Need advice on my first build


Mar 9, 2009
Hey everyone, I'm new to pc building, but so far reading about stuff has been lots of fun! I've been trying to build a new pc that can play modern games reasonably well, and will last me for at least a year or two before it needs upgrades (need to play starcraft 2 and diablo 3!).

I do plan on overclocking, but not immediately. I'll generally be using it for games, movies, and general internet usage. I'm on a bit of a tight budget, and want to stay around $700, no monitor/keyboard/mouse. Here are the components I'm thinking about at the moment. Please let me know if you have any comments or suggestions:

SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F - OEM

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

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

BIOSTAR TF560 A2+ AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA nForce 560 MCP ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100259L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS500 500W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ - Retail

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5050e Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 45W Dual-Core Processor Model ADH5050DOBOX - Retail


Your CPU will be a big bottleneck for this GPU you have selected. Overclocking will be necessary to get all the performance out of this rig. I would suggest changing the CPU to this:

Its faster, overclocks very well, and is actually cheaper at the moment.

I would also recommend changing to this motherboard:, at the moment the nVidia chipsets arent as reliable as the AMD/Intel, and I think you will have better luck overclocking with that board.

If you can afford another 30 bucks for a nicer motherboard, you can do well with this mobo:
and this CPU:

The Intel E5200 will overclock better than the Kuma, and that Gigabyte board is one of the best LGA775 boards out there. I would definitely suggest going this route over the AMD so you can take advantage of the HD4870 you want.


Dec 24, 2008
I would follow the tom's build linked above, but swap in the CM 690 case instead. They had issues with overheating in that cheapo rosewill, the CM 690 has excellent cooling and lots of space to handle all your components. The Antec 300 also has good cooling, but gets cramped for larger 10.5" GPU's. Also change the HDD to WD6401AALS if you can afford it, and this CPU cooler, if it doesn't break your budget: