Yet another build for around 2k

Hello All, first time to these boards. I've been out of the tech loop for a couple of years since my last computer. My alienware MB died on me so I decided to build my own this time. I've put a system together in the past that serves as a back up to my main so I'm comfortable with assembly, but I need help with overclocking when the time comes. I have about $2k budget for a new system. I've spent the last couple of weeks attempting to educate myself on the latest and greatest. I would like a critique of the choices I'm looking at below. I intend to overclock my cpu and I'm not sure if the ram I've selected will make the grade, and the motherboard for that matter.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. My goal is to able to comfortable enjoy the new DX10 games that are out and on the horizon for the next couple of years. I will also be using Windows Vista 64 as well. The list below is from New Egg. I can not figure out how to easily copy my wish list over to this post, so I just edited it through notepad.

Thanks again,


ABS Tagan BZ Series BZ900 900W ATX12V / EPS12V Patent Piperock Modular Power Supply - Retail Model #:BZ900
Item #:N82E16817814013

Save Cancel $269.99 -$10.00 Instant $259.99

mushkin 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model 991580 - Retail Model #:991580
Item #:N82E16820146725

Save Cancel $56.99 $227.96

NZXT TEMPEST Crafted Series CS-NT-TEM-B Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail Model #:CS-NT-TEM-B
Item #:N82E16811146047

Save Cancel $119.99 -$10.00 Instant $109.99

EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail Model #:132-CK-NF78-A1
Item #:N82E16813188024

Save Cancel $259.99 -$20.00 Instant $239.99

EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail Model #:512-P3-N871-AR
Item #:N82E16814130339

Save Cancel $279.99 -$10.00 Instant $269.99

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500 - Retail Model #:BX80570E8500
Item #:N82E16819115036

Save Cancel $269.99 $269.99

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM Model #:WD5000AAKS
Item #:N82E16822136073

Save Cancel $84.99 -$5.00 Instant $79.99

Logitech G9 Black 5 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse - Retail Model #:G9
Item #:N82E16826104079

Save Cancel $89.99 -$15.00 Instant $74.99

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic SP1 English NA DVD - Retail Model #:66G-02689
Item #:N82E16832116467

Save Cancel $189.99 $189.99

ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail Model #:CNPS9700 LED
Item #:N82E16835118019

Save Cancel $79.99 -$26.00 Instant $53.99
12 answers Last reply
More about build
  1. Well.. no just no

    Lets see where we can start...

    Windows Vista Basic is terrible, get rid of it, and buy OEM copy of Home Prem for $94. Do not buy a retail version of Windows.

    Ditch the Zalman cooler- buy this one instead:
    Also buy the retention bracket because push pins are from hell

    Get rid of the SLI motherboard, you don't need SLI unless you are gaming at 1920x1200, and nVidia chipsets are crappy for Intel. Go P45 instead with this motherboard:
    Overclocks better, more stable, and Intel chipsets don't have any of the issues nVidia's do.

    Ditch the video card too. That is a HORRIBLE buy right now with the 2xx series right around the corner. Wait for the 2xx series or buy an 8800GT and step up in 90 days to a 2xx series card. Get this one if you buy now:

    If you are overclocking E8500 is a waste of $79.00 Buy the E8400 instead.

    Don't buy single stick RAM. It looks like you are going 8GB. No point in that unless you are video editing. Buy 2x 2GB kits though.
    Get this RAM:

    Hard drive is fine, make sure cache is 32MB. Mouse is a claw grip, make sure that is what you want. It is NOT a normal mouse!
  2. Need a different Power supply than the one you have.. Something from Cosair, PC&P, OCZ.. Go here to see good power supply...

    With memory that memory will be ok but need to go with matched sets. get 2 X 2gb sets instead.

    To me this is a much nicer case and will be less money

    No reason to Get E8500 if you are going to be over clocking go with the 8400 and put the savings toward a good power supply.

    And i think i would use this CPU cooler XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 .

    Good luck on your new build and enjoy
  3. I disagree I would go with a retail version of Vista because of the activation microsoft has on it. if you change major components like CPU or mother board they do not have to activate the OEM Windows but with retail it is no problem. I do agree i would go with Home Prem or ultimate
  4. PCnut said:
    I disagree I would go with a retail version of Vista because of the activation microsoft has on it. if you change major components like CPU or mother board they do not have to activate the OEM Windows but with retail it is no problem. I do agree i would go with Home Prem or ultimate

    Never had a problem with this issue. You just call MS on the phone and they take care of it. Vista Home Prem OEM is $94. Retail is over $200.
  5. Upgrade to an antec 900. Much better looking.

    Let him have a q9450 if he has money to burn.

    Again, let him have a rampage formula mobo if you have money to burn.

    And again, upgrade to 4GB if you have the money and 64bit os

    With 2k you probably will have enough for the brand new gtx 280.

    And yes, this is one of the best coolers available. XIGMATEK HDT-S1283\
    and yes, get that kit cause its gonna be hard without it.

    That is all I have to say.
  6. My spin on it:

    I'd drop the processor from the 8500 to the 8400. With DDR2-800 memory, you can overclock all the way up to 3.6Ghz w/o having to overclock the memory. Also, make sure you are buying 2x2gb sticks and have at least 4gb. It's so cheap now, you could go with 8gb, Vista would love you for that; otherwise, 2x2gb now allows you to upgrade later. Be warned though, as DDR3 becomes more popular, DDR2 prices will likely INCREASE due to less demand so keep an eye on that O_o

    I also agree on getting rid of the nVidia motherboard. SLI boards just are not worth the risks and drawbacks unless you absolutely must have two nVidia cards. I would look into getting whatever the cheapest ASUS or Gigabyte X38 board happens to be and stick two ATI 48xx cards in them when they're released in the very near future. You could buy one 4870x2 now, then add a second one down the road during a Black Friday or Boxing Week sale for le cheap(er). Time will tell if they are slower than nVidia's also soon to be released 2xx series, but there's a strong chance they'll have better energy/heat and prices. Not to mention you don't have to use a SLI motherboard. Otherwise if you just want to use a single card, you could get a P35 or P45 board for less $.

    The Tagan PSU is a good one, although pricey. If you want to SLI/Crossfire any of the "x2" cards together, you'll want at LEAST 900W. Corsair's 1000W unit is pretty awesome, but for the price the Antec Quattro 1000W will also do very well (price matching @ is great). You need a strong 12v rail, and I'm always big on power efficiency! (3 cheers for the electric bills)

    I agree on the Vista 64 Home Premium OEM. Just call Microsoft and tell them your motherboard died if they ever give you **** over a new build. By the time you're maknig major upgrades, Windows 7 will be out!

    For the Hard Drive, I'd get Western Digital's brand new 640GB drive. It's only 16gb cache, but they said it didn't make any difference with their new 320gb platters (x2). It's a very fast unit, great reviews.

    I'm also obligated to pimp the Coolermaster 690 case. It's cheap but amazing; great cable management and airflow for overclocking. Just need to grab a couple extra fans (120mm Yate Loons).

    the XIGMATEK heatsink has gotten strong reviews so far, seems like a good buy. Personally I use the Thermalright ULTRA with a Noctua 120mm fan as they have high static pressure, which is exactly what you need for a heatsink (vs CFM, which is for general case airflow).

    Cheers man and good luck!

    PS don't forget the MX-2 thermal compound :D
  7. shadowduck said:
    Never had a problem with this issue. You just call MS on the phone and they take care of it. Vista Home Prem OEM is $94. Retail is over $200.

    Yes it use to be that way with Xp but they changed rules with vista and tightened up on the OEM versions. And they do not have to reactivate it even if MB or processor goes bad if you have had this for some time. because when you replace these it is effectivly a new computer. And you still might be able to get them to activate it by calling. I know lot of people have but i put new motherboard in my computer and who i called would not activate it. So from now on i always use retail and you can get ultimate for under 200 on Ebay...
  8. Lian Li Lancool K10
    PC Power & Cooling 750w
    DFI DK X48
    4GB Crucial Ballistix DDR2 800
    Intel Core 2 Duo Q9450
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional
    Seagate 500GB 32mb Cache Barracuda
    Thermalright Ultra 120

    Wait for the 4850 or 4870.
  9. Like everyone else said, go for a motherboard with an Intel chipset. I recently picked up the Asus P5Q-Deluxe, it's a P45 board. I love it! It's a huge step up in quality and stability from my old BFG nforce 680i SLI motherboard. When I put a E8400 in that 680i board it caused data corruption even with the latest BIOS update (P32) which is supposed to support the new 45nm processors. Stay away from the nvidia chipsets right now, they don't make them like they used to!

    Definately grab 4GB (2x2GB) of ram, it's dirt cheap right now. Also get a 64bit version of Vista so you will be able to utilize all 4GB.

    Ditch the Zalman CNPS9700, it won't cool all that well if you're aiming to overclock. I had the CNPS9500 and it didn't work that great with my E8400 overclocked. I got the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme, dropped my temps over 10c at full load over the CNPS9500. The Xigmatek that everyone is recommending is also a good buy, you can't really go wrong with either. Make sure you get a good fan for either though. Try some of the Scythe fans or the Noctua fans.

    You may want to wait another week to 2 weeks on getting a new videocard, both nvidia and amd/ati will have new cards out before the end of the month. The ATI HD4850 seems to be a great buy from the pricing and benchmarks i've seen of it so far.

    You may also want to pick up one of Creative's PCI-E X-Fi soundcards, they sound way better than any onboard sound. Some people have problems with these cards, but i've never had a single problem in either XP or Vista x64.
  10. Thanks so much everyone for the quick replies. The suggestions are very helpful. I didn't realize the nvidia boards were having such problems these days.
    the list didn't show it up there but I did plan on 8gb of ram to use with Vista 64. Just wasn't sure of a good brand to get. I figured 64 bit was the way of the future so I'd get that. I read that after you order the 32 bit from a retailer you can send off for the 64 bit from Microsoft for a free upgrade. I'll look at the other cases but I kind of have my heart set on the NZXT for the time being. I was planning to wait for about 1 more week to see the reviews on the new video cards. As far as those the problem people have with the 9800GTX vs the 8800gtx just the performance/price or is there something else that makes these cards (9800gtx) a problem?

    Power Supply -- My alienware, the one I'm replacing has a Silverstone 650w psu. Is this a good enough unit to keep with the new system?

    Sound cards -- It's been years since I've had a dedicated card. For the most part, I've been ok with onboard sound. I'm not a sound buff or anything like that... I watch movies on my TV, I don't burn and listen to it still worth getting a sound card?

    thanks again

  11. 9800GTX is a terrible performer for the price. It barely outperforms the 8800GT.

    G.Skill is a great brand for RAM along with OCZ and Corsair.

    Onboard sound is just fine unless you have a high dollar (> $500) speaker system.
  12. 4870.
    Get an ASUS P5E
    Antec 900
    Q9450 quad core or E8400.
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