Advice on $1200 gaming rig

Hi, im looking at putting together an AMD gaming rig for $1200. This is what i have so far, however I'm open to anything.

Amd Phenom 2 X4 940 @ 3.0ghz
Asus M4N82 Deluxe Sli motherboard
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel Case
Kington HyperX 4gb 1066
XFX Gtx 260 core 216
750 watt corsair psu
750gb 7,200rpm hard drive

i put in such a big case and psu because i want to be able to add another gtx 260 in the future

Also, any comments on 4gb vs 8gb of ram? my current system has 2 and i use all of it a lot, but is 8gb overkill?
27 answers Last reply
More about advice 1200 gaming
  1. you might want to consider WD Black 640gb or WD Black 1TB for your hard drives
  2. thanks i will put one of those in, probably the 640gb, they look nice and their cheaper than some other brands
  3. swap the GTX 260 for a 4890 which will cost a bit more but have far better performance, then swap the motherboard for one with a 790X or GX chipset.
  4. Hi...
    Just a general suggestion...SLI mobo apart from X58 don't have much good reviews...
    So before going with them, check their reviews properly, see if they have any compatibility issues and then go with them...
    For AMD CPUs, crossfire is the best option

    And for less than $1000, I would do this...

    CPU + Graphics card

    1. SAPPHIRE 100269SR Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
    2. AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGIBOX - Retail


    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

    HDD -
    WD Black 640GB


    CASE -
    CM 690

    PSU - Corsair 750TX - If you want to crossfire the HD 4890...

    Total - $930 | $885 After $45 Mail-In- Rebates...
    And this PC would be more powerful than the one you had listed...
  5. yea thanks for that config it looks nice just one question the mobo you suggested only has 1 PCI Express x16 slots, running at x16 and the other one runs at x8 , does this matter for crossfire
  6. ^ not with single GPU cards.

    however if you used two 4870 X2's then you'd have a problem.
  7. ok so i could run two 4890 1gbs no problem
  8. +1 helloworld It doesn't matter for 2 HD 4890s...
    But as 2x 4870X2 have 4 graphic chips, each chip would be limited because of that bandwidth...
  9. ok thanks that helps

    what are your thoughts on getting more ram? is it worth it
    specifically 4gb vs 8gb
  10. For gaming more than 4GB of RAM would be of no use...8GB is only required only if you are into Video editing/ rendering, for and other intensive multimedia apps...
  11. ok yea thats what i thought just wanted another opinion.... and anyways i can always upgrade to more
  12. ok im looking at the case that you recommended, do you actually have it, and if so, how loud it is, because noise is a big factor for me

    CM 690 [...] 6811119137
  13. Both the Antec 900 and the CM 690 are solid cases. Really can't go wrong with either one. I'd say the Antec 900 has a slight edge for cooling preformance and the CM 690 more geared towards silent running. Really can't go wrong with either case. I'd say go with what ever your prefference is.
  14. ok thanks i think im gona do the cm 690 because noise is more important to me
    could anyone recommend a good am3 mobo that supports sli? i like the config that gkay09 put up there, but i always use nvidia cards
  15. I doubt anyone would recommend SLI mobos apart from the X58 as SLI on other mobos tend to have some issue or other...So before going with an SLI mobo, check the reviews properly and then buy them...

    But instead of buying a SLI mobo which might give probles, why not get the best SLI mobo config ???
    This config should bring smiles on your face and it Totals - $1070...

    CPU + Mobo
    i7 + P6T - One of the best mobos for i7

    RAM -
    G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

    CASE + PSU
    This 700W PSU from the CM is one of their best and can easily handle 2x GTX 260 SLI no problems and is 80+ Silver certified...

    But still if you want to play safe, then get the Corsair 750TX...

    HDD -
    WD Black 640GB


    Graphics card -
    XFX GTX 260 + has 2 games free...

    Total - $1070
  16. wow thanks i added a 22 inch monitor and vista and its still under $1400 which is okay for my budget- awesome

    One thing, could you recommend a good brand of ram for only 4gb? because i don't think i'll need all 6

    And what's your opinion of the two different builds up there. Because the one with the i7 is a good $200 dollars more than the AMD, and the amd has a slightly better graphics card. which is more important for gaming?
  17. if your using an i7 i'd heavly reccomend buying your ram kits in sticks of 3. The i7 takes advantage of tripple memmory channels. So Your better off buying 3x1gb's or 3x2gbs (which is more the norm). Ontop of that its much harder to find ddr3 kits that are 2x2gbs that are below the 1.65voltage safety limit your cpu stesses on your ram kits.
  18. This could clarifie about your 3-way GPU question : MSI Eclipse Plus: Does nForce 200 Boost 3-Way SLI?

    I would recommend going with Windows 7 RC and saving on an OS for latter. This RC will expire in march, then you can buy Windows 7. Why buy a product that is being replaced?

    As for memory, your better to spend 5$-15$ more and get 6gb. OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK - Retail

    It's 80$ after rebates.

  19. ok thanks i didn't know that i guess i'll just go with 6 so i don't have to upgrade later

    yea thanks for that article but i don't think i'll be doing 3-way sli anyway

    ok ive been looking around and i think im gonna go with a slightly changed version of gkay09's first build- here's what i've got

    amd phenom 2 x4 955
    Sapphire 4890 1 gb

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard

    coolermaster rc-690

    OCZ 4gb ddr2 1066

    Western Digital 750gb hd

    LG dvd drive

    Asus 21.5 inch 1080p Hd monitor

    any suggestions? this all comes out to $1,143 so have a little room for upgrades

    Also, i like the suggestion of using windows 7, and i can take $100 off of that if i use that- what are opinions on that?
  20. Hi...if you are planning the AMD route(Which I would highly recommend), it is better you go the AM3 + DDR3 way...
    Though you wont notice much performance gains with DDR3 now but it is a better upgradeable platform than DDR2 as all the future CPUs would go the DDR3 way...
    And you will be able to reuse the RAM and maybe even the mobo in your future build...

    CPU + Mobo


    Graphics card -

    And change the Hard drive to the WD 640GB...It is newer and more efficient than that old 750GB drive...

    Rest same...
    And I don't think there would be any significant change in the budget with these changes...

    And one more thing...If you are planning for HD 4890 crossfire anytime soon, then change the PSU to Corsair 750TX as that 700W might be little close...And it is better to have some headroom...
  21. wow thanks i added all of that and the total with vista comes to $1171 which is awesome, and yea i put the corsair in there because when i crossfire i don't want to have to add in a new psu

    one thing- what exactly is the difference between the 640gb hard drive you put on and the 750 i had? is it a big difference? because if it isn't i might do 750 for the extra space
  22. the 750GB has lower density platters, this means that the read write rate is lower.

    example, 750GB = 3x 250GB platters, 640GB = 2x 320GB platters.
  23. higher density platters = higher preformance
    less platters = lower engery cost (ussualy)

    if your looking for more space look into the WD Black 1TB - it's 3x 320 = 960gbs (WD just marks it as a 1tb drive however...shrugs)

    *note* You'll see the preformance gains when dealing with load screens and boot times mostly having a higher preforming hard drive.
  24. ok yea so i guess ill go with the 640gb i mean i can always add another later.

    Can the mother board that gkay09 recommended run two 4890s with only one x16 slot?
  25. ^ it has two x16 slots but one runs at x8, however the 4890's can still run in x8.
  26. ^+1
    Like helloworld has said, that mobo has 2 PCIe slots...
    And you wont notice significant real world performance difference between setups running @ x16x16 vs x8x8...But sure this would change when we get faster CPUs, that can keep up with that much graphics power...
  27. hey okay thanks one more thing can you mount an am2+ heatsink on an am3 motherboard and cpu? because im looking a heatsinks for it and there are very few am3 ones
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