$900 gaming computer - first time builder

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week hopefully
BUDGET RANGE: $700-$1000
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (WoW, Starcraft 2, League of Legends, Mass Effect 2, Diablo 3 if/when it comes out, etc.), internet, streaming video, playing DVDs, music & burning CDs
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, printer, sound card
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, Amazon, TigerDirect (though everything I have picked out is on Newegg for simplicity's sake)
PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD processor and ATI video card - other than that I'm going for good value pieces that are well regarded brands and/or well reviewed pieces
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 on my main monitor (not sure if it matters, but 1280x960 on my secondary monitor that I use for music/internet/ventrilo)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want a gaming computer that should last me another 4-5 years with an upgrade or two here or there (RAM and/or video card most likely) that will let me play games at pretty high settings

I've done a lot of reading and research to make sure I do this right, since this is my first time building a computer. Whether it's enough remains to be seen. :P Please let me know if you think I could pick out something better, or if I can downgrade somewhere to save money, or anything. Any suggestions/advice/flaming is welcome!

Here's the build I've picked out:

Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 955 BE 3.2 GHz - $160 (plus a "free" hdmi cable that costs $3 in shipping)

Motherboard: Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD - $153

Video card: Asus CuCore Series EAH5770 Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 - $160 - $20 MIR = $140

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory - $100

Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" - $50

DVD burner: ASUS Black 2MB Cache SATA 24X - OEM - $25

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower - $130

Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM - $100

Power supply: OCZ Fatal1ty 550W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC - $59 - $20 MIR = $39

Case + DVD burner combo = $26 off
Motherboard + video card combo = $20 off

It comes to somewhere around $900 with shipping. My math is off somewhere, so I don't know exactly, but whatever. I'm in my budget range and I'm ecstatic about the possibility of how good this computer could be.

The thing I'm least sure of is the power supply. Using Newegg's power supply calculator, it came out to somewhere around 465w that I would need - and even if I were to upgrade the RAM and the video card to say a 5850, I'd still be more than safe with the OCZ 550W. However, I know Corsair is generally speaking one of the, if not the highest regarded PSU brand, and I found one that would cost only $30 more for this 650W one . The 650W would be more likely usable in whatever computer I build in 4-5 years compared to the OCZ...however I read that because it's not modular (not sure what that means aside from something to do with making cable management easier), it's less friendly towards first-time builders who might not be great at cable management me.

1 - So, is there a different PSU you would suggest, or should I stick with the OCZ? I'm really liking it, I think - it's really well reviewed and well, the price is really right. :)

2 - Oh, one other thing about the PSU - it has two 12v rails - is that an issue even if I don't plan on doing Crossfire? I know I've read that it's nice for that, because then you can balance the load evenly. But is it a big deal if you plan on only running one video card?

3 - Or on that note, does the onboard graphics on the 890gx motherboard count as a second GPU as a sort of half-hearted attempt at Crossfire?

4 - What should an anti-static wristband cost, and where's my best bet to buy one? (preferably online, as I don't have a clue where any computer shops are around here, unless you count Best Buy)

I'm sure I have another question or two up my sleeve, but I can't think of them right now.

Thanks in advance for any help! :D
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Oh, also - Amazon sells the Windows 7 home premium 64-bit full version for $150. Do you think it's worth it to just buy the full version so that I can get support for it? $50 is significant, but the fact that I can't get support for it from Microsoft is a bit scary.

    Then again, it's not very often that I actually find myself needing support, so I don't know. I'm more or less talking myself out of this as we speak, lol. Anyone else thought about paying the $50 more for support and being able to install it again on a new computer? (the latter of which doesn't matter to me, as I plan on using this for 4-5 years and I'm sure by then a new OS will be around)

  2. Best answer
    For Full HD gaming too GPU lite but @ $888AR with $100 Win7 hp 64 bit included:

    Above is still CFable ^^ Lastly: The IGP on 880G/890GX does Hybrid Crossfire (IGP + discrete) with up to say a HD 5450, anything more powerful and the feature is disabled but the above 870 is still CFable w/o IGP
  3. +1 for batuchka's build
  4. +1 on batchuka's build too!
    on the antistatic wristband front, here in the UK, they cost £4, so you are looking at less than $8 i think
  5. Thanks for the suggestions! I really like it.

    At first I didn't want to change cases, as I had really taken a liking to the Antec Nine Hundred Two, but I've sold myself on the Rosewill Destroyer as a great alternative to save some money.

    I'm a little nervous on the Geil RAM you picked out. I think I might go with the G.Skills that I originally picked out as they're better reviewed and have better timings, and they're only $12 more (when the combo discount is taken into consideration).

    I'm also thinking about getting the 1TB version of the Samsung Spinpoint hard drive, as it has twice as big of a cache and twice as much storage for only $15 more.

    So that brings it up to $934 with shipping & after rebates...I can live with that definitely.

    Oh and as far as the anti-static wrist band is concerned, I found one for like $6 with free shipping on Amazon, so I'm happy with that. I kept finding ones for $3, but with like $7 shipping, and that just seemed ridiculous to pay that much for shipping. >.<

    I'll probably give it a good once-over again and buy everything today. Thanks for the help. :)
  6. Best answer selected by knellie22.
  7. You are welcomed and happy shopping/building ^^
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