Help Fine Tune my 1st Build


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming + Web Browsing simultaneously

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, CD/disc drive



OVERCLOCKING: Minimal? SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I don't know what this is, I'll go with no.


The only game I actually play is Final Fantasy 11, and probably 14 when it comes out. Often enough, I like to run 2 clients of the game at once, (single screen + Alt/Tab), while using Ventrillo, and browsing the Web with multiple tabs open. The above all at the same time, account for a solid 90% of my computer use.

I want to use Windows 7, and want to stay under $800 including Windows' cost, but going a bit over is acceptable for the right reasons. And, I'm lazy, I'll never do the rebates...

I read upwards of 100 threads from this site today, about other peoples builds in similar price ranges, and so I think I have a solid basic build set up, but just wanted to post it up for final adjustments, make sure there aren't any compatibility issues, and that there isn't anything standing out, or components I'm forgetting. Like an Ethernet Card Maybe?

OS: Windows 7 $100
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 with MoBo Combo: $234
Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) $110
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 $55
GFX: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X Radeon HD 5770 $175
Case: Modtek Alien-X $60

This brings me to $824 Total, No tax/shipping which is okay, assuming everything checks out with you guys.

The Motherboard Combo:
Is this Mother Board any good? It's just the one I saw in the combo someone else linked in another thread. If not, I'm more than willing to buy the CPU and MoBo separately if you have recommendations.
Power Supply:
Do I really need something this powerful? I have a feeling it's overkill for my build. Thought maybe I could save $10-30 here with a reasonable downgrade without sacrificing quality or system safety?
Video Card:
This is a combo deal for the 5830 and an off brand Power Supply for $270, compared to my current combo of $265. What I've read about the 5830 seems to be 50/50. Some say stick with the 5770, while others mention a noticeable difference between the two. I know that the optimal answer is 5850/5870 but those are very large price increases, and in reality I don't think I can justify the extra cash, when I'm not playing the extreme graphic games that more serious gamers are. The only reason the above is being considered, is because it's only a $5 difference, assuming that Power Supply isn't junk?
955 vs 965 vs 1055T, are these even worth considering, or just stick with the 955 and I'll be happy?
Intels are an option, but it seems unanimous that AMD are better for the price point, Intels are better for maximizing. Obviously my build/needs are more focused on Price Point than Maximizing.
Over Clocking:
Personally, I have no desire to do it. But everything I've read says if you're going through the trouble of building your own computer, there's absolutely no reason you shouldn't. Does it have to be extreme, or are there 'slight' over clocking that can help a bit, without any sacrifices to heat, life, durability, security etc.
Windows 7:
Some online friends gave me a link where I can torrent Windows 7. Is this even remotely worth the risk? Hell, I don't even know what the risks are to be honest. What are they? Do you run into any problems doing this?

I really know nothing about computers. Everything above is simply regurgitated information that I obtained off this website today. While I listed what I assume is a decent list, all of the things listed are up for suggestion, not only the items I listed as doubts. I openly accept and appreciate any and all advice people are willing to give, and greatly appreciate your time and effort. This site has been extremely useful and informative thus far.

Thanks in advance,
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More about help fine tune build
  1. 1. At just 1280 x 1024 i have clients chugging along fine on HD 4670/9600GTs and i would say a HD 5750 would already be overkill really

    2. I would think a quad would serve u well but consider the AthlonII X4 630?

    3. Ya a 500W 80+ certified with active PFC PSU would do

    4. Dun worry too much about OCing - can be learnt slowly and if you looking for higher clocks be prepared to move out of stock cooling, etc ^^
  2. CPU: Im an intel guy.. I don't know to much about AMD processors. What you suggest is correct though, AMD has much better bang for your buck. In that light I cant comment to much on AMD CPU's & MBs

    Currently Im building an i5 setup, which is a quad.

    GFX Card: Im not sure of the specs on FF11 or the upcomming FF. But I know if you're going to be playing windowed and on multiple displays that you'll want some power behind your GFX card. Maybe not for FF11 , but its possible for the newer game. You do play at pretty low resolutions though, so you'll probably be fine with any 5xxx series card. Somthing to note about the card you selected, its notorious for comming with a bad bios(new egg reviews), this may already be a fixed issue but be prepared to flash the bios on the card if needed. (or find a friend nearby that can do it for you :X)

    PSU: DO NOT SKIMP HERE. Get a reputable brand like Batuchka suggested. Bad PSU can lead to damaged hardware and possible fire hazzards.

    Overclocking: Im just starting to learn about cooling and airflow, and the #1 factor seems to be the case. And usually if you want a hassle/MOD free experience... you pay for it $$80-150 on some cases. Alot of people have recommended these cases for there durability and high airflow.

    Haf 932 $139.98 Free Shipping newegg
    Full Tower , Big case!

    Haf 922 $89.98 Free shipping newegg
    Mid-Tower from reviews, its barely a mid, near full tower. Bang for your buck here.

    $129.99 + $24.99 S&H
    Good airflow, sturdy, less bang for your buck but compairable to the Haf Series.

    These 3 are the best reviewed I've seen so far. There appearances are reserved compared to the Alien-x But Im confident you would get better cooling with any of these. And temps are very important for overclockers. (serious or otherwise)

    You can overclock at many ranges, from insignificant to extream. The idea is to push the system alittle(or alot) harder then its intended. HOW HARD you can push your system will depend on many things
    1)Temperatures PowerEfficiency/Quality of parts (compared to other like parts)
    2) Cooling Solutions Good airflow! Fresh air flowing over hot parts, hot air ejected from the case. This is the idea~
    3) Stability. Im not an overclocker, so I cant really comment on this to much. But I gather that some parts just dont overclock well, or they hit there limits early. In a similar case, sometimes the SAME parts have different limits. Sometimes its just luck of the draw on what the factory sends yeh.

    Windows 7 I would purchase. Its not advisable to pirate an OS. Also Im not certain but I think moderaters would frown on posting sutch suggestions on the forum ^^;
    Windows 7 OEM runs $99 and its worth it.

    Hope the wall of text helps :]
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