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Sub $1500 gaming build

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October 20, 2010 6:27:17 PM

Build at this post supersedes this post
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...


This machine will most likely be restricted to solo and online gaming. I aim to stick with AMD because it's what I am used to for the past LONG time and I have been happy with them.
I look forward to all replies and will consider every suggestion.


Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $59.99
Cheap and big.

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGM $154.99
I could go for the 965 but for .2 GHz, is it really worth it?

ASUS M4N98TD EVO AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI ATX AMD Motherboard $144.99
Wanted the Nvidia chipset with dual 16x SLI for when i get a second card.

MSI N470GTX Twin Frozr II GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $354.90
It's an awesome card, and because I can. when it drops in price I'll get a second one.

Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC ... 109.90
It's a tad pricey, but it was recommended at Toms. Any reason I need to spend this much?

G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO $95.99
G-Skill has been getting some really good reviews. Faster ram for the win (1600)?

G.SKILL Phoenix Pro Series FM-25S2S-60GBP2 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $119.99
For the OS and any apps i use a lot. Again, hearing good things from GSkill and the price is CRAZY. This is the new faster series.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $79.99
Gots to put me stuff somewheres and I'm a Samsung fanboi. Good price on a fast drive too.

Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B - OEM $21.99
CD/DVD burner..nuf said.

windows prof 64 bit system builder OEM - 144.99
I've never bought an OS before!!! MSDN for the win!

Total $1287 before shipping and tax.


This build is based largely on the builds outlined here in the High End gamer and Budget Gamer setups. This is somewhere in between the two based on a budget I may have soon.

My questions other than inline above...:

1.Should I get a CPU heatsync/fan?

2. Anything here that you think may bottleneck?

3. Anythign here that you think may have compatability problems?

4. I've done a lot of research on the items but anything there that you think would be a better buy, If so, why?

5. I may overclock a bit on the CPU/Ram but the above GPU is already overclocked i think.

6. whatever else you can add.

Thanks!

More about : 1500 gaming build

October 20, 2010 7:32:31 PM

No I don't think the 965 is worth extra cost for the small increase in frequency.

That PSU only has 670W on it's 12V rails, so I'm not convinced that it will in fact be powerful enough for a system with two GTX 470s. You'd probably have to go for the Corsair TX 750 if you didn't want to increase the price of the PSU too much.

Looks like good RAM to me.

1. If you are going to overclock or care about your system being quiet, which I assume you don't considering the choice of graphics card.

2. Don't know much about bottlenecks. Maybe you would want to read the recent reviews on the subject on this here website.

3. I don't see any incompatibilities

4. If you are not buying within the next fews days then I would suggest waiting to see what AMD's 6000 series has to offer, perhaps they will have something that will be much better than a GTX 470 and you could have a more modern chipset motherboard as a result.

5. You should still be able to do some overclocking on a pre-OCed card, altho obviously with a Fermi based product will have to ensure adequate cooling.
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October 20, 2010 7:40:39 PM

I've been told the 470's run hot and loud. Not exaclty what I was hoping for.
Thanks for pointing out the sub-power of the PSU. I'll be moving to a dual 460 setup and possibly on an I5 750 cpu.

thoughts? I'm re-doing a intel build so I'll be back with my thoughts.

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October 20, 2010 8:03:05 PM

Having a hard time with the MoBo.
Any suggestions in the under $200 range? I'd like 2 x16 sli but if i have to settle for x8 x16 that's OK, im sure.

There are so many out there it's daunting.

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October 20, 2010 9:15:43 PM

Assuming you mean for a Lynnfield Intel build, then I would suggest one of these three:
MSI P55A-GD55 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 $155 ($11.49 shipping)
ASRock P55 EXTREME4 LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 $155 ($12.99 shipping) Asrock have been doing pretty well recently.
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 $188 ($7.74 shipping) Used to be king of the hill, not really sure if it's worth the extra cost over the other two these days.
Unfortunately it is extremely expensive to get dual x16 on a P55 motherboard.
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October 21, 2010 2:48:01 AM

Antec Three Hundred - $56.60
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/155716/ANTEC/THREE_HU...

Coolermaster Haf 912 - $55.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=55583&vpn=RC...

NCIX Gaming Bundle Deal Intel Core i5 760 Quad Core & MSI P55A-G55 CrossFire DDR3 USB3 Motherboard - $324.99/$309.99 after mir
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=54941&vpn=i5... Deals&promoid=1209
0R
MSI P55A-G55 P55 ATX LGA1156 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 3PCI SLI CrossFireX SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard - $123.99/ $108.99 after mir

Intel Core i5 760 - $195.99
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/230098/Intel/BX80605I...

G.SKILL F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM Ripjaws PC3-12800 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL8-8-8-24 Core i5 Memory Kit - $79.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=42746&vpn=F3...

Samsung SH-S223L/BEBS 22X SATA Black DVD Writer Lightscribe OEM - $18.99
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=42349&vpn=SH...

OCZ Vertex 2 Extended Sandforce 60GB 2.5IN SATA2 Solid State Disk Flash Drive SSD - $$138.31/$108.31 after mir
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=13220DR6226&v...




Antec Truepower Quattro 850W modular - $114.99/$89.99 after mir
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=24765&vpn=TP...

XFX 750W Black Edition Single Rail Modular - $119.99/$99.99 after mir
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=48568&vpn=P1...

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Edition 64BIT DVD OEM - $139.79
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/222084/MICROSOFT/FQC_...

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB - $59.79
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/214535/Seagate/ST3100...

MSI GeForce GTX 460 Fermi Hawk - $229.99/$209.99 after mir
http://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=55409&vpn=N4...

Ncix blows Newegg.ca away.Pricematch any other competitors instock item.


$5.99 GROUND SHIPPING* for orders over $30 and up to 100lbs!
Prices valid from October 20, 2010 (6 PM) to October 27, 2010 (06 PM) - While supplies last.




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October 27, 2010 9:54:24 PM

I am currently researching my build I will be doing in December, I am going to use:

AMD Phenom II X4 970 BE 3.5ghz

MSI NF980-G65 (for the ability to use the AMD chip and Dual SLI gtx 480's)


Geforce GTX 480 Superclocked FTW (2 in the future)

Thermal Take Element G case

OCZ AMD Black Edition 8 GB (4 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 RAM

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB Hard Drive

Thermaltake Black Widow 850W PSU

ASUS Xonar Essence 7.1 Sound Card

mine came out to $1600 using newegg/tigerdirect.

the only thing I don't really like is that the mobo doesn't have Sata 6.0Gb's or USB 3. (if anyone knows of one that has those 2 features, using the above mentioned CPU, and can support SLI let me know)
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October 27, 2010 10:08:05 PM

AMD+SLI don't really mix well, the only SLI boards for AMD are lastgen and general expensive.

That said, the 970 is a pretty poor chip from a price/performance standpoint compared with the 955 or i7-750.
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October 27, 2010 10:44:06 PM

sp12 said:
AMD+SLI don't really mix well, the only SLI boards for AMD are lastgen and general expensive.

That said, the 970 is a pretty poor chip from a price/performance standpoint compared with the 955 or i7-750.


Usually switching to an intel chip increases the price of the mobo required as well.
But I do agree on the amd+sli = no good. What graphics card would you suggest to stick with AMD under $500?
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November 1, 2010 4:27:29 PM

This is an update...adjusted build...
Questions i have for the below are will the case fie everything nicely?
Do you notice anything in this build that really needs to change? I am waiting for the upcoming 69xx from ATI so that GPU is there as a place holder unless the 69xx series is CRAP.
EDIT-- Just to add, i game at 1920x1080 (or whatever it is at 1920)

Here you go


AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
I dont see it necessary to go upt to 965 at this point. with MB may be able to upgrade later to new CPUs

ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Newest chipset without onboard Vid.

OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
REcommended by Asus as one of the RAM kits. seemed not alot of 8GB ram recommended for this board. mostly 4 or 6. May do more than just gaming on this machine so thus the more than 4 gb ram

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
cheap but good case

SAPPHIRE 100314SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
This is mostly a place holder until the new 69xx GPU's come out. until then this is what I'd be getting with the assumption that I would Crossfire another one later on.

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
With the possability of goig Crossfire, and who knows, maybe try Eyefinity at some point, the higher PSU...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Just a great drive.

Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7260S-0B - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Standard

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
need and want the Pro features

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
Do i need?
Is this one OK? Rates well and is on sale.
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November 2, 2010 10:34:12 AM

Great! I guess if no replies that means people seem happy with my build. I feel GREAT!

I am thinking, though, with the price of the 6850 compared to the 6870, compared to the prospective prices of the 69xx series, would you think i'd be better off gettign 2 6850's and overclocking/crossfireing them?
I've never done any overclocking except the default / factory set stuff.

anything I should be afraid of?

Oh and Davcon, thanks for pointing me to Bestdirect.ca. they have the best prices anywhere and free shipping!

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November 2, 2010 1:03:03 PM

@ groan, there would be no point in getting that set of ram since your board can only support 2 sticks at a time. That kit is designed for i7 x58 boards
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November 2, 2010 3:39:24 PM

Looks to me like you can get the XFX 850W Black Edition, which is on par with a Corsair HX in terms of quality (perhaps not in terms of functionality, but it will be more than enough for your build currently, and possibly the majority of possible configurations), which is better than the TX series.

Yes the case will fit everything.

The CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus is a good budget cooler. It's not really 'on sale', as it used to be around the $30 mark but was priced up because it was extremely popular. It is only worth $30. I don't know what else you can get that is better than it for $30.
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November 2, 2010 4:12:47 PM

1-anh said:
@ groan, there would be no point in getting that set of ram since your board can only support 2 sticks at a time. That kit is designed for i7 x58 boards


Really?

let em see if i can find the doc...
this is from the M4A89TD Pro USB QVL.pdf doc on the Asus site...from this link
http://ca.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=fLIjRELzxMxkH2UQ&t...


OCZ OCZ3G1600LV6GK 6GB(3 x 2GB) DS - - 8-8-8 1.65 ●

Isnt it listing the supported ram kits for this board or am I reading ti wrong?

confusing I must say.
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November 2, 2010 4:15:08 PM

Quote:
^+1
AMD does not support triple channel RAM
you might as well just go all the way to 8GB in RAM and be done with it.
preferably 4x2GB configuration to assure dual optimization.


If i do go to 8 GB i will do the 4x2 config. I've been doing some reading and saw that that config is better for higher amounts of ram.

Still the jury is out on the 3x2gb config.
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November 2, 2010 4:17:42 PM

Reread the specs for the board and it does say dual channel arch. i still dont understand why they list the 3 board config as one of the options.

Anyways, I';ll swap it for something else.
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November 2, 2010 5:03:18 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.
here's an update build
I wish I could do multiple Best Answers on this....

I've chosen Bestdirect as my supplier as they carry everything I want. Oddly enough, except Crucial RAM...hmm.

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/223993/HDZ955FBGMBOX/...
I dont see it necessary to go upt to 965 at this point. with MB may be able to upgrade later to new CPUs

ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/227520/M4A89TD%20PRO%...
Newest chipset without onboard Vid.

G.SKILL F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM Ripjaws PC3-12800 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL8-8-8-24 Core i5 Memory Kit x2
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/219729/F3-12800CL8D-4...

Coolermaster Haf 922 Mid Tower ATX Case Black 5X5.25 5X3.5INT Front Audio USB eSATA No PSU
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/216224/RC-922M-KKN1-G...

SAPPHIRE 100314SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/231346/21179-00-40R/S...

FX 850W Black Edition Single Rail Semi Modular ATX 12V 70A 24PIN ATX Power Supply 80PLUS Silver
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/220475/P1850BCAG9/XFX...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/227468/HD103UJ/Samsun...

Samsung DVD Writer
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/219381/SH-S223L%2FBEB...


Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/222084/FQC-00765/MICR...

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long ...
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/218427/RR-B10-212P-GP...
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November 2, 2010 5:07:18 PM

See build above for update, but
I'm still not sure how to approach the GPU situation.

Wait till 69xx series which is supposed to be $300+ or just get 2 6850's and overclock now OR get a 6870 now and get a second sometime down the road...

Someone think for me!!!
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November 2, 2010 5:08:45 PM

Quote:
i do not know your age or anything but if still a student then you might be able to get a discount if you are for windows 7.


Thanks, 43 and aging...sigh. School is a thing of the past for now lol.
my budget is $1500 after taxes so I'm within that now. I['m OK paying that price for the OS. Much cheaper than I thought it would be.
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November 2, 2010 5:19:23 PM

groan said:
Wait till 69xx series which is supposed to be $300+ or just get 2 6850's and overclock now OR get a 6870 now and get a second sometime down the road...


Hard to say until the benchmarks are out. Did I miss where you mention what resolution you're gaming at? The 6870 should be adequate for most needs right now, but won't crush anything at 1920x1080.

If you're not in dire need of a new computer right now, I'd suggest waiting for benchmarks on the new 69xx series. Whether or not you buy one, it seems like the release is too close to not take advantage of price changes surrounding the launch.
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November 2, 2010 5:23:51 PM

Quote:
i turned 36 today bro 11/02.
that's why i'm on-line and responding fast.
just chillin' at home.
smoke one.. ;) 


At work, chillin thats why I'M responding fast. Smoking one comes later. LOL

Happpy Bday.
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November 2, 2010 5:27:46 PM

coldsleep said:
Hard to say until the benchmarks are out. Did I miss where you mention what resolution you're gaming at? The 6870 should be adequate for most needs right now, but won't crush anything at 1920x1080.

If you're not in dire need of a new computer right now, I'd suggest waiting for benchmarks on the new 69xx series. Whether or not you buy one, it seems like the release is too close to not take advantage of price changes surrounding the launch.


I'm so impatient and money tends to burn a hole in my pocket very fast, but I know I should wait.
I am playing at 1920x1080 but as I mentioned, I do at some point plan to crossfire. The problem is do it now or buy a better card and do it later.
my 2nd half of that question is to get 2x 6850 and OC them or go 6870 and not OC at all (i hear the 6870 isnt as kind as the 6850 as far as ocing and ocing the 50 can bring it up to the 70 or beyond it)

learning as I go along.
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Best solution

November 2, 2010 6:12:15 PM

It's likely that the 6870 has less headroom to overclock, as the 6850 and 6870 are likely from the same set of chips, and the 6870s just tested better as a batch than the 6850s. I'll admit to being an overclocking skeptic, but I figure if you have the money for the one that's guaranteed faster, go for it. If you don't have the money, then get the slower one, and if you are able to overclock it to/past the more expensive model, and hey, bonus!

Maybe I need to put my reading glasses on, I seem to have missed 1920x1080. :) 

Generally I recommend buying the biggest card you can afford, and if you need to Crossfire in the next 6 months to a year, cool. If you take longer than that, there's probably going to be a better single card out. That's actually the situation I'm in right now with a rig I built about 6 months ago -- Phenom II X4 + 5870 -- do I wait and see how much of an improvement the 69xx series is and get one of those, or buy a 5870 when the 69xx series comes out and CrossFire them. If the 69xx series was coming out in 2011, I'd buy a 5870 now and CrossFire, but with the release date so close, I'm waiting.
Share
November 2, 2010 6:29:06 PM

me too. waiting that is.

Thanks for the insight.
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November 3, 2010 4:14:19 PM

Swapped the HAF 912 for the 922.
like the looks better and it comes with the extra fans.
any suggestion to get even more fans? i dont want it to sound like an airfield here.
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November 3, 2010 5:10:17 PM

also just changed ram to
G.SKILL F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM Ripjaws PC3-12800 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL8-8-8-24 Core i5 Memory Kit

Other ram disappeared and is not backordered. I think I'll order everythign except the vid card and get to building it.

:) 
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November 3, 2010 5:28:43 PM

DONE!
Order placed without the video card.
Phew!
Thanks to everyone for your input. When the reviews come in for the video cards you will no-doubt see me back.

ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 DDR3 890FX ATX 2PCI-E16 PCI-E4 PCI-E1 2PCI 6SATA 6GB/S USB3.0 Motherboard

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Quad Core Processor 3.2GHZ AM3 8MB Cache 125W Retail Box

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA775 LGA1156 120MM

Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB SATA2 7200RPM 32MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM

Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Edition 64BIT DVD OEM

Samsung SH-S223L/BEBS 22X SATA Black DVD Writer Lightscribe OEM

XFX 850W Black Edition Single Rail Semi Modular ATX 12V 70A 24PIN ATX Power Supply 80PLUS Silver

Coolermaster Haf 922 Mid Tower ATX Case Black 5X5.25 5X3.5INT Front Audio USB eSATA No PSU

G.SKILL F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM Ripjaws PC3-12800 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL8-8-8-24 Core i5 Memory Kit
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November 4, 2010 12:03:21 AM

Best answer selected by groan.nWhile everyone's answers were great in this thread, the most trouble I was having was with the video card. Thanks Coldsleep for pushing me in the right direction. if i could give another best answer it would be difficult. some great one here.nThanks again.
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November 4, 2010 4:15:18 AM

Good luck, let us know how it goes, and definitely check in for more rambling about video cards. ;) 

P.S. Do you have an old video card to throw in there for the time being? The 890FX chipset doesn't have onboard graphics.
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November 4, 2010 10:11:14 AM

I got the board BECAUSE it doesnt have onboard video :) 
i can take one out of my current PC to get everything set up until i make a decision on a new one.

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November 4, 2010 12:44:11 PM

Right, just wanted to make sure that you didn't have the horrible realization on first boot that you couldn't get it up and running because of no video output.
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November 5, 2010 5:20:01 PM

Fastest Shipping Evar!
I ordered it yesterday afternoon, was shipped last night and arrived today at work an hour ago.
HOOLY!

The HDD is back ordered and because I am impatient, and pretty sure the new 6900 series will start at $300 and after talkign to a buddy I am goign to go ahead and buy the 6870 and crossfire it in a few months. I'll be happy with that, i think. Im going to a LCS to get a small HDD and the Vid Card.
You may remember me saying how much money burns a hole in my pocket, and im anxious to get this baby running.

Phew.
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