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Build for a 1100+$ gaming/HT PC

Last response: in Systems
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September 9, 2009 10:45:04 PM

There's my list:
Case : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112147
I’m looking for a big case with excellent air flow because I’ll probably run two G/C w/ it. I have a bad experience with my actual case, the hot air stays around the video card. It stays hot at idle and it warms my mobo because of all the cables blocking the air into a small area.
CPU: Phenom II x2 550 BE - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103680
Deal for both : 211$
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Graphic Card: Based on THW guide, I’ve selected these two G/C,

First choice – two Radeon HD 4870, lowest price found per card: 120$
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=40000048&Description=radeon%204870&name=Desktop%20Graphics%20%2f%20Video%20Cards
Second choice - Radeon HD 4850 (x2 or crossfire configuration) it is turning around 100$ per card (225$ for x2 version)
Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=40000048&Description=4850&name=Desktop%20Graphics%20%2f%20Video%20Cards
When I searched these models, I’ve found many others w/ some options like water cooling but more expensive. I’m wondering which is best for later O/C purpose or better life time. I bet the water cooling wins b/c you don’t have dust problem, but you may have other issues…
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Mobo: ASRock M3A790GXH/128M (115$) http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=M3A790GXH%2F128M
Looked in the THW guide “Phenom II: Unlocking Cores, Cache, And A Free Lunch” and they successfully unlocked a 720BE 4th core. I think it can work w/ a 550BE because of the ACC function.
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RAM: DDR3 1333MHz 2x2Gb 75$ I read somewhere that the 550BE was running faster on that http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148262
I checked for the lowest voltage…
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Sound card: Looking for a cheap, but good one. It’ll have to support a decent speaker system (200-300$ for the system).
Hard drive: No idea yet. Looking for something going around 100$
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it’s 600W which seems to be enough for my needs. Its also really cheap (50$ w/ mail rebate)!
Bluray: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... took it on top sellers (60$)
Monitor: I have no idea actually; I’ll be running on 1920x1200 and maybe 2650x1600 when it’ll be priceless. I reserve 275$ for a decent one at least 24’inch.

Total: 710$+monitor= 985$
Adding: 115$ for fans, thermal compound and blabla
Hypothetic total: 1100$


Note: I want to "maybe" turn my x2 into a x3 or x4 if I have some luck. I probably won't be able to have 4 stables cores, but according to some benchmarks, a stable OCed unlocked 550 to 3 cores is possible.
[Edit note]: I don't know a lot of retailler so that's why I choosed everything on newegg.ca. It's not a preference or whatever. It's a demo build selection, I'll do a lot of research on every parts before buying anything. The only thing I'm sure at 99% is the Phenom and the Graphic cards because they seem to respect my needs and, of course, I trust your guides THW :p .

More about : build 1100 gaming

September 9, 2009 11:26:53 PM

Can I assume that your "Hypothetic" Budget is around $1100 or can you stretch it a little?!!
I'll update based on your reply.

Regards.
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September 9, 2009 11:41:51 PM

Sound card: Skip it. You are planning on a 4870 or 4850, they can do digital out via HDMI.

Hard drive: Check out a 1.5 tb seagate, samsung, or WD. Should be around 100-120, all decent. Get the 7200rpm version

Bluray: Make sure to budget more since you will need to get the cool guy upgrade for whatever software comes with the drive to get it to play multichannel audio. That's if the drive even comes with software for playing BR. Unless you plan on "alternate" distribution methods for software...
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September 10, 2009 12:00:42 AM

@Psycho Sykes: Lower, better but I can go over 1100. I don't know what kind of update you want to do, but the confortable zone is around 1000$.
@festerovic: like a bluray turning around 120$? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136162

I noticed some error in this build but it's a bit late. I'll upgrade it a bit w/ the rebate I forgot.
BTW, with the possibility that I won't be able to run my engine w/ a triple/quad cores, do you think that my G/C(s) are going to be a bit too overkill for a core duo on a full definition game?
note: "normal" clock speed of an O/C 550BE is 3.8GHz and 3.6GHz running on triple @1.45V, but I think these stats are low.
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September 10, 2009 12:06:12 AM

If you want (Or need) a blue-ray drive (sorry didn't notice in your thread start) and that you can go up to $1200 I suggest an i5 Build.
I'll update with the list as soon as I gather the links ;)  .

Regards.
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September 10, 2009 12:17:58 AM

+1 on upgrading the cpu. i5 is a good call. That you mention the dual core limiting the effectiveness of the GPUs is very likely.

Read the latest article about scaling with all the diff CPUs and graphics cards.

powerfuel, I was talking about the powerDVD HD software or whatever its called. To get the good version that will let you play multichannel, you need the upgrade (I think it's $60-70)
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September 10, 2009 1:23:27 AM

Thanks for your precious advices.
From what I read, the I5 is cheaper, yes, but only because of its dual-channel platform. If I go for a I5, it'll be with HT and that option on the I5 serie is only disponible for 300$. At this point, 1200$ seems to be very tight!

Okay, well, I think I'll come back with my idea to possibly upgrade my monitor from 1920x1200 to 2560x1600 if I can keep my AMD build.

Let me read a bit on that I5, to see if it really worth the price. I know some of you are really optimist with all of these quad cores processor, but some benchmark proved that not a lot of program benefit from this architecture. Games seem to be satisfied with a triple as long as you're not running a virus scan while playing (from THW guide 'How many core do you need?") - I don't really see any justification to spend more for a few more FPS. The Big problem here is the feasibility of a gaming computer w/ a 1920x1200 resolution even if I can't unlock a 3th core.
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September 10, 2009 1:41:57 AM

EXTREMELY sorry for being late, I had to go for a while, I'll follow up with an i5 build just as a reference.

Regards.
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September 10, 2009 3:58:52 AM

powerfuel said:

Let me read a bit on that I5, to see if it really worth the price. I know some of you are really optimist with all of these quad cores processor, but some benchmark proved that not a lot of program benefit from this architecture. Games seem to be satisfied with a triple as long as you're not running a virus scan while playing (from THW guide 'How many core do you need?") - I don't really see any justification to spend more for a few more FPS. The Big problem here is the feasibility of a gaming computer w/ a 1920x1200 resolution even if I can't unlock a 3th core.


I agree, but the games that are using 3+ cores are the new games. Why not future proof the investment you are making? It will run a xfire/sli setup much more efficiently than the dual core. If not i5 consider the p2 x4.
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