[New System Build] Gaming System, Buying ASAP

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I am attempting to purchase this computer in a couple days on this wednesday 12-23-09 to enjoy over the holidays.
BUDGET RANGE: $700-1000 without OS

Gaming is priority, listening to music while playing games, multitasking, watching movies/shows

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: A store named microcomputers, just opened near my house and i checked them out, they compare their prices to Newegg and have basically the same stuff available.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i5 750 is the only part I know and prefer because I researched it to be great for gaming, the rest I need expert advice on from cooling,audio,motherboard,graphics card radeon or geforce?,etc
I don't really know what the quality/reliable brand names are and who out there will try to rip me off :P


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want to put together a solid computer, noise is not an issue for me, just reliable/quality/compatibility and good gaming capacity.
I know with all your expertise you guys can steer me down the right path.
Also i was looking at this computer, HP - Pavilion Elite Desktop with Intel® Core™ i5 Processor, originally but heard their Pegasus motherboards were faulty, anyone have any literature behind this and if this is a bad computer to even look at?

Thanks, your advice is GREATLY appreciated!
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  1. Once you get above $500-600 in your budget for everything, you are (almost) always better off building a computer than buying. If you have any technical experience or are willing to do some research, you should have no problem building.

    It's my experience that Newegg is going to be cheaper than just about anywhere, with a better selection and better customer service.

    A resolution for your monitor is really helpful to picking a GPU...

    Here's my recommendation for you're top range:

    CPU: i5-750 $150 at Microcenter.

    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P $185

    RAM: G.Skill Eco 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 $98

    GPU: Radeon HD 5850 $310

    PSU: Antec Earthwatts 650W $75

    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $55. Currently sold out on Newegg. Check Microcenter, Amazon, ZipZoomFly, and TigerDirect. If none of these have it avialable within a few dollars of this price, buy the Seagate 7200.12 500 GB for $55 instead.

    Case: HAF 922 $100 (this may change once I have exact prices)

    Optical: LG 24x SATA DVD Burner $30

    Total: $1,003 before taxes, shipping, rebates/combos.

    To make it cheaper (in order by which change should be made first):

    Switch the HAF 922 for Antec 300 Illusion. Saves $45.

    If you're not planning on Crossfiring (adding a second video card), this board is cheaper: Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3P. Saves $25.

    If you're not planning on Crossfiring, here's a smaller PSU: XCLIO StablePower 500W. Saves $15.

    Switch the HD 5850 for an HD 5770. Saves $148. This change should be avoided at all cost, as the 5850 is the best "reasonably" priced GPU available. If it gets down to make this change, you should seriously consider an AMD build.

    Total price: $918 before GPU, $770 after.

    After those changes, we'll need to start getting drastic, and possibly switch to an AMD build.
  2. $918 sounds like more of my price since i will still need to buy the OS, i believe cooling as well, my current monitor is Samsung and at highest resolution is not great at 1440x900 which i bought around 2 years ago. So finding a good price on a 24inch monitor will be another item to be buy potentially. I do not plan on crossfiring in the foreseeable future. Also, I really am trying to stay around $1200 when everything is together and ready to go. If i play mostly World of Warcraft im wondering what i can maximize this sort of game with. I have yet to play any FPS consistently so i am not extremely worried about an other games right now, but could be in the future. Also, i was looking at Vigor gaming to build me a computer but they do not even have the graphics card you suggested. Microcenter builds computers as well but i do not know how reputable they are etc.
    Thanks for your help so far, I'm trying to rush a decision out of myself ASAP because once my next semester in grad school starts. i will have little time to work on this. So your help, i very much appreciate.
  3. Buy your OS now. Students can get Windows 7 for $30 instead of over $100.

    I'd highly recommend building it yourself. You will not only save some money, but learn quite a bit. It's not very difficult and there's a lot of guides out there. The one in this forum is really good, and walks you through every step from start to finish.

    With your current resolution, a 5770 would be able to play most games well. The problems arise if you go up to 1900x1200. So you could potentially downgrade the video card to the 5770, and plan to Crossfire later. That'd entail keeping the 650W PSU and the original board. Total cost for this setup is $810, which leaves something to start saving up for a new monitor and another video card.
  4. I have decided to buy my parts from microcenter to avoid the wait on shipping, and like you suggested, to put it all together myself, hopefully right after xmas. I noticed they do not have some of the parts you have suggested. And as you said they cant beat neweggs prices. Do you think you could pick me out some comparable parts from microcenter just so i make sure everything will work together. They have different brands in some cases and i do not want to make any mistakes in purchasing the wrong components. I trust you more then the little kids they have working at the store.
    Thanks again
  5. Here is what I came up with from microcenter-i know its more expensive, just want to make sure it will all work together. http://www.microcenter.com/shopping_bag/shopping_bag.phtml?addsku=292151

    Corsair Memory XMS3 4GB DDR3-1600 (PC-12800) CL8 Memory Kit (Two 2GB Memory Modules)

    XFX Radeon HD 5770 1GB GDDR5 PCIe 2.0 Graphics Card

    Antec EarthWatts 650 Watt ATX 12V Power Supply
    SKU: 444125

    Seagate Technology Barracuda 500GB 7,200RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    SKU: 127100

    Samsung OEM Super-WriteMaster Dual/Double Layer 22x DVD±RW Burner OEM
    SKU: 933051

    Antec Three Hundred ATX Case
    SKU: 473454

    Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P

    Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy SE PCI Sound Card

    Intel Corporation Core i5 750 Processor Boxed

    Let me know what you think, and thanks!
  6. You don't need a sound card. It's a waste of money.
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