First Time Builder - $900 Gaming PC


Jul 26, 2011
Planning to build my first computer! Exciting? Yes. :D

General Info:

Approximate Purchase Date: 1 to 2 weeks' time

Budget Range: $900 (excluding mouse/keyboard)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, lightweight video editing

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,, other in Australia?

Country of Origin: Australia

Parts Preferences: Intel seems more appealing, but I'm very open minded

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I can get the monitor separately from a local store, but some room needs to be left in the budget in that case.
Most important thing in this build is it needs to simply be robust and decent for at least 2-3 years.

Rough build so far:

Case - CoolerMaster Centurion 5 II Black
Mother Board - Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3
CPU - Intel Core i3 2100
GPU - EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB FPB Edition
RAM - Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3
HDD - Western Digital Green 1TB WD10EARX
Optical Drive - Samsung SH-222AB SATA DVDRW Drive
PSU - Corsair TX-650 V2 Power Supply
Cooling - BitFenix Spectre 120mm Fan

Monitor - Undecided, probably around 21.5".

Any help or advice or recommendations VERY welcome :)


Dec 22, 2010
parts look fine, but the mobo appears to be more than what you need. this mobo would suffice since you will not be using multiple GPU's...

put the extra money in a stronger CPU (i5 2500 is ideal for gaming) or look into getting an SSD to run your OS and a game or 2...

An SSD will drastically increase your PC's performance


500 watt (not enough for sli or crossfire)
(its a h61 board so it wont work with the 2500k)
same case u had.
-i5-2400 quad core.
Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB (don't get the slower 5400rpm green models for your boot drive unless they are the larger/faster 2tb ones)
cheaper corsair ddr-1333 memory.

Came out to Sub-Total: $721.00

-Try and find a cheaper h67 board that allows overclocking so you can go with the overclockable 2500k instead.
-The z68a board you had picked out is better, but you need to pair it with the 2500k, and if you want crossfire or sli you need at least 850 watts.
Unfortunately it adds up, more for the board, more for the power supply, aftermarket cpu cooler for overclocking, ect.,
It's better to get the much faster hd-6950 card instead of the slower 550ti.
The 560ti is good to and close in speed to the 6950.

-Watch some boards are crossfire only, only some have both crossfire and sli.

-If you go with a phenomIIx4 on sale instead, make sure you get a am3+ board and not a am3, since the am3+ can upgrade to the new amd bulldozer cpu later on. The 2100 and phenomIIx4 are about the same speed for gaming. With bulldozer coming out you might see the phenomIIx4 on sale really cheap, they are still ok cpus. The i5-2400 and 2500k are quad cores and alot faster than the phenomIIx4 or 2100.


Jul 26, 2011

I'm seeing how it'd look if I go AMD.

HDD - Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB HD103SJ
RAM - Corsair CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
Optical - Samsung SH-222AB SATA DVDRW Drive
GPU - ASUS Radeon HD 6850 DirectCU V2 (There's also a Gigabyte brand one, not sure which is better.)
Mother Board - Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3
PSU - Antec High Current Gamer 520W Power Supply HCG-520

OS - Windows 7 Home Premium (Probably around $130 off eBay - if I'm lucky)
Monitor - Undecided, probably 21.5".

Roughly $866 total. Not leaving much room for a monitor :S

- With this setup, would I be able to add a second 6850 later on? And would that be a good idea for a performance boost?
- Could I easily upgrade to one of the upcoming 'Bulldozer' processors with this setup?
- Can someone please recommend a good case which will hold this stuff well, cheap as possible?


The 6950 is alot faster than the 6850, in fact two 6850's in crossfire barely beats a single 6950.

If you are going with a amd card, go with a cheaper crossfire only board, you dont need to pay extra for a sli board.
$115.00 Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 Motherboard

The 520 watt will only run a single 6950 card. You need at least a 750 watt for two 6950's.

Yes it should upgrade to the new cpus, just make sure it says it's am3+ and not the older am3.
If you are buying parts like a motherboard and cpu with the order, they let you get the cheaper oem instead. $105.00 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit with SP1 OEM


Jul 26, 2011
Okay, I'll try and get everything else cheap enough so that I can afford the 6950.

Hmm. I just worry about how it says you can only install it once. If my hardrive fails or I want to reinstall I lose $105? :(


Its not like that in Canada, the oems here and retail versions install 3 times, even the retail version is toast after 3 installs. Ya ms is really screwing everyone.

You can buy a cheap hdd or use a existing one and mirror the drive once it is installed with all the drivers and activated, when you mirror from your backup the activation will still be the same one.

Ya but the ones on e-bay could be burnt copies via bitorrent, that you can steal yourself, that i don't recommend, but i would not buy windows on ebay since that is what you will be buying.