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Moderate Gaming, under $600

Last response: in Systems
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September 4, 2009 9:00:23 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
Within a Month

BUDGET RANGE:
Around $600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Moderate Gaming, Multitasking

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
Monitor, keyboard, mouse

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
No Preference, Using newegg at the moment

PARTS PREFERENCES:
No Preference

OVERCLOCKING:
Somewhat

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
1024x768, Possibly higher in future

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:


I have researched through these forums and, so far, have determined a build. Currently I own a Dell XPS 400, which I plan to use the internal HDD and both cd/dvd drives. These are also listed below priced as $0. Feedback would be great!

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card $95
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 Power Supply compatible with core i7 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Scythe SCKTN-3000 92mm Sleeve "KATANA3" 3Heat Pipes CPU Cooler $29
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Samsung SP2504C 250 GB SATA-300 Hard Disk Drive $0

LG GSA-H55L Optical Drive $0

External USB 500GB Seagate External HDD $0


My biggest question is the CPU... Which one would you suggest?
Should I go with the X3 720 or one of the X2's? I am considering a slight, stable overclocking of the CPU. This is a first time build, so would I need any other components besides a screw driver?

Thanks!

More about : moderate gaming 600

September 4, 2009 9:10:03 PM

I don't know a lot about AMD CPUs, and don't want to make the wrong suggestion, so I won't try to. I would really get a 4850 video card though. Something like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I haven't decided about RAM/PSU yet. I think you could probably find something else though.
September 4, 2009 9:15:33 PM

What's the difference between the two cards? I see they're the same price but one is 4830 and the other is 4850.

Thanks for the input!
Related resources
September 4, 2009 9:15:47 PM

Pay the extra $20 and go with the X3 720.

Also, get an HD 4850 for the same price as the HD 4830.
September 4, 2009 9:18:55 PM

The 720 will be a bit better on the multitasking, for that resolution i would suggest just sticking with the IGP on the 790GX board, even a 4670 would be overkill.

Also get a 120mm cooler like the xigmatech darkknight or the core contact freezer.
September 4, 2009 9:26:05 PM

hunter315 said:
The 720 will be a bit better on the multitasking, for that resolution i would suggest just sticking with the IGP on the 790GX board, even a 4670 would be overkill.

Also get a 120mm cooler like the xigmatech darkknight or the core contact freezer.


Note that the OP said he might go to a higher resolution in the future. If by moderate gaming he means something like WoW, then a 4850 does a good job with a 22" monitor (that's the combo I use). I guess it really depends on whether he want to spend the money now for the GPU.
September 4, 2009 9:29:12 PM

a graphics upgrade takes all of 5 minutes, and the prices keep plummeting so by the time he upgrades to a 22" monitor a 4850 will be well below 100 and the new series will be out.
September 4, 2009 9:30:14 PM

By Moderate Gaming, I am meaning able to run today's games, just not at the highest resolution/settings. I'm perfectly fine running the games on medium settings, and some on high, but with my current resolution, I don't expect the best video settings.

Thanks for the input... I have decided on going with the X3 720. Based on the comments about the board, is there any better board with the build design within a $15~20 range? I'm willing to spend approximately $100 more if it helps maximize the current design's efficiency.
September 4, 2009 9:44:20 PM

+1 for the X3. The 4850 FallenSniper suggested for the same price at the 4830 is a no brainer. It should run everything on high at your current resolution. It should also be more than acceptable on something around a 22" 1920X1080 on moderate to high levels.

My take on falling prices after the 5xxx series launch. Prices have already been dropping on the current selection of cards. How much further can a 4580 drop? Down to $75? Considering the 46xx are still around above $50... So a possible $25 drop after release of the new 5xxx series. I suppose it could be more, but doubtful. Is it worth it to the OP to wait a month or two to see what happens? Only he knows. :) 
September 4, 2009 9:50:18 PM

Proximon said:
X3 720 and Scythe Mugen:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Sunbeam Core Contact hunter315 mentioned doesn't play well with taller heatsinks near the CPU socket.

If you need to trim the budget just get a 4670 for now. They are quite strong, really.


There's a $30 difference between the Sapphire 4850 and the 4670. That's a good jump for $30 IMO. My question is, is the cooler really warranted? Is it better to have an after market cooler? Sure, but is it necessary for a "somewhat" OC? It would be more difficult to add a cooler later. At least more time consuming, but still cheaper to add it later if its needed than buying a card now and replacing it later.
September 4, 2009 10:28:57 PM

I believe I've read the X3 720 can achieve 3.5 ghz stable fairly easy with minimal cooling...

If this is possible without the after market cooling, then I can follow AMD Thunder's advice and do that. How many fans would be suggested for the unit?
September 5, 2009 12:52:11 AM

That case comes with 4 fans already, which should be plenty. Unless you are talking about something else. :) 

After re-reading it looks like you might be talking about aftermarket graphics card cooler? If so, 1 is good, 2 is better. All depends on quality and size.
September 5, 2009 1:05:26 AM

Proximon said:

The Sunbeam Core Contact hunter315 mentioned doesn't play well with taller heatsinks near the CPU socket.


Proximon, would you please elaborate?

Would there be a problem with the Xigmatech Dark Knight?
September 5, 2009 2:53:55 AM

VinnyChase said:
Proximon, would you please elaborate?

Would there be a problem with the Xigmatech Dark Knight?


I haven't tried it myself, but I've had a few reports that the Sunbeam, whose cooling fins start fairly low, leaves no space between the cooler and the heatsink just south of the CPU socket (northbridge or whatever we call it on AMD boards). Since the clip used is very stiff and requires a good bit of force, it makes it hard to install. Maybe impossible for some.

I haven't heard anything similar with the Xigmatek. I usually recommend the Sunbeam with more open boards such as the P43 or 770.
September 5, 2009 3:43:51 AM

^
Thanks for the reply.

My mobo is either going to be the GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P or GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P and I was thinking about using the Core Contact Cooler.
September 5, 2009 4:38:16 PM

What I am thinking at the moment is to stick with the IGP for the board and wait til the 5xxx comes out to see how far the 4850 drops.

I do not think I'll get an aftermarket cooler at the moment unless temps prove me wrong.

Thanks a lot for the help!
!