My First Rig

Long time, no see my friends.  It's been a while and I'm so close to my M.D., I can actually taste it.  In addition to school, I've been doing quite a bit of gaming on my newly acquired Wii with my girlfriend, which has been great. We are on the final level of Zack & Wiki and she is loving Warioland: Shake It!  Personally, I sank a lot of time into (and really enjoyed) Halo: Reach, Super Meat Boy, Monday Night Combat, and ' Splosion Man. I also just finished building my first PC. I waited it out for quite a while and got some great deals for a pretty powerful machine.  Here we go:

Total Before Rebates:   $628.89

Total After Rebates: $475.99

I absolutely love the Diablotek case as it has four fans which provide great ventilation with room for two more fans on the side of the chassis. I'm overclocking to 3.9GHz on the stock cooler with absolutely no issues.  I realize I made a gaff with the memory as my board/CPU only support dual-channel, but I will rectify that with another stick of 2GB RAM. Other than that I'm pretty happy with my build. Just need to track down a pesky monitor and I can move the thing over to my desk and away from the TV.
 
Overall I had a lot of fun building this thing and learned way more about PCs than I ever imagined I would.  Can't wait for the next one and can't wait to play me some Starcraft 2 (the first one remains one of my all time favorites) and Cryostasis (this one's for you, Dave!). Peace, duders.
 
`Nick
22 Comments
23 Comments
Posted by RenegadeSaint

Long time, no see my friends.  It's been a while and I'm so close to my M.D., I can actually taste it.  In addition to school, I've been doing quite a bit of gaming on my newly acquired Wii with my girlfriend, which has been great. We are on the final level of Zack & Wiki and she is loving Warioland: Shake It!  Personally, I sank a lot of time into (and really enjoyed) Halo: Reach, Super Meat Boy, Monday Night Combat, and ' Splosion Man. I also just finished building my first PC. I waited it out for quite a while and got some great deals for a pretty powerful machine.  Here we go:

Total Before Rebates:   $628.89

Total After Rebates: $475.99

I absolutely love the Diablotek case as it has four fans which provide great ventilation with room for two more fans on the side of the chassis. I'm overclocking to 3.9GHz on the stock cooler with absolutely no issues.  I realize I made a gaff with the memory as my board/CPU only support dual-channel, but I will rectify that with another stick of 2GB RAM. Other than that I'm pretty happy with my build. Just need to track down a pesky monitor and I can move the thing over to my desk and away from the TV.
 
Overall I had a lot of fun building this thing and learned way more about PCs than I ever imagined I would.  Can't wait for the next one and can't wait to play me some Starcraft 2 (the first one remains one of my all time favorites) and Cryostasis (this one's for you, Dave!). Peace, duders.
 
`Nick
Posted by skinnyman

Looks like you scored some pretty sweet deals. I did something similar when I built my gaming rig a few years ago, individually purchased all the parts from newegg.

Posted by Scheds

Great deal on that PC! Playing SC2 with the 460 is awesome; I pretty well have everything maxed out (unless I get into a game of Desert Strike...).

Posted by RenegadeSaint
@skinnyman:  I really got lucky with the GPU and ended up purchasing parts from multiple vendors to get the best deals (Newegg, Tigerdirect, Amazon, Buy.com, and Microcenter).  

@Scheds: I am absolutely stoked for SCII. I can't wait to pump it on the highest settings.
Posted by skinnyman
@RenegadeSaint:  Nice. Now that I think about it, I got my Aspire PC case from TigerDirect, it was an amazing deal at the time.
 
It's kinda disappointing looking at what I spent just a few years ago (about $1000) for a PC that's nowhere near as good as what you built, but I guess that's just how it goes... give it a year, and everything will be outdated again :P
Posted by Driadon

Holy crap, good bargain hunting. That thing should do you some good for a good while.

Posted by WickedCobra03

Very nice build.  I am looking to build a new gaming rig since my one that I put together in 2006 is starting to really show its age.  Like you did, I am looking to stay around $750 or so and then send in all those rebates.  Anyone have any experience with the core i5?  Are those pretty good for gaming?

Posted by iam3green

what's up with everyone making new computers this year? it seems like everyone is upgrading their computer. anyway pretty nice build there. i hope you enjoy being able to play newer games man.

Edited by Geno

That's an insane deal you got on the 460. Nice build too.      
 

@iam3green
said:

"what's up with everyone making new computers this year? it seems like everyone is upgrading their computer. "


PCs have already reached what will essentially be next gen for consoles, so although there's a price premium some people find it worthwhile to get that experience early.  
 

Posted by Claude

You got a Wii!!! It's about time. Go get 'em Doc.

Edited by RenegadeSaint
@WickedCobra03:  Concerning the i5, here is the gaming cpu hierarchy list from Tom's Hardware. As you can see, the i5-750 and 760 are considered first tier, while the i5 650, -655K, -660, -661, -670, and 680 are all considered 2nd tier. Overall, an excellent CPU for gaming. As a reference, my AMD Phenom II 965 is a second tier processor and my graphics (GTX 460) and processor scores on Windows 7 are 7.4 and 7.5.
 
@Claude: Really enjoying the Wii. A lot of great games.
Posted by WickedCobra03
@RenegadeSaint said:
" @WickedCobra03:  Concerning the i5, here is the gaming cpu hierarchy list from Tom's Hardware. As you can see, the i5-750 and 760 are considered first tier, while the i5 650, -655K, -660, -661, -670, and 680 are all considered 2nd tier. Overall, an excellent CPU for gaming. As a reference, my AMD Phenom II 965 is a second tier processor and my graphics (GTX 460) and processor scores on Windows 7 are 7.4 and 7.5.
 
@Claude: Really enjoying the Wii. A lot of great games. "
Thanks.  I currently have an AMD proc and have been happy.  Before that was an AMD XP thoroughbred 2200+ which was crazy performance for the money.  Recently though, intels watt usage seems to be a lot lower than AMDs; something like 75 watts vs. 145 watts respectively.  I am assuming this much of a difference means less draw on the PSU, even at full load.  Also, they probably run cooler (the main thing I am looking for is a cooler computer this time around).  My AMD 4600+ and its nVidia 7800GTX back in the day were loud and hot!
Posted by PillClinton

christ that's a good deal! 

Posted by ajamafalous

I'm confused about the deal you got on the 460. Can you elaborate? Why three mail-in rebates, and does the last part mean you flipped the free copy of HAWX 2 you got with the card on eBay?

Posted by ch3burashka

I was going to give you shit for buying such a cheap PC, but apparently the components are hella good. Did you look for deals over the course of a couple weeks, or did you happen into a good deal time? I hear Newegg is having a 2-day blowout of sorts. 
 
Also, you say you have hella fans. Is it a loud build? 
 
Also, before I completely back-pedal on my theoretical shit-talking, how good is your rig? I hear Cryostasis is a beast (as is Metro 2033 - are Ukrainian companies shit at optimizing?). How many frames do you get at medium/high/very high settings? 

Edited by RenegadeSaint
@ajamafalous said:

" I'm confused about the deal you got on the 460. Can you elaborate? Why three mail-in rebates, and does the last part mean you flipped the free copy of HAWX 2 you got with the card on eBay? "  

You are exactly right. For some reason which I will never comprehend, Galaxy was offering three rebates at once and actually fulfilled all of them. I still have the $40 rebate card to spend. And yes, I flipped the copy of HAWX 2 on eBay. I actually made $17 off of it, but the auction hadn't ended at the time of this blog.  
 
@CH3BURASHKA
said:

" I was going to give you shit for buying such a cheap PC, but apparently the components are hella good. Did you look for deals over the course of a couple weeks, or did you happen into a good deal time? I hear Newegg is having a 2-day blowout of sorts.  Also, you say you have hella fans. Is it a loud build?  Also, before I completely back-pedal on my theoretical shit-talking, how good is your rig? I hear Cryostasis is a beast (as is Metro 2033 - are Ukrainian companies shit at optimizing?). How many frames do you get at medium/high/very high settings?  "

I actually hunted out deals over the course of about 2 months. By the end of it all, my girlfriend wanted to kill me, so it may have been a bit much. Overall the thing runs amazingly fast, but I haven't pushed it with anything besides Cryostasis. I don't have a hard framerate count, but I can play that game pretty smoothly on high settings. For whatever reason, I cannot max it out. the game is not really optimized and apparently uses only one core. Starcraft 2 runs beautifully on Ultra, although that game was made to play nice. I can't say anything about other games, but I believe this rig can run just about anything on high settings. 
 
It is on the loud side, but a lot of that is because the case fans are hooked directly to the PSU, so they always run at full speed. It doesn't bother me, but I do shut it off at night to avoid the noise. You can definitely do a better job with wiring and get this thing running quietly. It runs very cool with all that ventilation and I could overclock it a lot more if I really needed to.
Posted by jayjonesjunior
@RenegadeSaint: @RenegadeSaint said:
 
Don't do that, if you are going to use AM3 you should have an even number of RAM (2x or 4x), these 3x kits are meant to be used with Intel's triple-channel.
Edited by RenegadeSaint
@jayjonesjunior said:

" @RenegadeSaint:  @RenegadeSaint said:

 Don't do that, if you are going to use AM3 you should have an even number of RAM (2x or 4x), these 3x kits are meant to be used with Intel's triple-channel. "
I actually did realize that late in my build. In the lower part of my blog I wrote: "I realize I made a gaff with the memory as my board/CPU only support dual-channel, but I will rectify that with another stick of 2GB RAM." That was actually a very educational mistake as I had no clue how triple and double channel memory worked before I built this.
Posted by lilburtonboy7489

pretty phenomenal price dude....nice going on the price/performance thing

Posted by aurahack

What a coincidence! I just got my first rig, too!  Got it earlier this week.

Posted by ajamafalous
@aurahack: Oh, you.
Edited by Mikemcn

Wow, way to shop.  Have fun! 

Posted by AhmadMetallic

i just picked the exact same parts from my retailer (i live in israel)  and the total was around 650-690 USD ..