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Building a 1000 USD gaming/hd movies rig and need advice/info

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October 5, 2011 7:01:49 PM

Approximate Purchase Date:1-2 months (depending on a lot of factors)
Budget Range:800-1000 USD Before Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Gaming, HD movies, more Gaming, and perusing the internet
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, case, one video card, cooling solution, extra crap needed to put it all together.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg and where ever yall suggest
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: see below
Overclocking: Yes, but nothing too “extreme”
SLI or Crossfire: Yes
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I really just need information and opinions. (see below)

God I hope I am doing this right. Anyway I have decided to build another computer after almost a decade of using prebuilt HP and Dell systems. The problem I am running into is that all the things that I knew about computer hardware and what not is completely out of date, go figure. This is the basics of the system I am trying to put together.

Case: Thermaltake Commander Mid-Tower Case (won it as a prize)
CPU: AMD Phenom™II X4 955 Black Edition Quad-Core CPU (need to buy)
Cooling: Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (got it as a gift from a friend)
Motherboard: GigaByte GA-990FXA-UD5 AMD 990FX Socket AM3+ ATX Mainboard (need to buy)
Memory: 4GB (2GBx2) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module (need to buy)
Video Cards: 2X AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card (stole one as payment of debts :D  , need to buy the other)
Power Supply: 850 Watts - Raidmax RX-850AE 80 Plus Gold Power Supply (need to buy)
Hard Drive: 60GB Corsair Force Series SATA III 550MB/s Read & 510MB/s Write (need to buy)
Data Hard Drive: 1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s (need to buy)
Optical Drive: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (salvaged from my current computer)

The main questions I would like answered are these:
1) Is there enough power to run these components, the last time I built a system the psu was essentially an afterthought.
2) Is the system expandable, I know this is a very weighted question and the answer depends on who is talking and what day of the week it is but give me your best guess.
3) Is the SSD worth the money, I’m not really up to date on this aspect of computers so I have a lot of questions about it. Is it essentially just a boot drive (only the OS and drivers go on it then everything else goes onto the HHD), is it an adequate size to function correctly, etc. Etc.
4) and lastly is it a decent machine?

If you guys could help me out it would be much appreciated, or point me in the right direction to get the info I need. Thanks! By the way, the parts that I already have are non-negotiable so if changes are needed please make sure they are compatible with them.
a b 4 Gaming
October 5, 2011 7:39:00 PM

1) That is sufficient power. AMD recommends a 600w psu with 4 pci-e 6 pin power leads for dual 6870 cards:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/amd-rad...
But, the raidmax is underpowered compared to better 850w units. Currently look at XFX for some quality units at good prices. A 650w unit is $60 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
My short list of quality psu's would include seasonic, antec, corsair, pc p&c, and XFX.

2) For gaming, my guess is that it is not. The X4 955 can probably be replaced by a bulldozer 6 or 8 core. But, it is a question if that would do much good since gamers only need two or three fast cores. The extra cores offered by bulldozer are not much needed, and the speed/efficiency of those cores is unknown today.

Most likely an expansion would be to the graphics configuration, and that would entail replacing your two cards. Doable, but not exactly expansion friendly.

3) Worth is the equation of your value for money vs the improved performance. For me, it is very much worth it. 60gb is fine for a boot drive and a few apps. 80gb or 120gb is probably better. A 1tb hard drive for overflow is good, they are faster because they are denser.

4) Decent, yes.
But, for the budget, I think you can do better.
At this price point, the Intel 2500K is considerably better, and will probably not need replacing when ivy bridge appears.
Ram is cheap, I would get a 8gb kit of 2 x 4gb up front.
Here is one set of reasons why:
http://blog.corsair.com/?p=65
!