First Build...recommendations/advice please


Apr 10, 2009
I am going to be doing my first computer build here shortly. I will be using it for gaming and other various programs. I also would like to overclock the 920 to around 3.4ghz. I'd like to stick with Nvidia as well. I will be setting up a raid1 with the hdd. Price isn't too much of a concern. However, I would like to stay at or under $2,500. My wish list comes in under $2,500. Any advice, input, or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. <=== Better pics, specs, and customer reviews of that case. <=== cpu heat sink reviews and specs (*see Xigmateks on that list).,2266.html <=== check out the gtx 285 on those charts/reviews. $119.91
Cooler Master RC-932-KKN1-GP HAF 932 Chassis - 12 Bays - Black $149.99 ($129.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $329.99 ($299.99 after $30.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
BFG Tech BFGEGTX2851024OCPE GeForce GTX 285 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail $39.99
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail $94.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $99.99 Free Shipping*
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM


Dec 24, 2008
+1 for those changes. Also, I don't think you need to be spending money on a sound card, the onboard sound on todays mobo's is excellent compared to 2 years ago.

Try the Asus P6T Deluxe V2, better all around mb

You can change the HDD's to WD Caviar Blacks 1TB and save $100 there.

Buy an OEM version of windows, all you lose is over the phone support from microsoft, which is useless, and save a crapload of money. Vista ultimate is $70 cheaper OEM.

On your budget, you can fit 2 GTX 285's which would give you an awesome gaming experience. The GTx 275 might not be able to handle all games at full tilt on that monitor.
+1 for the previous suggestions.

Add to the list of good cooling gamer cases, the Antec 902 :
and the coolermaster sniper:

Shopping tips for Vista:
1) Do you qualify for an academic license?
If so, you can get Vista at a discounted price.
2) Look for an upgrade version of home premium instead of OEM.
Upgrade is a retail version which gives you support from microsoft, unlike OEM(AKA system builder),
and allows a more hassel-free ability to transfer the os to a different pc(motherboard).
For $10, microsoft will send you the 64 bit DVD.
I saw Vista home premium upgrade recently at Costco for $85, amazon for $89.
There is a legitimate two step instalation process to install an upgrade version
You install vista from the cd, but do not initially enter the product code.

Just tell the install which version you bought, and do not activate.
After it installs, you have a fully functional vista for 30 days.
Step 2 is to insert the cd again, while running vista and then do an upgrade.
This time, enter your product code, and activate.
After activation. you may delete the initial version which is named windows.old.

3) Do you possibly need Ultimate? There are very few features that the home user would want.
Check out the differences on the microsoft Vista web site.
If you get a retail or upgrade version, you will still be able to upgrade to ultimate later.

The value of raid-1 for protecting data is that you can recover from a hard drive failure quickly.
It is for servers that can't afford any down time.
Recovery from a hard drive failure is just moments.
Fortunately hard drives do not fail often.
Mean time to failure is claimed to be on the order of 1,000,000 hours.(100 years)
Raid-1 does not protect you from other types of losses such as viruses,
software errors,raid controller failure, operator error, or fire...etc.
For that, you need EXTERNAL backup.
If you have external backup, and can afford some recovery time, then you don't need raid-1.

---good luck---