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$1200 - $1500 - First Time Build, Need Advise

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Last response: in Systems
July 18, 2009 3:06:42 AM

Hello all and thanks in advance for the help. I have a 3.0 P4 w/ 8800GTS & 3gig Ram that seems dated to me with the newer games and I feel its time to upgrade. This will be my first build and would love for you all to share your knowledge.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (within a month's time, looking to spend $1200 - $1500)


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (monitor, keyboard, speakers, mouse, external HD)



SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes (will start with one card, will add second in a months time)



All of the prices I was able to find on

Video Card: XSAPPHIRE Toxic 100269TXSR Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card ($244.99)


As far as the graphics card, I will start with one and add a second one later on (probably in the early fall).

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor ($189.99)


Seems to be the value + performance option w/ overclocking in this price range?

CPU Cooler: Rosewill RCX-SHDT120X1 120mm Direct Touch CPU Cooler w/ 775&1366 Retention Brackets ($49.99)


How do I go about choosing CPU coolers? not too sure on this one here. Reading around it looks like a requirement for OC'ing.

Motherboard: MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard ($179.99)


Really don't understand the real advantages of one mobo over another.

Case: NZXT TEMPEST Crafted Series CS-NT-TEM-B Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($99.99)


Seems ok? Right?

PSU: COOLER MASTER Real Power Pro RS-C50-EMBA-D2 1250W ATX Form Factor 12V V2.3 / SSI standard EPS 12V V2.92 SLI Ready ($249.99)


I'm sure you can recommend something much better / cheaper. Will running dual video cards require this much power?

Memory: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1600C9D ($109.99)


Will start with the 4 gig setup... will add later if needed. Any other suggestions?

HardDrive: Western Digital Raptor WD740ADFD 74GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 1.5Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive: ($79.99)


Wanted the faster HDD, don't really need too much space. Have a large external.

Total Price: $1204.92

More about : 1200 1500 time build advise

July 20, 2009 2:34:54 AM

any suggestions friends?
July 20, 2009 5:24:33 AM

Ok, a few things.

PSU: Overkill of epic proportions. That PSU would be akin to powering a microwave with the sun. A nice 750W unit from Corsair or PC Power and Cooling will be all you need IF you have two cards.

CPU Cooler: Grab the Xigmatek S1283. It fits the AMD socket and is a great performer for the price.

HDD: Pick up a WD Caviar Black 640GB. It really is only slightly slower than the raptors AND it costs less while getting 8x the space. It really is the much better deal.

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July 20, 2009 2:27:58 PM

Thank you for the suggestions... I went ahead and bought my system for $1000; will go ahead and post pics in a couple of days :) 

July 20, 2009 7:24:30 PM

+ for hunter315 mods :)