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First Gaming Build

Last response: in Systems
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September 1, 2009 3:32:08 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 1 week or so

BUDGET RANGE: ~$750

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

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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU; GIGABYTE AM3 mobo; Radeon GPU; ANTEC or COOLER MASTER case; G. SKILL, OCZ, Mushkin DDR3 RAM; Corsair PSU

OVERCLOCKING: maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: no

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

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would prefer a quiet PC.

CPU & Video COMBO
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX - Retail

XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Motherboard & OS COMBO
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Memory
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
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

I may substitute the X4 955 BE for the X3 720 BE since I can get a $25 discount on the X4 955 BE. So with tax that's $179.59 vs $128.82. I'm not sure how much performance improvement I would realize in gaming and applications (WinRAR) with the 955 BE.

I'm also looking at the GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P instead of the GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P. I want to make sure I don't run into heat issues - whether I overclock or not - with the GA-MA770T-UD3P or problems fitting components and ports since it's only 8.3" in width compared to the standard 9.6". If I use an AMC it would be the Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer,

As far as the RAM, I don't know how much improvement going to Cas 7 latency.

Appreciate any advice. Thanks

More about : gaming build

September 1, 2009 4:15:02 AM

I second your thought on getting the 955. There are no guarentees on unlocking the 4th core on the 720.

720 is a fine chip though.
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September 1, 2009 4:21:12 AM

There is more of a difference going from CL9 to CL7 than going from 1066 to 1600MHz ram, the tighter timings make a significant difference so definitely spring for it.

I would suggest swapping the 640GB caviar black out for the 500GB seagate 12 series drive, it will perform better, it is currently the faster performing drive in the charts section of this site, and it is significantly cheaper due to its single 500GB platter.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 1, 2009 4:58:28 AM

Thanks for the replies. Keep 'em coming. :D 

I've already purchased the Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB and Corsair 650TX, but included them in the overall build. Oh well. The Caviar Black 640GB will be a huge upgrade to my 6 year old WD 80GB. :lol: 

So what CL7 DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) would you recommend? Is there that much difference between G.SKILL, OCZ, Mushkin?

With all my components I should be fine with the GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P then? No issues with installing the Core Contact Freezer? I've read about possible flexing of the board when installing an AMC due to positioning of the clips. The Benchmark Reviews article states "given the proximity of the RAM slots to the socket, you'll want to be extra cautious when picking out memory and CPU heatsinks."

The GIGABYTE site states "we recommend that you enhance heat dissipation for the CPU VRM area if an AMD Black Edition CPU is installed and the Advanced Clock Calibration is enabled." If I get the X3 720 BE I'm not going to unlock the 4th core so I won't use ACC for that, but I'm still unclear if ACC is turned on for overclocking. I know it can be, but do most of you guys turn it on for only overclocking?

As far as the case, any improvement going to something like the COOLER MASTER Storm Scout or maybe HAF 922?
September 1, 2009 5:02:36 AM

In general is it better to buy at the end of the month or beginning of the month from newegg to get the best combos and deals? Or is there really no difference?
September 1, 2009 5:09:23 AM

VinnyChase said:


So what CL7 DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) would you recommend? Is there that much difference between G.SKILL, OCZ, Mushkin?

As far as the case, any improvement going to something like the COOLER MASTER Storm Scout or maybe HAF 922?


I've heard good things about Mushkin, G.Skill, and OCZ. It all comes down to price and preference for those names. They are pretty good brands.

As far as moving to a more expensive case...eye candy. Cooler Master is a very good case no matter which case you get (for the most part) Your defaulted case should preform just as well. Just buy a side fan if it gets too warm to your liking. Very little difference in actual cooling between the cases as Cooler Master is known for their airflow and great design.
September 1, 2009 6:29:47 AM

Usually the best deals from newegg are at the end of the month. July had some spectacular deals, but August didn't seem to have as many.
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