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Building my first gaming rig

Last response: in Systems
October 14, 2012 8:12:24 PM

Will the GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD7 mobo fit into the Thermaltake Chaser MK-i case? I'm currently taking a computer repair class and will be working towards my A+ certification. I would like to get some advice or maybe some better options. I picked the Phenom II x4 955 processor over the i5-3570k to save money. The 955 is going for $94.99(with a $10 promo code from Newegg) while the i5-3570k is going for $215-$230, for a savings of $130-$145. With the money I'm saving on the CPU, I decided to splurge on the Radeon HD 7850, which is going for $219.99 with a $20 mail in rebate from amazon. Listed below is what I've decided on so far.

Case: Thermaltake Chaser mk-i
Board: GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD7 or the UD5 ( I can't decide, but I do know the UD5 will fit with no problems)
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Frio
Graphics Card: Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7850
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR-800P 800w Power Supply
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 2 TB SATA III 7200 RPM
SSD: Seagate Momentus XT 750 GB 7200RPM
RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 16GB (2x8 GB) 1600MHz or Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) 1600 MHz (Corsair is $5.00
more than the Kingston)
Optical Drive: ASUS Black 12X BD-ROM Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS

More about : building gaming rig

October 14, 2012 8:27:57 PM

If it's an ATX motherboard and ATX case, they will be guaranteed to fit.
The Frio is a nice cooler, but it interferes even with low profile RAM. A Hyper 212 EVO is a good cheap cooler. An 800w PSU is overkill. Geta 550w or 600w. Don't get a hybrid drive. Just get a HDD and SSD. Don't get 16GB. Get an 8GB kit.
October 14, 2012 10:04:55 PM

id personally go intel since they are a lot faster than phenoms or fx chips but thats not the point

for the CPU cooler, get this. the U12P SE2 is super cheap and will perform better than the 212 evo or the frio

much better power supply

get this SSD. vertex 4s are reliable

yes and get this ram

better choice for a motherboard. no need for 3way crossfire configurations
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October 14, 2012 11:00:52 PM

I agree. Intel chips are faster but they're too expensive. I watched my friends rig run the amd phenom 965 overclocked @ 4.0GHz. The 965 handled BF3 at 60fps.
October 14, 2012 11:03:45 PM

but then when you shove a i5 3570k at stock speeds, it becomes 70fps
October 14, 2012 11:31:42 PM

That is very true. Can you recommend a full atx motherboard to go along with the i5?
October 14, 2012 11:33:15 PM

ASRock Extreme 4. I have it, and it's an amazing board. Great features, and every month, there's a new BIOS update. ASRock is pretty dedicated to the board.
October 14, 2012 11:36:27 PM

or you could be me and go with a z77-v LK from asus. a generally easier to use BIOS and more software. both are just as good though
October 14, 2012 11:42:32 PM

ASUS has a very nice UEFI and their tools are better, like TBt said. ASRock utilities are poorly made, but who really uses their mobo utility programs?
October 14, 2012 11:44:06 PM

TheBigTroll said:
for 10 bucks more, you get 16gb of ram

Correct choice. My main rig has 16Gb in it for the sole reason that I can safely disable the paging file - there is nothing I do that uses more then 10 gigs of RAM... and turning it off eases the strain on my SSD boot drive. Honestly the paging file *was* a great idea back when people had 64 megabytes of ram in their box, however in today's computing world it is unnecessary and will actually slow you down. (unless you do some crazy modeling stuff on your PC, in which case you will prolly go with more then 16 gigs of ram anyway :D  )
October 15, 2012 1:15:39 AM

Should I run 2x8gb or 4x4gb for the ram? I thought by maxing out the ram to its full potential would increase the overall performance of the system.

Best solution

October 15, 2012 1:17:49 AM

you are better off with 2x8gb. less strain to the CPU since it would require more volts running through the ram controller. 2x8gb also lets more expansion (although 32gb is completely overkill)
October 15, 2012 1:35:20 AM

I have been known to go overkill. Originally I was looking at a 1300w power supply, but I toned it down to 800w.
October 15, 2012 1:38:53 AM

go back down to a 650w. 800w is useless to you and would be a waste of money
October 15, 2012 2:34:50 AM

Thanks TBT. Your saving me alot of money. Do you think I should stay with the Chaser Mk-i case or go for a little less overkill?
October 15, 2012 10:39:29 AM

i personally wouid stick to something smaller like a fractal define R4. the MK1 isnt my type of case
October 18, 2012 7:26:44 PM

After much deliberation, I think I narrowed it down to what I have listed below.

AMD Phenom x4 955 Black Edition (I'm going to overclock to 3.8GHz)
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ board
Arctic Cooler Freezer 13
Antec Earth Watts Series EA-750
Kingston HyperX XMP Blu Red Series 16GB (2x8GB)
ASUS Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002
Cooler Master HAF 912
Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 7850 2 GB
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64 bit
October 18, 2012 9:07:54 PM

Make sure the RAM is 1.5v.
Also, get a smaller PSU. Get 600w. 750w is overkill. You'd get 750w for Crossfire and SLI.
October 18, 2012 10:56:19 PM

arctic cooling apparantly makes very low quality heatsinks. id suggest getting a noctua u12p se2 since its 39.99 at us.ncix and will cool way better

reduce the ram to 8gb. 16 is useless in a gaming rig

do you seriously need blu-ray?

change to a antec 302 case. better cable management and has usb3. better build quality as well

with the money saved from the ram, id suggest getting the xfx 7870 for 229.99 after MIR
October 18, 2012 10:56:48 PM

Yea I made sure the RAM was 1.5V. I went with the 750W PSU in case I want to run 2 7850 2GB cards in crossfire.
October 18, 2012 10:59:09 PM

You could run 7850 Crossfire with 650w. They use very little power. And to be honest, if you want to do Crossfire, I would wait for holiday sales and pick up 2x of them for $150 each.
October 18, 2012 10:59:46 PM

But, a better solution would be to just get an overall more powerful card like the 7950/7970.
October 19, 2012 3:55:43 PM

NCIX finally restocked their inventory for the Noctua NH-U12P SE2 for $39.99. Good call TBT.
October 30, 2012 1:31:53 PM

Best answer selected by andycal.