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First time build, ~$1000 LAN gaming rig

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February 15, 2010 3:56:45 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next week or two

BUDGET RANGE: Trying to keep it in the $1000 dollar range

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: GAMING, everything else

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard/mouse, starting from scratch

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Anyplace reputable

PARTS PREFERENCES: Prefer a DX11 GPU but have no problems with a DX10 card

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1400x900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I am looking for a smaller case, I really like this one:
Thermaltake VF1000BWS Black Aluminum Front Panel/ SECC Chassis MicroATX Desktop Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but I have no problem going a bit bigger to a mid tower like the CM storm scout
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I am going to be packing the whole rig into a piece of rolling luggage or LAN backpack to take to friends houses and events so the more portable the better thats why I am not really looking at full sized towers and mostly just 19" widescreens. This is my first real build, only done upgrades before and have been using laptops exclusively for the last 4 years, any help would be greatly appreciated.
February 15, 2010 4:33:33 PM

Just found out microcenter near me has the i7 920s in stock for $200 so that is in the budget right now
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February 17, 2010 3:28:54 PM

no one?
Kind of lost on this, I could really use some help.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 17, 2010 3:56:42 PM

No time for a full build right now, but even though the i7-920 is $200 at microcenter, it's hard to recommend it in a $1k build, especially if you need a monitor and an OS. A 1366 socket build will run about $150-200 more than a 1156 build, and $200-300 more than an AM3 build.

For $1000, your best value is to get an AM3 board & Phenom X4, 4 GB RAM, the 500 GB platter drive of your choice, and the biggest graphics card you can afford, hopefully an ATI 5870.
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February 17, 2010 4:00:30 PM

if your building on budget go with amd/ati you can get an amd phenom2 quad core for under 200 at newegg....
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February 17, 2010 5:11:44 PM

how do the phenoms compare to the intel processors? I am willing to go a bit above 1k if it means quality and something that might possibly last, plus I am worried about what size video card I can fit in the smaller cases, DX11 is a definite draw but how does a 5870 fit in one of the cases I posted up? The only one I have physically seen was enormous, I am not very familiar with the differences in micro ATX boards vs normal boards and I want something that can accept new processors that may come out down the line.
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February 17, 2010 5:35:08 PM

if you're waiting for new processors HOLD off on buying a computer, the new 6 cores are coming out soon which while you may not get it due to your budget, it will drive down the prices on this generation's processors and motherboards. Also you can wait till fermi comes out and drives down the prices of video cards
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February 17, 2010 6:22:07 PM

what kind of time frame should I be looking at to start purchasing then? I'm not in a huge rush to get a PC since my laptop is doing me just fine for now but I would like to get something in the next few months.

BTW thanks for the replies.
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February 17, 2010 6:31:33 PM

fermi should be out this quarter (should be in march), amd six core processors is rumored to be out quarter 2 of this year but i don't know about intel's processors. Wait a couple of months if you really aren't in a hurry, set a cutoff date though if you really don't want to wait and if the new technology gets delayed.
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February 17, 2010 8:50:46 PM

Ok so here's a possible build

cpu+ motherboard: core i3 530 $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

case+cd drive: $105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

harddrive+PSU: $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ram: 4gb gskill ripjaw $105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: XFX HD 5770 $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

monitor: ASUS 19" $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS: windows 7 home premium 64bit $105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

So this is at $941 I was originally thinking of the 5850 but at a resolution of 1440 by 900 it would be overkill by alot. Also if you plan on over clocking you could pick up an after market HSF such as this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $30

so this would $971 I hope this helps. I feel it's a pretty well balanced build.
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February 17, 2010 9:08:36 PM

How do amd phenoms compare to intell? hmm. price/power amd is for the budget gamer and they come very close to intel in everything. Amd has great quality, great prices, and great performance!!!!! the intel equivalent is at least $100 dollars more than the amd model!!!!
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February 17, 2010 9:42:04 PM

This chart might help in figuring out how the intel and amd compare. Intel is at the top of the market right now but amd is a much better price.
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February 17, 2010 9:46:44 PM

that is true.... like i said the 200 dollar intels are not equivalent to the 200 dollar amd processors you pay more for intel , a whole lot more and the more you pay the better the quality! if you ask me i would rather pay 150 for a phenom 2 than 300 for the eqivalent i7 to get just a wee bit more power
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February 17, 2010 9:49:36 PM

holy crap who has 1,000 dollars to spend on an intel processor that is almost equal to a 220 dollar amd phenom that chart is nuts!!!!
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February 19, 2010 10:49:53 AM

Maybe I am missing something but I was under the impression that a 1000 point difference between CPUs in a 3d mark test can mean considerable differences in gaming performance. If that is the case then I am looking at the i7 920 for $200 that is getting a score of 39900 compared to the closest AMD phenom II x4 965 for $205 with a score of 36741, with no real difference in price the final number is all that matters and the intel has nearly a 3000 point lead.
I get that the i7 975 is ridiculously priced but that widens the gap to an almost 10000 point lead and at that point are we even really talking similar? If we are then why spend the $205 when I can go down to a AMD Phenom II X2 550 for half the price with only a loss of ~7000 points, see what I mean?
If you take the microcenter deal out of the equation than the AMD definetly has a better price to performance edge but with the price being the same that edge is lost and it would seem I should just run with the intel.
Of course this is all moot if A.) prices drop due to a 6core proccessor as PilotKira was saying or B.) AMD comes out with proccessors with matching stats at a better price.
If there was only a 1000 point difference I could see going AMD for cost savings when upgrading but 3000 is a nice sized difference.
I could be wrong though, most likely am.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 19, 2010 11:41:26 AM

Err 3D Mark is not an indication of how your rig will perform real frames and real games Also for 19" 1440 x 900 i would just go with a cheapo mATX 785G/760G, a cheapo AthlonII X4 for cheapo quad power and a HD 5750 ...and an 80+ certified PSU all in a nice cute cube/shoebox o cos hehe
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February 19, 2010 11:52:21 AM

3d mark is a good indication of how well your CPU or GPU will handle the stresses of real world gaming, the scores don't necessarily translate to framerates since a lot more than what processor you have goes into that but it does give you a numerical score for comparing different processors power, a simple baseline for comparison if you will. I played EQ2 at launch with a 7950 gtx and my friend had a brand spankin new 8800 gt and I still had a better framerate at the same settings because I managed what my computer was doing better, overclocking will throw it all out of whack too but in this case I am not concerned with end usage but baseline stats. To use a car metaphor, I am not concerned with which car handles better in turns but which one provides more horespower to the wheels at stock and at a better price.
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a b 4 Gaming
February 19, 2010 11:53:03 AM

Twas thinking you'd even do fine with a AthlonII X3 but ya nice combo yada yada so $819 AR
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a b 4 Gaming
February 22, 2010 5:10:34 PM

khavii said:
3d mark is a good indication of how well your CPU or GPU will handle the stresses of real world gaming, the scores don't necessarily translate to framerates since a lot more than what processor you have goes into that but it does give you a numerical score for comparing different processors power, a simple baseline for comparison if you will.


The problem here is that for the most part, very few games are CPU-limited. Most are GPU-limited. If your budget is $1000, there's no way you can afford to get an i7-920, mobo, RAM, monitor, hard drive, case, power and get a decent GPU. You can build an i7-920 rig that is built for editing, since that is mostly CPU-limited and skate by with a cheap GPU. For gaming, you just can't fit it all in that budget.

i7-920 - $290, or $200 if you are near a microcenter
6 GB RAM - $150ish
1366 mobo - $200ish

At this point, you're already at about $750. (Or $650 if you can get to microcenter.)

HDD - $55 for 500 GB Spinpoint F3 or Seagate 7200.12
Case - ?
PSU - $70?
Monitor - $150+
OS - $105
GPU - whatever is left over, but you're over budget if you really need a monitor. If you don't need a monitor, you have about $0 left, or about $100 if you got the microcenter price on the i7-920.

General recommendations for gaming CPU by budget:
$500-$1000 - AMD
$1000-$1500 - i5-750 or i7-860
$1500-$2000 - start to consider i7-920, but you'll still get more bang for your buck from the i5-750 or i7-860
$2000+ - i7-920 if you're going to be doing editing in addition to gaming
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February 23, 2010 5:39:52 PM

so in end buy an amd tripple or quad core and get a hd 5870 or 5970 and let the gpu do its job!! max those settings and rais that res!!!
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a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2010 6:07:54 PM

I wouldn't use the WD Green hard drive as a boot drive, as that's meant to be a slow, quiet, energy-efficient drive. Other than that, the build looks good.
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February 23, 2010 6:10:35 PM

I didn't even notice. Is the WD green 500GB 5400RPM?
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a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2010 6:19:40 PM

Yes, the WD Green is 5400 rpm. I spent a few minutes tracking it down a couple weeks ago. They didn't seem to have the specs on their website, I think I eventually found the specs on a site selling them (but I don't think it was newegg).
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February 23, 2010 6:59:53 PM

ah I see, newegg should let people know that hard drive is only 5400RPM...
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a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2010 7:04:47 PM

whitefang said:
ah I see, newegg should let people know that hard drive is only 5400RPM...


I don't know for certain, but I suspect that the specs that they publish are simply provided by the vendors. Since WD doesn't even bother listing the rpm on the product page on their website, I don't know why they'd supply that number to newegg.
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February 23, 2010 7:05:04 PM

its not advertised as being a performance drive...

the black edition is thier performance drives or for more performance they have the velociraptor drives

the caviar is just a normal plain jain reliable hdd
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