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First Desktop Build Ever... For Some Gaming

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Last response: in Systems
January 22, 2010 4:41:18 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Exactly 1 month from today

BUDGET RANGE: 900-1200 before rebates, including shipping if possible

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies (media player, disc, and Netflix), iTunes

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor is optional; will use my flatscreen TV via HDMI when possible

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any reputable retailer; prefer the home team -- MicroCenter -- and love NewEgg but open outside those two


PARTS PREFERENCES: Open to new suggestions. Prefer Intel and ATI.


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably not, but things could change in the future


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have two Macs, so good looking case is preferred -- seems hard to find -- so case is completely negotiable :-( (And, please don't flame over that comment -- it's meant to give insight into how I like my comps to look). Main games aren't anything spectacular right now -- SimCity Box Collection, Sims 3, WoW, Rollercoaster Tycoon 1-3, Civ 4, ST Online, but want a very good graphics card that will handle almost anything as my Windows gaming grows. I've been trying to watch the forums so I've got a Samsung HD instead of WD, and GSkill instead of Corsair. Moving price down without sacrificing too much is always good too!!

As another poster said, Here is what I came up with on Newegg, but I know you guys could improve it (preferably cheaper). The price is starting

COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM - Retail

XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

Logitech 920-000526 Black 104 Normal Keys 8 Function Keys Cordless Standard 1500 Rechargable Desktop - Retail

LG Black 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 40X CD-ROM SATA Internal Combo LG Blu-ray Reader & 16X LightScribe DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

More about : desktop build gaming

January 22, 2010 4:52:07 PM

Case: I don't particularly care for the Storm Scout. I'd go with the HAF 922. It's about the same price, and much, much bigger.

Mobo: Not a good choice for keeping your Crossfire options open. The best USB 3/SATA III board for that is the Asus P7P55D-E Pro for $190.

CPU: Assuming this is from Microcenter...

RAM: For $6 more, you can have 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 Ripajws.

Cooling: You don't need the thermal compound for stock cooling.

Rest is fine.

January 22, 2010 4:52:13 PM

Looks like a solid build, just a few things to note:

If you ever want to XFire then you'll need a different motherboard. The ASUS P7P55D-E Pro is $190 and will definitely be what you're looking for if you're going to XFire. On the flip side, if you're not going to XFire that PSU is a whole lotta overkill. I'd go for a 600W max for a single GPU setup, but a 500W should be able to power that system.

So, I'm not quite sure where you are in your budget, but if possible I'd suggest you go for a 5850. They're great cards (much better than 5770) and with this card you probably won't ever have to worry about XFire. The downside is that they do run around $300.

I see you have thermal paste here but no HSF. If you're not overclocking, the stock cooler will be fine, but the stock cooler already has thermal paste applied, so there's no reason to get more of it.

And one last thing, is it really necessary that you have a BD? I know it would be nice and you can watch movies with better graphics (assuming you don't just download them all anyways), but you could easily save yourself $70-80 to put into the mobo or GPU.
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January 22, 2010 4:53:23 PM

Didn't notice the BluRay. I would entirely agree with leaving it out and trying to fit in the HD 5850.
January 22, 2010 5:05:48 PM

Wow those were some quick responses!! Thank you both so much... I like the advice, here are my thoughts... let me know :-)

Okay... dropping thermal since I will use stock since not OC.

Looking at HAF 922. It was on my radar :-)

Considering taking out the BluRay and reverting to CD-RW/DVD. Movies I get are through Netflix by mail and online, purchase from Amazon and iTunes.

In terms of XFire, my line of thought is this (the more I think about it)... it will be at least 1 year before I would actually go with anything XFire I think. I can't imagine myself getting into something where it would make a difference before 1 year -- I'm slow on the gaming uptake, as evidenced by my list :-P. So I think at that point I would probably just replace mobo and look at a processor upgrade at that time too (as well as cards... possibly)

Noting 5850

Lowering wattage to 550-600 if that would still work with 5850 (since I'm now considering it)

As for the 1600 RAM, I've read conflicting information on this mobo -- and that 1600 is only supported in O.C. mode. I'm assuming you've heard different? (Because I'd rather have 1600 RAM but really don't want to put the addt'l 60-70 into the mobo)

Again - *really* appreciate your thoughts so far!!! MadAdmiral, mavanhel u 2 r great :-)
January 22, 2010 5:12:18 PM

Lower wattage will work with the 5850, but you're not going to find anything much cheaper than that OCZ 700W. It's a great deal. It's also in combos on Newegg with a lot of DVD burners right now.

I didn't suggest the RAM for the 1600 mhz, I suggested it for the CAS Latency. The speed actually doesn't matter too much, as it will either automatically be downclocked to 1333 mhz (which may allow for tighter timings) or you can manually set the speed and timings. There are some 1333 mhz CL 7 sticks, but they happend to also be $115, so you might as well get the faster ones.

The additional cost for the mobo will just open an entire set of upgrading options. If you decide to spend the extra, I highly recommend you get the 5850, even if it's over budget. The 5770 will struggle with high settings on your resolution, and the only way to upgrade it would be to replace it with your board.
January 22, 2010 5:15:11 PM

Gotcha on the RAM :-)

And very much appreciate your line of thought on mobo and card. Both are now firmly on my list!