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Budget Gaming PC

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February 4, 2010 4:16:23 AM

First post on this matter, so I will just stick to the guide.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Should be within a month, two at most.

BUDGET RANGE: 900 USD give or take a few dollars.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: About an even mix of gaming, CAD software, web browsing, and movies/music.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: No peripherals are needed. As far as an operating system, I would like to stick with XP to put more money to hardware, otherwise I need to buy windows 7.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I would like to do all buying through newegg, heard great things about policies from everyone, prices seem good, and I need to stay with one seller. I am in the US.

OVERCLOCKING: Eventually(because I like warranties)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Eventually

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280*1024 for now

I have no clue if what I was planning is a good idea or not, so I will just ask. Currently I am on a dinosaur of a computer for what I like to do, so any performance increase will be welcome. With this build, my one main idea is upgradeability. I have two parts lists, one i5 and one i7.

The i5 system is rather standard, Gigabyte P55 Extreme motherboard, i5 750, 4gb ram, 500gb HD, 550w PS, and a 4650. That allows me the extra money to buy windows 7, or I could forgo that for a decent graphics card.

The other is about the same, but with an i7, an ASUS P6T LGA 1366 , and 2 gb of ram, which would leave me with no money to get a new OS, or a decent graphics card for a while.

Would the 2gb ram bottleneck be that noticeable? Would that be at all worth having a 1366 over a 1156? Is sticking with XP for a little while longer going to really hurt? Thanks in advance for any help.

More about : budget gaming

February 4, 2010 12:09:20 PM

$900 is not enough for a good gaming rig with Intel. AMD is the way to go.

If you list the games or kinda games you play and the CAD software, it can help us narrow down to specific hardware.
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February 4, 2010 12:56:11 PM

Agree with p55.

Here's generic build to start looking over until we get more info:

CPU: Phenom II X4 955 $166
Mobo: Asus M4A79XTD EVO $110 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $50
Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner $25
Case: Antec 300 $60
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W $60 after rebate
GPU: HD 5850 $290

Total: $876. You don't "have" to buy Windows 7. It's certainly better than XP, but that can be a future upgrade.

You could get a lower CPU like the X4 620 Propus, and spend the extra on the HD 5870, but that would lower the CAD performance and be way overkill for your current resolution. The 5850 is already overkill for 1280x, but might be slightly underpowered in some games if you were to upgrade to a 1900x monitor.
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February 5, 2010 2:19:26 AM

Sorry for the bad title, I should have probably worded it differently, but this is more of an all purpose build than a gaming build, but gaming capable.

The for CAD software, I use Autodesk Inventor, occasionally 3ds max, LT Spice, and Eagle CAD. At the moment, the only games I really have are things from years ago because of my computer, but I would be playing things like WOW, mass effect, crysis, sims 3, and several emulators.
I don't see myself getting a bigger monitor for a while, that was the reason for the cheap graphics card. I was thinking to upgrade later seeing as how the 4650 is supposed to work well at 1280.
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February 5, 2010 10:22:17 AM

Alright, here's what I'd change:

CPU: i7-860 $280
Mobo: Asus P7P55D-E Pro $190
GPU: HD 4850 512 MB or GTS 250 513 MB ~$100

Total: $880.

This CPU will help with the non-gaming tasks. I put a choice of GPUs as some CAD software tends to work better with nVidia cards. I'd check out some benchmarks or reviews focused on those programs to make sure which is better.

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February 5, 2010 10:57:56 AM

^ What he said.

Your focus would be the cpu & memory. That's where you spend more money. The tricky part is this is a gaming/cad build with a limited budget, so you have to go with a gaming card, not a 3d workstation card which renders 3d in no time, but $$$.
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February 5, 2010 9:57:40 PM

That is what I had thought, but I have no experience so I wanted to be sure.
Rendering speed isn't much of a concern, after trying to render on a celeron, anything is going to be at least 10 times faster.
I will look more into graphics as well now that I have a little more wiggle room with cost. I was hoping nvidia because of the possibility to use it as a physx processor later with a much more powerful one rendering.

Thank you for all the help.
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February 19, 2010 5:01:37 AM

Best answer selected by monkey_man.
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