TechSpot

Potential Home Build, need experianced opinions

By Theyus
Sep 3, 2007
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  1. Hello,

    I'm fairly experienced with computers (I say fairly in the sense that I'm heavy on software and light on hardware) and decided that my five year old Viao is now standing on it's last leg to support my needs. So, I've decided to upgrade to a unit that will take me the next 5 or so years.

    I've decided to run with these specs:

    Case: RAIDMAX Smilodon ATX-612WBP (with 500W PSU) - $85
    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (3.0 GHz) Retail - $170
    Cooling: GIGABYTE GH-WIU02 3D Galaxy II Liquid Cooling- $140
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-M57SLI-S4 (570 SLI) AM2 - $95
    Memory: Corsair XMS2 DDR2-667 2x1-GB- $78
    Hard Drive: WD Caviar SE 200GB (8-MB) SATA 3.0 Gb/s - $54
    Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS 640MB (PCIe) - $360
    Monitor: 19" LCD with 5-8ms Refresh - $165
    Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card- $80
    Speakers: Logitech X-530 6-Piece Speaker System - $48
    CD/DVD-ROM: LG GSA-H62NK 18X SATA DVD Writer - $29
    Communications: Onboard LAN - $0
    Mouse: Logitech MX310 - $23
    Keyboard: Microsoft Digital Media Pro Keyboard - $14
    Operating System: Windows XP Home or Vista Home Basic- $76

    Total: $1417


    I'm predominately a gamer, but took the processor to 3.0 in order to meet some needs of my motion graphic design programs.

    I asked for some experienced opinions because I don't only want to know if this is a decent rig (at least for pricing) but I also want to be sure everything is compatible (My experience has been one of Mobo's not liking video cards and such, so I want to be safe).

    Your knowledge and opinions are appreciated.
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,421   +217

    Any potential system one could put together can be nitpicked and people always have their favorite brands, models etc. but you have a decent system proposed.

    Of course, I have my own comments. I recommend purchasing the Smilodon case without the power supply. It is available at Newegg in that configuration. Raidmax power supplies don't enjoy the best reliability reputation and while any brand of power supply can have a bad apple once in awhile, you wouldn't want to needlessly take chances.

    If you are going to install Windows XP (which I have NO problem with), I believe you will have problems installing it with only a SATA optical drive. No such problems with an IDE drive. The reason, I think, is that the BIOS and Windows XP do not support SATA optical drives in the early process of installing Windows so the Windows CD cannot be run in a new system. The drive won't be recognized. While XP SP2 does have some SATA drivers, they are not installed early enough in the process to run the Windows XP CD with a SATA optical drive. One solution is to temporarily install an old IDE optical drive (for instance, borrowed from your old Viao) to install Windows and any needed SATA/RAID drivers and later swap in the SATA optical drive. If you decide to install Vista, you shouldn't have this problem. Yet despite the complications, I wouldn't let that dissuade you from using Windows XP.

    Unless you are going to overclock, liquid cooling is overkill and even then there are other less risky cooling solutions. However, if silence is very important to you, liquid cooling will be that. Not everyone shares my view but I don't like mixing liquids with sensitive electronic equipment if I don't have to.

    If you don't ever intend to use SLI, you could consider getting a non-SLI motherboard. The removal of the second PCI-E x16 slot allows for additional PCI or other PCI-E slots for other expansion cards. The Gigabyte GA-M61P-S3 AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 ATX AMD Motherboard is an example of one such board. You do waste the onboard graphics that it comes with but other than that it's not a bad alternative. This suggestion is a bit nitpicky though.
  3. papercut_2008

    papercut_2008 Newcomer, in training Posts: 77

    I have that same sound card and speakers, and I'm really happy with them. They're good quality, and not that expensive.
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,284   +24

    Why do you want to buy an AMD processor when a Core 2 Duo gives much better performance for the price? Anyways, here's my recommendation.

    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 Conroe 2.33GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 Processor - Retail - $175.99

    Mobo
    ASUS P5K LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail - $134.99

    Video Card
    MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD OC GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail - $499.99

    RAM
    GeIL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail - $84.99

    HDD
    SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $109.99

    DVD Burner
    Pioneer Black 18X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 10X DVD+R DL 18X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-R 32X CD-RW 40X CD-ROM 2MB Cache E-IDE/ ATAPI DVD Burner - OEM - $29.99

    PSU
    FSP Group (Fortron Source) FX700-GLN ATX12V V2.2/EPS12V 700W Power Supply 100 - 240 V CSA, IEC, UL, CE, TUV - Retail - $129.99

    Grand Total = $1165.93 w/o rebates. With rebates the total may go down by about $70. I've left it upto you to choose a suitable case and monitor. The above parts are completely compatible and will give you a cutting-edge system that will slice through any game or app with ease. If you're wondering why I chose that RAM, let me reassure you that it's of good-quality and it has a CAS latency of 4, which is pretty good for the price. All the other parts are of equally good build as well. Good luck and I hope I helped. :)
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