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Under $1300-$1400 gaming PC for a first time builder

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Last response: in Systems
December 11, 2009 7:47:41 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Early next year (January-April latest, most likely be late january or early Feb though)

BUDGET RANGE: anything under $1300 is great, though i'm willing to give or take a bit
(It's actually under $1500 AUD as i live in Sydney, so australian prices on parts is even better, though not necessary)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, schoolwork, browsing through interne (email and stuff), movies and music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, DVD drive


COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sydney, Australia

PARTS PREFERENCES I'd like to use intel and windows 7 64bit as an OS

OVERCLOCKING: i dont know how to overclock right now, but i might learn later. Guides on how to OC anyone?

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not in the initial purchase, but i might when upgrading later

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Using a samsung SyncMaster 2233sw 22 inch LCD monitor, i think it supports up to 1920 X 1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: i'd like room for future upgrades, if possible i don't really want to change my case, HDD (because i dont generally use a lot of space) and PSU for future upgrades, mobo i'm willing to replace if i have to.

Right now, after weeks of research, i got together a list of parts that i chose, plz give me suggestions on what u think on this

Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

or maybe the SE, dunno which 1 is better?
i might get a gigabyte or EVGA, but EVGA looks pretty expensive...

[G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ - Retail /b]

WD SATA 1 TB, i might not need 1 TB of space, so i might chip it of to 500GB or even less so i can invest in something else

CORSAIR CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

So the ones i'm not too sure about is the GPU, case, HSF, thermal paste and any additional fans that i need

Right now i'm thinking of getting the ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB just because it has DX 11 support
in the future i might crossfire this
Other good GPU that i found around this price range is the GTX 260, 275 or the 4890, but with DX 11 coming very soon, i just don't feel like it's a safe investment

With the case, i read a lot of good reviews for the CoolerMaster HAF 922 and the 932
what u guys think? is there better cases out there around this price range?
can both of them fit the 5970?

other questions
Do i need to buy an additional HSF to replace the stock?
Do i also need another thermal paste?
do i need to add extra fans to the case?

More about : 1300 1400 gaming time builder

December 11, 2009 8:21:20 AM

^ If your PC is mainly for gaming, you should be looking at the i5 750/ i7 860...they would reduce the platform cost to a great extent and you can invest the money saved on a more powerful graphics card - HD 5850 or above...

HDD - Samsung F3 500GB will be a solid option..

As for your questions,
CASE - Both the HAFs are very good options...and Yes both should be able to fit the HD 5970.

Other questions -
HSF - Not required to buy an aftermarket HSF if you wont be overclocking...but it is highly recommended to buy one as you might overclock - A good option - CM Hyper 212

Thermal Paste - The stock paste are not good and if you buy an aftermarket HSF, you would need to buy one(Sometimes comes with the aftermarket HSF)
Options - Noctua NH1, MX-2, TX-2

Extra fans - For a CM HAF, I doubt you would need one...

Check out this AU site -
December 11, 2009 8:45:51 AM

I've also been looking at that website but the problem is that they don't really have a wide selection of products

i was thinking building the i7 860 but ive been reading that intel's future cpus are going to be the 1366 sockets instead of the 1156 ones. upgrading GPUs are a lot cheaper than upgrading mobos i think...

but chosing the 860 would save me around 200 buks or so and as u said, i can get a 5850 or i'm thinking of crossfiring 2 5770 because i read in an article somewhere this website that 2 5770 would be more powerfl than a single 5850

Does anyone recommend getting the Nvidia ones? cuz i havent heard of them recently

so yea, now i got 2 options
option A, an i7 920, X58 mobo, 6 GB RAM in triple channel, a HD 5770
option B, an i7 860, p55 mobo, 4 GB RAM in dual channel, a HD 5850

even more questions
anyone know a good retailer in Sydney?
How is this PC going to do in terms of gaming, will i be able to play games like modern warfare 2 at high settings in 1920 X 1080?
What are some good brands for gpus?
Do i need sound cards?
Related resources
December 11, 2009 8:59:49 AM

^ Yes you would get 6-core CPUs for the LGA 1366...but they would demand a very high price premium...and you will surely get CPUs for the1156 no doubt this will be a mainstream socket and the 1136 a high end one...
And as for performance difference, check this...

HD 5770 crossfire -

And Nvidia ? Where are they ? No DirectX 11 card till date and most unlikely even in JAN...

Your option B will be able to play the recent games smoother and better...
Good brands - Sapphire, XFX, MSI, HIS, Powercolor, ASUS, Gigabyte...
December 11, 2009 3:11:10 PM

I agree with gkay - HD 5850 for Full HD with your budget 1st, platform choice later
December 11, 2009 10:55:39 PM

Can anyone recommend me a good 1156 motherboard?

as with the ram, i'm thinking of getting this

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Desktop Memory Model F3-16000CL9D-4GBRH - Retail

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM - Retail

theyre 2000 mhz and 1600 mhz

will the ram be compatible with either

ASUS p7p55 pro
Intel DP55KG
Gigabyte UD4P/ UD5P

December 13, 2009 6:43:18 AM

can someone at least tell me if its good or not =/

so final parts

intel i7 860

4GB (2X2GB) 1600 G.skill ECO/Ripjaws

ATI Radeon HD 5850/5870 depending on price difference

Samsung spinpoint F3 500GB/ 1TB

Corsair HX 750 PSU

CoolerMaster HAF 922

Now i just need to choose mobo, but theres so many of them out there
plz help choosing mobo

and comment on the other parts?

December 13, 2009 8:27:59 AM

The G.Skill ECO series RAM are equivalent to the Ripjaw series, but the ECO works at lower voltages.

For the mobo I would suggest the Gigabyte UD4P. It has 3.0 USB sockets which may be useful in the future. It's around $170.

The 5850 is more bang for your buck. It's basically almost an underclocked 5870. It's not worth paying $90 more IMO for a 5870.

December 14, 2009 11:10:33 AM

my local stores apparently dont sell G.skill brand rams T_T (Sydney, Aus here)

they sell corsair mostly
so i'll need recommendations for corsair RAMs

I think i'll get the asus mobo gkay, a lot of people recommend me asus over GB

intel i7 860


4GB (2X2GB) of some corsair memory

ATI Radeon HD 5850 (5870 is too expensive T_T)

Samsung spinpoint F3 500GB/ 1TB

Corsair HX 750 PSU

CoolerMaster HAF 922

1333 mhz RAM or 1600 mhz RAM?
if i use the stock thermal paste and heatsink now, can u use an aftermarket one later?
is it hard to remove the stock thermal paste from the cpu?

Do i need a sound card?

December 14, 2009 11:50:18 AM

k thanks i think i got a good idea what im gonna get