Final Build - $1000 gaming rig

Alright, here it is. I've taken most of the advice from my previous thread. I was thinking about several different CPU options but I think I've finally decided on this.

Please look over it. My plan is to order within the next week or so.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940
$190

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX
$110

Memory: 4GB (2 x 2GB) G.SKILL DDR2 1066 SDRAM
$55

GPU: 2x HIS Radeon HD4850 512 MB
2x $100 ($10 MIR not factored in)

Hard Drive: Western Digital 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB cache SATA Internal Hard Drive - OEM
$70

Case: Antec 300 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
$55

PSU: Corsair 750W ATX12V
$110 ($20 MIR not factored in)

DVD drive: Samsung 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
$25

Monitor: Acer X193W+BD 19'' 5ms Widescreen LCD (1680X1050)
$120

OS: Windows 7 RC

Sub-total: $934.86
Shipping: $30.63
Total: $965.49

Less MIR: $925.49

My original budget was $1000 with some flexibility for going over if I felt it was worth it. I also still need to get a keyboard and speakers, but those aren't immediate concerns. While I have room in my budget I'll still consider some upgrades from what I have.

Part of me still wants to get an Intel Q9550 for a couple reasons: better performance, DDR3 support, and lower power consumption. However the higher price point of the processor and DDR3 compatible mobo probably doesn't justify the relatively small increase in performance. Obviously the socket is also being discontinued but that doesn't concern me as much because by the time I get around to upgrading the CPU I'll probably want a new setup anyways.

Part of me is also tempted to drop down to a X3 720, and then again put the money into a DDR3 capable mobo, but then I'd have basically the same computer as one of my roommates, and we can't have that :)

I might possibly slap a full 8gigs of memory in the thing to avoid supposedly higher DDR2 prices in the future (good idea Y/N?)

I was originally reccomended an Antec 650W PSU, however my roommate (the one mentioned above) pointed out the Corsair 750W, and it looks like a good deal. Plus it will give me a nice safety blanket in power terms to pursue overclocking in the future.

Right now I'm still planning on sticking with the Antec 300 case, but while I still have room in my budget I imagine it's worth considering a more expensive option. The Antec 900, for example, seems really nice. How big of an advantage does it provide in terms of cooling or construction? (I see from the specs that it has more fans, and it looks really nice, but that's all I know)

Does anyone have any comments? Also, should I consider any additional cooling? (Not planning to OC right off the bat, but will probably get around to it eventually. I figured I'd wait on extra cooling until I needed it)

I appreciate the advice.
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  1. I just built me a computer with the Antec 900/Corsair 750W/pII 720 and it rocks. There's a good combo on Newegg with the 900 and the 750W
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.198939

    However, there's also the Antec 650W and 300 case combo:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.198951

    Get yourself a monitor bigger than 19". This one isn't much more.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236053

    All in all I think it's a good build. I went with a 720 over a 940, but if you want to spend a little more the 940 is a good option. I've got that mobo, it's great for OCing. I would recommend getting a Scythe Mugen 2 cooler. It's great for that socket,but it's big! Make sure you install your memory first.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185093
  2. drunknmunkys said:
    I just built me a computer with the Antec 900/Corsair 750W/pII 720 and it rocks. There's a good combo on Newegg with the 900 and the 750W
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.198939

    However, there's also the Antec 650W and 300 case combo:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.198951

    Get yourself a monitor bigger than 19". This one isn't much more.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236053

    All in all I think it's a good build. I went with a 720 over a 940, but if you want to spend a little more the 940 is a good option. I've got that mobo, it's great for OCing. I would recommend getting a Scythe Mugen 2 cooler. It's great for that socket,but it's big! Make sure you install your memory first.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185093


    Great suggestions drunknmunky.
    I agree with the x3 720 suggestion. Especially for a tight budget the x3 720 is an awesome deal.

    Also get this HDD instead. Caviar Blacks are faster and it's only $5 more with free shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319

    If I were you I would do everything that drunknmunky suggested and replace those gpu's with a single 4890 1gb.
    On a 19" monitor with a 1440x900 resolution you could max everything easy for quite a while with a 4890.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150359
    $200 and you would be set for a long time with that!
  3. Thanks for tips so far.

    I think I'm going to grab that that Antec 900 and Corsair 750W combo deal, that looks great. Much appreciated drunknmunkys.

    As far as monitor goes, I'm currently live on my 15" 1680X1050 laptop screen, so a 19" already seems like a massive upgrade. I'll consider upgrading further though.

    I don't know much about CPU coolers. Should I really pick one up even if I'm not going to OC immediately? I guess having the option is better than not, so I'll look into it.

    Thanks for the tip on the HDD waynec, I'll add that in when I post an updated build.

    As far as CPU I've pretty much already decided on 940. I agree the 720 is a good deal, but since I have the money I'm going to go ahead and get a quad-core. I think it'll be a bit better in the long term plus the 940 has a higher clock speed too.

    As far as GPU, 2 4850's seem to destroy a single 4890 in benchmarks. By the time I'm considering an upgrade I imagine DX11 cards will be available, so that's why I figured I'd just got for the dual 4850's. Incidently prices have updated on Newegg and XFX has the cheapest 4850 now, so I'll be making that change.

    I'll post an updated list later today. In the meantime keep the suggestions coming.
  4. Only problem with 4850's is the drivers (like every other multi-gpu solution), but they seems to do better in xfire than in the 4850x2 card. I would recommend getting a cooler since the Black Edition CPUs are insanely easy to overclock. Unlike the Intel CPUs with a locked multiplyer, you don't have to mess with the FSB, just up the multiplyer. Like turning up the dimmer switch on a light. And if you're scared about pushing it to the max or running stress tests, you can just do a moderate OC with almost no risk.
  5. Phoenix012 said:
    Thanks for tips so far.

    I think I'm going to grab that that Antec 900 and Corsair 750W combo deal, that looks great. Much appreciated drunknmunkys.

    As far as monitor goes, I'm currently live on my 15" 1680X1050 laptop screen, so a 19" already seems like a massive upgrade. I'll consider upgrading further though.

    I don't know much about CPU coolers. Should I really pick one up even if I'm not going to OC immediately? I guess having the option is better than not, so I'll look into it.

    Thanks for the tip on the HDD waynec, I'll add that in when I post an updated build.

    As far as CPU I've pretty much already decided on 940. I agree the 720 is a good deal, but since I have the money I'm going to go ahead and get a quad-core. I think it'll be a bit better in the long term plus the 940 has a higher clock speed too.

    As far as GPU, 2 4850's seem to destroy a single 4890 in benchmarks. By the time I'm considering an upgrade I imagine DX11 cards will be available, so that's why I figured I'd just got for the dual 4850's. Incidently prices have updated on Newegg and XFX has the cheapest 4850 now, so I'll be making that change.

    I'll post an updated list later today. In the meantime keep the suggestions coming.


    Yea you are right about the 4850's in CF. Sorry for that advice about the 4890, but still $200 for a 4890 is a great price.

    Yeah if you want to go with a 940 then by all means go for it. You can't go wrong with AMD/ATI at the moment. They are definitely the way to go if you want more for your money.
  6. Updated build:

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940
    $190

    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX
    $110

    Memory: 4GB (2 x 2GB) G.SKILL DDR2 1066 SDRAM
    $55

    GPU: 2x ASUS Radeon HD4850 512 MB
    2x $115 ($30 MIR not factored in)

    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB cache SATA Internal Hard Drive - OEM
    $75

    Case: Antec 900 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
    $100

    PSU: Corsair 750W ATX12V
    $110 ($20 MIR not factored in)
    -$30 combo deal w/case

    DVD drive: Samsung 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
    $25

    Monitor: Acer X193W+BD 19'' 5ms Widescreen LCD (1680X1050)
    $120

    OS: Windows 7 RC

    Sub-total: $984.90
    Shipping: $29.83
    Total: $1014.73

    Less MIR: $934.73

    OK, I switched to ASUS 4850's because the HIS one's are out of stock. The ASUS one's (as well as an XFX card) are both now cheaper than the HIS one's were anyways.

    I also switched to the 32mb cache HDD for an extra $5 and I upgraded to an Antec 900 case to take advantage of a combo deal.

    End result is only $10 more expensive.

    I decided to hold off on the CPU cooler, at least for the moment.

    I'm still considering a monitor upgrade, but that's pretty straightforward. I don't really need help with that.

    Any more comments? I appreciate the feedback I've received so far. Unless something runs out of stock again or someone notices a problem, I'm probably going to place the order for this stuff sometime this weekend, maybe even tomorrow.
  7. Everything looks good to me. That system will be a solid performer. :D
  8. Looking good.
  9. I like your build so far everything seems pretty good considering the fact that you are counting both the OS and monitor hoever for a resolution of 1680x1050 a single 4850 with 1 gb of memory in it would be more than enough after all once you go beyond a certain number of fps the eye no longer sees the difference and the 4850 is capable of maxing out anything you throw at it however like someone said by getting to 4850's at that resolution you re prety much future proof for quite a while since they will always max out anything at that resolution no matter what.
  10. That's the idea. I'm aware that dual 4850's are a bit overkill, but they won't be forever and I'd rather get both now than mess with upgrading later. I probably could save a few bucks by buying one now and one later, but it really doesn't concern me all that much. They're still a pretty friggen good deal.

    Anyways thanks for the tips all.
  11. I am really in to the world of hardcore gaming too but i don't have the cash for a nice big Core i7 rig, so i made this rig using Newegg. I have a budget of 900$ and I'm trying to get the most for my money. I am new to building computers and I am open to tips and changes to my setup. I wish that I wont have to change things in my system for a couple years and my specs are really close to what you have Phoenix012 so here they are:

    PSU: AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition
    $190

    Case: Thermaltake V9 Black Edition ATX Computer Gaming Chassis with Dual Oversized 230mm Ultra-Silent Cooling Fans
    $115

    Motherboard: ASUS M4A79 Deluxe AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
    $190

    GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit
    $180

    PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
    $110

    RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Desktop Memory
    $58

    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
    $60

    OS: Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit (will be upgrading to 64-bit later)

    CD Drive: Free from friend

    If anyone has any tips please let me know!!!!
  12. Hmm...$1000
    Here is a setup ...

    CPU + Mobo
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.198616

    RAM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227293

    HDD -
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.175960

    Graphics card - HIS is no longer available...Instead XFX
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150337

    PSU + CASE - for HD 4850, the EA 650W is more than suffice...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.198951

    DVD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118030

    Monitor - Why would you want to waste the power of this wonderful pc with such low res monitor...but even your would do...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009175

    Total - $999 without rebates and if you see all the components are one of the best out there...

    This would be better XFX 4850 1GB just would add $30 more but you get little more FPS...
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150351
  13. Just when I finally decide on my components someone has to post another build that's better than what I had :)

    Now I'll have to think about this again. If we take into account the monitor upgrade which I was already planning, gkay your build is only $15 more than mine. I'm basically trading the nicer case and power supply for the better processor, motherboard, and RAM. For an extra $15 that doesn't sound like a bad deal. I'll have to consider that one.
  14. Alright I haven't placed my order yet. I'm still contemplating the merits of switching to the 955 build, but while I was doing that, I was looking over the 4850 models on Newegg again and discovered something interesting. It seems that most of them do not come with Crossfire bridges. I guess most of the manufacturers figured that being budget cards most people looking at 4850's wouldn't care about Crossfire.

    Anyways, the two brands that do carry Crossfire bridges are predictably ASUS and Sapphire. Both cards are more expensive than the XFX, but the ASUS has a MIR that brings it down to the XFX price ($85). However the reviews for the card are rather negative because apparently that model has severe overheating problems. One reviewer said it was a driver issue and using an ASUS specific driver solved the problem. I'm not sure what to say about that, other than I'm somewhat nervous buying a card with overheating issues. I guess I could just spend more money and get a Sapphire card. Their cheapest one is $95 w/ MIR.

    Has anyone bought (or knows someone who has) that ASUS 4850 and can shed a little light on that issue?
  15. I've always bought Sapphire cards. They're usually not the cheapest, but they aren't the most expensive and they've had a long-lasting relation ship with ATI. Never had a bad Sapphire product.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814999002
    11$ on Newegg, so just add that to the cost of the cheaper 4850s.
  16. Well, darn.

    I logged onto Newegg to finally place my order. Everything was in the shopping cart ready to go already, I just needed to place the actual order. Unfortunately, the RAM I picked and the DVD burner were both out of stock. Not only that, but every single DVD burner from Samsung and LG is out of stock (sans a couple basic models).

    So, I'll have to wait until Newegg gets some DVD burners back in stock. Hopefully it won't take long. I'm hoping the RAM doesn't take long either, because while I can always switch to RAM with slightly worse timings or a more expensive brand, I'd rather get what I picked out.

    On top of it, MIR's on all of Sapphire's cards run out tomorrow. Awesome.

    So, my build might end up coming in segments, but here's what I ultimately settled on. You might notice that it creeped up in price by about $100, but my budget never really had a hard cap. I'm just trying to keep my spending under control, but I feel there's sufficient value in all of the upgrades I made that I don't have a problem with the higher price I'm paying.

    So here it is, my final choice.

    CPU and motherboard: AMD Phenom II 955 w/ ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 790GX
    $365 ($245 + $140 - $20, $15 MIR not applied)

    GPU: 2x SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
    2x $110 (2x $15 MIR not applied)

    RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit
    $65 - Out of stock (I might have to switch to another set with worse timings, but I'm gonna hope for a speedy restock :))

    HDD: Western Digital Cavier Black 640GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
    $75 (Comboed with an extra SATA cable at no extra cost, could be useful)

    Case and PSU: Antec 900 Case w/ Antec EA650 PSU
    $160 ($100 + $80 - $20)
    Unfortunately that combo with the Corsair 750W PSU expired, but the 650W should be enough. It just won't give me much in the way of headroom.

    Monitor: ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor
    $180 ($20 MIR not applied)

    DVD drive: Samsung DVD burner
    $25 - Out of Stock

    Subtotal: $1088.91
    Shipping: $19.85
    Total: $1108.76
    MIR: -$65.00

    End Result: $1043.76

    In the end, I decided I'd rather spend the extra $100 bucks on a 955 and a DDR3 compatible motherboard. Maybe not it's not quite the most economical solution, but it's keeping up with recent technology and still beats an i7 rig in performance/price by a nice margin. I decided on going with the Antec 900 over the 300 mostly because I just like it better.

    Hopefully a good DVD burner is restocked soon (last time I looked there was literally one each available from Samsung and LG, and neither ran CD's). Ditto on RAM, although at least there are other options available even if they aren't as good. Fingers crossed I guess.
  17. Alright slight update.

    An LG Model was reactivated as being in stock, so I have an option there.

    How big a deal is it to get the lowest timings possible? I know it's preferable, but would it really matter all that much if I picked up these instead of the ones I had picked out above or should I spend 5 extra bucks and get this instead? Or should I just wait for the G.SKILL set to restock?
  18. Alright slight update.

    An LG Model was reactivated as being in stock, so I have an option there.

    How big a deal is it to get the lowest timings possible? I know it's preferable, but would it really matter all that much if I picked up these instead of the ones I had picked out above or should I spend 5 extra bucks and get this instead? Or should I just wait for the G.SKILL set to restock?
  19. Alright the forums appear to be kinda buggy today. My topic is not being bumped to the front.
  20. If you are OK with spending $79 for the RAM, then this kit is the best option...
    OCZ Platinum AMD Edition
    As it is a AMD edition, it should work without any problems at the advertised speeds and CAS...
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