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First timer looking for critique and motherboard help.

Last response: in Systems
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September 18, 2008 10:44:20 PM

Hi all!

I'm looking to build a general usage/gaming computer that will last me for at least a few years. I would like it to be capable of handling most anything I throw at it, even if it can't do it with all the settings on their highest. Most of these parts were chosen because they seemed, to me at least, to provide a good value and wouldn't be obsolete immediately.

I've never overclocked before but I think I would like to with this system. It seems easy enough. It wouldn't be hardcore, just anything that I can easily find a guide for, which seems to be most of it.

I haven't picked out a motherboard yet since I just haven't seen one that really stuck out as a great choice to me.


CPU:Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - OEM

PSU:Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 650W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply with Three 12V Rails - Retail Combo for $234.98

GPU:EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $119.99 ar

RAM: OCZ Platinum Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1000 (PC2 8000) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $47.99ar

HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $79.99

Cooling:XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $36.99 + $8.25 s+h

Optical: LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM $24.99

OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM $99.99

Case: COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $39.99

$693.16

I don't know much about the case or the PSU, but from quick searches, I couldn't find many problems with them and they both seem to be pretty good deals.

This just leaves the mobo and I guess a network card (the one from my old computer is really quite awful). I think I want the mobo to be sli-capable, so if I need to in a year or so, just pop in another 8800gt, which will hopefully be even cheaper by then. Other than that, I don't know much about them. I'd also like to keep it around $100 or so, if possible as I'll be approaching the topend of my budget.

Also, is there anything I've gravely overlooking? I know I'll need some thermal paste and a few cords, but I feel like I might be missing something.

Thank you very much! I will really appreciate any help you can give me.

September 18, 2008 11:03:00 PM

For motherboard, consider this. Low cost for high performance.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
P45 updated version of P35 GA-P35-DS3L, once considered a legend back in its days. At one time, it had its own stickied thread in the Overclocking board.

Case should be fine. This one is slightly better for a little more.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A lot better, for a lot more.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Psu is a good model, but for around the same price, you can get this, which is considered basically the gold standard in powersupply.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The cpu cooler is among the best. But for around the same price, you can have the absolute best:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm

If you'd like high end gaming without spending too much extra, get 9800gx2. It's old, but at $265 for the factory overclocked version, it's the best bang for the buck in the high end segment.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Benchmarks of stock version, the factory oced one will be faster.
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=13
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=14
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=15
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=16
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=17
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=18
http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3341&p=19
September 19, 2008 12:51:07 PM

In terms of price & performance, GA-P35-DS3L is undefeated. If you're dead set on SLI, your only option is nVidia chipset.

650i should be about $100. Downside is it doesn't support Yorkfields & it does only SLI X8. Exception is this which does everything. You can expect at least a modest overclock out of it:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Penryn1600S...
http://www.asrock.com/mb/cpu.asp?Model=Penryn1600SLI-11...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

750i/780i is out of your budget.
September 19, 2008 4:40:01 PM

I'd say a p45 mobo and a 4850
!