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[New Build] First time $800 Gaming PC

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July 28, 2010 8:02:55 PM

Hello, this is my first time taking the plunge and I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out how to choose a motherboard, case and power supply. Any help you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Purchase Date: Within a week or so.
Budget: Around $800
System usage: Gaming and game programming; I split usage with a netbook
Parts not required: Speakers, keyboard & mouse, will buy monitor separately
Country of origin: United States
Parts preferences: None
Overclocking: Probably not; I always screw this sort of thing up
Crossfire: Only if it's a better value
Monitor resolution: Will buy it afterward, probably 1680x1050; currenly using an old 1600x1200 CRT
Additional Comments: Willing to spend more to make it quiet

So far here's what I've picked out:

OS
Windows 7; looking into student discounts

CPU
Intel i5-750

Graphics
Radeon HD 5770

Memory
G.SKILL ECO RAM 2x2GB DDR3-1600 CL7

Hard Drive
74GB Western Digital Raptor 10k RPM (can get used for about $60)

Optical
ASUS 4x Blu-ray 8x DVD is it worth $20 more for 8x/16x?

More about : build time 800 gaming

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July 28, 2010 8:42:13 PM

Firstly, this hard drive is a much better buy than that used one you mentioned. Probably just as fast, since the used one is older despite the RPM advantage, and it gives you a lot more space.

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for a motherboard, you need a 1156 socket to go with that processor, and since you mentioned crossfiring, you’ll need one with at least 2 pci-e slots operating at 8x/8x. These two are not that expensive and have nice feature sets, and the MSI even has USB 3.0. Asus has one that is 3.0 for $150 if you are interested.
MSI P55A-G55 LGA 1156
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P7P55D LGA 1156
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Looking at a PSU, since you are thinking about crossfiring down the road, looking at a good 650W unit is probably best (although you potentially could drop down to 600W). It is important to get a good brand for your PSU or you risk it failing and taking out your other components. If you think you won’t ever crossfire, drop down to a 500W-550W Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, OCZ or other reputable brand

XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any 600W+ Seasonic
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Cases are more of a personal choice, but good airflow is important, and having at least two 120mm fans is key. Antec 300/300 Illusion is often recommended for those on a budget, and I’ve had friends have good luck with the NZXT M59. The Cooler Master CM 690 also is often recommended on these forums.

As for your Blu-ray question, if it’s worth it to you, it’s worth it. Personally, I’d save the $20 bucks and put it toward something else.
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July 29, 2010 1:45:57 AM

Thinking about it, I probably won't ever crossfire. Probably it'd be better to just replace with a better card if I want to upgrade.

Is crossfire the only reason to go with P55? It seems like this board would suit my needs.
ASRock H55M Pro LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX

For the hard drive, I don't need space; speed is really most important to me. I may as well bite the bullet and go for an ssd.
Kingston SSD 64GB

Power Supply
Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W

Case
Antec Sonata Proto Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower

Will the case provide enough cooling? Do I need a heatsink or fans or anything like that?
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July 29, 2010 1:42:05 PM

A P55 is not only for cross firing as there are some without that ability. H55/57 motherboards are targets toward a more basic market (HTPC, workstation, etc). However, I would go with a regular ATX motherboard, rather than a mini/micro ATX, as the larger size doesn’t crowd your components or limit expansion room.

Here is a less expensive, non-crossfire P55. It has USB 3.0 and is the one I would recommend; Gigabyte is a great brand (as well as Asus)
GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

However, these other ones are less expensive if price is a real issue, one is a P55, the other is an H55. Either would work as well.

ASRock P55 Pro LGA 1156
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock H55DE3 LGA 1156
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


As for your SSD idea, I don’t much about them and I know speed can vary greatly from brand to brand and model to model. If you are serious about the SSD idea, I might start another topic only about that recommendation, as I can’t give you much of an educated opinion.

I’ve heard that the Antec Sonata is a good case, but it only has one fan, which makes me pause, but lots of people have used it.
It is a bit of a smaller midtower, so if keeping it on the smaller side is a concern , have a look at the Antec 300/300 Illusion (if you don’t like lights, go with the 300). I built using one before and it’s a great, great case.
300: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
300 Illusion: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These others are also fantastic and at or less than the Sonata as well.
COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
COOLER MASTER Centurion 590 RC-590
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you want to spend slightly more, this is also a very good case from a good brand
LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Also if you don’t plan on overclocking stock cooling will be just fine.
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July 29, 2010 2:17:19 PM
July 30, 2010 4:54:15 AM

mrhos, that price is enticing, but I'm really looking forward to a top-of-the-line CPU.

Hearing you out I guess I'll go for the GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 motherboard; I should spend a little more to make sure I have a solid one on my first build.

The case size isn't much of an issue. The reason I was looking at the Sonata is because it's supposed to be dead silent. Do you know of any better-ventilated cases that are quiet?
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July 30, 2010 11:46:03 AM

the case powersupply and video card are very quiet
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July 30, 2010 2:03:24 PM

Since you are not building a crazy high end gaming/OC'd computer I think that the Sonata should suffice for cooling. I just wanted to raise the point for consideration.

Also there is (currently) a combo with that Sonata and the PSU you picked out, which is a nice way to cut costs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

For other cases, there are others out there that fulfill a similar function, but they are more pricey.

There is a higher end Antec Sonata, not really sure what the difference is
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It also has a combo with a good Antec 500W PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The ANtec P183 is supposed to be dead quite, but you'll pay out the nose for it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Tge Antec Solo, to me, seems like a split between the Sonata and the P183.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It has a combo on a good Antec 550W PSU, but don't know what it does to the overall price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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July 30, 2010 3:37:34 PM

believe me in every review i read about the lancool they all said that it was very very quiet the same goes to the psu and video card
the video card's cooling is very quiet
the powersupply is also very quiet
also this is a very quiet cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the sonata sucks at cooling it gonna make your system run hotter and louder.
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July 30, 2010 3:47:50 PM

I wholeheartedly agree that the LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62 is an excellent case, as I mentioned in an above post. Wish I could get one.
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July 30, 2010 6:53:53 PM

Also a really good deal. I'll go with the LIAN LI.
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August 1, 2010 1:48:45 AM

Best answer selected by hangar.
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