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Need a new computer

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.
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about need computer
  1. Best answer
    GPU/PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W and HD 5870 $415 after rebate
    Case: HAF 922 $110
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $50
    CPU: Phenom II X4 955 $166
    Mobo: Asus M4A79XTD EVO $110 after rebate

    Total: $966.
  2. That is actually a pretty good setup, thank you. I will wait for a few more.
  3. 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=N82E16819103724

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128398

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.335013 $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=N82E16820231303&cm_re=g.skill_ddr3_1600_4gb_cas_7-_-20-231-303-_-Product $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=N82E16814102856

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.298042 $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=N82E16822152181

    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341018

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.328622 $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=N82E16811119137&cm_re=cm_690-_-11-119-137-_-Product $69.99

    Total - $964.92 - $45.00 MIR's
  4. 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=N82E16819103724

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128398

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.335013 $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=N82E16820231303&cm_re=g.skill_ddr3_1600_4gb_cas_7-_-20-231-303-_-Product $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=N82E16814102856

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.298042 $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=N82E16822152181

    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341018

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.328622 $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=N82E16811119137&cm_re=cm_690-_-11-119-137-_-Product $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?
  5. 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?ItemList=Combo.335007 $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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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=3663&p=8

    Only video editing and other thread-optimized tasks are better on the quad core.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Best answer selected by antisyzygy.
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