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First Build - Phenom II X4 965 Gaming PC (~$1250)

Hey all,

After looking at a variety of sites where I can purchase solid gaming machines, I've decided I want to build my own. I've never built my own machine (nor overclocked), but I intend to do both here. I'd like to get my CPU running at 4.0GHz on air.

I'm planning on pillaging my DVD burner, monitors, mouse and keyboard from my old Dell machine.


Parts:

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16811129066

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16819103727

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16835103065

ASUS M4A89GTD PRO ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16813131633

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16817139006

HIS Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) H585FN1GD Video Card w/ Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16814161330

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16820145286

Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16822136544

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754


Any feedback would be appreciated.
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about first build phenom gaming 1250
  1. Best answer
    For $1,250, that's not a great build. Here's a couple of better performing builds that are either cheaper or the same price:

    CPU: X4 955 $160
    Mobo/GPU: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 and HD 5870 $480 after rebate. You don't need an 8xx chipset board. All it gives you is the ability to drop in a six core CPU without a BIOS update, which you don't need.
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $110. That's triple channel, and you need dual channel. Anything over 4 GB is a waste for gaming.
    HDD/Case: Seagate 7200.12 1 TB and HAF 922 $150
    PSU: Corsair 750W $90 after rebate
    HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus
    OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $100

    Total: $1,120

    CPU/Mobo: i5-750 and Asus P7P55D-E Pro $370
    RAM/GPU: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and HD 5870 $495
    Rest is the same

    Total: $1,235

    The second build would be better performing overall, but the first would be slightly more future proof in terms of the CPU, which won't really affect gaming.
  2. Thanks for your reply. A couple comments/questions:

    1) I'd like to get a SATA 6.0gb/s HD.
    2) Is there a substantial difference in RAM performance between 7-8-7-20 and 7-8-7-24?
    3) Could you explain your reasoning behind the X4 955 vs x4 965? Just trying to understand.
  3. 1.) There isn't a difference in performance between the current SATA II and SATA III models. The 7200.12 is easily one of the fastest drives out there, and the ones that are faster aren't significantly faster. The 7200.12 isn't quite the fastest (the WD Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III is a touch faster), but is $30 cheaper if you consider the combo. The 7200.12 would be faster than the SATA III 640 GB you choose because the 7200.12 uses larger platters. The higher data density means the drive is faster, runs cooler and is quieter.

    2.) Not a noticeable difference. I'll point out again that the Corsair sticks wouldn't run as fast because they would be treated as single channel opposed to dual channel.

    3.) The 965 and 955 are the same physical chip. The 965 has a very slight factory overclock for the extra $20. So there really isn't any difference between the two, making it pointless to pay the extra little bit.
  4. Thanks very much for your in-depth explanations.

    Here's where I'm at now:



    EDIT: yoink!
  5. Closer, but not quite there.

    I'll start at the bottom. The 5870 is a better choice than the 5850. The 5850 is already not playable in some games (namely Crysis) with max details at 1920x1080 resolutions. The 5870 doesn't have that problem. I'd spend the extra $80 (or $75 with the combo below) to get the bigger card.

    Second, the 300 Illusion is a great case, but it's a little cramped. I'd highly recommend stepping up to at least the Antec 900/902 or the HAF 922.

    Third, the WD HDD isn't noticeable faster than the cheaper Seagate 7200.12 and Samsung Spinpoint F3. That means that getting either of those is a better deal because you save money and have it doesn't affect performance. I highly recommend the HAF/Seagate combo as that will save $31 (the difference in price between the Antec case and the HAF).

    Finally, the CPU you choose is an older version of the 955. Since you want to overclock, I'd highly recommend the C3 version (the MBOX).

    Here's another really good combo: X4 955 and HD 5870 $30 off (better than the 5870/board above)

    Finally, I'd either hold off on buying the HSF, as it's at a really high price because it just sold out last week, or find it somewhere else. I think it's $28 on Amazon...
  6. MadAdmiral said:
    Closer, but not quite there.

    Second, the 300 Illusion is a great case, but it's a little cramped. I'd highly recommend stepping up to at least the Antec 900/902 or the HAF 922.

    Third, the WD HDD isn't noticeable faster than the cheaper Seagate 7200.12 and Samsung Spinpoint F3. That means that getting either of those is a better deal because you save money and have it doesn't affect performance. I highly recommend the HAF/Seagate combo as that will save $31 (the difference in price between the Antec case and the HAF).


    seems reasonable.

    Quote:

    Finally, the CPU you choose is an older version of the 955. Since you want to overclock, I'd highly recommend the C3 version (the MBOX).


    d'oh!


    Here's another really good combo: url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.383391]X4 955 and HD 5870 $30 off (better than the 5870/board above)


    nice find :)

    Quote:

    Finally, I'd either hold off on buying the HSF, as it's at a really high price because it just sold out last week, or find it somewhere else. I think it's $28 on Amazon...


    yep, $29 on amazon with free shipping.




    edit: had the wrong 7200.12, got the 1GB now. $30 more.
  7. Thanks for all your help on this, Admiral. I ordered the parts Wednesday night and everything shipped this morning.

    Fast question - should I flash the BIOS to its latest revision as soon as I assemble the machine? There was a new version released just a few weeks ago. I have concerns about it (there are warnings plastered all over the motherboard manual not to flash the BIOS unless it's necessary), but I wanted to get input from someone who knows what they're talking about.
  8. I wouldn't worry about it if you don't need it. If everything works properly, you shouldn't need the update. It's likely that the new version only added support for the new X6 CPUs. The board may have shipped with the new BIOS anyway.
  9. Best answer selected by ultimabeam.
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