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Crysis Max settings rig for $400

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 7, 2008 4:04:05 PM

Edit* I just changed a few things around, brings the total down to a crazy $338 after rebates. I now would recommend everyone check out the recommended upgrades section before making purchase decisions, unless they literally can't afford over $350

I've been selling Crysis oriented systems in the sub $600 price range for a few months now, and just thought some of you might find this parts configuration useful.

Starting with the processor, this core 2 based dual core tops out on average at 2.9-3.2 Ghz. I've been setting them at 2.66 to be safe. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116064

For the motherboard this might put some of you out of your comfort zone, but I must say I've been extremely satisfied with the $50 price range boards and their overclocking features. This one even has voltage control. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813500005

This powersupply sets this apart from other cheap builds, it will not fail you in 3-6 months like many cheapies. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153023

Ram, not much to say other than for a dollar more you can get a heat spreader but at a slower speed rating. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227139

One of the faster and more reliable drives out there, particularly at this price. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136075

Yet to have an issue with these burners. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106228

This card is really what makes this work. It's unlike all other 9600 GSO cards because it's shader to core multiplier is 2.8 versus the standard 2.5. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121251

This is an excellent case, and can't be beat on the price to quality ratio. For those wondering, Rosewill is actually newegg's in house brand. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147073

After shipping total: $398.91
After rebate: $338.91


If it plays Crysis it can play anything. Expect 12-42 (24 average) FPS at 1024x768 on Very High. Hope this is helpful for those on a budget.


Edit*

A lot of people are suggesting upgrades to the parts I've listed, having tested this out numerous times I can tell you performance is good as is, but here are a few decent upgrades none the less.

For the Cpu I'd try an E2180 for $20 more, I really don't feel more cache is necessary. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116052

For the HDD I know a lot of people would like more space, for only $10 more you can go to this 250 GB drive. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148262

On the ram and powersupply. Dual channel will not improve performance due to the lack of motherboard support. As for the powersupply... this is a very opinion heavy subject, just pick whatever else you feel comfortable with, but I really don't think you'll need something better unless you want to upgrade to a heavy duty card later on.


VIDEO!


A lot of people seem to be doubting the Celeron and this rig in general, so I felt a video was the only way to show people how well this actually works. To prove a point on the cpu, I clocked this "****" dual core celeron down to just 2.1 GHz. Res is 1024x768, no filters, Very High settings (high for sound). The vids are the original files. I don't think you'd be able to make out much after the youtube processing.


Vid #1 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WSE8FL5H
The first vid shows a blurry cpu/gpuz, but you can make out Celeron and 9600 GSO. I then launch into Crysis with fraps. It stutters when I do the twirl to load in the textures but then you can see its fine, and its pretty lame movement since I'm only using one hand.

Vid #2 http://www.megaupload.com/?d=7LWSW9NU
This vid is much better. I got out a tripod and I go further onto the island. You can see it isn't perfect, but I think its damn impressive for $400 and a supposedly gimped proc.
a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2008 4:17:28 PM

Thanks, smart choices in that money range.
August 7, 2008 4:21:04 PM

interesting. how many of those systems have you been selling?seems like one of the best under $500 rigs.

theres always tons of people looking for a cheap gaming pc. this could really help them

+1 good work
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August 7, 2008 4:23:55 PM

I've sold 6 so far, and I really am not expecting anything to go wrong with that powersupply for years, only supply in that range with a full 5 egg rating.
August 7, 2008 4:29:04 PM

how much do you charge for labor? I would also do a $600 pc with the same parts but 4 gigs of ram and a ati 4850
August 7, 2008 4:31:34 PM

Um max settings on crysis? With my 7950 GX2 i cant do that, i can only get medium/high and thats like 25 FPS. The 9600 GSO has probably 70-80% the power of a 7950 GX2? so i doubt your getting max settings. My rig was about the same as your rig cost wise.
August 7, 2008 4:32:21 PM

jeb1517 said:
What happens after 6 months? :hello: 


It turns into a pumpkin?

The TR series from Thermaltake is considered a mediocre PSU, not great, but not bad. It should power a low level computer just fine.
August 7, 2008 4:34:38 PM

LAN_deRf_HA said:
I've sold 6 so far, and I really am not expecting anything to go wrong with that powersupply for years, only supply in that range with a full 5 egg rating.

I didn't even bother to click the link to check out the PSU... but I will say this... I wouldn't put too much faith in a 5 egg rating.
August 7, 2008 4:35:21 PM

I just do a fixed price at $550, my profit varies with the cost of the parts. As for the 7950 GX2, thats a pretty terrible card for Crysis. Keep in mind the 9600 GSO is better than the old 320/640 8800 GTS. As for doubting the performance, I can only tell you what I know. I've seen it and monitored it with my own eyes on multiple systems with the same config.
August 7, 2008 4:38:16 PM

rodney_ws said:
I didn't even bother to click the link to check out the PSU... but I will say this... I wouldn't put too much faith in a 5 egg rating.


True, it takes a lot of experience to know how to cut through the BS and what you can take away from those reviews. I am pretty confident in the psu, and its definitively light years better than what you see tom's using in their cheap builds.
August 7, 2008 4:46:10 PM

if you had bothered clicking on the link to check psu LAN_deRf_HA you would of realized its a thermaltake which speaks for itself :) .
personally i wouldnt use crysis to show off a budget machine , it just doesnt scale well , i use Race Driver Grid or CoD4 as they run well on budget machines , just like Gran Turismo on PS3 , grid just has such an eye catching appeal to it , its been coded really well too , (no suprise as codemasters have always rocked when it comes to that).
August 7, 2008 5:06:02 PM

yeah but the people who are just getting into pc gaming that want a good system know that crysis has amazing graphics and if the pc can run it they think its amazing. i wouldn't mention the fps but i would say that it can run it on high settings
August 7, 2008 5:16:23 PM

would 2 EN9600GSO in sli be faster the a single 7800GTX for a 24" monitor?
August 7, 2008 5:18:58 PM

maximiza said:
would 2 EN9600GSO in sli be faster the a single 7800GTX for a 24" monitor?

i would imagine 1 of those cards are faster
August 7, 2008 5:21:54 PM

I didn't see anybody complain about the really crappy cpu! I know your on a budget but I would avoid any celeron cpu's period, even look around for a pentium dual core.
August 7, 2008 5:25:22 PM

Nice looking rig for the price. It could be made faster or more reliable, but that would likely increase the price.
August 7, 2008 5:43:19 PM

i think thats pretty cool. ive built a few computers for people but to do differnt things. its great that you have shared what parts you have used to help other people :D 
August 7, 2008 5:53:46 PM

And What do you do for an OS? Linux and WINE?
a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2008 5:57:16 PM

^^ For Crysis? LOL!
a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2008 6:05:31 PM

Quote:
Um max settings on crysis? With my 7950 GX2 i cant do that, i can only get medium/high and thats like 25 FPS. The 9600 GSO has probably 70-80% the power of a 7950 GX2? so i doubt your getting max settings. My rig was about the same as your rig cost wise.


Quote:
If it plays Crysis it can play anything. Expect 12-42 (24 average) FPS at 1024x768 on Very High.


I think you need to read a little more carefully.
August 7, 2008 6:13:57 PM

ok, i'm sure you know what youre doing when it comes to building computers, but lets be serious now...spend the extra 3 bucks and get dual channel ram...also, that e1200 is TERRIBLE for gaming...intels are very cache dependent. anandtech did a review on them and at 3.2 ghz are outperformed by an e4300 at stock clocks...
August 7, 2008 6:21:51 PM

Nothing much cares about the cpu anymore, I had no frame rate increase going to a 3 GHz core 2 duo from a 3 Ghz Opteron, didn't get an increase clocking it up to 3.5 Ghz, didn't notice an increase going to a 3.4 Quad either. Crysis could care less if its over 2.2 GHz. As for the dual channel ram, mute point since those cheap boards don't support dual channel. Expect a ram score of 5-5.2, and expect not to notice.

For the OS I use Vista Business since I get a deal for it from work, and most people use their old windows keys when making a new build for themselves. Otherwise I'd recommend an oem home premium from newegg.
August 7, 2008 6:32:39 PM

so apprarently you dont know that at 1024x768, the computer is cpu dependant? yeah, the vid card plays a role, but at that res, your cpu is the bottleneck...look it up...

ever been curious why in cpu tests they include game benchmarks at resolutions of 800*600 and 1024*768? at low resolutions, cpu makes a big difference...at high resolution (1600*1200), cpu only makes a 2-5 frame difference.
August 7, 2008 6:39:18 PM

That's very relative. In crysis at very high settings those tests carry far less weight as the stress on the graphics card is still very high. Those tests function best on games that are very easy to run in general.
August 7, 2008 6:47:13 PM


Thanks to xbit labs for the pic



but yeah, look at the difference in performance vs a cpu at the same clocks with 4mb of cache. and if you dont understand, let me spell it out for you. IN CRYSIS, THE DIFFERENCE IN FRAME RATE AGAINST A CPU WITH MORE CACHE IS 32.2%. if you didnt know, the new e1200's are based on the same architecture as the e6850. only main difference is the cache.
August 7, 2008 6:50:03 PM

gamerk316 said:
^^ For Crysis? LOL!


No, I was just Curious.

If you spend $400 on parts and sell it for $550 but still need and OS, Keyboard, and Mouse which add another $125 to the costs, it just seems Crazy to do all that for $25.

It would seem that Linux is the only option.
The only other option, I don't want to mention.
August 7, 2008 6:51:48 PM

Let me repeat myself, at very high settings the stress is still very much on the graphics card, this test is run on Medium. I would also like to point out that if this bothers you or anyone else that much, simply upgrade to the 2180 for $20 more. With the rebate, its still technically under $400. I updated the main post with a few upgrade suggestions.
August 7, 2008 7:01:45 PM

i could really give a s*** less. i'm just trying to help YOU out, but whatever...
a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2008 7:07:23 PM

Its a BUDGET pc; you get what you pay for. Besides, Crysis is GPU oriented to begin with, and very high settings increase that dependency. I would like to hear how games such as FSX perform though...
a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2008 7:10:50 PM

That PSU has only 18A on the +12V rails. That's barely enough to the power the system . And if you add 20% capacitor aging, which the extreme power supply calculator recommends for systems over 1 year old, it isn't enough power. And forget about overclocking the video card or adding components. You're going to have a lot of pissed off suckers, I mean customers, once they realize their computers don't actually run Crisis on "max" settings And the computer dies after a year.
August 8, 2008 12:51:23 AM

orangegator said:
That PSU has only 18A on the +12V rails. That's barely enough to the power the system . And if you add 20% capacitor aging, which the extreme power supply calculator recommends for systems over 1 year old, it isn't enough power. And forget about overclocking the video card or adding components. You're going to have a lot of pissed off suckers, I mean customers, once they realize their computers don't actually run Crisis on "max" settings And the computer dies after a year.


1. give them a one year Warranty
2. you get what you paid for
3. he claims it can run it on med/high not max
August 8, 2008 1:03:08 AM

i looked on cyber power's website and you can get

e7200
nvidia 9600gt 512
160 gig hd
2 gigs of dual channel ram
keyboard
mouse
speakers
3 year warranty
no os

for $564
August 8, 2008 1:14:46 AM

Good for you working the system. Anybody with any knowledge about computer hardware would likely not purchase one of your machines... but then again they would probably look to pay more for their machines anyway. Find a need, fill the need. Good luck with business ;) 
August 8, 2008 1:30:39 AM

That computer has cheap generic written all over it. The case is awful. It catches customer's eye first thing they see.

I never liked MSI boards. Too fidgety for my taste. Not too mention Nvidia old funky chipsets. I would definitely opt for a better processor than a celeron to consider a budget gaming machine. 512k cache just ain't going to cut it in 2008. 512k cache was so last century.

There are other system guides out there for $500 machines with better upgrade paths and little more umph considering that GSO is plenty fast for mid resolutions which is limited by CPU.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
mobo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case and power supply included for $100. You also get a quality Antec earthwatt power supply that can handle these kind of systems with ease.
a b U Graphics card
August 8, 2008 2:48:00 AM

If your card is limited, then yes, you dont need a decent cpu. Get a new card, like the 4850, and the more you crank the cpu, the more fps youll see. Todays new cards outpace cpus at stock. It doesnt mean you wont get great results without ocing the cpu, but youll get better results by ocing them. As for the cache, the numbers speak for themselves. The 4 things thats needed the most are too cheaped out. Better memory, better card, better psu and a better cpu with more cache isnt going to cost that much more for a much better scenario, with options for ocing and able to handle more than what we see here
August 8, 2008 2:59:45 AM

i was just wondering, and very nice job finding cheap parts that still do the job, how exactly do you sell these. Do you use a website, craigslist? where do new gamers look for computers?
August 8, 2008 6:52:00 AM

marvelous211 said:
That computer has cheap generic written all over it. The case is awful. It catches customer's eye first thing they see.

I never liked MSI boards. Too fidgety for my taste. Not too mention Nvidia old funky chipsets. I would definitely opt for a better processor than a celeron to consider a budget gaming machine. 512k cache just ain't going to cut it in 2008. 512k cache was so last century.

There are other system guides out there for $500 machines with better upgrade paths and little more umph considering that GSO is plenty fast for mid resolutions which is limited by CPU.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
mobo

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Case and power supply included for $100. You also get a quality Antec earthwatt power supply that can handle these kind of systems with ease.


That case looks a lot trashier than the Rosewill. I was actually shocked the first time I ordered one of these at how nice the case was. I've been over the cpu thing over and over again, I guess I'll just have to post an off screen video with fraps up to show how well it works. I've also put that cpu up in recommended upgrades earlier for people who just can't get over it.

@ Scippy
I sell them locally, so if anything goes wrong I can just drive out and fix it. It wouldn't be wise to start shipping systems without a large number of people to help you out.


EDIT*
I've just added videos, please check them out.
August 9, 2008 1:48:07 AM

LAN_deRf_HA said:
That case looks a lot trashier than the Rosewill. I was actually shocked the first time I ordered one of these at how nice the case was. I've been over the cpu thing over and over again, I guess I'll just have to post an off screen video with fraps up to show how well it works. I've also put that cpu up in recommended upgrades earlier for people who just can't get over it.

@ Scippy
I sell them locally, so if anything goes wrong I can just drive out and fix it. It wouldn't be wise to start shipping systems without a large number of people to help you out.


EDIT*
I've just added videos, please check them out.


You are going to compare a generic Rosewill flimsy case with Antec that are built to last? For measly $25 for years of use? Thermaltake compared to Antec power supply? What are you thinking? I'm guessing you are just doing it for profit who could care less about your customers. :non:  Or you really don't know any better.
August 9, 2008 7:21:23 PM

i'm gonna go with he really doesnt know better.
August 9, 2008 10:09:40 PM

Guy has put together a preety good PC for $400, whats the point of bashing him, really? Is it because you are angry you spent $1500 on your PC that plays Crysis at 16FPS? Are jealous you didnt try this before he did? I mean really, why nic-pic and the build? I really dont think half you of have any clue that there are people who have very small budgets and this $400 build would be a monumental upgrade from the Pentium 4's with GeForce MX440's and 256mb of RAM they are using now.

Besides, as the OP says 24 average FPS at that resolution in Crysis simply means 30-40+ in every other game out there at that res or even at 1280. And I think thats where the real value is.
August 9, 2008 10:57:40 PM

After all the price drops and stuff, it's time to change the 9600GSO...
August 9, 2008 11:41:43 PM

rubix_1011 said:
Quote:
Um max settings on crysis? With my 7950 GX2 i cant do that, i can only get medium/high and thats like 25 FPS. The 9600 GSO has probably 70-80% the power of a 7950 GX2? so i doubt your getting max settings. My rig was about the same as your rig cost wise.


Quote:
If it plays Crysis it can play anything. Expect 12-42 (24 average) FPS at 1024x768 on Very High.


I think you need to read a little more carefully.


Yeah where in the hell did i mention a resolution? i play all games on 1024X768 with the exception of 2 games. I think you need to read a little more carefully.
August 9, 2008 11:43:12 PM

lambofgode3x said:
i could really give a s*** less. i'm just trying to help YOU out, but whatever...


Your not helping nayone out, your just being an idiot.
August 12, 2008 8:55:58 PM

so how am i being an idiot? is it cuz i'm trying to show him that spening an extra 5 dollars on the cpu would get the performace of these s**ty f*****g systems somewhere within tolerant levels? i build computers for customers all the time with e1200 processors, but thats only because all they do is word processing and check emails.
August 12, 2008 9:23:21 PM

lambofgode3x said:
so how am i being an idiot? is it cuz i'm trying to show him that spening an extra 5 dollars on the cpu would get the performace of these s**ty f*****g systems somewhere within tolerant levels? i build computers for customers all the time with e1200 processors, but thats only because all they do is word processing and check emails.


You attempted to call me an idiot for choosing the Celeron, in turn you demonstrated your complete lack of understanding of the issues. You were not being helpful and you didn't even attempt you phrase things in a helpful manor, and to add insult to injury I clocked down the celeron for the videos. I have to say insulting someone's intelligence in a way that only embarrasses yourself is indeed idiotic.

I would like to point out to all the nit pickers, this is a starting point, a very solid one. While many forcefully suggest upgrades no one considers that some people literally can't go over $400.

@romulus
I saw the slight price drops when I did my rounds on newegg today, nothing else really matches it at $80.
August 12, 2008 10:11:25 PM

I don't know why everyone is hating on this person.

I mean heck they built a pretty decent rig for less then the cost of a PS3 that can after some tweaking out perform it it in some cases. (maybe most/all)

Also look at how many posts a day this forum gets with "Can i build a decent 300-600 dollar gaming rig". You can just now point them to this post or hell copy and paste his template and just depending on the budget they have can increase it.

I mean common no true PC gamer thats been posting is running a rig that costs less then 1,000..most probably range from 1.5-2.5k US Dollars. So theres no need for the "omg thats cheap pos i would never run it" Of course not the post wasn't more or less directed to you.

Yes he/she sells them. Im sure more then a couple of people here have build rigs for friends,family or just for money i have countless of times. He/She is building low end gaming PC's for clients that are looking for something more then a rig to surf the net,email and school projects and still play next gen games and still be at a VERY reasonable price.

i commend this person rather then nail him to the cross about there choice. Heck they even said change what your not comfortable with, everyone has there comfort company..i only like Abit motherboards always have for my own personal use....and Seagate HDD so i change that but you know..everyone has there nitch company.

Hell i have Thermaltake PSUs in some of my built rigs and also in my FTP server thats been running for 24/7 for 2 years now no problem after it was a gaming PC.
August 12, 2008 10:39:39 PM

i think his idea is sound , my only gripe is as i said before , dont quote it as a 'crysis' machine , we all know crysis is a high end , eye candy , machine killer . thats my personal opinion and i deal with building pc's for lots of people. as soon as they say i want to play crysis , my response is 'i hope your wallets big!'
a b U Graphics card
August 13, 2008 1:41:48 AM

Its like saying itll run in NASCAR, just doesnt say how fast itll go. I agree. Please, no Crysis claims for 400$
August 13, 2008 1:58:59 AM

For the record, I did say how fast this "nascar" will go. You know I'd agree with all these comments on how it shouldn't be labeled as a Crysis machine if it weren't for the fact that I and the people who've bought it can actually enjoy the the gameplay at Very High settings. Don't count it out just because the gains in this game are so minor with hardware 2-4 times as expensive.
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