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Building an economy gaming Machine (750-1000)

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Last response: in Systems
June 20, 2009 1:47:46 AM

Looking to build a reasonably high performance machine for gaming without breaking the bank ($750-$1000) cheaper is better but I don’t want to skimp 40 or 50 bucks if it’s going to be a significant difference in performance.

Looking to buy parts over the next couple months if/when they come on sale.

Don’t need a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, or OS

I’ve been looking mostly on newegg but I am open to any reliable sites that users have had good experiences with.

I’ve been looking at AMD phenom II, and ATI 4000 but I am open to other CPU/GPUs

I’m not planning to overclock at first but maybe down the road (this is my first build although I’ve helped my dad in the past).

1920x1080 or 1920x1200 preferably

These are the parts I’ve been looking at so far
AMD Phenom II X4 810 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 4MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W
AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W

I’m pretty set on this, it seems to have gotten a lot of good reviews and it’s on sale right now on newegg for 100

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Just picked these two cause TH rated the 4850 as a high performing card in the 70-110 range and HIS looked like they’re decent quality. Not sure if they are so I’d really appreciate some feedback about that, and also if it’s worth it to go with 1GB instead of 512MB or if that’s a fairly minor performance difference. I feel like for 15 bucks it’s probably worth it.

HIS Hightech H485QS1GP Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported IceQ4 Video Card

HIS Hightech H485QT512P Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported IceQ4 Turbo Video Card

Not sure if I should go with ddr2 or ddr3 or how important latency is or if either of these brands are good. These had good ratings and good price on newegg but I have no idea.

OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3RPR13334GK
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ

I think this is good, but I want to make sure all the parts are compatible with each other so please let me know if it’s not or if there’s a better choice out there.


I read Proximon’s guide for chosing parts and also the everything you need to know about power supplies and I think this one is powerful enough possibly more than I need but I’d rather have too much than too little incase I get a second graphics card or something down the road
CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX 520W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

Optical Drive
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

The cheapest set of parts is 735 right now after all the rebates and the most expensive is 846. First time I’ve picked out a set of parts but I spent probably about 20-25 hours looking/reading about parts on TH and newegg and think I picked some decent stuff. Let me know if it’s pretty decent build or if I’m a retard that’s way off base. Thanks

More about : building economy gaming machine 750 1000

June 20, 2009 3:21:09 AM


Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel AT

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32

2 x HIS Hightech H489F1GP Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready

Corsair 750tx and Gigabyte Ga-MA790x-ud4p combo

AMD Phenom II X4 940


Total with Shipping: $1,057.55

Can save $80 by doing 2 x 4870 1gb
can also save by downgrading processor, but if you are going to crossfire I would keep the 940
As far as ddr2 or 3, I have no idea, I would just go with the cheapest.
June 20, 2009 4:15:57 AM

Stick to fast DDR2. Rest looks good.
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June 20, 2009 4:24:25 AM

+1 for the corsair 750tx. Leaving the option open to go crossfire (if you don't decide to go with the 2 cards now) is the way to go. Building a budget rig is all about upgrades. The 520 wouldn't be enough to run two 4850s and up. 650 watts would be sufficient, but you wouldn't have much more room to add any cards/extras in terms of power.
June 20, 2009 4:59:37 AM

Yea, with that combo bumbum posted the 750 corsair psu is only 10 or 15 more, so that seems like a pretty good call. How fast is fast ddr2? Is it worth it to go with the phenom II 955 over the 940 to be able to use ddr3 down the road? (amx2+ isn't compatible with ddr3 is it?) Thanks for the help.
June 20, 2009 4:36:11 PM

1920x1080 or 1920x1200 preferably ...

You'll need a 24" monitor and a GTX 260 (or 4870) minimum for decent framerates at that resolution.
June 20, 2009 4:49:34 PM

Hmm, I was thinking more like a 20-22" monitor, I guess maybe a slightly lower resolution would be better for what I'm looking for? Is there a big step up from a 4850 to a 4870 or a 4890? I don't think I want to drop enough for two graphics cards yet, but if it's a big step up to go 4890 the extra 70ish buck is probably worth it. Right now I'm at 800 if I go with the combo powersupply/MoBo and the Phenom II 940 and the ram that bumbum recommended.
June 20, 2009 5:20:34 PM

4850 to 4870 is a rather large jump.

For 1680x1050 or above, I'd go with a 4870 or 4890.
June 21, 2009 12:04:24 PM

A couple of my friends were saying intel core i7 or core 2 a lot better than AMD, but it seems like there's a pretty steep price jump for intel chips. Is the extra money worth it to go intel over amd, how big is performance jump?
June 21, 2009 2:23:27 PM

If you're gonna game ona 22" monitor you won't need anything more than a GTX 260 or HD 4870.
June 29, 2009 6:35:19 AM

if you have the money and don't mind spending it, i7 would be the way to go. but if you want good price/performance/value, amd triple and quad cores put up good benches at a good price. Core 2 is solid as well, but similar chips are cheaper if you go amd. Also, amd has a nice lineup of black editions with unlocked multipliers, making it easy to overclock.