First time building a PC

By kool aid man
May 22, 2007
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  1. I did an extensive amount of research today on generic PSU's, monitors, disc drives, etc. and have updated my list again. This is going to be my build for a high-end PC gaming/ academic PC that I'm going to build for the first time. I want to know if these parts will work together with good compatibility, and will perform well. Please give me your input and tell me if I should go with this or not.

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor

    GPU: MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD OC GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card

    Mobo: MSI P965 Platinum LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

    RAM: OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

    hard drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KSRTL 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    disc drive: PLEXTOR Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 18X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM
    2MB Cache ATAPI DVD Burner With Replaceable Beige Bezel

    OS: Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD

    case: Antec Performance One P180B Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel for durability through the majority of chassis 1.0mm cold rolled steel around the 4 x HDD area ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    Power Supply Unit: OCZ GameXStream OCZ600GXSSLI ATX12V 600W Power Supply 100 - 240 V CB/CE/CSA/UL/FCC

    Monitor: BenQ FP222WH Black 22" 5ms DVI Widescreen HDMI LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 700:1

    I want to know if I can buy this setup and construct it without any compatibility issues. I'm also wondering about cooling fans, should I buy one and what should I look for. Or are they even necessary since the Antec case has 3 120 mm fans. Thanks for your help.
  2. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,282   +24

    That is a nice system you have there. The only things I think you should change are:
    Motherboard: Get the GigaByte GA-965P-DS3. It is an excellent motherboard and has much more features than the MSI one.
    Processor: Get the E6320 instead and OC it to the E6600's frequency. Since it has the same amount of L2 cache as the E6600, the OC will literally give you an E6600 for a lower price.
    DVD drive: Get a cheap one from Lite-On or Samsung. They perform as well as a Plextor or Pioneer drive and are way cheaper.
    PSU: Try any other similar (i.e. 600W) PSU from Antec, Thermaltake, Corsair, Enermax, FSP Fortron or Seasonic since this particular OCZ model has a lot of ripple, especially when under load. If you can afford it, get the 700W GameXStream instead. I have it and it's rock stable.
  3. kool aid man

    kool aid man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I've updated my build list yet again. I looked at mobo reviews and this one said that MSI P965 Platinum was preferred over a P5B: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/408/8

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor

    GPU: MSI NX8800GTS-T2D320E-HD OC GeForce 8800GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card

    Mobo: MSI P965 Platinum LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard

    RAM: OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

    hard drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KSRTL 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    disc drive: LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM

    OS: Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD

    case: Antec Performance One P180B Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel for durability through the majority of chassis 1.0mm cold rolled steel around the 4 x HDD area ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    Power Supply Unit: OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply 100 - 240 V

    Monitor: BenQ FP222WH Black 22" 5ms DVI Widescreen HDMI LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 700:1

    So this is it, I feel like I've revised my list enough times and have gotten enough feedback to finally buy and start building. All of these products can be found on New egg. I'd like for my list to be looked at one last time and get a little more feedback before I buy and build.
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 Newcomer, in training Posts: 6,504

    I've kind of dropped the ball a bit on keeping up with the latest CPU / mobo / graphics cards but I'd like to wish you good luck on your first build. I certainly remember building a PC for the first time. Just take your time, take breaks if something seems not to be working, or you get frustrated. It will all work in the end I am sure.
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,282   +24

    Only two things remaining.
    1) Are you looking to game on the new system? If so, don't buy Vista. It's a gamer's nightmare, especially with the horrid NVIDIA drivers ATM so get XP instead.
    2) You don't need a drive with 16MB of cache memory since it's more of a marketing ploy and doesn't have a noticeable effect on performance. So if it works out cheaper, get any other drive of the same capacity instead.

    Also, any P965 chipset motherboard is recommended, but I recommended the GigaByte one specifically because it has better reviews in general.
    Your system looks great otherwise. Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)
  6. kool aid man

    kool aid man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Ok I' figured that in the future I'll will want to attempt overclocking my CPU so I'll go with the Gigabyte mobo. My question now is if a:

    EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card
    ...will be compatible with the Gigabyte 965P-DS3? As for the rest, it still remains:

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor

    RAM: OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

    hard drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KSRTL 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    disc drive: LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM

    OS: Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD

    case: Antec Performance One P180B Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel for durability through the majority of chassis 1.0mm cold rolled steel around the 4 x HDD area ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    Power Supply Unit: OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI ATX12V 700W Power Supply 100 - 240 V

    Monitor: BenQ FP222WH Black 22" 5ms DVI Widescreen HDMI LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 700:1

    And if the Evga 8800 GTS works with the Gigabyte 965P-DS3 that will be the GPU and Mobo's I choose. I think I'll still go with Vista 32-bit premium even though there are some difficulties with it, I'm sure upgrades will fix these problems in the future. I'll also probably start building this Thursday, I'm wondering what tools and supplies I need to put this computer together that won't come with the parts, i.e. adhesive gel, screwdrivers, etc.
  7. sillyfishyboy

    sillyfishyboy Newcomer, in training

    As for extra tools etc, get a decent thermal compound, arctic silver make some good ones, if you use the fan that comes with your cpu, wipe off the crap they they give you (use an alchoholic solution - 70%+ (steri wipes from a hospital work well)) and use your own compound, although I would probably invest in a decent heatsink+fan for a nice system like that (you will still need the compound),

    also you MUST MUST MUST get an anti static armband that clips onto the case to ground it!!! you dont want to fry your motherboard with static before you have even turned it on! Otherwise you shouldnt need any special tools .. you may find that you need to buy a few extra power connectors/splitters etc, but you wont know exactly how that works out till you see how many come with the case, and how many components you have.

    Good Luck.
    sillyfishyboy
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,282   +24

    The GigaByte mobo will work with the 8800GTS, no problem. Good luck with your build. :)
  9. kool aid man

    kool aid man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Ok so I'm going to purchase the items I listed in my last post. I was concerned about the anti-static armband and what the deal with frying my pieces with hardware is. Can some please elaborate on where I get the static arm-band, grounding my hardware, how to use it, and when to use it. I also want to know If I can build this just on a table with a table cloth, and If i can or cannot wear certain clothes when building. Lastly, what is artic compound, where can i buy it, and how and where do i use it. Thank you.
  10. nickslick74

    nickslick74 Newcomer, in training Posts: 883

    Here is what sillyfishyboy was talking about.

    Wrist strap Helps to keep you grounded when working with components that are sensetive to static discharge. Generally you clip this to the exposed metal framework inside the case to equalize and help disapate static electricity. Should always be worn when working with any computer component. You can limit (but not eliminate) the amount of static build up by working on a bare wood table and going barefoot.

    Artic 5 is a thermal compound that goes between your cpu and heatsink/fan combo. It provides a better thermal transfer between the cpu and hsf. If you aren't going to overclock then I wouldn't bother, what comes with your cpu should be fine.
  11. kool aid man

    kool aid man Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Alright then I'm going to buy both products. If I chose not to try overclocking my computer now can I remove the CPU and add the artic 5 thermal compound later in the future?
     
  12. sillyfishyboy

    sillyfishyboy Newcomer, in training

    Yea, the compound can be changed at any time .. but it can be a little fiddly when your case is full of cables, graphic cards etc, but essentially you unplug and remove the fan+heatsink that sits on top of your cpu from the motherboard, clean the existing compound from the cpu (its like a thick silver grease) (this is where you might need an alchoholic solution to remove the grease without scratching the cpu or leaving any residue). If you are going to overclock then you really should invest in a GOOD heatsink+fan as your cpu will get very hot. The principle of the compound is not to stick your fan on, or to cool the cpu, but the better the compound the better it will transfer heat from your cpu to your heatsink, which is then dispersed by the fan, thus the cooler the cpu. you can pick up a tiny syringe of compund pretty cheap from ebay or any computer store which will last you for ages! (you only need to put a small dot in the middle of your cpu, then put the fan on and twist it to spread the compound over both surfaces, you dont want too much or it will restrict the transfer of heat so your cpu will overheat .. not good.

    Again you can pick up an anti-static armband from ebay or any store pretty cheap, people often build and fix computers without them with no problem, but when you destroy a good motherboard for the sake of a £3 armband it pretty much sucks. For the same reason I also try not to use screwdrivers with magnetic tips .. i dont know if there is any proven danger, but i dont want to risk it. its basicly just a velcro strap that goes around your wrist with a bungee cord attached and a little clip on the end, you attach the clip onto the metal chassis of the case, touch the case yourself to make sure you are grounded, then you can open the anti-static bags your components come in and start assembling. I also like to touch the metal of the case every now and again .. probably pointless as thats what the armband is for, but better safe than sorry.
  13. chance1138

    chance1138 Newcomer, in training Posts: 72

    I'm with fishyboy on touching the case frequently. I never feel like I can trust the armbands, so I tend to keep part of my body in touch with the case for as much of the build as possible. Just make sure that you NEVER touch the motherboard directly without dishcharging any static buildup beforehand. The same goes even after the system is built. Good luck on your build!
  14. Billy213

    Billy213 Newcomer, in training Posts: 59

    I was so glad when i chose to build my own computer. You get a strange sense of pride, especially on the first time round. To have something that works which you put together yourself is great :D. I'm only 15 too so hopefully i've got a head start compared to others. Anyways...good luck with it all and i'm sure it'll all go fine. Thats a pretty kick *** rig too ;) and take some photos for us all to see too :D
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