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First build, could use a couple suggestions regarding picked items

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December 31, 2008 5:03:54 AM

Hey guys,
I've worked two jobs the past semester so that I could build this system and finally get rid of my Latitude D820 school laptop, so I'd like it to be workable. I plan on budgeting it at around 1,000 or 1,100 dollars (not incl. peripherals). I know that range may not give me a fantastic computer, but it's my first and I figured that I should not be spending an inordinate amount of money (yet :p ). I plan on primarily using this system for gaming but will obviously do basic tasks on it as well, probably with some version of Vista 64-bit.

I'm no expert, but am pretty tech-savy and have scoured different reviews and sample builds so that I could try to make my very own. I picked these out due to their value, quality, and of course (mostly) free shipping! Alright, well here's what I have so far:

CPU:
1x Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I chose this because it seems as though the quads are still a bit overpriced and, through reviews, this seems as though it would do the trick for me.

Motherboard:
1x GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This was selected because of its good reviews on NewEgg, and people seem to think that overclocking on it is easy and my learning curve would probably be better. It also has a $20.00 MIR if I order it by tomorrow.

CPU Cooler:
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Got nothing but good reviews on it, and it's cheaper than a lot of those that I've read.

Memory:
1x G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Might upgrade to two once I get a few 2nd semester shifts under my belt)
This is definitely within my price range and seems to be of the quality that I would like for my first build.

These next two I have already ordered because of the MIR that ends at midnight tomorrow (12/31), so I would be saving more money if I keep them than I would lose by having to return them in place of something else. Total saved would be about 50 bucks.

Video Card:
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I was looking for a gig video card and this seemed like a pretty good deal to me!

Power Supply:
PC Power & Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The savings before New Year's on this product are off the wall and I certainly could not keep my eyes off it!

Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I wasn't sure if a VelociRaptor was necessary but it was pretty expensive and this was more in line of what I wanted, both size-wise and speed-wise.

Case:
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hopefully the massive size of this Mid Tower case will make my first build easier.

Optical Drive:
LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Free shipping!

Total: $944.91 - $70.00 MIR = $874.91
The rest of the budget will be used towards the OS, and I know I'll get scolded if I ask for an opinion on Vista Home Premium x64 ($100) and Vista Ultimate x64 ($170). I'm edging more towards Home Premium x64 as of now.

Ok, that should be it! I'm hoping to get some input as soon as possible, so I can order anything with a MIR that expires in 22 hours at one point tomorrow! I really appreciate your time if you've read this far...thanks!

Mike
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December 31, 2008 5:29:17 AM

Nice job! You've certainly done your homework. The only suggestion I have is to upgrade the CPU cooler. The last review I read on the ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro showed tall RAM hitting the cooler. I have the G.Skill PI Black RAM and it's awesome, but the coolers are tall. That may cause a clearance issue, especially since you might upgrade to 8GB. I'd go with this cooler:

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $36.99 - $10.00 MIR

XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $8.49

That cooler's a little more expensive, but worth every penny IMO.

+1 for the 640GB drive. The 640GB drives have higher data density than the 500GB ones which makes them faster.
December 31, 2008 5:29:34 AM

Thanks for those responses so far, guys (I know, I know, it's been 20 minutes but I was hoping to get as much work done as I can before I crash for the night). I read through your posts, Multiplicity, and saw what some responses stated about that PSU: It looks like an awesome idea. I just canceled my order because of that and would be ecstatic if I could save 40 bucks for a comparable CrossFire-ready PSU. I'll call NewEgg tomorrow to make sure that order gets canceled and my account is credited with the money so that I can re-purchase tomorrow. Well, I hope that wasn't impulsive to do that, but I have enough money in the bank to make that order again by tomorrow.

I can't believe I skipped over that 640gb hard drive while browsing...goes to show how late it is!
December 31, 2008 6:03:18 AM

One more thing, would it be worth it to save up for a HDMI capable monitor or, since I don't plan on watching Blu-Rays on my comp, is it not worth it? I don't know if I would get any more out of the newer games with that added capability. At any rate, I was planning on getting a 22" LCD monitor (probably Acer due to their unbeatable price and solid quality).
December 31, 2008 6:28:16 AM

Yes Acer would be a good choice of moniter, if you are planing to OC your cpu then you should stick with a E8500, it can be overclocked much better then a E8400.
January 4, 2009 5:25:00 PM

Thanks, I have just one more question. I'll be building this and testing this at my work study (ITS/Help Desk) because I will not be purchasing a monitor for a couple weeks (definitely forgot about buying books this semester) and they have enough peripherals for me to test it. When the time comes to buy a monitor, what should I be looking for? The things that I think are important so far are: resolution, response time, and size (in that order).

If I plan on spending 180-200 bucks max for the monitor, is there anything in particular I should go for? So far I've narrowed my choices down to these few:

Sceptre X22HG-Naga 22" Widescreen 16:10 LCD Monitor - 1680x1050, WSXGA, 2000:1, 2ms, VGA, DVI, Black
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Synaps 21" Widescreen LCD Monitor - 5ms, 1680 x 1050, WSXGA+, 1000:1 Native, DVI, VGA, Built-In Speakers
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Hanns·G Hi-221DPB Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 Built in Speakers - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Acer X203Wbd Black 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 ACM - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ok, so some of these choices could seem redundant like the last two. I have no idea how important ACM is, etc. I also don't need built-in speakers, it was just a convenience (?) that a couple of the monitors that appealed to me had them.

Thanks again for your help so far guys!

Mike
January 15, 2009 11:50:06 PM

So I finally got all my parts (used a NZXT Tempest instead, bought a Microsoft Reclusa for its blue LED, aand will buy a mouse with a blue LED :p )! I spent a few hours putting everything together and realized that I need a fan controller for most of the six fans that the case came with. Everything installed pretty easily actually! I'm just having a bit of trouble managing most of the cords coming from the PSU as there are a TON.

Booted it up, POST completed, so I popped in the Windows Vista install disk. Turns out I was shipped the 32-bit version instead of the 64-bit version :(  (the box even said 64-bit! The cd must have been packed wrong because it said 32 bit directly on it). I guess I'll have to wait a couple days for the RMA.

Just a question if anyone bothers reading this...when I tried to boot up the Windows Vista disk so that I could install it, the CD booted but when it almost completed, my mouse cursor was the only thing on the screen! I waited a few minutes and nothing still happened...any explanation for this? I am just hoping that the issue is not hardware and is in fact software as I need a 64 bit OS.

Mike
!