Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

The Tax Man Cometh; the girl is ready to build!

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 24, 2009 2:39:07 AM

Hello guys,

Well the tax refund finally came in and I am doing my best to stimulate the economy at Newegg! I think this is the way the system will look with the great exception of the video card. I have read the many comparisons of the GTX 260 Core 216 supercharged version 55nm VS. the ATI Radeon HD 4870 1 GB. Here are my concerns and I would welcome all suggestions and opinions.

1) I will not be overclocking the card nor do I have any interst in Sli or Crossfire.

2) We do like to game and I may be using this system for some vid viewing and will probably add a Blu-ray to this later.

3) I do not want to go to extreme measures for cooling and am concerned about the reported tight fits with the 260.

4) Noise isn't of much concern right now

5) I want reliability and stability and do not intend to "move up" every 6 months.

6) This machine will ultimately be my middle schooler's and I will build my i7 at the end of 09.

7) Any point in going with the P45T; the DDR3 flavor board???? :pt1cable: 

So here is the intended system:

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders

LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30

LITE-ON 22X DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model iHAS422-08

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W Power Supply

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case

Gigabyte P45 UD3P Motherboard

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor

Arctic Pro 7 cooler

Grand Total: $985.90

What else do I need and keep in mind this is my first build!

Thanks so much; you all helped a lot last time here!

Elizabeth


February 24, 2009 2:46:02 AM

Forgot to tell you, this will be paired with a 24" monitor ( still undecided on that one)
and I will also need new cordless keyboard, mouse and speakers. Since the UD3P has onboard audio ( I know it isn't the best) I want decent speakers but I don't require audiophile quality!
Currently have Logitech mouse and keyboard but don't like the recharging system.
February 24, 2009 3:42:58 AM

You have done your homework, that is a nice build.

The 4870 is a better card than the gtx260, and much better bang for the buck.
The HD is a good choice
Mobo is a good choice
CPU is a good choice

I would recommend this RAM over the mushkin you picked:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 24, 2009 3:43:37 AM


Most of the 24" (LCD I assume?) monitors are 1920x1200 or thereabouts, get a fairly high-end video card for better looks while gaming. (55nm 260 or HD4870 are both good, look into 4850x2's as well, may help with the tight fit concerns.)

Most of the reviews I've seen don't show much of any difference in going with DDR3 vs DDR2 ram with the p45 chipset. I'd say let price/availability help you out with this one. I'd say go with DDR3 if you are planning to upgrade, but you've already said this comp. will be handed down to your middle schooler.

CPU: I'd say unless you just want to have a quad, you can go with a C2D and probably won't notice the difference. (unless you have a TON of cpu intensive apps open at once?) C2D8500 is a nice one. Half the price, higher clock speeds too. On the other hand, newer games are better able to utilize more cores, so maybe a quad is a good choice looking forward.

If you want to add a blu-ray player (or burner!) later, will you really need and have room for 3 CD/DVD/BD drives?

As for the CPU cooler, I'd say search around for one that includes a backing plate that goes on the back side of the motherboard for mounting. The intel push-pin design is a pain. It looks like a great cooler other than that. Get some Arctic Silver though, doesn't look like it includes any. Read up on installing the CPU cooler, it takes a scary amount of force to install those pins.

The GA EP45-UD3P is a great motherboard! The onboard sound may not be up to "audiophile" quality, but it sounds great to me! (7.1 support, THX etc.) Sounds good in games and playing music. I don't see a need for a separate sound card. (I've got the same board)

General notes for first time building: use a big clear area (living room floor is great, but only if no kids/pets/husband to come bother with you or worse to take you away from building it!) and take your time. If you go with the Arctic silver, you only need a little bit. They mean it when they say that tube is good for 6-10 large CPU cores. (more, probably) Spend some time in routing the cables, makes things easier later on. You'll probably have to route one cable over the top of the motherboard to go to the 6-pin motherboard connector on the top of the motherboard, that can be a pain.
February 24, 2009 3:47:27 AM

Hello again Elizabeth_B!

So if I remember correctly, you originally said $1k for the budget on this rig right?

I wouldn't do the DDR3, route, performance gains are minimal and its twice as expensive for the memory, and on that note you don't need 1066mhz ram, just go with 800mhz.

Do you need 2 media drives? especially if you will be adding a blu-ray drive, then I think you could drop the liteon drive.

For the GPU, I would go for this card; I know you said you aren't interested in xfire or sli, but it doesn't make much sense to close that door since you are going with that mobo, so I would choose an ATI card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This card is also cheaper than most GTX 260's and has a better cooling system and more graphics memory. Since you will be using a 24" monitor, I advise you not close the door to xfire, otherwise you or your child won't be able to game a the best quality.

Go with this PSU instead, its cheaper and will support xfire of those cards later:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And go for this cooler instead, its better quality;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
with this retention bracket:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and thermal interface:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cheers!
February 24, 2009 3:56:03 AM

Spot on! I've got the same power supply, video card, and cpu cooler that xthekidx recommended. I've got the same motherboard that Elizabeth_B is looking at, but with a lowly E7200 C2D (OC'd to 3.0g right now on stock settings, haven't bothered to see where it'll go yet.)
February 24, 2009 4:29:20 AM

Welcome back! Hope you're having fun so far... My observations:

1. Any particular reason why you spec'd 2 optical drives?

2. I think that you know that the red PCP&C Silencer 750 is the better deal, DOAs notwithstanding. That 620HX is awfully expensive. And I prefer single rail, so it would be Corsair 650TX or PCP&C Silencer 610 in your wattage range. 750W would give a little better margin to run the GTX 260.

3. The CM-690 case has plenty of front to back depth, so there will not be any tight fit issues with the video card at all.

4. If you're not going to Crossfire, then you could just use the Gigabyte EP45-UD3R mobo. Same board, just no extra PCIe video slot.

5. Mushkin RAM is great, but because the Q9550 won't allow you a FSB too much over 400 even if you do overclock, I'd go with these Mushkins instead, which have more ideal characteristics for your setup: link. They do boot to JEDEC standard timings, so you shouldn't have a problem POSTing. No need to pay extra for DDR2-1066--it's not actually more stable or reliable if you don't overclock. If you run FSB 400 or below, then try changing the first timing (CAS latency) from 5 to 4--it should work. Can't tell from your post, but if you were looking to buy the Mushkin Ascents for their better heatsinks, then I would say that you have very good taste... But if you were looking for the bad boy Mushkins, then those would be the Redlines.

6. I believe that the cooler you are trying to buy is called the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro.

7. Whatever you do, don't stimulate the economy with DDR3 in this build. You're better off increasing your own savings rate instead, which helps the economy all the same. Think austerity...

8. You don't need any more computing power than what you have here to watch videos and Blu-ray. Just confirm that all links in the chain are HDCP compliant.

9. This is just personal preference, but I would go with the GTX 260. You'd probably be happy with either card. But if you really like to game, how about the GTX 285... :pt1cable: 
February 24, 2009 12:13:36 PM

Thanks guys!
My husband wanted a modular PSU and wasn't convinced about the arguments against them. Seemed it would be a bit tidier and Corsair is highly rated on that unit. Regarding the cooler, I made the change to the Xigamatek and now the GPU decision awaits. It seems some of you like the 4850 x2 better than the single 4870 solution. Is there such a thing as a 4850 1 GB x2 single card? Also, since that mobo has only 1 pci-e 2.0 16x slot and the other is 8x, does that factor into it? I took off the Lite-on drive but do need another drive as we may want to burn content from multiple cd's onto one DVD and we also like having a back up drive in case one fails. What do you recommend? I have seen this one but wondered about it. Anyone have this unit? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 24, 2009 12:17:30 PM

Ooops! Forgot the Ram issue. So stay with DDR2 800. OCZ vs. Mushkin? What I am looking for is good, stable memory that requires little to no tweaking to be read properly. Forget the Gigabyte memory compatibility chart. Too limited. I am looking for at least a 2X2 kit although my husband thinks we should "max out" the memory now. Thoughts????
February 24, 2009 12:23:02 PM

You should look for ram that runs at the standard 1.8v to minimize potential problems. These are my current favorites:

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99

I'd pick the G.Skill kit since it has very slightly better timings for the same price. I've been using the G.Skill RAM in recent builds, as well as my personal computer, and have been very happy with every kit received.
February 24, 2009 5:00:02 PM

If you want the inside of the PC to be tidy use zip ties and just secure all the wires, you don't need to buy a modular PSU...although if you really want one then that one is a good pick.

GPU; do you mean getting two 4850 1gb cards? Yes those do exist:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
but I would just get the x2 card to save some space and money.

That blu-ray drive is basic and cheap, I would recommend it as it will also burn DVD's since you are kinda on a tighter budget.

I also like both those ram kits shortstuff_mt pointed out. +1
February 24, 2009 5:57:57 PM

Yes, this Mushkin is the RAM I most like to use:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you ever feel like it, it will overclock easily.
Before choosing a GPU, consider the games you (and your "middle-schooler") will be playing. Check some benchmarks. With a screen that size, I think you'll want 1GB of RAM, but depending on the games (and how much future-resistance you want), you may not necessarily have to go top-of-the-line.
February 24, 2009 9:05:22 PM

If there is another Blu-ray that isn't too much higher, let me know. I put the G.skill PI black in my cart as both that and the mushkin seem fine and well liked. I am still up in the air about the GPU. The 4850X2 sounds huge, noisy and driver issue prone. Would it make that much of a difference over a well rated HD 4870 1 GB? We would like to play Oblivion, Flight Sim, and various Age Of Mythology type games. I realize Oblivion is demanding but we can turn down the effects.
February 24, 2009 9:45:03 PM

I would go with a quad over a dual core. That will futureproof things a bit. There are a couple of nice less expensive options to getting a full 24":

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

I got the 21.5" 1920 x 1080P Acer H213H and it's fantastic! It was only $189, but a week and a half later, the 23" H233H arrived for only $30 more. The games I've played so far support the resolution and Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria looks fantastic!

The only upgrade I didn't get at Newegg was the Sony BD-ROM BDU-X10S, which was $79 at Fry's. Similar models are at Newegg:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

On Amazon, some reviewers said that Blu-ray copy protection kicks in on some movies under Cyberlink Power DVD unless you use HDMI instead of DVI. I haven't had an issue so far, but I've only watched one movie!

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-BDUX10S-Blu-ray-Disc-ROM-Int...

I really don't recommend the 4850x2 until ATI comes out with a reference design. In fact, I would not have bought a 4870x2 either. It was a warranty replacement upgrade for a 3870x2 that failed two weeks before Newegg's standard one year return policy ended. They didn't have another overclocked 3870x2 by that manufacturer, so they let me have the Sapphire 4870x2 at the same price.

My experience is that many games don't do Crossfire (or SLI on the Nvidia side) all that well and the huge power draws and noise from a dual GPU card is only worth it for high end systems. The i7 you're considering later in 2009 is perfect for a dual GPU setup. A system like mine is so so.

I would recommend a 4870 with better cooling than stock reference instead. Or just get a $100 or so 4830 for now and get the next gen equivalent to the 4870. ATI's next refresh is due out in June.

My tax upgrade was going to two Samsung 1 terabyte drives instead of the old legacy 400 gig IDE's on a PCI RAID card with a 160 Seagate SATA for Vista 32. I also upgraded to Vista Home Premium 64 so all my memory would be recognized and got a new motherboard supporting SB750 instead of the SB700 on the 780G. I eventually plan on getting a Phenom II 720 at the minimum.

Tax refund time is great for computer upgrades!
February 24, 2009 10:02:29 PM

Elizabeth_B said:
If there is another Blu-ray that isn't too much higher, let me know. I put the G.skill PI black in my cart as both that and the mushkin seem fine and well liked. I am still up in the air about the GPU. The 4850X2 sounds huge, noisy and driver issue prone. Would it make that much of a difference over a well rated HD 4870 1 GB? We would like to play Oblivion, Flight Sim, and various Age Of Mythology type games. I realize Oblivion is demanding but we can turn down the effects.

This card should be sufficient for you then, but probably not as good for FPS. Since this doesn't interest you then this will be plenty:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 25, 2009 12:26:20 AM

I agree that a 4870 should be sufficient. If I were buying one, I might choose this one for $10 more: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

...because, comparing the two coolers, this one looks like it exhausts all (or almost all) of its heat out of the case, and although they've only recently begun doing ATI cards, XFX has a good rep on their nVidia products.
February 25, 2009 12:47:54 AM

^ True that. Haven't had a XFX die on me yet.

Quote:
Why does that psu say 'dual 8800gtx and below'? That power supply should be enough for 2 4870X2's shouldnt it??

Yes. That is correct. But it's marketing. How will they to sell their 1kW PSUs when the lower one's can do the job cheaper? Also by purposely lowering the advertised Wattage (PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, and a few others do this) they are able to keep a good distance away from peak power output, and thus market a high quality product. I mean when most people look for a 450W (Corsair 450VX) they expect it to output 450W. And the 450VX can do this easily. On the other hand many low quality PSU manufactures list their PEAK power output and if some one is to load up the PSU to the advertised wattage it will blow up! Corsair, PC Power, et al rate the most stable wattage by burning it in (PC Power dose it at 40C for 8+hrs if I remember right). And finally remember the golden rule W= A*V. Since you already know the voltage (+12,+5,etc) you only need to know the amps and you can find the Wattage.
February 25, 2009 1:03:06 AM

I would recommend a better cooler. A quad can put out a lot of heat.
February 25, 2009 1:51:49 AM



XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler
Item #:N82E16835233003

$10.00 Mail-in Rebate
-$7.99 Saving
$36.99
$29.00
1

Nippon Labs 15 ft. USB2.0 A/male to B/male cable Model USB-15-AB

Nippon Labs 15 ft. USB2.0 A/male to B/male cable
Item #:N82E16812816019
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$7.99
1

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Item #:N82E16813128358
Return Policy: 30 Day Return Policy
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate
$134.99
1

LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L
Item #:N82E16827136133
Return Policy: 30 Day Return Policy
-$15.00 Instant
$134.99
$119.99
1

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820231209
Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable 30-Day Return Policy
-$20.00 Instant
$69.99
$49.99
1


LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30
Item #:N82E16827136153
Return Policy: 30 Day Return Policy
$23.99
1


ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound
Item #:N82E16835186020
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$6.99
1


COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case
Item #:N82E16811119137
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$10.00 Instant
$89.99
$79.99
1

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders
Item #:N82E16832116488
Return Policy: Software Return Policy
-$10.00 Instant
$109.99
$99.99
1



Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Item #:N82E16822136319
Return Policy: 30 Day Return Policy
$79.99
1


XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket
Item #:N82E16835233019
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$8.49


CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W Power Supply
Item #:N82E16817139002
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$40.00 Instant
$30.00 Mail-in Rebate
$189.99
$149.99
1


Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor
Item #:N82E16819115041
Return Policy: Processors (CPUs) Return Policy
$279.99
1

SAPPHIRE 100243-1GTXSR Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4870 100243-1GTXSR Video Card
Item #:N82E16814102815
Return Policy: 30 Day Return Policy
-$20.00 Instant
$249.99
$229.99
Grand Total: $1,301.37


So what about now???

February 25, 2009 1:55:16 AM

I'd say you are ready to check out. That looks like a great build.
February 25, 2009 2:11:19 AM

Thanks so much for your help!!! You guys have been soooo helpful. :bounce:  So on to the monitor for giggles and grins. I may go with a Dell. I know there are a lot of great prices out there but I don't think I want a TN panel. I currently have a Dell Ultrasharp 20.1" s-PVA I think and am quite spoiled by it. Anybody know about monitors or should I take this to a different forum? I want a 24" for this build.

BTW, do I need anything else for the build??? Can't wait to press the Buy button!

Thanks again! :love: 
February 25, 2009 2:58:56 AM

STOP THE PRESS!!! :bounce: 

That's a lovely build and I wouldn't change a thing, under normal circumstances.

However, there's one word of caution that I must unfortunately raise. The Toxic Edition of the Sapphire 4870 that you chose is an awesome card (especially if you overclock, but you said you wouldn't) and it's a great recommendation from xthekidx. However, I suspect that the extra tall heatpipes might interfere with the side fan on the CM-690 case. I think that the heatpipes add almost an inch above the card itself, and the side fan is about 1 inch deep. As I'm currently on the road, I have no way of checking my CM-690.


@xthekidx: Can you take a quick peek inside your CM-690 to check for clearance against your Core 216? Do you think the heatpipes will fit?


If you've already hit the buy button, don't worry, there are workarounds.

And one other little matter, for your 2 USB extension cords, I assume that you will be using them for extending the mouse and keyboard. If so, I think that you got the wrong connectors. They should be the male to female type, NOT male/male.
February 25, 2009 3:41:13 AM

Couple of follow-up points:

1. For fancy monitors, there's always the very expensive Samsung 245T for S-PVA 24".

2. As an excellent value, look at this Dell 2209WA (IPS panel), but unfortunately it's only 22": link.

3. One thing to keep in mind, though, and you may already have come across this point. TN panels are better for pure gaming, the better quality PVA and IPS panels are better for image quality and viewing angle (watching movies, Photoshop, being spoiled using MS Word...). The better panels may have a touch more ghosting, which makes them slightly less ideal for gaming when compared to the standard TNs.

4. Do you want speakers as well? Consider the Logitech Z-2300 for 2 channel + sub and the Z-5500 for 5 channel + sub. Or maybe what you need is a fancy audiophile quality interconnect to your main hi-fi system for maximum Blu-ray effect...

5. A gaming mouse? Logitech G5 (cord model with adjustable weights).

6. A gaming keyboard, like the Logitech G15? Or an ergonomic keyboard for typing, like one of the Microsoft Naturals?

7. With monitor/keyboard/mouse, it's always best to buy locally in a store so that you can try them out yourself first. For monitors, buying locally also reduces shipping damage (less dead pixel probability) and allows for easier exchange if you do have dead pixels. Check the store policy regarding dead pixel exchange very carefully before you buy a monitor, to save yourself potential hassle.


OK, I feel really badly for having to call Stop The Press above. So here I'm going to throw out an innovative video card solution for you because you really like gaming. A way to spend incrementally more, but wind up with 2 top-flight video solutions: Buy a GTX 285 now and use it on this rig. Then at year-end when you go to build your i7, buy a 4870x2 card and another GTX 285 card, both of which will have fallen in price by then. Put the 4870x2 into this rig, and then you have GTX 285 in SLI for your i7. You get the use of the GTX 285 in the interim for Oblivion and Flight Sim, and then wind up with 2 killer setups at reduced overall cost. How 'bout that... :sol: 
February 25, 2009 3:45:59 AM

Elizabeth_B said:
Thanks so much for your help!!! You guys have been soooo helpful. :bounce:  So on to the monitor for giggles and grins. I may go with a Dell. I know there are a lot of great prices out there but I don't think I want a TN panel. I currently have a Dell Ultrasharp 20.1" s-PVA I think and am quite spoiled by it. Anybody know about monitors or should I take this to a different forum? I want a 24" for this build.

BTW, do I need anything else for the build??? Can't wait to press the Buy button!

Thanks again! :love: 


Everything you need to know about LCDs.
February 25, 2009 4:36:43 AM

Akebono 98 said:
I suspect that the extra tall heatpipes might interfere with the side fan on the CM-690 case.
You can always move the side fan into one of the open fan mountings on the top of the case.
February 25, 2009 4:37:42 AM

I checked in my case, there is plenty of clearance; about 2 and a half inches from the top of the GTX 260 to the side panel, and about an inch and a half from the case side fan, you won't have clearance issues, the CM 690 is very spacious for a mid tower. I very seriously doubt that you will have clearance issues, but if by chance you do you can relocate the side fan to another spot, the CM 690 comes with 3 fans and 7 places to mount them.
February 25, 2009 5:01:16 AM

Elizabeth_B said:
Thanks guys!
My husband wanted a modular PSU and wasn't convinced about the arguments against them. Seemed it would be a bit tidier and Corsair is highly rated on that unit. Regarding the cooler, I made the change to the Xigamatek and now the GPU decision awaits. It seems some of you like the 4850 x2 better than the single 4870 solution. Is there such a thing as a 4850 1 GB x2 single card? Also, since that mobo has only 1 pci-e 2.0 16x slot and the other is 8x, does that factor into it? I took off the Lite-on drive but do need another drive as we may want to burn content from multiple cd's onto one DVD and we also like having a back up drive in case one fails. What do you recommend? I have seen this one but wondered about it. Anyone have this unit? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Sapphire makes a 4850 x2 2GB card... As well as a 1GB variety. For a very good review of GPU's, check out this Anandtech review.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3517
February 25, 2009 5:14:17 AM

@WR2 & xthekidx: Many thanks for the pinch hit! Us hardcore types have no trouble moving the fan around, but since this is the OP's first build (and of course we want her to come back to our sandbox, or maybe it's just Chivalry), it would be best if everything could fit together without modification.

@xthekidx: Roll on Sapphire 4870 Toxic Edition in the CM-690 (Crossfired, of course)!

@OP: Time to press the Buy Button---you will definitely enjoy this build! :bounce: 
February 25, 2009 5:30:53 AM

word
February 25, 2009 5:35:42 AM

Elizabeth_B said:
I took off the Lite-on drive but do need another drive as we may want to burn content from multiple cd's onto one DVD and we also like having a back up drive in case one fails.
You can always use your hard disk drive as a pseudo optical drive (and a very fast one at that). Use the HDD to hold the data being burned to the optical drive. Or make an ISO image of a CD or DVD on the HDD and use that to burn multiple copies CDs/DVDs on the DVD burner. It's actually quite a bit faster.

February 25, 2009 5:46:51 AM

opticals are so cheap, I would recommend another optical over using the HD. I would much rather it add a temp file while burning than having an iso for every burn. Just a personal preference. The speed difference is a matter of a few minutes, and how often do you use the same iso?
February 25, 2009 6:05:03 AM

There is already a Blu-Ray ROM / DVD burner and another DVD burner for two optical drives in the build.
February 25, 2009 6:15:55 AM

Your right, it sounded like a suggestion to drop a burner and go with just 1.
February 25, 2009 6:56:33 AM

xthekidx said:
Go with this PSU instead, its cheaper and will support xfire of those cards later:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And go for this cooler instead, its better quality;
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
with this retention bracket:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and thermal interface:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I agree.

Also Elizabeth, you don't need DDR2 1066 unless you plan to OC the Q9550 above 3.4G. Get DDR2 800 that runs at 1.8-1.9V.

I've got mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 running on a P45-UD3R and they run flawlessly.
February 25, 2009 6:57:24 AM

The other perfectly good reason for having a regular DVD burner when there is already a Blu-ray drive in the system is to have faster non-BR speeds (e.g. DVD writes).
February 25, 2009 12:24:33 PM

Zorg said:
I agree.

Also Elizabeth, you don't need DDR2 1066 unless you plan to OC the Q9550 above 3.4G. Get DDR2 800 that runs at 1.8-1.9V.

I've got mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 running on a P45-UD3R and they run flawlessly.

The OP is already planning on getting the DDR2 800 G.Skill PI Black RAM. I think she's ready to buy now. The build looks great. Any comments from here are just going to confuse the situation unless it's about the monitor. That's the only thing she still had questions about.
February 25, 2009 2:46:12 PM

I saw the post, I just figured I'd let her know. The G.Skill look pretty safe. I just thought she should know to avoid 2.1V on general principle.

If that confuses the "situation" or her, then she is already in trouble.
February 25, 2009 6:18:32 PM

"What else do I need and keep in mind this is my first build!"

Just a quick word to the already wise... Don't forget cables!! It looks like your HDD and optical drives are OEM (meaning they don't come with cables)

You also may need some thermal paste for your heatsink... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(most popular stuff on newegg)

Edit: Thanks for the lesson shortstuff! Looks like I need to edit my newegg cart...
February 25, 2009 6:21:27 PM

The motherboard comes with SATA cables and the case will come with screws, etc... The OP also listed MX-2 in her parts list. She's still good to go without any changes.
February 25, 2009 8:07:41 PM

Quote:

5) I want reliability and stability and do not intend to "move up" every 6 months.

Tht might be a problem after the first 1-1.5 years, as LGA 775 is EOL.
February 26, 2009 1:10:53 AM


Thanks for all the extremely helpful advice! Chivalrous, indeed! Actually the USB extension cords were freebies that "appeared" in my cart and I forgot to delete them. Just how much $ would I have to part with for a GTX 285??? I am intrigued but it may be too steep. Will definitely look at all other suggestions regarding mouse, keyboard, speakers. Believe it or not, I actually researched the size of the Toxic HD 4870 all on my own! I really appreciate the careful attention you have all put into helping me with this. The links are also a great resource and I am sure I will use them.

What is the issue regarding PC& Power and Cooling poor record recently? I know OCZ bought them. I was going to buy the 750 watt but really got nervous with all the DOA's and other problems being reported. The Corsair got great reviews and hubby wanted modular so that is what I chose. Does anyone recommend a tester for the PSU before I try it on my new system?
Thanks!
February 26, 2009 1:18:17 AM

Zorg said:
I saw the post, I just figured I'd let her know. The G.Skill look pretty safe. I just thought she should know to avoid 2.1V on general principle.

If that confuses the "situation" or her, then she is already in trouble.


My confusion is slowly clearing! Thanks again! There are a lot of people out there who do seem to be really confused about memory, though. I am good to go with the DDR2 800.
February 26, 2009 4:55:24 AM

Shadow703793 said:
And may be some day, OP will OC.

+1 :D 

And no wonder those USB extension cords are free...

As of this post, the cheapest GTX 285 on Newegg is eVGA's base version, at $320 after a $20 MIR. Big time OC potential too, but too bad you're not going to OC the video card. ;)  Naaaaah... Just spend that money on a nice non-TN monitor instead!

Elizabeth_B said:
Believe it or not, I actually researched the size of the Toxic HD 4870 all on my own!

Nice going--since you figured that one out, I'd say you're ready to advise others as a mini-guru here on Tom's Hardware!!

There are a few PC parts that sometimes don't fare well with homebuilds and shipping. Monitors, because they are so delicate and it's easy to have dead pixels. Cases, because they are big and heavy. Then there are PSUs, which have the honor of being the component with the highest weight density--they feel like rocks, actually. With those red PCP&C Silencers, I would be inclined to attribute the DOA problem to shipping but because of the way that it has spiked recently (and their DOA rate is a bit higher than the other PCP&Cs and Corsairs, if you look at the Newegg stats), I'd also be inclined to think that there was another systemic problem somewhere in the chain affecting a big batch (e.g. maybe one of their 40' shipping containers got dropped from a crane or something...). This is all out in the open now, so hopefully if that was the case, the problem has been rectified. I suppose that, in some ways, this PSU DOA issue is just another risk that you have to take in doing a homebuild. The most outrageous problem that I've seen posted was where an Intel processor package arrived with the CPU stolen right out of the box.

If you don't have a workshop full of tools lying around, a simple way of "testing" without a tester is to just build it "breadboard" style outside of the case with minimal components, one at a time--that would help to isolate any out of the box problems as you build.
February 27, 2009 2:09:15 PM

Hello again,

so the saga goes...when I went back to Newegg in my attempt to purchase the system, the Sapphire card was out of stock and they upped the price on the CM 690 ( now $89.99) but "added" a freebie 550watt Rosewill PSU. When I was showing my husband all the components I ( with your expertise guidance ) chose, I clicked on the Q9550 and we casually checked the combo deals. They have a CM Storm Sniper mid tower combo for $40.00 off which would bring it down to $119.99 purchased with the Q9550 which I am buying anyhow.

Do you think it is worth the extra $30.00 to get the Storm Sniper case over the CM 690? Everything else stays the same except we upped the G.Skill PI Black to a total of 8GB.

Other than that we are ready to buy and I suppose will wait for the auto notify or try to find the Sapphire HD 4870 toxic edition somewhere else.
February 27, 2009 3:05:59 PM

If you are ok with the extra $30 in the budget, definitely go for it. That's a pretty good deal on a nice case. Great cooling and very quiet case.
February 27, 2009 3:17:27 PM

BTW, I was just reading the specs for the vid card I chose, the toxic edition hd 4870. When it indicates "dual slot" does that mean it requires 2 pci-e slots? Does it matter that the mobo p45-ud3p is 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 (one running at x16 model, another one running at x8 model) and the Sapphire card is requiring dual slots. Does that mean the power connector requires 2 slots but the pci-e interface is just 1?
February 27, 2009 3:20:31 PM

The "dual slot" just refers to the physical size of the card. The thickness of the GPU makes it take up two PCI slots. It's not plugged into two slots, the cooler just takes up the room of the slot below it.
February 27, 2009 3:28:45 PM

Great! I was just reading more reviews of the card since I can't purchase it from Newegg, I thought I might shop around. People wrote that it required more draw than a reference HD 4870( could not verify that) and I hoped the Corsair PSU I chose was up to snuff. The minimum requirement is 550 and the Corsair I chose is the HX 620. Three 12v rails, if I am not mistaken.
!