$1,300 \ 30 days \ Gaming \ Newegg

Good day, I'll try to make this as short and sweet as possible! Thanks!

BUDGET RANGE: $1,300 After Rebates
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers
COMMENTS: Monitor is not part of $1,300 budget. Part of a separate $300 budget (for monitor only).
This is the monitor I'm looking at: Asus 24" 1920x1080 Monitor
Also, I plan to install an SSD at the end of this year when/if the prices come down to a reasonable level. (for me)



GPU: Radeon HD 5970 $700
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition $160
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard $125
MEMORY: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $115
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit $100
POWER SUPPLY: Antec EarthWatts 750W $85
HARD DRIVE: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5 $55
CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 $35
OPTICAL DRIVE: Sony Black DVD/CD Burner $22

TOTAL COST: $1,482


ALTERNATE GPU: Radeon HD 5870 $420

ALTERNATE POWER SUPPLY: Antec Earth Watts 650W $80


18 answers Last reply
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  1. One potential problem that i see is this memory might interfere with your CPU cooler

    5. G.SKILL G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI
  2. Frankly, it's not a great $1,300 gaming build. Here's a beter one:

    CPU/HSF: X4 955 and Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $189
    Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $125 after rebate
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
    GPU: HD 5970 $700
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
    PSU: Antec Earthwatts 750W $85 after rebate
    Case: HAF 922 $80 after rebate
    Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $22

    Total: $1,370 w/o the OS, so about the same as the above w/o the memory.
  3. Hey MadAdmiral, thanks for the response and recommendations.

    I like that processor, seems to be priced fairly and heard it overclocks very well.

    After some reading I've found that the G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 has a hard time running at 1600 mhz with the selected mobo. Some have even reported that they could only get the RAM to run at 1333 mhz. Not sure on this, hoping for clarification.

    Basically under the specifications it says in order to reach the 1600 mhz I need to skip the first two slots and insert the two memory sticks in slots 3 and 4? Is that right? Here's what it says "DDR3 1866(OC)*/1333/1066
    * To reach DDR3 1866MHz or above, you must install two memory modules and install them in the DDR3_3 and DDR3_4 memory sockets."

    Also, I'm not sure I want to spend $700 on the GPU alone. I can justify $400 to $450. What do you think about dropping down to the 5870?

    Games are more GPU intensive than CPU, right? So it's okay to have a brand new GPU matched up with an older CPU and it won't bottleneck? This is in regard to the 5970 matched up with the Phenom II X4 955.
  4. If it's been "reported" in user reviews, I don't place much stock in it. The average user on Newegg shouldn't be trusted with sharp sticks, much less a computer. The sticks will likely not run at 1600 mhz without manually setting the speed, but that's something you should do anyway. I would be shocked if they didn't run at 1333 mhz out of the box, as that's the default for the RAM...

    That top speed is the maximum speed the RAM can run at. That list isn't what speeds actually work. The 1066/1333 are the defaults, depending on the stick, while the 1866 is the maximum.

    You'd certainly still have great performance with the 5870. However, the 5970 is so powerful that you will not need to upgrade it during the life of this build (5-6 years). The 5870 will need an upgrade in 3-4 years. I would personally just stick to the 5970 simply because you can.

    The 955 is not an older CPU. It's new, it's just the very top-of-the-line in terms of performance. It's #3 (if you don't count the red-headed step child that is the i7-860) behind the i7-930 and i5-750. However, it's also $100+ cheaper than an i5 bild and $400 cheaper than an i7-930 build.

    That said, no newish CPU will bottleneck the 5970 in gaming. Games hardly even touch the CPU nowdays. If you've got a CPU that's been made in the past 3-4 years, you don't have to worry about a bottleneck.
  5. These builds are nice. I just bought my PC stuff, I got an i5 750, MSI P55G65 mobo, Patriot Viper II 2x2GB RAM, Zalman Extreme cooler, Sapphire 5850 GPU, Antec 900 II case...

    Anyway there's two points I want to make about my build. First is that the mobo for it's price range is the only good one with PCIe 16x/0x or 8x/8x for crossfire/SLI. Other ones were 8x/4x. So in a couple years, a 2nd 5850 will put it back on top of things. Secondly about purchasing, I priced mine out on Newegg but a friend suggested a local retailer and sure enough not only did they have everything I wanted but they also price matched so I saved about $40 from price matching, plus they had a couple things cheaper than newegg but also no shipping costs or waiting. So consider doing that once you figure out your build.
  6. Updated first post with new build and alternate.
  7. Looks good. I would personally stick with the 750W unit with the 5870 though.
  8. Hey. I bought all the parts and built the computer (my first time building a comp). Turned her on and everything went fine and still is. My question is on the positioning of the Heatsink. Here's some pictures of my setup and the question I have.

    Current Heatsink Position:

    Current Air flow Threw Comp:

    My question is if I should rotate the Heatsink 90° and have it facing down, drawing the cooler air into the heatsink. They only problem is the video card. It's some damn big it covers 3/4 of the fan's suction. Here's some pics on what I mean.

    Should I still rotate the heatsink or will it be fine the way it is?

    Thanks for any and all help.
  9. I'd recommend pointing it either up or to the left. The way it is, while it probably doesn't make a huge difference, it's trying to suck air from a lower pressure zone.
    Second thing is, it may not matter on your Gigabyte board, but on my mobo for dual channel memory it recommends using slots 1 and 3, which in terms of your sticks, you'd want to move the inner one over a slot.

    BTW, is that the 5870? Or did you splurge on the 5970?
  10. I splurged, 5970.

    If I'm reading the MOBO manual correctly, I should move both sticks over to the other two slots, slots 1 and 2. They are currently in slots 3 and 4. EDIT:: Wait, I think your right. Slots 1 and 3 should have the memory.

    Confused I am. It says Channel 0 is slots 1 and 3. Channel 1 is slots 2 and 4. But then it says if I have two memory modules I should install them in slots 1 and 2. ?

    Here's a pic of the manual.

    Also, I'm going to rotate that heatsink now. I really didn't want to go back in so soon, in fear that I'll screw something up.
  11. 5970, sweet dude.

    From what I can tell, install them on the first 2 slots so move them both over. This way they are each in a different channel, in other words, dual channel and that's what you want.

    EDIT: Oh and when you take the heat sink off, check how the paste is spread. I was getting high temps, and turns out my CPU wasn't flat so I was getting bad contact. I did some lapping on the CPU and it brought the temps waaayyy down. I could tell as soon as I took the HS off, the paste was spread nicely on the CPU but was only in a small patch off to the side and a channel down the center, so like maybe 40% covered.
  12. I just realized that if I have a memory module in either slot 1 or slot 2 I can't rotate the heatsink, there's just not enough room.

    Also, how would I check to see if the mobo is reading the RAM as dual channel. BIOS screen?

    Moving the RAM over now.
  13. Can you rotate it 180 or does the fan then get in the way? I think that would be better as well as it will throw the hotter air right out the back instead of back into the case.

    Not sure about how to check if RAM is dual channel on your BIOS just try looking around, but it should still work in slots 3 and 4.
  14. Moved the heatsink to the other side and placed the RAM in slots 1 and 2. Going to boot her up and see if I can find out if its in dual channel or not. Still need to set the timings too, I haven't done that yet.

  15. Nice work man. The RAM settings are fairly easy. If you download CPUZ you can check the recommended timings for the XMP "overclocks" to make it easier, or load XMP and copy those values down. From my understanding tho XMP in general is ok but not if you're going to OC the CPU since it sets your FSB to whatever value it wants. Mine set it to 160 but I changed it to 200 and just lowered the RAM multiplier, and kept all the timings as recommended.
  16. She's in dual channel now!

    About those timings. The only thing I see I need to change is the Command Rate from 2T to 1T. Everything else seems to be in order.


    Also, I think I need to switch Memory Clock to x8.00 for 1600Mhz. Right now it's set to x6.66 which is 1333Mhz. Here's the memory I'm using.

    G.Skill Memory
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