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Noob - advice please ... new system build

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June 24, 2008 3:12:32 PM

Always built machines and overclocked in the past but it's been so long I may as well be a noob. Hoping people can save me a few £'s or stop me making stupid mistakes.

Heartfelt thanks in advance- I've done a fair bit of reading but have a few questions at the end.

It' should be a machine that does varied tasks from office to gaming with some 3-D rendering and adobe suites. The point is to get a reasonable machine but allow some room for future upgrades (hence the P-45 motherboard).

Case: Antec 900 or coolermaster cosmos
PSU: Corair HX620
CPU: E8400 or Q6600 (hard choice) (also looking
Cooler: Stock for now, then probably look at IFX-14 with Scythe S-Flex SFF21E once I look at OC'ing it.
MB: Gigabyte EP45-DS3R (raid will be important later)
Memory: Corsair 4GB (2x2) DDR2 Dominator PC2-8500C5
HD: Velociraptor WD3000GLFS & Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB
GPU: Sapphire Radeon 4850
OS: Vista Ultimate 64 (first foray into Vista, hate it, but it's time to bite the bullet with new machine)

Few questions
DDR2 or DDR3?
P-45 or P-35?


Thanks again- obviously a lot to learn and reading as much as I can.
June 24, 2008 3:56:17 PM

The HX620 is a great PSU, nice and modular. However, you can usually find a Corsair 750TX or Silencer 750W for less money, at least in North America. Those would give you more room for future upgrades too.

Get the Q6600, it will be better for rendering (with the right software, of course), and it's more future-proof.

The IFX-14 is expensive and huge. How about a Xigmatek HDT-S1283 for example.

Nice MB, RAM, Raptor, video card.

The Spinpoint F1 1 TB does great in benchmarks but there are a bit too many complaints about its reliability IMO. I'd prefer a WD6400AAKS (or two) or a Seagate 7200.11.

DDR2 is almost as good as DDR3 and much cheaper.

P45 is a better choice than P35, mostly because of PCI-E 2.0. Future video cards will care about that a lot.
June 24, 2008 4:02:08 PM

aevm, thanks for the advice and especially for the speed of it. All noted and am going to look at reviews and prices now.

Am looking into the hard drives quite carefully so that's a good catch- thanks. My disks always take a thrashing and am constantly upgrading them- learnt the hard way too many times- hence the possible RAID.
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June 24, 2008 4:09:19 PM

Looking at the Corsair 750- would the 650 manage the load?

I guess as some point I'm going to crossfire the graphics card (a way off yet though) so need to know it'll handle both. Assume the 750 may be underpowered for that?
June 24, 2008 4:15:16 PM

If crossfiring is in the future, then 750w, If using 1 GPU then 650w is fine
BTW the P45 has limited Xfire ability, if you're really looking to Xfire in the future then a X38/X48 motherboard is a better way to go.
June 24, 2008 10:30:52 PM

Assumed that the P45 would be ok with the crossfire but learnt something valuable there- cheers to both of you for catching that one, and for the power.

Really appreciate the advice- When you're trying to catch up on these things like I am the helping hand goes a loooong way to making you feel happy about what you're doing.

!