First Time Builder Seeking Advice


Apr 28, 2009
First time CPU builder here. My old PC died recently, and having replaced every par but the mobo and CPU in past comps of mine, I decided to make my own. I hope to make it a fairly powerful, if not incredible, gaming rig capable of handling games for the next few years on decent settings. I'd also like the ability to hook it up to my HD 1080p LCD TV.

Now, I've bought my processor, its a AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0ghz AM2+. I bought it packaged with Windows Vista 64bit SP1 Standard Edition.

Unfortunately, in finding a pairing mobo I've hit a bit of a jam. I'm looking at these two:

Now, I can't figure out which to get, as I'm a little over my head in the technical jargon. One reviewer claims the GIGABYTE mobo doesn't run in full PCI-E 2.0 power. And I don't know if the other would be a reliable brand.

Besides that, in terms of graphics cards, I've been continually eyeing this:

Seems powerful, but I wonder if its more than I need or too high a price for power.

I'm at a loss for what other parts to buy...

If anyone would be willing to afford me some help and advice building this PC, I'd be very thankful for the guidance. I'm trying to keep the rest of the PC components under $600, but I don't know if I've bought a processor that sort of necessitates more powerful/expensive components.

Thanks for any help offered this wearied soul!


Apr 16, 2008
I would choose the Gigabyte board. The PCIe spacing will accomodate a dual slot crossfire setup better. If you chose the ASrock, there will be no space at all for a dual slot crossfire setup, which can increase GPU temps from 5C or higher.

For the case, I typically go budget and the Antec300 is what I would chose. I has good cooling, fair cable management, dust filters, plenty of drive bays for most setups. If you can spend a bit more for case then the Antec 900 II would be good choice.


Apr 28, 2009
**Edited to fit with suggested help request thread style***

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Soon, next few weeks or days.


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, internet surfing, movies, etc. Mostly gaming.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, processor.


PARTS PREFERENCES: Anything that goes well with AMD Phenom II X4.

OVERCLOCKING: Willing to try for first time.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Willing to try.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: My current monitor sucks. Planning to use my 42" TV until I get a better monitor. Monitor suggestions welcome though!

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I already have the processor, as mentioned. Just looking for seasoned opinions on parts choices to avoid costly mistakes.

-flyin15sec Thanks alot for your help. I wouldn't have known about the size issue. And the case had me stumped before. Seems like I'm almost there now!
Mobo -
The gigabyte you have chosen is a great board...And you don't have to worry about the pcie not running in full mode as they it happens during crossfire and not when you are using a single card...
And even when running crossfire, you wont notice much difference in performance when the cards are running x8x8 mode...

RAM - AMD CPUs can take advantage of the 1066MHz speed...

Graphics card - The 4870 you have chosen is a very good option ...stick to it...

Case - Antec 300

PSU - As you are willing to crossfire, a good quality 700W+ PSU is required and the Corsair 750Tx is the best option...

Hdd -

CPU cooler - If you want to overclock...

DVD Drive -

Total - $677 without the Monitor...

But if you want to keep the price down near to $600, then
Get this powersupply...but you will not be able to run 2 4870 in crossfire...
But checking out the prices of the 4850, I am inclined to suggest you that...It is about $140 for the 1GB version and is nearly $110 for the 512MB
SAPPHIRE HD 4850 512MB - Retail
$10 off with promo code VGA851, ends 4/30
And has $20 Mail-In-Rebate...pushin the price down further to $99 :O

2 of them in crosssfire will blow away the 4870 1GB for its price...

So you can get 1 now and another later in crossfire...And the 4850 is also a very powerful card...So check out its reviews and if you are satisfied, then get that...
And change the PSU to this...
Your 1080P TV will be a 1920x1080 resolution. For gaming, it will benefit from a relatively strong vga card.
My take on that:
SLI/crossfire has been a poor upgrade path in the past. It should be used only by
those who will not currently be satisfied by the fastest available single vga card
which is currently the GTX295. The 4870, or GTX260-216
offer very good performance for the money now.
To get SLI. you have to spend more up front for a SLI capable mobo,a
more powerful SLI capable PSU, and better case cooling. Upgrading a single card later with a
second equal card does not get you 2x increase, it is more like 1.3x to 1.8x depending on the game.
At that time, you will still be paying top dollar for a card that is closer to
being obsolete.
It would be better to sell the old card and use the proceeds
towards a better new generation single card.