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First Build - Advice/Opinions/Answers Needed

Last response: in Systems
August 14, 2010 11:20:10 PM

First post from a first-time builder. Here goes nothing:


BUDGET RANGE: $900-1000 Before Rebates (Might be able to go higher if the value/performance increase is huge.)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers




OVERCLOCKING: probably not

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Planning on starting with a single gpu and then adding another card in the future (~Q1 2011)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 (Planning on buying a full hd 1920x1080 monitor ~Q4 2010/Q1 2011)


This is what I've put together from reading reviews and such:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz - $140
MOBO: MSI NF750-G55 AM3 NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - $100
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $95
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - $55
PSU: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-650HX 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $120 + $2 shipping = $122
GPU: GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - $230
DVD: SAMSUNG 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 4X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24x DVD Burner - Bulk LightScribe Support - OEM - $25
Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN3 CM690 II Basic Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $70 (minus $10 in a combo with windows os) = $60
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM - $100

Total: ~$927

Is there anything not listed that I should be getting (cables, fans, etc.)? Is an aftermarket cpu cooler worth $40? If I do get an aftermarket cpu cooler, do I need surface purifier and thermal compound?
If this was your build and you had another $100 to spend on components, which would you upgrade and why?
What games would you suggest? What do you have the most fun playing?

I'd really like to pull the trigger on this but I'm inexperienced and would like some assurance so I can feel confident in my purchases. Any input on these choices would be greatly appreciated. Also, feel free to suggest alternative components or even post an entirely different build that you like better that's within my budget range if you think it's a better value. Thank you for your time and expertise! :wahoo: 

**edited out a lot of the questions so my post doesn't get the TL;DR treatment**
**changed PSU from SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $90 + $10 shipping = $100 to CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-650HX 650W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $120 + $2 shipping = $122**
August 14, 2010 11:59:02 PM

Whoa! Alot of questions! Regarding the cpu, since you are not overclocking, you should just use stock cooling. Also, an extra .2 or .4 ghz will not be a huge performance increase, so I would recommend spending the money on other parts. Mobo looks solid. The Ram is enough, I don't think you would need more for gaming. Your current psu is enough for sli, but I recommend going with corsair as they are a more reputable brand. The video card is perfect. You will need the 1 gb frame buffer for playing on high resolutions and I think both Gigabyte and EVGA are good brands so don't spend extra money. You will need a cable for the oem cd drive. You case is nice and you don't need extra fans unless you need nice cooling for overclocking. Crysis is a nice game to test your gaming machine,
August 15, 2010 2:34:36 AM

Thanks for the reply. I changed to the Corsair PSU, per your suggestion. I also trimmed out most of the questions because they weren't necessary. I'm mainly looking for some general input/advice. I have a couple more questions to add:

1. What would the advantages of a newer/more expensive motherboard be?
2. What mistakes should I look out for while assembling a computer for the first time? Anything you guys wish you had known when doing your first build?
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August 15, 2010 8:12:50 PM

Haha! You and your questions! Newer and more expensive mobos are more future-proof because they support new technologies such as usb 3.0 and sata 6.0 gbps. Basically, a newer mobo is good if you don't want to upgrade in the near future. So, if you have enough money right now, go for a more expensive mobo. Also, remember to buy a static wristband so you don't short out your components.
August 19, 2010 3:41:52 AM

Best answer selected by purebedlam.