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Looking to build a new PC this summer, specs inside, looking for feedback.

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by Pop_Smith, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. Pop_Smith

    Pop_Smith Regular member

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    Hey! :)

    Well, my computer is about 5 years old now and with a full time job I figured I have (or will soon have) the money to build myself a new PC.

    I am looking at spending >$2500. If its after rebates thats ok but I would rather have it before rebates.

    Here is the current PC I have spec'd out myself and want to see what others
    think of it:

    Please note I will be using my monitor (20" Dell Widescreen Flat Panel) that I have now as well as my mouse (Microsoft Trackball Explorer 1.0). I might get some new speakers but I am not sure which ones to get. I am currently running an older Harmon/Kardon 2.1 setup.

    Also, I was thinking of getting a ethernet card but wasn't sure which one to get or if I should just use the on board card.

    Last note: knowing my luck I am probably missing or have some incompatible stuff so keep that in mind :p

    Here is the specs of what I put together on Newegg:

    Case
    Antec Nine Hundred - $139.99 w. free shipping at the moment

    Motherboard
    Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (Rev. 1.3) - $109.99 w. free shipping

    Power Supply
    PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad - $199.99 w. $9.43 shipping

    Processor
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz - $230 w. free shipping

    Thermal Paste
    Arctic SIlver 5 - $5.99 w. $4.99 shipping

    CPU Cooler
    Thermaltake CL-P0310 (Big Typhoon) - $54.99 w. $6.13 shipping

    Sound Card
    Creative 7.1 Ch. Sound Blaster card - $129.99 w. free shipping

    Graphics Card
    EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 640MB SuperClocked - $409.99 w. $6.13 shipping (before $30 mail-in rebate)

    RAM
    CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit. - $133 w. free shipping Thanks willpow3r for the find! :)

    Hard Drive
    150 GB Raptor 10k RPM Serial ATA150 - OEM - $209.99 w. $5.94 shipping

    DVD Drive
    Pioneer 18X DVD±R DVD Burner Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model DVR-112D - OEM - $31.99 w. $5.64 shipping

    Keyboard
    Logitech G15 - $71.99 w. free shipping

    Operating System
    Windows XP Pro. SP2B OEM - $139.99 w. $4.99 shipping. Don't need Vista right now for gaming so why install the resource hog?

    Total, with shipping, as of today (April 30, 2007):
    $1,893.14

    Build #2 (more portable)

    Case
    Thermaltake VF1000BWS - $129.99 w. $15.69 (!) shipping

    Motherboard
    ASUS P5B-VM - $114.99 w. $6.13 shipping

    Power Supply
    CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX - $169.99 w. free shipping (ZipZoomFly is a better deal on this - $146.90 w. shipping)

    Processor
    Core 2 Duo - E6700 - $320 w. Free Shipping (ZZF for a buck less :p)

    Thermal Paste
    Arctic Silver 5 - $5.99 w. $4.99 shipping

    CPU Cooler
    Thermaltake CL-P0369 - $52.99 w. $5.64 shipping.

    One problem here are the dimensions of the two processor coolers, not sure which is better: Big Typhoon (here) is 122 x 122 x 103mm whlie the one I listed above is 143.0 x 144.0 x 95.2mm. So I am sure which one to go with. They both, according to the 'egg push out the same amount of air.

    Sound Card
    Creative 7.1 Ch. Sound Blaster card - $139.99 w. free shipping - ZipZoomFly's price is better: $129.98 w. free shipping

    Graphics Card
    EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 640MB $409.99 w. $6.13 S&H.

    RAM
    CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit - $133 w. free shipping - ZipZoomFly again w. better price @ $129.90.

    Hard Drive
    150GB Raptor - $199.99 w. free shipping

    DVD Drive
    Pioneer DVR-112D - $31.99 w. $5.64 shipping

    Keyboard
    G15 - $69.99 w. free shipping and a $5 off promo code for $64.99 after the code.

    Operating System
    XP Pro OEM SP2B - $139.99 w. $4.99 shipping.

    Extras
    Additional 60mm fan for the case - $4.99 w. $4.99 shipping

    Total for possible build #2 (as of April 30th):
    $1,916.36 (Didn't go up too bad considering I added a $100 more processor to the build!)

    Please let me know what you think, suggestions are highly wanted. :)

    Peace
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2007
  2. willpow3r

    willpow3r Member

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    That is a very solid build except that you don't need to buy the sata cable because the motherboards comes with extra sata cables. Also, you could save some money and go with the black xms2 ram, there isn't much difference in performance. Lastly, I would ditch the raptors because they are a waste of money. You might as well buy two larger hard drives and raid them instead.
    This site shows that there isn't a large improvement in buying a raptor over a normal hard drive. All in all, a very solid build.
     
  3. Pop_Smith

    Pop_Smith Regular member

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    Ok, maybe I will go with some other drives. I just like my raptors in my current PC. :p

    On the RAM, now I am confused. :(

    Based on specs it looks like I will just go with these they are outta stock (so our the ones I originally looked at) but only until approx. tuesday.

    They are, from what I can tell spec wise, exactly the same as the more expensive ones. Except the black ones do not have LEDs (oh wow! save $120 for a less flashy computer!).

    The specs of the black ones I linked to in this post are:
    The same speed (DDR2 800 (PC2 6400))
    The same latency (5-5-5-12)
    The same voltage (V1.9)

    The only difference, from what I can tell, is the LEDs. Which is totally stupid as the LED RAM is $120 more.

    Great advice willpow3r, thank you VERY much for the feedback!! :)

    Peace
     
  4. steimy

    steimy Active member

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    yeah, that hard drive and DVD drive would be my only changes. I have not seen too may rave reviews on Plextor myself. NEC, Pioneer, BenQ or Samsung. I hope you plan to do really bigthings with this system because if not you will not even get full use of all you are putting into it.
     
  5. marsey99

    marsey99 Regular member

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    some good advice there.

    the led is ram overpriced for its performance and is only really for people who are show offs. not sure but i think that mobo will only let you use cas 5/6 ram anyway so you might not even need to spend that much on them sticks too. as i say im not sure and that should be looked into. check the gigabyte webssite for what ram they have tested and reccomend for the mobo. i would also try to find out if your choice of heatsink will have any clearence issues to whilst here.

    if i was you i would get 1 raptor for your os/programs and 1 lagre harddrive for your data. it remove any of the downsides with a raid array (needing floppy to setup, degrading of array and possible total loss of data if 1 drive in the array fails) but you would still have the speed of the raptor.

    for advice on dvd drives ask in the other thread as they will be able to tell you the pros and cons of any drives as all have somthing that could be better and you just need to find out which suits your needs the best. plextor do make some top class drives.
     
  6. borhan9

    borhan9 Active member

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    Like everyone else said the only thing that i would look into changing is your DVD Burner either a Pioneer or an Lite-on in my opinion. I have 3 Pioneer drives and they have not failed me yet. One of these drives i have is i would say 3 years old and still going strong as ever.

    The only other thing is the hard drive i would go for a Seagate drive which is very stable and you may want to go for a bigger capacity rather than just 80 gigs.

    I would at bear minimum go to a 120 gig drive IDE or SATA does not mater which.
     
  7. Pop_Smith

    Pop_Smith Regular member

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    OK so I was looking up 2MB vs 8MB cache in the DVD drives and it doesn't seem to make a big difference.

    I have heard a TON about Pioneers being great drives and they are not very expensive either, which kind of amazed me.

    I relinked the DVD burner in the first post (I just noticed that it links to the "SATA cables" hahaha).

    EDIT: The sound card went up $10 :(. Oh well, its real close to $2,000 which is sweet, thanks to the suggestion of Pioneer/Lite-On and the RAM.

    Also, I will have a 2nd PC for a bit (the one I am on right now) so I will probably just get a real big (such as this) internal, or possibly external, drive to store stuff on when/if I sell the current PC I have.

    Thanks again for all the feedback!! Keep it coming!! :)

    Peace
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2007
  8. willpow3r

    willpow3r Member

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    I have pioneer drive and from what I can say, I think its great. The DVR-710 is a very nice drive. Lite-on from what I heard they aren't too shabby either. If you live near a Frys, you can look for great deals on DVD drives. I got my Pioneer drive for ~$20. The case you chose I heard is really hard to get the cabling right and is a dust magnet. But, that shouldn't stop you from getting a really cool case. If you wanted to change, I recommend a case from Silverstone, Lain-Li, Antec, Coolermaster, and Thermaltake to name a few. Your power supply maybe overkill but it never hurts to have extra power in case for future upgrades. PC Power and Cooling and Seasonic are my top brands for power supplies. Still, it is a great build once you plan on building it and good luck.
    -Willpow3r

    P.S. Check the new price on the ram
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2007
  9. Blackjax

    Blackjax Regular member

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    hey pop fyi if you can get the ul number off the side of the psu you can check the underwriters labs database. a lot of the psu are made by the same companies just rebranded for whoever sells them.
     
  10. Pop_Smith

    Pop_Smith Regular member

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    Yeah my neighbor had a Lain-Li he really liked, might look into one. The rebate won't be good when I can afford to buy this stuff (~June) but oh well.

    My current case is a Thermaltake and I really like it, might go with one of them but still not sure, I just really, really like the Nine Hundred.

    I figure I might eventually upgrade some of this so I picked out that supply, good point. Also, its 750 constant, with a peak of 825 so its got plenty of room for growth. :) If it was >900 then I would call it overkill ;).

    Peace

    EDIT: Thanks for the notice Blackjax, I will take a peek as newegg has some pretty detailed pictures. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2007
  11. PeaInAPod

    PeaInAPod Active member

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  12. Pop_Smith

    Pop_Smith Regular member

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    Hum....I have another debate that I have been unsuccessful in finding an answer to when I did a google search.

    Although there is probably not much (if any) "real" (aka human noticable) difference I was wondering if there is a difference between a 2-drive RAID 0 74GB Raptor setup (Like I am currently planning) or just using a single 150GB Raptor.

    I am only using ~30GB ATM with the most I have ever used being about 50GB of my current RAID 0 (2 74GB Raptors, which Windows XP SP2 is installed on as well as my games and their images. I have a extra 250GB setup for storage, using ~200GB (!) (aka I need to do some house cleaning!!).

    My debate:
    For gaming (some FPS games, but mainly WoW and RTS's)
    Would it be better to buy 2x Raptors (74GB) and place them in a RAID 0 config. or just get 1x 150GB Raptor instead?

    The price difference is pretty big, $205 for the 150GB or $319.98 for 2x 74GB drives, which is a price difference of $104.98 as both have free shipping. But I was wondering if anyone could find an article comparing 2 RAID 0'd 74GBs to a single 150GB.
     
  13. borhan9

    borhan9 Active member

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    For this reason alone I would go with the 1 Drive that is 150gig for $205. If I wanted 2 drives i would get the 150gig drive and partition it.

    That way i dont have too many things in my case and i can add to it later.
     
  14. Pop_Smith

    Pop_Smith Regular member

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    @borhan9, yeah that is a good reason not to mention all the noise (and heat!) that the 2 74GBs would produce! :(

    I am still curious as to what the difference between 2 74GBs and a single 150GB is. But saving over $100 is definitely gonna help the wallet. :)
     
  15. borhan9

    borhan9 Active member

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    I am no expert in the field but i would say having one drive besides 2 will make it easier for your computer to run and it will not put pressure on your system resources.

    The upside either way is you having your Operating System on one Partition or drive just in case of you getting a virus or something you will not loose all your data.
     
  16. Pop_Smith

    Pop_Smith Regular member

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    Updated the post again, for some crazy reason the price of the RAM almost doubled! I found I can get it for the old price (aka under $150!) from ZZF and I can save a few bucks on the processor by going through ZipZoomFly.

    So I think unless the egg drops the RAM price (yeah, right) I will order the processor and RAM from ZZF and the rest of things from Newegg.

    Also I checked my account yesterday and I have just over $1000 of spendable dough saved up so I think my target is right on as I was hoping to order the stuff around the start of June.
     
  17. Blackjax

    Blackjax Regular member

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    Hey Pop,
    I run the older 36.7g raptors on 24/7 (had them for 3 years now!). the speed on raid0 is amazing however most of the newer drives can match or surpass these now. the only thing about running a raid setup is if one fails your up a creek!
    You could try two drives with 16mb cache in a raid0. The egg has them for about 70usd (250g)to 80usd (320g) dollars and both are 3gb/s sata drives. You could even just do one which would run quite well in your setup then upgrade later?! Wish I would have had the $$ to spend on this last build but I have to go the upgrade route this time.
     
  18. Pop_Smith

    Pop_Smith Regular member

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    Yeah, that is my worry. Sometimes the 'egg or ZZF (or any etailer for that matter) drops the prices pretty big without notice and your a creek with no paddle. The only thing I don't like is they don't offer any price guarantee (i.e. If they drop the price within 15-days or 30-days or whatever you get the difference if you catch it.)

    But oh well, I also setup another build (below the original one) that has a cool smaller, more portable case I found while surfing for cases. Its basically the same build with some minor adjustments.

    Let me know what you think of both builds everyone. :)

    Thanks again you guys ROCK!!

    Peace
     
  19. wabashman

    wabashman Active member

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    a cheap place to get some ram is ebay, ive got most of my ram off of there for the fraction of what it would cost new. and it was still sealed in the package so in theory it was new, just didnt come with the warranty from newegg or zzf.
     

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