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Flexible Budget $1100 Gaming Rig

Hi everyone! I'm a new entry into the PC gaming scene. I've done some research on my own and come up with a starting point; as I'm not all that experienced or knowledgeable, I'm quite open to suggestions, improvements, or revisions.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: June 2010 BUDGET RANGE: $1000-$1200

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT
: Gaming, Watching High Def Video

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I'm starting from scratch with the exception of the 42" 1080p Panasonic Plasma I currently use with my PS3. I'm hoping to use this for my monitor.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've had some experience with newegg.com, but I am open to others.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I've no brand loyalties at this point, but here was what I was looking at:

ASUS Crosshair IV Formula AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard $230

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor $180

ASUS ENGTX470/2DI/1280MD5 GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $350

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $120

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 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $90

ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner $25

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $100

Total cost of current build: $1200

OVERCLOCKING: Open to it, and it would seem a shame not to.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE:Sure if it's more cost efficient than the one card.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Through my limited research, it would seem a multi-core AMD based CPU is more cost efficient than the Intel based ones for gaming. As for the video card, I had been looking for an NVIDIA based card as many games seem to favor them, and was hoping to ensure a bit of future-proofing with DirectX 11 support. (It seems this may be costly than needed as the Fermi was only just released.) I'm unsure if DirectX 11 is really needed though due to the minor support for it currently. The Crosshair IV mobo seems excessive, but I figured it would be easier to upgrade in the future with a board like that, and it seems rather OC'ing friendly.

So as I said, I'm very much a newbie and would appreciate any and all suggestions. Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I forgot to say that I live in the U.S. and am dealing in U.S. Dollars. Added costs to current components. Thanks.
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  1. Best answer
    Welcome to the forums! :)

    Well, there's no point of buying the Crosshair IV Formula if you're going to use an nVidia card, because it does not support SLI, and the reason why the C4F shines is because of its chipset, 890FX, which has multi-GPU support and it's pointless if you can't use it. I suggest that you buy the Radeon HD 5850 instead, which performs slightly worse than the GTX 470, although is more energy efficient and produces less heat, as well as being cheaper. Otherwise all else looks good, I'd get the Phenom II X4 955 (C3 revision) personally though just because it's cheaper and can overclock nearly as well as the 965.
  2. Lmeow said:
    Welcome to the forums! :)

    Well, there's no point of buying the Crosshair IV Formula if you're going to use an nVidia card, because it does not support SLI, and the reason why the C4F shines is because of its chipset, 890FX, which has multi-GPU support and it's pointless if you can't use it. I suggest that you buy the Radeon HD 5850 instead, which performs slightly worse than the GTX 470, although is more energy efficient and produces less heat, as well as being cheaper. Otherwise all else looks good, I'd get the Phenom II X4 955 (C3 revision) personally though just because it's cheaper and can overclock nearly as well as the 965.


    Thanks for the reply! I'm embarrassed to see my ignorance showing so quickly. Would you think it'd be better then to switch to the Radeon HD 5850 rather than using an appropriate mobo?

    Like I said, I'm not sure how much more beneficial the nVidia cards are over their ATI counterparts with their supposed optimization by game developers, or if that is really even an issue at all.

    Thanks again,
    Shiffy
  3. Well for SLI, you're going to be looking at an Intel build, which you may or may not want... I would get the 5850 and then switch to a 890GX board, which will still give you plenty of bandwidth for crossfire. Check some reviews here or over at anandtech. Go to the gaming page and check to see which card does better in the games you play. If the difference is not too great, my recommendation is the 5850.

    890GX
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131631&cm_re=asus_890gx_usb3-_-13-131-631-_-Product
  4. Thanks for the suggestions! I think I'm going to follow your recommendations and substitute the 890GX in for the C4F, downgrade to the X4 955 CPU, and pick up the ASUS Radeon HD 5850 in place of the GTX470.

    So thanks for taking the time to give me some input,
    Shiffy
  5. You are welcome.
  6. The build looks good.

    I second the opinion of buying the 5850, I don't recommend the 400 series for gaming due to the price, heat, power, noise for what is little gain in performance over ATI cards.

    You can even OC the 5850 to perform the same as the 470 and still probably using less power and creating less heat.

    Alternatively you could get the 5870 for about $50 more than the 470 which is also a better card.

    My understanding is that the Gigabyte board - $139.99 (124.99 after rebate) is a good board and usually a better alternative to the 890 mobos which is overpriced
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128416

    I am no AMD expert, but MadAdmiral is a guy who knows what he is talking about and I have seen him suggest this board as an alternative to 890s a few times due to the 890s not really offering anything extra.

    The money saved on the board can get you the 5870 if you want it or just keep some money in your pocket
  7. Best answer selected by Shiffy.
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