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First time build - "budget gaming" PC ~$800

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July 3, 2009 5:44:37 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next two weeks

BUDGET RANGE: ~$800 (excluding peripherals/accessories/monitor)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: speakers, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: any US based site, also have a Microcenter fairly convenient (Boston)

PARTS PREFERENCES: Want good value in system that I won't need to upgrade really (at least not totally overhaul, maybe put in a better graphics card or OC the CPU) for a few years - won't be playing the latest games on it, maybe Starcraft 2 might be the only thing I really play

OVERCLOCKING: Probably not [ b]SLI OR CROSSFIRE[/b]: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Just purchased 24" Dell monitor - 1900x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Have a wireless mouse but will be on the lookout for any sweet wireless keyboard or combo wireless mouse/keyboards deals in next couple of weeks

Here is what I am thinking for parts:

Antec 300
http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?pro...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX - Retail
BIOSTAR TA790GXB A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
COMBO at Newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1100 (PC2 8800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8800CL5D-4GBPI - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
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 LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

XIGMATEK XLF-F1253 120mm 4 white LED LED Case Fan - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total is ~$800 before tax, shipping, and rebates

Some questions I have are:
1) Overall, is this a good value build? Can I get more "bang for the buck" by using a more limited processor or GPU?
2) Do I have too much power supply?
3) Is the MB/CPU combo any good? Could I do better with a better MB but weaker CPU such as http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
(supporting DDR3 memory - would save me having to buy new memory whenever I upgrade)
4) Do I need a cooler? I may want to do some limited overclocking. The CPU comes with a stock cooler, right?
5) This is my first time building - what else do I need? Any particular screwdriver recommendations? Do I need one of those antistatic wrist bands? What about thermal paste or does that come with the stock cooler?
6) I'll be able to keep using this copy of Windows Vista OEM, even if I do a major upgrade to the computer e.g. change the MB and CPU a few years from now? Assuming the Windows 7 upgrade comes as a CD so that will still work...

Note this is a follow-up to this thread:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/267647-31-computer-mo...
July 3, 2009 6:52:04 AM

That is a good build there...
For your questions...

1. Yes...it is a good value build...I doubt you can get anything better than that combo that you have...

2. Actually even a high quality 500/ 550W is suffice to power that rig...
Other cheaper alternatives...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. That CPU + Mobo is a good one...But I highly doubt you would ever need more than 4GB RAM...So just by going with the DDR3 reason, doesnt seem so good...And this quad would serve you longer than that Tri-core...And as for the mobo, both have similar features...

4. Highly recommended that you get a CPU cooler...Those Black Edition CPUs have good overclocking potential, and with a good CPU cooler, they can do better...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

5. Yes it would be better you get a small toolkit like this...It will have the anti-static wrist strap included...
Has $5 with the HDD...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

And for the thermal paste, the stock ones are not good...And that CPU cooler that I havs listed has a very good thermal grease...Remove the stock one and apply that...

6. Yes...you can use that copy I guess...
October 27, 2009 1:45:26 PM

Id go with a 5770 over at 4870 personally. you get dx11, lower power consumption, and eyefinity for very similar performance
Related resources
October 27, 2009 2:21:53 PM


griffed88 said:
Id go with a 5770 over at 4870 personally. you get dx11, lower power consumption, and eyefinity for very similar performance
Did you happen to notice that you bumped a topic from July 2nd? 5770s weren't out back in that ancient time.
November 2, 2009 4:00:33 AM

WR2 said:
Did you happen to notice that you bumped a topic from July 2nd? 5770s weren't out back in that ancient time.


lol nope, i had no clue! lol should prolly pay more attention to that lol
!