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New Gaming Build

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May 5, 2009 10:33:51 PM

Hi all. looking to build a new gaming rig, but I haven't been keeping up to date, so i need advice! I've always used AMD, but I'm not opposed to Intel. Just whatever offers the best bang for my buck!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Mid May BUDGET RANGE: $1000 - 1300

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (preferably at 1920*1200 res), very little video editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, hard drive, cd/dvd drive, floppy

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: i've been looking at AMD + ATI, simply because i'm most familiar with them, but completely open to NVIDIA and Intel. otherwise i'd prefer an asus, biostar, or foxconn board and a mid to full tower case. again, if you feel theres a better brand, i'm all ears!

OVERCLOCKING: very little

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes!!

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

Thanks ahead for any advice!

More about : gaming build

May 5, 2009 11:12:53 PM

Well the good news for you is that amd and ati are still the way to go.

You're only looking at 5 components and a case here, so you could spend much less than $1000 if you wanted to, assuming you're all about the bang for buck. Or, you could treat yourself and get 'feel good' system that will only perform a bit better. Take a look at these.

Phenom X3 720BE - $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P - $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2x SAPPHIRE 100277L Radeon HD 4770 - $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 - $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream 600W - $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Totals to $740

Now, if you want to spend more, you could bump up to a quad core, like the Phenom II X4 955, you could also bump up to the 790fx instead of the 790x and get slightly better crossfire performance, plus bragging rights. The memory is fine regardless of how much more you're spending. As for the gpu, there are more powerful setups, but none of them are anywhere near as efficient and cost effective as a pair of 4770's in crossfire.

If i were you, i would save the cash and go with the triple core and 790x, and do a bit of overclocking.

May 5, 2009 11:58:00 PM

^+1
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May 6, 2009 12:09:10 AM

Beat you to it, didn't i nerrawg.
May 6, 2009 2:53:06 AM

+1 for kevin's suggestion.

The 955 is quite powerful, I've heard that it hits 4GHz pretty easily. The 720 should be able to hit 3.6 without trouble.

Two 4770s are a force to reckon with. If you want something a bit more powerful (but less cost-effective) you could go with two 4870s. I wouldn't bother with 4890s unless you get the Sapphire Atomic edition or have cash to burn.

Although, I'd get a Corsair PSU instead of OCZ.
May 6, 2009 7:23:18 AM

Fortunex said:
Although, I'd get a Corsair PSU instead of OCZ.


+1

Corsair VX550 (or BFG LS-550)
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 8:25:06 AM

Haha i have kevin's idea but with 955BE :p  $752 less LCD, OS, HDD, ODD add shipping less MIR :D 
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 9:03:55 AM

$592.39 less HDD/ODD add shipping less MIR :p 

a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 9:35:40 AM

Well for his budget, I feel he should get an core i7 setup...
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 9:44:00 AM

And batuchka it is always not necessary to skimp on components to get a cheaper build when the OP can afford better components... ;) 
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 9:57:45 AM

Get this setup...the CPU and the graphics card included are very high performance ones...
And the single card can handle the 1920x1200 resolutions very well...And you have the option to add more in crossfire later...

CPU + Graphics card i7 920 + HD 4890
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mobo + RAM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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

CPU Cooler -Only required if you are planning to overclock
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - Should be suffice for Crossfire
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total - $1070

Above doesnt have OS and HDD as you have specified you dont require them...
If you want a good HDD, then get this...
WD Black 1TB...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 6, 2009 10:50:05 AM

gkay's setup is what i meant by treating youreslf since you have the money, but, as i said earlier, the performance will be no big jump, if any, compared to the phenom build. It could actually be less, as i recall 2 4770's beating out a single 4890, while using less power i might add, and cheaper too. Bang for buck will always be the way to go.
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 11:01:34 AM

^Well yes I do agree with you...
In the current situation it might be true...But say about 6 months down the line, it will not be the same...The X3 would start to show signs of slow down with future games, which will not be the case with the i7...
I personally would not skimp on performance when I could afford it rather than going with a slower one now and keep upgrading the PC now and then...

And as for the graphics card, if you go with 2 4770s, it would give very good performance...but when you want to upgrade your graphics setup, then you would be left with 2 weaker cards to replace...
I still would say go with the single powerful card that you can get...So later you can add one more in crossfire that would extend the life span of the PC...
May 6, 2009 11:22:03 AM

When you want to upgrade you GPU is in 9-12 months when DX11 comes out - by then you wont want to get a second 4890 - you will want to get a DX11 compatible card. Waiting to upgrade to 2 x 4890 doesn't make much sense therefore.
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 11:26:53 AM

Well then again you would also want to change 2 4770s and again that doesnt make sense either...
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 11:29:27 AM

Well still game developers have not even utilized the DirectX10.1 fully...
And DirectX 11 to be widely adopted, would take more than your specified 9-12 months duration...
May 6, 2009 11:38:08 AM

No it does make sense. This is what you do, you buy the cheapest GPU solution that meets your needs. If you need a 4890 level of performance, you buy 2 x 4770 because it is cheaper and performs better at the same time. Then when you need to upgrade you sell those 2 cards on ebay and buy a DX11 card. You don't get a 4890 and plan on getting another one in a years time because by then it will be outdated - i.e. you could probably spend as much money on a new ATI 5000 series or new gen Nvidia card as you would then on that single 4890 and get as good performance as 2 x 4890, in addition to DX11 compatibility.

Do you remember that a year or so after the 3870 X2 came out - the 4850 came out and gave you the same performance less cost and lower power consumption.

There is a very good reason not to adhere to the buy one gpu -get one of the same in a years time strategy - it doesn't work out as very good value that often. The only really good example of that wood have been getting Nvidia's 8800 GTX in late 2006 to early 2007 and upgrading later to 2 x 8800 GTXs - because that architecture lasted a long time.

For more on why completely shifting out gpu's is good value in the long term:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264181-31-best-bang-b...

May 6, 2009 11:40:03 AM

gkay09 said:
^Well yes I do agree with you...
In the current situation it might be true...But say about 6 months down the line, it will not be the same...The X3 would start to show signs of slow down with future games, which will not be the case with the i7...
I personally would not skimp on performance when I could afford it rather than going with a slower one now and keep upgrading the PC now and then...

And as for the graphics card, if you go with 2 4770s, it would give very good performance...but when you want to upgrade your graphics setup, then you would be left with 2 weaker cards to replace...
I still would say go with the single powerful card that you can get...So later you can add one more in crossfire that would extend the life span of the PC...


Well, i believe that the ratio of performance is between the i7 and the X3 will stay the same in the future, the only possible advantage for the i7 would be the extra core, but that wouldn't make the X3 obsolete. I personally would never go with an i7 setup, unless i had ALOT of cash. Let's not forget that the i5's are on their way, if i wanted to go intel so badly, i would at least wait on those.

About the gpu argument, if i had a 4890 now, in a years time when next gen cards are out, it would probably be a wiser choice to replace the single 4890 rather than add another, since they are soo bloody power hungry. Odds are that whatever next gen card comes out, it will offer 4870x2 performance or greater, while using much less power, that alone is enough of a reason for me to replace rather than double. The sli/crossfire futureproof idea is actually a myth. So whether or not i choose 2 4770's, i would probably be replacing the entire gpu setup in a year or 2, thats just the way it is.
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 11:45:35 AM

Gkay: there is no reason to throw away money blindly when something cheaper does the same job.

kevin: i too would never go with i7 for a gaming rig! Maybe encode/render but certainly not gaming as the $$ : frames ratio is just too poor.
May 6, 2009 11:45:45 AM

Yes: about the adoption of DX11
No: that it matters for the value argument

The fact will still be that in a years time the new generation of cards are more likely to be better value for the money than getting a second card. If you see yourself need to upgrade to 2 x 4890 in just a few months time - then maybe the 4890 makes sense. If you see yourself upgrading in the longer term, it does not. Look at the outdated cards on Newegg now - they are all overpriced. Look at the 8800 GTXs and ultras - although I think they might not even be available anymore - but look at the 3870's and what not. If I had bought a 3870, I would never upgrade to two 3870s now - that would be really dumb. I would just get a single 4850. Or better yet get a single 4870. This illustrates why the getting one card and upgrading to 2 doesn't work in the long term - only if you upgrade fairly shortly after you buy the first card.
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 11:48:47 AM

Well maybe I would partly agree with you on the graphics... :) 

But performance difference between i7 and X3. I doubt...
reason is that the i7 has hyper-threading, that makes it look like virtually 8 cores...and though apps and games now don't take complete advantage of those cores, there is certainly signs of it(games such as GTA 1V and FSX play better on quads) that future games and apps will...
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 11:58:49 AM

I want to make it clear that am no i7 fan :p ...
And I personally like the X3 for its incredible value...
But the Quads are more future proof and if you can afford one, you should get one...and even the P II x4 940 would be a very good alternative for the i7 in gaming...
May 6, 2009 12:04:34 PM

I don't think future proof is a good term - trying to help people avoid using it - check this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264181-31-best-bang-b...

Otherwise I agree with you that the i7 has better longevity - looks like the motherboards should be compatible with the next generation of cpus as well, i.e. that 6 core monster that is coming out. Phenom is exactly like you said, a good alternative for gaming at a budget. I would venture a guess though that core i5 will be better value in the future than phenom - but for right now it is phenom

-edit - fixed link
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 12:07:07 PM

EDIT : Its fixed...
And reason - Avoid using it ???
May 6, 2009 12:10:23 PM

I had posted wrong link by mistake :p  - sry
a b 4 Gaming
May 6, 2009 12:30:07 PM

Haha... :lol:  "Future Proofing" Is it a bunch of BS?
Nice article man...

The future proof I meant here is not literally that the PC would be still the best around but in a sense that it would have more upgradeability...as the i7 would have better life span compared to any other CPUs that are available...
But I would still stick with a Quad option...like I said buy 1 when you can afford one...And it would certainly improve the overall PC's performance...

And the 6-core is currently known as the Gulftown...

I would certainly agree your ideology that you have posted there... :) 
May 6, 2009 6:35:14 PM

hey guys, thanks for all the great suggestions. i'll probably go with the Phenom build just since I'm more familiar with AMD products. Are any cards available today going to support DX11? Or will DX11 require all new hardware to utilize it? Also, is 6gb RAM overkill for gaming right now?
May 6, 2009 7:07:19 PM

I'm sure most of the hardware we have now will support DX11. The newer hardware will just work better with DX11 of course ^_^
May 6, 2009 7:28:43 PM

No need for 6gb of ram, 4 is really more than enough.
May 6, 2009 8:02:48 PM

yeah but you get the extra bandwidth with tri-channel which does help in highly demanding apps.

Only time you buy i7 for a gaming PC is if you can afford 3 Sapphire atomic 4890's with it and a CM 690 or better case with water cooling, or if you play FSX.
!