Need help please...

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Postby Cernos » Thu Mar 29, 2007 8:53 pm

I've just built a new system for a family member based on the Asus P5B-E and Intel 6300, 2GB DDR2 and Geforce 7600GT and it's a very nice setup (made me very jealous, wish it was my own system). A few quick points about your proposed build:

Yep you ned PC2-6400 DDR2 memory for the P5B-E. Don't even consider 1GB, 2GB should be considered a standard for any new system, especially if you plan on using Vista (and you should). Anything less and you might as well not bother upgrading. You can get 2GB of Corsair PC2-6400 from scan.co.uk for about £120 currently, which is pretty good for branded memory.

80GB hard drive is nowhere near enough unless this is just the system drive and you'll be adding a larger data drive as well. If you're just fitting the one drive then 250GB is a bare minimum, something like a Western Digital 320GB (Raid Edition version for extra reliability) is ideal. Personally I would use a WD Raptor 74GB as system drive, with a WD Caviar RE 320GB as data drive, but that would be an expensive setup.

Go Windows Vista now, not later. Vista is now pretty stable (I just spent a week testing it and didn't run into any problems at all with hardware or any current versions of software) and drivers are settling down. But it needs a clean install. This is very important. If you try and upgrade XP to Vista things rapidly go pear shaped, don't even consider trying to install XP now and upgrade to Vista later. Besides, if you're buying a new 64-bit processor and motherboard, makes little sense to install an old 32-bit OS, so think ahead and put Vista 64-bit on it. Cost wise, an OEM version of Vista Home Premium 64-bit (don't get Basic version whatever you do) is just as cheap as XP Home and heaps better.
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Postby Gandelf » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:36 pm

Cernos wrote:I've just built a new system for a family member based on the Asus P5B-E and Intel 6300, 2GB DDR2 and Geforce 7600GT and it's a very nice setup (made me very jealous, wish it was my own system). A few quick points about your proposed build:

Yep you ned PC2-6400 DDR2 memory for the P5B-E. Don't even consider 1GB, 2GB should be considered a standard for any new system, especially if you plan on using Vista (and you should). Anything less and you might as well not bother upgrading. You can get 2GB of Corsair PC2-6400 from scan.co.uk for about £120 currently, which is pretty good for branded memory.

80GB hard drive is nowhere near enough unless this is just the system drive and you'll be adding a larger data drive as well. If you're just fitting the one drive then 250GB is a bare minimum, something like a Western Digital 320GB (Raid Edition version for extra reliability) is ideal. Personally I would use a WD Raptor 74GB as system drive, with a WD Caviar RE 320GB as data drive, but that would be an expensive setup.

Go Windows Vista now, not later. Vista is now pretty stable (I just spent a week testing it and didn't run into any problems at all with hardware or any current versions of software) and drivers are settling down. But it needs a clean install. This is very important. If you try and upgrade XP to Vista things rapidly go pear shaped, don't even consider trying to install XP now and upgrade to Vista later. Besides, if you're buying a new 64-bit processor and motherboard, makes little sense to install an old 32-bit OS, so think ahead and put Vista 64-bit on it. Cost wise, an OEM version of Vista Home Premium 64-bit (don't get Basic version whatever you do) is just as cheap as XP Home and heaps better.


Thanks for that I appreciate it. The reason why I was only considering 80GB drive is because I don't intend to install much on it. I'm not into buying loads of games and stuff. Even at present I manage fine with a 40GB main HD and an old 20GB HD for installing stuff to etc that I don't intend keeping. So I figured 80GB would be plenty.

With Vista 64-bit, will I still be able to run old software, like my Office XP and stuff?

Edit: Can't believe you built virtually the same machine I'm intending to build! Spooky!

Edit No. 2: What do you reckon of this MEMORY?
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Postby Gandelf » Thu Mar 29, 2007 9:52 pm

The other thing please, what PSU should would be decent?
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Postby Xest » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:12 pm

Gandelf wrote:The other thing please, what PSU should would be decent?

Shouldn't need too high a wattage for your system, I'd say 400w max.

Other than that, go for one that runs as quiet and cool as possible. Modern PSUs are just getting idiotic in terms of the amount of heat and noise they produce to the point they're arguably the most annoying component of the computer when it comes to keeping your room cool and quiet.
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Postby Gandelf » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:16 pm

Thanks. I already have a 400W PSU.
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Postby Cernos » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:19 pm

80GB might be more than you need now but it won't be in a year or two, and definitely not enough for Vista. An 80GB drive is £30 and a 250GB drive is £45. It's not worth gimping the future proofing of your system for £15. Besides, the 16MB cache on a WD Caviar RE 250GB will make a noticeable difference over the 8MB cache on a standard 80GB drive. Also, make sure you get a SATA II (SATA300) drive, not IDE. Very important that.

Vista 64 will run most things that were written natively for XP. There are some exceptions of course (mostly in the bloatware department) but usually nothing that installing the latest update patch won't fix. There's some good lists out there on the web which you can check your favourite applications against just to be sure. I didn't run into any problems. Office XP definitely runs fine.

That Geil memory looks fine, good brand.

As for PSU, would say 500W would suffice if you're not going to be dangling lots of extra drives and peripherals off of your system. I used a Coolermaster iGreen 500W and when I entered all the various components into one of the online power usage checkers this was twice the spec I needed (but that's good, don't want to be pushing things to the limit).
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Postby Cernos » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:23 pm

Gandelf wrote:Thanks. I already have a 400W PSU.


Is it ATX 12v v2.0+ ? You'll need a power supply that supports this for any of the Core 2 Duo motherboards.
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Postby Gandelf » Fri Mar 30, 2007 11:58 am

Cernos wrote:Is it ATX 12v v2.0+ ? You'll need a power supply that supports this for any of the Core 2 Duo motherboards.


Not sure without checking. My current PSU is AMD approved and I use the Athlon XP2600+ (Brarton) atm.

Been thinking of getting a new one anway, because the one I use now is about 5 years old. Also, I'd like one that has the big 12cm fan on the underside, which I think may help draw heat from the top of the PC.

What about chassis fans with the DUO2? If it runs cooler than the Athlon XP, will I be able to get away with just the processor cooler, or will I need an intake fan an an exhaust fan?
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Postby Cernos » Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:03 pm

Gandelf wrote:Not sure without checking. My current PSU is AMD approved and I use the Athlon XP2600+ (Brarton) atm.

Been thinking of getting a new one anway, because the one I use now is about 5 years old. Also, I'd like one that has the big 12cm fan on the underside, which I think may help draw heat from the top of the PC.


If your system is more than a 1-2 years old it's highly unlikely your PSU is ATX v2.0 or better. Also it probably doesn't have SATA power connectors (though this can be got around with convertor leads usually supplied with the motherboard). So it sounds like you need a new PSU (in which case make sure it is ATX v2.2 and go for 500W for a bit of future headroom).

What about chassis fans with the DUO2? If it runs cooler than the Athlon XP, will I be able to get away with just the processor cooler, or will I need an intake fan an an exhaust fan?


Core 2 Duo does run cooler than Athlon and previous Pentiums and the stock Intel cooler does a good job. But any processor generates heat, plus there's heat from the graphics card and hard drives to consider, so your case really should have at least a good exhaust fan and ideally an intake fan too. Silly to have a motherboard melt down on a hot summers day for the sake of a few inexpensive fans.

The case I just used for a system build is the Coolermaster Mystique 631 which is an aluminium case with some really nice features and is very easy to work with. It comes supplied with a 120mm exhaust and a 120mm intake fan, all whisper quiet and perfect for Core 2 Duo. It's not cheap at £70 but money invested in a good case is money well spent as a good case is a pleasure to work with and keeps everything nice and cool, prolonging the life of your components. I never skimp on the case when building a system.
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Postby Gandelf » Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:11 pm

Thanks for your help Cernos. You've saved my life—you really have!
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