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Gaming PC for $800-900

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March 15, 2010 4:13:36 PM

Hey everyone. I first just want to say thanks to all you guys on the site for the work you do. I've been lurking (doing research, learning, etc) for a couple of weeks and this site is the best by far. So again, thanks for all the work and all the posts.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Later this month, probably place the order about the 29th or 30th (depends on when my rebate from Uncle Sam arrives, lol)

BUDGET RANGE: $800-900 USD, after rebates is OK

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Internet, storing photos/home videos, general use (banking, etc)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers, monitor (though someday I would like to upgrade these parts, they are not necessary right now)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I'm open, though newegg and amazon seem good

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU (for value/performance ratio), ATI Video

OVERCLOCKING: Someday, but I need to learn how SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Um, not sure, but it is an older (2004) Gateway 900G 19" monitor...I plan on upgrading it in the future, just not in the initial budget

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would love to be able to get an ATI 5850, but I also know that it probably won't be in the budget unless we can squeeze the rest of the system. I am also OK getting a tri-core proc. to save some money, as my research indicates that a quad isn't really a necessity for gaming. I would, too, like to get quality parts (PSU, RAM, etc) so as to be able to keep these parts for future use and upgrade core components--though I know you guys usually only rec. quality stuff.

I also need to buy Windows7, but am not including that in the price of the build/

Thanks a bunch everyone!

--Hunter

More about : gaming 800 900

a b 4 Gaming
March 15, 2010 4:26:29 PM

$861 w/o that LCD
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a b 4 Gaming
March 15, 2010 6:16:18 PM

My work blocks images like batuchka uses, so I can't see his build. Here's a build for less than $800 that includes a 5850:

AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $169.98 - $10.00 MIR (CPU + motherboard combo)

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $114.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $119.98 (Case + PSU combo)

SAPPHIRE 100282-3SR Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $329.99

Total - $789.93 - $10 MIR
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March 15, 2010 10:29:21 PM

Wow thanks guys. Both of those builds look great. A couple of questions...

What is the current thinking about the Phenom x 6 procs being compatible with socket AM3? I am hearing conflicting things...I am only asking because it would be nice to be able to upgrade my build in a few years as opposed to having to build a new system.

I have heard good things about the tri-core procs, is there going to be a real, tangible difference in my gaming and day to day activities using a tri-core as opposed to a quad?

What is the comparison between the Athlon x3 and the Phenom x3?

Thanks again guys, the builds look awesome. I'm happy that it looks like I can get a 5850...I was originally going to get a 5770 but thought that the 5850 would be a much more powerful card and last me a while longer.

--Hunter

EDIT: I forgot to ask, what about things like power cords, sata cables, plugs, etc...does the power supply, etc/all come with all things to connect them, or are they a separate purchase? I think I will not overclock to start with (I may invest in a heavy duty heat sink and try it in the future) but is it still a good idea to buy some artic silver or other thermal paste? Thanks.
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March 15, 2010 10:58:29 PM

Only a couple games actually use quad cores, and I can't think of any that must have them. I don't have any tris though, only duals and quads. However, I doubt there would be any large negative impact.

Athlon (II) and Phenom II => main difference is the Athlon lacks L3 cache. Makes it smaller, cooler and cheaper, but in applications that liked that cache, there will be a performance hit.

Power Cord comes with the PSU, SATA with the MB. For most normal builds, al of the cables are included. The one exception I sometimes run into is a DVI cable for the monitor, but they are getting better about that these days.

AS5 is still decent, but there are better ones. (I can't remember the name, MX-2 perhaps?).
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a b 4 Gaming
March 16, 2010 6:28:04 AM

A few odds and ends. Sorry no case or dvd-rom drive. Use your old ones if you can. You'll need a processor with a lot of L3 cache on it. Don't let somebody tell you you don't. And YES, quad cores are more in demand that ever. Check the requirements for some of the newer games.... not the low end BS they publish for morons but the real system needs....

HD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Graphis
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mem
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
mobo&proc
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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March 17, 2010 3:38:13 PM

Thanks again everyone...

Swifty, would you mind going into detail about why you choose some of those parts? I'm not opposed to paying a bit more for quality, especially if the items (like a PSU) will carry over from one build to the next. I'm just curious as to why that hard drive you selected is a better choice...is it speed? Or speed/capacity? Why that brand of GPU? Why that RAM?

Again, I'm only trying to get as much info as possible. Thanks for all the replys guys it's a huge help.
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March 17, 2010 4:06:41 PM

Yes, the HDD is for speed. It is one of the fastest mechanical HDDs. I have that drive, and it seems to be very good (hasn't died yet).
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a b 4 Gaming
March 17, 2010 4:34:47 PM

Hunter_ said:
Thanks again everyone...

Swifty, would you mind going into detail about why you choose some of those parts? I'm not opposed to paying a bit more for quality, especially if the items (like a PSU) will carry over from one build to the next. I'm just curious as to why that hard drive you selected is a better choice...is it speed? Or speed/capacity? Why that brand of GPU? Why that RAM?

Again, I'm only trying to get as much info as possible. Thanks for all the replys guys it's a huge help.


HDD, speed, it's ok, but more importantly it has large capacity . You mentioned something about pictures..?? A friend of mine is into pictures and video/music. Drives fill up quick for him. Not sure how heavy you are into it though. ( on a side note..... I'm a nut for paying a little more for Raptors but they're not really needed.... and don't do it much anymore. )
The other components... ram... I wouldn't suggest you buy something I wouldn't buy for myself or something I haven't used. I think this ram, right now, is some of the more quality stuff out there. A lot of people swear by that RipJaws stuff. I panned it a couple of month's ago. I said it had a purdy name but sucked.... I had bad experiences with it and could never get it to run as suggested on several machines. I was chastised by others here... bleh!
The processor. Lots of L3 cache. Great for gaming and for some other stuff most people here will never get near. Price/performance vs the next higher end processor. "one click" over clocking.....
The motherboard, Quality. I think Gigabyte has the best product right now and have for the past two years. The future" expandability" with the SATA/USB and if you ever want to cross fire. If your dollar amount was less, say $700 instead of $1000 i would have compromised this for a less expensive single slot.... but would have stayed Gigabyte.
Better do it now..... the power supply. High amperage. Will provide enough "clean power" to ALL components in your system and will run cooler because it won't have to work so hard. Went through this years ago. Used to buy power supplies that I thought were "good enough". Amazing how much cooler and better everything ran when the system doesn't "strain". You'll also have enough power for that second card if needed.
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March 17, 2010 4:34:47 PM

Swifty that's overkill. 850TX will never be used even if he crossfired.

This is what I would suggest.

I suggested this because the 890GX has CF 8x8 and will support the new cores.



or

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March 18, 2010 6:42:51 PM

A lot of you guys seem to think that getting a 890 MOBO would be a good idea, I'm assuming since it will essentially future proof my build (for a while at least lol) and allow me to upgrade to a better proc. once my quad is obsolete...is that correct?

I thought I read somewhere that ALL AM3 MOBO were going to be compatible with the new x6, or is that wrong? Again, I'm not opposed to flushing out a little extra cash if it's a good long term investment, but of course I love saving a few bucks too.

Thanks again everyone.
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March 18, 2010 7:13:52 PM

From what I understand, the 890's are definitely going to be hexacore compatible. Some of the AM3 boards will probably be compatible, but may require a BIOS update. That is just my understanding ;) 
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March 19, 2010 2:04:33 AM

OK...

So Uncle Sam was a tad more generous than I thought he would be this year. As a result, I am now entertaining the idea of just going with an i5 setup...pretty much the same kind of build (same HDD, DVD, case, PSU, etc) just swapping out the MOBO and Proc.

Would this be a good idea? Or am I better off just getting the Phenom x4, and possibly OC'ing it in the future?

Thoughts? Is an I5 going to make a huge difference? It seems from some of the basic research I've done that an I5 is definitely a better chip, but is it so much better that for the extra 100 bucks I should go for it?

I also like the idea of the 890mobo being able to use the next-gen AMD chips...any advice/thoughts on this?

Thanks...

--Hunter
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March 19, 2010 2:10:04 AM

For gaming, the difference is not likely to be huge, however it is a little better chip. Do you live by a Microcenter by any chance? A while back they had some great deals on i5s and i7s, though those deals may have expired (and they were only in store).
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March 20, 2010 3:05:22 AM

No, I live pretty much out in the country lol. Thanks though.

OK, so I've been waffling quite a bit about what type of chip to get, etc, but I think I've gone back to the Phenom x 955BE, and I'm going to spring for an 890 MOBO. I like the idea of having future upgrade capabilities with the x6, etc.

I appreciate everyone's help and replies, here is the build I am going to purchase sometime in the next two weeks. I think it's a solid build, but I wanted to get a few of the experts to make sure everything is compatible before I pull the trigger.

Thanks guys.

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128435

AMD Phenom II X4 955

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808

DIAMOND 5850PE51G Radeon HD 5850 1GB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103085

CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231276

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB

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

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112239

I also am getting a standard cheapo DVD RW.

Anyways, like I said, I think this is pretty solid, just wanted to get "final clearance" before I order.

--Hunter
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March 20, 2010 3:11:10 AM

That looks like a great build. For DVD drives, I normally get a $30 Samsung drive (never let me down) though obviously there are tons of options, all mediocre.
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March 21, 2010 2:09:34 AM

Hunter I would get a more powerful PSU like the earthwatts 650.

Your pretty much completely limited on that gpu, but if you get the earthwatt 650 you have CF capability.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 21, 2010 2:25:33 PM

Diamond does not stand behind their products..... bad choice, piss poor warranty. The power supply. You can't run 2 cards off of it..... not enough power and not enough connections. Too many people pan that HD for some reason. Wouldn't touch it. Samsung were the only ones to have a decent 500gb and you can't get it anymore. Good luck on your build.
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March 21, 2010 2:32:16 PM

swifty_morgan said:
Diamond does not stand behind their products..... bad choice, piss poor warranty. The power supply. You can't run 2 cards off of it..... not enough power and not enough connections. Too many people pan that HD for some reason. Wouldn't touch it. Samsung were the only ones to have a decent 500gb and you can't get it anymore. Good luck on your build.



the 7200.12 drives are the fastest out. Except for th spinpoint F3 which you can't get in the 500GB version any more.
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March 21, 2010 3:02:39 PM

WD Blacks are good as well. While the Samsung may be the fastest, the difference between all three isn't earth shattering.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 21, 2010 3:19:46 PM

SPEED, SPEED, SPEED........Screw speed. Nobody's going to tell the difference between 2ms and 3ms.... I'm talking quality and reliability.
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March 21, 2010 3:30:14 PM

Swifty the 7200.12 in several benchmarks finnished what they were required to do by 14 seconds (44 seconds) over the WD black which finnished in 58 seconds.

It's a pretty good performance increase in a lot of things. If I can find the benchmark I'll post it.
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May 8, 2011 12:55:22 AM

2085335,14,593868 said:
OK...

So Uncle Sam was a tad more generous than I thought he would be this year. As a result, I am now entertaining the idea of just going with an i5 setup...pretty much the same kind of build (same HDD, DVD, case, PSU, etc) just swapping out the MOBO and Proc.

Would this be a good idea? Or am I better off just getting the Phenom x4, and possibly OC'ing it in the future?

Thoughts? Is an I5 going to make a huge difference? It seems from some of the basic research I've done that an I5 is definitely a better chip, but is it so much better that for the extra 100 bucks I should go for it?

I also like the idea of the 890mobo being able to use the next-gen AMD chips...any advice/thoughts on this?

Thanks...

i would go with the i5 set up. the sandybridge chipset beats everything AMD has. even the base line i3 can match and sometime beat the 955. though the i3 is locked so oc might not be an option. here is what i think is a nice budget set-up:

CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

if this is over budget drop down to the i5-2400 or maybe even the i3-2100
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May 8, 2011 12:58:50 AM

oh, BTW the intel x8/x8 mobos support SLI, so you don't have to buy ATI if you want to X-fire down the line.
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!