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Old 06-03-2006, 06:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post A New Build: Conroe System Checklist

I am building my first PC this summer and have some questions:

1. Is it worth to pay ~$200 more to get Conroe 2.66GHz instead of 2.40 GHz? I assume the difference is very little and not worth the price.

2. If I am going to try to overclock, let’s say up to 3.00 GHz (as long as simple air cooling is enough), which RAM should I get? From what I read it should be: DDR2, 2GBs, 2.0V, CL 5, and frequency 667 Hz. Is this combo good enough or must I go higher? Is the brand very important ( for now, Buffalo is the cheapest one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820150050 )?

3. Hard drive: I’m going with WD 10,000 RPM, 16 Cache: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136033

4. PSU: The only thing I know in this area is that I need something with 500W output. What is the cheapest yet the reliable PSU I can get? Here are two:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136033
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817148027

One of them costs $35 the other $155 yet I can’t tell what the difference is.

5. Heatsink/Fan: I have no idea what I should get. I just need the cheapest one that can get the job done. Fancy styles not important.

6. SoundCard: Either E-MU 0404 or E-MU 1212. I hope I don’t have to worry about its compatibility with my system.

7. Case: Again, something that looks stylish and is sturdy. If possible for around $30. I found these two:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811180044
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811138069

But I’m not sure about them. What is a reliable brand?

I have to skip the motherboard for now because it will evolve by the time Conroe comes out. I don’t need a video card because I don’t play any games.

Total, including shipping, will come out to about

Case 40 + 15
CPU 530 + 5
E-MU 120
Hard – 170 + 6
PSU – 60
FAN – 40
RAM – 140
Motherboard – 160

$1285, if my price assumptions about fan, psu, mobo, and case are correct. My intial budget was $1000. If I drop conroe to 2.4 GHz, it will still work out by knocking out another $200 from the total, but if 2.66 GHz is really worth it, I guess I could go with it.
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Old 06-03-2006, 06:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You need a reliable PSU. The cheap ones are made with very cheap parts and are prone to failure and can take the rest of your system down with them. I suggest sticking to PC Power & Cooling (the best of the best), OCZ, Antec, FPS Group, etc...

A question about that sound card. Those are pro-audio cards, not gaming cards. They won't have things like EAX, hardware accelerated audio or CMSS3D. Unless you have a reason for them, your best bet is to get an X-fi, especially if you are a gamer.

You should get the cheapest conroe that still has the extra cache. I believe it is the E6600. I don't recall if it's the 2.4 or 2.66GHz one.
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Old 06-03-2006, 06:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Your answer to PSU was very helpful. I'll can go with antec for about $70 for 500W:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817103937

As I wrote originally, I don't play games at all. I play a lot of high quality (wav/ape) classical music and need the best output. E-MU does support hardware accelerated audio. I'll probably get E-MU 1212.
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Old 06-03-2006, 06:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you're going to be overclocking the Conroe, then the 2.4GHz version would be best. However, since they are not out yet, there could be another factor involved. We won't know till release, on July 23rd.
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Old 06-03-2006, 06:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Ok, just checking to make sure you knew what you were doing with those sound cards. In that case, there are some other ones you may want to consider as well. The ESI Juli@ (notice my sig ):
http://www.esi-pro.com/viewProduct.php?pid=43

And the M-Audio Audiophile 192:
http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_u...e192-main.html
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What is the difference between the E6600 and E6700? I think the only difference there is that E6600 is 2.4ghz and E6700 is 2.6Ghz so i cannot understand why the price difference is that big. One is 316$ while the other is 529$.

From what i saw the two cpu's are the same as regards FSB and cache correct me if i am wrong.

thx
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Your right. The E6600 -- the 2.4GHz model is the one to get.
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaiser28
What is the difference between the E6600 and E6700? I think the only difference there is that E6600 is 2.4ghz and E6700 is 2.6Ghz so i cannot understand why the price difference is that big. One is 316$ while the other is 529$.

From what i saw the two cpu's are the same as regards FSB and cache correct me if i am wrong.

thx
Well, Intel purposly is going to have that high price on the E6700, so they'll turn you on to the E6600. Both are heavily marked up for profit, but to make more money, they inflate the higher end one so you feel as though you got a great deal on the one below it. Don't know the term for that though.
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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That's very smart, but the prices compared to AMD are already very low.
I spent many hours finding out which is the best soundcard for me. I actually talked to experienced people in this field and they told me that EMU is the best. M-Audio is also great, but it has many extra features designed for recording which I am not going to use.
I still need an answer to my questions about RAM, heatsink/fan, and case.
Do I have to buy a video card if I am not going to play games? All I care is that the graphics of Vista Aero run perfectly and from what I read it seems is that all you need is a fast PC to do that.
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You can't use a computer without a video card. You would need at least some kind of motherboard that had onboard graphics. A $30 case probably won't last very long. Somewhere along the lines of $70+ should get you something decent. Any mid-tower atx case will work. I'm not sure about DDR2 RAM. I also can not comment on the heatsink/fan because they are making a new socket for conroe I believe, and that will probably need a new type of heatsink.

If they told you E-MU was the best then it dosn't sound like they were very experienced. Right off the top of my head I can think of something better. Anything from Lynx, for example:
http://www.lynxstudio.com/products.html

The LynxTwo costs over $1000.

Just wondering, what exactly are you going to be using the sound card you get for? Just audio listening?
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