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$1,200 Gaming Rig, final build, feedback?

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December 28, 2010 2:14:47 AM

This is (I think) my final build, and the one I will be going with. Please, take a look and if you see something, let me know. Thank you.

Case - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Mobo - ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 AMD Motherboard

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition Deneb 3.5GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HDZ970FBGMBOX

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

- EVGA 01G-P3-1373-AR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Power SupplyCORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Disc Drive - ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

SSD (Solid-State Drive) - Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Bay Converter - SilverStone SDP08 3.5" to 2 x 2.5" Bay Converter

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

Screen - ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers


Total - $1,230 (or so)
Ok, an explanation for some of my decisions:

I am going with the Antec 300 black illusion because of the price and the extra fans. I have heard good things about it from people that have used it in their builds, too. I'm going with the mobo because it is cheap, has everything I require (I think), I only plan to use on graphics card, and it comes in a combo with the CPU I am getting. It also got the highest/best benchmarks with the SSD I am getting. As well, it has 4 240-pin slots of RAM that do not require OC'ing to use 1600 RAM, which is good as the RAM I am getting is the G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) 1600 pack, which I hear a lot of good things about and it is a pretty decent price for what you get. I also plan to upgrade to 8GB in the future.

I am getting that CPU because I like the AMD CPU's, 4-cores is more than enough for most games, which is what this rig is for, and as I said previously, it comes in a combo deal with the mobo which takes $20 off the combined price of the mobo and the CPU.

I am getting an SSD because I hear it can do amazing things for boot times and load times and such if you put Windows on it. So I plan to put Windows and a few key games onto it to increase performance. I am getting the bay converted because the SSD does not come with one. I do not know how to install, partition or w/e I would need to do to use the SSD in the way that I plan to, so if there is a guide out there, please feel free to link me to it. Thank you.

I am getting that GPU because I have heard a lot of good things about it, it looks powerful, and the price is decent.

I am going with the Drive because I think someone else chose it for me, and they knew more about drives than I did, so it was obvious I should go with that,

HD because it has better performance than some of the 1TB drives, and I only have a 250GB HD atm, and I still have more than enough space, even with the games I play, so I doubt I will be filling it up any time soon. Please feel free to suggest a better HD for the same or lower price if you can find one, please.

I am going with the OS because I've been using Win7 since the beta build or w/e and I very much enjoy using it. I am getting the OEM one-time install because it is cheap, and I hear all you have to do is call into Windows support to get it reset or w/e so you can reinstall it.

The screen I am getting because in another thread, someone who knew a great deal more about screens suggested that I get it.

That's about it. If you guys have comments, suggestions, etc... please feel free to reply. Thank you all in advance." target="_blank"> - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Disc Drive - ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

SSD (Solid-State Drive) - Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Bay Converter - SilverStone SDP08 3.5" to 2 x 2.5" Bay Converter

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

Screen - ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers


Total - $1,230 (or so)
Ok, an explanation for some of my decisions:

I am going with the Antec 300 black illusion because of the price and the extra fans. I have heard good things about it from people that have used it in their builds, too. I'm going with the mobo because it is cheap, has everything I require (I think), I only plan to use on graphics card, and it comes in a combo with the CPU I am getting. It also got the highest/best benchmarks with the SSD I am getting. As well, it has 4 240-pin slots of RAM that do not require OC'ing to use 1600 RAM, which is good as the RAM I am getting is the G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) 1600 pack, which I hear a lot of good things about and it is a pretty decent price for what you get. I also plan to upgrade to 8GB in the future.

I am getting that CPU because I like the AMD CPU's, 4-cores is more than enough for most games, which is what this rig is for, and as I said previously, it comes in a combo deal with the mobo which takes $20 off the combined price of the mobo and the CPU.

I am getting an SSD because I hear it can do amazing things for boot times and load times and such if you put Windows on it. So I plan to put Windows and a few key games onto it to increase performance. I am getting the bay converted because the SSD does not come with one. I do not know how to install, partition or w/e I would need to do to use the SSD in the way that I plan to, so if there is a guide out there, please feel free to link me to it. Thank you.

I am getting that GPU because I have heard a lot of good things about it, it looks powerful, and the price is decent.

I am going with the Drive because I think someone else chose it for me, and they knew more about drives than I did, so it was obvious I should go with that,

HD because it has better performance than some of the 1TB drives, and I only have a 250GB HD atm, and I still have more than enough space, even with the games I play, so I doubt I will be filling it up any time soon. Please feel free to suggest a better HD for the same or lower price if you can find one, please.

I am going with the OS because I've been using Win7 since the beta build or w/e and I very much enjoy using it. I am getting the OEM one-time install because it is cheap, and I hear all you have to do is call into Windows support to get it reset or w/e so you can reinstall it.

The screen I am getting because in another thread, someone who knew a great deal more about screens suggested that I get it.

That's about it. If you guys have comments, suggestions, etc... please feel free to reply. Thank you all in advance.
December 28, 2010 2:23:47 AM

most of your links are broken by the way
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December 28, 2010 2:24:07 AM

^ It would be helpful if you could specify the name of the parts as well as not all would like to click through all those links to see what you have come up with,...
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Related resources
December 28, 2010 5:14:02 AM

Ok, everything is updated with correct working links and the names/short descriptions of the parts. Sorry about the mix up.
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December 28, 2010 6:58:08 AM

Some suggestions -
1. CPU - The 965 is a better buy, $30 more for just 100MHz speed bump, IMO not worth it,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

2. PSU - For any single card config, you wont need 750W,... Get the 650W or the Seasonic 620
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

3. SSD - No doubt the Crucial is good, but with the SSD adapter, it costs ~$145, so better to get the OCZ Vertex 2 - ~$120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. HDD - Samsung F3 1TB would be better - Cheaper, bigger and faster
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-Cache-Desktop-H...

5. DVD - Free Ship and good ratings,...also this is a retail version
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6. LCD - This will be better - 2ms response time vs 5ms and same price
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 28, 2010 2:26:42 PM

I'm wanting to keep to Newegg, as it is the site I am most familiar with. I've also heard some bad things about the way Amazon packages its hardware.

Also, about the SSD. Is the Crucial going to be noticeably better than the OCZ? I was planning to go with the OCZ you linked before, but after looking at some benchmarks and such, I determined that the Crucial would be best with the mobo I am going with.

If the Crucial wouldn't give a noticeable difference in performance, I would be glad to go with the cheaper OCZ. But if it will, I don't mind spending the $145, as it's in my budget.

Also, the 965 was the original I was going to go with. But after I had reworked by beta builds, I had a bit more money and so decided to go with the more powerful card.

If I do decide to downgrade again, I don't know where I should put the money. Maybe get another 4GB (2x2GB) G.Skill 1600 RAM and have my system running at 8GB? Would that work out?

Or I could buy a system builder toolkit, which I currently lack. Don't know how important that would be, tho.

I just got home from work, so later today sometime I will post a re-work of the Final build. I'll try to find the HDD you linked on newegg. Thank you for the feedback, please give more if you can.


Oh, I wont be buying any parts until a couple of weeks into January. I've been hearing a bit about Sandy Bridge or something like that. Something to do with CPU's. Should I look into that? Will it make the prices of other CPU's fall?

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December 28, 2010 10:25:19 PM

Anyone got anything else to say before I revise the build? I would like more info about the questions I asked in my previous post, if anyone would be willing. Please?

Revised build below:



Case - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Mobo - ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 AMD Motherboard

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

Graphics Card - EVGA 01G-P3-1373-AR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

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

Drive - ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

SSD - OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Screen - ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR) Built-in Speaker

Total - $1,150.89

The only thing I'm not 100% sure about is the SSD. Can you guys give me more info to help ease my mind? Thank you.

With this build, I have $50 left over. I can use this money to get more RAM. I can purchase another 4GB(2x2GB) G.Skill 1600 RAM pack for $50. Should I get that?
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December 28, 2010 11:09:43 PM

okay 955 instead of 965 http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overcloc... old article but has the entire amd lineup included it says that the 965 isn't worth it for the money but the 955 is please read.

spend extra dough on graphics try to get a 570

vertex 2 will be fine for you only difference from c300 is in benchmarks you won't be able to tell the difference in real-world use
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December 29, 2010 12:29:32 AM

This is a noob question, but I can get two dual channel kits and install them (talking about RAM), right? Or is that not how it works? I can't afford to get a quad-channel, and I don't think my Mobo supports quad channel, does it?
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December 29, 2010 12:40:31 AM

Your mobo supports two dual channel kits but you only really need one
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December 29, 2010 12:43:45 AM

more RAM = faster computer, right?

I like to multi-task (have internet and other programs running) while gaming. With 4GB be more than enough to handle that?
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December 29, 2010 12:52:40 AM

if you have several memory intensive programs going at once like two games then the extra RAM might help

for just internet and a game stick with 4gb
for internet+game+some memory intensive program 8gb
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December 29, 2010 1:12:37 AM

Ok, I'll go with 8GB then, I planned to upgrade to 8gb anyway at a later time.


Or maybe I should try to get a more expensive GPU? I've heard a lot of good stuff about the 460 superclocked, though. And the general consensus is that it will play most, if not all, games at highest settings without much problem. Is that wrong?


I don't want to build a computer with all the best parts possible. I want a computer that will allow me to play my MMO's (Mortal Online, Darkfall, SWTOR when it comes out, champions, etc...) all on the highest settings possible, as well as play most of the newer games at high to mid settings. So if the 460 can handle that, I don't see a reason to upgrade, but if it can't, I'll start looking into the more powerful GPU's.

If I have to, I could also wait two or three months, get a few hundred dollars, and then sell my 460 on ebay and then get a newer, more powerful graphics card.



I don't plan to do SLI/crossfire with this rig. From what I hear, SLI/crossfire is mostly just overkill and for enthusiast PC builders who want to have the best of the best, whether or not they will use it or need it. Or for people that want to have more than one/two screens.

I think my mobo does support crossfire, tho? at x8 x8, or one at the full x16 and the other at x4? I'm not really sure :S Either way, I don't plan to do it.



Would the build I have so far handle that?


Also, would this ram here be better than the one I have in my build? Cas Latency 7 vs 9
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December 29, 2010 2:21:18 AM

^ Frankly spending ~$15 for the 965 is fine as it is a better binned CPU(means stable at higher speeds and which has shown better efficiency, which are some of the criteria that the manufacturer looks into before sorting the CPUs) Also with combos, you can get them cheaper,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Video Card - Why not something slightly more powerful for ~same price
HD 6870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-revie...

PSU - A very good deal on the Antec EA 650
$5 off w/promo code EMCZNNW24, ends 1/3/11
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - If you want to go 8GB, then dont go with 4 RAM sticks,... Go with 2x 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-226-099^20-226-099-TS,20-231-416^20-231-416-TS,20-231-314^20-231-314-TS,20-148-347^20-148-347-TS
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December 29, 2010 3:29:20 AM

I think there was a problem where the Mobo I'm getting doesn't support 4gb sticks, even tho it's supposed to support 16gb combined. There were a few people complaining about it.

It didn't matter to me tho because I only planned to get 8GB max, and 2*4 = 8.

Would it make much, if any different than going with 4 2GB sticks than 2 4gb?


also, the combo deal you linked is the one I planned to get. In my cart I have it as combo, I just listed them separate in the thread.


How much better performance would I get from the 6870? I'm not the best at reading benchmark stuff.


I wont be buying my parts soon enough to make use of the promo code, but I will probably update my build going with that PSU. I'm not 100% sure, though. I hear a lot of very good things about corsair when it comes to PSU's. It may be worth the extra twenty I would spend.
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December 29, 2010 4:23:25 AM

^
RAM - 4GB sticks seem to have issues with that board,...
Why not try this combo -
955 + ASUS EVO - Doesnt seem to have much RAM - issues
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The HD 6870 has performance better than the 460 and nearly similar to the GTX 470 in comparison,...

PSU - Even Antec EA scores well with its performance, but if you will be keeping the PC for more than 3 years, then the Corsair would be better as for the 5 year warranty,...
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December 29, 2010 8:19:40 AM

I'll keep the Corsair, I plan to give the computer to someone else after a few years to use as a home computer, or a beginner gaming computer.


I'll revive my build a bit better later today. I will be updating the mobo/cpu with the combo you just posted and probably the 6870, I can't find a reason to not use it.

I hear that the Radeon HD cards work better with AMD processors than the NVIDIA GeForce cards do? Is that right or a lie/myth?

Anything else after that? Does the new mobo support 4 channel memory? If so, I'll be getting 4channel, 8GB RAM. This to be exact. Same as the dual-channel kit I was going to get, but 8GB and quad-channel.



Also, my case will be big enough to hold all this, right? I haven't heard any complaints or anything, and I've heard a lot of good things directly from people who have used the case for their gaming builds (on a budget), but I don't want to get the case only to find out that my GPU is to huge (and the 6870 does look huge) to fit in the case.


Also, for the processor. The heatsink that comes with it will be enough, right?
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December 29, 2010 9:13:10 AM

Revised build below:



Case - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Mobo - ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

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

RAM - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

Graphics Card - HIS H687F1G2M Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

PSU - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

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

Drive - ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

SSD - OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G 2.5" 60GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Screen - ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR) Built-in Speaker

And $100 for Windows 7

Total - $1,217.90



To me, this looks like it's as best as this build can bit. The only thing I am concerned about are the CPU not being powerful enough, but that's more of a subconscious thing (Smaller # ='s less powerful). From what you've all told me, it is the same as the 965, and it's more than powerful enough for my needs.

Also, the mobo. I'm a bit worried that it may not support the 4GB RAM sticks, as the other one from the same maker didn't. But, looking at all the "best mobo I've ever gotten" and "Best you can get for the money" reviews on newegg, I think my fears aren't really justified.


I won't be purchasing this computer until sometime in mid-January, maybe a bit sooner, but not before Jan 5th at the earliest. If there is anything to add or say, please do so. I'll choose a best answer in the next couple of days.

I will go back and look at all the parts separately and see if there are any new/better deals/prices before purchasing anything.


To give you guys an idea of how much of an improvement this will be from my current computer:

My current computer is at, near, or older than 5 years old. I can't even remember. The CPU is an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4000+ (2CPU's), ~2.1GHz. I have 2GB of RAM, and am running off the crappy integrated GPU on the mobo, which is an NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430. The HDD has 230GB of space (total).

I used to have a bigger HDD, but it died (around 750GB or so, I think). And a better GPU, but not to much better. It was a $120 card from Best Buy bought around 3-4 years ago.


So, this system will be a massive improvement from what I currently have. Just about anything with a stand-alone GPU and more than 2GB of RAM will be.
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December 29, 2010 4:55:38 PM

I'd get an aftermarket CPU cooler because it allows your system to run cooler and makes overclocking much more accessible

This is my personal favorite the hyper 212+ best budget cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The 955 will overclock to around 4 if you run that cooler

Mobo will support the 4gb sticks better than the 2gb ones it's better to have less channels filled because you have a higher chance of instability with maxed out channels

AMD+ATI never AMD+Nvidia it's not just a rumor

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December 30, 2010 1:49:36 AM

Will I need to, or even want to overclock my CPU? I ask because If I get the cooler, I'll be near fifty dollars over my absolute limit. :(  Would it be possible to buy that cooler at a later time and install it? I am in the process of moving, and have yet to get a new job where I'm moving, so I wont have any income coming for a bit now. If it's possible to upgrade later (and I suppose it is, as I have found some videos on how to uninstall and install new CPU coolers. It doesn't look to difficult, just a matter of being thorough and following directions, which I am pretty good at.


I plan to upgrade the graphics card after a few months, maybe a bit longer if it performs to my needs efficiently. So I could not OC, and then after 3-5 months, get a new CPU cooler and GPU and then install them both at the same time.

If this sounds like a good plan, let me know, as I would like to stay under the $1,250 absolute limit.


Besides the CPU cooler, are there any other wires, fans, etc... that I will need for my gaming rig?
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December 30, 2010 1:59:44 AM

You don't need to overclock the CPU right away and waiting to install and overclock is a good plan

The graphics should last you a year at least I hope so also related to graphics you could get a gtx 460 instead of the 6870 I know the rule of thumb is not to use AMD+Nvidia but I recently (20mins. ago) found out that you can mix them in single card configs for the money the 460 might be the better choice

I pretty much contradicted my last post this one is right AMD+Nvidia is fine if no SLI
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January 2, 2011 6:59:51 PM

^No you actually don't want to swap that hard drive will be slower and more expensive
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