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Thread: New PC Build - Opinions and suggestions welcome

  1. #1
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    New PC Build - Opinions and suggestions welcome

    Hi there,

    I'm currently speccing out an upgrade to by current PC and would welcome anyone's opinion on the selected components. (A couple are undecided currently and any suggestions on which to choose would be appreciated) Prices correct at time of print!

    I currently have a nice Lian-Li PC60 case and Hiper Type-R 580W Modular Power Supply. So would like to re-use those.

    CPU:
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 @ £200
    OR
    Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ £140

    Mobo:
    Asus P5N32-E SLi nForce 680 (Socket 775) @ £150

    RAM:
    GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400C4 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit @ £58

    HDD:
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB ST3320620AS SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM @ £52

    GFX:
    BFG GeForce 8800 GTS OC2 320MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail @ £200

    I was contemplating maybe spending some more on 2GB of PC8500 ram instead of the PC6400 which should go up to 1066 as opposed to 800, but I'm not sure if it's really worth it as A) not sure if the mobo would handle it, and b) not really sure if the performance benefit would be worth the effort. It would however allow more future proofing I guess.

    I'm a little unsure as to the benefit of the 680 chipset on the Mobo and could probably save a few £ there by going for a 650 or just a plain 975X, but I was thinking in terms of the future and using the 680 seems more forward thinking.

    Any opinions on any of the components? Any alternatives?

    One thing I would like some suggestions on would be a CPU cooler as I haven't really looked at those yet,

    Cheers,

    Doug

  2. #2
    Flat cap, Whippets, Cave. Clunk's Avatar
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    As you dont have 2x graphics cards, you dont need SLI, and as you dont need SLI, you would do well to steer clear of 680i boards.

    For around the same price (ish), have a look at the P5K deluxe wifi, it is rock solid and overclocks brilliantly, it uses the new Intel P3 Bearlake chipset. If you want to save a few quid, have a look at the P5B deluxe wifi, similar spec to the p5k, only it uses the 965 chipset, but again, its a solid performer and overclocks well.

    PC2-6400 ram is fine for most people, but as PC2-8500 is pretty cheap now, and if you have the cash, go for it.

    E6600 is better bang for buck.

    8800gts 320mb is fine, unless you have a larger screen with high resolution.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen View Post
    stupid betond belief.
    You owe it to yourself to click here really.

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    Efficiency freak Queelis's Avatar
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    Some people have complained about noisy Seagate 7200.10 drives, you might want to check out Samsung's HD401LJ.

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    i think the ds3 or ds3p are better bets. They are meant to overclock really well run with that GeIL ram and are cheaper than the p5b/p5k.

  5. #5
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    • DougMcDonald's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • Inter Core 2 Duo E6600
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 2GB - Geil Black Dragon PC6400
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      • 2 x 400GB Samsung Spinpoints (Running in Matrix array) 100GB @ RAID0 + 300GB @ RAID1
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    Thanks for the comments guys,

    I take the point about the SLi, but I would maybe want the potential to slap a sister 8800 in the box a few months down the line etc - I was maybe looking at the Asus P5W DH Deluxe WiFi Mobo, which is £30 cheaper and uses the intel 975X chipset. I've been told this chipset is a bit old and maybe a simple 650 based board might be a safer bet.

    I do like the look of the Gigabyte-DS3R boards and may have a further look about. To be honest, I don't see any huge benefits in the particular chipsets unless i need something specific, like quad gfx slots etc as per the 680 board.
    I do wonder whether the future proofing of a new chipset like the 680 may be more suitable than the older 975X or 965 especially since they are about to be superceeded by something new (i expect.)

    Thanks for the heads up on the seagate drive, I did look at the samsung drives, but don't have much experience with them in the past, all of my old ones have been seagates or WD's which all served me fine.

    Anyone got any suggestions on the CPU cooler?

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    Depends if you are looking for ultimate cooling or just decent cooling:
    Decent cooling and good price
    - Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU Cooler (Socket 775)
    Ultimate cooling
    - Scythe Ninja Plus Rev.B Heatpipe CPU Cooler (478/754/939/940/AM2/LGA755)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thoku View Post
    i think the ds3 or ds3p are better bets. They are meant to overclock really well run with that GeIL ram and are cheaper than the p5b/p5k.
    Well so far that cheapy Geil ram in the bargain thread, works with the DS3P and considering the M/B + 2X1 gig 6400 ram + E4300 comes to about £200 for about a 2.8ghz (overclocked) computer that's not bad IMHO........add a cheapy x1950 and.........................wOW (small "w").

  8. #8
    www.dougmcdonald.co.uk
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    • DougMcDonald's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • Inter Core 2 Duo E6600
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 2GB - Geil Black Dragon PC6400
      • Storage:
      • 2 x 400GB Samsung Spinpoints (Running in Matrix array) 100GB @ RAID0 + 300GB @ RAID1
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    Thanks again for the info guys,

    I appreciate the comments on the bargain side of things, but whilst I am willing to make some savings on things like maybe ram etc (with the thinking that its about the easiest thing to change long term) I don't really want to scale down the processor etc - I may save the £60 or so by going for E6600 but I really do want the 4MB L2 Cache with the 6600 and 6700.

    In terms of the gfx, i was originally planning a pair of x1950's in crossfire config, but was pursuaded against it in the GFX section of the forum

    In terms of the cooling, again it's something i don't really want to worry about, and whilst i may fiddling a little with overclocking etc, I won't be taking it too extremes, so I need a CPU cooler which should cope with the stock processor settings plus a tiny bit.
    I don't want to get a cheapo cooler and find that it won't cope over time, this is especially true if I go for something like a 680 chipset board and get the PC8500 ram. That would certainly lead to me fiddling the settings a little to get the most out of it.

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    I'm not sure the 4mb cache makes a massive difference, but the e6320 and e6420 both have 4mb cache. If you're intending to go for gentle OC'ing then I would suggest one of the lower end chips such as the 6420.

    I have both e4300 and 6420 and there's not much in it as far as performance is concerned once you start OC'ing (at a gentle level).

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    • xAmritx's system
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    I would recommend the E6620 instead of the E6700 because the performance difference isnt worth the extra price...

    Also, have a look into the Asus Commando and the Asus P5W-DH Deluxe. I would recommend them both over the P5N32-E SLi.

    Also, the Seagate hard drived are generally the noisiest. Western Digital and Samsung hard drived are similar performance and price, but work much quieter.

  11. #11
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    • DougMcDonald's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • Inter Core 2 Duo E6600
      • Memory:
      • 2 x 2GB - Geil Black Dragon PC6400
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    In the past, I have noticed huge differences in performance of machines with differing cache levels, historically we were talking one of the main differences between duron and athlon for example. There is no comparison (i know having had both!)

    As some of you are pointing out, the difference between say the 6420 and 6600 seems negligable, but then again so is the price,
    I can get the following:

    6700 @ £200 - 2.67 GHz
    6600 @ £140 - 2.40 GHz
    6420 @ £120 - 2.13 GHz
    6320 @ £110 - 1.86 GHz

    These are the processor options available if i want to have the 1066FSB and 4MB cache. Way I see it, although justifying the extra £60 for 300Mhz may be hard, justifying £30 for 500Mhz is easier, I may get the 6600 which seems almost the best bang for buck (within reason)

    Additionally, how do you guys rate the core 2 duos against the AMD offerings?

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    Well if you go with the E6600 the money saved over the e6700 could get you a couple of nice Sammy 500GB's

  13. #13
    www.dougmcdonald.co.uk
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    • DougMcDonald's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • CPU:
      • Inter Core 2 Duo E6600
      • Memory:
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    Yeah that is indeed tempting,

    I was looking to maybe get a couple of smaller ones, 2x250 or maybe 2x400 at a push.

    I hate not having two physical drives just incase of the lack of failover options if one fails. But not sure if realistically I would need a whole terrabyte!

    What i have noticed, is that all the SATA drives, seem to have seek times of 8-9ms and 7200rpm - obviously in SATAII they should try to reach the max transfer speed, but are there any really high performance drives out there? lower access speeds and higher rpm? or does it not offer any realistic benefit?

    Was wondering whether a high spec 120GB drive a 500Gb storage might be a better option

  14. #14
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    AMD's aren't too bad. But they run hotter and don't overclock anywhere near as well as the Core 2 Duo's.

    They're now expensive for what you get compared to the core 2 duo's so have pretty much been rendered useless for everything in comparison.

    Some still buy them becuase they don't like intel..that's the only reason I could fathom people would buy them now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    AMD's aren't too bad. But they run hotter and don't overclock anywhere near as well as the Core 2 Duo's.

    They're now expensive for what you get compared to the core 2 duo's so have pretty much been rendered useless for everything in comparison.

    Some still buy them becuase they don't like intel..that's the only reason I could fathom people would buy them now.
    or sticking with their existing chipset. I know of 2 people who have upgraded their cpu to the 939 dual core so they don't have to spend over the odds on a new mobo AND a new cpu.

  16. #16
    www.dougmcdonald.co.uk
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    I think you're right there Thoku, I have always been an AMD fan and if i had upgraded earlier prolly would have gone with an X2 of something variety since the C2D's were nowhere near as cheap at the time.

    If i wasn't going to get a new mobo and ram then sticking with AMD might be an option, I figure intel deserve a chance and will most likely go with them this time due to cost/performance calculations overall.

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