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Rebuilding PC after components failed - First build

Last response: in Systems
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June 27, 2010 5:44:26 AM

This all started when the hard drive on my desktop died a few days back. Additionally, I could see (and hear) my PSU's creeping death, and I have had a nasty, unfixable motherboard issue that forces my graphics card into PCI-E x1 for some time now. Motivated mainly by the idea that my increasingly unstable PSU could potentially harm my other components, what began as a quest for a new hard drive has become a complete gutting of my rig. For your suggestions and feedback, here is the new configuration:

The reused:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
GPU: EVGA GeForce 9800 GT 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Case: NZXT Alpha Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Open Window
Disk Drive: LG DVD/CD-RW Burner


The new:
Motherboard: ASUS P5QL/EPU LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard
PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
HDD: Western Digital AV-GP WD5000AVDS 500GB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5 Internal AV Hard Drive
RAM: Kingston HyperX T1 Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit
Fan: Yate Loon 120x20mm Medium Speed Thin Silent Case Fan
Thermal Paste: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound


I know that some people say it was a bad idea going with a socket 775 and DDR2 setup, but I really wanted to keep my current CPU. I don't really have any special attachment to it, but I would much rather keep it for as long as possible instead of dropping another $200-300 into an i5 or i7, on top of the $350 I'm already paying here. It is true that there are a few 775 socket mobos that support DDR3, but none of these got particularly glowing reviews, and I didn't think they were worth the cost.

While I do have 2GB of Corsair DDR2-800 at the moment, I think I will grab the relatively cheap Kingston 4GB kit in an attempt to get the most out of my system before DDR2 prices get too outrageous to bother. My understanding is that the tremendous price increase for DDR2 will only get worse over time. If this is not the case, and DDR2 prices will go down again in the next year or two, somebody please tell me and stop me from wasting my money on the RAM, as the sticks I have now would at least work for my new motherboard.

While I had mostly settled on the 600W Cooler Master PSU listed above, a friend recommended I go for the slightly more powerful Corsair CMPSU-650TX. I know Corsair is quite reliable, but is this not overkill? The Corsair one also has no modular cables, and a smaller fan.

The fan is a rare 120x120x20mm slim fan that I want to add into the front of my case. My case came with two 120mm fans on the back and side, but has no cooling in front. I noticed that before, I generally got slightly above average, albeit still safe, temperatures. Hopefully this will help fix that problem. The fan had to be a 20mm slim because a normal 25mm fan would not fit in the front of my case because of all the drive bays it has.

One question I still have no clue on is the matter of overclocking. Given that I plan to sustain this setup for another 3 years at least, I will probably start overclocking down the line. If I do that, should I invest in an aftermarket heatsink or CPU fan? If so, what are some recommended brands?

For those of you who are curious, the failed or failing components are an ASUS P5KPL-CM mobo, Sunbeam Hush 580W PSU, and Hitachi DeskStar 320GB HDD.

This will be my first proper build, so any feedback and suggestions are more than welcome. Thank you.

Edit: Fixed some bad links.
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