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CPU for low end gaming system

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September 19, 2009 10:14:00 AM

hello,

I am a casual gamer and I would like to build a low end gaming rig.I'll be playing at 1680x1050.

The following processors are what i have considered. I have mentioned the price for which i can get them here in India.

1. Core 2 duo e7500 - 5600 INR
2. Phenom x2 550 BE - 5500 INR
3. Phenom x3 720 BE - 7500 INR

I intend to couple it with a radeon 4870 or gtx260 and a corsair vx450 PSU.

Which CPU would be ideal for me ? Is there any other which suits me better ?
Will these CPU's bottleneck the GPU too much ? Should i spend more on the CPU and cut down on the GPU(radeon 4850 instead of 4870) ?


I havent decided about the motherboard yet. I'll probably pick MSI P43 Neo F ( 4200 INR ) for the intel processor. I have no clue as to which motherboard is suitable for the amd cpu.I had better start reading some reviews.

The x3 720 will stretch the budget. But i'll take it if its worth the extra money.

Please help me out.
Thanks.

PS
I dont care about upgrade options. When i do upgrade , i usually change the motherboard too.
September 19, 2009 12:36:42 PM

I wouldn't exactly call your plans "low-end", but anyway, go for the HD 4870, and save money on the PSU: get the OCZ Stealthstream 400W (it will do, no matter which CPU you choose.)

Out of the options listed, the Phenom X3 720 is the best by far, combine it with a cheap AM3+ motherboard (they can be had for less the P43 Neo) and add 2x2GB DDR3 1333 to that.

This will actually give you a fairly powerful machine that can play most games on the highest settings.
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September 19, 2009 12:53:00 PM

Thanks for replying.

You're asking me to go for the hd4870.So can i assume that none of these cpu's will cause a huge bottleneck for hd4870 ?( I was wondering if phenom x4 920 + radeon 4850 is better than (one of the listed cpu) + hd4870 )

I doubt if i can get OCZ PSU here. Cooler master and Corsair are the only 2 popular brands among low-mid end psu's here. I'll give it a shot. But i'm pretty sure that even if i find it , it will be waaaay over priced.

DDR3 RAM is again a no-no for a value seeker like me. Look at the outrageous prices.

Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5 (2 X 2GB DDR2 800MhZ C5) - 3100 INR

Corsair TW3X4G-1333C9DHX (2 X 2GB DDR3 1333MhZ) - 8100 INR

I dont think the extra money i have to shell out for DDR3 ram is worth it.

I agree that the x3 720 is best one among those i've listed but is it worth the extra 2000 INR when it comes to gaming ?
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September 19, 2009 12:54:52 PM

CPU-----
I would have to chose 3. Phenom x3 720 BE

Alot of today game show major improvement when going from 2 core to 3 core.

As for motherboards http://in.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=3&l2=181

All these asus motherboard should be able to handle Both the Phenom x2 550 BE
and Phenom x3 720 BE As these are both AM3 socket cpu and motherboards.

Now if your needing to save some more money the both Intel's core 2 duo and AMD's Phenom x2 550 BE should be able to adequately handle game.

GPU-----

All these cpu's shouldn't bottleneck the gpu's

Although i would recommend Getting a 500 watt PSU or greater.

ATI:radeon 4850
450 Watt or greater power supply with 75 Watt 6-pin PCI Express® power connector recommended (550 Watt and two 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)

ATI radeon 4870
500 Watt or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended (600 Watt and four 6-pin connectors for ATI CrossFireX™ technology in dual mode)

Nvidia gtx260:
Maximum Graphics Card Power (W) 182 W
Minimum System Power Requirement (W) 500 W
Supplementary Power Connectors 6-pin x2



The psu you want/have maybe able to handle these cards but it's pushing the limits of it.

Hope this helps.
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September 19, 2009 1:16:21 PM

The psu being insufficient worried me there. I searched around a bit and got this data.

The may 09 600$ PC uses the GTX260 but is coupled with intel e5200 - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-2-overclock,23...

The total power consumption does not go beyond 300 W.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-2-overclock,23...

And thats measured from the wall socket. Considering the psu to be 90% efficient , it was delivering 270watt to the pc components.

Since i'll be using a stronger cpu , let me add 60 watt to that ( 90W is the max of amd phenom x3 , i think ).That gives 330watt

So in my case , the psu will have to give no more than 350watt even at peak load.

This review http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/540/7 claims that corsair vx450 can give 350 with no sweat.

So i think i'm safe.

Anyway, thanks for pointing that out.

Are there boards for x3 720 which have support for ddr2 ram ? If no , i'll have no choice but to take intel e7500.
Any reviews or facts that say x3 720 is worth the extra 2000 INR will help.

Thanks a lot for all the trouble you have taken.
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Best solution

September 19, 2009 1:22:37 PM

spiky said:
Thanks for replying.

You're asking me to go for the hd4870.So can i assume that none of these cpu's will cause a huge bottleneck for hd4870 ?( I was wondering if phenom x4 920 + radeon 4850 is better than (one of the listed cpu) + hd4870 )

I doubt if i can get OCZ PSU here. Cooler master and Corsair are the only 2 popular brands among low-mid end psu's here. I'll give it a shot. But i'm pretty sure that even if i find it , it will be waaaay over priced.

DDR3 RAM is again a no-no for a value seeker like me. Look at the outrageous prices.

Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5 (2 X 2GB DDR2 800MhZ C5) - 3100 INR

Corsair TW3X4G-1333C9DHX (2 X 2GB DDR3 1333MhZ) - 8100 INR

I dont think the extra money i have to shell out for DDR3 ram is worth it.

I agree that the x3 720 is best one among those i've listed but is it worth the extra 2000 INR when it comes to gaming ?


Then get an AM2 motherboard with DDR2, that should still work with the phenom x3 (the AM3 socket is backwards compatible with AM2.)

None of the CPU's will seriously bottleneck the 4870, but the x3 should give you better performance anyway.

Don't worry about the PSU: the OCZ Stealthstream 400W will be enough, because it has more powerful 12V rails than some 500W PSU's.
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September 19, 2009 1:30:41 PM

Gulli said:
Then get an AM2 motherboard with DDR2, that should still work with the phenom x3 (the AM3 socket is backwards compatible with AM2.)

None of the CPU's will seriously bottleneck the 4870, but the x3 should give you better performance anyway.

Don't worry about the PSU: the OCZ Stealthstream 400W will be enough, because it has more powerful 12V rails than some 500W PSU's.


Thanks for the quick reply.
I tried looking for the OCZ psu online.I'm afraid i could not find it. But i did find this

Tagan Stonerock Series TG500-U37 - 3750 INR

Is this a better choice compared to corsair vx450 ?
Any recommendations on AM2 based motherboard for phenom x3 720 ?
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September 19, 2009 1:35:52 PM

I'd take the Corsair.

For the mobo, the GB UD4P is nice.
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September 19, 2009 1:53:15 PM

spiky said:
Thanks for the quick reply.
I tried looking for the OCZ psu online.I'm afraid i could not find it. But i did find this

Tagan Stonerock Series TG500-U37 - 3750 INR

Is this a better choice compared to corsair vx450 ?
Any recommendations on AM2 based motherboard for phenom x3 720 ?


That's weird, google needed exactly 0.23 seconds to give me this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... , the Tagan PSU will do, but only get it if the OCZ is more expensive where you live (the Tagan is more powerful, but the OCZ is powerful enough, more efficient, probably quieter and of a better build quality.)

Look for cheap AM2+ motherboards yourself, I really have no idea which one of the gazillions AM2+ of boards out there is a good deal in India.
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September 19, 2009 1:55:50 PM

ShtBrix said:
I'd take the Corsair.

For the mobo, the GB UD4P is nice.


That mobo needs DDR3 and that Corsair is just a waste of money with his system.
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Anonymous
September 19, 2009 1:55:50 PM

You should go with the phenom ii x3. It will be better at high-end mulithreaded games. (gta iv, etc) Also if you do any heavy multitasking it will pay for itself in no time.
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September 19, 2009 2:01:42 PM

HD 4870 is cheaper than GTX 260 ($20 or Rs 1000 difference)
I would go for 720BE.

You can use some older parts of your previous rig in order to save money for that.

Avoid Coolermaster PSU at all costs.
You can also look for Antec equivalent of VX450 in market.

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September 19, 2009 2:35:02 PM

Thank you all.

These are the PSU's i can get which are priced around 4000 INR

Corsair CMPSU-450VX - 3990 INR
Seasonic Bronze S12II 430Watt - 3675 INR
Tagan Stone Rock TG500-U37 - 3360 INR

This review has good comments on the tagan model.But it looks like corsair vx450 is better still.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/topowe...

Which one shall i pick ? I'm inclined to the corsair one.

Regarding the graphics card, here are the quotes.

Sapphire HD 4870 512MB DDR5 - 9123 INR
Sapphire HD 4870 1GB DDR5 - 10250 INR
Palit GTX 260 Sonic 216 SP 896MB DDR-III - 10500 INR

Rightly as shubham1401 said , radeon 4870 is 1000 INR cheaper albeit the 512mb version only.
At 1680x1050 , will the 1gb frame buffer come in handy ?And i've heard 4870 has heating issues.This bothers me.

These are the AM2+ mobos which i felt were good deals.

Biostar TA790GXBE - 4500 INR
Biostar A785GE - 3240 INR
Gigabyte GA-MA78GMUS2H - 4500 INR

Which chipset is suitable for me ? 780 or 790 or the newer 785 ?
785 has onboard graphics which is unnecessary for me. but is cheaper than 790. Does the 790 OC better ? I'm not much into OCing though.
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September 19, 2009 2:48:21 PM

spiky said:
Thank you all.

These are the PSU's i can get which are priced around 4000 INR

Corsair CMPSU-450VX - 3990 INR
Seasonic Bronze S12II 430Watt - 3675 INR
Tagan Stone Rock TG500-U37 - 3360 INR

This review has good comments on the tagan model.But it looks like corsair vx450 is better still.
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/topowe...

Which one shall i pick ? I'm inclined to the corsair one.

Regarding the graphics card, here are the quotes.

Sapphire HD 4870 512MB DDR5 - 9123 INR
Sapphire HD 4870 1GB DDR5 - 10250 INR
Palit GTX 260 Sonic 216 SP 896MB DDR-III - 10500 INR

Rightly as shubham1401 said , radeon 4870 is 1000 INR cheaper albeit the 512mb version only.
At 1680x1050 , will the 1gb frame buffer come in handy ?And i've heard 4870 has heating issues.This bothers me.

These are the AM2+ mobos which i felt were good deals.

Biostar TA790GXBE - 4500 INR
Biostar A785GE - 3240 INR
Gigabyte GA-MA78GMUS2H - 4500 INR

Which chipset is suitable for me ? 780 or 790 or the newer 785 ?
785 has onboard graphics which is unnecessary for me. but is cheaper than 790. Does the 790 OC better ? I'm not much into OCing though.


With such small price differences go for the Corsair VX450W, get the Sapphire 1GB 4870 (yes, at 1680x1050 a 1GB version will sometimes perform better and the price difference is very small anyway), I have no idea which one of those motherboards is the best, I suspect you won't notice the difference while gaming, but I maybe wrong as I've never heard of "biostar" motherboards before while Gigabyte is a well known quality motherboard manufacturer.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2009 5:18:30 PM

Biostar have been around for the better part of 20 years in my part of the world, although only ever having played with a couple of their mobo's I can't give a thorough evaluation of their quality.
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September 19, 2009 5:23:59 PM

Thanks a lot everyone.
I'll take the corsair vx450 , phenom x3 720 .Regarding the main board , I'll find out how good the local support is and then buy it.

One last question.

In the end , if i cant stretch the budget. If pressed , should i buy the x2 550 + gtx260 OR x3 720 + radeon 4850 ?
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September 19, 2009 5:48:34 PM

spiky said:
Thanks a lot everyone.
I'll take the corsair vx450 , phenom x3 720 .Regarding the main board , I'll find out how good the local support is and then buy it.

One last question.

In the end , if i cant stretch the budget. If pressed , should i buy the x2 550 + gtx260 OR x3 720 + radeon 4850 ?


In that case go for the x2 550 + gtx 260.

Have a look at the Athlon II X4 620 as well.
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a b à CPUs
September 19, 2009 6:00:10 PM

Can't you save money for a while..........
I mean duals will be obsolete soon.......
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September 19, 2009 6:54:46 PM

shubham1401 said:
Can't you save money for a while..........
I mean duals will be obsolete soon.......


It's not that bad: the OP is not going for a high-end system anyway and don't forget he's from India, he may not be as rich as us westerners.
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September 19, 2009 7:41:39 PM

Gulli said:
It's not that bad: the OP is not going for a high-end system anyway and don't forget he's from India, he may not be as rich as us westerners.



BTW I m from India also!

And what he is making is not a low end system anyway.
You won't call a 4870/260 low end.

And the resolution at which he wants to play i.e. 16X10 will need some more CPU power.
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September 19, 2009 8:31:07 PM

Gulli said:
Then get an AM2 motherboard with DDR2, that should still work with the phenom x3 (the AM3 socket is backwards compatible with AM2.)

None of the CPU's will seriously bottleneck the 4870, but the x3 should give you better performance anyway.

Don't worry about the PSU: the OCZ Stealthstream 400W will be enough, because it has more powerful 12V rails than some 500W PSU's.

I agree with you about the cpu, and about the ocz having a powerful twelve vote rail, but i still think 500 watts should be a bear minimum, he may choose to add other things at a later date
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September 20, 2009 2:51:49 AM

Gulli said:
In that case go for the x2 550 + gtx 260.

Have a look at the Athlon II X4 620 as well.


I'll try as much as possible to avoid having to buy a dual core.

The x4 620 is available for 5500 INR but it did not seem to match even the x2 550 in gaming benchmarks. The absence of L3 cache seems to affect performance too much. I felt its better to stick to the x3 720. Any particular point that i've missed about x4 620 ? Is it better than the x3 720 in my case ?
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September 20, 2009 2:56:19 AM

shubham1401 said:
BTW I m from India also!

And what he is making is not a low end system anyway.
You won't call a 4870/260 low end.

And the resolution at which he wants to play i.e. 16X10 will need some more CPU power.


Nice to meet a fellow Indian in Toms hardware forums !

Since you guys think that the dual core will really hold back the performance in upcoming games , I'll save up and buy the x3. Worst case , i have to wait for 10 days , till this month end. I suppose its worth the wait. Add to that , the radeon hd 5xxx series will be releasing any time soon.
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September 20, 2009 3:08:30 AM

reconviperone1 said:
I agree with you about the cpu, and about the ocz having a powerful twelve vote rail, but i still think 500 watts should be a bear minimum, he may choose to add other things at a later date


I'm afraid i dont have many choices

These are the ones i can get.

Corsair VX450W - 3950 INR
Corsair VX550W- 5800 INR
CoolerMaster Real Power Pro 550W - 5450 INR ( you guys asked me to stay away from this )
SeaSonic S12II 500W e xtreme Power + 500W- 4950 INR
Tagan TG500-U37 - 3525 INR

Corsair vx450 seems to be very sweet with 33A on the 12 volt.I hope i'm making the right choice.


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a b à CPUs
September 20, 2009 3:15:42 AM

seasonic is a quality brand name.. they arent as well known as pc power and cooling or enermax but they are still good.
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September 20, 2009 3:39:37 AM

^Seasonic is the oem of many high-end PSU's.
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a b à CPUs
September 20, 2009 6:35:25 AM

spiky said:
I'm afraid i dont have many choices

These are the ones i can get.

Corsair VX450W - 3950 INR
Corsair VX550W- 5800 INR
CoolerMaster Real Power Pro 550W - 5450 INR ( you guys asked me to stay away from this )
SeaSonic S12II 500W e xtreme Power + 500W- 4950 INR
Tagan TG500-U37 - 3525 INR

Corsair vx450 seems to be very sweet with 33A on the 12 volt.I hope i'm making the right choice.



Don't worry about the PSU business.
VX 450 is the best choice.
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September 20, 2009 6:48:07 AM

Thanks.

Which chipset must i look for ? 780 or 785 or 790 ? Does it make a difference to a guy adding a dedicated gpu ? Most benchies seem to take into account the IGP performance which i dont care about.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 20, 2009 6:49:41 AM

Corsair is the one I'd go for but it's worth noting that some of Corsairs PSU's are built to spec by Seasonic.
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September 20, 2009 11:00:35 AM

The Corsair VX450W is very powerful, good choice if it fits in your budget.
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September 20, 2009 1:42:32 PM

When you've got the system built, be sure to overclock your CPU by at least 20% if your motherboard BIOS allows. This way, you'll see if there's the slightest bottleneck from your CPU (which there will be as you will find out) and you'll reap some performance gain from your overclock. You'll need an aftermarket CPU cooler.
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a b à CPUs
September 20, 2009 2:20:07 PM

Wait for the ATI 5xxx cards to be released before buying the GPU. And +1 for the 450VX.
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a b à CPUs
September 20, 2009 3:01:01 PM

Which 5XXX card will cost the same as HD 4870?
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September 20, 2009 3:02:05 PM

shubham1401 said:
Which 5XXX card will cost the same as HD 4870?


Maybe the 5770, but the price of the 4870 may fall even further.
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September 20, 2009 4:17:01 PM

Quote:
but the price of the 4870 may fall even further.

Exactly.
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September 20, 2009 4:55:24 PM

Thanks everyone.

I'll hold off the purchase till the month end. I'll be a bit busy this week anyway.
Regarding the chipset , will 780 / 785 / 790 make any difference to me ? The 785 seems cheaper.Shall i pick that or stick with the older 780 ?
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September 20, 2009 5:06:56 PM

^If you want a high OC go 790 else 785.
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