Building new Computer for the first time, some help would be great!

Found 23rd May 2007
Hi all,

I've only just joined up here but have been checking the forums for a little while now and after reading some other very helpful posts thought I'd join up and ask for some advice myself.

I'm building my first PC as my current PC is massively out of date and struggles with pretty much every game now. The PC is going to be used for gaming mainly. Unfortunately I do need a new monitor as well, my 17" crt is absolute pants!

I'll explain a bit about what I was thinking before listing the parts. Basically the idea is to get the best motherboard and gfx card I can afford really. Then, when I need to upgrade I think I've got a few relatively cheap options, either put the second gfx card, upgrade the processor, upgrade the memory, or overclock it (although I find that quite scary as I've not looked into it at all). The idea is to keep this under £900 (not including the already paid for memory, as the missus won't see that!). I'm not planning on overclocking at all at the start so I'm hoping the standard fans on the cpu and gfx card will be ok.

Here's the parts I'm thinking of;
4gb corsair SMS memory (from an offer posted a few days back - already bought).
Leadtek geforce 8800gts 640mb (from another offer, but currently out of stock)
Samsung 22" SM226BW - £240 (
nForce 680i (think I've seen this for about £160 now, for the EVGA) OR
Asus P5W DH Deluxe LGA775 (about £115)
Core 2 Duo E6600 - £137 (from Magenta)
PSU - (Needs to be big enough to handle SLI 8800 gts in the future)?
Case - ?
DVD writer - possibly that LiteOn deal I've seen on here?
Hard Drive - ?

Thats about as far as I've got so far! My main concerns are that the case has to be big enough to house the 2 gfx cards and also make sure that the whole thing is kept cool enough, and that the power supply will be enough to save me ugrading it in the future (and as quiet as poss, but I spose the gfx card will probably be loudder anyway).

Any help or pointers/suggestions would be really appreciated.


  1. Misc
  1. Misc

try scan. email with your spec and they will give you a discount!

OC'ing is relatively easy... especially with the c2d e6600 - if its retail the fans it comes with should let you oc to way beyond stock speeds without any problems. My 6300 is air stable at just over 3 ghz.

Original Poster

great, thanks for the suggestion. I've emailed scan to check on a few of the prices.

Does anyone know a good case that will be big enough and has good cooling in please? Also, I've jsut read somewhere that the galaxy 1000w PSU isn't compatible with the EVGA nforce 680i sli motherboard? Not that I'm planning on getting that PSU but I wasn't aware a PSU had to be compatible, or that it couldn't be I suppose?

I'm thinking of going for a modular one about 700w I think (to make sure it'll cope in the future), maybe a hiper?

Thanks again

£160 just seems so much to me to spend on a motherboard, not that its a bad motherboard but its going to stretch your budget, when 650i series SLI motherboards can be had ]as low as £65
. You have slightly better performance on the 680i from what I've seen, but probably not as much gain as £100 spent elsewhere...

Antec cases are great - P180 is a very nice choice, albeit slightly unconvential in routing, and you should be able to get it for about £70. I'd guess you will be spending at least this amount on your PSU - make sure its 650W+, has 2 PCI-E connectors and is SLI certified.

The list here…tml shows the NVidia certified PSUs for a pair of 8800GTS's.

The Antec TruePower trio is at ]ebuyer for £81.93 before discount (add £10 to basket to get free delivery, order via GC for £10 off)

yes unless your seriously into overclocking a half the price mobo will be just as good

for the 8800 640mb depends what resolution u run with a new monitor

i run 1680x1050 and tbh my 7900gt or a x1950pro will run anything on it

both of them are more than half price of a 8800 640mb so u might wanna think about that

and 1 slight thing, i always advise people building a pc not to think ''ill build a really really top spec one to future proof it'' because technology especially computer stuff moves so quickly what u
built 6 months ago will start to get outdated, buying the best stuff does not necessarily mean u need it

the better option is to get a pc that suits your needs mixing and matchin component and price wise so u get a balance so when u wish to upgrade AGAIN you can use the money u saved
and sell of the parts u bought with minimal loss and build another one

i paid £220 for my 7900gt not so long ago and seriously i will NEVER pay that kind of money for a gfx again as a couple of months later it went down to £140 ish ROFL


Some good advice by muffin there, although most of your components are balanced. Good choice of CPU I reckon. What 640MB graphics card deal are you looking at getting? As you are looking at getting a 22" monitor (resolution 1680x1050) you may find the 320MB card good enough (that extra memory only really helps at higher resolutions at the moment) which will probably save you around £50 per card.
I recommend you get a decent after market cooler for your CPU, the ]Scythe infinity is at ebuyer for £28.79 (so about £24 delivered after GC discount if you add £1.21 to the basket). Well worth it if you plan to overclock - review ]here

Alternatively you could get a slightly ]cheaper cooler and ]DVD-RW on one order for £30 delivered after GC, still a very worthwhile step up from the supplied cooler.

I'd be tempted to get a pair of decent hard drives, either 320GB or 500GB each depending on you requirements, then you have the option of RAIDing them. A pair of ]these Seagate 7200.10s should cost about £91 delivered for 640GB of storage (backed by 5yr warranty).

Original Poster

Thanks for your help Jah and muffin.

A cheaper motherboard would definitely be a good idea and agree that this could easily start to press the budget a bit!

Jah, I'm planning on getting the LeadTek 8800gts 640mb (was about £203 with google checkout on some earlier offer but is still out of stock atm).

I do understand what you're saying about the gfx card muffin. Even years back when I bought my 6600gt it seemed too expensive and very quickly came down in price. The main reason for going for this card is I figure if I get he best I can now, by the time I want to pick another up for SLI it will have dropped alot in price, and also about £200 for one of those seems like a bargin. I'd probably hold off if I had to pay the £250 that they are going for elsewhere.

With that P180 case, I've jsut read some review (on hexus I think) and they were saying that space can get a bit tight in there due to the plastic tray thing?

That seems like a good price for the harddrives aswell. Again this is an area I've not really looked into much and know very little about tbh.

Basically I've been promising to replace my pc for the last year and a half and have just got the money together again (after a house move and few other bits) so want to make sure that what I build this time will last me for as long as possible, with very minimal upgrades. Although I'm not planning on overclocking as soon as it's built (as I figure the upgrade from my current pc, an athlon xp1800! will be so big that I can hold off), I will overclock in the future, so need to make sure that the parts are suitable for this.

Thanks again for all your help, it's really appreciated. I tend to read a fair bit about individual components like cpu, gfx card etc. but I'm flailing aroudn a bit when it comes to putting a whole package together.

The 320MB card is instock at ]ebuyer (works out £165 delivered) and may be even cheaper elsewhere. Definately worth considering - haven't seen any reviews or benchmarks where the 640MB card performs significantly better at resolutions below 1920 x 1200. Worth thinking about anyway, if you want the absolutely best value for money system.

I never built in a P180 myself but from what I've read they can take a little longer to setup (but then if its your first build thats not really an issue) but are well put together and thought out cases, should be fine for your setup. There are plenty of alternatives mind, but it is worth spending around 10% of your budget on the case and same again on PSU I'd say.

You will have the option of running the hard drive in RAID 0 or RAID 1 with any motherboard these days, and some let you use a combination setup. If the computer is to be used as a gaming system (and you are prepared to have over double the likelyhood of hard drive failure which would cause data loss) then running the drives in RAID 0 will give you the fastest hard disc transfers you will get for under £100. If you have no intention of raiding, having 2 hard discs mean you can store important data on both (an effective backup solution). However, you might find getting a single 500GB internal drive and an external backup hard drive a more appealing solution.

Just noticed ebuyer have the] P182 in for only a couple of quid more, its the updated version. Think they have sorted out some of the issues in the P180, gets very ]favourable ]reviews.

Original Poster

Nice one, thanks again for your help.

I'll post the final build and prices once I've decided and bought all the bits (waiting to hear back from the man at scan thing).


It is sometimes worth waiting for the scan bundle of the week.

They did have a mo/bo mem and cpu bundle on a couple of weeks back.

Take you time working out what the very best value is, if you split your orders and get from ebuyer\aria\svp a lot of things may be cheaper due to google checkout discount - Scan are very competitively priced, particularly their special offers, but even then its hard to compete with GC offer.

BTW The 640MB deal that you posted looks pretty good value. Still think given your monitor size you'd be as well getting the 320MB version for £40 less and spending that £40 on a decent cooler or even a faster CPU, but haven't added everything up too see where your budget is at.

If you want a motherboard with a nvidia chipset, the Abit Fatal1ty FP-IN9SLI impressed Custom PC last issue and they gave it 85% and it is less than £80 and is targeted at gamers.
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