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Newbie - Black Friday Build ($1300)

Last response: in Systems
November 26, 2008 8:51:24 PM

Hello all! This is my first post, and I'm looking to get some advice before I make my purchases.

I have about $1300 to spend, and I'm looking to get a good gaming PC that will last me 4 years or so without much replacement (maybe video card).

I plan on trying to buy things from Fry's Black Friday sale, as I'm hoping they put some good components on sale. But if not, Newegg has things on sale. My problem is, I have an idea of what I want, but I've not built my own system before, and I don't really know how to compare parts for what I need them for. I want a good out-of-the-box system, one that I don't have to mod or overclock. A little room for mild overclocking later would be nice, but is by no means necessary; I would just as soon have it be a little cheaper with no room to overclock.

I have a 19" at 1440x900. Might pick up a 21" if I see one for cheap enough.

I was looking at:

GPU: 234.99 Asus Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5

CPU: 319.99 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550

I was hoping to find a good CPU/Mobo deal at Fry's like this one: Mobo + CPU that would get me a good price. that would put me at only $400.00 for CPU + mobo, and then a $15 rebate.

RAM is cheap, I plan to get 8GB of DDR2 to match whatever mobo/CPU I get. For example:

I'm thinking of $160 2x 500GB in RAID0.

I don't know anything about cases/power supplies. I need help there.

Thanks for reading this, any tips or recommendations would be appreciated!

And I also need a copy of Vista 64 bit. Should add $100 to my total.
November 26, 2008 9:57:17 PM

Do I need to put more information? I can play this by ear but knowledgeable advice would make me feel a lot better haha.
November 26, 2008 10:25:42 PM

am I too late....?

Right...a case comes in many form factors ATX,extented ATX,midi and super tower, there are someothers for the real small computer cases, there is alot more than that by the way but thats just the basics you need to know

power supply units thats easy not computer unless tri SLI or crossfire needs 1kw power supply... best companies are PC power and cooling, be quiet, corsair, seasonic, tagan etc...

if oyu want anymore advise(guaidence) please feel free to post... it seems to me you only has a basic idea so tell me what you want to do with this computer I know that its gaming but any game in particalure and at what level, in other words do you want it to run EVERYING maxed out in games etc...if that I might be able to point you towards the right companets for you, but it will be in british pounds I m affried=/ unless i go round newegg, but thats all I know that is on dollars..

Related resources
November 26, 2008 10:35:12 PM

No you are not too late, and thank you for your reply.

Space is not a premium with my case, so do I need to buy a case that matches the form factor of my motherboard?

I figure I can go with a 700 watt PC Power PSU.

I don't need to max everything out, I just want a system that runs the games of today on high (bioshock, etc.) and meets recommended system requirements for a good while. I do not care one bit about "maxing" any games. I want good performance for my money, and enjoyable gaming for several years.
November 26, 2008 10:46:34 PM

If your going for long term and have $1300 why not go with an i7?

i7 920 $300
mobo $200
ram $200
vid card $350
PSU / Case $150
vista OEM $100
HD: $100

anyway, I think you could go that rout too but you probably won't find any great deals on black friday b/c it is new technology
November 26, 2008 10:47:17 PM

okay. personly I would go with the HD4850 is a good card at these resloutions belive me, there are loads of reviews, it should be able to handle BIOSHOCK CALL OF DUTY 5 on maxed seetings but not crysis due to the engine of the game..

I don't think 700watt will be nesscery, unless you plan on crossfiring than you will need the power supply unit to have 4 PCIe connectors to be safe. go around the companies i metnioned for that and compare reviews etc

your CPU is nice make no mistake about that.... i would go for a top end P45 chipset but than that top end P45 mobo i was thinking about you could get a X48 chipset for about the same price, on DDR2

yes you need to make sure the mobo will fit the case...if oyur going for multi GPU with AMD/ATI you will need a good case with a good air flow becasue they get HOT and I mean hot

so look alone the lines of the antec 900s or thermaltake armors or simplier to that

I will be looking around newegg for the componets, but I think the HD4870 is too much too be honest for that resloution unless your planning to stick a massive HD 42ich on it than a HD4870 will be ideal after a while :p 
November 26, 2008 10:55:59 PM

I don't plan to go i7 because the price premium for DDR3/mobo. I figure I'll just upgrade in about 4 years anyway.

I'm probably going to grab a 1680 x 1050 monitor. Would the 1GB 4850 be a better buy than the 512MB 4870? Depending on the sales I might also get a GTX 260.

Hmm so if I get a nice case, will I need to buy a replacement power supply?

I'm pretty settled on that CPU. To me it looks like the right price and performance for what I want.
November 26, 2008 11:22:17 PM

yes I7 is very expensive and it seems to be a pointless upgrade last time I checked

yes you will need a good power supply unit, as for your case get that without a power supply unit

teh HD4850 can hold its own at that resolution however there is a toxic version, that an awsome little card at that reslotuion the sapphire HD4850 toxic

and a corsair HX650 power supply that should do the trick the mobo i would go for asus, gigabyte, DFI or foxcon, msi to an extent but I no longer turst them x_x

the chipsets you should look at if your not bothred about performace too much is the P45 chipsets...

I think a midi ATX case would do for you something like a thermaltake armor Jr or NXZT something like that.

too cool your CPU I would go with something along the lines of a OCZ venetta 2

what operating system you going to get ? if oyur going to have more than 4Gb of RAM you should get 64bit os vista home preuim or ultimate don't really matter much
November 27, 2008 12:11:43 AM

Junk the 8gig of memory idea and put the extra towards a video card with 1gig memory on it. ( 4870 1gig ) It should help when you crank up the goodies. ( AA/AF etc ) I tried 8gig over 4gig in the system memory department........... not worth it. Only helped Crysis load a little faster....... in game........ iffy as to whether it actually did anything to be honest. I have the 512/4870........ I replaced it. the 512/4870...............
November 27, 2008 3:54:35 AM

I didn't realize the benefits of >4GB RAM were so small. I suppose I will get 4GB and get more later if I feel I need it :) 

The 1GB 4870 seems like a pretty good deal. Is that what is generally recommended?

Load times have long been the bane of my existence. Is RAID0 really worth it?

I really don't know much about the differences in chipsets in motherboards.
November 27, 2008 5:46:50 AM

I've been using Proximan's parts list like a bible, great info in general and power supply choices specifically for ya.
November 27, 2008 6:09:14 AM

dijedil said:
I've been using Proximan's parts list like a bible, great info in general and power supply choices specifically for ya.

Those are parts that I like, and are generally well-priced... I can't always keep up on the temporary deals. Others here will have great recommendations as well. That's the real power of this forum, that we compliment each other and occasionally argue about stuff ;)  Everyone wins in the end.

Chaos, you seem to have a good plan. The only thing I think you might need help on is the RAM, case, and PSU.

Looking at my parts list will give you a good range of power supplies to look for on Friday.

Looking at my Guide to Choosing Parts will help equip you for that shopping frenzy a bit more, and give you some more to think about on the RAM. I also outline what makes a good case.

November 27, 2008 7:11:25 AM

8Gb is pointless at the moment save your money and saying that DDR3 is as well =/ althrough its cheaper now due to I7, the motherboard has a intergrated RAID contorler on board, all you need to do is going into BIOS and tell it RAID, than set it up using the raid controll, this pops up after the bios post screen, you need to be fast to get into it. Its not on the screen for long I know asus one is alt-J I think.
November 27, 2008 2:38:08 PM

I ordered the Antec 900 because it was such a good deal at $60, and got vista on sale for $80. I'll look at your parts list to get a better idea of what's a good deal and what's not.

Thank you all for your help :) 
November 27, 2008 6:44:15 PM

Last question- I ordered the ASUS P5Q Pro, and how do I know what RAM will work with it? I like the look of the corsair 4GB for $25 but I'm not sure if it will work.


Nevermind, checked the ASUS website. Thanks again everyone :)