Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

New Gaming Rig on Budget

Last response: in Systems
Share
August 22, 2008 9:04:05 AM

Hey guys,

I am not so knowledgable on computers as I have only recently started reading about hardware. I wanted to get some advice from people who knew more about hardware than I did.

I'm building a new rig that I want to use for gaming (I want to be ready for StarCraft 2 and play Crysis at high settings smoothly).

I have a couple of parts already.

(THESE PARTS WERE ALL ON SALE)
CASE: Thermaltake M9 (ATX Mid)
PSU: Antec TruePower Quattro 1000W
OPTICAL DRIVE: LITE-ON DVD+-R Burner w/ Lightscribe (SATA)

I am still on debate on whether to go AMD or Intel and whether to go NVIDIA or ATI. I want to build a system that will be easily upgradeable in the near future.

Biggest questions are which CPUs give bang for buck (I'm fine with OC'ing.. but I would rather want a newer chip).
It seems that AMD is a bit cheaper but Intel is beating the daylights out of AMD.

I know that NVIDIA has SLI and ATI has CrossFire. (My roommate is running 2 8800 GT's on SLI).

Do you suggest going with DDR2 or DDR3 RAM modules at this point in time?

Basically, I want second opinions on:
1. Motherboard (Open to AMD/Intel and NVIDIA/ATI) - (Also, I was wondering it was worth it to get a mobo with pci-e 2.0 x16 as new gpu's are utilizing these speeds. Are mobo's with dual pci-e 2.0 x16 for sli/crossfire available?)
2. CPU (Prefer Quad-Cores without breaking bank)
3. Graphics Card (Maybe I will get 1 graphics card now and get another one to SLI/CrossFire when I get more money)

Seems like a lot of questions but basically, I will be building this computer over a span of a couple of months as money is tight for me right now. Basically, I want BANG for my BUCK! :]

(I've been buying parts leaving the mobo, cpu, gpu for last to get the cheapest prices on latest technologies. Next is HDD. I intend on getting 2 HD's to run in RAID 0. I am thinking about getting HD's from a manufacturer that offers 5yr warranty on their HD. I don't care about data loss, I want to squeeze out performance!)

More about : gaming rig budget

August 22, 2008 11:13:24 AM

What LCD/Resolution will you be gaming with, it has a big impact on graphic setup? BTW, the 1000W PSU is probably overkill, a good 600-750W would probably have been more than enough for the "budget" segment. What kind of budget are we talking about?

If I just take MY definition of budget, I would go with:
  • CPU: Q6600 (the quad might be slower in some games, but I'm pretty sure Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 will benefit from it)
  • MB: Any good P45 board (like Asus P5Q Pro/Deluxe)
  • GFX: ATI 4870
  • RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2-800 (DDR3 is only a waste of money for now)
    August 22, 2008 11:47:40 AM

    evga 750i FTW motherboard
    Q6600
    2x XFX 8800GT's from tigerdirect - i mean $109.99 SERIOUSLY.
    2x2GB OCZ ReaperX if you can shell out the extra $40 over the sli certified OCZ
    WD3200AAKS x2 320 gigabyte hard drives in RAID 0
    coolermaster RC-690
    xigmatek HDT-S1283 cpu cooler...

    something like that i'm kind of getting a bit sick of writing that in most new system build forums lol and ppl r gonna start bashing me for being a fanboy -_-

    idk somethin like that btw the two 8800GT's will rape the gtx280 and easily the 4870, although not as good as the 9800GX2 or 4870X2 :) 
    Related resources
    August 22, 2008 12:39:07 PM

    Yeah, the Antec PSU was a bargain.. (i realize it was an overkill but i guess it'll last for a long time and perform really well).. I got it off of someone for $100.. why they decided to sell? their loss, my gain..

    My roommate is running a Q6600 not OC, 1 dvd drive, 4 hdd's, 1 card reader, 2 evga 8800gt's, with 9 fans total on the system (which includes the zalman cpu fan), and 2x2gb gskill ram and I don't know if he's got enough power running a 700W PSU.. do you think that's enough power for him? this is another story..

    anyways, i have bad experience with nvidia and their cards (had a couple low end cards that screwed up the screen and had to install old drivers version 9x.xxx) so i'm leaning towards running two ATI cards in crossfirex.. what do you guys think? I would like to spend the equivalent of getting two 8800gt's on the ATI cards..

    Which motherboard would be best suited for running a LGA775 with CrossFireX support?

    Also, I'm running my system on the standard Dell 22" Widescreen (i think 228wfp)
    August 22, 2008 12:56:53 PM

    The best suited motherboards for crossfire are x38/x48 because they enable crossfire at 16x/16x (compared to 8x/8x with p45). Take a look at gigabyte x48 ds4.

    p.s. It may not be worth it to crossfire since more performant cards with better technology will be out by the time. At your resolution i would go p45 with a 4870 and if one day you feel it sux sell the 4870 and buy a new card at that time.
    August 22, 2008 1:15:10 PM

    Zenthar said:
    What LCD/Resolution will you be gaming with, it has a big impact on graphic setup? BTW, the 1000W PSU is probably overkill, a good 600-750W would probably have been more than enough for the "budget" segment. What kind of budget are we talking about?

    If I just take MY definition of budget, I would go with:
  • CPU: Q6600 (the quad might be slower in some games, but I'm pretty sure Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 will benefit from it)
  • MB: Any good P45 board (like Asus P5Q Pro/Deluxe)
  • GFX: ATI 4870
  • RAM: 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2-800 (DDR3 is only a waste of money for now)


  • +1 for Zenthars advice. Intel(CPU), Intel(Chipset) and ATI(GPU) is the best combination at this time. I would suggest a Gigabyte board. To save money, maybe get an ATI 4850.

    Usually i suggest an Intel dual core, but Starcraft 2 is one of those unknowns. It looks awesome. Being a strategy game with all that action may require a quad. The Q6600 is a steal right now and it is a nice OC'er.

    Don't worry about Crossfire. The current ATI cards are great in single card setups. Unless your going with a 27" or bigger monitor stick with the P45 mobo and a single vid card (48xx).

    HD: I like the Seagate 7200.11 HDs.
    August 22, 2008 1:36:41 PM

    If the OP wants Crossfire, he might as well get a 4870x2 or a 4850x2 ... he will probably save money compared to more expansive MB + 2 cards...
    August 22, 2008 1:40:11 PM

    Our budgeting philosophies are apparently somewhat different, but I will try to contribute. Just what is your budget? It sounds to me that you are willing to stretch your finances to the limit on this system (not buying foolishly, of course; that PSU for only $100 was an outstanding pickup). I'm sure that will get you something fantastic. I agree with Zenthar, however, that DDR3 is not worth it.
    Get 4GB of DDR2-800 that will run reliably at the JEDEC default of 1.8V. If you overclock it, you can bump the voltage yourself, but at least it WILL work at default settings. I think I'm becoming a Mushkin fanboy; I've never had a problem with theirs.
    Get a Q9xxx. I have an e8200 and 2GB in a brand-new Dell at work, and with all the anti-virus, VPN, filtering, and "management" crap on it, I still experience lag sometimes (5-15 seconds usually). While I don't have nearly as much background stuff at home, my rig with a Q9450 never hitches even if McAfee starts scanning, Spyware Doctor does an update, and email comes in while I'm gaming, browsing, and/or downloading. That, by the way, is my answer to Tom's article about why you need a quad; although I don't "need" it, it sure is nice.
    Finally, I agree with georgy on Crossfire. Get just one card. If I were buying a video card today, it would probably be a 4850, although since you used "Crysis", "high settings," and "smoothly" in the same sentence, you would probably want a 4870x2.
    August 22, 2008 1:52:33 PM

    At 1680x1050, Crysis would be very playable on a single 4870 if you set it to DX9. It does rather well on my 8800GTS512 so ...
    August 22, 2008 2:43:14 PM

    Zenthar said:
    At 1680x1050, Crysis would be very playable on a single 4870 if you set it to DX9. It does rather well on my 8800GTS512 so ...


    playable at 1680*1050 high settings on my system ;)  I get around 25 fps
    August 22, 2008 3:13:50 PM

    I also agree that the 4850 would be a great choice...if he's playing on a 24" monitor, then get the 4870 (although I currently use my 4850 on a 24" and it plays everything just fine :)  )

    The OP should clarify his budget...
    August 22, 2008 5:40:46 PM

    Hey guys, your responses are so quick!

    My budget is not set in stone.. but i dont want to spend over $200 on mobo, $250 on cpu, and $300 on gpu's..

    about buying gpu's, i do not want to spend $300+ on one single LEADING card (like the 4870 x2).. that is way too expensive for me.. there's no way i can justify getting such an expensive card..

    instead, i would like to get a card that will hold me up pretty well and then later when i get some more money, i can drop in another graphics card and run it in CrossFireX..

    With that said, if possible, I want to get the BEST prices on quality parts.. (basically, minimum spent money that will allow me easy access to OC if i want, for features that should not be overlooked in a new desktop gaming pc) EX: I don't need a WIFI mobo, or a mobo that offers 4 gigabit connections.. Instead, I want something that has 2 pci-e 2.0 x16 for scalable upgrades on crossfire, Sata inputs for 2 HD'S and 1 DVD Drive (Dont' care about IDE), etc.. things that I SHOULD have but not getting things that are EXCESSIVE..
    August 22, 2008 6:06:31 PM

    well you could get an AMD Phenom 9850 + MSI K9A2 Mobo (combo deal) for $309...add a Visiontek 4870 for $270 (thats without $20 mail in rebate) and 4 gigs of DDR2 800 ram and you got yourself a capable rig without breaking the bank...

    Links to items:
    ram
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231148

    video card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814129113

    cpu
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103249

    mobo
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130136


    Edit: I hear that the new 790GX chipsets are supposed to OC pretty well...maybe someone else can enlighten you about that chipset...(just throwing it out there)
    August 22, 2008 6:55:05 PM

    That mobo is crazy! BUT it's AMD.. I'm kind of leaning towards Intel though.. How does the AMD quads compare to Intel quads? My impression is that the Intels are more power thirsty (which can be quenched with my 1000W PSU) but deliver more punch while AMD's run with lower voltage and don't provide much OC'ing..

    I am def. thinking about going ATI HD4870 (not x2).. and then buying another unit in a couple months.. what do you guys think about this? (those asking about my budget, the 4870 x2 is out of my budget lol)..
    August 22, 2008 7:45:16 PM

    so doing some research, i found that the hd4870 beats the 9800gx2 (which i'm assuming is one of nvidia's later cards).. which really makes me wanna go with ATI..
    August 24, 2008 1:08:46 PM

    Well, the Intel quads are said to oc a lot higher and easier. I like my Q9450, although for playing games I'm sure I would have been happy with an AMD quad. My next upgrade, when necessary, will almost certainly be a better GPU, probably a 4850. I'll see how my 3850 does if/when I start playing Oblivion again. I have no plans to get Crysis.
    !