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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying out building a computer for the first time. Here is what I have so far and I thought it would be a good idea to run it by some people who are obviously more knowledgeable than I am.. Basically, I'm looking for a fairly decent setup in the $1,000-$1,500 range (including monitor and potentially speakers, but I haven't found speakers yet), used mostly for multimedia stuff and gaming. The setup here is on the lower end of that spectrum, so any upgrades that would help it out a lot are certainly welcome.

One specific question I do have is the video card, I'd definitely be willing to splurge a bit on that. I was thinking of possibly doing two GeForce GTX 260s instead of this Radeon I have listed?

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Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16813128392

Video card - SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16814102801

Memory - G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9T-6GBNQ
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16820231223

HD - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16822136284

DVD - LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16827136152

Case - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16811129042

Monitor - ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16824236052

Power Supply - Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC 430W ATX12V Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16817153023

CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGIBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16819103674

Microsoft SideWinder X5 Black USB Mouse

Logitech G11 Silver & Black USB Standard Gaming Keyboard

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1. Budget: $1000-1500

2. Brands: Any

3. Multitasking: Maybe have a game going with some internet and music going in the background, but not much more than that.

4. Gaming: A decent amount of gaming, mostly new games. A decent amount of online games as well

5. Calculations: Limited media encoding, but certainly possible

6. Overclocking: I doubt it

7. Storage: Storing a good bit of music and backups of old games. 1TB seems good for me.

8. Legacy Support: Nope

9. Operating System: I'd love some advice on this. Is it best to stay with XP? go to Vista? Go directly to 7 as of now?

10. Case: Up for any comments here

11. Accessories: I am getting a mouse and keyboard, but not as concerned with that

12. Recycled Components: Nope

13. Monitor: Want a decent monitor, but I don't need it to be absurdly large or wonderful

14. Stores: Open to suggestions, the components I list are all from newegg

15. Location: USA
 

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You will need a better PSU.
This is a very good deal on a Cosair: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005


I'm not sold on DDR3 Mobo's. They still have some issues.... but what you have listed should be a good build.
cases are a personal preference but I prefer CoolerMaster for my personal and retail builds.
This a very nice case. Solid built, very roomy inside (east to work in) and have excellent cooling.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
 

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Nice build.

If you are interested in running SLI for your video cards, you may like the Radeon Dual 4870 x2 video card. I have seen nothing but great reviews and I think it works out around the same cost as 2 GTX cards.

GIGABYTE make good products, I have a Gigybyte videocard and never had any problems. Planning on using them again for my next desktop build.

Only thing I would personally change on your list is the AMD CPU. Right now, Intel quads are the best. The 2.66GHZ Core i7 is about $285 on newegg but from tests I have seen, it out performs the AMD quad cores. I have AMD Dual Cores and they are great, but Intel core i7's are superior to AMD quads.

I think you will require a more powerful power supply. If running quad core, SLI / high end cards, you will require higher power.

Will you be running 64 bit Vista?.

There are a few great ASUS monitors on newegg for pretty cheap. 22 Inch LCD and one even sports HD.

You can buy a great surround sound system from logitech for around $80. I have a logitech system and it is great in conjunction with an HD sound card. I use a Creative sound blaster or something in my custom build. Works great for me and I notice a big difference over my last speakers. The soundcard really brings out the sharp noises I never heard before.

Right now, I am partial to the Solid state drives as the primary HDD's followed by the 10K RPM WD HDD's as the secondary drives.

I use 64 bit Vista Ultimate and it runs fine for me. I do alot of programming, media production so forth and it is great. I do not really game as I have an XBOX 360 for that.

Over all, your set up looks nice. Just seems you need a more powerful power supply. 430W is not going to run that sort of set up. ( IMO ).
 

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I wouldnt worry about an SLI or Crossfire configuration either. Most games (read: damn near all) cant take advantage of them. I would spend the money on a single high end video card and use the remainder of the money of a good quality PSU.

I have to disagree with neonjuice about the hard drives. I dont really care for the solid state drives at all at this point, still too many issues and not work the money. I would get at 10k rpm drive for the operating system and a 32mb buffer 7k rpm drive for storage. Just my opnion though
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the replies, its extremely helpful. I really appreciate it. Especially on the i7 thing, I'm not sure how I missed that.

My remaining questions:

1. SLI worth it or not? (I guess this is more a question for myself)
2. DDR3? I read there were issues early on, but I was under the impression they had mostly been taken care of.
3. OS: I guess there's little choice at the moment and Vista 64 seems to be the only way to go.

With those in mind, how about this (same keyboard, mouse, monitor, burner, so I wont list that again) -

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16813131359

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9T-6GBNQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231223

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042

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

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202

(Looking at two of these) MSI N260GTX-T2D896 OC GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127361

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16817341017


So this begins to top out my price range at around $1500.
 

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DDR3 on AMD still has issues with compatibility and overclocking.

For a Quad and a GTX260 you'll need at least a 750w the Corsair unit listed above is the best deal right now for 2 GTX260's a HX1000 corsair a 600w unit will not run them for very long.

SLI works in some games however 2 lessor cards never equal a higher end card and to really see and feel the benefits from it you'll need to playing on a large screen display over 30" like a 42" LCD TV monitor, on a standard PC monitor you'll find much less hassle and pleasure from a single card.


How about this for a Motherboard I used one last week the build went well with no issues.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128375
 

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Thanks for all the replies, its extremely helpful. I really appreciate it. Especially on the i7 thing, I'm not sure how I missed that.

My remaining questions:

1. SLI worth it or not? (I guess this is more a question for myself)

IMHO, buy the best single card you can get and go for that and forget SLI. It is simply IMHO not worth it.

2. DDR3? I read there were issues early on, but I was under the impression they had mostly been taken care of.

There were some issues early on with board/memory compatability, but those have pretty well been taken care of. The only issue with DDR3 is that it costs more but DDR2 performs almost as well for less money.

3. OS: I guess there's little choice at the moment and Vista 64 seems to be the only way to go.

YES!

With those in mind, how about this (same keyboard, mouse, monitor, burner, so I wont list that again) -

If you are comfortable with those, not anything else to worry about from what you listed.

ASUS P6T LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16813131359

Nothing wrong with that board, it seems to be the start of a very good series.

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9T-6GBNQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231223

This memory should be fine unless I have overlooked something.

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042

I like that case, so it should be fine from what I am familar with.

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

Nice Hard Drive.

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202

Jump right in and give this baby a try if you want to be ahead of the game. I don't see any problems with going that way.

(Looking at two of these) MSI N260GTX-T2D896 OC GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127361

If this were my choice, I would skip the dual cards and go for a GTX 285 or GTX 295 and use a single card. When you consider the performance/cost ratio, that makes more sense to me.

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP 600W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16817341017

There is no way in heck a 600 watt OCZ (or any other 600 watt for that matter) will pull either the two GTX 260 cards you have listed or the GTX 285 or GTX 295 that I suggested. You need to get real and get at least a Corsair 750 or better yet a Corsair 850 for this rig or you will have regrets on down the road.
If you want gaming performance and want to stay on top of the game, you have to have the power to pull it and there is no 600 watt that will meet your demands IMHO.

So this begins to top out my price range at around $1500.
Addendum: Darn, Wrench beat me to it again.....I must practice me speed typing more on weekends. :4-dontkno
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Tumbleweed36 and wrench97: thanks! I think I'm going to go with that then, with the single video card.

I'm still going back and forth on the PSU, specifically with reading stuff like this - http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.aspx?i=3413

I mean that 600W power supply I listed is certified to run SLI/CrossFire, AND core i7. Do I really to buy a power supply with 300W of play from the max load on the system to the max of the power supply, especially since as you get that high the price gets much higher?

And my LAST question (promise), do I need to worry about cooling issues with this setup? Need extra fans, new heat sink, etc?

edit: I guess the price isn't that much different now that I look at it, but I'm still curious on your reasoning on the PSU -
 

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Certified SLI for 2 8600gt cards maybe, but not a GTS260 peak it will draw over 200w.
You want the power supply running 60-70% of it's rated load that will keep temps down, handle the peaks of the video card and HD DVD drive spin ups, as well as last a long time, if you run them at or near the rated load they run hotter the fans are noiser(spinning at 100%) and they don't last as long, then there is "capacitor aging" as capacitors age they use more current on the motherboard and video card and in the case of the PSU produce less current.

The Antec 300 comes with a top and a rear fan I would add a 80mm or 120mm Antec tricool to the front to blow cool air across the hard drives.
 
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