~800 Gaming System

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: now, but I could wait a few weeks if there was a reason.

BUDGET RANGE: 700-900 After Rebates. Going for the bang for the buck ;)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (in particular battlefield bc2 and eventually SC2), surfing the internet.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS



OVERCLOCKING: Reasonable amount emphasizing longevity

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe but probably not because I don't want a loud computer


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a PC that's not too loud. I want a system that will allow me to play for the next couple years, where I might get more RAM or upgrade the graphics card as needed.

This is what I have in mind so far, and I'd appreciate your thoughts/suggestions. Thanks!


Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor

MSI P55-GD65 LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C8 - Retail

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

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

I have no idea on a CPU cooler/heatsink, but I need something that is quiet.

Few questions:

Would going to a larger HDD (say 1TB) increase the speed noticeably? I heard size/performance are linked...

Would 8GB of RAM increase the speed noticeably? If so, would I be able to do it with four sticks of 2GB, or would that conflict with the dual channel P55 and detract performance?

Would going to DDR3 2000 increase the speed noticeably?

Can I go with a cheaper mobo than the one I have in mind?

Would 700w be enough for an upgrade in 2 years for a decent video card?

Thanks again.
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  1. ^ IMO you can better switch to an AMD PC and with the money saved, get a faster HD 5850..
    It will be better suited for gaming and as you will not be going crossfire, going with a single powerful card is better...
    And as for i5 vs AMD CPU(X4 955 comparison, for gaming, am sure you wont notice any difference in terms of CPU power...
  2. Best answer
    X4 955 + Gigabyte 770A - With USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s


    PSU + Graphics card
    OCZ 700W + XFX HD 5850

    HDD -
    Samsung F3 1TB
    Comes with a Free Dock and it is the fastest 7200RPM drive out there...

    CASE - IMO you can get a case with better airflow for the price that you will be paying including shipping...

    CPU Cooler
    Sunbeam CCTF - I would have suggested CM Hyper 212+ if it was available at sub $30 as it previously was....but now it cost nearly $40+ after shipping and IMO at that price this is better...
  3. +1 gkay09

    though I would go with the western digital caviar black 640GB 32mb cache HD... has a 5 year warranty and great reviews.

    to answer some of you questions...
    - increasing hard drive size will not speed up your computer. A hard drive's speed is related to its rpm and interface (SATA2).

    - increasing the amount of RAM will not speed up your system unless you run out, which is unlikely under most circumstances. If you decide to upgrade in the future and add 2 more sticks of RAM, you will still utilize double channel because RAM slots 1 and 3 are channel 0 and RAM slots 2 and 4 are channel 1.

    - jumping to DDR3 2000 will increase your performance slightly, but it will be unnoticeable except in benchmarks.

    - a 700 watt PSU will be more than enough for your purposes and will easily last 3-5 years with either setup (allowing for capacitor aging) or if you decide to upgrade your graphics card in the future.
  4. snurp85 said:
    to answer some of you questions...
    - increasing hard drive size will not speed up your computer. A hard drive's speed is related to its rpm and interface (SATA2).

    And the size of the physical platters it uses. In some cases, this is more important than rpm. For example, newer 7200 rpm drives with 500 GB platters are faster at sequential I/O than 10k rpm Velociraptors.

    The performance drives that currently have 500 GB platters are:
    Seagate 7200.12s (500 Gb, 1 TB, 1.5 TB, 2 TB)
    Samsung Spinpoint F3s (same as Seagate)
    Western Digital Caviar Black (1 TB - only the WD1002FAEX model which is about $25 more than Seagate or Samsung 1 TB models, 2 TB)

    Otherwise, agree with everything else. Generally speaking the price premium on 2000 MHz RAM is not worth the minimal increase in performance. 1333 MHz or 1600 MHz CAS 7 RAM is the best value for your money right now.
  5. Best answer selected by stratusofrl.
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