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Building PC to run MMOs & < $1300

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September 24, 2009 3:23:28 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: By end of month

BUDGET RANGE: $1000-1300

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming only

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'm leaning towards intel

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The most demanding game I'm planning to run at the moment is Age of Conan. I also want to be able to run older games like Oblivion, WOW, Titan's Quest, Warcraft 3, etc. I'm interested in learning how to do some game modding as well.


Thinking about this CPU: Intel Core i5-720

Strongly considering the Radeon 4870 for graphics.

More about : building run mmos 1300

September 24, 2009 3:31:35 PM

You could put together a nice i5 system for about $800. 4870 is a good choice for your current games. I wouldn't even recommend getting anything better than a 4870 unless you upgrade your monitor, 1680x1050 resolution won't be all that demanding for a single 4870.
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September 24, 2009 3:58:10 PM

Thanks, wathman. Cheaper is always better, naturally. I have a couple of questions:

Power supply. If I plan to run an i5 CPU, and single ATI 4870 graphics card, what sort of PSU do I need? A friend recommended 1000W+ for future upgradability, but that feels like it may be overkill? Note: I'll probably upgrade to the latest graphics card next year that is in the same price point as the 4870 now (maybe a 5xxx card) - not sure if power requirements will change drastically.

RAM. I was planning on going for 8GB of RAM. I see a lot of builds on here with only 4GB. Will the extra 4GB make a significant impact on games?
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September 24, 2009 4:10:17 PM

yeah, 1000 is a bit overboard. Those PSUs only exist because there are some people out there who want to do quad graphics card setups, and extreme overclocks. A 550 Watt PSU will probably be enough to power your system, 650Watts would give you enough headroom if you plan on staying with single GPU configurations. 750 would be plenty for affordable Crossfire/SLI setups. I like the Corsair 650TX for it's quality and price. There's other good brands out there, but Corsair is probably the most recommended one on these boards.

for RAM, you really won't see much improvement by getting more that 4 at this time. Most games won't run all that much better with more RAM than they can allocate, faster RAM is a better investment and will have some impact on performance.
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September 24, 2009 4:17:03 PM

Intel Core i5 750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC - Retail $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive - OEM $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

VisionTek 900244 Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $149.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $124.95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total before shipping $1,054.94






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September 24, 2009 4:22:07 PM

only thing evongugg left out was a case, and Newegg has some specials going right now. http://promotions.newegg.com/Cases/100709Gaming/index.h...

use the coupon code SPETFS to get free shipping on the cases featured there.

looks like evongugg just put one in. Antec 900 is a great case, the 300 is almost as good, just smaller and cheaper.
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September 24, 2009 5:08:02 PM

one more question: what kind of SATA cables do I need to hook up my Samsung F3 500GB SATA hard drive?
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September 24, 2009 5:14:25 PM

I'd check the reviews first on the coolermaster PSU. They make great cases, but their PSUs haven't been up to par in the past. This may have changed recently. Also, you're comparing the HAF 922 to the Antec 1200, the HAF 932 is a full tower like the Antec 1200. You might want to consider the Antec 900 and possible combos there.
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September 24, 2009 5:16:52 PM

I took another look at the cases. the antec 300 you mentioned is quite a bit cheaper. considering that i don't plan to do any crazy overclocking or multi-graphics card setups, do you think the antec 300 would meet my needs? i want a quality case that will last, but i don't know if i really need the size of the full tower 1200, or even the 900.
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September 24, 2009 5:28:44 PM

The main concern with cases is if it will fit everything you want to put in it. There are little extras that are nice to have in the more expensive cases, but they become more important if you want to tweak stuff or do upgrades. The Antec 300 should be a good choice.
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September 24, 2009 6:03:13 PM

thanks! for the PSU, I saw that the Corsair 620HX ($139) got a great review on hardocp.com. Do you think the modularity is worth the $40 price premium over the 650TX model ($99)? Does a modular PSU reduce heat significantly or is it a mere convenience factor when initially building the system? I don't plan to tinker with my box much so i'm not too worried about a few extra cables making installation of parts a bit harder.
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September 24, 2009 6:35:10 PM

Ok, I think I have this figured out at last. I decided not to wait for the 5850 because it doesn't sound like it will actually be available until late next month, at the earliest, and will likely cost $260+ where as the 4890 is $190 now and will handle everything I want to use it for. I can always upgrade next year.

Here are the parts I've selected. Any feedback or advice on parts that may not work together would be appreciated. Also, please let me know if you think I missed anything. Note: I already have the OS, Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse. The only thing I'm missing are speakers. Thanks!

CPU: Intel Core i5-750 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor ($200)

Motherboard: ASUS P7P55D PRO ATX Intel Motherboard ($140)

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory ($177 - two of these, total of 8GB)

Case: Antec 300 ($60)

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W ($140)

Storage:
Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB drive ($50) - for OS/Apps
WD Green 1TB drive ($85) - for data storage

Optical drive: SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support ($32)

Video:
SAPPHIRE VAPOR-X Radeon HD 4890 100269VXL Video Card ($195)

Cables: OKGeare SATA II Cable 10" ($6 - getting three of these for OEM optical drive and two OEM HDs)


I went with 8GB of RAM because I feel a little more comfortable having extra even if 4GB is sufficient for most gaming scenarios. This brings me to a total of ~$1100 for what seams like a reasonable, mid-range gaming system. Thoughts? I'd like to order today :) 
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September 24, 2009 6:43:46 PM

you don't need a sata cable the drives and board come with a bunch and modular, only has better cable management and looks better, only advantage, maybe add a cpu cooler?
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September 24, 2009 6:46:06 PM

the drives are OEM so I thought that meant they won't come with the cables?

what sort of CPU cooler is recommended? I thought that the retail version of the cpu came with a fan?
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September 24, 2009 6:57:25 PM

yeah it does come with the stock cooler and the board comes with 2 sata cables well get the cable then
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September 24, 2009 6:58:37 PM

is the stock cooler not sufficient if you overclock? what would you recommend? i don't mind spending a bit here if it will help with the stability of the system (i have heard stories of builds being unstable due to heat issues - will i have to worry about this with the i5 chip?)
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September 24, 2009 7:35:33 PM

If you are looking at the antec 300, look at the antec 300 illusion. Its the same case with two front 120mm fans included and usually is only about the cost of one fan different.

*edit your text only says Antec 300, but that is the link to the 300 Illusion. Good choice.
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September 24, 2009 8:45:17 PM

cool, thanks. I was looking at prices again, and I'd save about $40 by stepping down to a 4870. Is the 4890 worth the extra $$? The benchmarks I've seen indicate ~10% improvement.
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September 24, 2009 8:48:24 PM

the 4890 is just a massaged 4870 but the 4890 is clocked higher the 4890 linked can clock well with the vapor x cooling but if you want you can step down to the xfx 4870 the reference design one
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!