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New System Build - $1200 Budget

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April 23, 2010 8:59:14 PM

This is my first time building a computer, but I have ordered a pre-built locally before. I want to build my own this time around and I wanted to get some suggestions on what hardware to get.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as I pick out the hardware.

BUDGET RANGE: ($900-$1200) Flexible budget, willing to spend more for a good improvement. Relatively hard cap at 1500 Before Rebates. Although the more I can save the better.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Surfing Web, Movies/Music, School.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, OEM, Tigerdirect, Retailers anywhere Reliable and Free shipping is a big plus.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel Processor with Nvidia GFX nothing else besides those any good/quality brand is fine.

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No / Maybe in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050, and 1920x1080 in case I ever get a new monitor in the future.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Nothing much as long as its not too loud, shouldn't sound like my 747 Xbox 360 when it turns on. I'd like to play Starcraft II at high settings as well as Bad Company 2 and Crysis 2. As noted in the title this is my first ever build any tips would be awesome. Also I want a mobo that will last a long time and remain upgradable, but I'm not informed on how to choose a good one.



So far I haven't made any firm decisions on any of the hardware. I was looking at either the Antec Nine Hundred Two or the Coolermaster 690 Advanced II for the tower. For the video card I was thinking about the new Nvidia cards probably the 470, but I'd jump up to 480 if the performance justifies the premium. Also I'd like to use a core i7, possibly the 930/940. Other than that I'd like to use probably 6 gigs of RAM(1333 or 1600), I'm not a hundred percent on what brand I should buy in that area either.
April 23, 2010 9:04:40 PM

CPU/Mobo: i5-750 and Asus P7P55D-E Pro $375
RAM/GPU: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and HD 5870 $490
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
PSU: Corsair 750W $90 after rebate
Case: HAF 922 $80 after rebate
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $22

Total: $1,117

Neither the 470 or 480 is that great. The 470 performs more like the 5850, but costs closer to the 5870. The 480 just barely out performs the 5870, but is a good $100 more. Not only that, but their cards run extremely hot and use a lot of power. That means more noise in the system. Stick with ATI's cards until nVidia actually gives you a reason to change.

The i7-930 is way out of your budget if you're a gamer. You'd need a good $1,600 to get a decent i7 gaming build. The i5-750 is possibly the best gaming CPU on the market right now, so you don't need to worry about performance.

You did mention you'd consider going as high as $1,500. I would use that extra $300 to pick up a new monitor to make the most out of your new build. Here's a good monitor that's pretty cheap: Asus 23" 1080p $180 after rebate.
April 23, 2010 9:42:01 PM

$230 Antec 1200 w/ CP-850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$375 ASUS P7P55D-E LGA 1156 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 w/ i5-750 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$105 OCZ 2 x 2GB DDR3-1600 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$90 Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$350 Asus ENGTX470/2DI/1280MD5 GTX 470 (Fermi) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
.....or
$320 ASUS EAH5850 DIRECTCU/2DIS/1GD5 HD 5850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Here's the relative costs of the cards you might consider in DX11 at high settings @ 1920 x 1200 in dollars per frame (averaged over 10 tests):

ATI 5970 11.78
nVidi 480 9.62
nVidia 470 9.08
ATI 5870 10.41
ATI 5850 8.89

$25 any DVD writer

$50 CPU Cooler

$1165 - 1195 Total
Related resources
April 23, 2010 10:27:26 PM

Savings Total Price
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Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
Item #: N82E16827118030
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

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The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info27-118-030.0.18)

* 1 year: $6.99
* 2 year: $11.99



$21.99

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COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811119197
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$20.00 Instant
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate11-119-197

$109.98
$89.98

select item 3 quantity of item 3


Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148433
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HIS H585FN1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity

HIS H585FN1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ...
Item #: N82E16814161330
Return Policy: VGA Replacement Only Return Policy

-$10.00 Instant


$309.99
$299.99

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COOLER MASTER Silent Pro RSA00-AMBAJ3-US 1000W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

COOLER MASTER Silent Pro RSA00-AMBAJ3-US 1000W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.92 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active ...
Item #: N82E16817171049
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$40.00 Instant


$209.99
$169.99

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G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ
Item #: N82E16820231190
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy



$104.99

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COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ...
Item #: N82E16835103065
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$34.99

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GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3 AMD 790FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ965FBGMBOX
AMD Gift - Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Coupon

*

GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3 AMD 790FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128415
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Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty

The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info13-128-4151.0.120)
o 1 year: $19.99
o 2 year: $36.99

*

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ965FBGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103727
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

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Item #: N82E16800995090
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-$5.00 Instant
-$49.99 Combo


$415.97
$360.98

Subtotal: $1,167.90
Sorry if it's not the brands you want but it seems more bang for the money and Am3 might last longer with the upcoming 6 core while 1156 not sure... Plus AMD has full bandwidth for USB 3.0 and Sata 3 while 1156 those not.
April 24, 2010 2:52:48 AM

Thanks for the replies, as far as longevity do you think the i5 will hold up for a good while maybe an i7 (920 or 860) I do multitask often, I'd also drop extra for tri-channel RAM if its worth it and do you think I should invest in a CPU cooler or just go stock? I don't really have any experience with overclocking so I dunno if I'd ever do it. I've looked at some reviews and saw the 470 has much better tessellation performance, I want to be able to play all my games at high do you think the 5850/5870 can do that for newer games same for the i5.
April 24, 2010 5:22:16 AM

i play bad company 2 with all options on high at 1900x1200 on a i5-750 at 3.8ghz with a 5850. great frame rates, never a slow down or a stutter. an i5 with a 5870 will be great.
April 24, 2010 11:47:35 AM

TheBell said:
Thanks for the replies, as far as longevity do you think the i5 will hold up for a good while maybe an i7 (920 or 860) I do multitask often, I'd also drop extra for tri-channel RAM if its worth it and do you think I should invest in a CPU cooler or just go stock? I don't really have any experience with overclocking so I dunno if I'd ever do it. I've looked at some reviews and saw the 470 has much better tessellation performance, I want to be able to play all my games at high do you think the 5850/5870 can do that for newer games same for the i5.

You might want to look at the Thuban unit from (6 cores) it's supposed to come out next week. For the cooler I would go with the Cooler Master Hyper 212 seems like a good cooler. A 5870 will be about a GTX 480 9or 470 I'm not too sure) and will play any games maxed out 1080p. Just look at the benchmarks for it and the 5850 is also a very powerful card.
April 24, 2010 1:41:14 PM

The 5870 is closer in performance to the 480 than the 470. It's also $100 cheaper than the 480...

The 5870 can play every game at max details at 1900x resolutions. The 5850 can do that too, but it may struggle with a few games (like Crysis). As for the other special stuff the new GTX cards offer, games don't use any of it, and likely won't for several years. So there's no reason to buy a GTX card for the special features.

Unless you're doing a lot of rendering or other CPU intensive tasks, the i7s would be a waste of money. As would a hexa-core CPU.
April 24, 2010 4:58:01 PM

From your suggestions I went with the 5870 and the i5 in the interest of saving money. I was going to opt for the i7 860 because of the HT but after some research I don't if i could justify the $80 price bump. I kept the 750W Corsair PSU just wondering if you guys think its a bit much or not enough?

ASUS P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
$120

Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
$200

SAPPHIRE 100281-3SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
$400

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
$110

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$90

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
$110

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
$55

LG DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH24NS50
$25

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
$100


Total: $1210.00 before mail in rebates and with free shipping.


Main questions are, would I see a good benefit in 8 GB of ram considering the extra $120 to bump up (G-Skill 8GB DDR3 4x2 GB on Newegg)? Also what do you guys think of the mobo in terms of reliability/upgrading/performance. Should I get a new cooler for the CPU or go stock and do you think I should invest in extra case fans besides the ones that are included with the HAF 922?

Overall what do you guys think about the system, will I be good on gaming for 5 years maybe (Plan to replace after that probably).
April 24, 2010 8:47:59 PM

Fine you can go the dead way with Intel...
No you will not see much of a difference between 8Gb and 4Gb of RAM.
If you don't want to overclock the stock is fine.
Go with one of those 7200.12 RPM HDD.
1156 will probably be dead next year.
The HAF 922 has plenty of fans don't worry about that.
April 25, 2010 4:33:43 AM

Okay after some research on the AM3 socket it does seem more future "resistant" but reviews put the i5 750 a bit faster with general apps. If I go with the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4Ghz what do you think about this mobo?


GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128416
April 25, 2010 4:37:10 AM

That's possibly the best AM3 board right now. It's very future proof with USB 3/SATA III and Crossfire supports. It's also one of the cheaper ones.
April 25, 2010 11:37:37 AM

TheBell said:
Okay after some research on the AM3 socket it does seem more future "resistant" but reviews put the i5 750 a bit faster with general apps. If I go with the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4Ghz what do you think about this mobo?


GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128416

It's true the I5 750 is a little more powerful then the Phenom II X4 but it's not a big diffrence.
Also that motherboard looks great!
You might want to wait and see for the X6 prices (coming out the 26) and decide then weather you want the X6 or X4.
Good luck!
April 25, 2010 11:44:15 AM

If you go with the above get the Phenom X4 II 955 and the GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 mobo. And get yourself the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus HSF.

I have my system with that build running solid at 3.8 ghz and at an idle of 30-33c.

Regarding X6 cores if you're willing to wait and spend the money then here's some google prices bellow: $200, 300.

If it were me I would blindly go spend the $300 and see what the 9 megs L3 with 6 cores can do. But then you have the argument that the hyper threading on an i7930 can easily do more then that in a sense.


We just received the official prices from AMD:

Phenom II X6 Six Core

1090T Black Edition: 125(W), AM3 Socket, 9MB Cache, 3.2 GHz Freq @ 295 USD

1055T: 125(W), AM3 Socket, 9MB Cache, 2.8 GHz Freq @ 199 USD
April 25, 2010 11:51:28 AM

Savings Total Price
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Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
Item #: N82E16827118030
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* 2 year: $11.99



$26.99

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COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811119197
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy

-$20.00 Instant
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate11-119-197

$109.98
$89.98

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Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148433
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$84.99

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GIGABYTE GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ ATI Eyefinity

GIGABYTE GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video ...
Item #: N82E16814125318
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$309.99

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CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ...
Item #: N82E16817139006
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-$30.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card17-139-006

$139.99
$109.99

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G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ
Item #: N82E16820231190
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy



$104.99

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Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116754
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$99.99

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COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ...
Item #: N82E16835103065
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy



$34.99

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AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ965FBGMBOX
GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Gift - Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Coupon

*

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ965FBGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103727
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy

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*

GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128416
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o 2 year: $26.99

*

AMD Gift - Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Coupon
Item #: N82E16800995090
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-$49.99 Combo
$15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card13-128-416

$370.97
$320.98

Subtotal: $1,182.89

Just some little changes seems on your budget now.
April 25, 2010 11:58:59 AM

Also 750w is plenty for such a system.
April 25, 2010 12:43:30 PM

What I linked is cas7 ddr3 1600s, 4gb?
What comes up when you click it?

April 25, 2010 3:18:50 PM

Is there a big difference between the 955/965? Also do I need to get thermal compound with that cooler you mentioned or does it come with it? I've never overclocked anything before so bit iffy on that.

Read some iffy reviews about these gigabyte boards having BIOS issues and arriving DOA, what do you guys think?

Everything else on the rig is pretty set.
April 25, 2010 3:35:34 PM

The 965 is not worth the extra 10$ it's just a 0.2 difference. The hyper 212 comes with thermal paste. The reviews on Newegg are just armature builders (like me (lol)) look at websites like Hardware Secrets, ect. or you could go with the ASUS equivalent.
April 26, 2010 1:00:31 AM

Not much of a difference but XFX seems to be a better brand.
April 26, 2010 4:13:11 AM

There is no technical difference between the 5xxx series cards right now. I would either get the cheapest one or the XFX. The reason the XFX cards are popular is their "double lifetime" warranty, which basically means the cards have a lifetime warranty that goes with the card if sold.
May 2, 2010 7:08:11 PM

Exams came up and I haven't had much time to log on, but here is my final build will be ordering by tomorrow night once I get my last midterm squared off. then I should be putting it together once my finals are over. I appreciate all the help guys!

Final Build - $1220


GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit

Lite-on DVD Burner
May 2, 2010 7:26:19 PM

Why the Phenom II X4 965? It's like $16 more for the 1055T, and the difference can be made up for by a Newegg combo deal.
May 2, 2010 7:44:06 PM

iamke55 said:
Why the Phenom II X4 965? It's like $16 more for the 1055T, and the difference can be made up for by a Newegg combo deal.

This thread was made before it was out.
May 3, 2010 1:15:14 AM

I'd be willing to shell out an extra 20 bucks for a hexacore. You guys think the performance gain will be good Gaming/everyday wise? Also Can I use it on the mobo I have or should I pick another one? Saw the Tom's Hardware review, it actually mentioned the x6 may not be the best for gaming.
May 3, 2010 3:42:54 AM

The hex core AMD doesn't do anything in game. It would help in encoding and some other CPU intensive tasks.

You can use the X6s on any AM3 board, but some might need a BIOS update.
May 3, 2010 3:47:11 AM

TheBell said:
I'd be willing to shell out an extra 20 bucks for a hexacore. You guys think the performance gain will be good Gaming/everyday wise? Also Can I use it on the mobo I have or should I pick another one? Saw the Tom's Hardware review, it actually mentioned the x6 may not be the best for gaming.


You would be better off with a 955 or 965 for optimal gaming performance.
!