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Gaming Rig: $1000-$1500 Including OS and Monitor

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April 29, 2010 12:50:25 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as reasonably possible

BUDGET RANGE: 1000-1500 before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: see below

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, new to it, but i'm up for it. CPU and Video Card

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm going for high end but with a good price/performance ratio. I also like the idea of spending more now, but being pretty future proof, which is why I picked the Mobo I did and didn't go the Intel route. I'm pretty much going from the ground up, I've been out of the PC world for a while. I'm not dead set on any one thing, I really like the monitor and its a good price for a 1900x1200 of that quality and I may buy it soon since the sale goes away on the 30th. I looked at a 1080p of Asus with similar specs but decided this would look better gaming, which is mainly what I'll be doing. I don't know which case will be better, the Cooler Master has more space, but the antec has a top fan and air filters I believe, and I hear the 5850 fits fine and will only block one or two hdd spaces which I won't need. For the power supply, I've read that the Earth Watts is really good but I believe Corsair makes high quality PSU's as well. It looks like the Earth Watts can throw more power on the 12v rail, but I'm not sure which would better suit my needs. I'm not sure if this is too much power or what, since I don't PLAN on Crossfiring, but I could be swayed to. I also hear that triple and dual cores can perform just as well if not better than some quad cores and would be the more economic choice and then when games begin using more cores I could upgrade later. This will be for all sorts of games, pretty much every popular, and maybe non-popular games out there.

So far, after a lot of research I have this

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Case + Disk Drive: COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black Computer Case
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OR

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mobo + CPU: GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU + PSU: GIGABYTE GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OR

GIGABYTE GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
st=Combo.362038

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Memory:G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...


Monitor: ASUS VW266H Black 25.5" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor Built-in Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

CPU Cooler:COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...
April 29, 2010 1:16:00 AM

I would do a HD 5870



Sony Optiarc DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model AD-7241S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM
Item #: N82E16827118032
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty Plan
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
• 1 year: $6.99
• 2 year: $11.99
$24.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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
$109.98
$89.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148395
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
• 1 year: $10.99
• 2 year: $18.99
-$5.00 Instant
$59.99
$54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen LCD Monitor
Item #: N82E16824236049
Return Policy: Monitor Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
• 1 year: $25.99
• 2 year: $45.99
-$30.00 Instant
$259.99
$229.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128435
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
• 1 year: $17.99
• 2 year: $26.99
-$10.00 Instant
$139.99
$129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814150476
Return Policy: VGA Replacement Only Return Policy
-$10.00 Instant
$419.99
$409.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ...
Item #: N82E16817139006
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$30.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$139.99
$109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
Item #: N82E16820231303
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103808
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
• 1 year: $19.99
• 2 year: $36.99
$159.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116754
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
$99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
• 1 year: $7.99
• 2 year: $12.99
$34.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Subtotal: $1,463.89
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Related resources
April 29, 2010 4:27:31 AM

Would you suggest a 5870 because of the 1900x1200? After browsing through most all of the benchmarks that I've seen it seems that the 5850 is quite adequate in the games I'll be playing and performs much better in dollar to performance. I'm also considering downgrading the cpu, while upgrading the mobo to this

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Would this be a decent choice or would a 435 be good if I overclocked it a little?

I'll also up combo this psu with the 5850 to cater to Crossfiring in the future
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also, would will it really be much of a difference going from a 1900x1200 to a 1900x1080? I read that 1900x1200 scales down better for older games, many of which i will be playing as I have not had a sufficiently upgraded computer in years, and I really don't care about movies fitting the screen completely.
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April 29, 2010 9:11:06 AM

Made the painful decision to go big and not have to upgrade except maybe for an added video card in a couple years. Here's another try:

Case:HAF922
Mobo:Gigabyte 890GX
Cpu:Phenom II X4 955
RAM:G.Skill Ripjaw 4GB DDR3
GPU:Gigabyte Radeon HD5850
PSU:OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Power
HDD:Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB
HSF:Hyper 212 Plus
Monitor:Asus 25.5" 1900x1200 2ms LCD
OS:Windows 7 Home - OEM

After everything is said and done, including combos and mail-in rebates, this beast will set me back $1476.11, quite the investment.

This should hopefully keep me off of Newegg for awhile after I order it. I believe I may also need a nice little 8-Pin Extender since the case doesn't come with one. And maybe a Megaflow 200 for a side fan to keep everything cooler. Is there a bottom fan I should install too? And, do I need some thermal paste or will the stuff with the Hyper 212 be sufficient. Finally, are there any suggestions for air filters for those 200mm fans? Any help would be much appreciated, thanks.
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April 29, 2010 10:35:45 AM

Solid Build!!

If you plan to Crossfire your 5850, you'll need a slightly stronger PSU. The OCZ won't get it done. I would go with the CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W or Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W

I would get the 8-pin extender just to make sure you have good cable management. I would hold off on the Megaflow 200 side fan until you see how your temps are. If things are running hot, than you can add for additional cooling. No need to add additional fans if not needed for cooling. I would look to get different thermal compound besides what comes with the Hyper 212. The two most popular are Arctic Silver 5 and OCZ Freeze
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April 29, 2010 11:10:37 AM

Thanks for the PSU Suggestion, it increases my price just a bit, but I'll be future proofing and getting a more reliable PSU. That 5850 is not getting the best reviews because it consumes more power at idle because the fan constantly runs at 3d speeds because its factory overclocked, I believe. But the Gigabyte 5850 comes bundled with the Antec Earthwatts 750. One person on newegg says they can't change the voltage, any thoughts? Should I stop nitpicking and just be excited for this new system?
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April 29, 2010 12:50:13 PM

For cable management in the HAF 922 with the Corsair 750TX, I had no issues with cables being short. Cable management was possibly the easiest I have attempted so far. Overall, system looks similar in price range and needs to the one I just built. Nice choices.
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April 29, 2010 2:28:22 PM

Looks like the build i posted but you down graded the GPU to a HD 5850 and went with a 25.6 1920X1200 monitor vs the HD 5870 and 24" 1920x1080 monitor. Shrugs, your call :) 








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April 30, 2010 12:40:47 AM

From what I've read it seems like that monitor will look better for what I want to do (game), but still be able to function as a 1080p display when I want it too, even if it has some black lines. It should also work fine for my PS3, I believe. I like the 5850 for now because will perform above and beyond what I need it too for right now, and if I need more juice later on, I can throw another one in there and then I'll really be cooking. And, as I've mentioned it beats the 5870 for price/performance, and seeing that I've almost doubled ( :ouch:  woops!) what I originally wanted to spend on a full setup ($700-900), it will do fine. I'm glad to hear that Antone, as this will be my first time building a computer and I'm both excited and nervous. If I search more I could probably find this on these forums, but what precautions have you used to put your rig together? I may invest in an antistatic clip, but I know well enough to keep myself grounded on the case the whole time, would disposable vinyl gloves be a good idea to wear while I work, or will I be fine as is?

I'm highly considering ordering those parts now so I can start working on it early next week, but that buy button is sooo painful to click. And then I'll have to face the real challenge, setting up the BIOS and tweaking, something I'm completely new to. :sweat:  Good thing I have Tom's Hardware to hold my hand through it all. :) 
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April 30, 2010 12:57:00 AM

the are a few stickys at the top to read over about putting the rig together. the HD 5850 will be good, I have one on the 1920x1080 rez play anything out there.

I was try to get you the best for the 1500 but, I know its hard to spend that much.

Anyways the build looks grate, enjoy it :) 
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April 30, 2010 1:26:23 AM

I appreciate everything you guys have added. This didn't end up being a very long thread, but that's probably due to the hours and hours and late night of searching and sifting through these forums and seeing the suggestions you and many of the other highly knowledgeable members have given to other noobs like myself. Thanks. I'll let you guys know how the build goes and how everything runs in a week or so. UNLESS, of course any other forum lurkers has anything else to add and any game breaking advice for me. In the meantime, I'm gonna build up my nerves and willpower (probably aided by a few beers) before I spend $1600 on this build.
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Best solution

April 30, 2010 1:32:29 AM

I say put your mouse on the buy button, close your eyes and hit the button. Once it is bought it is bought and the fun part of putting it together begins (If I had the outlet, I would build'em and sell them on eBay or Craiglist). You will have a new killer system, which will make it all worth it in the end!!
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April 30, 2010 2:17:27 AM

tecmo34 said:
I say put your mouse on the buy button, close your eyes and hit the button. Once it is bought it is bought and the fun part of putting it together begins (If I had the outlet, I would build'em and sell them on eBay or Craiglist). You will have a new killer system, which will make it all worth it in the end!!


I would love to build them and sell them also :)  maybe by the 10th one i would get that cable management down lol.


Well i guess i will have to just take my PC apart every 4 months clean it out and put it back together, maybe that will satisfy the need to buy a new one :) 
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April 30, 2010 3:11:12 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
I'd look at some of these:

http://www.tomshardware.com/search.php?s=%241500



It looks like a lot of those builds go with Intel builds and use the i5 or i7, but I prefer the AMD route since it is more upgradeable and less expensive than the Intel parts while only performing a little behind, but right with them for gaming. The only thing looking at these that has me concerned is the RAM. Jack, you say the Ripjaws interfere with the HSF, would these be a better choice then? Many of the reviews are using cruical in their Phenom II systems and it's working fine and they have no heat spreaders. A lot of these builds in that 1500 search also don't include an OS or monitor into their build, and I am, so I think I've got some great performance at a respectable price.

EDIT: Here I go nitpicking again. Which board? Asus or Gigabyte? And what Southbridge am I looking for? I assume the 850 but I could be wrong.
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April 30, 2010 3:39:43 AM

"It should also work fine for my PS3" Sell that thing on ebay with your games and then up your budget to $1800.00. That should net you an i7 930 with a 5870 and a monitor.

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April 30, 2010 4:10:23 AM

I'm actually selling my 360 and games to help finance this endeavor. All 360 exclusives generally come to PC eventually and look much better with modability. However, games unique to the PS3 are exclusive to the PS3 and I would like to keep that option open. Trust me, I considered selling it for this. I also feel like the i7 and 5870 would be overkill and Intel boards = not future proof at the moment not to mention I would probably would not notice the performance increase with the i7 since I will primarily be gaming.

EDIT: Off topic for this reply but, what Antivirus should I be using for gaming? I'm reading that bitdefender and kaspersky do well and that the free ones do well also. Should i just close my eyes and pick one?
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April 30, 2010 8:40:00 AM

I kind of want to go with the CM 690 since it is considerably cheaper ($50), since it has free shipping, over the HAF 922. Of course, now that I'm searching, I'm not sure which case to grab. I'm very impressed with Cooler Master's and all of their features, but I hear the Lian Li's are very well made also. I think this is my final nitpick before I order this thing.

Edit: After watching many video reviews and from surfing the boards here I have settled on the beautiful Lancool K62. The video I saw just blew me away with all of its sturdy, tooless design it seemed to make putting together a computer too easy and it gives great cable management. I was also drawn to the fact that it has air filters everywhere you can put a fan, including along the bottom. Furthermore, if I'm unhappy with the side panel and feel like I need more fans I can buy a different one for it and get fans two more spaces for fans. It looks like it will fit everything I need, including my 5850 (and maybe another down the line), and my Hyper 212. And to top it all off it is selling for pretty cheap right now on newegg and has free shipping. Unless someone has any glaring issues that is the case I'll be going with and I'll be purchasing the whole system later today. I'm not sure I'll be needing that 8-pin extender like I would with the HAF 922 anymore.

So this will be System

Case:K62
Psu:Antec Earthwatts 750W
Mobo:Asus 890GX
Cpu:X4 955
Gpu:Gigabyte 5850
Memory:G.Skill Ripjaws 4GB
HDD:Seagate 7200.12 500GB
Optical:Lite-On DVD Writer
HSF:Hyper 212
Thermal Paste:OCZ Freeze Extreme

and maybe 8-pimn extension?

I know this is pretty much my the build i posted before with a few tweaks here and there. The total before tax and shipping is $1037.90.
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April 30, 2010 7:19:53 PM

I use Microsoft Security Essentials. Seems to work well and not bog down my system much. I have also used AVG, it was a system hog and they use your personal data.

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April 30, 2010 10:53:31 PM

I've heard that one is good too, especially for being free. I'm going to take everyone's silence as tacit approval to order this build. Which I will do shortly. Thanks all for the advice. I will let you know sometime next week how it all goes.
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May 1, 2010 3:42:28 AM

MaeAbr said:
I've heard that one is good too, especially for being free. I'm going to take everyone's silence as tacit approval to order this build. Which I will do shortly. Thanks all for the advice. I will let you know sometime next week how it all goes.


Please post photos when done. Build looks solid.
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May 21, 2010 7:48:31 AM

Best answer selected by MaeAbr.
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