New Build Suggestions (first build)


Apr 30, 2009
I'm in the planning process of building a new computer. This will be my first build so I'm somewhat apprehensive about it, but it doesn't sound like it will be all that bad. The computer will be primarily used for gaming, WoW in particular with a few other FPS or RTS games from time to time.

I'm on somewhat of a budget and would like to keep it around $800 or so if possible. Last fall I purchased a EVGA 8800 GT w/ Akimbo cooling video card in hopes of squeezing a bit more life out of my P4, and I would like to continue using the card in the new system till at least this summer. I'd probably spend between $150-200 then to get a new card. I also have a monitor, keyboard, etc. so that doesn't need to be included.

This is setup that I've been toying with so far is:

AMD Phenom II X4 940 w/ Vista 64 Ultimate Bundle ($290)

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail +
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10664GK - Retail Bundle ($175)

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM ($75)

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811119137 ($80)

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail ($130)

SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model SH-S223Q - OEM ($25)

Total: ~$775 before $50 worth of mail in rebates

My thoughts:
I'm thinking about throwing in another 4GB of ram for another $60, but I'm not sure if that's necessary.

I know the power supply is definitely overkill for the current system, but a build that I'll probably keep around and use for the next four years or so with some minimal upgrades. I could probably drop down to Corsairs 650W for $20 less.

I was thinking about using Windows 7 and trying to save a bit of cash that way, but it seems like they have stopped beta downloads. The more I think about it, it may be too much of a hassle anyways.

Initially, I hadn't planned on overclocking, but I'm starting to entertain the thought. At first I'd like to get the system running and stable then do a little bit of research and give it a try. If I do this I'm guessing I'll need some sort of aftermarket CPU cooling, so there's probably another $40 or so. What would you all recommend?

The other possible builds I've been thinking about involve the Phenom II X3 720 or the X4 945. The X3 would subtract about $75 or so and the 945 would add about that much. From what I've seen is that DDR3 isn't adding that much to performance, but having an AM3 motherboard may make future upgrades easier and less costly. What do you all think about it?

I appreciate any comments, help or recommendations. Thanks.

The Windows 7 RC is supposed to be released to the public on May 5th. If you want to go with Vista, I wouldn't bother with Ultimate. This bundle will save you a little money: (Phenom II 940 & 64-bit Vista Home Premium - $269.98)

This cooler would work great for your build:

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail $36.99 - $10 MIR

The build looks pretty good. You've done your homework. Good job! :)

Don't forget to look for combos on all your hardware. You can pick up a free SATA cable with the HD.


Oct 3, 2008
Ok, this is what i would say from here.

Fristly, no, 8gb of memory is not necessary, especially considering the fact that you are on a budget.

Yes, that psu is overkill, i personally would go with about 600W, either way, i would be spending no more than $100 on a psu.

About the overclocking, i dont have a lot of experience there, but i've been hearing that the phenom II lines come with quite good stock coolers.

About those other possible builds, I really like the 720BE, but i wouldn't blame you for wanting a quad. And yes, DDR3 doesn't really add performance, but i would still go AM3 + DDR3. They are a bit more power efficient, and i suppose, more futureproof. To be honest, the main reason i would go AM3 + DDR3 is that 'feel good' factor; knowing that i am not behind, even though behind is technically just as good. Its not that much more to bump up to an AM3 system anyways.

Here is what i would get for the cpu/mobo/ram:

Phenom II 720BE - $140

I wouldn't buy a GX, no need for the onboard graphics.

OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
Latencies of 6-6-6-20, quite impressive.



Apr 8, 2009
looks great, but your missing a video card....and are you going to buy the latest greatest card and then crossfire? if not 550W will do just fine for a single GPU even the highest end GPU...

and shortstuff is right you have done your homework....i currently have a 940 phenom and love it, may i suggest a build around a 955 phenom?

things i would change all from newegg of course...

amd 955 phenomII with ECS AM3 motherboard combo, $330
COOLER MASTER RS-600-AMBA-D3 600W (modular power supply)....$105
OZ platinum DDR3 memory 4GB...$75
ATI 4770 video card (lovely new card)....$110

add those to your system, and you get roughly just under ~$800, but you get the AM3 socket and new memory and you get a video card that rocks

The OP said "Last fall I purchased a EVGA 8800 GT w/ Akimbo cooling video card in hopes of squeezing a bit more life out of my P4, and I would like to continue using the card in the new system till at least this summer."
I agree with shortstuff. The OP's done his homework, and the build looks good.
Windows 7 RC will supposedly be available for download on May 5th; I'm going to get it then myself. As it is though, nothing about this build howls for adjustment. Let's not pick over it like a bunch of vultures.


Apr 30, 2009
Thanks for all the replies. Using Windows 7 does sound tempting. If I did I could probably afford to upgrade to a 955 with 790fx mobo. With Windows 7 I'd have to reinstall the OS a couple of times as it goes through testing and then again at release, right? Also, are they going to allow use of Windows 7 until release?