Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Cheap PC for gaming

Tags:
  • New Build
  • Systems
  • Product
Last response: in Systems
Share
May 28, 2009 3:32:26 PM

Hello.

I'm building a new computer for myself. My current one is athlon 64 s939 radeon x800 agp. Like the title says it's mostly for playing games. I'm not planning to oveclock.

I'm buying (prices in euro):
phenom II X3 720 BE ~140
AM3 / DDR3 motherboard ~something cheap preferably
cheapest DDR3 RAM 1600MHz ~75
HDD + DVD drive ~again something cheap
Zalman ZM-500HP 500W power source ~50 (cheap and quiet)

The above is fairly certain but not set in stone. But here's the deal with the graphics card:

I could get a Radeon HD4850x2 for ~170. But it's said on the manufactrures homepage that it requires 650W power source. On the other hand, http://game.amd.com/us-en/crossfirex_components.aspx?p=... This website says that a 500W powersource is certified for 4870x2. I'm guessing 4850x2 won't require more power so my questions: Is this Coolermaster SilentPro 500 RS-500-AMBA-D3 (500w) somehow better than the cheap Zalman? Will this Zalman 500W good enough? I'd much prefer a quiet PSU and I would have to spend ~60 more if I needed a 650W PSU.

Though 4850x2 might be an overkill for this CPU. The alternative is to buy a single GPU HD4850 512 MB for ~100. I would save a total of ~120 and overall cost for my computer would be ~580.

For comparison:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 ~170
Intel Core 2 Quad ~170
Geforce GTX 260 192 SP ~150

Any feedback and advice is welcome. Thanks.

More about : cheap gaming

May 28, 2009 5:13:11 PM

That PSU won't cut it for that GPU. You should be looking at a 550+w PSU from a GOOD BRAND, ie not Zalman. Look at OCZ, PC Power&Cooling, Corsair, Seasonic, Antec, Enermax, Silverstone, BFG LS series. Cheap power supplies blow up and can kill your whole computer and potentially burn your house down. They usually end up costing more than buying a good PSU.

Not overclocking a BE processor is a waste IMO. Its easy to do and there is very little risk involved.
May 28, 2009 5:38:50 PM

Don't risk blowing your PSU which can also take out your mainboard and or GPU with it. A 4850 X 2 isn't a cheap graphics system that you can't cut corners on the PSU side. It needs a meaty PSU.
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
May 28, 2009 8:47:26 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'll probably buy Corsair CMPSU-650TXEU 650W for ~110. With that and the HD4850x2 the cost climbs over 700. Is phenom II X3 720 BE fast enough though to utilize 4850x2? Also, any advice on motherboards? I'm thinking of something like:

Asus M4A78T-E ~130
MSI 790GX-G65 ~130
Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P ~130

Once my PSU melted into my motherboard frying the CPU in the process. I guess it died of old age.
May 28, 2009 9:07:41 PM

I would go for either the Gigabyte or Asus board, they are both excellent. MSI boards are iffy. The 650TX is an excellent PSU option for a 4850X2, and the CPU shouldn't bottleneck that card, unless you play a highly threaded game like FSX or GTAIV. Most games will not use more than 3 cores, as demonstrated here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/multi-core-cpu,2280...
May 28, 2009 10:05:55 PM

I agree with the Asus or Gigabyte
May 28, 2009 10:22:02 PM

Thanks again for everyone who replied. I added up everything and came up with 773.4 euros ($1,077.85)

AMD Phenom II X3 720BE
GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P
WD CAVIAR BLACK 640GB SATA2 7200RPM 32MB
Corsair CMPSU-650TXEU
Kingston HyperX DDR3 2GB 1600MHZ NON-ECC KHX12800D3/2G Edit: my mistake shortstuff, forgot to add x2
SAMSUNG SATA 22X DVDRW
SAPPHIRE TECHNOLOGY Radeon HD 4850 X2 - 1 Gt GDDR3 - PCI-Express 2.0

Edit: Not as cheap as I originally intended.
May 28, 2009 10:29:58 PM

That's a nice looking build other than the 2GB of RAM. Any new system deserves at least 4GB of RAM IMO. I would take advantage of the low RAM prices and pick up a nice 2x2GB kit. That Kingston HyperX RAM has pretty loose CAS 9 timings. I would try to find a CAS 7 kit. I know you're not buying from Newegg, but I would try to find one of these 2x2GB DDR3 1600 CAS 7 kits locally.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
May 28, 2009 10:39:55 PM

Like I edited to my post, I inteded to buy 4GB of memory. Would those CAS 7 timings make a difference? Considering my build isn't top of the line.
May 28, 2009 10:43:20 PM

I would get the tightest timings you can. A lot of CAS 7 kits don't really cost much more than the CAS 9 ones. CAS 7 to CAS 9 is a pretty big jump.
May 28, 2009 11:23:54 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I would get the tightest timings you can. A lot of CAS 7 kits don't really cost much more than the CAS 9 ones. CAS 7 to CAS 9 is a pretty big jump.

I would disagree here. From the benchmarks I have seen, faster ram or better timings do not translate into significantly higher fps or faster application performance.
May 28, 2009 11:30:59 PM

geofelt said:
I would disagree here. From the benchmarks I have seen, faster ram or better timings do not translate into significantly higher fps or faster application performance.

I think it depends on the platform. In LGA 775 getting CL4 timings does make a difference over CL5, you notice the difference.
May 28, 2009 11:46:48 PM

geofelt said:
I would disagree here. From the benchmarks I have seen, faster ram or better timings do not translate into significantly higher fps or faster application performance.


I just skimmed through few memory reviews and it looks like you're right. I think I'm still buying DDR3 motherboard. Hopefully it's potential will be better realised in the future. I'll buy the cheaper CAS 9 memory though.
May 28, 2009 11:55:25 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The Phenom II CPU's respond very nicely to RAM speed increases.

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2343564,00.a...

I stand by my statement, especially if the price is about the same.


That review had more games than the Toms reviews I read. Interesting. It seems you're right too. Atleast there is a jump in performance between DDR1333 and DDR1600. Thanks guys. I'll sleep on it and make decisions tomorrow.
May 29, 2009 1:09:23 AM

xthekidx said:
I think it depends on the platform. In LGA 775 getting CL4 timings does make a difference over CL5, you notice the difference.

I think you are correct that the platform does make a difference.
The Phenom ii x4 benchmarks, while limited, do indicate that it is sensitive to ram performance.

On the other hand, socket 775 does not seem to be very sensitive, showing 1-3% or so:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ram-speed-tests,180...

I think the i7 platform memory controller is so good that ram speeds mean even less there.

What is important is to get enough ram for what you do.
May 29, 2009 9:17:31 AM

I found this CAS 7 kit for about 10 euros more OCZ3X16004GK. http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr3_p...

Now, it says on the manufacturers website:

"Designed to significantly increase performance levels of the entire platform, these modules feature Intel Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP)"

and

"Optimized for the Intel® X38/X48 chipset"

Will this memory perform normally on an AMD system compared to regular memory? Like the following:

KHX13000AD3LL/2G. http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/configurator_new/PartsI...

Buying 2 of those would be slightly more expensive compared to OCZ. This is not a kit though. Does that make any difference?
May 29, 2009 4:29:55 PM

The kingston ram is better, but not much. I don't think that AMD can use XMP, but the ram should work fine.
May 30, 2009 4:42:42 PM

Everything is ordered now. Total price €754.66 ($1,066.83) Thanks for all the help.
!