Need Input on Building My First Gaming PC

I've decided to build my first gaming rig and need some input. I mostly want to do high end gaming and some overclocking. My budget is around $1700. This is what I've assembled please tell me what you think. Am I going to run into any compatibility issues or funky setup steps with this rig? Thanks!


CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale

MOBO: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L

Video Card: EVGA 8800GTS 521mb

RAM: Crucial Ballistix (2x2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800 x2

Hard Drive: Western Digital Raptor 150GB 10,000 RPM SATA 1.5Gb/s

PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 750w

Optical Drive: ASUS 20x DVD Burner with Lightscribe SATA

OS: Vista 64bit

Case: Antec Performance One P182
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  1. A mostly solid build. However, Raptors are overpriced and overrated nowadays. Your money would be better spent on a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive.

    Your power supply is a little overkill as well. You could safely drop to a Corsair 550VX or a modular 620HX.

    Don't forget to throw in an aftermarket cooler since you're overclocking. The Xigmatek HDT-S1283 is a popular one around these parts. If you're looking to push the E8400 as much as it can go you could upgrade to a X38 motherboard like the Gigabyte GA-EX38-DS4 and maybe some 1066MHz ram.

    You're so far under your budget... are you looking for things you can upgrade? You're already at the point of best value for the money. Anything more and you'll start to get diminishing returns...
  2. i would swap the graphics card for 9600gt or even the 9800gtx if your under budget. the X38 would be a better motherboard, however it does support crossfire NOT SLI. solid case although i found my antec 900 system stays very cool (35-40 degrees celcius) when your using 4gb of ram your hdd performance wont come into it very often. you will have the majority of the progam in memory. im running vista ultimate 4gb ram with paging turned off no issues yet.
  3. Thanks for the input. I've dropped down to the 620w, I want to leave some room in case I wish to go SLI or something. As far as being under budget I think I will use the spare funds to get a really nice monitor, TrackIR4, and a good joystick.
  4. Just so you know, you'll need an nVidia board like the 780i to do SLI. In my opinion, SLI isn't worth the money unless you're gaming at 24" and higher or you just HAVE to have the best of everything.
  5. Ok thanks for the info...I'm gaming at 22'' and it isnt a big deal to me.
  6. The build looks pretty good. I agree with the aftermarket cooler, the X38 board and a different hard drive. The WD 640GB is a very good drive.

    Also, if you're willing to wait a little, the new Velociraptors will be out sometime next month. You could get a high performing data drive (wd 640gb or seagate 7200.11 500gb) for the moment, and buy the new one in May.
  7. Well I've decided to kill the Raptor and go with the WD 640GB. I'm not going to regret this am I? I'm still having trouble justifying switching over to the X38, I'm definitely doing some overclocking but I'm pretty sure its going to be mild.

    Noob Questions: 1. How do I install an aftermarket cooler?
    2. Does the P35 or X38 require a BIOS flash when plugging the e8400 in it? How do I do a BIOS flash?
  8. The upgrade to the X38 isn't necessary for mild overclocking. I only suggested it since you had so much room to upgrade parts. The P35 board will be great really. I think older DS3L boards will need to be flashed to use the E8400... but newer ones should come stock with a newer bios that should be fine with it. As long as you're buying from a place with high turnover rate like Newegg, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    No special instructions for installing aftermarket coolers. It'll be mostly similar to installing a stock one though you might need to pay more attention to attach the fan to the heatsink or something.
  9. Ok thanks. I have one more question. What is a good anti-virus software that works well with Vista?
  10. With e8400's 9x multiplier, you'll be good up to at least 3.6ghz on p35. After that, x38 makes a difference.

    You may need to update bios for some p35 boards. All x38 boards are guaranteed to support e8400 out of the box.
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