Advice on Budget Gaming PC

Hello, this is my first time posting on Tom's Hardware and also my first time building a computer. So far I have picked out the CPU, graphics card, motherboard, RAM, and hard drive. As this is my first time building, I would like some opinions on the parts I have chosen. As you can see I have not chosen a PSU, because I have read that they are very important so I would like some advice on what watts I should get based on the parts I have as well as the brand so that it is good quality. I have a case and a monitor, but I am planning on getting a new monitor, and was wondering what a good resolution would be based on my graphics card. Here are the parts I have chosen:

AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103996

ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157262&Tpk=asrock%20970%20extreme4

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231422

XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150561

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073

My budget is around $800 including the monitor.

If you need any additional details let me know. Thanks!
5 answers Last reply
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  1. conradte3 said:
    Hello, this is my first time posting on Tom's Hardware and also my first time building a computer. So far I have picked out the CPU, graphics card, motherboard, RAM, and hard drive. As this is my first time building, I would like some opinions on the parts I have chosen. As you can see I have not chosen a PSU, because I have read that they are very important so I would like some advice on what watts I should get based on the parts I have as well as the brand so that it is good quality. I have a case and a monitor, but I am planning on getting a new monitor, and was wondering what a good resolution would be based on my graphics card. Here are the parts I have chosen:

    AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103996
    Opinion: Read the latest reports on Toms and Anandtech and you will see a report on the i3-2100 series vs. FX-4100. When you finish that reading you will likely go with the i3-2120 which is what I suggest you consider doing

    ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157262&Tpk=asrock%20970%20extreme4
    With the cpu Gigabyte makes a nice z68 mobo for about $120

    G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231422
    Should be fine. Most people like ram with heat spreaders to protect the sticks a bit but not necessary. your are 1.5v which fits an Intel but if you end up going with the AMD solution check the ram voltage. A lot of AMD likes 1.65v

    XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150561
    Good bang for the buck

    Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073
    If this is your only drive I would recommend going with a WD Black 500gb. Much better drive and although it costs more its worth it

    My budget is around $800 including the monitor.
    For $150 rqange you can get a nice 1920x or 1680 x

    As for the psu a 550w should be fine but it you wanted a little extra then 650w. Corsiar or Seasonic...a good brand 80%+ efficiency and bronze or better
    If you need any additional details let me know. Thanks!
  2. Quote:

    Opinion: Read the latest reports on Toms and Anandtech and you will see a report on the i3-2100 series vs. FX-4100. When you finish that reading you will likely go with the i3-2120 which is what I suggest you consider doing


    Yes - I completely agree, I will not recommend AMD FX for any build right now - the i3-2120 is definitely the way to go.

    Quote:

    Should be fine. Most people like ram with heat spreaders to protect the sticks a bit but not necessary. your are 1.5v which fits an Intel but if you end up going with the AMD solution check the ram voltage. A lot of AMD likes 1.65v


    Yeah watch the heat sinks if you plan to install an aftermarket cooler - they will not fare well.

    Quote:
    If this is your only drive I would recommend going with a WD Black 500gb. Much better drive and although it costs more its worth it


    Normally I'd second this recommendation as I have that same drive but with the shortages the Black drives run at ridiculous premiums right now - almost double what the blue or anything from Samsung or Seagate offer. The Blue is a fine choice - it's still a 7200 RPM drive.

    Quote:
    For $150 rqange you can get a nice 1920x or 1680 x


    I'm not sure you can achieve that monitor on that setup without sacrificing some hardware first.

    Quote:
    As you can see I have not chosen a PSU, because I have read that they are very important so I would like some advice on what watts I should get based on the parts I have as well as the brand so that it is good quality.


    Yes you're correct - on a sub $1K build I recommend the Corsair CX 600 or the Seasonic S12 series. If you have a bit more cash check out the Corsair TX650 or the PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKIII. Brand is very important in this area as is certification and rating.
  3. Taking your suggestions, this would be the new build:

    Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115077

    G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231422

    XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150561

    CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028&Tpk=corsair%20cx600

    Quote:
    With the cpu Gigabyte makes a nice z68 mobo for about $120

    I found two:

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128495

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128502

    The first is cheaper but it seems to be smaller? Does that mean it just has less slots and do I need those?

    Quote:
    Quote :

    If this is your only drive I would recommend going with a WD Black 500gb. Much better drive and although it costs more its worth it


    Normally I'd second this recommendation as I have that same drive but with the shortages the Black drives run at ridiculous premiums right now - almost double what the blue or anything from Samsung or Seagate offer. The Blue is a fine choice - it's still a 7200 RPM drive.

    I was going to stick with the blue until I found this:

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136284

    Seems like a very good deal to me, but what do you guys think?

    Also, I forgot to mention in the first post that I am planning on using Linux. Will that work? If not, I have Windows XP on an old computer but I'm not sure how to get it from there to the new one...
  4. Quote:


    I found two:

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128495

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128502

    The first is cheaper but it seems to be smaller? Does that mean it just has less slots and do I need those?


    I would not go micro ATX and the reason I say that is because I always try to plan my builds for future expansion and they don't necessarily meet those requirements. Not just the slots, but the limited number of SATA and RAM ports will make things difficult.

    This would actually be a better choice for the same money: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271

    Quote:


    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136284

    Seems like a very good deal to me, but what do you guys think?


    That's an excellent deal considering the 2TB model runs for well over $200 now.

    Quote:
    Also, I forgot to mention in the first post that I am planning on using Linux. Will that work? If not, I have Windows XP on an old computer but I'm not sure how to get it from there to the new one...


    I don't really use Linux so I can't help you there.
  5. :) Thanks for all the help! :)
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