[New Build] ~$550 Gaming PC, Need Advice

Hello everyone,

While trying to build this new system I ran across your website several times and found it to be very useful. Additionally, I have even had a personal recommendation to join and post my build for the community here to check it over. Now that I have finished putting together a build I hope you guys could take a look at it and let me know what you think.

I have built several computers in the past but none of them have been higher-end gaming systems nor have I built any in the past several years (and a lot has changed). The largest areas I had to research were PSUs and memory speed for AMD processors. (Yes, I’m using AMD Phenom X4 as I am trying to build this on a tight budget. I would like to get an Intel i7 but they are simply way too expensive compared to how much I would like to spend.)

My goal is to have a very nice gaming system (right now mostly for SC2 and Left 4 Dead) that I can hook up to my 40” 1080p HDTV and still run everything at high graphics and at full resolution (1920x1080). I already have a (legit) 64-bit Win7 so I don’t need to purchase another, but is what I intend to use for my OS.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a week or so

Budget Range: ~$550 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video editing, surfing the Internet, watching movies

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS. (Not re-using a PSU)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tigerdirect.com, newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: Don’t know a whole lot about brands. But I would like an AMD Phenom X4 processor simply due to the price of Intel i7. I also like NVIDIA cards.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No / May be

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (1080p for 40” HDTV)

Additional Comments: I’m not very picky… would like it to not be really noisy though.

This is what I’m looking at:

RAIDMAX Typhoon ATX-312WS Black SECC ATX, with 1x120mm Blue LED Fan, 2x80mm fan ($30 after rebate)

ECS A785GM-AD3 (V1.0) Motherboard AND
AMD Athlon II X4 635 (2.9GHz) ($150 after rebate)

2x2GB DDR3 1333MHz PC3 10600 ($65 after rebate)

Corsair 650W PSU ($54 after rebate and coupon)

Gigabyte NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 1GB ($210 after rebate) (I like the double-fans on this card)

2x WD 500GB HDD (for RAID0: Performance) ($40 x 2 = $80)

Subtotal: ~$590 (a little over my budget but still good enough for me.)

According to Corsair’s website a 550W PSU is sufficient for this system but just to be safe I bumped it up to 650W. Is this good enough? The MB (which supports RAID0) is socket AM3 and supports up to DDR3 1333MHz. I’ve read this is the fastest memory AMD supports. Is this true? Is this overall a good build? Any pointers or suggestions for me? Are there any bottlenecks that I am unaware of? Is everything compatible?

Thank you!
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  1. I'm not going to comment on the build because of various reasons that mostly deal with my philosophical standpoint probably being significantly different than yours.

    But, I will say that there is a combo deal on that PSU with an XFX 5850 for only about $10 more than the 460 with that PSU after rebates, listed here.

    Nothing against the 460, just knew about the combo deal and this thread caught my eye, so I thought I would point it out.

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