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First build, future-proofing with $1250 - advice?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for looking, in advance.

I have a budget of $1250ish (flexible to ~1500 if it’s really worth it). To quantify ‘future-proofing’ a bit, I’d like the system to be distinguishably better than a $1000 Dell for the next 5-7 years, allowing for about $1000 of upgrades over the 5 years.

Here are the parts. I put some reasoning after my choices – please criticize them! Almost nothing is bought yet, and I want to make sure this'll turn out great.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3P
$150 + $7 shipping (Newegg)
I picked P35 because I want to be able to upgrade to Penryn, ICH9R because I want the RAID options in the future (6 drives in RAID 5? ), and Gigabyte from their reputation in reviews. GA-P35-DS3P instead of GA-P35C-DS3R to gain the firewire and PCI-E slot (and save $10), while the option of higher-latency DDR3 at the same speeds hasn't sounded useful yet (but did I miss a useful upgrade path here?).

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750…with free hat.
$201 + $8 shipping (Directron, with $7 off $200 coupon)
I’m opting out of quad-core for now – waiting for the Penryn processors to come out. I think I will wait until Intel releases the final few processors that P35 can support – how long would this take? Mid-2009?
The free hat is a free hat.

Case: APEVIA X-Navigator ATXA8NW-AL/500
$120 + $16 shipping (Newegg, with $30 rebate)
Eh, it’s a case with lots of doohickeys – lots of fans, a temp display, a fan knob, and a spare PSU. Has lots of drive bays too, which is handy. Better suggestions welcome.

PSU: Corsair CMPSU-620HX 620W
$118 + $9 shipping (ClubIT, with $20 rebate)
From suggestions in this thread.

Coolmax CUG-700B Modular 700W PSU
$100 + free shipping (Zipzoomfly, with $50 rebate)
I couldn’t find any in-depth reviews about this power supply – might it be a modular version of a more-popular supply? I haven’t been able to find anything that’s modular and with comparable power ratings for less than twice this price. I figure that, even if this supply only lasts half as long as others, it’ll still end up cheaper – though, I’m a little worried about quality. Anyway, if/when it goes bust, I can fall back on the 500W supply (included with the case) until a new one arrives. Does this seem like a reasonable gamble? Are there better options?

* And after just checking that link, a bigger problem: it’s not in stock anymore! D: Suggestions on what to do?


RAM: 2x1GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR2 PC2-8000 – bought!
$85 (Buy.com, with $50 rebate)
The price was tempting, and the name is reputable, or at least it had been… Seems like it was a decent buy still – was this a mistake?

Graphics: EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800GTSW 640MB
$345 + $6.5 shipping (Newegg, with $30 rebate)
I run things that tend to use a lot of texture memory, so the 640MB is nice. (The splurging is because SLI and Crossfire are not going to be options for me, as P35 doesn’t support two PCI-E x16 slots actually running at x16, only one x16 and one x4.)

CPU Cooling:
Tuniq Tower 120
$42 + $10 shipping (svc.com) $45 + free shipping (Newegg)
…with Silverstone FM121 120mm Case Fan
$12 + $7.5 shipping (Tigerdirect)
…and bundle with lapping kits, AS5, and Arcticlean
$21 + $6 shipping (EasyPCKits)

While waiting for Penryn, I’m definitely overclocking the E6750.

From these Anandtech charts, I just picked the best cooler that isn’t overly expensive and physically fits. It seems to fit on the board, according to http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum...fm/785106.html.

Replacement fan pick is due to a question I asked at http://www.overclock.net/2488380-post15.html (I figure that noise won’t be much of an issue considering it’s going through a "grill"). Suggestions welcome.

The bundle looks like everything I might need. Not sure about cost-effectiveness.

Drives:
SAMSUNG SH-S182D/BEBE
$30 + $6 shipping (from Newegg)
SAMSUNG SH-202G/BEBN
$31 + $5 shipping (from Newegg)

Finally decided to just grab a fast reader with decent write (the S182D) and a fast writer with decent read (the 202G), going by specs.

Sony NES Optiarc AW-Q170A-B2 - $31+5 from Newegg
Lite-On combo drive - $28+6 from Newegg
Strangely, these optical drives have been the source of the most debate from my friends, with one of my friends panning Lite-On and recommending Sony, but the other advocating the exact opposite. I think I might just try both. Or ditch both and try this apparently-new LG product ($28+6 from Newegg).


Teac Floppy Drive, Aces USB2.0 Internal Multifunction Card Reader
$5 + $9 + ?? shipping (outletpc)
The floppy drive and super card reader seem cheap.

Hard drives: Bringing them over from my old compy.

Misc stuff:
JustCooler Fan Alarm System – $3
Belkin Advanced System Builder Toolkit – $25
LD 24" Dual Device Round ATA/IDE 100 Cable – $3

2x Twin Turbo 5.25" Reversible Dual Fan System Cooling Tray – 2x$7 = 14
… + ?? shipping (outletpc)

The fan alarm thing is mainly for more fan headers. I mostly just want the soldering iron and antistatic strap in that kit, the rest could be useful in a pinch. Extra-length IDE cable is due to complaints in reviews about the low placement of IDE port on the motherboard.

Input/output:
I’m keeping the same monitor, keyboard, and mice. I’m a little over budget already so my first ‘upgrade’ might be the mouse to a Logitech G5.

Total: $1191 + $83 shipping = $1274 $1214 + $82 shipping = $1296


Thanks for any and all comments!
post #2 of 19
1st of all welcome to OCN

2ed thing you've got a good perspective, my notes:
  • Motherboard: A
  • CPU: A-, you can pay extra $100 & get Q6600
  • Case: B, I’d rather get Antec P180B coz it looks elegant, roomy, & provides good airflow with 3 x 120mm (The bigger the quieter). Antec 900 would be also a good alternative.
  • PSU: C, I really doubt the quality of this PSU. I'd rather go with brand name PSU like SeaSonic, PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, & Silverstone. check SeaSonic M12 SS-700HM.
  • RAM: A+ a Bargain
  • VGA: B+, you will get minimal benefit with the 640 version -check all reviews-, I suggest getting the 320MB version, GTX, or ATi HD2900.
  • CPU Cooling: Tuniq Tower 120 is king -after Thermalright-. but don't forget that everybody loves AC Freezer 7 Pro
  • Misc stuff: Super
Best wishes
Under-Utilized
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570K Z77-D3H XFX RX480 RS Corsair Vengeance 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
HyperX 3K 120GB 3TB Storage Hyper 212 Plus Windows 10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
24" CFG70  SideWinder X6 550 Watt Logitech G602 
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Under-Utilized
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Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
HyperX 3K 120GB 3TB Storage Hyper 212 Plus Windows 10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
24" CFG70  SideWinder X6 550 Watt Logitech G602 
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Razer eXactMat X Objective2 +ODAC 
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post #3 of 19
The above poster knows what he's talking about, and everything he has stated is true for your build!

I would personally get a 620WT Corsair PSU instead and get either a 320mb GTS or a 8800GTX as the 640mb is a bit of a waste at the moment.

For the cooler get what your getting (Tuniq) or a Thermalright Extreme which is better but you have to buy a fan to put on it.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Quad Core (G0 Stepping) Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R ATI Radeon Powercolour 4870 1GB 4 x 1GB (4GB's) 800mhz 6400 Geil Ultra Low Latency 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 Windows Vista Home Premium Corsair 620WT SLI Certified Modular ATX Thermaltake Kandalf VA9000BWS (Black) 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech MX Revolution Slicksteel Pro 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 Quad Core (G0 Stepping) Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R ATI Radeon Powercolour 4870 1GB 4 x 1GB (4GB's) 800mhz 6400 Geil Ultra Low Latency 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 Windows Vista Home Premium Corsair 620WT SLI Certified Modular ATX Thermaltake Kandalf VA9000BWS (Black) 
MouseMouse Pad
Logitech MX Revolution Slicksteel Pro 
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post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SZayat View Post
1st of all welcome to OCN

2ed thing you've got a good perspective, my notes:
  • Motherboard: A
  • CPU: A-, you can pay extra $100 & get Q6600
  • Case: B, I’d rather get Antec P180B coz it looks elegant, roomy, & provides good airflow with 3 x 120mm (The bigger the quieter). Antec 900 would be also a good alternative.
  • PSU: C, I really doubt the quality of this PSU. I'd rather go with brand name PSU like SeaSonic, PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, & Silverstone. check SeaSonic M12 SS-700HM.
  • RAM: A+ a Bargain
  • VGA: B+, you will get minimal benefit with the 640 version -check all reviews-, I suggest getting the 320MB version, GTX, or ATi HD2900.
  • CPU Cooling: Tuniq Tower 120 is king -after Thermalright-. but don't forget that everybody loves AC Freezer 7 Pro
  • Misc stuff: Super
Best of wishes
I agree with all this. What Size monitor are you planning on using?
I.XXII.I
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BenQ XL2411T(Main) + Samsung T240 (Secondary) Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Corsair AX1200 Cooler Master HAF X 
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I.XXII.I
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MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
BenQ XL2411T(Main) + Samsung T240 (Secondary) Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Corsair AX1200 Cooler Master HAF X 
MouseAudioAudioOther
Razer Imperator Asus Xonar D2X 7.1 Sound Card Astro A40 2013 Ed. audio system Western Digital Elements 3TB (Storage) 
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post #5 of 19
I'm using some of the same stuff in my build, ordered the OCZ GameXStream 700W PSU and Ballistix 2GB DDR2 800 RAM friday and the Tuniq Tower on thursday...be here in just a few more days! I'll be going with the Antec 900! heard lots of great stuff about it! Getting it friday, so i just need to get a better/bigger HDD and maybe a sound card..lol Not a bad build for the budget your using though, I decided to spend the extra money, cause well...I can wait a few more weeks until I have everything LOL

BTW...For my display I'm using a 26" Vizio LCD HDTV...it's nice!
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core2Duo E6600 Conroe @ 3.0GHz GA-G33M-DS2R (ICH9 NB) nVidia GeForce 8600GTS 512MB Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR2 1000MHz (PC2 6400) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Barracuda 2x320GB 7200.10 HDD LITEON DVD-R\W Vista Ultimate 64-Bit 26" Vizio LCD HDTV (DVI to HDMI) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 700W w/ 120mm Fan Antec 900 Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0 
Mouse Pad
Black 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core2Duo E6600 Conroe @ 3.0GHz GA-G33M-DS2R (ICH9 NB) nVidia GeForce 8600GTS 512MB Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR2 1000MHz (PC2 6400) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Barracuda 2x320GB 7200.10 HDD LITEON DVD-R\W Vista Ultimate 64-Bit 26" Vizio LCD HDTV (DVI to HDMI) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 700W w/ 120mm Fan Antec 900 Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0 
Mouse Pad
Black 
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post #6 of 19
I'm so jealous! I thought I got a great deal on that RAM, you beat me!
I paid $210 w/ a $100 MIR from the egg -- Final price, $110.
Congrats on that deal!

AA Samurai: Sweeet freaking display.

I'm thinking about getting the GTX b/c I'm going to be running 1680x1050. But I'm thinking about the new 9800 series that nVidia is releasing in late November (speculation). So maybe you want to get a GTS for now, and step up to a GTX later when the new 9800 is released (hopefully).
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Paradise
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Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
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Corsair HX620 (FTW) CoolerMaster HAF 932 MX518 
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post #7 of 19
thanks PeaceMaker! yeah, it's big enough that I can watch movies or satellite on it from across the room, but not too big to sit at my desk and game. I can see the whole screen without moving my head! I'm thinking I might go with the GTX as well for now, but I've heard some problems with America's Army and the dx10 cards lately, maybe linked to Punkbuster (for the gamers that know what i'm talkin about) but will be researching that issue to make sure it's been solved. GTX will have to wait a few weeks though student loan payment coming up...lol
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core2Duo E6600 Conroe @ 3.0GHz GA-G33M-DS2R (ICH9 NB) nVidia GeForce 8600GTS 512MB Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR2 1000MHz (PC2 6400) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Barracuda 2x320GB 7200.10 HDD LITEON DVD-R\W Vista Ultimate 64-Bit 26" Vizio LCD HDTV (DVI to HDMI) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 700W w/ 120mm Fan Antec 900 Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0 
Mouse Pad
Black 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core2Duo E6600 Conroe @ 3.0GHz GA-G33M-DS2R (ICH9 NB) nVidia GeForce 8600GTS 512MB Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR2 1000MHz (PC2 6400) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Barracuda 2x320GB 7200.10 HDD LITEON DVD-R\W Vista Ultimate 64-Bit 26" Vizio LCD HDTV (DVI to HDMI) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 700W w/ 120mm Fan Antec 900 Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0 
Mouse Pad
Black 
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post #8 of 19
Where do you go to school?
Paradise
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Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
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Paradise
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Phenom II X6 1055T @ 3.7ghz Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H XFX 5770 Crossfire 4x2GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
64GB MC SSD, 2x320 7200.10, 2x2TB Green Caviar Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung 205BW & 32" Panasonic LCD G15 
PowerCaseMouse
Corsair HX620 (FTW) CoolerMaster HAF 932 MX518 
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post #9 of 19
New Horizon's Computer Learning Center, it's a technical school...I'm getting like 7 Certs, but it's costin me $18k...better than 3 Certs from Microsoft Academy for $26K tho....
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core2Duo E6600 Conroe @ 3.0GHz GA-G33M-DS2R (ICH9 NB) nVidia GeForce 8600GTS 512MB Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR2 1000MHz (PC2 6400) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Barracuda 2x320GB 7200.10 HDD LITEON DVD-R\W Vista Ultimate 64-Bit 26" Vizio LCD HDTV (DVI to HDMI) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 700W w/ 120mm Fan Antec 900 Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0 
Mouse Pad
Black 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core2Duo E6600 Conroe @ 3.0GHz GA-G33M-DS2R (ICH9 NB) nVidia GeForce 8600GTS 512MB Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR2 1000MHz (PC2 6400) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Barracuda 2x320GB 7200.10 HDD LITEON DVD-R\W Vista Ultimate 64-Bit 26" Vizio LCD HDTV (DVI to HDMI) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G15 Keyboard OCZ GameXStream 700W w/ 120mm Fan Antec 900 Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer 2.0 
Mouse Pad
Black 
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post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey, thanks for the replies! And thanks for the welcome.

If that display question was meant for me... I have a generic Neovo 19-inch LCD, 1280x1024.

The Antec P180B and 900 cases are marked "mid tower" - is that going to be a problem? (They're also both short of one external 3.5" bay, but I think I can get this combo floppy/card reader combo from Newegg to compensate...)

For the PSU... Is this like the Corsair you mentioned, TheFatBloke? It seems pretty good...

(I forgot to mention - the color profile for the monitor is very odd and the ATI drivers can't load the profile. The colors are all irritatingly off with my current ATI card. So I'm a little partial towards nVidia cards... Not totally decided on the graphics yet, though.)

So why's the AC Freezer so liked?
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