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Putting together a gaming machine for under 1k

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April 10, 2009 1:01:01 AM

Ok, forewarning here, I'm a hardware novice. I program for a living but don't really glory in the hardware aspect of it. Just not my thing.

I love EVE-Online and I want the best out of my machine that I can get for a reasonable price.

I've got 1000 dollars to spend, no more, less if possible.

If I can pull off a good system with 2 - 300 dollars left over then I'll get a nice big monitor.

Givens:
OS: already got one, Vista Ultimate 32bit SP1, I'd upgrade to the 64 in a heartbeat if I can use my license on it. I have access to the 64bit installs but I'm keeping this machine on the up and up.

Desires:
Able to dual box (2 client) EVE-Online
Large hard disk (500G - 1T)
Highly upgradeable so that future cost is less expensive.

Recommendations?

More about : putting gaming machine

April 10, 2009 7:56:28 AM

PII 720 and 4850x2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GA-MA790GP-UD4H MB and OCZ Gold DDR2-1066mhz ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CM 690 refurbished (just as good as new and cheaper)
http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/product_info.php?pr...

WD6401AALS HDD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDT-S1283
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Corsair 550VX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That runs you about $860, which is pretty decent considering what you are getting. Then you get $70 MIR after about 8 weeks. That leaves you at $790 after the rebates, so $200 for a nice monitor to go with that...

You can try your luck with an Open box monitor...chances are you will be fine with that...you may not get a manual or something but it saves you like $80. If it turns out to have dead pixels you can return it but I think its worth a shot
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or you can go with a brand new one that is smaller:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you pay for shipping microsoft will send you a free upgrade to Vista 64bit if the version you have is a retail or not bought with an OEM PC like a dell or something. If you bought the OS with the computer you have now from Dell or HP or something like that then you will have to buy a new version of windows to use on your new PC.
April 10, 2009 8:31:16 AM

I would change the phenom nonsense. He wanted a highly upgradeable build, I just don't see AMD offering much worth upgrading to in the foreseeable future. Swap AM3 board and AMD processor for a Intel 775 board paired with any core 2 duo/quad you can afford. You can OC later for more performance to hold off future upgrading expenses.
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April 10, 2009 9:03:42 AM

that didn't make any sense, switch it for a 775 board? 775 is going before am2+, about a year before.

go with xthekidx's build, except with an am3 board and 1600mhz ddr3 memory, it'll leave some upgradability in it.
a b 4 Gaming
April 10, 2009 9:42:15 AM

eric54 said:
I would change the phenom nonsense. He wanted a highly upgradeable build, I just don't see AMD offering much worth upgrading to in the foreseeable future. Swap AM3 board and AMD processor for a Intel 775 board paired with any core 2 duo/quad you can afford. You can OC later for more performance to hold off future upgrading expenses.

:o  :lol:  :pt1cable:  Lolz I think you have to check out what is happening in the H/W world...
Don't simply say things with out checking... :non: 
For your information, mostly by this September, intel would introduce the new LGA 1156 socket for the mainstream market and would be phasing out the LGA 775...
And the AM3 is the latest from AMD, which implies it will be around for atleast 2+ years...
April 10, 2009 9:58:41 AM

Go for Phenom II 720 X3 !
Plus Radeon HD4890 (highly overclockable ~1Ghz) for $229 after MIB you almost stealing it :D 

everything else - look at xthekidx post !
April 10, 2009 4:26:04 PM

No no no, all Vista licences are good for both 32 and 64 bit versions. If you have access to 64-bit installation media, you are fine.

And dont be worried, if the activation police come after you, just be sure to let them know you only have it installed on one functioning PC, and your good to go.
April 10, 2009 6:47:20 PM

eric54 said:
I would change the phenom nonsense. He wanted a highly upgradeable build, I just don't see AMD offering much worth upgrading to in the foreseeable future. Swap AM3 board and AMD processor for a Intel 775 board paired with any core 2 duo/quad you can afford. You can OC later for more performance to hold off future upgrading expenses.

:lol:  your dumb. PII is the most upgradable platform there is. AMD is sticking to one platform, unlike intel which means all the chips to come out will fit in this socket at least until the end of this year, possibly after that too. Intel is splitting up their sockets, and LGA 775 is dying out. the AM2+ socket will support a 3.6ghz PII x4 chip (PII X4 995 or something like that).
April 10, 2009 8:48:50 PM

ASUS PQ5 Pro - $130
INTEL E8400 - $170
G-Skill (4GB) DDR2-800 PC6400 RAM - $50
610 WATT PC POWER & COOLING Power Supply - $100
LG DVD Burner - $25
SAPPHIRE 4870 1GB - $200
WD Caviar Black 640 GB Hard Drive - $75
Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro 7 heatsink/fan - $45



ALL of the above = $795 (probably less), i factored in the estimae of S&H with the prices. that would leave you about $205 for a case of your choice and perhaps a monitor.

You will be able to upgrade the CPU to a quad in the future if you desire as well as the ability for crossfiring another 4870...

Flawless!
April 10, 2009 9:43:07 PM

Well it looks like I don't need a dvd writer. That should cut some off of the price.

I have a dvd writer in a server that is unused.

The OS is a non-OEM version. However its one of those Microsoft partner versions that you get for free when going to one of their developer conferences. I don't know if that means that I can't use the 64 bit version or not. Getting the 64bit version media is simple enough...
April 10, 2009 10:15:23 PM

Try it and see. Its not like the MIB come knocking if it doesnt work.
a b 4 Gaming
April 10, 2009 10:49:07 PM

danatcofo said:
Ok, forewarning here, I'm a hardware novice. I program for a living but don't really glory in the hardware aspect of it. Just not my thing.

I love EVE-Online and I want the best out of my machine that I can get for a reasonable price.

I've got 1000 dollars to spend, no more, less if possible.

If I can pull off a good system with 2 - 300 dollars left over then I'll get a nice big monitor.

Givens:
OS: already got one, Vista Ultimate 32bit SP1, I'd upgrade to the 64 in a heartbeat if I can use my license on it. I have access to the 64bit installs but I'm keeping this machine on the up and up.

Desires:
Able to dual box (2 client) EVE-Online
Large hard disk (500G - 1T)
Highly upgradeable so that future cost is less expensive.

Recommendations?


It just happened to be your lucky day that I saw this thread. You want the absolute best for your $$$ correct ? Well then it's only obvious you want an i7 build. That's where I come in. :) 

This build is set up to run SLI (dual video cards). Anyways this is a decent build for what you want. You can always add another video card later on in the future and run them in SLI. Also with the RAM, heat sink, thermal compound, and decent case airflow/ventilation it's ready to over clock. :) 

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-nvidia-sli-mo... <=== Gigabyte X58 SLI tweak

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <=== Better pics, specs and customer reviews of the case used in this build

http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/product_info.php?pr... $49.99
CM 690 Black SECC/ATX Mid Tower, W/O window, W/O PSU - Refurbished

http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-750w-tx-series-80-plus-... $109.99 Price After Rebate(s): $89.99 Shipping: FREE
Corsair TX CMPSU-750TX ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $199.99 ($184.99 after $15.00 Mail-In Rebate)
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $265.99 Free Ground Shipping
Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.99
XIGMATEK Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $6.99
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $178.99
BFG Tech BFGEGTX260MC896OCE GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $94.99 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99 Free Shipping*
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM

Total: $1,.016.91 *not including shipping - $986.81 w/rebates
April 10, 2009 11:23:57 PM

Ok, I'm seing a complete divergence here.

Whats the differences between the i7 and the Phenom?
Future upgrade ability and support?
Performance?

Is the price difference really worth it?
a b 4 Gaming
April 10, 2009 11:49:00 PM

danatcofo said:
Ok, I'm seing a complete divergence here.

Whats the differences between the i7 and the Phenom?
Future upgrade ability and support?
Performance?

Is the price difference really worth it?


To sum it up for you... i7 = Ferrari : Phenom = Camaro
April 11, 2009 12:13:28 AM

ok, I know there is always leapfrog race going on between AMD and Intel and it looks like the i7 is in the current lead. However when considering upgrade ability and the conversation I've seen here about how Intel is changing their chip set, where AMD isn't, would it be better to take the current cheaper AMD and rely on the leap frog effect for future upgrades or go with an i7 that's here now?
April 11, 2009 12:14:35 AM

Gaming build of an i7 shouldn't be attempted for less than $1250 IMO, you sacrifice too much on other components for the core of the system, its not worth it. The 4850x2+PII 720 will blow the i7 920+GTX 260 away, as well as cost $150 less at the same time so you can afford a nice monitor. I don't think it would be wise to build an i7 on that budget.
a b 4 Gaming
April 11, 2009 5:40:14 AM

xthekidx said:
Gaming build of an i7 shouldn't be attempted for less than $1250 IMO, you sacrifice too much on other components for the core of the system, its not worth it. The 4850x2+PII 720 will blow the i7 920+GTX 260 away, as well as cost $150 less at the same time so you can afford a nice monitor. I don't think it would be wise to build an i7 on that budget.


Luckily the i7 build I posted is set up for SLI (upgrade later on)...it's a non ATI / AMD build...it's quality. :sol: 

i7 / gtx 260 SLI > some AMD / 4850 x2
a b 4 Gaming
April 11, 2009 5:44:59 AM

Why_Me said:
Luckily the i7 build I posted is set up for SLI (upgrade later on)...it's a non ATI / AMD build...it's quality. :sol: 

i7 / gtx 260 SLI > some AMD / 4850 x2

Why don't you shelf your fanboyism for a little while. It's getting old. So you're saying ATI/AMD = poor quality? :pfff: 
a b 4 Gaming
April 11, 2009 5:45:57 AM

danatcofo said:
ok, I know there is always leapfrog race going on between AMD and Intel and it looks like the i7 is in the current lead. However when considering upgrade ability and the conversation I've seen here about how Intel is changing their chip set, where AMD isn't, would it be better to take the current cheaper AMD and rely on the leap frog effect for future upgrades or go with an i7 that's here now?


You order that build I posted, and later on upgrade and get another gtx 260 and run them in SLI and you are sure to be the internet pimp of your hood. :sol: 

btw that build I posted is ready to over clock. It has a killer heat sink and ram.
a b 4 Gaming
April 11, 2009 5:47:22 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
Why don't you shelf your fanboyism for a little while. It's getting old. So you're saying ATI/AMD = poor quality? :pfff: 



LOL...don't even go there with me. Iv'e seen some of your builds on here. Now is the i7 I posted a better build or not?
a b 4 Gaming
April 11, 2009 5:50:35 AM

So now you're going to insult me because I've recommended AMD/ATI builds before? I actually put some thought into each build to taylor it to the users wants/needs instead of cutting and pasting the same Intel/Nvidia build in every thread.
a b 4 Gaming
April 11, 2009 6:04:37 AM

shortstuff_mt said:
So now you're going to insult me because I've recommended AMD/ATI builds before? I actually put some thought into each build to taylor it to the users wants/needs instead of cutting and pasting the same Intel/Nvidia build in every thread.


Ok Iv'e had a few drink tonight so I'm gonna lay it out right now. It's a rarity if ever that anyone on here post anything but a product from newegg. Iv'e gotten a few PM's from people asking me how I get so much out of so little money. If I can post a superior build with less money then I'm going to do it. Now aside from the AMD/ ATI Intel/ Nvidea ...whatever.... most people on here would like to be able to own a i7 rig but they think it's beyond their budget. I try to help make it possible for those people to be able to afford i7 builds. And one other thing, I have seen regular posters on here talk people out of a decent Intel build with some AMD build that was sup par to the Intel build, so I'm not the only person on here with the "fanboy" problem.

And I appologise if I have offended you or anyone else on here. I mean that sincerley.


PS: Right now Intel is the KING with their i7's, but AMD may soon take the lead. AMD had it all over Intel for years, in fact I loved AMD until Intel came out with their dual cores...I go with whatever is best atm.
April 11, 2009 6:31:49 AM

B-Unit said:
No no no, all Vista licences are good for both 32 and 64 bit versions. If you have access to 64-bit installation media, you are fine.

And dont be worried, if the activation police come after you, just be sure to let them know you only have it installed on one functioning PC, and your good to go.

:)  reminds me of so many calls to india "only on this one machine"
April 11, 2009 9:12:10 AM

Why_Me yes the i7 is the best CPU out right now, but honestly the jump to i7 isn't the kind of leap in technology that Core 2 was. Its great, no one is disagreeing with you there. But since it is the best thing out there, like all things technology, it offers the worst price/performance ratio. Gaming is not something that is highly CPU bound, only a few games will really shine with the i7 processor...most games won't really care about what CPU is being used and will only reflect the GPU that you choose, which is why when it comes to making the best gaming build for the money, the i7 isn't really a great option unless you have upwards of $1500 or so to spend. That is why I recommend Phenom II to many people, even though I personally own and love the i7 too. An overclocked PII 720 and the best GPU you can afford is probably the best way to build a gamer system on a budget, as it has the best balance of future multitasking needs, speed, upgradability, and price that I can see. Most games are not multithreaded, and so having the 8 threads on the i7 doesn't help you at all.
a b 4 Gaming
April 11, 2009 9:17:13 AM

xthekidx said:
Why_Me yes the i7 is the best CPU out right now, but honestly the jump to i7 isn't the kind of leap in technology that Core 2 was. Its great, no one is disagreeing with you there. But since it is the best thing out there, like all things technology, it offers the worst price/performance ratio. Gaming is not something that is highly CPU bound, only a few games will really shine with the i7 processor...most games won't really care about what CPU is being used and will only reflect the GPU that you choose, which is why when it comes to making the best gaming build for the money, the i7 isn't really a great option unless you have upwards of $1500 or so to spend. That is why I recommend Phenom II to many people, even though I personally own and love the i7 too. An overclocked PII 720 and the best GPU you can afford is probably the best way to build a gamer system on a budget, as it has the best balance of future multitasking needs, speed, upgradability, and price that I can see. Most games are not multithreaded, and so having the 8 threads on the i7 doesn't help you at all.


That's just it. I don't need a $1,500 budget to put together a decent i7 build. Some others may, but I don't and I have proved that time and again on this board.
April 11, 2009 9:27:17 AM

Why_Me, try using your powers of super-saver shopping around and come up with a PII build that is 1K then compare it to the i7 for $1k. Your PII build will be better at gaming.
a b 4 Gaming
April 11, 2009 10:21:01 AM

xthekidx said:
Why_Me, try using your powers of super-saver shopping around and come up with a PII build that is 1K then compare it to the i7 for $1k. Your PII build will be better at gaming.


No offense but I would hang myself before I even attempted to put an AMD build together. If I had to deal with AM2+/AM2/AM??? Biostar and AsRock crap mobo's that look like they were built out of lego's along with trying to unlock the "magical 4th core" on a crap chip lest we forget the DDR3 those AMD people use, or ..whats the other fav ..oh ya DDR2 1066. Nope I'm not going to lower myself to that. I can make killer builds with Intel quads, dual cores, i7's and they are quality builds.

My impression of the typical AMD person is someone who is stuck in 2004 with two gigs of over priced high voltage crucial ballistics, XP, a case with side windows and flashy lights. ah yes, they love those Thermaltake cases....
April 11, 2009 10:33:53 AM

Why_Me said:
No offense but I would hang myself before I even attempted to put an AMD build together. If I had to deal with AM2+/AM2/AM??? Biostar and AsRock crap mobo's that look like they were built out of lego's along with trying to unlock the "magical 4th core" on a crap chip lest we forget the DDR3 those AMD people use, or ..whats the other fav ..oh ya DDR2 1066. Nope I'm not going to lower myself to that. I can make killer builds with Intel quads, dual cores, i7's and they are quality builds.

My impression of the typical AMD person is someone who is stuck in 2004 with two gigs of over priced high voltage crucial ballistics, XP, a case with side windows and flashy lights. ah yes, they love those Thermaltake cases....

Fanboyism only limits your options, I can see no upside to it. Try opening your mind to other possibilities.
a b 4 Gaming
April 11, 2009 10:37:02 AM

xthekidx said:
Fanboyism only limits your options, I can see no upside to it. Try opening your mind to other possibilities.


Not to worry...if I can get Budweiser on sale, I will forgo my usual Heineken.
April 11, 2009 2:20:55 PM

Lets bring this back on target a little bit.

Quote:

Desires:
Able to dual box (2 client) EVE-Online
Large hard disk (500G - 1T)
Highly upgradeable so that future cost is less expensive.


The argument is being made that because of the GPU the Phenom build is a better price to performance. However, I have to wonder that given my game of choice and the need to dual box it, is the GPU really as important as the CPU especially considering future upgrade ability.

Now if you don't know what dual boxing is, in EVE Online that is running two clients at the same time on the same computer and either alt tabing backing and forth or running them in windows mode and having them side by side. Alt-tabbing is far less expensive then side by side. EVE Online is a cpu hog but I don't know if it is just because it is or if it is because I run it on a laptop mainly that is 4 years old.
April 12, 2009 8:30:25 AM

This thread is a :lol:  Only a few of you actually said anything helpful. I'll join the crowd of those who didn't :na: 
April 13, 2009 1:14:10 PM

I told Dan this would happen. Post your request and you'll get some quick and serious answers...which would fade to flames while the subject gets lost. There's so much competition on this site! :) 

At least he's got 2 killer builds to compare, and for that I thank xthekidx and why_me. I'm sure we all agree that either of these two builds would fulfill either of the OP requirements with room to spare.
!