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First System Build, Some Gaming and Video Editing, $800

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January 2, 2010 7:01:26 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next month BUDGET RANGE: $800

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming and Video Editing (not hardcore for either, but something that can do both adequately)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, power supply &case (see below)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i5 CPU

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe mild SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024, will probably upgrade in the next year but not to anything fancy

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My build is getting more expensive than I want. I'm trying not to cheap out on components, but don't need top-of-the-line either. This is my first build, and I’m a complete novice, so compatibility checks are definitely welcome too.


Here’s what I have so far:

CPU -- Core i5 750 Processor Boxed $150 at microcenter
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

MOBO-- ASRock P55 Extreme LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard $150
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD -- Western Digital Caviar Black $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU -- SAPPHIRE 100258-1GHDMI Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory -- G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS -- Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler -- ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler $35
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooling Compound -- Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound $10
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive -- Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B $27
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I already have power supply & case from Cyber Monday deals ($80 total after MIR)
PSU -- OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case -- COOLER MASTER Storm Scout $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


So I’m at $890 or so and wouldn’t mind finding a way to shave off $100, but I don’t mind spending what I need to for a good build. Should I wait for sales? Almost all are full price at the moment. Or should I cut back a few things? Also, will that GPU be enough, or is it worth it to upgrade? Thanks folks! I've been lurking for a few months, but love the community.
January 2, 2010 9:35:52 PM

overall it looks like a really good build. i think alot of the questions really depend on what you plan to use it for.

first off before i say anything else i do NOT see any problems with compatibility.

in your description you say you do video editing and gaming. i think it is important to prioritize these. because video editing draws from the CPU while games mostly look to the GPU.

right now you have a fairly strong lean towards video editing. if you think you are more into gaming then i would look at an LGA 775 socket with a fast dual core and bump up your GPU.

if your split 50/50 between them then there are a few options. you could go with a Phenom II X4 955 which would compete with the core i5 but have a cheaper motherboard giving you a bit more to invest in an ATI 5770(better features) or 4890 (better performance) which have a bit more graphics power.

if you lean toward video editing then i would go with what you have up there. the rig you have right now will game at 1280X1024 without too much problem. it's just a matter of what you might upgrade to having problems. so if losing a bit of detail here and there isn't a problem then it is a good solution.

here is one last little bit to think about: The CPU/Chipset is much harder(costly) to upgrade in the future. graphics are easy since A you have the option to crossfire(which note can mix match different cards) and B the PCIe slots are fully compatible with eachother. if you get a CPU and in 6 months want more power you basicly have an extra 150 CPU sitting around doing nothing. also LGA775 is a dieing platform. at the low end i would aim for an AMD chip because there sockets are more compatible.

anyways i just wanted to give you a few ideas for your questions. In general the rig looks great it is just a matter of what you care about more gaming or editing. hope this is helpful and good luck!
January 3, 2010 2:07:55 AM

That was a pretty apt analysis. For video editing, Intel's i5 should thoroughly outdo anything AMD has to offer. If that's your focus, especially if it will make money for you, then stick with i5. If gaming is your focus, or you're under strong budget constraints, then AMD is the way to go. An i5 still performs better, but there won't be a visible difference, especially with a greater share of the workload on the GPU. An Athlon II X4 can be had for as little as $99, or a Phenom II X4 is $185; an AM3 mobo will be <$100.
With a purchase date "within the next month," the possibility of deals seems reasonable. The HD57x0 cards are already lower than where they were only last month. A HD5770 would be a nice choice.
What games do you [intend to] play?
January 3, 2010 12:52:56 PM

Thanks guys. That's great help. Video editing is something I've dabbled in, but I haven't had a rig with enough juice for me to really get into it. So I'm not entirely sure how much I'll do once I can do what I think I want to do, if that makes sense. For games, I'd go for Fallout 3 and Oblivion but I've never been the type to pay for the best system to play the very newest game. Year or two behind is fine. I'd be happy to have a system with a good processor but room to grow in GPU if the need/budget arises, which i think this is.

I think I'm pretty settled on the i5.

Should I be thinking about a different mobo? It's slightly pricier than lower end Asus and Gigabyte (or ASRock for that matter), but also doesn't have USB 3.0 or Sata 6gb/s. But it was well-reviewed.
!