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Another - OMG I need help deciding on a MOBO and Memory

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flyboy

Registered
Joined
Dec 25, 2006
Sorry for the extremely long read here folks, but I’m a bit lost, need some assistance and don’t know of a better way of asking.

Ok. I’m driving myself nuts trying to figure out a decent first build. I play a few games (I like MS Flight Simulator, G3 RealFlight, FarCry and a few others) so I’d like to play with OC and think 3.4 – 3.8 Ghz out of a E6600 would be awesome. I also want to build something that I can use as an intro into HTPC (so the number of available PCI & PCIe slots is important when adding additional cards to support HTPC).

So far I’ve only purchased 2 items. LVM-37w3 37” Westinghouse 1080p monitor (I love this thing), and a Antec P150 Case (I didn’t read the reviews and realize there were PSU problems until after it had shipped). I live in Alaska and an RMA is way too expensive. If the PSU is bad, I’ll just have to replace it.

I can’t figure out what mobo and ram to get. I’ve been close to pushing the button on the ASUS P5B Deluxe/WiFi-AP, but backed out.

Like many of you, I want to future proof as much as possible because this hobby is getting pretty expensive. Today I read that ASUS has released a couple new boards that are especially designed for Vista.

http://www.tweaktown.com/news/6964/asus_announces_new_vista_edition_motherboards/index.html

I guess they come with a controller and special software but I’m not sure if it is important or useful for building HTPC. Like the P5B Deluxe, they are designed around the P965 Northbridge and ICH8R Southbridge. From what I understand this combination is great if you plan to use Intel’s Matrix Raid and historically they’ve been pretty stable. So far, unless someone convinces me otherwise, I believe I’d like to stay with the P965/ICH8R.

Is it worth waiting on a review of one of these boards?

So here’s what I’m considering for my build. Any suggestions would really be appreciated:
DISPLAY - LVM-37w3 37” Westinghouse 1080p
I’m in love with this thing

CASE - Antec P150 Case
Might modify to accommodate 8800 GTX.

PSU - Antec Neo HE 430 PSU
If this has the reported bugs and fails like others have reported, I’ll replace it with a PC Power & Cooling Ultra-Quiet SILENCER® 750 QUAD

MOBO - 1-ASUS P5B Deluxe – or one of the other P965 boards mentioned above
Is the P5B Deluxe/WiFi mobo the same identical board but with WiFi added on?
Is the WiFi removeable? - If you get the mobo with WiFi and later on they come out with better WiFi, can it be removed or upgraded? I understand 802.11n is right around the corner. Faster and 3 times the distance.

CPU - Conroe Core 2 Duo E6600 CPU

RAM - 2 X 1 Gb
DDR2 667, 800?
Does more expensive RAM really make much difference?
I have no idea what to get. I’ve read somewhere to stay with D9GMH based ram because it works good, OC’s well and can be used in a wide range of mobos. Not sure if that’s true or not.
I understand RAM has to be on the list of recommended ram modules for the specific mobo in use?
Some report Kingston value ram works great, but I don’t know.
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory? I hear it will OC well.
2 x Corsair XMS DDR2-800 Memory - 2 GB Total
I’m really looking for real specific suggestions here

VIDEO GRAPHICS CARD - Nvidia XFX GeForce® 8800 GTX
I’ve heard this is fairly quiet compared to the other 8800 GTX boards. The HDD cage in my case will have to be modified (notched) to accommodate the long card. I could try the 8800 GTS or wait for a release of a shorter card that performs as well as the GTX. Anyone have an idea of any that are close to being released? Wait for DX10?

HDD - Two WD Caviar SE16 WD5000KS - 500GB drives Running Matrix Raid
1st partition OS & program partition 40-60Gb (20-30gb ea) Raid 0
2nd partition (remainder of drives) music, family movies, photos etc (450Gb +) Raid 1

OPTICLE – No idea what to get here.
Should be SATA and have a white face to match my case. I have an old IDE that I guess might be possible to continue using if mobo will support it.

TV/FM RECEIVER - VBOX Cat’s Eye 164e Dual ATSC Terrestrial HDTV & FM Radio Receiver, PCI Express X1
Not sure if this is going to do everything I need or not. I’d like to receive
HD and non-HD tv from Cable
HD and non-HD from broadcasts
Satellite
FM Stereo broadcast & cable

SOUNDCARD - I have an old Sound Blaster Audigy 2 that I may use until I figure out a better solution for HTPC, music, movies and gaming.

COOLING – One 120 mm and two 92 mm TriCool case fans + PSU fan. MOBO & CPU will use standard factory cooling for now. ($$)

REMOTE CONTROL – I’m not sure what to do for remote control of HTPC functions. I need to do some more research on this.

-------

Well folks, andy recommendations? Mobo, memory, etc....
 
OP
F

flyboy

Registered
Joined
Dec 25, 2006
Well, I didn't get many answers to this thread, but several people helped out on various others. Here's what I ended up getting so far!

:beer: