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Need a new computer

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Last response: in Systems
February 3, 2010 2:51:50 PM

I have a 5 year old desktop running a AMD 4400 X2, and a Geforce 8800 gtx (which was added later). It also uses plain old DDR. The rest of the hardware is not important as I am not going to use it.

Budget : 900-1000

Preferred brands : MSI, ASUS, AMD, ATI, Western Digital, Corsair, Antec

If a brand is of similar or better quality to the above, I will use it

Need : Case and PSU
Processor : (Tri or Quad core)
Ram : At least 4 gb
Video Card : At least a 5770
HD : At least 500 gb
MB : I want a 790 chipset (or something with market longevity)


Uses : Gaming and Multitasking (such as using Matlab and browsing the web while listening to music)

Basically, I am following the guidelines of the Tomshardware "Best CPU for the money" and "Best GPU for the money" articles in that I want to upgrade my computer at least 3 tiers higher.

This being so, I believe I need to get a Radeon 5850 to do so. My CPU is so old that I could get one for 90 bucks that is way more then 3 tiers higher.

I would prefer it if the computer was below 900 dollars. The only other problem is that I want to be able to upgrade my PC over the next few years, and I want it to be capable of running most games at well above recommended.

The other option would be to get a cheap enough gaming/multitasking PC and just getting a new core setup in 1-1.5 years. If I get a 5870 graphics card, then I could just transfer it to my new core setup.

I am torn between getting an Athlon II X4, a Phenom II X3 and Phenom II X4. Basically, more money on a processor means less money on a video card. Its a hard choice. Also, more money on a graphics card means I can use it if I replace the core setup (MB and Proc) in the next year or so.

Thank you for your help.

More about : computer

February 3, 2010 3:07:00 PM

That is actually a pretty good setup, thank you. I will wait for a few more.
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Related resources
February 3, 2010 3:13:20 PM

So you don't need an OS in this budget? If you do need an OS, here's a build that's a little lighter on the CPU side.

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $164.98 - $15.00 MIR (CPU + motherboard combo)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99

SAPPHIRE 100281SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $494.98 (GPU + OS combo)

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $119.98 - $30.00 (HD + PSU combo)

You can also get an extra $10 off w/ promo code EMCYZNW76, ends today

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99

Total - $964.92 - $45.00 MIR's
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February 3, 2010 3:16:12 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
So you don't need an OS in this budget? If you do need an OS, here's a build that's a little lighter on the CPU side.

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $164.98 - $15.00 MIR (CPU + motherboard combo)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99

SAPPHIRE 100281SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $494.98 (GPU + OS combo)

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $119.98 - $30.00 (HD + PSU combo)

You can also get an extra $10 off w/ promo code EMCYZNW76, ends today

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $69.99

Total - $964.92 - $45.00 MIR's



I do in fact need an OS, but isnt it a good idea to get a Quad core these days?
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February 3, 2010 3:21:41 PM

I picked the triple core CPU because it performs very well and the price is low. This combo would add about $35 to the build.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $198.98 - $15 MIR (AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz + GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H combo)

That would make the new total for the build $998.92 - $45 MIR + $10 off w/promo code on PSU.
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February 3, 2010 3:26:17 PM

Not for gaming. The advantages of additional cores is big when you add a second or third core, but not that significant when you add a fourth.

If you're a student, you can find Windows 7 for a cheaper price. Just Google "Windows 7 student price" to see specifics.

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February 3, 2010 3:31:29 PM

Like MadAdmiral said, the higher clock speed of the triple core CPU actually make it better at gaming than the quad core Athlon II X4. Here's a good review of the Athlon II X3 435:

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=366...

Only video editing and other thread-optimized tasks are better on the quad core.
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February 3, 2010 5:35:57 PM

Thanks guys. I am getting an Phenom II X3 720. That narrowed it down alot. I am a student, and I use Matlab alot for my job as an RA. Thing is, I can connect to a cluster to do any significant computations, so really all I need is a CPU for gaming.
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February 10, 2010 12:41:03 AM

Just wanted to thank everyone for their help.

I went with

Antec 900 Two
Coolermaster 700w UCP

Phenom II 955
Asus EVO 790X
Corsair XMS 1600 DDR3
Western Digital Black 500 GB
2 x XFX 5770's in Crossfire

I went with crossfire because I heard that two 5770s are better than a 5870 in some cases, and it saved me 50 bucks.

It ended up going over my budget a little with the cost of the OS, but boy am I happy with it. They were doing some really good deals at Microcenter, so I got everything for a little less than NewEgg prices.

I originally went with OCZ 1600 Obsidian, DO NOT USE THAT RAM. Its known for having multiple issues. I was getting BSODs quite a bit. When I checked into the issue, I found out many people were having the same problem. It has a high failure rate, and It wont clock up to 1600. I had to clock it down to 1033 to make it work. Then, it worked fine for about three days until the BSODs started happening again. I understand it may have been faulty from the start, but the problem is that many, many others complain about the overzealous clock rating on this ram. This time, I just took the RAM back and exchanged it for Corsair. I did a memtest and everything appears to be working fine.
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February 10, 2010 12:43:38 AM

Best answer selected by antisyzygy.
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