Would upgrading to an MLC SSD as the primary boot device be worth it with that motherboard/cpu?
If not, should I upgrade the motherboard/cpu/ram to the newer Intel chipset with DDR3 support? I'd rather not if I don't have to, since I already have 4GB of DDR2 ram, an LGA 775 board, and an E6600 C2Duo. I think that the Conroe CPU should be fast enough for my needs.
I should probably get a dedicated video card too, instead of integrated. Can anyone recommend a good card that runs quiet and with low power consumption?
I'm looking for a nice black, aluminum case with enough room and cooling capabilities, and a quiet PSU. I want the case to be simple and clean; no flashing LED lights, etc.
1. Its worth depends on your budget. The mobo/CPU won't bottleneck it though.
2. No need to upgrade yet. This will be fine for an office build for another few years.
3. Why would you need a dedicated card? Just wondering.
4. Budget for case + PSU?
That's true. If I were you, I'd see if I was comfortable with the IGP first.
Inexpensive aluminum cases are hard to come by. This combo is probably the best I can do at $110. Unfortunately only the bezel is aluminum; the rest is steel. If you want an all aluminum case, I recommend this case and this PSU or, if you have the money this PSU. The case + first PSU (380W) will set you back $120, the case + second PSU (600W), $155. The second PSU does have a $25 MiR though, and if you receive it, that option would be worth the $130. The first PSU might struggle if you add a graphics card, depending on the card's power draw. If, in the future, you get something like a low-profile HD 5450, the 380W PSU should be fine.
If you don't need a tower case, this is another option at $94, but you might want to read the reviews to determine the quality of the included PSU.
And one thing I was wondering. How is that RAM setup working for you? I've never tried mixing different brands. Do your G. Skill sticks still run in dual channel or is it automatically disabled?
Thoughts on the CPU cooler? Is it quiet? Will it effectively cool my E6600 dual core?
Should I spend the extra $10 for the 500W PSU? I don't want to have to buy a new PSU when I upgrade other parts, but I don't want it to be overkill for my current parts. Also, how are Antec Earthwatts? Reliable? Quiet? Cool?