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First time builder needs help [gaming, ~600 USD)

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July 17, 2009 4:12:04 AM

Hello everyone!

My name is Zach and its good to meet all of you. I have been lurking the forums for a while and have finally decided to formally join and such. Its a pleasure to be here. Anyway, I was hoping to break into the building your own computer scene, and found myself overwhelmed by the wealth of information available, and as such, was hoping for direction. I was hoping to have this computer serve as primarily a gaming computer, and would like to play games on the higher end of settings... how they were developed to be played. Anyway... I dont have everything picked out, and the stuff I do have picked out might not be the best etc... any and all help and advice is greatly appreciated!!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next few weeks preferably

BUDGET RANGE: MAX ~600, preferably closer to ~500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, media usage, internet surfing, school

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers, Moniter (24in dell), keyboard, mouse

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Whatever has the best value etc.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I dont know enough to have a preference

OVERCLOCKING: I would like to... I consider it one of the main draws of building your own computer.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: In the future if its needed

MONITOR RESOLUTION: My monitor supports a max resolution of 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I usually leave my current computer on all the time, so a quiet one would be nice... All your help is much appreciated!

CPU:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 Processor BX80570E8200 - 2.66GHz, 6MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB, Wolfdale, Dual-Core, Retail, Socket 775, Processor with Fan (129.99)

Mother Board:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...
Intel DP45SG Motherboard - Intel P45 Express, Socket 775, DDR3 1333/1066/800 MHz, 7.1 Audio, CrossFire (2) PCI Express 2.0 x16, SATA RAID, eSATA, USB 2.0, Firewire, S/PDIF, Gigabit LAN (119.99)

Video Card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card – Retail (124.99)

Memory:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P16004GK - Retail (76.99)

Hard Drive:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Western Digital WD5000AAKS Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 500GB, 7200rpm, 16MB, SATA-300, OEM (59.99)

Power Supply:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Apevia Java 500-Watt Power Supply - SATA-Ready, 120mm Fan (Black) (39.99)

And thats what I have come up with so far... I am missing a CD Drive, "Heat Sink" (for overclocking i think), and a Case.

Again thank you all in advance for any light you can shine!
July 17, 2009 4:16:34 AM

Hi and welcome! I would recommend going with AMD with your budget mainly because of upgradability maybe something like the 550 or the 710 would work (better than the e8200) and still be cheaper. Also if you want to stick with your current build, go with this PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168.... Check out the Xigmatek Dark Knight for a HSF and just go with a cheap well-reviewed DVD burner.
July 17, 2009 4:49:00 AM

Hello Zach, and welcome to the year 2009, we're glad you could join us!

In all seriousness my friend, I must inform you that the hardware you're looking at would qualify as high-settings worthy two years ago. Your processor is merely a dual core, while the current gaming standard for new systems is 4 cores, as games use up to 3 at the moment, and will undoubtedly make use of more in the future. Also keep in mind that your motherboard has an ATI chipset that supports Crossfire. You should not be pairing an nVidia video card with that chipset, as you will not be getting the best results, and will be unable to run SLI. To take of advantage of a multi-board graphics solution in the future, you would have to either re-build, or ditch your nVidia card and buy two ATI cards. Match your chipset with your graphics cards. Unfortunately, on a 24inch monitor your situation will be even worse, as the resolution you should be playing at for best results is 1080p, so you will undoubtedly have to crank the settings to medium on several modern games. Having worked retail electronics, and being an avid PC builder, true gaming PC's can not be purchased for $500. That's what XBox 360's are for. I'd say around $800+ is a more reasonable budget, but even then, not for max settings. You'd be breaching $1000 pretty easily for that.

I suppose it really depends on the games you like to play. Tell us-

What do you play now and what do you see yourself playing in the future?

How important are max details to you? Can you swallow your pride and set some games to medium?

Have you factored in software such as the operating system, anti-virus software, productivity suites such as Microsoft Office and games to be bought on top of it?

And lastly-

Can you save up for another month or two? I would strongly suggest gathering up a couple more paychecks before you buy things. The reality of it is that you have to buy high in order to play at the top settings. Investing in hardware that overshoots current games is the idea, so that they will meet recommended requirements for future games. That's my strategy at least, and it seems to work.
Related resources
July 17, 2009 4:59:02 AM

CPU+MOBO
RAM
GPU
PSU

Just throw in a cheap case and a DVD burner and you have yourself a great computer!
(Edit: the parts listed above only come to $440 btw)
July 17, 2009 5:15:13 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Better board and a better CPU, doesnt support SLI but you shouldnt be doing that with an AMD processor anyway as the nVidia chipsets have been reported to be sketchy.

Ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And just about any DVD burner for about $30

Comes out to ~598 before MIRs and shipping



July 17, 2009 5:33:29 AM

Ok for gaming at 1920x1200 res, $600 is not at all an ideal budget. imapc put it very bluntly, but I must agree on the points he made.

To get the best results, you need to put as much as you can into the GPU(s) to make this a worthwhile gaming PC. Pick a cheap CPU that OC's well, like the E5200 and the cheapest P45 board with crossfire. Get a cheap case, 4gb ddr2 800 ram, 550-600w psu, smaller fast HDD, cheap DVD Drive, and use all the remaining for the GPU's.
I'd probably to for something like this:
Case/CPU: Rosewill case + E5200
MB/Ram (ECS definitely not my first choice, but its got decent reviews and its affordable): ECS P45 MB + Super Talent 4gb DDR2-800 CL4 Ram
PSU: OCZ ModXStream 600W
DVD: LG Sata Drive
HDD: WD3200AAKS
GPU's: 2x ASUS 4850

DL Win7 RC for an OS, OC to ~3.2ghz on stock cooling. If you can stretch the budget a little more, then get this cooler:
Xigmatek HDT-S964
+ bracket:
Xigmatek ACK-I7753 Retention Bracket

Without the cooler, cost is $598 without shipping or MIR ($45) included. This is about as good as you can do on your current budget. With the cooler, the total is $628. The cooler will allow you to OC further, up to 4ghz if you have good silicon in your chip.

Some people will probably argue that Phenom II X2 or X3 is a better route here, but the E5200 costs much less and will overclock higher than those chips, and the wolfdale core is faster than the Callisto cores clock for clock, which is why I would recommend going with the E5200. The E5200 has a 12.5x multiplier and is easily capable of a FSB of 333, some will go to 350 or higher. 333x12.5=4.16ghz.
July 17, 2009 2:29:07 PM

I like xthekidx's build and comments supporting imapc's assessment. The only problem I think it might have is heat. A pair of 4850s can generate a lot of it, those don't exhaust their heat, and less than stellar airflow is perhaps the one notable weakness of those cheap Rosewill cases; that one doesn't even have a 120mm exhaust fan. If you go up $10 per card, XFX has one with a dual-slot design that exhausts its heat, but this just reinforces their point that your budget needs to stretch to get what you want. You could buy this system and enjoy it, but then in a few months be kicking yourself for not waiting until you had another few hundred $$$. Of course, you could always plan to upgrade, but that changes the strategy quite a bit.
July 17, 2009 4:55:55 PM

Yes heat will be an issue in that case. If you wanted something better cooled, you could try something like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have actually used that case and its not too bad, the 80mm fan is noisy so i just took it out. Its nothing special, but will get the job done for you. Not a bad deal for its current price.
July 17, 2009 10:13:05 PM

Interesting case. Is that a 120mm front fan AND an 80mm fan blowing across the hard drives?
July 17, 2009 11:07:46 PM

"Pick a cheap CPU that OC's well, like the E5200"

Wrong.

Building a gaming PC is all about balance. If your graphics card is faster than what your CPU can handle then the CPU will max out at 100% and the graphics card(s) will not be fully used.

You could put together a pretty good gaming PC for $800. I tried to design one at $600 bud had to make too many unacceptable compromises.

The extra $200 makes a HUGE difference. There's a lower limit to build even a basic PC. On the other end, spending more than $1200 starts to see diminishing returns on value (many could argue that but I'm taking in general).

I'm included to recommend an AM3 based system with a quad-core AM3 CPU, 4GB DDR3 and a single graphics card.

Just for reference, the older X2-4800+ runs BOTH cores at 100% during the game Mass Effect when paired with an HD3870. This means upgrading my graphics card would likely have no effect at all when playing this game. On average though, my CPU was running at 75% but it does vary.

I'd recommend building a solid $800 system with a good AM3 quad-core 3GHz then upgrade the graphics again in two to three years if needed. This should provide a good six years (or more).

If you skimp on the CPU you will regret it.
July 17, 2009 11:16:08 PM

The above system is good for $600 but not very upgradeable because of the CPU. I also recommend going with a full ATX board for expansion. I thought I'd refer to it though as it has some good points as well.

One thing you'll have to seriously consider is multiple cards. That means NVidia (SLI) or ATI (Crossfire).

Larrabee:
There might be some excellent future value in having a Crossfire or SLI board with a single graphics card. The second PCIe x16 slot could be used for a Larrabee card. It's hard to say now, but the Larrabee board which should be able to do both graphics and CPU tasks might be able to boost BOTH CPU and graphics in a system providing a nice boost if your CPU is limiting you.

I like to keep my options open. The second PCIe x16 slot can also be used for ANY PCIe card from x1 up (including ones like the Auzentech Forte X-Fi audio card).
July 18, 2009 12:11:06 AM

Onus said:
Interesting case. Is that a 120mm front fan AND an 80mm fan blowing across the hard drives?

Yep. Another reason I removed the 80mm fan.

Not many cases will give you four case fans for $40 though, I think that case is a great deal for people on a tight budget looking for a good system.
July 18, 2009 12:14:52 AM

photonboy said:
"Pick a cheap CPU that OC's well, like the E5200"

Wrong.

Building a gaming PC is all about balance. If your graphics card is faster than what your CPU can handle then the CPU will max out at 100% and the graphics card(s) will not be fully used.

You could put together a pretty good gaming PC for $800. I tried to design one at $600 bud had to make too many unacceptable compromises.

The extra $200 makes a HUGE difference. There's a lower limit to build even a basic PC. On the other end, spending more than $1200 starts to see diminishing returns on value (many could argue that but I'm taking in general).

I'm included to recommend an AM3 based system with a quad-core AM3 CPU, 4GB DDR3 and a single graphics card.

Just for reference, the older X2-4800+ runs BOTH cores at 100% during the game Mass Effect when paired with an HD3870. This means upgrading my graphics card would likely have no effect at all when playing this game. On average though, my CPU was running at 75% but it does vary.

I'd recommend building a solid $800 system with a good AM3 quad-core 3GHz then upgrade the graphics again in two to three years if needed. This should provide a good six years (or more).

If you skimp on the CPU you will regret it.

Did you even bother reading what I wrote?

You are correct, if you run the cheap CPU at stock speeds. Notice how I said OVERCLOCK. The E5200 uses the same wolfdale cores used in the E8600, the only difference is the amount of L2 cache and the FSB. Up the FSB to 333, and you have yourself a $70 chip performing like a $200 one. Take a read of the last few SBM articles that have been published for the $625 Budget gaming system, you will see that they used the exact same thing and had good results. The E5200 is obviously not meant for longevity, he can throw a Q9550 in there down the road when he needs it but for now its a good solution.

You compared an E5200 to an X2 4800+...The E5200 uses a 45nm manufacturing process, the 4800+ uses a 90nm process I think, it may be 65nm...which seriously changes the way the CPU will respond to OC'ing and overvolting. Everyone knows the X2's and Phenom's were terrible overclockers, and that AMD processors posses an inferior architecture to the Core 2's. The E5200 overclocked will be able to handle the 4850's Xfired.
July 18, 2009 12:18:23 AM

I've also used a couple of those Rosewill cases in builds with 1- 120mm intake fan in front, 1-120mm rear exhaust, 1- 120mm exhaust fan at top and 1 -80mm intake fan at the side. Like thekid i found the 80mm fan to be irritating (pitch in my case) and removed it (which left a good cable hiding space on the right side under the case panel. I've been very happy with both cases and i've never had to retap a Rosewill case for the standoffs.
July 18, 2009 12:52:54 AM

Yeah, that last point is why I like the cheap Rosewill cases. I can't make the same claim about Coolermaster, but I don't remember if I had to re-tap any on my RC690.
July 18, 2009 2:31:32 AM

Hey Everyone!

I have been at work all day and had not gotten a chance to see what you all had written. Thank you all so much for your input.

So to answer some of your questions first. I dont mind playing the games that require a HUGE investment for max settings on med. I play most all games, although my favorites seem to be oblivion and generally online PvP... i havent really played anything new as my computer now is... not up to par to say the least.


Based on your responses I have a few questions... I see some of you stressing a balanced build and some of you stressing max GPU and low quality everything else... What is the most important part of the system in terms of preformance? The least?

In addition, what exactly determines how effective cetrain pieces are... for example, when looking at a CPU, I would think to look at the Ghz... is that the case? What about for a graphics card?

Anyway, in spite of my questions I have tried to incorporate the sujestions you have all come up with, as they all seem to be well thought out and are greatly appreciated, into a new build. Let me know if I am on the right track!

Thanks in advance!!

CPU:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...
AMD Phenom X4 9950 Quad Core Processor HD995ZXAGHBOX - Black Edition, 2.60GHz, 4MB Cache, 2000MHz (4000 MT/s) FSB, Agena, Quad-Core, Retail, Socket AM2+, Processor with Fan

Motherboard
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Biostar TA790GX 128M Motherboard - AMD 790GX, AM2+ 128MB DDR2 Side-Port, ATI Hybrid, CrossFire, PCIe 2.0, Gigabit, USB2.0, RAID, HDMI/DVI

Video Card:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Visiontek Radeon HD 4850 Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, CrossFireX Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, HDMI Support, VGA Support

Memory:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Corsair XMS2 4GB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory Upgrade - 2x2048MB

Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Rosewill R5730-P BK 120mm Fan Pre-Installed on the Top and 80mm Slim Fan Cooling HDD,ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail


Hard Drive:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Western Digital WD5000AAKS Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 500GB, 7200rpm, 16MB, SATA-300, OEM (59.99)

Power Supply:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Apevia Java 500-Watt Power Supply - SATA-Ready, 120mm Fan (Black) (39.99)

Let me know what you think, all advice is unexplainable appreciated as you help me through all the information out there!
July 18, 2009 3:40:29 AM

That's last generation's CPU. Get a Phenom II; a 940 X4 if you can afford it, a 720 X3 if you need to be more frugal.
And OH HELL NO! to any Apevia PSU. They are system-destroying garbage. Any that jonnyguru has tested choked, usually badly. Choose a quality brand like Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, or Enermax. For a single HD4850, an Earthwatts 500W PSU would work well. If you think you might like to Crossfire a pair of them in the future, get 650W.
July 18, 2009 4:37:02 AM

Don't get that old Phenom, they are garbage. You want Phenom II, if you decide to go that route.

The PSU I linked above is $50 after rebate and will support crossfire, and is much better than that apevia. If you only want one GPU, then this PSU will work for you:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 18, 2009 4:40:00 AM

as usual i agree with jtt on all his points. This combo deal at newegg has a PhenomII x4 940 and a Gigabyte 790x for less then the links you showed.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

please please don't use an Apevia power supply. or raidmax or logisys or other garbage power supplies.
July 18, 2009 4:42:15 AM

Swap the motherboard and processor for these
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

and the ram for
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ends up costing about the same but will out perform the old phenom in just about every application except the few that can actually use the fourth core. But when you get the money in the future you can just swap the CPU for one of the next generation quads.

The ram is alot more expensive because i didnt select one of the slower speeds like the 800MHz ddr2 you had selected.
July 18, 2009 4:51:24 AM

I'm with 'xthekidx' to a certain extent. The idea of overclocking the cheap Core 2's has always been a viable option, but when you mention upgrading to a Q8200-or whatever you said-CPU later on, that to me says "I wan't to spend extra money on old hardwre". The way I see it, if somebody is willing to do that, they should take the smarter option and save up a wee bit for the best hardware in the first place. I strongly suggest quad core, especially if game designers start to take notice of the multithreading capabilities as well as the new multicore CPUs coming out. Waiting for a desktop version of AMD's Istanbul? I bet you money that you won't be waiting long. Get the most cores for your dollar at a tollerable clock speed (2.4ghz+) if you're a budget gamer, IMO.

On another note, yes getting overpowered GPU's with a CPU that will cap you is also a bad idea. I found that out the hard way when I was a lot younger and 3DFX Voodoo 3 cards were brand new. Good times, good times.
July 18, 2009 5:13:00 AM

oh yeah! 3DFX Voodoo3 and Diablo! hot ticket!
July 20, 2009 4:55:53 PM

Hey everyone!

I had some University stuff I had to take care of this weekend and was away from my computer and could not respond. I got back this morning, and am so delighted to see so many helpful comments on which to draw information.

Here is version 3 of the proposed computer build. Quad core phenom II, and what I think is a pretty well done budget gaming PC. My only issue now is figuring out which graphics card to use (Assuming everything else is chosen properly). How does one go about choosing a graphics card, what spec is king?

All of your comments are appreciated and welcomed both good and bad. I would like to spend only ~130 on the graphics card, but can push it to 150 making this computer just touch the 650 mark.

Thank you everyone for all your help thus far!

CPU+MOBO: (250)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Video Card:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Visiontek Radeon HD 4850 Video Card - 512MB GDDR3, PCI Express 2.0, CrossFireX Ready, (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, HDMI Support, VGA Support (139)
vs
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card – Retai (149)

Memory: (51)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail

Case (60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Rosewill R5730-P BK 120mm Fan Pre-Installed on the Top and 80mm Slim Fan Cooling HDD,ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail


Hard Drive: (60)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Western Digital WD5000AAKS Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 500GB, 7200rpm, 16MB, SATA-300, OEM

Power Supply(59)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail

July 20, 2009 5:32:34 PM

Not going to nit-pick; it looks good. I agree that Newegg will likely have better prices.
July 20, 2009 6:55:59 PM

the gpu you link to at tiger is 512mb vs the one at newegg is 1gb... that is the reason for the price difference i would think. check newegg for the 512 if that is all you need, and you can probably save a few bucks.

Try this one (no HDMI though, but dont know if that matters):
VisionTek 900241 Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail ($112)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 20, 2009 7:21:28 PM

I believe that one includes a HDMI adapter.
July 20, 2009 7:26:49 PM

the one i linked to has 2 dvi and an svideo
July 20, 2009 7:50:47 PM

Yes, and there's a HDMI adapter that can go on a DVI connector.
July 20, 2009 7:52:30 PM

ah... sorry about that!
July 20, 2009 8:23:07 PM

Guys, thanks for the quick responses.

Alot of the articles I have been reading say that i need alot of graphics power to run at 1920 x 1200 resolution... will these cards ( the ones you have reccomended and the ones I thought of) work at that resolution (with only one video card)? What would be the determinate of that?

Thanks in advance, I am learning a ton and think that very soon i will be ready to put in my orders!
July 20, 2009 8:54:25 PM

Sorry for the double post, BUT, I think i have narrowed down my choices to 2 when it comes to graphics cards.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SAPPHIRE 100258-1GHDMI Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card – Retail (119)
vs
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card – Retai (149)

the first, the 4850, is only $120, and has gotten good reviews, HOWEVER, the 4870 is only $30 more, and has been reviewed almost perfectly.

Opinions?

Thanks in advance!!

Zach
July 20, 2009 9:08:17 PM

I like xthekidx's build, graphics power is most important for this build. CF 4850s will do you well. The only problem I have with it is the PSU. It is a not very good Sirtec built unit, and it's still fairly expensive before rebate. Get the Antec Earthwatts 650W for the same price. You don't get a rebate, but it's more than worth it to get a very high quality unit.
July 20, 2009 10:06:37 PM

Alrighty, so after much review of what was possible to get in relation to my budget, i realised that by increasing the budget slightly, I could get SO MUCH more. As such, I have modified the build... it is still less than $700, while not by much, but I, in my limited knowledge, think it will suit me for many years, and am happy with my selections.

Please advise, all comments are welcomed and appreciated. Thanks in advance!!!!!

CPU (185) + GPU (205) = (390-45[combo]) = 345
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100269SR Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

Motherboard (110)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard – Retail

Memory: (51)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail

Case (60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Rosewill R5730-P BK 120mm Fan Pre-Installed on the Top and 80mm Slim Fan Cooling HDD,ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail


Hard Drive: (60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive – OEM

Power Supply(60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail

Dvd Drive (30)
Still looking.

Total Cost (w/o S&H) = 716
July 20, 2009 10:18:40 PM

So did we intentionally move from the 940 to the 945? The 940 is the BE, which is what you want if you're going to OC.
July 20, 2009 10:26:10 PM

Yoyojam raises a good point about that PSU. It IS 80+ certified though, which means it had to have been tested at 100% load. At the very least, that means it isn't overrated. It is, however, the minimum you need for a 4890. If you have any thought at all about future Crossfire, or just for the headroom, consider that Antec Earthwatts 650W: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 20, 2009 11:46:21 PM

Don't even bother with OCZ ModXStream PSUs, they are Sirtec crap.
July 21, 2009 12:22:07 AM

AMDThunder said:
So did we intentionally move from the 940 to the 945? The 940 is the BE, which is what you want if you're going to OC.


Juast read this link and personally I would go for the 940be or 720be...
July 21, 2009 12:34:30 AM

I edited the v4 post to include the 940BE, which added a few dollars to total cost, bringing it to $716.

While I realize this is more than I really wanted to spend, I feel that without the compromises on price, I would have to upgrade down the line much sooner, thus defeating the purpose of saving here.

Everyone, I feel like v4 will be the final build... All comments and ideas are all appreciated, and are as always, more than welcome.

If anyone can also find any way to cut cost it would be UNBELIEVABLY APPRECIATED.

Thanks everyone!

Zach
July 21, 2009 9:42:08 AM

If you have no plans for Crossfire, that would be a great idea. That case is very solidly constructed, so it is rather heavy, but very quiet; I built my wife's rig in it, which now has a 720BE X3 in it (she is not a gamer, but multitasks a LOT).
July 21, 2009 8:11:30 PM

Are you going to overclock? If you won't overclock that much, then you can cut costs on the MB with something like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That will do everything you want pretty well I think, and it doesn't look like you are looking to OC since you don't have a cooler listed.

You could even go cheaper and not sacrifice much gaming performance (actually if you got a cooler for $30 and OC'd you'd have better performance than stock 940):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
you would need different ram though:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Three cores is really all you need for gaming right now, the 4th core won't be used unless you play GTAIV or FSX.
!