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Welcoming all critique on my planned build

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February 25, 2009 4:53:31 PM

Long time fan, first time poster. Was thinking about doing my first build. I plan on doing some mild gaming with this machine but mostly photo editing and design work. I also wanted to make it something that could later on be incorporated into a media center/server for when I purchase a house. So take a look at my set up and tell me what you think or if you have suggestions. Oh, I also don't plan on running Vista or Linux, but rather Ultimate XP by Johnny or maybe if Win7 looks good and is well liked, maybe that, so keep that in mind when it comes to memory upgrades. Now this system will be in my room so I don't want a big tower, which is why I was thinking of a Micro-ATX. I also plan on using a 32in LCD TV with 1080p for a display, namely this one. Hence the graphics card and the motherboard with an integrated HDMI and that is also why I am on the fence about the blu-ray (my PS3 is in another room). Basically, I want it fast, capable, quiet, efficient and cool. I had a HPZD8000 that was loud, hot and got bogged down, I don't want to go through that again. Oh yeah, I don't plan on getting and building till April/May.

Here is my list.

Processor - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-E7AUM-DS2H LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9400 HDMI Micro ATX Intel
GPU - Galaxy 96GGF6HMFEXX GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
Power Supply - Rosewill Stallion Series RD600N-2DB-SL-BK 600W ATX Form Factor 12V V2.2 / SSI standard EPS 12V SLI Ready Active PFC Active PFC Power Supply - SLI Ready
Case - AeroCool M40-BK Black 0.6 SECC Steel MicroATX Cube case Computer Case
Memory - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
Hard Drive 1 (Programs) - Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Hard Drive 2 (Data) - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
DVD Drive- LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA
Blu-Ray (still on the fence about this one) - ASUS Black 6X Blu-Ray DVD Combo SATA
CPU Cooler- ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler
Extra Case Fan - ENERMAX UC-8EB 80mm Case Fan
Keyboard/Mouse - Logitech LX 710 Laser Black USB Cordless Standard Desktop

All in all ~$1050

I am interested in what you all have to say for power supply suggestions. I like the Rosewill because it has enough for what I need but I don't dig the LED. Anything without a light, is 140 or less in depth to fit my case, and is quiet would be outstanding.

Thanks all for your help. I look forward to seeing what you have to say.
February 25, 2009 5:26:11 PM

I would upgrade to this power supply, its a much better quality product, and because its more powerful, means the fan needs to run less, and therefore make less noise.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would choose this video card over the one you picked, it gives similar if not better performance, and is a lot cheaper: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you are going to be doing photo editing and design work, you may want to update your CPU a bit. With the money you save on the video card, you can upgrade to this CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Everything else looks pretty good.
February 25, 2009 5:48:32 PM

Get an akasa nero cpu cooler if you don't want it to be loud.
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February 25, 2009 6:28:09 PM

You're not building a super power-hungry rig, so you don't need a huge PSU. An Antec Earthwatts 430W will probably be enough, although a 500W will give you some more headroom for expansion.
Because of the limited case size, you might like a modular unit. This 430W Seasonic is 80+ certified for efficiency: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It is $75.
A 4830 would be a nice card, although possibly a little more than you need, since you said "mild" gaming. I have read that the Sapphire coolers are very loud, which you may not want in this rig.
I would suggest a dual-slot design, such as the IceQ-4 Turbo models by HIS. This cooler is quiet, effective, and exhausts the GPU's heat out of your [small] case.
4670: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4830: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

On the CPU cooler, I doubt that one will fit in your case. www.frostytech.com has some lists of the top 5 coolers in various categories, including low-profile. Check their site. Either a Ninja-mini or a Shuriken ought to fit.

February 25, 2009 6:54:45 PM

Transmaniacon said:
I would upgrade to this power supply, its a much better quality product, and because its more powerful, means the fan needs to run less, and therefore make less noise.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would choose this video card over the one you picked, it gives similar if not better performance, and is a lot cheaper: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you are going to be doing photo editing and design work, you may want to update your CPU a bit. With the money you save on the video card, you can upgrade to this CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Everything else looks pretty good.


I agree with you on the CPU. In fact I just saw that today and was thinking of changing up my CPU to the one you suggested. Bravo. However the PSU you recommended was just too big for my case. I need something that is <=140mm in length. The one you suggested was 149.86.

As far as the video card is concerned, I was thinking I would need a GPU with an integrated HDMI output since an aftermarket card would render the mobo HDMI useless right?
February 25, 2009 7:16:34 PM

Onus said:
You're not building a super power-hungry rig, so you don't need a huge PSU. An Antec Earthwatts 430W will probably be enough, although a 500W will give you some more headroom for expansion.
Because of the limited case size, you might like a modular unit. This 430W Seasonic is 80+ certified for efficiency: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... It is $75.
A 4830 would be a nice card, although possibly a little more than you need, since you said "mild" gaming. I have read that the Sapphire coolers are very loud, which you may not want in this rig.
I would suggest a dual-slot design, such as the IceQ-4 Turbo models by HIS. This cooler is quiet, effective, and exhausts the GPU's heat out of your [small] case.
4670: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4830: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

On the CPU cooler, I doubt that one will fit in your case. www.frostytech.com has some lists of the top 5 coolers in various categories, including low-profile. Check their site. Either a Ninja-mini or a Shuriken ought to fit.


I agree with you on the wattage of the PSU, I was thinking in the 500-600 range. I looked at the SeaSonic PSUs, seems they have the same problem as most with being >140mm in length. However since the ones you reco'd are modular, do you think that would same me enough room?

I like the video cards you suggested as well. Do you think 512 would be enough for intermediate/advanced photoshop stuff/ blu-ray/poss WoW? Why would 512MB with 256MB interface be better than a 1GB with a 256MB interface. I'm not doubting you guys, I'm just new to this and don't understand that.

Thanks for the cooler ideas jtt283. Great site and it gave me more ideas about what aftermarket coolers are out there. I like the Shuriken or the CoolerMaster Gemini II S.
February 25, 2009 7:40:58 PM

Photoshop and blu-ray watching don't need a lot of video RAM. The way I understand it, extra RAM is useful to hold textures at high resolutions. I don't think WoW needs it, but the price difference isn't very big any more. A 4850 with 512MB of RAM will out-perform a 4670 with 1GB of RAM.
With the resolution you're wanting, 1GB will probably be helpful.
February 25, 2009 9:36:23 PM

Change the Q6600 to Q8300, faster and cooler.
February 25, 2009 10:18:27 PM

Actually I was convinced to go with the Q9400.
February 25, 2009 10:21:10 PM

gqsmooth said:
Actually I was convinced to go with the Q9400.


Even better. :) 
February 25, 2009 10:49:14 PM

Animal, what do you think of that Antec Earth-whatsie 500W power supply vs the Rosewill? Mind you I would get the 500W vs the 600 I was originally thinking....
February 25, 2009 10:55:42 PM

ahhh nevermind about the rosewill, i see that everyone advises against them...
February 26, 2009 2:26:27 PM

OK went with the Antex Earth 500W, HIS 4850 and the Ninja Mini CPU Cooler. Any other suggestions?

What about the RAM I chose? Should I go with the OCZ Reaper or are the ones I have fine?
February 26, 2009 2:39:28 PM

The RAM is fine and the rest looks good.
!