Building a gaming PC/First time builder

I've been using only laptops for the last several years but wish to build my own desktop capable of running the latest games and optimal resolution and frames. I've never built a PC before so I'm new to choosing components and need advice and direction.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Looking to build within a month or two BUDGET RANGE: 1500-2000 CND

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: This will be almost exclusively for gaming. I have a laptop for my other needs.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: None, I'm starting from scratch and have no spare parts to use.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Anything that ships to Canada (newegg, ncix, tigerdirect, etc...)

PARTS PREFERENCES: This is where I could use some help, from what I've read it seems it'd be best for me to go with Intel i7 Quad with an ATI video card. Again I don't really know a whole lot about this and welcome any suggestions.


MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1800 is good I suppose.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'll be buying a monitor locally but other than that I'm looking to buy the rest of the parts online. I spent a few hours this afternoon looking into parts I might want and made a list. Let me know what you think and whether or not these parts will even work together.

Intel Core i7 920 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 2.66GHZ Bloomfield 8MB LGA1366 4.8GT/S


Video Card: I'm looking at getting two of these
ASUS Radeon 4870 Dk 750MHZ 1GB 3.6GHZ DDR5 PCI-E Dual DVI HDCP HDTV Out Video Card

Hard Drive:
Western Digital WD1001FALS Caviar Black 1TB SATA2 7200RPM 4.2MS 32MB 3.5IN Dual Proc Hard Drive OEM

Power Supply:
Corsair TX750W 750W ATX 12V 60A 24PIN ATX Power Supply Active PFC 140MM Fan

Cases: For cases I'm not sure if I need a full or mid size. So this is what I'm looking at:
LIAN LI PC-7B plus II Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Mid Tower

Cooler Master Haf 932 Full Tower Black EATX Case 6X5.25 1X3.5 5X3.5INT No PSU USB eSATA 1394 Audio
Full Tower

Corsair XMS3 Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 8-8-8-24 Core i7 Memory Kit

DVD drive: I guess this isn't too important but I'll include it anyway
LG GH22NP20 Black DVD+RW 22X8X16 DVD-RW 22X6X16 DL 16X/12X 2MB IDE OEM

That should be everything. Again I'm quite new to this so I appreciate any opinions/advice you guys can give me. Thanks!
12 answers Last reply
More about building gaming first time builder
  1. Forum moves fast. Any help?
  2. Hi...thats a very good build...
    But few things that you should know...
    1. Core i7 wont provide significant performance boost in games over the cheaper Core2Q or the AMD X4 955...So you can save money on the total platform cost too...
    2. You wont require the Dominator RAMs if you are not overclocking
    3. Core i7 would be of better value when overclocked...
    4. If you dont want full tower cases, you can look into the HAF 922 - HAF 932's smaller version...
    5. Get a SATA DVD drive and not IDE... - Thinner cable, less clutter...
  3. Since this is strictly for gaming, size down on your HD to the WD640 Black. Try these changes, and then with the money saved, up your vid card to a gtx 275 or a 4890. That case down below has great cooling/airflow and plenty of room for SLI. Also I would really look into over clocking seeing how easy it is to do these days. And as gkay pointed out...never use an EIDE component in a new build for the reasons he pointed out (SATA always). $85.81 CAD
    Coolermaster cm 690 Mid Tower Black ATX Case 5X5.25 5X3.5INT No PS Front USB Sound Firewire & eSATA $272.06 CAD After Mail In Rebate: $252.06 CAD
    Gigabyte EX58-UD4P ATX LGA1366 X58 DDR3 3PCI-E SATA2 Sound GLAN 3-WAY CrossFireX SLI Motherboard $152.37 CAD
    G.SKILL F3-12800CL8T-6GBPI PC3-12800 6GB 3X2GB DDR3-1600 CL8-8-8-21 240PIN Triple Channel Memory Kit $75.98 CAD
    Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200RPM 32MB Dual Proc 3.5IN SATA Hard Drive OEM 5YR Mfg Warranty $34.48 CAD
    Samsung SH-S223B/BEBE 22X DVD+-RW SATA DVD Writer Black OEM
  4. Found the Ram cheaper at other sites, best one imho to get is the OCZ ram.
    OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) OCZ3G1600LV6GK $104.99 cad

    Mushkin XP3-12800 Xtreme Performance DDR3 SDRAM (7-8-7-20), 6GB Triple Channel Kit $169.99 cad

    CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 TR3X6G1600C8D $200.49 cad Free Shipping*

    Found the Case you like here for less.
    Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower ATX Case (RC-932-KKN1-GP) $150.00 cad

    Here are some alternate Mid Tower Cases you might want to look at.

    Cooler Master HAF 922 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-922M-KKN1-GP)

    Even if you might not OC you still should get a aftermarket CPU Cooler, specially if you go with a Mid Tower case.
    Scythe Mugen 2 (SCMG-2000) 5 heat Pipes CPU Cooler for Socket Intel 1366/775/478 & AMD754/939/AM2 $38.60 cad

    XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail $49.99 cad

    Hope this helps out some.
  5. If you want to get a nice low profile cpu cooler I recommend you the Scythe Kabuto read a small review,
  6. The gigabyte motherboard why_me suggested is a good choice and will save you money now. I would only consider the EVGA due to their customer support is second to none. If you need help you can call them anytime and get support from a live person, not an email system that takes days. I wished Gigabyte would do that and they would get more of my business.

    For a test give them a call and see how long it takes you to get someone:

    U.S. and Canadian Customers: 888.880.EVGA (3842)

    The longest I have ever been told to wait was 15 minutes and it took maybe 7 before someone picked up.

    If you don't mind spending a few extra bucks I think its worth it for the customer service in itself. If not, go with the Gigabyte. Its a great product too...
  7. i7 920 is cheaper @ Newegg or @ MicroCenter (if you have one nearby):

    Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail

    Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920

    Make sure you get the D0 stepping version...
  8. Thank you all for the help. I really appreciate it. Just have a few more questions now.

    Why would I go with the 4890 instead of two 4870's? Just going by the hierarchy chart on this website and it says that 4870x2 is better than the 4890.

    Also, could anyone suggest to me a 4890 card? Or even let me know how the 4870 I picked out is? There's so many different manufacturers of the same card and I really don't know the difference between them all.

    So it seems overclocking isn't as difficult as I thought it used to be, and I'm now more open to possibly doing it. With that in mind, should I still go for a mid tower? Will it provide enough room for cooling?

    I'll be going with the gigabyte motherboard and the ocz ram that you guys suggested. Thanks for that.

    Just to be sure, all these components should work together right? Again I've never built one before and just want to make sure that they are all compatible together.

    Edit: One more thing, will that power supply be enough even if I do decide to overclock?
  9. If you're not buying for at least a month and maybe two, most of the advice you get now could be null and void. Too many things can and will change by then. Not trying to piss on anyone's parade, but its true. :)
  10. maynardjames said:

    Edit: One more thing, will that power supply be enough even if I do decide to overclock?

    Yep you can OC and everything is going to be OK that PSU is good
  11. maynardjames said:
    Why would I go with the 4890 instead of two 4870's? Just going by the hierarchy chart on this website and it says that 4870x2 is better than the 4890.

    FYI - 4870x2 refers to a single card with 2 GPUs and not to 2 4870 cards:

    XFX HD-487A-CDF9 Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB 512-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card


    XFX HD-487A-ZHDC Radeon HD 4870 1GB XXX 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
  12. 2 4850s in Crossfire beat a 4890 by a slim margin. You will find 4870 1GB cards in Crossfire more than sufficient.
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