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Gaming Rig upgrade < $800

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April 27, 2010 9:17:42 PM


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before the end of May

BUDGET RANGE: $800, including shipping/tax, before rebates. Cheaper is better, but only if I can get very comparable performance for that cheaper price.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, internet, home theater, word processing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS (Windows 7 64-bit), Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, sound card, TV tuner card, case (Antec 1200), PSU (Antec TruePowerNew 750w), optical drive

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

PARTS PREFERENCES: Leaning toward AMD CPU with ATI graphics, but open to discussion

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe; planning on having it as an upgrade path option, but wasn't planning on it in the initial build

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Ideally this system would be as future proof as possible, though I am aware that "Future-proof computer" is an oxymoron.

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CURRENT PLAN:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 750 Gb SATA 3.0Gb/s w/ 32 MB cache $70

XFX Radeon HD 5770 1 Gb 128-bit DDR5
G.Skill 2 x 2Gb DDR3 1600 Dual Channel RAM
Combo deal for $260

AMD Phenom II X4 BE Deneb 3.2 GHz 125w
Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 (SATA 6.0/USB 3 support) Mobo
COD:MW2 (Steam Download)
Combo deal for $299

Total with tax and shipping: $690.28

OTHER NOTES:
I live in California, so I get hit with sales tax from Newegg. Obviously I'm about $100 below my budget, so my main question is where to put that extra cash. Should I go with an Intel CPU/mobo, put some extra coin into graphics, or just buy enough beer that I won't be able to focus on shiny graphics anyway? I know I can do very well with a pair of 48xx cards in Crossfire, at a very reasonable price, but I would like DirectX 11 functionality without having to buy a new card for a while, hence the decision to go with a 5770. Thanks for your input!

More about : gaming rig upgrade 800

April 28, 2010 12:04:08 AM

I was about to do about the same thing you are doing with the 5770 and the Phenom II 955. But then I saw this and let myself slightly downgrade the CPU to go nuts (for me anyways) on the GPU for about the same price. So I ended up with a 5850 and Phenom II 925 which puts the emphasis where it needs to be for gaming.
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Best solution

April 28, 2010 12:34:05 AM

I live in SoCal also, so if i ship it to me comes out to 856 < if you can swing it, i would look into this.



Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148395
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
• 1 year: $10.99
• 2 year: $18.99
-$5.00 Instant
$59.99
$54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128435
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
• 1 year: $17.99
• 2 year: $26.99
$139.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
Item #: N82E16814150477
Return Policy: VGA Replacement Only Return Policy
$309.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
Item #: N82E16820231303
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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 options)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge(more info)
• 1 year: $19.99
• 2 year: $36.99
$159.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Subtotal: $783.96

Not sure where about in SoCal you are but by me, there is a frys and microcenter within 30 mins so, just shop around you might save some on shipping.


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April 28, 2010 9:51:25 AM

kinthur: That's awesome you were able to take advantage of that deal; sadly it has passed for the moment. I'll certainly make sure to scope the weekly Fry's ad when it comes out!

niklas_13: Your suggestions (and my further perusal of the forums) do seem to indicate that the ATI 58xx series is worth the coin to upgrade. Also, thank you for the pointer on the HDD; $15 more to spend on GPU! Sadly shipping is not the limiting factor for me, since most of the items I'm looking at include free or very cheap shipping from Newegg. Sales tax, on the other hand, is a significant hurdle, since it adds 9.75% to the cost of any rig I want. I wasn't aware Microcenter had a shop in SoCal; might have to hitch up the wagon for a trip down to the OC one day...

So three other questions this brings up:
1.) What does the 890GX chipset offer that the 790X does not?
2.) Thoughts and feelings on a 5830 instead of a 5850? I notice that the 5850 supports Eyefinity, but I move quite often for work, so I only have a single monitor. And I should have the PSU to Crossfire a pair of 5830s after my checking account recovers.
3.) What sets the Ripjaw RAM apart from the standard G.Skill?

Thanks all for your time. I'll post pictures if/when I get this sucker built!
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April 28, 2010 12:12:44 PM

1. SATA 6GB/s native support. USB 3.0 via NEC Chip
2. HD 5850 ftw
3. CL7 vs CL 9?
In summary imagine a proper gaming rig where bang for buck is the strong theme the other hardware as being a life support system for a GPU (while not skimping on PSU) with as much teeth your $$ allows you to cram in (as per resolution) ..unless we are talking Pentium 4 single cores @@ Your initial HD 5770 config on Full HD for the $$, lacks teeth for me
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April 28, 2010 3:04:00 PM

If you really need to say under 800 bucks, for a gaming rig your GPU is #1 then your CPU. At your rez i would not go lower then a HD 5850 if you like to play at your monitors native rez, which games will look better at.

If i was in your spot IMO i would get the HD 5850 and look into a X2 or X3 core CPU around 3.0 GHz ( You could OC it as well )
This way, lets say you lose 5 FPS with a different CPU but gain 20 to 40 FPS give or take depending on the game with a better GPU.


Reviews http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/285845-33-5800-hd5700...


I think this is what batuchka was saying :) 
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April 29, 2010 7:52:58 PM

Best answer selected by mtncwru.
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