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First computer build-almost ready


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#1
Crunchy409

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Love the website- super helpful. I have almost settled on most of the main components to my first build and wanted to see what you thought. I tried to go by these priorities: Quiet, Quality, Value (and of course compatibility!)

Case:
Antec Sonata III

Motherboard:
EITHER
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS4 Rev. 2.0
---OR---
ABIT IP35 Pro LGA 775

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850

Memory:
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800

Graphics:
HD3850

Hard drive:
either Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB Hard Drive - 7200, 16MB, Serial ATA-300, OEM
or 2 of these, set up in a striping RAID configuration: http://www.tigerdire...a...t=0&Recs=10

What is the general feeling out there for a new machine as far as OS? Should I just put my money towards Vista even though it may not be the most stable yet? Also, 32 or 64 bit?

Please let me know if I have any compatibility issues, or if for a couple bucks here or there I could significantly upgrade overall appearance.

Thank you for any help you can offer me- Happy New Year!!
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#2
stettybet0

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I would get the 7200.11 Barracuda if you are interested in a quiet computer. They are much quieter than their notoriously loud 7200.10 brothers.

Also, if you are looking to save a few dollars, you might want to get this set of Patriot RAM, which has the same specs as your current RAM, but is a bit cheaper. Also, to save more money, you might want to get an E6750 instead of an E6850. The E6750 has a better price/performance ratio. Saving this money is especially important if this is a gaming computer, because with the saved money you could get an HD3870 or an 8800GT instead of an HD3850.

As for the OS: If you are going to be gaming, I would definitely get Vista. Why buy a nice DX10 card without being able to enjoy the DX10 features?

As for 32-bit vs. 64-bit, I used to be strongly in the 64-bit camp, but recently I switched to 32-bit because two games I have (Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Crysis) wouldn't work for me in 64-bit. In 32-bit they work (though Crysis still won't work in DX10 mode... but I think it's just a driver problem due to my graphics card (8800GTS 512mb) being very new). However, I am lucky that I had the luxury to switch between 64-bit and 32-bit, and I could do so again if I choose because I bought a retail version of Vista (the retail version comes with 64-bit and 32-bit installation DVDs). I would recommend you do the same so that you can switch between 32-bit and 64-bit if you choose to.

And one last thing: Don't forget optical drives! You aren't going to be doing much of anything on that system if you can't put in CDs or DVDs. :)
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#3
james_8970

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I would recommend you do the same so that you can switch between 32-bit and 64-bit if you choose to.

I wouldn't. You can buy a OEM copy for 110$, if you wanted to upgrade to 64bit later on down the road, that's 220$. That'd still be cheaper then getting the retail version. :)
I also recommend that 720.11 drive, I have a 7200.10 drive and it's very loud when seeking.
James

Edited by james_8970, 31 December 2007 - 06:03 PM.

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#4
stettybet0

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The licensing restrictions on OEM versions make it not worth it IMO. Not to mention that the retail version of Vista Premium can be had for under $200. Link
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#5
Crunchy409

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Thanks for the suggestions.

You think that the Patriot RAM will perform about as good as the Crucial?

That 7200.11 Barracuda looks like a really nice drive. I may go that way.

Thanks for the suggestion about downgrading to the 6750 and using the extra $70 or so on upgrading the video card. If given the choice of HD3870 or an 8800GT, which would you recommend? Do you know a specific make of these cards that is known to be quiet? (not necessarily passively cooled, just quiet)
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#6
stettybet0

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I own the Patriot RAM, so I can vouch for it being very good RAM.

The HD3870 can't really compete with the 8800GT, though it is cheaper. If you have the money, go for the 8800GT.

An asset and a flaw of the 8800GT is their silence. They have a bug that runs their fan at 29% all the time. So, the card is very quiet, but it can also overheat. However, I know EVGA has released a BIOS update for their card that fixes this, and perhaps other companies have as well. Even if you like the silence, you are going to want to get the fix. The only time the card will get a bit louder is when playing games, and this is so your card doesn't fry. :)
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#7
james_8970

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You think that the Patriot RAM will perform about as good as the Crucial?

Patriot is good RAM, though Crucial is better. Unless you plan on overclocking you won't notice a difference between the brands.

The HD3870 can't really compete with the 8800GT, though it is cheaper. If you have the money, go for the 8800GT.

I hate single slot coolers, I personally would only recommend purchasing the 8800GT if A) You replace the stock cooler with a aftermarket solution or B) Get a card without the reference design. This card has many overheating problems. Otherwise I suggest going with the HD3870 for a more trouble free card. However, the 8800GT is the better card performance wise.

If you are on a tight budget or don't upgrade frequently, I'd go for the OEM copy of Vista. Otherwise retail is the better alternative if you upgrade frequently (never knew it was that cheap in the USA till settybet mentioned that link).

James
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#8
Crunchy409

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UPDATED BUILD LIST, total cost: about $1200

Case: $114
Antec Sonata III

Motherboard: $180
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS4 Rev. 2.0

CPU: $200
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750

Memory: $74
Patriot Extreme Performance 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory (4 sticks)

Graphics: $280
ASUS EN8800GT/G/HTDP/512M GeForce 8800GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Hard drive: $120
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Other:
optical- $30-SAMSUNG DVD/CD
OS-$200-Vista Premium
CPU cooler-$22- ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - Retail
GPU Cooler-$21- ZALMAN VF700LED - ALCU 2 Ball Blue LED VGA Cooling Fan with Heatsink - Retail
Arctic 5 thermal paste

1. Will it all be compatible (Nvidia card with intel processor and motherboard?)
2. Will it be quiet?
3. If I told you I had an extra $50-$100, where would you upgrade?
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#9
james_8970

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You might have missed my edit, so look above your post.
If you had the extra money I'd replace you card.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16814130312
Then you would have completely eliminated the issue of remounting a aftermarket solution to your video card.

Get this thermal paste.
http://www.newegg.co...x...20&Tpk=MX-2

You could probably buy a cheaper motherboard as well. Do you even plan on overclocking?
James
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#10
Crunchy409

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Thanks for the reply James- As you guessed, I had missed your reply!

1. That graphics card is a tad more $ than I wanted to spend, but if you think that I could take some $ off of the motherboard, maybe I can put it here. I really don't plan on overclocking much. I do like the passive cooling of the motherboard I picked. Although taking care of the aftermarket cooling solution would save me $25 as well so that may be the way to go.

2. I realized that I do not have a sound card. If I am not planning on doing any sort of 5.1 or anything, should I simply purchase a cheapo sound card, or should I use on board (my guess is no)

thanks for the help! I would like my first build to go as smoothly as possible!
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#11
james_8970

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Get this motherboard, note it won't be available till the 7th, but will save you $90.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128059

Since you're not running any 5.1 speakers a sound card is not really needed, if you were to buy one, the following would be fine.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16829102002

I still recommend the better video card, stettybet0 actually has it. I personally hate single slot coolers as they cannot perform their task efficiently.
James
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#12
Crunchy409

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Thanks. That motherboard looks about the same as the one I had picked out, and the $90 it saves is great! Will it have a hook-up for the front USB on the case?

I've got a 5 year old sound card that may actually work. It is listed as Creative SB Live! Value (CT4780) Sound Card. Any thoughts?

Do you have personal experience with the card you recommend? Is it quiet?

I am concerned by the percentage of my project that I am putting into the graphics card. I analyzed a couple published gaming set-ups and they were spending about 16% of the cost, if I go with the Evga listed, it will be about 28%. Thoughts?

Edited by Crunchy409, 01 January 2008 - 05:03 PM.

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#13
james_8970

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The majority of my builds always go towards the CPU and GPU, the reason is simple. They are the brain of the build.
As for the motherboard and USB on the front of the case, yes it will.
While that sound card will likely work, the onboard sound card on your motherboard is likely better in terms of sound quality and support.
I just realized something, you never mentioned a monitor. What resolution is it?
While I don't have any personal experiences with that card, it's pretty well the best card on the market right now. In terms of how loud it was, you'd have to ask settybetty as he has the card.
James

Edited by james_8970, 01 January 2008 - 05:22 PM.

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#14
Crunchy409

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I have a 19" Dell 1905FP (Digital). Max resolution is 1280 x 1024.

Will the built in antec power supply be ample enough for that video card?

I spend 9 hours a week gaming probably, and most of that is done on Madden 08. Will I be going overboard with a card like that?
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#15
james_8970

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If you don't play any graphically intense games I'd suggest putting more money into the CPU and getting a HD3850, again try to get a dual slot version of this card.
That monitor is a very low resolution and Madden isn't graphically intensive at all. Are there any other games you play a lot or plan to play in the future?
James
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