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$1200-$1300 gaming build. Looking for final advice.

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May 4, 2009 11:19:41 PM

Hello, my name is Adam and I am building my first home-built computer. I know how to put the computer together and everything already and have a general idea of what parts I will be using. I came here in the hopes that I can get final advice on the system I am ready to buy. My budget for this entire build is around $1250. but I can stretch to a max of $1300. Currently with all the parts I have listed I am at $1195 after S&H.

What I want out of this computer is good gaming. I would like to play newer games like FarCry 2 at all high, Crysis (atleast medium on Crysis :p ) and others like Age of Conan etc..

The current parts I have in my shopping cart are the following:

Case - Antec 1200 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card - EVGA GTX 260 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... --(I plan on getting 2 eventually.)

Power Supply - Corsair 850W - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory - Patriot 4gig 1066 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO - EVGA 750i - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive - 640GB WD - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor - E8500 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

OS - Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit

I would like to avoid overclocking, but I'm not sure if I should or not. If you guys can share your thoughts on overclocking vs. not overclocking that'd be great. :D 

I would also like a decent sound card instead of onboard audio, but I'm not sure what to get for that if anyone can suggest something good, yet affordable (around $30-$40)

Also if you have any suggestions for any of the parts I listed I'd be glad to hear'em!

Thanks for your time

-Adam
May 4, 2009 11:37:59 PM

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

I would advise against the nVidia chipset motherboards as they are not very reliable and SLI in general is not as effective as crossfire. The wishlist I posted is a very strong build for only 1000.

At this price range you have some options though. You could squeeze in an i7 build, which would be fantastic, but you can also go for a strong AMD build. The Deneb processors are a great value and will outperform the Core 2 Duo for the same price. Additionally, overclocking a Black Edition processor is as easy as changing the mutliplier! Take a look at my build and see what you think.

Also, check out today's article on the HD4770 to see why I put two of those in crossfire in there =)

Edit: If you want to use all of that budget, then you could keep my build, but bump the power supply up to the Corsair 750TX (+$10), and add 2 HD4870 1 GB, giving you very nice performance.
GPU x2 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 4, 2009 11:49:53 PM

When I click on your wishlist it brings up an empty wishlist page. I would like to stick to intel/Nvidia and with the list of items I currently have I made it so i have room to upgrade as time goes by. I went for the larger case, and power supply etc.. for when it comes time to upgrade, is there much difference between GTX 260 in SLI and the 4870 in SLI? I don't know much about the new ATI cards or the new AMD processors, I have only been following intel and nvidia lately.


I'd like to stick with the power supply I currently have even though the 850W might be overkill for now, when i evenrtually upgrade later on i wont have to worry about it.

Another thing is, i'm worreid about the processor, I was looking into the I7's which would be another $100 but that would be JUST in my budget without a sound card.
Related resources
May 4, 2009 11:51:18 PM

My worry on the processor is that will the core 2 duo 3.16 be enough for games like farcry 2 maxed?
May 5, 2009 12:10:05 AM

Yeah I'm not going to go with I7, but should I be looking for a quad core instead of duo core? I heard core 2 duo's outperform quads for gaming, but I'm not sure if that's accurate. If I do bump up the processor I only want to spend about $50 more because I would like a sound card too.
May 5, 2009 12:51:49 AM

check out the phenom II x3 720.. if it's not as expensive as the e8500..
i recommend that you buy the phenom cpu..
you can refer to this article (how many cores do you need)
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/multi-core-cpu,2280...
(you don't really need the four cores unless you want to play gta 4 that much)

here's a benchmark for the game far cry:
http://www.techspot.com/review/153-asus-geforce-gtx285/...
http://www.techspot.com/review/139-geforce-gtx-295/page...
to sum those benchmarks up.. a single gtx 295 is better than a gtx260 SLI.. (base on the game far cry)
^-^..
May 5, 2009 1:11:37 AM

Stay with the E8500. The only apps you will notice a difference in vs quad core would be video editing, photoshop.

I would recommend you change your mobo to this one...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This will save you $60. Use part of that for this gpu...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Besides those two things the only other suggestion I would make would be to invest in a good cpu cooler.

That mobo/cpu combo should allow you to get to or above 4 ghz. There is also plenty of room to OC the gpu.
May 5, 2009 2:21:36 AM

For most games these days, its all about the clock speed. Most games are GPU dependent, meaning the biggest performance increases comes from video power. At the moment, the Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad are roughly evenly matched in terms of gaming performance. However, if you consider how much your paying, you can get so much more from AMD. I would take some time to read that article linked above about the 720 BE, its a very over-clockable chip that will blow Core 2 Duos out of the water, for a fraction of the price.

As far as sound cards go, just about every motherboard you will buy these days comes with 7.1 channel audio, and it is very sufficient. Personally I think the money can be better spent elsewhere in an area where you actually notice a difference.
May 5, 2009 2:28:17 AM

Okay, thank you for your posts guys, I am going to do some research on everything you have said and make my decision later tonight. But concerning a sound card, does anyone know if Creative sound cards have alot of problems with vista? because the product info says its compatibile with xp and win2k but says nothing about vista at all on any of their cards..


May 5, 2009 4:21:08 AM

:bounce: 

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/gigabyte-nvidia-sli-mo... <--- Gigabyte: Enable SLI On X58 Boards

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $139.99 Free Shipping*
COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
$15 off with promo code EMCLRPL24, while supplies last

http://www.buy.com/prod/corsair-750w-tx-series-80-plus-... $114.99 Shipping: FREE
Corsair TX CMPSU-750TX ATX12V & EPS12V Power Supply

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-EX58U3R $179.99
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R Core i7/ Intel X58/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ ATX Motherboard

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... $36.99 Free Shipping*
Scythe MUGEN-2 SCMG-2000 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $4.99
Tuniq TX-2 Cooling Thermal Compound - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $249.99 ($229.99 after $20.00 Mail-In Rebate) Free Shipping*
EVGA 896-P3-1170-AR GeForce GTX 275 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 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... $24.99 Free Shipping*
LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$20.00 Combo Price: $154.98
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

Total: $1,262.90 | $1,242.90 w/rebates

May 5, 2009 4:45:12 AM

+1 Why Me
May 5, 2009 2:42:19 PM

Transmaniacon said:
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

I would advise against the nVidia chipset motherboards as they are not very reliable and SLI in general is not as effective as crossfire. The wishlist I posted is a very strong build for only 1000.

At this price range you have some options though. You could squeeze in an i7 build, which would be fantastic, but you can also go for a strong AMD build. The Deneb processors are a great value and will outperform the Core 2 Duo for the same price. Additionally, overclocking a Black Edition processor is as easy as changing the mutliplier! Take a look at my build and see what you think.

Also, check out today's article on the HD4770 to see why I put two of those in crossfire in there =)

Edit: If you want to use all of that budget, then you could keep my build, but bump the power supply up to the Corsair 750TX (+$10), and add 2 HD4870 1 GB, giving you very nice performance.
GPU x2 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For the love of God! You do this on every post, you make a private wishlist and post it. You have to make a public wishlist (check the box and select "share") in order for people to see it. Your advice is completely useless at this point.
May 5, 2009 4:08:24 PM

The Core i7 is overkill for gaming. Go AMD Phenom II and use that money you'll save for an extra HD 4890 Crossfire. Look at this review on tomhardware.com and notice that with a GTX 260 GPU (Simliar to the HD 4870) that there is little to no performance increase in gaming (maybe a 10fps increase in some games). However, if you go with two 4890s in Crossfire you'll get a helluva lot more performance. Also, an overclocked 4890 can match or beat a GTX 280 which cost $100 more. You're not going to be able to max out Far Cry 2 by going to an i7 over a Core 2 Duo. That game is mostly GPU dependent, so do yourself a favor and put the money in a better GPU.

So, do you want to waste $200 more on an i7 for ~5% to 10% performance increase, or a second HD4890 for up to a 93% increase, or almost double the performance in some games? I can't even imagine the level of performance you could reach with two overclocked 4890s . . .

AMD Phenom II x3 720 cpu

DFI Lan Party 790FX mobo

2x XFX 4890 video card in Crossfire

OCZ 4GB(2x2GB) DDR3 1333 6-6-6-20 Memory kit

Western Digital 500GB Hard Drive

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 CPU cooler

Corsair 750w PSU

Cooler Master RC-690 Case

LG DVD Drive

Total: $1172 after shipping

BTW this is without looking at the combo deals, which can save you another $40 to $60.

The tri core Phenom II will give you a lot of headroom for overclocking, and offer better multitasking performance over a Core 2 Duo. Also, AMDs CPUs and mobo chipsets are tweaked to get the best performance out of an all AMD system (CPU, chipset, and GPU), so you'll be doing yourself a favor by going AMD.

As for an OS, get the Windows 7 RC 64 bit edition, in my experience it runs much smoother than Vista, hogs much less memory, and improves performance ten fold.

May 5, 2009 4:14:40 PM

Core i7 may be overkill...but its future proof too!
May 5, 2009 4:22:32 PM

Kill@dor said:
Core i7 may be overkill...but its future proof too!


Lol, nothing is "future proof" when building a new computer.

Phenom II is too, uses DDR3 memory and is the latest AMD socket (AM3) that is expected to last until, at least late 2010. Also, if AMD continues to release backwards compatible CPUs, the next gen socket CPUs will work in AM3 as well. Sounds about as "future proof" as you can get to me.
May 5, 2009 4:38:53 PM

I like both companies...just think the core i7 is ground breaking to a new era of pc computing. Pretty soon its 28nm...16 core processors and intel is rushing their way there already. And more than ever...speeds up to 5GHz w/intergrated graphics very soon ^_^
May 5, 2009 4:42:22 PM

radiowars said:
For the love of God! You do this on every post, you make a private wishlist and post it. You have to make a public wishlist (check the box and select "share") in order for people to see it. Your advice is completely useless at this point.


The wishlist is shared...hence the reason I posted the link...

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-MA790FX-UD5P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100277L Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
SAPPHIRE 100277L Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 ... - Retail

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX - Retail

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM

LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - OEM

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM

Total: 993.90$




May 5, 2009 4:49:05 PM

Let's try to help Adam as opposed to thrashing each other, eh? As far as i can tell, we are pretty much all nubs here ^_^
May 5, 2009 4:54:58 PM

Kill@dor said:
I like both companies...just think the core i7 is ground breaking to a new era of pc computing. Pretty soon its 28nm...16 core processors and intel is rushing their way there already. And more than ever...speeds up to 5GHz w/intergrated graphics very soon ^_^


That would be cool, but look at dual and quad cores. In terms of gaming they offered very little to nothing for performance. A dual core is just as fast as the latest i7 in MOST games. Games are just now taking advantage of multiple cores, and hopefully by this fall/winter they'll take full advantage of quad cores. Also, the current generation of quad cores beat the snot out of the first gen, which is the same with any new technology. Innovation is key in driving technology, but I will usually wait until the tech matures and software takes advantage of it. Same reason I don't have an SSD . . . yet ;) 
May 5, 2009 6:34:43 PM

Okay, after looking at a few other posts here and on other websites and reading countless AMD vs. Intel arguements I decided not to go with the i7, but stick with the E8500, and with the money I wont be using on the i7 I'll just get a second GTX 260 and SLI. I considered going AMD but i guess I'm too much of a stubborn intel fan :p 


Would a 750W power supply be strong enough for 2x GTX 260's? or should I stick with the 850W at $30 more? I don't want to push the power supply near its limit, I would like to give it some breathing room.


As for the operating system, I am going to get vista 64-bit for now, I do like how Win7 is looking but I think I am just going to wait for Win7 to finalize and have all the facts come out before I go with it. I'm not saying its going to be like vista all over again, but you never know and Vista is pretty smoothed out now.

As for the Creative sound card thing I mentioned, I spoke to my friend last night and he said he has no problems with creative working with vista, so I'm going with that.

I'm still open to new ideas for anything if anyone else wants to bounce around more ideas. But I think we pretty much covered everything. I will be purchasing everything in about 2-3 days.
May 5, 2009 6:44:07 PM

Have you taken a look at the Auzentech Forte 7.1 sound card? It used the Creative X-Fi Processor which supports EAX 5.0 and from what I've read has much better driver support. I personally have loved my Audigy 2 ZS sound card, but based on what I've read the Forte offers better performance for less money than a Creative X-Fi card.
May 5, 2009 6:45:21 PM

750W is perfect for x2 260GTX's. I think you made a good choice...in my opinion. Later you can get a Quad core...which is what i am doing (still running E6600) and get the new core i7's coming out later. They will be better and faster. Just make sure you decide if you want to keep these parts for a long time...or are considering an upgrade later this year or the next ^_^
May 5, 2009 6:46:37 PM

JTP709 said:
Have you taken a look at the Auzentech Forte 7.1 sound card? It used the Creative X-Fi Processor which supports EAX 5.0 and from what I've read has much better driver support. I personally have loved my Audigy 2 ZS sound card, but based on what I've read the Forte offers better performance for less money than a Creative X-Fi card.



I'm not looking to spend much on the sound card, only about 30-$50(max) and the creative one that i was looking at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is in my price range and my buddy says that the cost/performance ratio is great.
May 5, 2009 6:49:23 PM

Kill@dor said:
750W is perfect for x2 260GTX's. I think you made a good choice...in my opinion. Later you can get a Quad core...which is what i am doing (still running E6600) and get the new core i7's coming out later. They will be better and faster. Just make sure you decide if you want to keep these parts for a long time...or are considering an upgrade later this year or the next ^_^



I will be making upgrades to the computer. I'm just looking for a setup that can run farcry2 on max (been dying to play it, as you can tell :p ) When i buy the parts in a couple days I will only be buying a single GTX 260, i plan on buying the second in a couple weeks, then my plan is to upgrade as i go, as new video cards and processors come out, or as the higher-end ones now get cheaper and as games get more graphically stunning.
May 5, 2009 7:03:17 PM

Also my monitor is a widescreen 19" that goes to 1440x900, so I wont be going past that resolution.
May 5, 2009 7:18:06 PM

spec8458 said:
Also my monitor is a widescreen 19" that goes to 1440x900, so I wont be going past that resolution.


In that case I wouldn't really recommend going SLI. Looking at this review for example, SLI gets 78 fps versus 73 fps, a mere 7% performance increase. Scaling performance is horrible at low resolutions. If you can wait I would save up for a GTX 285 if you want max performance. Until you have the $$ for both a 24" monitor and a second GTX 260, a single GTX 260 will do just fine.
May 5, 2009 7:21:13 PM

E8500 should demolish crysis. Even a single 260GTX will do great against crysis...just depending on your OC and resolution.

I play crysis on the E6600 and still get 50+ fps...lowest 33fps. I OC'd my chip to 3.5...really tiny performance gain and frames were down to 19fps...so i OC'd the RAM and now i can see everything on very high...but i set the game down to high because i don't need my graphics to be the best with that chipest. The explosions look incredible on 1920x1080. When i get my new set up i will run everything max ^_^
May 5, 2009 8:26:46 PM

if i would you id consider going with AMD and ATI, they are much cheaper for minimal performance difference.

your planning on buying this...

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz (Dual-Core) - $189

but you could get so much more with this, for $50 less....

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz (Triple-Core) - $139
May 5, 2009 9:10:20 PM

Hmm.. Since I wont be going over 1440x900 should i just go with a GTX 260? or should I go for an extra $120 for a GTX 285? would it be that big of a change?
May 5, 2009 9:16:31 PM

Yea its a huge change...but you wouldn't go over that resolution. Unless you plan on buying a new monitor 1920x1080 or something...then it would be worth getting the 285GTX. I really think the 260GTX is bada**!
May 5, 2009 9:18:40 PM

Kill@dor said:
Yea its a huge change...but you wouldn't go over that resolution. Unless you plan on buying a new monitor 1920x1080 or something...then it would be worth getting the 285GTX. I really think the 260GTX is bada**!


Yeah I know I wont go past 1440x900, was just curious if the GTX 285 would give enough of a boost over the 260 at that resolution to spend another $120 on it, if not i'll just stick with the 260 then. ^^
!