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So I want to build a computer with my tax refund...

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March 1, 2010 12:35:04 AM

I've spent the past few months studying up to build my own machine, and now that I have some money, I'm ready to seriously consider components. I'll use this machine mainly for gaming.

Current "gaming" machine: Macbook Pro 2.16ghz, 128mb ati x1600 [dual boot into Windows XP]

These are my goals:

1) I want to play my current games maxed out. (L4D, TF2, Bioshock, C&C3, CoD4)
2) I want to be able to play future games (SC2, Diablo III, Bioshock 2) pretty much maxed out. [on a side note... is anyone else going to drop off the face of the earth when DIII comes out? I suspect I will :D  ]
3) I want to build a machine with some longevity and the capacity to be upgraded, so I'm willing to spend a little more today to avoid replacing parts in 6mo/1yr


With that in mind, based on my research and some recommendations from this website, here is my ever-changing list of stuff. Also, the budget is <= $1000. I have mouse, keyboard, monitor (1680x1050), speakers. I'm interested in CFX in the future.

EDIT:: I want to stick with an Intel CPU, I live in the US, i like newegg.

priced on newegg.com

CPU: i5-750
MB: GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P
GPU: GIGABYTE GV-R585D5-1GD-B Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro)
RAM: 2x2gb Kingston ValueRAM
PSU: Rosewill Xtreme Series RX750-S-B 750W
HD: Seagate 7200 500GB
Case: Antec Three Hundred (low priority, could be anything not made by fischer price or insulated with fiberglass)
Optical: LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model

As of this minute, this build comes to a grand total of $1009.88

I am trying to save money, so I'm not opposed to cutting costs if doing so doesn't hurt performance/longevity too much.
March 1, 2010 2:06:34 AM

I would go with the Xeon X3440 instead of the i5, as the Xeon is clocked almost the same and has HyperThreading, which should help with your more CPU limited games (L4D, TF2, CnC, definitely SC2)

Also, do you need a board that has onboard SATA & USB 3? If not, then I'd go for a cheaper alternative mobo like an Asrock or lower Asus and, if in the future, need be, buy the Asus PCI-e expansion card for SATA & USB 3.

Last, 750w is OVERKILL. A good 550w would suit your needs just fine. Lemme find some links, post back in a few.

EDIT: Ok, hard to find a 550 with 4 PCI-e connectors. Also Rosewill is definitely not quality. Too many things could go wrong with a shoddy PSU.

Here's those links:
Xeon X3440
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117225

Asrock P55 Extreme (has 3x PCI-e slots, either 16x0x4x links, or 8x8x4x, good for CrossfireX + PhysX if it ever catches your fancy)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157172

Corsair 2x2GB DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145285

Corsair 650HX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139012



All in all, it will push your total up, but be better in the long run (maybe not the RAM, that's more choice, but 1600 seems to be the sweet spot).
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March 1, 2010 2:27:51 AM

For a single HD5850, 550W would be enough. I'm guessing you want 750W to allow for Crossfire.
The PSU you've chosen looks like an entirely different breed of animal from the ones that gave Rosewill a reputation for crap some years ago, but in the absence of a competent technical review, I'm not sure it's a risk worth taking. In your place, I would probably stick to Antec, Corsair, or Seasonic. The Antec 750W Earthwatts is $110 right now. According to ATi's web site, however, the PSU requirement to Crossfire two HD5850 GPUs is only 600W. A 650W Earthwatts is $75.
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March 1, 2010 2:31:26 AM

Onus said:
For a single HD5850, 550W would be enough. I'm guessing you want 750W to allow for Crossfire.
The PSU you've chosen looks like an entirely different breed of animal from the ones that gave Rosewill a reputation for crap some years ago, but in the absence of a competent technical review, I'm not sure it's a risk worth taking. In your place, I would probably stick to Antec, Corsair, or Seasonic. The Antec 750W Earthwatts is $110 right now. According to ATi's web site, however, the PSU requirement to Crossfire two HD5850 GPUs is only 600W. A 650W Earthwatts is $75.

And according to the PSU calculator, even in Crossfire they'd only need 420w, and that's with a 3.6GHz overclock on the CPU (when I put things in, I like to give a little head room).
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March 1, 2010 2:34:09 AM

ATi is likely trying to compensate for all the crappy PSUs out there.
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