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
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".
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
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.