$800 Quad Core (AMD)

Well I've spent all day rummaging through newegg and It's time for some advice. It's been a good 10 years since I've done this and my boys are getting older and need a new system for their gaming. I'd love to surprise them and get them each their own PC. I've got a couple extra monitors, keyboards, etc...

Will be used for:

Mostly FPS/multiplayer type games, battlefield bad company 2's beta seems to have them all excited.
One of my boys does a lot of design and video editing.

What I have:

keyboard, mouse, and monitor (24 inch). Also both boys will be close enough to the router that I can just use an ethernet cable to plug them in so no wireless.

What I need:

Everything else including video card and operating system.

I've done a few "builds" over at newegg and I keep ending up in the 900 dollar plus range, and never know if I'm picking out the right motherboard to expand with.... or even if the stuff I'm putting in is the right thing. Obviously I don't have the budget to do dual video cards, but the ability to expand these machines down the road would be great.

Any recommendations?
65 answers Last reply
More about quad core
  1. Take a look at this thread:
    Check out the budget $787.91 PII 720 build and the one titled "My Daughters' PC..."

    You should look at the Athlon II X4 620, an AM3 mobo, 2x2GB DDR3 1333 or 1600 with CL 7 or 8, and either a 5770 or, if you can fit it in your budget, a 5850. Get a PSU from Antec, Corsair, OCZ, Seasonic, or PC Power & Cooling. Keep an eye out for combos and such.
  2. Missed that thread - it's a big help. A number of things aren't available or out of stock but it gives me a great place to start.

    I'll report back with my "final" build for any suggestions.
  3. Go for either a Radeon 4850 1gb for 100$, or the radeon 4890 for 200$, or even a 5850 for 300$. The 5770 is 150$, and does badly at games for it's price point, and it seems to have realy subpar prefoprmance at BF2.

    100$ GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131163&cm_re=radeon_4850_1gb-_-14-131-163-_-Product

    200$ GPU: Use either 2 of the 100$ GPUs in a Xfire config, or this. This would provide lower preormance, but is single GPU meaning less heat, power, PCIe slots.


    PSU and GPU combo: I had a good one, but it got sold out. :(
  4. Well I'm not sure if I've got a "winner" here. Most of the builds I'd seen others working with had things out of stock, price increases, etc... so I really moved things around. Not sure If I've picked components that would work together or not. My logic was that the cpu could be overclocked if they need it down the road - but 3 ghz is MUCH better then what they are playing with now. Also I accepted the fact that I was going to be closer to 900 per machine unless I wanted to get a really crappy powersupply and mobo that they would have to upgrade later. If I've done this right at most they will have to upgrade video cards and add memory down the road right? After this it's up to them to add/upgrade and if you remember being a teen it's tough gathering up 100's of dollars.

    Here is what I'm looking at:

    Started off with a $300 bundle that has powersupply, case, processor, and cpu cooling: ($305)

    Rosewill Xtreme Series RX850-D-B 850W Continuous @40°C ,80 PLUS Certified, ATX12V v2.2 & EPS12V v2.91, SLI Ready CrossFire ... - Retail

    AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ940XCJ4DGI - OEM

    Xigmatek MIDGARD-W Black 0.7mm SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

    XIGMATEK AIO-S80DP All-in-one liquid cooling system - Retail


    Motherboard: ($140)
    ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ - Retail

    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive


    Operating System($140)
    windows 7 64bit professional
    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

    Total with shipping is just under $814 dollars.

    So I've either missed something, have something incompatable, junk somewhere - or I've managed to build a quad core for just over 800 minus the video card.

    So let's say <100 for the video card and I'll add in another one for crossfire support down the road (well they can with their money if it's important to them). What would you switch out - what would you do different?
  5. Arghhh.....

    Just realized that the cpu in the bundle is a am2+ --- and of course the reviews say bad things about folks trying to fit it in a am3 board. Reviews right?
  6. I'm a fan of everything you picked except for that combo. You dont want liquid cooling in a $800 PC.
    -1 rosewill PSU
    -1 that processor doesnt come with a fan because its a liquid cooling kit
  7. I've been looking and I know its possible but that OS is killing you. There are other ways to getting for free or cheaper. Idk how but I have heard of some ways. If you were able to get that OS some other way and you had another $140+ to play with, it would make it much easier cuz your pretty much asking for a $650 build right now. Which is possible but it wont be the best.
  8. Do you want to crossfire in the future? Do you want 3.0 usb in your motherboard? If you arent planning on either of these it would save you some money. IMO its better to get a motherboard that has 1 video card slot and just upgrade the video card every couple years in stead of spending extra money on a crossfire mobo, 2 videos card, a stronger PSU, possibly extra for a Heat sink fan etc.
  9. As part of your thought process I suggest you play around with the AMD quad core builder at http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/.

    It will be cheaper to build it yourself, but the fact that the configuration tool is fully stocked with basically every part available might provide you with some ideas and useful cost comparisons between parts.
  10. I agree but the things on cyberpowerpc are a bit more expensive so a $800 build at cyberpower might be $740 at newegg. but I agree, play with the customization to give you an idea. Meanwhile I will keep looking on newegg.
  11. I have check newegg everywhere, I do the build but its going to me a mobo with no crossfire or 3.0 usb, I wanted to get a specific videocard/Power supply combo but its out of stock, I wanted to get you a good set of ddr3 1600 4gb (2 sticks of 2gb) ram for $98. The video card combo alone saves $35 and the ram is $10 cheaper and I'm stuggling to find a balance of a good cooling quality case that looks cool and works that fits the budget. You might have to wait for these deals to come back to get a good build.
  12. This was going to be the build I would have given you:

    PSU/Dvd burner combo: ($93, $20 MIR):http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.328818

    RAM/Case ($127): http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.343336

    OS ($140): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116758

    Hard drive ($56): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148395

    Video Card ($200): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814129148&cm_re=4890-_-14-129-148-_-Product

    CPU/Mobo ($181, $10MIR) http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.334896

    Total $797 - $30 MailInRebates.

    I think this build would be the best. A couple things though, that video card is power hungry and will push your Power Supply, its a great video card and doesnt fall too behind the 5850 in benchmarks but it doesnt has Dx11 and it runs much hotter.

    Another thing your mobo is good but wont be able to crossfire (dual video cards), but the mobo does have 3.0 usb which is just a faster version of 2.0 usb and you will be happy you have it in the future. $10 MIR too.

    The CPU is a quad core but its not the best quad core but its still very good and can be overclocked easily. Its the one of the CPUs for the price/performance.

    The Hard drive is better for gaming and has been recommended by tons of gaming experts on this site. 500 gb too.

    The OS is solid but did put a damper on the overall quality of the build, there are other ways to get OS's, not sure how but you can find out. If you were able to get another OS that helps out for the rest of the parts but the OS is great none the less.

    The Power Supply isnt the best quality but it will work and its cheap price wise. Just be sure to take advantage of the $20 mail in rebate.

    Dvd burner works, what do you need?

    Ram is ddr3 and works well and its 1600 and is highly recommended and rated. 2 sticks of 2 gb too.

    The case is solid and looks cool. Only thing is that it only has 1 fan. I would put more fans on it when the rebates come back or just put some extra money towards it.

    Biggest worries are the case and PSU but you should be fine. Just get those MIRs, fans, and enjoy the build! (youll have to wait for the videocard to get back into stock.)
  13. An Athlon 620 is significantly inferior to the build he started with. If he needs to save money he could go with a Athlon X3 3 Ghz-- but I think he should be able to manage a Phenom build on this budget.
  14. But he needs a quad core, the CPU he listed before is an OEM which means no heatsink fan and no warranty and other things too, its just the chip. And with that combo hes pretty much just getting a free cooler (which he doesnt need and the combo discount takes off the just about the amount of the cooler).

    Also the anthlon X3 isnt a quad core, and he cant afford a phenom quad core and getting a phenom X2 and trying to unlock the other cores is probably not going to work and a phenom X3 is too much. I guess he can get a 4870 or something and save $30 bucks and put that towards a better CPU. Or he can go down all the way to a 4850 and put that $80 to a CPU but the 4870 is a decent video card and the 4850 is a ok card. The 4890 is amazing for the price. His sons will be using the PC for gaming more than anything too, the GPU is probably the most important.
  15. So is it $800 total or $800 not including the video card?
  16. I think its $800 total. He needs a video card. I think delaware wants the windows 7 professional, $140. Not the home edition thats $104. I dont know actually, he hasnt replied lately and I dont know if he needs the professional or no or what. Some feed back would help.
  17. Sorry guys - had a crazy day around here today and wasn't able to do much. Talked it over with the wife (and I'm sure this will cost me a new purse, shoes, or something) and we've decided to try and stay under 1k each. Gives me a lot more wiggle room. I'm probably not going to pirate the software so I'm stuck spending 140 on windows 7.

    I want to give them some room to grow - so crossfire support with two low end cards, or one mid range card makes sense. No clue here as the reviews seem conflicting everywhere I read. Just want to get the most bang for the buck for them and not have them need to upgrade in 3 months.

    . I'd like an am3 board since that will probably give them the best chance to upgrade the CPU in the future.

    I've done a few builds mock ups - but the same 4 parts seem to be the hang up. CPU/MOTHERBOARD - Power Supply - and video cards.

    Looking at this as a starting point so we aren't overclocking from the get go and get by with the fan/heatsink that comes with it:
  18. RAM/OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.330163

    Hard drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148395

    Video Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125300

    Case/PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.335362

    CPU/Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.335026
    With this combo you get the dual crossfire, ddr3 etc but no 3.0 usb like the mobo below. 3.0 usb is just a better version of 2.0 usb and more things will start having 3.0, its more of future proofing thing and is just nice to have.
    Total: $985 - $35 Mail in rebate (RAM and mobo)


    CPU/Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.335032
    This mobo has a x16 and a x8 slots but with two video cards its like dual 8x. It has usb 3.0 which is more future proofed but more expensive aswell.

    Total: $1005 - $20 (RAM)

    I think this a good build but listen to other opinions too. You can change some things around.
    The case is highly recommended by many people and the PSU can run continuously at 650W forever, not like a 750W PSU that can max at 750 for couple mins but then goes way down, it can only handle lots of work for a shirt time. With that PSU your guaranteed 650 all the time. Hard drive is meant for gaming, and has 500gb and thats gonna be hard fill. Good ram IMO but I wanted to get a RAM with latency 7 (which means its faster) but it sold out. Great OS of course. Great video card too, runs cooler than the old muscle ATI 48xx series cards. It also has DX11 and is one of the highest performing cards out there. I hope this helps and listen to other opinions. Good luck. :D
  19. How about this. I'm looking at the same type of deal. The video card I downgraded

    Qty. Product Description Savings Total Price

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Item #: N82E16811129066
    Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822148395
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$5.00 Instant

    SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    Item #: N82E16814102858
    Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    -$10.00 Instant
    $10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

    OCZ AMD Black Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3BE1600C8LV4GK - Retail
    Item #: N82E16820227496
    Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
    -$5.00 Instant
    $20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    Item #: N82E16832116754
    Return Policy: Software Return Policy

    AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model HDX945WFGIBOX - Retail
    Item #: N82E16819103696
    Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
    GIGABYTE GA-790XT-USB3 AM3 AMD 790X USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813128427
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$20.00 Combo

    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817341016
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
    Item #: N82E16827118030
    Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
    -$25.00 Instant
    -$15.00 Combo
    $25.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
    Subtotal: $859.91
    Calculate Shipping
    Zip Code: GO
    Shipping: $19.64

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  20. I like that - brings me down a good bit with the cheaper card. Was actually going to ask for a cheaper card recommendation from squirrels build because 1/3 of the budget was going just to a card... seemed a bit of an overkill since they are playing games on a nvidia 9800 with very few problems now.
  21. Good build suggestions guys (im lazy so i didnt do my own)

    My input is that you take the Case/PSU combo from whitefang, because it has a better power supply that would be crossfire capable in the future.

    And take the Phenom II 945 CPU/Mobo combo from Squirrel/thompson.. because its a better CPU for the same price.

    Other than that both builds are good.

    A 5770 is a good choice to start with now and potentially crossfire later. The card will probably have a long lifespan due to its new technology.
  22. I agree, I figured just to give them a great card than to risk give them one they wont be satisfied with but the 5770 is good enough, not at high resolutions though but it should be good enough. Thats why its good to hear other opinions and options because usually not 1 person has the build perfectly but a mixture of the 2 or 3 builds is perfect. good job guys. I would just be careful with that PSU, it can handle the 5770 now because it runs much cooler and less power but when you crossfire later it might be a problem, it might not either, its just a heads up. Good luck.
  23. 5770 is NOT good enough. I have a 4870, which is a faster card, and that's not enough for CRYSIS maxed with AA at 1680x1050.
  24. The 5770 is not that great, if you want a great card and save money, purchase a 4890. Its cheaper than the 5850 that was in my build but it doesnt have DX11 etc. The 5770 will run the games, but maybe on medium quality. MAYBE. I dont know about BFBC2. It wouldnt hurt to get the better card just to spend the extra $50 or $100 on a video card you know is going to perform well. You need a great video card if its being used mainly for gaming and for video editing as well. I havent heard of a gaming build thats in the $900 to 1k range without a 5850 or 4890.
  25. This graphics card debate you guys are having here is totally subjective. Unless he posted the resolution of the monitors and I didnt see it nothing you say is accurate.

    A 5770 would be fine for gaming on a 22" or smaller. If they are bigger then maybe you have a debate on cards.

    A 48xx series card is not a good choice if you want them to have future crossfire capability. In a year the 48xx series will be long discontinued--the 5xxx series will still be available.

    Your choice:
    -The bigger GPU will offer more gaming performance now--especially at high resolutions.
    -the bigger processor will make the computer viable longer--since the graphics are much easier to upgrade at a later time.
  26. Can still buy 48xx on ebay/craigslist cheap. So the EOLarugement is not important.
  27. Sorry once again you are wrong builderbob. the 5770 IS BETTER THEN THE 4870 in most situations. so STOP posting false info about these cards.

    It's getting pretty ridiculous.

    Just to show you AGAIN since obviously this is a very hard concept for you to understand.

  28. Wrong.

    "As far as the Radeon HD 5770 goes, bare in mind it should position itself in-between a Radeon HD 4850 and 4870. The direct competitor (performance wise) on the green side would be a GeForce GTS 250 or slightly more expensive GeForce GTX 260."

    From the article you hand picked to flatter the 5770.
  29. Your getting that quote from when the HD 5770 hadn't been released yet. I seriously wonder if there is some thing mentally wrong with you.
  30. Taht was on the page of the link, near the end. What do you mean?
  31. Monitor wise we've got a 22" and a 24".

    So for one of the rigs I suppose it does make a difference. Seems like the 'deals' all seem to be sold out or not available at the moment.

    For example whitefangs case/psu bundle isn't there anymore.

    Might just have to wait a week or so for the next round of sales.
  32. Builderbob why would any one in there right mind take a 4870 over a 5770 when the difference in FPS is less the 3 (Some times 5770 wins, some tomes 4870 wins)

    When the 5770 takes less power, produces less heat, has TREMENDOUS crossfire scaling, and is cheaper? not to mention DirectX11 and Eyefinity. Plus the performance increase when we get past beta drivers.

    The brain is your friend builderbob.
  33. delaware said:
    Monitor wise we've got a 22" and a 24".

    So for one of the rigs I suppose it does make a difference. Seems like the 'deals' all seem to be sold out or not available at the moment.

    For example whitefangs case/psu bundle isn't there anymore.

    Might just have to wait a week or so for the next round of sales.

    It's still available for me.
  34. IT IS NOT CHEAPER. SHOW ME A 5770 1gb at under 155$.. Also the 4870 can be obtained throguh ebay/craigslist for less than 100$. I bought 2 4870s for 190$. Both EAH4870s, one was 1gb and was 512mb oc.
  35. By the way don't get the caviar green, I just found out it's only 5400RPM.

    The seagate barracuda 7200.12 is a much better buy.
  36. the one you showed me before was 512mb.
  37. whitefang said:

    Sure is - I tried to add it to my cart earlier and It wasn't available then. Must have been a glitch.
  38. Yeah I've had newegg do that to me before too, weird.
  39. Well now that I've started the graphics card war :)

    One of the highest recommended cards for their games is:

    Graphics: 512 MB Video Card (GeForce GTX 260/ ATI Radeon 4870)

    So I think we would be o.k. going with the 5770 1gig card would be over and above that correct. Going with two of those cards down the road would let them grow for long while. Kind of assuming that the higher number is a better card... but the 1gig are double the 512mb that's recommended.

    Just wondering what make of card I should get -- should I try and match the motherboard? I see gigabyte has

  40. So unless I'm wrong with the video card this is what I'm looking at:

    LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98 - Retail
    Item #: N82E16827106334
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822148395
    Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
    -$5.00 Instant

    GIGABYTE GV-R577UD-1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    Item #: N82E16814125309


    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ - Retail
    Item #: N82E16820231193


    Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    Item #: N82E16832116758


    Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ... - Retail
    Item #: N82E16817371015

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    Item #: N82E16811129066

    -$25.00 Instant
    -$20.00 Combo

    AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model HDX945WFGIBOX - Retail
    Item #: N82E16819103696

    GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    Item #: N82E16813128398

    -$20.00 Instant
    -$20.00 Combo
    $15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
    Subtotal: $863.91

    Shipping: $22.45

    Grand Total: $886.36
  41. The 5770 will be fine for now. As you said, you can always add another card in Crossfire later if needed. The 5770 scales very well in Crossfire. Builderbobftw is the only one in these forums I've seen bashing the 5770. The threads always go downhill from that point.
  42. So do I spend a few more bucks now for fans, cooling, etc...? Rather put it in now then later.
  43. I think your missing the video card in the above build. This is what I would do.

    Total comes to $767 after mail in rebate.


  44. If you want you can throw in a couple 120MM fans http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150066&cm_re=120MM_fan-_-35-150-066-_-Product

    The coolermaster 690 can hold up to seven 120mm fans (2 on the top, one on the bottom, one on the back, two on the sides and one on the front) it comes with 3. So if you wanted to you could buy 4 more. I would just buy one or two though.
  45. Thanks Whitefang - I edited my post probably a minute after I posted it when I saw that I hadn't included the video card - looks like you took a look right then

    My build had a different case and psu - any big difference?
  46. Yes the coolermaster case is much much better. It's slightly bigger, has more slots for fans, the USB E-sata and audio ports are on the top. It's overall a much better case.

    I did change the PSU because it had a good combo with the hard drive. The earthwatts 650 might be a little better of a brand but for the price of the OCZ 700W it's very nice. It will support a second 5770 down the road if you ever intend on crossfiring.

    This build IMO is better then what I suggested before.
  47. Oh by the way, if you want that batteforge game free you can switch the video card to this.

    it's the same price as the HIS but the HIS has a $10 mail in rebate. The XFX also has double life time warranty. It's up to you which one you want, they both perform the same.
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