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First build: Gaming/Entertainment system; $1,000-1,200 budget

Last response: in Systems
November 29, 2009 7:54:42 AM

Hello everyone, I decided to come back to the gaming world and instead of buying a PC I decided to give it a try and build my first system.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: as soon as possibleBUDGET RANGE: $1,000-1,200 (won't mind if it goes around $1,300) Any rebates if available but doesn't matter.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Blu-Ray/DVD watching, Photoshop and other Adobe programs, Animation, Internet, e-mail.



PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like for the PC to be Intel based, HDD, I would like Western Digital.


1920x1080, if possible 24" ones.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I plan to have 2 monitors on these system (for multitasking) and I would like to know if its possible to have 2 HDD (one exclusively for music and videos storage) and the other one for the OS and gaming?


This is what I have so far, feel free to make changes to fit my budget, since they exceed budget range:

Monitor: 2x ASUS VH242HL-P Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor w/height & swivel adjustment 300 cd/m2 ASCR 20000 :1 Built in Speakers - Retail
Mainly choose this since they have the swivel option that I need for Dreamweaver when looking at code.

CPU and MOBO combo: Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail and Foxconn Inferno Katana LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

External Drive: LG Black 8X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 6X BD-ROM 2MB Cache 8X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk Model WH08LS20K - OEM

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Thinking of buying a 500gb one for music and videos alone

VGA: SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

As u can see this system goes beyond my budget and really need more suggestions on the rest of the parts since I have not decided yet.

Thank you
November 29, 2009 8:19:59 AM

Why get a 860? An i5-750 is just as good for gaming, and much cheaper. A samsung spinpoint F3 HDD is faster and I believe cheaper as well.

Why on earth get two monitors and a 5770? Get a 5850, it's really needed for gaming, especially on dual monitors.

As often, your CPU is too powerful while your GPU is too weak. For gaming, it should be the opposite.

Related resources
November 29, 2009 8:41:32 AM

To get everything you want you may have to go to the $1,300.

Does that include OS and monitor?
If so take out $105 for OS:
And $220 for the monitor you selected
Balance for Box: $975

I can get you to $980 for a decent system:

Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD3R LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Combo Deal - $400

Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT25664BA1339 – Retail $94
(See this review:,2462.h... )

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler – Retail $25 AR
XIGMATEK ACK-I5361 Intel Core i7/Core i5 compatible Bracket Set – Retail $9

Graphics Card
SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail - $180

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail - $50 AR Free shipping

Hard Drives
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $90

Optical Drives
LG Black 8X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 5X DVD-RAM 6X BD-ROM 2MB Cache 8X Blu-ray Burner - Bulk Model WH08LS20K - OEM - $130
OKGEAR 18" SATA II Cable Model GC18AKM – Retail $2

If you need to trim:
You could eliminate HSF and go with stock - saves $34
Get smaller graphics card
Get smaller PSU - the one selected should allow Crossfire - if sure you would never do this you can get a 500w version of the above - but only saves $15
HD - I gave you a 1 GB Seagate drive that is faster and gives your more space but is $10 more than your WD selection
Also I know you wanted a second drive - but will have to decided were to cut if you want it
Optical drive - will you really be burning many BluRay discs? If not go to a Blu-Ray reader only - maybe with DVD RW combo - and save about $50

One other thing to think about - you wanted 2 separate drives with OS and applications on one and music and videos. You can get at least some of the benefits of that by taking the one drive and making separate partitions so Windows will treat it just like 2 or more drives.

I used youir video card but agree you should try to get one with a little more power. However I disagree with the suggestion above to go to the i5-750 CPU since it lacks hyperthreading. Not a lot of games use it right now but I expect many more will start so it would be good to get now. However the THG recommendation in their review was also to go with the i5. I just think it is being a little short-sighted.

November 29, 2009 6:31:28 PM

Thanks for the reply, I will probably just stick to one hard drive, making it a 1tb or so, and I wanted to know which video card would u recommend? I want to have 2-3 monitors in the future and apparently the one I want won't be enough if I want to do gaming with 2 monitors. Also how important would it be hyperthreading in the future? Does it make a big difference?
November 29, 2009 7:41:31 PM

Oh yeah that ram looks nice, so I woudn't need any heat spreaders for it, right?
November 29, 2009 7:56:39 PM

Is that memory on the mobo compatibility list? If not are you sure it will work with her system?

November 29, 2009 8:07:33 PM

Its Gskill, not a no name. No reason why it would not work.
November 29, 2009 8:14:47 PM

Also, I know I specified that I wanted an ATI card but in you guys' opinion, is NVIDIA a better GPU than ATI? I haven't researched a lot of NVIDIA cards
November 29, 2009 8:15:26 PM

Nope. Ati is best right now.
November 29, 2009 8:20:51 PM

Which one would u recommend if I'm going for a 2 monitor setup, a poster above recommended a 5850 [...] eo%20Cards
is there one that you would recommend for an intel build (not sure if they are intel i7 compatible)
November 30, 2009 12:23:57 AM

What do you guys think of Corsair XMS 6GB DDR3-1600 for this build?

November 30, 2009 12:41:21 AM

No. You need dual channel ram which means 4gb or 8gb. I checked gskill website it says that ram I linked will work on that mobo.