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Old 03-11-2008, 01:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First time builder - Need help picking hardware (gaming PC)

I've been doing some research over the last week and I've decided for the most part what I want. I just want to ask some of the experts here if these are good choices or if there is compatibility issues.Also, I've never built a computer before. The most I've ever done was replace the chipset fan. It only could be unhooked from the back, so I had to take everything apart and put it back together. Thankfully it worked so I gained a little confidence that maybe I could build a new one. Couple things I'm worried about though:

1) I've never put a Processor in a motherboard before and never have put thermal paste or mounted the heatsink/fan. I'm afraid I'll put in on wrong and the chip will fry or something.
2) There's so many things you have to plug in the motherboard I'm afraid i'll plug something in the wrong slot and ruin a piece of hardware.

Should I be worried about this? Or am I being silly?

Ok, on to the hardware parts now. Here's roughly the system I want to have:

Case: Full Tower
Processor: Core 2 Duo E6850 3.0ghz that's overclockable
RAM: 4gb of good RAM, 2 sticks of 2gb so it's dual channel
Video Card: 8800GTX Ultra (overclockable) - no SLI yet, most games I plan on playing arent compatible...can always get another card later
Hard drive: Raptor 10,000rpm 150gb


After doing some research I came up with these items:

Hardware

Case: Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Newegg.com - Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail

OS: Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit Ultimate Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows Vista 64-Bit Ultimate for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM

Motherboard: ASUS Striker II Formula LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Newegg.com - ASUS Striker II Formula LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Newegg.com - Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 Conroe 3.0GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail

Hard Drive: Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s Newegg.com - Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Memory: Kingston HyperX 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Newegg.com - Kingston HyperX 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

Video Card: EVGA GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Newegg.com - EVGA 768-P2-N835-AR GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Monitor: Westinghouse 24" 8ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Newegg.com - Westinghouse L2410NM Black 24" 8ms HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 500 cd/m2 1000:1 Built in Speakers - Retail


Questions:

1) I know I didn't list a power supply but I'm not sure how big of a one i'll need for all of this, and I don't know what a good brands are, need some suggestions here.

2) Also didn't list a cd/dvd drive, not sure which one would be good for a system like this.

2) Is the memory I picked compatible with the motherboard? I read somewhere that most motherboards have different types of recommended memory.

3) I read that with even a 64-bit OS you'll still only really get use out of 3gb of memory and not 4gb. Is this true? If it is, is 4gb still worth it for the dual channel?

4) I plan to overclock the cpu and video card, what special types of cooling devices will I need for this? I dont know much about this subject, so please be very specific.

5) Lastly, is there anything else I'm missing besides the power supply and DVD drive? Will I need special tools to screw everything in?


If you made it this far...thanks. Just trying to be as thorough as possible so I don't make any mistakes.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time builder - Need help picking hardware (gaming PC)

I would definately say no to the Striker II (waste of money), E6850 (waste of money), and 8800GTX (Waste of money).

Newegg.com - PC Power & Cooling S610EPS EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, cUL, CE, CB, TUV - Retail

That is a good PSU.
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Old 03-11-2008, 01:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time builder - Need help picking hardware (gaming PC)

1) I know I didn't list a power supply but I'm not sure how big of a one i'll need for all of this, and I don't know what a good brands are, need some suggestions here.

Newegg.com - PC Power & Cooling S610EPS EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, cUL, CE, CB, TUV - Retail

2) Also didn't list a cd/dvd drive, not sure which one would be good for a system like this.

Newegg.com - ASUS Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 14X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - Retail

2) Is the memory I picked compatible with the motherboard? I read somewhere that most motherboards have different types of recommended memory.

Yeah, it is compatible. Do you want to get that specific set? Probably not. I am not a Kingston fan.


3) I read that with even a 64-bit OS you'll still only really get use out of 3gb of memory and not 4gb. Is this true? If it is, is 4gb still worth it for the dual channel?

You have it backwards. It is with a 32-bit OS. 4GB will work on a 64-bit.

4) I plan to overclock the cpu and video card, what special types of cooling devices will I need for this? I dont know much about this subject, so please be very specific.

Newegg.com - ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail

5) Lastly, is there anything else I'm missing besides the power supply and DVD drive? Will I need special tools to screw everything in?

No, probably not.

Some other things. I would get Vista Home Premium. Vista Ultimate is a waste of money.

Your hard drive is a waste of money and a waste of disk space. Get a 500 GB Seagate Barracude 7200.11 for you HDD.


Look at 8800GTS 512MB or AMD 3870 X2 for a video card. They would both be a better choice.

Look at the Intel Q6600 for a CPU.

$410 IMHO is to much for a 24" monitor when you can get a 22" monitor for $220.
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time builder - Need help picking hardware (gaming PC)

Hello, WELCOME TO THE TECH FORUMS!

I would suggest some changes.

CPU: E8400. I see no argument at all for going 6850 over 8400

GPU: 8800GT or 8800GTS 512 might be a better idea, although GTX is more the way if you are running at that high resolution. I suggest the former, as it might be a better idea to get a GT now and upgrade when the G200 core 9 series comes out. Consider EVGA step up ONLY IF YOU ARE NOT EUROPEAN!!!!

HSF: I'd prefer the tuniq tower 120 over the zalman

RAM:I wouldn't bother with 4Gb ram, 2 is more than enough for gaming

Mobo: ermm.. how about Asus P5K deluxe or Abit IP35. much better value for money, more stable, as good performance. The only argument for striker is SLI, and there are many arguments against SLI. There is X38 I suppose, but I would go with P35.

HD: Seagate barracuda 7200.10 or 7200.11

Go with vista if you want I guess >shiver<
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time builder - Need help picking hardware (gaming PC)

Newegg.com - Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
go with that hdd, just as fast as a raptor (well almost, but you wont notice the diff) and much more space.
Newegg.com - Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
get two of those. If you are going to be running that 64 bit os, then 4gig is a good amount.
as for the video card, it is up to you. If you want to upgrade soon (new cards coming out soon make me skeptical about suggesting one right now) then get a lower priced card just to hold you over. If you dont want to upgrade anytime soon, I suggest either a 8800GTS or 3870x2.

also, for a motherboard I suggest x38 for that e8400. If you want to OC, this is the best board to oc for the new x38's right now. And it has lots of nice features and is not a bad price.
Newegg.com - ABIT IX38 Quad GT LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time builder - Need help picking hardware (gaming PC)

Thanks for the feedback, here's why I chose some of the hardware I did.

1) Raptor 10,000rpm HD. There's an MMO game I play called Vanguard that really benefits from this HD because the art asset files are so big, reduces hitching by a lot.

2) 780i motherboard. I want to be able to upgrade parts w/o buying a whole new motherboard. From what I've read this motherboard will support some of the newer technologies, and would like the option to eventually get a second video card.

3) 8800gtx ultra vs 8800gt. I did some research on this and I chose the 8800gtx because you really see the performance boost over the gt at the 1920x1200 resolution and when you turn AA on. Also, from what's being said about the 9800 series so far it doesn't seem that waiting for it would give me that big of a performance increase, not to mention it will cost around $600


4) E8400. Reason I picked the E6850 was really only because so many places are out of stock of the E8400. They are almost the exact same performance wise though aren't they? And as for the quad-core series, I don't think there's any games that support it yet really.



And thanks dhgunit for posting this heatsink Newegg.com - ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
It seems to be pretty good if your going to OC, couple of things though. It looks difficult to install....I've never installed a heatsink before, and from a couple of the reviews on newegg they said the 780i motherboard has a hard time getting one of the pins put on because there is a transistor in the way.
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Old 03-11-2008, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
Thanks for the feedback, here's why I chose some of the hardware I did.

1) Raptor 10,000rpm HD. There's an MMO game I play called Vanguard that really benefits from this HD because the art asset files are so big, reduces hitching by a lot.

2) 780i motherboard. I want to be able to upgrade parts w/o buying a whole new motherboard. From what I've read this motherboard will support some of the newer technologies, and would like the option to eventually get a second video card.

3) 8800gtx ultra vs 8800gt. I did some research on this and I chose the 8800gtx because you really see the performance boost over the gt at the 1920x1200 resolution and when you turn AA on. Also, from what's being said about the 9800 series so far it doesn't seem that waiting for it would give me that big of a performance increase, not to mention it will cost around $600


4) E8400. Reason I picked the E6850 was really only because so many places are out of stock of the E8400. They are almost the exact same performance wise though aren't they? And as for the quad-core series, I don't think there's any games that support it yet really.



And thanks dhgunit for posting this heatsink Newegg.com - ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
It seems to be pretty good if your going to OC, couple of things though. It looks difficult to install....I've never installed a heatsink before, and from a couple of the reviews on newegg they said the 780i motherboard has a hard time getting one of the pins put on because there is a transistor in the way.
1) I said that the 7200.11 was just as fast. Ask some people around here. The price is not worth that hdd, unless you are REALLY set on it, I would not suggest it.

2)x38 is just as up to date. And unless you need sli, which does not scale well, and unless you are looking for records, is not that great, then go with x38.

3)how about the 3870x2? And I can play any game at full at 1900x1200 cept crysis, but nothing can play crysis. and my card is much less pricey than an ultra. What about the new ati 4xxx series?

4) you can find one, and it is a much better choice if you can find one. (I saw a post earlier today that said something about having plenty in stock somewhere, I will try to find it)

and if you want to overclock, get the TRUE, the zalman doesnt even compare. and make sure you get some thermal paste (mx-2). and installing a heatsink is not hard, it comes with directions.
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevin View Post
Thanks for the feedback, here's why I chose some of the hardware I did.

1) Raptor 10,000rpm HD. There's an MMO game I play called Vanguard that really benefits from this HD because the art asset files are so big, reduces hitching by a lot.

2) 780i motherboard. I want to be able to upgrade parts w/o buying a whole new motherboard. From what I've read this motherboard will support some of the newer technologies, and would like the option to eventually get a second video card.

3) 8800gtx ultra vs 8800gt. I did some research on this and I chose the 8800gtx because you really see the performance boost over the gt at the 1920x1200 resolution and when you turn AA on. Also, from what's being said about the 9800 series so far it doesn't seem that waiting for it would give me that big of a performance increase, not to mention it will cost around $600


4) E8400. Reason I picked the E6850 was really only because so many places are out of stock of the E8400. They are almost the exact same performance wise though aren't they? And as for the quad-core series, I don't think there's any games that support it yet really.



And thanks dhgunit for posting this heatsink Newegg.com - ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler - Retail
It seems to be pretty good if your going to OC, couple of things though. It looks difficult to install....I've never installed a heatsink before, and from a couple of the reviews on newegg they said the 780i motherboard has a hard time getting one of the pins put on because there is a transistor in the way.
1. The other person and I both suggested the Seagate 7200.11, but if you want that Raptor go ahead. I am just saying it is the wrong choice, it isn't much faster than a 7200.11 and it is 4 times smaller. And more expensive than the Seagate.

2. P35, X38, 680i, and 780i are all fine. But don't spend that much money for a Striker II. It is a waste of money IMO.

3. Yep, the GTX performs a little bit better, but it is also $230 more. Get two 8800GTs and SLI them and you will have better performance than the 8800GTX for the same price. If I was buying a video card right now, I would probably get an 8800GTS 512MB or 9600GTs in SLI.

4. Q6600, E8400, and Q9450 (if you can get it) are really the only options here in that price range. There is no reason to get an E6*** anything. They are old now, still great CPUs, but old.

On the CNPS9700: It is difficult to install, the first time you do it. Most heatsinks are. It is a great fan though, my AMD got down to 25* C at stock speeds.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time builder - Need help picking hardware (gaming PC)

Been looking for a while now and found no store that has the E8400 in stock. Anyone know any place that has it in stock?
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: First time builder - Need help picking hardware (gaming PC)

any reason why your set on an e8400?
your computer would last longer if you were to get a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme and a Q6600 quad core and overclock to 3.6ghz

i also agree on avoiding the raptor
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