New Gaming Build

Hi, I'm looking for some help with a new gaming build. I'm inexperienced, this is my first build, and I would like any advice that you can give me. All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Already own a 22 inch LCD monitor.



PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer AMD CPUs but other than that it just comes down to the best bang for the buck.


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Possibly in the future.


This is what I have so far:


AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition AM3 CPU HDZ965FBGMBOX - 3.40GHz, Socket AM3, 6MB Cache, 2000MHz (4000 MT/s) FSB, Retail, Processor with Fan

Motherboard and RAM Combination:

MSI NF750-G55 Motherboard & Corsair Dominator PC10666 RAM Bundle


EVGA 012-P3-1470-AR GeForce GTX 470 Video Card - 1280MB GDDR5, PCI-Express 2.0, Dual DVI, HDMI, SLI, DirectX 11

Honestly one of the reasons I selected this card was because there is a deal on right now where it comes with Just Cause 2 (which is an awesome game.)

The page with the list of all the GPUs that this deal includes is here


Cooler Master CM690 ATX Mid-Tower Case

Now, I've been reading that, although being quite good, the graphics card that I've selected gets quite hot. Therefore I'm just wondering if perhaps I should pay more for this case which has more fans:

NZXT Tempest ATX Mid-Tower Case - Clear Sides, Front USB, eSATA Ports


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

I was a bit lost when trying to decide on what wattage to select for a PSU. The reviews for this one are good, but I'm still not sure if it has the correct amount of power.

Hard Drive:

Western Digital WD15EARS Caviar Green Hard Drive - 1.5TB, 3.5", SATA-3G

Optical Drive

Lite-On IHDP118-04 Internal DVD Drive - DVD-ROM 18x, CD-ROM 48x, IDE (OEM)

The total cost right now for the above components excluding shipping and tax is $1140.97 CDN.
I would prefer the cost doesn't exceed $1300.

I would like my PC to be able to play games such as Fallout 3, Oblivion, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Just Cause 2 etc while looking better than their console counterparts, and I would also like to run RTS games and PC exclusives such as StarCraft 2 and Crysis with a solid framerate. The games don't need their settings totally maxed out, but obviously the better they are the happier I am. If there are any areas where I could cut costs, or even if I should upgrade to a more expensive component let me know. I would like to keep costs down, the current price is a little on the high side for me.

Also if you can suggest your favourite Keyboard and Mouse that would be great.

Another thing that I forgot to mention was that I'll need wireless networking capabilities, and I didn't see in the mobo specs whether it had this or not. What would I need to set this up?

Any input or opinions you have will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

- Alex
12 answers Last reply
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  1. get this HDD for the OS and leave the cavia green as a storage drive:

    this GPU instead:

    also get a X4 955 instead, up the multiplier by 1 and voila!, you have a 965
  2. Thanks for the reply, do I need to worry about changing the motherboard in order to use that GPU? Reason I ask is that the motherboard is using an nvidia chipset on the north and southbridge. Also, I might want to sli/crossfire eventually and I don't think my mobo has crossfire capability. Any recommendations?
  3. get this mobo:

    and this memory instead:

    MUCH better and also cheaper, i'd never recommend buying from tigerdirect, everything's overpriced in there

    and yes, you'll be able to crossfire later on the board i suggested
  4. this gpu will be a bit cheaper:

    but make sure you have a good airflow in your case, as it won't pull the heat straight out of the case like the sapphire does but instead inside of it
  5. No, there shouldn't be a problem running a single ATI card in a Nvidia chipset mobo.

    No AMD motherboards (AMD NB+SB, nor Nvidia NB+SB) have the capability to crossfire and SLI.
    However if you want to change components so that you can support crossfire, then the following is what I'd recommend:
    Asus M4A79XTD Evo $132
    With this RAM: Corsair XMS DDR3 1600MHz PC12800 4GB (2x2GB) CMX4GX3M2A1600C7 $150

    Going with the ATI card will negate the heat issues, altho the CM690 should be fine for the 470. The 5850 also uses less power than a 470, so you would be able to crossfire them on something like this: XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W XXX Edition $114. If you wanna stick with the option to SLI 470s then you'd need something like this: Corsair TX750W $132. The Ultra LSP750 isn't a very good PSU, neither is it powerful enough for two 5850s, nor 470s, so you would have to replace it if/when you got round to buying another card - if it lastest that long. You should go for professional reviews of PSUs over customer reviews.
  6. I would say for 1680 x 1050 ditch the idea of CF/SLI and go with an 870 chipset? Ya just the one HD 5850 sounds about right
  7. Thanks for all the input guys I really appreciate it.

    I think what I've decided to go for is this Mobo:
    ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

    And then I'll just Hybrid Crossfire the onboard video adapter with the Sapphire Ati Radeon 5850.

    I'm going to stick with the 965 BE CPU just because I don't mind spending the extra $20 for it, and if I decide to overclock in the future (you never know..) at least I'll have a better processor to work with.

    What do you think?
  8. Hybrid Crossfire is when the IGP and discrete combines for better performance. The supported discrete GPUs are HD 24XX, HD 34XX and HD 5450 for the 800 series mobos. Any more powerful discrete GPU disables this function
  9. So basically I won't be able to run Hybrid Crossfire with the 5850 and the onboard chipset. I'm okay with that I suppose considering I've heard the 5850 is a very nice GPU, but would I be able to use the onboard GPU for when I'm just browsing the internet and watching movies, and then switch to the 5850 for gaming, or would that be too much of a hassle?
  10. 5850 lower it's frequencies to 157/300 while just browsing the internet or watching movies, reducing power consumption and temperature, then right when you open up a game or any 3d app, it jumps to 725/1000 for full penformance. so there's no need to switch between adapters
  11. Yeah I'm just going to have it as a backup. I figure it'll probably come in handy one day. At least with that I'd be able to browse the internet and play Roller Coaster Tycoon if my 5850 goes down.
  12. Good idea - have peeps hit an IGP chipset 1st before having funds to hit a discrete GPU ^^
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