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$1100-$1300 1st time gaming build, need advice

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April 14, 2010 2:22:20 PM

Hello there!

Just wanted to run this by some knowledgeable individuals who wouldn't mind providing a little insight to a gaming build. Most of the selections are coming off of the 'Recommended Builds By Usage' thread and other similar forums, just with a few minor tweaks. I just want to make sure all parts are compatible and reliable. I've been out of the loop for almost 8 years and to be honest I'm a little intimidated by all the options I have on different components.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This Friday (4/16/10)

BUDGET RANGE: $1100 - $1300 before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Heavy Gaming (5-7 hours daily), Stability, Reliability

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Monitor, OS (Win7 Home Prem 64 bit)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg. I also live next to a Microcenter

PARTS PREFERENCES: i5 750, Asus mobo, ATI graphics

OVERCLOCKING: Not right away, but perhaps in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm not 100% sure on these hyper links, hopefully I get them right! Please forgive me if it's not working - I'll edit if needed


The Goods:
CPU / Mobo combo: i5 750 + Asus P7P55D-E Pro = $ 374.98

RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 4Gb (2 x 2Gb) DDR3 1600 Cas8, 8-8-8-24 @ 1.6v = $114.99

HDD: Seagate 7200.12 750Gb 32Mb Cache = $69.99

Optical: Asus Black 24x = $25.99

GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5870 = $419.99

PSU: Corsair 750tx 750w 80+ = $109.99

HSF: CM Hyper 212+ = $34.99

Case: HAF 922 = $89.98

Thermal Paste: AS5 = $9.99


Total: $1,250 ish


For some reason my browser won't let me preview, so hopefully these links are set up properly!
Thank you SO much for taking the time to help me out with this!



a b 4 Gaming
April 14, 2010 2:26:40 PM

Looks decent. Only things I would change are:

RAM/GPU: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and HD 5870 $515. The RAM is faster and better for overclocking, and the brand on the GPU doesn't matter right now.
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55. This is the faster drive. If you need more storage than that get either the 7200.12 1 TB or Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB ($90 each).
Thermal Paste: You can leave this out. You don't need aftermarket paste if you're not trying for an OCing record.
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $22. This really has no effect on performance, so you might as well save a couple of bucks.

Also, I'm almost positive that you can get the i5 a lot cheaper at Microcenter than you can in that combo, so check on that.

EDIT: I know you're not counting on rebates, but here's another good PSU that will be cheaper when you get the rebate. It's the same price also cheaper before: Antec Earthwatts 750W.
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April 14, 2010 2:59:08 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Looks decent. Only things I would change are:

RAM/GPU: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and HD 5870 $515. The RAM is faster and better for overclocking, and the brand on the GPU doesn't matter right now.
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55. This is the faster drive. If you need more storage than that get either the 7200.12 1 TB or Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB ($90 each).
Thermal Paste: You can leave this out. You don't need aftermarket paste if you're not trying for an OCing record.
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $22. This really has no effect on performance, so you might as well save a couple of bucks.

Also, I'm almost positive that you can get the i5 a lot cheaper at Microcenter than you can in that combo, so check on that.

EDIT: I know you're not counting on rebates, but here's another good PSU that will be cheaper when you get the rebate. It's the same price also cheaper before: Antec Earthwatts 750W.




WoW! Fast reply!
Few questions tho..

1. Can't find the RAM you specified on the QVL for that motherboard, not sure if this is an issue. I won't be OC'ing for a while, if at all. I'm assuming that ram is 'plug-and'play' meaning I drop them in the motherboard and it auto downclocks to 1333Mhz? Will the timings change at that frequency? What about voltage? Also in the description of the ram it wasn't specified for i5 / i7 builds (again, not sure if that matters as I am pretty much noob when it comes to compatibility)

2. I'd rather stick with an XFX card because their warranties are just downright sexy! Not too worried about shaving a few bucks off for a combo deal. If the Gigabyte card is superior to the XFX version I can be swayed, however.

3. Thermal Paste: After reading up on heat issues I'm not sure if the CM Hyper 212+ is even needed. But at 35 bucks I figured I couldn't go wrong, especially giving me the option to overclock in the future if I deem it necessary. So the thermal paste included with the cooler is adequate for heat transfer? I really don't mind paying an extra 10 bucks for a product that is tested and performs well. The only CONCERN I have is that cooler looks massive! Seems like the fan mounted on the side of the cooler *might* interfere with the projection of the ram when they're seated in each DIMM slot. Should this be a concern?


Sorry, kind of long winded. Just want to make sure I'm crystal clear on these things.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 14, 2010 3:11:59 PM

1.) QVL doesn't matter. Those are only the sticks that they have had time to test. There shouldn't be an issue.

The motherboard may or may not detect the specific settings for the RAM. It's highly advisable to manually set the voltage, speed and timings to the manufacturer's specs in BIOS as soon as possible. As far as what CL they'll have when running at 1333 mhz, it should what's listed in the specs (9-9-9-something).

2.) There is no difference between the cards from different brands. If you absolutely want to pay more for a warranty they might or might not honor, go ahead.

3.) The thermal paste is almost always adequate. Think of it this way. Why would a HS company ship their units with subpar thermal paste. That would just lead to lower performance and complaints for something that would be basically free to them. Typically, using an aftermarket paste only drops temps a couple of degrees.

As for the size of the HS, it's not a problem. The fan can be adjusted up or down to clear the RAM. Also, as long as you're using a single fan, you can just switch which side it's mounted on and flip the fan to a pull configuration.
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April 14, 2010 3:51:32 PM

MadAdmiral said:
1.) QVL doesn't matter. Those are only the sticks that they have had time to test. There shouldn't be an issue.

The motherboard may or may not detect the specific settings for the RAM. It's highly advisable to manually set the voltage, speed and timings to the manufacturer's specs in BIOS as soon as possible. As far as what CL they'll have when running at 1333 mhz, it should what's listed in the specs (9-9-9-something).

2.) There is no difference between the cards from different brands. If you absolutely want to pay more for a warranty they might or might not honor, go ahead.

3.) The thermal paste is almost always adequate. Think of it this way. Why would a HS company ship their units with subpar thermal paste. That would just lead to lower performance and complaints for something that would be basically free to them. Typically, using an aftermarket paste only drops temps a couple of degrees.

As for the size of the HS, it's not a problem. The fan can be adjusted up or down to clear the RAM. Also, as long as you're using a single fan, you can just switch which side it's mounted on and flip the fan to a pull configuration.



Thanks for clearing these matters up! And thanks for the suggestions, I'll follow your advice and grab those parts.

Cheers!
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