Core system for gaming o/c i5 or o/c Ph II X3?


BUDGET RANGE: $800 (Would like to put a max of ~800 into the core components. Preferably less)


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, GPU (for the time being), optical drive (have this already: DVD+/-R/RW 16X 12X +/-DL LS 12X RAM SuperMulti SATA drive). Already have one 500GB hard drive, will get another.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, frys, amazon


OVERCLOCKING: Yes (on air only)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes crossfire, i like ATI.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, 23" LG. Possibility of running a tripple head (20, 23, 20) in the future.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Torn between paying 110 more for an i5 over a Phenom II x3 Black. I want the mobo/CPU/PSU combo to deal with anything i throw at it for a few years. GPUs etc... I'm going to use an HD4850 for the moment, since most games i play are CPU biased, later I'll buy pair of 4890s or 5XXX series. Do i really need the i5 or will the Phenom II be perfectly capable of dealing with whatever games and GPUs come along? I was leaning towards the AMD setup based on bang for buck but the trouble is i've read a few too many reviews concluding the i5 is really hard to beat in pretty much every type of application (games/number crunching etc). However I can't seem to find a well reviewed hs/cooler for the 1156 socket.

Looking at these components to be combined with either I5 or Phenom II X3:

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM - 54.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail - 119.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail - 88.99
(Am i right in thinking this ram will work with AMD and Intel mobos?)

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail - 54.95

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM - 109.99

Scythe SCKTN-3000 92mm Sleeve "KATANA3" 3Heat Pipes CPU Cooler - Retail - 28.69 (can't find a hs/cooler for the i5 socket type!)

Total so far minus mb/CPU: 457.60

The two options:

1. Phenom II X3 720 2.8 Black - 119.99

ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail - 129.99

Total: 707.59

2. i5-750 2.66 - 199.99

EVGA P55 LE 123-LF-E653-KR LGA1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - 169.99
(BTW i chose the i5 motherboard based on reviews of other boards having some bad comments. I need a system that goes together with the least amount of software/ram/BIOS trouble)

Total: 827.85 (assuming a hs/c costs about the same)

Any thoughs or recomendations are much appreciated.
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  1. Best answer
    The i5 is certainly a considerably faster CPU. It would be worth the extra $110 IMO. Don't forget about Newegg combo deals. $354.98 - $20 MIR (CPU + motherboard combo saves $15) $154.98 (HD + OS combo saves $10)

    This cooler will work for the i5 chip:

    COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail $29.99
  2. Thanks shortstuff, thats saves a few bucks.

    Just a side thought, should i opt for a different case - with enough room for big graphics cards? If so, which one?
  3. The Antec 300 should work fine. If you still want a bigger case, this one's pretty big and priced right:

    COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $69.99
  4. You can my an i5 for $160 if you have a microcenter nearby.
  5. I wish there was. I'm in AZ.

    Think i'll go for the bigger case just be sure. One last thing, the samsung hd has just gone out of stock on newegg, are there any others makes that have a decent reputation was thinking about a Western Digital, looks like there are mixed reviews of just about every other 500-750gb sata. (EDIT: Went for the WD 500gb Black). I will order this within the next 2 days. Any other suugestions, are all the components compatible?

    Thanks for your responses. I'll go for the i5, hopefully the build will go smoothly. Probably have a few more stupid questions next week! Thanks guys.
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