Almost done deciding - need advice

I need some help. This is my first PC building experience, so I want to make sure I am getting good parts, that
these parts are compatible, and that I'm getting good bang for my buck. I am pretty sure on all of the items, but the motherboard. Any feedback is helpful.

This PC will be used for gaming, mainly Age of Conan.

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail = $110

EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i FTW SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail = $190

ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail = $225

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail = $215

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail = $195

Video card:
EVGA 512-P3-N845-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) KO 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail = $230

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail = $33[/]

Power supply:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, TUV, FCC, CCC - Retail = $120

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail = $120

I will be running this set up with a SyncMaster 910t 19" Samsung, and a 7200 RPM 320GB Seagate.

My main questions are:

Will these parts be compatible?

Are any of these parts not worth what they cost, or is there somewhere you know that I could get them cheaper?

And finally, a more broad question. Is there anything I should keep in mind / look out for when building a computer?
13 answers Last reply
More about almost deciding advice
  1. The GA-P35-DS3L is enough for your needs, i.e. single hard disk, single video card. Also look at GA-EP35-DS3R - I think it's better value than the DS3L at current prices.

    The E8400 will be a little faster in Age of Conan, I suspect, unless the game is optimized for quads. They might do that in a later patch, like Microsoft did with FSX.
    The Q6600 may be the better choice if you do other things, like video encoding or playing Flight Simulator. If you intend to keep this CPU for at least 2 years I recommend the Q6600.

    You can get a StealthXStream 600W PSU from newegg for $55 now. It's not quite as good as the 750TX but it's good enough and less than half the price. The 550VX is also a good PSU, and usually cheap at

    Good video card and case.

    Make the RAM 2x2GB. 4x1GB is OK too if you don't expect to need 8 GB ever. It really helps to have 4 GB, especially if you use Vista, and prices are low.

    If you need a DVD burner get the Samsung SH-203B.

    The parts I listed here are compatible. Newegg is usually the best place, except maybe for PSUs.

    When building a computer: 1) lock the pets out of the room 2) touch the case often to prevent electrostatic discharges 3) read the manuals first, especially the mobo's
    There are lots of threads about building a PC on the Web, including on this forum. You could also invest $30 or whatever in one of Scott Mueller's books on the subject, if you want to learn.

    Will you overclock? If yes, add a Xigmatek HDT-S1283 cooler.
  2. Thank you very much for the quick response.

    I do not plan to use Vista, but getting more ram does sound like a good idea, and prices are cheap, like you said. The 4x1GB is cheaper than 2x2GB, but I noticed that the 4x1GB has 4-4-4-12 timing, where the 2x2GB has 5-5-5-12 timing. Is it worth it for the cheaper price, and faster timing, to use more power and give up more ram possibility later?

    I plan to keep these parts as long as I can, so I will go with the q6600. I feel the same way about the power supply. I want it to last as long as it can, so I wanted to get a good one. I wanted to get an OCZ or a Corsair. I also get a discount if I buy it with that video card.

    I found this one:
    Corsair Memory, Inc. News Room
    CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CE, CB, TUV, FCC, CCC - Retail = $60 (after discount and MIR).

    Will the 100 watts make much of a difference?

    Also, I do not plan to overclock, but a really good fan sounds like a good investment to make sure it stays cool, and for the future, if I do plan to overclock.

    Again, thank you for the feedback. Very helpful.
  3. If you are not planning on overclocking, i'd go with the E8400. The Age of Conan is not quad optimised and won't be until the first expansion, if then. The Corsair 650w is an excellent psu and will be fine for your build. Personally i'd go with the 2X2 GB RAM.
  4. You could try this RAM (it's rated 4-4-4-15):
    OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400), $85+6

    I know for sure it works with the DS3L. There are in fact two reviewers at newegg who are using it with a DS3L. It should work with the DS3R too. Get the DS3R if you think you'll ever want more than 3 hard drives and a DVD drive, BTW.

    That's a VERY nice price for the 650TX. It's a good PSU and gives you lots of room for upgrades. The 100W won't make any difference, no worries. :)
  5. That is some nice ram. Same price as the 5-5-5, too. Thanks!

    The reason I want to get the quad instead of dual is because of the future. I want these parts to last as long as they can. And on newegg, the e8400 is 195, while the q6600 is 215. It's such a small difference that I would feel foolish not buying it. Am I thinking wrong?

    Also, I feel kind of weird buying a really good video card and cpu, but than buying a cheap motherboard. Is this really the way to go? or should I spend a little more so I wont need to upgrade sooner?
  6. Don't worry about the CPU. Most of the time the hard disk is the bottleneck, which means a Q6600 or an E8400 would do the same job in the same time, regardless of clocks, just because they are both waiting on the HDD.

    The motherboard: I like the DS3L, it's perfect for a budget build, but it's bad from a future-proofing point of view. If you can afford better do so. For example I have 7 SATA devices right now, and a mobo like the DS3L with only 4 SATA ports would be useless to me. The GA-EP35-DS3R is a much better choice for that, with 8 SATA ports and more cables and eSATA and RAID.

    There are better (and more expensive) motherboards out there. That eVGA you found, for example, or the XFX 780i. But TBH I think you're better off saving the money and maybe getting a 22" widescreen LCD instead. Try a dual screen setup, it's a lot of fun.
  7. I decided to go with the DS3R. Thank you so much for your time and help!

    I have one more question about my HDD being the bottleneck. Is my HDD not good enough (Its an external connected through USB, if that matters).
  8. You don't have an internal hard disk at all???
  9. Well, I have a 160GB internal, but I have had it forever...and I don't know how good it is. Plus, I really am trying to save as much money as I can, so I was hoping I could use my external seagate, as it is much newer. Am I totally wrong and I have to buy a new HDD to keep up with all these new parts?
  10. You don't have to get a new hard disk, but it would help. Put it on your "to do" list for whenever you've saved more money. Or, you could try to save money elsewhere on the build.

    For example you can save $50 by changing the case, add another $20, and add a new disk:
    COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB $70

    There's also a 640GB version (WD6400AAKS), with a better price/GB at $115, but I guess you don't need that much space if you've been living with 160GB so far.
  11. Heh, I actually could use the space. I filled my 160 up, and my 320. I actually just deleted 70 gigs off the 160 just so I can do things.

    It's funny you say I could save money with a different case, and than recommend that one. I had a thread on a different forum talking about the antec 900, and someone mentioned the 690. I decided I am going to go with the 690, as is it first of all cheaper, has more space, and can support more fans.

    I guess this thread is done for now. After I order everything and set it up, I might have some trouble so I may revive this. Again, you have been a tremendous help. People like you should have to get paid for this information :p
  12. You're very welcome. Too bad there's no money in it, but it's fun :)
  13. Having an external hard drive may lower your performance slightly however it will mostly increase loading times
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