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New Gaming Rig: Please help me choose the right setup

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July 17, 2009 3:53:35 AM

Okay, I want to build a pretty decent gaming rig to replace what I have now since I cannot play hardly anything new. Below I have listed out all the the parts and four possible combinations for a new computer; I already have a case and a 600W power supply. If anyone could look at what I have come up with and tell me what is my best option here and if is it worth paying the extra money for the i7 processor. Also if anyone has a better combination, in about the same price range I have laid out, I wouldn't mind seeing it; just keep in mind I need 1 PATA connector for an existing hard drive I have. Thank you in advance for your input.

Memory:
1.) OCZ Intel Extreme Edition Dual Channel 4096MB PC12800 DDR3 - $41.99 (after rebate) - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Core 2 Motherboards:
2.) XFX MBN790IUL9 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 790i Ultra - $149.99 (after rebate) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
3.) EVGA nForce 790i Ultra SLI - $159.99 (after rebate) - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

i7 Motherboards:
4.) Asus P6T Motherboard - $249.99 - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
5.) ASUS P6T SE - $194.99 (after rebate) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processors:
6.) Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz - $279.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
7.) Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 Processor - $189.99 - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Video Card:
8.) EVGA 896-P3-1257-AR GeForce GTX 260 - $163.99 (after rebate) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive:
9.) Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB 32MB Cache - $57.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Disk Drive:
10.) LG GH22NS50 DVD Writer - $29.99 - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Price Breakdown:
PC #1: 1+2+7+8+9+10 = $633.94
PC #2: 1+3+7+8+9+10 = $643.94
PC #3: 1+4+6+8+9+10 = $823.94
PC #4: 1+5+6+8+9+10 = $743.94 (This price includes the combo price found at: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... )
July 17, 2009 7:09:40 AM

What case and what PSU do you already have? What resolution is your monitor that you will be playing games on?

The highest priced rig that you have selected is a little over $800, which IMO rules out the i7 option. i7 doesn't really shine unless you do video editing or graphic design or things of that nature. For gaming, Phenom II or Core 2 is going to be a much better option, I'd get a Phenom II 720 and a 790GX/X motherboard for the best gaming value. If you insist on an Intel option, then look at a Q9550 and a P45 chipset, not Nvidia. Nvidia chipsets are buggy and unstable, and not worth the time. P45 is more stable and overclocks much better.

Here is what I would do for $800 if I wanted the best gaming experience and I had to buy the components you have listed above, assuming you are playing on a 24" monitor:

CPU/MB: Phenom II X3 720 + Asus 790GX AM3 MB
Ram: G Skill 4GB DDR3 1333 CL8
DVD Burner: LG DVD Sata Combo Drive
HDD: WD6401AALS
CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 2
GPU's: 2X Saphire Vapor-X 4890

$813 shipped, and you get $15 MIR. $798 Grand total.

You will however need to upgrade the PSU to something better, like this: Corsair 750TX
To make room in the budget, Just get one 4890 now, get another one in a couple months when you can afford it. Or go for two 4870's like the ones that hunter315 showed you, net cost will be $10 more after a rebate.

This PC that I have spec'd out smashes all those options you listed above. Limiting your scope to just Intel/Nvidia is stupid, you get much more for you money in a gaming rig going with AMD/ATI.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2009 3:20:04 PM

If you tell us what you have now, we can get an idea of the performance scale you're on too, and what your existing PSU can handle. What do you want to be able to play, at what resolution, and are you willing to lower detail settings, and if so, how much? What is your actual budget?
July 17, 2009 4:23:46 PM

Thank you for your help. I have looked over your suggestions and what you have read and I guess I pulled a noob move by not telling you some things.

Here is my current setup right now (sorry I didn't post this before):
CPU: Intel Pentium D 2.66 GHz
Vid Card: Radeon X800 GTO
Mobo: AsRock 775 Dual-VSTA
RAM: 1GB Kingston
PSU: 600 W Cooler Master
Monitor: 19" Widescreen ViewSonic VA1912w Series
Sound Card: Creative Soundblaster SB X-Fi
Computer Case: 20" H x 18" D x 8" W

Budget:
I really do not want to go to much over $850, with shipping, if I can.

I haven't built a rig in about 2 years and really haven't kept up with who has what and what is the best for gaming. From the articles I have read over the past few days I have picked up that Intel has a better processor and that is why my builds all have Intel processors; but as I have stated I haven't kept up on things. As far as the vid card goes, I do not really don't have a preference, I just want something that is going to be worth the money and will be able to play newer video games without a hiccup; I do plan on adding a second vid card later when I get more money if that helps.
a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2009 5:04:56 PM

I would go with xthekidx's suggestions.

Intel and AMD offer very similar performance in the mid-range segment at the moment. I would say AMD actually has an edge right now since you can get a triple core CPU that offers very good gaming performance, great multi-tasking, and is priced right. The AM3 socket and DDR3 RAM also make the AM3 platform easier to upgrade with a new CPU and RAM in the future.

DDR2 RAM prices are on the rise while DDR3 RAM prices continue to drop. This trend will continue just like it did with DDR/DDR2 a few years ago.
July 17, 2009 5:12:55 PM

If price wasn't an issue, then Intel would be my suggestion for your PC. However, Intel unfortunately knows that it has the better processors, and have hiked up its prices accordingly, which makes the AMD offerings much more attractive, especially when you consider that they overclock fairly easily with the unlocked multipliers. After overclocking the CPU, which CPU you chose matters less and less and games become more and more limited by the GPU. That is why when building a gaming rig on a budget, the best place to focus your money is on the GPU rather than the CPU.

You have a 19" monitor...how likely is that to change? If you will keep that monitor for a while, then the PC that I put together up above doesn't make much sense, since you don't need that much GPU power. IF you think that you will upgrade to something larger in the future though, then it might. I would probably change the CPU selection to a PII 955 however and just go with one 4870 for now, and then if you decide to upgrade the monitor to something larger, you can add another GPU in crossfire.

Your 600w Coolermaster PSU should not be reused in your new build, it will likely fail and possibly damage your new system. If you will use two 4870's like the build I suggested above, use the PSU that I linked. If you will keep your monitor and not upgrade the GPU's, then any of these PSU's would work fine:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 17, 2009 6:19:50 PM

What about this setup?

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz and ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX Combo - $269.99 ($254.99 after $15 rebate)
Scythe SCKTN-3000 CPU cooler - $26.98
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W - $109.99 ($99.99 after $10 rebate)
One of these three Vid Cards - $199.99 -$249.99
4GB of Memory - $71.99 ($41.99 after $30 rebate)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB Hardrive - $74.99

In about a month I should have enough money then to buy a 22"-23" monitor and another vid card
July 17, 2009 6:37:36 PM

muscles_soccer said:
What about this setup?

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz and ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX Combo - $269.99 ($254.99 after $15 rebate)
Scythe SCKTN-3000 CPU cooler - $26.98
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W - $109.99 ($99.99 after $10 rebate)
One of these three Vid Cards - $199.99 -$249.99
4GB of Memory - $71.99 ($41.99 after $30 rebate)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB Hardrive - $74.99

In about a month I should have enough money then to buy a 22"-23" monitor and another vid card

Looks good to me, although I would use a different cooler, that one is pretty small and won't cool a quad all that well. The one i showed you above is a very good deal on a top rate cooler. That is a great deal on the CPU/MB.
a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2009 6:41:35 PM

xthekidx said:
Looks good to me, although I would use a different cooler.

+1

Looks good to me too. The only thing I would change is the CPU cooler. I would check this one out:

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $39.60 - $10 MIR

That's just being knit-picky, though. Your build looks good.
July 17, 2009 7:54:08 PM

Ty xkidx, shortstuff_mt, and hunter315 for all your input. When the SAPPHIRE Toxic vid card comes in stock I am going to go ahead and build my pc once and for all.
a b 4 Gaming
July 17, 2009 10:18:36 PM

Good deal.
July 18, 2009 4:53:59 AM

For that budget, you forget the core i7. Even at 1200$ of budget, getting a Phenom II gives you the same result for your money, but when you are under 1200$m Phenom II cpu are way better option.

Core 2 Quad is not a bad idea, but at that price a Phenom II X3 or X4 will be a better investment. All depending on newegg combos, you can maybe grab a X4 at the same price.

Well, If I were you, I would crossfire two 4850, get a Phenom II and try to find the rest of the part at the best possible price.
July 18, 2009 5:03:53 AM

One important point to mention is 2 little cards are better than a big one. Of course, it's less efficient and produce more heat, but it's way cheaper and you can get incredible results.

For exemple, 2 GTX260, 2 4850 or 2 4870 are incredibly interesting configuration. For exemple, 2 4850 as strong as a single GTX280.

If you are building a PC from the ground, you should definitely check for a multi GPU configuration. It's not really more expensive anymore. The 50$ more you spend on your motherboard will save you easily 150$ of cards with a proper configuration.

My 2 Asus 4850 TOP OC are as strong as a GTX285 OC... and the cards cost me 165$ (yeah, I got a damn good deal)
!