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Advice on first time light gaming build

Last response: in Systems
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January 12, 2011 12:55:16 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a month
Budget Range: $950 before rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: light gaming mostly WoW, photo editing, internet surfing, watching movies (Netflix)
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, DVD drive, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: I have them listed. Need recommendations on towers.
Overclocking: Probably not
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments:

I have never tried to build a computer before so I really want honest opinions/criticism/suggestions here. What I want is something that can handle moderate gaming, some photo editing and will have room to grow. I especially want to play WoW at max settings without lag.

Having said that, this is what I'm looking at:

Motherboard: ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (plan to add to this soon after)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: MSI R5770 Hawk Radeon HD 5770 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor: ASUS VH232H Glossy Black 23" 5ms Widescreen Full HD 1080p LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Wireless adapter: Rosewill RNX-N180PCe
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I already have 2 cases at home to choose from but wouldn't mind getting some suggestions. Also have a DVD burner and a 500 GB Seagate Barracuda Hard drive which I plan on using as media storage only.

So, am I making smart choices? Will these components work well together? Am I leaving something out?

I don't want to have to rebuild from scratch in 2 years time! I want this to last me at least 4 years with minor upgrades (i.e. videocard, more RAM, etc.) down the road. Even then, I would like it if my motherboard went beyond 4 years but is that possible if I want to upgrade the CPU at that time?

Thanks for any input!
January 12, 2011 2:42:15 AM

^ If the X4 955 will hold good or not after 2 years will totally depend on your requirements,... Say if you get into pro or even semi-pro photo editing, then I doubt this PC will be fast enough,...

You can take a look at the Intel's new CPUs, though the CPU would cost higher than the 955, but if you get a non-Crossfire board, then you can find many good ~$100 boards for it, thus would cost you similar to the above CPU+Mobo, but will certainly offer very good CPU performance and would also hold up much longer than the 955,...

Some suggestions for rest of the build,
HDD - Same price, but bigger and faster HDD
Samsung F3 1TB
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-Cache-Desktop-H...

PSU - I would rather spend some more and get a better quality PSU,...

RAM - How about 8GB for $80 - 2x 4GB sticks so you will have the option to add more if you want to,...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - Similarly priced(cheaper when counting in rebates), but will be faster
GTX 460 1GB SE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 12, 2011 10:49:11 AM

Thanks for your suggestions. I will certainly take them into consideration.

I keep wondering about the PSU, though. I thought the Rosewill had decent reviews, so which brand do you recommend? I've heard Corsair is supposed to be top of the line but expensive. Can I go with lower wattage just to get a better quality PSU and not sacrifice performance?

Hopefully I can get more suggestions here :) 
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January 12, 2011 12:57:52 PM

you can do better! $950 will get you a Sandy Bridge build, ready for casual or serious overclock.


Samsung DVD burner: $16.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill Smart One Case: $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seagate Barracuda 1 TB HDD: 64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD6950: $299.99 w/ $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Seasonic 520W PSU: $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(yes, it will handle the 6950!)

Mushkin Enhanced Silverlike 8 GB RAM: $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
not necessary, but its cheap enough, so why not?

Cooler Master Hyper 212+: $29.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i5-2500K + Gigabyte P67A-UD3 + Free Civ V: $334.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Only a single x16 slot, so sli/crossfire is out unless you use the x4 slot (not recommended!), nd the PSU was chosen with single-card in mind

total: $946.91
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January 13, 2011 12:29:36 AM

The $950 has to include a monitor, OS, and wireless network adapter.
I've been thinking about going with a Sandy Bridge build instead but I would definitely have to go with a smaller video card than the HD6950. I have been considering the GTX 460 and going with the 8GB (2x4GB) RAM.

So, how would this work:

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 $129.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Processor: Intel Core i5-2300 Sandy Bridge 2.8GHz $184.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: Going with the SeaSonic 520W $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked 768MB $164.99 It is faster than the 1GB that gkay09 suggested, right? I know it's more money but I think it's doable. If not, I'll go with a cheaper GTX 460.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I might leave the rest the same. It would bring me over $950 but I think I could handle the extra initial cost especially since with the MIRs, I'd be getting that money back.

Thank you all for your suggestions and please, keep them coming. :) 


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January 13, 2011 12:43:17 AM

Try to get the 1 GB, it performs better at 1920x1080, though the 768 does OK there
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