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Someone said this is bad, and why. do you concur ?

Last response: in Systems
December 18, 2008 6:34:44 PM

ABS Aplus ATX Full Tower Computer Case – Retail

Power Supply:
Ultra X3 600watt Power Supply – Retail

ASUS P5Q-E LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard – Retail

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz Dual-Core Processor - Retail

Noctua NH-U12P 120mm SSO CPU Cooler – Retail

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 Memory - Retail

Video Card:
EVGA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB Video Card – Retail

Sound Card:

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Sound Card - Retail

CD/DVD Drives:
SAMSUNG Black 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM
$29 x 2 = 58

Western Digital 500GB 7200 RPM HDD – OEM
$70 x 2 = 140

Card Reader:
SABRENT 68-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader - Retail

Thermal Compound:

MASSCOOL G751 Shin-Etsu Thermal Compound - Retail
$3 x2 = 6

I havn't build a computer in years, so i'm behind the times a bit. but i'm trying to build a new gaming rig with the relatively latest technology , for the lowest i can.

i posted this on another forums and i got some good replys, and then this one guy came in and said it doesnt make any sense. below is his quote

Nothing in your build makes sense. You are buying a top end dual but are buying memory for overclocking. The bandwidth bottleneck for C2Duo systems is between the NB and the CPU itself. At 1333FSB you are talking about 10.6Gb/s to the CPU, and 12.6Gb/s to the system memory.

Synchronous vs Asynchronous does not kill performance for the C2Duo like it used to on the P4. The memory you are buying is spec'ed for 2.1v The standard for DDR2 is 1.8v You could just overclock the DDR2-800 yourself.

Your $60 cooler comes with thermal paste, plus you aren't overclocking, or you never really mentioned it, nor did you really buy any of the common overclocking CPU's. Did you even take a close look at anything you bought?

The GTX 260 is fine if thats your price range. It depends on your resolution and what games you want to play.

He hasn't replyed back , but i'm trying to understand what he means exactly. Says it doenst make sense but doesnt offer solutions , least not that i can tell.

Anyone know what is wrong with my build ? How to improve it without costing more money etc ? I believe the person i quoted is trying to say that my memory and CPU arnt going to go great or something unless i overclock it ?

Any help on making sense out of this is much appreciated. Thank you

More about : bad concur

December 18, 2008 6:48:27 PM

what he is saying is get DDR2 800 PC6400 memory to go with that CPU and NOT the DDR2 1066 PC8500 memory which would be overkill, the DDR2 800 PC6400 memory will be cheaper as well... i agree with him, but i would have explained it a little nicer, apparently he expects you to know everything...
December 18, 2008 6:50:17 PM

Power Supply:
Ultra X3 600watt Power Supply – Retail

These PSUs are pretty much junk. For $100 you can buy either a 750 watt Corsair or PC Power and Cooling. Both are FAR better PSUs. Remember the PSU is one of the major components of your PC. Its its crap everything else is going to have issues.

Links: - PCP&C: slightly louder, very good performance - Corsair: better looking and quieter

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 1066 Memory - Retail

DDR2 1006 is unneeded. This memory runs at 2.0V - 2.1V which basically makes it nothing more than overclocked DDR2 800 which runs at 1.8V. Quality DDR2 800 will clock up to 1066 with no issues. I prefer Mushkin or Corsair.

Links: - Mushkin: $26 after MIR - Corsair: $25 after MIR

Sound Card:
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Sound Card - Retail

Waste of money. Chances are the on mobo sound card sounds just as good as this. My advise is to run the onboard sound, and if you think it sounds that bad buy something else. Stay away from Creative though. Buy an Auzentech or ASUS to avoid the crap drivers Creative has today. Creative is not nearly as good a company as they were 5 years ago.

Rest of the build looks fine.

Anything else?
Related resources
December 18, 2008 7:01:20 PM

+1^ for the power supply remark, get a PC Power and cooling or Corsair PSU...
December 18, 2008 7:03:29 PM

The build looks pretty good.

I think one of the things the person who replied to your post was trying to say is that you really don't need DDR2 1066 RAM. DDR2 800 RAM that runs at 1.8v with tight timings is really all you need. Here's a couple very nice DDR2 800 RAM kits:

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $45.99 - $20.00 MIR


G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $49.99

The GTX 260 core 216 GPU is nice, but the motherboard you chose supports crossfire (ATI GPU's) not SLI (Nvidia GPU's). You might want to consider the 4870 1GB card if you think you'll ever want to add another GPU in the future.

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $239.99 - $15.00 MIR

I don't know how much better that sound card will be than the on-board chip. I'd give the on-board sound a try first. You can always add the sound card later if you feel like you need to.

For about the same price you can get a faster drive with 140GB more capacity:

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $68.99

You did a pretty good job putting the build together. Don't let that one bad review get you down.
December 18, 2008 7:08:51 PM

Awesome guys thank you so much for the speedy input.

Few more questions if you dont mind.

1.) since the memory sticks you suggested are 2 sticks for 4 gigs. would it be a worthy investment to get 2 more ? for a total of 8 gigs. I recall reading a document from Corsair actually about how it makes a difference with Vista 64bit (which i plan to get)

here is the link. unless i'm not understanding the info correctly.

2.) The PSU's you suggested are indeed good, but i would really much rather prefer a modular one. Last PC i build is a giant cluster mess inside and i really hate it. I would love to take my time with this new build and do proper cabling etc, and being able to use modular PSU's is such a pleasure when doing so.

3.) i'll take out the soundcard, and thanks for the tips on better ones !

4.) The memory ddr2-800 is what i will switch to, but since my CPU is 1333FSB, would i have to overclock it 1600FSB in order meet the memory at a 1:1 timing ratio ? if i understand it correctly the memory that would match the current processor 1333fsb is DDR2-667. This is where i got confused on the memory type to pick because everyone is saying 800 for my CPU, but i figured we'll why not 1066 if were not sticking to the 1:1 ratio.
I hope that made sense =P
December 18, 2008 7:11:56 PM

In response to Shortstuff_MT

the reason i choose the HDD's i picked are because they are 32mb cache.
i read that if you have two 32mb cache HDD's in raid 0, the performance is right under the very pricey 10,000 rpm Raptor drives.

So i figured if i'm going to get 2 drives, might as we'll put them in raid-0 with 32mb cache. Unless that is just a giant lie =), again i'm going on the word of others

/thanks again for all the responses. i love this forums already

EDIT: - just reread what you said. you said the link u provided is a faster drive. i'm not sure i understand how though. there both 7200rpm. but the one i have has more cache, which i figured would be better performance etc.
December 18, 2008 7:15:07 PM

you won't need 8GB of memory really, it's overkill as well.

PLEASE don't disregard the PSU thing, a bad PSU can make your experience a horrible one either in the immediate future, or a year down the road, if you are investing money into this machine, make SURE it has a decent Power Supply, i cannot stress that enough...
December 18, 2008 7:17:45 PM

8GB of RAM isn't really needed, but at the current price you might as well pick up 8GB if you want. I currently run 4GB and have really been considering bumping up to 8GB just because of the low prices. The only downside I can see is that it's harder on the motherboard to have all the RAM slots filled, but it shouldn't be a big deal. You might just have to bump up the voltage on the RAM and northbridge a notch.

There will be memory multiplier you can choose that will allow you to run your DDR2 800 RAM at full speed even without overclocking the processor. You might want to read up on overclocking, however. The E8500 is a great processor and getting 3.8GHz (9.5 x 400) shouldn't be a problem. That way you'll be running at a 1:1 ratio.

The reason people usually suggest DDR2 800 RAM is because DDR2 800 with tight timings (4-4-4-12) is essentially the same speed as DDR2 1066 RAM at 5-5-5-15 timings. The only time DDR2 1066 RAM is needed is for extreme (over 1600MHz FSB) overclocking. Even then, quality DDR2 800 RAM kits like the ones I posted above will easily overclock since they run at low voltage.
December 18, 2008 7:19:54 PM

jonpaul37 said:
you won't need 8GB of memory really, it's overkill as well.

PLEASE don't disregard the PSU thing, a bad PSU can make your experience a horrible one either in the immediate future, or a year down the road, if you are investing money into this machine, make SURE it has a decent Power Supply, i cannot stress that enough...

Dont worry i wont disregard the PSU thing, i just would really prefer a modular cabling one. or is that going to cost too much ? trying to stick with a PSU that is 600watt and above
December 18, 2008 7:22:11 PM

The HD cache has little to no effect on the speed of the HD. The 640GB drives have higher density than the 500GB models. Data density has much more impact on drive speed than cache. You can't base your decision off the drive RPM alone. Here's a good article that compares quite a few different models:

If you want the best of both worlds pick up the black edition of the 640GB drive since it also has a 32MB cache.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $84.99
December 18, 2008 7:24:26 PM

With the 1333 FSB the memory would normally run at 666 MHz. The FSB is quad pumped (333X4) and the memory is double pumped (333X2) unless you play with the memory multipliers. It is usually better to leave the memory at the standard 1:1 ratio, which means 666 (667) at your 1333 FSB.
December 18, 2008 7:25:13 PM

Not all Ultra X3 power supplies are crap - but you happened to pick one that is: HardOCP Ultra X3 600w review
Go with one of the PSUs recommended above. Add the Corsair TX650 $99 (plus $20 rebate) as a recommended PSU.

Using DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) is not a failure - it's just not necessary to get a well balanced system.
The (PC2 8500) rating stands for bandwidth of a single stick or 8.5Gb/s. In dual channel mode 2 sticks = 17.0Gb/s bandwidth.
The CPU/Northbridge link is 10.6Gb/s at stock 1333FSB and when OC'd to 3.8Ghz (1600FSB) the bandwidth is 12.8Gb/s.
DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) is 6.4Gb/s in single channel and 12.8Gb/s in dual channel mode. So DDR2 800 (PC2-6400) in dual channel mode (12.8Gb/s) has enough bandwidth to service an OC'd 3.8Ghz CPU (12.8Gb/s).

There is a small advantage that 1066 might have over 800 if both are operating at the same CAS/Latency (CAS5 for example). But the small advantage is usually not really worth the increased cost of 1066 low latency RAM.
December 18, 2008 7:30:31 PM

If you're really hung up on the modular PSU you can check out the Corsair 620HX.

CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $149.99 - $30 MIR

It's a little spendy, but you can't go wrong with Corsair PSU's. I have the 520HX and love it.
December 18, 2008 7:47:51 PM

thanks again for all the input guys

I plan to OC my e8500 to 3.8ghz so that it is 1:1 with ddr2-800 memory.

is the CPU cooler that i linked sufficient ?

i was using this as a guide for how loud and well it performs and the one i picked lands right where i like it =)

just not sure how that will effect it if i OC to 3.8ghz

Oh and WR2 - to see if i understand the 1:1 timing, that would be the 12.8Gb/s bandwith of the 1600fsb 3.8ghz CPU with the 12.8Gb/s PC2-6400 right ?

which would be the same as me sticking with 1333fsb at 10.6Gb/s 3.16ghz CPU with the memory at PC2-5300 which would equal 10.6Gb/s to the NB.

so both of those are 1:1 timing, but the OC'ed one is...well overclocked..thus performing better.

i hope thats how it works because it now makes sense to me lol.
December 18, 2008 7:54:28 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The HD cache has little to no effect on the speed of the HD. The 640GB drives have higher density than the 500GB models. Data density has much more impact on drive speed than cache. You can't base your decision off the drive RPM alone. Here's a good article that compares quite a few different models:

If you want the best of both worlds pick up the black edition of the 640GB drive since it also has a 32MB cache.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM $84.99

would that be even better than the 640gig since its 750gig , = higher density ?

only 4 dollars more.

also , should i bother to raid 0 these ? if so then i'll jump back down to the least expensive one and raid 0 that to still stay within budget

EDIT - anyone know how to change the timezone cause its saying i posted this at 10:54 PM , but its only 4:54 EST my time. i cant find any settings to do that under my profile
December 18, 2008 7:56:47 PM

For the card reader I suggest this one:

I have it and it works perfectly with SDHC up to 32Gb, plus you have front audio, front esata, 1 front firewire and 3 front USB.

Like the others, change the PSU get a PC power and cooling or a Corsair.
you don't really need 1066mhz ddr2, go with ddr2-800mhz less expensive and you won't get better performance with 1066mhz RAM. better look for 4-4-4-12 timing.

as for the creative sound card, you don't really need it, at least try the onboard sound first.

for the HDD get a WD 640Gb, better performance.

For the video card. you're better with a hd4870 1Gb since you have a xfire MB, this mean you can add another 48701Gb later and have 2 video card for better performance.

For the thermal paste you're better with AS5 or MX-2.
December 18, 2008 8:00:55 PM

Heheh not quite, just because its bigger doesnt equal higher density. the 750GB drive has the same density as the 500GB, it has 3 instead of 2 250GB platters.
December 18, 2008 8:03:51 PM

any one of those is better than the other ? or just stick with the cheapest
December 18, 2008 8:45:16 PM

Well, the XMS2-DHX is the best because it has the lowest timings. However, there's other memory with the same 4-4-4-12 timings at a lower voltage, and it is actually cheaper if you don't count the rebate (which tend to be a pain anyways).

December 18, 2008 9:01:58 PM

is G.Skill a wise investment though over Corsair ? or is it known enough that i shouldnt have any issues getting that memory ?

Also, i was thinking about me over clocking the CPU to 1600FSB in order to match the DDR2-800 at a 1:1 timing ratio, but to be honest i've never OC'ed before. I'm a computer savvy enough person and intelligent enough to be able to read up a whole lot on how to do it etc.,

but up to 3.8ghz seems a lil scary to me lol. not sure if my CPU Cooler could handle it ? or if i would have to go to water cooling.

would it be better to just let it sit at default 1333fsb with ddr2-800
or lower the memory down to ddr2-667 , or only OC it by a little bit, which i guess there are ranges to shoot for ? from 3.16ghz to 3.4ghz CPU with memory at...well shoot i dont know what the memory would have to be at that FSB, but i know lower than 800.
December 18, 2008 9:06:34 PM

Power supply: +1 on the Corsair HX-620 power supply. Corsair's TX 650 might be simpler because it has a single 12V rail, but it is not modular. Therefore, because you would like modularity, go with the HX version instead (though it has 3 12V power rails). PC Power & Cooling is great too, but again, not modular. I myself use the PC P&C Silencer 610 and it is perfect (I prefer one single 12 V rail)--everything is zip tied at the bottom side of my case and I don't mind the extra bulk there because it doesn't interfere with airflow anyways. I also don't have a clear side panel so interior looks don't matter as much.

RAM: go with the Corsair C4DHX version if you don't mind spending the extra cash. Tighter timings than the C5 variants and it has the better heat sink. They are apparently Dominator modules that didn't make the grade at the factory, so they would probably have better OC headroom. I.e. you will probably want to OC higher later on.

Hard drive: B-unit is right on--it is density per platter that matters, and the WD Black 640 GB has the higher density (160 GB/platter side) compared to the 500 GB version and the 750 GB version (check out the densities per platter on the WD website). Only the 1 TB version has higher platter density (166 GB / platter side). Therefore, if speed is the concern, go with the 640 unless you want to spend extra for 1 TB.

CPU cooling: your Noctua is fine. However, if cost is a consideration, you might consider the direct touch models which are more efficient at lower cost, e.g. Xigmatek S1283 and Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer 4.
December 18, 2008 9:24:09 PM

G.Skill is great value for the money--cheaper than Corsair. When running at the same speed, memory will be the same. The difference would be which RAM module has the higher OC limit. If you want to save money, go with G.Skill. It doesn't hurt to have some extra headroom for later OC. With your setup, the issue with going beyond DDR2-800 is really if you want to use a memory divider higher than 1:1. Even with a FSB of 450 MHz, your RAM is only running at DDR2-900, which would be feasible with rated DDR2-800. G.Skill's DDR2-1066 would give you the headroom to try maybe 1.2 or 1.25 memory multiples later on.

You should have no issues with a 1600 FSB on your E8500. If you buy in the near future, you will probably get the E0 stepping which is better for OC than the C0 version. In addition, your Noctua cooler would be more than sufficient and you won't need water cooling for 3.8 GHz. Now if you wanted 5 GHz, that's a different story...

Also regarding OC, if you're not going to OC, then don't bother with an aftermarket cooler. The stock one is fine. Maybe what you could do is build the rig first and run it stock, then OC later. Only downside is that when you do that, you will want to put in a heatsink that requires you to mount a backplate, in which case you will have to take out the mobo to do that, which is a pain once you've put it all together nicely. If it were me, I would just install the big cooler up front to save the hassle, run it at stock for a while, then push the OC limit when you feel more comfortable.
December 18, 2008 9:43:49 PM

If you buy in the near future, you will probably get the E0 stepping which is better for OC than the C0 version.

confused on that statement lol

if you could elaborate =)
December 18, 2008 10:22:38 PM

Consider the e8400 over the e8500 you will get a good over clock from both the e8400 is just a bit cheaper.

+1 to Akebono re the mem.

Yep get a good PSU.
December 18, 2008 11:03:46 PM

Stepping refers to the different versions of the same processor over the course of its production life. The newer versions will have improvements ironing out earlier bugs and will be able to overclock higher. Therefore, if your intent is to overclock, then you should look for a slightly older processor with a higher stepping. You obviously would not be able to get E0 stepping on the newly introduced i7 processors. I defer to any Intel engineers out there who would like to provide the nitty gritty technical explanations on this one. :whistle: 

In your case of the E8500, E0 is newer than C0. Later letter of the alphabet denotes newer stepping. Check out the following link from Intel's website for a current listing of Core 2 Duo processors:

Intel Core 2 Duo spec page

I recently purchased an E8500 (the vendor had no guarantees of stepping when I placed the order) and received an E0 version--its external box label listed its sSpec# as SLB9K and a pack date of August 20, 2008.

So what I meant was that because no one keeps piles of old inventory around in this business, it is highly likely that you will get an E0 version since I would assume that Intel's factory is no longer producing C0s.

When I went to pick up my order, the salesman also gave me a coy look as he silently pointed out this feature in a very crowded room! :sol: 
December 19, 2008 2:37:30 AM

The 1284 has 4 heat pipes while the 1283 has 3. That means that the 1284 will have a higher cooling capacity (theoretically, 1/3 more). You probably only need the 1284 if you want to do extreme OCing since the 1283 is more than sufficient. However, it doesn't hurt to have a little more headroom and as I alluded to previously, you might really get into this OC thing after a while and want to push the envelope--$3 is a negligible price difference for a potentially larger cooling capacity. I would just go with the 1284 in your case 'cause of that.

The RS version of the 1283 is the "Red Scorpion" version with a red fan and LED lighting. You won't need that unless you can show it off through a transparent side panel at LAN parties. The colours might also clash with your ABS case... Me thinks that $3 is better spent on the 4th heat pipe... LOL

If you go with a Xigmatek, because of the weight, it is safer to also use the Thermalright LGA 775 Bolt Through kit (with backplate) instead of the stock pushpins. You'll need to use a pair of cutters to cut off the plastic pushpin assemblies on the Xigmatek's original mounting bracket before you screw in the backplate.

One more little thing about the Xigmatek that is not lol: I've never seen your ABS case in real life, but the Newegg pictures indicate that there is a bit of a bulge into the case interior from the side fans right where the top of the heatsink would need clearance. As the Xigmatek is fairly tall, I'm not sure if it will clear those gigantic fans. I have a 1283 sitting inside a CM-690 and there is no clearance for an additional side fan above the heatsink. So if you ordered this whole mess of parts from Newegg and it turns out that the cooler doesn't fit, then that would really be LOL!

Anybody out there know if there is enough clearance for a Xigmatek heatsink in this ABS case???
December 19, 2008 3:04:21 AM

ya i'm not so sure if i'm going to stick with that case or not

i choose it because i WANT a full tower (hate midtower - too hard to work in with my man hands). and i dont want to have to spend alot of money for it at the same time. which ...seems hard to find. that ABS A+ case is the only one really that i could that seemed worthy i suppose.

EDIT : i'm going for the Xigmatek Red Scorpion

with this backplate for it

December 19, 2008 4:41:55 AM

Red Scorpion, eh? In that case, you would want to use an Antec Twelve Hundred Full Tower with clear side panel... Just make sure your wiring looks neat!
December 19, 2008 4:54:40 AM

Why would he need an Antec 1200 for the Red Scorpion cooler? The 1200 is a nice case, but the Antec 900 also has a clear side window and has plenty of room for his setup.
December 19, 2008 5:14:30 AM

My apologies shortstuff_mt, bumped into you on one or two other threads tonight and I think that one of my posts didn't make sense in light of your response.

As for Zonian's build, I think a 900 is fine too but he states that he wants a full tower. Any other reason why you need / want a full tower, Zonian???
December 19, 2008 5:24:30 AM

cause my last build was on a mid-tower , and i hated every minute of it

full tower are soooo much more roomier and i prefer the ease of work / freedom to move my hands around etc.

plus that xigmatek is pretty big lol. i dont want to get it and then all of a sudden find out that its not going to fit
December 19, 2008 5:47:04 AM

interesting question i just thought of after looking at the Antec 1200

if i get that case, would it benefit me to position the cpu cooler facing vertically , with air being drawn from below (near video card), and pushing upwards to the roof, since there is that big fan there and 'heat rises' and all that ?

or just stick with the normal -front to back- horizontal method that 99% of computer builds look like.
December 19, 2008 6:44:14 AM

Try both and see which works better. I have a 1200, and my Thermalright Ultra Extreme 120 is mounted in the standard way, but I've seen people mount them the other way too, blowing towards the top.
December 19, 2008 7:03:10 AM

Looks like 1200 it is...

Alignment probably only matters if you're splitting hairs but remember that the top fan is meant to spin more slowly and also has the job of moving the hot air away from the memory sticks too. Practically speaking, just install it the usual way and fuggetaboutit. Use the normal "river" analogy if you want to think through your airflow.

The more relevant consideration is that the heatsink itself is designed to have its heatpipes aligned the usual way, and also the alignment of the base against the CPU surface (more important for Quad cores).

Regarding the case itself, here's an article directly on point from this site you could have a look at: Full Tower Cases Article

You might want to consider the Coolermaster 932 HAF, as it has more space between the video card and the hard drive cage--might be easier on your hands ;) 
December 19, 2008 7:06:43 AM

A couple of things here :

If you want to built in a full tower, I'd suggest taking a look at the Cooler Master HAF 932. I have just switched my rig from a 900 to this and WOW this is a humongous case, it cavernous really. It also offers plenty of opening for cable routing. What's more ? the front 230 mm fan has red led lighting which would complement well you Red Scorpion Xigmatek LOL. Aesthetic aside, this is an awesome case which can accommodate the most robust setup you can think of.

On a side note the Xigmatek can fit in the 900 with a side fan installed.

As far as the installation is concerned, just use the standard method with the fan blowing from the front to the rear case fan.