This is my first post, so please be gentle!
I am building a new Budget rig based around an Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 SLACR, Kentsfield Core, Socket 775, 2.40 GHz 1066MHz 8MB; and need advice selecting the right components and the more i read the more confused i am.
It will be running Dual boot with xp and ubuntu (32bit for now) so full Linux support would be ideal.
Ideally i would like to try and run the CPU at 3Ghz~ on air cooling, i have looked at the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro rated to 4.4Ghz, will this be noisy when running at 3Ghz+, or should i go for something better?
I normally use asus boards, but having looked at the gigabyte oc guide this could really help with the setup. But i believe they have changed to the Ep range and may not be the best solution. Could i get away with an IP31 chipset or iP35 Express, or do i need the full IP35 for mild overclocking?
I want 4GB of RAM, and from what i have read DDR2 (800) will get me the best performance to price. Should i go for CAS 4-4-4-12 or 5-5-5-15 etc. or does this not matter when OCing RAM
But more specifically what brand to match the main board and not loose performance. I have had a couple of boards that when fully populated the Ram speed drops due to double sided chips, i really want to avoid this.
Last but not least the GFX card, i don't do much gaming so don't think i need anything fancy. I would like it to handle HiDef and connect to my HDTV occasionally. but good compiz performance if possible. would a nvidia 8600GT suffice?
Any advice welcome
Great processor choice. If you decide to do any gaming stuff, I'd upgrade the video card. Best thing out for the money right now appears to be the ATI 4850 @ $199. This card was just released, and the benchmarks I've seen so far show it to be very good for all the current PC games.
I think there are some cards out that specifically state they support HDTV, and either have (or have an adaptor) for HDMI connections. That would be optimal if you really want real HDTV support.
Also, if you want to OC your Q6600 (be it for games or video encoding) go with an Intel based motherboard (P35 for example). I have an nVidia (nForce) mobo and have found it doesn't OC quads very well at all. Oh, and don't skimp on your CPU cooler with that Q6600.
Far as memory goes, some argue 800Mhz, some argue 1066Mhz. I'd say get whatever you can get the best deal on for the 4GB you want. Just make sure you get 2x2GB DIMMS as that'll OC better/easier from what I see/hear.
If you're concerned about Memory compatability, pick your motherboard and check the manufacturer's list of compatable memory. They'll be very specific as to what brands and part #s to use. I generally go with Corsair for my systems. Have always had good luck with them.