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Cpu/gpu/psu for a cheapie gaming system

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February 23, 2009 5:51:35 AM

I am trying to put together a cheap gaming rig capable of running newer releases at respectable fps (AoC, DoW2) and old games maxed out (WoW), at 1650x1080 resolution.

I already have the case/ram/hd from my old build, so all i need is a gpu/cpu, a mobo, and a power supply. Preferably for <$450. Here is what I have come up with so far:

gpu - Sapphire HD 4870 512 MB (link)
cpu - AMD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache (link)
mobo - ASUS M3A78-CM mobo (link)
psu - CORSAIR 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified psu (link)

Is that processor worth it? By itself it is $115, but there is a $45 discount in a combo deal with the 4870, so I will be getting it for $70. For an extra $34, I can upgrade it to Phenom 9850 with a little higher cloak speed (2.5 ghz instead of 2.3). Most games out there do not employ the multi-core technology, so that's my main reservation when looking at these quad core processors. Is there a better choice of a psu for $70/$105? (I've seen E5200 mentioned a lot, but I am not really looking to overcloak.)

Now, for the power supply unit. 400W is supposed to be way too low for the 4870, but if you do the calculations it seems to be enough:

1. 4870 under full load - 152 W
2. 9600/9850 Phenom - 95W/125W
3. Everyting else - lets say another 62W (4 ddr2 sticks = 12 Watt, optical drives = 20 Watt, mobo = 20Watt, hd = 10 Watt)

Total comes out to be 309W/339W. The 65%-85% load capacity for a 400W psu is 260-340W, so I am just within the range (or right on the edge with 9850 Phenom, which is not good). If I was to use a stock 65W intel dual core processor instead of a Phenom, I should be well within the safe range. This particular power supply also has 30A on the 12V rail. Is this power supply unit adequate?

The mobo I just picked out according to rating, all of them were around the same price.

Any suggestions? Again, I am not really looking to do any over cloaking and I don't plan on running dual gpu's in cross fire. This is a system for casual gaming/multi tasking. I am satisfied as long as I can run newer games at 30-40 FPS with medium settings, with a couple applications in the background. I am pretty set on buying the 4870, but I am still not sure what to do with the processor and the power supply.



More about : cpu gpu psu cheapie gaming system

a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2009 6:19:53 AM

I think you would be better off building a solid platform and then upgrading it.


ASUS 790GX 140
AMD 64 X2 6000+ 85
Sapphire 4850 145
Corsair 650TX

With that setup, you can add a Phenom II later and a second 4850.

Even better, take the 9850 combo deal with that board, for just a couple bucks more.
a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2009 8:24:25 AM

My suggestion since you stated no multi GPU and addin more processing power with the new 45nm Phenom 2 X3 hehe

!