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First new build in years, $750 budget, any help appreciated

Last response: in Systems
April 2, 2011 7:41:17 PM

Hey guys,

I've been rocking a POS dell laptop with a 7900GS GPU and Core 2 Duo for half a decade and want to get back to desktop gaming. I'm trying to stay right around $750 to start and plan on upgrading components every 6mos with a $300 budget for each upgrade.

I plan on OC it a bit and think it is solid for the money, but am not really sure on the HDD or the PSU. I don't need anything beyond 320GB capacity for the HDD but want to make sure it is fast/stable. It will also be one of the first items I replace in upgrades as I think I will be getting a SSD system drive in 6 mos. The only thing I don't need for the time being is a monitor. Let me know what you think, anything you'd do differently, and thanks for the help.

Mobo - ASRock Socket 870/Hybrid CrossFireX/SATA3&USB 3.0/A&GbE/ATX Motherboard 870 Extreme3 89.99 amazon

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 139.99 newegg

Cooling - Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 28.28 next warehouse

Memory - G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM 54.99 Newegg

GPU - SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI E 2.1 x16 HDCP 159.99 newegg mail in rebate

OS - Windows 7 Home Prem. OEM 90.99 computers worth

Case - NZXT M59-001BK M59 Gaming Mid Tower Case 49.99 tiger direct

PSU - Thermaltake W0388RU TR2 Series 600W 65.34 Next Warehouse

Optical - Lite-On IHDS118-04 Internal DVD Drive - DVD-ROM 18x, CD-ROM 48x, SATA (OEM) 18.99 tiger direct

HD - WD WD5000AAKX Caviar Blue Hard Drive - 500GB, 3.5", SATA 6Gbps, 7200RPM, 16MB 39.99 tiger direct

I/O - Microsoft 2LF-00001 Black USB RF Wireless Keyboard 800 Keyboard & Mouse 34.99 new egg

Total $773.54
April 2, 2011 8:06:08 PM

Great gaming build for the price! I have a build with very similar specs.
I would recommend the Gigabyte 870A
CPU is great!
HSF is awesome, however its a big one.
RAM is good.
GPU is good, I prefer Asus or Gigabyte.
If you are buying windows, then yes, go home premium.
Case is very unique.
I would recommend Antec PSUs.
DVD drive is good.
I would recommend the WD 1TB Caviar Blue 7200RPM Sata III.
Keyboard and mouse are good.

Overall nice, quality build! Enjoy.
April 2, 2011 8:43:40 PM

Thanks for the reply, I've switched the HDD to a 500gb version of the WD Caviar Blue you suggested. Its also SATA3 unlike the Seagate I had in there, but $30 cheaper than I could find for the 1TB, and again, capacity at 500gb is way more than I'll need. Only raised the overall price by 3 dollars.

I'm looking at the PSUs now. Anyone else have any info on the Thermaltake PSU? No plans on running two GPUs even in the future. Last time I built a system, I remember the brand being pretty decent, I know a lot has changed though.
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April 2, 2011 9:35:55 PM

Check out my $600 build and you'll get a bit more perf. After OS it'll cost only $700. Saves you $70 for about the same graphically and better for the cpu. But if you want to use all of your budget, spend 70$ more and get a i5 2400 so my budget equates to yours.

Best CPU's under 200$

April 9, 2011 3:50:29 AM

Thanks for the advise guys. I picked up an i3 2100, the samsung HDD, an Antec Earthwatts PSU, and a Radeon HD 5850 for quite a bit less than the 6850s I was looking at. In all it ran me $715.00 and is running great.