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First time building a gaming PC (any pc really!)

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July 17, 2009 3:41:04 AM

Hi all,

My name is Ally and this is my first post on Tom's. I am very excited to be here since there's a wealth of information to be gained. In fact, I already learned a thing or two just by reading the forums! I am planning to build my own PC for gaming and I desperately need some advice. I've never done this before but I am confident I can build it with some help. I've been researching into all the parts I'll need so any feedback would be awesome! Thank you!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Now BUDGET RANGE: Max $1000 US

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: games, movies, web browsing, studying

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse (Logitech MX Revolution), Keyboard (Logitech Illuminated Keyboard), Monitor (Samsung 2333SW), OS (XP Pro 64-bit)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com or wherever it's cheapest

PARTS PREFERENCES: Only part I've decided on is the Intel Core i7 920 CPU and maybe 2x GTX 260

OVERCLOCKING: yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: yes, I heard 2x GTX 260 is as good as 1x GTX 285

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 recommended on my monitor

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am new at this!!!

More about : time building gaming

July 17, 2009 3:44:37 AM

you may want to consider a really good power supply if running dual gtx260 preferably 700w or above and also a quality manufacturer
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2009 3:55:51 AM

Maybe something like this: Case

(Edit: and welcome to Tom's btw)
a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2009 3:56:21 AM

If you go with a PII 955 you can get alot more graphics horsepower so its something to consider. Because with 2 of the cheapest GTX 260 and a 920 and an LGA 1366 motherboard will put you at 800, then you need to spend 100 on memory for an i7 and about 100 on a case and psu and another 50-100 on a hard drive pushing you decidedly overbudget.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

July 17, 2009 3:56:23 AM

If you need a case in order to stay under your budget you'll need to drop down to a 4870 graphics card and the ocz gold memory, other than that the build above is pretty sound.
July 17, 2009 4:07:29 AM

Is the stock fan adequate for the build or should I get something else to cool it more?
a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2009 4:10:36 AM

Yes its more than adequate unless you plan to overclock in which case you should check something like the Xigmatek Dark Knight out.
July 17, 2009 4:10:37 AM

if overclocking yes
July 17, 2009 4:36:26 AM

Problem is once again you will run into budget problems to get a GOOD aftermarket cooler. I would run it at stock until you get the upgrade itch, and then you can overclock the processor, add another 4870, and add an aftermarket cooler. It will be a major upgrade performance wise, but it won't cost much in a year or so. (or sooner if you feel you need it and have the budget for it then)
July 17, 2009 5:24:34 AM

belial2k said:
Problem is once again you will run into budget problems to get a GOOD aftermarket cooler. I would run it at stock until you get the upgrade itch, and then you can overclock the processor, add another 4870, and add an aftermarket cooler. It will be a major upgrade performance wise, but it won't cost much in a year or so. (or sooner if you feel you need it and have the budget for it then)

Thanks Belial2k, I just got a new i7 920 for $234, which is better then 280 on newegg.
July 17, 2009 5:26:03 AM

where ya find the 920?
July 17, 2009 5:42:41 AM

What about a cheap dvd/rw drive?
July 17, 2009 5:46:10 AM

ballbuster said:
where ya find the 920?

It took patience and time but I finally got it cheap on eBay.
July 17, 2009 6:02:33 AM

don't be picky on the DVD drive. Just get the cheapest one on newegg....Unless you want lightscribe, then get the cheapest one that has lightscribe. Also be sure to get the format you want (sata or ide) Your MB supports both, but you should have plenty of sata ports to work with, so most people prefer sata these days.
a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2009 4:47:26 PM

Most of us would be very hesitant to buy a CPU on eBay. Who knows where it's been, or how high someone tried to overclock it, or... hopefully you just lucked out very nicely.
I'll readily admit there are other good ones (Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, and Enermax come most quickly to mind), but I am partial to Antec. A pair of GTX260s will use 32A by themselves, so you'd probably need 750W-850W. A pair of 4870s should offer similar performance (check individual game benchmarks) but only use 25A, so 650W-750W would be enough. Antec has some excellent 80+ bronze certified PSUs in those ranges.
July 17, 2009 9:57:51 PM

Onus said:
Most of us would be very hesitant to buy a CPU on eBay. Who knows where it's been, or how high someone tried to overclock it, or... hopefully you just lucked out very nicely.
I'll readily admit there are other good ones (Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, and Enermax come most quickly to mind), but I am partial to Antec. A pair of GTX260s will use 32A by themselves, so you'd probably need 750W-850W. A pair of 4870s should offer similar performance (check individual game benchmarks) but only use 25A, so 650W-750W would be enough. Antec has some excellent 80+ bronze certified PSUs in those ranges.

I got it new and unopened, couldn't believe I got it! I am thinking about the 4890 so how many watts PSU do I need?
a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2009 10:36:22 PM

From what I've read, a 4890 is basically an overclocked 4870, so it probably uses a little more juice, but not too much. Based on the page at http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad..., 500W is enough for one, and 600Wis enough for two of them. If it were me, I'd probably want just a little more, say 50W-100W higher, just for head room and to account for [capacitor] aging.
!