management / storage is always an issue in a mATX case. Take a good look at the Corsair CMPSU-620HX @ your parts source. Modular and $AU165 on special now (its actually LESS than the 520HX).
I like the look of that Thermaltake Landbox. I suspect you'll be able to stick 3HDs into the case without too much trouble. Being able to get some short SATA data cables will be handy. There is a possibility you'd be able to use the 2nd 5.25" external bay for a 4th HD but there might be clearance issues with the Zalman CNPS8700NT. It might make more sense to just bring 1 of the old HDs forward just to cut down on the cable clutter inside the case. Get an External USB housing for the other HD and use it for backups and storage of stuff you dont use on a regular basis.
does the 3110 run cooler than the q6600?
are games still not looking like utilising quad core enough to make it worth it?
3110 is only $15 more where I'm looking so I'll go with it if it's a better choice, but i'll be looking at using this system for quite a few years, wouldn't the quad be better in the long run?
I'd changed psu to an antec neopower 650 but your right, the corsair 620 is a great deal.
So now finally looking at: Case TT lanbox CPU q6600 or xeon 3110 MB Gigabyte - GA-G33M-DS2R RAM 4gb corsair GPU xfx 9600 gt extreme 512 HD WD 1tb PSU corsair 620HX Cooler Zalman - CNPS8000
I've decided to stick with mATX, thanks for the review links, when i upgrade it'll be nehalem anyway so would have to get a new mobo and ddr3 ram... So might as well view this as a standalone non upgradable box.
The XEON 3110 is identical to the E8400 Wolfdale. An option if the E8400 itself isnt available.
It should be cooler than a quad at the same speed.
The THG CPU charts can illustrate the Quad vs Dual issue.
Supreme Commander is a "quad enabled" game.
E8400@3.0Ghz and Q6600@2.4Ghz 51.3 vs 49.95 FPS
E8500@3.16Ghz and Q6600@2.4Ghz 52.40 vs 52.87 FPS
You can expect to OC the E8400 to 3.6Ghz and Q6600 to 3.0Ghz without overcooking stuff in that case.
You can infer that 2 cores and higher clocks can outperform 4 cores (in
many cases) even for quad core aware programs. That may change in the
future, but not in the next couple years when dual cores will still be
the prime target for software writers.
I think the E8400 would do well for the life of that system. Maybe a mid-life upgrade to GPU and an inexpensive quad once the 3Ghz quads drop in price.