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Advice on First Build (for Gaming) Attempt in $600 Area

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April 5, 2011 2:42:03 AM

Hey everyone!

Newbie here who is thinking about making his first attempt at building a gaming PC.

So far I've just been browsing Newegg for various parts and reading reviews. But I'm really aching for some guidance in making sense of all of it.

So just from some poking around on NewEgg I've done, how does this tentative assortment look?

New Stuff:
Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock 890GX EXTREME4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



The components I have bought recently and hope to keep in the build:

Thermaltake TR2 W0388RU 600W ATX 12V v2.2 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PNY XLR8 VCGGTX4601XPB-OC GeForce GTX 460
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



These are what came with my HP Media Center m8100n, hoping to just transfer them into the new build:

SATA ST350063 Hard Disk Drive

HL-DT-ST DVDRRW GSA-H30L SCSI CdRom Device



If there are any glaring issues with compatibility or if anything would seriously be holding back performance please say so and I'll toss it out. If you have any suggested changes while staying within my budget, I'm all ears. Right now all the new components (plus Windows 7 64-bit) total about $550. I'd like to stay in the $600 neighborhood for buying these new components. In the future I think I would like to take a stab at overclocking with this build as well.

At the moment I am mostly concerned about the power supply. Would I be pushing the power supply I have with all these components?
April 5, 2011 3:47:32 AM

Well the key to building a good gaming PC is up-gradibility so when you have the money, and you want a little more performance you upgrade. If you want to increase cooling you add fans, if you want to watch Hi def movies you buy blu-ray reader, and if you want better game performance you go Crossfire/SLI so I think since you are running, an Nvidia card you should get a SLI motherboard.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is a good board, and has SLI in 16/16 mode so each card will work at 100% efficiency your card is powerful but in 2 years it will need a helping hand from another card, and now you have a computer that can play any game for the 6 years!

Your PSU has enough power for the build but if you want to upgrade the next thing I would recommend you go with a 800 watt, or 750 watt. It would be a good investment for you.
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April 5, 2011 4:44:25 AM

Not really sure why the link to the motherboard in my initial post doesn't work. Here it is again:

ASRock 890GX EXTREME4:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Would the ASUS M4N98TD EVO AM3 motherboard that you linked have any issues with the RAM that I posted? Would I have to overclock the RAM to get it to at least its potential?

Also, I think I goofed when I described my old hard drive I was hoping to move into the new build. I think it's SCSI. That would present a compatibility problem with either of these two boards that have been linked, so it looks like I'll have to get a SATA HDD?
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 5, 2011 3:38:39 PM

That SLI motherboard is old and discontinued.
You would be better off with a 890FX or 890GX if you want to stick with AMD.
Some Sandy Bridge motherboards support SLI if you want to go with Intel.
This processor will rip apart the 965. This supports SLI, albeit more expensive.

Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52400

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS SABERTOOTH P67 (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 5, 2011 4:15:37 PM

Sinstrus said:
Also, I think I goofed when I described my old hard drive I was hoping to move into the new build. I think it's SCSI. That would present a compatibility problem with either of these two boards that have been linked, so it looks like I'll have to get a SATA HDD?


It's okay. It's SATA. Also the DVD drive is SATA.


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April 5, 2011 5:57:31 PM

I did a little reading on Sandy Bridge CPUs. There certainly seems to be a consensus that these are great CPUs for gaming.

But I also stumbled across news of an Intel screw-up a few months ago, where something called the Cougar Point chipset seems to be defective. Should I be concerned about getting the P67 motherboard at this point?

Also, while the HP website says the m8100n comes with a SATA hard drive, when I actually check the hardware in "My Computer", it says "SCSI ST350063 Drive". I don't see "SATA" anywhere when I use BelArc Advisor either. Am I just confused about what SCSI means? I thought that was a different kind of hard drive from SATA.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 5, 2011 5:59:08 PM

Revision B3 takes care of the initial problems with Sandy Bridge chips.
You are safe now.
I think you really have SATA drives. SCSI is much more expensive and the cable is different.
SCSI is used in the enterprise. Windows may say that.
The motherboard is showing 4 SATA ports:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...
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April 5, 2011 8:41:47 PM

I checked my motherboard, and I think you're right about my HD. I've no idea why my Windows is being silly.

While the Sandy Bridge build goes a somewhat over my budget (Newegg total is suggesting $700), I am seriously considering lifting my budget restrictions a little to go there. I have enough saved up to get everything now, but I'm not actually going to until my tax refund gets back in several weeks. Who knows, maybe there'll be a special on some items or they'll have gone down in price. :) 

I decided to upgrade from the 4GB G.Skill your recommended to an 8GB G.Skill X Series DDR3 1600. :) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks a lot, evongugg!
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 5, 2011 9:32:18 PM

Whoa whoa whoa.

I suggest you check out my build guide for $600.

That board is NOT even worth the money, boards don't even need to be that expensive ESPECIALLY since your not overclocking. That's the stupidest suggestion someone could make to you on a motherboard.

The mobo in my build guide is good enough for any person, 16x/4x is good enough with no real performance hits, you won't even notice the FPS difference unless you constantly stare at your FPS. The 2100 gives you a good enough perf, but if you think you need to get a 2400 then be my guest. But you REALLY do not need that board.

You also don't need DDR3 1600 8gb of ram. 4gb is enough for the average user. In fact even if you go DDR3 1600, from that to 1333 you won't even notice in reality. There is virtually 0 difference from DDR3 1600 8gb ram to DDR3 1333 8gb of ram. The money is better spent on the graphics or something else.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
April 5, 2011 9:59:36 PM

If all you need is a case motherboard CPU and ram get this...

$60 - Rosewill Challenger or HAF 912
$225 - Core i5 2500 K
$75 - G.skill 8Gb 1600 w the $25 off code EMCKGGJ23 Memory is cheap right now. Get the 8 Gb because... why not?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$150 ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Micro ATX w SLI support!
$510 - Total

Add Win7 64 bit for $90 and you have your $600 budget!

Or... For $30 more get the ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.0) full size ATX board w SLI support and more SATA connections.
Memory is cheap right now. Get the 8 Gb because... why not?

By the way... This setup will smoke an AMD 965 BE! Hell it will smoke a AMD 975 BE rig....
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 5, 2011 10:08:07 PM

I hope OP isn't picky about SLI/CF

Why get SLI when they perform about the same. The 6850 is the same price as the 460 but performs 5% better, even in CF. So the money saved with a mobo that supports CF only would be benefital to a better GPU rather than wasted on a mobo. In reality you only need to spend $140 on the board.

Another thing that is bad about the P67-M, it's a micro-atx board. A lot of cards are longer or bigger than the board. May cards require dual slot now and I'm just doubting the room that board has to offer for cards.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 5, 2011 10:35:50 PM

aznshinobi said:
I hope OP isn't picky about SLI/CF

Why get SLI when they perform about the same. The 6850 is the same price as the 460 but performs 5% better, even in CF. So the money saved with a mobo that supports CF only would be benefital to a better GPU rather than wasted on a mobo. In reality you only need to spend $140 on the board.

Another thing that is bad about the P67-M, it's a micro-atx board. A lot of cards are longer or bigger than the board. May cards require dual slot now and I'm just doubting the room that board has to offer for cards.


The OP already has a 460 and is keeping it for this build.
The P8P67-M Pro Micro atx board supports both CFX and SLI and has space for 2 dual slot cards. It has no PCI slots. I mentioned SLI because the OP has a GTX 460 already and GTX 460s were made to SLI

By the way AZN I checked out your site a few days ago. Great job! It has lots of useful information.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 5, 2011 10:41:54 PM

I have to come in late to this, but my system in my signature ran about $600.

Its very bare bones, but it will run rings around any AMD build.

If you already have a GTX 460, you could even upgrade from a 500 to a 1TB Hard drive and squeeze in a 60 GB OCZ Agility 2 SSD. replacing the $165 video card.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 5, 2011 10:46:47 PM

Oh pacioli, I see what you mean by the 460 he already bought. Man, that was a mistake (no offense) the 6790 is cheaper and performs practically the same.

But uhh, I guess he could go with the mATX, I'm not a fan which is why I'm meh about it. You could pay 10$ more and get the Asrock Extreme4 P67 which supports SLI and CF, it's cheaper than the P8P67 Pro and overclocks and performs just as good.

Thank you btw pacioli
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 5, 2011 10:52:50 PM

aznshinobi said:
Oh pacioli, I see what you mean by the 460 he already bought. Man, that was a mistake (no offense) the 6790 is cheaper and performs practically the same.

But uhh, I guess he could go with the mATX, I'm not a fan which is why I'm meh about it. You could pay 10$ more and get the Asrock Extreme4 P67 which supports SLI and CF, it's cheaper than the P8P67 Pro and overclocks and performs just as good.

Thank you btw pacioli


Yeah the 6790 is a nice card. Most people that say they want to SLI/CFX in the future never do but like the possibility of having that upgrade path. If he only runs 1 GPU MATX should be fine IMO. The AsRock Extreme4 P67 comes highly recommended by everyone that has used it. It is a great mobo I am just
Asus Biased... And AsRock is Asus but not as pretty.

BTW you are welcome.
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April 6, 2011 4:56:21 AM

Thanks a lot for your added advice, Aznshinobi and Pacioli.

I think right now this is the build I've have put together.

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I really appreciate pointing out the savings, both of you. I couldn't pass up the good 8gigs of RAM for $25 off. :)  I went ahead and ordered it since the promo ends tomorrow. And I definitely appreciate the ASRock P67 Extreme 4 suggestion. And I decided to go ahead with the i5 2500k. Altogether with Windows 7 64-bit it only slightly goes over $600.

And it seems this build really sets me up both for great learning experiences, such as learning overclocking, and offers the future prospect of SLI/XFire to keep the graphics up to speed.

Thoughts?
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2011 5:24:23 AM

Looks good, good luck!
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April 6, 2011 5:29:54 AM

Sinstrus said:
Thanks a lot for your added advice, Aznshinobi and Pacioli.

I think right now this is the build I've have put together.

Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock P67 EXTREME4 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I really appreciate pointing out the savings, both of you. I couldn't pass up the good 8gigs of RAM for $25 off. :)  I went ahead and ordered it since the promo ends tomorrow. And I definitely appreciate the ASRock P67 Extreme 4 suggestion. And I decided to go ahead with the i5 2500k. Altogether with Windows 7 64-bit it only slightly goes over $600.

And it seems this build really sets me up both for great learning experiences, such as learning overclocking, and offers the future prospect of SLI/XFire to keep the graphics up to speed.

Thoughts?


If you live near a MicroCenter, you can get the i5 2500k for 179.99. You'll pay tax because it's Brick & Mortar, but it's still cheaper than anywhere I've seen... Newegg is solid for the rest.
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April 6, 2011 5:42:07 AM

oopie45 said:
If you live near a MicroCenter, you can get the i5 2500k for 179.99. You'll pay tax because it's Brick & Mortar, but it's still cheaper than anywhere I've seen... Newegg is solid for the rest.


Unfortunately, there are no MicroCenter's especially close to where I am. Nearest would be Dallas about 3 hours away. But it just so happens I'm heading over to Dallas for an interview tomorrow! :) 

Thanks a lot for the heads-up dude. I think I'll take advantage of this. :D 
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2011 5:46:13 AM

^ NICE!
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 6, 2011 4:00:13 PM

Good choices! When you get it all put together you will be surprised at how fast it all is

The i5 2500K is silly easy to OC. Mine is running stable now at 4.75 Ghz. I really do believe it has the same OC potential as the flagship i7 2600k that costs $100 more. From what I've read you can get the 2500k OCed to 4.1Ghz on stock cooling. Mine went to 4.6 Ghz by simply changing the multiplier with a Corsair H70 cooler. My cooler is overkill but I got it for free so why not. You can get away with an air cooling solution for about $25-40 that will be just as good. I recommend the Scythe Mugen Revision 2 or the Coolermaster 212+ in that order. Amazon seems to have good prices on those 2 CPU coolers.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 6, 2011 8:31:14 PM

Get the Hyper 212+ you'll be fine.
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April 7, 2011 2:10:54 AM

Just got back from Dallas. With tax, the i5-2500K cost me $195. MicroCenter seems like a great store. Thanks again to oopie45 for pointing that out. :) 

Now all that's left for me to get is the case and the motherboard. Can't wait to see how it performs!

Once I've done a bit of reading on it, I'll definitely take my first shot at overclocking. Thanks for the cooling suggestions as well. I'm sure I'll be back here to ask for help when I want to overclock. :) 
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
April 7, 2011 3:17:14 AM

Yeah good luck
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 7, 2011 6:11:04 PM

Congrats Sinstrus! What a steal! You will not be disapointed. The closest Microcenter to me is in San Jose, CA, about 80 miles away. Wish I could get there easier.
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April 14, 2011 1:59:04 AM

Best answer selected by Sinstrus.
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