$600-$800 gaming rig.


BUDGET RANGE: The lower the better. $600 to 800.


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, zipzoomfly.com, tigerdirect.com, ewiz.com, amazon.com (have amazon prime), anywhere with low prices

PARTS PREFERENCES: Anything really that fits the budget.

OVERCLOCKING: Probably will overclock. Probably will crossfire down the line, but not now.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200 (Don't have a monitor yet, but I will get a 20, 22, or 24 inch screen. Do not use it in calculating the cost of the computer though.)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: So far, here's what I've decided on:

Graphics card: HIS H489F1GP Radeon HD 4890 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express x16 (2.0v) Video Card - $135 (After rebates and ebillme)

Processor: I'm split between these two.
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - $120

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - $190

From what I've read on the forums here, the 720 has a better upgrade path since it is an AM3, whereas the 940 is an AM2+. However, the 940 has the advantage of being a quad processor.

Motherboard: I have no idea how to choose a motherboard. I'd like it to be crossfire compatible. I also would like support for DDR3 RAM, unless that's going to break the bank. Integrated sound card. No integrated graphics card needed. 3 USB spots?

RAM: DDR2/3 1066/1333, depending on price.

Harddrive: Again, 2 choices:
WESTERN DIGITAL Caviar® Green WD10EADS 1TB SATA II 7200 RPM 32MB Buffer - $75

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s - $70

Is the black series worth the extra speed and lower HD space? And is the performance hit really noticeable in the real world for the green series?

Fan: XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - $40 (Heard it was good)

Case and PSU: Help wanted :)

Thanks for your time. Your help is greatly appreciated.

PS: I already have a Macbook Pro for surfing the web, video editing, etc.
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  1. As you want a gaming PC, the X3 720 is a very good option...

    And this combo with the mobo is an unbeatable offer and is another reason to go with the X3 720...
    X3 720 + ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 - $195

    RAM -

    Graphics card- Same

    HDD - The WD black are better and would be noticably faster than the Green drives...

    CASE -
    Either the Cheaper Antec 300
    or CM 690

    PSU - PCP&S 750W - Sufficient for 2x HD 4890 in crossfire...

    Total - Around $720

    I chose the X3 and AM3 platform because current games dont fully utilize Quad-core CPUs so that X3 would do the job...And as newer CPUs would be released for the AM3, you can upgrade to newer Quads later when you want to...
  2. Hey. Thank for your input gkay09. The X3 would be the cheaper choice and would work well for me. As for the PSU, does it constantly run at 750W or does it just draw the energy it needs? I'm asking because I don't want to increase my electricity bills drastically.

    Also, does that motherboard allow me to crossfire? Again, thanks for your suggestions.
  3. Well it wont pull 750W constantly...Only if you have 2x HD 4890s, during gaming sessions, it might pull about 600-700W...
  4. I just edited my last post, so you might not have seen it gkay09, but do you know if I can crossfire on that motherboard? Oh, and I only asked that question about the PSU because I thought I heard some PSU's do that...
  5. Yes you can crossfire on that mobo...It has 2 PCIe X16 slots and is crossfire enabled...
    Well even though PSUs are rated that much, like I said they pull that much power only when it is being used up by the components that are connected to the PSU...
    And that PSU is 80+ certified so it would be very efficient...
    Get this PSU - Corsair 750TX...though it is $10 more, but it has Free Shipping and has $20 Mail-In-Rebate...
  6. Yeah, I tried looking at the specifications for the motherboard, but didn't see anything about it being crossfire enabled. Thanks for all the information though. I think I may put an order in tonight after work. Hopefully, I can build this thing without any problems.
  7. I noticed that the Western Digital Caviar Black doesn't come with any cables or instructions. Is that going to be a problem for me? Do I need to get anything else?


    Is there a difference between the following RAM?

    Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit

    I've already placed an order for the 720, 4890, the mobo and corsair PSU that gkay09 suggested. I'm still looking at cases because I want to make sure everything fits and stays cool. Was the fan I picked out earlier a good choice?

    XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler
  8. The mobo comes with 2 SATA cables...
    If you need more...

    As for the case if you want more space, then the CM 690 is the best option...It has very good airflow and can easil accomodate 2 HD 4890s...

    And the CPU cooler is a very good but get this CPU cooler...it comes with thermal grease too...
    Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2

    Here is a review of that cooler
    And check this out...
    Frostytech's Top 5 heatsinks...
  9. And as for the memory,there is no difference in those 2 RAMs in terms of specs but the GSkillz would run cooler than the crucial because of the heatsink...

    Get this GSKillz instead of that one...It has same speed and lower CAS than that one...
  10. Thanks for all your help and advice, gkay09. I just ordered all of the following. Let me know if there's anything else I need to add.

    CPU + Mobo Combo: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX + ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

    Video Card: HIS H489F1GP Radeon HD 4890 1GB GDDR5 PCI Express x16 (2.0v)

    Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK

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

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

    HD: Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB Bulk/OEM Hard Drive 3.5 Inch, 32 MB Cache, 7200 RPM SATA II WD6401AALS

    Aftermarket Fan: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2

    DVD Drive: Samsung SH-S222A/BEBE Internal Half Height Supermulti PATA 22X DVD-Writable Drive

    Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap

    It was cheaper to get the HD and DVD drive from amazon (amazon prime member). Should I get some extra thermal paste?

    Other than that, everything looks great. I haven't done the math yet, but everything is between $600-700. Again, you helped me out a lot, gkay09. I really appreciate it.
  11. I don't think you need more thermal paste...the one that comes with the heatsink should be suffice...
    You can add 1 or 2 120MM fans if you want to increase the airflow inside the case...
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