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Advice on gaming build ($1200ish)

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March 29, 2010 11:21:37 PM

Hello, I am finally building a new computer to replace my aging 7 year old desktop. I am somewhat tech savvy and have a fairly good idea of what I want to get, but I get overwhelmed when it comes to motherboards. I don't know much about them, to be honest, and I don't want to pay $300 for one, when $160 would service my needs.

I am attempting to build this PC for about $1200, excluding optical drives, OS, mouse, and keyboard. I have some wiggle room, but the cheaper, the better (of course!). I also would like to leave some room for upgrading. I bought my last computer right before PCIe video cards became the norm. That pretty much screwed me as far as upgrading.

This build will mainly be for playing games of all genres. I currently have a 19" CRT monitor with a max resolution of 1792 x 1344, but plan on eventually getting a larger LCD. Also, I would like to OC, but I want this build to last. My last computer had heat issues, so I want to make sure that doesn't happen this time around.

CPU: Intel Corporation Core i7-930 Processor Boxed (On sale for $200 at Micro Center. i5-750s are $180)

MoBo: ??? This is my main area of hesitance. Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 LGA 1366 X58 ATX Motherboard for $280 @ MC or Asus Computer International P6T LGA 1366 X58 ATX Motherboard for $230 @ MC? Also recently saw in the System Builder Marathon here where a ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard ($160) was used, but I have read some bad things about it.

RAM: Crucial 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory or G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory. This is also from the SBM and the comments there.

Video Card: Radeon HD 5850. The plan is to get one for now and get another later, when cash flow permits. I don't know much about the different models either. Unless I hear otherwise, I will go with one that is cheap with a decent warranty.

PSU: Corsair CMPSU-750TX. Another from the SBM.

CPU and Case Cooling: Don't know much about this either. The plan is to just look through some products online and see what people have to say. Also, I don't care about noise level at all.

Storage: Part of me wants to go with a 64GB SSD with a large HDD for storage. However, the price of the SSDs makes me think twice. I will most likely get HDD and think about getting an SSD as an upgrade down the road, perhaps when they are cheaper.
Samsung Spinpoint 1TB seems to be popular around here.

Case: Cooler Master CM 690. I don't give a darn about LEDs or flashy design. I want functionality and that is it.

That about covers what I have been thinking. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
March 29, 2010 11:29:42 PM

CPU cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212+, Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer, Scythe Mugen 2.

The samsung F3 1Tb or seagate 7200.12 1TB are the best price/performance 1TB drives around right now.

With a CM690 if you find you dont like your heat levels you can buy a couple inexpensive 120mm case fans. You may not need them, depending on your environment. the 5850 is one of the coolest GPUs available so that will help. When you go to add a second is when you should really consider adding more case fans.


In the early days of x58, the ASRock x58 extreme was the best value. If you read bad things it was probably the ASrock x58 supercomputer model. Most reviewers were surprised by how much better the extreme model was than the supercomputer.

Now you should be getting a motherboard with at least USB3 (and maybe SATA III <6GB>) and the now aging x58 extreme doesnt qualify. That P6T is also the older model; you dont want it. Look for a newer ASUS x58 board with USB3 on it.
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March 29, 2010 11:47:18 PM

dndhatcher said:
CPU cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212+, Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer, Scythe Mugen 2.

The samsung F3 1Tb or seagate 7200.12 1TB are the best price/performance 1TB drives around right now.

With a CM690 if you find you dont like your heat levels you can buy a couple inexpensive 120mm case fans. You may not need them, depending on your environment. the 5850 is one of the coolest GPUs available so that will help. When you go to add a second is when you should really consider adding more case fans.


In the early days of x58, the ASRock x58 extreme was the best value. If you read bad things it was probably the ASrock x58 supercomputer model. Most reviewers were surprised by how much better the extreme model was than the supercomputer.

Now you should be getting a motherboard with at least USB3 (and maybe SATA III <6GB>) and the now aging x58 extreme doesnt qualify. That P6T is also the older model; you dont want it. Look for a newer ASUS x58 board with USB3 on it.

^+1... dndhatcher...

MOBO: I would go with either the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 or Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R, which looks like a similar board minus a few extras.

GPU: I recommend either XFX or Sapphire, as they are the best brands for ATI. If you drop down for cost, I would go with the HIS brand.

RAM: I would go with the G.Skill PI Series RAM you have listed.

HDD: I agree with the concept of going with a fast large drive upfront and add a SSD later, which is pretty much what I did with my build (granted SSD were still relatively new when I built mine).
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