First time build, need advice

Approximate Purchase Date: mid april

Budget Range: 800-1000

System Usage from Most to Least Important: video watching(like netflix), gaming, surfing, schoolwork

Parts Not Required: office suites, keyboard, mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: 2ms response monitor, might go down to 5ms, needs to have hdmi so i can plug in a ps3

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 preferably

Additional Comments: I am always running multiple programs. I always have netflix, youtube or a podcast playing while i surf, game, or finish my school assignments. Usually have at least 2 browsers with several tabs open. I mainly game on my ps3, which i plan to hook up to this setup. The games I do play on pc are not to demanding but it is enough to get occasional major slowdowns if i have to many programs running. This is only the low setting.

What i could come up with:

monitor: ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms Full HD Widescreen LCD Monitor w/ Speakers 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR)

cpu: AMD Phenom II X4 955

mobo: MSI 870-G45 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard

gpu: XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH

psu: Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

storage: Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive

cd drive: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Writer - Bulk - LightScribe Support - OEM

case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

os: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

= $890.90, $986.20 after shipping & taxes

really confused about the motherboards. Aslo is a hdmi port needed on the motherboard if the gpu supports one, and vice-versa. Should i be concerned with 1600mhz ram or numbers like 6gbs/64mb cache on the hard drive. Need to know if the gpu/cpu is more or not enough of what might i need. Is the new sandy bridge intel better choice? I hear they are good for gaming but not the best for multitasking, like what i usually do. Is a ssd recommended?

for reference my current setup is just a single core 2.4ghz with 2gb of ram, it uses integrated nVidia GeForce 6150SE

-Any feedback is appreciated.
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  1. Best answer

    performs better, it's cheaper and it has more capacity.
    ATX format and just a bit cheaper.

    The rest of your build looks good. Are you planning to overclock that at all? If so, you may want to buy an aftermarket HSF.
    is great. I have it on an am3 build and it does very well. Very silent and handles the temperatures quite well even with just a single fan.

    You don't need an HDMI on the motherboard if you have an HDMI on the graphics card.

    The motherboards are 3gb sata (sata II), so buying a hard drive with sata III (6gb/s) means that you'd be wasting money on a feature you're not currently using.

    The ram is good and because you have an unlocked multiplier on your processor
    would do quite well considering the budget. You won't get much from overclocking the ram when you can just bump up the multiplier on your CPU much more easily, so there's no real need to buy stuff with heat spreaders.

    Sandy bridge would be a better choice, but because of your budget I'd suggest sticking to AMD. With the budget ~800-1000 and you needing both a monitor and windows, you'd have to get a lower-tier sandy bridge CPU and probably downgrade other components of your build. And though hyperthreading is great, it doesn't quite match up to a real core.

    Other than those minor changes, your build looks great :)

    EDIT: With the gaia cooler you'd need to smear on to the bottom of the heatsink.

    You probably won't see great performance from that videocard at your monitor's resolution. It'll handle most games quite well, but probably not at maxed settings. might be a better bet, but would be my choice. The latter would handle 1080i well without much sacrifice (or any sacrifice at all).

    I would try to skip the CPU cooler and opt for the 6850 graphics card. A mild CPU overclock (3.2>3.5ish) can be achieved on the stock heatsink and that extra bit of cash can go towards a rather significant increase in gaming performance.
  2. I looked into more things today. I found out that if i buy some of the items from tigerdirect i can save a about $100 because unlike newegg, tiger doesn't charge a tax in my state.

    updated setup is:

    case - antec three $55
    mobo - gigatype 770 $69
    psu - antec neo eco 520w $60
    ram - gskill 4gb $40

    hdd - wd 500gb 32mb $54
    drive - $22
    gpu - his 6850 $160
    cpu - phenom 955 $140
    os - win7 64bit $100
    monitor - asus 23'' $157

    actual total = $920.25

    btw, is there reason to opt for a newer 8xx mobo
  3. Well, not quite sure. ongoing discussion about that there. Apparently both MSI and ASUS say that their 800-series chipset motherboards are compatible with the FX-series bulldozer AM3+ socket CPUs. If they're constricted by any architectural shortcomings being on an 800-series AM3 socket mobo, nobody's sure.

    If you're looking to upgrade your CPU later this year or next year then you could opt to buy a more expensive 870 AM3 MSI or ASUS motherboard. If not then it may not be worth it.

    EDIT: The bulldozer CPUs are due to ship out in the summer. According to AMD, the bulldozer CPUs will outperform the older phenom II's by a significant amount, but just by how much, who knows. They have yet to release any benchmarks
  4. That build looks great, btw. If you want to future-proof it a bit then it may be advisable to buy an asus or msi 870 chipset motherboard instead of the gigabyte 770.
  5. saw this asrock

    or ASUS M4A87T AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s ATX AMD Motherboard

    since these support the 6gbs hdd should i grab one, there are a few that are same price as there 3gbs counterpart on tiger.
  6. Go with the asus. Personally, I've had bad experiences with ASrock and thus far only ASUS/MSI have announced am3+ support on their 800 series chipsets. Haven't heard anything from ASrock yet
  7. Best answer selected by yogoboy.
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