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Newbie building a $600-$700 gaming rig

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April 19, 2010 2:29:46 AM

Hi, I'm new to this forum, and to PC building in general, but I'm eager to give it a try. The main purpose of this build will be gaming, but I'd like to become more knowledgeable on PC hardware as well.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the week, hopefully.

BUDGET RANGE: $600-$700 after rebates, although that's a bit flexible. I don't want to go above $750 or 800 if I can help it.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, internet surfing, video watching and streaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: No idea, I'm a newbie

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900

From a quick cursory search of this forum, I've found a build suggestion that is almost perfect for my purposes. Its in this thread: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/284500-13-desperate... jming1084's reply. Out of that build, only the case and psu seem more high end than I want them to be. I'm pretty sure there are cheaper alternatives that will give me the results I want. I'm especially intrigued by the cpu in that build since it has an unlockable fourth core, but I have no idea how one would go about unlocking and I don't know what advantage that would avail me. In terms of games I'd like to play on this build, The Orange Box is my baseline (got it last year off Steam and I can't wait to finally play it!), but I'd like to be able to run more recent games such as Dead Space, Mirror's Edge and Bioshock with good settings. If someone here happens to have experience with the Gamecube/Wii emulator Dolphin, it would be great to have a build that could run it well; I'd love to replay some of my Wii games with superior image quality. Finally, a recommendation on a good, but not too pricey gaming mouse would be great. Sorry if this post is a bit long, being new, I wanted to make sure I covered everything. Thanks in advance!
April 19, 2010 3:01:39 AM

Should I buy that mouse?
I have a microsoft wireless laser mouse 6000 (version 1) now.
http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Wireless-Laser-Mouse-60...
Will I really notice much of a difference and will the additional buttons be helpful?
And should I wait a few months for the price to drop more when I get the money for my new build or get this now?
Related resources
April 19, 2010 3:41:15 AM

Are you going to need an OS?
April 19, 2010 3:47:18 AM

If you need to buy an OS at retail price your system will be gimped of course because of that. If you need to buy one, any chance you can score some type of student discount?

April 19, 2010 6:19:16 AM

I forgot to mention that I already have an OS prepared (Windows 7 64 bit). xrome, that mouse looks very good and the price is right. I think I'll grab it.
a b 4 Gaming
April 19, 2010 3:31:14 PM

For just 1440 x 900 actually a HD 5670 could cut it and a HD 5770 will have a long staying power unless u upgrade your display but honestly this project can be concluded at a far lower price point ^^ $553 AR
April 19, 2010 9:50:59 PM

batuchka, that build looks fantastic. My only concern is the motherboard; looking at Biostar's website the memory and cpu you included are not on its compatibility lists. Is that something I should be worried about? Also, can anyone recommend me a good cheap solution for wireless connectivity? And for overclocking would I need additional cooling?
April 20, 2010 12:04:06 AM

woodbeam said:
batuchka, that build looks fantastic. My only concern is the motherboard; looking at Biostar's website the memory and cpu you included are not on its compatibility lists. Is that something I should be worried about? Also, can anyone recommend me a good cheap solution for wireless connectivity? And for overclocking would I need additional cooling?


Here's a good cooler.

CoolerMaster Hyper 212
April 20, 2010 12:14:27 AM

you can copy my build. It's almost awesome. Part for part it came out to 792 dollars pre rebates. I think 5750's are even cheaper now. In hindsight i should have gotten a mobo with usb 3.0, but w/e. I game at 1360x768. i get +250 fps in DoD Source with everything maxed except AA. Switch the phenom to an athlon, and there's the money for a mouse :) . Hit more info then member config to see the full build
April 20, 2010 3:23:37 AM

While batuchka's build is nice on the wallet, I wouldn't recommend skimping on multiple parts when you have the budget to do a little better.

Don't put yourself in a situation where you might get the itch to upgrade soon because you tried to save $100 now.

For instance, you have $700 to spend comfortably. Looking at batuchka's build, I would shy away from biostar, beef your PSU a little bit and spring for a case with cable management options.

The OCZ modxstream series is a cheap way to get a modular 80+ PSU, but maybe look into the 600w, so it can still power your system in a couple years if you upgrade your video card.

I had a raidmax smilodon case, and just recently rebuilt my system into an Antec 902 to increase airflow. Noticeable effect on my temps, case looks cleaner. I'd toss a little more into your case. Buy a rock solid case and you can reuse it for every build for a long time to come.

Also, stick with the 5770, don't go lower cause your budget doesn't demand you to go lower.
April 20, 2010 4:38:47 AM
a b 4 Gaming
April 20, 2010 1:01:46 PM

Yes for budget mobos i would rate Asrock/Biostars >>> ECS by the sheer quality of its BIOS and many people are ignorant about what enthusiasts are doing on 785/790GX AM3 biostars - just hit the AMD subforums at Xtreme Systems ^^
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=24...
April 20, 2010 3:42:36 PM

I think I'm going to stick with this build barring any major oversights anyone points out. Please reply; I'm getting antsy here! :D 
April 20, 2010 9:13:32 PM

- People report driver problems with that wifi card and win7 64

- Get this dvd burner instead. save $4 and get a brand name sony
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- The case you chose is poor. period.

- No idea why you would buy that mouse...

You're certainly welcome to get whatever you want, but why ask for people to help you chose better parts if you are going to ignore them anyways? lol
April 21, 2010 2:33:20 AM

I've overhauled my build. It is now at the upper limit of my budget, but I've tried to follow suggestions.

Wireless: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Headphones: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case + HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Video + PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Keyboard + Mouse: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Memory + Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CPU + Cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Xrome, I'm wondering why that case, the cooler master elite 310, is poor. I couldn't find a single review that called it that. The case I've replaced it with seems better, but I'm just wondering. I think I'll be fine with that mouse, at least for a while; I'm not a super hardcore player of fps or rts so I don't know why I'd need much more from a mouse.
April 21, 2010 5:54:25 AM

For the $55 for that case there are cases with better features. Perhaps poor is an unfair word to use. I just recently rebuilt my system into a case with better features, and I like it a lot better. I wish I had just spent the extra few bucks in the beginning and saved myself the hassle. Therefore, I'm trying to save you the potential hassle as well. But cases do have a lot of personal preference to them, so my word choice was too strong, my apologies.

features that are nice in a case:
1.) Bottom mount PSU (increases airflow and cleans up the look)

2.) Fans. Numerous and large. That case has a single exhaust fan. Many cases have 2-5 fans in them stock which helps temps ALOT.

3.) Cable management holes, especially a main hole near the PSU to rout the cables through.

4.) CPU access hole

5.) All black interior (but thats just for looks)

6.) Tooless design. (I personally dont mind the screws but tooless can be really nice).

That case has none of those features, and still costs $55. For an additional $20 you could get an antec 900 or a HAF 922. Two rock solid gaming cases that will last you.

DEF worth the $20 for sure.

As far as the mouse goes, you originally asked for suggestions on a quality gaming mouse that didn't break the bank, then went with a bargain item. Thats a great price on the logitech with the rebate going, and something you shouldnt have to worry about giving you problems in a week.

Good luck on your build, such a fun feeling firing it up for the first time!
!