New Gaming Rig ~1200 budget

I'm already slightly over my budget, I might be able to spend slightly more though. Anyhow here is what I have.

I was going to go with AMD just because I have always loved AMD, but everyone is talking me out of that for the time being. I also was going to go with a more powerful GPU, but decided to get 2 slightly less powerful ones and run them in CF/SLI. Thats about it.


Video Cards - x2










I currently believe everything to be compatible, and I appreciate any comments or advice! Thanks in advance!
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  1. First of all, forget the motherboard. I'll get back to that later.

    One obvious choice, you will never have any use for 1066mhz RAM with that CPU, most you will use even on maxed out overclocking is 400 fsb (for 3.6ghz) so 800mhz RAM. You can get Corsair 4gb DDR2 800 for $25 right now.

    Then another obvious choice, replace that Hard Drive with the WD6400AAKS, 640GB Western Digital, much faster at the same price.

    Then we come to the GPU. And now motherboard is also important. We already agreed that you need to drop the Biostar motherboard, but what to get instead?
    Well this is a question that has more to do with your GPU selection and budget. If you need to Crossfire properly (x16) you need X38 or X48 chipset motherboard. That means spending about $100 extra for it, if not more. On the other hand, if you got an HD4870 1GB instead of two HD4850's you would have almost similar performance without the need to get a very expensive motherboard, and you can even downgrade the PSU to the 550W version.

    Anyway, this is up to you, if you decide to use one GPU then take an HD4870 1GB and use this motherboard with it, Asus P5Q Pro.

    If you decide you want to spend extra and stay with two GPUs and 750W PSU, then take this motherboard instead.
  2. The amount of bandwidth limitation on a P45 board with two 4850s at 1680x1050 is not anything huge. Probably around 4 FPS in most games, compared to an x38, which in turn has similar FPS differences when compared to x48.

    However, if you are over budget, you might be better served by grabbing a single 4870 and getting a good after market cooler for that CPU :) You'll get some pretty nice gains by overclocking, at a minor cost. Later, if you feel you are running out of GPU power you can add a second card.

    Here is a quick tutorial on choosing various parts:

    And a list of some of my personal picks for builds:
  3. There have been benchmarks comparing the x8 and x16 lanes of the P45 and X38/X48 boards and the difference is negligible in real life. Go with the P5Q Pro and 4870 1GB.
  4. Proximon and aeiouandxyz are correct. You're not using much bandwidth on that resolution anyway. I'd say a few frames. You will start to see quite a performance difference on 1900x1200 but not to that extreme, beyond 1900... thats when you wished you bought the X38/48 series.. :P just kidding, but it takes quite a hit as it relies heavily on the GPU to send data as much as possible.

    Not sure of the 4850x2 pricing details, but that will outperform the 4870, if it costs more then go with the 4870. A 4870 on 1680x1050 is already an overkill.

    The PSU is an overkill as well. I'm using 4850 crossfire OC'ed Q6600 @ 3.6, watercooling and 4 HDD, 2 optical, 1 sound - Corsair 620HX. My rig pulls 480watts.

    You don't need the 1066 Ram as icyicy mentioned. I doubt you will be reaching that speed. a good 800 can be pushed beyond 400Mhz with better timings as well.
  5. Hi....jus would like to know if the 4870 1GB can outperform 2 4850s

    My recommendation on the motherboard would be
    DFI lanparty...

    Have seen many good reviews for this and it should perform extremely gud with the components that u have chosen...and it will perform very well with the 2 4850s...and for the psu, i think if u are willing to crossfire then it s required...jus to be on the safer side...

    and like others said dump the 1066Mhz in favour of the corsair memory and save those dollars to buy the mobo...jus my thought...correct me if am wrong
  6. the 4850 crossfire out performs the 4870 (except in crysis -pffft... )
    Lanparty is a good board - but I wouldn't recommend it for 1st time OC'ers. Theres too much tweaking functions that it confuses the heck out of anyone.
    The Rampage is an awesome board if you can overcome the ram compatibility issue. Easy to OC.
    No reason to spend more on the PSU when your rig is not consuming that much. a 620 already has enough head room. As a matter of fact a 550 is already enough.
  7. If you can spare another $40 or so you might want to switch to the 1GB version of the HD4870, like this from Asus.

    It will make a difference at that resolution if you ever feel like using AA, but if not then the 512mb version will work just fine.
  8. icyicy:

    the 4870 512mb vs 1024mb are about the same speed in games. The latest tom's chart showed 0-1fps diff across the board. There is just no reason to spend 40-60$ more on no increase just for the sake of spending money.

    At 22inch, you will be very well served with a hd4870 512mb.

    Good luck!
  9. I once bought a 256MB card because I was told the same thing. The truth is, programmers will use the extra memory eventually, probably sooner than later.

    On a budget, I would agree that most games out today will not use the memory at moderate resolutions, and it's fat that can be trimmed.
  10. icyicy said:
    If you can spare another $40 or so you might want to switch to the 1GB version of the HD4870, like this from Asus.

    It will make a difference at that resolution if you ever feel like using AA, but if not then the 512mb version will work just fine.

    Hmmm I swear I had that one picked out, I must have saved the wrong one. Thanks for spotting that. Definitely going with the 1G.
  11. Proximon said:
    I would recommend the EA650 over the TP3:

    A retail burner will come with some software:

    Thanks for the input, I will make both of these changes.
  12. So now I have the following changes




    I understand I may not see any improvement with the 1G card just yet, but I will most likely opt to get it for now anyhow, as I am still within my budget.

    Any other changes and/or upgrades?
  13. I also have a question

    After reading the specs on the MOBO

    It appears that this MOBO is capable of Crossfire correct? So if for some reason down the road I decide to throw in another 4870 that would be fine?

    And again, everything is looking great and I appreciate the help! I hope to order everything tomorrow so any last minute changes, post up!
  14. Yes that's right.
  15. Bumping this up one last time, if I don't get any responses I assume this baby is ready to go! Basically re-built the whole thing due to everyone's great advice and opinions, so thank you all!!!
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