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Help with First Gaming Build

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August 8, 2009 12:42:35 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 1-3 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: ~$700

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

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, optical drives

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, though I'd take suggestions from zipzoomfly.com, superbiz/ewiz.com if prices are considerably lower

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU; ASUS or GIGABYTE AM3 mobo; Radeon GPU; ANTEC or COOLER MASTER case (maybe LIAN LI); DDR3 RAM; Corsair or Antec PSU

OVERCLOCKING: maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600 x 1200 @ 50 to 91 Hz (It's a NEC FE2111SB CRT)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would prefer a quiet PC.


I'm still researching and compiling a list of potential parts. Here's what I have so far:

CPU
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video
Probably HD 4850, HD 4870

Memory
4GB (2 X 2 GB) DDR3

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
TBD

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


I really appreciate any help offered.

More about : gaming build

August 8, 2009 2:15:56 AM

Looks like a solid build, go with the AM3/DDR3 setup. For RAM my favorite is out of stock, if you have time you can set to auto notify.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
if still out of stock i'd go with this 2x2 GB DDR3 1600 7-7-7-20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For graphic card i've seen great reviews for the Sapphire Vapor-x 4870 1GB. Runs cool and especially quiet, at $150 with free shipping it's a good deal.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.cpu3d.com/review/7477-13/sapphire-radeon-hd-...

To keep the crossfire option open with the 4870 you should go with the 750w Corsair. This site has reviews of all 3 of those cases, read up maybe they'll find something you've missed and make your call easier.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/page/case/15/2

good luck
August 8, 2009 3:44:46 AM

At your resolution i'd rather get the single best GPU solution i could squeeze in hehe. In fact this is doable in Full HD gaming as well no problems ^^ Cheaper with 720BE i guess but a config with a quad in Doable with a HD4890 too
Related resources
August 8, 2009 9:48:32 PM

OK, after some refinements. Items in BOLD are decided on. Still could use some help with remaining selections and making sure it will all work together well.

CPU
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video
Probably HD 4850, HD 4870, maybe a lower model. My concern is the heat issue of the 4850 and 4870. I've read some models have a non stock cooler and/or heat exhaust to combat that. It's confusing which one to choose with all the variations available.

Memory
I was thinking 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666). This is the component that I find most confusing. Still researching.

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
Antec Nine Hundred Two (can be purchased with X3 720 BE in newegg combo)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Antec Three Hundred Illusion (would consider this case to cut costs, if I can fit components easily and good airflow)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
COOLER MASTER HAF 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Thanks
August 9, 2009 5:34:50 PM

Just now saw the PM, sorry I didn't see it yesterday.

I'll address the CPU last,
GPU: This 4870 1gb w/ 2 games and free shipping is a steal. Also is the dual slot design to put your mind at ease about cooling, though it really isn't a factor. $135 amir
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HSF: If you're going to OC, this is one of the best deals, comes with good good. $25 amir
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: MSI AMD 770 AM3. Free shipping $80. The gigabyte will cost you ~$10 more cuz of shipping. MSI looks solid.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: Might give this a read if you have some time to self educate:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-ddr3,2319...
But once you hit DDR3 1333, its more about the timings. So get a DDR3 1333 or 1600 kit thats Cas 7 and you'll be good. If you can find one that does it with only 1.5v, even better. Here's one that would work, though I'm not familar with GEIL: $75 w/ free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Since the mobo can only do one GPU, the Corsair 650w is more than enough and will serve you for several builds. $80 amir

Case: All 4 are way better than good enough. Pick the one you like the styling the best. The storm scout has free shipping which makes it my pick. That and I think it looks cooler than the rest. If you like one of the others better, check ZZF for it, they have free shipping on a lot of stuff right now.

HDD: Great choice

All that adds up to $560 ($90 case) leaving $140-190 for upgrades and the CPU. If you want to come in under budget for $680, the 720x3 is a solid CPU and will serve you well. If you want to be within your budget, the 945 puts the total at $730 or if you get the CPU from ZZF, the 955be is $200 putting you right at the $750. You will be able to game like a mad man with the 4870 at that res already and the x3 is still a little more CPU than most games can use. So if you want to have some free cash, get the x3, if you want to go CPU crazy, the either x4.


August 11, 2009 10:45:51 PM

So I think I'm going to hold off on purchasing my system until late August/early September to see if pricing lowers. I'm curious to see the pricing structure after the X4 965 BE is released.

I'm going to buy a couple of the components now, namely the PSU and HDD, since I can get a MIR and free shipping.

I'm indecisive about the PSU. Should I get the CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W or CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W, considering I plan to overclock and possibly add a better video card down the line or possibly CrossFire.
August 11, 2009 10:51:00 PM

get the 750, it will support plenty of graphics power for years to come so its a better investment than the 650 which you would have to swap out to CF 2 4890s.
August 11, 2009 11:43:01 PM

I would salvage the NEC DVD burner, the DVD rom drive isnt very useful anymore. Are they both IDE? If so be aware that IDE cables arent very long these days, my DVD drive has to be in the lowest 5.25" slot on my Antec 300 because the IDE cable isnt long enough.
August 11, 2009 11:54:03 PM

Yeah it looks like they are IDE cables.

I need to get another DVD R/RW drive since I have several edited game disc that are scratched and need to be copied.
!