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Old 04-02-2009, 10:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Newbie tries to build gaming rig...

Come point and laugh!

I started a thread yesterday asking for opinions on two pre-made PCs I was thinking of buying. The posters in that thread were so helpful that I decided to try building my own. I'm very new at this, so I have no idea if the components I've selected are compatible with each other, if they'll fit in the case I selected, etc. I pretty much selected things I saw had high ratings on newegg.com.

I'm looking for a PC that can handle most of what I throw at it for the next ~3 years. I'm willing to spend around $1000 on everything excluding the monitor, mouse, and keyboard. I play WoW mostly, but can see myself getting into more graphics intensive games if my system allowed it (which it certainly doesn't right now).

CPU
I keep reading about how great the i7 is, and this is the cheapest model I could find on Newegg:

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz x 256KB ($288.99)
Newegg.com - Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

It's much more expensive than the CPU I was previously considering:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB ($145)
Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Processors - Desktops

Is it really worth it to spend 140 bucks more on an i7, or will the Phenom last me a long time?

Motherboard
No idea. Seems everything I find on Newegg has mediocre reviews. I'd like some advice.

RAM
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2x2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM ($49.99)
Newegg.com - G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

Should I be going for 6GB or stick with 4GB?

Video Card
Radeon HD 4870 1GB ($189.99)
Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

Or should I settle for the less expensive and very well reviewed 4850?

Radeon HD 4850 512MB ($139.99)
Newegg.com - HIS Hightech H485FN512P Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

I'm also open to buying nVidia if you guys recommend it.

Hard Drive
Samsung 1 TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA ($99.99)
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives

Seems like a very good price for a 1TB drive. I have a lot of information to store, so I can't really see myself dealing with less than 700GB. Is there any particular reason I see most builds incorporating ~300GB hard drives?

Optical Drive
LG Black DVD-RW/CD-RW ($24.99)
Newegg.com - LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVDR DVD Burner - CD / DVD Burners

Power Supply
PC Power & Cooling 610W ($104.99)
Newegg.com - PC Power & Cooling S61EPS 610W Continuous @ 40C EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Power Supplies

I have no idea how much I should be looking for in terms of wattage, by the way. This one just seems to have high ratings.

Case
Antec 300 ($59.95)
Newegg.com - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases

I'm willing to upgrade this if it's important.

Operating System
Microsoft Vista Home Premium, 64 bit ($99.99)
Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - Operating Systems

I was also thinking about the following 24" monitor, which sells for $299.99:
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG 2433BW High Glossy Black 24" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 20000:1(1000:1) - LCD Monitors
It apparently doesn't support HDMI. Is that a big deal? Is it common for video cards to support HDMI?

------

I believe the most expensive combination of these components comes out to $918.88, with the motherboard still missing.

Thank you,
M
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Newbie tries to build gaming rig...

Good, nice to see you taking a stab at it rather than A) going pre-built (you wont regret it) and B) not just asking people to do all the leg work for you.

Now there are better people around here for keeping up to date on the best components at this time, I usually just copy all their ideas for my own builds :P

A few things, don't worry about newegg reviews, there are a ton of newbs who have no business posting reviews in there. You're doing the right thing by asking here.

That power supply is enough for what you're looking at...more is always better. If you see yourself looking at SLI or Crossfire down the road I'd consider going with a PSU with atleast 4 PCIe 6pins, something like the Corsair 750 or PC P&C Silencer 750:

Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies

Newegg.com - PC Power & Cooling S75CF 750W EPS12V SLI NVIDIA SLI Certified (Dual 8800 GTX and below) CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies

The GPU is good, for a bit more you could try one of the new 4890s, there are a splattering of them around the $230 mark. Unless you're planning on folding ATI is the way to go for now, atleast price for performance.

Anyways, i'll let someone else deal with the cpu/mobo stuff, i could give you my 2 cents but there are others better here.

BTW, if you go i7 you'll need DDR3 RAM which will cost you little more as well.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie tries to build gaming rig...

*points and laughs hysterically* MWUHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!









No but really good choice on building yourself.

i7 is very fast and if you were going to do other things like video editing I would lean toward it. However if your mostly gaming and have a $1000 budget I would probably just go with the X3 but both are good choices.

Motherboard - If you go i7 I'd get a Biostar or EVGA. Amd I don't know haven't been keeping up with them.

Ram - Good choice for ddr2 ram. If you go i7 you need ddr3 like this Newegg.com - G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory and you would probably be ok with just 3GB if budget is tight (remember you need 64bit OS to use more than 4GB).

Video card - I'd go for the 4870. It should last longer and if you don't want to upgrade at all that would be the better choice, especially if you play at a high resolution. If you can afford it I would also look at the 4850x2.

HDD - 1TB is probably good. I have a Samsung and it works good. I would guess you see a lot of 300GB drives in builds is because people with multiple drives don't want to put it all in their sigs. I have 3 drives for a total of 2.5TB ~2357GB of usable space and its not in my sig. Also you might be seeing Raptor drives (which are small and fast) their common for sigs because they give you bragging rights.

Optical drive - as long as it works and is SATA its fine.

Power supply - very good choice 600w should be plenty. You could save some money by going with a Corsair or OCZ.

Case - very good choice, just built a computer for a friend with that case.

OS - Good choice

Monitor - your link shows a ton of Samsung monitors but their all good.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie tries to build gaming rig...

Thanks for the quick replies, guys. Let's say I opt for the AMD Phenom II X3 over the i7. I think the i7 might be too powerful for me, and I should cut down on price a little bit. If I understood correctly, that means I can keep the DDR2 RAM.

CPU *CHANGED*
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB ($145)
Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Processors - Desktops

Motherboard
[Should I still go Biostar or EVGA with the AMD Phenom II X3? Suggestions appreciated.]

RAM
G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2x2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM ($49.99)
Newegg.com - G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

Video Card
Radeon HD 4870 1GB ($189.99)
Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

Hard Drive
Samsung 1 TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA ($99.99)
Newegg.com - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives

Optical Drive
LG Black DVD-RW/CD-RW ($24.99)
Newegg.com - LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVDR DVD Burner - CD / DVD Burners

Power Supply *CHANGED*
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V ($119.99)
Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies

Case
Antec 300 ($59.95)
Newegg.com - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases

Operating System
Microsoft Vista Home Premium, 64 bit ($99.99)
Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - Operating Systems

If I'm doing my math correctly, it's coming out to $789.89 with the motherboard still missing. Seems to be coming together!
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie tries to build gaming rig...

Looks good to me.
The Biostar and EVGA mobo was only a personal suggestion for a i7 build.
Power supply is a bit overkill but is good.
Sapphire gets good reviews but personally I won't buy from them again. I had a issue with my card and was not happy with the support though I'm not done with it yet.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie tries to build gaming rig...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dario03 View Post
Looks good to me.
The Biostar and EVGA mobo was only a personal suggestion for a i7 build.
Power supply is a bit overkill but is good.
Sapphire gets good reviews but personally I won't buy from them again. I had a issue with my card and was not happy with the support though I'm not done with it yet.
The reason I upgraded the power supply is that I might end up trying CrossFire sometime in the future, and the difference between the new PSU and the old PSU is only $15. Think it's a bad choice?

By the way, I found this:
Newegg.com - ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
Supports CrossFire in case I do decide to try it out. Is that a "good" mobo?
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie tries to build gaming rig...

No its a good choice for a psu.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie tries to build gaming rig...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mliraved View Post
The reason I upgraded the power supply is that I might end up trying CrossFire sometime in the future, and the difference between the new PSU and the old PSU is only $15. Think it's a bad choice?

By the way, I found this:
Newegg.com - ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards
Supports CrossFire in case I do decide to try it out. Is that a "good" mobo?
That motherboard is incompatible with AMD. It's a Socket 775 which is Intel. You need a socket AM3 board with the 720. You can possibly save some money going with a 940 Deneb, even though it's $80 more than the 720, but you get another core, and you can save money getting a decent AM2+ board. Needless to say if you overclock, you should see some great numbers, and performance increases. I don't know how it would compare to a 720 with DDR3 though.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie tries to build gaming rig...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 95BlackGA View Post
That motherboard is incompatible with AMD. It's a Socket 775 which is Intel. You need a socket AM3 board with the 720. You can possibly save some money going with a 940 Deneb, even though it's $80 more than the 720, but you get another core, and you can save money getting a decent AM2+ board. Needless to say if you overclock, you should see some great numbers, and performance increases. I don't know how it would compare to a 720 with DDR3 though.
First, let me apologize if I misunderstood your post, I'm not quite keen on the lingo just yet. Do you mean this processor?

Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor - Processors - Desktops

So you think I can save money because the mobos for the current triple-core processor are more expensive than the ones for that quad? Interesting.

Also, I ran a search on Newegg for "AM3" mobos and got a bunch of results. Among them, this one:

Newegg.com - MSI 790GX-G65 AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

Would that mobo work with the 720? I'm a little confused because it says "Memory Standard: DDR3 1600." Does that mean it only works with DDR3 RAM? Because I was planning to go with DDR2. If you could explain a little, I'd appreciate it.

Edit:
I was browsing some of the threads and ran into a 720 build that had this processor:
Newegg.com - BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards
That one is compatible, right?
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Newbie tries to build gaming rig...

First you were talking about i7's , and then AMD's. Have you considered LGA 775's? (Intel quad and dual core)
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