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New PC Build this year: Need advice


exile
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Unless something changes, I plan to build a new PC this year.

 

I'm going to go the bang for the buck route(not necessairly meaning cheap).

 

This is what I'm considering:

 

New case: Coolermaster Centurion? Options?

 

Use existing 550W PSU (or is there a reason not to?)

 

4 gig DDR2 800 RAM

 

1+ TB Seagate hard drive. I'm pretty brand loyal to Seagate.

 

Intel QX6600 Quad - unless suggested otherwise. (Intel only)

 

Stock cooling fan. Not planning to ever overclock and the stock one works.

 

Asus Motherboard of some kind - not willing to change my mind on brand. Which board though?

 

On board sound - don't really care. This might change.

 

New DVD writer - My old one is an 8x NEC.

 

XFX Geforce GTX260 Black edition - 1 card. Willing to consider others as long as they are Nvidia based.

 

Vista Home Premium x64 or Ultimate x64 - need/want the media center portion and it seems stable enough for what I will use it for.

 

Use existing 19" Samsung LCD Flat Panel

 

 

 

How does this look and what should I keep an eye out for? I could save money and go without a quad but the price is right. The I7's are a bit pricey right now.

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This is the build Scott first did, then Romier and I used. I've been really happy. I still use XP, and will upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out. I used the Antec 900 Gaming Case. Also would go with at least a 650W power supply

 

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core

Mobo: ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit

Video: EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

DVD+/-RW: LITE-ON 20X DVD?R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA

Monitor: My Samsung LCD TV I use for gaming

Power Supply: Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply

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Use existing 550W PSU (or is there a reason not to?)

 

XFX Geforce GTX260 Black edition - 1 card. Willing to consider others as long as they are Nvidia based.

 

The power supply may be an issue with the GTX260 depending on how many additional components are installed. Other than that it looks good :tu

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I was thinking of building a new gaming PC this year as well...I did have thoughts about a laptop but I use one for work so there's really no point. It's been so long since I've done any PC gaming. I'm assuming $1700 should get me a pretty good machine not including the monitor as I will be using my TV for that.

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I'm assuming $1700 should get me a pretty good machine not including the monitor as I will be using my TV for that.

 

For $1,700 you can build a monster of a PC that would most likely be comlete overkill. For right around $1,000 you can build a PC that will run anything you throw at it.

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If you're replacing that much of the PC, I would spend the extra bit to get a new power supply and optical drive, just so you don't need to cannibalize anything from the old one at all. You're bound to forget some random piece of data, and it's a lot easier to salvage that way.

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Agree that the Nvidia 260 might make the PSU a little low when considering other components so I'd say use Capt recommendation and go with a 650W. Other than that it looks like a solid build. You may check around some though: the Core i7's will start coming down in price soon and, unless encoding or other tasks need 4 cores, a Core 2 at a higher clock may be better for gaming.

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This is the build Scott first did, then Romier and I used. I've been really happy. I still use XP, and will upgrade to Windows 7 when it comes out. I used the Antec 900 Gaming Case. Also would go with at least a 650W power supply

 

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core

Mobo: ASUS P5K-E/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit

Video: EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

DVD+/-RW: LITE-ON 20X DVD?R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA

Monitor: My Samsung LCD TV I use for gaming

Power Supply: Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply

 

Their setup is pretty good, especially the Asus P5K boards which are well regarded (and I almost bought one). I'm not too keen on the cheaper name RAM like G.Skill - I tend to stick to Corsair, Crucial, Mushkin and the like for my desktop if the price isn't too much more.

 

The only thing I'm not too keen on is the PSU - I've had bad luck with Antec in recent years, having had 1 fizzle out in 8 months and another one after about 2 years...but their higher end models are still well regarded.

 

All my geek buddies have been going with the Corsair power supplies now:

 

650w, $99 AR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

 

Which you'll see have a spectacular rating on newegg.

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I'm not too keen on the cheaper name RAM like G.Skill - I tend to stick to Corsair, Crucial, Mushkin and the like for my desktop if the price isn't too much more.

 

G Skill is hardly cheaper name memory. Just because something is cheap doesn't mean it's not as good as the big name brands. As with the other big names, G Skill has a lifetime warranty on their memory, so any problems send it back.

 

G Skill got its name for the overclocking ability of their memory and not just the high end stuff either, even their 'value' memory can be overclocked easily. Not saying there's anything wrong with any of the manufactures you mentioned (I've used them all at one time or another), but you might want to try something before you judge it.

 

The only thing I'm not too keen on is the PSU - I've had bad luck with Antec in recent years, having had 1 fizzle out in 8 months and another one after about 2 years...but their higher end models are still well regarded.

 

All my geek buddies have been going with the Corsair power supplies now:

 

650w, $99 AR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005

 

Corsair makes some good power supplies, but I'd still take an Antec over it. The power supply I used in my current PC has one HUGE advantage over the Cosair you linked too - Modular Cable Connection...

 

17-371-010-04.jpg

 

After using the modular cable design I'll only use these in the future as it keeps the case nice and clean with increased airflow.

 

Which you'll see have a spectacular rating on newegg.

 

While you were on Newegg did you check the ratings for the G Skill memory? :lol

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After using the modular cable design I'll only use these in the future as it keeps the case nice and clean with increased airflow.

Agreed and good advice. I love the modular cable design and would absolutely hate going back after using it. It's just so damned easy to work with you. You steered me good sir!:)

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G Skill got its name for the overclocking ability of their memory and not just the high end stuff either, even their 'value' memory can be overclocked easily. Not saying there's anything wrong with any of the manufactures you mentioned (I've used them all at one time or another), but you might want to try something before you judge it.

 

I'm not really justifying the statement, just saying I normally stick to well-known popular company RAM for a couple of extra bucks and skimp elsewhere. That said my only RAM failure in recent years was a stick of Corsair ValueSelect, and the Crucial Ballistix has had some notoriously major reliability issues in recent years.

 

Antec, though, is another story. They've had issues in recent years also (this is from 2006-2007 timeframe)

 

http://www.behardware.com/news/8550/power-supply-failure-rate.html

 

I had a Smartpower 350w and a 430w bite it on me. After reading about some of the failure rates and all the reports of failing Smartpower units I don't consider them a quality brand anymore. YMMV. Maybe they've improved in the past year or two.

 

I like the modular units too, honestly, that's what I'm running right now, a cheaper Kingwin 520w modular PSU...it's lasted longer than either of my last Antecs :P

(No longer available)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817121001

 

BTW on the case front (since the OP mentioned Centurion): I have a Cooler Master Centurion 532 and I've been very happy with it (also no longer available). Good case, nice layout, got it at a great price.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119094

Edited by GreenMonkey
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