My First Time Build for Gaming - need advice from all you experts

Hi everyone, looking to do my first ever build to replace my 3 year old Dell XPS. Going to order this week, any comments/advice very welcome.

Approximate Purchase Date: this week

Budget Range: 1400 - 1700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, internet, some work

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: I would like to use an Intel CPU and a Radeon 5870, will use Windows 7 Home Premium.

Overclocking: Maybe in the future

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200

Additional Comments: hoping for somewhat quiet PC, with a few lights and do not really want a fan on left side due to orientation (window on left is preferable though).

Here is my tentative order list:

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

COOLER MASTER HAF 922 BLUE RC-922M-KWN2-GP Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with Side window

XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI


G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply


XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W ATX12V v2.2 / ESP12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Writer - Bulk - LightScribe Support - OEM (will get 2 of these)

Thermaltake V1 Max-Performance CPU Cooler with Massive 110mm Blue LED Full-Range Variable Speed Fan CL-P0401

There are a few good combos in the above parts list, just simpler for me to list individual parts for comment. This is my 1st post (been viewing for a long time), so hopefully all the links work.
Do you think I actually need the extra cooler with the above configuration?
Any huge difference in the 2 sets of RAM listed above?
Is a separate sound card worth the extra money?
Any advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Kevin.
4 answers Last reply
More about time build gaming advice experts
  1. The first RAM option, as it's CL 7. Faster latency is good... not real important but good if it's not expensive.

    The XFX PSU is higher quality in this case and it's modular. Important in a windowed case so that you keep the build looking clean and uncluttered. What about the 850W version though? Would be better is you are planning to crossfire.

    As to the CPU cooler, it's not a good choice. It may look good but it's heavy and cools poorly. Copper fins don't work on larger coolers, and none of the better performing coolers use them. This is a good Zalmann at a fair price:

    Or this Cooler Master at a great price:

    If you are pushing some high end speakers or headset then a good soundcard can be vital. Quality of onboard sound is fine but it lacks the power higher end audio parts sometimes require. For instance my X-fi is barely adequate for my Sennheiser PC 350 headset.

    For most though, onboard sound is fine. You can always get something later if you decide you need it.
  2. Thanks for advice - I will definitely switch to that Cooler Master Hyper 212.

    What do you think of the Corsair modular compared to the XFX above? It comes with a nice combo with the hard drive I have selected also.

    I really don't think I will be doing crossfire, so the 750 W should be plenty.

    Not sure of sound card purchase yet - have Klipsch promedia 2.1 now and thinking of switching to a 5.1 system at some point.
  3. I use the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 and found I liked the X-fi sound more, but have used onboard and it's not bad. I can't say what you would prefer.

    750HX is a great PSU, perhaps not quite as good as the XFX but in the same top tier. It certainly looks better than the ugly XFX.
  4. you should really get an ssd with a budget like this, the OCZ agility 2 is great in my opinion
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