Advice On New PC Spec Please

  almara 19:34 03 Apr 2008

I am thinking of replacing my PC and was proposing to go for one that’s custom built to give me the greatest flexibility. After a lot of research I’m leaning towards a company called Cougar Extreme (very good reviews in PC Advisor) and have put together the following spec with them:-

Intel Core 2 duo E8400 3.00ghz 6mb cache
4gb Kingston (4x1gb) DDR2 667
500gb SATA hard drive
Colors 550 watt Silent PSU
512mb 8600GT Nvidia DDR DVI graphics card
C2D -Asrock Conroe-Glan 1333fsb-DDR667x2 non integrated motherboard
2 Samsung DVD +/- re-writers
Floppy disk drive
19 inch DVI HannStar monitor AG191
Microsoft remote keyboard & mouse wireless 3000
Integrated sound card
Windows XP Pro 32bit OS
PCI firewire card
Internal card reader

Total price, delivered, £704

Never having gone for a custom built PC in the past I’m a little nervous about doing so and would welcome views on the combinations I’ve put together in my spec and any comments from anyone who has any experience of Cougar. The price certainly seems competitive - Dell for example would be looking for another £150 for the same spec.

I have also decided to stick with XP after all the reports I’ve seen on Vista and am looking at the 32bit version of XP Pro thinking that this would be better for most of the software (some old) which I’m running. However, would welcome any views on whether the 64bit version might be better.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 19:40 03 Apr 2008

Have you spoken to Cougar as they are very helpful.


  User-312386 19:42 03 Apr 2008

1 You have tomuch RAM for 32 bit Operating system. XP cant handle anything over 3GB so its a waste with 4GB. If you went for 64Bit then that would be OK.

2 Dont skimp on a cheap PSU, get a well known branded one such as hiper click here or Corsair click here you won't regret it.

What are you going to use the Machine for?

  Technotiger 19:46 03 Apr 2008

Yes, I would go with Cougar. However, "integrated sound card", correct me if I am wrong but I have always understood 'integrated' to mean, on the Motherboard - not a separate Sound Card. I would advise a decent Sound card to round off the Specs, something out of the Creative stable.

  The Kestrel 19:52 03 Apr 2008

There are a number of forum members, including myself, who have purchased PCs from Cougar. My personal experence of them has been excellent, both in terms of the build quality and their customer service. If you are unsure of the spec you have chosen, give them a ring. Someone with experience of building PCs, not a sales person, will talk you through your spec and discuss your needs and suggest alternatives where appropriate.

  mrwoowoo 20:32 03 Apr 2008

If you want 4gb of ram go with 2x2gb sticks as it will perform as it should due to being dual channel.Also ,i expect it's cheaper.
It's not a waste having 4gb of ram. Yes you will only benefit from 2.85gb - 3.25gb of it due to 32bit only able to address 4gb in total,but it will still be slightly better than 3GB.
Would go to a 700w psu,if you can afford it,although it is sufficient if you are not into gaming and don't intend to upgade your gpu in the future, as that card is starting to struggle on the new games.
The nvidia 9600gt is out,and around £105,and is only slightly down performance wise on the 8800gt.
And it only needs a 400w psu.

  almara 20:15 04 Apr 2008

Thanks to everyone who replied to my post - your help is much appreciated. Taking on board everything said I’m thinking of making the following changes to my spec:-

Reduce memory and go for 2Gb Corsair Memory DDR2 800 2x1Gb.

Change PSU to Corsair Silent VX450Watt.

Change motherboard to QC - Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 - 1333fsb, DDR1333x4 non intergrated.

Add sound card - Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 4 PCI 7.1.

This will up the price a little but should still keep me within budget. I’ve stuck with my original choice of graphics card - I’m not in to gaming - and because I think it will be sufficient for me and also to upgrade would be just too costly, with the other changes.

I think I’ll discuss my spec with Cougar to get their views and also because I’m undecided on a case - ideally I want one that will give me the firewire port and at least one USB port at the front.

  Technotiger 20:23 04 Apr 2008

I don't think you can go far wrong with your revised options. I say, go for it.

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