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Cheapo Gaming Build

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June 11, 2010 4:26:19 PM

Ok, trying to find a a way to build a cheapo gaming ring that will handle all modern games, not necessarily at max settings.

Only in consideration are CPU + Mobo + Ram + Video Card.

CPU: MD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz $75

Mobo:MSI 760GM-E51 AM3 AMD 760G $70

Ram:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $106

GPU: XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $145

total comes to about $400


you think this would make a powerful little machine?

More about : cheapo gaming build

June 11, 2010 4:55:12 PM

Yeah that looks like it would last you awhile but you should probably buy something around a 5750 or add 20 bucks and buy a 5770. You lose some power but gain dx11 support.
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June 11, 2010 5:05:02 PM

Yea that system should make a fine budget gaming rig.
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June 11, 2010 5:20:30 PM

carrkid said:
Yeah that looks like it would last you awhile but you should probably buy something around a 5750 or add 20 bucks and buy a 5770. You lose some power but gain dx11 support.

I'm not sure whether a 5770 would really be good enough to play many games with DX11. DX11 seems to cut the frame rates in half compared to DX10. Plus, DX11 games won't get too abundant for awhile, so I would just stick with the 4870.
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June 11, 2010 5:30:49 PM

This is of course assuming that your PSU is competent. If you picked up a cheap case+PSU combo somewhere, you probably got a garbage PSU unless it's one of the common Antec case+PSU deals. Your other parts look decent, so hopefully you have a good PSU for them.
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June 11, 2010 5:39:43 PM

thanks guys.
Now how would the above build compare against this old build, will it be a HUGE leap? or barely better?

CPU: C2D 4400 (2ghz)

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965

Ram: 3GB DDR2

GPU: nvidia 8800 GTS 320mb
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June 11, 2010 5:47:38 PM

ladic said:
thanks guys.
Now how would the above build compare against this old build, will it be a HUGE leap? or barely better?

CPU: C2D 4400 (2ghz)

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 LGA 775 Intel P965

Ram: 3GB DDR2

GPU: nvidia 8800 GTS 320mb

It will be a significant change. The Radeon HD 4870 is on par with the GTX 260 (Which means it kicks the crap out of the 8800 GTX, never mind the GTS) and the CPU is MUCH faster (even though clock-for-clock, AMD is a bit slower) especially with the third core. The difference will be immediately noticeable because a 2GHz CPU is definitely not going to cut it. You'll love what the new machine can do. :sol: 
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June 11, 2010 6:53:01 PM

*sigh* I see so many people upgrading from Core 2 machines. I can't believe that people upgrade that fast(I upgrade every 4-5 years! :p  ).
I like my way better because when I switched to an I7 from a P4 plus the video card and newer hard drive, it really made the computer feel like it had awesome speed.

Your new computer should give you a significant boost, the new card should be at least 2X more powerful/faster. Since you're getting a Tri-core CPU that will also help with the extra core being used as well.
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June 11, 2010 8:12:21 PM

Well I'll tell ya, I upgraded to my Phenom II X4 from a Core2Duo 1.86GHz. I was working at tigerdirect at the time and I got fantastic prices on things of course. I took one look at the i7 and said "Waste of money". It's less expensive to upgrade a bit at a time, just waiting for things to get cheaper. I upgrade every 3 years or so. I might hold onto this system a bit longer because of the 8GB of RAM. :sol: 
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June 11, 2010 11:32:13 PM

Hm.

If I was you... i'd look into finding a used Q6600 (which smashes any Athlon II btw) for around $100-150, then a new 5850. That would be the best bang for buck. Or even a faster new C2D.

Or, if you know which revision your mobo is, it may have 'unofficial' 45nm quad (Q9xxx) bios support (on revision 3.x I believe).

Is there a reason you need a new mobo besides for a new CPU? Changing to a platform with the same CPU performance when that is the only performance gain you need seems silly IMO.
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June 11, 2010 11:58:03 PM

There's some merit to that line of reasoning, up to the point of buying a new C2D. At some point I think it becomes worth the premium to get a mobo with newer features like USB 3.0, SATA/6Gb/sec, even eSATA. Those can be added with a PCI card, but that's more money into an aging platform instead of put toward something new. Just be aware that after spending $150 on that "new" (used) CPU, you've hit the end of the road. On the other hand, if/when the Athlon II X3 pulls up lame, there will be a more powerful CPU available to replace it. Also, it seems to me that buying a used CPU is a risky proposition. If you can trust the source, it can be a much cheaper way to go, at least for now, but buying new seems a lot safer.
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June 12, 2010 12:44:29 AM

you dont need to spend money on DDR3, use DDR2 on a AM2+ compatible mobo instead
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June 12, 2010 1:09:18 AM

That's another of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't," or "pay now, or pay later" choices. As prices adjust however, DDR3 is going to keep getting cheaper relative to DDR2 (even if both go up). His 3GB is enough today, but I'd sooner bet that in a year or two, he'll want more. At that time, DDR3 will undoubtedly be the better choice. It costs more up front to switch, but in the long run that's what I would do if I could afford it. That's just my opinion though; like sometimes it's worth paying the interest on a credit card, and sometimes it isn't.
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June 12, 2010 1:42:44 AM

yeah core 2 upgrade is a good upgrade and yes as stated above Q6600 will crush that x3 when overclocked no ram upgrade no MOBO upgrade

PSU CPU AND VGA FTW
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June 12, 2010 2:41:45 AM

I've been studying enough benchmarks lately to be confident that a Q6600 will not "crush" an Athlon II X3 even if it is superior in many things; even a low-end CPU these days is powerful enough to offer a pretty decent gaming experience.
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June 12, 2010 2:42:21 AM

Ok, here's what I recommend:

Athlon II X3 2.9GHz - $70 (Don't ever pay $5 for 100MHz)
ASRock M3A770DE - $60 (2 PCI-Express v2.0 slots for crossfire)
2xHIS Radeon HD 4850 - $87 each after rebate = $174
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
GeIL DDR3-1333 (2x2GB) - $94
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your original total - $396
My total - $398

For $4 more, you crush everything weaker than a Radeon HD 5850.
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June 12, 2010 3:13:36 AM

That board is not suitable for Crossfire, because the slots are x16,x4. For Crossfire, you'd want a minimum of x8,x8. However, since the OP has said "not necessarily at max settings," I think it is entirely reasonable to forgo Crossfire in this build. I think a single HD4870 or HD5770 will be suitable; not too expensive and a decent improvement.
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June 12, 2010 3:15:52 AM

yeah put the Q6600 even to just 3GHZ and it will put space between itself and the 3GHZ AMD tricore @ 3.6 the Q6600 will absolutely beat it by a sizable amount even when overclocked to the same levels unfortunately impossible with his current MOBO

but I will agree VGA is whats going to make the difference. Id just upgrade the cpu and vga but i'm cheap.
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June 12, 2010 4:04:06 AM

jtt283 has no idea wtf he's talking about. The board IS suitable for crossfire but it will be a bit hampered by the x16 and x4. However, the 2 HD 4850's on this board will be more powerful than the single HD 4870, I don't care what jtt283 says. Tweaktown had a little something to say about it:
"Last on our hit list are the expansion slots. ASRock has managed to get around the lack of Crossfire support that the AMD 770 chipset lacks by using the same tactics that Intel P35 chipsets used to get Crossfire working, a 16/4 configuration. There are two PCIe x16 slots on the board, green and orange. The green one is connected to the AMD 770 Northbridge and has a constant 16 lanes running to it, whilst the orange slot is a x4 electrically connected slot to 4 of the 6 lanes the SB710 supports. This gives the board Crossfire support, but lacks the full speed that even an 8/8 setup would give." - Source: http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/2952/asrock_m3a770de_m...
Now quite honestly, I don't care if the crossfire is a bit slower than standard because this board is $10 cheaper than the MSI and the AMD 770 chipset is superior to the 760G that you chose. It has two crossfire slots and the simple fact is that 2xHD 4850 > 1xHD 4870 even using this design. Remember, the HD 4850 and HD 4870 both have the RV770 GPU, the HD 4850 is weaker but not by more than 20%. Therefore, at worst, 2 would be about 160% the power of a 4870 while at best, 180%. I'll use worst-case scenario to take into account the scaling loss and the x16/x4 hinderance. Hell, I'll even again cut the now 60% power advantage in half. Therefore, all I've done here is increase your gaming power by at least 30% for all of $4. I think it's a pretty good setup regardless of what the uninformed might say. I've been building PC's since I was 12 years old and I'm now 34. They can argue but they won't win. I make sure I check everything before I make a statement unlike some people. :sol: 
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June 12, 2010 4:37:05 AM

Although it isn't worth my time to dig up the links to various articles I have read on the topic of Crossfire using a x4 slot, this arrangement should be intuitively inferior; and it is a hot-running, power-wasting kluge. That x4 slot would be great for a RAID card, but not high-end video.
Recent articles here on Tom's have illustrated that the Athlon II X3 440 (a faster CPU than that being discussed) is fine in single-GPU setups, but really can't drive two high-end cards in Crossfire; that's where you'd want a Phenom II X4 or a Core-i5.
I'd choose 770 over 760, but not because of Crossfire. I am satisfied that the advice I have provided will allow the OP to select appropriate components, if only by knowing the right questions to ponder.
I don't believe we've been asked to spoon-feed, and that's not the kind of thing I attempt to do anyway. In doing his research, I think the OP will readily be able to determine the merits of our various sentiments. In any case, I've long since learned there is no point in arguing over builds, it makes one look like a drone.
If we are fortunate, someone like Batuchka, Proximon, Tecmo_34, or shortstuff_mt will weigh in here; Batuchka has posted a couple of very good builds lately. Here's a hint: none of them feature x16,x4 Crossfire.
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June 12, 2010 8:04:16 AM

I'd go with his original build rather then the 770 16x-4x.
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June 12, 2010 12:57:48 PM

Nice! Hey, long time no see. I hope you've been well.
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!