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How does this look for a gaming PC ($1200 total)?

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May 30, 2009 11:03:13 PM

After a lot of reading here and elsewhere, I am looking to build a gaming PC for about $1200 (including monitor). I am a first time builder. All comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Is this a reasonable build? Parts are compatible? Is the relative quality/cost of the components OK?

thanks,
Mike

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: soon BUDGET RANGE: ~1200 total
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU
OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680 x 1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Overclocking seems OK with the E8400. The PSU is more than I need for this system but I might go CrossFire by getting two 4770s (out of stock currently) instead of the 4870, or adding an additional 4870 in the future.

Case
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $139.99-$40.00 Instant = $99.99

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $134.99

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail $179.99-$12.00 Instant = $167.99

Graphics Card
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $199.99-$20.00 Instant = $179.99

Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail $179.99-$60.00 Instant = $119.99

Memory
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail $64.99-$10.00 Instant = $54.99

CPU cooler
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $38.99

Thermal Compound
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail $6.99-$2.00 Instant = $4.99

Hard drive
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $74.99

DVD
SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S223Q $26.99

Wireless adapter
EDIMAX EW-7728In 32bit PCI Wireless 802.11n Draft 2.0 PCI Card - Retail $39.99-$5.00 Instant = $34.99

Monitor
LG L227WTG-PF Black 22" 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail $299.99-$80.00 Instant = $219.99

Tools :-)
Rosewill RTK-045 45 Piece Premium Computer Tool Kit - Retail $29.99-$10.00 Instant = $19.99

Subtotal: $1,178.87

More about : gaming 1200 total

May 30, 2009 11:59:04 PM

Really solid build, I don't really see anything you could improve on.

Definitely use the single 4870 for now then upgrade later, it's amazing for the price, and that way you have future upgrade options (that you wouldn't have if you got the two 4770s)
May 31, 2009 12:23:14 AM

Solid overall build. Have you considered a Phenom II 720, though? It generally performs slightly better in games; neither CPUs will be a bottleneck now, but that third core could really help you out, especially if you like downloading and stuff in the background.

Phenom II 720 and ASUS 790FX $335
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/socket-am3-phenom,2...

In the future, and in core-optimized games like GTAIV, the improvement will be more noticeable.

My 2c
Related resources
May 31, 2009 12:37:19 AM

MisterM said:
After a lot of reading here and elsewhere, I am looking to build a gaming PC for about $1200 (including monitor). I am a first time builder. All comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Is this a reasonable build? Parts are compatible? Is the relative quality/cost of the components OK?

thanks,
Mike

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: soon BUDGET RANGE: ~1200 total
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU
OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680 x 1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Overclocking seems OK with the E8400. The PSU is more than I need for this system but I might go CrossFire by getting two 4770s (out of stock currently) instead of the 4870, or adding an additional 4870 in the future.

CPU cooler
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $38.99

Thermal Compound
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail $6.99-$2.00 Instant = $4.99

Subtotal: $1,178.87


Your should def. be getting a back plate for that heat sink, or better yet just order the Xigmatek Darknight for $42 seeing how it's included with that heat sink.
May 31, 2009 1:07:46 AM

Here's an idea for a build that you might like, and unlike that Antec 900 you have in your build, this CM 690 down below has plenty of room for two large vid cards and a large cpu h/s.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 ($89.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U3R Combo Price: $423.99 | w/coupon code: $413.99 Free Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, Retail
Use coupon code: Take10 for additonal $10 off.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $41.99 Free Shipping*
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $4.99
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $164.99 ($144.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate)
MSI N260GTX-T2D896-OCv4 GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$5.00 Combo Price: $169.98 $20.00 Mail-In Rebate
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $23.99 Free Shipping*
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $34.99 Free Shipping*
EDIMAX EW-7728In IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE 802.11n Draft 32bit PCI Wireless 802.11n Draft 2.0 PCI Card Up to 300Mbps Data Rates WEP 64/128, WPA, WPA2 Cisco CCX V1.0, V2.0 & V3.0 Compliance - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159.99 Free Shipping*
Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 - Retail

Total: $1,199.98 | $1,134.89 w/mail in rebates

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-nvidia-sli-mo... <--- Gigabyte: Enable SLI On X58 Boards

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/dd353205.... <--- Save yourself some money on an o/s and dl the 64 bit version of Windows 7
May 31, 2009 1:15:53 AM

Right on cue, Why_Me. Also a solid build. Since you keep recommending them, I was wondering if there was any new news on the Core i7/Single nVidia Card bug?
May 31, 2009 1:25:18 AM

smithereen said:
Right on cue, Why_Me. Also a solid build. Since you keep recommending them, I was wondering if there was any new news on the Core i7/Single nVidia Card bug?


???...what bug is that ? I never heard of such a bug, and I just did a google on it to see if it was some new issue, and nothing has come up, nor is there any mention of it on the Nvidea support forums. You have a link to this bug/issue ?

http://forums.slizone.com/ <--- There is no such bug/issue. If there was there would be literally hundreds of people posting all over this board and others like it asking how to fix it. In fact I know of more than a few people who have an i7 with a single Nvidea card set up and have never had any issues.
May 31, 2009 9:29:58 AM

smithereen said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-280,215...

This one. I read the review - the anomaly appeared in a few reviews, not just Toms - read the follow-up, and they didn't hear anything more. I wasn't being sarcastic - I was actually hoping you knew something I didn't.


That was the gtx 280 and only the gtx 280 at a certain resolution. NP, the gtx 280 is being phased out anyways seeing how it uses old architecture and runs hot not to mention it's a power hog compared to the newer gtx cards.
May 31, 2009 1:55:21 PM

DUDE F*CK 4770 THEY HAVE 4850 for $99.99 as well

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

NEVER BUY 4770 ITS hindered by its 128-bit bus and other cards for same price KICK ITS AZZ and a few dollars more will get you far better if the card was $59.99 i would say go for it but its too expensive for Xfire
May 31, 2009 4:07:54 PM

Why_Me said:
That was the gtx 280 and only the gtx 280 at a certain resolution. NP, the gtx 280 is being phased out anyways seeing how it uses old architecture and runs hot not to mention it's a power hog compared to the newer gtx cards.


Really? You're probably right.
May 31, 2009 4:15:35 PM

@adrianmk2, yeah but the 4770 only uses 50w peak load while the 4850 uses 110w peak load.
May 31, 2009 6:30:44 PM

Thanks for all the comments! I am modifying my parts list accordingly.

Any thoughts on the choice of monitor? I picked

LG L227WTG-PF Black 22" 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail $299.99-$80.00 Instant = $219.99

based on the Proximon Personal list of parts and the LCD Thread. The 2ms response time looks good, resolution 1680x1050 id OK(?).

Why_me suggested the Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 (1680 x 1050) for $159. And elsewhere someone suggested the ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (1920 x 1080) for $169.

My experience has been that monitors last through several computers. So, I don't mind paying more for a better monitor. Is the LG worth it? Is the resolution of the LG an issue?

thanks again,
Mike
June 1, 2009 7:50:46 PM

Thanks again for the comments!

Here is my new list of parts. The main changes are a cheaper (but roomier) case, a better (?) graphics card, and a H/S with back plate.

CPU-wise I admit that I am irrationally not going up to an i7 or being more bang for the buck with a Phenom II 720.

Case
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $69.99

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $134.99

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail $164.99

Graphics Card
EVGA 896-P3-1257-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI-Retail 204.99

Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail $179.99-$60.00 Instant = $109.99

Memory
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail $64.99-$10.00 Instant = $54.99

CPU cooler
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail $39.99

Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail $6.99-$2.00 Instant = $4.99

Hard drive
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $74.99

DVD
LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - OEM $23.99

Wireless adapter
EDIMAX EW-7728In 32bit PCI Wireless 802.11n Draft 2.0 PCI Card - Retail $39.99-$5.00 Instant = $34.99

Monitor
LG L227WTG-PF Black 22" 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail $299.99-$80.00 Instant = $219.99

Tools
Rosewill RTK-045 45 Piece Premium Computer Tool Kit - Retail $29.99-$10.00 Instant = $19.99

Subtotal: $1,158.87
June 1, 2009 8:59:31 PM

The P45 is good for Crossfire, but not SLI. With that said, you don't need a 750w psu, you don't need that large of a case, and you don't need a mobo that's set up for Crossfire not to mention DDR2 1066 is pretty much a waste for a Intel dual core.

great case for a single card set up with decent airflow....

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $58.95 Free Shipping*
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

modular psu that will push this set up....

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $58.95 Free Shipping*
OCZ OCZ550FTY 550W Active Power Supply Retail

same mobo as you have chosen, yet it has only one PCI-E slot...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $119.99 ($104.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
2 oz copper PCB + Easy Tune 6 for OC

and RAM that won't hold you back...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $53.99 ($43.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

With the money you just saved you can go up to a gtx 275... and you don't need a "super clocked edition". You can easily over clock it yourself ...it only takes a few min.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $249.99 ($229.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
Free Cryostasis game w/ registration at manufacturer website

PS: If you move up your fsb (9 x 400) you get a nice over clock of 3.6GHz @ 1600 fsb.
June 1, 2009 11:15:43 PM

Thanks again for your comments! Good point about choice of mobo.

Regarding the EVGA GTX 275, someone on newegg commented "It will NOT fit in Antec 300 or 900 case without taking up two HD slots." Is that an issue that I should worry about? Is the CM 690 roomier?
June 1, 2009 11:18:44 PM

MisterM said:
Thanks again for your comments! Good point about choice of mobo.

Regarding the EVGA GTX 275, someone on newegg commented "It will NOT fit in Antec 300 or 900 case without taking up two HD slots." Is that an issue that I should worry about? Is the CM 690 roomier?


Ya the 690 is about as big as it gets for a mid tower. The Antec 300 comes with 5 HD bays and that psu is modular.
June 12, 2009 3:40:01 PM

Thanks again for all the advice! Here is what I ended up ordering (below). My kids (or least one of them) and I put it together last night.

There was a moment (a long moment) of "what have I gotten myself into" when we plugged it in, turned on the power and nothing happened. Nothing, nada. I checked the READ before posting about boot problems without much success. The only connections that I was suspicious of were the one from the case power switch, led, and reset to the MBO, just because they are so tiny. I figured out that everything worked if I left the reset switch unconnected.

What does this mean? Is there something wrong with the reset switch that I can fix?

A second question, what about overclocking? I blindly tried

CPU Clock Ratio.................................[ 9 x ]
CPU Host Frequency (Mhz).................[ 400 ]

trying for 3.6 Ghz, and it did not boot. Any pointers or suggestions?

thanks again,
Mike

Case
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400 - Retail

CPU cooler
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

Memory
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail

Graphics Card
EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

Power Supply
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

Hard drive
Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

DVD
SAMSUNG 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 SATA 22X DVD+/-R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM

Wireless adapter
EDIMAX EW-7728In 32bit PCI Wireless 802.11n Draft 2.0 PCI Card - Retail

Monitor
LG L227WTG-PF Black 22" 2ms Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail
!