First time builder looking for advice and feedback.

Hi everyone. I've never built a PC before but have decided to attempt it as it seems like i could easily get more bang for my buck by building rather than buying a premade at a higher price. I'm getting all parts from as I hear they are a very reputable dealer. To begin with I'll list all the parts chosen:

XION II XON-101 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450W Power Supply

ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

HITACHI Deskstar P7K500 HDP725032GLA360 (0A35411) 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

(2) PNY VCG86GTSXPB GeForce 8600GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Brisbane 2.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor

Rosewill RP550V2-S-SL 550W SLI Ready-ATX12V V2.01 Power Supply 115/230 V CSA,UL,TUV,FCC

A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

What I'm looking for is some honest feedback and/or advice. As I stated I'm a first timer, and am looking for a decent entry level gaming rig. I understand this is not the greatest set up by any means, but I'm on a very tight budget. The processer I know is by far not top of the line but I believe it will be sufficient until I can afford a better one. The mobo only runs sli at x8 x8, but my understanding is that there is not huge difference between x8 x8 vs. x16 x16. Too, the ram, while cheap has good reviews so I'm crossing my fingers. And finally, with the extra power supply, I don't think the 450 watt supply with the case will be enough, I wanted something known to support sli technology. I am going to be installing Vista 64bit in this system. So honestly, do I stand a chance with whats listed? Edit: forgor to mention optical drive. For that I'm using the drive from my old PC, its in fine working order, no known issues.
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  1. you're better off with ONE nice graphics card than 2 semi-ok ones in SLI. Get an 8800GT or something in that price range. It would better compliment your setup.
  2. I would just get one good video card than getting 2 weaker cards to run SLI with it. Just get a 8800 GT card this way you get price/performance for it. Trust me you'll get better gaming experience from it.

    As for AMD, I would go with Intel like the new E8400 or something. Just make sure that you get a motherboard that supports the E8400.
  3. For about $30 less than the 2 8600GTS256, you can get HD3850:

    that will destroy the 8600GTS:

    Even though yours is SLI. SLI isn't supported by all games.

    Then swap that crap psu out for a Corsair VX 450W:
  4. I just built a low budget AMD entry lvl gamer myself so I've already done alot of research on this. Spent like a year reading reviews and guides before I acually just built this last december and I am very happy with my rig so far. COD4 I get about 50 FPS in MP with all high settings and 1162 x 864 res on a 17" CRT. My rig is in my profile.

    Make sure you look into intel options before bitting the bullet with AMD. Some of the budget OCing options with intel are very impressive and after building I almost wish I had gone that route.

    As far as AMD low budget heres my advice on components.

    CPU- If you can afford it go with the 5000 black edition brisbane and like a $20-$30 CPU cooler. Great OCer and at $99.99 it's a great price. I've only had my 4000 for a month with a stable OC of 2.8GHz and I am already considering this CPU upgrade. If you are going the super budget route like I did, Brisbane 4200 or 4000 retail is fine but dont expect real high OCing with the stock cooler, 2.8 - 3.0GHz is very possible with good cooling.

    Mobo- I went with a Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H and I am happy with it. Seems very stable with nice OCing without being to overwhelming for a begginer. Hopefully someone can recommend some other good boards cause I don't know as much as alot of others do here about them.

    GPU- For sure a single 3850 or 3870, This is simply a no brainer ATM and even Nivida fanboys would have a hard time arguing against this.

    PSU- That Corsair VX 450w is a great choice. Another option is to watch Newegg for sales and rebates on Antec Eartwatts series since they have them frequently or get an Antec case with an included earthwatts PSU. I was able to get a EA380 for 20 bucks after the sale and rebate and it powers my system with a 3850 and OCed CPU just fine. Might want to get an EA430 thou just to be on the safe side.

    Ram- Well this is pretty dependant on what Mobo you choose. I really like my Transend Axeram DDR2 800 and it's pretty good OCing memory esspecially at $50 for 2x1GB but it's been out of stock at newegg for a couple weeks and I've been wanting to order 2 more gigs.

    Case- Thats personal preference. Just make sure it has some decent airflow and fan options and any features you desire.

    HD- Lots of options now in SATA 3.0Gb/s, IMO it comes down to what brand you favor.
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