Help me build my first gaming PC

it was in the architecture of the chip and how the mobo communicated with the cpu and it was isolated and identified.
you can use the same cpu’s now just need a new mobo that is “B3” revision. the part of the cpu will not be used when this mobo is used in conjunction. but in all honesty go AMD and save the money.

hmm I’m going to say 700ish and I already own a case.

sorry i didn’t read properly and didn’t realize you already had a case and psu.
that being said you can get a pretty good gaming system based on that budget.
but i would still say that investment should still be made higher into the gpu for gaming.
my recommendations and or suggestions are.

download link:

total is 584.60 before taxes or shipping using price match at ncix.
so you still got 100 bucks to play with. i would consider investing in after market cpu cooler btw…
something like this is good.

anyways if you noticed i beefed up your video card to the 6950 cuz you have more money room to play with.
this is an extremely fast card and it can also be unlocked to a 6970 via a simple bios flash which you can read about here. it’s basically a 6970 with stream processors disabled. also this has a fail proof setup. the 6950 has a dual bios with a physical switch. so if a fail on boot occurs no worries just flip the switch and boot into the backup stock bios bank. i also choose this model because xfx takes pride in their 4 gamers by gamers slogan backed with a double lifetime warranty.
and you can watch how to do it here.

cpu chosen is again the x2 555 black edition. this is really a x4 945/955 with 2 disabled cores and sold as an x2 to fill their lower retail market. you can read about how to do this here.
and watch how to do it here.

ram chosen was the g.skill ripjaws and i don’t think i am the only one who will tell you here that this ram is spectacular. g.skill purposely produces their ram under-volted when QA testing with set timings. this ensures the customer a stable overclock when the voltage is bumped. this also allows the customer to underclock the ram to tighter timings then then overclock and raise voltage to increase speed.

hard drive was a no brainer here…you already chose the WD black edition. i just choose a bigger and cheaper one.

motherboard i choose was the asus M4A87TD EVO this was the better choice over the msi and gigabyte 870’s due to it’s 8+1 phase power setup. this will ensure a rock solid stable core unlock and system overclock. nothing exploding or smoking. also sata and usb ports are group nicely in a good spot unlike other boards that have ports which can get blocked by the video card.

optical drive is an optical drive. this was the cheapest one so i choose it.

anyways my thoughts on this build was simple you wanted to do gaming at flawless quality.
if you think you wont be doing any hardcore gaming you can always dial down the video card to a 6850 or even more to a 6790 and then beef up your system ram or upgrade the cpu to a x4 965. but why bother when the x2 is a quad at a sub 80 dollar price tag? any money saved should be considered to improve system cooling in anyway.
a better cpu fan is a good start and so is case fans or a better vga cooler. or if your all about appearance go grab that nice case or some lights.

lemme know what you think and if you need any other help or have questions just ask.
also ncix is in canada and the usa and they also ship from both countries. not sure where your located but yeah prices may slightly vary between the 2 sites. the usa site does not show a pricematch button at the bottom of the shopping cart like the canadian site however a simple email to customer support requesting a price match is no biggie.

in the end either way or setup you choose with the bigger cpu and smaller card or the cpu and big card suggestion i made you will get excellent gaming out of this machine guaranteed.

I honestly wouldn’t take the gamble with the core unlock. It’s not guaranteed and even if it does succeed you still might have an unstable processor.

There’s really almost no reason to still be buying a Phenom II when the i5 2500k is only 225 dollars.

I’m serious about following this guide, it’s pretty straight forward for you.

The “Excellent” build should be perfect for what you’re looking to do and then some. Just find some combo deals and you can shed off a little more.

lol you keep forgetting what the ops needs are and his budget.
2500k build will not fit no matter what sales are around board and mobo alone will be around 400 just for those 2 components alone.
$225 i5 2500 vs $80 x2 555
and last the games the op plays are not cpu intensive at all but more gpu intensive.
the op saves money and has upgrade room later should he need it while still meeting his budget.
if the op had a 1k budget then by all means jump on the i5 or if it was me jump on the i7 but he doesn’t and can’t.
with the amd build the op can play what he wants and still have pocket wiggle room. and as i said above if the 6950 is too much he can drop down to a 6850 or even a 6790 then bump cpu to a high clock athlon or phenom x4.
read the first line under cpu in the guide you posted…even falcon says buying high end cpus is the number one mistake everyone does when they don’t need or use the power ever.

With an AMD CPU his setup is already underpowered, having to upgrade in several months with another underpowered AMD is not as effective as getting a strong CPU now and not having to upgrade for a couple years.

His budget is 700 dollars.

The guide I posted for him to look at lists an i5 2500k build for 810 dollars. He already has a case, minus 80 dollars from that build and it’s already down to 730. He can find a combo deal or get a different hard drive and he’ll be down to 700. If not he can wait a couple weeks or a month for his next pay check and buy it then.

The biggest mistake you can make in building a PC is buying cheaper components with the intent of upgrading later. In the long run you’ll be wasting more money buying low to mid-range every 4-6 months instead of having something, albeit a little overkill now, for a couple years. Also unlocking Phenom IIs are a gamble that don’t always pay off and even if it does there is a good chance it will be unstable as hell. They were locked for a reason.

I love AMD cpu’s. I will admit they were underpowered when compared to Intel’s i5 and i7 line up, but hey, in the end, they’re still very good CPU’s.

I’ve been using a Phenom II x4 925 2.8ghz for gaming, and I havent had issues ever with FPS or slow downs. I did have to upgrade my GPU, but that’s because it wasnt that great in the first place when I first built this PC. I have a ATI 6870 inside right now, and I was getting over 100fps average in dead space 2 running at 1920x1080 with all settings maxed to highest.

Yeah AMD CPUs aren’t bad, but honestly there’s a new AMD socket/CPU line coming out this summer, no point in going AM3 right now.

Looks like I’ll be upgrading my motherboard and CPU in the next year or so. I’ve been contemplating it recently, but after reading about the new socket, I think it’ll be worth the wait.


I think perhaps we are getting a bit wrapped around the axle here with raw bench data. AMD and Intel both put out relatively close price to performance ratio chips just like nvidia and ATI do on the GPU side.

You can crunch numbers all day, compare every bench and talk theory. But what it comes down to is If you get a decent CPU the computer will run things fine and the differences are really only noticed on benchmarks or maybe a few more seconds of processing in photoshop. MOST games are

not CPU heavy…most…some like crysis 1 are… But they are an exception to the rule.

For example: my now humble rig, with a QX 6850 extreme OC’ed to 3.67, a 570 gtx GPU, 4 gigs of DDR 3 and a couple raptors in raid 0 pushes my 28" monitor @ 1920x1200 easily on max settings in crysis 2 with an average of 70-90 fps…(crysis 1 maxed only gets 45-60 but is entirely playable)

Everything else gets 100+ fps easily…

So if a 4 year proc can achieve these numbers (albeit with a hefty over clock and water cooled) then
and decent modern CPU and midrange gpu can do equally or better with no problem.

I can understand why some might be concerned with power consumption…I am not one of those
folks… Tough power 1000w was handling 2 water cooling loops and 2 8800 ultras before so now
with only a single loop and a lot less draw from the single card it’s actually overpowered for the job

that’s 3.2 ghz cpu. well above minimum spec for like 99% program or game out there for the consumer.
and your claim is farce. any dual core cpu can run like 90% of all games fine.
your thinking hey buy this now and future proof yourself. well guess what computer tech advances very fast
and the rule of thumb is buy what you need when you need. op does not NEED a 2500 to run what he wants
and if anything 2500 and up is just luxury. there is nothing wrong with amd cpu’s.

that’s 3.2 ghz cpu. well above minimum spec for like 99% program or game out there for the consumer.
and your claim is farce. any dual core cpu can run like 90% of all games fine.
your thinking hey buy this now and future proof yourself. well guess what computer tech advances very fast
and the rule of thumb is buy what you need when you need. op does not NEED a 2500 to run what he wants
and if anything 2500 and up is just luxury. there is nothing wrong with amd cpu’s.
and again in terms of gaming the CPU does not dictate gaming performance as it did say 4 years ago. today all games are GPU optimized. any mid range cpu will do but a good video card these days is a must.

Quick question guys, which is better a GTX 560 Ti or a radeon 6950??

  1. price to performance and power to performance wise the 560 gets knocked.
    plus the 6950 gets a free unlock to the 6970 and scales like a bitch in cf. like what 93% scaling. that’s nuts.
    i mean even if you don’t do multi gpu cf or sli in single card it still beats the 560 and you get multi display eyefinity in one card still as well.
    also the 6950 comes in 2 flavours now. 1gb and 2gb sizes.
    the 2gb is where the party is at when more displays and higher resolutions come into play.
    and as games get more and more demanding like crysis was when it first dropped the extra memory will play a factor.
    right now we are seeing a shift from cpu to more gpu intensive gaming optimizations in almost every new release.
    and every driver update focuses on this more and more.

anyways here are some 3dmark vantage results for you to look at.
the result on this review show you the 1gb 6950 vs the 1gb 560. to get an idea of how the 6950 2gb stacks up to the 560, just look at the 6970 2gb results as those are identical to the 6950 2gb unlocked.

Radeon HD 6950 1GB vs GeForce GTX 560 Ti review

How big of a difference is SATA 6gb compraed to SATA 3gb? Is it just for transfer rates or does it affect my PC’s speed overall? Trying to build a budget gaming PC and not sure if I should just pay $50 more for the better mobo or not. Both of the mobos I’m looking at have good reviews and the cheaper one should get the job done for me.

Well said


There is no real diffrence between SATA 6GB and SATA 3GB, especially if your using a normal Hard drive.
If your using 2 Solid state drives in Raid 0, then I say yes get the SATA 6

Bookmark this site:

Passmark does extensive testing on gpu, cpu, pretyt much everything pc related and updates them monthly. It will show you the exact differences in performance between the cards.

Funny how no where mention a budget.
Wawawa how much are you expecting to spend?

Budget should be a first factor in deciding a PC build, other than needs and preferences.

I threw it together pretty quick but I believe everything should be compatible.

$647.93 without tax.

Depending on how much you want to spend you could switch the video card to an amd 6xxx series video card, depending on your screen resolution the rig should do well.