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Seeking feedback on planned PC build - Intel C2Q 2.40GHz

By VvWolverinevV ยท 7 replies
Nov 15, 2007
  1. I'm looking to build a PC that is just a notch or two below the current top specs. I would get a Mac, but it's not worth the money. Here's what I've come up with (all from tigerdirect.com):

    I will also move a few things from my old PC:
    • Sound Blaster X-Fi Platinum Sound Card (PCI)
    • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 Hard Drive (PATA)
    • DVD-ROM Drive
    • DVD+RW Drive

    This would be my first build, so I have a couple specific questions. First, how close is this build to the 500W limit of the power supply? If I wanted to add a few things, would I need a larger power supply? Second, I plan to install Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic 64bit FULL. The motherboard description says that using a 64-bit system allows me to upgrade to 8GB of RAM. Can anyone explain this? Do I just install 2GB sticks with identical specs? Also, I have read that a different BIOS is needed for 64-bit systems. Will I need to flash the BIOS before installing Windows or will it support a 64-bit OS from the factory? If I do need to flash the BIOS, how do I know which BIOS I need?

    Any other thoughts, recommendations, and feedback are extremely welcome. Thanks!
  2. VvWolverinevV

    VvWolverinevV TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 119

    I'll take the lack of response to mean that there are no major problems with this plan, but can anyone shed some light on my questions about the power supply and building a 64-bit system? :)
  3. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 550

    Frankly speaking, almost all power supplies that are part of a case combo are junk. Get yourself am Enermax, FSP, OCZ, Corsair or Antec power supply. 500 - 600 watts should be sufficient, though if you plan to upgrade in the future go with 600. These brands are pretty good quality wise and have good amps on their 12+ volt rails.

    I only know a bit about 64bit OS's, so here's my stab at it. With 32bit Windows systems there was a limitation on the amount of RAM that it could see (4GB total including video ram). Obviously that changes with 64bit addressing available. So getting a matched pair of 2GB sticks would work fine, though maybe overkill with your 8600GT.

    Not sure about the bios thing. You may need updated drivers for some of your stuff as well.
  4. VvWolverinevV

    VvWolverinevV TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 119

    Thanks for the input. What kind of issues have you run into with case combo power supplies? Do they fail?
  5. hey wolverine, your motherboard supports the ddr2 800 mhz type of memory. why not go all the way? some good ddr2 800 sticks would give a serious boost of performance instead of that cheap 30 dollar stick you've got in your sights. this certainly doesn't look like a budget build considering the processor you're looking to get. so i wouldn't skimp on the memory either.

    as for the power supply, typically 99% of case combo deals involve the same manufacturer trying to promote their piece of shat power supply. and those do fail quite often, sometimes within minutes of use if you're that unlucky.

    quite frankly i'm surprised mine hasn't burst into flames considering it's 8 years old and came with the case, and is rated at only 200-250 watts....yeah..i'm waiting for it to blow.

    in addition, the 8800 gt would definitely be the better buy in place of the 8600. with how quickly the latest games are advancing in terms of graphical quality, the 8600 will be left in the dust very quickly. pretty soon most games will be unplayable except at low resolutions and low settings on that card. if i were you, i'd plan for the future and try to get as top notch as i can without getting overly expensive.

    otherwise it'll be a solid comp when it's built.
  6. Schmutz

    Schmutz TS Rookie Posts: 124

    You could get the best RAM your motherboard supports, (PC6400?) cheap to do and performance benefits are great! I built my computer a month + bit ago so things changed slightly since but you should get 8800GT 512mb card if you can find it in stock anywhere. Its not top of the line, its like the Q6600 processor and in your words exactly - a "notch or two below the current top specs". If you can't get that card theres always 2900PRO which is cheap and delivers amazing performance in games bar a few issues thanks to limited driver support (these issues will be ironed out in the end...). I get 20-40fps in maxed Crysis at 1024x768 with no AA - but it stutters now and then which I believe is thanks to poor optimization in current drivers.

    I recommend a decent PSU also, I use Corsair vx550w and haven't had any problems so far... you should find a case that doesn't have a PSU bundled for a little cheaper.
  7. i would recommend the antec neo 550. that is an excellent psu as well. there's an unofficial list of power supplies where they are listed from best to worst in terms of quality and value. if i recall, the vx was fairly high on the list. it might however have been a different series. but either way. the antec neo 550 is i believe at LEAST tier 2 or tier 3 at the least. it's very high quality and fairly cheap considering the performance you get. you can power a top of the line system and use maybe 30-50% of it's total capacity which is pretty amazing.

    and i'd agree with the RAM change. if i had noticed that little detail, i would have recommended the switch myself. so good call on that one schmutz. it's 240 pin pc2 6400 ddr2 800 to be exact. Crucial makes some very good RAM, for relatively cheap. 2x 1 gig sticks for about 70 dollars. very nice. check it out on newegg.
  8. VvWolverinevV

    VvWolverinevV TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 119

    Excellent suggestions. Do to cash flow issues, I had to put off this project until after the holidays, but I'm picking up where I left off now :) I came across an interesting issue with Vista 64 and the Intel 975XBX2KR board I was planning on. From a Newegg review:
    That problem is echoed in several reviews, but it seems like only the QX6700 is problematic, so I still plan to use that board with the Q6600 (unless anyone knows more about the quad-core compatibility issue and thinks it's a bad idea.)

    link590o, do you have the URL for that unofficial list of power supplies? I don't think I need 550W. I'm considering the Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC ATX 430W Power Supply 115/ 230 V - Retail. I've also decided to run 64-bit Ubuntu on the machine for fun, at least to start.

    Here's the revised line-up so far. Criticism is welcome!
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