First time build, seeking advice

so this is my first time trying to build a computer by myself. I have built one with the help of friends in the past but have decided to go at it by myself this time (pride thing). however, there are a few things I am still unsure of, hence I would like some feedback on my proposed build. thanks ahead for the feedback and advice!



Budget Range: 800-1,000 (excluding OS)


System Usage: gaming (STO, Civ 5, CS, COD, GalCiv, SC2, C&C, SC4/Cities XL), slight video watching/editing (from flip video), internet, research/writing (work and school)


Parts Not Required: monitor, OS (keyboard and mouse open to suggestions)


Overclocking: possibly- haven't decided 100% (skill level not there yet, but maybe CPU/RAM)


SLI or Crossfire: not at first, but down the line (6 mos-1 year) yes

so for the parts I have already decided upon:


CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965- 3.4 GHz (AM3 socket)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727&Tpk=AMD%20Phenom%20II%20X4%20965-%203.4%20GHz%20%28AM3%20socket%29


Video Card: XFX HD-687A-ZDBC Radeon HD 6870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150520&Tpk=XFX%20HD-687A-ZDBC%20Radeon%20HD%206870


Cooler: COOLER MASTER V6 GT RR-V6GT-22PK-R1 120mm DynaLoop CPU Cooler w/ Universal bracket & Dual Fan (open to other options)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103089&Tpk=COOLER%20MASTER%20V6%20GT%20RR-V6GT-22PK-R1%20120mm%20DynaLoop


Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (will add another one in the future)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136795&Tpk=Western%20Digital%20Caviar%20Black%20WD5002AALX%20500GB%207200


Optical Drive: Lite On iHDS118-04 CD/DVD ROM Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106276&Tpk=Lite%20On%20iHDS118-04%20CD%2fDVD%20ROM%20Drive


Case: Coolermaster HAF 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197&Tpk=Coolermaster%20HAF%20922


and the parts I have yet to decide upon:


RAM: would like to use G.Skill ripjaw x series if possible (looks and performance) but am willing to look at other options


Mobo: would like to have a mobo that is crossfire ready (x8/x8 or x16/x16) but won't bust the bank


PSU: not sure what wattage I need- have seen anywhere from 650-750. also would like to have quality without busting the bank.


I plan on using a monitor I've had for a while (hannspree, not sure of resolution, but has lasted a while and done me well) but will also use it on my TV (samsung 32") every now and again to play STO and watch home videos (hence the need for crossfire in the future). If I need to go over 1,000 I would be willing to do so, but not more than 1,100 at the most (again, excluding OS). Again, thanks ahead of time for the feedback/advice.
13 answers Last reply
More about first time build seeking advice
  1. A 800-1000 build is mostly summed up here http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/310992-31-gaming-build if you want to check out striker and I's build in this thread.
  2. crewton said:
    A 800-1000 build is mostly summed up here http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/310992-31-gaming-build if you want to check out striker and I's build in this thread.

    +1 to that! =p
    Anyway, yeah check that thread out.
    As for keyboard and mouse, I would suggest something like a RAZER Deathadder or a Logitech G500 I know someone who has a Razer, and that thing is AWESOME. Very handy for FPS games and games like SC2.
    And for keyboards, any keyboard will do IMO as long as it has nice buttons.
  3. anyone with anything outside of intel/nvidia? not a big fan of nvidia as ive used their cards in the past and they tend to run much hotter and use more power than ati cards- and ive always used amd processors and for the price, i feel i get more performance out of the amd chip than intel- im not sure i can justify spending almost 100 more for the i5.
  4. http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-review-intel-core-i7-2600k-i5-2500k-core-i3-2100-tested/20 The proof is in the pudding! Also, you can use 6950 2GB for better performance and sticking with AMD GPU wise. However, cpu is intel dominated atm you really can't beat their performance.

    I picked the MSI gtx 560 since it actually is incredibly cooler. I had a gtx 260 which seemed to enjoy being around 80C this guy even after a few hours of gaming won't hit past 50C so I'm enjoying the much cooler temps that way. Also the sandy bridge chips run very cool, at 4.4Ghz I'm only hitting 48C running prime 95.
  5. Many choose the X4 for gaming rigs, not realizing just how badly they are decimated by Intel rigs...

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/desktop-cpu-charts-2010/Gaming-Left-4-Dead,2432.html

    Example: older socket 1156 i7-920 at 2.6 Ghz outframes X4 3.4 Ghz /965BE...

    One you opt for SandyBridge variants, the 'clock for clock' decimation/dominance is even larger.
  6. my thing though, crewton, is does the 10 fps (average) gain really justify spending an extra 100 on a processor, when chances are I might not see a huge difference? it seems as though im starting to get into the area of diminishing returns, hence why i would prefer to go with amd.

    besides, ive heard that intel/ati isnt a good combo- does it really matter much? ive used nvidia for the longest time but the last 2 have ran really really hot (ones in an asus laptop, so not sure if its the card or the faulty design of the cooling properties of the laptop itself) and have had them burnout quicker than they would normally.
  7. another quick question- if i in fact do opt for the i5-2500, im going to have to shave some more money off somewhere else- how big of a drop off will i notice from a gtx 560 to a gtx 4XX? if i run in sli down the road, wouldnt it make more sense to get the 4xx series as opposed to 560? (again, law of diminishing returns)
  8. U want to use AMD wait a month for bulldozer but for ure budget you could use a i5 2500k and P67 mainbboard and a HD6950 1GB and 4GB of Gskill Ripjaws X RAM
  9. grandmasteroz said:
    my thing though, crewton, is does the 10 fps (average) gain really justify spending an extra 100 on a processor, when chances are I might not see a huge difference? it seems as though im starting to get into the area of diminishing returns, hence why i would prefer to go with amd.

    besides, ive heard that intel/ati isnt a good combo- does it really matter much? ive used nvidia for the longest time but the last 2 have ran really really hot (ones in an asus laptop, so not sure if its the card or the faulty design of the cooling properties of the laptop itself) and have had them burnout quicker than they would normally.



    that 10fps is at stock settings. That's before you oc your sandy bridge up to 5Ghz. The card I had linked has a 3year warranty which for me is all I'd use it for before upgrading but if you want more life out of it then evga offers the lifetime limited.

    Intel/ati hasn't been a problem as of late. Nvidia/amd seems to cause problems and some AMD boards don't allow SLI.

    Up to you though, AMD will work for gaming but you'd be limited on an outdated processor like the phenom II. Bulldozer would suite you better assuming they release it anytime soon!
  10. crewton said:
    that 10fps is at stock settings. That's before you oc your sandy bridge up to 5Ghz. The card I had linked has a 3year warranty which for me is all I'd use it for before upgrading but if you want more life out of it then evga offers the lifetime limited.

    Intel/ati hasn't been a problem as of late. Nvidia/amd seems to cause problems and some AMD boards don't allow SLI.

    Up to you though, AMD will work for gaming but you'd be limited on an outdated processor like the phenom II. Bulldozer would suite you better assuming they release it anytime soon!


    i probably wont be oc'ing (mainly because i don't know how to, and am not sure if i want to mess with that just yet :) ) are the evga 560 ti like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130610 good? not sure of the difference between evga and msi (outside of price and warranty)- i know they are both good manufacturers, so im guessing its just preference?

    and good job on convincing me towards the i5, i think im going to end up getting that- just not sure about my video card now :D
  11. i got that gtx 560ti it a good one but runs a little hotter than msi i suggest the MSI one
  12. AMD's 6950 is a great card as well. The 1GB is roughly the same price with a bit more performance. Most choose the 2GB in order to flash the 6970 bios onto it making it an even better card for the money.

    If you are a noob to OC then you should definitely consider the i5. It took a lot of the hassle out of it by keeping the FSB somewhat locked at 100Mhz. All you can change is the voltage and multiplier. My 4.4 was merely setting the mulitplier from 33 to 44 and left voltage on auto since the voltage stayed at 1.27 for me. I plan on pushing it harder when I feel like it but for now it's nice where it is.
  13. 225$-i5 2500k http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072&cm_re=i5_2500k-_-19-115-072-_-Product

    160$-asrock p67 extreme4 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157229&Tpk=p67%20extreme4

    70$-antec 300 illusion http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066 (you may want a fan controller because the fans are loud)

    40$ gskill ripjaws 4gb 1600mhz http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277&cm_re=gskill_4gb_ddr3_1600-_-20-231-277-_-Product

    $29.51 hyper 212 Plus (great cooler no need for any other more expensive one) http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B002G1YPH0/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&qid=1305253507&sr=1-1-spell&condition=new

    35$ w/rebate g500 mouse http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104318&cm_re=g500-_-26-104-318-_-Product

    42$ g110 keyboard http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5290436&CatId=3463

    95$ after rebate tx750 psu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139021&cm_re=750w_power_supply-_-17-139-021-_-Product

    220$ after rebate gtx 560 ti http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7297825&CatId=3669

    60$ f3 1tb http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Spinpoint-3-5-Inch-Internal-HD103SJ/dp/B002MQC0P8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1305257832&sr=1-2

    22$ dvd drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=4808&IsNodeId=1&Description=dvd%20burner%20internal%20sata&name=Free%20Shipping&Order=BESTMATCH

    25$ fan controller http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B002L16OMO/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&qid=1305258098&sr=1-2&condition=new

    total price $1023.51 not including shipping or taxes if you have them
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