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Gaming/3D Work PC , ~$900-1000

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Last response: in Systems
March 21, 2010 3:58:56 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: between now and ~mid-April BUDGET RANGE: $1000 at most, probably within the 900-1000 range. If I can drop under 900, based on my needs, that would be nice. (After Rebates)

gaming, photoshop, 3D modeling, internet, occasional video editing (I multitask a lot)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS


PARTS PREFERENCES: Would prefer an i7. I've gone with nvidia cards in the past, but if ATI is better at this tier, I'm fine with that. Other than that, I haven't kept up with hardware well enough these days to know what is "better" for my budget.


1920x1200. I have a Dell 2408wfp.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: It's been a long time since I've "newegged" a computer, and due to traveling and my job, I just haven't kept up with hardware as much as I'd like to. That said, I'm still rockin' an AMD 3500 with a 7800 superclocked video card. Surprisingly, it's held up well, but considering I do 3D work for a living and am very involved in gaming, I'm long, long overdue for an upgrade.

I will never SLI and I don't need to bother with overclocking. I just need something solid, probably around the $900 range if possible. To be honest, I was considering buying a Dell XPS 9000, but for the price, and the speed of the memory/HD they provide, etc., it just seems overpriced even with the employee coupons I have (granted, I get give tech support, if that counts). The only reason I was considering something pre-built is time required to put together components on newegg, and then the time to build the machine. I thought maybe the price would match, but I'm not so sure..

here's what I'd like to have:
*I assume with what I'm doing, I'd want at least 6gb RAM. Would I be better off with 6gb higher clock speed, or 8gb slower clock speed?
*i7 processor
*video card with two DVI ports AND with HDMI

For components I'd like to have?
COOLER MASTER RC-690 seems nice, which my friend has. I'm not terribly picky though on cases; something with good airflow and design. My friend has this CM case, so I've seen it in person.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
this WD seemed to me like it'd be a good answer to [maybe] prevent any bottlenecking I may have. Since I multitask and deal with reading/writing files all the time with my work, I figured a drive like this would be more than enough.

I really appreciate any help I'm given. I know pretty much anything I get will crush what I'm currently using.

More about : gaming work 900 1000

Best solution

March 21, 2010 4:13:04 AM

For 1920x1200 your going to want a 5850. I-7 is definitely out of the budget. You could get a I-5 + a ATI 5770 but it wouldn't perform nearly as good as a AMD 955 + ATI 5850.

Now we have some options. Here's #1

And then we option #2.

The advantage over #1 over #2.

1. 8x8 crossfire (though you said you didn't want to)
2. Higher wattage PSU (over kill for 5850 though)

The advantage over #2 over #1.

1. A much better video card, if your gaming your going to want this.

IMO if all I cared about was gaming I would choose #2. Pure Raw powa baby =)

*EDIT* However, we can shave about $30 off if you went with this combo instead of your case.
March 21, 2010 4:20:36 AM

Oh didn't see you would like it preferably around $900.

This would be good for $900

Related resources
March 21, 2010 4:23:39 AM

Wow, thanks for the quick reply. I'm going to look this over some more, but as a quick follow-up question: Would I be that much better off trying to go for an i7-920 in terms of performance? I take it that'd boost the price at least $200. I only ask because a lot of my work is raw processing power. Unfortunately I don't know much about the AMD's.
March 21, 2010 4:28:23 AM

Well you mentioned gaming as the most important. At $1k AMD is the way to go.

I-7 is definitely out. If any thing go with an I-5. However, if you go with either you limit your video card greatly. With a resolution like 1900x1200 you won't be able to play games on the highest settings with the intel setup.
March 21, 2010 4:38:20 AM

Hmm, I gotcha. Gaming is probably the most important, yes. I think whatever I end up getting will be able to support my work, even if it's the AMD. Considering my current computer kinda sorta handles it...

I'm just curious -- how would the i7 920, 6gb 1066MHz ram, and ATI Radeon HD 5450 1GB5 DDR3 compare? Seems like with that, I'd have a better processor, but a video card that wouldn't perform nearly as well. I only ask b/c if I bought a pre-built rig, it'd be with those 3 components above at roughly ~$1000
March 21, 2010 4:44:09 AM

5450 can't play video games at all. I don't know if you ever heard of crysis, but if you tried to load it up with that video card it would probably melt. Or get like 3 fps (if your lucky :p )

So in other words, no. If you really want to cut back on gaming go with atleast a 4850. Not nearly as good as 5850 or even a 5770 but can still play most newer games on medium settings with a lower resolution.

*EDIT* Prebuilt rig? Nooooo!!! =(
March 21, 2010 4:51:44 AM

Haha, no, I won't get a prebuilt! *Especially* after the amount of input you've given me! :)  I was simply using it as a comparison.

Seems like I'd want a 5850 at this point. Are the nvidia cards in this range more expensive, or do they not perform as well? or neither? Just wondering.

If i *did* go with an i7 and roughly the same other components you suggested, how much would it add to the price? Thanks again for all the help!
March 21, 2010 5:37:58 AM

Yeah, looks like if I got a 920/930 it'd push it closer to $1500 or so. I really appreciate the help, thanks!
March 21, 2010 6:05:08 AM

Best answer selected by tusker.
March 21, 2010 9:36:59 AM

say can you post what you are getting can't read the newegg. thx
March 21, 2010 6:17:04 PM

·ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

·COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
$69.99 after $10 mail-in rebate

·Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

·XFX HD-587X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5870 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

·Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply - Retail

·G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail

·# GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
# AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX - Retail
$237.98 together after $17.00 combo savings

·total: $1001.92

there's also the option of getting this video card and saving around $100, as whitefang noted:
DIAMOND 5850PE51G Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

in which case the new total would be $896.92 with the 5850 video card instead of the 5870.

*edit* I'll probably get this RAM instead, slower latency but faster timings:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail
March 21, 2010 6:32:42 PM

If You Wana Save $$ 4GB Is More Than Enough For MOST Tasks, 6GB+ Wont Make It Perform Any Better. Id Go With The Lowest Latency 4GB Dual-Channel Kit You Can Find

In Fact A Friend Of Mine Has Nearly Identical Specs (But With 8GB Of RAM) My Machine Is Still Faster In Most Tasks And Just As Responsive
March 21, 2010 7:27:13 PM

Gotcha -- Thanks for all the great help! I was wondering about the RAM speeds anyway, hehe.