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$1300-$1500 Gaming PC

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April 28, 2010 6:27:10 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week BUDGET RANGE: $1300-$1500 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Everyday (Office, internet, etc), compiling and running beginner-level (i.e inefficient) c++ code

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: DVD drive, mouse, monitor, speakers, Office, OS, compiler

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

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU, ATI GPU

OVERCLOCKING: Yes (but I'm a first-timer so I'll be taking it slow) CROSSFIRE: Yes in the future, No for now

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have what I think is a pretty good build here. I'm mainly looking for GPU advice and then confirmation or alternatives for the rest of the components. I've priced things out based on current sales, shipping, and rebates on Newegg. Taxes aren't included in my numbers or the budget.

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Case:
AZZA Helios 910 Black Japanese SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Price: ~$80
Meh. I don't know much about cases, but this one seems good - reviews state it has good airflow and room for two large graphics cards. It also supports E-ATX, so I can use it for the next several builds even if I eventually decide to go that route. It's got a bottom-mounted PSU two, which seems to be a plus from what I gather (mainly for airflow?).


CPU:
Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
Price: ~$280.00
I'm pretty flexible on this. The 930's a bit faster at stock, but they both seem to OC to about 4.2 GHz comfortably so that's where I plan to run whichever one I get. I'm open to suggestions on other CPUs too.


GPU:
SAPPHIRE 100281-3SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
Price: ~$400

OR

HIS IceQ 5 H577QT1GD Radeon HD 5770 Turbo 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
Price: ~$180

Ah, the GPU. The most important part of any gaming rig. The problem I have is that there seems to be a huge jump in price with a relatively small increase in performance. I guess that's par for the course when looking at mid-to-high end systems, but it's still depressing :( 
I'm thinking I can get away with buying a 5770 for now and upgrading in a year or two. My games don't have to run at max settings, just medium-high. Also, I've heard Sapphire has better build quality, but this HIS is the only 5770 I could find with Eyefinity. Any recommendations? I'd like to stick with ATI, but if Nvidia is a better fit for me then that's cool too.


HDD:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Price (for two): ~$180
I'll be getting two of these in RAID 0. SSDs are just too expensive for the storage capacity for now.


Mobo:
ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Price: ~$210


PSU:
Thermaltake TR2 TRX-750M 750W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Price: ~$75
This is more power than I'll need for either GPU alone, but it should allow me to add a second card down the road. It isn't really intended to outlive this build.

RAM:
CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX6GX3M3C1600C7
Price: ~$200


Keyboard:
I don't have anything chosen here, but I'll probably just pick something up on the cheap.


Summary:
Current total price: $1205-$1425
Target price: $1300-$1500
I'm within my target, even if I do opt for the more expensive card. I'm open to improvements on any of the parts listed above, so if anything could use a little tweaking (or wholesale replacement, lol) please let me know. I'm hoping I chose at least some of them well, of course! :) 

More about : 1300 1500 gaming

April 28, 2010 6:43:15 AM

Save $15 here CPU/MOBO
I'm not the best to help, but I knew there were a lot of combos like that on the egg right now so I found one for you.
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April 28, 2010 6:53:40 AM

Thanks! I read through several of those, but I missed that one.
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April 28, 2010 7:00:13 AM

No problem! with my quick glance over it looks good...but again my knowledge is limited so don't buy it because I said it looks good :p 
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April 28, 2010 12:52:48 PM

I'm glad it has someone's approval. Compared to most (almost all) of the guys on here I'm clueless. I am learning, though.
I'm thinking I might add this UPS (power outages haven't been frequent in my area for the past few years, but we've already had two this year and used to have one every week in the summer :( ).

UPS:
CyberPower Intelligent LCD Series GreenPower UPS CP1350AVRLCD 1350 VA 810 Watts 4 x 5-15R Battery/Surge Protected 4 x 5-15R Surge Protected Outlets UPS
Price: ~$155
I won't count this towards the budget, as it's more of a general-purpose expense - I'd like my projector and PS3 to be on battery too. They won't all be on at the same time, so the unit should provide enough power to shut down whatever I am using safely.
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April 28, 2010 11:12:23 PM

Usual recommendation is an i5-750 and HD 5970, but I think you'll get sticker shock. Still, I think you should at least get a 5850, it's enough to play most games maxed. All 5xxx cards have Eyefinity, so that isn't a factor.

CPU+RAM: i7-930 and G.Skill PI Series 3x2GB 1600mhz CL7 $475
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R $200 (alt)
GPU+PSU: Gigabyte GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 and Antec EarthWatts 750W $390
HDD: 2xSeagate ST31000528AS 7200.12 1TB $80 (alt)
Case: CM HAF 922 $90
HSF: CM Hyper 212 Plus $25 (ewiz)
Shipping: $33
Total: $1373

--Jin



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April 29, 2010 12:38:05 PM

Thanks very much for the recommendations. And yeah, the 5970 just isn't worth it to me - I'd rather buy something relatively inexpensive now and upgrade the GPU when I need to.
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Best solution

April 29, 2010 1:09:25 PM

I suggest no less that a 5850. The combo Jinni quoted is a good one.
I spent a very long time deciding between 5770 and 5850, went through countless review sites and forums to get an idea of which to go for (I was favouring the 5770 as it is cheaper and I figured it would be good enough). In the end I paid the extra for the 5850 - I play at 1920 x 1080 like you, and I just felt the 5770 was reaching its limit on that reso at high settings.

What convinced me of the 5850 is the simple fact that it really is the best bang for your buck, performance/cost ratio means I know I am getting what I pay for. The 5870 is too much to justify for me and the 5770 was a bit too weak for its price.
Having said that, there was a combo of 5870 with 4gb RAM which was I think $479.

I would definately cut 5770 out of the equation though, with all that power your computer has, it would be a real shame to throw in a budget card.

My own build went with i5 750 with P55. I just game with my machine and performance and OC wise, the i5 750 seemed the best choice, the cheaper mobo that goes with it saved decent money especially as I do not XFire so did not need a high end board.
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April 29, 2010 1:44:45 PM

Okay. The 5850 it is - thanks to both of you for your input!
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April 29, 2010 1:44:59 PM

Best answer selected by rahl.
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