So I'm planning on building my first desktop and I want it to be a decent gaming rig. What I'm asking for is a decent setup that will run the upcoming Guild Wars 2 well, and possibly other games as I'm starting to get more into PC gaming and I just don't want to be limited as far as option.
Budget Range: $600 USD before rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, video/audio editing.
Parts Not Required: Monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference
Country of Origin: United States
Parts Preferences: by brand or type:no preference
SLI or Crossfire: No.
So far I've made this list but I want the opinions of you techies here
Case: Azza Spartan 102E Mid Tower ATX Gaming Case
Processor: Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
Graphics Card: Geforce 9800 GT
MotherBoard: MSI 870-G45
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb
not sure about PSU and RAM. Any help is appreciated.
You can determine what you will need for a PSU for your current and future builds from the info. below. Any brand name DDR3 RAM of 1333 Mhz. approved for Phenom II CPUs will work fine. Some 1600 RAM kits seem to be priced especially low right now and they will work fine too as long as it's approved for AMD Phenom II CPUs. At the moment ONE matched, tested 8 GB. RAM kit can can be had for ~$60. and 8 GB. is all that most anyone really needs.
As far as PSUs are concerned, be informed. Before you buy any PSU read accurate, objective PSU reviews at reputable sites such as www.jonnyguru.com or www.hardwaresecrets.com on the EXACT model PSU that you are interested in as some brands have good and poor quality PSUs.
You can also get an accurate rating of how much PSU power is required for your current or future system at the PSU calculator link below. Once you know the total PSU watts required then you need to confirm that the 12v rail has enough amps. to support your Vid card(s) and the rest of the PC system.
There are several websites that show the Vid card power consumption in watts. Divide the watts by 12 to determine the amps. required on the 12v rail(s). Add 15 amps for the rest of the PC on the 12v rail and you now know the Minimum total 12v rail amps required under full load. It's best to have at least 5-10 amps. reserve on the 12v rail available under full load so the PSU is not loaded to 100%.
It's also worth noting that people often misunderstand the 80% power rating. This is a rating of the PSU's energy efficiency not it's output. 80% plus PSUs use less grid power to produce the same PC power. If it's 80% Bronze, Silver or Gold the cost savings on electricity is pretty small between Bronze, Silver and Gold unless you are paying very high rates for electricity so any 80% rated quality PSU is fine even if not Gold. For those who leave their PC on 24/7 a quality 80% PSU is a good investment.
Since I do not have time to perform the simple PSU calculations for everyone I have provided you with the tools so you can learn how to do this yourself.
Id recommend taking a look at an Intel build using an i3-2100 or similar. This months CPU round up review shows despite having only 2 cores + hyper threading, it the i3's still out gamed the Phenom 945. However it was also mentioned the Phenom could fairly easily unlock to the same level as a 975 which would put it level with the i3.