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Help with First Build - $1000 Gaming PC

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December 9, 2010 10:45:31 PM

Hey everyone, just working on my first build and need a bit of guidance.


Approximate Purchase Date: Within the week

Budget Range: $1100 after Tax/Shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming,Some Minor Video Editing, Internet

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I prefer newegg.com but willing to do anything with a good rep

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: No particular preference

Overclocking: Not planning on it

SLI or Crossfire: Not really planning on it now, but maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: My first build so I'm a little nervous about everything working well together and fitting in the case, etc.

PARTS

EDIT: Revised 12/10/10

DVD: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

Case: COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Monitor: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard (Still not sure about this)

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

PSU: SeaSonic X650 Gold 650W ATX12V V2.3/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX

Cost - $1055

More about : build 1000 gaming

December 10, 2010 3:55:22 AM

^ Video editing ? Pro work? Would do you use Premier PRO??
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December 10, 2010 3:57:49 AM

Video editing would be a rather minor side thing, gaming is the top priority here.
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Related resources
December 10, 2010 4:16:48 AM

^ Then here is a complete rebuid

X4 955 + Gigabyte 890GX(This board does proper x8x8 Crossfire)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

RAM - Same - 4GB is more than enough for gaming...

CASE - IMO this is a very good deal
NZXT M59 -$5 off w/ promo code EMCZNYV45, ends 12/13
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - Cant beat this one
Seasonic X650 - Good enough for 5870 Crossfire and is one of the most efficient PSUs available...
20% off with promo code PSU126, ends 12/17
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD 6870 - Very good performance @1080p, Lifetime warranty and in Crossfire has very good scaling
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - Samsung F3 1TB
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=HD-HD103SJ&tit...

?Maybe a SSD for boot
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

Total - ~$1046 | ~$986 after rebates...
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December 10, 2010 4:34:42 AM

I would build out the rest of your system and then see how much you have left for a gfx card. $1100 isn't a huge amount to splurge on a top end card, so you'll have to cut some corners especially if you need to buy a monitor. A fairly decent, not great, 1920x1080 monitor is the ASUS VH series monitors. They come in many sizes ranging from like 20"-26". I bought the VH232 for like $140 on sale, its a great looking monitor, but has a little bit of light leakage around the edges during dark scenes. It's only really noticeable if you're really looking for it, and since it is pretty much the only con I've been able to find with the monitor, I highly recommend it.

As far as RAM, if you're going to be using a 64bit OS, you'll probably want to have 8gb. Not because you necessarily will need it all the time, but it certainly helps when you're multitasking. I rarely go above 4gb RAM usage, but its nice to know that you always have that extra headroom. Also, Corsair memory isn't that good...I'd go with either Crucial, OCZ, or G-Skill. You'll spend a little more, but you'll get better performance and stability from it.

PSUs, you'll want to get something in the 500W range, if you never plan on doing a multi-GPU setup. If you want that flexibility to expand your graphics solution at some point down the road, then you'll want something more like 700-800W. Make sure you get a PSU from a reputable company. Corsair in this case is pretty decent, but Antec and OCZ also have good models. I wouldn't cut corners on the PSU, btw. You want to make sure your PSU is stable and will last a long time, because if it fails, it can destroy your entire system. Which obviously is bad.

That case isn't a bad one, but there are cheaper ones out there. Check out the Antec 300, or the CM Storm Scout (which I own and love). Both are cheaper than that one and good quality.

I'm not sure what you're looking for from your motherboard, but you can probably drop the USB 3.0 and SATA 6.0Gb/s and get a cheaper alternative. Those are for high end enthusiasts who want absolutely the best performance possible, and the hardware to take advantage of those things are very expensive, much more expensive than the current generation's hardware, which is only just now beginning to saturate the old connections (USB 2.0 and SATA 3.0Gb/s). Also, if all you want to do is gaming, USB3.0 and SATA 3 are not necessary or useful features to have, at least not for a while.

That's all the advice I have for now...should be good enough to get you going.
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December 10, 2010 4:39:26 AM

@gkay09: First and most importantly, I want to thank you for your help! I'm liking the rebuild there, but I have a few questions/concerns.

Is there a "better" mobo I could get? Granted, you know more about this stuff than I do, but some of the reviews of it are a little discouraging. Same goes for the DVD drive, again, I'm not gonna pretend like I know what I'm talking about, but it seems there are better options out there for similar price (maybe I'm wrong). Also, you put the SSD as a maybe... would you recommend getting one or would it really not make that much of a difference overall? Could that money be put towards bettering another component? Sorry for all the potentially nooby questions!
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December 10, 2010 4:43:11 AM

@mattimeo005 - Thanks for the advice. I'll look into it tomorrow and will post an updated build on Monday.
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December 10, 2010 4:47:37 AM

SSD isn't really worth it for your budget. Just take the $100 you save not getting an SSD and upgrade your GPU or CPU a couple notches. It'll make much more difference than an SSD would. The Spinpoint F3 HDD is already very fast for an HDD, and boot up time is pretty quick.
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December 10, 2010 4:50:15 AM

^^ Well even I wouldnt say I know everything... ;)  but do have a little bit of knowledge about the parts thats all,...

Mobo - DOA and failure are some of the things which are unavoidable by any manufacture,...
In terms of overall performance and quality, that 890GX board is a very good one,...

DVD - Ohh, I just picked the one cheaper with free shipping thats all, you can get the one that has better reviews,...

SSD - They are IMO one of the best upgrades currently,...
- Improves the response time of the PC
- Significantly reduced the boot and app load times
- The PC would feel snappier,...

And do feel free to post your doubts,...
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December 10, 2010 5:29:25 AM
December 10, 2010 5:34:43 AM

EDIT: This was before seeing your post, nmdride

Actually I ended up with a bit more time tonight and decided to put together a revised build. Here is what I have:

CPU+MOBO: Guess I'll go with the X4 955 + 890GX unless there is some reason I should go with something else

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH

DVD DRIVE: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

Case: COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (Cool looking case BTW)

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Monitor: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor (I'm still more or less guessing here)

PSU: Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

GPU: SAPPHIRE 100314SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

Cost - $960

I don't think I forgot anything on this list

Also, I decided against a SSD as I agree that the money could probably be better spent elsewhere.
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December 10, 2010 6:21:33 AM

^ The PSU that you have selected will not be able to power more than 1 graphic card, so no point going with that 890GX board,...
Also I think you are confusing yourselves a lot,...

GPU - Currently the HD 6870s is one of the best option if you want a powerful card with very good scaling,...

SSDs - Its your call,... but I should say that I have not seen people regretting after buying one though,...
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December 10, 2010 6:38:02 AM

gkay09 said:
^ The PSU that you have selected will not be able to power more than 1 graphic card, so no point going with that 890GX board,...
Also I think you are confusing yourselves a lot,...

GPU - Currently the HD 6870s is one of the best option if you want a powerful card with very good scaling,...

SSDs - Its your call,... but I should say that I have not seen people regretting after buying one though,...


If you think I should go ahead and get a more powerful PSU, what number should I be looking at?

I added what I believe is the card you are talking about to my revised build above.

As far as an SSD, I can see how it would be a nice option, and I doubt I would regret it if I did get one, but like I said, I just don't think it's in the budget right now.
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December 10, 2010 7:50:05 AM

^ Did you check the build I linked? The total with that PSU, SSD and graphic card comes to ~$986 After rebates,... But its your call though...
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Anonymous
December 10, 2010 8:15:42 AM

Go For XFX 650W PSU
Its Only 65.00$ AR
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December 10, 2010 12:30:08 PM

Just a quick question: What is the difference between say the SAPPHIRE 6870 I have linked in my build and the XFX 6870 linked in another build?
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Anonymous
December 10, 2010 1:41:25 PM

they belong to two different brands
The XFX is renowned for its excellency ion manufacturing of graphics card
To be more specific the XFX is better than the sapphire
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December 10, 2010 8:45:59 PM

I've changed from the 3.2 GHZ to the 3.4 GHZ CPU, does everything still work with that (namely the PSU)?

EDIT: I've revised the first post to reflect the build changes
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Anonymous
December 11, 2010 3:51:40 AM

yes that PSU is one of the best
Its a pretty solid build Go For it
But drop the 965 to a 955
Since you can get 965 speeds in a 955 by increasing the multiplier
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December 12, 2010 1:39:46 AM

Quote:
yes that PSU is one of the best
Its a pretty solid build Go For it
But drop the 965 to a 955
Since you can get 965 speeds in a 955 by increasing the multiplier


Will this (or any of the build for that matter) require any extra cooling?

Also, if I plan on doing no OCing, would the 965 be a better option? Or getting the 965 and increasing its multiplier? Is that a viable option?
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Anonymous
December 12, 2010 1:59:13 AM

no you dont require any extra cooling
just increase the unlocked multiplier by 2
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December 12, 2010 2:45:14 AM

Ok, I've decided to go with the 955 after some additional research. One thing remains and I think this will be purchase worthy. I'm thinking of going with a MB without USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0gb/s stuff (and to maybe save a bit of cash). Not sure what to go with though... any suggestions? I've looked over new egg and I can't tell the difference between a great board and potentially horrible one.

Also, I'm confused between these two monitors:
ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor

and
ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor
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December 13, 2010 3:06:37 AM

What about a different one? Sorry if I'm being picky...
The one you linked seemed to have an abnormally high number of review complaining about DOA, I mean, I know it is to be expected to an extent but it was more than any of the other boards I've looked at.

Also, I'm now unsure about that monitor all together, after doing further research it seems that there are widespread flickering issues with it. Anyone know of any reliable alternatives?
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Anonymous
December 13, 2010 9:39:14 AM

the monitor well is the best rated in this pricelist
no need to change it
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Anonymous
December 13, 2010 9:40:39 AM

the monitor batchuka selected is 1680*1050 not 1920*1080
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Anonymous
December 13, 2010 12:37:29 PM

@batchuka sorry man but it was not listed on newegg
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Anonymous
December 13, 2010 12:38:26 PM

@bboyk order your build today and get a 100$ new egg gift card which can be used to purchase something else
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December 13, 2010 12:41:55 PM

@sr26 I'm hoping to do that but I'll have to get the PSU elsewhere because it is currently out of stock. I just want to figure out my MOBO "situation"
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December 13, 2010 8:53:59 PM

Those look good, thanks!

EDIT: Disregard this last message, I'll just go with what I have now and save the 100 bucks (Actually, I'm not sure if I'm eligible for that promotion). The gift card may not arrive till Christmas and I would really like to have this pc sooner than that! Thanks to all that have helped! I really appreciate it!

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December 13, 2010 9:44:27 PM

Actually, one final thing... for real this time...

What sort of additional cables will I need to hook up the OEM Burner and Bare Drive HDD? Sounds like my motherboard should come with some of them?
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December 14, 2010 11:56:36 AM

Err buddy why go with HD 6870.
Just $100 more and you get a card thats like 80% better - GTX 570.
Or for a lil more than 6870 and almost same performance as 570, 2 x GTX 460 @ 768mb.

single card would be better tho imho.

That PSU .. are u powering NASA or a pc -.-.
$115 (after ur rebate) on a 650W psu is rubbish - even from seasonic.
Just a few weeks ago Antec truepower 750W was to be had for $80 - almost as good quality, probably higher output and cheaper - they'll be deals now too.
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Anonymous
December 14, 2010 1:29:35 PM

hes not goin for the seasonic one
but for the XFX one in my post
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!