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$270 Crysis gaming rig!

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December 5, 2007 8:19:51 AM

Well, I finally got a little spare cash and built a new computer. I was rockin' an old P4 2.8c/1GB DDR400/300GB WD HDD/16x DVDRW/9700PRO AIW. I used the HDD and DVD, plus an OLD case, and bought the following.

Intel Pentium Dual Core E2140 $70.00
EVGA 8600GT 256 DDR3 $70 after MIR
Antec Earthwatts 380w $30 after MIR
2GB (1GBx2) A-DATA Extreme Ed. DDR2 800 (4-4-4-12) $40 after MIR
MSI P35 Neo-F (open box) $60

Put it all together with my Windows XP from my old computer. Overclocked the E2140 real quick to 2800MHz (350x8) with 1.325 vcore, orthos stable at 60c with the stock aluminum HS/fan. OC the 8600 real quick to 650/850 (540/700 stock) and installed the Crysis SP demo. I put all settings at high except

shadow quality-med
volumetric effects-med
game effects-med

NO AA or AF and 1024 X 768. I'm getting VERY good frame rates. GPU bench 22.35 AVG, CPU bench 20.44 AVG. Running 169.09 drivers, no special tweaks. Game play is fluid, even during heavy firefights, I am truly amazed. Not bad for $270 huh?!

More about : 270 crysis gaming rig

December 5, 2007 9:56:27 AM

What are the frame rates? Until you have a screenie showing frames this post is useless.
December 5, 2007 10:28:43 AM

ya not bad.
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December 5, 2007 10:29:26 AM

I don't think this post is all that useful, even with frame rates, but I didn't post it to have a function. Just wanted to share my experience with playing Crysis on a budget rig. If you would read my post, I did give the framerate with the built-in benchmarks. 22.354GPU/20.44CPU. As for a screenshot, I don't think I owe you anything. If I want to later, I may post one, but I don't think anyone else doubts the validity of my scores, do they?
December 5, 2007 11:10:17 AM

I believe the OP, but I believe he should post screenshots... if for no other reason so we can see the level of visual detail he's achieving on his rig... I have a mental image of Pac Man on the Atari 2600 at the settings the OP is using.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 5, 2007 11:12:07 AM

While I would agree that the results are excellent for the amount of money spent, I personally prefer to keep my frame rates >30.
December 5, 2007 7:45:06 PM

Ok, here.



This is near the beginning of the game, a nice shot of the mountains and ocean combined with the enemy base below.



Here is a screen cap of my desktop with the GPU demo completed.
December 5, 2007 7:58:51 PM

those are some nice results for a system that cheap, nice job
December 5, 2007 8:02:36 PM

Not bad for $270? No, it's not. Would I invest $270 to get 20~22fps at THOSE settings? NO WAY! I might as well buy Starbucks for a month.

I expect my games to be at least 30fps at 1600x1200. Anything less than that is NOT acceptable. Either I spend the money, or I don't play...I want to know how cheap I can get that kind of performance, not how cheaply I can get the game to run without crashing.

Nevertheless, I wonder, how much will framerates improve if you swap in a faster Athlon X2 or a C2D6xxx CPU...
December 5, 2007 8:23:37 PM

Ok, didn't think it looked bad, most everything is set to high. 1600x1200 isn't even an option for me, I have an old 17in CRT. Maybe the rest of you guys can afford the hardware necessary for the high end, but I have a family to provide for.
December 5, 2007 8:30:50 PM

A 17" CRT? That isn't bad...hey, I have a family to provide for to. That is why I typically run last gen games...I can turn up all the settings and enjoy the game for far less than those who shelled out the dough to play it new...
December 5, 2007 8:41:02 PM

Wow. Its like you posted this on monday or something...FFS guys its a functioning computer for less than a good gfx card! i spent 3000+ on my setup and my performance per dollar doesnt even scratch what he gets. Heck, he even got a higher oc out of his proc. and its not a slow proc at all, a 2.8 beats anything amd can dish out! Since everyone seems to be knocking you i'll give you some kudo's for it. For the money spent you got excellent performance, and the step up in graphics quality must be substantial given you were on a 4 year old gfx card before. Seriously, i spent more on my PSU than you spent on your whole computer, lolz.

Getting 30fps is a must though, i run crysis on high everything and it dips below 30 often, granted its at 1680x1050 but the game scales nicely so image quality would be fairly similar. I suggest you turn off post processing to get above 30.


Nice build, prolly best performance/dollar i've seen to date!
December 5, 2007 9:09:40 PM

Guys, stop knocking the OP. I think it's pretty impressive.

nvalhalla, I'm glad that everything turned out for you. If you're happy, I'm happy for you.
December 5, 2007 9:44:13 PM

1763334,13,103234 said:
a 2.8 beats anything amd can dish out! quotemsg]

hmm ;)  i pretty sure a fx-62 would still beat a oc'd 2140
December 5, 2007 10:06:35 PM

colonelblake said:
hmm ;)  i pretty sure a fx-62 would still beat a oc'd 2140


I think that would be debatable. Most of the CPU charts give the FX-62 a 30-50% advantage over the 2140 at stock speeds, but consider he's already got a 75% oc on his 2140. Yes, you could oc the FX also, but not by 75%. Also, an FX-62 cost over twice as much as the 2140, so in my book there's no comparison.
December 5, 2007 10:12:11 PM

KyleSTL said:
Guys, stop knocking the OP. I think it's pretty impressive.

nvalhalla, I'm glad that everything turned out for you. If you're happy, I'm happy for you.


I agree... i think this is a great result... and anyone on a small budget that doesnt have the "best" or need the "best" should consider this $270 hell i paid more than that for my hard drives.

GREAT STUFF...

Im actually going to post my own one of these soon on a htpc that i built for pretty cheap once i get some results :) 
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
December 5, 2007 10:18:00 PM

singingigo said:
Not bad for $270? No, it's not. Would I invest $270 to get 20~22fps at THOSE settings? NO WAY! I might as well buy Starbucks for a month.

I expect my games to be at least 30fps at 1600x1200. Anything less than that is NOT acceptable. Either I spend the money, or I don't play...I want to know how cheap I can get that kind of performance, not how cheaply I can get the game to run without crashing.

Nevertheless, I wonder, how much will framerates improve if you swap in a faster Athlon X2 or a C2D6xxx CPU...


Its an awesome deal for a computer that he can play a current game on. Some people do have to provide for others than themselves or dont have mommy and daddy to buy it for them.

OP - this is really cool, good work.
December 5, 2007 10:22:26 PM

For the price it's pretty good. (Actually I will probably be buying something like that)
December 5, 2007 10:22:30 PM


$270 is cheap but you do have to consider no case, optical drives, screen, keyboard/mouse or hard drives were purchased so its really a $270 upgrade not a $270 gaming rig.

Having said that more power to you as its still a great performance increase for the $$ invested. Personally I would have been tempted to try and put a slightly better GPU in so I could raise the res above 1024X860, playing at that res is not something i would like to endure.
December 5, 2007 11:06:20 PM

I can play it on a combination of high and very high but my system cost me about $2200 so I think you did a great job. Anyone who says "I either play at this or don't play it" is an idiot. I don't care if you can only play the game on low it's still a fun game (except for the part in the alien ship) and you can reply it in the future as hardware catches up, I still play FarCry, Doom 3, and KOTOR 1&2 every once in a while just because they're fun and I can see what I missed the first time.
December 5, 2007 11:17:10 PM

I'm not sure about this but I've seen some people getting pretty decent frames on the demo, but on the real game they say its choppier. Not too sure about this but good job anyway.
December 5, 2007 11:49:50 PM

unplayable by me, sorry.
December 5, 2007 11:52:51 PM

I think that's impressive. Quick question: have those rebates gone through yet? I hate rebates.
December 6, 2007 7:51:31 AM

"$270 is cheap but you do have to consider no case, optical drives, screen, keyboard/mouse or hard drives were purchased so its really a $270 upgrade not a $270 gaming rig. "

VERY true. Doesn't sound quite as interesting in the title though.

"Quick question: have those rebates gone through yet? I hate rebates."

Just got everything up and running, rebates are in the mail. Before rebates it was $350.

"Heck, he even got a higher oc out of his proc. and its not a slow proc at all, a 2.8 beats anything amd can dish out!"

I'm pretty sure I can take this chip to 3.2, it's on 2.8 with rather low volts and the crappy stock hs/fan. This is a better OC than I had on the E4400 I used in a computer I built for a family member. I used 1.425v and an thermalright 128 w/ a 120mm s-flex to reach 3.0 at 65c! That didn't do as well as I had hoped...

Thanks for the positive posts guys. I was really excited last night when I posted. I had been up all day installing the os, drivers, OCing, ect and had just gotten to play for a little bit before I came on here. Sub 30FPS would normally bother me, but for some reason it looks great. I guess some people are more sensitive to frame rates than others, and some games are too. Now I'm going to install HL2 and play it again!
December 6, 2007 11:56:58 AM

holy **** that is amazing!!!!!!!!!!! absolutely amazing actually wow... man great deal im truly amazed! have fun playing Crysis
December 6, 2007 1:02:34 PM

I would not trust an open box.... nor would many others. What you did was buy a $160 mobo/cpu combo for $130 plus a gamble. There are countless ways to get that kind of performance for $160.

It should be possible to build a faster (in terms of crysis FPS) and cheaper system by getting a $100 AMD X2-3600 combo and dumping that extra 60 bucks into a real video card...
December 6, 2007 1:45:09 PM

Quote:
Its an awesome deal for a computer that he can play a current game on. Some people do have to provide for others than themselves or dont have mommy and daddy to buy it for them.

OP - this is really cool, good work.


As if to say I don't have other to provide for? C'mon...I work two jobs and have a wife and kid. Like I said, I would rather wait two years and play the game the way I enjoy it. Geez...all I meant is that, though the OP spent $270 and can actually "play" a high end game, I do not consider his results acceptable gameplay, thus I will either wait until I can get better hardware at that price or spend more money.

The Starbucks reference was a joke. I didn't mean to offend anyone...
December 6, 2007 1:49:33 PM

nvalhalla said:

Thanks for the positive posts guys. I was really excited last night when I posted. I had been up all day installing the os, drivers, OCing, ect and had just gotten to play for a little bit before I came on here. Sub 30FPS would normally bother me, but for some reason it looks great. I guess some people are more sensitive to frame rates than others, and some games are too. Now I'm going to install HL2 and play it again!


(Hehe...see if editing the quoted text works...)

Yeah, I'm one of those guys who goes around the office and changes the refresh rates on everyone's CRT because I can detect a flicker if there are flourescent lights and the monitor is set to 60hz...so I pretty much HAVE to be over 30, or my eyes kill me.
December 6, 2007 1:54:55 PM

ausch30 said:
I can play it on a combination of high and very high but my system cost me about $2200 so I think you did a great job. Anyone who says "I either play at this or don't play it" is an idiot. I don't care if you can only play the game on low it's still a fun game (except for the part in the alien ship) and you can reply it in the future as hardware catches up, I still play FarCry, Doom 3, and KOTOR 1&2 every once in a while just because they're fun and I can see what I missed the first time.


To say that I'm an idiot because I don't enjoy games the same way as you is not just idiotic, but bigoted. Some people may enjoy playing a FPS game over and over again, others do not. I am one of them. That is why I wait until I can run it maxed out (and the price drops!). I'm only going to play it once, so why not get the full experience? Now, if we are talking RTS games like Age of the Empires, Simcity, Civilizations 3 & 4, etc, I can play them over and over because they change everytime you play them. (Okay, AoE 3 can get repetitive).

Do you like reading the same books over and over again? No, then you must be an idiot! (in case you are wondering, that was sarcastic!)
December 6, 2007 1:59:50 PM

Hey nice build! I just put together an AMD 5000+ black edition with a 1950Pro for about $450 I hooked it up to my water cooling system last night and put it to 3.2ghz without any voltage changes. I am hoping to hit 3.5 we will see! more power to the cheap :-)
December 12, 2007 11:26:06 AM

AdamJ said:
unplayable by me, sorry.


Play the game or the demo and you will notice that when the frames go down the game play remains smooth and constant, no chuging effect(well hardly any, I can see a slight stutter when new areas are being loaded but hey! my rig is 4yrs old). TBH, If I didn't have fraps telling me my frames dipped into the teen's I'd never know. Hopefully a sign of things to come for future games. I would agree that frames under thirty in any other game is noticable and for some, unplayable.

As far getting the "full experience" from Crysis. I would break it down into three elements. The graphics, the physics and the wildlife.

In the past, the argument has been made that without the highest quality graphics playing a game "the way it was meant to be played" was not possible. I disagree with that. IMO textures, shaders and shadows have little impact on game play and the overall experience remains the same.

In Crysis, physics and wildlife(object quality) are the most noticeable effects when you don't have them. The CPU benchmark is so booring with physics on low as the shacks become indestructable. Likewise with object quality, set it to low and you can say good bye to your animal friends.

With Crysis, I will admit for the first time that those with older/weaker gaming rigs(like me) are not getting the full experience. However as the OP has textures, physics and object quality set to high he will be playing the game TWIWMTBP.

BTW. great job on the upgrade
!