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~$500 gaming/CAD computer

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November 6, 2009 3:38:31 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
I am hoping to purchase most of the components after Thanksgiving for the wonderful Black Friday prices.

BUDGET RANGE:
This is not too flexiable. I am looking to spend no more than $550/after MIR

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
I will be using this computer to play games such as Supreme Commander FA and SC2 and Diablo 3.. etc. and I would also like to use this computer to do CAD work on the side.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Hardrive

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
newegg is always a good choice :-)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
US

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Whatever is best for for the price. (and not some cheap crap)

OVERCLOCKING:
Maybe.. I haven't decided at this point but I do not want to rule it out.

CROSSFIRE:
Doubtful

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
would like this to be function and to work in the future. I am mostly looking for ideas on how to make this as good as possible for the money.


So far this is what I have come up with:


VIDEO CARD:
SAPPHIRE 100296HDMI Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
(my friend had recently suggest that I should consider the 4770, but that is alot more expensive than I had planned so I still have to weigh the options. Also I don't know much about GPUs so I have no idea if there is an NVIDIA that has the same performance)


CPU:
This where I got in the debate that has me stumped. I am trying to figure out which of these will give me better performace for the gaming AND CAD.

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

and

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail


The debate was is the L3 cache helpful enough to make up for the lack of that last core?


MOTHERBOARD:
This one isn't a huge deal as long as it has decent
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail


MEMORY:
OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3OB1600LV4GK - Retail
I think this is a hell of a deal, flat out.


CASE/PSU:
I really don't want to waste money here but I do not want this to be the ugly lagoon creature either, but this is all I have come up with so far:
Linkworld 313-11(3131-11) Black / Silver Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail
I would like this to have free shipping though :-)


MONITOR:
ASUS VH222H Black 21.5" 5ms HDMI Widescreen 16:9 Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor Built in Speakers 300 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR20000:1) w/ SPDIF out - Retail
I would liek this to be atleast 21" and I am currently in search of a monitor that also has free shipping to. As you can tell I am definitely penny pinching.


DVD/CD:
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


This is what I have as of right now. Any ideas or feed back would be great! Thanks!
November 6, 2009 6:27:44 PM

You will need a better graphics card for a monitor with that resolution. You'll also need a good PSU and an OS. I don't think it's possible with $500 to be honest. It would be better if you could maybe save up a bit more, and don't you have a monitor that you can re-use for the time being?
November 6, 2009 7:05:19 PM

Well, ATI says this about the ATI Radeon™ HD 4600 Series - GPU

Quote:
Two integrated DVI display outputs

* Primary supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)2


While I realize that this isn't the best GPU it will still get the job done, I am just curious if there are other in that "price range" that are comparable/better.


Also since I am a college student I get Windows 7 for free. I know that everything I have selected will work as I have checked it all over with all my friends who have recently made their own computers, the only thing I am looking to do is see if I am overlooking any other components.
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November 6, 2009 9:17:31 PM

You misunderstood what I said, my point was the 4670 will not perform well at such a high resolution. If there's no way you can gather up some more cash, then I suppose you have no choice. You'll most likely have to lower the games' settings quite a bit to achieve playable FPS at that resolution.

The PSU that comes with the case you listed is junk, if you want to keep that case you'll still need to buy a separate PSU.

AMD Athlon II X3 435 2.9GHz
+
GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HIS H467QS1GH Radeon HD 4670 1GB
+
OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600mhz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ500SXS 500W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GZ-X7BMDX-400 Black Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

LG W2243T-PF Black 21.5" 5ms GTG Full HD 1080P (this one has free shipping while the Asus one doesn't?)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total after rebates = $546.88
November 6, 2009 9:42:37 PM

Forget it... wait until you get at least 1000$. Until then forget it, a 4670 will not let you play decently at 1920X1080.
November 6, 2009 9:58:43 PM

the 1920x1080 will likely only be for movies. It isn't a requirement to play games at that resolution though.
November 6, 2009 10:18:38 PM

gavrik317 said:
the 1920x1080 will likely only be for movies. It isn't a requirement to play games at that resolution though.

Ah, now I understand. Still, don't expect to be able to play Star Craft 2 and Diablo 3.

A 4670 will do, but if you go with a AM3, you could get an IGP (Integrated Graphic Processor) on your motherboard (radeon 3350 I think). You get a VGA, DVI and HDMI connector on your motherboard, it will save you the purchase of a graphic card and let you play all the old games like Diablo, Star Craft or Fallout easily.

An Athlon II X4 could be a really nice choice.
November 7, 2009 11:45:25 AM

Well that's good to know. Also I am hoping that I can maybe get something better with the Black Friday pricing. I would love to get the 4870 or the 9800 but those are pretty expensive for my price range, AND they then there is the addition price increase of a better PSU.

I guess the underlying question would be what would I know to be able to play Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 on moderate graphics?
November 8, 2009 7:28:23 AM

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

Has a slower (dual core) CPU but this gives you more room for a video card. Has a MUCH better power supply and comes in at a total of $518 before any MIR. Monitor is a 22" and has a resolution of 1680x1050 which means you wont need "as much" graphics power.

This leaves room for more graphics or CPU, take your pick. Personally, for gaming, I would go with a faster Graphics card. ATI 4870 fits in this build nicely.

If anything you can upgrade the CPU or Graphics card later. I believe I would rather upgrade the CPU later and enjoy more GPU muscle now.
November 8, 2009 12:35:54 PM

I believe I can definitely trim it down from that too. I would also look around to see if i could find all of the stuff that has shipping elsewhere so that I don't have to pay for that. I do think that a quad core is going to be required though. What I am thinking about is coming up with three computer builds so that if EVERYTHING is on sale a lot I can go with the best one but if not I can downgrade when necessary.
November 8, 2009 2:04:59 PM

Well I feel if I went with the Radeon HD 4770 and the Athlon ii x4 620 and then filled in the rest I should be reasonably in my price range. Also Black Friday always has good monitor deals so I should be able to get a decent one for ~$130-150. The rest is just to fill in at that point.
!