R9400 (~$1300) Gaming / Programming PC

Hi guys, this post might get a bit long because I first have some explaining to do. I'm from South Africa, but I'm posting here because this is a very large and active forum with some very knowledgeable people.

I have a budget for about R7700, which, at current exchange rates, will be about $1076. I'm not sure how accurate this is because of import fees by suppliers, mark-ups etc (I'm not importing, I'm buying from an online store in South Africa which imports everything. Paying shipping is too expensive for me).

To complicate things further, it is highly likely that I will receive a large sum of money in the near future, allowing me to push up the budget by about R1600 / R1700 (see topic title). I do not physically have this money yet, so If I can get something perfectly adequate for the lower price, that would be great.

Anyway, heres the template copy/paste/edit:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Tomorrow, if possible.

BUDGET RANGE: See above.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: University work ie. Programming, Gaming, Media

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: None, building the whole thing from scratch.


PARTS PREFERENCES: I'd like an AMD CPU because I've heard that they give the best value/money in this price range. Probably Nvidia > ATI because they have better drivers for linux (I'm studying compsci so I'll dual boot a linux distro)

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe in the future, but not if it isnt necessary

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the distant future if I get money again

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024, but if possible, output to a 42" HD TV

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Best price/performance, no brand loyalty per se

The current (but more expensive) build that I have in mind is the following:

Graphics card:
Asus ENGTX275/HTDI/896MD3 GeForce GTX275 16xPCIE 448-bit 896MB DDR3 w/HDTV + 2DVI - R2883

Asus M4A785TD-V EVO AMD 785G Motherboard w/A8 + G + LK + FWa + SATA2 RAID + DVI + HDMI - R1282

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Processor - 3.4GHz AM3, 2MB L2, 6MB L3 - Boxed - R1943

Kingston DDR3-1333 1GB Memory Module x4 - R1160

Corsair VX550W Power Supply - 550W - R917

Seagate 1TB Barracuda 7200.12 SATA300 32MB 7200RPM Hard Drive - R863

Gigabyte X5 Chassis - Black - No PSU - R313

DVD Drive, Mouse, Keyboard etc:
Unimportant - R352

Total price: R9,713.00

I know it's a bit harder to help because it's foreign and all, so even if you cant help with suggestions for new parts etc, I'd appreciate some comments on this build. Things to possibly cut down on are:
Hard drive: 1TB -> 500GB
GFX Card: HD 5770 or equivalent
PSU: 550Watt -> 460Watt (if graphics card is downgraded)
RAM: 4GB -> 2GB

9 answers Last reply
More about r9400 1300 gaming programming
  1. you cant sli on a am3 mother board
  2. switch to a 5850 graphics card instead of the outdated gtx 275. That way you will get better performance and you might be able to sli in the future

    Also save some $$ from your build by buying phenom II x4 955: It wont make any difference(you can still OC it very easily to 965 speeds by raising multiplier by 1)
  3. Quote:
    Also save some $$ from your build by buying phenom II x4 955: It wont make any difference(you can still OC it very easily to 965 speeds by raising multiplier by 1)

    Believe it or not, the 965 is cheaper than the 955 and the 955 is out of stock, so I'm buying that one :). I heard it uses less power as well.

    you cant sli on a am3 mother board

    Uh oh, I assumed the fact that it has 2 PCI-E slots available meant that it's SLI/X-Fire ready, guess I shoulda done more reading.

    In general, how well will this rig perform in some of the most demanding games out there at the moment?
  4. it should perform ok, but the amd boards can only crossfire since the amd/ati thing there are only 2 sli am3 boards
  5. About the phenom II, I really dont know if its overkill or not. Keep in mind that this PC won't be used for gaming exclusively (which is more GPU bound) but other tasks as well. Compiling large software projects can get pretty CPU intensive, and I guess it'll help a lot if I do decide to do some virtualization.

    I can get the HD 5850 for ~R200 more than the GTX 275 so that seems like a very tempting option. Il just have to check its power usage and make sure that the PSU delivers enough punch. Thatl also open up the possibility of X-fire in the future when I'll hopefully actually have an income :/

    Lets say I swap out the GTX 275 for the HD 5850 and maybe drop to 500GB to save a bit of cash and order tomorrow, if you were to have that PC arrive on your doorstep, would you be satisfied or think *damn, if only I didnt waste so much money on X or, if only I swapped Y for Z*

    I dunno, its a lot of money in this part of the world and I just want to be 100% sure before I go for it.
  6. well i found some good fast ram


    and here have a look

  7. That RAM does look pretty nice, and I assume that having 2x2GB is faster than 4x1GB? The only problem is, it would be MUCH easier to buy this thing without the 14% VAT if i get it in one go from one supplier, and so far sybaritic seems to be the cheapest across the board, so that would be them. The 7-7-721 timings are above average right?

    My friend has a i5 build with a HD 4890 and he says that he honestly cant complain about performance, so maybe a HD 4890 Vapor-X would be a good buy. To put this in perspective, its about 20% cheaper than the HD 5850, so if it still goes down kicking, why spend so much extra money?
  8. cas 7 is above average

    the 5850 uses less power and is faster with the added benefit of dx11
  9. check this out:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-h d-5850,2433-10.html

    with the exception of crysis, the 4890 pretty much matches the 5850. DX11 isnt really an issue for me. Im not denying the fact that the 5850 is a way better card overall, but in my case I think the 4890 would be the best bet. Turns out that my friend happens to have the Vapor-X as well and he pretty much managed to convince me to get it.

    Thanks for the help though
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