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First time builder - gaming PC

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Last response: in Systems
October 6, 2010 8:40:11 PM

I've never built a PC before but want to give it a go and I'm looking for advice on my build. Gaming is my main PC use - the graphics don't have to be maxed out, but I'd like everything to run smoothly and fast whilst still getting a lot graphically out of today's games. The build will hopefully last 3-4 years without replacement (upgrading aside).

Approximate purchase date: October 2010
Budget range: £1000 (UK pounds)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, general system speed (load times etc - no movie rendering or multitasking/anything challenging to a processor beyond gaming)
Parts not required: Mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers
Preferred website for parts: but I'm not fussy
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Parts preference: AMD but would go the other way if it meant better performance for a similar price
Overclocking: Maybe - probably as the parts get older rather than at purchase
SLI or Crossfire: Am I dumb to rule it out as a future add in?
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Proposed build:

Asus M4A87TD/USB3 870 Socket AM3 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz Socket AM3 8MB L3 Cache 125W Retail Box Processor

Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz HyperX Memory Kit CL9(9-9-9-27) 1.7 - 1.9V

Gigabyte GTX 470 SOC Super OverClock Edition 1280MB GDDR5 Dual DVI HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card

NZXT Hades Mid Tower Case - NO PSU

Corsair 650W TX Series PSU - 120mm Fan, 80+% Efficiency, Single +12V Rail

Western Digital 1TB Hard Drive SATAIII 7200rpm 64MB Cache - OEM Caviar Black

Total cost (inc. bits I didn't link like OS) £941

1) Any compatibility issues/stupid first timer mistakes?
2) GTX470 or ATI 5870? - roughly the same price, is one significantly ahead of the other?
3) X4 965 or i5 950? - again is there a major or minor difference
4) More than 4GB of RAM is wasted money at this point right? Its also not worth getting 2000MHz ram with a 965?
5) Should I, for similar cost, get a motherboard that supports crossfire or is that just a luxury?

Thanks in advance!

More about : time builder gaming

October 6, 2010 10:59:42 PM

1) Ditch the SATA III hard drive. SATA III makes zero difference on mechanical hard drives. Look for a Samsung Spinpoint F3 or, failing that, a Seagate Barracuda 7200.12. They're just as fast and less expensive.

2) The 5870 is slightly better in most applications, but the 470 does pull ahead on some things. It's a personal decision really. The 470 will draw more power and run hotter. Also note that the 5870 prices may come down in a couple weeks when AMD starts releasing the 6xxx series. The advantage of the 5870 in a AMD system is that it is much easier to crossfire later on. Most AMD motherboards don't support SLI.

3) You meant the i5-750, right? There isn't too much difference between the two. The i5 will pull ahead a bit in heavily threaded apps like video encoding and rendering, and will overclock a bit better, but it's up to you whether that's worth the increased cost. P55 chipsets are also a bit more than AM3 on average. If you plan on overclocking, it would be worthwhile to look at the Phenom II 955BE as well. The 965 is just a 955 with the multiplier bumped up. Since the BE processors have an unlocked multiplier, you can easily do this yourself.

4) yes and yes

5) If you're getting an AMD GPU, then yes. If you get the GTX 470, then crossfire won't do you any good.
a b 4 Gaming
October 7, 2010 12:22:50 AM

Faster ram
Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz XMS3 Memory Kit CL7(7-8-7-20) 1.65V Unbuffered Non-ECC-£69.88 inc. VAT
CPU-AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 955 -£107.69inc.
AMD PHENOM II X4 965-£123.88 inc. VAT
PSU-XFX 650W XXX Edition Single Rail Modular -£69.99inc. vat
HDD-Samsung HD103SJ SpinPoint F3 1TB SATA-II 3.5" Hard Drive -£39.94 inc. VAT
Case - no offense but these are better cases
Antec 300-£42.82 inc. VAT
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October 7, 2010 6:11:23 PM

Thanks for your comments - think I'll be waiting for the 6xxx range.

Feels wrong to be buying a 955 but I suppose I can easily OC it up if needed.

What's wrong with the case! I think it looks great!!!
a b 4 Gaming
October 7, 2010 9:36:32 PM

BenHarper87 said:
Thanks for your comments - think I'll be waiting for the 6xxx range.

Feels wrong to be buying a 955 but I suppose I can easily OC it up if needed.

What's wrong with the case! I think it looks great!!!

All you have to do is up the multiplier by x1 and the 955 is the same speed.
Cases are a personal choice Antec and CM have a higher build quality that's all.
October 8, 2010 2:38:28 AM

I would recommend against the case mal posted. It's got a cheap PSU that has a good chance of dying and taking your whole system down with it. There are much better cases and PSUs to be had. As Davcon said, Coolermaster and Antec are pretty good.

The NZXT Hades got a pretty poor review here at Tom's. Generally poor build quality. You can read it here:
October 8, 2010 3:01:24 AM

my case is cool as hell, just upgrade the psu as i did.
corsair 450watt..

I guess it looks kinda cool, but there are better cases at the $70 pricepoint. Antec 300 Illusion, Coolermaster CM 690 II, Coolermaster HAF 912+ extra fans, LianLi Lancool. I'd take any of those over the Apevia, but that's just me.
October 8, 2010 6:04:13 AM

and i don't like big cases, i like MATX size.
but maybe that's just me.... :na: 

Your Apevia is listed as a mid-tower case, just like the ones I mentioned. I was also picking cases that cost the same; the Cooler Master Elite RC-310 and Centurion are about the same size and only $40 and $50 respectively. There are also better mATX cases to be had for the money.