First Custom Computer


BUDGET RANGE: $1500 CAD with more money for upgrades later

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet, maybe some photo editing




PARTS PREFERENCES: Doesnt matter except for the case, that has to be antec

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe leaning towards no

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Most likely no, i've heard that its better to buy a better card than it is to crossfire/SLI

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, one right now but im for sure going to get a second one later

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: i want to have something that i wont have to upgrade anytime in the near future after im done with it, it has to be the best bang for my money. im a high school student so i dont have a ton of free time to be working.

Antec 902 Case

2x WD 500GB 7200 RPM hard drives in RAID 0

ASUS AM3 785G motherboard

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4 GHz

OCZ StealthxStream 700W 12V PSU

3x2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 MHz

I'm undecided about the graphics card, the motherboard comes with a decent graphics card so i'll be ok with that for a while during which i'll save up for a better graphics card. i was reading about the case im getting and one review said that i'd have to remove a fan if i wanted to put an nvidia 2xx series card into it. the ATI radeons are smaller and i saw a picture of a 4870 x2 in the case im getting. so here are the ones that im debating between:

Nvidia GTX 275

ATI HD 4870 x2

ATI HD 5870

I know that the ATI's cost more than the nvidia but i feel that it's worth it, i dont want one of the really high end nvidia cards because they get extremely expensive. i was looking at prices and i noticed that i would get a GTX 285 for the price of the new ATI card. im almost certainly going for the 5870 but i want opinions about it. I'm just wondering if my system will bottleneck because of the processor, im hoping that it wont because thats the highest end CPU that AMD makes and i dont want to spend the extra money on an intel i7. i'm getting windows 7 ultimate OEM once it comes out, im using the RC right now and im never going back to vista. i have a 23 inch screen chosen as well.

Thanks to anyone who reads all of this and replies!!
16 answers Last reply
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  1. any suggestions?
  2. 5870 is the best option of the 3

    since the board you chose only has one pcix16 2.0 slot you could drop the power supply down to a 500-600 watt unless you gonna take the 4870x2 but you can keep the power supply but change the board for the option of crossfire in future
  3. that motherboard isnt available on and i cant find another one that supports 1600 MHz
  4. thanks, i didnt notice that it only had 1 PCIE slot. i chose the first one because its cheaper and has an integrated graphics card(im buying the graphics card a month or 2 after i buy all of the other hardware)
  5. some suggestions for the build :
    phenom uses dual channel memory . A 3 x2 gig kit is tripple channel and ONLY for intel ci7 . Use 2 x2 gig instead .
    1600Mhz c9 is not faster than 1333Mhz c7 . And the onboard memory controller on a phenom only officially runs at 1333 Mhz anyway

    The wd 500 gig hard drives are slower than the seagate 7200.12 or samsung f3 500 gig drives . IMO the samsung is the best , and also a fraction faster than the seagate .

    get a 790g series or 790x series mb

    and the 5870 which will be cheaper in a few months time
  6. i was told that the 965 runs triple channel and the 955 doesnt
  7. i found what i hope is a good motherboard but im not sure if it can handle 1600MHz RAM. here's the link:

    it says that it can handle DDR3 1333+, does that + mean that it can handle anything higher than 1333 MHz? does anyone know of any decently priced X58 motherboards that have integrated graphics?
  8. yeah thats what 1333+ means but mhz on memory doesn have much of an impact on performance the main thing on ram is lower cas latency, lower timings meaning cl6 ddr3 ram @ 1333 will out perform cl9 ddr3 ram @ 1600
  9. ok, thanks. do you know if any x58 motherboards have integrated graphics? is this RAM better?
  10. there isn't any x58 board with an igp out,and you gonna go i7 route now?.thats some good ram yes cl7
  11. Integrated graphics is a joke for gaming. You'd be better off buying a very low end old board for $30 or $40 than basing your motherboard buying decision around a feature you will never use or care about once you get a proper GPU. That's just my 2 cents but if it comes down to integrated graphics versus CrossFire support, go with the latter.

    A single good board is better to start out than CrossFire, IMO, but only because it gives you a cheap upgrade path: a couple years down the line, if you decide you want to double your GPU muscle, you can buy another 5870 for a lot less by then. The alternative for a non Crossfire rig would be to buy a new generation card twice as fast as the 5870 (meaning a lot more money) and throwing away a perfectly good board you paid $400 originally. So, I would get one 5870 for now and plan to get a second one later if you decide you need an upgrade.

    I would look into Intel chips for sure. AMDs are great for a tighter budget, but if you're looking at a $200+ CPU anyway, there's really no reason to look past the i5/i7 line.

    If I were you, I would go with an i5-750 on a P55 motherboard with dual-channel RAM. Triple channel shows minimal gaming performance increase for 50% more RAM cost. On the other hand, the 1366 socket will get Gulftowns eventually, so if you're looking for a long-term upgrade path without a new motherboard, P58/1366 beats P55/1156. That means going with triple channel memory and it eliminates the option of a $200 price point CPU. If you're looking for best bang for your buck in that price range, go P55/1156. If you're willing to spend a little more up front for not a lot of performance increase but more RAM and a better upgrade path for your CPU, go P58/1366. If you decide to slash your budget and go with a much cheaper CPU, look back to AMD (I'm building a sub- $1000 system and using a Phenom II x3 720, but if I were spending much more I'd go with Intel).
  12. shozzking said:
    i was told that the 965 runs triple channel and the 955 doesnt

    then at least one of the people that talk to you is not smart or well informed .

    only intel ci7 have triple channel
  13. ok, the only reason that im interested in integrated graphics is that i was planning to buy all the parts in mid to late december and then saving up for an extremely good graphics card. is AMD coming out with any new CPU's any time soon?
  14. Just so you understand, if you do that, your computer will be virtually worthless for gaming until you add that graphics card. An integrated GPU will let you get by with things like movie watching and web surfing in the meantime, but any game from the last couple years will run like crap. You'd get far better performance out of a $500-ish gaming rig with a GPU than a $1500 one without.

    If I'm understanding you right, you have $1500 CAD to spend *now* and are thinking about buying everything *but* the GPU and then saving up more money on top of that $1500 later. Honestly, unless your cash is burning a hole in your pocket, that budget seems like overkill, and if you would have to wait to save up the rest then I'm guessing you are not obscenely wealthy. I would take your initial $1500 budget and plan to get everything, including a GPU. I know it's tempting to want to save until you can eventually get the high end stuff, but it won't stay high end for long. If you buy a mid-range card now, you could always buy a second one for Crossfire/SLI later, or just replace it with a new single card. If you expect to have the money for a GPU not much after that but need a computer by January for basic home use, your current plan makes sense; otherwise, in my opinion, it doesn't. You'll get a lot more enjoyment out of having a real gaming PC right away than you will by having slightly better performance by waiting.
  15. i have a laptop for internet now and im not obscenely wealthy because im a high school student, i dont know a single one who is. my current laptop is decent for the games i play right now but i want to play higher end ones for PC, i just want to build a high end PC and wanted to get started as soon as possible. i was going for integrated graphics for a month or so until i got the money for an amazing graphics card because my parents are thinking of buying a few parts for me for christmas which is why i want to have the necessities by then
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