First Build Gaming/Home Office $800-1000

So this would be my first build. Was wondering what opinions there were out there about what I've researched so far. Here's the data:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1-2 weeks from today

BUDGET RANGE: $800-1000 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet, and home office tasks

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: none but would prefer more established companies

OVERCLOCKING: Yes but not right away

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes but not right away

MONITOR RESOLUTION:1440x900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This would be my first build. I want a system that I can overclock and tweak, but not immediately. It will be both a home office computer (basics, quicken, excel, word processing etc) and for gaming. I would welcome any comments about these products, especially if you think it might be “overkill” and know a better cheaper alternative. Right now this is pricing out with rebates at $969.91. Would love it closer to $800, but I can live with it. Thanks in advance.

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CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGIBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103674

Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair III Formula AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131392

Powersupply: Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277

Graphics Card: XFX GS250XZDFU GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card –
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150439

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

Optical Drive: SONY Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1681S-0B – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118031

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders – OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754
5 answers Last reply
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  1. Some big changes:

    Mobo: You're wasting nearly $100 on that. Here's a cheaper, high quality board: Asus M4A79XTD EVO $100 after rebates.

    PSU: 550W doesn't give you the ability to Crossfire. Also, that's not the best Antec unit. OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W $60 after rebate

    RAM: Get the CAS Latency 7 Ripjaws for a little more.

    GPU: nVidia is losing the battle. Badly. Go ATI or don't go at all. HD 5770 $153

    HDD: WD's position is almost as bad as nVidia's. Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $50 (or 1 TB for $90)

    All of that will save you $82.

    Alright, now that you have a good base...

    I would consider getting the Phenom II X3 705e or Athlon II X4 620 instead of the X4 955. It'll be just as good for gaming, and will allow you to get the HD 5850. That will make a much better gaming machine.
  2. MadAdmiral said:

    All of that will save you $82.

    Alright, now that you have a good base...

    I would consider getting the Phenom II X3 705e or Athlon II X4 620 instead of the X4 955. It'll be just as good for gaming, and will allow you to get the HD 5850. That will make a much better gaming machine.



    Thanks for the detailed response. Your comments about nVidia and Western Digital "losing the battle" by that do you mean they are in financial trouble, or their quality is falling behind their competitors?

    Also, will I not be able to get the HD 5850 with Phenom II X4 955 in the future? I'd rather go with a faster stock speed of 3.2 GHz as I've never overclocked and would want something that I don't have to push the limits on too much to increase performance when I do decide to start overclocking.
  3. He means that right now nVidia and WD's products are technologically inferior to ATI, Samsung & Seagate.

    Specifically, nVidia cards are just not performing as well as ATI cards at the high end of the market. At certain price points, an nVidia card may be a better deal, but by and large, the newest stuff isn't as good. That may (or may not) change when they come out with their new cards in March-ish. See this THG article for best cards at your price point.

    Samsung and Seagate offer drives with 500 GB platters at 500 GB and 1 TB sizes, while Western Digital is only using 500 GB platters in their 2 TB drives. Feel free to go with whatever brand you prefer at the 2 TB size, but at smaller sizes, Samsung or Seagate is recommended, as the denser platters offer faster reads & writes and are supposedly quieter (I have no direct knowledge).
  4. Exactly what coldsleep said. The only problem I have with WD at 2 TB is that it's a $300 drive, and two of the 1 TB drives would be just as good at under $200.

    You would be able to easily go to any AM3 CPU in the future with my build. I just suggested the X3 as an alternative because you would gain a lot of gaming performance from the increased GPU and lose almost nothing from the downgrade.
  5. Just a note of thanks to Coldsleep and MadAdmiral for the advice. I switched to the psu, memory, graphics card, hard drive, but I kept the motherboard and chip. Parts come tomorrow. This will be exciting. Or extremely frustrating.
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