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1st Time Builder, Gaming PC <$800

Last response: in Systems
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November 19, 2009 3:54:28 PM

Ok, guys, I know you see many similar posts a day, and I've tried to use them to put together what I have below. Any thoughts? I am particularly struggling with making a decision on the Motherboard.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

BUDGET RANGE: $800 USD (Rebates not necessarily included)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: MMORPG (Warcraft now, Star Trek or KOTOR later?), Other Gaming Possible, Internet Stuff (Video Watching, Surfing, etc.)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Power Supply (Corsair 750TX), Graphics Card (EVGA GTX260), Keyboard (Logitech G11), Monitor (Dell 21.5”), Mouse, Speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, other reputable ones ok as well. I will be going to Microcenter for the processor.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Thinking Intel I5 for this go round.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, nothing more than air cooled.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1900x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I bought the Power Supply and Video Card earlier this year to buy myself some time on current PC. My goal with this build is to give myself enough headspace so that I can maybe upgrade the video card again in a year or two and keep this machine effective for 3 years or so. I know that if I have any hope of even doing minor overclocking, I need a cooler better than the stock cooler. I have also read the suggestion to use better Thermal Paste than what comes with the processor (Tuniq TX-2 or Arctic Silver 5).

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Here is what I’ve put together so far based on the reading I’ve done here and elsewhere. I will look for combos when I start making purchases in the next week or so.

Intel Core i5-750 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
$149.99 (Microcenter)

ASUS P7P55D LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$149.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
$104.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$84.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
$105.99

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
$31.99

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
$69.99

Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail
$4.99

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ... - Retail
$29.99

Total
$732.91 (before any Combo deals/taxes/shipping)

Thanks for your thoughts and opinions.
November 19, 2009 4:00:38 PM

Looks like a great build. You may also be interested in the CoGage True Spirit (~$40) as this has gotten great performance reviews; although you will have to locate a 1156 bracket. Have fun with the KOTOR MMO, I would love to play but I gave up MMOs forever after I beat my addiction to WoW.
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November 19, 2009 4:13:21 PM

Thanks nofun. My WoW addiction hasn't quite run it's course yet, but I'm only semi-seriously addicted (yeah right).

On the motherboard side, I struggled with the following thoughts (for anyone who may want to weigh in):

1) Foxconn / Lotes - I don't plan to do major overclocking, but I would probably go with a Lotes if there was a good alternative to the ASUS that I may not hav considered.

2) SLI/Crossfire? - I hate to not leave this as an available option, but when I upgrade cards, I usually end up with a single card solution in the ~$200 range.

3) USB 3.0/SATA 6.0 GB - I know these aren't really settled yet, but I figure when/if the need arises during the life of this PC, there will probably be add-on cards available.

4) Legacy Slots - Since I'm not really reusing anything, I really don't have any legacy needs that need to be considered (PATA, IDE, etc.)

I looked hard at the Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P but am having trouble justifing an additional $30 just for keeping options open.
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November 19, 2009 4:16:43 PM

tecmo34 said:
Only suggestion I would have is to upgrade to this motherboard, so you have SATA 6GBs & USB 3.0 support for the future.

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard w/ USB 3.0 & SATA 6 Gb/s - Retail

Overall, a very solid build!!


Thanks tecmo...that is the very board I keep talking myself out of. I mainly have concerns over the way using the USB 3.0/SATA 6Gb affects your PCIe 2.0 16x slot...is that only really a concern if trying to use SLI/Crossfire and the new technologies?
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November 19, 2009 5:06:06 PM

adwillingham said:
Thanks nofun. My WoW addiction hasn't quite run it's course yet, but I'm only semi-seriously addicted (yeah right).

On the motherboard side, I struggled with the following thoughts (for anyone who may want to weigh in):

1) Foxconn / Lotes - I don't plan to do major overclocking, but I would probably go with a Lotes if there was a good alternative to the ASUS that I may not hav considered.

2) SLI/Crossfire? - I hate to not leave this as an available option, but when I upgrade cards, I usually end up with a single card solution in the ~$200 range.

3) USB 3.0/SATA 6.0 GB - I know these aren't really settled yet, but I figure when/if the need arises during the life of this PC, there will probably be add-on cards available.

4) Legacy Slots - Since I'm not really reusing anything, I really don't have any legacy needs that need to be considered (PATA, IDE, etc.)

I looked hard at the Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P but am having trouble justifing an additional $30 just for keeping options open.


2) For MMO's, you will not need to run SLI. The GTX 260 should give you plenty of oomph for a while. When its time comes, you will probably just want something newer with Directx11, etc.

3) Don't worry about it. You can always buy add-on cards if necessary.

4) Once again, if you find you need it, there are add-on cards for that. The Asus does come with a PATA-133 though.

In the end it's your money. If you think you may possibly use a dual-GPU configuration down the road, then go for something better. Otherwise don't sweat the USB 3.0, SATA 6 connectors. You can add-on later if necessary, and it's going to be hard to find devices that bottleneck on a SATA 3 Gb/s anytime soon.
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November 19, 2009 6:51:00 PM

1) The Foxconn issue is not to be a worry, its fine for non-overclockers. If you really want a Lotes socket you have to get a EVGA or DFI board. But to be honest, the Asus and Gigabyte boards are so much better that it outweighs the Lotes socket.
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November 19, 2009 7:05:23 PM

Thanks all for your help and comments.
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November 19, 2009 7:06:51 PM

adwillingham said:
Thanks tecmo...that is the very board I keep talking myself out of. I mainly have concerns over the way using the USB 3.0/SATA 6Gb affects your PCIe 2.0 16x slot...is that only really a concern if trying to use SLI/Crossfire and the new technologies?

I believe it is the otherway around. Running dual video cards makes the USB 3.0/SATA 6GB work at USB2.0/SATA 3GB (normal speeds). I don't think it will have any affect on the performance of the PCIe slots. For now, you can utilize the standard USB2.0/SATA 3GB slots on the board, until devices starting using the new speeds. My thought process is, if you are upgrading now with funds you may or may not have in the future, why not upgrade to include the latest technologies (USB3.0/SATA 6GB) to keep from having to upgrade down the road when those become the norm?
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December 1, 2009 5:04:17 PM

Just thought I would finish this off by posting what I ended up buying. Worked in a couple of extras into the budget using some of the Black Friday deals:

Intel Core i5-750 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
$149.99 (Microcenter)

ASUS P7P55D EVO Motherboard - Retail
$174.99 - $15.00 Combo w/Ram (Newegg)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
$104.99 (Newegg)

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
$102.99 - $10.30 Coupon = $92.69 (eWiz)

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$84.99 (Newegg) - Main Drive

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$79.99 - $20.00 Coupon = $59.99 (Newegg) - Backup Storage

Rosewill RCR-IC002 74-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port / Extra silver face plate - Retail
$14.99 - $5.00 = $14.18 (Newegg)

Samsung SH-S223L/BEBS 22X SATA DVD+/-RW Internal Drive (Black), Bulk w/ Software
$29.99 (eWiz)

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
$69.99 - $25 MIR = $44.99 (Newegg)

Arctic Silver 5 Compound - OEM
$6.99

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ... - Retail
$29.99 (Frys)

All for a grand total (after Tax, Shipping, MIR, and Bing Cashback) of.....$799.43


Now to just get everything delivered and put together :D 

Thanks very much to those of you that responded. I really appreciate the help.
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Anonymous
December 1, 2009 6:17:14 PM

that build looks pretty sound to me pm me what its like when you get it all fixed up
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December 1, 2009 6:49:07 PM

Very solid build!! Good luck with putting everything together and enjoy your new system! :) 
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