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Gaming PC on a $1000 budget

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August 5, 2010 6:13:34 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Last two weeks of August to early September

BUDGET RANGE: 1000 after rebates(maybe a bit more)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, tigerdirect

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: America

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, I'd like to try it out. But only on air; no water cooling for now.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, in the future(Down the road yes, at this point in time, proabably not)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 16:10

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Preferably quiet and air-cooled.

Okay, so I've got ~$1000-1200 budget to make a strong gaming system. I plan to buy the parts within the next 2 weeks or the end of the month, and just need a second opinion on my choices. Haven't built a machine in quite a while, so I'm hoping my choices are pretty good.

Parts as follow:

SAMSUNG 24x DVD Burner - OEM - 24.99

AZZA Helios 910 Black Japanese SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - 69.99

SAMSUNG 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive - 59.99

A-DATA Gaming Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)* - 94.99

Kingston 64GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (SSD) - 124.99

XFX Radeon HD 5870 - 519.98 COMBO

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz - 519.98 COMBO

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W - 173.98 COMBO

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - 173.98 COMBO

Total(+Shipping) : 1086.80(Not counting ~$100 in rebates, so final price is close to $1000)
*A-Data has favorable reviews at Newegg, but tempted to go with GSkill, same level, for ~$3 more. There are still more selections at lower speeds that I could get as well.

The case is more of a "Looks nice, has good price" thing. I'm not too familiar with case designers other than CoolerMaster. If you know of any case with a nicer look to it, please don't hesitate to suggest it. I've been looking at some cool cases from Xion and Apevia as well. Are they any good?
As far as the GPU goes, I'm more interested in not having to go Crossfire immediately, so I'd rather stay away from 5770 x2, but if anyone can convince me otherwise, please do. Also, just for anyone curious, current card is Mobility Radeon HD 3400. That should be telling enough.
SSD used for boot and a few games at a time as it's mainly going to be used for speed. For the PSU, OCZ makes good RAM and I've heard that they're pretty good with PSUs as well. However, is this enough wattage for the parts I'm using(GPU alone requires min. of 500W)? Once again, my experience is limited to Corsair.
For the CPU, I'm debating between this and 965. I've read that they both have similar overclocking limits/capabilities, so again, any advice is welcome.

Edit:Fixed Links

More about : gaming 1000 budget

August 5, 2010 7:13:46 AM

none of your links worked...

Start by saying that A-data is gaining popularity... i'd look at the timings of hte Gskill vs Adata, whichever has better timing i'd go with (better = lower... so 8-8-8-24 is better than 9-9-9-27 etc)

you should consider a motherboard with the newer chipsets, as they will be more future upgradable - look for northbridge/soutbridge 8xx instead of the board you chose that is 7xx series.

Personally I'd opt for this budget based case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power supply - I recently picked up one of those b/c of the insane discounts, it has no problems powering my overclcocked 955black and a GTX460. works just fine
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August 5, 2010 7:20:46 AM

since none of your combo'd links work, i dont know exactly what you were paying/looking at... but the 955 and 965 both have limits around 4.1ghz. I'd say save the $20 difference, and invest that in a nice heatsink. I'd reccomend the cooler Master v8 rifle... That's what I ordered with my 955 just days ago, but I haven't started overclocking yet since I want to give my thermal grease a few cycles first. The v8 rifle is on sale right now for $50 and is available in a bunch of different combos. I'm planning to run it at 3.8 and expecting cool temps 24/7
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Related resources
August 5, 2010 7:36:28 AM

1. CoolerMaster 690 II Advanced

2. XFX Black Edition 750W PSU

3. MSI 890FX-GD70 Motherboard

4. AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Processor (make sure its with a C3 stepping)

5. G-Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) CAS 7 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM

6. CoolerMaster Hyper 212+ CPU Cooler

7. 2 x HD 5770 1GB

8. Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB

9. LG DVD Writer
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August 5, 2010 5:29:36 PM

What games do you want to play? For a resolution of 1650x1080, you could probably safely drop down to a HD5770 if you want to spend less. If your resolution is, or will be, higher; or your games are especially demanding, a HD5850 should be enough.
The new XFX PSUs have been getting excellent technical reviews.
The case is a very personal choice, but I like the scale of Batuchka's build, although I'd probably choose a brand other than MSI.
Since you may not build this until September, it might be worth waiting at least another few weeks to recheck, as more concrete information about AMD's new Bulldozer CPUs may be available by then. That may affect your choices (if only due to possible price changes).
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August 5, 2010 5:55:03 PM

you may need an intel build. AMD CPU will be your system bottle.
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August 5, 2010 5:57:24 PM

the x4 955 will only bottleneck 2 5970's oced to the max so stop talking shxx
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August 5, 2010 6:15:57 PM

I, m just starting out building as well, but would you also consider the GTX460 with 1GB? I know it hasn't been out long, but its getting great reviews. From the advice here and considering I was only going to go Intel, the AMD seems to offer a better deal as far as the future goes, although as I said I have alwyas had Intel, and this would be my first time using AMD, so I really don't know If there as reliable as Intel.
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August 5, 2010 6:48:31 PM

Fixed the links, and thanks for all the advice.
I think I will drop down to a 5850, as I do plan to upgrade my monitor(now a TV) in the future.
Anyway, before I post an updated build, is the difference between 790 and 890. Besides being newer, is there any reason why I should choose an 890_X over a 790_X?
Also, how does this Gigabyte 5850 card stack up against the XFX 5850 card? I'm tempted to go with the Gigabyte card(factory OC'd to 765MHz) as it's only $5 more and seems to be a better deal than the XFX card, not counting the lifetime warranty.
Finally I'm at a crossroads with respect to the PSU.
There's a pretty good Corsair(650W) combo, but there's also a good OCZ StealthXStream(700W) combo available as well. Should I pay the premium and go with the Corsair, or save a little bit more and get the OCZ
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August 5, 2010 8:40:43 PM

mrhoshos96 said:
the x4 955 will only bottleneck 2 5970's oced to the max so stop talking shxx


So true. There is no way any modern GPU will bottleneck a 955.
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August 5, 2010 10:59:09 PM

I'd choose Corsair over OCZ any day of the week. Most OCZ aren't crap, but all Corsair are good.
Get the newer chip-set, with USB 3.0 support. You may not need it now, but well within the useful life of that PC there will be a USB 3.0 device (like an external drive for backups) that you'll want.
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August 6, 2010 6:18:28 AM

Ok, I think I'm almost done with my system. Here's the current build for it, coming in at just a few cents under 1000 minus shipping.


Relevant Links:
ODD
GPU
SSD
RAM + Case
PSU + HDD
CPU + Motherboard

Any final suggestions?
There's also around $15 for Arctic Silver 5 + cleaner at another website(cheaper than Newegg) and ~$30 for Hyper 212 HSF.

EDIT: Also, is my PSU strong enough for Crossfire? There are other combos that offer some stronger Wattage(like 800W+) but from less respectable companies(Rosewill). I don't have any plans to CF any time in the near future though, but I'd like to be ready.
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