Building Ultimate $799 gaming rig... can you beat it?

VGM10000

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: About 1.5 Months. BUDGET RANGE: $799 or under.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Web Browsing, Video/Photo Editing, Multitasking, Multimedia.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I don't need the OS; I have decided to use my HDTV and old keyboard/mouse, so this is just for the actual computer.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: None. I got all of my parts from Newegg, but I would get parts elsewhere if it means lower prices.

OVERCLOCKING: The CPU for sure; possibly the RAM and graphics. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No preference; my build has Crossfire.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: As said earlier, HDTV (1080p).

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am under-budget by around $60, but I want to fill the void with something. I want opinions + advice as to if the parts I chose are good; I am looking for value and longevity.

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THE BUILD:


CPU/PROCESSOR: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail, $139.99, Free Shipping, $15.00 Combo Rebate with Motherboard.


CPU/PROCESSOR COOLER: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail, $39.99, Free Shipping, $25.00 Mail-In Rebate.


GPU/VIDEO CARD: SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail, $249.99, Free Shipping, $10.00 Mail-In Rebate.


MOTHERBOARD: ASUS M4A78 Plus AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail, $79.99, Free Shipping, $15.00 Combo Rebate.


RAM: OCZ Blade Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory - Retail, $46.99, Free Shipping, $10.00 Mail-In Rebate.


HAND DRIVE: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM, $69.99, Free Shipping.


CD/DVD DRIVE: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM, $26.99.


CASE: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail, $58.95, Free Shipping.


PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail, $94.49, Free Shipping, $20.00 Mail-In Rebate.


SHIPPING: $9.22

COMBO REBATE: -$15.00
MAIL-INS: -$65.00

TOTAL: $740.60

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So what do you think, and, more importantly, what can I do to maximize the value and longevity of the build? I know I have the money to spend, I just don't know where to... the mobo? The processor? The RAM? The case?

Or, perhaps the better question would be: can you beat my build?
 
It's a very efficient build. I have one suggestion and one concern.

First, you need to use 1066 RAM with an AMD CPU. It makes a difference.

How about this? A buck more get's you faster RAM and a bigger, faster drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.193827
The 640GB uses denser (more dense?) 320GB platters, so performs slightly better.

Now for my concern. It's an SB700 board, and will be a bit gimpy and won't OC well.

SB710 better

SB 750 best
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.190734

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Ideally, you would use an AM3 DDR3 build, because DDR3 will be useful longer and is close in price. I don't really know your budget though, and AM3 boards can be a bit more.
 
I'd change the mb to a 790 series board with 2 x pci-e x 16 slots , and instead of the 4850 x 2 gfx card just use a pair of 4770's in crossfire .
Over all cost will be about the same

EDIT : proximons combo is perfect . It wont matter that one of the pci-e x 16 slots runs at 8x as thats plenty for the 4770
 

VGM10000

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Proximon: I took your advice for both the HD + RAM combo and the Mobo, they both seem like a no-duh choice. I am looking at your case + psu combo now.

Outlander, as Prox pointed out it is IMPOSSIBLE to get 4770's right now, and that won't change anytime soon. Either way, I chose what I did because I figured the graphics was the best part of the build to put cash into, given it is primarily for gaming.

I will constantly be updating! Thanks to Prox and Outlander thus far.

P.S I will post an updated build in a few hours.
 

VGM10000

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I would really like to use this, but it would put me overbudget...

I am trying to figure out a way to fit it (or something else) in, though.

*EDIT: What puts me overbudget is the over tripling of the shipping costs, just BTW. I had assumed the case had free shipping; it does not (which is a shame, really.)
 

x_2fast4u_x

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I would not go with the DHT (Direct heatpipe touch) cooler due to the fact they have some performance issues when dealing with quad/tri cores. Because of they way the Heatpipes contact the cores.

CPU:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115055
MoBo:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128380

That quad will smoke that AMD tri-core
The MoBo, supports Raid+since your going with a single card solution its fine.
 

Cpt Deadboots

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That quad won't "smoke" a 720 BE - he's going to overclock it. Q8200's are not reputedly great overclockers.

Where did you hear that HDT coolers have issues with tri/quad-cores?
 

VGM10000

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2fast4u - I chose the tri-core because of it's OC-ability and it's value. I can OC it to a higher speed than I could the Intel, and it will have lower temps. Also, there arn't any issues with the cooler I chose and the fact that I am putting it on a tri-core processor (that I know of).

Proximon - The shipping! It's +40, not +20 because of the shipping cost, although I agree that it is a better case. I am still looking, including at other websites.

Cpt Deadboots - I agree in that, for gaming, a tri-core 3.2-3.4 OC will fare much better than a 4 core 2.8-3.0 OC.


Thanks to the aforemetioned for posting. Keep the suggestions coming![strike] I will start punching in my second build in 15 mins.[/strike]


[strike]I am posting my build, take 2, at this moment![/strike]

The new build is below.
 

VGM10000

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THE BUILD, TAKE 2:


CPU/PROCESSOR: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail, $139.99, Free Shipping, $30.00 Combo Rebate with Motherboard.


CPU/PROCESSOR COOLER: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail, $39.99, Free Shipping, $25.00 Mail-In Rebate.


GPU/VIDEO CARD: SAPPHIRE 100270SR Radeon HD 4850 X2 2GB 512-bit (256-bit x 2) GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail, $249.99, Free Shipping, $10.00 Mail-In Rebate.


MOTHERBOARD: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail, $109.99, Free Shipping, $30.00 Combo Rebate.


RAM: OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail, $47.99, Free Shipping, $5.00 Combo Rebate.


HARD DRIVE: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM, $74.99, Free Shipping, $5.00 Combo Rebate.


CD/DVD DRIVE: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM, $26.99.


CASE: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail, $58.95, Free Shipping.


PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail, $94.49, Free Shipping, $20.00 Mail-In Rebate.


SHIPPING: $9.21

COMBO REBATE: -$35.00
MAIL-INS: -$55.00

TOTAL: $761.59

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I still have $40 to play with... as I said earlier I am looking at some cases to replace the one I have at the moment.

If anyone has any ideas for a different case (or for any part of the build, for that matter), please post them! Thanks, VGM10000.
 

VGM10000

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On no! Newegg removed both the mobo/cpu and ram/hd combos!

That's bad news in that although getting the ram and hd only costs $5 more, the mobo/cpu are now $30 more.

Does anyone have anything to replace the cpu and mobo combo in my second build? I am open to other cpus entirely; I just don't want to have to spend more on something that was less a day ago!
 

drunknmunkys

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Well, there's your 40$. You could wait and see if they bring that combo back, but I'd stick with that mobo+cpu. I bought them for my build 2 weeks ago and OCing was a snap. Took literally 30 seconds to go from 2.8GHz to 3.6GHz. I'm stepping it up and running stress tests to get higher, but you can't beat that at this price.
 

VGM10000

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Just as an update to everyone:

For now, as drunknmunkys has suggested, I am keeping the build as is, although therefore cutting my excess money to nil. The OC'ing ability of the processor is pretty much too good to pass up w/ the MOBO, and it's nice to have someone with this specific combo have great results (2.8 to 3.6 is crazy good, at least imo, for a budget build).

Hopefully, in the 6ish weeks before I take the plunge, the combos will return, or there will be better options, or both. It doesn't need to be said that things change pretty quickly, and there will be another rotation of deals between June and July. Maybe they will bring back the same deals, or better ones?

I guess I just have to wait and see.

Still, if anyone has a good cpu/mobo/cpu+mobo deal or idea for right now, please post it!

Thanks, VGM10000

*EDIT* Prox has a good point; Newegg is in it's transition phase in terms of combo deals and such... I will wait until tomorrow until considering them final and/or valid.

Also, the good news is that the price of the Antec 900 has gone down $10, so now (assuming the cost of the cpu+mobo doesn't go up much) I can buy it with the combo PSU!
 

VGM10000

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If you could post the test results just as a reference, it would be sweet. Thanks - VGM10000
 

drunknmunkys

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I'll post some CPUz shots when I get home. I didn't even bother stepping up after all the OC reviews I read, went straight to 3.6GHz. I think I'm running stable now at 3.7GHz, but I couldn't get it stable at 3.8GHz with vcore at 1.5+. I'm working on lowering the vcore and upping the FSB to eek out a bit more performance and efficiency.
 

VGM10000

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Sweet, thanks for sharing. I am happy to see that the processor is a solid choice and a great value! 3.6 is great, but 3.8 would be very, very impressive, let alone a powerhouse.
 

VGM10000

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I've already looked at both, and I am happy to see the Antec 900 went down 10% in price. I am probably going to do the combo you mentioned because using the PSU I have posted would cost too much more; the quality of the one in the bundle is pretty good though (Antec Basiq's and other cheap PSUs are awful, but their others are actually quite good).
 

VGM10000

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Really? Ah well : P

I am going to post a third build later tonight with updated pricing... right now I need to look for a good deal for a ~650W PSU and a CPU, MOBO, or CPU+MOBO combo. (The update to combos + mail-ins made all three more expensive)

*EDIT*: Also, of course, a case.
 

VGM10000

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Just a quick update as to what I am currently looking at for my build:

With the Antec 900 + Combo PSU, I have (with the parts chosen in my 2nd build for everything but the mobo+cpu) around $210 to spend on the processor and the motherboard. Choosing this case and PSU is obviously preferable, but if I default to what I have chosen at this moment, I will have around $250 for the motherboard and processor.

Needless to say, it is very tough trying to find the right setup! I was wondering if anyone had some ideas as to what would be a good compromise or a good idea.

Thanks, VGM10000.