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New gamer build, first time builder - looking for advice

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April 25, 2008 10:08:31 AM

I am looking to build my first system and after weeks/months of research this is what i have come up with:

Processor
Core 2 Duo Quad Core Q6600 2.40GHz LGA775 FSB10. - have already got this part.

Motherboard
STRIKER II FORMULA ATX LGA775 Core 2 Quad nForce - gaming on a 24" widescreen so looking to upgrade to duel SLI in the future.

Memory
Corsair 4096MB Memory Kit (2 x 2048MB) PC2-6400 - want the option of easily upgrading to 8gb without changing all my RAM.

Graphics Card
XFX GF 8800GT 600MHZ 512MB DDR3 PCI-E DUAL DVI - looked good for the price

Chassis
Cooler Master CM-690 Dominator

Power Supply
Corsair HX 620W Power Supply - will this be powerful enough if i upgrade to 8gb ram and duel 8800gt's?

Hard Disk
1 x WD 640GB SATA II 7200RPM 16MB

DVD Drive
Samsung sata dvd writer lightscribe


It would be great if i could get some advice from more experienced builders on this set up. Thanks
April 25, 2008 12:48:43 PM

Best bang for the buck cpu goes go *drum rolls*

Ditch SLI if you don't sli right away. By the time you want a 2nd card, a more powerful card for about the same price will be out. If you want a bit future-proof til Nelahem, look at X38/X48 for about $250+ like ASUS P5E, GA-X38-DQ6, etc.

The rest are great.
April 25, 2008 1:12:10 PM

I'd skip the SLI board if not going SLI right away on a 24" screen.
Wait until next month to see what HD 4870 brings to the table.
Otherwise pick a P35/X38 board and 8800GTS graphics card.
And don't forget a decent cooler if you want to overclock.

Corsair HX 620W is NVIDIA certified upto 8800GTS SLI.
A 9800GX2 recommended PSU is 580W.
Every stick of RAM adds about 10W (maximum) so you're good.

Everything else get's my thumbs up.
Related resources
April 25, 2008 1:23:14 PM

I'd just change the 8800GT to 8800GTS 512MB. The rest is perfect. :) 
April 25, 2008 2:32:59 PM

Thanks for the advice, decided to ditch the sli and go for an x38 board. i found this one
P5E3 DELUXE ATX- it says it supports DDR3 but would it still support DDR2?
also im glad u recommended another board as i heard that the STRIKER boards are a bit funny with certian types of ram. :-)
I also looked at the 8800GTS 512MB and they are cool but i can get a 8800GT for just over £100 or about $200 where as the GTS will cost me over £150 or $300, is it worth the extra money for the performance?
Also what coolers would you recommend for OCing?
April 25, 2008 2:53:12 PM

OK, the GT makes more sense at those prices.

Stick with DDR2, it's much cheaper and almost as fast as DDR3. One of these mobos would do nicely:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-249-AS
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-110-GI
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-138-AB
(Asus P5E, GA-X38-DS4, aBit IX38 QuadGT)

Cooler:
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-017-AR Freezer 7 Pro - cheap, quiet, easy to install
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HS-001-SB Tuniq Tower - allows higher clocks
April 25, 2008 7:51:04 PM

OK thanks mate, im going with the Asus P5E and Freezer 7 Pro. i found a Asus P5E for £125 which seems nice and cheap.

Seeing as im ditching SLI and just gonna get another GPU when mine gets too slow would it be worth trying to find a 8800GTS for a bit cheaper? Whats the performance difference like?

Also will i need any extra case fans for OCing?
April 25, 2008 8:03:28 PM

LOL, yeah, shopping around is fun and always worth trying. Check www.ebuyer.com, www.overclockers.co.uk, www.scan.co.uk, etc. I would spend an hour online trying to save £20, but I don't think I'd spend two hours or more. It depends on how much money and patience you have.

Let's see, the 8800GTS 512MB is about 14% faster than the 8800GT at the same clock, plus it typically overclocks better, plus the fan is quieter, plus the heat gets out of the case directly (the dual-slot cards have a special space for this, while the single-slot cards don't). On the whole, I'd say it's worth paying £25 more for these advantages. Maybe £30, I don't know...

April 25, 2008 8:12:42 PM

About the fans: the case you picked comes with only two fans, but with mounts for 7:

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=644041

If you get the 8800GT then yes, I'd add more fans. The case fans will have to work harder because the 8800GT cooler moves the heat away from the card but it still remains inside the case. For the GTS it's still good to add fans, but less important.
Consider running a total of 3 or 4. You don't need 7. That's only for SLI or Crossfire setups IMO. Too many fans would make the noise annoying, I guess. I found that Scythe S-Flex SFF21E is quiet enough for me. You may have even better options in the UK, I don't know.
April 26, 2008 1:49:50 PM

If you're new to overclocking, you might want to consider the Gigabyte X38 which can be overclocked by monkeys. P5E might be a tad bit overwhelming to beginners. DFI is like a nuclear power plant control room. No kidding.

Depending on your o/c, extrme o/c will benefit from better cooling such as liquid or even TEC. Light to moderate o/c can be done with air cooling.
April 26, 2008 3:12:29 PM

I have 4 Scythe S-Flex SFF21Fs running @1200rpm (they are inaudiable) in my Stacker (the stock 4 120mm CM Ultra silent fans where getting a bit loud on old age (4 years)). I can hear GPU/Motherboard coil whine, the Corsair PSU fan spinning up and down over them with a "closed" case. They are very much worth the extra money but only if you have a noisy/open case.
April 26, 2008 4:24:47 PM

Sorry to be picky here, but if it's 1200rpm it's SFF21E, just like mine. :) 

The SFF21F runs at 1600 rpm, and makes twice the noise of the SFF21E. (That is. 30dB instead of 20 dB - every 10 dB makes the noise seem twice as bad for the human ear).
April 26, 2008 6:07:18 PM

aevm said:
Sorry to be picky here, but if it's 1200rpm it's SFF21E, just like mine. :) 

The SFF21F runs at 1600 rpm, and makes twice the noise of the SFF21E. (That is. 30dB instead of 20 dB - every 10 dB makes the noise seem twice as bad for the human ear).
That's true. I have mine regulated to 1200rpm so they are the same as SFF21E. I've bought the SFF21F to have extra cooling potential for those hot summer days yet to come.
April 27, 2008 3:36:56 PM

Ok thanks for all the advice guys, just ordered all the bits and i went with -

-Q6600 G0 stepping (£115)
-Inno3D 8800GTS (G92) OC Edition 512MB (160)
-Gigabyte GA-EX38-DS4 (£125)
-Corsair 4GB Kit (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 (£65)
-Seagate ST3500320AS 500GB Hard Drive SATA II 7200rpm *32MB Cache*(£55)
-Pioneer DVR-215BK 20X SATA DVD±RW (£20)
-Coolermaster CM690 Dominator (£50)
-Corsair HX Series 620W Modular PSU (£80)
-Arctic Cooling AC-FRZ-7P Freezer 7 Pro (£15)
-Scythe S-Flex 120mm Ultra Quiet Case Fan )(£15)
- vista 64bit and 5.1 surround sound speakers

It should all be coming in the next week so i'll keep you posted with how it goes together, fingers crossed it all goes smoothly :-)
April 27, 2008 6:39:56 PM

Sounds great :love: 

@Andrius - Damn, I should have thought of that too... It could be handy if the air conditioning breaks again.
April 27, 2008 10:39:25 PM

@aevm
I don't have an AC unit in my computer room. So I think about "summer" when building computers (got this one in late October). It also gets quite hot here so I hope I won't have to run them at full rpm all the time.

@pcplayer
I envy your future 4GB kit, case and motherboard.
Your rig gets my thumbs-up.
Good luck and have fun.
May 6, 2008 11:23:46 AM

Got all the bits a couple of days ago and it went together without any problems and is running smoothly. Thanks again for all your advice.
!