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New Rig: Low-Mid Range Gaming PC, My First Build!

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November 28, 2011 7:00:36 AM

So, I'm going to take my first shot at building my own PC. Now I have done a fair amount of research into what I'm looking for and I don't really have a large budget which is fine cause I don't really play all that intense of games. I have experience with some basic stuff like installing a PSU, GPU, RAM, changing fans. But this will be my first real build and mainly my first time with a new CPU/MB.

So far this is what I have in mind:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2GHz Quad Core
MOBO: Asus M5A87 skAM3+ DDR3-1333 MB4
RAM: Kingston KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX HyperX DDR3 (2x4GB)
CASE: Coolermaster Elite 430 Black ATX Case
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Now in saying that I already have a decent video card that's only about a couple years old (ATI 4800 series) that I plan on reusing as I haven't had an problems with it. I probably will sometime get a new one but right now I don't really have to. I'm mainly looking to get a new CPU and Mobo as mine are pretty old (4 years) and I want to upgrade my RAM.

I have a couple questions, to begin as you notice I didn't include a PSU. The reason being is that I already have a 500w Enermax PSU that again is only about a year old and I'm wondering whether it will be enough to power this new system or if I should get a new one. I'd preferably not but obviously if there is no chance of it running this system or I'm crazy in thinking it will I obviously don't mind having to get a new one.

Two, would I be able to use my old Hard Drive in the new system or should I just go ahead and get a new one and windows 7? I currently have a relatively old hard drive with vista 64-bit.

Any information or opinions on what I should get I'm open for!!!
November 28, 2011 7:23:59 AM

The graphics card will most probably tide you over for a while, depending on resolution. 1920x1080 in current-gen games and even medium settings might be difficult, though. What resolution do you play at?

The power supply is OK as well. If you bought it last year, then it surely complies with current standards for ATX power. As a general rule, if something doesn't want to go in, don't force it.

Given that current HD prices have risen quite a bit thanks to the Thailand flooding, I suggest you use the older one. How old is it exactly? is it the one in your build above, or is that one something you want to buy? If it's around 250 GB or so you should be OK, as long as you don't have a huge music/video/photo collection.

As for Windows 7, you can get it, or you can stick with Vista. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with it unless you have software that doesn't work. I have used Vista, and as far as my experience went, it was silky smooth, and everything worked right.

Are you planning to overclock? Your motherboard says DDR3-1333 support, but your RAM goes to 1600. Given that RAM prices are quite cheap right now, and that overclocking is free, I say go for it.
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November 28, 2011 2:07:05 PM

Quote:
I have a couple questions, to begin as you notice I didn't include a PSU. The reason being is that I already have a 500w Enermax PSU that again is only about a year old and I'm wondering whether it will be enough to power this new system or if I should get a new one. I'd preferably not but obviously if there is no chance of it running this system or I'm crazy in thinking it will I obviously don't mind having to get a new one.

The PSU should be fine for the 48XX GPU, but if you upgrade to something larger, I'd definitely consider a bigger PSU. You can get a good Antec 650/750W for under $100, and they're pretty solid.

Quote:
Two, would I be able to use my old Hard Drive in the new system or should I just go ahead and get a new one and windows 7? I currently have a relatively old hard drive with vista 64-bit.

Like gracefully said, you're probably better off right now reusing the older drive.

Quote:
Are you planning to overclock? Your motherboard says DDR3-1333 support, but your RAM goes to 1600. Given that RAM prices are quite cheap right now, and that overclocking is free, I say go for it.

There are two potential problems I see with the RAM.

On the motherboard side, if the motherboard only supports 1333, 1600 may cause significant instability issues. You can manually set the RAM to run at 1333 in the BIOS and it shouldn't have any problems, but 1333 is still cheaper than 1600 in almost all cases, and less $$ spent is still less $$ spent no matter the $/MHz.

On the RAM side, make sure your board can support the HyperX's voltages. Kingston likes to make 1.65V kits, which was great for Intel's X58 chipset because it could actually support 1.65V RAM. I know that Intel's current chipsets support only 1.5V RAM, so 1.65V causes issues. I'm not sure if AMD's boards support 1.5V or 1.65V, so check up on that.
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November 28, 2011 2:42:47 PM

Thanks for the reply's!

Currently I play at 1600x1050 on a 22" monitor which runs pretty much everything I play without a problem (SC2, WoW, CoD), I have been considering getting a new 22-23" monitor and maybe trying 1920x1080.

As far as the HDD goes, the one I have now is about 3 years old and it's a 250G (about 180G full, mostly games/music) SATA drive with Vista on it. Like I was saying I could always just reuse this hard drive for a while if possible. Now if I swap this Hard drive over to my new Motherboard will it work? I heard there can be some problems doing this with drivers or problems with OS authentication? Should I just use my old hard drive and say buy a new copy of windows 7?

Also thanks for pointing out the RAM I'm going to look into getting:
Kingston KVR1333D3N9K2/8G 2x4 Memory
or
Mushkin DDR3 1333MHz/8G 2x4 Memory
Instead, as you said it is a little bit cheaper and will probably be a little more stable.
Both seem like they will be fine in this motherboard based on their voltages.


Also, Here is a little more info on my current PSU:
Entermax Liberty Model ELT500AWT

+3.3v: 28A
+5v: 30A
Total: 160w

+12v1: 22A
+12v2: 22A
Total: 384w [32A]

And GPU:
Sapphire Radeon HD 4830 Video Card
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