First System Build: Is everything at least compatible?

So, i've decided i want to build a computer. Becuase of my limited income i can only really afford a computer thats a bout 800-900 dollars (including (sadly) Vista and a Monitor).

Sadly, i'm a gamer and i want to be able to run the latest games. (They don't have to be on highest settings though)

I've come up with this Rig and i have a few questions.

Foxconn ELA LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Pentium E5300 2.6GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E5300

CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)

Rosewill R230-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
(I know its crappy looking, but i wanna play on my computer not look at it!)

Power Supply:
Rosewill Stallion Series RD550N-2SB-SL-BK 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply

Hard Drive: Western Digital 320MB
CD/DVD Drive: Some cheapo LITE-ON (17$)
Vista Home Premium OEM Edition
A 19 inch Acer Monitor

And Finally, Graphics Card:
SAPPHIRE 100225L Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

Now, i have a few questions since this is my first time buiding:
1. Vista -Retail or Vista -OEM? I do NOT want to spend 222$ on vista, but i don't wanna have an operating system that wont work in the first place!

2. The CPU: Dual core seems to be enough since most games don't take advantage of more than 2 cores (Hopefully.....)
(on a side note, would OC'ing this be hard?)

3. Ok, the GPU. I know the 3870 isn't the best of the bunch, but if i do come up with the money eventually is it worth it to run it in crossfire mode? I'm pretty sure the MB and Power Supply support it, but i just want to check and make sure.

4. Finally, and most importantly to me:
A. Will it all fit together?
B. Will it run to hot. (I don't know if running hot is a HUGE problem but i just want to be sure)
C. Is this a good set-up for the money.
D. I have taken apart a computer and put it back together, but it was old (Kinda, Windows ME to give you a time frame). I learned a lot, and am wondering if it will even be possible for a novice like me to put a computer together like this. I'm not computer illiterate by any means, but still its a challenge.

And, one more thing... I just so happen to live in one of the 3 states where newegg has to charge Tax, are there any other reliable sites where i could get some of the parts to maybe cut costs?

Thanks for any answers, i know this is a long post :)
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More about first system build compatible
  1. It will work together but I'm sure you can get a bit better for you money.

    If you feel comfortable with attempting an overclock you could downgrade to an E5200 and spend the money you saved on a decent cooler (something like this maybe E5200 are supposed to be fairly easy to get running at 3.2+

    Edit: This comes out to ~675 and is just missing a motherboard which will bring it up to ~800 so depending on how far you want to stretch your budget you could probably reach for a 4830 instead






    +Cooler, DVD Drive and Vista for ~$30+$20+$99
  2. For the motherboard, I'd go with something like the GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3L. It's got great reviews and Gigabyte is a reputable company. But if you want the two pci-e ports, just for an alternative, I have a Foxconn P45A-S ( It doesn't look as pretty as the one you found but it's like 95 bucks on newegg now, has better reviews, and for what it's worth it's been great to me. It's up to you.

    For the graphics, go with a HD 4830 instead ( It's newer, faster, and right at the same price point (and they'd pair up nicely down the road, if you so choose).

    For the power supply, I'd definitely step up to a more reputable name. Something like this is only 25 extra bucks and definitely worth it in my opinion. The Silencer line is supposed to be great and this would have enough juice even if you did decide to crossfire two 4830s. - What Bobzzz suggested was also a good choice.

    Other than that, BoBzzz's picks are good but you could shave some bucks off with a cheaper case, like the one you picked, but I have an Antec 300 and it is very nice and well built - I can't really suggest against it.
  3. Get this combo: E5200 and GA-EP43-UD3L

    Case: CM 690 <=== super deal here, although to save about $10 you can get the Antec 300 which is good quality...the CM 690 is easily worth $20 more though IMO.

    PSU: EA650 <== you could probably go cheaper here, but with free shipping its actually cheaper than other lower end PSU's.



    HDD: WD3200AAKS


    Ram: Corsair 4GB

    Cooler: Scythe Mugen 2 <======use this to OC the crap out of that E5200. You should be able to get to 3.6 or higher fairly easy.

    Thermal Interface: OCZ Freeze

    All that comes to $722 with shipping included, but not counting rebates. With rebates, its $697. That leaves ~$200 for the best GPU you can get, I would go with this:
    GPU: MSI GTX 260 OCv2 (14% factory OC from 576mhz to 655mhz)

    Subtotal would be $915.27 and then you get $55 MIR after about 7-8 weeks. Grand total $860.27
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