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600-850 USD Budget Gaming Build

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January 27, 2010 11:51:03 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Hopefully soon, still need to convince parents... before June is all i can say..

BUDGET RANGE: 1000-1200 NZD equates to 600-850 USD

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, general school usuage, basic programming (html, flash, etc), a bit of photo editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, mouse, keyboard, will buy OS separately (plus have 32bit xp key i could use in mean time)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg works as general parts im looking for, but also New Zealand sites like www.ascent.co.nz or www.playtech.co.nz

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: New Zealand

PARTS PREFERENCES: Mid tower, AMD graphics (could change depending on when i purchase with upcoming release of fermi)

OVERCLOCKING: Slight, 10-20% on CPU, a bit on GPU

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Possibly but not in near future (2 years or so at least)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: AOC 22" Full HD 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Components seem to be slightly more expensive here, noticably RAM, 4gb ddr3 kits for 180 ish here, 100 on newegg so around 140NZD, so try to factor in difference of prices from different countries. Also kinda leaning towards i3, cheap and can overclock to 4ghz on stock cooler, even if i would only push is to around 3.5

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Heres a few parts i am looking at, not too fussed on prices right now, but the parts generally add up to the budget im looking for.

Intel i3 540 OR AMD 955BE or 945 or PII 555
H55/P55 budget mobo OR AMD 785G or 790GX board
WDC Blue 500GB
ATI Radeon 5770
2x2GB DDR3-1333/1600 RAM kit

Case - i dont mind
DVD writer (sata)
PSU - can come bundled with case as long as its reliable enough but dont mind paying bit more for better unit.


Tell me if i missed anything...
January 28, 2010 3:22:30 AM

Corsair psus pretty expensive here, the vx450 is 140nzd, and vx550 at 170nzd..
Also is there really any difference to look at with mobos apart from the different chipsets?? perhaps the phase power thing to cpu and such? or is that chipset dependent?
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January 28, 2010 3:30:07 AM

Dont skimp on the PSU when you will be using powerful components like the Quad and a high power graphics card...This PSU will be a very good option -
Silverstone strider 500W - 113nzd
http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail...

Mobo - Just get a mobo that satisfies your requirements...Quality is more important than features...
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January 28, 2010 3:32:27 AM

So go ahead with a gigabyte or asus board?
nice PSU you found there havent looked at silverstone previously.. thanks
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Best solution

January 28, 2010 3:53:40 AM

^ Yes...you cant go wrong with those boards...Even their low-end offerings would have high quality...

CPU - Why not this Phenom ?
X4 925...You get 4 cores instead of 2 from the i3 + good amount of cache and also you an overclock it easy to 955 levels...
http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail...
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January 28, 2010 4:02:49 AM

I have to agree on the board and the overclocking.
bBut what bout the i3 540 for similar price, higher clock speed, better for gaming, has HT which seems to act a bit like 3 and a bit physical cores? over a true quad with a bit more cache and more power comsumption(?) where it would only be faster in quad threaded things like photoshop and video encoding etc, albeit by a few seconds. I just want the best product for best price. I used to be a bit of a AMD fanboy before the 1156 platform hit, but then the i5 750 and now the i3s have swayed me quite a bit...
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January 28, 2010 4:34:26 AM

^ Yes they do have HT and lower power consumption but have your heard of Undervolting ?
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/undervolt-cpu-pheno...

IMO AMD's offerings are still Mid-Range desktop market even though Intel's i3s and i5s have been launched...
Check this review comparing the high-end i5 661 with the Phenom 965...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-clarkdale-cor...

This article having a comparison of the X4 630 and the i3s...
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=370...

If yours was a home theater setup, then sure the i3s are great options...but for a regular desktop, better off with 4 physical cores...
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January 28, 2010 4:44:27 AM

Yea id have to agree the i5 6xx series are overkill, charging 100nzd more just for turbo boost? no thanks.
Yea you have swayed me a bit, you reckon the i5 750 would be worth the extra money over say a PII 925 or 945 overclocked a bit?
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January 28, 2010 5:21:39 AM

^ i5 750 at stock itself is faster than the 3.4GHz 965...So yes it will be a good option...And as for a cheap yet quality mobo, you can take a look into the Gigabyte UD2...It has good reviews and can overclock the i5 to decent levels...

But if you still want to lower the cost, then the 925 is a good option...And as for 945, get it only if it is a 95W version...if it is 125W version, better to put little more money and get the 955...
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January 28, 2010 8:47:35 AM

p1n3apqlexpr3ss said:
I have to agree on the board and the overclocking.
bBut what bout the i3 540 for similar price, higher clock speed, better for gaming, has HT which seems to act a bit like 3 and a bit physical cores? over a true quad with a bit more cache and more power comsumption(?) where it would only be faster in quad threaded things like photoshop and video encoding etc, albeit by a few seconds. I just want the best product for best price. I used to be a bit of a AMD fanboy before the 1156 platform hit, but then the i5 750 and now the i3s have swayed me quite a bit...


Unless you plan on overclocking more than 10-20pct I'd be hard pressed to recommend an i3. They lack turbo boost. Now, if you want to push the i3 530/540 to the 4ghz+ range then it becomes a viable alternative as turbo boost becomes irrelevant. It's still not going to compete with the i5-750 however due to its subpar and underachieving offdie memory controller. Even at stock speeds it beats any AMD offering though (for gaming).

edit:
The tri and quad core AMD's will offer a more responsive overall experience and will out perform the i3 for mentioned photo editing and compiling. It should also be noted that as we move forward, more and more games are becoming multi-core aware. While the i3 is a 2+2 setup, Hyperthreading is never a replacement for physical cores. The i3's are screamers, I still think they have the potential (if properly overclocked) to offer significant gaming value.
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January 28, 2010 8:51:11 AM

Which is some what suprising as PII has the extra 2mb of L3 cache, even if THW has proven it doesnt make that much difference haha
And it all depends if i get 3rd party cooler or not, if not 3.5ghz i would think, 3rd party, much higher i guess. Ill prob end up getting i5 750 or i3, plus depends on what happens to AMD prices once they release their new 6 core thing in the coming weeks?

And on turboboost, no way im spending around 100$ nzd more for turbo boost and a tiny bit more clock speed, rather do a bit of overclocking with a average 50$ cooler to counteract it.
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January 28, 2010 9:34:30 AM

p1n3apqlexpr3ss said:

... And on turboboost, no way im spending around 100$ nzd more for turbo boost and a tiny bit more clock speed, rather do a bit of overclocking with a average 50$ cooler to counteract it.


There's no doubt that Intel has a tough sale on their hands with the i5 Clarkdales. With that being said Intel obviously wasn't targeting gamers with any of this lineup of chips. These were designed for OEMs with H55 mobos to sell preconfigured mainstream pcs with integrated graphics.

It just so happens that the little i3's might end up as a budget enthusiast chip paired with P55. We've yet to see any good conclusive evidence of it, but I've got to admit that the prospect of a ht disabled, dual-core, 23x multiplier and 73w TDP sounds enticing. There were engineering samples running above 4.7 speeds on air.

Will this end up resulting in real performance, well that's the tricky part. Clarkdale took away the ondie memory controller of Lynnfield. Anandtech has benchmarks out that are showing massive hits due to this. We'll just have to wait and see.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3704
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January 28, 2010 1:25:27 PM

at this price point I would think youre crazy not to go for a phenomII x4

955be and msi mobo combo saves you $30. Board supports crossfire (at x16 if you care): $234
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

antec case and psu for $110. You will need to upgrade when you crossfire, but if that will be a year or two and you dont have the cash now thats not the worst thing ever: $110

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Good inexpensive 500gig HD: $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

radeon 5850. $290:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ram. $100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

thats just under 800 without a dvd drive. If you want you can use a 5770 instead of the 5850 and save $140. that will let you buy a better cpu cooler.
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January 28, 2010 7:33:17 PM

@ewood, at that point i would rather go with the i5 750, and go with a 5770/4890/5830 tbh
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February 1, 2010 8:45:23 PM

Best answer selected by P1n3apqlExpr3ss.
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