First build, need help optimizing evolves around the Phenom II X4 965


Aug 26, 2012
Okay so this will be my first build period. I've had a nice Compaq laptop for gaming the past year or two but its time for a complete upgrade.

I'm on a tight but yet still flexible budget haha. Right now my current parts are at $801.86 and that's REALLY pushing it for my budget but week by week it will work.

I basically want some insight on how to optimize this build for best performance.

Current parts:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition

Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER Black gaming ATX mid tower

RAM: 8GB (2x 4GB) 240-pin DDR3 1600 memory

MoBo: ASRock 970 Extreme AM3+

HDD: Western Digital WD Green 500GB intellipower

PSU: Antec BP550 plus 550w

Aftermarket cooler: Logisys Computer beta 400St 92mm Hydro bearing AMD CPU cooler

KB: Azio levetron black 122 keys USB wired gaming keyboard

Mouse: Tek republic TM/ Pad: Rosewill soft gaming mouse

Monitor: Acer Black 23" 5ms HDMI LED-Blacklight LCd monitor

GPU: ASUS HD7770-2GD5 Radeon HD 7770 Ghz edition 2gb

Misc. things I'm also getting: A wireless card and a Tool kit to help build the PC.

I just want to make sure everything is compatitable/ will work wel together.

Things I need: CPU, GPU, HDD, PSU, Case, RAM, MoBo, Monitor, Keyboard & Mouse, Aftermarket cooler for slight OC'ing.

This PC will 90% be used for gaming and 10% Web surfing, Watching videos, and maybe slight video editing and recording.

Thanks in advance!


Aug 23, 2012
Get a Caviar Black or Blue instead.
If I remember correctly, Intellipowers are overpriced.

If you're not gonna OC just yet, you can drop the CPU cooler 'til you do.
Also, get the 212 EVO instead.

If you're only after a native resolution of 1920x1080 for a monitor, 21.5" should be fine.

I would try to get at least a 7850 card if you can stretch just a little bit more.


Aug 26, 2012
The intellipower is cheaper then black and same price as blue. And intellipower is faster than 7200rpm? I can hold off on the
CPU cooler and a 212 EVO. I found a 21.5" mointor for the same price as a 23" just the 21" comes with a webcam. I can switch out the 7770 for a $23-ish increase. 7850 it is. Anything else?


May 4, 2011
yeah, i'd hold off on the cpu cooler and put that money towards a 7850. the intellipower seems fine to me.

Also, to my knowledge, the phenom ii x4 only supports DDR3 1333, so if you don't OC the RAM, you could save a couple bucks there.


Try this...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($129.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI 970A-G46 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($77.95 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($239.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: BenQ GW2250 21.5" Monitor ($119.13 @ CompUSA)
Total: $760.52
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

I'd wait on the CPU cooler. The stock cooler will work just fine. You won't need to overclock for gaming anyways. I'd wait it out and buy an aftermarket cooler later. Just focus on getting the more important things like a decent CPU/GPU. Also, I wouldn't worry about getting a "gaming" keyboard and mouse. Any laser wired mouse and wired keyboard will get the job done. Invest your cash in the most important parts first.