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First Time Gaming Rig $800~900

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May 6, 2011 2:48:08 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of May, Early June

BUDGET RANGE: 800-900

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Audio Editing, Streaming Videos, Work

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS, Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Cd/Dvd Drive (Might want to upgrade though), Hard Drive (Might want to upgrade though)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, Frys.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD

OVERCLOCKING: Would like the option to do so.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Mainly used for StarCraftII, Audio Editing and Streaming Video. Will I need an audio card even though the MB offers 7.1 Surround? Open to all suggestions and alteration of my proposed build.

Products:

Case: NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT White Steel
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Will also buy enough fans to fill the empty spots for good air flow.

Hard drive: Recommendation Needed (500GB - 750GB, no SSD)

Optical drive: Recommend brands to pick or stay away from?

Mobo: MSI 890FXA-GD70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... [199.99, 174.99 after MIR]

Video Card: Recommendation Needed

Something of the Radeon HD 6000 series. (6940, 6870, or 6850)
Don't know which brand (XFX, Sapphire, etc) or card

CPU: Phenom II X4 965 Black (Or 955 Black)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF: Recommendation Needed
Might want to do some overclocking, but I can hold off until later to get a HSF if the stock fan will work just fine

RAM: 8GB of RAM, so either 2x4GB or 4x2GB (No idea which would run better/more efficiently)

2GB Sticks
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4GB Sticks
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 6, 2011 2:53:22 AM

Also forgot to include a PSU. No clue about what voltage/brand would be required. Advice would be appreciated as well here.
May 6, 2011 3:08:46 AM

if you are looking for the best performance in this price range, an i5-2400 + h61 mobo build is the way to go. this cpu outperforms even a highly overclocked phenom ii x4.
I think crossfire is a huge mistake for someone who plays only SCII, as the game doesnt support it, and you will therefore see little to no performance boost from the second card. a 500-550w PSU (Antec, Corsair, XFX, or Seasonic) is a perfect wattage for a single card system, imo, as it will support almost any graphics card (except the ultra expensive ones which you wont be buying)
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May 6, 2011 3:42:12 AM

genghiskron said:
if you are looking for the best performance in this price range, an i5-2400 + h61 mobo build is the way to go. this cpu outperforms even a highly overclocked phenom ii x4.
I think crossfire is a huge mistake for someone who plays only SCII, as the game doesnt support it, and you will therefore see little to no performance boost from the second card. a 500-550w PSU (Antec, Corsair, XFX, or Seasonic) is a perfect wattage for a single card system, imo, as it will support almost any graphics card (except the ultra expensive ones which you wont be buying)


-Would consider an intel chipset, but I am quite a AMD fanboy as my father worked for AMD for a solid 28 years...

-I want crossfire for upgradability for later games that come out, not for just the current gen systems.

As for the PSU, would you recommend any specific ones that would be not only applicable to this build, but also be able to support multiple video cards later down the road?
May 6, 2011 3:58:10 AM

Better get this AM3+ mobo with the new socket
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video cards
XFX HD-687A-ZDFC Radeon HD 6870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
XFX HD695XZDDC Radeon HD 6950
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Lifetime warrant provide you register the card on the XFX site within 10 days.

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 (if you want to crossfire)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 6, 2011 4:48:23 AM

He stated end of may/early june as his purchase date. AMDs new cpus are supposed to come out June 6 so wait til then. Especially since deals will change by then. The items already suggested will give you an idea of what you will get. Come back when bulldozer is out.
May 6, 2011 6:20:36 AM

k1114 said:
He stated end of may/early june as his purchase date. AMDs new cpus are supposed to come out June 6 so wait til then. Especially since deals will change by then. The items already suggested will give you an idea of what you will get. Come back when bulldozer is out.


This is delicious information. Will new mobo be needed? Or is this supported by AM3+ boards?
May 6, 2011 6:24:04 AM

New mobos will come out with the release of the cpus but there are a couple now that state they are compatible.
May 6, 2011 8:37:56 AM

The new mobos are the AM3+ ones.
May 6, 2011 6:34:29 PM

k1114 said:
New mobos will come out with the release of the cpus but there are a couple now that state they are compatible.


Is it likely that the current generation of mobos/cpu's will drop in price after the release of Bulldozer line? I don't think I can still fall within my budget if I get the brand new cpu/mobos...
May 6, 2011 7:36:26 PM

Intel i5 2500k $224
MSI P67A-GD53 LGA1155 $149
G.Skill Ripjaw X Series 8gb 2x4gb ddr3 1333 $104
Sapphire Radeon 6790 $149
Antec Nine hundred case $119
Cooler Mater Hyper 212 HSF $40
Antec EarthWatts 750w PSU $90

The grand total is $875. Throw in a new Dvd/cd recorder for $25 and you're at an even $900. This is a better system CPU wise than anything AMD has to offer at this point. The 2500k is extremely overclockable and OC'ing to 4Ghz on air is no problem at all. The only weak point in the system is the video card, but your budget doesnt allow for a high end card.

It is my opinion that the Intel CPU route is the only real option given the huge performance advantage they offer over the AMD lineup. Trust me, I love AMDs CPUs as much as the next guy, but they just dont offer the same performance that intel can at this point.

Another thought I had was that you might eventually think about adding a new HD. Since I dont know how large of a drive you currently have you can add a new WD Caviar Black 500gb for $60 or the 1TB verson for $90.
May 6, 2011 7:46:11 PM

JerryC said:
Intel i5 2500k $224
MSI P67A-GD53 LGA1155 $149
G.Skill Ripjaw X Series 8gb 2x4gb ddr3 1333 $104
Sapphire Radeon 6790 $149
Antec Nine hundred case $119
Cooler Mater Hyper 212 HSF $40
Antec EarthWatts 750w PSU $90

The grand total is $875. Throw in a new Dvd/cd recorder for $25 and you're at an even $900. This is a better system CPU wise than anything AMD has to offer at this point. The 2500k is extremely overclockable and OC'ing to 4Ghz on air is no problem at all. The only weak point in the system is the video card, but your budget doesnt allow for a high end card.

It is my opinion the the Intel CPU route is the only real option given the huge performance advantage they offer over the AMD lineup. Trust me, I love AMDs CPUs as much as the next guy, but they just dont offer the same performance that intel can at this point.


Thanks for the imput.
Only question I have is about Sapphire, I hear they take forever for MIR and have horrible customer support. Should I still buy from them?
May 6, 2011 7:52:26 PM

IamKev0 said:
Thanks for the imput.
Only question I have is about Sapphire, I hear they take forever for MIR and have horrible customer support. Should I still buy from them?



I havent ever had a problem with their cards and they arent the only option in that price range for that card. You can get an XFX or and HIS card for another $5 - $10
May 6, 2011 8:05:16 PM

That would be a really bad rig. A phenom II 955/965 + a HD 6950 would run circles around that Intel being still cheaper. For gaming the video card matters much more than the CPU and the 6790 is weak.
May 6, 2011 8:38:05 PM

mosox said:
That would be a really bad rig. A phenom II 955/965 + a HD 6950 would run circles around that Intel being still cheaper. For gaming the video card matters much more than the CPU and the 6790 is weak.



The problem he has is his budget and if you dont like the 6790 then go with a GTX 460, they are in the same price range. The 6950 is a fine card, but its $250 and the phenom II 955/965 are far below the 2500k as far as performance goes.

You can go back and forth like this all day and if you're dead set on an AMD CPU then fine, lets go that route.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black $140
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO $140
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1333 $105
SAPPHIRE 100312-1GSR Radeon HD 6950 $250
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W $105
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel $100
ZALMAN CNPS9900ALED 120mm $65

Grand total $905.

We have traded down several levels on the CPU side, but went up a couple levels on the video card side. Its still not a great video card, but its better than the one on the other system. IamKev0, you can pick which ever you like.
May 6, 2011 8:49:42 PM

wait, since when was a 6950 not a great video card? have I really been at work this long! it sure feels like it.
May 6, 2011 8:58:21 PM

genghiskron said:
wait, since when was a 6950 not a great video card? have I really been at work this long! it sure feels like it.


Oh its a fine card, but its not one of the "great" cards like the GTX 580 & 590 or the Radeon 6970 and 6990. Dont get me wrong, it will do anything you want as far as games go
!