I have a friend who wants me to build a new system for him.
He is a gamer and loves his applications, like Xfire, and other applications that run in the back ground while playing games.

Background report.
His first computer (unknown) got fried in an electrical storm.

2nd Machine.
His uncle, (a system builder) built him a gaming machine 3 years ago.
I don't know the full system specs of it but it had a faulty Gigabyte mobo and mismatched speed ram to say the least.
He could never install programs on it.
He returned it to his uncle who recons there was nothing wrong with it and returned it in the same un-working state!

3rd Machine.
Built by the same person who built my current machine.
Amd AM2 4800+ x2
MSI Mobo (unknown model)
8800gt oc graphics card.
2gb Ram (unknown brand)
This machine also died 1 week after receiving it and thus returned it. Turns out the motherboard was faulty and was returned under warranty and was given another MSI board loaner while he waited for his replacement to come.
It never came and the guy sold his business and shifted away. Despite several communications attempts, we aren't going to see it returned!

Now he has come to me to build him a machine, which i am reluctant to do since his extreme bad luck with PCs over the years!
I'm almost tempted to say i can't do it just so i don't get hassled by his incompetence.
I don't know if his troubles are due to the applications he uses or if he has just extreme bad luck with system manufacturers/components!

I want to build him a decent machine but i don't want to have this one destroyed and returned to me like all his other ones!

Can anyone recommend a very stable, fool proof, system build for a high end gaming machine that is very unlikely to break down?

A list of compatible components would be great.

I recently finished building a gaming rig for myself. I'm in the middle of stability testing at the moment, so I'll update if it seems to be working correctly in a day or so.

ASRock A790GXH AM2+ socket
Phenom 9850 BE oc to 2.9
Zalman CPS9500A (full tower may be required for this cooler, it's not as big as the 9900 but it's still rather large)
4gb ocz platinum @ 1066 (soon to be 8gb)
Raidmax RX-700S modular psu
radeon hd3870 toxic edition 512gddr4
vista 64 ultimate edition oem
seagate barracuda 250gb (adding a 500 gb shortly)
2x 80mm intake(side panel)
1x 120mm intake (front)
1x120mm exhaust (rear)
1x80m exhaust (top)
It seems to be running fine, but I'm not even through the break in period for the arctic silver 5 yet. (idles at 32c via speedfan) I plan on completing the dragon platform with an HD4800 series in the near future, but the 3870 runs everything I've thrown at it so far in fairly good quality.

In a day or so I'll give you a heads up as to whether or not it's running stable.

Good luck to you.

There are no computer experts, only novices in training.

Past experience with AMD is they are only good for standard computing ie Microsoft Office Word. Like typing a letter. any hard core cpu usage like gaming or coding and compiling, or video editing or audio editing, is just too much work for AMD. However, on saying this, the latest reviews for AMD 2009 is more uplifting.

Building a comp[uter is more than just plug and play. I have blown up about 26 computers over the past 10 years. I collect discarded computers and rebuild them. So many things you have to do before you even put a hard drive into the box.

You home handy man computer fixit probably is not aware of many things. Best to buy a reputable computer, even second-hand. Take it to a tech shop, not chain store but the little guy who has a little computer shop. Get him to check it out. Pay him with your blood.
He will take it.

If your computer is your life blood then perhaps you could do with out those car accessories for a while longer? Maybe miss a few sports games? Don't gamble for a month or so and you'll have enough for a top shot computer.

Hi There,

Recommending a system is really easy to do, but the easiest way to run a draft is to provide us with a budget and what exactly this system will be used for. Because you have good bang for the buck systems at all price points.

good luck!