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Budget Build: Gaming Rig

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Last response: in Systems
November 11, 2009 4:10:01 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Right After Christmas, possibly get some great post-holiday discounts.

BUDGET RANGE: $500-$650

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, internet, school work, maybe some multimedia applications like Vegas & Blender (not a priority though).

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS (Windows XP 32-bit, I may plan on upgrading to Windows 7 along with it in a biit), SyncMaster n712 VGA monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Hard Drive (WD 250GB internal & 1TB external), DVD Drive (PATA/IDE), Speakers (Though I'd like to get a surround sound headset with a mic, but it's not a priority only a wish), & Microsoft Office Software.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:, but I'm open to suggestions.

PARTS PREFERENCES: So far this is an idea I have...

CPU/MEMORY: AMD Phenom II x3 720 BE/ G.Skill 4 GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333 [$190.99]

It was either this or the new Anthlon II x3 435 as in CPUs, which one do you think's the better choice? Also, is 4GB overkill for XP-32 bit? Would I get the same performance for 2 1GB sticks?

MOBO: MSI 785GM-E65 AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard [$89.99]

Are there any other boards that are cheaper or offer as many features as this board has for the price? Also, do you think I should consider a 790 chipset mobo or would the increase in the cost not be worth it?

CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case [$69.95]

Are there any other cases out there that are better than this while being a lower or equal price to this?

PSU: BFG Tech GS-550 550W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.8 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply [$49.99]

Is this a sufficient enough PSU or should I get a bigger one? Also, are there any ones out there that are more reliable than this close to this price?

HSU/GEL: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler/Arctic Silver CMQ-22G [$37.37]

Should I really invest in a 3rd party HSU or would stock be good enough for some time?

GPU: I'm kind of stuck here b/c I'm not sure which card is the best deal for my needs : ATI 4850, 4870, 4890 or Nvidia GTX 260. *Note* I'm not a fanboy of either, I just want something that will give me the best bang for my buck, performs very well, & is reliable. Also, depending on the CPU I get which one would most likely not cause any bottlenecking or screen lag.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, but not right away.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No, it isn't necessary at my resolution.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: With this rig, I'd like to be able to play any game of my choosing at the highest settings with an avg. of 40 fps in any game I choose (I'm particularly refering to Crysis at very high), preferably w/ AA activated also. Others I would like to play on this rig include a wide array of games like Dragon Age: Origins, Crysis/Warhead, Oblivion, Mass Effect, STALKER, FEAR 1/2, Call of Duty: 4/Waw, CS:S, The Orange Box, Jade Empire, UT2004, Battlefield 2, Far Cry 1/2, Star Wars KOTOR/Republic Commando/Battlefront 1 & 2, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy/Jedi Outcast II, Neverwinter Nights, & some free downloadable games such as Combat Arms, America's Army 3.0/Special Forces, Trackmania Nations, etc. Pretty much be able to handle any game no matter how new (Crysis)/old (Neverwinter Nights) it is. I would like to make a nice balanced system in which the parts work very well with each other at the resolution of my monitor. Also, I have no intentions of changing the monitor anytime soon b/c anything larger is just overkill for my eyes (17in). The price of parts I know will be changing in these coming months so I mainly just want to get the compenents mostly decided on before I search for the best deals.

As I said, this is just an idea I have. I'm open to any new build ideas that you guys have, as I said I'm not a fanboy. Thanks!

More about : budget build gaming rig

November 11, 2009 4:20:08 AM

Hmmm.. That looks nice. You should probably get an antec/corsair PSU... Maybe 550 watts+?

The Phenom II x3 is much better, and 4GB is not overkill. If you can, get Win7 x64 though.

The best bang/buck GPU now is the Radeon HD 5770. If you want to Overclock, get an aftermarket HSF. If not, keep the normal heatsink. That should be OK.
November 11, 2009 2:58:27 PM

Yah, I was kinda curious towards that PSU if it was enough or not. Though concerning the GPU I looked at the review on this website & it apparently doesn't perform currently as well as the 4870 which costs less than it does at the moment, is this most likely b/c the drivers aren't as matured as the 4870's are yet? If so I could expect better performance to come in the future w/ newer driver updates, correct? Also, will it even have drivers for XP or is Microsoft not supporting it anymore?
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November 11, 2009 3:39:54 PM

The 5770 does have XP drivers, but the reason to get it over a 4870 is for DX11, which means you need vista 64 or win7 64. In all likelyhood drivers will get a 5770 up to 260/4870 performance levels eventually, but if you are sticking with XP then the 4870 is a better value for DX9 graphics.

BFG is not know for stable, reliable PSUs. Unstable power makes for flakey system performance. Better to be safe with a quality PSU like Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, PC Power&Cooling.
November 11, 2009 3:45:39 PM

Then what would you suggest specifically for a good price?
November 11, 2009 6:36:40 PM

Gotcha. On another note, if I was to get a new directX 11 card would the 5850 be a better choice over the 5770? Because it seems that it performs a whole lot better than the 5770/4870, is it a better investment for the price or will my system bottleneck because of being overkill for my CPU?
November 11, 2009 6:51:13 PM

If your budget will cover it and you can find one in stock, a 5850 is clearly a better price/performance deal than any other card available right now. At your current resolution a 5850 is probably overkill for everything but Crysis, but it will be a strong GPU for you even when you upgrade your monitor to a 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 in the future.