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$1000 gaming build to last 3-5 years

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February 18, 2009 3:33:11 AM

Yeah how great right, someone who wants a cheap long build...

I'm running a P4 2.6 computer with an ATI 9600 giving such great visuals....

I'm looking to build a new computer, and I'm pretty much done with ATI, every new driver they come out with has been horrid for the first month or two, have to keep rolling back drivers.

I'm looking to play SOME newer games, I'm going from barely playing anything on the source engine to hopefully playing games on mid-high settings.

It'll be a new build from the ground up, only thing I'm keeping is the keyboard.

Motherboard: ASRock K10N780SLIX3-WiFi

Going with an AMD build here due to cost, priced out an i7 build, and couldn't justify the cost.

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

CPU: AMD Phenom 9950 Agena 2.6GHz

Again, going with AMD, have an intel now and I want to try the other side of the coin... No real complaints with my Intel, other than my Intel board and the Active Monitor going screwy constantly. Friend has the Arctic Silver.

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

Case: Antec 900

Bought at a discounted price, so I guess this is an item I don't need...

Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts EA650

Bought as a package with the 900, but I can actually return this one without an issue. Not sure if this will actually be enough power for the rig... Also kind of want to keep an SLI option open.

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

Memory: OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 PC 6400 (two kits)

Had good ratings, heard nothing but good things about OCZ, And the price is excellent.

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

Heatsink: Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro

Been told to make sure I get a good heatsink for the processor, and this is the best I could find. Will order a tube of Arctic Cooling MX2 for this.

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

GPU: XFX PVT98WYDFU GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB

Been told by a few friends that own them XFX is a good brand, the fact it comes with a free copy of CoD 4 & 5 doesn't hurt, and it's right in my price range.

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

HDD: Western Digital WD6401AALS

Been reading and it seems like this drive is the second coming of christ. Does Cache size REALLY make that much of a difference?

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

DVD: Samsung SH-S223F

I've also read this is basically the only way to go.

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

Monitor: This is where I draw a blank... looking at an Acer AL2216WBD for $180... But I've read mixed reviews on it. The Acer would be though a local retailer, don't feel ALL that comfortable getting the monitor shipped...

Total:
$750ish from Newegg
$170ish from Case/PSU
$? Monitor

$920 without Monitor. (yeah a little over budget, but $1100 is pretty much my ABSOLUTE limit)

Also did I forget anything? Been going through so many freaking builds lately I constantly forget what was included on each
February 18, 2009 4:42:56 AM

Here is my suggestion:
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

You should definitely go with a PII build if you go the AMD route, Phenom I is old and slow.

You can swap in the 900 case if you really like it, but the CM 690 has great cooling and plenty of room.

The CPU, Mobo and GPU can be combo'd for $35 off, and you get a $20 MIR for the PSU.

The ATI HD 4870 is a great GPU, much better than the 9800GTX+. The 9800GTX+ is overpriced, and this is a GREAT price for a 4870. The HD 4870 beats out the 9800GTX+ in every benchmark hands down for $20 more.

The PSU allows for xfire later if you decide you want to upgrade your graphics down the road.

For a monitor, although it is currently out of stock :( :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or you could go with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 18, 2009 4:48:32 AM

Since I've been out of the tech game for so long, any reason for some of the changes? I probably should have mentioned the OS isn't a problem, Luckily I can get a copy of Vista from work for next to nothing. The main things I wonder about are the GPU, RAM (went from 8 back to 4), and the change from the samsung to LG burners (not much of a concern, just curious)

Thanks for your great ideas!
Related resources
February 18, 2009 4:54:49 AM

Go with 8gb if you can afford it, I just cut the extra kit so you could afford a monitor. It doesn't make a huge difference to have the extra 4gb in most apps anyway. And I like LG drives better than Samsung, but they are probably the same spec wise, just personal preference.

If you can fit a cooler in you budget go for this, it has very good performance. That one you chose is not that good, and not worth $20 when you are provided the stock heatsink that will be almost as good. Go for this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I know you said you don't like ATI, but that card is very good and there are no driver issues with it that I am aware of. I highly recommend you go with that card.
February 18, 2009 3:01:11 PM

IMO: You'll never get 5 years out of a gaming rig. You can get 2-3 with regular updates (keeping the GPU/CPU/Memory up to date), and after that the system will still be useful for office tasks, web browsing, and older games. To be able to run the latest gen of games however (in all their glory) will almost always require a relatively new machine.

I got 5 years out of my last home pc build... but by the end it could barely even play the new games (and forget about 1900x1200 high quality) and I was using my laptop for most gaming (because it was a lot faster... Dell Precision M90). With my newest home machine (8gig/1TB/Intel Quad core/gtx280) I'm back on top of the game... but I know full well that it won't last.
February 18, 2009 3:20:17 PM

Well I made modifications to my build, thanks for the help xthekidx, and Dave, I've had this build for 5 years, updated the video card probably a year into it, haven't done a thing since.
February 19, 2009 4:38:26 AM

Xig excellent choice for HSF.

My choice of DVD drives - Samsung first. LG - excellent second choice. I have both. If you are not in the U.S., availability may determine your choice. I haven't found Samsung DVD drives here in Saudi Arabia. Distant third choice - anything else.

WD 6401 HD - In this case, I don't think the size of the cache makes that much difference. The 6401 uses two 320 GB platters instead of 250 GB platters. The higher data density doesn't affect access time much (that's drive mechanics, primarily rotational speed), but it substantially improves R/W speed.

That's why I like the new, second generation WD 1 TB drives - three platters instead of four.
February 19, 2009 2:29:26 PM

optikal33 said:
Well I made modifications to my build, thanks for the help xthekidx, and Dave, I've had this build for 5 years, updated the video card probably a year into it, haven't done a thing since.


Then you know what I mean... we may stretch a machine to a 5 year lifespan but after the first 2 or 3 they're not really gaming rigs anymore. I'd stopped even bothering to buy PC games because I knew they'd run like crap.
February 19, 2009 3:18:32 PM

My comments:

optikal33 said:

Motherboard: ASRock K10N780SLIX3-WiFi


Good motherboard for an AM2+ system. I use it. Works good.

optikal33 said:

CPU: AMD Phenom 9950 Agena 2.6GHz


I think the 9950 would be sufficient OCed, but you'll need to upgrade your CPU within 3-4 years...if not sooner.

optikal33 said:

Case: Antec 900


Nice case.

optikal33 said:

Power Supply: Antec Earthwatts EA650


Okay PSU, but are you sure it will handle the drag of the two XFX cards? nVidia's SLi Zone you can find a chart they keep there of PSUs that handle different SLi configs.

optikal33 said:

Memory: OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 PC 6400 (two kits)


OCZ is always good solid memory.

optikal33 said:

Heatsink: Arctic Cooling Freezer 64 Pro


AC Freezer Pro 64 is a good one. I use that on my 64x2 5600+. keeps it chilly. should work on a Phenom well.

optikal33 said:

GPU: XFX PVT98WYDFU GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB


I have 2 of these. Solid cards.

optikal33 said:

HDD: Western Digital WD6401AALS


Caviar? or Black HD?

optikal33 said:

DVD: Samsung SH-S223F


Nice drive.

optikal33 said:

Monitor: This is where I draw a blank... looking at an Acer AL2216WBD for $180... But I've read mixed reviews on it. The Acer would be though a local retailer, don't feel ALL that comfortable getting the monitor shipped...


For a monitor and with your budget, look at a Sceptre like this:
SCEPTRE X20WG-NagaII Black 20.1" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor - Retail

optikal33 said:


Total:
$750ish from Newegg
$170ish from Case/PSU
$? Monitor

$920 without Monitor. (yeah a little over budget, but $1100 is pretty much my ABSOLUTE limit)


That's good pricing.

optikal33 said:

Also did I forget anything? Been going through so many freaking builds lately I constantly forget what was included on each

[/quotemsg]

Only if you need a floppy drive for some odd reason, 2nd DVD-RW for cross burning copies faster, or a all-in-one memory card reader.


Good luck with that. looks good.
February 19, 2009 4:28:21 PM

Dave K said:
Then you know what I mean... we may stretch a machine to a 5 year lifespan but after the first 2 or 3 they're not really gaming rigs anymore. I'd stopped even bothering to buy PC games because I knew they'd run like crap.


Hey Dave...just do what I do. Shop the game rack at a local Big Lots. :lol: 

about 1 or 2 out of every 10 i buy ends up pretty good.

I got Shadowbane, a couple of Rainbow Six games, and others. And, they're usually $4.99 or $6.99.

Might be a year or two or three old, but that's the way I learn to keep my systems usable.

At least til I get a wild hair and build a new one :lol: 
February 19, 2009 9:36:24 PM

What I ended up doing is buying a LOT more PS3 and XBox 360 games... now that I've got a fast machine again I'm back to buying 5 PC games for every console game.
February 20, 2009 5:41:50 PM

Unfortunately my finances has fallen through on this rig and won't be able to build a new computer.... AGAIN... Looks like I'm stuck with this rig for another year...
!