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Please Critique my $750 Gaming Build

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Last response: in Systems
July 26, 2010 4:08:11 AM

Hi, all. I've received great help here before, and I am now building a system for gaming alone; I might even keep it offline entirely.

Here is my current parts list. I would love to hear that you think this setup will work--that no part will largely bottleneck another (or worse).

If you have suggestions of other parts, please do let me know. I plan on getting a 22" or 24" monitor, but the resolution will probably only be 1680x1050 or 1920x1200--nothing too insanely high. Monitor and other peripherals will be taken care of, and I don't really need help with them.

I hope to play on high settings for current games (I'm not playing cutting-edge shooters), and medium settings in a couple of years. I really don't want to spend more than the $750 the parts below would cost; I got a new MBP for work and all, and that took most of my budget.

- David

GIGABYTE GA-770T-USB3 AM3 AMD 770 USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX

SAPPHIRE 100297L Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ ATI Eyefinity Technology

Internal Hard Drive:
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Power Supply:
SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case


Alternative motherboard (for integrated Radeon 4200 to use in Hybrid CrossFireX (if you think it's worthwhile)):

Alternative CPU (to save a little money, if the 955 Black, once overclocked, is somehow not worth the $20 difference):
AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDX945WFGMBOX

More about : critique 750 gaming build

July 26, 2010 5:28:19 AM

Better board (in terms of feature set) for $10 more:

Hybrid CrossFireX isn't worth it - I'm not even sure if works with an HD 5830. I'd rather get the GTX 460 as well, it costs less and performs better most of the time.

ASUS GeForce ENGTX 460 768 MB - $199.99

If you plan on overclocking, the Phenom II X4 955 3.2 GHz Black Editon will be much easier to do so seeing as it has an unlocked multiplier.
July 26, 2010 6:05:21 AM

I agree with above... the GTX460 is a MUCH better option. only i'd reccomend the EVGA superclocke 460 on newegg for 209.99. It's overclocked about 20% for only $10 more. For the same price, it will TORCH a 5830!
-You don't want an onboard video, buy the one LMEW listed above.

Also, you should only be overclocking if you get aftermarket cooling... and since you didn't list a seperate heatsink/fan... i'd say stick with stock clocks on 945
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July 26, 2010 7:55:04 AM

$660AR, $20 cheaper if u swap F3 1TB for F3 500GB
July 26, 2010 5:43:09 PM

Thanks a ton, guys! I'm planning to follow your suggestions, and to use batuchka's list. Here's my only big question:

I've read that the general consensus is indeed that the 1GB 460 is much better than the 5830, but is the 768MB 460 DEFINITELY better than the 5830? I've struggled to find conclusive benchmarks. I also know that Tom's users (or staff, at least) are known to prefer the 460 over the 5830 by a larger margin than most people. Also, the game I REALLY want to max out is Fallout: New Vegas, which tends to run better on ATI.

Still thinking of batuchka's build, in all respects, but this GPU issue is one small issue I could use another comment on.

July 26, 2010 7:49:42 PM

Here's what I've come up with to get a 1GB 460 along with other needed things; let me know if this should work. If so, I'm done! This is much like batuchka's build, with a couple of combos switched and the 945 taken instead of the 955 to make money room for the 460 (instead of originally planned 5830).

GPU - $229.99
GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

CD/DVD Burner -$21.99
LG 22X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH22LS50 LightScribe Support - OEM

RAM + Case Combo - $129.99 (less $10 after rebate)

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9

NZXT M59 - 001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

PSU + Internal HD Combo - $89.98 (less $20 after rebate)

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

CPU + Motherboard combo - $214.98 (less $10 after rebate)

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDX945WFGMBOX

MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

TOTAL - $686.92 (less $40 after rebates)
July 26, 2010 11:50:22 PM

Actually, if someone could just confirm there won't be any bottlenecks with the final setup just above , I'll be all set. (This is basically a shameless bump in disguise.)

Best solution

July 27, 2010 5:40:47 AM

Good build - don't think you'll see any bottlenecks, and everything should be compatible. Note that the MSI 870A-G54 cannot SLI later on, most AM3/AM2+ boards can't. Just a heads up.
July 27, 2010 3:08:55 PM

Thank you! I'm all set. Enjoy your week, everyone.
July 27, 2010 3:09:06 PM

Best answer selected by DavidKM.