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Your input needed! First time builder.

Last response: in Systems
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October 7, 2008 6:28:39 PM

Hello all, I am a long time reader of toms and have finally decided to build my own computer this time around. I am looking to build a new pc that will be almost exclusively a game rig. I currently have a Dell Dimension 9150 and seem to have reached the reasonable edge of its performance. I was hoping to possibly steal some parts out of it, however, including a DVD drive, the video card i put in it (GeForce 8800 GT by Elite Group) and if possible the sound card (can't remember off the top of my head), but I am unsure about the feasibility of the sound card.

Price > performance. I don't have a set budget, but am looking to build a reasonable machine while keeping costs down, with the idea of upgrading over time.

I have largely based this on the system builder marathon from Jul 08, so if there have been any changes I would appreciate the input. I have been browsing the forums to the best of my abilities, but there is quite a bit of info out there to digest.

My thoughts so far:

CPU: Intel core 2 DUO E8400 (I have thought about the Q6600, but decided to go duo core atm with the possibility of future upgrade due to the fact that it will be almost exclusively a game machine)

MOBO: MSI P7N SLI Platinum [OR] MSI P45 Platinum (I would like to be able to overclock and run SLI cards in the future, but will be sticking with stock speeds and the 8800 at the start. The mother board is the biggest mystery for me. I don't know if the increase in FSB between the two will actually do me any good in the long run or not. I chose these because of the system builder articles, but again would greatly appreciate input on this part in particular.)

Case: Cooler Master Centurion 590 RC-590-KKN1-GP

Power: Silverstone ST400 400W (Is 400 enough power? I don’t' have good frame of reference for power source)

CPU cooler: Cooler Master HyperTX 2

DVD drive: taken out of existing dell.

Graphics card: 8800 GT from existing computer.

Sound: onboard or sound card from dell.

RAM: Crucial Ballistix 2x 1GB PC2-6400 Kit

HD: TBD


Again it is largely based on the sub$1000 marathon build. Any and all input appreciated.
October 7, 2008 7:05:08 PM

Well, so far that looks like a decent build. You should go for a higher wattage psu, but the brand you picked looks good. What os are you planning to use? Regardless, I would go with 4gb of ram right now since the prices are pretty decent. Even though a 32 bit os won't support all 4 gb, you'd have it there if you wanted to upgrade to 64 bit.

I do not know if the sound card from your dell will work. It is possible unless it is a proprietary card, which I had in my old dell form 2003. for a hard drive, consider something above 500gb for space. I have seen that the 1tb drives are not as expensive as they once were, and they are very fast so consider one of those.


Good luck!
October 7, 2008 7:48:24 PM

When Toms used that 400w Silverstone in a dual 8800GT SLI build i commented what a disservice they were doing to their readers. It's a bad idea to run a power supply at over 90% of it's rating at load. Get a quality 500w or 550w power supply. Like this Corsair 550w for $65 after rebate with free shipping
http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-vx-550w-atx-power-suppl...
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October 7, 2008 8:12:29 PM

+1^

What is it about the corsair psu's in this past year that makes it such good quality? I don't have any beefs against it, I am just curious...
October 7, 2008 10:29:26 PM

Thank you for the replies.

I will probably start out with just 2 gigs of ram in effort to save money, but that will most likely be upgraded quickly.

My operating system will most likely be Vista 64 bit. I do not like vista at this time, but don't know about investing in a new XP liscence and Linux does not seem like an entirely viable option if all I want to do is play games with it.

I will look at increasing the power supply, that seems to be a corner stone of the system and I don't want it to hold me back.

Small aside: Can I put another 8800 GT in SLI with my current one if it is not by same manufacturer (ie Elite Group?) just curious.

Keep the ideas coming!
October 7, 2008 10:44:45 PM

Corsair just started in the PSU market a couple years ago, they went with quality manufacturers (Seasonic is one) making them to Corsairs specs. So they've never put out a garbage PSU, all have been good quality.
October 7, 2008 10:46:37 PM

Yes, you can use another 8800GT
October 7, 2008 11:44:46 PM

dirtmountain said:
Corsair just started in the PSU market a couple years ago, they went with quality manufacturers (Seasonic is one) making them to Corsairs specs. So they've never put out a garbage PSU, all have been good quality.


OH, ok. That is a good thing to know.

How long does it take a psu's capacitors to age and actually be a problem? I just calculated my system requirements on extreme calculator and it said with over 20% capacitor aging I would be over 400 watts. How long would that much aging occur after?
!