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50 posts


#22360 25-May-2008 17:15
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Hi all,
This'll be my first ever desktop build. Only used laptops until now.

I'll be using it for web design and development, so a lot of multitasking. I typically have flash, photoshop, notepad++, and maybe fireworks open, plus at least 10-20 tabs/pages open in firefox, plus quite often, safari + opera + ie6 and sometimes even ie7 all at the same time, so i need it to multitask well and have scads of memory.

I used to game but not so much any more, so I'm concerned my choice of video card may be a little overpowered/overpriced.

I plan to overclock the sytem to get blazing performance in photoshop for a sensible/mainstream price. That said, I'm concerned the CPU cooler I've selected may not fit in the case I've chosen. (yeah, I'm a tweaker)

I already have a usb/bluetooth keyboard and mouse (logitech mx5000) but I'm concerned they may not work until the OS is up, ie not in the BIOS settings. So I've included a cheapie keyboard in the list. Should I get a cheap mouse as well? or is it not needed for BIOS settings?

Do you think the PSU I've chosen is appropriate? Overpowered/underpowered?

anyway, here's my preliminary spec list. What do you think?

* Case      Gigabyte GZ-X1 ATX Mid Tower Case, Black

* Motherboard     Asus P5K-E/WIFI-AP Motherboard, Socket 775, 1066MHz FSB, 4xDIMM DDR2, 2xPCIe-16, 3xPCI, 2xPCIe-1, 10xUSB2, Firewire, Audio, ATA, RAID, ATX

* CPU          Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz, 1066MHz FSB, Socket 775, Retail pack with fan

* Hard drive     Seagate Barracuda ST3320620AS Hard Disk Drive, 320GB, 7200rpm, 16384KB Cache, SATA-2 

* Optical drive BenQ DW1680 DVD Writer, DVD 16R/16W/8RW, CD 48R/48W/32RW, Internal, IDE, Black, OEM, Nero 6

* Memory     Corsair XMS2, TWIN2X4096-6400C5, 2x2GB, DDR2-800, PC2-6400, CL5, DIMM    

* Video card     Asus EN8600GT/2DHT/256M Video Card, GeForce 8600 GT, 256MB, DDR3, PCIe-16, TV out, DVI, HDTV, SLI ready    

Keyboard     Rock Keyboard, USB, Black, OEM     $17.82

Monitor     Samsung 226BW Monitor, 22" LCD, 1680x1050, DVI, Black

Power supplies     Enermax Liberty DXX SLI, 500W ATX PSU, Active PFC, SLI Ready

OS         Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1, for (32/64-bit) systems, DVD

Cooling     Silverstone FM121, Case Fan, 120mm, with Aluminium Fan Controller, White

Cooling     Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme, 120mm Fan, (Intel LGA 775, AMD AM2), CPU Cooler

thanks for any advice,

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176 posts

Master Geek

  #133163 25-May-2008 18:53
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Looks alright to me. Check the ram voltages are supported with the mainboard and remember sometimes you'll encounter problems trying to install the o/s with 4 gigs.
Keyboard only required for bios. I think the vid-card is fine if you're not looking at serious gaming, and the psu is fine for a system like this.


50 posts


  #134047 29-May-2008 07:42
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Corsair website lists this mobo as compatibe. thanks for the tip.

I think I'll wait on the keyboard, and get one locally only if i need it.

Apparently this PSU has 2 12v(?) rails whereas I've read that the best PSU's only have one 12v rail. Do you think this is an issue for me with overclocking the q6600 ?

I've been recommended a fancy new Xigmatek cpu cooler thats smaller and more effective even than the Thermalright,  but I can't find it listed anywhere in NZ. Any ideas where I could get one?



299 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #134106 29-May-2008 11:22
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A few comments...

I'd take a look at the Gigabyte Triton ATX case.  It's got very quiet intake and exhaust fans and is a breeze to install everything.

Regarding whether or not the CPU fan will fit the case - it's actually the motherboard that is more of a concern.  Some wider coolers can cover a RAM slot so bear that in mind.  Have a look at the Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 - it's a good quiet cooler that doesn't take up a lot of room and you can still get good overclocking results with it.

You also might want to go for a Q9300 rather than a Q6600 if you budget can stretch, although you'd also need to upgrade your motherboard.

If you are worried about noise then you may want to consider a slient 8600GT model - but you'd have to pay around $40 extra.

Finally if you are into overclocking then you may want to go with CL4 RAM which won't cost that much more if you are sticking to DDR2-800 RAM.

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176 posts

Master Geek

  #134216 29-May-2008 18:12
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Transcend AxeRam is cl4 and costs around $110 for 2 gigs (from memory). It is well regarded as proof that you dont need to pay a fortune for Ram that has excellent o/cing capabilities.

Seriously, buy a cheapy keyboard. It'll save a headache on a new system build. Some bios are set to halt when no keyboard is found, so you wont get very far installing an o/s if this is the case. Bios may also ask for un update to support the cpu (my p5k-se did this).


50 posts


  #134743 1-Jun-2008 13:02
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forgot to mention I have a 410mm height restriction on the case because of the desk i want to stash it under. I could potentially put it beside the desk, but under would be better.

I read a review that suggested that the corsair xms2 cl5 RAM had pretty good chances of running stable at cl4. Even the corsair CL4 sticks seem cheaper than Transcend at the places I've been checking (ascent / pricespy / newegg (for the reviews)...)
How much difference does the RAM really make when oc'ing the cpu? Isn't the hdd still more of a bottleneck? Or is Vista's memory management so vastly improved over XP's? (pisses me off no end when I just click on the start menu and the hdd activity light comes on for well over a second before the menu contents show up - when task mgr says I have 0.75 GB free! It should keep frequently used stuff like that in RAM, not page it out! </rant>)

Got any good links on understanding how RAM speed/timings affect real world performance? Particularly with an OC'ed q6600?

Is that Asus 8600GT DDR3 card noisy? How noisy? I could stretch the budget *slighty* for a quieter rig, but only if I think it's worthwhile. A silent vid-card could potentially be re-purposed to a future HTPC down the track.

The Q9300 option seems a little more spendy than I'd like at the moment. An extra $100+ on cpu and mobo, so I can save $30 on cooling? This build is already a little more expensive than my wife would like ;-)

I've found there is a shorter version of that Thermalright cpu cooler called the ultima-90 that performs virtually as well as its big brother, so that should fit in the narrow GZ-X1 case ok. I don't see any slots of any sort near enough to the cpu to get in the way of the heatsink/tower on this mobo

Is there anything wrong with the Gigabyte GZ-X1 case with regards to airflow / noise / overclocking potential? I find it difficult to understand why I would want an expensive case if a cheap one would be fine.


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