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$1000ish Gaming Desktop

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Last response: in Systems
April 21, 2010 2:34:32 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next 2 weeks
BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 800-1200) After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: building for directx11 game (hopefully) coming out this year - currently in alpha. But also replacing my dell PC which is having a hardware problem I can't diagnose so will be used for general surfing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, DVD/cd drive)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: tigerdirect.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: No real preference. I've done some research here and read reviews to come up with a decent gaming build.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: reusing monitor with 1440x900, but don't hurt ability to upgrade.

Here is what I've come up with.

OS
M17-7306 ::Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64BIT Operating System Software - OEM DVD(2.1 lbs) $150
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

PSU:
O261-2017 ::o CZ ModXStream Pro Power Supply - 600-Watt, Modular, Dual +12V Rails, SATA, 80Plus(5.9 lbs) $49.99 (100 - 30 off, 20 rebate)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

CASE
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW Black/Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
A406-1117 ::XION Vantage Mid-Tower Case AXP100-001BK - ATX, mATX(16.1 lbs) $50
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

BOOT DRIVE
P33-7074 ::p atriot PS-100 Solid State Drive - 32GB, 2.5", SATA I, SATA II, 64MB Cache, RAID 0, 1, 0+1(0.35 lbs) $85 (115 - 15 off, 15 rebate)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Data Drive
H450-9002 ::Hitachi OS00163 Deskstar IDK/7K Internal Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200RPM, 32MB, SATA-3G(2 lbs) 79.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

RAM
C13-8224 ::Corsair XMS3 Tri Channel 6GB PC10666 DDR3 Memory - 1333MHz, 6144MB (3 x 2048), CL7(0.1 lbs) 204.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Grahics card, motherboard, processor bundle
B69-4222 ::MSI 790GX-G65 Motherboard & AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Quad Core Processor & XFX Radeon HD 5750 XXX Edition Video Card Bundle(6.3 lbs) 449.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

The (alpha) min specs for the game (Final Fantasy XIV) are as follows: 2GB ram, 10GB install, 10GB my docs, Radeon HD 2900 or higher VRAM 512 MB (Will most likely get tuned down to 256) so I'm well over where I need to be. What about some of the other often quoted games? I'm also likey to use the machine for some small visual studio builds, but I'm fine with my XP 2gb ram dual core, so I'm not worried about that.

The current build comes to about $1100 shipped. I'm thinking I could probably cut down to 4GB of memory. Maybe even a 500GB hard drive (I don't really use that much storage). Since I'm using a fairly low resolution, the Toms hardware reviews look like I could even be OK with Crysis, at the very worst cross firing another 5750 which isn't too bad for a second card.

My only other question that I can't find an answer to: I know the install for games is pretty large. And 30GB for my SSD boot drive isn't huge. All program files and documents can be installed to the data drive, right?

Thanks so much in advance for your advice. I've enjoyed reading through all of these hardware reviews.




More about : 1000ish gaming desktop

April 21, 2010 2:51:16 AM

I can probably cut some out by getting a student discount on Windows 7 through my University.
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April 21, 2010 2:56:06 AM

didyapageme said:
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next 2 weeks
BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 800-1200) After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: building for directx11 game (hopefully) coming out this year - currently in alpha. But also replacing my dell PC which is having a hardware problem I can't diagnose so will be used for general surfing.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, DVD/cd drive)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: tigerdirect.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: No real preference. I've done some research here and read reviews to come up with a decent gaming build.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: reusing monitor with 1440x900, but don't hurt ability to upgrade.

Here is what I've come up with.

OS
M17-7306 ::Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64BIT Operating System Software - OEM DVD(2.1 lbs) $150
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

PSU:
O261-2017 ::o CZ ModXStream Pro Power Supply - 600-Watt, Modular, Dual +12V Rails, SATA, 80Plus(5.9 lbs) $49.99 (100 - 30 off, 20 rebate)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

CASE
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-WW Black/Silver Aluminum Bezel, SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
OR
A406-1117 ::XION Vantage Mid-Tower Case AXP100-001BK - ATX, mATX(16.1 lbs) $50
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

BOOT DRIVE
P33-7074 ::p atriot PS-100 Solid State Drive - 32GB, 2.5", SATA I, SATA II, 64MB Cache, RAID 0, 1, 0+1(0.35 lbs) $85 (115 - 15 off, 15 rebate)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Data Drive
H450-9002 ::Hitachi OS00163 Deskstar IDK/7K Internal Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200RPM, 32MB, SATA-3G(2 lbs) 79.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

RAM
C13-8224 ::Corsair XMS3 Tri Channel 6GB PC10666 DDR3 Memory - 1333MHz, 6144MB (3 x 2048), CL7(0.1 lbs) 204.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Grahics card, motherboard, processor bundle
B69-4222 ::MSI 790GX-G65 Motherboard & AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Quad Core Processor & XFX Radeon HD 5750 XXX Edition Video Card Bundle(6.3 lbs) 449.99
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

The (alpha) min specs for the game (Final Fantasy XIV) are as follows: 2GB ram, 10GB install, 10GB my docs, Radeon HD 2900 or higher VRAM 512 MB (Will most likely get tuned down to 256) so I'm well over where I need to be. What about some of the other often quoted games? I'm also likey to use the machine for some small visual studio builds, but I'm fine with my XP 2gb ram dual core, so I'm not worried about that.

The current build comes to about $1100 shipped. I'm thinking I could probably cut down to 4GB of memory. Maybe even a 500GB hard drive (I don't really use that much storage). Since I'm using a fairly low resolution, the Toms hardware reviews look like I could even be OK with Crysis, at the very worst cross firing another 5750 which isn't too bad for a second card.

My only other question that I can't find an answer to: I know the install for games is pretty large. And 30GB for my SSD boot drive isn't huge. All program files and documents can be installed to the data drive, right?

Thanks so much in advance for your advice. I've enjoyed reading through all of these hardware reviews.


Im going to go ahead and say there are alot of minor mistakes here.

1st of all, AMD CPUs cant utilize triple channel memory, so that is pure excess with no performance increase.

The 965 is the same as the 955 but costs 20 bucks more for a 17 multiplier instead of a 16 multiplier. Meaning you can get the 955, turn the multiplier up 1, and have the equivalent of a 965.

Your graphics card is underpowered by comparison to the rest of your build, and I can guarantee you'll replace it within a year.

Hitachi Deskstar Hard Drives aren't the best, if you're dead set on 1 TB look at a Western Digital(reliability > performance) or a Seagate (performance > reliability <debatable>)

I personally would go with a OCZ or an Intel SSD, you can get the 40 GB X25-V for 125 bucks usually. From everything that I gather, Intel develops next gen SSDs and the other companies produce the Intel previous generation SSDs under thier flag. No source on that, fuzzy memory.

As for the case, reviews that say things like:
"Depending on motherboard, one 260 gtx size card will likely block off 2 hard drive slots and 2 260 gtx's will block them all off. I had to drop down to 1 hdd when i went sli and mount it in the external floppy slot."

Make me worry that there wont be room for a good DX11 Gfx card, look into a Cooler Master HAF 922(mid) or 932(full) or an Antec 900 Two(mid), or an Antec 1200(full)


I'll go head and put together a build in your price range. Also if you do end up getting an AMD processor, make sure its a C3 stepping, part number ends with MBOX. Thats the newest chip that runs cooler and more efficient.
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Best solution

April 21, 2010 3:07:32 AM

didyapageme said:
I can probably cut some out by getting a student discount on Windows 7 through my University.


Total cost: $1,147.96

quantity of item 1

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152185
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options22-152-185|hide options22-152-185)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info22-152-185.0.120)

1 year: $10.99
2 year: $18.99
$89.99
select item 2 quantity of item 2

GIGABYTE GA-790FXTA-UD5 AM3 AMD 790FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128415
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options13-128-415|hide options13-128-415)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info13-128-415.0.120)

1 year: $19.99
2 year: $36.99
-$5.00 Instant
$184.99
$179.99
select item 3 quantity of item 3

HIS H585FN1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ...
Item #: N82E16814161330
Return Policy: VGA Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options14-161-330|hide options14-161-330)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info14-161-330.0.120)

1 year: $29.99
2 year: $59.99
-$10.00 Instant
$309.99
$299.99
select item 4 quantity of item 4

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ...
Item #: N82E16817341018
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options17-341-018S11504|hide options17-341-018S11504)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info17-341-018.0.120)

1 year: $10.99
2 year: $18.99
-$40.00 Instant

$25.00 Mail-in Rebate Card17-341-018 $129.99
$89.99

1 OCZ Diesel 4GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive Model OCZUSBDSL4G
Item #: N82E16820227331
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy -$15.99 Saving
$15.99
$0.00
select item 6 quantity of item 6

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231277
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy $109.99
select item 7 quantity of item 7

Intel X25-V SSDSA2MP040G2R5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820167025
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options20-167-025|hide options20-167-025)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info20-167-025.0.120)

1 year: $17.99
2 year: $26.99
-$10.00 Instant
$124.99
$114.99
select item 8 quantity of item 8

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103808
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options19-103-80810|hide options19-103-80810)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info19-103-8081.0.120)

1 year: $19.99
2 year: $36.99
Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129058
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy -$30.00 Instant
-$15.00 Combo
$298.99
$253.

Thats all on newegg.com. I think I used Tigerdirect.com once, they weren't bad, just feels like newegg.com has their stuff together better imo. Personal preference/fan boi'ism.

I think this is a good starting point for you, feel free to tweak what you wish, but this build flows a bit better. Has slightly higher quality parts too. You can lower the cost by finding comparable parts made by other manufacturers. But I believe this has the best cost/reliability/performance quotent.
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April 21, 2010 3:08:07 AM

Thanks so much, great feedback. Look forward to your build and I'll work on dropping the bundle from Tigerdirect and replacing those 3 pieces.

The MOBO says it uses DDR3 RAM, can you put DDR2 in a DDR3?
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April 21, 2010 3:13:07 AM

didyapageme said:
Thanks so much, great feedback. Look forward to your build and I'll work on dropping the bundle from Tigerdirect and replacing those 3 pieces.

The MOBO says it uses DDR3 RAM, can you put DDR2 in a DDR3?


Where is the DDR2 coming from? All builds linked have DD3 RAM I believe, unless I missed something.
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April 21, 2010 3:16:26 AM

Sorry, I was confusing DDR3 with triple channel memory. Since you also had DDR3 (I was thinking triple-channel) and an AMD chip, I was lost :pt1cable: 

Thanks so much, I'll have to read up a bit more on RAM, but will probably go with your recs.
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April 21, 2010 3:23:49 AM

Also on a side note, SSD drive is just a pure luxury. I own one, and I could live without it. So if you're faced with dropping quality of parts, or downgrading to like a lower CPU/GPU I'd definately drop the SSD 1st.

SSD is a nicety, things like RAM/GPU/CPU are whats going to max out performance in a game.

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April 21, 2010 12:15:51 PM

Best answer selected by didyapageme.
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April 21, 2010 12:19:15 PM

Thanks so much cmcghee358. I went ahead and pretty much did your build as you set it up. First custom build is now ordered! Look forward to learning more here at toms hardware!

Best,

John
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April 21, 2010 12:23:09 PM

didyapageme said:
Thanks so much cmcghee358. I went ahead and pretty much did your build as you set it up. First custom build is now ordered! Look forward to learning more here at toms hardware!

Best,

John


Awesome, Im sure you'll enjoy it. When I can upgrade my motherboard and actually get some DDR3 RAM I think we'll have very similar set-ups!

Enjoy, if you have any problems with the build post on here or PM me and if you're stateside I can walk you through any trouble over the phone etc.
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April 22, 2010 5:29:03 PM

cmcghee358 said:
Awesome, Im sure you'll enjoy it. When I can upgrade my motherboard and actually get some DDR3 RAM I think we'll have very similar set-ups!

Enjoy, if you have any problems with the build post on here or PM me and if you're stateside I can walk you through any trouble over the phone etc.


I'm starting to have second thoughts on the SSD boot drive. I've been reading a lot about the trouble people go through to:
1) Move/disable the page file (not planning on)
2) Move the program files directory (not planning on)
3) Move/Symbolic Link the Users directory (highly considering)
4) Disable system restore (not considering)
5) Disable hibernation (haven't considered what this entails)
6) Disable indexing
7) No defrag (windows 7 handles this)
etc.

My plan would be the OS and some of my most used installs on the SSD. I typically keep my data in the users directory since its so convenient, so I'd like to create a symbolic link to put it on the data drive. Then I'd install program files to the data drive when they give me the option.

I guess my question is, what do you do? Do you just roll without any changes and just manually always put your data/programs in the data drive? I worry about the Users directory because I know my app_data folders have gotten several gigs big over the years and they can be even bigger when I have game files on the system. And you can't change those with the "Location" feature.
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April 22, 2010 10:41:04 PM

didyapageme said:
I'm starting to have second thoughts on the SSD boot drive. I've been reading a lot about the trouble people go through to:
1) Move/disable the page file (not planning on)
2) Move the program files directory (not planning on)
3) Move/Symbolic Link the Users directory (highly considering)
4) Disable system restore (not considering)
5) Disable hibernation (haven't considered what this entails)
6) Disable indexing
7) No defrag (windows 7 handles this)
etc.

My plan would be the OS and some of my most used installs on the SSD. I typically keep my data in the users directory since its so convenient, so I'd like to create a symbolic link to put it on the data drive. Then I'd install program files to the data drive when they give me the option.

I guess my question is, what do you do? Do you just roll without any changes and just manually always put your data/programs in the data drive? I worry about the Users directory because I know my app_data folders have gotten several gigs big over the years and they can be even bigger when I have game files on the system. And you can't change those with the "Location" feature.


I googled "Windows 7 SSD tweaks" and I think the 1st or second link had a step by step of how to do it all. I threw in the SSD, installed Windows 7, then I spent about 10 minutes setting it up. It's not too bad.

But to be perfectly honest as long as you only keep the OS and like Firefox on the SSD you don't "have" to do all that. But I recommend it, or else you will find your SSD filling ever so slowly

There used to be issues with constant writes diminished the capacity of the drive over time, but they have advance far beyond that now, it's something like 50,000 complete writes of the drive before you begin to diminish the capacity.

Like I said tho, the SSD is a luxury, but when my computer goes from POST to surfing in 20s, it's kinda nice.

My older systems if I had to reboot I'd get up and go smoke or something. Now I turn my computer off more often because its so easy to restart.
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April 27, 2010 6:21:36 AM

Quick bump so I dont have to keep searching for this thread as a reference.
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