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Author: TMFSkiii Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 649  
Subject: New puter Date: 2/13/2008 1:15 PM
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Looks like this board has been quiet lately, and so have I on the boards in general, so I'm going to try to kickstart both with my plans for my new home-brew PC in this board. I'd love to hear any comments on it.

Quick background: I have built my own pc's after I bought my first one about 15 years ago. I very nearly decided this time to just buy a pre-built pc after having a lot of troubles with my latest, but once I got those issues solved and realized there aren't that many good offerings out there, I decided to go the home-brew route again.

My goal with this new pc is to have a crazy fast cutting edge machine that will play FPS games silky smooth, be small enough to comfortably carry to LAN parties, and be as quiet as possible with minimal fan noise. Here is what I'm plannin' on:

Intel Quad core QX9650 CPU
- Pricey, but awesome tech (no silicon), and awesome fast

Asus P5E motherboard
- 8 phase power for cool high efficiency, and Asus makes the most solid boards

4GB Corsair DDR2 RAM
- DDR3 is still stoopid expensive, and you don't get all that much higher performance... for now

Gigabyte 8800GT 512MB video card w/heatpipe cooling
- Factory overclocked to 700Mhz

WD Raptor 150GB drive
- Small, but the fastest home drive available

Lian-Li PC-A05B case
- Smaller than normal, lightweight aluminum at only 12 lbs, and looks sweet

Zalman 750W power supply w/heatpipe

Thermalright 120 Ultra Extreme heat sink
- Gotta love the name, but this thing is supposedly the coolest of them all

Vista x64
- Going to try it out just to see how things go with gaming. Also the only way to see all 4GB of memory, and it seems to run smoothly here at work

Optical drive, no floppy, some sound absorbing foam, Creative X-fi card

That's about it. I can't wait to build it, should be sick fast.
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Author: xSixSigmaMBB Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 603 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/13/2008 4:39 PM
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Will an 8800 fit in a small case?

I've got an 8600GTS that sits in a Huge Alienware tower. It is VERY tight fitting.

I use a Q6600 Quad Core and it is PLENTY fast and will save you some bucks...

xSSMBB

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Author: BruceInCola Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 604 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/13/2008 4:51 PM
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If you are serious about the quiet part, get a passively cooled 8800GT instead of the one you listed. I just saw one listed on one of the major retailers (was it newegg?) about a week ago for about $250.

Also, isn't 750W PSU a little (ok, a lot) overkill for that configuration?

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Author: splotto Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 605 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/13/2008 5:12 PM
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Hello:

I just built 2 recently. 1 is my box and one was as a HTPC in my HT room.

I always check Ars Technica's latest guide before buying anything.

http://arstechnica.com/guides/buyer/guide-200801.ars

AnandTech, HARDOCP and Tech Report all have regular guides that I trust.

The overall consensus was that your applications won't get the benefit from Quad Cores. However, it didn't stop me from going that route.

The P35 boards seem to be the choice right now.

Lots of good systems to check out there.

Splotto

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Author: mmrmnhrm Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 606 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/13/2008 7:19 PM
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Quad Core: mmm... wish I could justify that, but in all honesty, I don't think many games can really take advantage of that kind of muscle. If you plan on doing video work, though, it would certainly come in handy.

Raptor 150G: I'd hold off on that, as apparently the 150G's are suffering some QC problems. The 74G's, though, should be rock solid. See www.storagereview.com.

Vista x64: Ewwwwwwwwwww :gurk: I'm using XP x64, and my Vista upgrade DVD is collecting dust. You can always upgrade once MSFT figures out how to write a real OS again, and I'm not aware of any games that really take advantage of DX 10.1 yet anyways.

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Author: TheDrake2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 607 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/14/2008 8:24 AM
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Quad Core: mmm... wish I could justify that, but in all honesty, I don't think many games can really take advantage of that kind of muscle. If you plan on doing video work, though, it would certainly come in handy.

IMO we are actually at a tipping point where more and more games are going to come out going forward optimized for two or more cores. I know that Crysis, Supreme Commander, and a few others already run better on a quad setup. Tom's Hardware always throws a Quad into the mix on their benchmarks. I thought of it this way, I wanted a dual core fast enough to play todays games, and as more and more games come out for multi-core, I will not need to upgrade as soon.

Plus, even if a game is optimized for 2 cores, you'll still have 2 cores free for OS/multitasking without spending that much money over an equivalent speed dual core model.

The Drake
Vista 64
Q6600 Quad 2.4Ghz
8GB DDR2 800
8800 GTS 640 OC
2x500 WD Raid 0
750W PS

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Author: TheDrake2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 608 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/14/2008 8:26 AM
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As long as you're not trying to put a GTX/Ultra in a smaller case you should be fine (they are extra long). Everything else looks good to me. I wish that I would have spent the extra money for an Asus, I always regret not doing that.

The Drake

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Author: xSixSigmaMBB Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 609 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/14/2008 8:40 AM
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Happy Balloons Drake...

Here is my recent update

Asus P5N-E
Q6600 Quad Core
2GB RAM
EVGA 8600GTS w/ 512mb RAM
650 watt Neo Power Blue

All stuffed into my full sized Alienware Dragon Tower. Kept my HDD's, Optical Drives, Samsung 930b LCD and Klipsch Pro Media 5.1 Surround speakers.

xSSMBB

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Author: splotto Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 610 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/15/2008 6:29 PM
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Hello:

Good article on getting the most out of Vista 64 and 8 gigs of ram.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/15/vista_workshop/

After reading it today I ordered 2 2x2gb kits of ram from newegg today.

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16820231122

Splotto

Q6600 Quad Core
Abit IP35 Pro
4 gig OCZ DDR2 (soon to be 8 gigs of GSKILL)
eVGA 8800GT SSC 512 Mb

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Author: TheDrake2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 611 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/16/2008 5:06 PM
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After reading it today I ordered 2 2x2gb kits of ram from newegg today.

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E16820231122


That's what I have.

The Drake

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Author: TMFSkiii Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 612 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/17/2008 1:12 AM
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I've got an 8600GTS that sits in a Huge Alienware tower. It is VERY tight fitting.

You're not kidding about those huge alienware towers. My friend has one and although it looks great, it is just enormous. He complains about how hard it is to move. I do believe the newer ones are smaller, but they don't look as good as the orginals.

I'm pretty sure all the 8600gts cards are dual slot, but most 8800gt's are single slot, so it should fit ok, as long as I don't go overboard with custom cooling for it.

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Author: TMFSkiii Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 613 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/17/2008 1:16 AM
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...get a passively cooled 8800GT instead of the one you listed.

Yah, I saw that one by ECS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814134035. It is only 650MHz clock speed though and I worry about it fitting in a smaller case with that huge heatsink.

Also, isn't 750W PSU a little (ok, a lot) overkill...

I think it is a bit more than I need, but I got burned by having a too-small power supply recently when I upgraded video cards and I don't want that to happen again a few years from now when some crazy power hungry video card that I have to get comes out.

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Author: TMFSkiii Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 614 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/17/2008 1:31 AM
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IMO we are actually at a tipping point...

Yah, I think thats right Drake. Quad core is just starting to make sense. Maximum PC magazine (great magazine!) recommends going quad now as more games and apps will start making use of it. I read something awhile ago about how Valve is starting to optimize their source engine for quad, and Gabe Newell said something about multicore making the most sense at 4 cores.

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Author: TMFSkiii Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 615 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/17/2008 1:43 AM
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Drake, I see you are running Vista x64. mmrmnhrm made some disgruntled noises at it earlier, and the latest issue of Maximum PC also gave it a thumbs down, more than once. What is your experience with it for games and home use?

For general office and software development my experience has been positive with really no problems other than a few apps not being compatible, and for some of those I was able to find workarounds. And with SP1 coming the end of this month on MSDN, I would think things should get better.

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Author: splotto Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 616 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/17/2008 7:26 AM
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You're not kidding about those huge alienware towers. My friend has one and although it looks great, it is just enormous. He complains about how hard it is to move. I do believe the newer ones are smaller, but they don't look as good as the orginals.

I'm pretty sure all the 8600gts cards are dual slot, but most 8800gt's are single slot, so it should fit ok, as long as I don't go overboard with custom cooling for it.


Ever since I can remember in my history of being a hardware/tweaking junkie I have favored a large tower with lots of room.

I would always go with a large server case to allow me to work inside it easily.

Splotto

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Author: splotto Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 617 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/17/2008 7:28 AM
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Drake, I see you are running Vista x64. mmrmnhrm made some disgruntled noises at it earlier, and the latest issue of Maximum PC also gave it a thumbs down, more than once. What is your experience with it for games and home use?

For general office and software development my experience has been positive with really no problems other than a few apps not being compatible, and for some of those I was able to find workarounds. And with SP1 coming the end of this month on MSDN, I would think things should get better.


I have been running Vista 64 for a few months now and I really like it.

I tried Vista when it first came out and my hardware simply wasn't up to it.

However, with a brand new box full of new hardware, x64 runs great. I haven't had a game that wouldn't play yet (Crysis, DDO, HL).

Splotto

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Author: TheDrake2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 618 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/18/2008 3:41 PM
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Drake, I see you are running Vista x64. mmrmnhrm made some disgruntled noises at it earlier, and the latest issue of Maximum PC also gave it a thumbs down, more than once. What is your experience with it for games and home use?

I can't really complain too much. I have an occasional app (game) crash, but the OS itself is stable (it was rock stable with 4GB). I am trying to track it to maybe overheating memory, but not sure. Quad core and 4+ GB of RAM really make the Vista experience better.

The Drake

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Author: mmrmnhrm Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 619 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/18/2008 4:01 PM
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My disgruntlement with Vista x64 mostly comes down to drivers. At present, I run a motley assortment of new and old, and one of the crankiest things I run into every time I want to upgrade something is whether or not it'll continue to work with something else. Case in point: My LG Vx8300 cell phone from Verizon. The thing works beautifully with my old HP laptop with XP Home, but it's nothing but a brick on my XP x64 desktop, because Verizon doesn't seem to think it's important enough to release a 64-bit driver for it. Seems rather silly to me, given that x64 is generally able to use 32-bit drivers, but hey, what do I know? I'm just a user trying to enjoy what I've already bought and paid for less than a year ago!

Since Vista itself is new, and has all sorts of new "protections" (that apparently are rather useless), I have no desire to get into another war with my computer trying to make my two printers, three cameras, scanner, and other various props and gadgets work. The stuff is functional now, so why change?

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Author: TMFSkiii Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 620 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/18/2008 11:13 PM
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Good to hear your positive experiences with vista x64 Drake and splotto, I'm going to definteily give it a try once the sp1 slipstream version shows up.

Either of you tried any of these games on Vista x64 with 4gb? These are the ones I'm playing now, and I'm hoping to run them with maxed out graphics and smooth as glass on a wicked fast new box:
- COD4
- Quake Wars
- TF2
- Overlord
- Some Battlfield games (BF1942, BF2, BF2142)
- FlatOut 2

I would assume if HL2 runs well then all the mod games like CS:S, Day of Defeat, episode 2, etc, will run smoothly as well.

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Author: TMFSkiii Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 621 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/18/2008 11:18 PM
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but it's nothing but a brick on my XP x64 desktop

Did you mean on your vista x64 desktop?

I think that if a vendor wants to get their vista drivers certified by MS they have to provide an x64 version as well. So if your devices have any vista drivers at all they *should* work the same on both vista x32 and x64.

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Author: TMFSkiii Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 623 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/18/2008 11:43 PM
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...*should* work the same on both vista x32 and x64.

Oops, I meant to say vista x86 and x64.

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Author: mmrmnhrm Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 624 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/19/2008 9:44 AM
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Did you mean on your vista x64 desktop?

Nope, I mean my XP x64 desktop, and I'm rather peeved about that. I've had the Vista x64 Business upgrade sitting in a desk drawer for nearly a year now, and it will continue to sit there at least until I'm relatively confident in SP1, or possibly even SP2.

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Author: TheDrake2 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 625 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/19/2008 1:08 PM
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Since Vista itself is new, and has all sorts of new "protections" (that apparently are rather useless), I have no desire to get into another war with my computer trying to make my two printers, three cameras, scanner, and other various props and gadgets work. The stuff is functional now, so why change?


I totally agree, don't upgrade, wait until you are ready for an all new 'Puter.

The Drake

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Author: splotto Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 626 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/19/2008 1:25 PM
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Hello:

The only real issue with games on Vista is the running rights which seem to crop up in older games (DDO).

Generally there is a workaround to be found on the game page which usually involves running the game as an administrator.

Splotto

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Author: TMFSkiii Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 628 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/22/2008 6:05 PM
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I believe vista64 has broader driver support than xp64, and is just easier to deal with overall.

A surprise to me, but MS just pushed Vista x64 SP1 down to me yesterday via windows update. I had thought it wouldn't be around until March. I decided to be a guinea pig here and installed it... Nothing much to report yet, I do have an error when I boot about SSDP discovery (universal plug and play?) that I need to track down. But everything appears to be working well so far.

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Author: XMFUberman Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 629 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/25/2008 9:08 PM
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Hey there!

Just built a new rig myself. Not so different from the one you built, except for a few philosophical differences:

1) I'm not going to move my computer around anymore--no LAN parties, I let the parties come to me ;) --so I went with a big, heavy, quiet case. I love it. It's the Antec P182.

2) Very few apps take advantage of multicores, but all apps take advantage of clock speed. I went with a faster dual core, with bigger cache, than a slower quad core. But I also made sure my motherboard would support the quad core if I upgrade later.

3) ditto on your choice of RAM. DDR3 does not make sense. Yet.

4) I still use a Raptor (10k) drive for my system/apps drive, and a slower 7200rpm SATA for data storage. I'm not sure the heat and noise of a faster drive is going to be worth it in a small case.

5) Seriously doubtful that your 8800GT will fit in an SFF case. I bought the exact same card, then pried the heatsink off of it and fit an aftermarket passive one. My cooling didn't get worse at all. The downside was the included adhesive for the RAM heatsinks was horrible, so I used superglue. Yeah, um....yeah.

6) I can't wait to hear how you like that heatsink. One thing to keep in mind: it is ginormous and heavy, and if you really are going to move your case around a lot, I'd be scared of cracking the die (or your motherboard).

7) That power supply is way overkill. Get a modular supply instead. They're wicked cool. I got the Enermax Liberty, which is semi-efficient.

8) I went with Vista x64 too, no problems so far. I need more RAM to really take advantage, though.

Josh

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Author: TMFSkiii Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 630 of 649
Subject: Re: New puter Date: 2/27/2008 1:27 AM
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Hey Josh, good to hear from you again. Yah, that Antec P182 is nice looking, and was the other case I was deciding between. A couple of my friends have it or the models just like it and they are real happy with it. The case I picked isn't a SFF, but it is smaller than a mid-tower, kind of a mini-tower I guess. I actually ordered it just yesterday before any of my parts so I can take a look at how things will fit.

I hear ya on the quad-core, but rather than pick between higher clock speed and more cores, I opted to go with both: a 3GHz quad-core. It's a little stupid pricey, but my current rig is almost 4 years old and the cpu is a part I don't upgrade much (ok, well I did once on this machine).

I actually have a colossal tuniq tower heatsink now and have had no issues moving the puter around, it is secured pretty well to the mobo. The thermalright has even more heatpipes, and between that and the cool running penryn core cpu, things should be running right chilly - I'll probably overclock it some too, it's begging for it.

The zalman 750 power supply does have modular cables, that is something I have really grown to like. Although I have heard folks question the smarts of having extra connectors for the higher current power supplies. I think 750 is a good size though, my current ps is 620 and I don't want to have to upgrade it in the next 3 years. Heck, I bet the new 9000 series from Nvidia arriving soon will have some whacky high power demands.

Cool to hear you are good too with Vista x64, that seems to be the sentiment here. You thinking about 8GB ram at all? It's so cheap now it seems a good idea to just go for it.

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