Mid-range Build for Gaming and Other -- Looking for advice


Feb 21, 2009

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet Surfing, finance and spreadsheets, podcasts, music and gaming (about tied), movies and TV

BUDGET: ~$1,500

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Already have a monitor (max resolution 1280 x 1024; may upgrade at a later date), mouse and keyboard, DVD drive and DVD-CD-R/RW burner; 3.5 floppy drive (all recycled from current system)

WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

BRAND PREFERENCES: Prefer Nvidia graphics cards; everything else - no preference, but reliable and well known

OVERCLOCKING: Never done it before, -- not interested right away but would like the option to give it a try at some future date

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not right away anyhow, but perhaps some day


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am looking for something that is the right balance of performance and budget. I’ve updated my current Gateway box several times over the past 7 years. However, it seems the motherboard is starting to finally go. So instead of investing in another off the shelf system, I figured I would take the plunge and give building my own system a try. I am looking for a system that I can use for several years, and upgrade as needed. I have never built a system from scratch, but I have replaced and added components my family members' computers (e.g., dell, gateway) enough to want to give it a try. Below are what I have come up with so far and my reasoning behind each piece. I am planning to recycle what I can from my Gateway box (DVD Drive, CD-R/RW drives, and floppy drive). I would greatly appreciate any advice and/or recommendations regarding the components below.

…so without further ado…

Cool Master HAF 932 – Space isn’t really an issue for my office and I would like a case I can grow into and have plenty of room for expansion and ventilation.

EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard – I am torn between this and the ASUS P6T Deluxe. Any suggestions?

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem – I read great things about this CPU, not to mention it’s overclocking potential when I finally feel up to it.

EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card – I would really appreciate any recommendations or suggestions concerning video cards. I’ve always had Nvidia in the past, but I am certainly willing to consider ATI. Given that I don’t play that many games I don’t plan on trying SLI or Crossfire right away, and I would like to keep the initial investment between $150 and $180.


G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders

Arctic Silver Compound

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual TV Tuner / Encoder 1229 PCI-Express x1 Interface – This is definitely a nice to have but *not* a must have. In fact, I am considering holding off on this until after I get the basic system built and then getting this for myself later as a birthday gift.

Total cost as is: ~$1453.90 from newegg.com

Since I am not planning to overclock right away, I am planning on just using the stock cooling fan on the CPU, for now at least. However, I would certainly be willing to be convinced otherwise if people thought that would be a bad idea.

Thank you again for reading and thank you in advance for taking the time to respond.
You certainly have done your homework. It's a nice build. I would chose the EVGA over the Asus. They are pretty much the same, but the evga board offers more onboard SATA ports. ATI has better graphics, I would suggest the 4850 over the 9800gtx. Other than that, looks solid. I love that case!