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First build - opinions?

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May 12, 2010 1:16:14 PM

EDIT: Sorry, I can read! I just read the sticky about how to ask for new build advice, so here it goes:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 2-3 weeks
BUDGET RANGE: 600-900

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, programming, surfing the web

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, OS (Although should I use XP, Vista, or 7? I have all three.)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: I prefer to use AMD, and a mid-tower case for easier portability

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, eventually

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Generally run 1024x768 - for gaming could be higher

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Case doesn't need to be fancy, but should be quiet. I do love the color blue.

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XION AXP Classic Series AXP600-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Ultra LSP750 750-Watt Power Supply - ATX, SATA-Ready, SLI-Ready, 135mm Fan, Lifetime Warranty


MSI 770T-C45 AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard


AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - OEM


Kingston HyperX T1 Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KHX8500D2T1K2/4G


Optical Drives:
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 - Bulk - OEM

LITE-ON Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model iHDS118-04 - OEM

HDD:

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

So I've not built a computer before, but I've got the know-how. I currently work with computer programming with some gaming on the side.

Just looking for ideas and information from the experts out there that don't mind spending 5 minutes and throwing out their opinions.

This is just a starting point. I haven't done a lot of research and only spent about an hour last night throwing parts together. Any thing that screams 'this is a problem'? I'm also interested in getting information on a video card that would run games like Battlefield Bad Company 2 decently, as well as other FPS games. Leaning towards a ATI Radeon 5000 series (5970/5870), with hopefully 1GB of onboard memory.

Questions I have is quad-core vs. dual core, and DDR2 vs DDR3 - do I upgrade both now, or would dual core and DDR2 be sufficient for the next year or two?

Do I go Radeon or nVidia? I've always liked Radeon, but...

I'm looking to do this on a budget, so my fiancee doesn't freak about it.

So I'm open for suggestions and ridicule! Thanks!

More about : build opinions

May 12, 2010 1:29:50 PM

What do I think? It's an outdated, poor quality build. In fact, the only part I may recommend is the optical, but I'd have to see exactly what they are before that...

I'm guessing the budget is about $600 before the GPU. In which case, this would be much, much better:

CPU/Mobo: X4 955 and Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 $229 after rebate. A much faster CPU and a much, much better board. No Crossfire on the board though...
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120. Faster, current RAM.
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55. A faster HDD. Also comes in 1 TB.
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $120. A better case and a much better PSU.
Optical: 2x Cheap SATA DVD burner $40. As a place holder.

Total: $564 (add $25 for a of the same model)

EDIT: Now that you changed it to follow the guidelines:

Exactly what is your monitor's recommend resolution? If you game at 1920x1080, the 5850 is a good choice. If it's lower, you can save a lot of money.

CPU/GPU:
X4 955 and HD 5850Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $120 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $120
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $20

Total: $905. Only one optical, which I'm not sure if that's a big issue. If this is a bit much, here's some changes to make it cheaper (and still better):

CPU/HSF: X3 440 and Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $97
Mobo/GPU: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 and HD 5850 $410 after rebate

Total: $822" target="_blank"> $470
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $120 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $120
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $20

Total: $905. Only one optical, which I'm not sure if that's a big issue. If this is a bit much, here's some changes to make it cheaper (and still better):

CPU/HSF: X3 440 and Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $97
Mobo/GPU: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 and HD 5850 $410 after rebate

Total: $822
May 12, 2010 1:31:50 PM

Man - nail, head, BAM! I used to be WAY on top of all this stuff about 5-6 years ago, but I've spent so much time in work and getting married that I haven't even stayed current. This is the kind of information I need! Thanks a lot, I'll check it all out.
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May 12, 2010 1:42:43 PM

I definitely game at lower than 1900, so I'm willing to save money there. I'd love to stay in the 700-800 range, of course cheaper is better. What could I get away with and be effective in 2-3 weeks, while knowing that the option to upgrade is available in 2-3 months?

I guess what I mean is, I'd like to keep it on the cheaper end right now, but in 2-3 months I'll be able to throw more money at it which could include a second video card and/or more RAM (if needed). Given that, I would imagine that it'd be smart to go ahead and get a good CPU/Mobo, and if I wanted to upgrade the hard drive, etc. later then I could.
May 12, 2010 1:52:42 PM

Admiral has the great build laid out for you. If you want to save more money drop to a 5770 Radeon card instead of the 5850. At your resolution you could go even lower, though I would suggest sticking with 5770 and when you can buy yourself a $160 22 inch monitor for 1920 x 1080 resolution.
A 5770 will be able to still handle itself quite well then, where as any lower a card and you would likely have to replace it as soon as you got a new monitor (which you will need to do in the near future if you want to truly appreciate games and their graphics)
May 12, 2010 1:55:52 PM

You won't need to upgrade the above for several years. Since you're not gaming at 1920x, here's a more finalized build that will last without upgrades for a few years:

CPU/HSF: X4 955 and Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $182
Mobo/GPU: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 and HD 5770 $260 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB $80
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $120
Optical: 2x Cheap SATA DVD burner $40

Total: $802. If you don't want to overclock, drop the HSF out of the combo to save $22.
May 12, 2010 1:56:07 PM

asteldian said:
Admiral has the great build laid out for you. If you want to save more money drop to a 5770 Radeon card instead of the 5850. At your resolution you could go even lower, though I would suggest sticking with 5770 and when you can buy yourself a $160 22 inch monitor for 1920 x 1080 resolution.
A 5770 will be able to still handle itself quite well then, where as any lower a card and you would likely have to replace it as soon as you got a new monitor (which you will need to do in the near future if you want to truly appreciate games and their graphics)


Great - I actually have a dual monitor setup right now, using a 22 inch tv/monitor that is capable of that resolution. The other monitor I have is the Apple 26 inch iMac. I love the Apple, but when it comes to Windows gaming, boot camp just doesn't cut it!

I think I'll take your suggestion and drop to the 5770, and possibly Crossfire at a later date. Thanks to you both, I'll probably start ordering the pieces tomorrow!
May 12, 2010 1:58:39 PM

The 5770 instead of the 5850 should knock between $100-$150 off Admirals total, so if you go for the more expensive set up Admiral had then it will be $755-$805 total.
If you go for the cheaper combo it should cost $672-$722.
If you can afford it I would probably go witht he more expensive set up for the better mobo and CPU
May 12, 2010 2:06:56 PM

Check out the last build I posted (it might have gotten lost up there). You could probably save some money with those combos...
May 12, 2010 2:11:06 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Check out the last build I posted (it might have gotten lost up there). You could probably save some money with those combos...

I like the mobo/graphics combo - my question would be how long do the combos last? I'll be starting to order some of the pieces tomorrow, but I won't be able to finish for 2 weeks. What's the better deal - the graphics/mobo, or the case/psu? Common sense would say the graphics/mobo, but who knows what the price would be in 2 weeks? Could even go down, and I could go ahead and grab the case and PSU and get started on the build.
May 12, 2010 2:16:11 PM

Depends. Usually they last at least a week, but many are pretty much always there. You can generally count on case/PSU combos to always be there, and generally be the same price.

To be honest, I would try to order everything at the same time. It's better that way because you can test everything and have plenty of time to send back parts that might have arrived DOA. The prices will vary a little, but it won't be a big difference.
May 12, 2010 2:16:25 PM

Hmm for anywhere between 1024 x 768 to 1680 x 1050 i.e under Full HD a HD 5770 config would do fine and so shall start at a pricepoint even lower than you min :p  $531AR, free ship

May 12, 2010 2:19:09 PM

Sounds good. Too bad I'm impatient, but I can get the research and pricing done in the next week or two, and then order it all at once. Get better shipping that way, too, and section off a day on the weekend to build it. I've got my list to start from, and now that I know what to look for I can make some serious headway.
May 12, 2010 2:23:14 PM

batuchka said:
Hmm for anywhere between 1024 x 768 to 1680 x 1050 i.e under Full HD a HD 5770 config would do fine and so shall start at a pricepoint even lower than you min :p  $531AR, free ship
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q205/batuchka/Untitled-69.jpg


I like some of those combos too...nice GPU/RAM combo there...thanks for the research, batuchka!
May 12, 2010 2:26:18 PM

You are welcomed ^^
May 12, 2010 2:29:23 PM

The problem I have with that GPU/RAM combo is the RAM. OCZ's sticks have major compatibility issue with a wide variety of motherboards. It's a hit or miss propistion to get sticks that work with your setup. Due to these problems, I avoid OCZ even though their sticks are drastically cheaper.
May 12, 2010 2:34:07 PM

For the Obsidian and Gold series i would too but the AMD Black series are fine Platinum...not too sure
!