~$1200 Gaming Rig

I could really use some input on the components I've selected for my new build. My current gaming machine is nearly 5 years old, and really needs to be replaced. Comments would be greatly appreciated, and thanks in advance :)


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming will be the primary use of this machine, but I also do a good amount of video transcoding, mostly for my iPod.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, maybe a monitor (but don't include monitor in budget)


PARTS PREFERENCES: as long as they're good quality parts, doesn't much matter to me

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe - I've never been real enthused about overclocking, but I'm not absolutely opposed to it SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Eventually, hopefully, once prices drop


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I mostly play RPGs, such as Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2, etc. But I do enjoy the occasional FPS, mostly HL2.

Here are the parts I've selected so far:

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply

Thinking 890FX, but haven't looked at any yet since they just came out.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ965FBGMBOX
Was really looking forward to the Phenom II X6, but after reading the reviews, I don't think that's the best option. Thoughts?

XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity

Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PGV34G1333ELK

Intel X25-V SSDSA2MP040G2R5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Also looking at getting Dell U2410 Ultrasharp for a monitor.

Again, thanks in advance!
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  1. Not a great gaming build. I would definitely ditch the SSD. It's expensive and you'll only be able to fit the OS and maybe 2-3 games on a 40 GB drive. Here's a much better one:

    CPU/Mobo: i5-750 and Asus P7P55D-E Pro $375. A better CPU and a great board.
    RAM/GPU: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and HD 5870 $495. Faster RAM and a more powerful GPU.
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $80. Just as fast as the Samsung, but slightly cheaper.
    PSU: Corsair 750W $90 after rebate. 850W is a tad overkill, and modular PSUs are unnecessary in bottom mounted cases (the cables are already out of the way).
    Case: HAF 922 $90. A bigger case to accomadate the 5870. This is easily one of the best (if not THE best) cases ever made.
    Optical (if needed): Cheap SATA DVD burner $22
    HSF (if/when OC): Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35 (with free card reader)

    Total: $1,192
  2. The reason I went with AMD is because I want SATA III and USB 3.0 and still be able to use Crossfire. Plus (not a major factor, but a nice possible plus) much greater potential for upgrade path.

    Yeah, just noticed I forgot an optical drive. Thanks.

    Also, I'd rather go with the 5850, I think, unless you have a compelling reason to upgrade. If I can spend less than $1200, I'd like to (I'm in college, and funds aren't exactly plentiful), and from what I can tell, the 5850 is sufficient at 1920x1200, and I am planning to CF it when the prices come down in the future.
  3. You get that with Intel as well, just not Gigabyte's P55 boards.

    As for the upgrade path, it doesn't matter for gamers. The next step is a six core CPU, and games aren't even fully using two cores yet. They certainly won't be using six within the next 3-4 years (which is how long the build will last with the 5850).
  4. Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of that (the SATA III and USB 3.0 stuff).

    Why would you recommend the HAF 922 over the CM 690 II?
  5. It's bigger, and generally better overall. It's got more/bigger fans, better cable management, and some very nice extras. The CM 690 II is a good case, but it's a bit small for it's price. If you're getting anything above the 5850, it's going to be a squeeze to fit it.
  6. Ok, I'll definitely consider it.

    You said you think 750w is enough for the PSU. Would it still be enough if I add a second 5850?
  7. Definitely. 650W is enough for two 5850s, just you generally would have to use adapters to get enough PCIe connectors, which turns some people off to that.
  8. Interesting.

    I really appreciate the help. Thanks!
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