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Two months of research, the journey begins! Update 1.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
update 1 (June 8th): Got the case today, and this thing is HUGE! but I'm very happy this is the first part of my first full build! Pix down below, sorry for crappy quality I had to take these with my phone camera

Overview

Hello everyone, welcome to my first Core 2 Due build log, this log is going to feature every single detail I've went through in the past two months as I researched my options for my first C2D build. I will try to add my own thoughts on every part I receive (call it a mini review) which will happen once every week, I plan on buying one thing every week as I get paid that way

History

My current system is an AMD64 (my signature) and although this rig does a decent job I feel it's going to lag behind once more demanding titles are released, yes, it can give 70+ FPS in CS:S but, thats with configs that remove the eye candy, and I really, really like to be able to play all my games with all the good stuff enabled, and besides, it's a socket 939, not so future proof. I've owned a couple P4 systems and one previous AMD Sampron system, I still have those and I might sell the P4 ones to grab some cash. I also own 2 AMD64 CPUs, a 3800+ X2 and single core 3200+ which I'll sell too.

The research, options, agony.

It all started when I decided I needed a new case since mine has NO fans (only one 80mm I recently added + the PSU fan) because I was noticing how my CPU temp was rocketing when i slightly overclocked it (around 65s playing CS:S) then decided to get me a good 2GIG kit of DDR1 since I have 1 cheap gig on it, and a sound card. While looking around I noticed the price drops on C2Ds, motherboards that support it, and memory. At that point the idea of building a new system from scratch started to sound appealing considering I've been wanting a C2D.

The way I do my research is always based on my budget, I set one and work off that, I find the parts that seem to be in the price range I need, then do my homework on it. Now I've learned my lesson about doing my homework and I literally read a couple dozen reviews on almost EVERYTHING I came across, and during that, the idea of going beyond the 10% limit of overclocking was popping around from one review to another so I thought, well, why NOT! doesn't look too complicated it only takes time. So I began to search for budget overclockers, be it motherboards or CPUs, jumping from one forum to another reading and comparing looking for the best affordable solutions that would fit my budget until I came across this forum

I began to learn a great deal of information and formulated a solid list of the things I was set to get, this build log is going to take a look at each and everyone of these parts until the finished rig is done

The list

I will start with the things that caused me the biggest headaches and down to the most obvious and easy parts.

1. Case: This proved, believe it or not to be the toughest choice. I wanted something that'll make up for everything I don't have in the my current system! The options were countless and my budget allowed for up to $300 CND. The first thing I had in mind and wanted pretty bad was the Antec Nine Hundred, this case caught my attention when I saw the fans on it, not to mention that it "looks" mean! The price was even better and allowed for other options where it was more important. But then, as I said, I did my homework on it and slowly began to realize the case a tad bit too cramped, that gave me a stomachache and I began to look for alternatives and boy, how hard that was for a few reasons:

A. Nothing looked at appealing at the time but that wasn't a big issue.
B. Nothing seemed to have the same airflow going in and out. I simply didn't want to settle for one front fan, that was just not going to cut it, neither was one fan as exhaust.
C. Price. This was an issue since the higher the price went the more I realized that there are better cooling solutions for almost the same price. For example, at some point I was considering the CM stacker 830, the case is simply kickass, nearly perfect, but... Something about 4 fans blowing from the side without enough exhaust didn't seem right to me, not to mention that I had in mind some modding to do on the case for cable management (which is one of the biggest issues when I looked for a case) to keep things short, the total of getting the CM stacker was nearly as much as getting a Thermaltake Kandalf LCS! and even cheaper!

So now I am considering getting the TT Kandalf LCS and again, research on it and found a few reviews that pointed some issues with the case which again, made me skeptical. I didn't like any of the Lian-Li lineup, or the Silverstone, nothing seemed to stand out, I began to look back at CM cases until I came across the STC-T01.

This case stood out right away with 11 front drive bays, this meant that I could fit 3 front fans easily and still have room for a DVD writer and a fan controller. Looking inside, the slot where the Crossflow fan is installed was great for behind the motherboard cable routing. The downside to the case was the 80mm top fan, but that in mind, immediately got modded to a 120mm fan, better yet, I thought about removing the top PSU chamber and mod TWO 120mm fan! Plus the one on the exhaust, PSU on the bottom, things were finally looking good, price tag? Around $180 CND. This will be the first item I purchase towards this build, and I pick it up on friday:

http://www.bigfootcomputers.com/Merc...ory_Code=367.3

I've ordered that with two extra 4-3 device modules, 2 120mm Aluminum BLUE LED fans that will go on the top to light up the case with bright light blue goodness. And btw, the case doesn't come with a windowd sidepanel but I'm going to mod it myself, cut + plexi glass = done.

I will be ordering a fan controller frol xoxide.com in a couple of days and give it about a week to get here, heres a link:

http://www.xoxide.com/sunbeam-chorma...ill-black.html

2. Power supply: for this I wanted a modular design, again, the sight of all those extra cables in my current system is just disturbing, lol. I had no idea what to get since I'm not keen on anything when it comes to power supplies except for wattage, the higher, the better. First person I asked was Robilar and he recommended the Corsair HX620 620w and gave me the following review which proved to be more than impressing:

http://www.hardocp.com/article.html?...wxLCxobmV3cw==

Thanks to Chozart's countless recommendations for other members on this PSU I had my mind set on it and still am, so this will be next week hopfully, picking it up here:

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index...882&cid=PS.808

Once I get it I'll fit it in the case and figure out what holes I need punch out on the motherboard tray for cable routing. One thing that might concern me is if it's actually going to be enough, knowing that I'll have around 7 120mm fans running + CPU cooler fan and other things. Other consideration is the Thermaltake ToughPower 750w, also modular, and seems to be good enough, haven't done any homework on that but I will be when the time comes.

3. Sound Card: Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic, I was thinking about the XtremeGamer but was advised against it so Music it is, and that's the week after, not sure where I'll be picking it up but maybe Bigfootcomputers.com again. Thats week 3.

4. Optical drive + CPU cooler and extras: Haven't really figured what brand am I going to get yet, has to be SATA, and does well... everything. The CPU cooler is the Thermalright Ultra 120 Xtreme From bigfootcomputer.com Here:

http://www.bigfootcomputers.com/Merc...gory_Code=0030

I know it's on backorder but I'll make sure to have them order one ahead of time.

5. Graphics card: I do need some help deciding here, it's going to be an 8800GTS, however, what I can't make up my mind on is whether to get the 320MB version, or the 640MB. I won't lie I've seen charts and benches that didn't show a huge performance difference, which is somewhere weird since one has double the memory size. Part of me says a 640MB seems more future proof even though is cost around $100 for not a whole of performance difference. It might be helpful to mention that I play on a 19" LCD 1280x1024 resolution. Help me decide, also note that I might go SLi down the road.

Finally, the three most important parts, motherboard, RAM, and CPU.

6: Motherboard: Thanks to Robilar and his wonderful guide on overclocking the Asus P5N32-E Sli 680i found here I am choosing this motherboard for my build knowing that I will find all the help I need with it once I get it.

7. Memory: Robilar recommended these (yes I know, the price is insanely cheap) And I will most likely be picking them up unless other options become available.

8. CPU: This is the one thing that's keeping me from building my rig now before ever (and the fact that I'm kinda short on cash ) July 22nd marks the release of a new line of C2D CPUs that seem to be really good for not a lot of money.

That's it, for now at least, I'll try to update this log as much as I can, any suggestions, questions, recommendations is highly appreciated, stay tuned and thanks for reading
First C2D rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6850 3.0Ghz (OCed to 3.8Ghz, 1.475v) Asus P5N32-E SLI BFG 8800GTX OC 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC-8500 SLI READY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 320GB NCQ Pioneer Win XP Dell E197FP 19" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair HX620 CM Stacker STC-T01 Modded, see gallery. Logitec MX518 
Mouse Pad
QcKsteel pad 
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First C2D rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6850 3.0Ghz (OCed to 3.8Ghz, 1.475v) Asus P5N32-E SLI BFG 8800GTX OC 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC-8500 SLI READY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 320GB NCQ Pioneer Win XP Dell E197FP 19" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair HX620 CM Stacker STC-T01 Modded, see gallery. Logitec MX518 
Mouse Pad
QcKsteel pad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 8
Would it be better if he went with the Black G.Skill DDR2 800 over the OCZ DDR2 1066 he picked?

I don't know, but I would go with the G.Skill I linked.

EDIT: Ahh, You're in Canada and Newegg's U.S only. ><
Main
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 3570K ASRock Z77 Pro3 Galaxy 560Ti G.Skills DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD Cavier 250GB + SimpleTech 320GB EXHDD Windows 7 x64 Samsung 19" SyncMaster 940BW OCZ 600w GameXStream 
Case
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 
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Main
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 3570K ASRock Z77 Pro3 Galaxy 560Ti G.Skills DDR3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
WD Cavier 250GB + SimpleTech 320GB EXHDD Windows 7 x64 Samsung 19" SyncMaster 940BW OCZ 600w GameXStream 
Case
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaiDinh View Post
Would it be better if he went with the Black G.Skill DDR2 800 over the OCZ DDR2 1066 he picked?

I don't know, but I would go with the G.Skill I linked.
I've considered these but Canadian retailers sell it for almost double the price of the OCZ Robilar picked.
First C2D rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6850 3.0Ghz (OCed to 3.8Ghz, 1.475v) Asus P5N32-E SLI BFG 8800GTX OC 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC-8500 SLI READY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 320GB NCQ Pioneer Win XP Dell E197FP 19" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair HX620 CM Stacker STC-T01 Modded, see gallery. Logitec MX518 
Mouse Pad
QcKsteel pad 
  hide details  
Reply
First C2D rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6850 3.0Ghz (OCed to 3.8Ghz, 1.475v) Asus P5N32-E SLI BFG 8800GTX OC 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC-8500 SLI READY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 320GB NCQ Pioneer Win XP Dell E197FP 19" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair HX620 CM Stacker STC-T01 Modded, see gallery. Logitec MX518 
Mouse Pad
QcKsteel pad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #4 of 8
I don;t understand why you aren;t getting your parts from ncix.com? the parts are much cheaper and they always have some kind of sale going on. I got all my stuff from there and save at least 200 bucks on my system. If a part is not on sale, you go to directcanada(type in google) and they usually have cheaper prices, so you can do a price match on ncix and they havn;t turned one down yet, plus the stuff you want seems to always be in stock. I ended up paying $119 on my firestix which isn;t bad and random 10-20 dollars here and there on all components pays off with a whole system. If you are willing to wait for the price cuts, the obvious choice would be the Q6600, i couldn;t wait so i'm jsut gonna wait for the quad-core penryns. I'd also suggest to go with a P35 mobo because they are proving to be good overclokers and ready for penryn. If you are sticking to that monitor for a while i'd say go with the 320mb gts, at least for current games, can;t really say how much video ram games like crysis will be using up.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500K 4.3Ghz @ 1.3v 24/7 Asus P67 Sabertooth PNY GTX 560 Ti 1GB 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1600mhz CL9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Intel 40GB SSD + 640GB WD Black ASUS DVD-DL Windows 7 x64 Pro Dell 2209WA 22" eIPS 
PowerCase
Seasonic S12II 620W 80+ CM Storm Scout 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500K 4.3Ghz @ 1.3v 24/7 Asus P67 Sabertooth PNY GTX 560 Ti 1GB 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1600mhz CL9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Intel 40GB SSD + 640GB WD Black ASUS DVD-DL Windows 7 x64 Pro Dell 2209WA 22" eIPS 
PowerCase
Seasonic S12II 620W 80+ CM Storm Scout 
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by murcielago585 View Post
I don;t understand why you aren;t getting your parts from ncix.com? the parts are much cheaper and they always have some kind of sale going on. I got all my stuff from there and save at least 200 bucks on my system. If a part is not on sale, you go to directcanada(type in google) and they usually have cheaper prices, so you can do a price match on ncix and they havn;t turned one down yet, plus the stuff you want seems to always be in stock. I ended up paying $119 on my firestix which isn;t bad and random 10-20 dollars here and there on all components pays off with a whole system. If you are willing to wait for the price cuts, the obvious choice would be the Q6600, i couldn;t wait so i'm jsut gonna wait for the quad-core penryns. I'd also suggest to go with a P35 mobo because they are proving to be good overclokers and ready for penryn. If you are sticking to that monitor for a while i'd say go with the 320mb gts, at least for current games, can;t really say how much video ram games like crysis will be using up.
NCIX.com might have some good deals "sometimes" but not on the parts I want, plus you have to factor that there's always around $20 - $25 (if not more) shipping charges which I can easily avoid by a 20 minute trip to a local store that actually has the same parts for less.

P35 is an Intel based chipset, I want to run SLi down the road
First C2D rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6850 3.0Ghz (OCed to 3.8Ghz, 1.475v) Asus P5N32-E SLI BFG 8800GTX OC 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC-8500 SLI READY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 320GB NCQ Pioneer Win XP Dell E197FP 19" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair HX620 CM Stacker STC-T01 Modded, see gallery. Logitec MX518 
Mouse Pad
QcKsteel pad 
  hide details  
Reply
First C2D rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6850 3.0Ghz (OCed to 3.8Ghz, 1.475v) Asus P5N32-E SLI BFG 8800GTX OC 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC-8500 SLI READY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 320GB NCQ Pioneer Win XP Dell E197FP 19" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair HX620 CM Stacker STC-T01 Modded, see gallery. Logitec MX518 
Mouse Pad
QcKsteel pad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 8
can you not do sli with the P35?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500K 4.3Ghz @ 1.3v 24/7 Asus P67 Sabertooth PNY GTX 560 Ti 1GB 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1600mhz CL9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Intel 40GB SSD + 640GB WD Black ASUS DVD-DL Windows 7 x64 Pro Dell 2209WA 22" eIPS 
PowerCase
Seasonic S12II 620W 80+ CM Storm Scout 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500K 4.3Ghz @ 1.3v 24/7 Asus P67 Sabertooth PNY GTX 560 Ti 1GB 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 1600mhz CL9 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Intel 40GB SSD + 640GB WD Black ASUS DVD-DL Windows 7 x64 Pro Dell 2209WA 22" eIPS 
PowerCase
Seasonic S12II 620W 80+ CM Storm Scout 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by murcielago585 View Post
can you not do sli with the P35?
No, Intel chipsets support crossfire only
First C2D rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6850 3.0Ghz (OCed to 3.8Ghz, 1.475v) Asus P5N32-E SLI BFG 8800GTX OC 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC-8500 SLI READY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 320GB NCQ Pioneer Win XP Dell E197FP 19" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair HX620 CM Stacker STC-T01 Modded, see gallery. Logitec MX518 
Mouse Pad
QcKsteel pad 
  hide details  
Reply
First C2D rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6850 3.0Ghz (OCed to 3.8Ghz, 1.475v) Asus P5N32-E SLI BFG 8800GTX OC 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC-8500 SLI READY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 320GB NCQ Pioneer Win XP Dell E197FP 19" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair HX620 CM Stacker STC-T01 Modded, see gallery. Logitec MX518 
Mouse Pad
QcKsteel pad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
The beast! This thing is bigger than I imagined it to be! Two extra 4-in-3 modules, and dual white UV cathodes. This is the first batch.


The module


Module out of box


And it breaths!!!!


Huge.


Inside.


Upper PSU appt, this is going to be removed so that I can mod the top for two 120mm holes.


Top, where the fans are gonna go.


Another inside shot.
First C2D rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6850 3.0Ghz (OCed to 3.8Ghz, 1.475v) Asus P5N32-E SLI BFG 8800GTX OC 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC-8500 SLI READY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 320GB NCQ Pioneer Win XP Dell E197FP 19" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair HX620 CM Stacker STC-T01 Modded, see gallery. Logitec MX518 
Mouse Pad
QcKsteel pad 
  hide details  
Reply
First C2D rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E6850 3.0Ghz (OCed to 3.8Ghz, 1.475v) Asus P5N32-E SLI BFG 8800GTX OC 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC-8500 SLI READY 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate 320GB NCQ Pioneer Win XP Dell E197FP 19" LCD 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair HX620 CM Stacker STC-T01 Modded, see gallery. Logitec MX518 
Mouse Pad
QcKsteel pad 
  hide details  
Reply
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