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EDIT: MUST PURCHASE IN 30 MINUTES. EXTREMELY URGENT.

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February 13, 2009 11:32:00 PM

I'm new to the site, and am starting to wander around the various articles.

I need a new desktop computer, and would love to build one. I guess I'm looking for something in between the $1250 and $2500 SBM builds. I'd like the computer to be 'relevant' for several years, and would like something top of the line now. I don't have a fixed budget, but I'm picturing something $1500-$2000-ish should do it. If there's a good reason for going over $2000, I'd probably be ok with that. I have no preference AMD/Intel. Application wise, I'm a programmer, designer, and a multi-tasker (I'm all about the software, but I'm clueless for hardware details). I'll use the pc mostly for coding and media. TV-tuner, video editing, music, etc. I need the full works: printer/scanner, monitor, etc. I haven't really looked into it, but if there's wanting to look into getting mac's leopard to dual boot (only for iphone app writing), then that's something to consider. I know I need to start with picking a cpu/processor, but I'm kinda at a loss in terms of figuring out what is best for me.

I'm just looking for any suggestions at all. Thanks,

More about : edit purchase minutes extremely urgent

February 13, 2009 11:46:05 PM

Go for something like this:
http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx...
I have 2 300GB Velociraptors in there to run in Raid 0 for super speed, but it isn't necessary and you could just get the 1TB drive and be well within your budget after the $50 MIR from the PSU and GFX card, as well as have an awesome system. You can combo the Mobo and CPU for $30 off too. You could then OC your i7 with that cooler and get a very fast high end system. i7 is the way to go for a top of the line build right now. That PSU will allow for you to get another GTX 295 down the road to run in SLI, if you just wanted to stay with one graphics card, then look at the Corsair 750tx or the PC Power&Cooling 750w silencer.

You are looking at $1937 if you drop the velociraptors and after the combo and MIR. If you drop the PSU to the 750w, you knock about $130 more off, but close the door to adding another graphics card down the road.
February 13, 2009 11:46:39 PM

Here are a few suggestions to help get you get started in your build:

CPU: Intel i7 920 (overclock this to 3.8-4.0 GHz)

Mobo: Asus P6T Deluxe V2 (best all-round solution)

RAM: Mushkin DDR3-1600

Heatsink: Scythe Mugen 2 (good value here)

Thermal Paste: Arctic Cooling MX-2

HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB (best overall drive, you'll probably need the capacity for your applications, could consider various RAID options with this)

Monitor: Samsung T240 (excellent quality and esthetically pleasing for a work rig)


Have a read of Proximon's guide that is stickied at the top of this forum--it's very helpful.
February 14, 2009 12:14:45 AM

Will you be gaming much at all? I assumed you were, but if that isn't a huge interest to you, then you can go with a GTX 260 (or cheaper like HD 4830) and put the money saved towards a TV tuner (~$80), Mouse/keyboard (~100), printer (~100), and a monitor (~160)

Acer monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TV tuner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MX518 Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Logitech keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 14, 2009 12:48:48 AM

xthekidx and I have many similar views in these forums. And you'll notice that we posted within 34 seconds of each other too! :) 
February 14, 2009 12:53:49 AM

Regarding monitor recommendations, I probably should have recommended the Samsung T240HD over the T240, as the HD version has a built-in TV tuner.
February 14, 2009 2:28:54 AM

Thanks for the suggestions so far! Nah, I don't really do any gaming. I usually just have about 15-20 things open like photoshop, premiere, dreamweaver, music, burning dvds, etc. Though now I'm just going to open a ton of browser tabs for the parts suggested. *tends to over research*

Ideally, I'd like everything to come in under $2000, printer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, tv tuner, computer parts, os, everything.
February 14, 2009 2:43:09 AM

For no gaming at all, then get the HD 4830 or 4650, they will be fine.
February 14, 2009 8:26:59 PM

I did a search for those, and it seems there's a few different brands that match. Also I'm gonna nix the HD monitor, because you can't do any recording with the built-in tv tuner.
February 16, 2009 11:52:50 PM

With the various video card brands, look closely at the various features offered (like connector type).

Are you going to be video editing in HD? If so, then you'll need RAID 0 and max RAM as well.
February 17, 2009 2:38:58 AM

I've never done anything with RAID. I was looking at the 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda drive. I haven't really figured out how I'm going to back things up though. MicroCenter has the 1.5TB Seagate for $110 this week, so that's why I was looking at that.

I see all the various features on the video cards, but I'm not sure how to turn that into a decision yet.

The mobo mentioned ^^^ has a max of 12gb, and I am thinking of going with 6gb.

Speaking of that sale, it ends Friday, so I'll be acting this week.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a more definitive list. I know the case suggested ^^^ is not one that MicroCenter sells.
February 17, 2009 3:18:14 AM

If you tend to over-research, then I'm sure that you've come across the problems surrounding the Seagate 7200.11 drives... Whatever you do, don't go with that 1.5TB drive!

Judging from your OP, the Caviar Black 1TB would be best for you. The Caviar Blacks are very reliable and fast, and the 1TB has the highest platter density in this family, so it is also the fastest HDD of the Caviar Blacks. Not to mention the fact that it has the highest capacity too.

The simplest backup solution is to archive to recordable DVDs, but it would seem that you might have a lot of media. If so, then perhaps consider running 2 HDDs with the second one as the backup (but still archive important data to DVDs). The gold standard is what businesses use: data stored on a RAID array in a server with off-site backup on tape. You can create any backup solution in-between the points on this spectrum.

Actually, both P6T Deluxe and P6T Deluxe V2 support 24GB (6x4GB modules). The best RAM solution is usually to fill one bank of slots now and leave the other bank open for subsequent expansion. That way you don't waste any RAM.

Looking forward to seeing your list.
February 17, 2009 3:34:59 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... says "Maximum Memory Supported 12GB". Is there another one I should be looking at?

This could be my misunderstanding, but in a RAID array, don't you need 3+ drives to support not losing any data if 1 drive fails? Seems an expensive route to go.

And yeah, I've seen the review problems with the 1.5TB drive, but I've only heard good things from people I actually know that have them.

I think my most undecided at this point is the case and the video card. I have absolutely no clue on the case, and i'll probably do the hd 4850x2, 4850, or 4830 once I figure out the differences. Then I just have to figure out which company to get whichever model. Decisions, decisions. :) 
February 17, 2009 4:06:46 AM

How about a 4850? It is a good compromise for a system not used for gaming, and it will will stay current for a while. Plus, you can add another later. If I am correct, CS4 can now take advantage of the GPU. This could be a thing to consider.
February 17, 2009 4:16:52 AM

Greg_77 said:
How about a 4850? It is a good compromise for a system not used for gaming, and it will will stay current for a while. Plus, you can add another later. If I am correct, CS4 can now take advantage of the GPU. This could be a thing to consider.


4850 is complete overkill for no gaming, and what would be the point of adding another?
February 17, 2009 5:03:41 AM

I saw the 24GB limit on the Asus website specs here: link.

Minimum RAID configuration for data redundancy is 2 identical drives in RAID 1 (a mirrored array). The 3+ drives that you mention is RAID 5, which has parity.

RAID is really meant to provide uninterrupted operation in a business, when 1 drive fails. However, some people use the mirroring feature as "automatic backup". But it's not really backup in the true sense, as RAID 1 only hedges the risk of 1 drive failing. Archiving to a media form that can be physically separate from your computer is true backup. E.g. your office has a fire, but your data is safe, or a virus destroys your HDDs, but archived DVDs are not affected, so you can restore your data. RAID is expensive and used when the situation is valuable enough.

For your case, consider getting one of the quiet ones since this is more of a work rig--Coolermaster Cosmos 1000, Sileo 500, Antec P182, Silverstone TJ-09.
February 17, 2009 3:59:27 PM

The Cosmos 1000 would be great, but $175 is more than I'd like to spend on a case. I'm looking at the Antec Three Hundred ($45), the Sileo 500 Silent ($68), and I'm not sure what else.

I'd like the machine to be quiet, and I don't care about lights.

Basically, anything I get at MicroCenter, I don't have to pay shipping for, and it seems to be cheaper, but they don't have everything in stock. (If you put in the KS store, only items in stock are returned when you search, but it isn't a querystring, so I can't link to it). If there's things I need to get on NewEgg or another website, I'm mainly ok with that.

As for the hard drives, I thought with RAID 0, 2 drives, if 1 drive fails, the other fails also. So in order to not lose data, you need RAID 5 so you have the 3+ drives and parity. If that is true, I'm not sure I see the point of RAID 0. I'm sure I'm misunderstanding something - I'm just starting to look into the RAID options.

Hmm, NewEgg does seem to have better prices on the 4830 and 4850 graphics cards - though I'm still confused about the different companies. If the 4850 is overkill, is the 4830 overkill?
February 17, 2009 5:38:15 PM

Look at the CoolerMaster 690 case, its a great case, very roomy and great cooling, and aesthetically pleasing too. If you want quiet, you can look at the NZXT Hush case.

The point of Raid 0 is that you have two drives working independantly of each other, so the work is split between the two drives, giving you a major speed boost for read/writes. Raid 5 is similar, but has another drive to backup data kinda like raid 1, and will also give you a speed boost, although not as much as Raid 0. Raid 1 gives no speed boost, but your data is very secure. If you want very fast speeds and security, you can get two drives in raid 0 and a third data drive to backup your files, which is what I would recommend doing. However Raid 0 is not necessarily a disaster waiting to happen. If you pick two very reliable drives, such as the WD caviar blacks, then you have a pretty good chance that your data won't get lost. Raid 0 is mostly useful to people who game though and aren't worried about losing data, and since you don't game, Raid 5 might be a better fit for you.

I would just go with the 4830 or 4650, they will both be plenty for your needs.

February 17, 2009 7:04:18 PM

I've been looking at PC parts for the last 30 days or so myself as a friend asked to build him a computer. His needs are similar to yours with the exception he wanted a video card that could run crysis and he would overclock. Since you don't aren't really into gaming and I would guess that your not an over clocker these are the options I would recommend.

AMD Platform
Phenom II 940BE - $230
ASUS M3A78-T 790GX - $140
G.Skill 4x2GB DDR2 800 - $100
Total $470

Intel Platform
Core i7 920 - $275
Asus P6T Deluxe - $300
G.Skill 3x2GB DDR3 1066 - $120
ASUS 3450 - $30
Total - $725
Intel advantage, greater (33% +/- 10%) speed that will benefit durning video editing and encoding.
Intel disadvantage, $255. You'll have to decide if the cost justifies the gains.

Case/PSU choice 1
Antec 300 - $60
PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS500 500W - $75
Total - $135

Case/PSU choice 2
Cooler Maseter Cosmos 1000 - $200
COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W - $175
Total - $375
Choice 2 advantage. This is an investment. It something that will save you money on your next system and system after that. In addition the case support

better airflow, easier to work with (more room inside, tool-less design) and acoustic dampining.
Choice 2 disadvantage, $240.

Standard stuff
ASUS VH242H - $240 (recommend getting 2) Built in speakers, 16:9
Seagate 1.5TB - $130 x 2 = $260 (RAID 1)
Windows Home Premium 64 bit OEM - 100
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1800 - $100 (don't know much about tuners but this one had good reviews)
Standard Logitech Keyboard and Mouse - $40
Any DVD Burner - $30
Speakers - ?? 2.1/5.1?
Printer - Laser/Inkjet, Color/Black and White, Cost per page, print speed?
Total - $770 + Speakers + Printer

AMD Platform, Case choice 1, Single Monitor
$470 + $135 + $770 = $1375

AMD Platform, Case choice 2, Single Monitor
$470 + $375 + $770 = $1615

AMD Platform, Case choice 1, Dual Monitor
$470 + $135 + $770 = $1615

AMD Platform, Case choice 2, Dual Monitor
$470 + $375 + $770 = $1855

Intel Platform, Case choice 1, Single Monitor
$725 + $135 + $770 = $1630

Intel Platform, Case choice 2, Single Monitor
$725 + $375 + $770 = $1870

Intel Platform, Case choice 1, Dual Monitor
$725 + $135 + $770 = $1870

Intel Platform, Case choice 2, Dual Monitor
$725 + $375 + $770 = $2110

The last thing I would recommend is an after market cooler, the Zalman 8700 $55. It runs really quite (compared to stock) and can offer the cooling (if you don't want to run silent) that an overclocked CPU would need. With that said I'd personally pick the AMD platform with dual monitors (if you have the desk space).
February 18, 2009 3:08:49 AM

The Sileo 500 would be quieter than the Antec 300. I, like xthekidx, also have the CM-690 case and love it. However, it is full mesh for cooling and not the quietest case.

Newegg does have free shipping on many items, so you can work with that too to complete your build.

In RAID 0, data is striped across 2 or more drives. That is, the complete data set is not replicated across the multiple drives. So if 1 drive fails, then the RAID 0 array is dead because the overall data set now has holes in it, from which there is no recovery. So the data is gone, but the good drive(s) can still be reused.

RAID 1 mirrors the data set across 2 drives, so both drives contain the same data (mirroring). So if 1 drive fails, then the other drive still contains a mirror image.

RAID 5 adds parity and works best in a business server.

RAID 0 is for speed only, while RAID 1 and 5 are for data redundancy (hedging against the failure of a single drive).

Here are 2 very good references for RAID:

Tom's Hardware Forum RAID FAQ

Wikipedia Entry on RAID

Simple backups to an external hard drive and/or DVDs sound more appropriate for you, however.

Gamers usually like Sapphire for ATI GPUs because they usually provide the best value. I personally like eVGA/nVidia for various reasons.

Since you're not doing anything that requires 3D capability, you'd be fine with a 4650 GPU. Another option to consider would be to get an eVGA 9500GT--it's generally cheaper than the 4650 and also has a 90 day step-up option (just in case you feel the urge to play Crysis ;) ).
February 18, 2009 3:43:57 AM

Ok, I'm starting this post with a goal of having each component + pros/cons laid out with total prices. We'll see how it goes. For the prices, MC = MicroCenter and NE = NewEgg.

CASES (concerns: size of the case, quiteness, expansion room):
-Antec Three Hundred Mid-Tower (MC $45, NE $60): I like the small dimensions. My existing VAIO is 14x14, so I don't feel like I'll be overwhelmed with this one. Only 3 drive external 5.25" drive bays, so a DVD reader + DVD writer + ummmm a card reader maybe? 6 internal 3.5" bays - I probably wouldn't want to go lower. It doesn't have an external 3.5" drive bay, but I'm not sure what I would use that for anyway. 7 expansion slots which seems to be common. Appears to have 2 USB and 2 audio connections on the Front/Top panel. Reviews indicate that it is quiet (good), but easily cramped (bad).
-Cooler Master RC 690 Mid-Tower (MC $70, NE $80): A couple inches bigger each direction than the Antec 300. What would I do with 5 external 5.25" drive bays? It only has 5 internal 3.5" bays, but 1 external, so I guess we'll call it even with 6 to the Antec 300. Again, 7 expansion slots, which seems to be common. Front/Top panel has 2 USB, 1 FireWire, 2 Audio, and a eSATA port (not that I know what that is). Reviews indicate there may be a noise issue (bad).
-Cooler Master RC 690 Mid-Tower WITH 550W Real Power Pro SLI Ready Power Supply (MC $136): Micro Center sells this case with the power supply included. Will need to see if this saves me any money and also if the power supply is appropriate.
-Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 Full-Tower (MC $176, NE $200): This case is 5+" wider and taller than the Antec 300. So what am I getting in all that extra space? It has 5 external 5.25 drive bays like the CM690 (2 more than the Antec 300), 1 external (like the CM690), 6 internal 3.5 bays (similar to both), and 7 expansion slots as is common. The Front/Top panel is the same as the CM690, but with 2 additional USB. Reviews all seem to agree that this is a great case that is quiet and spatious. A couple reviews mention this needing to be on a solid/hard surface, but mine will be on carpet unless I lay it on its side on the bottom of shelving.
-NZKT Hush Black Mid-Tower (NE $100): About the same size as the Antec 300 (good). Has 4 external 5.25" bays, 5 internal 3.5" bays + 2 external. 2 USB+2 Audio+1 Firewire are on the side, which would be a little awkward for my setup (right now my VAIO lays on its side on the bottom shelf of shelving, but with the new big cases, I'll probably have to sandwich it between my desk and said shelving. Would any of these cases be ok on their side?). Reviews say it is, uh, quiet (good). Front door closing seems iffy. MicroCenter does not sell this case.
-Sileo 500 Mid-Tower (NE $70): MicroCenter doesn't sell this. Size is good, and it is half as heavy as most of the other cases, though weight isn't really an important issue. 5 external 5.25" bays (too many?), 4 internal+1 external 3.5" bays (not enough?), and the usual 7 expansion slots. Front panel has 2 USB, 2 Audio, and an eSATA port. Only 2 reviews, but it seems to be quiet and no mention of it being cramped like the Antec 300.
-Antec P182 Mid-Tower (MC $120, NE $130): Dimensions seem large for a "mid-tower". 4 external 5.25" bays, 6 internal + 1 external 3.5" bays, and the usual 7 expansion slots. Front ports are 2 USB, 2 Audio, 1 Firewire. Reviews say it is large, and some say it is quiet, others say it isn't.

INTEL PROCESSOR
-Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor (MC $230, NE $289): Quad-Core is good. I multi-task a lot. Visual Studio + a few apps from Adobe's CreativeSuite to do photo and/or video work, while listening to music or playing a video. My understanding is that because of this, I should go quad-core. Basically, it's extremely fast, but also pricey, though MC's $60 off is helpful. It seems to be slower than the AMD route, but overclocking is a gigantic ? for me. I don't know what that involves, how reliable it is, what speeds that could get me up to, how easily I could accomplish it, etc.

INTEL MOBO
-ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard (NE $300): I'm trying to see how this compares to the non-deluxe, and it seems to just have more USB connections? This isn't the V2 that I've heard rumored. I don't see a V2 on NewEgg. MicroCenter does not sell the Deluxe model.
-ASUS P6T X58 1366 ATX Motherboard (MC $250, NE $250): It's not the Deluxe, though I'm not totally sure what that means.
Basically it seems I should do the ASUS P6T, but there seems to be 3 different models, only 1 of which MicroCenter sells, and only 2 of which NewEgg sells. Should I not consider the non-deluxe? Should I go track down the Deluxe V2?

INTEL VIDEO CARD (thread suggestions, note, I don't know what SLI and Crossfire are >_>)
Each model has different companies, so I'm just gonna list price ranges. Help choosing a company based on the model would be fabulous.
-HD4650 (MC 3 different ranging $88-$108, NE 21 different ones ranging $50-$100)
-HD4830 (MC $135, NE 8 different ones ranging $95-$135): MicroCenter only sells the Radeon HD 4830 512MB GDDR3 PCIe 2.0 Graphics Card (at $135).
-HD4850 (MC 2 different ones ranging $168-$192, NE 25 different ones ranging $135-$235)
-eVGA 9500GT (MC $88, NE $80): I'm assuming the DDR3 one here...and I don't know what Crysis is haha.

AMD PROCESSOR
Not a clue.
Ummmm, NE has them from $120 to $230, and MC only has the MD® Boxed Phenom II X4 Quad-Core Processor 940 for $230. Really, all I know about AMD is that Socket 3 just came out. I'd have to research these a heck of a lot more, but my inclination is that since I can get the i7 920 for $230 just like I could get the top of the AMD processors, I should stick with the Intel route?

AMD MOBO
Not a clue.
-ASUS M3A78-T AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard (MC $152, NE $139): Wow, NewEgg finally beat a MicroCenter price. ;)  As with the AMD processors, I really don't know where to begin, or what else to look for as an alternative to this.

AMD VIDEO CARD
Not a clue

POWER SUPPLIES (thread suggestions)
-PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS500 500W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply (MC $72, NE $75)
-PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply (MC $120, NE $110)
-COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W (MC $168, NE $175): Lower wattage, more money. Doesn't seem like a good value? PC P&C a better choice?

HARD DRIVES
I currently have a WD160gb, a WD120gb, and a Maxtor120gb that are between 5 and 7 years old. Besides them having data on them now, I'm thinking these are too old to use and I should use them as small backup drives? I can't decide on the hard drive setup I should go for. 2 small drives + 2 big drives in RAID 0 pairs? 2 small drives + 1 big drive? 1 small drive + 2 big drives? 1 big drive? All I know is I'm not sure spending money on the Velociraptors makes sense for me. Help! :)  This may be something I have to do last and see how the budget works out, though I'd love opinions.
-WD Caviar Black WD1001FALS (NE $130) and
-WD Caviar Black WD10000LSRTL (MC $140): Not sure what the difference between these 2 are. They're both the 1TB 7200RPM 32mb SATA300 Caviar Black.
-Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s (NE $130) and
-Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7,200RPM Serial ATA-300 Hard Drive ST315005N1A1ASR (MC $109): Again, not sure the difference. I know someone who picked up this drive from MicroCenter a few weeks ago and is considering getting another one given the price, but I also know people strongly recommend against the 1.5TB drive.

MEMORY (mostly just thread suggestions)
-mushkin 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 998679 (NE $200): MicroCenter doesn't sell mushkin ddr3
-G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model (NE 4 different ranging $131-$220): MicroCenter doesn't sell G.Skill
-Corsair Memory XMS3 6GB DDR3-1600 (PC-12800) CL9 DIMM Memory Kit (MC $164, NE $165)
-CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory (MC $150, NE $144)

COOLER (just what has been suggested in the thread)
-COOLER MASTER V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler (NE $70): MicroCenter doesn't sell this model, but has others from CM.
-Zalman 8700 (NE $53): MicroCenter doesn't sell this model, but has others from Zalman.

THERMAL COMPOUND (not sure what this is for, but it was suggested)
-ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound (NE $7): MicroCenter has other brands.

DVD WRITER
Does it matter? Are there any real differences? I bought a dvd writer probably 6 years ago when you had to make sure you bought the right kind of dvds to go with the drive, and even then, they didn't always work. I'm assuming this isn't the case anymore? I think for now I'll go with a single dvd reader/writer, and might add just a dvd reader later on for copying.

TV TUNER (just what has been suggested along with a couple random ones, for use with Windows Vista Media Center as a pvr...that's the only option I'm aware of...being able to watch something while recording something else is a bonus, will probably purchase later)
-ASUS My Cinema-PHC3-100/NAQ/FM/AV/RC TV Tuner Card PCI Interface (NE $80): Mentions that you can watch analog and digital simultaneously. With the conversion to digital tv, is there another tv tuner that might be better now? MicroCenter doesn't sell it.
-WinTV-HVR-1800 MC-Kit (MC $104, NE $99): Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but does it say only over-the-air-HD?
-DIAMOND ATI TV Wonder HD 650 TVW650PCI PCI Interface (NE $100)
Ok, it seems like most of these do analog or over-the-air hd. Maybe I'm confused about the whole analog/digital switch and my tv service (Charter or AT&T Uverse), and how I can use my pc too.


KEYBOARD/MOUSE
Not real worried about this, as long as it has media controls and programmable keys. Quiet keys. Mouse needs a scroll wheel. Both being wireless would be great.

MONITOR (just what has been suggested in the thread)
-Acer X203Wbd Black 20" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 ACM (MC $160, NE $150)
-Samsung T240HD (NE $400): Wow...that's a lot for a monitor. This particular built-in tv tuner can't record.

PRINTER/SCANNER
Uh, needs to print - b/w and color. And scan. If it had a loading area so I can scan multiple pages/photos at once, that'd be totally sweet. Printing cd/dvd labels, mailing labels, notecards would be great.

OPERATING SYSTEM + SOFTWARE
-Windows Vista Ultimate: This will be at educational pricing (The upgrade is $100 @ educational compared to $220 @ retail, but I'm not sure exactly how much the full version is). Should I go with 64-bit or stick with 32-bit?
-Office 2007 Pro: $80 educational pricing

SOUND CARD
-Stupid question, but I do need one, right? It looks like the mobos have sound...so?

...5 hours later...and that's my research. I'm kind of afraid to ask if I forgot anything. I'm hoping this gets a good discussion going. :) 
February 18, 2009 4:40:48 AM

eSata is external sata. It mainly used to connect external hard drives to your PC. Its much faster than USB 2.0 and Firewire 1394.

The cases your looking at are all good cases, its up to you to make the call.

If you can get $60 off the i7 920 and drop down to the non-deluxe ASUS x58 board then you'll want to go the Intel route.

From what you've stated you'll be using your PC for an videocard will do. I'd go with a 4830 just to have something that isn't complete garbage. As far as brand go, anything Saffire, Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, HSI its all good. Generally you'll just grab the cheapest one.

The PC Power and Cooling is a very good PSU brand, either one will do you good.

Most enthusiasts don't consider the VelociRaptor because it doesn't offer good price/performance. If your going with 3+ drives, just run it all in Raid 5. If you choose to run raid 1/5 its best that they are of the same size. Don't run raid 0, it offers very little speed bonus outside a benchmark/server enviroment.

Stick with 1066 for DDR3, there isn't much value in paying for the faster DDR3 modules as real world tests have shown little improvement for your money.

After market cooling is only really needed if you want to run silent or OC.
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm this link will show the best in the field in terms of cooling and silent/cooling. Anyone on that list will meet your requirements.

The thermal compound is placed between the CPU and the Heatsink. The stuff recommend tends to do a better job than what you get packed in with heatsinks normally.

It doesn't matter what DVD writer you get, they are all the same.

To be honest, for a Printer/Scanner I'd go to a Staples or Best buy. Have a look at them, talk to a rep, research it back home and then buy. I personally have always felt more comfortable shopping for this product this way.

You need 64 bit to access more the 4GB of RAM. IF you have 32 bit you can't utilize more than 4GB (so in a 6GB system you've just lost 2GB).

All motherboards come with built in soundcards. The built in sound is also quite good.
February 18, 2009 2:56:28 PM

MykC said:
eSata is external sata. It mainly used to connect external hard drives to your PC. Its much faster than USB 2.0 and Firewire 1394.

Ok, so if I'm looking to get an external drive for backups, I want an eSata connection?

MykC said:
The cases your looking at are all good cases, its up to you to make the call.

Hmm, not all include the eSata, but those don't seem to match up number-wise with the drive bays that seem good to me.

MykC said:
If you can get $60 off the i7 920 and drop down to the non-deluxe ASUS x58 board then you'll want to go the Intel route.

I'm working on figuring out the difference between the Non-Deluxe, Deluxe, and Deluxe V2. Is the Non-Deluxe good for a non-gamer that still wants performance?

MykC said:
From what you've stated you'll be using your PC for an videocard will do. I'd go with a 4830 just to have something that isn't complete garbage. As far as brand go, anything Saffire, Asus, MSI, Gigabyte, HSI its all good. Generally you'll just grab the cheapest one.

Ok, thanks.

MykC said:
The PC Power and Cooling is a very good PSU brand, either one will do you good.

I just wasn't sure if I needed to get the 750W. Otherwise, I'll definitely save $50 and get the 500W.

MykC said:
Most enthusiasts don't consider the VelociRaptor because it doesn't offer good price/performance. If your going with 3+ drives, just run it all in Raid 5. If you choose to run raid 1/5 its best that they are of the same size. Don't run raid 0, it offers very little speed bonus outside a benchmark/server enviroment.

I think I'm leaning towards either the 1.5TB Barracuda or the 1TB Caviar Black. Also, getting a smaller (500gb maybe?) drive in the $50-$60 range for OS/Apps. I read somewhere to set this drive to read-only after getting set-up and having everything else go to the 2nd drive, but this doesn't make any sense to me on how that would work. I think I'll then do an external drive for backups. Actually, with my old drives in my 7yr old VAIO, maybe I should just get an enclosure. You can get backup software other than what comes bundled with the external drives right? Any problem with getting just an enclosure over an actual external drive?

MykC said:
Stick with 1066 for DDR3, there isn't much value in paying for the faster DDR3 modules as real world tests have shown little improvement for your money.

Is this the 1066 (PC8500) or the 1333 (PC10666)/1333 (PC10600) ?

MykC said:
After market cooling is only really needed if you want to run silent or OC.
http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm this link will show the best in the field in terms of cooling and silent/cooling. Anyone on that list will meet your requirements.

Alright, looks like $50-$60 should be fine here.


MykC said:
The thermal compound is placed between the CPU and the Heatsink. The stuff recommend tends to do a better job than what you get packed in with heatsinks normally.

Got it.

MykC said:
It doesn't matter what DVD writer you get, they are all the same.

Got it.

MykC said:
To be honest, for a Printer/Scanner I'd go to a Staples or Best buy. Have a look at them, talk to a rep, research it back home and then buy. I personally have always felt more comfortable shopping for this product this way.

Yeah, and this isn't something I need day 1 in order to get the computer running.

MykC said:
You need 64 bit to access more the 4GB of RAM. IF you have 32 bit you can't utilize more than 4GB (so in a 6GB system you've just lost 2GB).
D'oh! I knew that. >_>

1900474,22,368871 said:
All motherboards come with built in soundcards. The built in sound is also quite good.
[/quote]
said:

Works for me.

I think my long posts have scared everyone else off. :( 
February 18, 2009 4:00:36 PM

For an external solution eSata is preferable, but I don't think you can really buy them without eSata now.

As for the Deluxe vs Non there is some info in this thread.
http://www.maximumpc.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=89531&s...
It has two LAN connections.
It has two raid controllers.
It overclocks a bit better.
It has better onboard sound.

The way some people setup their drives is that they make a small partition say 50GB for your OS. Everything else is installed to other partition and have all their USER files directed to the other partition. The main reason to do this is that it makes formating and reinstalling your OS partition easier than it would normally be. A smaller drive is all you need for your OS/APPs hard drive.

1066 = 8500
February 18, 2009 7:03:46 PM

So...

Everything from MicroCenter would be purchased by Friday.

*This case looks good, though I'm nervous about how quiet it is*
$136 (MC) - Cooler Master RC 690 Mid-Tower WITH 550W Real Power Pro SLI Ready Power Supply
OR ($6 difference)
$70 - Cooler Master RC 690 Mid-Tower
$72 - PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS500 500W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

$230 (MC) - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

$250 (MC) - ASUS P6T X58 1366 ATX Motherboard (NON-DELUXE)

$95 (MC) - Diamond Multimedia Viper Radeon HD 4650 1024MB GDDR2 PCIe Graphics Card
OR ($1 difference)
$96 (MC) - Visiontek Radeon HD 4650 512MB GDDR2 PCIe Graphics Card
* Both of these say DDR2 - is that a problem?

$140 (MC) - WD Caviar Black WD10000LSRTL: NewEgg doesn't sell this model but is selling the FALS model. WD's site doesn't lists the LSRTL but not the FALS.
OR
$110 (MC) - Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7,200RPM Serial ATA-300 Hard Drive ST315005N1A1ASR: Again, NewEgg doesn't sell this, but MicroCenter does. Seagate's site doesn't list this model.
Is there something wrong with the MicroCenter models? Should I avoid them? Right now, it looks like this could be the only obstacle in getting everything from MicroCenter.

$150 (MC) - CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory: MicroCenter doesn't sell any DDR3 1066 RAM.

$50 (MC) - Mugen 2 Universal CPU Cooler: Not listed at http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm though.

$10 (MC) - Arctic Silver Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Silver Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound - 3.5 gram tube

$25 (NE) - For a DVD Burner, NewEgg definitely has the best prices over MicroCenter. Will I be able to plug in my old dvd drive (I'm assuming it is ide not sata) just to get the build going, and then it'd be easy to switch that once my NewEgg order arrives?

$50 (NE) - Looks like NewEgg wins again with the keyboard/mouse. $50 should be plenty after I get the build set up. I can use my existing one for a tad longer.

$200 (NE) - Monitor. Luckily, another piece that I can deal with later and just use my existing "tiny" 7 yr old monitor (hey, at least it isn't CRT!!)

$100 (NE) - TV Tuner.

$250 (Edu) - Vista Ultimate 64-bit + Office 2007 Pro. Approximate pricing.

$100 (?) - Printer/Scanner/Copier

GRAND TOTAL: ~$1,750.

How does all of this fit together? The HardDrive model number confusion is getting to me. Looking forward to feedback :)  Thanks!
February 18, 2009 9:18:37 PM

go for the 690 case plus the PCP&C PSU, it will be better quality.

Don't get seagate drives, stick with the WD FALS

That cooler is good, This one is just about the same performance wise and cheaper:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Don't get that ram, you are paying too much for it. Look at these modules, same price and much better:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Unless you live close to a Microcenter store, you can't get that processor, its available for instore pickup only :( .
February 18, 2009 10:53:17 PM

Uh, yeah...there's a reason I said "(If you put in the KS store, only items in stock are returned when you search, but it isn't a querystring, so I can't link to it)". ;) 

Since I've never built a computer, my friend is going to help me. He's the one that lives near the KS store, and he just happens to be coming to visit this weekend. So, he's going to pick up whatever parts I tell him, and bring them up. If I need to order anything for the main build online, it won't be here Friday, in time for a Saturday build. I'm not sure when the next time this opportunity will present itself - so it would be completely fabulous for everything needed to actually get the build going to come from MicroCenter.
February 19, 2009 3:51:03 AM

Ok, I have to place this order tomorrow and I'm still not feeling locked in. I'm kind of starting to freak out. >_>

$70 - Cooler Master RC 690 Mid-Tower
$72 - PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS500 500W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

$230 (MC) - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Is there a card that I can save money on but that would still be good? That MicroCenter sells at a good price?

$250 (MC) - ASUS P6T X58 1366 ATX Motherboard (NON-DELUXE) Is this something I can swap out for cheaper without losing quality?

$96 (MC) HIS IceQ Radeon HD 4670 512MB GDDR3 PCIe 2.0 Graphics Card I'm thinking the DDR3 card is the better option here? Plus, it is the 4670 over the 4650?
OR
$95 (MC) Diamond Multimedia Viper Radeon HD 4650 1024MB GDDR2 PCIe Graphics Card
OR
$96 (MC) Visiontek Radeon HD 4650 512MB GDDR2 PCIe Graphics Card

$30 (MC) Xigmatek 120mm 3-Heat Pipe Universal CPU Cooler

$10 (MC) Arctic Silver Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Silver Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound - 3.5 gram tube

It is so hard for me to avoid the Barracuda's. They are so cheap! $90 for the 1TB and $110 for the 1.5TB. Why am I avoiding the Barracudas? :( 
$140 (MC) Caviar Black 1TB 7,200RPM Serial ATA-300 Hard Drive
I will probably do something like 120gb partition for the OS? I don't know if I should create a 3rd partition for the the swap file.

$170 (NE) OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory: Price includes overnight shipping.
OR
$164 (MC) XMS3 6GB DDR3-1600 (PC-12800) CL9 DIMM Memory Kit (Three 2GB Memory Modules)
*Really looking for opinions here. I guess I missed these at MicroCenter when I was looking earlier, or they just got more stock in. I see the timings are different - is that something I'd notice?

Really hoping to get some feedback on this. All responses appreciated.
February 19, 2009 6:23:43 AM

No need to freak out... it's a piece of cake.

Case: You wanted a quiet case, get the Antec P182 if the Sileo 500 is not available.

PSU: +1 on the Silencer 500. I myself would prefer the Silencer 610 for more margin, or the red Silencer 750 from Newegg because it's the better deal.

CPU: i7 920 is the correct one, I don't understand your comment in bold.

Mobo: Stick with P6T non-deluxe at this stage, though I would still prefer the Deluxe V2 (which is available at NCIXUS.com)

Video Card: Definitely get the HIS IceQ 4670--it has better dual slot cooling.

Cooler: I would prefer the Mugen 2 over the Xigmatek--frostytech be damned. The Xigmatek was originally designed for LGA 775.

Thermal Paste: Use MX-2 for simplicity. Arctic Silver 5 may give you a problem if you're inexperienced. Since you need to buy from Microcenter, just be careful and remember: less is more, don't let it squirt out all over the place. If you can substitute, I believe that OCZ Freeze (a comparable to MX-2) is available at Microcenter, which I would prefer over Arctic Silver 5 in this particular case.

HDD: Avoid the Barracudas because they could give you a gigantic headache, especially for a WORK rig. They are cheap for a reason; don't say we didn't warn you. The 1TB Caviar Black that you linked is the correct drive--the part number is different because it is the retail version. Buy 1 Caviar Black for now and just build your rig with that. Once it's up and running, then plug in your old drives as DATA drives and consolidate your data onto your new drive and use the old ones as backup drives.

Partitioning: On the 1TB drive, here's an *ultra-conservative* partitioning scheme:

C: 15GB for OS
D: 10GB for Swap File
E: 50GB for apps (or whatever more you need)
F: remainder for data


RAM: Definitely OCZ Platinum for sure over the Corsairs you linked. Those particular Corsairs are lame. I see that my favorite Mushkins are out of stock again at Newegg.


Just a general point to finish off. I realize that your friend is coming up to help you this weekend. However, this is a serious long-term work rig--you shouldn't rush these. It's a much bigger headache if you get it wrong.
February 19, 2009 12:01:25 PM

The reviews on the P182 and Sileo 500 make me nervous. And they don't necessarily say they are quiet. Are you speaking from personal experience?

There was not meant to be a comment on the i7, it was meant for the mobo.

What is the reasoning behind the Barracuda hate? The pressure to get one is mainly from my friend getting stuff from MicroCenter for me.

Sigh, now I'm just all jumbled up. I'll have to do some NewEgg pricing in a bit when I have more time. I mean, this ultimately is just going to be my home pc that I don't game on. It shouldn't be difficult. :(  ;) 
February 19, 2009 4:40:43 PM

The hate on barracuda is because their current firmware is a failure waiting to happen. those drives fail all the time, more than any other drive. WD is the most reliable and the fastest drives on the market which is why we recommend them so highly. If you HDD fails, you lose everything and many people would argue its the most important part of your system, and definitely not something to go cheap on.

As far as the mobo goes, I wouldn't go any cheaper than that one you have, you end up sacrificing features if you do. You could go for the Gigabyte x58 UD3R, but I wouldn't recommend it.
February 19, 2009 4:46:40 PM

The P182 is a quality built case and one of the quieter ones out there. No Case is going to be sound proof, but if you want to make your PC as quiet as possible you can buy noise dampening foam to go on the inside walls of the case which helps. The NZXT Hush case comes with this and is very quiet, but it may be smaller than you want, some of the larger heatsinks have trouble fitting inside of it.

Foam:
http://www.acousticpc.com/damptek.html
February 19, 2009 5:32:14 PM

I am now leaning towards the Antec P182. My only concern is that it doesn't have the eSATA port. I was thinking about getting the RocketFish external closure (it is also a media card reader iirc) and using that to copy stuff from old hard drives and then using it for regular external backups. Is it possible/cheap to use one of the external drive bays for this?

MicroCenter does have an open box Antec P182 that says "missing everything". Do people recommend this?

PCP&C 750w red from NewEgg is good - $90 after a mail-in rebate.

I'm going to stick with the non-deluxe p6t I think. I don't need 2 lan connections, I may not use raid, and I don't know if I'll overclock.

Since it looks like I can still save money with overnight shipping on a few select items from NewEgg, should I go with POWERCOLOR AX4670 1GBK3-P Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card ($65) or MSI R4670-2D1G/D3 Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card ($74)? The PowerColor one has S-Video out and is cheaper?

Ok, back to the Mugen2 for $50. ;) 

OCZ Technology Freeze Extreme Thermal Conductivity Compound 3 grams for $7 based on your suggestion.

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK $150 from NewEgg.



So, what I'm looking at now is this:

MICRO CENTER:
$120 - Antec P182
$230 - i7 920
$250 - Asus P6T Non-Deluxe
$50 - Scythe Mugen 2
$175 - Vista Ultimate 64-bit OEM
$80 - Microsoft Office 2007 Pro
TOTAL: $905

NEWEGG:
$130 - WD1TB Caviar Black (FALS)
$110 - PCP&C 750w (red)
$7 - Arctic Cooling MX-2
$150 - OCZ Platinum 6gb DDR3 1600
$89 - POWERCOLOR AX4670 1GBK3-P Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card Supported Video Card
$50 - overnight shipping
TOTAL: $535-$20-$20

LATER: $530 (Monitor, TV Tuner, Keyboard/Mouse, DVD Burner, Printer/Scanner, Copier)

GRAND TOTAL: $1970-$40 = $1930

NEWEGG SAYS ORDER BY NOON PST FOR A NOMINAL FEE FOR SAME DAY SHIPPING, BUT NOT GUARANTEED. WHAT IS THE FEE? CAN I COUNT ON THIS?

February 19, 2009 5:53:35 PM

Don't get the Open Box case.

No idea what the fee is, but just go to checkout and see what your grand total comes to before you hit the submit button
February 19, 2009 5:56:46 PM

As I recall it's ten bucks. It's for rush processing, you still pay the standard amount for rush shipping.
February 20, 2009 1:54:38 AM

Great advice from xthekidx above, and hope your order went in smoothly.

If you finalize the build that you last spec'd, you will be very happy.

In case you didn't think that the P182 case was quiet enough, you could ask the folks at silentpcreview.com: link.

If you want to have an e-SATA port on a non-e-SATA case, then you can always buy a bracket that mounts an e-SATA port on one of the expansion slot openings on the back of your case, like this one: link. This bracket has a cable that attaches to one of the SATA connectors on the mobo. Presto--instant e-SATA. The only drawback is that the port is on the back and not the front. I don't believe that the P6T mobo comes with this bracket, unfortunately.

Don't ever buy an open box product that is "missing everything". Maybe the case itself is missing too... :lol: 

I'd have gone with the Powercolor video card as well--in addition to your two points mentioned, it's also got a bigger cooler too.

Good luck with your build this weekend and hope that it all comes together well for you. :) 
February 20, 2009 3:49:52 AM

Thanks for your reply. I was kinda freaking out this afternoon in case you didn't notice. ;) 

Yeah, I read a couple different articles on the SPCR site this morning - that was what sent me to the P182 decision.

According to the specs, the P6T has "eSATA = 1 x eSATA 3Gb/s". I didn't even think of looking at that. So really, this along with this, would be perfect?

Yeah, not getting the open box case. :) 

I did end up going with the PowerColor card. :) 

I can't wait to have it up and running. :)  :) 
February 20, 2009 7:33:54 AM

I'm not always able to access the forums during the daytime, unfortunately (I'm a bus driver ;)  )--and xthekidx and Proximon did a great job during the interim.

Yes, regarding the drive enclosure & SATA cable. You'll have to decide which of your old drives to put in the enclosure.

Actually, you're right and I missed this earlier but the mobo itself has an e-SATA port on the rear I/O panel, so you don't even need that bracket that I suggested earlier. Just plug the drive cable into the rear port.

Good luck. :) 
February 22, 2009 12:15:40 AM

Wow, the installation instructions for the Mugen 2 are kinda sketchy. Just need to get that figure out and it will be time to hit the power switch.
February 22, 2009 1:36:49 AM

You'll notice that the i7 chip is slightly rectangular, so the heatsink can only go on in one way (look at the base of the heatsink--it's rectangular too). However, you can mount the fan on any one of the four sides, as you wish.

The Antec P182 case has both top and rear fans, so it doesn't really matter which way you mount the fan, but just put the heatsink fan on either the side where the RAM is, or where the video card is (not the sides where the case fans are). The fan blows INTO the heatsink.

In case you wanted to know the i7 processor core alignment, have a look at this reference from Arctic Silver and note the note at the bottom right corner: link.

Since you're using MX-2 with a non-direct touch heatsink, it doesn't matter too much which method of thermal paste application you use--take your pick. "One grain of uncooked rice in the middle" is probably good enough.
February 23, 2009 12:07:29 AM

The build mostly went well. Getting the power supply in was quite a challenge. I didn't realize that the cooler fan involved screwing things from under the motherboard - we left that until last. Oops. Unplugging everything from the motherboard to do it again was fun. ;) 

A few problems installing Vista have come up. At first, the Vista installer told me that my primary drive might fail soon and I should install Vista on another drive. Rebooted to go into bios, and a S.M.A.R.T. error came up saying the primary drive was bad and to backup and replace. Oof. Searched that, found out the bios was set to see the SATA as IDE, and that I should change it to raid even though I'm not running in raid. Did that, rebooted. No S.M.A.R.T. error, and Vista didn't warn me about a failing hard drive. The setup ran through quickly, rebooted itself, and is now hanging on "Completing Installation". It's been there for about an hour. Oof. Guess it is back to searching.

I think I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.
February 23, 2009 12:41:35 AM

Lets see some pictures!!
February 23, 2009 12:50:46 AM

Not until I have it fully running! :) 
February 23, 2009 4:25:15 AM

Alright, I've got everything up with default BIOS settings (except for setting the SATA drives as AHCI (I think?) per the problems above. ASUS Probe II says both my CPU and MB are running at 36C. This seems on the high side to me, but perhaps I'm thinking wrong?

For someone whose BIOS modifications are summed up by setting the system clock and the boot priority and wouldn't know where to begin, can anyone recommend a guide for optimizing BIOS settings? I'm guessing there isn't, but I can hope, can't I?
February 23, 2009 5:13:08 AM

The i7 runs hot, 36C is acceptable temperature.
February 24, 2009 3:44:16 AM

After you set the system clock and boot priority, optimizing your BIOS settings is called "overclocking" :lol: 

Regarding your HDD, since you are not using your new Caviar Black drive in RAID or in a server, it is acceptable to set the "Configure SATA as" option in BIOS to "IDE". But you can't change it once everything is installed and setup.

Try using this tool to test your HDD for problems: WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic.

The mobo utility might not be the best temperature reader. Try:

HW Monitor

Real Temp

If you feel that you have a temperature problem, remember that you are using the P182 case, which is not in the same league as the HAF 932. And since you mentioned an installation wrinkle with your heatsink, go back and double-check your installation (thermal paste OK, heatsink mounted firmly, no loose bolts, etc.)


I'd love to see pics too! ;) 
!