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I'm building a gaming system for a friend, please provide advices!

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March 23, 2010 3:54:32 AM

Hi guys!

As I mentioned, I'm building a new gaming system for a friend of mine. His budget is $1,200.00 CAD (before tax). This is not a firm budget and can be a bit flexible. I have already picked out parts from this website: http://www.canadacomputers.com

I actually wanted to buy stuff from newegg.ca; however, due to time constraint, I will have to buy from the above site. It doesn't have as low prices as newegg but it's one of the well-known ones.

I really appreciate if you can provide advices and experiences regarding hardware compatibility of this build and/or recommendation for better parts. Since I will introduce my friend to the world of overclocking, components have been chosen with that in mind.

Right now, he's gaming on a 20" monitor; however, he will get a new monitor @ (at least) 1920x1080 at a later time. Therefore, I want to get him a HD5850 for now and he can crossfire it later with another HD5850 if he wants. PSU was chosen with CrossfireX in mind.

Here is the list of components:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (125W) Quad Core Socket AM3, 3.2GHz, 8Mb Cache, 1800MHz HT, 45nm (HDZ955FBGMBOX)
Price: 179.99

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 4 Heat Pipes, Copper Base (RR-B10-212P-GP) for Socket LGA1156/1366/775 & Socket AM3/AM2+/AM2
Price: 34.99

DVD Burner: ASUS DRW-24B1ST Black SATA 24X DVD-Writer 24xDVD+R/-R 24xDVD+/-R DL 8xDVD+RW/6xDVD-RW 48xCD-R OEM
Price: 23.99

Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda (ST31500341AS) 7200.11 SATA 3.0Gb/s 1.5TB 1500GB 32MB Cache (OEM)
Price: 119.99

RAM: OCZ (OCZ3G1600LV4GK) DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz Gold Edition Low Voltage 4GB (2x2048MB) Dual Channel (CL 8-8-8-24)
Price: 119.99

Motherboard: Asus M4A79XTD EVO Socket AM3 AMD 790X Chipset + ATI SB750 Dual-Channel DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066Mhz 2x PCI-Express x16 2.0 6x SATA 3Gb/s 8-Ch HD Audio GigaLAN IEEE1394 12x USB2.0 ATX
Price: 124.99

PSU: Corsair HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX EPS12V Power Supply
Price: 182.99

Graphic card: Asus EAH5850/2DIS/1GD5/A ATI Radeon HD 5850 Chipset (725MHz ) 1GB (4000Mhz) GDDR5 Dual Display DVI/HDMI/VGA Display PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card
Price: 329.99

Case: Antec Three Hundred Gaming Case ATX 3/0/(6) 2xUSB Audio No PS
Price: 57.99

Total: $1,174.91

I wanted to get him the Antec 900 but it will go over the budget. Would you advise otherwise?

Do you think the power supply is over- or under-powered for two HD5850's in CrossfireX?

Do you think the RAM will work well and overclock well with the CPU and motherboard?

Do you recommend a different CPU cooler and if yes, which one?

Is there anything else that you would recommend for this build with the provided budget?

Thank you in advance for your inputs!
a b 4 Gaming
March 23, 2010 4:17:56 AM

^ Good build...But I would suggest some changes...

1. Mobo -
Get the GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 mobo...It comes with SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0...And also is a newer chipset...Well worth it IMO...

2. CASE - Why not the HAF 922 ?
Right now newegg.ca has Free Shipping for that case and has USD 10 Mail-In-Rebates...That is a very good price for that case IMO...And newegg.ca doesnt come up with such deals all the times...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
As for the case, IMO it is better than the 900 as it is more spacious and the HDD access is easy as it faces sideways...

2. PSU - You wont need 850W...Drop to a 750W PSU...And also you can save money going with Corsair 750TX...The above case has very good cable management, so you can easily hide the unused cables without any issues...

3. RAM - Better to go with Corsair/ GSkillz/ Crucial...OCZs of late dont have very good reviews on their RAMs...

4. HDD - Go with Samsung F3 1TB drive...It is faster, more efficient and reliable...

5. CPU Cooler - IMO you can even check out Sunbeam CCTF...the Hyper I would say is a better choice at Sub $30...the CCTF would come to nearly the same price and in addition comes with a very good thermal paste - TX2...

Hope these help...
March 23, 2010 9:10:21 PM

I will definitely take your recommendation into consideration, especially the RAM... I still thought OCZ was as good as back to one or two years ago. I'll seek out a new RAM for the build.

Thank you very much for your input!
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