Creating a PC - need tech review and opinions invited

I put together a list of parts for my new PC,
Trying not to go extremely OVERBOARD.
I have a buget of about 3K maybe 3.3k tops.
I've looked at a few places that would build a computer for you,
But none of them seem to come close to the latest stuff without costing thousands more - do you guys know of any? I dont mind paying a couple hundred if someone else is going to take on the responibility of DOA parts and Burn in testing.

Can anyone tell me if they see anything wrong with my setup or
help me choose between some options or maybe even provide a better part suggestions?
=======================================================
CASE: NZXT Tempest
http://www.3dgameman.com/content/view/12521/48/
($110) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146047&Tpk=NZXT%2bTempest
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(~~~ WHICH ONE? ~~~)
PS: GIGABYTE GE-MK20A-D1 1200W ATX12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V CE, cUL, TUV, FCC, CCC, RoHS - Retail
($310) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817233007

PS: SILVERSTONE ST1200 1200W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V CE, FCC, cUL - (100% modular cabling system)
($300) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817256041
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MB: EVGA [132-CK-NF79-A1] LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra SLI DDR3 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
($340) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813188025&Tpk=EVGA%2b790i
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CPU: Q6600 LGA775, Intel Quad Core2 - 2.4GHz FSB, 4MB, 65nm
($200) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115018

// LATER CPU UPGRADE: QX9770 LGA775, [EU80569XL088NL] - Intel Quad Core2 Extreme - 3.20GHz 1600MHz FSB, 12MB, 45nm, Yorkfield XE, OEM, Processor
// ($1420) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115050&Tpk=EU80569XL088NL
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CPU Cooler: Thermalright IFX-14 Inferno Fire eXtinguisher CPU Cooler ($78)
+ Paste: Arctic Silver Ceramique - 22 gram ($10)
($88) http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/thermalright-ifx-14-cpu-cooler-p-16578.html
http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/20/cpu_cooler_charts_2008/page8.html
CPU FAN: 120MM (HIGH CFM) Scythe SFF21G "S-FLEX™" S-FDB 120mm Quiet FAN 120x120x25mm 1,900rpm 35.0dBA 75.0CFM 0.24A
($20) http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/002/sflex_detail.html
---------------------------------------------------------------------
(~~~ WHICH ONE? ~~~)
MEMORY: 4GB (2x2GB kits) [TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF] CORSAIR Dominator 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) 7-7-7-20 2.0v Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
($460x2=$940) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145187

MEMORY: 4GB (2x2GB kits) [OCZ3P2000EB2GK] OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) 9-8-8-28 1.8v Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
($300x2=$600) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227300
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VIDEO: EVGA [01G-P3-N897-A3] GeForce 9800 GX2 SSC 1GB 512-bit 675MHz GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
($590) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130355
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PRIMARY HD: (150GB x2 @ Raid-0 = 300GB) Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
($170 x2 = $340) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136011
---------------------------------------------------------------------
STORAGE HD: (750GB x2 @ Raid-1 = 750GB) Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
($130x2=$260) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136131
---------------------------------------------------------------------
CASE FANS: 120MM (HIGH CFM) Scythe SFF21G "S-FLEX™" S-FDB 120mm Quiet FAN 120x120x25mm 1,900rpm 35.0dBA 75.0CFM 0.24A
($20) http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/002/sflex_detail.html
---------------------------------------------------------------------
FAN CTRL: Scythe - "KAMA-METER" Multi Functional Fan Controller on 5.25" Bay
($40) http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/015/sckm1000_detail.html
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// DVD Drive: Use Existing PATA DVD Burner & SATA BluRay/DVD Drive
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OS: Vista Ultimate 64Bit or 32 bit?
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Total: (Approx) $2918 w/ OCZ Memory, Q6600, 1x GeForce-GX2

=============================================================

Thanks for your help.
Don...
16 answers Last reply
More about creating tech review opinions invited
  1. The biggest question I have is WHY?!
    :)
    What do you plan to use the computer for. You don't need to spend $3k on a computer now, and there is no reason ever to buy an Extreme CPU. (Well almost none esp at $1420.)

    Next- get rid of DDR3, the speed benefit is small and the cost is way way too high. Drop back to DDR2-1066 RAM.

    After that- ditch the 790i chipset. nVidia's Intel chipsets are not very good, and killing off DDR3 kills off the 790.

    So! Since you are doing SLI on a card- switch to a X38 chipset motherboard- like the Asus P5E.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131219

    For RAM: 4GB of this stuff:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166 Double it up if you do heavy Photoshop or video work

    Raptors are a waste of money vs a RAID unless you have very specialized needs. Reconsider this.

    Video Card- Fine

    Get a 45nm CPU now- either the Q9300 or the Q9450. Both run cooler than the Q6600.
    Q9450: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115042&Tpk=Q9450

    OS- 64-bit no choice since you want 4GB of RAM
    PSU: is WAY overkill. Get this one instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341011&Tpk=PC%2bPower%2band%2bCooling%2bquad
  2. stewartde said:
    ..........Trying not to go extremely OVERBOARD..................

    ^
    LOL
  3. Agree with everything shadowduck wrote. Also, consider this board if you want to overclock at all - or even if you don't:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131284

    You could overclock a Q9450 on that board and annihilate any 'extreme' stock Core2.
  4. ^ some pretty good calls here by shadowduck. Should be able to easily cut the cost of that build by 33%-50% without losing any performance at all just by picking your parts more wisely.
    The 9800GX2 is too costly right now as far as I am concerned. I would buy something like an 8800GTS 512 card right now for less than $200, and make do with it until the next round of new cards is out. Spending nearly $600 on a 9800 series card is not cost effective in my book, since they don't perform any better than their older 8800 series counter parts.
    Indeed, I would pay $450 for a an 8800GTX with more usable memory (768 vs 512 on the 9800GX2) and a wider memory buss long before I would pay $590 for a 9800GX2.
    The postings of yet another good intentioned builder who seem to go by the "what ever is newest and costs the most must the best whether it will benefit me at all" theory.
  5. modode said:
    consider this board if you want to overclock at all - or even if you don't:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131284

    You could overclock a Q9450 on that board and annihilate any 'extreme' stock Core2.

    1- Agree totally with pevious two points regarding Mobo and processor
    2- Forget DDR3 cause it will shine with Nehalem and uselesswith 775 socket mobo and go for DDR2 1066
    3- Forget nVidia 790i chipset and all nVidia chipset mobos
    4- Get the cheapest Graphic card now like 8899GT 512 and wait for next generation for couple of month
    5- Stick to your HDD's And PSU cause for next generation graphic cards SLI or CF you'll need 1000W
    6- One high end graphic card is better than 2 midrange SLI/CF
  6. To the OP, go read this post.
    Very, very nice system. Very, very fast system....nearly half the cost of your formula.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/251655-31-build-wrap-results
  7. Agree with above posters. You can now build a nice fast system for well under 3000 dollars.
  8. Thanks for all your help guys...

    This PC is going to be my new Main system.
    Photoshop, Gaming (Age of Conan), large Visual Studio Builds, etc...

    I am going to revamp my list based on your suggestions.

    I cannot seem to easily locate this MB on Asus's site.
    I want to verify it has Raid for the SATA connections.
    It's been a while since I've looked is this assumed nowadays?

    Thanks again..
    I'll repost once I've revamped my list.
    Don
  9. SATA RAID 0,1,5,10 is supported natively by the chipset. Almost all motherboards have that, so yes it is almost assumed.
  10. The ASUS Rampage has the Intel ICH9R south bridge chip, six SATA-300 ports supporting RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10.
    Whoops...shadowduck is too fast for me.
  11. My recommendations:

    Q6600
    PP&C 610/750 or Corsair 550/520/620
    P35-DS3x (ie DS3L); X38-DS4; P5K; P5E ; ASUS Formula
    (G92)8800GTS/8800GTS (both 512MB versions only)
    7200.11 HDD(s)
    2*2GB DDR2 800 from Corsair,Crucial,Patriot or other good manufacture (DDR2 1066 has compatibility issues so recommend you stay away from that; no need for DDR3 also)
    XIGMATEK -HDT -S1283 (mainly if OCing)

    I recommend XP/Vista dual boot. Your case choice,DVD burner,etc.

    All the above (w/o case) should be ~1400 or less.
  12. Below is the revamped the list.

    I do have a couple stupid questions and remarks:

    To get the 2x 8800GT's to output on one DVI output,
    I run in SLI mode - right?
    Is there an adapter needed to link them together to work with this MB?
    Am I even thinking about this right?
    Which Connector should I use?

    Regarding the Hard drives - I like this setup:
    2 Fast drives @ Raid0 for speed
    2 Large drives @ Raid1 for data backup and security

    I do plan on overclocking
    Will this CPU produce better Overclocked performance than another CPU?
    Where is the best Overclocking Guide around?
    I have a little experience -
    but I would rather follow someone else's lead and not fry my equipment

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    CASE: NZXT Tempest
    http://www.3dgameman.com/content/view/12521/48/
    ($110) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146047&Tpk=NZXT%2bTempest
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    (~ I'm gonna stick with going a little overboard here - I'm tired of dealing with issues from overtaxed PSU's ~)
    PS: GIGABYTE GE-MK20A-D1 1200W ATX12V Power Supply 100 - 240 V CE, cUL, TUV, FCC, CCC, RoHS - Retail
    ($310) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817233007
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    MB: ASUS RAMPAGE FORMULA LGA 775 Intel X48 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
    ($290) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131284
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    CPU: Q9450 LGA775 Intel Core 2 Quad Yorkfield 2.66GHz 12MB L2 Cache, 45nm, 1333MHz FSB, 95W Quad-Core Processor
    ($360) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115042
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    CPU Cooler: Thermalright IFX-14 Inferno Fire eXtinguisher CPU Cooler ($78)
    + Paste: Arctic Silver Ceramique - 22 gram ($10)
    ($88) http://www.heatsinkfactory.com/thermalright-ifx-14-cpu-cooler-p-16578.html
    http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/20/cpu_cooler_charts_2008/page8.html
    CPU FAN: 120MM (HIGH CFM) Scythe SFF21G "S-FLEX™" S-FDB 120mm Quiet FAN 120x120x25mm 1,900rpm 35.0dBA 75.0CFM 0.24A
    ($20) http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/002/sflex_detail.html
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    MEMORY: (4GBx2=8GB) G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - 5-5-5-15-2T 2.1V @ 1066
    ($140x2=$280) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231166
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    VIDEO: (2x) MSI NX8800GT 512M OC GeForce 8800 GT 512MB OverClocked Core 660MHz 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
    ($185x2=$370) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127329
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/graphics-card,1923-5.html
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    PRIMARY HD: (150GB x2 @ Raid-0 = 300GB) Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    ($170 x2 = $340) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136011
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    STORAGE HD: (750GB x2 @ Raid-1 = 750GB) Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD7500AAKS 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
    ($130x2=$260) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136131
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    CASE FANS: 120MM (HIGH CFM) Scythe SFF21G "S-FLEX™" S-FDB 120mm Quiet FAN 120x120x25mm 1,900rpm 35.0dBA 75.0CFM 0.24A
    ($20) http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/002/sflex_detail.html
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    FAN CTRL: Scythe - "KAMA-METER" Multi Functional Fan Controller on 5.25" Bay
    ($40) http://www.scythe-usa.com/product/acc/015/sckm1000_detail.html
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    // DVD Drive: Use Existing PATA DVD Burner & SATA BluRay/DVD Drive
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    OS: Use Existing Vista Ultimate 64Bit
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    (Approx) Totals:
    ~$2500
  13. Don't SLI right now! Wait for the new video cards coming out next month. They are supposed to be much much faster than any 8800 product currently out. It is your call, but I think its a bad move. Plus you cannot SLI on a Crossfire motherboard anyway.
  14. So I should just get the cheapest PCI-E card to get me by until then.
    Wait.... Should I even get this MB if it's not compatable?
    Crap.... Am I back to waiting for the whole system to make sure the MB is compatible with those new Video cards?

    Maybe I should approach this a little differently:

    In your opinion, what is the best, yet cost-efficient Motherboard and Videocards to get especially considering the up-coming Video Cards?

    Thank you for all your help BTW
    these decisions are going to stay with me for a couple years.
  15. RAM (note what I said about DDR2 1066 before), PSU (not the best quality imo), HSF, is overkill. Please do not base your HSF choice on that cr@ppy THG HSF chart. Refer here for HSF listings:
    http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm#INTELHEATSINK

    For PSU:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341011

    These PSUs will handle 8800GTX/9800GTX SLI.
  16. X48 chipset motherboard- and a single 8800GT video card for right now. Then you can upgrade to one of the new ones with a year or so. 8800GT runs everything you can throw at it right now.
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