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~800$ Gaming PC (My first build)

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December 31, 2009 5:24:00 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Today

BUDGET RANGE: Around 800$ w/ shipping and before rebates.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet Surfing, Watching Movies, Photoshop etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Monitor, Optical Drive

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
Newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
United States

PARTS PREFERENCES:
AMD Quad Core, ATI, AM3 Mobo, 4gb of DDR3 RAM, 500GB HDD

OVERCLOCKING:
Maybe in the future

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future (although the mobo i currently have selected isn't xfire capable)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 although I will be upgrading in around a year

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
These are the parts I currently have selected. They are at the absolute top of my budget, so I'm seeking advice on my choice of parts here. Also, like I mentioned, this motherboard doesn't support crossfire which is a downside since I'd like to crossfire the 5770 in the future when it becomes inadequate. Also, because I'm new to this, I'm not 100% sure that these parts are compatible.

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
Mobo: GIGABYTE AM3 AMD 770 ATX Motherboard
GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
PSU: CORSAIR 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready
RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM


EDIT: So after looking around for a few minutes, I found this deal on newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
This motherboard seems better since it supports crossfire. Also, with the combo savings everything comes out to about the same price. Should I get this?

More about : 800 gaming build

December 31, 2009 5:41:20 PM

Combo looks good. I do like most of your parts for $ that you've selected. You could opt for the regular "Black" Antec 300 case w/520w PSU for less $ than the combo that you have currently selected. Your selection costs ~$155 after $10 MIRc. The Antec combo is ~$120 shipped!! The PSU comes with 40A on the 12v rail and is plenty for your current needs. The $35 savings can be used to upgrade your CPU HSF or for HD upgrade too. I like the WD HD's myself, because I own several and Seagates' reputation recently hasn't been the best. Even the Samsung F3 500 gb HD seems to be a good and fast drive too, but I can only find a few reviews of the drive.
Link below to combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Samsung F3 500 gb HD link:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your build otherwise looks pretty good for the $ :) 
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December 31, 2009 6:02:54 PM

Yes, I would go with that CPU + motherboard + RAM combo if you want Crossfire support.

+1 to the Samsung drive. Seagate has lost my trust.

I wouldn't go with a 520W PSU if Crossfire 5770's are your plan. Here's another case/PSU combo to consider:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $114.94 (Antec Two Hundred + Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W combo)

Just keep in mind that those Antec PSU's DON'T COME WITH A POWER CABLE. I don't know what made Antec decide to start not including power cables. I've been building computers for a while now, so I have a whole box of them, but it's something to keep in mind.
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December 31, 2009 6:07:59 PM

Problem with the Antec 300 black is no front fans so you end up spending more on fans than you save if you want the great airflow.

You could save a bit going with the Antec Earthwatts 650W 80+ certified PSU.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung F3 is definitely a good boot drive choice. Seagate 7200.12 500GB is not bad either.
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December 31, 2009 6:23:53 PM

I've never seen the need to add front fans to the Antec 300 or Antec 200. You can feel the case pulling plenty of cool air in through the front without the extra fans. I think the two included fans provide plenty of airflow unless you're going for very high overclocks.
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December 31, 2009 6:31:20 PM

Ok so I'm definitely gonna go with the Mobo+Ram+CPU combo and the Samsung drive. As for the Case+PSU combos, I'm fairly attached to the Antec 300 I picked out earlier. The combos look good, but personally I just feel a bit more secure getting the slightly more expensive corsair PSU. The savings are good, but for me it doesn't warrant sacrificing the case and PSU. That's probably just me being silly, but anyways; I really appreciate the help guys!
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December 31, 2009 7:01:19 PM

I was thinking of getting that combo myself until I read a couple reviews that stated compatibility problems with the 955 125W processor that's included in the combo. Mainly this review sums it up perfectly

"Cons: PLEASE READ: I've never given out a one egg before. Most of the time I think it's childish and you get reviews like "Did not POST, DOA, etc.", that make you want to flag the review as not being helpful. **This is very important** As of this past month (11/07), AMD released new revisions to their top line of processors (starting with the 965 125w). DO NOT PURCHASE THIS BOARD WITH THAT (OR ANY OTHER C3) PROCESSOR. AMD supports these chips in the most current version of the BIOS (v.2002). However, in order to flash your BIOS, you have to have another AM3 processor. The board will NOT boot at all with these new processors. This should be fixed in the next 6 months for this board. I say 6 months for the fact that it takes about that time for the new BIOS to be implemented into current shipments."

So unless you have another A3 processor sitting around to flash the bios (or contact the GB for a chip that has the new bios on it), that mobo is useless...thus rendering that whole combo deal useless. Just a heads up before you buy it. The latest review that mentions this is a day old as well, so it seems they're still shipping problematic mobos.
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December 31, 2009 7:01:26 PM

There's certainly nothing wrong with those Antec PSU's. In fact, they rival Corsair for quality.
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December 31, 2009 7:05:09 PM

I would put next to no weight behind Newegg reviews. That review was over a month ago. Newegg turns around stock so fast that getting a board with an old BIOS is probably not going to happen. The combo deal will be fine. That guy probably just couldn't figure out how to get his system to run.
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December 31, 2009 7:18:24 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I would put next to no weight behind Newegg reviews. That review was over a month ago. Newegg turns around stock so fast that getting a board with an old BIOS is probably not going to happen. The combo deal will be fine. That guy probably just couldn't figure out how to get his system to run.


Manufacturer posted this "This is true. Always check our CPU compatibility list at http://support.asus.com for the motherboard/CPU in question before you make your purchase.

The C3 X4 965 (125W) needs BIOS revision 0605 or newer in order to be recognized by the motherboard. The X4 965 (140W) will work with this board from the initial BIOS revision on.

The next shipments of this model motherboard will have the latest BIOS revision, 0605.

Best Regards,

ASUS Support Team"

So it is a relatively documented problem (the review is normally the first you see as a bunch of people thought it was helpful). You probably won't get the old BIOS, but you could.

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December 31, 2009 7:21:52 PM

I had a similar problem with a DFI motherboard and DFI tech spport flashed my bios chip with the update for free (I just mailed the bios chip to them). I would hope ASUS would do the same, but you never know. Worst case scenario should be contacting ASUS support and buying an updated bios chip for ~$20-30ish.
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December 31, 2009 7:23:25 PM

DeltaEdge said:
Manufacturer posted this "This is true. Always check our CPU compatibility list at http://support.asus.com for the motherboard/CPU in question before you make your purchase.

The C3 X4 965 (125W) needs BIOS revision 0605 or newer in order to be recognized by the motherboard. The X4 965 (140W) will work with this board from the initial BIOS revision on.

The next shipments of this model motherboard will have the latest BIOS revision, 0605.

Best Regards,

ASUS Support Team"

So it is a relatively documented problem (the review is normally the first you see as a bunch of people thought it was helpful). You probably won't get the old BIOS, but you could.

Like I said, the boards Newegg has in stock now should have the latest BIOS. This should be a non-issue. The OP is getting the 955, not the 965 anyway.
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December 31, 2009 9:32:00 PM

I ordered this combo deal and the issue only affects AMD Phenom II CPU's with C3 revision, the CPU in the combo deal is C2 (only OC'able to about 3.8 gHz whereas the C3 has more OC headroom for a bigger price)
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January 1, 2010 12:17:58 AM

I would switch the power supply to this : OCZ Z 650W, the efficiency is one of the best and cost the same as the Corsair 650TX.

Also, the Asus M4A78T-E is an excellent board that I really recommend over your Gigabyte choice. It's fairly price and offer you the possibility to Crossfire, something you can't do with the GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P. The latest BIOS of the M4A78T-E really make a difference. All the errors present 4 months ago are now gone. Easily one of the most stable motherboards for Unleashing cores.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 1, 2010 12:21:02 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
Like I said, the boards Newegg has in stock now should have the latest BIOS. This should be a non-issue. The OP is getting the 955, not the 965 anyway.


The problem is with the 965 or the AM3 Athlon II cpus.
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January 1, 2010 12:23:18 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
There's certainly nothing wrong with those Antec PSU's. In fact, they rival Corsair for quality.


My first and last Antec power supply was DOA... that's the kind of quality I got from them.
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