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View Full Version : Critique my C2Duo build! :)


SkyFire360
06-06-07, 07:35 PM
Hey everyone!

I'm trying to build a C2D gaming/workhorse box, since my old P4 3.2/GeForce 6800 GT just isn't cutting it anymore (and I want a DX10 card to mess around with their geometry shaders!). The catch is that I'm a recent gradjit skool grajuwite and soon going to be going for my PhD, so I don't really have all that much money to work with.

I've been building it on Newegg over the last month, swapping parts in and out due to some reviews and price fluctuations. Some base benchmarks I'm going to try to hit are 9,000+ 3D Marks in '06, not having it sound like a jumbo jet taking off like my current one does, and hitting at least a 3.2ghz overclock with my 6600. The build is as follows:

Case - $89.99
LIAN LI PC-A05B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
* I don't need anything spectacular from a case, but it does come with 2x120mm fans (quiet!)

Harddrive - $200.97 (total)
3x Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA
* Raid 5, for 500 megs of space and decent performance (better than a single harddrive, I think?)

Video Card - $299.99
ATI Radeon 9800... kidding!
EVGA 320-P2-N815-AR GeForce 8800GTS 320MB
* I've heard these overclock decently, and I won't be seeing much of a performance hit going with the 320mb at either 1280x1024 on my tiny 17" or 1920x1080 on my HDTV. Pixel pitch is more important to me than screen size, anyway.

Power Supply - $104.99
Thermaltake Purepower W0129RU ATX12V 600 W
* Um, it's 600w? I just don't want to underpower my system, and I've heard modular power supplies have some issues

Memory - $199.98 (total)
2x GeIL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
* 4GB of memory. I run a lot of signal analysis for my work in Matlab, so 4 isn't overkill. It's also got timings of 4-4-4-12, so if I had to go to 5-5-5-12 or 5-5-5-15 to get a stable overclock, they wouldn't be too bad.

OS - Free!
Vista Business
* ::shrugs:: I get it free through my university. I can't complain.
* I'm also going to make another partition for a dist of Linux for some work projects

Mobo - $199.99
ASUS P5W DH DELUXE/WIFI-AP
* Now this selection has thrown me for a loop a number of times. I originally wanted to go with the MSI 975X V.2 chipset, but it got panned in the newegg reviews. I then decided to go with the Gigabyte DS3, but apparently the different revisions of the motherboard have HUGE differences in performances... and you're not guaranteed a specific revision when you get it. So I ended up with the ASUS P5W. I don't really need the WiFi (nice though!), but it consistently performed well in reviews, OCs well because of the 975x chipset, and isn't prohibitively expensive. Thoughts?

CPU - $223.90
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
* I'm just overclock the snot outta it anyway, and the additional $100 isn't worth the performance I'm going to surpass anyway

Heatsink - $57.99
Scythe SCINF-1000 120mm
* This thing is HUGE, but it's nearly silent with a 120mm fan and performs really well according to reviews. Watercooling would be awesome, but I'm trying to keep the performance/price ratio as high as possible.

TOTAL: $1,377.80 (before shipping)

Any thoughts, suggestions, jibs, or generally stupid things I may have decided to get?

Stoneyguy
06-06-07, 07:44 PM
Nice setup. I would probably go with the Seagate 320gig Gen 10 drives though.

$n][pErMan
06-06-07, 09:06 PM
Id go no less than the 640mb GTS.

WeReWoLf
06-06-07, 09:12 PM
All in all, a very nice setup. You'll be very pleased to hear that the 6600's overclock to about 3.2 with no problems, and are very stable. I got mine to 3.6Ghz on air a little while back.

buffbiff21
06-06-07, 10:01 PM
E6600 is perfect.
I always question 4gb of ram, no matter what work you do.
Get 640MB GTS.\
Ditch that Thermaltake PSU. Get a Corsair HX520. It will power that plenty, it's quiet, modular, black wires, and Corsair warranty :)
For the RAID, it's up to you. I've always thought RAID as too much of a hassle.. but if you don't mind the hassle then I won't stop you. I personally prefer one fast disk as boot (Raptor with partition on outer platter), and only 1 or 2 large capacity (silent) as storage.
Get DFI Infinity P965 for motherboard. I have one and @ $130 it is a GREAT buy. I'm at 475 FSB, in the process of stability testing right now while Im at work.

XDanger
06-08-07, 09:17 PM
or you could save a little bit and get a e6540 or whatever it is ???

XDanger
06-08-07, 09:26 PM
you dont want a large box tower sink with a p5b if you get one.
The Thermalright Ultra-120 EXTREME is the best air cooler and its nice n slim so the fan wont sit on top of your ram blocking airflow or indeed an ocz memory cooler if you choose to install one.

Also tower heatsinks with close fins need a nice powerful fan ,they dont work as well with slower ones which are usually quiet because of their low rpm's,I think its Better to use a fan controller and a leaf blower, at least then you have the option of making it faster when you want to.

I want this junk when the price drops (and also when they fix the slightly loose 775 mounting bracket thing):-

i have one ;)

will install it maybe today or tomorrow

got this
http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggImage/productimage/35-109-140-02.jpg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835109140

this
http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggImage/productimage/35-202-003-02.jpg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835202003

and finally, a fan for Ultra-120
http://images10.newegg.com/NeweggImage/productimage/35-220-014-02.jpg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835220014
Air Flow: Max 110.03 CFM

Inf1n1tyComplex
06-09-07, 05:10 AM
you dont want a large box tower sink with a p5b if you get one.
The Thermalright Ultra-120 EXTREME is the best air cooler and its nice n slim so the fan wont sit on top of your ram blocking airflow or indeed an ocz memory cooler if you choose to install one.

Also tower heatsinks with close fins need a nice powerful fan ,they dont work as well with slower ones which are usually quiet because of their low rpm's,I think its Better to use a fan controller and a leaf blower, at least then you have the option of making it faster when you want to.

I want this junk when the price drops (and also when they fix the slightly loose 775 mounting bracket thing):-
Errrr... I read in another thread that the Ultra-120 Extreme has alot of issues... Those issues were listed on newegg in the comments most of them complaints about the quality control and mounting mechanism... Basically it's all the luck of the draw depending on which one is better...

Cons: Out of the 15 or so user reviews here and elsewhere that I've read, about 5-6 mentioned quality control issues, mine too is junk. The base where it meets the CPU is about half machined. You can actually see where it was machined and where it's not. Holding it up to the light it is clearly not even flat. Not to mention the fins are all crooked. Obviously a shoddy assembly job. They got a great review from those 'and' guys and decided to cut corners on the production run. Too bad. Buy this and you may get a fantastic heat sink and you may get junk. BTW mine cools exactly the same as the stock HSF. E4300 @ 3.0ghz, 4.56 Vcore, Silverstone case 2x12 cm fans, 36 degrees idle, 65-70 load (yes, really). Remounted 3x with Arctic Silver 5 til I inspected the bogus base. I'll try RMA but one more bad one I'm picking anything else.

Cons: Unless you plan on mounting your motherboard flat, it is too heavy. The 775 base is too flimsy to support its weight properly on a vertical motherboard (tower). The base design causes it to sag under it's weight when mounted on a vertical motherboard, to the point of causing the 2 upper cores to spike on Core Temp on my QX6700. I've watched temps realtime fluctuate as I take weight off the end, reducing sag. Tested while running Orthos, all 4 cores loaded saw upper cores exibit 15C fluctuations as I supported it with my hand and then released it to allow base to hold it up.

Cons: Mounting surface not even close to being flat I noticed without even doing a straight edge test. Also one heat pipe not soldered to base on either side.

Cons: I receive this and its Concave. A little high in the centre of heatsink and the difference in edge surface is about .5 mm after aligning my ruler with one of the edges. The way I tested it was used a steel ruler edge to confirm evenness. I dont know what this means in terms of temperatures, and how scientific is my finding. Am still working it out with Thermalright, trying to get their response.

nvnews-reader
06-09-07, 01:03 PM
Harddrive - $200.97 (total)
3x Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA
* Raid 5, for 500 megs of space and decent performance (better than a single harddrive, I think?)
...
OS - Free!
Vista Business
* ::shrugs:: I get it free through my university. I can't complain.
* I'm also going to make another partition for a dist of Linux for some work projects


I would consider RAID 1+0 instead. RAID 5 is good for increasing read performance but you will gain little if any performance with writes.

With only 3 disks I believe you will have better overall performance using RAID 1+0

Also instead of dual booting Linux I would dl the free version of vmware server (http://www.vmware.com/products/server/) and run linux in a virtual machine

stncttr908
06-09-07, 01:53 PM
What's wrong with dual booting? Also, GRUB is much nicer than the Vista bootloader. ;)

nvnews-reader
06-09-07, 10:37 PM
What's wrong with dual booting? Also, GRUB is much nicer than the Vista bootloader. ;)

Nothing wrong with dual booting but virtualizing is a lot more convenient.

XDanger
06-11-07, 07:36 PM
Yes Inf1n1tyComplex the block REQUIRES lapping,
a rev.2 would be the one to go for if they ever decide to sort out their QC

ynnek
06-11-07, 08:08 PM
my personal preference, if it was my box, and I build on the cheap.

Why so many hd's for RAID? To me, the performance gains and hassle of setup is not the cost.


Mobo: ClubIT, for example, has a seperate listing for rev3.3.. I'm still not honestly convinced its not just random deviation in manufacturing that yields to OC ability.. Some people with rev 1.0 are still getting awesome OC speeds.

Vidcard:eeeehhhhh, 640 or 320... That is the question.. I twiddled with it, and ultimately got the 640 version.

You really should get a new LCD screen.. Trust me, you'll enjoy it alot.


I really like my P180 case.. my e6600 is not OC'd, but at idle, with the stock retail sink, in this case, it idles at 26C. Seems like I have plenty of headroom temp wise if I want to OC in the future.

PS: I went exactly from a p4 3.2/6800GT to this new setup a few weeks ago too :)
Intel e6600 retail
gigabyte ds3 v1.3
2x 1 gig adata ddr2 800
evga 8800GTS 640
WD 320 gig sata drive
liteon DVD burner sata
seasonic 550HT
antec p180

X-Fi XtremeMusic, Firewire card, and M-audio 192 only thing carried over from previous system

SkyFire360
06-15-07, 06:09 PM
WOW!

Thanks for all the replies everyone! I've gone through four different revisions since starting this thread, and figured I owe a "Thank you" to you guys and to update you on the changes... :POKE:

Hard Drive - $239.79 (+$39)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB
* I decided to go with three Barracudas, 10th gen 320GB. Wasn't too much more expensive than the 250GBs, and comes with a 16 MB cache. Also, I'm sticking with RAID 5, since write speed is not entirely important to me in a gaming/media/data analysis machine. It's the read speed that I'm concerned with.

Video Card - $409.99 (+$110)
EVGA GeForce 8800GTS 640MB
* I bit the bullet and decided to go for the 640mb. I figured that if I wanted the computer to last for a while and didn't want to get bogged down in the new DX 10 games, I should get a videocard with ample memory. That, and I'm going to be working in FXComposer with huge, 3D textures that take up gobs and gobs of video memory anyway

Mobo - $129.99 (-$70)
DFI INFINITY P965-S LGA 775 Intel P965
* I love the overclocking options of the DFI, and I don't really need any of the extras the ASUS had. I'm most likely not going to be doing SLI too, so the DFI is acceptable in that respect

Total: $1,453.80 (+$76)

Now here's the kicker: if I wait a month...

CPU - supposedly both $266 (+$33)
Core 2: Quad Q6600
--OR--
Core 2: Duo e6850
* This is probably old news to you guys, but I was dumbfounded that the Core 2: Quad was going to have its price halved on July 22 (according to here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Core_2), here (http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2007/05/15/intel_desktop_d-day/), and here (http://www.edn.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA6451862)). The other interesting thing is that the e6850, according to the second article I linked to, is that the e6850 will be able to run at a 1333Mhz fsb. Are 965p boards even able to run at that fsb? Or will a new chipset be needed? And from what I can tell, the Core 2: Quad Q6600 is pretty much the exact same chip as the e6600, just with two more cores. However, it seems like gaming benchmarks favor the E6600 compared to the Q6600 at the moment. Thoughts?

radekhulan
06-15-07, 06:27 PM
Wait till July 22nd, Intel Q6600 (quadcore) price should go down to like $300 or so, unbeatable deal (if you cannot wait, buy cheapest Celeron for one month, and sell it after). Also consider Asus boards with P35 chipset (P5K), it has faster memory access, new ICH9R (better RAID), etc. Do NOT get DFI, it was (very) good in days of old AMD socket 939, but not anymore.

http://www.asus.com.tw/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=11&l3=534&l4=0&model=1646&modelmenu=1

Also, if doing RAID-5, Seagate is NOT a good choice, WD4000KS is much better performing in RAID:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storage/display/400gb-raid0510_5.html#sect0

I am also not sure about GeIL, had 4 sticks (DDR2-800 CL4), and had to return them, faulty, my friend the same.

ynnek
06-16-07, 12:56 PM
However, it seems like gaming benchmarks favor the E6600 compared to the Q6600 at the moment. Thoughts?

At worst, the q6600 will perform equal to the e6600.. THe differences are usually like a couple percent at best, which can be basically variances in testing..

Again, I was this close to get a q6600 too, but decided not too..

Ultimately I drew out plans for 3 computers.. The cheap build, the mid build, and my high endbuild.. And sat there and stared at it, and pondered how much money I wanted to spend, for what, and when (you could end up waiting forever)

$400 for the 8800gts 640? sounds a bit high.. They were all floating around $370 for a while, and a few times have a rebate.. But again, you can wait forever.

buffbiff21
06-17-07, 06:10 AM
The other interesting thing is that the e6850, according to the second article I linked to, is that the e6850 will be able to run at a 1333Mhz fsb. Are 965p boards even able to run at that fsb? Or will a new chipset be needed?
P965 boards are able to run a CPU at over 2000 FSB. No joke.

And from what I can tell, the Core 2: Quad Q6600 is pretty much the exact same chip as the e6600, just with two more cores.
...just with twice as much heat.

Do not, and I stress this DO NOT, get a Kentsfield processor if you intend to overclock on aircooling. They put out TOO MUCH heat to hit high speeds using anymore vcore than 1.4v (which is usually required if you want to break 3GHz)



Do NOT get DFI, it was (very) good in days of old AMD socket 939, but not anymore.

:retard:

:bs:




DFI P965 now, and worry about P35 or X38 when DFI releases theirs.
.

SkyFire360
07-08-07, 10:20 PM
Hey everyone!

Thanks again for all the input. I'm now on revision 10 of my computer, and I think I've got it all nailed down. I really don't forsee any changes to this setup. I'll be ordering it on July 22nd when the price drop hits, meaning the final price will most likely go down slightly from where it is now.

Case - $99.99
LIAN LI PC-A05B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
* No change

Harddrive - $74.99
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB
* No more RAID5, since I've got a file server that does all of my long-term storage and torrenting

Video Card - $539.99
Foxconn GeForce 8800GTX OverClock edition
* My savings account is going to take a bit of a hit, but I really want to be able to play at 1080p resolutions with all the bells and whistles. That, and I hopefully won't need to upgrade this within the next two years.

Power Supply - $104.99
Thermaltake Purepower W0129RU ATX12V 600 W
* No change

Memory - $213.98 (total)
2x GeIL 2GB (2 x 1GB) (PC2 6400) 4-4-4-12
* No change. I've read nearly perfect reviews on GeIL memory, and the DFI club says it'll work with my mobo

Mobo - $129.99
DFI INFINITY P965-S
* DFI = overclocking options out the wazoo. And it's not too expensive (saves money for the GTX)

CPU - $222.90
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
* No change. Going to wait 'till July 22nd for price drop

Heatsink - $57.99
Scythe SCINF-1000 120mm
* No change

TOTAL: $1,444.82 @ NewEgg (before shipping)

I'm pretty happy with this setup. I've got some Arctic Silver III lying around somewhere in my apartment, so thermal paste is covered. It's quiet (120mm fans for case and heatsink), powerful, leaves quite a bit of room for overclocking, and I've managed to find a setup that get me a 8800 GTX yet doesn't break the bank.

Just for kicks, I customized a Dell to similar specs (only addition was an optical drive), and it came out to $2,359. This one is just under $1k cheaper and I get the exact parts I want. :D

Any last-minute suggestions or glaring errors?

randsom
07-10-07, 08:57 AM
P965 boards are able to run a CPU at over 2000 FSB. No joke.


...just with twice as much heat.

Do not, and I stress this DO NOT, get a Kentsfield processor if you intend to overclock on aircooling. They put out TOO MUCH heat to hit high speeds using anymore vcore than 1.4v (which is usually required if you want to break 3GHz)




:retard:

:bs:





.

uuhhhmm i dont know abou that

I got in the tigerdiredt deal, and wasnt expecting as much as i got.Very happy

I am getting a overclock to 3.4 on 1.33 v on a ultra extreme at over 100 degrees in portland or with no air conditioning on a xfx 680 mcp sli, and my rams holding me back, i dont wanna go 9/10ths divider since that kills the performance.


either i got a q6600 with the best thermal dynamics or one of the best just plain overclocking q6600 out there.Of course your milage may vary, but it seems these later q6600 seem to overclock much better than the early ones with proper cooling.

synkndown
07-10-07, 01:23 PM
you can find that asus pk5 without wi-fi for $150 native 1333 support and will probably be more forum friendly