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New gaming system for ~$1300

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September 25, 2010 1:54:08 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: as soon as I'm sure about what I need- in a fortnight perhaps

Budget Range: ~$1,300 CAD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Upgradeable!!! Gaming, home, surfing the internet, watching movies)

Parts Not Required: (monitor, speakers, OS)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences:

Here is what I picked so far:

Motherboard:

GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

what I want is a good motherboard and a budget CPU, so that I can get a good CPU once they go down in price

CPU:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

don't know much about processors, to be frank

Videocard:

GIGABYTE GV-N465UD-1GI GeForce GTX 465 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I want to enjoy some gaming- like Gothic 4, Fallout New Vegas- but it does not have to be all perfect and max. resolution. Still, tired of playing on minimum settings

Hard Drive:

Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425-S2/64GB 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Just for my OS, Windows 7 64-bit home premium (still to purchase). I've heard SSD is a good choice to run as a system disk.

RAM:

Kingston HyperX T1 Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) Desktop Memory Model KHX1800C9D3T1FK3/6GX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Another thing I need so much to learn about

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Case:
AZZA Solano 1000 Black/Black Japanese SECC Steel/Metal mesh in front ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I read it should fit this giant A-890FXA-UD5.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: (will purchase locally for ~200)

Additional Comments: Thank you all in advance. I built several computers in the past- but was completely out of touch with the computer world since everyone switched from AGP to PCI-express (6 years ago or so). So, don't judge me to harsh if this setup looks ignorant.

More about : gaming system 1300

Best solution

September 25, 2010 2:27:51 AM

horst_wessel said:
GIGABYTE GV-N465UD-1GI GeForce GTX 465 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I want to enjoy some gaming- like Gothic 4, Fallout New Vegas- but it does not have to be all perfect and max. resolution. Still, tired of playing on minimum settings

The GTX 460 1GB seems to be faster than the GTX 465 in most games, is much more efficient, and costs just about as much.

MSI Hawk GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB Video Card (comes with a decent overclock and an impressive cooling setup)
Includes coupons for downloads of Metro 2033 and Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil 5, or Dark Void.
$235 shipped after a $10 rebate
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

horst_wessel said:
Kingston SSDNow V Series SNV425-S2/64GB 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Just for my OS, Windows 7 64-bit home premium (still to purchase). I've heard SSD is a good choice to run as a system disk.

These Sandforce 60GB SSDs are much higher performance for only $5 or $15 more.

G.Skill Pheonix 60GB
$145 shipped
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Corsair Force 60GB
$135 shipped after a $20 rebate
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...


horst_wessel said:
RAM:

Kingston HyperX T1 Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) Desktop Memory Model KHX1800C9D3T1FK3/6GX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Another thing I need so much to learn about

AMD systems use dual channel memory; you want a 4GB (2 x 2GB) kit. Choosing ram with lower latencies will give you better performance. There isn't much point in choosing ram faster than DDR3 1600 (especially if you aren't overclocking it). This is a very nice kit:

Mushkin Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 CL7
$98 shipped
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

horst_wessel said:
PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I would go with this much higher efficiency XFX power supply. It is also very highly rated and modular.

XFX 750W 80 Plus Silver Modular Power Supply
$124 shipped after a $15 rebate
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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September 25, 2010 3:39:51 AM


Thank you! Updated everything as per your advises. Any idea what happened to BFG? I had two excellent videocards from them before, 6800 GT and 6800 Ultra. Can't seem to find their products anymore.


AMD systems use dual channel memory; you want a 4GB (2 x 2GB) kit. Choosing ram with lower latencies will give you better performance. There isn't much point in choosing ram faster than DDR3 1600 (especially if you aren't overclocking it). This is a very nice kit:


Is it worth getting 2 x 4GB RAM? Or 4GB is enough?

Thanks once again. Also, I forgot about the optical drive- how does this look:
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Last question: the motherboard: is it worth getting GA-890FXA-UD5? And how can I make sure it fits the case? (dimentions 12.0" x 9.6")
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September 25, 2010 4:33:15 AM

horst_wessel said:
Thank you! Updated everything as per your advises. Any idea what happened to BFG? I had two excellent videocards from them before, 6800 GT and 6800 Ultra. Can't seem to find their products anymore.

Yeah, they went under. :( 

horst_wessel said:
Is it worth getting 2 x 4GB RAM? Or 4GB is enough?

4GB is plenty for gaming and general computing. You won't see any benefit from adding more, and 4GB Dimms are more likely to have compatibility issues.

horst_wessel said:
Thanks once again. Also, I forgot about the optical drive- how does this look:
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

ASUS makes some of the better DVD burners, and that one is a good choice.

horst_wessel said:
Last question: the motherboard: is it worth getting GA-890FXA-UD5? And how can I make sure it fits the case? (dimentions 12.0" x 9.6")

The UD5 is a standard size ATX motherboard; it will fit in any ATX case.

I don't think it's worth it. The only exclusive feature it has is dual PCI-E slots running at x16. GTX 460s aren't powerful enough to be bottlenecked by a PCI-E x8 slot. So unless you need some special ports or expansion cards, you would be just as well off with a cheaper board. Here are a couple options:

MSI 890GXM-G65 AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
$125 shipped
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

ASRock 890GX EXTREME4 AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$162 shipped
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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September 25, 2010 8:11:03 PM

That's a lot of money to pay for an AM3 motherboard. I wouldn't expect to have problems with onboard graphics, but I can understand your hesitance to purchase one again. There are a couple motherboards that have what you want but aren't quite as fancy for around $200:

GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$198 shipped
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
$202 shipped
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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September 25, 2010 10:04:10 PM

How about SLI support? Is it needed?
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September 25, 2010 10:13:57 PM

the only amd mobos with sli support are using an outdated nvidia 980a chipset.

sadly, amd only supports xfire, i would love to build an amd system with a couple of gtx 460 in sli.

sli support is not needed unless you wish to run 2 graphics cards. for simplicity, and gaming in general, just go for the single most powerful gpu you can get. doing this reduces compatability issues, and lets you pick the cpu vendor of your choice.
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September 25, 2010 11:15:45 PM

Thank you all

Here is what I'm about to order:

GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

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

MSI N460GTX Hawk GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 996947

Corsair Force CSSD-F60GB2-BRKT 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V v2.2 / ESP12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS

AZZA Solano 1000 Black/Black Japanese SECC Steel/Metal mesh in front ATX Full Tower Computer Case

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
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September 26, 2010 12:40:39 AM

Best answer selected by horst_wessel.
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September 26, 2010 6:00:29 AM

Hey, you don't need a high-end crossfire mobo for an Nvidia video card. Get a much cheaper mobo, the UD5 doesn't have SLI support.

Or get a HD 5850 (with a cheaper crossfire mobo).

Also you don't need 750W for a single video card.
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September 26, 2010 11:49:05 PM

Changed the PSU to

XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W ATX12V 2.2 / ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Still confused about the motherboard... Looked at many- most seem to have quite a few negative feedbacks... I want ASUS/Gigabyte, NO on-board video, PCI-express 2.0 X16, up to 16MB RAM. In addition, I want to be able to upgrade it with a better CPU when they go down in price, thus prolonging the life of machine.

How about
GIGABYTE GA-890XA-UD3 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

or

GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

thanks...
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September 27, 2010 7:41:32 AM



Swap out whatever you need to.

Just upgraded to i7 930 with ddr3 2000 ram.
Mobo can support sli so you can add another 460 1gb.
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September 27, 2010 1:21:35 PM

Thank you. OK, ATI, you talked me into it. Letting go some old superstitions. I will stick to AMD, nonetheless.

- GIGABYTE GA-890XA-UD3 AM3 AMD 790X
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

- AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

- HIS H585FN1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

- Corsair Force CSSD-F60GB2-BRKT 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

- Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

- XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V v2.2 / ESP12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

- AZZA Solano 1000 Black/Black Japanese SECC Steel/Metal mesh in front ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

- ASUS Black 24X Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...


Grand Total: $1,261.65

Quite different from the original one. No doubt, much better.
Any thoughts?
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September 27, 2010 3:02:19 PM

I had a G.SKILL on my list originally, but this mobo is not on the list of the supported motherboards on their website. How can I tell if they will be compatible?
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September 27, 2010 3:12:45 PM

If it doesn't go up in flames with a big boom, it's compatible. :D 

Should be just fine. Get the 1.5V one.
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September 27, 2010 4:55:37 PM

I don't like the on-board video chipset.
For GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD7 , one of the users says that fits the same case as my pick (AZZA Solano).
The GA-890FXA-UD7 has 6 PCI-E 2.0 x16(running at x16) and dual LAN ($249)
The GA-890FXA-UD5 has 4 PCI-E 2.0 x16(running at x16) and dual LAN ($189)
both have "Ultra Durable 3 Technology with copper cooled quality for lower working temperature".
And GA-890XA-UD3 has 4 PCI-E 2.0 x16 (running at x16), no dual LAN, and no 3 Technology cooling.
Seeing that it is highly unlikely I'd need more than 2 PCI-E 20. x16, would dual LAN and 3 Technology justify the difference of $50 between UD5 and UD3? I think I'm settling for the latter.
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September 27, 2010 7:05:41 PM

horst_wessel said:
Thanks. Everything else looks fine I reckon. Even the motherboard? Seems that the only one with all good reviews is GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD7 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s, http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681... , but $250...

Most people only write reviews when something goes wrong, unless they are trying to justify purchasing something ridiculously overpriced. If 1 review out of 5 or 10 is low, it doesn't mean 1 part out of 5 or 10 is bad. It could be one part out of 50 or 100.
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September 27, 2010 7:11:37 PM

Absolutely, purchase justification is the best way to deal with the cognitive dissonance. Thank you all for help. Next step, the purchase... Can't wait.
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September 27, 2010 7:54:18 PM

Last question: do I need a CPU cooler or the stock sink and fan are enough?
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September 27, 2010 8:19:29 PM

If you really want to stick to amd and ati, heres another build:
http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/2223/neweggb.png

I upgraded to 965 (with hyper tx3 cooler) and 5870 card.
I also upgraded to the UD5 mobo and g.skill ram.

Everything is compatible.

The casing is really good and it also got the recommended buy award from tom's.
But I'm guessing you want a full tower case and your case is fine to go with.

I'm not too sure about the hard drive so I left it as is.

The lite-on dvd burner is fine but it's your choice.
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September 27, 2010 8:53:22 PM

Thanks. However, I meant $1300 total, including shipping and taxes. Your built adds extra $220 I can't afford. I still have to get W7 and a monitor.

If I was to take a U5 motherboard- is it worth spending extra $50 on it?
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September 27, 2010 9:15:21 PM

I thought you wanted a decent mobo?
I guess you can get the UD3.
The UD3 does have ultra durable 3 technology.

You can get a 5850 card instead and 955 processor if you intend to OC.
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September 27, 2010 9:24:47 PM

So I guess you can:

change to 5850(or 5770 in crossfire but you should probably just add another 5850 later)
or
change to 955 and UD3(955 can be OCed to speeds better than 970 stock speed)
or
change to UD3 and 600-700w PSU (I recommend Corsair)

I'd recommend swapping to 955 and UD3.

If you plan to Tri-CF, change to 5850.
but you're gonna need a new power supply support tri-cf.

Looked into the hard drives. It (the sandforce ssd) is very good it has ~40% more read/write power than normal ones.
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September 28, 2010 12:12:59 PM

Thanks.

evodrop: I think I'll stick to my list. My budget is well overblown already.

mosox: those cases are only $4 cheaper than AZZA, and quite a bit smaller.

Do I need an aftermarket CPU cooler?
And, is it worth getting a full retail version of W7 home premium, or OEM is good enough?
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September 29, 2010 1:34:11 AM

Get it if you're planning to OC the 955 over 4ghz.
The stock cooler probably won't get you over 3.8ghz
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!