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Build for College. Advice on shopping list please.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Forvak, 18 Feb 2008.

  1. Forvak

    Forvak What's a Dremel?

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    High School Graduation is coming up and college dorm life is just over the horizon. I want to use grad $$$ and my last summer's profits (or the remnants thereof) to put together the skeleton of a powerful computer that can be built upon/upgraded over the course of time.

    So the Question. For ~1000$ what is the best base I can get in terms of:

    Case:
    Quiet, but still fit Dual 8800 Ultra (future expansion room)
    -----------Will the p182 fit this? I love what I've heard about its sound reduction and heat management.

    CPU:
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz - 254$ (OEM) / 275$ (retail w/ fan)
    -----------Fan recommendations?

    Mobo:
    P35 chipset

    RAM:
    DDR2 800 2x2GB

    HDD:
    2x250GB Storage
    1x small SATA for OS & startup apps

    PSU:
    CORSAIR 750TX - 180$


    Have:
    Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, DVD drive, X-FI soundcard

    Will buy later:
    8800GTX or GT

    Thank You very much in advance for your advice. I'm 17 and, while I'd like to believe that I know loads about computers, I badly lack real world experience with hardware.
     
    Last edited: 19 Feb 2008
  2. Brett89

    Brett89 Minimodder

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    You won't be able to use the top hard drive bay, but the P182 will fit dual 8800 GTX, unless your motherboard has a really low PCI-E slot, the floppy bay might interfere with it. I'm pulling my P182 apart on tues, I'll get back to this, see if my GTX fits.
     
  3. oasked

    oasked Stuck in (better) mud

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    Get 4Gb of RAM now (2x2Gb), RAM isn't going to get any cheaper and its price is slowly increasing.

    Personally, I would avoid anything saying SLI. The chipsets just aren't as good as the Intel ones and by the time you could afford another graphics card then you might as well buy a completely new design rather than another old card.

    In summary, change the motherboard to a P35 based board, such as the Abit IP35 Pro or IP35-E and get 2x2Gb of RAM. :)
     
  4. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    i agree, nvidia arent really an option unless you really want SLi, and as we all know, SLi is worthless unless you got a massive screen (24in +). A single 8800GTS 512Mb slightly overclocked could possibly be a better purchase than a GTX right now.

    Gigabyte do some great P35 based boards, iv got one and for the best part of £60 i got DDR2 and DDR3 support, and stupidly stable overclocking platform for my Q6600 and with support for the new 45nm intels, coupled with my 8800GTS 320 and it flys.

    P35 is by far the best chipset around at the moment, for overclocking and general stability. My machine has been running OC pratically 24/7 since september last year, not a single blue screen or error, and im using XP!!
     
  5. craig_h

    craig_h What's a Dremel?

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    What gigabyte board have you got?
     
  6. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    Yeah P35-based motherboard and 8800GTS. I'm totally new to this dorm life btw and if you don't mind a bit of offtopic, is it a large dorm-thingy (most of the school goers live there) or just an exception that people live there?

    And P182 is a good choice for a single GFX setups, better wait for someone to check the SLI compability, but I think my P180 is one of the best purchases I've made.

    EDIT: oh and definitely go for the 4 GB memory. I had 4 GB for a while (selling my current rig atm) and I really can tell the difference when I returned to 2 GB. Dunno if you're just gaming, but if you're multitasking (I think you are, seeing the Q6600) then 4 GB is the way to go.

    EDIT2: And IMO for that budget (or any other for that matter) there's no reason to pay the premium for Raptor. New HDDs have the same read/write speed, only a bit longer access time.
     
  7. sam.g.taylor

    sam.g.taylor Apparently I'm Greg Kinnear

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    One thing I might suggest you consider is where you would be going to college. I say that because the age of the dorm might matter, both in terms of a/c and electrical power. If you will be living in an older dorm, you might want to consider backing off the heavy power requirements (although now that I'm rereading your post it looks like you won't be going with SLI right off the bat).

    Secondly, again if the dorm is older during the early fall and late spring months you may not have the best a/c and you want to make sure your components, especially that CPU, are adequately cooled. But I also that guess how far south or north you'll be going for college. I had a couple of close calls with my PC in my sig when we lost A/C in early September here in Florida. I'll be upgrading my heatsink/fan when I have the spare cash.

    Thirdly, I know you have this in mind but do make sure your PC is quiet enough so if you leave it on in the room and your roomie's trying to sleep you won't keep him up. From I've heard the P182 is quite quiet. However, it's over 30 lbs, so don't plan on moving it much once you've got it set up in your room.
     
  8. Hann1bal

    Hann1bal What's a Dremel?

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    I'm about to buy this Gigabyte P35 board:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128082

    Is this the same or close to the one you have? I know Gigabyte has about 6 different kinds of these "S-series" boards so its a headache trying to find which one I like the best.
     
  9. Woodstock

    Woodstock So Say We All

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    i would personally go for a gigabyte p35 ds3-l, cheap as chips by cutting the stuff you dont need
     
  10. Hann1bal

    Hann1bal What's a Dremel?

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    Although I do like the fact that the Gigabyte mobo i linked supports ddr3, chances are I will upgrade to a new board once I see that DDR3 is cost effective.

    Thanks for mentioning that board, woodstock, I'm now considering that mobo instead so i can save me some cash :D.
     
  11. Forvak

    Forvak What's a Dremel?

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    Power won't be a problem at any of the dorms I'm looking at. I'm headed down the Electrical Engineering/Computer Science route and the dorms I've seen are built to handle a house of nerds with their computers. :p The weather is also good. I'm looking in the northern half of the states. Mostly Boston area.

    So summary, 2x2GB DDR2 800 because the P35 boards won't be able to support the SLI ready memory.
    The P182 case will fit a GTX if I go that way and SLI is pointless/not an option. Chances are I'll end up with a 22in screen. Wish they came with slightly higher resolution. I'm spoiled because my laptop has 1600x1200... I want HD because I'm going to end up watching movies on it. Also I'll forget the raptor and just grab a small SATA drive. (hmm solid state anyone? too bad its $$$$$$$)

    @Jipa: I don't mind OT. Most of the colleges/Universities I'm looking at have a majority of the students in dorms. Usually ~150 students in them, coed or single gender by your preference. At my current second or third choice school Harvey Mudd only 6 out of ~750 live off campus.


    Back on topic: Any solid recommendations on the Mobo? I haven't had a chance to browse the P35s yet but will. Personal experiences? I'm not an overclocker. (in the near future anyways)

    Also the PSU. The TX isn't modular. Any quality PSUs that are modular, same wattage range and close in price? 180$

    Thanks all!
     
  12. Forvak

    Forvak What's a Dremel?

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    Ok, Serves me right!:p
    The review for the TX750 came out on bit-tech last night soooo.... I'll take one! It's just a few more minutes (read an hour) of cable management.
    Open for specific mobo recommendations. I'm looking up the gigabyte one as soon as I get out of class.
     
  13. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    i can confirm that 2 8800GTX will fit in p182. 2 Ultras might, but airflow may be a bit of problem.

    no overclocker..... hum. i was going to recommend Abit iP35 Pro for superb overclocking BIOS....... look into Asus P5k series, and choose the one with the feature set you want. Asus' BIOS isn't as well layed out as Abit, but their I/O stuff are on par, yet cheaper. Gigabyte is also good, a P35-DS4 should be enough for anyone.

    if you are no overclocker, a good performance CPU cooler (not extreme performance like Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme) would be Arctic Freezer 7 Pro. should cool a q6600 moderately overclocked to 3Ghz without any problem.
     
  14. notatoad

    notatoad pretty fing wonderful

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    if you are truly buying for school, and not to play on now, then wait until august. q9450 will be widely available and hopefully cheap, and who knows what else will have dropped.

    and if you aren't an overclocker, you should be. no point running your processor at lower speeds than it is capable of, just because that's what intel suggests.

    also, +1 for that gigabyte board with ddr2 and ddr3. i've got one of those and absolutely love it.
     
  15. Brett89

    Brett89 Minimodder

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    If I were to buy another board(which I almost did), Gigabyte P35 DS4 would be the way i'd go, just on sheer build quality alone even.

    EDIT: Opened my P182 up today, it will indeed fit 2 GTX, nevermind my comment of the floppy drive bay.
     
  16. Burnout21

    Burnout21 Is the daddy!

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    yep thats my board, good old GIGABYTE GA-P35C-DS3R, great board!
     

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