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Monster Gaming Machine Under $1000?

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November 5, 2009 6:21:59 AM

With l4d2 and Modern Warfare 2 coming out, i want a new machine that can play these at all settings enabled flawlessly at 1920x1200, and at good frame rates at 2560x1600.

Here's what I have so far

Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price
1
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #:N82E16813128362
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
-$20.00 Instant
$298.99
$278.99
1
Intel Core i7-920 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
Item #:N82E16819115202
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$288.99
2
ASUS Radeon HD 4890 EAH4890/HTDI/1GD5 Video Card
Item #:N82E16814121308
Return Policy: VGA Replacement Only Return Policy
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$429.98
1
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Item #:N82E16820145224
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$229.99
1
ZALMAN ZM850-HP 850W Continuous @ 45°C (Maximum Continuous Peak: 1050W) Modular Heatpipe-Cooled SLI Power Supply
Item #:N82E16817379007
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$15.00 Instant
$209.99
$194.99
1
ZALMAN PROFESSIONAL GS-1000-BK Computer Case With Hot Swap Bays & PSU Roller Rails
Item #:N82E16811235014
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$30.00 Instant
$199.99
$169.99
Grand Total: $1,592.93


Well over budget ... help?

More about : monster gaming machine 1000

November 5, 2009 7:15:32 AM

Get rid of the Intel I7-920 and the X58 motherboard. Replace it with a P55 motherboard and a i7-860 or even an i5-750, who are better gaming CPU's at a lower price. (btw, an AMD 955 will still be more than you need at an even lower price). Since the P55 is a dual channel motherboard, you should switch to 4GB of ram. That is still more than any game needs and it will still be more than games need in a few years time.
Get a decent PSU (corsair, seasonic, antec,...) with a far lower voltage (500w would already be enough to power your system).
Zalman cases are expensive and not that great performers. Get a cheaper Antec model (300, 902,...) or a Coolermaster one (storm scout for example).

With the money saved, you should be in budget and you might even be able to upgrade your graphics card. Aim for an ATI 5850 or a 5770 at the least. You make a common mistake: a far to powerful CPU with a rather weak GPU, while for gaming the CPU is hardly an issue, it's the GPU that makes all the difference.
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November 5, 2009 11:59:29 AM

+1 to the i5-750 / P55 board (though i thin a PII build is also sufficient)

get a 5850 or 5870(probably out of price range), the 5770 is performs a little under a 4870 so that won't give flawless 1920x1200

a good 550w should be fine (Corsair 550w)

switch to a different case, antec 300 should be fine (i use a cheap $30 rosewill and the 4870 fits with room to spare)
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November 5, 2009 12:25:04 PM

Lol, you said exactly the same thing I said. I'm better at this than I thought :) 
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November 5, 2009 12:26:42 PM

of you are going for these resolutions , go for amd 790 fx and p2 955 , anything more will be a waste . i like your gpu's they'll beat the gtx 295 easily but double check power requirements here is a another build :-

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail 175.99

ASUS Crosshair III Formula AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail 199.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail 94.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail 119.99

2 x ASUS EAH4890/HTDI/1GD5 Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail - 2 x 214.99

it comes to 1018 without rebates , i havent calculated those yet !
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November 5, 2009 12:30:57 PM

today they have released a new stepping of phenom 2 , it will reach 200 mhz higher :

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-965,2468.... for 20 dollars extra . it reaches 4.1 on stock . you can add the case and cooling of your liking etc . do you like it ? phenom 2 at 4.1 will be more than enough for any game out there , to unleash your gpus to the fullest with out breaking the budget . what do you say ?
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November 5, 2009 12:33:24 PM

Do NOT use dual 4890's. One 4890 is a power drain and a nightmare to cool. Two is good if you're going to use your pc to make some toast in the morning. Not to mention it's overkill for gaming. Get a 5850, it's more than good enough. And should that ever prove to be insufficient, you can get a second one. But that won't happen till quite some years have passed, and by then they'll be dirt cheap. Not to mention it's a lot cooler and quieter.
Oh and btw cyberkuberiah: you forgot to add a case, count a good $50 dollars for an Antec 300 and you're there. Agreed with the Phenom II though, it's a great gaming CPU, and quite affordable.

Oh and ngaminglee: you didn't add a HDD. Have you got one already? If not, you might be needing one of them too.
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November 5, 2009 12:53:27 PM

ok , then i would recommend the 5850 , and the crossfire option later on . now it comes to 890 (with p2965 B.Ed ) dollars without the case hdd and cooler . the psu is enough for dual 5850's .
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November 5, 2009 12:57:00 PM

Indeed. I think we finally have a great gaming system within budget. You still have some money left, which you can spend on fancy things like a cool looking case, or you could save it and upgrade later on (remember, AM3 sockets will support six-core CPU's!)
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November 5, 2009 1:40:17 PM

ngaminglee said:
With l4d2 and Modern Warfare 2 coming out, i want a new machine that can play these at all settings enabled flawlessly at 1920x1200, and at good frame rates at 2560x1600.



Here's what I'd suggest. +1 to Silmarunya @dropping the Intel i7 and the overpriced $300 mobo.

If you *must * have 4 cores for sure: $280.98 ($15 more than the 955 CPU with the combo...your call)
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 140W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ965FBGIBOX - Retail

If not, you can get this and OC it to 3.5 (and unlock the thing and maybe get 4 stable cores...again your call): 196.99
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor Model HDZ550WFGIBOX - Retail


For video: $299.99

SAPPHIRE 100282SR Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity - Retail


For memory: 87.99 x 2 = $175.98

2x G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail


For the PSU: $169.99 after $70.00 MIR

ENERMAX REVOLUTION85+ ERV850EWT 850W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Compatible w/Core ... - Retail


For the case: $99.99

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail


total: $1026.93 for the 965 setup, or $942.94 for the 550 setup

That would do you, provide you good PSU power, quality case, good memory, near top-end video, and good enough CPU performance to handle the game well and saves you about $500 you suggested
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November 5, 2009 1:54:09 PM

Very good, altough the PSU is overkill and the case is more expensive then needed (if you must have a high-end case, the 902 is better resistant to dust. If not, get a cheaper case like the antec 300, which is nearly as good.)

A 965 is a great choice, altough a 955 is identical.

Agreed on the mobo, it's a very good one, and I'm using it myself.

For the memory, 1333mhz with a tighter timing (CL8 or CL7) is going to yield better performance for roughly the same price.
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November 5, 2009 2:49:24 PM

Silmarunya said:
Very good, altough the PSU is overkill and the case is more expensive then needed (if you must have a high-end case, the 902 is better resistant to dust. If not, get a cheaper case like the antec 300, which is nearly as good.)

A 965 is a great choice, altough a 955 is identical.

Agreed on the mobo, it's a very good one, and I'm using it myself.

For the memory, 1333mhz with a tighter timing (CL8 or CL7) is going to yield better performance for roughly the same price.


Was just thinking w/ the PSU it has plenty of juice for adding the 2nd 5850 later if desired.

Ditto on the 965 and 955.

The mobo does look like a good choice, and offers the option to unlock too with the proper BIOS.

As for the memory, the one guy clocked down to 1333 and got 7-7-7-20 out of them. They are well-reviewed, so i figured they would be good enough on a budget gamer system.

As for the case, yeah. i thought about some of the coolermasters and what not that are going for $50-70. The 900 series tho is so well reviewed and from what I have been told is a good, cool case with plenty of space. And with those 5800 series, I guess space is really needed. :lol:  Haven't read alot about the other better filtered rig.
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November 5, 2009 3:52:48 PM

Thanks for the responses!!

I will be needing an HDD so anyone have suggestions? My original inclination was to order one on sale, like the 1TB's that go for ~$60-$70.

BTW, how do I unlock a CPU? Do I have to purchase its Black Edition? Or is this just a setting on the Mobo?

Cheers,
-n
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November 5, 2009 4:00:59 PM

The Samsung spinpoint F3 (exists in 500GB and 1TB versions) is currently one of the best performing regular HDD's at a very modest cost. Get one of them I'd say.

About the unlocking: the AMD 965 and 955 (so the black editions indeed) have an unlocked multiplier, which makes overclocking them easy and more powerful. However, that's not much of an issue until you start overclocking, and if you decide to do that, Internet provides dozens of excellent guides.
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November 5, 2009 4:08:38 PM

Silmarunya said:
The Samsung spinpoint F3 (exists in 500GB and 1TB versions) is currently one of the best performing regular HDD's at a very modest cost. Get one of them I'd say.

About the unlocking: the AMD 965 and 955 (so the black editions indeed) have an unlocked multiplier, which makes overclocking them easy and more powerful. However, that's not much of an issue until you start overclocking, and if you decide to do that, Internet provides dozens of excellent guides.


^^^ +1 again

Plus not only do the Black Edition AMD CPUs not only have an "unlocked" clock multiplier, but you can "unlock" cores on the x2 and x3 on a lot of the SB710 or SB750 based motherboards. That's why I mentioned the cheaper option of the 550BE as a potential choice, given you want to take the risk that your x2 550 BE might unlock to be a x4 550. It is a risk though, so choose wisely what you want to do.

965/955 = sure quad core
720 (x3) or 550 (x2) unlocked = may or may not be quad core.

I unlocked my 720 and have it about 3.4GHz, so it is possible. Just not guaranteed.

With whatever you do, good luck. I'm about to start on a build tonight :D 
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November 5, 2009 4:12:14 PM

jcknouse said:
^^^ +1 again

Plus not only do the Black Edition AMD CPUs not only have an "unlocked" clock multiplier, but you can "unlock" cores on the x2 and x3 on a lot of the SB710 or SB750 based motherboards. That's why I mentioned the cheaper option of the 550BE as a potential choice, given you want to take the risk that your x2 550 BE might unlock to be a x4 550. It is a risk though, so choose wisely what you want to do.

965/955 = sure quad core
720 (x3) or 550 (x2) unlocked = may or may not be quad core.

I unlocked my 720 and have it about 3.4GHz, so it is possible. Just not guaranteed.

With whatever you do, good luck. I'm about to start on a build tonight :D 


The odds of unlocking a dormant core are tiny. I'd not count on that, especially not when a 955/965 is already quite affordable.

Oh and good luck with your build! Let me know if it works :) 
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November 5, 2009 4:43:38 PM

Silmarunya said:
The odds of unlocking a dormant core are tiny. I'd not count on that, especially not when a 955/965 is already quite affordable.

Oh and good luck with your build! Let me know if it works :) 


Thanks. Will do. Got 2 550s in combo deals for less than the 965 in a combo. So, I improved my chances :lol: 

4GB DDR3-1600, 550BE (hopefully x4), 4-500GB Spinpoint F3s in RAID1+0, 64GB 200Mb/s SSD for the OS, 2x 5770s, etc etc

I'm hoping to have it up by Saturday, my old gaming PC moved to the living room as my new HTPC (I wanna game on my 52" LCD tv :lol:  ), and the new PC doing stress testing.

I will (try to remember to) let you know how it goes :)  Thanks again
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November 5, 2009 4:51:22 PM

Sounds great! Just out of intrest though, why did you pick dual 5770's?
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November 5, 2009 5:01:15 PM

Silmarunya said:
Sounds great! Just out of intrest though, why did you pick dual 5770's?


Cause NewEgg had no 5850s in stock, and I was too impatient to let the parts sit around another week. :lol: 

I figure that I don't play any super cutting-edge games right now. If I ever did, I could take those out, put them in my current rig and put 2x 5800s or 1-2x 5800x2s/5900s in later on down the line.
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November 5, 2009 5:07:02 PM

Ah, that way. Well, good luck and enjoy your new computing goodness!
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November 5, 2009 5:53:28 PM

Silmarunya said:
Ah, that way. Well, good luck and enjoy your new computing goodness!


Thanks much! :D  Actually like I said...first couple of days will get spent OCing, unlocking, stress testing.

After that, me and my new gaming keyboard/mouse/headset kit are gonna get VERY acquainted. It's an Ideazon they had on sale.

And just in case their mouse sucks, I bought some OCZ 7 button jobs too. :lol: 

Man, it cost too much. But, I love my gizmos :D 
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November 5, 2009 6:03:25 PM

Lol, you sure have some money to spend!

Boys and their toys... :p 
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November 5, 2009 11:09:12 PM

Hate to break it too ya but a monster gaming machine that can play at good framerates at resolutions well above 1080p for 1K does not exist...you are going to need to double that budget or possibly triple it for a "monster gaming machine" :) 
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November 6, 2009 6:56:36 AM

Hardly. Any CPU more powerful than an i5 offers no real benefit. As for the graphics card, a 5870 is the best single card solution today, and that's $100 more, not thousands... Memory can be added as needed, and that's again $100 dollar, not thousands.

You could spend several thousands of dollars on a system with an i7-975, 2 ATI 5870's, a mighty full tower, a horribly overpriced motherboard and 16GB of ram, but that doesn't offer a benefit in today's games, who can't even use what a modest system provides. And when a modest setup finally proves to be insufficient, adding another graphics card, some ram and a new cpu are all very cheap.

Have you heard of diminishing returns? A 2-3K rig grants bragging rights and you'll have to upgrade in 5 years rather than 3, but a 1K rig that's regularly upgraded will offer equal, if not better, performance at a lower cost and usually lower power consumption as well.
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November 6, 2009 12:44:05 PM

^Okay well you go ahead and build him a "monster gaming machine" for 1000 bucks that can play these at all settings enabled flawlessly at 1920x1200, and at good frame rates at 2560x1600.

^I would really like to see it.
-And if you can do something like that, i'd like to see the websites you get the parts from becuase they must have like a 50% discount.
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November 6, 2009 12:48:11 PM

A 5850, AMD 965/Intel i5 and decent other parts can play today's games on high. Should the need arise, another 5850 can be added and by then they'll be quite cheap. The CPU can always be upgraded in a few years time (if you take AMD that is).

This way, you can play new games at high settings without issues.

It's not a monster, but I'd rather have a young hunting dog every now and then rather than a big fat wolf once. Both will be strong enough, and the dog can be upgraded regularly. Young dog>old and cripple wolf.
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November 6, 2009 12:56:11 PM

^Okay so why don't you put together all of that for under 1000 dollars. Make a little build with parts and links and keep under 1000.
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November 6, 2009 12:57:46 PM

Sure. Which site do you want? I'm gonna start on Newegg, since it's the only American one I know.
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November 6, 2009 12:59:15 PM

Any site, just build it.
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November 6, 2009 1:21:02 PM

Case: Antec Sonata III with 500w PSU ($109,99):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 ($175,99):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 ($79,99):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.Skill 4GB DDR3 1333 CL9 ($68,99):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard ($84,99):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: Sapphire HD 5850 ($299,99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-burner: Sony Optiarc x24 ($27.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Grand total: $847.93

Didn't make use of combo deals or promotions, using them you could knock a few dollars off.

Still well under $1000. Do you want some quicker RAM, a more beefy PSU or a nicer case? Go ahead, there's room for more.
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November 6, 2009 1:53:59 PM

^That is not going to play at 2560x1600...not even close. Moreover you forgot the OS, Shipping and Taxes.
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November 6, 2009 2:01:58 PM

1920x1200 will go smooth, 2560x1600 will be fine on high settings as well.

Btw, about what screen size are we talking for 2560x1600? 30" at least I guess, and who uses that (I'm used to other resolutions, Europe uses totally different screen resolutions than the USA)

How much is Windows 7 in the US? $80-90 in Europe, dunno about the US. Even with a $100 dollar, you're roughly in budget. Shipping and taxes? In Europe, you get free shipping for purchases this large almost everywhere and taxes? What do you mean by that? Dunno about the US, but here the price displayed on a website must include all taxes and hidden costs...
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November 6, 2009 2:07:55 PM

Take A Look At This Benchmark

Assuming nothing else in his computer will be of a bottleneck. At 1920x1200 he is going to be getting 29.4fps (which is far from flawless) with his settings not even close to being maxed out. And on 2560x1600 he is going to get 18.2fps which is going to look like a slide show and his he will get this at medium to low settings.
If he maxes anything out on those resolutions then its going to look like a power point presentation...literally. So you build is not going to work how he wants it :)  eek try again Silmarunya.
And in the united states the OS costs at minum 109.99(OEM) and retail price for an upgrade is 119.99. The full OS costs 199.99. Shipping is also a prcie to consider as well as taxes in the U.S. This will put him well over budget and he won't even be close to maxing out anything at those resolutions.
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November 6, 2009 2:09:36 PM

Sorry for double post, the benchmark i gave was for crysis. Other games will probably go pretty well for 1920x1200 but definatly not 2560x1600.
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November 6, 2009 2:29:29 PM

Okay, given the taxes and Window's higher price, it's out of order indeed. I thought it was too cheap to be true... :)  However, quite a few dollars can be knocked off with a 955 processor that performs identical to the 965. A few dollars can be saved on the motherboard and the case is also more than needed. A Sonata III with built-in PSU is great too, and silent as well. Still over budget, but closer and without sacrificing performance.

You take crysis as an example though. That's using the single most demanding game out there...

He specifically mentions L4D. So take a look at this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5850,2433...

Insane fps, no matter what resolution.

Modern Warfare is about in the middle, so it should run smoothly as well.

Even crysis can be played on this at moderate settings. At high, 29 fps is achieved and you only need high 30's for a fluid image (a cartoon is displayed at 24 and that runs rather smooth already)

Of course, what I stated above is far from a monster. However, it's a decent computer that can play almost all games on high and has good upgrade options.
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November 6, 2009 3:48:41 PM

^Good point those games will be played much easier. But with the OS, and everything else he might go a little over.
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November 6, 2009 4:26:45 PM

Yeah, he might go a little over budget, but I'm going to apply the changes in the above post and see what happens.

EDIT: I changed the case and the CPU, knocking roughly 60 dollars off.
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