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~$1200 "Budget" Gaming System -- how did I do?

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February 23, 2011 10:19:27 PM

Built my first rig about a month ago, based on Tom's forum's advice. Here's the relevant specs:

Mobo: Gigabyte GA-890GPA
CPU: Phenom II X4 955 BE
RAM: 8GB 1600MHZ (mobo clocks it at 1333 MHZ, haven't changed it yet because I don't feel like playing with the BIOS too much)
PSU: SeaSonic Gold-Certified 650W*
Case: HAF 912*
GPU: 2XRadeon 6870**
ODD: Asus DVD Super Multi
HDD: 2X1TB Spinpoints
Fans: All possible for the case (1 120mm, 1 140mm, 2 200mm)

It's astounding that, a few months ago, I wouldn't have been able to name much beyond the GPU; now I can think of every part in my rig as second nature. Disappointed I didn't join the PC race earlier :pt1cable: 

Okay, so some notes before you guys go wild:

* Case and PSU were originally selected because I planned for this to be a 'budget' build. I'm a college kid, didn't anticipate having a lot of cash, so when I put the build together I relied primarily on selling my 360 and its games (which netted me about 600 bucks); however, my job pays very well and my bills were less than I anticipated this semester, hence why it grew a bit. I bought the PSU because it was like 50 bucks off on Newegg, though, so that's my excuse there; I felt it was a deal I had to jump on.

** Originally, I planned to have one 6870 and was going to "EVENTUALLY" upgrade to a second one (hence why I made sure to have a mobo that could support x8-x8 Crossfire). However, Slickdeals.net alerted me to a fantastic deal on a Sapphire second revision 6870 ($160 after a $20 rebate, I know, CRAZY), so I had to hop on it. I know my CPU is a bit underpowered for this, technically, but while the specs may claim otherwise, let me dispel any doubts: I have run Metro 2033 on 100% full settings, and I can maintain a >30 FPS framerate, with my CPU at stock speeds. OCing the processor would probably help make performance even better, but I know I am REALLY pushing my wattage as it is. Unless you guys want to correct me on that? I have no experience with overclocking/tweaking component settings whatsoever, so if I'm underestimating my system at all, let me know. That said, I guess that the fact that I can notice no loss at the current all-stock settings leads me to not really want to risk messing with the settings too much.

Okay, wall of text over. What do you guys think of this build? Remember, this is ALREADY BUILT -- don't offer me build advice, because unfortunately I won't be able to take it.

EDIT: Yes, I had a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers already (went along with my laptop so I could feel like I had a REAL computer last year), and spent 90 bucks to buy OEM Windows 7 from Newegg.
February 23, 2011 11:12:01 PM

Well, first of all, $1200 is not a "Budget system"

Overall though, you've done pretty well. congrats on your new ""budget"" rig ;) 
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February 23, 2011 11:21:05 PM

very nice, If your PC is lacking CPU juice, get a giant cooler or a liquid cooling like H70 and OC that 955! Its a BE for a reason! Also I would have gone for a I X6 1055T, since you get 2 extra cores for nearly the same price....
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February 23, 2011 11:25:54 PM

motheninja said:
very nice, If your PC is lacking CPU juice, get a giant cooler or a liquid cooling like H70 and OC that 955! Its a BE for a reason! Also I would have gone for a I X6 1055T, since you get 2 extra cores for nearly the same price....


I know, BE = OCer, but remember that I am using a 650W PSU, and I am concerned about overtaxing it. Also, at the time, I think the 955 was about 50 bucks cheaper, I was trying to pinch as many pennies as I could, and I figured a 3.2GHz quad would be better than a 2.8GHz hex (of course, I also had fantasies of OCing my CPU, this being before I got the second 6870).

As for cooling, I had considered getting a Hyper 212, but as it is my stock cooler seems to work just fine (I'm pretty sure, as I said, that this has something to do with a gratuitous number of fans and my HAF case).
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