Please rate this machine

For Value and performance:

Processor (CPU): Intel® Core™2 Duo E6850 (2 X 3.00GHz) 1333MHz FSB/4MB L2 Cache

Memory (RAM): 4096 MB CORSAIR XMS2 800MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (4x1GB)

Motherboard: ASUS® STRIKER EXTREME: DUAL DDR2, S-ATA II, 2 x x16 VGA, 2 PCI

Operating System: 64 BIT WINDOWS® VISTA Ultimate (inc CD & License) (£119)

USB Options: 6 x USB 2.0 PORTS (4 REAR + 2 FRONT) AS STANDARD
1st Hard Disk: 74GB WD Raptor® SATA 16MB CACHE (10000rpm)

2nd Hard Disk: 500GB SERIAL ATA II HARD DRIVE WITH 16MB CACHE (7200rpm)

1st CD/DVD Drive: 20x Dual Layer LightScribe DVD Writer ±R/±RW/RAM

2nd CD/DVD Drive: 16x DVD-ROM WITH 48x CD-ROM

Graphics Card: 768MB GEFORCE 8800 ULTRA PCI Express + DVI + TV-OUT

Sound Card: Sound Blaster® Audigy® SE with 7.1 Surround Sound: £15

Network Facilities: ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT

Floppy Disk Drive: 1.44MB - 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive

Memory Card Reader: INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (READS XD, MS, CF, SD, etc)

Power Supply & Case Cooling: 900W Quiet Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£109)

Processor Cooling: ASUS SILENT KNIGHT II PURE COPPER ULTRA COOLER (£36)

Firewire & Video Editing: 2 x IEEE 1394a FIREWIRE ONBOARD (1 in back + 1 on board)

Keyboard: Logitech® Internet Keyboard + Hotkeys (Black) (£6)

Mouse: Black Logitech® Premium Optical Mouse (£4)

Speakers: CREATIVE INSPIRE 5.1 T6100 SPEAKER SYSTEM (£39)

Total Price: £1550 Approximatley double this for dollars, and our VAT rate is 17.5%.

I am willing to use Vista before the SP 1 comes out. I am considering adding a second graphics card when I get the money.

Now, this depends on if you want to overclock, if you are not afraid to oc, I would go with the Q6600, it’s the same price as the E6850 (in the US), and it can easily be oc’d to 3ghz. So you wouldn’t have any performance hit on single threaded apps, but you will see a big gain on multi threaded apps.

As for HDDs, unless you need to load a large amount of data very fast, I would just go with the Seagate 7200.11 perpendicular HDDs, they are just slightly slower than the Raptors, but offers much cheaper price per gb.

For the graphics card, just wait another month if you can, the 8800GT is coming out, it should be a very good value, you can probably get two of them in SLi for the price of a single 8800Ultra.

If you do go with the Q6600, the cooler you chose might not be enough. Go with the Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme and a 120mm fan.

This build looks very kickass. :smiley:

What are you looking to do with your new machine?

Anyway, you only listed manufacturer/model information on a few parts. Here’s my overly-critical $0.02 on those:

My experience with the Striker Extreme has been hit or miss. Beautiful board, pretty good overclocker, kudos for SLI and three true 16x PCI-e slots. On the other hand, a few stability issues (some have been resolved in BIOS updates, some haven’t), questionable build quality (I’ve had 1 DOA and 1 DAA), NB runs too hot, and the thing is just too expensive to still have so many teething problems. If you’re set on going Asus, the P5N32-E SLI is pretty much the same board with the same issues at a more reasonable price. You might want to look at the EVGA 122-CK-NF68-A1 as a more stable alternative to the Striker Extreme, or the EVGA 122-CK-NF67-T1 as an alternative to the P5N32-E SLI. If SLI isn’t something you just have to have, browse some P35 boards.

The Q6600 G0 stepping has been a really good overclocker… you might want to go Quad, no?

If you’re going the performance route, check out some faster/tighter memory. The Corsair you’ve chosen is decent, but it’s still budget RAM.

GeForce 8800 Ultra… it really doesn’t get much better than this at the moment.

Consider a better CPU heatsink/fan combo if you’re going to be doing any playing around. Thermalright makes the best LGA775 heatsinks at the moment, but I also like the Enzotech Ultra-X a lot.

I don’t have much of an opinion on your audio solution… people can be really picky about sound, so it’s up to you. :slight_smile:

Vista… I like it. You might want to do a little research on 64-bit drivers and compatible applications.

Anyway, have fun.

edit: I like the way you’ve designated a single Raptor 74GB for your system drive. Nothing like being able to nuke a drive with impunity and start over without endangering your data.

So you recommend a quad core over a dual core? I was told not many programs can handle quad core yet and I would be better with a fast dual core instead. I am quite happy to overclock so this could be an option. If anyone has any more thoughts on whether I should go E6850 or Q6600 please share them with me.

I am very tempted to wait for the 8800GT,
and to get two of them, this seems a very viable option.

ASUS® P5N32-E SLI+: Quad-core CPU Ready, NVIDIA® Dual X16 SLI: This is the step down from the motherboard I had first put, and it shaves £60 off of my cost, so thats a good thing. I will still want to overclock, this wont be a problem will it?

There is an option for faster RAM but it adds about £200 to my total, which is quite a lot and starts to push it out of my price range, is it really worth it?

I am using the website: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk to build my pc so I am a bit limited with the options they provide, but it seems very good value to me. Have a play around with the options if you like, see what you can come up with.

The Quad core vs Dual core thing is mostly depends on how long you want to keep your machine. Currently, most games can only use 2 cores, but upcoming games like Crysis will use quad cores. http://ve3d.ign.com/articles/news/304/Crysis-3-Quad-Core-CPUs

The P5N32-E gets pretty good reviews on most forums, so it’s probably fine for what you need.

why get an old 680i board when you can get the new x38 chipset.

take a look at these:

ASUS P5E LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard

GIGABYTE GA-X38-DQ6 LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Ultra Durable 2

ASUS MAXIMUS FORMULA

I would also vote for a quad core cpu. The other one to look at is the Xeon X3210 and X3220 (equivelent to Q6600). When buying a quad core you want to make sure you can get the latest revision, which is ‘G0’. The Q6600 will have “SLACR” in the serial numbers on the package. the Xeon version will have “SLACU” in the serials. The Xeon version is pertty much the same as the regular series, but it has a higher heat tolerance rating. they both overclock very well. In the US we can get the X3210 G0 for $250, which is about $50 cheaper than the Q6600. The difference is cost can almost pay for the thermaltake Ultra extreme cooler.

Compared to this one yours is pretty expensive
http://club.cdfreaks.com/showpost.php?p=1912118&postcount=9
Add another 10£ for Vista 64-bit.
Quad is as I said earlier about 1£ more but it has lower frequency…
//Danne

He wanted to go SLi in the future, so he has to get a Nvidia chipset mobo. As far as I know, the X38 does not allow SLi.

SLi is waste of money, get a better video card when you feel its too slow.
//Danne

I have got some speakers for £39 on my one; a surge lead for £7; a card reader for £6; a keyboard and mouse for £10; an extra DVD drive for £9; a bigger power supply (the website wont let me choose a smaller one for the graphics card I chose) and the Graphics card is an extra £75.

On this website the E6850 is slightly more expensive than the Q6600.

SLi is something I would love to take advantage of, if the 8800GT x2 when it comes out is about the same price as a 8800Ultra surely its going to be faster?

The 8800GT should have 112 shaders, should two 8800GT in SLi should give you better performance than a single Ultra.

Massive overkill:

Get a GTX and clock it to ultra speeds, the ultra is not worth the price difference, use the money on something else.

CPU: Get a lower end cpu and clock it

MOBO: Not worth the money, an intel based board would be better for stability and overclock: Get a P5K Deluxe.

RAM: Overpriced: get cruciall ballistix pc6400, will do 1100 mhz and beyond, it’s great ram. Corsair won’t overclock much, 20-60 mhz tops.

Dump the floppy imo, why do people even consider these?

Use the money saved in getting another raptor and raiding it up in RAID 0, and also get another 500 gb data drive, 570 gb is not much at all thsese days and will fill up quicker than you can imagine.

Get an audigy 2 ZS or audigy 4.

What brand is the psu? It’s massive overkill nonetheless, unless you want to go dual graphics cards ( wich imo is rubbish, the boost isn’t worth the money, just get teh newest gfx card next time when out) the corsair 620 W (rebadged seasonic) is more than enough.

Get xp 32 bit and vista 64 bit and dual boot them, believe me it’s better to have both vista still has some things that migth annoy you and xp is still 2 % faster.

Get 2 dvd burners, much better to burn 2 things at once reather than to wait for 1 to finish.

Asus silent knight isn’t that good: A thermalright ultra 120 is much better, stick a panaflow fan on it and you have one of the best air coolers possible, alternitively, get a Tuniq tower 120.

You’re still left with alot of money (for saving on the gfx, mobo, ram and psu), now you can get a q6600 and clock it to 3.4 ish ghz nonetheless, also you can get a better keyboard and gaming mouse and a bigger monitor or even 2.

If you could just mention your budget I could spec you up and make a spec that is far superiour to yours in terms of speed, quality and value.

I wouldn’t buy the ASUS® STRIKER EXTREME. The P5K Deluxe is more stable and offers better OC potential and its cheaper.
If your not a game player then the Ultra or 8800GT in SLI is overkill and a waste of money. The 8800GTS is more than enough, and overclocks well too.

A Quad core is faster than your suggested CPU. The Q6600 will easily go past 3GHz and be faster than any overclock you can get out of the E6850.

If your fitting 4GIG of RAM then you will need a 64bit OS. 32bit won’t address more than 3.2GIG. With your components list above, you wont have any problems with drivers for Vista 64 and with 4GIG of RAM it will fly. :wink:

You should also mention that there’s no guarantee that you will be able to overclock, its more or less pure luck and even if it works it may be stable/unstable.
//Danne

My budget is about £1500, but I can go a little above that if needs be. I am an avid gamer and I wish to run Crysis on as high settings as possible.

All core 2 duo’s do at least 3 ghz, FACT, I’ve owned over a 100 of them as I build pc’s, and they all did 3 ghz (even the low end 2140’s and 2160’s), most do 3.4-3.6 ghz with decent air cooling.

Ill build a spec for ya in a min duncanjf.

That would be great, thanks! Everyone is so helpful here with their suggestions, so thanks everyone else too! With spending this much money on a computer its great to get lots of opinions.

Product Name Qty Price Line Total
Gigabyte GA_P35_DS3P (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard £74.99
(£88.11) £74.99
(£88.11)
2x Samsung SpinPoint T 500GB SATA-II 16MB Cache - OEM (HD501LJ) £54.99
(£64.61) £109.98
(£129.22)
Intel Core 2 Quad Pro Q6600 “Energy Efficient SLACR 95W Edition” 2.40GHz (1066FSB) - OEM £135.99
(£159.79) £135.99
(£159.79)
Tuniq Tower 120 CPU Cooler (Socket 478/754/939/940/AM2/LGA775) £27.99
(£32.89) £27.99
(£32.89)
2x Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 PC2-6400C4 800MHz Dual Channel Kit (BL2KIT12864AA804) £52.99
(£62.26) £105.98
(£124.52)
OcUK GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express) - OEM £249.99
(£293.74) £249.99
(£293.74)
2x Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10000RPM SATA 16MB Cache - OEM (WD740ADFD) £78.99
(£92.81) £157.98
(£185.62)
2x Samsung SH-S203NBEBN 20x20 DVD±RW Dual Layer Serial ATA Lightscribe ReWriter (Black) - OEM £18.99
(£22.31) £37.98
(£44.62)
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic 7.1 Sound Card - OEM £43.99
(£51.69) £43.99
(£51.69)
Akasa Eclipse 62 Aluminium Case - No PSU £79.99
(£93.99) £79.99
(£93.99)
Corsair HX 620W ATX2.2 Modular SLI Compliant PSU (CMPSU-620HXUK) £79.99
(£93.99) £79.99
(£93.99)
Saitek Eclipse 2 Illuminated Keyboard - Blue/Red/Purple £26.99
(£31.71) £26.99
(£31.71)
Logitech G5 Gaming-Grade Laser Mouse - Retail £29.99
(£35.24) £29.99
(£35.24)
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit Edition DVD - OEM - 1Pk (66R-00838) £101.99
(£119.84) £101.99
(£119.84)
Creative Inspire T6100 5.1 Speakers - Retail £41.99
(£49.34) £41.99
(£49.34)
Sub Total : £1,305.81
Shipping cost assumes delivery to UK Mainland with:
City Link Parcel Next Day (Delivered Mon-Fri)
(This can be changed during checkout) Shipping : £24.95
VAT is being charged at 17.5% VAT : £232.88
Total : £1,563.64

Pic is easier to look at, also easier to see 2x of a product.

From overclokers uk ( you can search for same parts elsewhere if you can find it cheaper ).

Far superior to the original spec (double the hdd’s, more overclockable, better keyb&mouse, double the cores, better sound card ).
Will do at least 3 ghz guaranteed.

Do they put it together or is that for me to do? That computer looks fantastic, I think I might get rid of the raptor drives and maybe use the quad processor that is one up from that one, or is that not a good idea? Can this machine do SLi? I might wait and choose the two 8800GT’s option with the rest of this build.

For you to do, renember there are 2 raptors in my list you can always dump 1, it can’t do sli but it supports crossfire so if you really want 2 graphics cards ( wich imo is not worth it at all ) you can get 2x ati hd2950xt’s, but really, a single GTX can handle everything atm, and by the time it won’t, the next generation of graphics cards will be out, wich will blow away any sli/crossfire system away again, really believe me that sli isn’t worth it:
1: It doesn’t work in over 60 % of all modern games, old games don’t benefit at all, besides the vista x64 SLI drivers are still dodgy, resulting it BSOD’s, crashes, freezes, or single graphics peformance…
2: It only gives a 15-60% boost, its not like you’re going to a have a system 2x as fast, perhaps in 3dmark yes , but games don’t really support dual graphics cards that well, most games don’t support it at all and run it like with a single graphics card.
I wouldn’t use the higher quad, as it’s not the 95 watt edition, wich makes all the difference, lower power= less heat = more overclock.