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Need Advice On Building a Gaming PC under 1500$!!!

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May 18, 2009 4:28:51 AM

Hey There!

I am fairly new to computer hardware and have done most of my research through Google but I wanted advice from some computer experts. I want to build a gaming PC under 1500$ that is able to play games like Crysis on high settings fairly well. Ofcourse I know that a PC under 1500$ won't be amazing, but as long as I'm ready for upcoming games in the near future like StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 to run well, then all is well. So here is what I have picked out so far for my parts:

CPU: Core 2 Quad 9400 @ 2.66gHz – 250$
http://www.techforless.com/cgi-bin/tech4less/BX80580Q94...

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel ATX Intel- 200$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

RAM: 2 X (Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) (Total of 8GB RAM) – 150$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS SATA2 1TB 32MB - 100$
http://pccyber.com/?v=product&i=HD-WD10EADS

Case: OOLER MASTER Mystique RC-632S-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum/ SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case – 100$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Power Supply:CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - 150$
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Graphic Card: PNY Tech GeForce GTX 295 1792MB 896-bit GDDR3 PCI Express – 550$
http://www.amazon.com/PNY-VCGGTX295XPB-GTX295-PCI-Expre...

I have rounded the price up with taxes and shipping/handling if any and it totals to around 1500$. I have not yet picked out any optical drives, monitor, and other accesories, but I am planning on getting a decent 200$ lcd monitor for this PC (not part of the 1500$).

I am also wondering if I need more cooling and if everything seems compatible. I also want to know if I can get a cheaper graphic card because I think the gtx 295 is way too good anyways so cutting down on that but still being able to run games well. I don't mind sli/ crossfire (even though I think my motherboard only can handle crossfire not sli), so tell me what would work better/cheaper.

Also I want to overclock and have done some brief research on it so that is also something I want to do. Please give me suggestions and advice on how I can improve my rig to make it more affordable (the more money I save, the better!) and better tuned towards gaming purposes. Thanks!

May 18, 2009 4:43:57 AM

I am going to assume you're Canadian by the newegg.ca links. $1500 is enough for a nice i7 build, so there is no point pouring money into a quad, as the i7 will probably last longer. The gtx 295 is highly over priced, Drop the GTX 295 and get a 285, or 275, or 260. That case doesn't provide enough cooling for a $100 case, so switch that out for the CoolerMaster RC-690. If you don't plan on sli'ing the Asus P6T SE would be the ideal mobo in your price range, now this does have crossfire support but not sli.

Given you go the i7 route, and want dual cards a 4890 would be better for your price range than any nVidia cards. Since you want to overclock you will also need a cpu cooler and thermal paste, if you do plan on crossfire or sli I would highly suggest upping the psu to a 850w. The Western Digital Caviar Black is much better than the green so I would suggest going with that, now you don't necessarily need 1tb so 640gb would be alright.

With the i7 route you will need 3gb, or 6gb of DDR3 ram. I would suggest a brand right now but I'm not putting the build together as I type this, if you want me to.. I can. I suggest going with a samsung monitor when you buy one because they may be a little over priced, but provide superb quality.
May 18, 2009 5:05:18 AM

not moose said:
I am going to assume you're Canadian by the newegg.ca links. $1500 is enough for a nice i7 build, so there is no point pouring money into a quad, as the i7 will probably last longer. The gtx 295 is highly over priced, Drop the GTX 295 and get a 285, or 275, or 260. That case doesn't provide enough cooling for a $100 case, so switch that out for the CoolerMaster RC-690. If you don't plan on sli'ing the Asus P6T SE would be the ideal mobo in your price range, now this does have crossfire support but not sli.

Given you go the i7 route, and want dual cards a 4890 would be better for your price range than any nVidia cards. Since you want to overclock you will also need a cpu cooler and thermal paste, if you do plan on crossfire or sli I would highly suggest upping the psu to a 850w. The Western Digital Caviar Black is much better than the green so I would suggest going with that, now you don't necessarily need 1tb so 640gb would be alright.

With the i7 route you will need 3gb, or 6gb of DDR3 ram. I would suggest a brand right now but I'm not putting the build together as I type this, if you want me to.. I can. I suggest going with a samsung monitor when you buy one because they may be a little over priced, but provide superb quality.


Thanks for the quick response! You have many valid points but do you have any suggestions for a build? The motherboard you suggested looked pretty good for an i7 build. I am really confused about the graphic card though...I am leaning towards sli/crossfire because its cheaper so if you have any specific suggestions that would be awesome. Lastly, the reason I chose that case was because of the looks so I wasn't sure if it was a "good" case or not. So yea, if you suggest a build (including monitor) for me I would be very grateful...Thanks!
Related resources
May 18, 2009 5:47:03 AM

Cooler Master 690 - $89.99
Corsair 850TX - $164.99
ASUS P6T SE - $269.99
Intel Core i7 920 / OCZ Platinum 6GB DDR3 1600 - $477.48
Sunbeam CR-CCTF - $49.99
Western Digital Caviar Black 640gb - $99.99
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R - $31.99

Current total: $1,500.41
After rebates: $1435.41


Ideally if you want to drop the price you could go with a single card permanently and grab yourself a Corsair 650TX, change to a cheaper mobo without sli/crossfire support and even change to an Antec 300 case. The Sunbeam CR-CCTF comes with thermal paste so that saves you a few dollars also.

I didn't add the monitor because I don't know what resolution you want. If you are playing Crysis at 16x12, a single GTX 260, 275 or 285 would run it fine as seen in the benchmarks here. This would also save you quite a bit of cash in terms of a psu and gpu.
May 18, 2009 1:21:10 PM

Well if you are going for Gaming PC, then you should drop the i7...For a gaming PC, an i7 is totally not worth it...
You should either stick with the low cost options for the CPU such as AMD P II/ C2Q...
But am inclined to suggest the P II as they are newer and perform very well...and saving money there, you can invest in powerful cards that is the main for a gaming PC...

But here is an i7 setup that should be powerful enough for your needs...

CPU + Mobo
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...

HDD
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

DVD
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

RAM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

CASE
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

PSU
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Graphics card
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
or
$20 off with promo code SAP5112, ends 5/19
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

Total - $1397 before rebates and shipping...So would stay below the 1500 mark after shipping...
May 18, 2009 6:15:00 PM

So after reading your suggestions I've made a totally new system. Keep in mind that later on I want to crossfire with another Radeon 4980 HD Card during the summer, so I was wondering if that's a good option. I am also looking for a sexy looking case that can also cool very well so please check that out and give me suggestions on that. Lastly I need a suggestion on a good cpu cooler. So here are the specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor

RAM: OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...

$477.48

HD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

$99.99

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

$164.99

Graphic Card: SAPPHIRE 100269SR Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

$315.99

DVD: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X 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 with LightScribe
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

$31.99

MOBO: ASUS P6T SE LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

$269.99

CASE: XCLIO A380PLUS-BK Fully Black 1.0mm SECC/ ABS ATX Full Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

$139.99

TOTAL: AROUND $1600 WITH TAXES
May 18, 2009 6:28:19 PM

Also what do you guys think about this 1920X1080 Monitor with HDMI output.

ASUS VH226H Black 21.5" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 12000 : 1) Built in Speakers
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Will it use the best of my graphic card(s) well? Thanks
May 18, 2009 7:35:34 PM

One more thing...I'm definately planning on going Crossfire so I was wondering what's better bang for buck because now I'm hoping to get around 1500$ with the monitor. Would Radeon HD 4850 Crossfire or the Radeon HD 4870 Crossfire be a better choice in this situatation? Please help!
!