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$800-$1,300 Gaming PC...Advice?

Last response: in Systems
December 26, 2009 3:35:19 PM

Hello community! This is my first post on these forums, but I suspect I'll receive the answers I'm looking for.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: At any point between 12/27/09 to 02/12/10

BUDGET RANGE: $800-$1,300

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Playing WoW, potentially playing SW:TOR when it is released, surfing the internet, doing homework, watching blu-ray movies, etc.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:,, and anything else that will net me a good deal

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States of America

PARTS PREFERENCES: I am completely open to anything, I have been an Intel/Nvidia guy for years, but if AMD, ATI, or whoever has something better to offer, let me know

OVERCLOCKING: I've never done it, but if it is safe and easy to accomplish I would be open to it

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Again, whichever is better, I have a system I'm linking in this thread that has crossfire


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: As the title stated, this is more of a gaming PC than anything else. As you'll soon see, this build includes a copy of Windows 7 and speakers. Please, I am completely open to anything you would recommend that would save me money without losing the power that comes with everything on the list. I want to build a PC that will last 3+ years for MMOs such as WoW, SW:TOR, and anything else that isn't too graphically intensive. I appreciate your help, thank you. I will now include a list of parts I've already gathered.

Case -
Motherboard -
Video Card (Crossfire) -
HD -
Blu-Ray -
DVD/CD Burner -
OS -
Heatsink -
Speakers -

So, with all of this information, what can I downgrade or upgrade to save money without losing FPS? I'd like to get 100+ FPS in WoW during raids with a large amount of addons at a 1920x1080 resolution. Again, thank you VERY much for your help.

More about : 800 300 gaming advice

December 26, 2009 4:10:07 PM

Look for Combo deals like the following, you can save quite abit.

The chosen HD is on the slow side, go for samsung F3. And it looks like the blueray drive does not come with any software, choose one with playback software, else you can not watch blueray movies.
December 26, 2009 5:34:50 PM

Thanks for the tip on the combo deal! Are there any other combo deals on the website that would result in more savings?

I switched out the HD and blu-ray player, thank you for that recommendations!

Are there any downgrades I could make to save cash without cutting my FPS? Are there any upgrades or sidegrades I could make without spending any or at least many more dollars?
Related resources
December 27, 2009 3:46:43 AM

I would like to respectfully bump my thread to see if anyone else would be able to help me, thank you.
December 27, 2009 8:06:19 AM

There are two optical drives on your list? take the DVD out, the blueray player drive can burn DVD/CD's as well.

I would first try without the crossfire configuration and see how it goes(you can always add another gpu later).

This gpu is better make and comes with lifetime warranty.

If you require backups, get 2 of the following HD. (getting 2 smaller driver is more sensible choice than one large one)

If you are going to over clock go for slightly faster memory
1.Download latest driver for XFX card, dont use the provided drivers
2.Do upgrade the motherboard bios.
3.Run Windows Update and select important as well as all optional Hardware Drivers updates.

December 28, 2009 4:39:17 AM

I don't see where the blu-ray player can burn anything, so I kept the extra drive in. I switched to the GPU you recommended. I don't require backups. I don't plan on OCing, but I think I was able to upgrade my memory anyway.

After some time and research, here is what I have come up with:

CD/DVD Burner -
Computer Case -
Hard Drive -
Speakers -
Blu-ray Player -
GPU/OS Combo -
CPU/Mobo Combo -
Heatsink/Thermal Compound Combo -

The price, even with combos and instant rebates is at $1,441.53 after shipping. That's a bit more than I wanted to pay, obviously, but this system is a pretty powerful system from what I can tell. Is there anything I can downgrade that will allow me to save money without sacrificing my FPS? I'm only playing WoW, and eventually SW:TOR, and I want to keep my FPS as close to 100 as I can in raids with addons turned on.
December 28, 2009 7:48:31 AM

The Blurray is a combo drive it can play blueray and burn DVD at 16X, and CD 48X. You need to click on the specifications tab to see the full spec. So that’s -$29.99.

If you are not overclocking just use the supplied cpu heatsin/fan. why you wasting money? Whenever you decide to do overclocking, then you buy a better cooler. That’s another $53.97 taken off.

Your chosen hard drive got two platters , if you go for Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ; this has a single 500GB platter, which means it will take less time to access the data. If you want bigger drive go for SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB. I would go for the 500GB drive and when SSD prices come down, i would get one of those.

You can save a bit more money if you go for slower memory. But in the future you might change your mind and decide to do some overclocking, so having the faster memory is worth it.

December 29, 2009 3:48:08 AM

Okay, good deal. I removed the LG drive based on your recommendation, so thank you.

My friend told me the i5 will OC itself to faster speeds the cooler it is, which is why the heatsink is listed. Is that incorrect?

I switched the HDD to the 500G Samsung F3 (it wasn't available in the last list I made).

I think the memory is a good buy. I'm assuming anything over 4GB isn't really worthwhile for the purpose I plan on using my PC for?

Here is my updated list and cost:

Computer Case -
Hard Drive -
Speakers -
Blu-ray Player -
GPU/OS Combo -
CPU/Mobo Combo -
Heatsink/Thermal Compound Combo -

Price after shipping is now down to $1,391.54. If I opted to only purchase 1 GPU for the time being, how much of an FPS loss are we looking at? How hard is it to install a 2nd GPU down the road?
December 29, 2009 4:27:17 AM

I did a little research and discovered that SLI/Crossfire isn't supported in WoW, so I wouldn't even see an FPS gain or loss by using or not using it. So, there's some extra cash!
December 29, 2009 8:26:20 AM

My friend told me the i5 will OC itself to faster speeds the cooler it is, which is why the heatsink is listed. Is that incorrect?

Thats news to me, maybe your friend knows too much.

If you are not OCing, forget about spending $55 on a cooler, is a waste, really. So that you dont upset your friend, just tell you him 'I will get better cooler when I decide to oc'. (I really think you should OC though, you will gain alot of performance).

Memory is ok....Adding another gpu later on should be very easy.

I don't have much experince with WoW, but apparntelly is more CPU limited. Wanting to play at 100+fps sounds abit extreme.

I found some WoW bunchmarks for you;

You will see the bunchmark numbers below the video.,697202/Ati-Radeon-HD...

Ati 5850 / 5870 etc.

Ati 5870.

You will have some dreams about this one.

December 29, 2009 1:06:40 PM

Well, since I won't be buying two GPU's due to the fact that crossfire does nothing for WoW, should I upgrade the amount of RAM I'm buying?

Should I upgrade my CPU or Mobo or...?
December 29, 2009 2:02:16 PM

dackattack777 said:
I did a little research and discovered that SLI/Crossfire isn't supported in WoW, so I wouldn't even see an FPS gain or loss by using or not using it. So, there's some extra cash!


I found this on Newegg!!!
It is 1.249 USD!!!

AMD Phenom II X4 965(3.4GHz) quad-core

4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333

1TB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 7200RPM HD

24X DVD±R/±RW Dual Layer Drive

ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB PCI Express Video Card ( can play Crysis Warhead without sweat!!!!!!)

700Watt PSU

You can Install Blu-Ray afterwards

CyberPowerPC Gamer Ultra 2031

What do you say?
December 29, 2009 2:08:15 PM,2410-...
This is a link regarding the i5 and Turbo Boost. That is the feature that allows the CPU to OC itself. The overclock isn't as high as if you where to manually do it, however it's very effective and requires no setting up.
From the looks of it that i5 will OC itself to around 3.2 Ghz. Where as if you where to manually OC it, you could possibly reach 4Ghz.

From my knowledge, the way the ATI's crossfire works, a game doesn't need to support it. The crossfire works regardless of the game. All the work is done on the backside. Where as Nvidia's SLI requires the game to support it. I have read a few post on blizzards website (sorry no link) where players have stated their fps doubled when they enabled crossfire.

If you do decide to skip crossifre, there are better cards you can go with for a little bit more money.

This is the card I would recommend,
and here's a link showing some performance differences

The only thing to take into account is that the 5XXX series ATI cards are DX 11, the 4XXX are DX 10
Here's a pretty cool video showing some DX11 on a 5870 ATI card

And anything more then 4gb is a waste, for now.

Sorry if there are grammatical or spelling errors, I'm in a hurry :bounce: 

One last thing. All new games are going to support multiple GPUS (Xfire and SLI) So if you decide to quit WoW and move on to other games, those will support SLI and Xfire, so it might be worth your time to look into Nvidia cards as well. But if you do get a SLI setup and you go back to WoW it wont work. Unless the new expansion adds in SLI support.
December 29, 2009 3:24:24 PM

Ok you are referring to turbo boost, as it has been proven in latest article by Toms, it has very little impact on performance. In any case you wouldn't need to spend $55 on a cooler, the supplied CPU heatsin/fan is adequate for this.

Saving you time reading the article here are some quotes;

Turbo Boost yielding minimal, if any,
Very little difference
Turbo Boost makes very little difference in the overall suite score of 3DMark
Turbo Boost has little effect here
It’s little surprise, then, that Turbo Boost has a minimal effect here
WinRAR gets a minimal speed-up from Turbo Boost
Turbo adds very little to the bottom-line

3ds Max 2010 enjoys a benefit from both Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost technology.
We see Turbo Boost’s automatic 133 MHz bump help a bit at lower resolutions
December 29, 2009 3:39:09 PM

dackattack777 said:
Well, since I won't be buying two GPU's due to the fact that crossfire does nothing for WoW, should I upgrade the amount of RAM I'm buying?

Should I upgrade my CPU or Mobo or...?

I wouldnt change mobo or cpu, they are both very good products and you have good upgrade options in the future.

As for the GPU, the recommended 4890 card by Gajudge is fast, but according to this wow benchmark, 5770 is tiny bit faster and it cheaper, and more future proof.,697202/Ati-Radeon-HD...

Try out 5770, if your were not happy with it either exchange it to 5850 or add another 5770.

December 29, 2009 5:43:48 PM

Here is my updated list and cost:

Computer Case -
Hard Drive -
Speakers -
Blu-ray Player -
Office/OS Combo -
CPU/Mobo Combo -

After shipping: $1,434.45

I removed the heatsink and thermal compound from the list, swapped the blu-ray player because the one I had originally selected is sold out now, picked out an Office/Windows 7 combo deal because I want Office 2007, and, of course, selected a more powerful GPU. I tried to find the best 5850 for the price. How'd I do? Anything you would change? Should I go for a cheaper 5850, or even a 5770?
January 6, 2010 1:32:22 PM

Looks good. Have you bought any items yet?

(Sorry for late reply)
January 6, 2010 1:36:40 PM

I bought the parts, yeah. Everything should be here by tomorrow. I'll let you know how it runs! :D 
January 6, 2010 7:50:35 PM

Take your time when building the computer. (If you can first test the parts outside of the case)

1. Don’t use the supplied drivers with GPU, make sure you use the latest drivers, download it from here;

2. Once Windows is installed, try to run Windows update from StartMenu>All Programs

Click on Check for updates on the top left. Once the checking is finished, click on Optional updates are available. Can you see any devices on the list? If yes, tick it and Click Ok. Once installed, restart your system. (You will obviously need to install important updates as well)

3. Motherboard Bios update is available, upgrade when required.

How much did the Ms Office 2007 cost and which edition is it?
January 8, 2010 3:08:13 AM

Well, I built my PC, it's just too bad it doesn't work. 8(

As far as I can tell, everything was installed properly, but when it powers on nothing happens. No beeps, nothing. The mobo has 6 LEDs that light up, 2 red, 2 yellow and 2 green. All fans are spinning except the heatsink. I took EVERYTHING apart and tested just the PSU, mobo and CPU and still no beeps.

Think it's a dead mobo?
January 8, 2010 8:05:31 AM

Firstly touch the metal case to remove any static that have built up in your body.

Unplug the power Cable from the back of the Power supply and disconnect it from mainboard. Also unplug monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speaker cables etc.

Carefully remove all parts from the motherboard, leaving only the cpu and the fan. Then unplug all cables (i.e HD, DVD, case etc) connected to the motherboard except the Power supply cable and of course CPU fan.

Place the motherboard on top of the Motherboard box, with the anti-static bag underneath it.

Reset the Motherboard, there should be a reset button (jumper) on Motherboard. Or simply take the battery out and put it back in. Refer to motherboard manual for further instructions.

Now add just 1 Memory card in Slot 1. Make sure you insert it the right way. There's a guider at the bottom of card to help you, if you notice one side of metal connectors is longer than the other side. You should hear a clicking sound if insert it properly. (You can leave other memory cards till later)

Now add the Graphics Card, make sure it sits on the slot properly, next connect the power lead to it.

Connect the power cables from the power supply to the motherboard.

Connect the main power cable to back of Power supply and connect the Monitor cable to the Graphics card. Make sure the monitor is switched On.

Now is time to switch on the Motherboard, either by pressing the internal Power button located on Motherboard or by making a metal contact to motherboard Power jumpers (it might be labeled PW or PWR).


If problem persist swap the memory.

If problem persist take the memory out and see if you get any beeb codes? If you don’t get any beebs it could be a faulty mainboard.
You can also try to take GPU out and see if you get any beebs?

If you do get any BIOS beep codes refer to the following link for explanations.
January 8, 2010 7:05:38 PM

Dont forget to connect the internal case speaker to the mainboard to hear the beebs. Also you can try out the GPU in the second 8x slot.