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$700-800 Gaming PC, Minimal Overclocking

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January 2, 2010 9:31:25 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
2-4 weeks

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Gaming, Web browsing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
I have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
Would prefer to get everything from newegg

PARTS PREFERENCES:
I'm sure the people on this forum have better taste than me.

OVERCLOCKING: Small amount SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Sure

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
Current one is 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
Hey everybody, looking at building a new PC, and need some help.

I've looked at some of the recommended links, and liked what the Dec 09 PC Builder Marathon $700 had in it (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/system-Builder-Gami...), except for the overclocking that they did. I'm not too interested in messing with stability and everything, so I need this PC to either be fine without overclocking, or easy to overclock.

I want to play games with it basically. I don't care as much about games looking amazing, I just want something that will play current games at average settings for years to come. My current computer is 5 years old and can still chug through relatively modern games with minimal upgrades, so future-proofing it to that point would be nice. Harddrive space isn't much of an issue since I have an external harddrive that I run most things off of.

Also, I've replaced graphics cards, ram, and processors before (Though fiddling with RAM and re-pasting heatsinks is a pain), but haven't done any motherboard work, so I was wondering if maybe a barebones-type kit would be worth looking at to save some hassle?

Lastly, keep in mind I'll need to get a copy of windows 7. It isn't included in the price range I set, but keeping the cost down would be nice to make room for it.

Thanks in advance, I appreciate any input you can bring. :) 

Edit: Small question, I have some "ZT-100 Zerotherm High Performance Thermal Grease" that I got when I replaced my old processor and ended up never opening. Does this stuff go bad? The packaging has never been opened, but it's about 2 years old.
January 3, 2010 12:02:34 AM

just a quick comment the dec 09 budget build used a pretty lame CPU, pentium Dual Core. This cpu is great if you are going to overclock it which they did in the article. Without overclocking this cpu is pretty old. Try going for an athlon II x4 620 or phenom II x4.
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January 3, 2010 1:26:05 AM

That system is obsolete. No reason to put your hard earned money into that system plan. For $800 you can build a pretty decent AMD rig that will last you some time. Since you are only looking for a small overclock you might not need an aftermarket heatsink fan. If your temps start pushing >60c you may want to look into one.


Price: $778.89 with shipping

CPU: Athlon II X4 620
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Gigabyte 790XTA-UD4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: OCZ Gold DDR3 1600 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video card: Sapphire Vapor-X 5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power supply: Corsair 750TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optic: Sony 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec 300 Illusion
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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January 3, 2010 1:57:10 AM

BohleyK said:
That system is obsolete. No reason to put your hard earned money into that system plan. For $800 you can build a pretty decent AMD rig that will last you some time. Since you are only looking for a small overclock you might not need an aftermarket heatsink fan. If your temps start pushing >60c you may want to look into one.


Price: $778.89 with shipping

CPU: Athlon II X4 620
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: Gigabyte 790XTA-UD4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: OCZ Gold DDR3 1600 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video card: Sapphire Vapor-X 5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power supply: Corsair 750TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optic: Sony 24X DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Antec 300 Illusion
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks for the response, looks good.

Was just wondering about the case since some comments say it's a bit small, would I eventually be able to crossfire another 5770 into that setup? As time goes on that seems like it would be the easiest way to bump some more performance out of it.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 3, 2010 2:29:13 AM

Did you need the OS into the $700-800 budget?? You didn't mention this in your original statement.
BohleyK's build is okay, but I'd probably do a few things different. I'd need to know if you need the OS included or not.
Some other parts to consider over BohleyK's build:
* The Athlon II x4 620 is a good CPU, but for gaming, I'd rather have a faster Dual core than a Quad core CPU. The PhII x2 550 Black Edition (easy OC'able too) is what I'd get. It has an "unlocked" multiplier, so all you have to do is adjust the multiplier in the BIOS (1 min. in the BIOS) and you have an instant OC!! You would go from 3.2 gHz to 3.6-3.8 gHz without spending any $$!!

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

* The case is nice, but it's a bit spendy at $85 shipped. I'd consider getting the Antec Sonata III/Antec 500w Earthwatts PSU combo. It comes in at $100 shipped and will handle your existing build requirements. The PSU comes w/34A on the combined 12v rails and has 2 x 6 PCI-e power connectors!

Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

* The Memory selected is nice, but runs at 1.65v, which is 0.15v over the stock settings. This means that inorder to run at the given timings, you need to adjust the voltage up in the BIOS to get those speeds. I prefer to run at stock voltages (1.5v) and than if I want to OC them later, I will have room to grow! I linked a set that runs at stock voltages and has decent timings. This set has also OC'd very well too!
$93 shipped!! No need to wait for MIR's (assuming you get them)!
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

* The GPU is a good selection. You can get a 5770 for $155 shipped if you need to cut costs. The Vapor-x GPU design is okay, but I'd prefer a better cooling solution (one that blows the heat out of the case).

This GPU blows out the hot air out of the back of the case, which allows for cooler running parts!! It is $10 more than BohleyK's selection, so keep that in mind.
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=N82E168...

Obviously I'm just nit picking the part selection, but I'm just trying to inform you of options to consider. Hopefully I've helped you to make an informed buying decision, with showing you other options.
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January 3, 2010 2:43:41 AM

The comments on the Sapphire 5770 mention some issues that might require a bios flash, does the XFX version have these issues?

About the OS, I would like to keep the total build around 800 including OS, but I didn't include it in the price since I would rather get a good set of parts together and happy with eachother right now, then I can leave it on a table and wait for a payday to roll around to get the OS.

If a $800 build is possible including OS right now without sacrificing much, that would be nice also.

About dual vs quad core, I think I'm leading towards quad just for the future-proofing aspect. True, I just want to play games, but I want this system to last for a while.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 3, 2010 2:55:08 AM

If you change the PSU/Case combo from BohleyK's build and substitute my selection, you'd be saving ~$95 ($85 w/$10 MIR). This would pretty much pay for the OS (Windows 7 64 bit OEM).

$105 shipped!
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The problem with leaving the system around until you get an OS at a later date, is your 30 day return dates come awfully quick. I'd rather test my parts as soon as I get them, so if I do have any issues, I can just get them RMA'd and then I don't have to pay for more parts. It's just me, but that is what I'd consider.
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January 3, 2010 3:00:15 AM

Just learned I'm going to be out of state for a week this month, so I'm not going to have much time to put a PC together until the end of the month anyway. By then, I should have enough saved to take a better look at these systems.

Thanks for the help so far everybody, I'll bump this thread when I get back.
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January 3, 2010 3:17:13 AM

You can probably still buy W7 RC on ebay for $10. Then just buy W7 OEM when its convienent.

Quite a few benchmarks show the Athlon II beating the PII 720 stock. Once fully overclocked it goes to the PII but if you are not planning on OCing a large amount the Athlon II X4 is what I would pick.
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