Opinions on ~$700 gaming rig with upgrade potential

Hi everybody! I've been reading a lot of your suggestions to others and I would love to get some input for this build. Thanks in advance for your help.

My main goal is to futureproof this build as much as possible. You will notice that I have not selected a GPU. I intend to use the onboard graphics for a while until I can get a nice Crossfire setup in 6 months or so. I know it's not optimal but considering I'm currently on an Athlon XP 3200 +, 2.2 GHz, 1GB RAM with a Geforce 7800 GS I expect to be thrilled with the improvement until I can get a nice graphics card or two :)

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: between now and one month

BUDGET RANGE: ~$700 after rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (currently: Source games, mostly), web development



PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD cpu, leaning towards Gigabyte mobo based on reviews


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire in the future, yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1440, but I don't feel the need to max it out

I'm currently looking at these items:

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

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

Mouse: I've had one of these for years but one of the buttons is broken. I know there are better gaming mice out there but this one has been with me so long it feels like an extension of my hand.
Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical 1.1A - White - OEM

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

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM


Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGIBOX
12 answers Last reply
More about opinions gaming upgrade potential
  1. Only problem I have is the HDD. A Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB would be better, but is currently out of stock on Newegg.

    Are you not getting a new GPU?
  2. Thanks for the recommendation, I'm checking that one out.

    My plan is to use the onboard graphics for a while until I can get a nice GPU in about 6 months or so. Right now I'm mostly just playing TF2 and DOD:S.

    I am, however, considering something like this until then:
    ASUS EN9500GT/DI/1GD2/V2/A GeForce 9500 GT 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
    It's going for $50 after mail in rebate.

    Do you think it's worth getting a card like that if it's just temporary?
  3. 9500 is a bit weak. Try to at least get a Nvidia 9600/ATI 4670 or better an Nvidia 240/ATI 4770. One advantage of getting the Nvidia 240 would be converting it to a dedicated PhysX card once you get a stronger card (ATI or Nvidia) as your main graphics card.
  4. Solid choices overall my friend :-D

    AM3 Socket is the right choice for your build. If I might make a suggestion, drop your processor down to something less powerful for now. The Phenom II X2 550 (Callisto) is a great CPU with enough power for now ($102). Easy to overclock, and will be sufficient for gaming. You can take the money you save and drop it into a better GPU (one that you can crossfire or SLI later).

    In a few years, you can get a newer AM3 chip when the prices are dirt cheap.
  5. No need for a 750w PSU if you are getting 4770.
  6. Did you look at the 5770? It one of ATI's new cards that's an improved version of the 4770 and supports DirectX 11, and is not that much more expensive ($30-40). It would be more future proof.
  7. This
    SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
    says that it needs 600+ Watts to run in CF.

    However, this is apparently a pretty good 550W
    OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply
    (and it's super-cheap at the moment).

    Will that PSU run that GPU in Crossfire if I end up getting another one down the line?
  8. No, 600w is bare minimum.
  9. Did the F3 go in and out of stock that quickly? I've been waiting around for one of those for my $700 build myself.
  10. Ok, thanks!
  11. Hmm if u dun need CF why not a 785G or one of those single PCIex16 790GX by Biostar? I would say no CF is fine really
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