First System Built

Greets everyone!

I'm building my first ever desktop gaming PC and what better place to come get criticized (constructively of course, right? :)) than here!?

I'll admit off the bat that I am no hardware guru so please excuse any newbie mistakes you see listed below.

I have looked pbmikez Gaming PC for $1500 Budget thread and I have compared what I've seen there with what I had and changed it up a bit.

Please let me know what you think and how I could improve. I'd prefer to buy from Mega Computers here in my hometown to save on shipping and they've also got lower prices on everything compared to TigerDirect and NCIX.

The things I'm currently iffy on are cooling, MoBo, and a case. I don't want to pay for blue LEDs in my case but rumour has it that full-sized cases are best for air flow which makes perfect sense to me.

Motherboard: ASUS M3N-HD/HDMI $160:

There is a deluxe version of this board here: but I was told that I won't see much difference between the SLI versions.

CPU: AMD Anthlon 64 X2 6400+ (125W) AM2 3.2GHz $173:

RAM: OCZ DD2 PC2-6400 4gb (2x2048) SLI-Ready $114:

I am wondering if I should spend the extra cash and get 4x1gb sticks instead of 2x2gb?

HD: Seagate Barracuda SATAII 500GB 7200.10 w/32MB $88:

Graphics: BFG GeForce 9600GT OC (675Mhz) nVidia 512MB GDDR3 PCI-E x2 $370:

I know there will be comments about this and I gladly welcome this. I realize that this piece of my PC is probably the most important for gaming and I certainly want the best bang for buck!

PSU: OCZ GameXStream 700 Watt $127:


I know I'll probably need more cooling but I have zero idea what to look for and I wasn't sure which cases were best for airflow so I am very open to suggestion.

Thanks for reading and also for any advice in advance! I hope I didn't miss anything!
11 answers Last reply
More about first system built
  1. excellent hard drive choice

    for the ram i would choose 800mhz, instead of 1000mhz, save a little money and simply overclock what you have. stick with 2x2gb, it will be much easier to upgrade in future.

    the mobo is good. i would also recommand the msi k9a2 platinum. it's a pretty great overclocker.

    i've had a good experience with the power supply. its been running great for over 8months now.

    cpu? 6400 is a bit expensive plus not much room left to overclock. think about getting the amd 5000be and overclocking it. it's really easy to overclock it. but if you have the money then stick with 6400, or get a phenom 9850 with unlocked multiplier.
  2. If its a gaming PC, why not go Intel? I'd say get a E8200 and OC it to 3.5 easy, and instead of paying 370$ for 2x 9600's, i'd wait for the 4870 or GTX280 which will both be in your card budget, or getting the 8800GTS for way less, if you can get the same performance, 1 card is always better than 2.
  3. I went AMD because I was reading that they're easier to OC.

    As for 2 cards being better than one... is it not better to have two cards being accessed at the same time versus one card? Theoretically it should be faster?
  4. sli has less advantages than you think. it doesn't scale very well. that means you will not be getting 2x the performance or even 1.5. it's moslty used for large memory when you are playing on really high resolutions. i'm not all that sure when it comes to nvidia cards, but there is most likely a single card that can outperform the two sli cards that you will buy.

    as far as amd being easier to overclock, not sure about that. 5000be amd is definetly easy to overclock, 6400 would be harder to get really high clocks, since ur very near the limit. and the new phenoms don't overclock well, my phenom 9500 @2.5ghz is barely stable. 2.6ghz is not stable, that is coming from 2.2ghz. amd be versions are easy to overclock since they have unlocked multiplier. but then again there are also intel processor that are easy to overclock. i hear people saying good things about q6600.
  5. The Core2 CPU's are ridiculously easy to overclock, and will outperform any available AMD chip currently on the market by a wide margin, even at lower clock speeds. For $20 more than the AMD CPU, you can get a Core2 Wolfdale 3.0 ghz that a blind monkey could oc to 3.6 ghz and that'll annihilate any AMD chip.
  6. Thanks for the input so far.

    I'll stick with my RAM, HD, PSU, CD/DVD.

    For my graphics card I referenced this article:,1805-4.html

    What would you then recommend instead and can you show me that it will outperform?

    For the processor, here's the $194 Intel modode mentioned:

    As for mobo how about this one? Supports my 1066 RAM and SLI if I decide one day to go that route, EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i FTW SLI ATX Intel Motherboard:

    If not, what else what you recommend?

    If I may ask, could I also get some recommendations on cooling and a case that provides good air flow and no blue LEDs? :D

    Lastly, it seems from what I've seen on this site that XP still outperforms Vista... should I stick with XP for now or just switch to Vista?

    Thanks again everyone I sincerely appreciate all the help so far.
  7. I have read reviews on good sites that reported that after the service pack Vista is just as good for gaming as XP.

    See this article on ExtremeTech,2845,2304022,00.asp

    The final line is :
    It took about a year and a half, but the performance gap between Vista and its forerunner has finally evaporated.

    Also, if you are looking for a good, simple case, you might consider the Antec Sonata III - with an excellent Earthwatts 500x PSU - that should handle all your power requirements unless you do go SLI - and on sale for only $80 AR with free shipping. I also like the eSata on the front panel.
  8. Okay, here's an updated list. modode, I stole some stuff from your thread, thanks ;)

    CD/DVD: LG GH20NS10 20X DVDRW Black SATA OEM $32

    HD: Seagate Barracuda SATAII 500GB 7200.10 w/32MB $88

    RAM: OCZ DD2 PC2-6400 4gb (2x2048) SLI-Ready $114

    PSU: OCZ GameXStream 700 Watt $127

    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3 GHz (1333FSB 6MB L2 Cache) $214 - I will attempt my first over clock on this CPU

    Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3R LGA 775 Intel P35 $120


    EVGA 123-YW-E175-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i FTW SLI ATX Intel Motherboard $189 was what I originally looked at, depending whether I go SLI or not.

    Case: Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003BWS Black Full Tower Case w/ 25CM Fan $155

    CPU Cooling: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler $27

    Graphics: BFG GeForce 9600GT OC (675Mhz) nVidia 512MB GDDR3 PCI-E x2 $370

    TOTAL: $1297

    Now I have a case, hopefully sufficient cooling, an Intel Processor/Mobo so I think I'm good to go in all respects except maybe graphics? What else could I possibly do with that money and get better video for?

    If I can go with 1 card to outperform the 2 I currently have, I can probably save money on 1 card and like $70 on the Mobo too, any recommendations please?
  9. Here's another updated list with the 500W PSU, but a 600W is only another $15 or so:

    Motherboard Asus P5K Socket 775 Intel P35 ICH9 Chipset $134

    CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3 GHz $215

    Video Card BFG GeForce 8800GTS OC (675Mhz) 512MB GDDR3 PCI-E $240

    RAM OCZ DDR2 PC2-8000 Platinum XTC 2x2048MB $115

    Case Thermaltake VA8003BWS Armor Super Tower $180

    HD Seagate Barracuda SATAII 500GB 7200.10 w/32MB $88

    CD/DVD LG GH20NS10 20X DVDRW Black SATA OEM $32

    PSU OCZ StealthXStream 500W Gamer PSU $63

    Total: $1067

    Hopefully this is the best looking list yet?

    Is 500W going to be enough power? Should I go 600W instead?
  10. 500w will be fine, but id get the biggest PSU just in case you wanted to update, 9600GT SLi is nice but SLi 8800GTS would be better. Remember the 9900 and 4870 are on their way out and theyll outperform anything youre looking at
  11. If you are already planning on going SLI then you should go with a PSU of at least 600w.
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