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Gaming rig, $800 advice please.

Last response: in Systems
March 8, 2010 3:29:32 PM

Hi guys,

I'm looking to build a new rig, I have around $800, I can't really stretch that and was wondering if someone could help.

The highest graphic game I play is probably COD4 MW2 and the highest CPU intensive game is probably WoW.

I don't really mind AMD or INTEL , in fact, that's why I'm asking for help because I can't really decide lol, so many people say that AMD Phenoms are good for gaming and cheap while others say that intel i5 or i7 is the best way to go.

Thanks for the help

More about : gaming rig 800 advice

March 8, 2010 3:34:45 PM

Factored into the 800 do you need a new copy of windows. Also do you need any other accessories like monitor keyboard mouse.
March 8, 2010 3:34:46 PM

If you absolutely can't go above $800:

CPU/Mobo: X4 955 and Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H $280
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
GPU: HD 5770 $150 after rebate
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Earthwatts 650W $130
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $25
HSF (only if overclocking): Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35

Total: $790.

If you've got an extra $10, and don't mind not having the ability to Crossfire, make the following changes:

CPU/Mobo: X3 440 and Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 $160 after rebate
GPU: HD 5850 $300
Case/PSU: Antec 300 Illusion and Neo Eco 520W $120

Total: $810
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March 8, 2010 3:39:25 PM

Hey, sorry perhaps I should have been more specific.

I don't need a keyboard or mouse, I want to buy a g19 and g9x but I will do that once I have more money saved up, I do need a monitor so I guess I should make the budget $1000 to be more realistic.

I don't need a copy of Windows.

Thanks for the fast response.
March 8, 2010 3:47:26 PM

Thanks admiral, I'm very new to overclocking and I am looking for something that would be easy to overclock. With that being said, I was wondering if you could include a better case instead of the 300$ graphics card and I'll just use a 5770 instead since the new ATI 6000 series are coming out soon anyways.

Thanks :) 
March 8, 2010 3:50:55 PM

You do realize that the 5xxx series is like 4-6 months old right?

The case is a great one. It'll fit any card that's less than 11 inches long (like the 5870).

As for overclocking, I changed the build above slightly. I took out the HSF to fit a Crossfire enabled board.
March 8, 2010 4:26:41 PM

ATI are still planning on releasing the 5970 2gb and 5870 6 monitor thingy so I don't think that statement is correct.
March 8, 2010 4:47:24 PM

The 5970 is already out, and has been for a while. I'm not sure if the Eyefinity version of the 5870 is already out, or if it's been given a release date yet...
March 8, 2010 4:58:27 PM

Sorry I ment the 4GB edition ;) .
March 8, 2010 5:49:20 PM

What do you guys think of this build ?
March 8, 2010 5:58:25 PM

The one I posted above would be a lot better for gaming for only $5 more. It will be able to game well at 1920x1080, while your build will be barely playable (on high details). If you really want to go with a cheaper GPU right now, drop down to the 5770 and pick up the X4 955. It's also in a combo with the board I linked to. Or grab it with the Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H and be ready for a six core CPU...

For one, that CPU isn't compatible with the board. It's an AM2+ CPU and the board is AM3.

In the build I posted, you get a board with USB 3/SATA III support and Crossfire. You also get one of the fastest HDDs out right now (the other one that qualifies is the Samsung Spinpoint F3, but it's not available in 500 GB right now). You also get a high quality PSU that's capable of supporting Crossfire. And some of the best RAM for overclocking.

If you're spending $166 on a CPU, you should get the $160 X4 955 (the fastest AMD CPU right now)...
March 8, 2010 6:05:02 PM

Alright, yeah I see your point.

One last question and thank you for your help again :) .

Do you think it would be worth paying an extra 100$ to get a i5 quad and a intel motherboard?

Ignore the other components, just the board and processor

March 8, 2010 7:05:46 PM

I just noticed something. I've been using (the US side). Apparantly, you're in Canada. That means that the build I've put up there is going to be over budget by quite a bit.

So converted to Canadian prices:

CPU/Mobo: X4 955 and Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H $306
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $123
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $60
GPU: HD 5770 $168
Case: COOLER MASTER Elite RC-310-BWN1-GP $45
PSU: Corsair 650W $110 before $20 USD rebate ($80 in total)
Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $26
Monitor: Asus 2.15" 1080p $160 after rebate

Total w/ monitor: $997. It's $1,102 for the HD 5850, so I had to ditch that to get it under budget. However, I was able to then fit in the best AMD CPU and a board with the newest chipset.

The i5-750 is the best gaming CPU out there right now. However, it's typically $85-100 (US) more than the best AMD offering. If you want an equivalent i5 build, it will easily be $100 over budget.

BTW, you guys get absolutely bent over on the prices of cases and PSUs. That Antec I used above is like twice as much for you guys once you consider the combos...
March 8, 2010 8:42:34 PM

Thanks man, you've been a great help for a noob like me lol.

Do you think the 5850 is really worth it for games like Cod 4 MW2 , AvP , WoW ? I don't really play crysis, I mean I'd like to but not sure I can afford it lol.

I could probably stretch to 1100$ if I really think it's worth it but I think I would rather get an i5 build.

Yeah I noticed the canadian website is more expensive on everything, I am actually from the UK but I'm moving to Canada in 2 weeks so I have to sell my rig, it's the first rig I built and it's a Core2Duo 8500 at 3.17ghz, 8800gt, asus p5n-d 750i sli, antec 900 case and now that I was going to build my second one I wanted to do it really perfect and get the best advice as possible.

Thanks for your help again,
March 8, 2010 8:52:39 PM

The difference is being able to play on with max details at 1920x1080 resolutions and not. If you're going to get a monitor with a lower resolution, it would not be worth it.

If you were to stretch to $1,100, I would recommend getting the 5850 over the i5. A GPU impacts gaming performance much more than a CPU ever could. In order to fit that in, drop the CPU to a X3 440 (should still be in a combo with the GA-890GPA-UD3H board). If that doesn't do it, switch the board to the GA-790XTA-UD4 (there should also be a combo for that).
March 9, 2010 7:04:16 PM

I'm definatly taking your advice on the PSU, monitor, hardrive and graphics card :) .

I'm just wondering, that motherboard + combo deal is not available, as I mentioned before I'm only buying the rig in about 2 or 3 weeks maybe as I'm still in England (duh, I should probably not be wasting people's times but I can't stop looking at benchmarks haha).

I just have a few questions.
Cooler Master RC-690 , worth the extra $30?

I have a antec 900 and manage to find it complicated so a good case would make things easier for me.
GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

The motherboard you linked is not available anymore :( 

The RAM , some people are saying that for AMD motherboards I'd have to change the timings because the sticks are made specially for i5/i7 boards, is that BS and if it's true would it be hard to do?

Thanks again Admiral
March 9, 2010 7:14:15 PM

If you can afford the 690, get it. The Elite is basically the lowest end case that's still quality.

That's a good substitute. But keep watching, as it'll be back in stock. The 890 is the newest chipset.

It may or may not be BS. I certainly didn't have to, and most people don't. However, it's very easy to do, and its something you should do regardless of the sticks or the motherboard.
March 9, 2010 7:21:28 PM

Alright man, thanks again.

I will keep looking up for the 890, I would rather get the newest chipset and I'm sure it will be in stock in a few weeks.

I'll get the case and the RAM aswel.

Thanks for your help *thumbs up*, now i just have to convince the gf that a $1000 PC is better then a $800 laptop.
March 9, 2010 7:26:24 PM

By far. The only thing that makes a laptop better is the mobility.
March 9, 2010 7:28:56 PM

To back up MadAdmiral there, I've been using a gaming laptop for almost 3 years now, and I'm really tired of it. If a critical part fails, you have to send it back, and there are no upgrades available for the graphics card, etc. I'm waiting out the next couple of months and then building a new desktop (and keeping the laptop around as a backup).

Laptops just are not worth it for gaming.
March 9, 2010 8:06:28 PM

Hey sorry Admiral can I just ask a few questions on overclocking?

I probably want to overclock the chip to 3.8ghz or maybe 4ghz.

Would the cooler you posted be good enough for that?

HSF (only if overclocking): Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35

And is it easy to overclock the memory and GPU aswel + worth it? Or would I need extra cooling for that?

Thanks again
March 9, 2010 8:09:39 PM

Yes. That HSF is one of the best out there.

You certainly don't need extra cooling for the RAM.

The GPU likely can't be pushed so high that you'd need an aftermarket cooler. And if you did, I'd be worried about stability.

As for how to actually do it, and what to expect, I can't really help there. I'm not much of an overclocker. You might want to cruise up to the overclocker's are of the forum for more specifics...
March 9, 2010 8:18:55 PM

ha thanks again man.

I'm happy with the rig, will probably buy it.

I've been looking at benchmarks a lot the last few days and I never owned a AMD myself (have a Core2Duo 8500) but in gaming they seem to be beating even the intel i7 on most games.

Thanks again,
March 9, 2010 8:22:07 PM

AMD is absolutely the best value for gaming right now. The Intel i5-750 is probably the best gaming processor out there, but it will cost a little more.

However, the graphics card has a lot more to do with your gaming performance than the processor does. If going with AMD allows you to save enough to get a better graphics card, you should definitely go with AMD.