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Gaming Build around $1000 (or prebuilt?)

Last response: in Systems
November 9, 2010 6:48:06 PM

Hello, all. I want a new gaming PC (primarily WoW). I built my current PC 7 years ago and updated components about 3 years ago, but I confess it was a bit nerve-wracking. I'm not looking forward to matching all million processor pins to the right socket, deciding which heatsink or cooling system is adequate, and trying to plug USB cables into cramped case with ambiguous diagrams and instructions. If there is a comparable decent prebuilt or partially prebuilt system, it would be attractive. Nevertheless if there is a significant bang-for-buck advantage (like over 10%), I'll put it all together.

I've never unlocked cores or OC'd but if turning it on is simple enough (like in BIOS startup) and heat isn't an issue I'm willing to give it a try. I've also never used liquid cooling but am also willing to try if required. Reading hundreds of posts I'm concerned that I won't match adequate cooling with my chips and video card if I mix and match. I ask advice from all you far-more-experienced builders!

OK, here we go: Budget $1000. Bundles ok. All components should have clear, unambiguous instructions and diagrams (preferably also available on web instead of looking at a 4-inch manual with a magnifying glass). :lol: 

No monitor, mouse, or keyboard.

OS--Need Win7, I'm not a student.

MOBO--I can't follow which chipset and buses are best, current, or outdated. Your help, please?

CPU--Slight preference for AMD over Intel. (Again, after all the charts and benchmarks I'm overwhelmed with data! 4 cores, 6 cores, 8 cores?)

CASE--Full tower--I need the space inside if my large Western fingers are going to make the wiring connections. :D 

VIDEO--SLI- or Crossfire-capable, but only one good (max out WoW) card necessary at this time.

RAM--8 Gb RAM.

HD--1 Tb should be ok. I've been reading about a separate SSD as boot drive. Good idea or unnecessary complication?

POWER SUPPLY: Your choice, but vendor should have easy return policy. I've had more trouble with these than any single component.

Thanks so much in advance, everyone!

November 9, 2010 8:32:35 PM

A couple of quick hits here... I'll try to post some builds / links a bit later.
OS - You can pick up 64bit Windows 7 home at newegg for about $99 and bundle it with almost anything for an extra discount.
MOBO - I prefer ASUS boards and 890FX/GX is their "top of the line" chipset. ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 is aobut $140
CPU - I'm an AMD guy myself and would think a Phenom II x4 955 would be a good chip for you and pretty inexpensive - $150 or so
RAM - No way you need 8GB. Overkill. Better to get 4GB of good quality memory.
HDD - I get killed on these boards all the time for my love of Western digital drives so I'll go with the crowd and suggest a Samsung Spinpoint this go around. I personally haven't had good experiences with them but they are damn popular and less expensive than the WD drives.
SSD - I LOVE my SSD. With that said... it is an unnecessary extravagance. Damn sexy though!
PWS - Corsair PWS are outstanding. 600w or higher depending on what you do with the video
November 10, 2010 3:12:01 AM

By "good quality RAM" do you mean speed or brand? If no SSD, then what is a fast speed/performance HD? (BTW, I've never had a problem with WD either!) Thanks!
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a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2010 11:30:28 AM

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

Mother Board:MSI 890FXA-GD70 AM3 AMD 890FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

Ram:G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM

Hard Disk:SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

GPU:XFX HD-687A-ZNFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

Os:Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Power Supply:Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply

Case:http://www.Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Total 1020$ Before Rebates
November 10, 2010 12:43:25 PM

Nice build! Do I trust the CPU heatsink/fan or buy something else? Thoughts on cooling devices?
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2010 1:06:27 PM

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler
This allows stable overclocking upto 4.0ghz and above
November 10, 2010 1:58:53 PM

Enjoyed reading about the cooler and its weapons-grade razor fins! :) 
I couldn't tell whether or not thermal grease was included or whether I need to buy a packet.

a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2010 2:12:05 PM

it is better to buy the case fan and thermalgrease listed in the select additional items when u scroll down
it will come to use sooner or later and the case fan gives you max performance in cooling
November 10, 2010 2:28:46 PM

So, one fan comes with it and this would be the optional 2nd fan for push-pull?
a b 4 Gaming
November 10, 2010 2:50:43 PM

it will provide u with high performance cooling
November 10, 2010 7:14:09 PM

Well, thank you all for your comments. :wahoo: 

I'll probably pull the trigger on this tomorrow (see if anybody is having a Veteran's Day sale! :D  )
Thanks again!
November 15, 2010 6:23:20 PM

Best answer selected by Allen7.