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[new build] cost-effective gaming rig

Last response: in Systems
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February 13, 2011 6:21:04 AM

Hi,

I'm a relative noob but have built one rig in the past (5 years ago). Have done my research and have come up with the following as the best gaming rig for my budget (~ $700 after rebates). I've looked through tomshardware forums for a lot of my current understanding of PC builds. Was wondering if anyone can comment on major problems or oversight in my planned build. Will probable purchase most components over the next few weeks.

My priorities other than cost are ability to run games at max settings on single monitor 1900 X 1200 and relatively low noise. Don't need much HDD storage, and have an OS, mouse, keyboard. Also, I'm planning on adding a second GPU at some point in the near future (< 3 months), so my MB requires SLI/Crossfire support. Prices are per newegg.com.

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129042
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
$59.95

MSI NF750-G55 AM3 NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813130235
$79.99 after rebate

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103727
$159.99

CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model CMX8GX3M2A1333C9
Item #: N82E16820145315
$69.99 after rebate

MSI N460GTX -M2D1GD5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814127551
$159.99 after rebate

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136073
$39.99

LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
Item #: N82E16827106289
$15.99

XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W ATX12V 2.2 / ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power ...
Item #: N82E16817207002
$64.99 after rebate

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel ...
Item #: N82E16835103065
$29.99
===========
Total $680.87
February 13, 2011 6:36:24 AM

If you plan on running 1900x1200, Your not going to run max settings with a single 460 that's for sure.

I suggest switching the 750a out for a 870 Asrock Extreme3, the Nvidia chipsets for AMD don't really work out very well especially if you plan to overclock. I suggest also getting a 955 instead of the 965. You don't need to spend 20$ more for something that can be OC'd easily to the same clock. With the money saved their you can get a 5870 or a 6950 1gb possibly.

HIS 5870: 210 AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

6950 1GB: 240 AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Those cards would probably be able to run really well at your resolution with maxed settings.

6950 1gb review:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

The 460 would probably land in the low 40's or low 30's at that resolution depending on the settings. Are you planning to use AA or AF?
February 13, 2011 3:34:58 PM

That's a good SLI build. Adding that second 460 latter on will give you the ability to run most games at max settings but for a few games you may want to overclock those two cards. In the mean time though you will be limited to medium-high settings in many demanding games with only a single card. The 750a chipset based boards are generally not as stable when overclocking via the FSB (which isn't really an FSB :p ), but since you have a black edition CPU that shouldn't really be a concern :D .

I say add some good thermal paste like Arctic Silver. Sure the cooler comes with some thermal grease, but when you're overclocking you may as well get the good stuff as every little bit helps ^_^
!