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Help with My First Build (Gaming oriented)

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September 26, 2009 3:45:02 AM

I plan on buying this within the week if I find what I want and am comfortable with ordering it. I can wait however about a month if it something will come out soon, let me know and I'll consider.

BUDGET RANGE: Hoping to not be more than $2,000, and from what I've seen it shouldn't be that much. I don't really need much in the way of monitor/keyboard.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Primarily this is going to be for gaming. And for use when the power is needed. I plan on using my existing desktop for browsing, and most other things. I'd rather not have this machine bogged down with stuff.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard(if you know where the original g15 can be found, i'll buy it eventually), mouse(i have a g5 all set), monitor(I have a 19" monitor, but it is vga, and has some display issues, if you find a good deal on a monitor ~24"), speakers(hooked up my $50 surround sound)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I know a lot of people use newegg, and have friends who use it, so I know I can trust it, but I really don't know of many others.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: I really don't have a real reason, but I prefer nVidia over ATi I'd rather shell out a little extra for a nVidia. I'm listing what I have found which will probably show what I'm looking for even if they aren't the best choices

OVERCLOCKING: Yes / No / Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes(as a future upgrading option)/ No / Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The appearance of the the PC doesn't matter in the least. It is built for functionality. I'll get a picture if I want something to look at.


Take note this is a build based on me browsing newegg, and bugging a friend with questions. I figured I would update it after reading all the information here, which is awesome and helpful. However, it still hasn't answered some of my nagging questions, and I don't suppose I'll be very knowledgeable from just reading.

So I figure that listening this will show you want I want, and I'll explain why I chose each part. I don't expect to have the same components at all.

PLEXTOR Black 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD/CD Writer LightScribe Support - OEM - Just a DVD burner I found. I have one from my old one I can use. I wouldn't mind get a regular reader if it was real inexpensive, because I can use it in my old one to read and burn dvd's at the same time.

Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail - There are many varied cases out there. I've seen antec everywhere, read some things about this one and it seemed alright. Had a lot of fans for cooling. I figured I'd go with this one because its roomier, I don't want anything small, as it wouldn't fit with most graphics cards. Size is a non-issue, although preferably efficient in its size. Also, I've never really noticed a computer being loud. So if its a bit noisy that is fine, if it works good and is at a good price.

x2 Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEMThis is going to be mainly used for gaming, and SSD is too much for me at the moment. I wanted to have room for never having to worry about uninstalling something to make room for another game. I have other storage options, so space for files isn't a big issue. I figured I wouldn't really need more than 500 gb, but I went with this anyways for more room, and it wasn't too much at $100

ASUS Crosshair III Formula AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail I don't know if this is the right motherboard at all to be honest. It is very pricey, doesn't support SLI. But my friend recommended it to me, it supports what I have.

EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail This seems to be the best card for me, from a company that is good. It is only $50 more than a 260, and to me, when I am shelling out 200, I'd rather spend an extra 50 for something better. I don't know the validity of my idea, but I would hope that down the line sometime I could purchase another 275, preferably cheaper than now, as an upgrade option.

KINGWIN Mach 1 ABT-800MA1S 800W ATX / BTX SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Modular Power Supply - Retail - Kingwin was recommended to me so I found what I thought was an appropriate power supply. I want to have what is good, and can support upgrades in the future.

x2 G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ - Retail This seems to be a very good choice of RAM. It is DDR3 and 1600 mhz which I understand to be pretty fast, and its dual channel. For a very good price compared to other things on newegg.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 140W Quad-Core Processor - Retail My friend has the 955 and is very happy with it, it is cheaper than the Intel equivalent, and if I'm not mistaken this site recommends it. The only problem is it seems hard to match up an AMD with nVidia. Its weird to me, because back 2 or 3 years, when I didn't know much about anything nor played many PC games, all I heard was about AMD and now not so much.(same goes for nVidia)

This was just a look about of newegg, no research done to find this. - ASUS VW246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail - I told my friend when he was buying his computer that you don't really need a 24" I have a 19" and it is plenty big for me. Good thing he didn't listen. I don't know what it is, but when I went to his house it just blew me away how big and nice the screen was. I got my 19" 2 years ago for Christmas. It is an off brand and not very good, its only vga(maybe s-video), and i have to adjust the wire, or it kind of streaks across the screen. I don't mind waiting for better deals on monitors, considering I've had the same HP Pavillion for 4 years, and the only reason I can possibly use it is because I stupidly splurged on an 8800 GT.

I hope that the depth of detail show's my sincerity(although I just realized it might have scared off a few) with going through and learning and doing what I can to get the best deal, but still getting what I want. I just realized that I finished this build 3 hours ago, and have spent that time browsing this site.

All in all, I want a decent gaming machine, that will last a couple of years, with upgrading options, and I will pay for quality, but I don't care to pay for the newest if I don't need it.

More about : build gaming oriented

September 26, 2009 4:02:16 AM

Looks like you've done a lot of research. But there's a number of moderate issues I have with this build. For your budget, you can get tons more system than you have here, but for what you have picked out, its shows you'd rather sit in the $12-$1500 range.

For education purposes, I'll critique your build then offer up something better.

DVD drive - You don't have to go expensive to get quality. Lite-on is lower rung stuff, but the rest are all decent. LG, Sony, Samsung.

Case - The 1200 is a great case. Cases are the most personal choice to make cuz you look at it all the time. Pick one that you like, they all do the job of holding your stuff well enough and if you're overclocking, should have decent airflow as the 1200 does.

HDD - If you wanted to push the $2000 budget, a SSD is feasable. If you want just a platter drive, getting one drive with a higher density will be much better than a pair of blues. The Samsung spinpoint F3 is a great choice 500gb for $50 or 1tb for $80.

Mobo - The 790FX chipset is great if you are buying CF graphics cards. What I'd do is keep the mobo and get an ATI GPU instead. You'll see below. If you wanted to keep the GTX 275, then I'd switch the whole platform over to an intel P55 or X58 build.

PSU - Whoever suggested Kingwin to has lead you down a very dangerous road. I'd stop taking advise from this person immediately. Look at the picture, the red switch on the back means they've cut corners on the quality. It probably will end up as a ball of fire and taking some other parts of your system with it.

RAM - Gskill is a good company. Once ram gets to 1333mhz, the extra speed isn't really noticed. But what is noticed is the timings. The ram there is CAS 9. You'll want lower CAS like a 7.

CPU - The 965 is a great gaming CPU. But if you're going to OC it anyway, the 955 is a better value in my opinion.

Monitor - That should serve you just fine.

The other parts I'd suggest getting is an aftermarket heat sink fan HSF. I'll pick one out in my next post.

And the OS. You'll need that too.

I'll start a build and post what I come up with in a bit.



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September 26, 2009 4:12:26 AM

Chances are you won't see this before you post, but I'd like to thank you for your time and consideration.

The DVD Drive was picked at random. Also, I really don't care for taking people's advice on companies. I hear people saying they have never had a problem with a company, and someone saying they'd wouldn't buy from that company if you twisted their arm.

To me the way a case looks really doesn't matter, its under my desk anyways, I'd rather it be the ugliest thing and work the best.

I could try an ATi but would rather not. And my friend apparently doesn't know as much as he thinks he does.. xD That was the motherboard he suggested.

I picked AMD because it just seems like such a great value you'd be a little silly to go the other way unless you had lots of money to spare. I don't mind spending a little extra, but I don't go overboard. If I remember correctly, I chose the 965 because it was better for 50 dollars. If you are already spending a bit, 50 dollars seemed like a good value.

I would say that if the system got to 1800 I'd start cringing. However if it is worth that much because it will last and leave me upgrading options its not to say I won't consider it. My absolute limit is 2000 (as that is all i have), and considering the prices of things, and that I don't actually need a monitor/keyboard/mouse, that doesn't seem likely.

I just want to put in that I'm flexible, as it seems a lot of people are not when it comes to builds. I haven't bought a computer in 4 years and that one cost 400 dollars, so I think I'm a bit over due.
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Related resources
September 26, 2009 4:20:47 AM

If you like to try a Intel setup maybe something like this. Add 24" monitor and HD5870 all for around 1600




1ST PC CORP. 12" 8-pin EPS extension cable Model CB-8M-8F - Retail
Item #: N82E16812706004
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$8.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - OEM
Item #: N82E16827151188
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

$32.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811129043
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
-$40.00 Instant $199.99
$159.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822152181
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

-$5.00 Instant $109.98 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.98
($49.99 each)



CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817139009
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

-$20.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$159.99
$139.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1
IMC IMC-black USB 2.0 Card Reader - Retail
Item #: N82E16820717001
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$7.99 Saving $7.99
$0.00



Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail
Item #: N82E16835154003
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$2.00 Instant $6.99
$4.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
Item #: N82E16820231279
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$94.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128400
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

$169.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80605I7860 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115214
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$289.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU ... - Retail
Item #: N82E16835103065
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

$29.99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Subtotal: $1,031.89

If you live buy a micro center you can pick up the CPU cheeper, Could look for combos also and ask local stores if they price match.
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September 26, 2009 4:54:58 AM

Nice build nik, the only thing I'd comment on that is, since this is gaming and not productivity also, the HT that the 860 adds is wasted, so the i5 750 would be a better used CPU than the 860. But, in the name of future GPU upgrades, the X58 and a 920 makes more sense if you are talking a 5870 CF. But is the price premium worth it for stricktly gaming?

On that note, I've put together an AMD build as they do very well in gaming and offer the 16x/16x GPU CF option for a lot less.

I always start gaming systems with picking the monitor and then the GPU. For your budget, I'd get the 5870. It is the latest and greatest. You are paying more because its new, but it is heads above the current gen of GPUs. Adding a second one in 2 years will be a very powerful system and much cheaper than it is now.

They are all sold out on the egg, but ZZF is taking preorders for an early Oct shipping.

$215 Your monitor http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$400 5870 http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

You can also get your keyboard from here too:
$79 G15 keyboard http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

$190 AMD 955 BE. Again, its not really worth the extra to spend on the 965 because they will overclock to about the same speed.

$40 Coolermaster Hyper 212 - Great HSF for your OC http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$5 TX-2 Stuff I use http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$269 combo Mobo and Windows http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Asus 790FX mobo http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This will give lots of upgrade options for a few years and be a great OC board.

Windows Vista w/ free Win 7 upgrade http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$89 4gb DDR3 1333 CAS 7 ram w/ free 4gb flash drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$250 Combo Antec 1200 and Antec 850w CP modular PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$50 Spinpoint F3 500gb HDD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$30 HP DVD RW (free shipping) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thats $1177 from newegg and then $479 from ZZF.

Total $1656

I'm sure theres some other ways to trim some off of this, but its a starting point for a balanced high powered gaming system.
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September 26, 2009 5:26:36 AM

Thanks to both of you very much for your builds. Its very nice to see an AMD and Intel build side by side.

I like skora's because it is $100 dollars cheaper, and after looking up a bit about the i7 860, I came across the thread talking about how it would be better for the 920, that'll run 500 with a mobo combo. (I don't plan on buying a keyboard, and I was looking for the original g15)

If its OEM, is that going to give me problems later re-installing?

Otherwise a solid looking build, will probably go with that or something close to it after I look into everything a bit more.

Also everything is good to go for crossfire later on? And since AM3 is new there will be newer CPU's coming out compatible with the motherboard?
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September 26, 2009 5:36:56 AM

Are you refereing to the OS? No, its yours, shouldn't have any problem. The OEM means the system builder (you) provide tech support for your clients (still you) if you sell the system. Also won't come with any documentation, just the discs.
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Best solution

September 26, 2009 6:13:50 AM

Cooler Master calls this case down below a "mid tower", but if you look at the specs on it, it's larger than a lot of full towers out there. In fact it's about the same size as that Antec 1200...only this one's cheaper and has just as good cooling as that Antec, and runs quieter. This case down below is 10" wide, and set up to run tri vid cards. The X58 board won't stifle your bandwidth and this board down below over clocks like a champ.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99 Free Shipping*
COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99 ($119.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate Card) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $169.99
ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $399.98 $10.00 Mail-In Rebate Card Price After Mail-In Rebate(s): $389.98 Free Shipping*
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C8 G - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$4.00 Combo Price: $39.98
Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $379.99
XFX HD-587A-ZNF9 Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $33.99 Free Shipping*
LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD/CD Writer LightScribe Support - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Combo Discount: -$10.00 Combo Price: $149.98 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM | Includes free Windows 7 upgrade coupon

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $214.99
ASUS VW246H Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail
With HDCP support

Total: $1,678.87 *not including mail in rebates, shipping, and tax

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $3.49
Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap - Retail

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422... <--- benchmarks and review of that 5870 gpu

http://www.coolermaster-usa.com/landing/haf922/ <--- more pics, specs and professional reviews of that case

http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=scy... <--- Scythe MUGEN 2 cpu cooler reviews

ASRock X58 Extreme Reviews

http://www.motherboards.org/reviews/motherboards/1923_1...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cheap-x58-motherboa...

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/mainboards/display/asr...

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=3593
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September 26, 2009 6:37:43 AM

Thanks, I have to go to bed now, but I should have mentioned that I wanted to overclock because it seemed you could squeeze more out of a CPU than it comes with stocked without much risk. So I am not really knowledgeable when it comes to that.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I'll look over them all tomorrow. Thanks a lot for taking the time.

That ATi looks good made me think different of it, it seems real solid, and good to buy another later on down the line.
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September 27, 2009 1:00:19 AM

Just one more question before.

Is the coolermaster not as good as the antec? Is the 932 better than the 922.

Ignoring price I'm just wondering how the 932, 922 and antec compare, in terms of cooling and ability to upgrade. And if the antec is better, would it be better to get the combo?

Will I be able to safely overclock the i7 920 to a good speed for running games?
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September 27, 2009 1:35:34 AM

Thanks for that, I was asking your opinion of them, disregarding price, which one is better over all.

It seems to be either a 922, or a Storm Sniper. I think I'm going with the Sniper unless I can find otherwise.
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September 27, 2009 1:39:47 AM

cart said:
Thanks for that, I was asking your opinion of them, disregarding price, which one is better over all.

It seems to be either a 922, or a Storm Sniper. I think I'm going with the Sniper unless I can find otherwise.


Good choice. Those Antecs I posed are great cases but what hurts them is width. Wide case = big h/s and no loss of side fan.
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September 27, 2009 1:58:18 AM

Well, now after some more reviews of the antec, the 1200 seems a very good case. Size doesn't bother me too much, nor noise/looks. I want the best working for a good price.

The 1200 seems to have a lot more airflow, or at least more fans. Has dust filters everywhere and the 922, has some on front but they said it'll get dust pretty quickly.

Its so hard to pick, because they are all good looking. I'm leaning towards the 1200 now.


I really cannot wrap my head around, the looks of a computer case being important. I want what it outputs to look good.

A lot of comments I see are on the looks and not the functionality.

Good thing I've researched, I'm going with the sniper, and most likely all of that however probably a different hard drive.
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