First-time builder

I already own an Antec 900 shell with a 535W power supply. I use a dual monitor setup with dual DVI.

I also would like to do a watercooled setup, as the room my computer is in gets hot, and I've already got the case to do it so why not.

From the homework I've already done, I've picked out a few components that I like but I'm pretty open to alternatives. I'm not looking to get a great GPU on a crappy brand card to save some money, or get cheapo ram just to get more of it; my main priority is a quality system that I can keep around for a few years without needing to upgrade anything or replace burnt parts.

I've picked out a few components that sound good individually, but I'm not sure how they’ll function together:

Vid card
Ram 3x

What I'm looking for from this post is primarily feedback on my selections (most importantly as pertains to compatibility, I'm terrible at figuring that out) as well as suggested alternatives, particularly if my components are not compatible. Secondly, I'd appreciate some suggestions for a water-cooling kit that is beginner-friendly but effective.

As an added note, since my case has a clear side panel, anything that adds LEDs or other glowing components is a bonus, so any ideas there are also welcome.
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  1. As LGA775 will not have any new processors coming out for it and it doesnt seem like an i7 system is within your price range im going to suggest an AMD system because it will give you upgrade potential and save you a bunch of money.

    AMD 955 and ASUS 790FX board $320 saves 65

    You are best suited with either 4 or 8 GB of ram on any non i7 system as you otherwise do not make use of dual channel mode and most games wont make use of anything more than 4GB of ram
    OCZ platinum CL7 $76 saves 29

    PSU and HDD are good but i would recommend swapping the video card for a 4890 $195 saves you $55

    With the money saved you can put it into either 8GB of ram or a fancier water cooling kit or spending another $45 and getting a second 4890 for crossfire to blow that GTX280 out of the water.
  2. Thank you for your advice, I'll definitely look into it, I had not even considered an AMD build since my natural preference is Intel (though for no well-founded reason)

    I also realize that I did not provide information pertaining to my use of the system. I play WoW while multitasking a media player and multiple browsers, and also commonly a downloading program in the background. I am also considering expanding single-player games from my PS3 to my computer for games like Fallout 3 and Bioshock 2, so good performance for those is important as well.
  3. If you look at this chart the 4890 only falls slightly below the GTX280,1173.html
    Both of them will give you playable frame rates in Fallout 3 at max settings, the biggest benefit of the AMD system over the Intel is that you get 16x/16x crossfire and with the money saved you can come close to fitting a second 4890 in the same budget which would give you vastly superior gaming performance. Plus the 955 is about equivilant to a Q9550 from intel so its not going to bottleneck dual cards as much as a Q6600
  4. great, and in either build, Intel or AMD, where do I stand on power supply? My 535W has done the job but with quad core (or comparable amd) and potentially 2 video cards I'm guessing I'll need much more, is this true?
  5. That is correct, especially since PSUs dont provide as much power as they age and modern PSUs provide much cleaner power meaning less wear on your components. That corsair will provide enough power for dual graphics cards with no problem, corsair is one of the very good brands.
  6. I definitely appreciate hunter315's comments, but I am also hoping for a few second opinions as well. I also am still unsure if the components I selected for myself are compatible with each other, so I'd appreciate feedback there as well.
  7. As time goes by, there really are fewer and fewer compatibility problems.

    Make sure a particular motherboard supports the CPU you choose.
    AMD motherboards - choose ATI video cards unless you are certain you will never CrossFire.
    nVidia motherboards - nVidia GPU's for the same reason.
    Enough good power to run everything.

    That's about it. Practically everything else is personal choice.

    Corsair PSU good choice.

    Antec 900 case does not come with a system speaker.

    And because it is your first build, take a look at this while you are waiting for your parts:

    It may keep you from making some common mistakes.
  8. Thank you for your help, I hadn't realized that compatibility was that much less a problem these days. How do I ensure that my CPU and board are compatible (other than intel vs amd)? I have a pretty decent 2.1 system for sound already, I've always used a home-built, this is my first solo job. How about a critique on my personal choices of board, chip and video card?
  9. Bump, hoping for more input - especially a critique.
  10. Bump, hoping for more input - especially a critique.
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