Gaming-only PC for <$750

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 12/11/09

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming only (I have a separate workstation)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, KB, Monitor, Speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES: none

OVERCLOCKING: no

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: looking for the absolute best stock gaming performance at 1920x1080 for under $750 (this rig will not be used for anything else but gaming). playing MW2, mass effect, mass effect 2, dragon age.
18 answers Last reply
More about gaming only
  1. In that price range, I'd probably be looking at AMD. Do you want to use dual cards (or have the ability to do so)? If not, the Gigabyte 770T board would be a good choice. A solid board and very cheap.
  2. theactioncombo said:
    APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 12/11/09

    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming only (I have a separate workstation)

    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, KB, Monitor, Speakers, OS

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg

    PARTS PREFERENCES: none

    OVERCLOCKING: no

    MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: looking for the absolute best stock gaming performance at 1920x1080 for under $750 (this rig will not be used for anything else but gaming). playing MW2, mass effect, mass effect 2, dragon age.




    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
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103674
    $166 -Free Shipping


    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066
    $70


    GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128392
    $80 -After Rebates


    G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231318
    $98 -Free Shipping


    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181
    $55 -Free Shipping


    SAPPHIRE 100283-2L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102864&cm_re=5770-_-14-102-864-_-Product
    $165 -Free Shipping


    CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004
    $80 -$70 After Rebates

    Total=$714 Before rebates

    ====================================================================================

    You may want to check out a 4890. They don't support Dx11 but they are stronger than a 5770, although both gpus can handle a 1900 resolution.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,2464-4.html



    SAPPHIRE 100269HDMI Radeon HD 4890 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail (limit 5 per customer)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102852&cm_re=4890-_-14-102-852-_-Product
    $185 -Free Shipping

    Total=$734 Before rebates
  3. Yep, that would be it. The cooler on the 5770 is only mediocre, but it is so low power it would probably be ok.
  4. EXT64 said:
    Yep, that would be it. The cooler on the 5770 is only mediocre, but it is so low power it would probably be ok.


    The Antec Illusion has good airflow, and combined with the 5770's low heat it should be fine. Or you could go with a reference design instead, but its almost the same price as the 4890...



    XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150447
    $180
  5. No, I think the first one was the best choice. I'm just not a huge fan of that fan type, but it should work fine.
  6. EXT64 said:
    No, I think the first one was the best choice. I'm just not a huge fan of that fan type, but it should work fine.


    I'm curious, whats wrong with the reference cooling?
  7. Which cooler are you referring to? I like the cooling on the XFX, but I don't think it is worth the extra cost. I prefer coolers that vent out the back (though excellent case cooling like the Antec 300 reduce this issue). Also, I have not heard the best things about the 'egg' cooler (the Sapphire) but that was for hotter cards like 4870/90, so for a 5770 it most likley works fine.
  8. Actually, I think I see the confusion. bad wording on my part. If the prices were equal I would choose the XFX one, but since the cost is so much lower on the other and its cooling is at least ok, I would personally choose it.
  9. EXT64 said:
    Which cooler are you referring to? I like the cooling on the XFX, but I don't think it is worth the extra cost. I prefer coolers that vent out the back (though excellent case cooling like the Antec 300 reduce this issue). Also, I have not heard the best things about the 'egg' cooler (the Sapphire) but that was for hotter cards like 4870/90, so for a 5770 it most likley works fine.


    Sorry, I was just referring to the XFX. Thanks for the info.
  10. MothMusic said:
    Sorry, I was just referring to the XFX. Thanks for the info.


    The original 5770s use the design that flows hot out the back.

    The second generation uses the egg shaped design.

    There are pros/cons of both.

    The original one has higher temps for the gpu but decreases overall case temp.

    Second one has lower gpu temps but has higher overall case temps since it does not blow hot air out of the case.

    So its a trade off, I would pick the first design imo.
  11. Isn't the 4890 better than the 5770? I understand that the 5770 supports DX11, but due to its 128-bit memory architecture...it wouldn't perform well anyway when DX11 games come out, right?

    Also, whats the difference between the regular antec 300 and the illusion?
  12. theactioncombo said:
    Isn't the 4890 better than the 5770? I understand that the 5770 supports DX11, but due to its 128-bit memory architecture...it wouldn't perform well anyway when DX11 games come out, right?

    Also, whats the difference between the regular antec 300 and the illusion?


    According to this article, yes 4890 does perform better even on an dx11 game. http://www.pcgameshardware.com/aid,700050/Dirt-2-benchmarks-DX-9-vs-DX-11-Update-Radeon-HD-5970-results/Practice/ . That was probably from the demo, considering the date. I haven't seen any comparative articles on dirt 2 and 5770 just yet, but they should be coming out.

    Illusion has 2 front fans and 1 rear, as opposed to jus 1 rear and 1 top from the standard 300. Air flow should be better but that's just my logical guess.
  13. Will that case have any trouble fitting a 4890?
  14. Which case, the Antec 300? It can actually fit a 5870 (barely), and I believe the 4890 (especially non-reference ones) are shorter than that.
  15. from what I can tell, the antec 300 and 300 illusion are IDENTICAL aside from the illusion having LEDs on its fans. is this true?
  16. The Illusion comes with two front 120mm fans as well as the back and top fans, and also adds the LEDs on the front two and top one. The 300 standard has no front fans (just the brackets so you can add them later) and no LEDs, but it does come with a back and top fan.
  17. What do you think of this case?
    http://www.amazon.com/NZXT-TEMPEST-Enthusiast-Steel-Midtower-Retail/dp/B0016L3FDG/ref=rsl_mainw_dpl?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    Seems like it might be the more future-proof solution due to having the extra space.
  18. That looks like a very nice case. I have not personally used to say for sure, but it certainly has good cooling and some thought put into it. Obviously it also costs a bit more so you would expect all of the above.
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