First build ever!


Aug 23, 2011
My son and I thought it would be a great learning experience to build our own computer. We are looking for an affordable gaming computer for my son who is just starting gaming (age 8). Here is what I have so far... Thoughts?

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

Motherboard: ASUS M4A88T-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

Power Supply: Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda Green ST1000DL002 1TB 5900 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Bare Drive -Bare Drive

Video card: ??????

Still need to find and optical drive and wanted to know peoples thoughts on adding an internal SSD for windows only? Any other parts that I am missing? Thanks so much for the help as this is our first ever build!

You are on the right path , but you can have later and more upgradable technology at the same price
AMD is about to release newer processors , and you can buy motherboards that support them

ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Without a link to your RAM I cant see which model it is , but for future upgrades make sure you are getting 1.5 volt sticks

The 955 phenom is the exact same part clocked a little lower and since the multiplier is unlocked you can change it to 965 [ and beyond] speeds in about a minute

"green" hard drives spin slower , use a watt or two less power, but take a big performance hit . I would not buy one for general use . The samsung F3 is the current performance king
In many ways the monitor is the first choice you need to make .

The screen resolution [ not the actual panel size ] is critical . The graphics card has to calculate what to do with each pixel , and since higher resolution screens get that way by having more pixels its progressively harder to get good image quality and high frame rates