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Gaming Rig @$1000

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August 27, 2009 9:49:57 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next month

BUDGET RANGE: $1000 US

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard (Merc Stealth), Mouse (Logitech G5), Monitor, Speakers, Sound Card (Creative Elite Pro), Case (Antec Plus 1080), PS (Silverstone ST85F), UPS (CyberPower UPS). I also have a HD that I could reuse. It's a Seagate Baracuda that I could buy a second of to set up a RAID configuration. Also, I have 2 sets of OCZ Reaper memory for a total of 4 megs. But, if any of these items should be replaced I am open to suggestions.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've used Newegg.com and TigerDirect.com before but I'm not opposed to useing other reputable places.

PARTS PREFERENCES: My previous rigs have been AMDs but I'm not opposed to going Intel if it would make for a better gaming rig.

OVERCLOCKING: I've never done it but would like to give it a shot.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire I think.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I play most games in 1600x1200 though my desktop is set to 1680x1050.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I did build my last two rigs but am far from proficient at it. I still have yet to get the front side USB ports on the case to work properly. Thus I'd really like some input from this community on the components as well as the build. Any help you guys can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

More about : gaming rig 1000

August 27, 2009 9:56:19 PM

With your budget, you wouldn't necessarily need to reuse those parts (and I wouldn't)... So here's a fresh build for you to check out (since you omitted the crossfire question I'll assume your not going to do it:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This actually turns out to be about $725 before MIRs.
August 27, 2009 10:04:47 PM

jbakerlents build but

swap the psu for a 650 watt corsair , or use the silverstone you have

and swap the 4870 [ which is powerful enough ] for a 4890 because you have plenty of budget to play with and it has more head room


It could also be worth considering a 790 series mb , if crossfire is ever going to be a possibility
Related resources
August 27, 2009 10:18:48 PM

Opps I must have just deleted that part when I was putting in my responses. yes I think I'd like to run Crossfire. Going to add that back in up top. Sorry.
August 27, 2009 10:26:53 PM

well since you have the money, go with a better mobo, it will be more upgradable if you have more then 1 pci express, so you can add a better card later, psu ill go for a corsair, the 750 non-modular it's in ur budget, and also a better case like the cooler master scout is an steal for $99. for the memory the G-Skill offers a better value, also for the hard drive the samsung is good but for a little bit more you can get the 640 caviar black, it isnt so much different but western digital gives 5years warranty

this is my list:

Mobo & Cpu Combo : http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and thats only $900 if you want to throw in the PII 955 you might as well.
August 27, 2009 10:40:30 PM

the wd black is a good fast hard drive . but like everything else in the tech world thats from last year ... its just not as fast as the samsung F3 500 gig .

Only consider the wd 640 black if you need the extra storage
August 28, 2009 6:13:09 PM

Don't buy a new PSU, the one you have is more than sufficient. It seems most people here think that your computer won't function unless you have a Corsair psu.

With all the parts you already have you should be able to get an I7 build, which would be faster than any AMD offering.
August 28, 2009 6:39:46 PM

Yeah I'm not sure why people keep suggesting psu's either, if he already has a silverstone 850 watt psu why should he buy another one?

The same goes for the ram? The reapers might be the higher voltage ones, but I don't really see a good reason to just ditch them?

With the money saved, you could probably go with the 955, Even with the stuff he has, I'd still say stick with amd at that budget, since basically the only thing he'd be reusing is the psu.
August 28, 2009 6:44:53 PM

jonsy2k said:
Yeah I'm not sure why people keep suggesting psu's either, if he already has a silverstone 850 watt psu why should he buy another one?


Umm... maybe nobody clicked the link the see which PSU he already had?? As to the RAM why would he use DDR2 in a AM3 motherboard?
August 28, 2009 6:59:57 PM

Ah yes correct about the ram, but as for the psu, its mediocre but not explosion worthy. I wouldn't be too against keeping it if he already bought it.
August 28, 2009 7:00:49 PM

All you really need to get is a CPU, MOBO, Ram, Video Card, and optical drive.

If you are committed to trying to OC your cpu then the i7 920 would give you the best performance in your budget. Intel will be releasing new CPUs very soon so it might be best to wait and see how the prices are in a week or two.

Do you need an OS?
August 28, 2009 7:46:17 PM

When I said nobody clicked the link I was suggesting that everyone assumed he had a POS PSU (which he doesn't) and therefore proceeded to select new ones - at least that's what I did... :) 
August 28, 2009 8:04:01 PM

I will need a new OS, yes. I've been running Win XP 32 bit and want to upgrade to a 64 bit OS. Not really crazy about going to Vista so was hoping to either jump into Win 7 or fall back on an XP 64 bit.

I was/am curious why people thought the PS needed to be replaced. I figured it was one of the few pieces worth keeping. That and the case. The parts I have listed above are from my current PC, which I thought might be worth cannibalizing. I do not intend to keep this one after the new one is built. My wife wants a laptop so handing it down to her, which I normally did after a new build, is out.

Is there a reason the PS is not so great? The case? I originally bought this case because the front door over the power button locked and with 2 small kids in the house it kept them from accidentally disconnecting daddy while he killed people :)  They are grown a bit now so that's not really a concern anymore, but I do like the abundant amount of fans it has. I've never had to worry about the system getting hot or even warm for that matter.

As far as OCing goes, I've never done it before with any of my rigs but if I can squeeze out some more performance from it I'm all for it. I just need to figure out how it's done :) .

Thanks for all the suggestions and help. Keep the ideas flowing. I'd really like to build the best gaming rig I can for my budget with the idea I can upgrade it in the future as better things come out on the market.
August 28, 2009 8:14:42 PM

They were just suggesting you change you PSU because they are programmed to assume any existing PSU is crap.

The way I see it you have two options:
1) Buy an AMD rig similar to the one suggested above, but without the case & psu and possibly HD, and with a better graphics card setup. This should leave you with a kick-ass system and possibly some cash to spare (Maybe enough to get a new Monitor).

2)Use your entire budget to get an i7 setup, which may or may not be better depending on how successful you are at OCing and whether or not you have enough cash left over after buying the CPU/MOBO to get the same level of graphics.

Also, don't get win xp x64, just wait for win 7. If you don't already have the rc of 7 then you are more or less out of luck at this point
August 28, 2009 8:55:10 PM

I don't see any reason for falling back to windows xp 64 bit, since a lot of the initial issues with vista have been dealt with, and I feel like a lot of the hesitations with vista have just been due to this.

The psu is fine, I read the johnnyguru review online and they just mentioned that they wanted a tiny bit better power regulation, but with your current setup, I dont think your going to be pushing it very hard, so there is no need to worry.

Jbakerlent has a good build up, which i would suggest. I'm not sure if an i7 build squeezed into this budget would be any good.
August 28, 2009 9:34:30 PM

jonsy2k said:
Yeah I'm not sure why people keep suggesting psu's either, if he already has a silverstone 850 watt psu why should he buy another one?



if he does buy another psu his originl computer still runs and it can be sold or kept as a running back up


and to the guy that suggested an i7 at that budget for gaming ...well you are dreaming , because it wont match an AMD system in that price range
August 28, 2009 9:39:04 PM

It would be dreaming if he didn't already have the PSU, case, HD, and monitor. Bust out your calculator and then maybe you will realize just how feasible it is.
August 28, 2009 10:29:51 PM

thecolonel2323 said:
It would be dreaming if he didn't already have the PSU, case, HD, and monitor. Bust out your calculator and then maybe you will realize just how feasible it is.


he games on a 1680 x 1050 monitor , and a single 4890 and AMD quad is going to max out any game at that resolution .

You right though the i7 isnt a dream ........ its nightmare overspend
August 28, 2009 10:40:29 PM

Outlander_04 said:
if he does buy another psu his originl computer still runs and it can be sold or kept as a running back up


and to the guy that suggested an i7 at that budget for gaming ...well you are dreaming , because it wont match an AMD system in that price range



This may be true, but if he is prepared to take the existing monitor, ram and psu from it, I dont think his intention is to keep his existing one while completing a new one, though this isnt a bad idea. If his intention is to however minimize the costs by trying to reuse some of the parts he has already, keeping the psu would make the most sense.
August 29, 2009 1:40:42 AM

I would like to reuse any of the viable parts from this machine to further spread my budget and get better "needed" components, i.e. motherboard, CPU, vid card(s) and memory. I can always upgrade the pieces I salvage from this rig at a later date. My monitor is a fine 22 incher and doesn't need to be replaced. If the PS can handle the new components and the crossfire I'll keep it for now and look to upgrade it at a later date.
August 29, 2009 2:37:33 AM

Outlander_04 said:
he games on a 1680 x 1050 monitor , and a single 4890 and AMD quad is going to max out any game at that resolution .

You right though the i7 isnt a dream ........ its nightmare overspend


Oh no! God forbid he uses budget! Why don't you crawl out from under your bridge and read that I had even been saying before that an AMD build would be cheaper and might even be better. Go slip back into bed with the other AMD fanboys.
August 29, 2009 3:05:42 AM

thecolonel2323 said:
Oh no! God forbid he uses budget! Why don't you crawl out from under your bridge and read that I had even been saying before that an AMD build would be cheaper and might even be better. Go slip back into bed with the other AMD fanboys.


The OP can build a system that will max out any game on his monitor for a lot less than his budget . And he doesnt need an i7 to do it , or even a top end AMD quad . 1680 x 1050 isnt going to be a challenge . Theres nothing wrong with the monitor , but it wont need huge gfx and/or cpu power to run games at high settings on it

Spending money just because you can seems kind of pointless . Far better to build a system that achieves the desired result at the best possible price .

This is a lesson the "im an intel fanboy so we all must have i7's" types would do well to learn , but I dont think you will catch up with reality any time soon . Colonel , you are looking more like a corporal .
The very first build suggestions in this thread are more than adequate


August 29, 2009 3:13:20 AM

Outlander_04 said:
The OP can build a system that will max out any game on his monitor for a lot less than his budget . And he doesnt need an i7 to do it , or even a top end AMD quad . 1680 x 1050 isnt going to be a challenge . Theres nothing wrong with the monitor , but it wont need huge gfx and/or cpu power to run games at high settings on it

Spending money just because you can seems kind of pointless . Far better to build a system that achieves the desired result at the best possible price .

This is a lesson the "im an intel fanboy so we all must have i7's" types would do well to learn , but I dont think you will catch up with reality any time soon . Colonel , you are looking more like a corporal .
The very first build suggestions in this thread are more than adequate


Have you still not read the post where I said the AMD build was a good if not better option? Just because someone mentioned an i7 doesn't mean that they are an Intel fanboy.
August 29, 2009 3:22:12 AM

thecolonel2323 said:
Have you still not read the post where I said the AMD build was a good if not better option? Just because someone mentioned an i7 doesn't mean that they are an Intel fanboy.



you seem to be intent on taking immaturity to new depths

you started with name calling and now have descended to trying to justify your rudeness

I didnt think you were going to catch on fast
August 29, 2009 3:29:32 AM

Outlander_04 said:
you seem to be intent on taking immaturity to new depths

you started with name calling and now have descended to trying to justify your rudeness

I didnt think you were going to catch on fast


I guess I should have just started off like you by taking what someone said out of context, layering on the sarcasm, and topping it off with a heaping pile ignorance.

The i7 is the superior CPU, its within the OP's budget and worth consideration. Its up to him if he wants go with AMD and save money while sacrificing little performance. You are the one who made it personal by trying to say I was "dreaming" when all i did was lay out the OP's options without showing the pig-headed bias that you can't seem to guise.
August 30, 2009 9:54:04 AM

Blah blah blah, stop your exchanges on this thread and just PM each other if you two are gonna go at it. This isn't helping anyone but your own egos.

@OP: your PS and case should be kept, to save money. I really like the Antec cases, so I would also recommend looking into the 300/900/902, but is optional.

I also like AMD 955 over i7, since my computer's purpose will be for gaming and general applications like videos or music. I don't want to belittle AMD by putting it in the "gaming only" category, but it does lose to the i7 in everything else aside from gaming, if only slightly, but there is a $90 dollar difference. Also, buying an i7 limits you to having a motherboard that only supports the i7 (x58 motherboards) and those can range from $175-$400. So in terms of getting performance for a lower price, AMD will get you in the CPU/mobo area.

For RAM, I would look into the cheaper DDR3 RAM, IF you decide to get an AM3 motherboard. Preferably, the 1600mhz type with 7 or 8 CAS timings (like 7-7-7-20), the lower it is the better. You can settle with 1333 mhz, for there's very little difference between the two, but the 1600mhz might be in the same price range as the 1333mhz, so check out both.

HDD, is cheap nowadays, so $80-$95+ can get you 7200RPM, 16/32MB cache, 1 TB hard drives.

Now the GPU is difficult. @1680x1050/1200, you don't have to even go high-end. A 4870 will be the best deal, but a 4890 is just slightly more and allows for a good OC. I know my 4890 Toxic isn't being stressed when I max out any game @ 1680x1050 especially when it's OCed to 1065mhz core/1100+mhz mem. You can wait for the new DX11 cards to come out, so it drives the prices of the 4890's down. Iim the type to say it's always better to wait a few months to get the kinks worked out of new cards/drivers. I never really looked into Nvidia cards except for when they were compared to ATI cards, so I cannot recommend Nvidia cards for you, but the GTX 275 would be a great choice for the price range of about $200+.

Anyway, good luck on your build and I hope you're happy with what you buy and not what other's think you should buy.
August 31, 2009 12:11:51 AM

So for gaming purposes the AMDs are still out performing the Intel CPUs dollar for dollar? What about when OCing the processors? And is it worth OCing the processor for the increasing in power? I've never OCed a rig before, primarily because I'm not all that computer savvy and I didn't want to kill the machine by doing something wrong. From what I understand it's gotten a lot easier over the past couple years.

Is it better, performance-wise, to buy 2 smaller HDs and RAID configure them? Again for gaming purposes? I do not store a ton of material or old games on my comps so have never really had a problem with storage space. Also, I figure if at some point I do start storing picture, music or what have you I can always buy another drive for that.
August 31, 2009 12:48:08 AM

Drollgar said:
So for gaming purposes the AMDs are still out performing the Intel CPUs dollar for dollar? What about when OCing the processors? And is it worth OCing the processor for the increasing in power? I've never OCed a rig before, primarily because I'm not all that computer savvy and I didn't want to kill the machine by doing something wrong. From what I understand it's gotten a lot easier over the past couple years.

Is it better, performance-wise, to buy 2 smaller HDs and RAID configure them? Again for gaming purposes? I do not store a ton of material or old games on my comps so have never really had a problem with storage space. Also, I figure if at some point I do start storing picture, music or what have you I can always buy another drive for that.



The intel i7 is the most powerful processor , but if you are building to a budget you can get a faster gaming machine with amd because cpu/mb/ram all cost less and that frees up money to spend on a more powerful gfx card .

OC can increase performance , but sometimes its not that cost effective since you often spend $50 on a cpu cooler , that you could have just spent on a faster cpu . OC is definitely easier now . The previous generation of intel P4 cpu's were right at the limit and hard to cool . C2D and i7 are easy to OC . Phenom OC's ok but not as high as intel .

RAID 0 will speed boot and loading times but not increase FPS in games . Generally it will save you a few seconds here and there but it also doubles your risk of catastrophic failure and losing all unbacked up data . RAID 0 is not really worth it for a gaming desk top IMO . Just buy a fast samsung F3 500 gig hdd .

August 31, 2009 5:58:27 AM

+1 to Outlander

Intel is better in most aspects (performance, temperature, power usage, OCing), but does cost a lot more than an AMD equivalent.

Again, same thing goes for ATI and Nvidia. ATI costs A LOT less for having similar performance as a Nvidia card (4890 can match up to a GTX 285 in some cases, but the 285 costs $100+ more) , but ATI also uses up more wattage and generally runs hotter and louder.

I was thinking about RAID 0 as well, but RAID isn't ideal for a gaming rig. Your boot time is already fast enough and with RAID, if one hard drive fails, it means you lose the data for both hard drives. Also, some hard drives are unstable when used in RAID, so I also wouldn't recommend it.
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