First time building is a success! Thanks Tom's Hardware Community!

Last Friday I assembled my first gaming PC (a budget build) and besides a few minor mid-build crisis, everything turned out fantastic. First boot was a success, Windows installed fine, and for the past few days I've had nary a problem installing drivers, software and playing games.

Here are the parts I used:

ASRock 880G EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

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

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM $19.99

Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W Continuous @40°C,80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail, Active PFC $49.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $54.99

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

SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready


AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor Model

Antec Three Hundred

TOTAL = $760

I was originally going to use an old case, but as I was testing to make sure all the risers were in the right place for the motherboard, I discovered I was short by about three and had now idea where to get some new ones. I ran out to Bestbuy after doing some quick review checks on that Antec Case and finished building (after removing the PSU, DVD drive and hard drive).

After that, everything worked out great (though the motherboards Powerswitch, HDLED, etc. plugs could have been better labeled). I used the "How to build a PC" thread above to guide me through the process.

Here's a picture of the computer. I tried my best to have clean cable management (and now understand the benefit of a modular power supply) and kept any cords from resting on the GPU or motherboard.

The CPU runs nice and cool, around 31 C browsing the web and usually no more than 40 C when playing games. Speaking of which, I have yet to do professional benchmarking, but I do know that I can play the Starcraft II beta and Left 4 Dead 2 at max settings with smooth frame-rates on my 1080p monitor, so I'm very happy with the performance. Down the line, I should have plenty of room to overclock my processor and Crossfire with another 5770.

I just wanted to thank the community for all your help in recommending parts and putting together some super detailed "how-to's".
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  1. Good job. A little cable management is in order but nontheless looks good.

    Just a few things, wanna move that sata HD drive a bit lower? (lower is cooler....even a little bit helps).

    Can you mount the psu the right side up? Otherwise it's just blowing hot air up into the case.

    Are those two top fans powered by the atx on the bottom? Are there no case/system or what fan plugs on the mobo near the top?
  2. I like your choice in components. Good price point too. You definitely did your research. I built my first rig a few weeks ago and wish that i had done more research. I could have made a few better choices, but overall, i'm satisfied with my new rig and the build went smoothly.

    Regarding the PSU, i believe that fan is an intake fan. It better be because i have the same one. I would hope the engineers at Corsair know better than to design a PSU that blows hot air into the case.

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz | ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO | G.SKILL 4GB DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK | XFX GeForce 9800 GT 512MB | Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650W | WD Caviar Blue 500GB | Scythe Katana 3 HSF | GELID FN-FW12-15-B 120mm WING 12 | Windows 7 64-bit
  3. I'm glad everything worked out. It sure is a good feeling building your own computer and being happy with the results.

    @fastx21 - Your comment about the direction of the PSU fan doesn't make any sense. PSU fans are exhaust and suck hot air out of the case. They most certainly don't blow hot air into the case.
  4. Great build, just a Q though, Why is it stating that you have a Rosewill powersupply, but in the picture it is Corsair? It must be a typo haha.
  5. maybe he got super lucky and got a 650tx instead of a rosewill 630w :D
  6. Ahh, yes, I made a last minute change to the Corsair 650tx (and increased the price by about $40 in the process, but with a 20$ rebate) after many people recommending investing in a higher quality psu. And as far as I know, the PSU should be that way, it only looks upside down because of its location in the case (if it were up top, it would still be pointed into the case). And while I like to do more cable management, I don't really have a lot of room, some of those case cords have to stretch clear across the motherboard and the PSU has a ton of left over cables.
  7. Okay, here are the 3DMark Vantage results (I honestly don't know what they mean).

    3DMark Score P8960

    CPU Score 7354
    Graphics Score 9664

    Yay! Numbers!
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