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First Build Attempt, Advice Needed Please

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  • New Build
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
May 15, 2008 6:06:51 PM

Hello all at Tom's Hardware,

I have enjoyed reading and gaining knowledge on this site for several months now and many of the people on the forums seem to be very helpful and knowledgeable too, so I just wanted to say thanks to the TH team and the various forum contributors. So, here's the deal. My current rig, (God bless her), is getting on a bit now and I have decided to cut out the middle man and to build my own PC. (Surprise, surprise!)

Anyway, my current rig is a Pentium 4 3.4 ghz, 1gb DDR ram, 250 gb hard disk, a 550w generic power supply and what used to be a GeForce 6600 and is now a Radeon X1950 Pro. I also had a 19" Viewsonic monitor until it recently developed a purple haze across the screen and so I have just traded that it for a 22" Hanns G HG126D HDMI monitor. It's pretty cool so far and the extra space on screen is good for my video editing too. So, I have my monitor sorted but I now I need the actual new PC to go with it! I have narrowed down the list of components so I just wanted to run them past you guys to see if there's anything I should change before I take the plunge and order. My potential new PC spec:


CASE

An NZXT Apollo case which has received some rave reviews, OR the Antec 900 Gamer case. I think I'll probably get the Apollo case as I've read the 900 case can get dusty very quickly.

PSU

CoolerMaster 700W Real Power PSU

OR

Corsair TX750 750W

OR

Corsair VX 550W PSU (read rave reviews about this, will probably get it. Is 550w ever enough for an SLI setup incase I wanted to upgrade to it ever? What are the minimum watts needed from a PSU for an SLI setup please?)

GRAPHICS CARD (GPU)

Geforce 8800 GT

OR

Geforce 9600 GT 512 MB (Recommended as best value card in my price range by Tom's Hardware!) I will probably get an XFX or BFG card as I hear they are well made and have good warranties.

MOTHERBOARD. I'm not totally sure about, but I do know I want (probably) want an Intel Q6600 processor. I hear the iX38 QuadGT, Asus Maximus Formula and Asus P5K-E are good.

MEMORY. I have no idea really. I think I'd like 4 gb of RAM though. Any suggestions please?

SOUNDCARD. Again, I have no firm ideas there really, open to suggestions. Creative Labs probably.

PROCESSOR (CPU)

Probably an Intel 6600 Quad Core (G0 stepping). I want to play games like Crysis in higher res, etc. I also use video editing a lot, so I think that the Quad Core is probably the way to go. It's also more future proofed I guess, although I will probably want to upgrade again in the 3 years or so. I find it odd that the Quad core processors are only slightly more expensive than some of the Duo core processors. Is there a best processor for gaming? Should I look at ATI's chips at all?

WINDOWS VISTA. I don't know which version of it to get, but if I want to play DirectX 10 games I don't have another option as far as I'm aware.

So, that's what I've got so far, thanks for reading. Oh, and I also want a DVD Re/writer but I was wondering if there are any decent PC Blue Ray players around? Money is an issue too, I'm looking for quality components but at the best possible price. Also, if anyone has an e-tailer to recommend, please feel free to let me know. Many thanks all.

Joe.

PS One last thing is that I have never put together my own PC before, so I need to make sure my combo of components work together. Also I would really like the most easy to use, 'user-friendly' components I can get too. I know a bit about computers but putting together my own machine, (especially the motherboard stuff), well it's a whole new level!

More about : build attempt advice needed

May 16, 2008 8:58:37 AM

No replies yet. Can anyone please help me decide if this is a decent spec for a new home build PC?

CASE

An NZXT Apollo case which has received some rave reviews, OR the Antec 900 Gamer case. I think I'll probably get the Apollo case as I've read the 900 case can get dusty very quickly.

PSU

CoolerMaster 700W Real Power PSU

OR

Corsair VX 550W PSU (read rave reviews about this, will probably get it. Is 550w ever enough for an SLI setup incase I wanted to upgrade to it ever? What are the minimum watts needed from a PSU for an SLI setup please?)

GRAPHICS CARD (GPU)

Geforce 8800 GT

OR

Geforce 9600 GT 512 MB (Recommended as best value card in my price range by Tom's Hardware!) I will probably get an XFX or BFG card as I hear they are well made and have good warranties.

MOTHERBOARD. I'm not totally sure about, but I do know I want (probably) want an Intel Q6600 processor. I hear the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R and Asus P5K-E are good.

MEMORY. I have no idea really. I think I'd like 4gb of RAM though. Any suggestions please?

SOUNDCARD. Again, I have no firm ideas there really, open to suggestions. Creative Labs probably.

PROCESSOR (CPU)

Probably an Intel 6600 Quad Core (G0 stepping). I want to play games, (e.g. Crysis on high settings) and do video editing too.

Many thanks to anyone who can help.
May 16, 2008 9:10:59 AM

dont know much about PSU's, case is really personal pref imo, as for the graphics card i would go for the 8800GT, memory wise 4 gigs is very doable with the price being dirt cheap atm, as for soundcard why put money into a sound card when you can just use onboard? Currently onboard is sounding just as good if not better than some soundcards. As for the version of vista, i would go with Vista Home Premium 64bit. Speaking in Intel terms i am totally lost so sorry but cant help ya there.
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May 16, 2008 9:47:05 AM

Hi no need to post twice...we reply asap :) 

Anyways regarding your build...of course Q6600 would be a great choice since you mentioned vid editing...if you're gonna lean more towards gaming then get the E8400...either ways you're fine.

The Corsair 550VX is more than enough for the rig ...750W is way overkill. Yes 550VX is strong enough for SLI as well, you get 41A on the +12V rail which is a lot.

SLI isn't quite worth the money since you don't get a performance as high as the money you pay for it...i suggest you stick with a solid non SLI board, Gigabyte DS3L being the very best. If you do want a multi GPU mobo go for X38 which supports Crossfire.

Get the 8800GTS 512mb...it performs better than the 9600GT and is available for a great price. Though you could wait for the Radeon 4850 and Nvidia G260. Both avail in June.

Yeah you would need 4GB of RAM for Vista.

In case you want to overclock, you'd need an aftermarket cooler.

So this is how my suggested rig is:

CPU: Intel Q6600 : $200

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L : $85

RAM: 4GB DDR2 800 Corsair : $80

GPU: 8800GTS 512mb: $170

PSU: Corsair 550vx : $65

Cooler: XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 : $36.99 ... Don't get this if you aren't overclocking.
May 16, 2008 8:04:35 PM

Thanks a lot for the advice so far. Based on the advice, I now have it narrowed down to:

Case - NZXT Apollo
Power Supply - Corsair VX 550W PSU
Graphics Card (GPU) (Still not 100% sure)
Geforce 8800 GT

Geforce 9600 GT 512 MB

Motherboard - Asus P5K Premium/WiFi-AP Intel P35

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R

I will probably go with the Asus at this point, but I've heard a lot of both good and bad things about these boards. Very confusing, but I *think* the Asus has slightly better/easier overclock software. Also, is a software overclock a 'real' overclock, or do you have to start adjusting hardware to achieve it?

Memory - 1 4GB DDR2 stick - (800 or 1066mhz?)

Soundcard (?) Do I need one?

Processor (CPU) - Intel 6600 Quad Core (G0 stepping)

CPU Cooler - Freezer Pro 7. Is this easy to fit and would it fit comfortably on the motherboard? Do I need an extra CPU fan if *may* (if I can get my head round it!) want to OC, but only to 3.0- 3.4 ghz, which, I've read can be achieved with stock air cooling usually.

Many thanks for any help. :) 

Joe.
May 18, 2008 9:56:52 AM

I would hold off on the soundcard atm. if you dont like the onboard sound then you could buy one, in my experience onboard sounds just as good as some soundcrads,
for the memory, i would prolly opt for 2 2gig sticks if you want 4 gigs
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or 4 1gig sticks
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i prefer the gskill because of the nice stickers that come with it =)

for mother board choice, me presonally, i would go with the asus mobo, i am an asus fan-boy through and through.

as with over clocking, i oc'd a p4 2.4c proc, and old P4 to 3.12 with stock cooling and using only the overclock feature on an ASUS P4C800-E Deluxe and it ran stabil as hell for a good many years, but i know squat about the new intel procs as i recently switched over to AMD, (funny thing is i am thinking of going back to intel lol).
Hope this helps