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First time builder no clue

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week

BUDGET RANGE: $1000 US

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: AoC, other like games at as close to max settings as possible

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: All needed (and x2 since I need to build one fore myself and my wife).

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, tigerdirect.com or anyother reputable site)

PARTS PREFERENCES: No preferences

OVERCLOCKING: Not preferred as I have never done it.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Depends on your recommendations

MONITOR RESOLUTION: No clue really as I'm currently playing on a year old laptop...

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: As I said above I will be building two of these so easy repeatability would be nice. I would like to go cheaper than $700 with all the components if possible so I can convince the wife easier.
30 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about first time builder clue
  1. CPU/Mobo: X4 925 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $260
    RAM: CL 7 1600 mhz Ripjaws $115
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
    GPU: HD 5770 $150 after rebate
    Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $125
    HSF/Optical: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus and cheap SATA DVD burner $40. You can leave off the HSF and save $15 if you don't want to overclock.
    Monitor: Asus 21.5" 1080p $160 after rebate
    OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $105

    Total: $964 ($699 for the tower). Doesn't have a keyboard or mouse. Pick up a cheap pair somewhere if you need them. This will struggle at max details at 1920x1080 resolutions (the monitor's recommended resolution) with some of the graphics intense games, but you can't get better gaming than that for the budget. You can stick a second 5770 in Crossfire later to improve the performance.
  2. AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103809&cm_re=phenom_ii_x4_945-_-19-103-809-_-Product $150.99

    Antec Two Hundred Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129070&cm_re=antec_two_hundred-_-11-129-070-_-Product $39.99

    Antec TruePower New TP-650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified PSU
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371021&cm_re=antec_650w-_-17-371-021-_-Product $89.99

    XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150462&cm_re=5770-_-14-150-462-_-Product $159.99

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231275&cm_re=g.skill_ddr3_1333_4gb-_-20-231-275-_-Product $108.99

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148395&Tpk=seagate%20500gb%207200.12 $54.99

    ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131402

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.333251 $214.98 - $10.00 MIR (motherboard + OS combo)

    ASUS VH222H Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor Built in Speakers 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR20000:1) w/ SPDIF out - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236053 $169.99 - $10.00 MIR

    Total - $989.91 - $20 MIR

    Edit: I didn't press "refresh" before posting my build. It's similar to MadAdmiral's build. It has a stronger CPU, but the case isn't quite as nice.
  3. No HSF or optical and the board doesn't have USB 3/SATA III support. That's pretty much all the differences.

    The CPU's difference can be diminished through overclocking.
  4. Or if you could squeeze another 100 or so in there you could get a 5850.


    HDD Same as above

    Optical Same as above

    Case/PSU Same as MadAdmiral

    CPU/Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 and AMD Athlon II X3 425 Rana 2.7GHz $156 before rebate.

    (Mobo and CPU combo does not support X-fire, there is a combo with Short_stuff's Mobo and same CPU for about the same price if you want X-fire, unfortunately with that you loose USB 3 Sata 6)

    Ram: OCZ CL8 1600 $108 before rebate $88 after MIR

    HD5850 $299

    800ish after MIR

    ***Edit Yes the Ram is CL8 but it is 88 bucks after MIR
  5. CPU/Mobo: X3 425 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $197
    RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $105
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
    GPU/PSU: HD 5850 and Earthwatts 650W $370 after rebate
    Case: Antec 300 $55
    HSF/Optical: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus and cheap SATA DVD burner $40
    OS/Monitor: $265 total

    Total: $1,078 ($17 less with the CL 8 sticks). That's about as cheap as I can get it...
  6. Best answer
    The first one isn't bad, but I think you get higher quality and better choices by building your own. The main problem I have with it is the PSU. Coolermaster doesn't make very high quality PSUs.

    The second one is not a good idea. The GPUs in it are old and not very powerful.

    They're not that bad, but you can do better without the combos. Especially if you're budget is actually more like the $1,200 needed for the combos (see revised build below):


    CPU: i5-750 $195
    Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E Pro $190
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
    GPU/PSU: HD 5870 and Antec Earthwatts 750W $463
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $95
    Case: HAF 922 $90 after rebate
    HSF/Optical: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus and cheap SATA DVD burner $40

    Total: $1,178. This is much higher qualtiy than either build, and has better performance and upgrade potentail than either.
  7. MadAdmiral said:
    CPU/Mobo: X3 425 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $197
    RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $105
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
    GPU/PSU: HD 5850 and Earthwatts 650W $370 after rebate
    Case: Antec 300 $55
    HSF/Optical: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus and cheap SATA DVD burner $40
    OS/Monitor: $265 total

    Total: $1,078 ($17 less with the CL 8 sticks). That's about as cheap as I can get it...



    With this is it possible to add a 2nd GPU? Is that ever worth it?
  8. I haven't seen a full Newegg combo build that didn't scrimp on at least one components. Like MadAdmiral said, the first one isn't terrible, but it's not great either. In addition to the so-so PSU it also uses a slow 5900RPM drive that's nice for a strictly storage drive, but not fast enough for a system drive. It's better to "roll your own".
  9. Yes jyreene it is capable of adding a second GPU.

    But madadmirals last build is alot better if you can afford it. Much more future proof. You can max out any game seeing as the video card he suggested is the most powerful single gpu available.

    1. Better processor

    2. much better case

    3. Much better video card

    4. Much better PSU which is always a plus.

    5. 500GB extra HD space.


    But he didn't include a monitor / OS which is alot more.
  10. Yes, you could add a second one later.

    Worth depends on some factors that we can only guess at. What will the tech look like when its time to upgrade? How much will it cost? Will there be single cards with more power than the two in CF? What new features could the new cards have? etc...
  11. Okay, that makes sense. Now to possibly sell this to my wife (who wants to do this also but save money since we will build 2 of them). Instead of the the 5850 which is basically $500 would the next step down, or even 2 steps down still be pretty good (the 5850 or the 5770)? I know that anything will be a great improvement since we are currently running the game on an HP laptop with a dual core 2.5ghz and Nvidia 8600 mobile GPU and a new Macbook with windows on it (which as an Nvidia 9600 in it).
  12. If you step down below the 5850 then the GPU will struggle on some games at 19XX resolution.


    Edit***

    Since you are building two I think Mads X3 425 build would probably be the safest bet.
  13. MadAdmiral said:
    CPU/Mobo: X3 425 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $197
    RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $105
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
    GPU/PSU: HD 5850 and Earthwatts 650W $370 after rebate
    Case: Antec 300 $55
    HSF/Optical: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus and cheap SATA DVD burner $40
    OS/Monitor: $265 total

    Total: $1,078 ($17 less with the CL 8 sticks). That's about as cheap as I can get it...


    So this one then. It looks pretty good to me. I understand some of the basics of all the components so when it comes to ram would 6gb be that much of a difference? And when you say CL8 sticks that doesn't mean anything to me unless it's a value/generic brand.
  14. If you take that build it has better ram already in it then I posted earlier and only 15 bucks more.

    So really the CL8 Stick comment was just if you wanted to save the 15 dollars you could go with the ram I posted earlier.

    However since you are trying to sell this to the Wife I would take That build because it saves you some money and would possibly be a little easier on the wife.... :)
  15. You don't want a 6GB setup on an AMD build. The 6GB kits are made for the Intel LGA 1366 chips that have a triple channel RAM controller. Stick with 4GB, it's plenty for gaming and general use.

    CL8 refers to the CAS level which has an effect on the speed of the RAM. A lower CAS rating means the RAM is faster (CAS 7 RAM is faster than CAS 9, etc...). It's not a huge deal, though. You would be hard-pressed to notice the difference in anything other than RAM benchmarks. We just suggest the faster CAS RAM because you can often find it for the same price as slow CAS 9 kits.
  16. That makes sense.

    HSF/Optical: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus and cheap SATA DVD burner $40

    Newegg site says the Coolermaster is for intel i5 and i7m does that mean it won't work for an AMD?

    ***Never mind, I should have read further.
  17. Okay so this is what I might have the wife convinced of:

    Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042

    HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145287

    Monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236068 (it has speakers so we won't need seperate)

    Keyboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823109164 (we only needed 1 keyboard since we have one already and we have the mice we need)

    Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226114

    OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754 (only need 1 since I have full Vista and upgrade 7 that I was using on the Mac)

    CD/DVD/Chip cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.343537

    GPU/Power: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.339873

    CPU/Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.338963


    What do you think? I am basically taking the CPU from the better of MadAdmiral's and the GPU from the step down of his. I changed the monitor out for the speakers and to convince the wife with a $120 savings total for both PCs.

    Talking with her father, who has already built his own a few times) he recommends getting a 300GB 10k rpm HD and then eventually getting a data drive. I might be able to convince the wife to do that but I think I have better luck with the 1TB 7200rpm drive above. Can anyone help me sell that, or is there a need? (Again keep in mind that I will be building 2 of these and I have already talked her up to about $2800 total for both).

    Thanks for all the help so far.
  18. shortstuff_mt said:
    You don't want a 6GB setup on an AMD build. The 6GB kits are made for the Intel LGA 1366 chips that have a triple channel RAM controller. Stick with 4GB, it's plenty for gaming and general use.

    CL8 refers to the CAS level which has an effect on the speed of the RAM. A lower CAS rating means the RAM is faster (CAS 7 RAM is faster than CAS 9, etc...). It's not a huge deal, though. You would be hard-pressed to notice the difference in anything other than RAM benchmarks. We just suggest the faster CAS RAM because you can often find it for the same price as slow CAS 9 kits.



    Thanks nice and concise and now I understand.
  19. Your wife's father has been out of the game awhile. The newer 500 GB platter drives (Samsung Spinpoint F3, Seagate 7200.12 500 GB and 1 TB) are faster, quieter and cooler than the 10K VRs. Not to mention a good $100-$150 cheaper.

    Alright...

    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB. This (or the Samsung, which is currently out of stock) is the fastest drive out right now (SSD excluded). It's worth the little extra.

    CPU/Mobo: You'd save $15, not have unnecessary features AND get USB 3/SATA III support if you switched back to the Asus P7P55D-E Pro.
  20. MadAdmiral said:
    Your wife's father has been out of the game awhile. The newer 500 GB platter drives (Samsung Spinpoint F3, Seagate 7200.12 500 GB and 1 TB) are faster, quieter and cooler than the 10K VRs. Not to mention a good $100-$150 cheaper.

    Alright...

    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB. This (or the Samsung, which is currently out of stock) is the fastest drive out right now (SSD excluded). It's worth the little extra.

    CPU/Mobo: You'd save $15, not have unnecessary features AND get USB 3/SATA III support if you switched back to the Asus P7P55D-E Pro.


    Sounds good to me. It has been at least 2 years since he built his, and seeing as how I've never done it I will more than readily take your advice. Okay so I think I've sold her on the above combo with the changes you mention here. You guys rock. And now my laptops can actually be used for all their original uses instead of as poor gaming substitutes.
  21. heres a great build

    Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827118030 -$23.99

    COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Item #: N82E16811119197 -$109.98

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822148395 -$54.99

    GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813128419 -$94.99

    POWERCOLOR AX5850 1GBD5-MDHG Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    Item #: N82E16814131184 -$299.99

    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817341017 -$74.99

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL -$104.99

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ... - Retail
    Item #: N82E16835103065 -$29.99

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX - Retail
    Item #: N82E16819103808 -$159.99

    Total- $953.90 w/out shipping+tax ($55 in rebates)
  22. Problem with that is the OP also needs an OS and monitor in the $1,000 budget. That makes that build over budget by about $200, not to mention the low powered PSU and non-Crossfire board...
  23. So I just made the purchase, thanks guys. Now I just have to read through a few more how to builds (some good ones on here that I've seen) and take my time when everything comes in. Any tips on the products I bought, any tricky spots I should look out for?
  24. There shouldn't be anything special about the exact components you bought as far as installation goes. The one thing that surprised me in my first build is how much force you have to use to get the HSF to lock down. I felt like I was going to snap the board...

    I would take the time to find the motherboards manual online and start reading through it.
  25. I was just looking at the monitor you linked and it says recomened resolution is 1440x900.

    If the resolution of the monitor wont hit the 19xx mark then the 5850 is going to be over kill and you could get by with a 5770.

    Other then that looks good.
  26. The build I recommended included a 19020x1080 monitor. Problem solved.
  27. MadAdmiral said:
    The build I recommended included a 19020x1080 monitor. Problem solved.



    Agreed I was just looking at the monitor the OP linked and wanted to point that out before any mistakes were made... ;)
  28. Best answer selected by jyreene.
  29. Thanks for all the advice guys. I have now received all the items and just am waiting for the in-laws to head back out of town to start building. I did not purchase the monitor you suggested but that is my fault for not clicking the right button since I had found one with the same specs that has speakers. Oh well, that's a learning experience.
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