Building New Gaming Rig ($900ish)

Hey all. :hello: So my current system is becoming a bit sluggish for gaming so I've decided to upgrade a few parts (most of them) to try and improve performance. Here's my current build:

CPU: AMD Phenom 8450 Triple-Core Processor
RAM: 4 GB Patriot Viper
MOBO: ASUS M3A
GPU: ATI 4650 1GB
CASE: Antec Sonata III
PSU: Corsair 550w
SOUND CARD: Creative Xi-Fi XtremeGamer
HARD DRIVE: Western Digital Caviar 500GB

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: In a week or two
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Surfing the web
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Headset, Sound Card, Monitor, Drives, Hard Drive (I don't know if it'll bottleneck)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg
PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm looking at the i7 processors
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Mainly for playing TF2 and Source games. I get around 40ish fps with my current build.

I've looked at these parts so far but need more advice on them since I haven't built a system in about a year so I don't know what's good in terms of parts nowadays.


CPU: Intel i7 920 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202 (looks like a great processor but need more insight)
RAM: 4GB G.Skill - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231189
MOBO: GIGABYTE GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128375 (don't really want to spend more on my motherboard than my processor
GPU: Nvidia GTX 260 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130433 (don't know if its a decent video card for the system I'm looking for)
PSU: Corsair 650w - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005 (don't know if it can handle a newer i7 system)
HEATSINK: Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185093
CASE: Antec Twelve Hundred - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129043 (I'm not sure the the nine hundred will fit a newer video card and my heatsink but I'll go with it if it can since its cheaper.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any help offered :bounce:
13 answers Last reply
More about building gaming 900ish
  1. If it was up to me I would just throw in a new GPU - a 4870 would be nice, and a new CPU - a 945 for example.

    If you really want to start fresh though here are some suggestions:

    Cheaper, better MOBO
    ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157163&Tpk=ASRock%20X58%20Extreme%20LGA

    Correct RAM (i7's use triple channel DDR3)
    OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227381

    Yes the 900 will fit a 260 and a SCMG 2
    Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021
  2. Thanks for the reply!
    I would need a new motherboard for the 945 though, right? My current motherboard only supports AM2 and AM2+ so I thought it would be more cost effective if I just went with i7 instead. Also, I'll be running 32-bit vista so should I bother with 6 gigs of ram or just stick with 4? Thanks for the insight on the 900!

    Oh and if anyone has a different build that will run TF2 smoothly, feel free to throw it out there and I'll take a look at it. Mostly using this baby for gaming.
  3. No the 945 should work with your mobo, you may need to update the bios is all. For an i7 you must get triple channel RAM, if your using 32 bit you can go with 3x1gb instead of 3x2gb.

    Edit: Add your budget, and you'll probably get more proposed builds as well.
  4. Do you think going with the i7 would make a huge difference when gaming when compared to the 945? I'm looking at this combo right now:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.236393
    I'd need a new motherboard with that combo but it looks like it'd improve my ingame performance quite a bit.

    I noticed you have similar specs to what you're recommending to me right now , jbakerlent, so if I could ask, do you play any games and what is your general performance in computer games if you do?

    Thanks!
  5. Believe it or not I do not play games, sorry. :( But yes I can tell you that that combo would improve your gaming performance dramatically. No an i7 would not improve performance much over a 945 if you spent the same amount of money on both rigs (more money on CPU = less money on GPU).
  6. Infernoo said:
    Thanks for the reply!
    I would need a new motherboard for the 945 though, right? My current motherboard only supports AM2 and AM2+ so I thought it would be more cost effective if I just went with i7 instead. Also, I'll be running 32-bit vista so should I bother with 6 gigs of ram or just stick with 4? Thanks for the insight on the 900!


    According to your Asus M3A CPU support list:
    http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/cpusupport.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=M3A&product=1
    Your board has a latest beta BIOS up to the 95W TDP P2X3 7xx series and i suspect it has a TDP limit of 95W TDP for AM2+/AM3 so best clarify if Asus has a beta BIOS for say the new 95W TDP P2X4 945
  7. batuchka said:
    According to your Asus M3A CPU support list:
    http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/cpusupport.aspx?SLanguage=en-us&model=M3A&product=1
    Your board has a latest beta BIOS up to the 95W TDP P2X3 7xx series and i suspect it has a TDP limit of 95W TDP for AM2+/AM3 so best clarify if Asus has a beta BIOS for say the new 95W TDP P2X4 945


    Yes the maximum the M3A supports is 95W, which makes the 945 a perfect option...
  8. However the board is a slightly dated SB600 770 chipset and Asus may/may not have a BIOS for the Phenom 2 quads hence it is wiser to double check with Asus if they indeed have a beta BIOS to accommodate the Phenom 2 quads (not just tricores)
  9. Yea I don't really want to risk it with the mobo so I think I'll get a new one either way. Any recommendations for motherboards/ram for the 955? Should I go with the 4870 or get the combo with the 4890. Also, can my power supply handle all this or do I need a new one?
  10. Many boards with a 600 SB support Phenom 2 Quad: http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=ESv3v4AmCdP1GdRp&templete=2
    And the 770 certainly supports them. But yes, it's always better to be absolutely positive.
  11. Hey again. So I played around with a few configs and just wanted to get some feedback. Here's the AMD rig I came up with. I'm not sure if everything is compatible so if someone could look that over I'd appreciate it. Also, I'm debating going with the 900 to save money but I'm not sure if my video card would fit since its a larger one than the GTX260. Also, I'm wondering if my power supply is a bit overkill since I wont be crossfiring my video card.

    http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/ec0710173b.jpg

    I also played around a bit with an i7 build so here it is.

    http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/fac8b6f68a.jpg

    For this one, I was hoping someone could look over the compatibility and suggest better options for parts since it seems to be a bit pricy. First of all, I'm running 32-bit vista so I was wondering if I should just go with 3 gigs of ram, and if yes, I was hoping someone could recommend me some decent ram. Second, I was hoping people could also recommend me cheaper but reliable alternatives for some of the parts I picked.

    Once again, thanks for the input everyone and sorry if my posts are lengthy.
  12. cant view pics infernoo.....

    so I just put one together.....

    Case: Antec 900
    MOBO: Biostar Tforce TA790GX
    combo deal....... $204.98 ($15.00 MIR)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.240308

    CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 945 3.0Ghz
    GPU: HIS HD4870 1GB GDDR5
    combo deal....... $298.98
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.236397

    RAM: Mushkin 4GB DDR3 1333 ......... $89.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146868

    PSU: OCZ StealthXStream 700W ......... $84.99 ($15.00 MIR)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341019

    GPU: HIS HD4870 1GB DDR5
    HIS Crossfire bridge
    Crossfire combo........ $151.98
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.237101

    OS: Windows 7 RC free download

    Total: $830.92 (with $30 MIR)

    This isn't I7 but it will be good for gaming for less money.
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