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Building Gaming Computer for Wife, is 600 best I can do!?!

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September 18, 2009 10:35:11 PM

Title says it all. My loving wife loves to play World of Warcraft, but my computer from college finally kicked the bucket and she is forced to use my customized HP laptop that I bought for grad school...so it doesn't have the best graphics...We are on a relatively tight budget, please help! Hoping to not have to replace within 3-5 years...

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (within 1 month) BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 500-700) After Rebates, want the best quality for the price

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (gaming, surfing the net, etc)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (DVD player (That thankfully still works), keyboard, mouse, Windows 7(yay for college discounts), 17inch LCD Monitor)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (newegg.com, zipzoomfly.com) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: (USA)

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type (Had good responses with OC, Antec, Thermaltake, Intel, Western Digital )

OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (she likes greens and purples, needs to be lightweight and quiet if possible)

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ITEMS I'M CONSIDERING:

The AMD VERSION-650.00 with a 10.00 MIR

Case: (will the 4870 fit?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

Video Card (I think I might be sold on this one...):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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


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

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







THE INTEL VERSION-750.00 minus 60 MIR= 690
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Case: (will the 250 fit?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

Video Card (Better than my 9800 GTX+?, better to go with the 260?):
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

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

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

Hard Drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 18, 2009 11:33:47 PM

would you like to edit your post so it makes some sense

like a clear list of the parts you have , and the resolution of the monitor you might [ or might not ] have
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September 18, 2009 11:55:34 PM

That cyberpower doesnt have a gaming GPU in it. A 9500 would barely play WoW at minimum settings. You really want something like an ATI 4850 or 4870. The question is if you can wait a week and see if the new cards coming out force prices down.

My advice is say "yes, dear" and go with the green case. Its a decent case at an ok price. Make her happy. Case with Vista 64/win7 upgrade ($160.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

AthlonIIx2 2.8GHz, Gigabyte GMA875 Motherboard, 500GB Seagate HDD, 4GB Corsair Dominator DR2 1066 RAM ($250 plus a $15 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Coolermaster RS550 power supply ($60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $470 - $15 MIR so far. You could try onboard graphics but you really need a GPU to play WoW at good resolutions. Next weekend will likely be a better time to buy a GPU.

If you need it this week a Sapphire 4850 ($100)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $570 - $15 MIR for a system that will handle wow well on a 20inch LCD at 1380x1050. I am assuming you are using the same monitor and you dont have a high resolution widescreen before.
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Best solution

September 19, 2009 12:31:45 AM

If you're trying to stretch this rig for 5 years, I'm going to suggest a few expenses that will put the final price closer to $600 than the $500.

GPU: Asus 9600 GSO $35 amir
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU and mobo combo: $169 amir http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

AMD 720x3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte 770 AM3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM and PSU Combo: $136 amir http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OCZ 4gig Plat Cas 7 ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OCZ 600w modxstream http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Free 4gb flash drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case and OS combo: $160 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Case: If you can find one that has free shipping, you'll save $20. Check zipzoomfly.com, most of their stuff has free shipping.
OS: Vista w/ win7

HDD: $50 Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical: $31 delivered Lite-on DVD burner sata
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $663-$55 mir = $608 delivered.
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September 19, 2009 3:32:49 AM

dndhatcher said:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/mainstre...
A 9600 is barely playable at 1280x1024. That GPU wont work well. It will take a $100+ GPU to play WoW well.

I wouldn't expect it to play with 16x AF or the highest setting that that benchmark was done at. The OP wanted closer to $500 and a long life for the rig. The 9600 GSO is my meet in the middle. If he wants to take it up to the $660 range, getting the 4850 is completely attainable.

We still haven't heard from the OP what the monitor resolution is thats being played on?
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September 19, 2009 4:09:45 AM

A Thousand Apologies for the lack of clarity (this is what I get for posting in between playing and dinner and what not...). She currently has a 17 inch LCD that she will be using, so I don't think she needs beyond 1280x1024. And yes, if new cards are coming out around the end of the month, I have no problem waiting. Currently, I am running a GeForce 9800 GTX+ on my machine made by XFX that I bought this time last year and it is still running very smoothly. Good catch with the Cyberpower GPU, I completely missed that detail. And if 600 will give me a stronger machine, I think I can find some wiggle room in the budget. Thanks for your suggestions!
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September 19, 2009 4:48:28 AM

Thanks for clarifying . Monitor RESOLUTION is critical to deciding how strong a gfx card is needed for gaming .

AMD Phenom II X3 720 + GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P $169
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case and OS combo: $160
Samsung F3 $50
liteon dvd $31

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI R4850-2D512-OC Radeon HD 4850 512MB $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But as other have pointed out it stretches your budget to include a gaming gfx card that will give good quality and frame rates
$640

Two ways to trim the cost ....Maybe
1/ install the oem XP you have [assuming the same copy isnt being used on another computer ] theres every chance MS will let it be activated . They did with mine .
2/ find a copy of the windows 7 RC . This was available free for download but Im sure there are plenty of copies given away on disks in magazines . You can still get installation codes from MS . You will have to buy windows eventually but not until march next year , and then youd have to completely reinstall
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September 22, 2009 12:35:43 PM

Am I taking from these great suggestions that Intel is not doable in my price range? The old machine was an AMD and it ran great, just a little warmer than I expected so I'm not against their build. I am just curious what the comparison would be. Thanks!
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September 22, 2009 2:54:36 PM

Had some free time on my hands to see what was out there. Check original post for my ideas and what I really don't need :) 
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September 22, 2009 3:15:32 PM

At your price range AMD is your best solution. The 9600GSO with the PII x3 720 mentioned above gives about 45 FPS in Dalaran at your resolution with most settings at high or medium with shadows up one click from off. I've built 2 computers recently for WoW players that are using the GSO/720 combo and the players are happy with the performance in Dalaran and 25 man raids. Perhaps this case/PSU combo with an additional $9 green case fan in front. Antec 200/430w Basiq, $90 + shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 22, 2009 4:08:21 PM

Two thumbs up for your wife playing WoW. Just as a reference point, I play WoW on a 22" monitor (1680 x 1050) with an HD 4850. I get about 35 FPS in Dalaran at max settings when the town is fairly crowded (I haven't checked my FPS elsewhere when soloing but I expect it is high). Prior to getting the 4850 and monitor, I played with a 6800GT on a 19" monitor. Switching was like going to a new world. There were all kinds of details I had never seen before. Anyway, if you ever want to surprise your wife with a WoW gift :)  then a bigger monitor and better GPU may be the ticket.

Good luck with your build.
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September 22, 2009 6:29:47 PM

Regarding your new hardware selections -
Caviar Blue is not the HDD you want. You want a Caviar Black or Samsung F3. The Samsung F3 is cheaper.

700W power supply is overkill unless you intend to overclock and run dual graphics cards. Stick with a good quality 450-600W power supply.

Dont get an expensive 775 CPU/Motherboard. Socket 775 is dead. What you picked is almost as expensive as an i5 and a P55 motherboard. Either spend a little more and go i5/p55 or go cheaper with the PhIIx3 720 or AthlonIIx2 and an AM3 motherboard.

The GTX 250 is about the same as a 9800 GTX+ is about the same as a HD 4850. The next step up is the GTX 260 or HD 4870 and the 4870 is likely cheaper.

The CPU is not going to affect your gaming experience nearly as much as the graphics card, which I why i was recommending the higher speed AMD 2 core cpu to save money for a better graphics card.
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September 22, 2009 8:04:07 PM

i'd say go for a HD 4870 512 MB about $140 on Newegg
*u need at least 500w psu

as you can see in dirtmountain's post the Phenom x2 550 BE beats out the 720 on stock speeds

for the case i'd say a CM centurion 5 - good cooling, different colors -roomy
which goes for about $50 on newegg
but the case is pretty much up to you


*i just made a whole build but when i hit submit it bugged out and lost it LOL

good luck
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September 23, 2009 1:13:24 AM

Ok, I have compiled the suggestions for the AMD and am now about 50.00 less, which unless the graphics card goes down is probably the best I can do...now to find the right kind of case...as I am afraid the one she liked is going to be too short for the card...ideas?
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September 23, 2009 2:07:39 AM

On the AMD build:
The DDR2 ram is incompatible with the AM3 mobos. They require DDR3. Change the ram, not the mobo. Something like this will work for you: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That case should fit the GTS 250 also. The 4870 is a touch smaller than the nvidia card, but either should fit. As for the GPU, unless you're looking to upgrade the monitor, the 4850 should run the game at max and the 4870/GTX 260 would destroy everything thrown at it. I would pick a different flavor of the 4870 though as that's a single slot design. It dumps the heat from the GPU right into the case and not exhaust it out like this one would:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

While Antec makes good power supplies generally, the basiq powe line falls short of the expectation of quality that is normally there. While it does have a 3 year warranty, there's better PSUs you can get for $65 like the Antec earthwatts 500w. $55 w/ free shipping and promo code EMCLXMV35 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
All corsairs, seasonic, silverstone, and even OCZ makes a decent enough PSU.

Don't forget to look for combos for all the parts too.
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September 23, 2009 4:30:45 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.95
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product... $60.99 ($40.99 after MIR) Free Shipping
OCZ OCZ500MXSP 500W SLI/CrossFire Active Power Supply Retail

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=MB-P55M-D2 Combo Price: $299.99 | $284.99 $15 off w/ code FUN15, ends 9/30 Free Shipping
GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 Socket 1156/ Intel P55/ DDR3/ CrossFireX/ A&GbE/ MATX Motherboard
Intel Core i5 Processor i5-750 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1156 CPU, Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... Combo Discount: -$15.00 Combo Price: $184.98 $10.00 Mail-In Rebate Price After Mail-In Rebate(s): $174.98 Free Shipping*
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBRL - Retail
MSI N250GTS-2D512-OCv2 GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $49.99 Free Shipping*
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $27.99
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM

Total: $668.88 | $638.88 w/mail in rebates
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September 23, 2009 4:54:48 AM

Why_Me said:
Why is the gts 250 a bad choice ?


because 4850>250 and it's cheaper.
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September 23, 2009 10:34:53 AM

Final Selections (I think)

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $59.95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811129066

Power Supply: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W ATX12V 69.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 88.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 144.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814150436
(I trust XFX, with all of the fans in the case, I should be fine for heat dispersion)

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard 59.99 (Combo Discount)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128392

Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor 119.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103649

Harddrive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3320418AS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB 49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822148469

Shipping : 27.44

Rebates: 20.00

Final Total for Parts: 600.34 :bounce: 

Right within my budget...debating on waiting to get video card in early October just in CASE they go down...Thank you SO MUCH for all of your help! Feel free to post this to other locations so others in my predicament can see how to get a decent system for a great price! Take care!
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September 23, 2009 4:23:13 PM

overshocks said:
because 4850>250 and it's cheaper.


The GTS250 outperforms the HD4850 in WoW, which is the main use for this PC. ^ Good build, the 4870 XFX is a great choice.
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September 23, 2009 4:46:47 PM

edresearcher said:
Title says it all. My loving wife loves to play World of Warcraft, but my computer from college finally kicked the bucket and she is forced to use my customized HP laptop that I bought for grad school...so it doesn't have the best graphics...We are on a relatively tight budget, please help! Hoping to not have to replace within 3-5 years...

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (within 1 month) BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 500-700) After Rebates, want the best quality for the price

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (gaming, surfing the net, etc)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (DVD player (That thankfully still works), keyboard, mouse, Windows 7(yay for college discounts), 17inch LCD Monitor)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (newegg.com, zipzoomfly.com) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: (USA)

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type (Had good responses with OC, Antec, Thermaltake, Intel, Western Digital )

OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (she likes greens and purples, needs to be lightweight and quiet if possible)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ITEMS I'M CONSIDERING:

The AMD VERSION-650.00 with a 10.00 MIR

Case: (will the 4870 fit?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

Video Card (I think I might be sold on this one...):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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


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

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







THE INTEL VERSION-750.00 minus 60 MIR= 690
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Case: (will the 250 fit?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

Video Card (Better than my 9800 GTX+?, better to go with the 260?):
http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?Product...

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

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

Hard Drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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I did the same thing for my girlfriend. The specs you see on my sig is what I got for her.

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case for $44.98 (will be on sale for $10 less, you just have to catch it).

Get the Phenom II x3 720 BE for $119. It's the best budget CPU for gaming. You can overclock that sucker with a stock heatsink and fan to 3.4 GHz without adjusting your Vcore (but I'd recommend Arctic Silver 5). If you lap the stock heatsink, you might make it to 3.7 GHz like I did, but with slightly higher temps (I bought a $20 after market heatsink and fan).

You can find a good motherboard combo with it to save more money. I did it with the ASRock M3A780GXH/128M AM3 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard for $86. Not sold anymore at Newegg, but the GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P should be good, too. It's $178.99 for a combo deal with the Phenom II x3 720 BE.

For a power supply, I got the OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply for $79.99 (there's a $25 mail-in rebate for it, too, but it's out of stock).

For memory, save some money and get the Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT2KIT25664BA1339 for $73.99. You can up the speed to 1600 easily, and it has better timings than the G.SKILL.

Total price you're looking at? $387.95 before taxes and shipping ($352.95 if you wait a little for the case discount and including the $25 mail-in rebate). That leaves whatever you want to spend for a graphics card. The GTS 250 512MB should do well even up to 1920 x 1200, but do great for any resolution less, especially 1280x1024.

I forgot a hard drive, (really no spares?). Still, $30 - $50 on a 7200 RPM hard drive (might be able to find a combo).
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September 23, 2009 5:02:53 PM

Thanks for the memory find! I would rather go with Crucial anyway!
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September 23, 2009 8:52:42 PM

Read this regarding ram and the Phenom IIs. The timings are more important than the speed, once you get to 1333mhz. I'd still buy tighter ram at 1333 or cas 9 1600 and downclock it to 1333 and then tighten the timings. Best case is Cas 7 1600mhz then do the downclock and tightening. G.Skill has quality ram.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-ddr3,2319...

That build will rock wow for a long time. Enjoy.
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September 26, 2009 12:36:26 AM

Although everyone had great responses, Skora was the one to get the ball rolling, and wins the prize for best post. Thanks for the help everyone!
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February 10, 2013 4:02:50 PM

The core 2 quad is a really old slow procesor, you would be better using an intel i5 3570k instead. Also I would recommend a readeon 7850 2GB
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