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700 gaming PC from the ground up

Last response: in Systems
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May 8, 2009 5:42:38 PM

Hello,
This will be my first complete system build and I am looking for a little advice. I have been doing a whole lot of research on this site and others, so hopefully what I have put together makes pretty good sense. The budget I am shooting for on the box is $700. I have an overall budget of about 1000 for the whole thing (I will also buy a monitor, keyboard, and OS).
Here is what I have planned out so far:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 Deneb 2.8GHz $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO:BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX $99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Desktop Memory - Retail $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS Hightech H483FN512P Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $73.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MSI R4830-T2D512 Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail 76.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM $23
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE Triton 180 Black 0.7mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $62
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Green WD6400AACS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (bare drive) - OEM $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

for an overall cost of $685.

The one thing about this build that kept me up last night is the Graphics cards. I want to be able to go crossfire, but I am thinking that I should get just one higher end card at this point so that for a future upgrade I can just get a second card instead of having to get one (or two) new cards.

I know the PSU is more than I need for this system, but I was thinking that I could use it again in a year or two for an upgrade and this way I can be pretty sure that I will have the power I need. Also, it is a good value.

Let me know what you think.

More about : 700 gaming ground

May 8, 2009 5:47:45 PM

That case stinks man!

Get a HD 4770 for $99 and a better case...

Wow thats ugly...

Get the rebate done for the PSU...good pick if you will upgrade later... But you can also get a 650W for a little bit less
May 8, 2009 5:53:17 PM

+1 for HD4770.

I would also recommend a better quality PSU. Unless your upgrade will include 2 or 3 video cards, a 500W+ PSU is plenty. BFG LS-550 or Corsair VX550 are good choices.
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May 8, 2009 6:16:54 PM

yeah, that corsair doesn't look like much.

The BFG looks very decent. It definitely has most of the same features as the OCZ. It could probably even handle two cards. However, the OCZ is only $10 more for that much more potential. I will probably stick with the 700W PSU that I have unless there is a really overwhelming reason to pick a BFG PSU over a OCZ PSU.

Also, I like that case... It doesn't have a bunch of silly looking LEDs on it or anything. Although the existence of two 3.5" exterior bays is a little baffling to me.
May 8, 2009 6:22:36 PM

The BFG & Corsair are both better quality than the OCZ and could easily handle 2 HD4770 (which only uses ~50W). A 700W PSU is overkill. If you really want a larger PSU, then get the Corsair TX650.
May 8, 2009 6:38:31 PM

I gotcha. I appreciate the advice on that. Since I don't really know the brands that well, I am able to compare specs pretty easily, but knowing which is going to be more reliable is ultimately much more valuable.

Also, I was looking at this case as a possibility:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Someone recommended it on a different thread. it does have that LED fan in the front *frowny face*, but the bay configuration is more attractive and it looks like it would keep things cooler.
May 8, 2009 6:42:52 PM

Not a bad case this time...
May 8, 2009 8:26:15 PM

so I am going to go with the HD 4770.

I still haven't decided on weather to get the 550W power supply (which would be plenty) or drop a little more on a 650W power supply so I can upgrade my MOBO/CPU/GPU at a later date without having to replace everything.

My question now is: how big of a monitor should I be looking to get with this system. I don't want anything seriously huge, and I don't have a lot of money for it ($150-200), but I would like to get something that is quality.
May 8, 2009 8:35:23 PM

A 550W PSU can easily handle a quad and any single video card. Since CPU and GPU are moving to 32nm and 40nm, I don't see them using more power in future.

I would also recommend the Caviar Black instead of Green, it's faster and only $5 more.

This is a decent monitor.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 8, 2009 8:36:55 PM

I have a 22" Asus 1920x1080 with HDCP HDMI/VGA/DVI for $180...You could proably get one at a local best buy for that price ^_^. I actually bought mine from microcenter if you know of one around you...

Newegg has it for that price too.

The 550W PSU is fine. I would look around to see if you can get a 650W for the same price/value. Brands like Corair, Enermax, CoolMax...are pretty good.
May 8, 2009 8:54:58 PM

Kill@dor said:

The 550W PSU is fine. I would look around to see if you can get a 650W for the same price/value. Brands like Corair, Enermax, CoolMax...are pretty good.


I wouldn't put Coolmax in with Corsair & Enermax. Coolmax's OEMs are lower quality.
May 8, 2009 8:59:34 PM

I guess if you say so...what do you suggest?

I didn't check to see if 4850's can crossfire with 550W...?
May 8, 2009 9:22:14 PM

great. thanks for the advice
May 8, 2009 11:50:43 PM

Kill@dor said:
I guess if you say so...what do you suggest?

I didn't check to see if 4850's can crossfire with 550W...?


The only PSU brands I know which have all good models are Corsair, PC P&C, and Seasonic. But there are many brands that have good PSUs: Antec, BFG, Enermax, OCZ, Silverstone, and Thermaltake. According to the review at jonnyguru the Coolmax 1350W PSU is good, but that's the only good review I've seen for them.

550W should be fine for 2 4850s.
!