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Thread: Another "Help me build my perfect PC" post! *Please Help*

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    Another "Help me build my perfect PC" post! *Please Help*

    Hi,

    I'm planning my first build, and could do with a bit of help. I'm trying to make a pretty quiet system, used for multitasking (apps, music, dvds, etc - use 2 monitors). Don't really play games, but may play a few. May overclock eventually if i figure out how to do it. I've got pretty good pc knowledge compared to the man on the street, but nothing like you guys here!

    Anyway here's what i'm planning at the moment

    Athlon X2 4400+ (is it worth the £70 over the 4200+?)
    Abit AN8 Ultra (Like the fact there is no onboard fan - will this affect o/clocking ability??)
    2GB 184pin unbuffered ram (know very little about ram - is pc3200 ok for a moderate overclock? Do I want 2 x 1gb or 4x512mb? Any specific recommendations ??)
    Graphics card - something like a 6600GT - or is that overkill if I don't play games?
    Samsung spinpoint S-ATA drives (already have)
    Qtechnology 460w Ultra-quiet PSU
    Acousticase C6607B

    Could really do with some help on graphics card & ram. Also, I've heard that an opteron 175 is better than the 4400+ but am I right in thinking they are unavailable everywhere?

    I know you get posts like this all the time, but help would be much appreciated.

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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      • CPU:
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      • A-Data DDR2-800 2x2GB CL4
      • Storage:
      • 4x1TB WD1000FYPS @ RAID5 3Ware 9500S-8 / 3x 1TB Samsung Ecogreen F2
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      • GeCube HD4870 512MB
      • PSU:
      • Corsair VX450
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      • Operating System:
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonLennon
    Hi,

    I'm planning my first build, and could do with a bit of help. I'm trying to make a pretty quiet system, used for multitasking (apps, music, dvds, etc - use 2 monitors). Don't really play games, but may play a few. May overclock eventually if i figure out how to do it. I've got pretty good pc knowledge compared to the man on the street, but nothing like you guys here!

    Anyway here's what i'm planning at the moment

    Abit AN8 Ultra (Like the fact there is no onboard fan - will this affect o/clocking ability??)

    Could really do with some help on graphics card & ram. Also, I've heard that an opteron 175 is better than the 4400+ but am I right in thinking they are unavailable everywhere?

    I know you get posts like this all the time, but help would be much appreciated.

    Athlon X2 4400+ (is it worth the £70 over the 4200+?)
    4400+'s extra cache is probably worth it. Better do some research and see if the 4200+ overclock higher than the 4400+. An Opteron 165 will be good too.

    2GB 184pin unbuffered ram (know very little about ram - is pc3200 ok for a moderate overclock? Do I want 2 x 1gb or 4x512mb? Any specific recommendations ??)
    Depends on how much you want to spend, cheapo 2x1GB will probably the best bang of the quid. Geil, OCZ and Crucial are very good. You may get some insanely good chip with Corsair Value if you're lucky though.

    Graphics card - something like a 6600GT - or is that overkill if I don't play games?
    That will be fine. But 1280x1024 will be quite difficult for the card with DX9 shaders.

    Qtechnology 460w Ultra-quiet PSU
    THROW THIS AWAY IMMEDIATELY. If you decide to keep it, UPON STARTUP, YOUR COMPUTER WILL BLOW LIKE A FIRECRACKER. ALERT: FIRE HAZARD.

    Acousticase C6607B
    The case may not have enough cooling for your X2, and will probably hinder your overclocking. Quiet and overclock does not mix like oil and water.
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
    Workstation 2: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 3.6Ghz / X38 / 4GB DDR2-800 / 8400GS 512MB / Open Air
    Workstation 3: Intel Xeon X3350 @ 3.2Ghz / P35 / 4GB DDR2-800 / HD4770 512MB / Shuttle SP35P2
    HTPC: AMD Athlon X4 620 @ 2.6Ghz / 780G / 4GB DDR2-1000 / Antec Mini P180 White
    Mobile Workstation: Intel C2D T8300 @ 2.4Ghz / GM965 / 3GB DDR2-667 / DELL Inspiron 1525 / 6+6+9 Cell Battery

    Display (Monitor): DELL Ultrasharp 2709W + DELL Ultrasharp 2001FP
    Display (Projector): Epson TW-3500 1080p
    Speakers: Creative Megaworks THX550 5.1
    Headphones: Etymotic hf2 / Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro

    Storage: 8x2TB Hitachi @ DELL PERC 6/i RAID6 / 13TB Non-RAID Across 12 HDDs
    Consoles: PS3 Slim 120GB / Xbox 360 Arcade 20GB / PS2

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    If your multi tasking stick with the X2 series - and either will overclock well.

    Overclocking really does depend on how cool you can keep your components and how much they can tolerate the higher FSB.

    RAM, forget 4 x 512 - stick with 2 x 1 and I'd just get some Corsair Value stuff or OCUK are doing a deal on some awesome Geil stuff at the moment (although I personally cannot tolerate OCUK, you might).

    I was very impressed when I had my 6600GT and it should play most games with medium quality settings. If your not into games, it should be more than sufficient.

    Find yourself a Tagan or Seasonic PSU - thats an order!

    I use a Centurion 530 - cheaps as chips - and my system is damn quiet and very very cool. But then case placement and how quiet a case is or needs to be is very subjective. Whatever kind of case you go for - get the biggest fans you can fit and grab a fan controller.

    A chipset with no fan, may affect overclocking. Although my A8N - SLi with a Zalman chipset cooler is fine for a moderate 10%+ overclock.

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    Guys, a Qtechnology PSU is a different animal from a Q-tec

    As for the passive cooling on the AN8 I recommend that you get something like a Thermalright SI-120 or the Zalman equivalent for your CPU as that way the MOSFETs, chipset cooler & RAM catch loads of air from it too.
    It'll run any sane overclock that way.

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    Really appreciate the comments so far.

    PSU is this one: http://www.quietpc.com/uk/psu.php#qtechnology. Chosen mainly for it's low noise. Is this ok in terms of connections & wattage? (will probably have 3 HDD's).

    Also, probably should have said I will have 2x 12cm case fans, and already got a Zalman Flower cooler, so airflow should be pretty good. I'm really trying to find a nice balance between o/clock and low noise. Ideally I want to be able to leave my pc on at night without even realising it's on.

    How's about this for the ram http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx...150,4294959239
    Haven't properly checked around prices yet. (This time in the morning!!)

    I think it's just the graphics card I'm stuck on then. Is an X800 better than a 6600GT? It's difficult because graphics cards seem to be anything from £35 up to £500+! Should probably add that main monitor is 19".

    Thanks a lot

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonLennon
    PSU is this one: http://www.quietpc.com/uk/psu.php#qtechnology. Chosen mainly for it's low noise. Is this ok in terms of connections & wattage? (will probably have 3 HDD's).
    probably although the +12V rails could be stronger.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonLennon
    That's DDR2 which won't work in an a current AMD64 system, you want good old plain DDR.

    MSI P55-GD80, i5 750
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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    • arthurleung's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5E (Rampage Formula 0902)
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 3.6Ghz 1.2V
      • Memory:
      • A-Data DDR2-800 2x2GB CL4
      • Storage:
      • 4x1TB WD1000FYPS @ RAID5 3Ware 9500S-8 / 3x 1TB Samsung Ecogreen F2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GeCube HD4870 512MB
      • PSU:
      • Corsair VX450
      • Case:
      • Antec P180
      • Operating System:
      • Windows Server 2008 Standard
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell Ultrasharp 2709W + 2001FP
      • Internet:
      • Be*Unlimited 20Mbps
    You could try an Antec Phantom 550W, No fan
    BTW 3HDDs are nothing. I had up to 10 running on my Hiper 580W and its still as quiet as usual (but nothing is noisier than my harddrives)
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
    Workstation 2: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 3.6Ghz / X38 / 4GB DDR2-800 / 8400GS 512MB / Open Air
    Workstation 3: Intel Xeon X3350 @ 3.2Ghz / P35 / 4GB DDR2-800 / HD4770 512MB / Shuttle SP35P2
    HTPC: AMD Athlon X4 620 @ 2.6Ghz / 780G / 4GB DDR2-1000 / Antec Mini P180 White
    Mobile Workstation: Intel C2D T8300 @ 2.4Ghz / GM965 / 3GB DDR2-667 / DELL Inspiron 1525 / 6+6+9 Cell Battery

    Display (Monitor): DELL Ultrasharp 2709W + DELL Ultrasharp 2001FP
    Display (Projector): Epson TW-3500 1080p
    Speakers: Creative Megaworks THX550 5.1
    Headphones: Etymotic hf2 / Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro

    Storage: 8x2TB Hitachi @ DELL PERC 6/i RAID6 / 13TB Non-RAID Across 12 HDDs
    Consoles: PS3 Slim 120GB / Xbox 360 Arcade 20GB / PS2

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    Ok... I think I'm getting there now.

    I'm now looking at getting "value" ram. Is there a clear winner between Corsair value select & kingston value?

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx...0%2c4294960364

    http://www.dabs.com/productview.aspx...4294960364&v=3

    Arthur - Antec phantom does look good, but don't think I can pass £100 for a psu!

    Thanks again for everyone's help.

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    • user1453's system
      • Motherboard:
      • asus p5n-e SLI
      • CPU:
      • e4400 core 2 duo at 3.5Ghz
      • Memory:
      • ddr 800 at ddr 778
      • Storage:
      • 2x 640gb WD in raid 0
      • Graphics card(s):
      • hd4850 512 mb
      • PSU:
      • 600w enermax
      • Operating System:
      • windows 7
      • Monitor(s):
      • 22 inch 16:10 1680x1050
      • Internet:
      • 23mb/1.3mb
    you could also try the 600w enermax noistaker, it's virtually silent, any case fan would be louder than it
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=184139

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonLennon
    I'm now looking at getting "value" ram. Is there a clear winner between Corsair value select & kingston value?
    Not really, just don't get generic RAM. Either of those will work fine (disclaimer: I don't OC but I do use Corsair Value).

    I'd echo the PSU recommendation above for Tagan, I recently bought a 480W Tagan and it's a beast of a PSU. Only problem is fitting all the cables (especially the huge mobo snake) in the case!

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    Cool, I think it might just be eenie meenie between corsair and kingston then. (same price)

    This may be a stupid comment, but surely the only considerations for a PSU are whether they work, and how much noise they make? It wouldn't actually have any effect on performance would it? I've really been going purely on noise, but may have a rethink if there is a noticable performance difference from different PSU's

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonLennon
    This may be a stupid comment, but surely the only considerations for a PSU are whether they work, and how much noise they make? It wouldn't actually have any effect on performance would it? I've really been going purely on noise, but may have a rethink if there is a noticable performance difference from different PSU's
    Yes and no. It can affect system stability if the voltage on the rails is unstable, the cheap ones are usually noisier and have a shorter life, and if one goes it can take half your system with it.

    With a decent PSU you pay for quiet, stable voltages, and the knowledge that it's not likely to die on you and if it does the rest of your expensive system won't die with it. I've had one cheap PSU quit on me and that was an expensive lesson in which components not to skimp on.

    Of course a cheap PSU may carry on for years with no problems but are you willing to bet your new dual core Athlon 64 on it?

    [EDIT]For reference, I use this PSU[/EDIT]
    Last edited by GDVS; 02-01-2006 at 09:01 PM.

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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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      • CPU:
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      • Memory:
      • A-Data DDR2-800 2x2GB CL4
      • Storage:
      • 4x1TB WD1000FYPS @ RAID5 3Ware 9500S-8 / 3x 1TB Samsung Ecogreen F2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GeCube HD4870 512MB
      • PSU:
      • Corsair VX450
      • Case:
      • Antec P180
      • Operating System:
      • Windows Server 2008 Standard
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell Ultrasharp 2709W + 2001FP
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      • Be*Unlimited 20Mbps
    The point about getting a good, expensive psu in the first place is to have 1) stability 2) upgrade ability 3) silent.

    1) As GDVS said you don't want a PSU blow. Golden rule: Anything that is cheap tends to break easily. I've seen quite a lot of people (including myself) had hardware killed both in short term and long term. Short term being PSU blew upon startup, frying the mobo, harddrives and dvdroms. Long term being, the unstable voltage putting stress on HDD components (Mind you I had a hdd failure every 2 months when I had the cheapo 370W PSU, although its not a no-name brand, and in fact quite popular back when I was in Hong Kong, changing to an Antec 550W solved everything, no any failure since then, which was 1.5 yrs ago)

    2) Do you suddenly want to upgrade and pop in another harddrive or another GPU for SLI/CF? You may as well get a PSU ready for it, rather than getting another one because you overloaded your old one.

    3) Cheapo PSUs use cheap fan(s). Those sleeve bearing fans, in high temperature and dusty environment, probably will last less than 1-2 years. When they stop there is no warning. When they stop the PSU overheats. When the PSU overheats it pops. When it pops you know what happens.
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
    Workstation 2: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 3.6Ghz / X38 / 4GB DDR2-800 / 8400GS 512MB / Open Air
    Workstation 3: Intel Xeon X3350 @ 3.2Ghz / P35 / 4GB DDR2-800 / HD4770 512MB / Shuttle SP35P2
    HTPC: AMD Athlon X4 620 @ 2.6Ghz / 780G / 4GB DDR2-1000 / Antec Mini P180 White
    Mobile Workstation: Intel C2D T8300 @ 2.4Ghz / GM965 / 3GB DDR2-667 / DELL Inspiron 1525 / 6+6+9 Cell Battery

    Display (Monitor): DELL Ultrasharp 2709W + DELL Ultrasharp 2001FP
    Display (Projector): Epson TW-3500 1080p
    Speakers: Creative Megaworks THX550 5.1
    Headphones: Etymotic hf2 / Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro

    Storage: 8x2TB Hitachi @ DELL PERC 6/i RAID6 / 13TB Non-RAID Across 12 HDDs
    Consoles: PS3 Slim 120GB / Xbox 360 Arcade 20GB / PS2

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    I would go for the Corsair before the Kingston.

    & I wouldn't bother about a new PSU without trying your old 1 first.
    If you decide that you want a new 1 then I echo the recommends for Tagan 480

    MSI P55-GD80, i5 750
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    YUKIKAZE arthurleung's Avatar
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    • arthurleung's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus P5E (Rampage Formula 0902)
      • CPU:
      • Intel Core2Quad Q9550 3.6Ghz 1.2V
      • Memory:
      • A-Data DDR2-800 2x2GB CL4
      • Storage:
      • 4x1TB WD1000FYPS @ RAID5 3Ware 9500S-8 / 3x 1TB Samsung Ecogreen F2
      • Graphics card(s):
      • GeCube HD4870 512MB
      • PSU:
      • Corsair VX450
      • Case:
      • Antec P180
      • Operating System:
      • Windows Server 2008 Standard
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell Ultrasharp 2709W + 2001FP
      • Internet:
      • Be*Unlimited 20Mbps
    Quote Originally Posted by BUFF
    I would go for the Corsair before the Kingston.

    & I wouldn't bother about a new PSU without trying your old 1 first.
    If you decide that you want a new 1 then I echo the recommends for Tagan 480
    Well true he can always get free RMA if his old PSU do blow things up (thats nasty though)
    Workstation 1: Intel i7 950 @ 3.8Ghz / X58 / 12GB DDR3-1600 / HD4870 512MB / Antec P180
    Workstation 2: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 3.6Ghz / X38 / 4GB DDR2-800 / 8400GS 512MB / Open Air
    Workstation 3: Intel Xeon X3350 @ 3.2Ghz / P35 / 4GB DDR2-800 / HD4770 512MB / Shuttle SP35P2
    HTPC: AMD Athlon X4 620 @ 2.6Ghz / 780G / 4GB DDR2-1000 / Antec Mini P180 White
    Mobile Workstation: Intel C2D T8300 @ 2.4Ghz / GM965 / 3GB DDR2-667 / DELL Inspiron 1525 / 6+6+9 Cell Battery

    Display (Monitor): DELL Ultrasharp 2709W + DELL Ultrasharp 2001FP
    Display (Projector): Epson TW-3500 1080p
    Speakers: Creative Megaworks THX550 5.1
    Headphones: Etymotic hf2 / Ultimate Ears Triple.fi 10 Pro

    Storage: 8x2TB Hitachi @ DELL PERC 6/i RAID6 / 13TB Non-RAID Across 12 HDDs
    Consoles: PS3 Slim 120GB / Xbox 360 Arcade 20GB / PS2

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    Resident abit mourner BUFF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurleung
    Well true he can always get free RMA if his old PSU do blow things up (thats nasty though)
    It won't - it will either work (if +12V is strong enough) or not given that Qtechnology make 1/2 decent PSUs.

    MSI P55-GD80, i5 750
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