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First Time 1400~1600 Intel Gaming Rig

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November 2, 2010 11:48:01 PM

Budget 1200 + what I can scrape by December 1st (probably around 150 USD)

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
294.99

Mobo: ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
199.99

GPU: EVGA 012-P3-1470-AR GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
259.99

RAM: CORSAIR XMS 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M1A1600C7 x 2
99.99 x 2


PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V
109.99

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
69.99

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
105.99

Optical Drive: SAMSUNG Black Blu-ray Combo Drive - Bulk SATA Model SH-B083L/BSBP LightScribe Support - OEM
79.99

Current newegg price: ~1300 USD with shipping and tax.

I'm gonna use this system solely for gaming. I already have a copy of Win7, a 22' monitor and keyboard + mouse, etc.

This is my first time building a rig so I wanna make sure everthing fits, also I was looking for input over motherboard choice, I want to go with the 1366 chipset, however I'm not sure if it is worth the price or if I'll be able to get the juice out of it.

The other question is regarding the PSU and the possibility of a 2x SLI with another gtx 470, in this case how do you guys think the PSU holds? Should i get a more potent one?

Also, any other issues you may spot? Everything seems solid to me but then again this is my first computer building enterprise.

Thanks for your time and input. :D 

More about : time 1400 1600 intel gaming rig

November 3, 2010 12:16:23 AM

You should change to a spintpoint f3 1tb hdd, its $15 cheaper on newegg right now and it'll run faster.

Id also recommend a 6870 instead of the 470, as its faster and more energy efficient, and runs cooler.
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November 3, 2010 12:53:29 AM

bavman said:
You should change to a spintpoint f3 1tb hdd, its $15 cheaper on newegg right now and it'll run faster.

Id also recommend a 6870 instead of the 470, as its faster and more energy efficient, and runs cooler.


Wouldn't the 6.0 gpbs drive run faster than the 3.0 gpbs one?
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November 3, 2010 1:30:52 AM

This build is very similar to my own, in fact, its almost identical. I opted for a 470 rather than 6870 because I want to eventually SLI rather than Crossfire. If you do decide to SLI with dual 470s, you will need a different PSU: http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

Also, I would buy RAM in sets of 3 to enable the triple channel memory. Maybe this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you stick with the XMS, double check to make sure it is compatible (dont think it is), mine work just fine but some people have problems: http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=AM2RChl84MZrKh6J&...

Lastly, I went with this combo from newegg (Haf X 942 + x58 + 970) and saved some coin. Case kicks ass and keeps everything cool with just stock fans installed: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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November 3, 2010 1:41:38 AM

Hubalub said:
Wouldn't the 6.0 gpbs drive run faster than the 3.0 gpbs one?



Nope because 3 gpbs is 300mb/s and 6 is 600 mb/s neither of them can even reach the 300 mark so it doesnt matter.
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November 3, 2010 1:51:54 AM

bavman said:
Nope because 3 gpbs is 300mb/s and 6 is 600 mb/s neither of them can even reach the 300 mark so it doesnt matter.

+1 spinpoint F3 is amazing.
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November 3, 2010 1:58:16 AM

hthero715 said:
This build is very similar to my own, in fact, its almost identical. I opted for a 470 rather than 6870 because I want to eventually SLI rather than Crossfire. If you do decide to SLI with dual 470s, you will need a different PSU: http://www.slizone.com/object/slizone_build_psu.html

Also, I would buy RAM in sets of 3 to enable the triple channel memory. Maybe this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you stick with the XMS, double check to make sure it is compatible (dont think it is), mine work just fine but some people have problems: http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=AM2RChl84MZrKh6J&...

Lastly, I went with this combo from newegg (Haf X 942 + x58 + 970) and saved some coin. Case kicks ass and keeps everything cool with just stock fans installed: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Thanks for the feedback, have you experienced overclocking with this system? How would you consider overclocking with those stock fans? I think I'll go with the memory sticks you suggested since I don't think I'll need so much memory for gaming, triple channel sounds better.

I'll look into the PSU and decide if it's worth getting a 2x GTX 470-ready PSU now or when I do get the second card.

Thanks. :D 
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November 3, 2010 11:24:05 AM

No problem. The only reason I mention the PSU is because I bought the CMPSU 650 which is "SLI Ready," but not for dual 470s. Now when I want to SLI my cards I will need to upgrade my PSU :pfff: 

By just using the stock cooling, I could get set a mild over clock, nothing serious though; and definitely not 4ghz. The stock fans are pretty quiet by the way and there is plenty of room for a big after market HSF. I'm going with the DH14 myself: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Happy building.
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November 3, 2010 9:22:08 PM

hey guys i got another practical question. for the same price which RAM would you opt for:

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8T-6GBRM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Apparently the Corsair memory is on a Daily Deal but I don't know how much it originally cost, anyway the Gskill sticks seem to have a lower latency and a lower voltage, does this mean they would be better?
Thanks for all the input thus far guys.
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November 3, 2010 9:28:47 PM

I think the deal for those two is just that it comes with free shipping. Mine came with free shipping two weeks ago so it's nothing special. I've dealt with Corsair in the past and its a great brand (I own the XMS 8gb), but I haven't dealt with G.skill. Seems to be popular among gamers.
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November 3, 2010 10:14:25 PM

G.Skill ftw.
I like that they reply on newegg feedback for everyone that received a defective unit (every company has some defective manufactures) the G.Skill company replies right there and tells you what to do.
+ its good ram
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a b å Intel
November 4, 2010 2:36:47 AM

For the 900, grab it with the PSU and save $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The 900/902 are great cases but if the idea is to SLI and OC then you'll wanna go with a full tower case and 850 watter from the get go.

A full tower case w/ hi end PSU at a good price just about always brought two recommendations:
Antec 1200 w/ CP-850
HAF-932 w/ Corsair HX-850

I finished another HAF-932 / Corsair build this weekend and it's gonna be my last. I seem to get less satisfied with this case each time I use it. The 1200 is getting scarce and I will be doing my 1st DF-85 build this weekend. So I can't give a string nod but right now I'm leaning toward the DF-85 w/ CP-850 as the best deal out there, despite the fact that newegg dropped the combo on these ($25 savings a few days ago) and now the pair is the same price as the HAF-932 / HX850 pairing.

Case / PSU - Antec DF-85 w/ CP-850 ($290 = $160 + $130)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

MoBo / CPU - The Sabertooth and 950 you listed are available as a combo which will save ya $15
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


RAM - Pick ya performance level

Mushkin CAS 6 DDR3-1600 - $160
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin CAS 7 DDR3-1600 - $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GFX Card - EVGA 012-P3-1472-AR GTX 470 - $270 - For $10 more the superclocked version is available, aslo with a Free Mafia 2 Game coupon
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD - Spinpoint F3 1 TB - I'd take the 1 TB Seagate 7200.12 or Spinpoint F3 any day over the WD but the F3 right now is $15 cheaper as long as the promo lasts
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF / TIM - Scythe 2100 / Shin Etsu - $45 - Yes, you need a CPU cooler if ya gonna OC. There are some great performers and great bargains but the one that best fits both categories is the Scythe 2100. Top TIM is Shin Etsu as per benchmarkreviews 80 way shootout

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_conten...
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November 4, 2010 3:17:32 AM

JackNaylorPE, would you mind elaborating why you've been experiencing this diminishing satisfaction with the HAF-932/Corsair matchup? I was opting for that as hthero715 suggested, in the i7-950 + HAF-932 + SAbertooth X58 combo deal:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I was looking into the Noctua DH14, and the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus, however your alternative seems like a nice midpoint. Or do you think the Noctua is worth the extra dollar?

Anyway, thanks for the input, I look forward to your views on the HAF vs the Antec DF-85.
Oh and that superclock thing on the GPU, wouldn't I be able to do that myself or is it too much for a first builder? After all $10 isn't much but that's what I figured when I saw the superclocked edition.
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November 4, 2010 10:36:23 AM

OP said he is a first time builder and coming from experience, the Haf x 942 is a really simple case to use in a first time build. The form factor may be intimidating but once you open it up, its very easy to see where/how everything is supposed to fit; and they give ample room to fit it all.

I agree with JackNaylor's choice of HD and GPU. EVGA has an amazing warranty program and the Spinpoint is cheap and fast. Cant go wrong between Mushkin and Corsair IMO.
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November 4, 2010 10:22:42 PM

Hey well i thought I'd post what I think will be the final build, see if I can get anymore useful insights.

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
MOBO: ASUS Sabertooth X58 LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Case: COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Combo deal on Newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$599.99

HSF: Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$49.99

GPU:EVGA 012-P3-1472-AR GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) SuperClocked 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$269.99

Memory: Mushkin Enhanced Redline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 998805
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$179.99

SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTX40G 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$117.99

HDD:SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$54.99

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$129.99

Optical Drive: LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Reader SATA Model iHOS104-06 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$49.99

With shipping and tax this will come to around $1580, so a bit over budget, but I think I will be able to manage to get the money. If I don't I think I won't buy the HSF, the thermal paste (and so put off the overclocking efforts until later - I don't think I'll be running into performance issues with games just yet) and maybe even the SSD although I would rather not.

So what do you think then guys? I'm pretty excited to getstarted with the building process. N.B: I'm getting an Anti-static Wrist Strap since I don't have one but I didn't include it in the list above.

Thanks again.


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November 4, 2010 10:49:59 PM

i would get the 60 GB SSD at least, and maybe a modular PSU
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November 4, 2010 10:55:28 PM

If it is purely for gaming an i5-760 based build would be both cheaper and faster.

Ram is high voltage, might limit your OC.
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November 6, 2010 11:52:56 PM

sp12 said:
If it is purely for gaming an i5-760 based build would be both cheaper and faster..


Why is this? I mean to keep this build for as long as possible so I figured going with the 950 would be worth it over the long haul.... but are you saying it would be slower than the 760 or just wouldn't use the full potential? I'm confused...
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November 7, 2010 1:23:07 AM

If i went with the i5 I'd be stuck with the 1156 socket and the future CPUs will come in 1366 right? Meaning I would need to buy both a new mobo and CPU if i were to upgrade to a more modern processor.

The price difference is only ~85 usd anyway, and I would lose triple channel memory.... I think i would still stick with the i7-950 + Asus X58 Sabertooth. Seeing as I don't think the price difference is significant.
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November 7, 2010 1:51:16 AM

Hubalub said:
If i went with the i5 I'd be stuck with the 1156 socket and the future CPUs will come in 1366 right? Meaning I would need to buy both a new mobo and CPU if i were to upgrade to a more modern processor.

The price difference is only ~85 usd anyway, and I would lose triple channel memory.... I think i would still stick with the i7-950 + Asus X58 Sabertooth. Seeing as I don't think the price difference is significant.

Did you including having to buy 3 sticks of RAM as compared to two because of lga 1336 triple channel memory?

and I think they are discontinuing 1366? the new intel sandy bridge CPU's (due by first quarter of 2011) are going to be lga 1365? not sure about that socket number!
but I believe sandy bridge is going to match the new socket that the new CPU's will be made for.

Edit: sorry 1155.
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November 7, 2010 2:21:20 AM

Hubalub said:
Why is this? I mean to keep this build for as long as possible so I figured going with the 950 would be worth it over the long haul.... but are you saying it would be slower than the 760 or just wouldn't use the full potential? I'm confused...


The 760 is always faster in gaming, and the future chips will definitely not be 1366.
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November 7, 2010 2:29:19 AM

Well I think I will go for the i5-760, been looking at benchmarks and such seems the above is a true statement. I still need to decide what motherboard to get and then the build will be complete (after i choose another set of memory - probably 2x4gb, any suggestions??), thanks for the very useful input, it really has been indispensable in this whole process. :D 

EDIT: Please can I get some suggestions for a motherboard?, I was so happy with the X58 Sabertooth I feel baffled looking at mobos again.. bah... I do plan to SLI and overclock so please consider that. Thanks again.
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November 7, 2010 4:40:42 AM

Well I've reached a relatively non-confounded research conclusion for this motherboard although motherboards have always been daunting for me, anyway here it is, tell me what you think please:

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$179.99

ASUS SABERTOOTH 55i LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$149.99

I'm more inclined for the latter choice but I really don't feel confident about picking out motherboards .... anyways, thanks.

EDIT: I thought I'd add another question about memory, specifically for gaming would I need memory above 8GB? I mean, would it be better to get 2x4gb now and expand to 4x4gb later, or get a 4x2 gb right now and fill up the memory slots??

Thanks...
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Best solution

November 7, 2010 10:49:00 AM

Hubalub said:
Well I've reached a relatively non-confounded research conclusion for this motherboard although motherboards have always been daunting for me, anyway here it is, tell me what you think please:

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$179.99

ASUS SABERTOOTH 55i LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$149.99

I'm more inclined for the latter choice but I really don't feel confident about picking out motherboards .... anyways, thanks.

EDIT: I thought I'd add another question about memory, specifically for gaming would I need memory above 8GB? I mean, would it be better to get 2x4gb now and expand to 4x4gb later, or get a 4x2 gb right now and fill up the memory slots??

Thanks...


Asus P7P55D-E Pro all day!!! + it supposts 6gbs sata and usb 3.

as for memory, I'd get 4GB and used the saved money for faster memory. There's barely any game that utilises all of 4GB much less 8GB.
get tight timing memory like this G.Skill Ripjaw DDR3 1600 Cas 7 4GB (2x2GB) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303&cm_re=g.skill_ripjaw-_-20-231-303-_-Product + I believe 2GB sticks OC better than 4GB sticks.
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November 7, 2010 12:44:19 PM

That ram's OK, but when lower voltage ram with the same speed can be had for less it's terrible. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I wouldn't buy ram more expensive than 60$, but that's because I'm a price/performance person.

Both motherboards are great choices.
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November 7, 2010 3:27:16 PM

i made a build that is partly similar with this so i post it here. tell me plz if it is ok.
primarily for gaming but i just want a system that can handle well a little bit of everything.

this cpu-mobo-case combo is ok i think
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

the psu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

graphics
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

harddrive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

optical drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i am thankful for any advice!
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November 7, 2010 3:44:56 PM

theflyingblub said:
i made a build that is partly similar with this so i post it here. tell me plz if it is ok.
primarily for gaming but i just want a system that can handle well a little bit of everything.

this cpu-mobo-case combo is ok i think
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

the psu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

graphics
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

harddrive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

optical drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i am thankful for any advice!


Thread jacking is frowned upon.. like masturbating on an airplane.

anyway.. Yes cpu,mobo, case is the best deal out right now.

everything looks good besides I'd use G.skill ripjaw RAM not corsair, but thats just me. (well and everyone else that uses it i guess :p )
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November 7, 2010 6:47:02 PM

First off, thanks to everyone here at Tom's Hardware for helping me out with this whole rather daunting process, I dunno if I would've managed to hook something as sweet as this up without your help.

So here is what I believe to be the final revision of my build, I will probably make the order tonight or throughout this week. Any last minute comments or insights?


CPU:Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$208.99

MOBO:ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$179.99

CASE:Antec DF-85 Black Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$149.99

HSF:Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$39.99

GPU:EVGA 012-P3-1472-AR GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) SuperClocked 1280MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$269.99

MEMORY:G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$89.99

SDD:G.SKILL Phoenix Pro Series FM-25S2S-60GBP2 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$139.99

HDD:SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$54.99

PSU:Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power CPX SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$129.99

MONITOR:ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$189.99

OPTICAL DRIVE:LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Reader SATA Model iHOS104-06 - OEM
LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Reader SATA Model iHOS104-06 - OEM
$49.99
+ANTI STATIC WRIST STRAP AND THERMAL PASTE

Total comes around to a sum of: $1,536.55 with shipping, I'm getting another monitor as I found someone who was willing to buy the one I'm currently using off me.

I think everything is compatible, but I would appreciate if someone else double checks as I've been looking at so much information it gets overwhelming.

Oh and by the way, IF I manage to save enough money, I would like to buy a 7.1 surround gaming headset, any suggestions?(this is secondary really)

Thanks a lot! :D 

EDIT: I listed the 55i Sabertooth as a Mobo, when really I'm inclined for the P7P55D-E Pro. change done.
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November 7, 2010 6:58:25 PM

OH and by the way I can't find those memory sticks on the mobo Memory QVL, does this mean they are not compatible? Should I look for other ones?
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November 7, 2010 7:13:28 PM

Well I can't find the sticks on that website either, seeing as there's no G-Skill to be found anywhere...... should I just go with Crucial? thoughts?
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November 7, 2010 8:35:24 PM

QVL is not comprehensive, don't' worry about it.
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November 15, 2010 12:44:08 AM

Best answer selected by Hubalub.
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