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First Build Advice/Suggestions Appreciated

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August 10, 2008 2:45:38 AM

Case - Antec 900 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021
(although im somewhat considering the Antec 1200 since its a little bigger, and has removable/washable filters)

Power Supply Antec TPQ-850 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply 100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371009

Memory - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail (I would be getting two of these so it would be 8gs 4x2gb)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231145

Motherboard - ASUS P5Q LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131295
(I really dont know much about this motherboard, I was originally looking at the x38/x48 but they seemed significantly more and I dont plan on doing extreme overclocking)

cpu cooler - Tuniq Tower 120 Universal CPU Cooler 120mm LED Cooling Fan and Fan Controler/Heatsink - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835154002

cpu - Q9550 (with the recent price drops and taking the place of the old q9450. Also I was curious if getting the new non extreme Q9650 would be worth the extra 150-200)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115041&Tpk=q9550

Hard Drive - Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148288
(although I heard that the western digital was generally better, I just noticed that this one was roughly the same price/speed as the western digital equivalent but had a 32mb cache instead of 16. Then again I dont know hard drives well)

I obv would use vista 64 bit premium since im going with 8g of ram, and for the gpu either a 4870x2 or a single gtx 280. (im waiting for the prices/benchies on the 4870x2 before deciding)

Any input/advice would be immensely appreciated, and im just curious if theres anything else specical id need to buy for this build. Only other thing I think I need for this would be some thermal compound ?

Also how difficult of a build would this be for someone who never built a pc before ? (I dont mind having to take it apart and redo it, but im just somewhat worried about how easily I could damage/destory the hardware.)
August 10, 2008 3:44:48 AM

There are many guides around to help you build.

What are you doing that you need 8 gigs of RAM?

Get the P5Q Pro. More features for just a bit more and you can keep the crossfire option open.

Get
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's a better cooler, but also it attaches better with the bracket. It will be a bit more work, yes, but the standard push-pin way is open to a lot of mistakes by first timers.

You have not commented on what you're are using this for or the size of the monitor, so I'll leave the rest for now.

August 10, 2008 3:53:14 AM

Well its gonna be mostly for gaming.

The monitor im likely to go with a 24 inch (preferably a tn panel with a 5-6ms response time) and definitely a monitor that supports 1920x1200.

(oh and im gonna prefer to go quad just because I want this to be relatively future proof, and I figured with the price of ram so low I might as well just jack it up to 8 gigs)
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August 10, 2008 4:07:02 AM

No problem. Be aware that from what I have seen it's ALWAYS harder to get 8 Gigs running on a mainstream board. No games will use that much right now, so it might be best for you to just go for 4. If you want 8, be very careful to buy something actually tested to work with 4x2gig sticks. Consult the MB site and the RAM site for the respective manufacturers.

Better PSU for less:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 10, 2008 4:08:25 AM

The fastest video card or combination of cards recommended by THG in their review are 2 x HD4850. Their article states "At this performance level and at this price, we have a hard time recommending anything more expensive than two Radeon 4850s."

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

So are you sure you need to spend an extra $200 for two HD4870s?

And I also wonder why you need 8 GB of memory. What do you plan to do with system besides gaming?

As to building your own - go for it. Everyone has a first time. And most don't damage the hardware significantly. On my first build I did damage the push pins on my hear sink - cost me $30 for a new heatsink - but still saved a lot with BYO. Do follow safe ESD practices though. And just take your time.
August 10, 2008 4:10:04 AM

The 32MB cache on the HDs makes no real difference in speeds. However, I have heard that the 500GB WD is not so good as the other WD drives, so if you are sttled on that size and price the Seagate is probably OK.
August 10, 2008 4:17:14 AM

At 1920x1200 it get's a little dicey running CF on a P45 board. That's where performance starts to fall off from the x48s.

To drive a big monitor with crossfire you really need a x48 board.

I think the OP is talking about a single card solution though, either a 4870x2 or a GTX 280.
August 10, 2008 4:18:14 AM

Well I was looking at the 4870x2 rather than two 4870s. While it would still be roughly the same price as two 4870s, I was under the impression that a single card would put less stress (use less power, release less heat, work more efficently etc) on my system and add to my pc's longevity
August 10, 2008 4:22:14 AM

Yep probably true. Also, dual 4850s dump all their heat inside the case where 4870s vent out the back.... I'm guessing the x2 will get warm, still, but probably the best solution.
August 10, 2008 4:24:27 AM

And im really hoping that the x2 has its cooling all figured out, since ive heard a lot of people complaining about their 4870s (singles) running hot.

Sitting around 80 C for long gaming sessions just kinda worries me.
August 10, 2008 4:42:17 AM

Also how is Antec with power supplys ?

I originally was looking at corsair and pc power and cooling, but neither of them fit exactly what i was looking for. So any decent alternatives ?
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