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$1,000 - $1,250 Gaming PC

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November 5, 2009 9:18:09 AM

-------------------OVERVIEW--------------------

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: In about 1 to 2 weeks
BUDGET RANGE: $1,000 - $1,250 (nothing higher)
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, School Work, Surfing the Web, Watching Videos, Listening to Music
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Mouse, Speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA (I'm not sure if this is the intended response to this question.)
PARTS PREFERENCES: I am nearly concrete in my decision of going with a Intel Core i7-860, but other parts are subject to change.
OVERCLOCKING: No overclocking plans to date. However, this decision is currently biased due to indolence.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not currently, but will change if a compelling argument presents itself.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: I will be using a 19" Acer 1440x900 until I financially recover and buy a monitor with a resolution of 1920x1080.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My current goal is to build a computer capable of playing Crysis on high to very high settings while maintaining a rate of 30+ fps. As you peruse my current selections, please keep in mind that I have minimal knowledge of computer hardware. With that said, please leave constructive comments and advice. When pointing out poor choices, it would be greatly appreciated if you left an explanation of why a different part trumps the previous selection. This is my first build; your help means a lot to me.

--------------------PARTS--------------------

CPU:
Intel Core i7-860 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

MOTHERBOARD:
ASUS P7P55D PRO LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail

GPU:
HIS H489FP1G Radeon HD 4890 Turbo+ 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

RAM:
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996657 - Retail

HDD:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail

CASE:
Thermaltake V9 Black Edition ATX Computer Gaming Chassis with Dual Oversized 230mm Ultra-Silent Cooling Fans VJ400G1N2Z Mid Tower - Retail

CD/DVD DRIVE:
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

OS:
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

KEYBOARD:
Logitech Deluxe 250 Black 104 Normal Keys USB Wired Standard Keyboard - OEM

--------------------SUMMARY--------------------

Subtotal
Before Rebate: $1,198.40
After Rebate: $1,153.40

So, now, I'm left with a few questions. Will these parts even work together? Am I missing important parts? If I built this PC as it stands now, would it blow up? Do I have adequate cooling (the CPU comes with some sort of cooler and the case has 4 fans)? Can some of these choices be revised to help achieve a better performing and more cost-effective PC?

All input is welcome.

More about : 000 250 gaming

November 5, 2009 11:13:56 AM

If you can find one, the ATI 5850 or 5870 would be a better choice for video card. They have DX11 support, the 4890 doesn't.

If you're mainly using this for gaming, you'd be better off going with the i5 750. You're paying extra for the i7 860's hyperthreading support that you won't really use.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This motherboard/RAM combo will save you ~ $10.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
or
This board/RAM/CPU combo will save you ~$175
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
November 5, 2009 11:18:08 AM

According to your post, you will not need an Core i7 CPU. You should be set with an Core i5 unless you really want a Core i7. Core i7's are used for extreme multitasking, video encoding, and stuff of that nature. For gaming and normal PC usage an Core i5 does the job and will save you $100.

Even though you aren't immediatly intending on OCing I would suggest an aftermarket heat sink fan. There are a few 1156 coolers that come with a bracket and some work really well with the cooling like the Coolermaster Hyper 212. Or you could get an Xigmatek S1283 cooler with the correct 1156 bracket, which is the one I'd prefer.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Other than that you look good for gaming and everything else including future OCing with an aftermarket HSF since you have a good OC motherboard. Everything will work together fine. Some advice on a GPU's would be to invest in a cheaper model and wait for the prices to drop on the new ATi 5800 series and the yet to debut nVidia 300 series cards. But if you don't want to wait the 4890 will rock most games.
Related resources
November 5, 2009 1:03:33 PM

You can get an AMD X4 620 + mobo for $160.

It's cheaper than Intel and still overkill for your uses.

One of Intel's new SSD might be the best upgrade you can get for a computer, new or old. It noticeably reduces boot and program load times. Make sure to get the newer G2 model for compatibility with some nice performance enhancing software in windows 7.

The 640gb Caviar Black HDD is sturdier, a little bit faster, and has a better warranty compared to most other drives out there.


Install windows and your most frequently used apps on the SSD, and movies/music/games go on the HDD.
November 5, 2009 3:21:03 PM

With the OP's budget, he's beyond the AMD 620. The i5 would be the better choice IMO.
November 5, 2009 4:04:48 PM

Since it's used for gaming and regular stuff, you don't even need an i5-750. An AMD 955 is even cheaper, and is just as good for gaming as an i5-750.

But indeed, an AMD 620 is not beefy enough.
November 5, 2009 9:43:33 PM

You guys definitely have me convinced to move away from the i7-860. However, I don't want to go too far down because I don't want to be too limited if I decide to take on more demanding tasks in the future. With that said, I think either an i5-750 or an AMD Phenom II X4 965 would be a decent choice for me.

Which route should I go? Intel i5-750 or AMD Phenom II X4 965? The processors are only $5 apart in price, and according to this benchmark chart, they are essentially an even match in processing power.

Also, I will now be overclocking. Do either of these processors hold a distinct advantage in the O.C. realm? Would one lead to a cheaper, but equally performing motherboard?

So, please give me your suggestions, pick which processor you think has the edge, explain why it is a better choice, and select an accompanying motherboard. I am looking to cut money in the MOBO department. My previous selection was $169.99, and I think it may have been a little overkill. I just need a MOBO that suits my needs and will support my plans to overclock a modest amount.

Quote:
One of Intel's new SSD might be the best upgrade you can get for a computer, new or old. It noticeably reduces boot and program load times. Make sure to get the newer G2 model for compatibility with some nice performance enhancing software in windows 7
.

The 640gb Caviar Black HDD is sturdier, a little bit faster, and has a better warranty compared to most other drives out there.


I did look at SSDs and decided that currently they are a little to pricey for me. However, I'll definitely consider an SSD in the future as an upgrade.

I also took a look at the WD 640gb Caviar Black HDD, but because of the price per gigabyte, I think I'm going to stay with the 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F3.

If I can save enough in other areas, do you think getting a DX11 GPU would be a good investment? If so, which card strikes your fancy?

--------------------REVISED BUILD--------------------

CPU: Intel i5-750 or AMD Phenom XII X4 965
MOBO: Dependent on CPU choice. Help me decide.
GPU: HIS H489FP1G Radeon HD 4890 (DX11 Card?)
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 RPM
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2
CASE: Thermaltake V9 Black Edition ATX Computer Gaming Chassis
CD/DVD DRIVE: Sony Optiarc Black DVD/CD Rewritable Drive
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
KEYBOARD: Logitech Deluxe 250 Black
November 5, 2009 10:16:26 PM

The Mushkin ram u have won't work with the i5. The voltage is too high.
November 5, 2009 10:39:09 PM

I would definately suggest the Phenom II x4 955, its the same as the 965 except its clocked .2ghz less. You pay 45 dollars for that .2ghz which you can do yourself. But thats not recommending that processor over the i5, just the 955 vs the i5.
As deathsycthehe11 said that ram wont work you need ram that runs at 1.65v like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
November 5, 2009 10:49:43 PM

sonic-boom said:
I would definately suggest the Phenom II x4 955, its the same as the 965 except its clocked .2ghz less. You pay 45 dollars for that .2ghz which you can do yourself. But thats not recommending that processor over the i5, just the 955 vs the i5.
As deathsycthehe11 said that ram wont work you need ram that runs at 1.65v like this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Yes, thank you. Also, the G.SKILL Ripjaw RAM is better quality and has better timings than the Super Talent RAM I picked in my last post.

So, the question still stands. AMD or Intel CPU?
November 5, 2009 10:51:30 PM

With what you're looking for, I don't think you can beat this combo in price or quality.
i5 750/4GB OCZ obsidian/gigabyte p55 mobo - $387
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OCZ 550w PSU - $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Promo code:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM - EMCMMLS36 ($101.99 expires 11/11/09)

IMO, intel is easier to OC than AMD. This Gigabyte board will have very nice OC capabilities.
November 5, 2009 11:54:00 PM

Very helpful and convincing post, aford10. Utilizing your CPU/GPU/RAM bundle, OS promo code, and awesome PSU, everything would look as follows:

CPU: Intel i5-750
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
GPU: HIS H489FP1G Radeon HD 4890 Turbo+ 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
RAM: OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM
PSU: OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V
CASE: Thermaltake V9 Black Edition ATX Computer Gaming Chassis with Dual Oversized 230mm Fans
CD/DVD DRIVE: Sony Optiarc Black DVD/CD Rewritable Drive
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
KEYBOARD: Logitech Deluxe 250 Black

Total (Including Shipping + Tax)
Before Rebates: $988.02
After Rebates: $908.02

It looks pretty good to me. What does everyone else think? Is this PC capable of playing Crysis on high settings? Will everything work together?

What about cooling? What would be a sufficient HSF for overclocking?

Note: I can purchase tomorrow.
November 6, 2009 1:14:39 AM

Considering, I might purchase tomorrow. It would be nice to get some feedback on a HSF and this setup. Thanks in advance.
November 6, 2009 1:22:25 AM

I think it's a pretty nice setup. Yes, everything is compatible.

The only thing I would point out is, the 4890 isn't able to utilize the dx11 features available in windows 7. It's not critical to your build, but it's a nice feature in windows 7. The 5850 would be a comparable card, but it's hard to get ahold of and is pricey. That being said, the 4890 is a great card.

The HSF will be fine. You could even get a minor OC on the CPU if you'd like. As long as you aren't real aggressive with the OC your temps will be fine. You can download a program like realtemp or speedfan to monitor your temps.

November 6, 2009 1:33:43 AM

Suggested by the expert -> me, get the Hyper 212 Plus heatsink, it's only 30 dollars on newegg. It cools temperatures well, period.

Go to the overclocking section forums, and read some guides regarding overclocking, temperatures..etc if you are unsure about how to do it

Yes, everything is compatible, you will be able to play crysis on high-very high, not with 8x AA though.

November 6, 2009 1:41:18 AM

^ Someone's a little confident in himself.
November 6, 2009 1:49:10 AM

aford10 said:
^ Someone's a little confident in himself.


Of course.
November 6, 2009 2:32:59 AM

overshocks said:
Suggested by the expert -> me, get the Hyper 212 Plus heatsink, it's only 30 dollars on newegg. It cools temperatures well, period.

Go to the overclocking section forums, and read some guides regarding overclocking, temperatures..etc if you are unsure about how to do it

Yes, everything is compatible, you will be able to play crysis on high-very high, not with 8x AA though.

He can with his current monitor, when he upgrades his monitor to the 1920 x 1080 resolution, then he might see some lag when he gets into the bigger battles.

With my Phenom II OCed to 3.8ghz and my 4890 OCed to 1060mhz core/1140mhz mem, I saw almost no lag with a 1680 x 1050 resolution with 8x AA and 16x AF, just split-second lag when there were too many explosions towards the end.
November 6, 2009 2:59:39 AM

kokin said:
He can with his current monitor, when he upgrades his monitor to the 1920 x 1080 resolution, then he might see some lag when he gets into the bigger battles.

With my Phenom II OCed to 3.8ghz and my 4890 OCed to 1060mhz core/1140mhz mem, I saw almost no lag with a 1680 x 1050 resolution with 8x AA and 16x AF, just split-second lag when there were too many explosions towards the end.


^Agree, he can max everything right now because his monitor resolution is only 1440x900, when he upgrades to 1920x1080 in the future, he can't with the 4890.
November 6, 2009 3:16:26 AM

overshocks said:
Suggested by the expert -> me, get the Hyper 212 Plus heatsink, it's only 30 dollars on newegg. It cools temperatures well, period.

Go to the overclocking section forums, and read some guides regarding overclocking, temperatures..etc if you are unsure about how to do it

Yes, everything is compatible, you will be able to play crysis on high-very high, not with 8x AA though.


The Hyper 212 Plus would fit my needs, and it's priced reasonably. So, I guess I'll go with it.
New Total (After Rebate): $937.30

kokin said:
He can with his current monitor, when he upgrades his monitor to the 1920 x 1080 resolution, then he might see some lag when he gets into the bigger battles.

With my Phenom II OCed to 3.8ghz and my 4890 OCed to 1060mhz core/1140mhz mem, I saw almost no lag with a 1680 x 1050 resolution with 8x AA and 16x AF, just split-second lag when there were too many explosions towards the end.


With my new total, I am under budget which is good. That also means that I could go for a DX11 card. Do you guys think it would be worth it or should I just wait until the prices drop? If you think it's worth it, what card that works with my current setup would you suggest?
November 6, 2009 3:47:56 AM

XLaYeR said:
The Hyper 212 Plus would fit my needs, and it's priced reasonably. So, I guess I'll go with it.
New Total (After Rebate): $937.30



With my new total, I am under budget which is good. That also means that I could go for a DX11 card. Do you guys think it would be worth it or should I just wait until the prices drop? If you think it's worth it, what card that works with my current setup would you suggest?


You mean with your current monitor 1440x900? No point getting a DX11 card, until you upgrade your monitor.
November 6, 2009 3:54:20 AM

overshocks said:
You mean with your current monitor 1440x900? No point getting a DX11 card, until you upgrade your monitor.


I'll most likely be upgrading my monitor in 2 to 4 weeks after build, so I think it's safe to consider a DX11 card now. I know I wouldn't be able to reap the benefits for a bit after build, but with the upgraded monitor (1920x1080) do you think it would be worth it?
November 6, 2009 3:58:15 AM

XLaYeR said:
I'll most likely be upgrading my monitor in 2 to 4 weeks after build, so I think it's safe to consider a DX11 card now. I know I wouldn't be able to reap the benefits for a bit after build, but with the upgraded monitor (1920x1080) do you think it would be worth it?


Definitely worth it, relatively speaking the 5850 is the best bang for the buck card right now. It supports DirectX11, cheap for its performance, and great for 1920x1080. You will be able to play crysis on very high with 2 or 4 xAA enabled and still maintain good fps

Look here the benchmark is Crysis Warhead, not the original at enthusiast settings 1920x1200 4xAA enabled, getting 32.7fps. This game is more demanding than the original, that means you'll get higher than 32.7fps already because your resolution is lower.

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3650&p=4
November 6, 2009 4:00:32 AM

The 5850 would be a real nice addition to the build, but it's hard to find them in stock right now. If you can find one in stock for a reasonable price, jump on it.
November 6, 2009 4:23:32 AM

XLaYeR said:
I'll most likely be upgrading my monitor in 2 to 4 weeks after build, so I think it's safe to consider a DX11 card now. I know I wouldn't be able to reap the benefits for a bit after build, but with the upgraded monitor (1920x1080) do you think it would be worth it?

It would definitely be worth the extra money since you are a hard-core gamer. The hard part will be finding a supplier. They are in short supply and probably will be for some time. If you are in a big hurry to build the computer you might have to go with a different card. If I were you I would wait for the DX11 card.
November 6, 2009 7:23:36 AM

Well, I decided to go with the ATI Radeon HD 5850 even though I will be paying $300 for it. I could wait and get it cheaper, but I lack the patience for such a task.

I will be buying tomorrow, so if everything looks good to go or something needs to be changed, let me know. I want to be positive that all the components will work together.

Also, should I buy some thermal paste? Is the case big enough for all my components? Are all parts going to receive sufficient power and cooling? I will be overclocking.

--------------------FINAL BUILD--------------------

CPU: Intel i5-750
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard
GPU: ATI Radeon HD5850 PCIE 1024 MB GDDR5
RAM: OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM
PSU: OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V
CASE: Thermaltake V9 Black Edition ATX Computer Gaming Chassis with Dual Oversized 230mm Fans
HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus
CD/DVD DRIVE: Sony Optiarc Black DVD/CD Rewritable Drive
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders
KEYBOARD: Logitech Deluxe 250 Black

Total (Including Shipping + Tax)
Before Rebates: $1128.41
After Rebates: $1058.41
November 6, 2009 9:53:48 AM

Looking to purchase ASAP. Just need a few "will work" confirmation posts before I can peacefully place the order. Also, I can afford an upgraded monitor with this purchase, so I will be able to take full advantage of the ATI Radeon HD 5850 immediately after build.
November 6, 2009 10:50:06 AM

Everything looks good. I wouldn't wait too long to order that 5850.
November 6, 2009 11:05:26 AM

XLaYeR said:
Looking to purchase ASAP. Just need a few "will work" confirmation posts before I can peacefully place the order. Also, I can afford an upgraded monitor with this purchase, so I will be able to take full advantage of the ATI Radeon HD 5850 immediately after build.


everything will work, get thermal paste because you are overclocking.
which upgraded monitor?
November 6, 2009 11:29:23 AM

overshocks said:
everything will work, get thermal paste because you are overclocking.
which upgraded monitor?


Actually, I am having trouble deciding. However, two options have caught my interest.

ASUS VH242H Black 23.6" 5ms HDMI Full 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 20000:1) Built in Speakers - Retail

or

SAMSUNG 2343BWX High Glossy Black 23" 5ms 16:9 Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 20000:1 (DC) w/ HDCP Support - Retail

On the ASUS, I wouldn't be using the integrated speakers at all, but I don't see the same model and size without the integrated speakers.

The Samsung has higher pixel density, but I'm not entirely sure if 2048x1154 would be a good choice for gaming.

Both choices have excellent reviews. Which is better suited for my needs? Or would a completely different choice lead to a more satisfying gaming experience? My budget for this monitor is about $230.
November 6, 2009 12:21:34 PM

aford10 said:
Everything looks good. I wouldn't wait too long to order that 5850.


Wow, thanks for the heads up. I went back to check on the current stock, and they only had 3 left (assuming amazon doesn't lie to sell products faster). I decided to order my HD 5850 right away instead of waiting until later today. I'm glad I did because they might not be available later today.

I would order the rest of the system now if I could decide on a monitor. Some feedback would be very helpful. See my previous post for details.
November 6, 2009 9:49:50 PM

^How is that faster response time? It's in GTG buddy, it's the about around 10ms BTB so the monitors the OP picked are better in response time.

2ms GTG = 10ms BTB about.

Although I do agree with you it's better than the monitors he picked, and it's a great monitor for the price its contrast ratio is 40000:1 Max (ACM)
November 6, 2009 10:43:14 PM

^ I missed the GTG part. Hardly any are measured in GTG anymore.

Though there's not a industry standard for the 2 measurements. The difference largely depends on how the manufacturer measures it.
November 6, 2009 11:13:55 PM

Good call on buying the 5850 when you could, better to have bought something than regret not buying it and having to wait for months (like me).

The RAM is a tad bit slow with it's timings, but you can probably try to increase the timings by lowering it down to 1333mhz. There isn't a big noticeable difference in real world performance, but I like to run my system the fastest it can run. :]

Oh and if you're a college student, you can get Win7 Home or Professional 32/64-bit for only $30 or $43 with the DVD shipped. www.win741.com
!