Building a new Core 2 Duo rig - £1K to spend, advice needed please fellas

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Hi all,

I'm going to be finally ditching my current rig which has served me well for 2 1/2 years but has finally got to the point where any decent game crawls so I'm going for a beefy upgrade.

I'm currently on the following;

A64 3500+ (Newcastle) @ Stock
1GHZ 3200 DDR Kingston Hyper X Memory
Gainward 6800 Ultra (AGP) 256mb
Raptor 74GB

Now I'm looking at getting the following, bearing in mind that I've never overclocked before and will definately be wanting to this time around to get my monies worth;-

Intel Core 2 DUO E6600 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.40GHz (1066FSB) - Retail -£204.44
GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400C4 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit - £135.11 inc VA
BFG nForce 680 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard - £178.59 inc VAT
OcUK GeForce 7900 GS 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail - £129.24 inc VAT
Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio 7.1 Soundcard - OEM - £25.84 inc VAT
Antec P180 Advanced Super Midi Tower Case - No PSU (Black) - £82.24 inc VAT
Tagan TG700-U25 700W ATX2.0 Dual Engine Silent SLi Compliant Silent PSU - £111.61
Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 NCQ 320GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM - £59.91
NEC ND7173 18x18 DVD±RW Dual Layer LabelFlash ReWriter (Black) - OEM - £21.74
Pioneer DVR-111BK 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter - (Black) OEM - £22.31
Sony Floppy Drive - Black - £5.86 inc VAT

TOTAL £976.90

Questions:

1)Is the motherboard going to give me good flexibility for OCing, also is it as feature rich as other MB's for similar prices?
2)Is the processor good value or should I go for a cheaper Duo 2? I like the fact that it's 4mb L2Cache but exactly what benefits will I see from this?
3)Is the PSU overkill? I want to be able to get a 8800 GFX at a later point
4)GFX ok for now? It seems like a good cheap solution until I can afford a top of the range GFX card.
5)Memory - should I have the GEIL or go for a OCZ equivilant?

Any help and suggestions are welcome, remember I'm a total n00b when it comes to Overclocking so will likely take tentative first steps so won't be getting a jet-engine for a Hinksink just yet, but if I can get that processor at 3GHZ-3.2GHZ from the stock cooler I'll be a happy chappie.

Thanks guys :D
 
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Get another 80GB HD as a windows main drive (C:) and keep the ig one for games/downloads etc. Will prove a lot more useful and help to keep your data safe.

I'd also go with SATA DVD drives too, cabling is a lot neater and they're very very nice.

Other than that, looks great. :)
 
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Looking at some of the clocks you can get out of the 6600 with a GOOD aftermarket cooler on stock breaking 3.0 is easy on stock.

Are you defo ruling out a 6300 or 4300?
 
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I am in the same boat as you but spending around £1400

The nForce 680i are the way to go IMO (for what it is worth) My last board was an EPoX 8RDA+, lasted me a good 4 1/2 years paired with a 5600FX before my PSU thought it would be funny to let go and take the motherboard with it.

Only thing I might suggest is to stretch the budget to an 8800 GTS ok it’s the poorer brother of the GTX but it is direct X 10 compatible which your current choice isn't.
 
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For 100 pound increase you would expect it to get very good reviews. MattVanDam wants dual PCIEx16 SLi compatibilty in the future. Is the 680i the only way forward?
 
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stinka said:
iirc in this months edition of custom pc mag they arnt overly impressed with the bfg 680i, and at the risk of repeating my self im going to reccomend the evga 680i;)

stinka

It depends where you read to be honest I have read both good and bad things about the BFG and EVGA 680i boards. Last time I bought computer gear both BFG and EVGA wasn't even on the scence so I went with MSI's 680i offering. Although it seems with the latest BIOS installed the sound problems are fixed and some of the overclock options have been resolved.
 
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Matt Van Dam said:
Intel Core 2 DUO E6600 "LGA775 Conroe" 2.40GHz (1066FSB) - Retail -£204.44
GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400C4 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit - £135.11 inc VA
BFG nForce 680 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard - £178.59 inc VAT
OcUK GeForce 7900 GS 512MB GDDR3 TV-Out/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail - £129.24 inc VAT
Creative X-Fi Xtreme Audio 7.1 Soundcard - OEM - £25.84 inc VAT
Antec P180 Advanced Super Midi Tower Case - No PSU (Black) - £82.24 inc VAT
Tagan TG700-U25 700W ATX2.0 Dual Engine Silent SLi Compliant Silent PSU - £111.61
Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 NCQ 320GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM - £59.91
NEC ND7173 18x18 DVD±RW Dual Layer LabelFlash ReWriter (Black) - OEM - £21.74
Pioneer DVR-111BK 16x16 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter - (Black) OEM - £22.31
Sony Floppy Drive - Black - £5.86 inc VAT

TOTAL £976.90

Questions:

1)Is the motherboard going to give me good flexibility for OCing, also is it as feature rich as other MB's for similar prices?
2)Is the processor good value or should I go for a cheaper Duo 2? I like the fact that it's 4mb L2Cache but exactly what benefits will I see from this?
3)Is the PSU overkill? I want to be able to get a 8800 GFX at a later point
4)GFX ok for now? It seems like a good cheap solution until I can afford a top of the range GFX card.
5)Memory - should I have the GEIL or go for a OCZ equivalent?

depending what your going to use it for i'd personally go for the e4300 and over clock the hell out of it, you'll see hardly any difference as previously stated with 4mb cache.

then with the extra saved get the 8800gts, or 1950 xt (£150)

id say the mobo is too expensive, but maybe i'm just being cheap, the gigabyte ds3 should suit your needs fine.

id trust geil memory, always have done:)

also think you don't need the psu you have selected, there are perfectly decent ones in the £80 bracket.

it all depends how much money you have to spend.

but my way is better performance for your pound:)

got a radical idea for you, have you thought about a shuttle sd37-p2? it will power a 8800gtx, and is a lot smaller than the case your going for, albeit at the cost of over clocking capabilities.
 
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I think this 680i board is total overkill. SLi is more gimmicky than useful at the best of times and only some games work with it... considering an 8800 gtx beats ANYTHING in SLi as well.
 
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It strikes me that the spec is unbalanced (and I think you think so too) in that it screams out for a Geforce 8800. Difficult call, as it means another £200+, which you won't make up by saving on the CPU, RAM, PSU and Mobo, and if you were to do that, you would unbalance the spec the other way (if you get my drift). Can't help, but I feel your pain :)

Couple of other comments:

Do you game? If so the X-Fi audio doesn't use EAX and wouldn't be a great solution.

Beware the P180. It does a great job for the price, but isn't fun to work on and the dodgy plastic panels and door can fall off/break/warp. £20 more will get you the highly regarded Akasa Eclipse. £20 less will get you the highly regarded Lian Li PC7 (though smaller than the P180).
 
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How about...
  • Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB 3200KS SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM £51.99 £51.99
  • GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400C4 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit (GX22GB6400UDC) £114.99
  • Asus P5N-E SLi nForce 650 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard £69.99
  • Intel Core 2 DUO E6300 "LGA775 Allendale" 1.86GHz (1066FSB) - OEM £101.99 ;)
  • Tuniq Tower 120 CPU Cooler £29.99
  • Corsair HX 520W ATX2.2 Modular SLI Compliant PSU (CMPSU-520HXUK) £61.99
  • Lian-Li PC-7 PLUS Aluminium Midi-Tower Case - Silver £47.99 - no black :(
  • OcUK GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail £309.99 :D
  • NEC AD7170A 18x18 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Silver) - OEM £17.99
  • Sub Total : £806.91
  • Shipping : £10.95
  • Vat : £143.13
  • Total : £960.99
:cool:
 
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hp7909 said:
How about...
  • Intel Core 2 DUO E6300 "LGA775 Allendale" 1.86GHz (1066FSB) - OEM £101.99 ;)

  • is the e4300 not cheaper and better?
    as i was thinking of getting the e6300 but have been told by many people that to go with the e4300
 
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hp7909 said:
How about...
  • Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB 3200KS SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM £51.99 £51.99
  • GeIL 2GB (2x1GB) PC6400C4 800MHz Ultra Low Latency DDR2 Dual Channel Kit (GX22GB6400UDC) £114.99
  • Asus P5N-E SLi nForce 650 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard £69.99
  • Intel Core 2 DUO E6300 "LGA775 Allendale" 1.86GHz (1066FSB) - OEM £101.99 ;)
  • Tuniq Tower 120 CPU Cooler £29.99
  • Corsair HX 520W ATX2.2 Modular SLI Compliant PSU (CMPSU-520HXUK) £61.99
  • Lian-Li PC-7 PLUS Aluminium Midi-Tower Case - Silver £47.99 - no black :(
  • OcUK GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - Retail £309.99 :D
  • NEC AD7170A 18x18 DVD±RW Dual Layer ReWriter (Silver) - OEM £17.99
  • Sub Total : £806.91
  • Shipping : £10.95
  • Vat : £143.13
  • Total : £960.99
:cool:

Beat me to it,

i think thats a far better setup because the CPU whether 66/63 will only be bottlenecked by the gfx card. and the 8800 gtx as everyone knows is by far the best GFX. Plus owning the P5NE-SLi i know how easy it is to clock the mother out of it!
 
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devonfudge said:
is the e4300 not cheaper and better?
as i was thinking of getting the e6300 but have been told by many people that to go with the e4300

I have a 4300 real easy to overclock, only difference is the multiplier is 9 rather than 7 i believe on 6300. The jury is out, but apparently once you get it on a really good cooler past 3ghz the 9x helps out. I aint there yet as i am still experimenting on stock cooler for now
 
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