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First Time Build For Gaming

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March 1, 2012 11:59:38 PM

Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Three-Hundred-External-Inte...
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 955
http://www.amazon.com/AMD-HDZ955FBGMBOX-Phenom-3-2GHz-R...
Mobo: Asus M5A88-M
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-M5A88-M-6Gbps-Micro-Motherbo...
RAM: G.Skill 8GB (2 x 4GB) Ripjaws X Series DDR3 PC3-10666
http://www.amazon.com/G-SKILL-Ripjaws-PC3-10666-240-Pin...
GPU: nVidia GeForce GTX 460 1GB
http://www.amazon.com/Zotac-GeForce-Displayport-PCI-Exp...
Hard Drive: Seagate 500GB 7200RPM
http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-ST3500410SV-500GB-7200RPM...
Optical Drive: Asus CD-ROM DVD-ROM Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500W
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-eXtreme-ATX12V-RS50...

Any advice or suggestions on my first gaming build?
Thanks.

More about : time build gaming

March 2, 2012 10:48:46 AM

An intel system would put out better performance for near the same price. Check out the i3-2120. Don't forget to change your motherboard if you do this. :) 
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March 2, 2012 11:10:24 AM

Crush3d said:
An intel system would put out better performance for near the same price. Check out the i3-2120. Don't forget to change your motherboard if you do this. :) 


Wouldn't that be a step down from the AMD processor I chose? The 2120 is a dual core while the phenom ii I chose is a quad.

EDIT: I read more about that 2120.. Didn't think a core i3 would beat a phenom ii in every gaming benchmark. Thanks Crush. And I'll be sure to change my motherboard too.
Any other suggestions?
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March 2, 2012 12:27:03 PM

As far as gaming performance goes, the i5-2500k is the processor that your want. Yes, its $80 more expensive, but you will get so much more power out of it. With the stock air cooler you should have no problem getting an i5 to 4.0 GHz, easily pushing between 4.4 and 5.0 if you get an aftermarket cooler. That AMD chip will probably only overclock to 3.8 GHz.

As far as your question about the 500W power supply, yes, you can definitely run your system on 500W. If you add a second 460 in there you may have to upgrade, but not until then.
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March 2, 2012 12:45:29 PM

gam3r18 said:
What psu would u recommend?
And is 500W not enough for my system?

You can run your system on a 500w for a single video card, 650 watt for dual 560 cards. However, it needs to be at least 80 Plus Certified and not Coolermaster. Trusted brands are Antec, Corsair, XFX Seasonic, Silverstone and OCZ. Coolermaster does make excellent cases and CPU coolers like the Hyper series.
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March 2, 2012 12:49:45 PM

gam3r18 said:
Wouldn't that be a step down from the AMD processor I chose? The 2120 is a dual core while the phenom ii I chose is a quad.

EDIT: I read more about that 2120.. Didn't think a core i3 would beat a phenom ii in every gaming benchmark. Thanks Crush. And I'll be sure to change my motherboard too.
Any other suggestions?

The i3 is a multithreaded dual core that acts like a quad. Since your aim is gaming, Intel is really the only smart choice. Preferably pair it with a Gigabyte or ASUS z68 motherboard. If you plan on dual video cards later, get a board that supports 2 x16 slots running at x8 speed each. The lower end z68 boards will have dual slots that run at x16 and x4 which will be fine for a single card rig.
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March 2, 2012 1:23:13 PM

I guess I'll have to do some tweaking on my specs lol. What gpus do u guys prefer for gaming? I don't want to get the highest end card available, but I was thinking of spending about a good 100-200 dollars on a nice one :) 
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March 2, 2012 1:42:53 PM

Originally I would have said that since you are on a budget, I would encourage you to go with a Radeon card since they are typically cheaper than the nVidia cards and how similar performance, however, looking at the cards in your price range, they seem about the same, so I would probably say go with nVidia since their drivers are better.

Just FYI, ATI Radeon HD6870 = GeForce GTX 560
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March 2, 2012 1:43:54 PM

But if you could stretch your budget for a better graphics card, I would see if you could get a Radeon HD6950.
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March 2, 2012 2:01:36 PM

The 6950 is a little steep but I'll see about it. Also, and I don't know much about these CPUs, but what is your take on Ivy Bridge? Should I wait for it?
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March 2, 2012 2:08:31 PM

Ivy Bridge will be nice for those of us who have to have the best out the regardless of the cost. :) 

It is projected to be a 12-16% increase over the Sandy Bridge processors and use less power.

Honestly I would just stick with a Sandy Bridge for now and when the price of the Ivy Bridge processors come down in a year or so it will be worth the upgrade.
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March 2, 2012 2:31:46 PM

Alright haha. So do I need 8gb ram? I've read 4gb is enough for a gaming pc but I just find that very hard to believe..
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March 2, 2012 2:35:14 PM

gam3r18 said:
Alright haha. So do I need 8gb ram? I've read 4gb is enough for a gaming pc but I just find that very hard to believe..

4gb is usually enough, but i'd still recommend you get 8gb cause sometimes more than 4gb of ram will be used in some games...besides, its only $20 more
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March 2, 2012 2:35:16 PM

Check my sig :) 
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March 2, 2012 2:36:53 PM

That really depends on a few factors, mostly dependent on how much multitasking you do.

First off though, what version of windows do you have? 32 bit or 64 bit? If you have 32 bit, windows will only recognize 4 GB of RAM, so it would be pointless to put more in. If you do have 64 bit windows, I would probably suggest going with 8 GB.

Typically when im playing games I also have iTunes running with music and a few browsers open and I am taking over skype or vent to people. I probably max out my RAM usage at 6 GB.

For the most part, a game by itself will not use more than 2 GB of RAM.
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March 2, 2012 3:05:46 PM

I'm going to be using Windows 7. Definitely 64 bit. I currently have a 32 bit gateway laptop and it sucks. All around sucks. That's why I'm building a gaming computer myself.
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March 2, 2012 4:14:34 PM

gam3r18 said:
The 6950 is a little steep but I'll see about it. Also, and I don't know much about these CPUs, but what is your take on Ivy Bridge? Should I wait for it?

If you spend a little more on a z68 Gen 3 motherboard, you will be all ready to upgrade to Ivy bridge later. These boards are a bit more expensive, so you might weigh your options there.
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March 2, 2012 6:31:18 PM

I cannot believe nobody has pointed out that your wish list looks a little dated compared to current hardware. I'm guess this is an old list from a few months ago or something? Many of the items are deactivated or not available. Also, it looks like your total budget is around $700. So I'll base a recommendation off of that.

PSU - $49.50 (After $10 MIR and 15% code through 3/7) - CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - $50 - Cooler Master HAF 912 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU - $125 - Phenom II X4 960T (possible unlock to 6 physical cores) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HSF - $29 - Cooler Master Hyper 212 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo - $95 - ASUS M5A97 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - $45 - CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - $100 - Seagate Barracuda Green ST1500DL003 1.5TB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ODD - $17 - Samsung 22X DVD Burner - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GFX - $145 (After $20 MIR) - XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL = $655.50 (Before Taxes and Shipping)

==Optional==

PSU - $80 - Rosewill CAPSTONE 550w - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - $89 - CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD - $85 - Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB - http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-64-2-5-Inch-Solid-State-C...

TOTAL W/UPGRADES = $815

Yes, people will tell you that with an Intel i3 games better. That is true, in a way. But it doesn't really matter much when most comparisons that make this case are all well above 60 FPS. Also, if you get the 960T to unlock to 6 cores, you will be in Core i7 territory with multithreaded applications for much less money. Don't forget to consider the fact that you have drop in compatibility with Bulldozer and potentially the future "Steamroller" update, which may become more relevant when Windows 8 comes out.

Of my optional recommendations, I would seriously, seriously consider a reliable SSD to use as a boot drive, especially with the recent spike in HDD failures and reduced HDD warranty periods to reinforce the fact that HDDs are being let out the door with less QC. Always make sure you check the latest firmware with any new SSD and upgrade if necessary.

One last thing, beware of cheap PSUs. There are very dramatic differences in the quality, features, and warranty on power supplies in today's market. The Cooler Master PSU you had in your OP is junk. Even the Corsair I spec'd is only on the "meh" side of the scale when compared to some of the newer and much nicer Seasonic and Super Flower designs. The Rosewill CAPSTONE is a really nice Super Flower design with a great warranty and a Jonny Guru dot com recommendation behind it.
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March 3, 2012 1:50:28 PM

Wow, you hit the nail on the head budget wise. And i took a look at the specs you posted and you have a very nice rig there. Thank you all very much for your input on on my specs. I greatly appreciate it.
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March 3, 2012 1:59:48 PM

get what the guy above posted

instead of corsair vengeance ram try getting G.SKILL Ripjaws X 8GB (2x4GB) 1600mhz or 1333 mhz and all is good...

you can live with that setup until you can find some cash to upgrade into a real extreme system(not literally) but i say what above is great and can give you a nice experience in gaming + it lets you do extra stuff too due to more cores if you like to do other stuff
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March 3, 2012 5:11:42 PM

Best answer selected by gam3r18.
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