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So, I think I have officially looked over all of the parts and I believe it will all work with each other. So if any of you more advanced tech savvy people could possibly check to see if I didn't miss anything vital that will keep my build from working? The reason I ask is because this is way more pricey than what I normally go for, so I would like a double checking.

Also to GRS: I looked for an i7 processor at your advice that was $200 and better than the AMD Phenom, but I did not find such a thing. Even the i5's were more expensive.

Also also, a topic for discussing your own towers!

Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
MSI NF980-G65 AM3 NVIDIA nForce 980a SLI HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
EVGA 01G-P3-N988-TR GeForce 9800 GT HDMI 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Western Digital Caviar Green WD15EARS 1.5TB 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
Thermaltake Toughpower XT TPX-775M 775W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Certified
Asus DVD Burner
Windows 7

The motherboard seems iffy to me, but unfortunately AMD and NVIDIA are apparently no longer friends. And with the RAM, would it be recommended for just going with the 1333 for the $100 less?
I just built mine. GIGABYTE mid-range mobo, an external 1tb WD to match my current 600gb, 320gb, and 250gb internals, same processor, Corsair 650w modular psu, same ram but 6gb instead of 8, lian li/lancool case. too lazy to link to all of that. Still need to save a bit more for a video card; currently using my old one, a sapphire radeon 4850 (512mb, gddr3, 256-bit).

*anyway, GIGABYTE is pretty wonderful and I tend to go with their motherboards and other stuff. they actually have decent customer service, unlike ASUS and some others.

*idk if you care much about sound, but if you do I recommend M-Audio's cards, especially their Delta series.

*i7s are great and all, but I kind of wanted to run an AMD system this time. price:performance, I want to say AMD wins, but the i7s do take less power to run.

*I recommend getting a third-party heatsink, particularly one of those big ones made by Arctic. pretty quiet, keeps temps way down.

*RAM-wise, yeah, I'd go with the 1333, because it'll be plenty fast for you, you'll save money, and RAM is pretty easy to upgrade later.

*video card looks fine. it reaaally isn't worth spending 2x that much for a gt 485 or whatever it's up to now.
Alright, step by step lookover (and some general thoughts)

Processor: AMD processors win the dual core low budget bracket but for anything more you'll want the i5 750. It's a beast of a processor that beats up all of its competitors. When it isn't using all four cores (ie playing most games) it'll speed up the active cores and you get all the benefits of a quad core when needed. Plus it is cleanly better than the AMD competition at the same price point.


i7's are only if you are doing heavy multithreaded work (not games) and really aren't recommended for any budget system. Plus i7's need different, more expensive, hardware than i5's and AMD's offerings.

If you really need to cut down the budget, here's some cheaper alternatives:
AMD x2 250: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103681&cm_re=amd_250-_-19-103-681-_-Product
AMD x3 440: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103843&Tpk=amd%20440

I'd recommeng against getting a heatsink for the processor. It's extra cash and you'll only see an appreciable difference with a quiet case + quiet video card or if you overclock your processor. The stock heatsink is good enough for most users and you can get a bit of an overclock out of it if you want. Save your cash.

(i5 dual cores are bad jokes, ignore them)

Motherboard: Ignore the one you got, it's about $50 overpriced. Get this one:

(plus it isn't Nvidia brand which I'm not a fan of for no real reason)

*edit* Also this is an i5 board, won't work with i7 or AMD */edit*

RAM: There's no need to get any DDR3 >1333, you won't get any real world improvements out of it. You don't even need 8GB of RAM, you could get a 4GB set for $100. Don't get OCZ since they've had bad runs of DDR3 memory (and their rebates are hit and miss) and check their operating voltage is 1.65 volts or less else you risk frying your processor.

Here's one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231253

Hard drive: Do not get a Green hard drive. The hard drive is more important to system responsiveness than some realize and the green is not a very fast hard drive. Sacrifice a bit of cost:space and get the Samsung F3 1TB.


It's one of the top magnetic drives out there right now for a decent enough price. Install the OS onto this. Don't skimp out on a fast hard drive (but don't buy a SSD unless you are looking for money to piss away) otherwise you'll just screw yourself.

Videocard: The 9800 is an old generation choice. It is literally a marginally improved 8800. The ATI 4850 cleanly beats it for $100.
If you've got a high res monistor and an itch to play the latest game on high settings at good framerates, consider the Nvidia GTS 460 for $220. (make sure you get the 1GB version, the 768MB version isn't as good and you might as well spend the extra $20)
The next step up is the ATI 5850 but it isn't at a good price point right now but now that Nvidia finally released a competitive card maybe the price'll come down to ~$250 (which is about its MSRP, it's been hanging at ~$320 for quite a while now but it is finally coming down)

Power Supply: Don't get a Thermaltake, they're a, at best, mediocre power supply brand and that thing is grossly overpriced anyways.
Get this Corsair (one of the best PS brands): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004&Tpk=550vx
And it'll eat up any single card (except maybe that 5970)

Hell you could probably get by with this and it'll still power the GTX 260:

re: Sound cards. Same suggestion as a fancy heat sink: Don't get one unless you already know you'll need one. Otherwise try out the integrated audio because it good enough for most users. If you find it isn't good enough you can always upgrade later since it is literally just pushing in a new card.
Conquest is made from the ashes of one's enemies.
I just built a new PC in February and I can attest to the awesomeness of that particular ATI Radeon 4850 video card. It's been able to run any game I've played smoothly at max settings for a 1920 x 1080 resolution (1080p) -- including modern games. It has better performance than most newer cards and at under $100 it's a steal.
Alright! Everything has been ordered.

Got the video card and hard drive GRS suggested

i5 760 (it had a combo deal with a ASUS P7P55 motherboard which I was looking at instead of what you suggested, making it $25 cheaper, but $10 more than the 750 and I realize that the difference is incredibly minimal),

Dropped to 1333 on the RAM but still went with the 8 gigs (no particular reason actually)

Got a different Corsair PSU mainly because I do plan on running SLI in the future and wanted the extra watts.

I also plan on getting a sound card and a better heatsink for the processor in the future as well, but for now this will definitely do everything and more. Thanks for the help guys!
Noticed some clarity errors in my post. All retail CPUs come with a stock heatsink which works fine. It won't keep the processor as cool or as quietly as a good third party one but it can usually handle a small overclock without issue and the GPU cooler is, from my experiences, much louder. It comes with preapplied thermal paste so you don't need any.

(The last Intel socket stock heatsink had a setup that made it a bitch to make the heatsink stick right, I'm not sure if the newer one is less frustrating)

Also an extra thing to check with RAM: Make sure it is dual channel. Triple channel RAM is for i7 (but these usually come in sets of three)

As for the 4850, I also have one and I play at 1920x1200 and it has handled everything I've thrown at it which isn't too much. Saints Row 2 and Batman Arkham Asylum both play fine at that resolution (but I admit I haven't played much of either). Mass Effect 2 and Divnity 2 had occasional lag spikes so I dropped the details (never dropped the res, I got a big monitor for a reason!). I haven't tried Bionic Commando yet but I don't see any real complications. I don't play many fancy computer games so I didn't want to report my own anecdotal advice. Check benchmarks for your favorite games with the 4850 and the GTX 260 if you are considering either to see if you think the price increase is worth it.

Don't get anything for DX11, nothing uses it right now and by the time anything does there will be better cards available.

Ah well, too slow :(
The RAM is dual channel, and actually my credit card was momentarily declined because it was a much larger purchase than normal so they called so I could confirm it, and now I need a reconfirmation with Newegg, which isn't going as smoothly as I wanted. Blah.

edit: Alright it has been charged, so it's all official now. :)
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
My plan for the future is to outsource my PC build specs to GreatRedSpirit...

...in that distant future where I have spare money.
I'm happy to say that I am in my new apartment with my computer all set up and with DSL! I've had dial-up for so long and now I'm up to speed! Legitimately excited.
Isn't this ironic, I just completely destroyed a computer last night. It's in little tiny pieces now :D
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