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First Time Builder with approx $750

Last response: in Systems
November 29, 2009 4:35:13 AM

I finally have some budget for a new system which is a good thing as i've been limping through games on a 4 year old E-machines with 1gb RAM and a hand me down 8600gt. I would like something that can run at max settings or close to on WoW and a few other games.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as I find the right build, hopefully tomorrow

BUDGET RANGE: $750ish including Windows 7

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: TigerDirect, Newegg, whoever has the best deal

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: I'm in the United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: I have no preferences as I'm very new to this

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, i've never done it but am interested in it SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 is what i'm currently running

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Any help you guys can give would be greatly appreciated

November 29, 2009 5:55:57 AM

This build is more than your '$750ish' budget by ~ $100.

CM HAF 922/OCZ 550w PSU combo - $85 after rebates
i5 750/ ASUS P7P55D/4GB OCZ DDR3 1600 combo - $413 after rebates
500GB samsung spinpoint f3 - $55
Sapphire 5770 - $165
Lite-On DVD drive - $27
windows 7 OEM - $105

If that build is more than you want to spend, you can substitute the CPU/motherboard/RAM combo for this:
Gigabyte 790gx/AMD x4 965 combo - $271
Mushkin 4GB DDR3 1600 - $95 after rebate
Related resources
November 29, 2009 6:43:30 AM

I appreciate the help. I know that the 4870 is overkill for the 1440x900...but will it still be overkill when I upgrade the monitor in the future? What resolution is it still solid for or should i look at the 5770, I do use my computer through my bigscreen rarely. I've seen people talk about the the 550, 720, and 940's is there any merit to these or is the 925 sufficient, is it overclockable? The reviews I read on the ECS motherboard were kind of spotty, have you had good results with it? I really appreciate all the feedback from both of you. Is the i5 worth the extra money or will I really notice the difference now or in the future?
November 29, 2009 6:46:43 AM

Toms actually had a in depth review/analysis and for my clients who game i would look at the $76 Athlon2 X3 425 as a great entry level gaming chip. CM Hyper 212 later and clock down the road :p  Then get as good a GPU they could land hehe A higher end tri/quad is a bonus For 1280 x 1024 or 1440 x 900 a HD 4670/9600GT is fine actually That ECS is good to go ^^

The Newegg users who said its not OCable are either newbies on AMD platforms/chips or OC in general lol
November 29, 2009 7:04:04 AM

The benefit between the CPUs can vary depending on what you will use it for. The AMD 965 is probably the best gaming CPU you can fit into your budget range.

ECS is a bottom of the barrel budget board, I wouldn't recommend them.
November 29, 2009 7:06:10 AM

If I can squeeze a little extra money would you still go with the 4870, a 4890, or would you bite the bullet and go with the 5770, and if you went with the 5770 what does juniper xt mean? If so, could you recommend one? Or would 2x4670 be a better option. Is it fairly easy to overclock the processor? Sorry for all the questions, I'm gonna get one shot at this with the wife and I wanna hit a homerun on the first pitch.
November 29, 2009 7:13:36 AM

Nah no go for the HD4670CF lol For DX11 HD 5770 is fine but any/all of those cards should do for 1440 x 900 really - your call depending on how much u willing to fork out ^^

November 29, 2009 7:19:42 AM

The 4890 is a more powerful video card than the 5770, but the 5770 has the dx11 support for windows 7. It's kind of a trade-off that you have to decide what's important.

It's pretty easy to OC a CPU. The problem is that some boards have more OC options than others. Asus and Gigabyte are known as the top motherboard manufacturers. Their BIOS options are usually a little more OC friendly. I think intel CPUs are easier to OC than AMD, but that's my opinion.

Juniper is just the name given to the ATI 5770 dx11 video cards.
November 29, 2009 7:22:23 AM

Nice combo 1898 ^^
November 29, 2009 7:24:44 AM

Though, I totally took the wrong price, thought it was kinda cheapish.
The combo is actually $178.99 resp. $767.91 all together. :lol: 
November 29, 2009 7:30:18 AM

Batuchka, I'm not very informed on resolutions on monitors, but what if I was to purchase a 23" monitor in the near future? Will I need to purchase some case fans for the case you recommended? What can I expect the 2.8Ghz Overclocked to?
November 29, 2009 7:43:04 AM

With el cheapo value RAMs 3.3-3.4 is doable for 925 even on god forsaken $5x mobos Also u do know that millions of peeps do gaming with their chips at stock speeds i hope hehe I have benches of 720BE , i7 and 955BE all at stock (imagine 925 as a 720BE with a locked multi and extra core hehe) paired with a GTX 280/285 so if u want to learn more PM me ^^ For a 23" they mostly come in Full HD 1920 x 1080 so the idea to spend just enuff for your current resolution and get something like a HD 5850 when u hit Full HD later is sound IMO Well depending on how many fans are bundled and if u want more silent ones ya after market fans are an option ^^
November 29, 2009 8:09:24 AM

So what would be the preferred cpu/mobo combo....the 925/ECS or the 720/Gigabyte as they are roughly the same cost. I have read some reviews where people were able to unlock the 4th core on the 720...just not sure if anyone on here has had the same result. Will the power supplies recommended handle both combos?
November 29, 2009 8:25:26 AM

I really don't know why you would consider either. The phenom II 965/955 and Gigabyte 790 are in your range.

I would only consider an ECS motherboard on a strict budget PC.
November 29, 2009 8:41:45 AM

With the 955 it will be roughly $60 more, not sure if I can squeeze that or not, especially depending on what video card I go with
November 29, 2009 9:08:56 AM

I would say ECS/925 or 720BE/Giga is fine and ya the Corsair VX550 for non CF/SLI set ups is good to go I would go quad really if i were regularly encode/render so no need to blow your budget outside either combo for me ^^
November 29, 2009 9:17:29 AM

The case you linked is no longer available....what would be your next recommendation
November 29, 2009 4:11:39 PM

From batuchka's build:
case/PSU/DVD drive = $157

The ones I linked = $112
and the case I linked has better airflow.

I'd use the $$ saved to get a better motherboard or video card.
November 29, 2009 5:09:15 PM

Are the case/PSU/DVD equal between aford and batuchka? If I was to go with aford's, what motherboard or video card should I go with?
November 29, 2009 6:40:38 PM

After looking at the benchmarks, the 5770 gets consistently beat by the 4870 and 4890. Would this be a better way to go? I know that at my current 1440x900 I won't notice the difference, but, for a lack of a better term, i'd like to future proof it as much as I can to delay having to upgrade it again in the near future.
November 29, 2009 6:44:44 PM

The OCZ PSU has 2 12v rails with 25amps on each. The corsair has a single 12v rail with 41amps on it. I would take the OCZ.

I would definitely take the HAF I linked over the cm 690. Only 2 fans come with the CM 690. There's really not much difference in the DVD drives. Either are good.
November 29, 2009 6:45:21 PM

The GPU slot is the least future proof slot in a rig IMO Some weeks/months and BAM a GPU is out that chugs out more frames at less power consumption so i would say the GTS 250 @ $109 now and HD 5850 like performace when u move to a Full HD display ^^
November 29, 2009 6:45:57 PM

As I mentioned before, the 4890 is a more powerful card, but lacks the dx11 support. The 5850 would be ideal, but it's not going to fit in your budget range.
November 29, 2009 7:08:42 PM

You both have been great help on this. I'm just not sure whether to go with the 720 system or the 955. Which will be more bang for the buck. I am going to go ahead and bite the bullet and shell out another 50 bucks if I absolutely need to so I can get everything possible as far as processor/video card. Now the question is which one

Thanks for all your help
November 29, 2009 7:14:31 PM

You are welcomed and happy building ^^
November 29, 2009 7:20:25 PM

Will an aftermarket cpu cooler be necessary to keep either cool enough? How do I post my proposed build like you have done batuchka?
November 29, 2009 7:30:35 PM

You want to stay stock a wee bit till u learn the rope ofr OCing the stock cooler is fine - screenshot + paint is my ally hehe
November 29, 2009 7:41:25 PM

Is 70 dollars worth the upgrade for with the 955 vs the 720 with the same mobo?
Or if I want the 955 can I get a comparable mobo for slightly less money to bring the 2 combos closer in price?
As little as I know about everything else....motherboards may be even worse so i'm not sure if I need a 790gx or if I can still get the functionality from another one as far as oc and everything else in the future
November 29, 2009 8:05:30 PM

If you have no plans to crossfire go with the Giga 770T-UD3P
November 29, 2009 8:22:14 PM

So 955 with 770 mobo vs 720 with 790 mobo......I am so lost right now
November 29, 2009 8:58:02 PM

With those 2 options, no question, go for the 955/770.
November 29, 2009 9:27:08 PM

Every card on the market has mixed reviews on newegg. Frankly, half of those reviewers are stupid. That case is FANTASTIC, no cooling issues what so ever.
Why not get the 5770?
November 29, 2009 9:38:01 PM

Other than the 5770 having directx 11 the 4870 beat the 5770 on all the benchmarks. I'm not as concerned about directx 11 as it is not wiespread as of yet. I just don't know enough about any of this and am trying to learn as I go, as it sits, my tentative build is overbudget by about 50 bucks and I don't know where I can shave it without giving something up. Whatever I go with will have to last at least a year or two before upgrade because I don't think i'll get the free pass again for a while
November 29, 2009 9:42:11 PM

do not get a expensive card, as batuchka stated before, get a nice card when you get a better monitor, a 4770 or gts 250 are fine, not an overkill, most people game ( me included ) on a 22'' ,monitor and a 4890 is ideal for such resolution, by that info i don't think a gts 250 is an overkill for a 19'' monitor, but seeing the price a 4870 can be have for $150ish range, now I think a good motherboard is a must have, so you should get a good mobo, a ok cpu, because its easier to upgrade the cpu than the motherboard

my list:

Grand Total: $725.92

the hard drive included in the pic is just for reference to see the price.

here are the links:

CPU & memory:

Mobo & os:

Case & PSU:


out of stock but wait for it, fastes hdd on the market.


the stock cooler will do as long as you dont overclock crazily, when you need to do that get an after market HSF, but for now the stock will do.
November 29, 2009 9:55:12 PM

Is my old 8600gt worth anything as far running it with another card or is it gonna just go in the trash?
I know WoW isn't as demanding as most of the new games, but, will the 4770 be able to handle max settings in 25man raid situations and will it be ok when the new expansion comes out sometime next year?
November 29, 2009 11:16:15 PM

Here is what I have currently, I still need to trim a little and am not sure what to sacrifice. I can either cut back on processor/mobo or video card. I really only play Wow currently, but want to make sure i can still raid in 25man on max settings. I don't use the computer for movies and am currently running 1440x900 and will probably be 6 months before I upgrade my monitor...but will not be able to buy a new video card at that time as this is my one shot for at least 12-18 months for computer parts. $165.99 $144.97 $174.98 $79.99 $154.99 $64.99 $33.99

For a total of $819.90 with $70.00 coming back in rebates which puts me right at $750 but need to add shipping and the money for my buddy to help me put it together.

Or should I just bite the bullet keep the current config. and deal with the overage?

Will everything work together, is the power supply enough?

November 29, 2009 11:59:37 PM

That is a very well balanced system, if you could handle the overage, I would buy it as is. Also, if you use Tecmo34's building sticky then you won't need to pay your friend :) 
November 30, 2009 12:04:47 AM

i've read that the memory is designed for i5/i7 and needs to be tweaked for amd to be most effective....does this make sense?

Is the power supply sufficient for everything?
I have to add this for my wife will I have enough wires from the power supply for everything?

November 30, 2009 12:11:05 AM

The P55 RAM will work just fine in your setup. Yes the PSU is fine for a single GPU. Yes that PSU has enough wires.
November 30, 2009 12:14:37 AM

Will I need anything else ie... case fans, cpu fan, wires, mounting hardware, thermal gel or am i good to press the buy button?

This should get me through a couple years happily correct
November 30, 2009 12:43:04 AM

You are good to go. Thermal paste if you want it. Artic Silver 5
November 30, 2009 12:56:04 AM

^Yep, you're set.
November 30, 2009 2:52:14 AM

I'm not finding very good reviews on any of the hard drives in this price point. Can anyone point me in the right direction?