Any comments on this AMD build for a student/gamer?

Hi everyone. I'm working on a budget gaming build for myself at the moment, and I would appreciate your input and advice. This is my first every build. It will mainly be used for playing single player games like Skyrim and Dishonoured (which are the most recent titles I can think of), and will not be used for any FPS or multiplayer games. I am on a pretty strict budget, I only have about $1200 to spend, which includes all peripherals. It is also going to be my main writing and research machine for university (I study politics, lots of writing involved).

Processor: Phenom II 960T Black Edition ($138 @ 3-net)

Graphics Card: Powercolor Radeon 7850 2GB ($199 @ PCCaseGear)

Sound Card: ASUS Xonar DGX ($35 @ PCCaseGear)

Memory: G.Skill Ares 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 ($45 @ @ PCCaseGear)

Motherboard: ASRock 970 Pro-3 $79 ($79 @ PCCaseGear)

Storage: WD Caviar Blue 1TB ($82 @ PCCaseGear)

Optical Drive: Lite-On 24x DVDRW ($21 @ @ PCCaseGear)

Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 450w ($59 @ PCCaseGear)

Case: Antec One ($65 @ PCCaseGear)

Wireless Card: TP-Link 300Mbps ($21 @ PCCaseGear)

Monitor: AOC i2352VH 23in LED ($250 @ eBay)

Mouse: Razer Deathadder (already have one)

Keyboard: Das Keyboard Pro Model S cherry brown ($140 @ PCCaseGear)

Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro 250ohms ($230 @ somewhere)

Operating System: Linux Mint (for work) and Windows 7 (for play) (I already have a copy of win7)

As you can see I am investing fairly large portion of my budget in peripherals, because I don't see the point in having a nice computer if the modes of input and output are cheap and nasty. The expensive keyboard is nonoptional because I do a lot of typing and mechanical keyboards are the best thing thing for it. Other than that if you have a suggestion for a monitor or headphones that would be better at a similar price, please share it. The current monitor I have chosen is well reviewed and seems to be regarded as an excellent quality panel in a low quality housing, perfect for a budget builder. Keep in mind that this build is in no way for competitive gaming, or even online gaming for that matter, so things like response time and input lag are less of an issue for the monitor choice. It is all about picture quality. It is purely a computer for immersing myself in a single player environment while gaming.

As for the build itself, I am going with AMD because I am on a budget. I know some it is older generation technology (especially the processor), but I also know that the latest generation of AMD processors sucks for gaming, but from my research it seems that the Phenom II still holds up well for the money. Hopefully AMD brings out something more viable with its next round of processors, but if it doesn't I can always swap out the motherboard and processor for Intel at some point down the track, when I have a windfall. I plan to overclock the Phenom if performance starts to become an issue. Also, the first thing I will buy when I get some extra funds will be a Samsung 830 SSD (128GB) to use as a boot drive. I think the Radeon 7850 will be able to handle my quite modest gaming needs quite handily, although you may beg to differ (I encourage you to do so, and offer similarly-priced alternatives). The main things I am unsure about are the power supply, which may not have enough juice to run the thing, and the motherboard. I must admit that motherboards are the things I understand the least in the world of computer-building. Will this one support all my parts, and do everthing I need? I have no idea what is required to overclock the Phenom, but I hope this one will do the job. A final note, I am based in Australia (Tasmania actually) and therefore unable to access that excellent resource which is Newegg for my parts. I am pretty much limited to to PCCaseGear for most parts, and I would like to source from there as much as I can to keep my postage costs down.

So that is the sum of my progress, what do you all think?
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  1. You don't need a sound card and some motherboards have wireless built in. Perhaps a pro can help you here.

    I'd strongly recommend an Intel. You don't need a 3770K for $300. Here's Tom's recommendations for low cost cpu's:,3106-2.html
  2. You might consider the new AMD 8320 , it is finally a measurable improvement, and overclocks quite well.

    I would suggest a different PSU, Corsair, OCZ, Seasonic
  3. That is way too much to spend on headphones.

    as for amd coming out with something good.

    "The PC industry is going through a period of very significant change that is impacting both the ecosystem and AMD. It is clear that the trends we knew would re-shape the industry are happening at a much faster pace than we anticipated. As a result, we must accelerate our strategic initiatives to position AMD to take advantage of these shifts and put in place a lower cost business model. Our restructuring efforts are designed to simplify our product development cycles, reduce our breakeven point and enable us to fund differentiated product roadmaps and strategic breakaway opportunities.",18546.html

    This means dont count on it. I would suggest cutting about 100 from the headphones. and putting it into the cpu and mobo.

    Also the power supply may not be able to 7850 and an overclocked phenom amd cpus use more juice then intel. newegg suggest a 500W power supply for the 7850.
  4. ^+1 abbadon

    If not, at least look at the FX-6300. Solid chip especially per the price.

    I do disagree with abbadon's advice about the PSU. Antec is great, the Neo Eco series is based of Seasonic designs so nothing wrong. I would get at least a larger PSU though:
    Better and same price.
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