Wow computer build or buy?

I would like to buy or possible build a computer, which i have never done before. I have replaced parts and I am pretty sure I can do it, but I am lost when looking at what to get. I would like to spend less than $800. I have a 22" monitor, keyboard and mouse already. I want to be able to play WOW on high settings (except for the shadow quality, which can be turned way down). Right now I have a laptop with Intel Core2Duo T7250, 4gb ram, Nvidia 8600M GT and Vista 32bit OS. I run the game at lowest possible settings and still have problems with lagging and sometimes freezing up completely in 25man raids. I turn off all unnecessary add-ons as well as programs running in the background. It used to do fine until I got the external monitor - now I almost hate to play it is so bad (but I can't bring myself to go back to the 15" laptop screen).

I have looked at and but again, I am not sure what the most important things to consider are when trying to keep the price down. I have also considered a computer from Best Buy Outlet, also available on It is $799 at Best Buy (plus tax and shipping) and $719 at (no tax plus shipping) but if I have problems right away with the computer (from reviews i have read it has a history of problems for some people) I would have to send it back instead of taking it into the store. Plus the Best Buy has Windows 7 and has Vista.


Other than WOW, I use the computer for work, which consists of using the internet, e-mail and Microsoft Office. I know the i7 is way more than I would need for playing WOW, but can I build one close to that price? I tried putting one together with the i5 and I am up to $903 and I am probable leaving things off. Any suggestions?
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  1. I am sorry I did not post the above appropriately. I came to the forum through a search and didn't see the main page until after I posted.


    BUDGET RANGE: around $800

    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: World of Warcraft, internet, Microsoft Office, watching movies

    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: mouse, keyboard, monitor

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: or are the 2 i have used in the past



    OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe - I don't really know


    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: would like Windows 7, doesnt need to especially quite but i don't want it to be so loud it bugs me
  2. There's really no way to get an i7 with quality parts on that budget. The good news is that you don't need an i7 for your would be incredible amounts of overkill. The i7 processors are really only going to be fully utilized by people that are doing heavy Photoshop/audio/video editing or severe number-crunching.

    Your best bet is to go with an AMD processor and get the best graphics card you can afford. Since WoW doesn't recognize CrossFire, you definitely don't want to go with an SLI/CrossFire solution to start with, though you can certainly leave it as an option down the road.

    I'm afraid I don't have the time to come up with a build at the moment, but I'll try to get back to this in a couple of hours and post one for you at that point (with links).

    Basic specs:
    AMD Athlon II X3 or X4 (moving up to Phenom if budget allows)
    USB 3/SATA 6 GB/s capable mobo
    ATI 5770 or 5850 (preferably 5850 if budget allows, but either will crush WoW right now, including Dalaran)
    4 GB RAM
    500 GB hard drive (Samsung Spinpoint F3 or Seagate 7200.12) or greater
    80+ certified PSU, probably around 500 W
    cheapest SATA DVD R/W drive - $25
    Windows 7 - $100

    All of that should come in between $700-$900, the graphics card is going to account for the largest portion of the budget in all likelihood. You can get a lesser graphics card, RAM, & hard drive to bring the price down a little. Definitely don't skimp on the PSU.
  3. The above build is $100 over budget. You could get it in your budget by using a different CPU, case, and PSU.

    AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor - Retail $84.99 (Antec 300 + Antec EarthWatts EA-500D PSU combo) $104.94

    Edit: I wouldn't get CAS 9 DDR3 1333 RAM, either. Here's a couple nice CAS 7 kits:
  4. Oops, you can also scrap the aftermarket cooler for now for a better case.
  5. I have a similar build to that. my lowest FPS so far in wow has been ~40 w/o AA. Everything on max. With AA i chug around 25 fps in SW, ~35 out questing. I'm not 80, so i havent done anything bigger than 5 mans. I do get like 90 to 110 fps in northrend instances with dungeon finder. i play at 1360x768 though.
  6. dlc112 said:
    How does this look? It comes out to $778.87 have I missed anything?

    I only have 2 concerns about that build.

    The motherboard is not going to be good for CrossFire, which isn't a big deal if you're ok just buying a new better card when your graphics capability starts to slip. I think a lot of people overestimate whether or not they're actually going to use that capability in a year or two. So as long as you're aware of that, it's not a big deal.

    If you could get the 5770 instead of the 5750, I think you'd be a little happier in the long run.

    This Phenom II 965 BE + 5770 is about $50 more, but is probably worth the upgrade.

    Alternatively, this Gigabyte 1 GB 5770 is the same price as the non-discounted 5750, and you could either get the 955 BE at non-discount price, basically just losing the -$20 combo deal...or you could get an Athlon II X4 630 for $99 and have basically the same gaming performance.

    If my napkin math is right, you can get the 5770, the Athlon II X4 630 and the Gigabyte mobo for the same price as your original list, minus the $20 off for the combo, which should bring your total to just under $800 (not sure about shipping/taxes).
  7. Scrap up the phenom 4 core cpu and instead get a Phenom II x2 555 black edition with some new 890fx mobo when they hit the market at april 26th. About every motherboard manufacturer will implement a little software to let you unlock the 2 extra locked core on the Phenom II x2 555 and have a true Phenom II 4 core cpu for 100$. This way you can step up to better gpu like a hd5850 or a gtx470 (retail one are better than the review one). As for the rest of the stuff it all depend on your taste and what you exactly need.
  8. I apologize for my lack of understanding, but are you saying I can buy a cheaper, dual core processor and with the new motherboards that come out on 4/26 I'd be able to make it a quad core? So would the Phenom II x2 555 black edition be equivalent to the Phenom II x 4 955 black edition? Any idea how much more expensive these new motherboards will be?
  9. dlc112 said:
    I apologize for my lack of understanding, but are you saying I can buy a cheaper, dual core processor and with the new motherboards that come out on 4/26 I'd be able to make it a quad core? So would the Phenom II x2 555 black edition be equivalent to the Phenom II x 4 955 black edition? Any idea how much more expensive these new motherboards will be?

    In theory, all Phenom II chips are quad-core (or more generally, most/all of AMD's chips...unsure how Intel goes about this). The reason that some of them are sold as dual- or triple-core is that when that batch was run off, samples were tested, and not enough of them passed the tests, so the entire batch was downgraded to X2 or X3.

    Now, some of the chips in that batch are going to be fully-functional X4s, if you unlock them in the BIOS. Others are going to be "bad" chips that aren't able to run all 4 cores in a stable state. If you get luck with which individual chip you got out of the batch, it's possible that you can unlock additional cores. But it's all luck of the draw.

    If you want/need 4 cores, buy an X4. If you are willing to play around with your processor and take a gamble, sure, go ahead and get an X2 or an X3 and hope that you get lucky.

    However, anyone telling you that you are guaranteed to be able to unlock all the cores just based on the general model of chip/mobo you buy and end up with a fully-functional X4 doesn't know what they're talking about.
  10. the 890fx motherboard will be around the same price of a new 790fx mobo now. As for the Phenom II x2 555, it is a bit of luck but expecially for wow, you dont need a very fast cpu, just a decent gpu so even if you dont get a 555 that is actually a 4core cpu with 2 locked core, you still get a very good cpu that can overclock very well and will save you the amount of money needed to buy a better graphic card.
  11. $647 AR free ship ^^
  12. A few questions. Two or three of you have recommended an AMD Athlon II x 3. Just about everything I have read about WOW is that it is more important to have a better CPU and enough RAM than a great graphics card. Is the AMD Athlon II x 3 going to be enough to make it worth building a new computer? How much better is it than the Intel Core2Duo T7250 I have now? I think I read in Blizzard forums that WOW can only make use of 3 cores - so would the 4th just be a waste of money? WOW is the only game I play, and I don't see myself getting into any others. Also, the above build doesn't use many of the brands I see recommended for each of the components in the parts buying guide. Does it make a huge difference?
  13. By the way, thanks everyone for the help and input - I need it!
  14. the x3 will be more than sufficient for WoW. it's an older game, and additionally it's a blizzard product and therefore very well optimized. the most important component for your system will be your video card. on a 22" monitor you'll be running a 1600x res, which either a 5770 or 5850 will completely annihilate. you'll want to invest the bulk of your budget into graphics.

    the x3 chips are fantastic values, and later on if you decide to play games that can take full advantage of 4 cores, you can either possibly unlock the last core on your x3, or use the am3 socket to upgrade.
  15. Looking at all of your recommendations and based on my budget - this is the best I came up with for the money. Total Price: $785.88 I know I could have gone with the x2 or x3 chips and saved some money but I decided to go with the Phenom x4 because it stayed in the budget.

    Does it look good? Is there anything else I will need? If it looks good to you guys, I am ready to hit the "submit order" button!!

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

    GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

    ASUS CuCore Series EAH5770 CuCore/2DI/1GD5 Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

    Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
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