Help & advice desired on components desired for first homebuilt.

I've recently decided to construct a mid-range homebuilt gaming rig (my first) and... well, I want some advice on these parts I've picked out. Basically, I'm looking for possible alternatives that may be better suited to my intended usage for the computer and budget, which is... oh, 1,300 USD. Anyway, the parts I have my eye on are as follows...

Motherboard: DFI LANPARTY DK P35-T2RS LGA 775 Intel P35

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale 2.53GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
Yes, I do plan to overclock. One possible alternative I've considered is the e8400. I know the difference at equivalent speeds is decidedly minor, but... that difference is most pronounced in gaming, if I recall.

GPU: MSI NX8800GTS 512M OC GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3
There's a very strong possibility I may hold off on purchasing a new GPU, since the HD4870's are right around the corner.

HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
Heh, 640 GB is a bit much for my purposes, since... I have a 250GB on my current machine and I've only got about 150GB of that filled. Still, the price was decent for the size of the drive.

Case: Cooler Master 690

RAM: Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)



Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home With SP2B 1 Pack - OEM

Other Stuff: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler -

As for power supplies... well, I'm a bit torn between two particular ones.

The CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ( ) and the PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W ( )... they might be overkill for what I'm planning on buying, but I'd like to carry over whatever PSU I buy this time into the NEXT computer I build, whenever that may be.

One last thing... I was initially planning to keep my current monitor, a VA1912wb 19" Viewsonic with a native resolution of 1440x900, since it still works great and would save a good deal of money for me. However, the Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD monitor ( ) has caught my eye and would provide me with a larger screen and better resolution (1680x1050). Think I should just keep my current monitor and save 200+ dollars or buy the Acer?

TOTALS (Assuming I don't hold off on the GPU)
-Without the Acer: 1029.88USD before mail-in rebates & shipping
-With the Acer: 1,259.87 USD before MIR & shipping.

Anyway, any input/advice on my build would be great. Thanks in advance.
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  1. Get Vista instead of XP. Vista is here to stay, and its all around a better OS than XP Home. Home Prem is for sure due to the included Media Center features and DX10.

    Get a drive with 32MB cache vs 16.

    Don't really need 2 DVD drives, but thats up to you.
  2. If you need the 2 drives, this gets the thumbs up from me.

    I wouldn't get a 32MB cache drive if there is a price premium for it. There was only a 3% speed increase from 8MB to 16MB cache in the first place. If they're the same price, however, go for it.
  3. Very nice looking build. Except you may want to substitute a BFG or EVGA brand 8800GTS 512mb so that when the GTX280 comes out in a couple weeks and you really want to upgrade, they'll let you trade up.
  4. cooler master cm 690 is cheaper by five dollars at
  5. Taking everyone's advice into account, I've made a few changes to my choices.

    I might as well remove the normal DVD drive.

    The HDD has been changed to..

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB
    -It's a bit smaller than my initial choice, but also about 20 USD cheaper. Of course, it has the 32mb cache Shadowduck suggested.

    The OS... hrm, well, to be truthful, I am a bit hesitant about adopting Vista, due to horror stories I've heard about the OS. Then again, that was months ago, and I'm sure it's gotten much better by now. So, should I just spring for a an OEM version of 64-bit Vista Premium or should I go for the 32-bit version for now?

    In regards to the GPU... well, I'm leaning towards holding off on purchasing a new one, due to the upcoming HD4870's and GTX280's... if only because the release of the new cards is pretty likely to cause a price drop in older cards. However, if I were to buy one of the upcoming cards, it would probably be a HD4870, due to the fact that newly released Nvidia cards tend to be a bit... pricey. I tend to go the price/performance route when it comes to components, rather than balls-to-the-wall 'money is no concern' performance.
  6. looks nice, get vista 64bit
  7. I've been running 64-bit Vista since the start of 2007. I've bumped into a few software issues, but they've been minor, and I've had zero driver issues. Just giving my 2 cents on that.
  8. godless said:
    cooler master cm 690 is cheaper by five dollars at

    That's true, the price itself is lower... but has free shipping for the CM 690, while has a shipping fee of 20.36 USD. Taking that into account, the price difference is fairly sizeable.
  9. You have made good selections. It would be nice if you could find another $70 to move up to an E8400 cpu.
  10. Quote:
    That's true, the price itself is lower... but has free shipping for the CM 690, while has a shipping fee of 20.36 USD. Taking that into account, the price difference is fairly sizeable.

    sorry about that. when i bought my cm 690 from fo $45 eight months ago, the shipping was 5 days via fedex and it was free. i see things have changed.
  11. rockyjohn said:
    You have made good selections. It would be nice if you could find another $70 to move up to an E8400 cpu.

    Actually, I've managed to reduce my price to the point where I could buy a Q9450 and end up at a similar price point as my initial estimate in my first post. Well, roughly 70 USD ahead of that (~1,100 USD with a Q9450 now). Not that having a quad core would do me much good, given that I wouldn't do anything that would require it... and the chance of me being interested in any quad-core utilizing games coming out in the future is fairly slim. Anyway, I may yet decide to buy the e8400. I dunno at this point.

    godless said:
    sorry about that. when i bought my cm 690 from fo $45 eight months ago, the shipping was 5 days via fedex and it was free. i see things have changed.

    No worries... and, wow, 45 USD with NO shipping? That's one heck of a deal. How's the case performing for you? From what I've seen, the case is generally fairly well-regarded.
  12. Yes, getting the E8400 would be great. I would also take a look at the EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB graphic card.
  13. the cm 690 case has been awesome, just one negative little thing with the case. the dust collects on front of the case, so i need to wipe it with paper or my hand every week or so to get the dust off. it's a minor hassle, but it does keep the inside of the case from accumulating a lot of dust. nine months with the case and i still didn't clean the inside of it. the temps have risen by about 2c on average, so i think it's time to clean the heatsinks.

    and yeah when i was buying the case, there was an insane amount of rebates and instant rebates at so many locations newegg had it cheap, zipzoomfly had it cheap. the cheapest i saw the case was 40 dollars at microcenter, but that was a week after i received my case.
  14. Great choices. The DFI motherboards are great, but a bit complex if you're new to overclocking. Asus or Gigabyte are a bit more user friendly. If that's not a problem for you then I think you'll like it a lot.

    I'd go with the E8400 if you can find the $ for it.

    I've been running Vista at work and at home, both 32-bit and 64-bit, without any major problems. My work PC experienced the slow copy problem but that was fixed with SP1. My home machine running 64-bit has had only 1 or 2 sw incompatibility problems and none have been major. If you're set on getting XP I'm sure it will be fine for what you need, but there's no real reason to avoid Vista these days.

    You can't go wrong with either of those PSUs.
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