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Final build - compatibility issues/concerns, anyone?

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June 11, 2009 6:42:08 PM

I'm finishing my build for a lab computer. I'm installing all of this stuff in an old Dell OptiPlex GX400 case; not keeping any of the old parts, I don't think.

So here we go.

Hard Drive:

Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

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

Video Card

POWERCOLOR AX4650 512MD2-LH Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Low Profile Ready Video Card - Retail

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

PSU

TOPOWER XPT Series TOP-500XPT 500W ATX12V Power Supply - Retail

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

RAM

Kingston HyperX T1 Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KHX8500D2T1K2/4G - Retail

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

Motherboard

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

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

CPU

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail

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

CPU Fan

ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail

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



Would appreciate any concerns or help you guys might have about this build. Also, I don't think the CPU fan is necessary because I think the CPU comes with its out, so is it worth it?

I'm trying to keep costs down for the university; this isn't supposed to be a flashy machine, so I probably won't overclock it. It just needs to be suitable for accepting various PCI cards for the equipment we have here, and do the occasional processing (sometimes moderately demanding, sometimes not).

Thank you!
June 11, 2009 6:56:34 PM

What's your budget for this build? The PSU is the first thing that has to go. You definitely don't want to go cheap on the PSU or you risk frying the components in your new rig. You should look for a quality unit from Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, Antec EarthWatts series, etc... This one is a great unit for a good price:

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $56.29 - $10 MIR

That RAM also isn't the best since it needs 2.2v. You don't need more than DDR2 800 RAM for an Intel Core 2 build. This RAM is excellent:

G.SKILL HK 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBHK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

For an extra $10 you can double your HD space and get a newer and considerably faster hard drive.

WESTERN DIGITAL WD3200AAKS 320GB SATA 7200 RPM 16MB Hard Drive Bulk
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $51.99

You might want to consider an AMD triple core build with a motherboard that has integrated graphics since that will save you some money and be better for applications that are multi-thread optimized.

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99

Of course, if you go the AMD route I would recommend going back to DDR2 1066 RAM.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

The CPU cooler isn't needed since you don't plan on overclocking.
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June 11, 2009 7:13:41 PM

I agree, PSU needs to change. Corsair 550VX would be a good choice. Power is the most important thing, life of your system depends on it. 4GB DDR2 might also be good, its quite cheap right now. AMD motherboard, or Intel motherboard is your choice. Although PII X3 720 BE maybe worth it, considering how good i7 is. Anyway, good luck.
June 12, 2009 7:09:11 PM

hmm... I think I will make the switch to AMD. I've never really been a fan, although I've never tried them, so I might as well now.

Will the Phenom II be overclockable? I was under the impression that, with old applications, the operating frequency still matters a bit more than core number (until we make more of a switch to multi-core processing w/ multiple threads, etc.), so although 2.8 is good, i'd like the nice 3.0 more.

Also, as this would be my first time overclocking a processor, is this one of the newer processors (I've heard of some recently) where overclocking isn't really all that dangerous? Wouldn't want to fry it.
June 12, 2009 8:26:11 PM

kafka7 said:
hmm... I think I will make the switch to AMD. I've never really been a fan, although I've never tried them, so I might as well now.

Will the Phenom II be overclockable? I was under the impression that, with old applications, the operating frequency still matters a bit more than core number (until we make more of a switch to multi-core processing w/ multiple threads, etc.), so although 2.8 is good, i'd like the nice 3.0 more.

Also, as this would be my first time overclocking a processor, is this one of the newer processors (I've heard of some recently) where overclocking isn't really all that dangerous? Wouldn't want to fry it.


The Phenom II Black Edition CPUs have an unlocked multiplier making OCing them about as hard as turning up a dimmer switch (and takes about as long). You don't have to mess with the FSB at all (and then have to reconfigure your memory). OCing has also gotten a lot safer, it's pretty hard to screw up if you have a good cooler and monitor your system stability and temps as you step up your OC.

There's a good sticky in the OC forum detailing the basics of OC and listing the standard programs people use.
June 19, 2009 3:15:05 PM

anyone know a good power supply for the build shortstuff_mt recommended? The AMD build? The one he mentioned earlier has a 20+4 pin connector, but the motherboard is 24 pin.

Are 20+4 and 24 compatible, or are they completely different connections? I don't need too much power, 400-500W would probably be enough.
June 19, 2009 4:01:02 PM

A 20+4 pin connector fits both 20 pin motherboards and 24 pin motherboards, and if you are going to be using the integrated instead of a discrete graphics card the 400 watt corsair shortstuff recommended will still work well
June 19, 2009 4:09:56 PM

What about power connections on the motherboard? I have a 3-pin case fan that I wanted to resuse; will there be room for that?
June 19, 2009 7:05:51 PM

great, thanks
!