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First time build...what do you think?


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#1
jharding

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Hello , here is my components list for my new idea. Mostly going to be used for gaming, downloading music and surfing the net. Any thoughts on compatibality or better components would be greatly appreciated.

CPU: AMD athlon 64 x2 6400+ processor 3.20 GHz
Motherboard: MSI K9N SLI-F
Ram: 4GB DDR2 Crucial Ballistix Tracer pc6400 800 MHz
O/S: Windows xp home edition 32 bit oem
HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 320 GB
Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce 8800GTS KO edition
Optical Drive: Sony DRU-v200 s/br DVD Rewritable drive
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling/silencer/750 watt
Case: X-Blade Mid Tower

Any thoughts or comments about compatibality, cooling or poor choice in components???? Should mention I will probably add another 8800gts and sound card (will see how the onboard does) in the near future.
Thanks!!!

Edited by jharding, 11 September 2008 - 10:21 PM.

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#2
warriorscot

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Wouldn't bother adding another card in SLI unless you plan on buying a monitor with a massive resolution which will set you back more than the gfx cards.

I would switch over to in Intel system AMD just isn't cutting it price/performance wise these days and the Intel motherboards are getting all the attention these days so they are great.

Don't bother with a GTS just get an 8800GT or a 9800GT if you want triple SLI as an option.
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#3
jharding

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Thanks for the reply!! I did a little more thinking and looking around and here's where I'm at now... Any suggestion or critisims more than welcome!!!

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 wolfdale 3.0GHz
Motherboard: MSI P7N Platinum
Heatsink: Masscool 8WA741 (read some reviews that the stock cooler with the E8400 is junk??)
Graphics Card: EVGA GeForce 8800GT (Dual Slot Edition, 512mb GDDR3)
Ram: 4GB DDR2 Crucial Ballistix Tracer Dual Channel PC6400 800MHz
O/S: Windows XP Home Edition 32 Bit OEM
HDD: Western Digital Caviar SE16 320 GB
Optical Drive: Sony DRU-v200 s/br DVD Rewritable drive
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling/silencer/750 watt
Case: X-Blade Mid Tower


Thanks!!
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#4
fluffybunny88

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I think it all looks good. I have that same processor on my computer and it is great. I also have that video card as well.

My only question is about the heatsink. I don't run the stock heatsink as I overclock. Would you be overclocking the computer at any point? If so I would recommend this heatsink plus a 120MM fan. I have overclocked to right at about 4 GHz with no problems.

Your case also does not have a fan on the back of it. It only has 2 fans in the whole case. I would recommend looking around at something that has at least one more fan, that side fan is good, but it would be much better if you also had a fan on the back of the case. You would get better airflow throughout the whole case as it would pull in air in the front and push it out the back, if you have the fans pointed the right way. I use the Antec 900 which is a little bit more expensive than the case you have but it has much better airflow especially with the big 200MM fan on top here is a link.
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#5
jharding

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Thanks for the reply. At this point I'm really not planning on overclocking and decided to go with that heatsink just because I've read that the stock heatsink is not very good and this one fits nicely in my budget and has decent reviews. When I order the case I'm planning on getting a 120mm exhaust fan for the back and a 8ox80x15mm fan for the right side panel, as I've read that the X-Blade has spaces for these additional fans, but are not included. Here's a link to a site reviewing that case. On this site it claims they include a 400watt power supply, but the site I'm ordering from lists that as optional.

Edited by jharding, 12 September 2008 - 08:45 PM.

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#6
fluffybunny88

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looks good. I didn't realize that the case had a mounting hole for another fan. I think that your build looks very good and you should be very happy with the performance. I am very happy with the performance from my e8400.

Also what operating system are you going to run? There are some issues with the 32 bit versions of vista and xp that it wont utalize all of the 4 gb of ram as it has a total addressing space of 4 gb of ram. Supposedly vista sp1 deals with this but I don't think that XP has support for it. It will only appear as 3.5GB of ram as you have a 512 mb video card. If you run 64 bit vista then none of this applies.
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#7
jharding

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I was planning on running xp 32 bit since I'm a little more familiar with it and am a little apprehensive about going to vista. I suppose if I drop my ram down to 3 or 3.5GB then I'll be alright?

Edited by jharding, 12 September 2008 - 09:29 PM.

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#8
fluffybunny88

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if you are running that version of XP due to the way that the 32 bit OS works only 4GB of total memory space is available, which means that if you have 4GB of ram and a 512MB video card only 3.5GB of ram will show up in your OS. That isnt bad but you also will not be able to use all the ram that you have in the computer. I also would not recommend getting a 2gb stick and a 1gb stick just put all 4gb of ram in there, either 4 1gb sticks or 2x2gb sticks.

XP is good, its been around for years and will be around for a while more. As long as Microsoft keeps doing updates for it, which they wont stop anytime soon as it is used so widely in the business world I would use it.

Vista really is not as bad as everyone says, in the early days it was, but now it is not that bad, other than it being a resource hog. I wont try and sway your decision on the OS but it is just something to keep in mind.

I think with XP and 4gb of ram and all the other parts you have that will be a very good gaming computer with a very reasonable budget.
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#9
warriorscot

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I am personally not a fan of that case, never liked it and its basically remained the same for years, its cheap and tatty and it looks cool at first but you will either get sick of it quick or it will fall to pieces. Antec are a good case maker and they update the cases every year so they always get better year on year as they get feedback and make use of new technology.

I would go for Vista Home Premium if you are getting 4Gb of RAM, to be honest it was never as bad as people say it is. It has a few annoying things but for the most part of you don't like them just turn those features off. XP 32bit is old and shows its age when you stick it on a new system and the memory limit is annoying. Also if you game DX10 does have a few nice features, nothing mind blowing but its still nice.

Always use as few memory modules as possible and go for even numbers, don't use 3Gb of memory as it needs and odd number of sticks and if you can get 2x2Gb sticks that is better than 4 1Gb sticks.

If you don't overclock the stock cooler is fine, if you really want to replace it get an arctic if you want performance at a low price or thermalright if you just want it ice cold.
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#10
kamille316

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I also suggest you change the RAM to a different manufacturer because there's quite a high percentage of failures with the Ballistix. Try ones from G.SKILL, Mushkin, Corsair, OCZ or Patriot and pick one that's the cheapest and that runs in a lower voltage (less heat) i.e. 1.8V-2.0V
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#11
Troy

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Hi there,

I have this CPU cooler and it's excellent. I recommend it. :)

Cheers

Troy
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#12
ajrichwalder

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well as a system builder myself I don't think I would choose looks over performance sure your computer might look cool and your friends would be jealous but once you turn that baby on it might not perform as well as you hoped with my system I personally didnt care how it looked I got a big case and top of the line parts and at a cheap price.I mostly use it for gaming and it works perfect so with that case it looks good but get a cheap case this way you can afford better parts and better PC performance thats the key at first glance my computer looks like nothing special but you can open up the most intensive thing my computer can run it......so dude all I am saying is don't waste your money on a case get a budget one and you can get some good hardware
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#13
Troy

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And no need to waste time digging up old threads. :)
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