Newbie: check and correct my build!


Feb 21, 2009
After a week of research I've settled on a list of parts that fits my budget. I would appreciate it if more experienced builders could look over the list and point out any obvious bottlenecks, inefficiencies, etc.

Please keep in mind that while my selection is flexible, an expensive upgrade is not likely to happen. This computer will see a good amount of gaming and HD movies, running 32-bit Vista. I am aware of the limited memory capacity in a 32-bit setup, but 64-bit is not an option due to compatibility issues.

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P Motherboard
- 1600Mhz FSB
- 1.8V dual-channel DDR2, up to 1366+MHz

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz
- 1333MHz FSB
- 6MB L2 cache

- 1066MHz dual-channel
- 5-5-5-15 timing
- 2.0 - 2.1V

XFX GeForce GTX 260 Black Edition
- 896MB, 448-bit 2300MHz GDDR3 memory
- 216 cores
- Core clock: 666MHz
- PCIe x16

Western Digital HDD, 500GB, 7200rpm, 16MB cache

LG DVD burner

Corsair 750W PSU

Lian Li ATX Mid Tower case

Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU heatsink/fan

A quick question, too: will the memory run reliably at 2.1V, even though the motherboard specifies 1.8V? Thanks in advance for any insight!


Feb 19, 2009
well, you could save more money if you go the AMD route...
Here's a triple core, which is cheaper than the Intel Dual-Core E8500

AMD triple-core
that's $119 as opposed to $189 for the one you picked

Intel dual-core

now, since you will need an AMD mobo if you choose to go AMD, for the same price
should be similar to the Intel one.

well, now it's DDR3, which will be a little more pricey, but with the processor being $119, you're at about the same price point as your Intel set-up and it will be more future-proof, seeing as DDR3 will take over DDR2

here's the Ram:

Nice build. I see you did your homework. :)

You might want to take a look at this HD down below, but other than that everything looks good. $79.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM


Feb 21, 2009

I'm more concerned right now with higher clock speeds for better framerates, rather than increasing multi-tasking potential. Also, I do eventually plan on upgrading to 64-bit in a few years when the infrastructure around it catches up, in which case I'll make sure I have 8GB of DDR2 memory. I can't imagine needing DDR3 to keep up with the newest software as long as I have 8GB.... or am I being naíve?

Thanks for the heads up. It would've been a mistake to go with the one I was looking at.
The memory should work fine. I would recommend DDR2 800 though. It is cheap and you can OC it for free.

+1 to the 640Gb WD cavair black. For sure the best drive for the $$

everything should work fine together. You surely did your homework.