New desktop build from CCL...advice before I buy

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by leamspaceman, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. leamspaceman

    leamspaceman
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    I'm wanting to purchase a new desktop but have always bought 'off the shelf' systems in the past. I didn't want to do that this time around. So after lots of research and looking around the web I've come to find that CCL meet my requirements. I've read good things and the prices and build fees are very competitive.

    So I need some help. I've never specced a machine myself before so I'm in pretty new and uncharted territory. I'm hoping people out there can give me some guidance:confused:

    I've specced the following machine but have some questions:

    CASE: Thermaltake Armor Junior - Black 5x 5.25" & 2x 3.5" External Bays
    PSU: 520W Corsair CMPSU-520HXUK 520 Watts / Double Bearing Fan
    Modular Cables / Quiet, Industrial Grade Components
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 4x 2.4GHz / Socket 775
    1066MHz FSB, 2x 4MB L2 Cache
    CPU COOLING:
    Silent Knight II Pure Copper Quiet CPU Cooler
    MOTHERBOARD: Asus P5K Socket 775 / DDR2
    Firewire / USB / SATA, 8ch Audio / PCI-E
    RAM: 4GB Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5 4GB Matched Pair
    2 x 2GB Supplied, PC26400
    RAM COOLING: OCZ XTC Cooler Cooling For Your RAM
    Great For Overclocking, 2x 60mm Blue LED Fans
    GFX CARD: ATi Radeon 3870 Graphics Card - 512MB PCI Express
    DirectX 10.1 Support
    O/S: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64 Bit (OEM) Microsoft's New Operating System
    1st HD (for OS): 36GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000 RPM / 16MB Buffer
    2nd HD (for data): 500GB Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000KS 7,200 RPM - 16MB Buffer
    1st OPTICAL: Samsung SH-D163B 16x DVD-ROM Drive SATA (Black)
    2nd OPTICAL: Optiarc 20x Internal DVDRW Lightscribe Black LightScribe Labelling, SATA Interface
    CARD READER: Internal Multi Card Reader in Black With power & access light
    MONITOR: LG L196WTQ 19 inch TFT LCD Monitor 300cd/m2 Brightness
    1440 x 900 Resolution, 2ms Response Time
    DVI: DVI Cable Male to Male, 2 Metres
    KEYBOARD/MOUSE: Trust DS-3250 Wireless Optical Multimedia Deskset
    BUILD: Premium Build Includes GOLD Assembly service AND 1 Yr ON-SITE Warranty

    My questions are as follows:

    1. Are all these components compatible?
    2. Have I got enough cooling?
    3. I'm not sure what gfx card to get? I'm going to be doing some gaming on my machine but am not sure what I should go for? I was recommended a RADEON 256MB HD3850. Having looked at the options I'm confused. There is:

    a) Sapphire RADEON 256MB HD3850
    b) HIS RADEON 256MB HD3850

    What is the difference between these? What is the difference between 'Sapphire' & 'HIS' prefix?

    Then with 512MB cards it's the same. There is:

    a) Sapphire RADEON 512MB HD3850
    b) ATi RADEON 512MB 3870
    c) HIS RADEON 512MB HD3850
    d) HIS RADEON 512MB HD3870

    And then with nVidia there's the 8400, 8500, 8600, 8800 series'.

    I'm confused:confused:

    4. The motherboard I've specced, does it have:

    a) LAN connection for broadband or do I need to spec a seperate LAN card?
    b) Firewire connection?

    5. How will the USB ports be configured on my machine? The motherboard has 6 USB's, but the case has two USB's on the top, so will I have eight altogether?
    6. I've chosen SATA optical drives...correct?
    7. I've specced a 36GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000 RPM/16MB Buffer hard disc purely for the operating system alone. Is this a good thing to do and will it improve the performance of Vista 64-bit home premium?
    8. Will I actually get a Vista disc and licence with my system? I've noticed some other suppliers mention that you do get the disc and licence.

    Well, more than a few questions there. I hope someone can help me out as I'm desperate to order this machine.

    Thanks if you can assist:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  2. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    1. These components will all work together, yeah :thumbsup:
    2. Cooling should be fine, especially with the (rather unnecessary imo) RAM cooling. They won't ship a PC with totally uncapable cooling!
    3. 'Sapphire' and 'HIS' are manufacturers of graphics cards. They both use the same chip from ATi (the 3850), however they may tweak things such as the clock speeds. The overall performance would be fairly similar though, so myself I'd go for the cheaper of the 2 (especially as both HIS and Sapphire are reputed brands).

    The 'HD' prefix means nothing. However, the 3870 is a totally different chip to the 3850, although it isn't an awful lot quicker. Personally, I prefer nVidia graphics cards: the 8800 gt is a great buy compared to the 3870, and it offers the same (and probably better) performance.

    4. The motherboard I've specced, does it have:

    a) Yes it has an ethernet port
    b) Yes it has 2 firewire ports, one on the back panel and one midboard (meaning possibilty for a second if it is added on)

    5. You will have access to all 6 around the back, and also the 2 on the front. The 2 on the front will be connected from the midboard USBs.
    6. SATA is correct, although SATA2 is the latest option, and would be good if they offer it.
    7. A 36gb Raptor is a good idea for the operating system. This will be faster in things such as loading the operating system, however a lot of things will be unaffected (such as game loading times, because that's all being read from the other HDD).
    8. Don't know! Try emailing them.

    Cheers

    Jezzer
     
  3. Uridium

    Uridium
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    If you want to do some serious gaming personally i'd change the VGA card to a 512Mb 8800GT other than that looks sound.

    Edit: Just noticed the monitor, I'd suggest looking at a 22" widescreen TFT, the extra desktop are makes a huge difference in all apps.
     
  4. leamspaceman

    leamspaceman
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    I've now made the following changes:

    - Inno3D GeForce 8800GT O/C overclocked gfx card (£30 more than the ATi in my original spec)
    Review here: http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/470/2/
    - 650W CoolerMaster eXtreme Power Supply (£45 less than the 620W Corsair in my original spec)
    - 74GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000 RPM / 16MB Buffer (Cant install Vista on a 36GB drive, £15 more than my original spec)
    - Removed OCZ XTC RAM Cooler

    What do you think?
     
  5. Seque

    Seque
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    hi from what i gather from your previous posts ur cost of that spec would be around £1100 + accessories (mouse/keyboard/cables/reader etc)

    imo i really dont think the raptor drives are worth the money you will benefit a couple secs loading times for £90? no what i would rather have. also do u know how to or plan to overclock ur comp? if not then all this additional cooling is not needed.

    for same price i personally would get the following:

    Q6600 £180
    Same case - thermal armour ... £60
    520W Corsair Psu £65
    P5K Mobo £75
    4GB Corsair 800mhz ram £65
    Vista 64-bit premium £65
    512mb 8800GT £170
    Western Digital 500GB HD £70
    Pioneer Blu-ray/dvd/cd £100

    22" LGL226WTQ £185
    Cost to build £70
    Total cost ~ £1105 + accessories
     
  6. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    That seems great. However I would tend to agree with FutureTech on the Raptor Drives - if you can afford it, great, but the benefits you see will be rather limited.

    A possibility would be to scrap the second HDD and just get a 150gb Raptor. This will definitely improve performance as all your programs will be installed on it, and imo, 150gb is plenty of storage space. So many cheap PCs come with massive HDDs (from PC World etc), its made people think a massive HDD is necessary... I've still got my 74gb and (although almost full) I'm not thinking of expanding!

    Jezzer
     
  7. leamspaceman

    leamspaceman
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    No, it's £1100 WITH accessories included...everything in, VAT & delivery inclusive. Also, it's the OEM processor, apparently better than the 'retail' and £20 less. The OEM doesn't come with a stock cooler though, hence the Asus Silent Knight II:thumbsup:

    On top of this I would have to add cooling (I may decide to overclock the processor), memory card reader, keyboard/mouse, DVI cable. Then there's delivery on top. With this build, and others you've recommended to me, you've always specced a Bluray drive? I really have no desire for this as I have a US PS3 so I watch Bluray movies on that through my 40" Samsung. I may invest in a Bluray writer in future but not until Bluray writing becomes more financially viable. Still looking at £8 for a single layer BD-R:eek: I can get my movies for £15 approx, customs free from the States and then sell them on for about £12.

    So, by leaving out the Bluray drive (£105) I can get cooling, DVD ROM drive, DVD DL writer, keyboard and mouse, card reader and DVI cable (£90 total):)

    Also, I've no need for a 22" monitor. I'm used to a 15" so 19" will be large enough for me:thumbsup:

    I do need a large HDD. I have a 500GB external drive that's almost full! I've got LOTS of movies, TV shows, music etc and have been surprised how quickly it's filled up. How can you survive on 74GB:eek::confused::D I'm hoping a 74GB Raptor will be enough for Vista and all my programs? My laptop has 80GB and XP installed with LOTS of programs and that's just over half full. Having a 500GB built into the PC is cost effective as the drive is £65, less than any external drive of the same size and quality.

    Many thanks for your help so far guys...I'm very close to ordering now.
     
  8. Seque

    Seque
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    The reason why i put the blu ray player in was to my spec build up to the £1100 cost. other ppl may be in the same position as u and are looking for what they can get for £1100 but do not own a ps3 so instead of starting a thread everytime some1 wants a build ppl can change what they want but still have an idea of what they can get for that price. obviously u dont have to have it hence why i put price next to it just deduct that and add £15 for cd/dvd writer.

    that spec was for if u didnt want to overclock if u wanted to overclock i would have said get a asus p5k premuim black Pearl special edition mobo instead of the p5k. if u did want to overclock then like u said get the oem version of the q6600 of the 1 i listed and use the £20 saved to buy some cooling. the accessories keyboard mouse delivery etc will add an additional £25.

    the build looks fine its just i dont believe the raptors are worth the money and that saved cash could be used better elsewhere imo hence the spec better psu, bigger monitor, blu ray etc or put towards better mobo for oc or just reduce the cost, compared to gain of couple of seconds in loading times from a raptor drive

    Good Luck with ur purchase
     
  9. jezzer256

    jezzer256
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    Ah, well if you do need a large HDD then yeah, go for a 74gb Raptor and a 500gb second HDD. I don't really store TV programs or movies etc on my PC, so my 74gb HDD is just filled up with programs - Office 2007 & Macromedia Suite are the main ones, as well as Far Cry, CoD4, CoD2, CSS, Half Life 2 & Day of Defeat.

    Jez
     
  10. Uridium

    Uridium
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    In tests I've read by Custom PC mag and tomshardware the Raptor's weren't hugely faster than the Samsung spinpoint 500Gb disks.

    You'd notice very little performance difference. why not just buy 2x 500Gb disks instead.
     
  11. leamspaceman

    leamspaceman
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    Thanks so much for all your help with this guys:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: All your input has been a great help to me and I'm gonna tweak the build a little based on your advice and then go for it.

    Will let you know what I decided on when I've ordered.

    Many many...many thanks:clap:
     

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