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First Time build - Budget Gaming PC

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October 27, 2009 3:15:46 AM

This will be my first build. I'm upgrading from an Athlon 3200, 2Gb RAM, 256Mb AGP graphics card, lol.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next 2-3 weeks
BUDGET RANGE: $400-500 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (WoW + some newer games), Internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (Win 7 Home Premium 64bit)
[see below for PSU, HardDrive and Case that I already have]

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes (but not right away)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Current 1440x900 (but upgrading in next 3-4 months)

My rough build proposal:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
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 F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102858

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That comes to $482.96 (+$30 mail in rebate)

I think all of this goes together, but this is new to me, so any advice would really be appreciated. I want to build a system optimized for performance at my price range, so if I need to start from scratch, please let me know.

Thanks in advance!
October 27, 2009 4:08:48 AM

Welcome to the forum. I'd get some ram with tighter timings (7) since it's within your budget and consider a 5770. Nice build overall though.
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October 27, 2009 4:19:03 AM

^+1...
You get tighter timings for less...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And the HD 5770 is a very good option as it would offer similar performance as that of the 4870 and is next gen...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So later on when you upgrade your monitor, add one more in crossfire later...

And you must have checked out the combos right?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

If you are getting the X3 720, might as well get a CPU cooler right away...
Sunbeam CCTF
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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October 27, 2009 4:39:27 AM

Thanks for the responses so far! Updated RAM to the Ripjaws version referenced above. New total is $477.96.

I had considered the 5770 but have read mixed reviews in the forums as well as buyer reviews. I've read several that indicated the 4870 performs better than the 5770. Can anyone elaborate on this?

Here's the 5770 I was looking at:

SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail (same as the one gkay09 recommended above)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like the fact that it has HDMI and only requires 1 PCIe power connector.

As far as the CPU cooler, I figured I would upgrade when I'm ready to OC.

Thanks again for the feedback!
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October 27, 2009 5:06:07 AM

True that the HD 4870 is slightly faster than the 5770..But when you are in the market for a new card right now, I would prefer the 5770...
Reason - Low power consumption, Next gen and its not much slower than the 4870...If you get a killer deal with the 4870, then stick with it else I would suggest the 5770...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446...
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October 27, 2009 7:02:52 AM

Thanks for the link on the reviews. I'll read up on it some more.
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October 27, 2009 7:38:16 AM

Agree with gkay09, and remember that the 5770s drivers are still new.
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October 27, 2009 1:43:15 PM

I also am considering either a 4870 or 5770 but I think id go with the 5770. for a couple fps less in some games i get dx11, lower power consumption and eyefinity. Plus when i need to upgrade i could xfire with another 5770 and put the hurt on alot of more expensive cards
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October 27, 2009 2:35:07 PM

So updated again. Swapped out a 5770 for the 4870. So how's it look now? Is there any value in switching to a different processor/motherboard? Is motherboard good for overclocking? Forgive me, but I'm new and want to make sure I'm doing this right. Thanks again!
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October 28, 2009 3:00:54 AM

^ For gaming that X3 is a very good option...And that mobo offers enough options for a good overclock...
The next best CPU option will set you back by ~$60 - X4 955
The only thing missing here is the CPU cooler...Even though you will not be overclocking at the beginning itself, I would suggest you get the cooler now itself as later on when you want to overclock, you wouldn't have to remove and replace the HSF and the after market CPU coolers have very good cooling performance even at stock speeds...So your CPU will run cooler...
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October 30, 2009 3:45:30 AM

I have the Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This HSF is UNDER-RATED! trust me! If you do some research on it you will see it out-performs most other out there, for alot less cost! I have this installed on a AMD Anthlon 7750 BE 2.7GHz Dual Core, OCed to 3.4GHz still running under 38C in an Antec 900.

It doesn't come with the "Name" everyone knows, but it will NOT let you down! It will also help with "beginner overclocking" due to the fact it keeps your CPU temps down!!!!!

Makes me mad though that I pd over $40 for mine! I would still pay over $40, though after seeing how it performs!
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!