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Seeking: Your thoughts on my barebones gaming build

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March 28, 2010 2:38:33 AM

I've been tossing around the idea of putting together a "squeeze-every-bit-of-performance-for-each-penny" build for moderate gaming.

It's my goal to get a sub-$800 barebones rig made, but to get the best speed/graphics performance I can afford for that amount.

It's worth noting that the games I play continually aren't very demanding by current standards, at least in my estimation. However I want to crank the details to Max and get liquid smooth FPS on those games (WoW, LOTRO, Star Trek Online for MMO's and Fallout 3, Elder Scrolls and the like for single-player stuff).

I know this is the basic demand of every gamer from their rig, but how do you think this hypothetical build would perform with these titles? I, probably like a lot of other PC gamers and am impatient with loading times and not happy with anything less than high detail. Keep in mind the types of games I tend to go for, mentioned above; I'm not talking Crysis with 90 FPS here, obviously.

So...A tall order for spending under $800 USD;
Without more rambling here's the list:

CPU:
"AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (Heka) 2.8GHz" - Is there any current need for a fourth core for mainstream MMOs and such? If I OC cautiously will I hit a wall going with a three-core Phenom? And no offense to any Intel lovers, but I don't like to go with Intel for the processors, anyway..

MOTHERBOARD:
"MSI NF750-G55 AM3 NVIDIA nForce 750a ATX" - I'm going for a mid-range board that will pair AMD with an NVIDIA card. SLI is nice, but an aftertought. I just want a mobo that can handle some of the quicker RAM and has onboard LAN and sound. Any experiences with this board or ones like it?

MAIN BOOT DRIVE:
"Intel X25-V SSDSA2MP040G2R5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive" - Now, I DO like Intel for other parts (maybe that seems somewhat backwards) and I've been interested in going for Solid State this time around. I live the prospect of having the speed, silence and low-heat of SSDs (reportedly). But, once again the catch is balancing quality and price, so I might have to go with a minimum of disk space, for now. Is it worth paying the extra $$$ for SSD in lieu of a 10000 RPM mechanical drive or something like that?

RAM:
"G.SKILL Trident 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 2000 SDRAM" - Thinking of splurging a little on the RAM, for gaming sake. Maybe something to OC a little bit. 4 GB is a little small to begin with, I suppose, but once again, cost vs. quality. Honestly, the last RAM I bought was DDR2, so I need a little info from you in-the-know types.

(the above are what components I'm planning to purchase; below is what I'm planning on re-using)

As for the Graphics, I'm pulling my EVGA 9800GT 512mb (factory OC) from my current machine for a starter card, seems it should work out for a little while longer..maybe in a few months I'll SLI it with another 9800 from eBay.

as to CASE choices, I just want a decent full-tower that can reduce heat somewhat reasonably. And, on the subject of heat, would a Liquid Cooling system even be worth thinking about (for OCing for newer games 6 mos - 1 yr down the road)? I don't care what the outside of the case looks like, really, just a decent performer.

Now, for the optical drives, card-reader bay and perhaps backup Hard Drive (mechanical 180 GB), I am culling those from the previous PC to put into this machine. All are 3-4 years old and should give me what I need for the new PC and give me some budget room. That's the plan anyway.

Now, feel free to rip me apart and give these choices your hard criticism; I put this out there, after all. I will admit I am a middleweight PC hobbyist, so if I made a big error in parts/compatibility or misunderstood terminology, I apologize and will do more reading. My goal is to avoid wasting money buying components that do not work well/at all together, and such. So enlighten me, people...
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March 28, 2010 3:22:56 AM

I don't want to delve into this too much but....... WTF are you throwing money away on an SSD for ? I'd get a quad 955 and a better mother board for one. ( gigabyte ) 4gigs of memory..... 1333 not that crazy stuff you have listed. A 500g or terabyte drive. And a suitable case for whatever mobo you choose.... look them over look for free shipping. $800 to spend you could also work in a high/medium high video card if you pay attention to what you're doing.
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