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$800 gaming computer

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Last response: in Systems
December 20, 2009 9:54:43 PM

Do you have any parts already that could be used? Disk drive, case, keyboard, mouse, ext ext
I have a monitor that has a max resolution of 1680x1050. I have a hard drive and a keyboard and mouse. Also a disc drive.

Do you have a monitor already?

What res do you plan to game at? In other words what kind and size monitor do you have or plan to buy?

What kind of games do you play and plan on playing in the future?
FPS, RPG, open world (sandbox) Anything I can get my hands on.

Do you prefer nivida or ATI?
Whatever works best.

Do you prefer intel or AMD?
Whatever works best.

What OS are you going to use, XP, Vista? Does the OS need to be included in the budget
Windows 7 64 bit. No it does not.

My initial build is this.

- Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Case : $55 (comes with fans and is a great case)

- Asus P7P55D Pro LGA 1156 Mobo : $170

- EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR Geforce 9800 GTX+ 512MB : $135

- Antec Earthwatts EA500 500W : $70

- Intel Core i7-860 : $280

- OCZ Gold 6GB 240-Pin DDR3 : $150

Now I was thinking maybe going a little lighter on the processor and maybe a bit heavier on the video card. I'm not going to be upgrading this for a while, if I ever do. I might just use this until I can afford another good one. Let me know what you think. And I don't know a lot about part compatibility, so if you give me a set up, can you assure that all the parts work together? Thanks.

More about : 800 gaming computer

December 20, 2009 10:05:50 PM
December 21, 2009 6:30:03 AM

I thought P55 chipset only supports dual channel RAM?
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December 21, 2009 6:56:09 AM

Verst is right P55 use only dualchannel, you need x58 (s1356) for tripplechanel.
You should get better GPU, HD5770 is way to go and better PSU at least 600W and brands like OCZ ModXStream Pro or corsair HX.
December 21, 2009 4:00:55 PM

You have a great start. Just the video card and memory, and maybe the PSU.

The video card is a real issue at the moment. I prefer nVidia because of Physx, which is way ahead of AMD, and I expect it will be incorporated into more and more games. However, otherwise AMD is ahead of nVidia in general at the moment - and more fps per $, since they released their newest version last. nVidia is expected to counter in the first quarter of next year. Many don't care about Physx - the extra eye candy- and just want the fps maximized. If not an issue I would wait - even if don't get one of the new cards it should significantly affect prices on the old ones - AMD and nVidia. But then there is always a better deal just around the corner. That said - at the moment I would go with AMD.

You can select the card off the following list to match your budget range:,24...

If Physx is important to you personally, then I would try to get this one:
ZOTAC ZT-X26E3KE-FSP GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - Retail - $180

Otherwise I would try to stretch budget to get this:
HIS H577FM1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail - $165

If those are too expensive, then go with this:
BFG Tech BFGEGTS2501024DE GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - Retail - $130

For memory, the sweet spot is 2 x 2GB. This would be my pick for that board:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM - Retail - $92 with free shipping
Timings 8-8-8-21

If possible I would stay with the i7-860 CPU for better performance later with Hyperthreading - allowing the CPU to process 8 threads instead of only 4 like the i5. Only a few games take advantage of it today, but I can't see developers passing up the opportunity to increase game play using it. That said, you can improve perfomance today by getting the cheaper CPU and a more expensive gaming card. But won't the HD 5770 give you what you need today?

You have an easy upgrade path for the video card by simply going SLI or Crossfire as enabled by your mobo. However the PSU limits you to one card. You could move up to a larger PSU that is, quality wise, almost on par with the Antec, and for less money:
OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail - $55AR

Note that this StealStream 700 costs less than the 600 listed by another above because of a larger rebate.

Now what's your pleasure?
December 21, 2009 4:27:50 PM

mindless728 said:
how about a builf from the AMD side

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
MOBO: ASRock M3A785GXH/128M
GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5850
PSU: OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion

comes to just under $800
the motherboard supports crossfire at dual x8
memory is CL7 DDR3-1333 1.35v

Can't be beaten when it comes to price/performance. In this market segment, intel has no alternative that can be chosen without cutting back on the infinitely more important GPU. Perhaps try to squeeze in an Asus or Gigabyte motherboard, but that's nit-picking.

At above: PhysX is a nice feature, but nowhere near significant enough to justify the absence of directx11 and the fact that ATI usually charges less cash for the same performance.
December 21, 2009 4:35:49 PM

Not bad, but erm... Thermaltake PSU? That's a second rate brand at best.
December 21, 2009 4:38:40 PM

ohh seriously. this is an 800$ build with 100$ left over, if you want to get a corsair that isnt all that much better, be my guest, but when you can get a decent-good psu (i like thermaltake) for 70$ off, i would take that any day. nd thermaltake is a good company, not quite silverstone, ocz, or corsair, but still right up there.
December 21, 2009 4:42:06 PM

Exactly. He has $100 spare. A small portion, under half of it for sure, can be used to get a PSU that will deliver more stability, protection to the components and overall reliability. I didn't say Thermaltake is junk, but for a rather small price premium top quality can be had.
December 21, 2009 4:46:42 PM

unless you drop down to a 5770 for the combo with the ocz, you would lose 70$ for the combo, and pay atleast antother 50 for a "quality psu". i dont think going from a good brand name to the best is worth 120$.
December 21, 2009 4:55:04 PM

For $60, you can have an OCZ PSU of good quality and sufficient voltage. That means you'd pay a $50 price premium. It's up to the TS to decide if that's worth it.
December 21, 2009 5:01:53 PM

can accept that, but still why fix whats not broken. and why do memory companies make good psus, has anybody else noticed that. :lol: 
December 21, 2009 5:07:14 PM

Not per se. Antec isn't a memory manufacturer, nor is the also decent Arctic Cooling or PC Power&Cooling.
In reverse, G.Skill and Kingston don't make PSU's either. But still, there might be some link indeed.
December 21, 2009 5:11:00 PM

yea like when going down the list of best psu makers (this is mine) you have memory, case, then exclusively psu

5. pc pc
7. thermaltake
8. bad companies like rosewill nzxt and others
December 21, 2009 5:16:59 PM

I think I provided an excellent i7 build above based on starting with your proposed system, however, it is true that in your budget range you will get more bang for the buck with AMD as others have noted above. So try this one on:

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 - $166 and free shipping

GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
- $105 AR

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL8D-4GBHK - Retail - $95

Graphics Card
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 - $175 and free shipping

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case – Retail - $55

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $55 AR

Total Cost - $651 - AR and before OS, shipping – where applicable, and taxes

Note that it has a 790XT mobo that permits Crossfire with one slot at x16 speed and one at x8 speed, as compared to the Asus 785 mobo used above that only has one slot for a graphics card. Since it only has one slot, the larger PSU is not needed there. But the larger PSU and Crossfire enabled board allow for a simple upgrade latter by simply installing another video card.

Ares' build includes low 1.35v memory, with which I am not familiar. Ares, are you sure it works fine with that mobo and that there is no performance hit?

I still have the 5770 video card, but you can upgrade to the 5850 he recommends (price $309) for an additional $134 if you think you need it now. However I am not sure
if one or two will fit in the Antec 300 case - do you know Ares? Also note that the 5850 requires 2 power connectors. All the larger PSUs listed here have at most 2 connectors, enough for one card but not two. When you connect the second card you will need to use the molex connectors with an adapter, workable but not ideal.

December 21, 2009 5:26:18 PM

that ram will work fine, and quite the contrary, it will provide better performance as it is 7-7-7-20 and highly oc'able due to its super low voltage. get this mobo cpu combo:

it has the 790x for crossfire, and also i would think that the 300 can fit a 5770 or 5850. this build would still be under 750$ :D 
December 21, 2009 6:26:36 PM

My mobo+CPU pair cost only $5 more than that combo deal and, while I can take no issue with that ASUS mobo, I prefer the Gigabyte UD - ultra durable design. See this article for more information about it:

Ares' low power RAM does has faster timings so I will defer to his since he says it will work.

If you decide to go with a 5850 - then his combo deal with the Thermaltake makes sense. While the OCZ StealXStream, is better, I beleive, it can't compete with that price and Thermaltake makes good mainstream PSUs. You might just google a review to see what is said about that particular model.
December 21, 2009 6:31:53 PM

yea gigabyte does make good boards, so either one, i will defer to his judgement on that one, but everything else keep the same. i cant really find many reviews of it besides newegg, so i guess you have to base your thought off that.