About $1,200 gaming desktop

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 2 Weeks BUDGET RANGE:$1000-1200. Budget does not meet Crossfire requirements. Budget is less important then having crazy 2560x1600 performance (hopefully on AMD to save $ in general)


PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, Intel SSD, case (big arse Thermaltake Armor)


PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like an AMD rig possibly if it saves money and does not gimp gaming

OVERCLOCKING: Probably (I want a good cooler) SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Well I was recently enlightened to the whole AMD thing since it can save like $200 I can put to video card(s)

I am wanting to play games at 2560x1600 @ 60FPS. As of now I play BFBC2, Legue of Legands (which hardly requires a GPU but looks great), and I plan to play stuff like StarCraft and Diablo when they arrive.

I have been eye ballin ATI 5870 cards. Would 1 of them power those games to victory, would they supply any kind of eye candy (2560x1600 doesnt require much boost IMO for AA and AF but you're the pro). I would maybe rock 2 of them if the experience would be THAT much better.

I was also thinking if I went AMD it seems the CPU of gamers is the x4 965, which can overclock some?

If i went Intel I understand the rig would cost like $200 more at LEAST and perform almost the same in gaming?

Also people say AMD sockets like AM3 are used longer than Intel, who pwns you on a new socket every 10 days... but that huge CPU post says they may ditch AM3 in like 1 year?

Anyway thanks for listening, so far I have this as a build although the mobo is not a crossfire... do I need crossfire for my monitor?







Thank you all very much! I will pay attention to this post all day at work and when I get home to get back you guys as quickly as I can.
11 answers Last reply
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  1. Yes, AMD is more upgradable, but for your budget, Intel offers better performance. Also, for saying you want Crossfire, you didn't pick a board with two PCIe 2.0 slots, which is the bare minimum requirement for Corssfire.

    Here's a balanced Intel build:

    CPU: i5-750 and Asus P7P55D-E Pro $375
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
    GPU: HD 5870 $420
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
    PSU: Corsair 750W 80+ $100 after rebate
    Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $24
    HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35

    Total: $1,129. This doesn't have Crossfire, but it's not a good idea to have it right away. It's better as an upgrade option.

    Here's a really unbalanced AMD build:

    CPU/Mobo: X3 440 and Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $195 after rebate
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
    GPU: HD 5970 $700
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
    PSU: Corsair 750W 80+ $100 after rebate
    Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $24
    HSF: Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35

    Total: $1,229. This will never need to be Crossfired. Period.
  2. get a 5870 with a i7 930 or 920 and xfire it later.
  3. The i7s are out of budget. By a long shot. An i7-930 with a quality board will be about $500. The RAM adds another $175 to that. With those additional costs and the 5870, you've only got $100 for the PSU, HDD, optical and HSF. It's just not enough.
  4. I don't think an i7 is needed for this. Can't an i5 750 or an X4 965 game the same?
    Also, if I were to go Crossfire at some point, would that make a X4 965 choke or no?

    I was toying with the i5 idea too because they are overclock champs and don't cost as much as an i7 due to socket and RAM.
  5. The CPU is basically unimportant to gaming. So save that extra cost needed for the i5 (or even X4 955, which is the same as the 965) and pump it into the CPU.

    The CPU will not bottleneck the GPU, even in Crossfire.

    Frankly, I would go with the first build (the i5). Balance is important, and the 5970 is just plain overkill.
  6. Here is what I am leaning towards... still need a CPU cooler, willing to spend up to $60 or so to get a nice Zalman or something for overclocking...

    Remember I will be using an Intel 80gb SSD. I will either gank it from my laptop or get another, who knows.

    CPU: i5-750 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115215

    Mobo: It looks like it has Crossfire support and 2 x16 speed slots?

    RAM: G.skill Ripjaws (edit 7 CAS) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=3463938&SID=

    PSU: Corsair 750 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

    GPU: 5870 Vapor-X style http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102872

    Heatsink: (thanks MadAdmiral) CoolerMaster Hyper 212 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    Total here is about $1,090.
    Need heatsink and to confirm this will crossfire if need be. The PSU seems to be able to handle crossfire 5870 according to reviews.

    And FYI I will run Windows 7 x64 Ult that I have

    EDIT: upgraded mobo to this pro edition for USB 3 and SATA 3 or 6 or whatever, and it says Crossfire in the title =)
  7. This is one of the best HSF out there:Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35.

    RAM: I would get the CL 7 Ripjaws (the ones I linked to) for only $10 more. They'll be better once you start OCing.

    GPU: I don't buy into the speciality versions of the current cards. I would keep you money and OC it yourself.
  8. Thanks, I have updated my above spec with these. It is now including the HSF and CAS 7 ram.

    I was wondering... the mobo does RAID 0. Is it unstable or a bad idea to try to RAID 0 two Intel 40gb SSD? These ones only $98 each.

  9. To be honest, I'm not a fan of RAID 0. You do get a speed boost, which you don't really need with a SSD. However, in exchange, you get a doubled failure rate. That includes the odds that you lose everything due to a minor error. I just don't think the trade off is that great...
  10. Yea fair enough, I've had RAID 0 blow up on me with normal 7200 disks before... I won't do that again then.

    So you think the rig will play games on pretty high settings at 60 FPS on 2560x1600 res with that 1 GPU? That is kinda the main concern at this time.

    I used to play games using SLI 8800GT cards and it worked well for most games... I just don't want to hit like 30-40FPS or have to turn settings down much.
  11. It won't max the FPS out, but it doesn't need to. Anything above 30 FPS is playable. Everything above that is just a pissing contest. Every game will be playable at 2560x with high details.
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