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Building a budget gaming comp

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February 25, 2010 5:01:36 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next week
BUDGET RANGE: ~$650

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Moderate Gaming (CS:S, Lineage 2, maybe WoW, the only new game im lookin at is Diablo 3)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Optical drives, keyboard, mouse, monitor, case, OS.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: Reputible.

OVERCLOCKING: No.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: First time build.

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HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: MSI 770-G45 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Wireless: D-Link DWA-556 PCI Express Xtreme Desktop Adapter - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100286L Radeon HD 4860 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Rosewill RP600V2-S-SL 600W ATX12V v2.01 SLI Ready Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model ADX620WFGIBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



First time build, not a big gamer, just want to play some basic games but at a high resolution and i want to play them smoothly. Also, this will be the tv for my bedroom, hence the tv card. I already have a 24" Dell HD monitor. I'm not going for broke here, just a solid computer to play games, browse the internet, and watch hulu.

Please tell me what you think and if you have suggestions for better brands/parts. Thanks everyone!
February 25, 2010 5:18:29 PM

Get a quality PSU. Rosewill isn't very good. Considering the board you choose only has 1 PCIe 2.0 slot that is useful, you can downgrade to a 450 or 550W PSU to save a little.

You WILL NOT be getting smooth gaming at that resolution with your card. You'll want something that's at least as powerful as the HD 5850 or 4890. You could step down the CPU to a X3 425 to afford that.

Here's about the cheapest I can recommend for 1900x gaming (I'm looking for a smaller PSU in the combo):

CPU/Mobo: X3 425 and Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 $147 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
GPU/PSU: HD 5850 and Earthwatts 650W $370 after rebate
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $25

Total: $712. No TV tuner, but since they only work for over-the-air signals, I don't think they're worth it.
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February 25, 2010 5:40:33 PM

Cool, thanks man. I'll definately take all that into consideration. Also, i figured i could plug my cable into computer directly to watch tv... i guess that isnt the case.

Maybe i was trying to bite off more than i can chew but, i will sacrifice some resolution at the sake of price. Perhaps a Radeon 4870 vid card would suffice at slightly lower resolution settings...
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February 25, 2010 5:54:28 PM

You can plug your computer into the cable feed, but you'll only get the non-scrambled channels, which isn't too many of them these days.

Note that MadAdmiral also included an optical drive, which you said you didn't need. Remove that, and you're below $700. Of course, if you really need the wireless card, that probably offsets the $25 from the optical drive. Do you know what the resolution on your monitor is? That would assist in picking the right graphics card for your build.
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February 25, 2010 7:20:50 PM

The max resolution is 1920x1080.

When i gave the res in the first post i was referring to the monitor max res, not necessarly what I NEED. A few notches down would work for me, unless it, due to my years off from PC gaming, isnt worth it and just pony up the extra dough for the 5850.

Edit: How about the Radeon 4870? I did my best in reading and looking at benchmarks. Everyone gave the 4870 very high marks.
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February 25, 2010 7:43:00 PM

Why not this CPU?
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Deneb 3.2GHz

It easily runs at 3.7 GHz which your Propus won't do. You'll have much faster framerates.
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February 25, 2010 8:03:25 PM

No you won't. You'll have the same, except in games that require more cores (which are becoming more prevelant). There's an article on Tom's about how many cores you need for gaming. It found that increasing from 2 to 3 cores had a big improvement, while increasing from 3 to 4 had a decrease in performance. Hence, my suggestion of a triple core.
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February 25, 2010 8:03:35 PM

CPU doesn't really affect framerates nearly as much as the GPU does.

And getting a dual-core, even at faster clock speeds, won't necessarily be better than a triple-core. Although most of today's games are single-threaded, having that extra core can help offload extra tasks (virus scans, whatever) to the background while you continue playing at the same rate.

About the resolution: for some reason, I only saw the 24" Dell part at the bottom, not that you had listed the resolution above. There have been a lot of questions on this forum recently where people list the dimensions and expect everyone to automatically know the resolution, so I didn't search any further.

A 4870 could be a good deal, though you might also consider a 5770.
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February 25, 2010 9:37:33 PM

Thanks a lot guys. Is the board i listed good enough?

So i've made some updates..

No tuner card.

XFX HD-585A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.2 80 PLUS Certified

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor


These updates put me up at around $750 which is great!
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February 25, 2010 9:50:14 PM

That would be good.
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February 25, 2010 9:55:37 PM

MadAdmiral said:
No you won't. You'll have the same, except in games that require more cores (which are becoming more prevelant). There's an article on Tom's about how many cores you need for gaming. It found that increasing from 2 to 3 cores had a big improvement, while increasing from 3 to 4 had a decrease in performance. Hence, my suggestion of a triple core.


Is there a list anywhere of recent games that take full advantage of triple and quad core versus dual cores and what are the differences in framerates, ie a quadcore at 2.6 GHz versus a dual core at 3.3 Ghz or 3.6 GHz? I'm not pushing anyone towards a dual core because I personally prefer overclocked quadcores but when there's a budget, I recommend shifting to a dual core and apply the savings towards a better videocard.
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February 25, 2010 11:22:42 PM

Why would you shift towards a dual core when a triple core is in the budget? It's not like downgrading any further would get a better GPU...
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February 26, 2010 12:05:09 AM

I strongly recommend Mad's suggestion of the Athlon X3. The 435(2.9ghz) or 440(3hz) versions would be better yet.
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February 26, 2010 11:08:25 AM

The 435 is just a 425 with a slight overclock. Not worth the extra cost...
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February 26, 2010 12:30:16 PM

Well, since the budget is just a "range", can you you flex it upwards and go for a full blown quadcore? Tricore just sounds like something's missing.
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February 26, 2010 12:47:31 PM

750 is the max i'd like to spend. I know, i know, its only another 20-40 bucks but i really dont think i'll be dying to go bigger as i'm not the hardcore 24/7 gamer type, i;m more of a weekend warrior type of guy. Plus, i'm not playing all the new games, the newest one i'll be playing is Diablo 3 and i miiiiiiiight get into WoW, but probably not.

Thanks for your help guys, much appreciated. If you'd like, you can put a "Solved" on this thread. Unless you want to debate some more. :p 
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February 26, 2010 1:29:35 PM

You are the one that ends it when you select best answer :-)

You dont have to take the CPU advice from anyone here, the 620 is an alright choice too if you aren't an extreme gamer--but DO take the power supply advice MadAdmiral suggested--rosewill is not known for making good power supplies.
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