Budget Gaming Build

I am looking to put together a new gaming pc with the following parts. My goal is to keep the cost under or as close to $900 as possible. As usual, comments and recommendations of other parts is always accepted.

MB: ASRock P55 Pro/USB3

Processor: Intel core i7

Memory: A-Data gaming 2GB There will be a total of 4 modules in the system for 8GB.

HD: Western digital 500GB Green Two drives setup in a raid 1. Raid 1 is a personal preference and is required in any computer I build.

Graphics: Radeon 5850 Single card, not planning on setting up crossfire with this build ever.

The system will use spare keyboard, mouse, monitors, 80GB 5400rpm hot-swap sata drive, and usb wireless network card I already have.

The first question I have is will the stock power supply that comes with the Antec Sonata III (500 watts) be enough to power the machine or should I go with a higher wattage for the power supply?

The second question is of course, does anyone have any recommendations that would help me eek out more performance per dollar?

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  1. all price specified are with free shipping unless stated (and after MIR where it applies)

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz $145

    BIOSTAR TA890FXE AM3 AMD 890FX $134

    OCZ AMD Black Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 1600MHz get 2 of these $77x2 = $154

    XFX HD-687A-ZNBC Radeon HD 6870 Black Edition 1GB 256-bit DDR5 $260 after MIR + $8 shipping = $268

    XFX P1-650X-CAH9 650W 80+ Bronze $65 after MIR+ $5 shipping = $70

    OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G 2.5" 60GB $135

    Data HDD
    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache $70

    total - $ 976

    minus the PSU $976-$70 = $906.

    will the stock power supply that comes with the Antec Sonata III (500 watts) be enough to power the machine or should I go with a higher wattage for the power supply?
    How old is your PSU? getting a higher Wattage PSU has plus sides:
    Headroom for overclocking
    Capacitors will age from the date of use, so getting a new one ensures your not using a PSU that COULD blow up cos of dieing capacitors.
  2. Your build does not include a case, which I would require. Also you missed the second hard disk in a raid 1 (mirrored) config, unless you were inferring a raid setup between the 60GB SSD and the 1TB drive.
    Also why do you recommend the Phenom over the i7? It appears to me that the i& handily beats the Phenom in every benchmark.

    Thanks for your reply!
  3. when you showed the Antec, i assumed your going to have that as your CASE.

    unless you were inferring a raid setup between the 60GB SSD and the 1TB drive.
    now that would be stupid to raid 1 a 60Gb with a 1TB, you know as well as i do, 1024Gb-60=964Gb gone to waste...

    It appears to me that the i7 handily beats the Phenom in every benchmark

    you need to understand that benchmarks and real world experiences are different, its about user preference. A study on Tom's showed that you'd need a max of 3 cores for gaming and not run into a bottleneck issue.

    But i'll give it a whirl with the i7

    N.B # when are you going to get this rig?
  4. wait 34 days for Sandy Bridge instead of any intel build.
  5. Purchase is imminent, likely before the end of the year. I need a case as the current system I have is migrating to the wife, who has a machine so ancient that the only thing I can really salvage is the optical drive. I would prefer the Sonata 3 case as I have built several systems with the sonata 2, and even a couple with the sonata 1. That being said, I also wouldn't mind getting a case with a handle built in... My biggest issue is that I've taken a look at the power reqs of the motherboard, processor, memory, video card, etc, etc and under max load it could potentially reach 500 watts. That being said, the Radeon 68xx series looks like it uses on average about 10 watts less which should, at least on paper, give me enough wattage wiggle room. Thanks for your suggestions.
  6. use this to calculate your wattage

  7. mmm.. 8gb is overkill and i7 is overkill, i would've gone with the build above but it seems like you don't like amd. so here is an I5 build for $729.95 before $60 rebates.

    mobo+ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.567128

    cpu+gpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.543656

    psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207007

    2hdd's: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148395

    case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147144

    of course you can add another primary hdd or ssd your choice.
    also you can wait for the new sandybridge cpu's to come out.
  8. CPU
    i5-760 $205

    ASUS P7P55D-E LGA 1156 Intel P55 $150 after MIR - $140

    Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB 1333MHz $70

    CPU cooler
    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus $38

    SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $205

    Boot HDD
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM $51

    HDD for RAID 1
    Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB $45x2 = $90

    COOLER MASTER Elite 310 RC-310-RWN1-GP Black / Red $50

    SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W 80 PLUS BRONZE $80

    total ~$940

    OCZ Agility 2 OCZSSD2-2AGTE60G 2.5" 60GB $130

    What dya think?

    The Hyper 212+ was suggested cos you can easily OC the i5-760 to i7-870 specs and beyond...tho the i5 is still awesome without an OC. You can swap the boot HDD with the SSD, overall faster bootups and if your using programs frequently, your "getting the coffee while it loads" time will be quartered :)
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