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Help with $1500 Gaming PC

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May 7, 2010 9:50:00 PM

Thanks in advance to everyone who responds! I'm looking for opinions on the parts I have chosen as well as those that remain to be selected in order to complete my build. I also hope that maybe some of you Combo Deal bounty hunters can help me out. :) 

I am upgrading from a Pentium 4 with HT and GeForce 7600 GT. :ouch:  As you can see, I tend to build a system and then milk it for as long as possible with minor upgrades.

I want a Phenom II X4 on an AM3 board for now. I plan to skip Thuban because it's more costly and has been shown to be less than or equal to Deneb in general. AMD's socket longevity should allow me to snag a Bulldozer CPU in the future.


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: by Memorial Day (trying to decide if I should wait for that sale)

BUDGET RANGE: I don't really have a budget limit, but I'd like it as cheap as possible without sacrificing quality. 1200-1500 sounds good.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, multi-tasking, surfing the internet, ripping/encoding/watching movies occasionally, etc

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, OS (Win7 Pro 64)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NCIX US for the monitor (0 dead pixel return policy :D ), NewEgg for everything else

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD, ATI, quality

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No time soon, if ever

MONITOR RESOLUTION: not sure yet

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Must be an AMD system. If I can shave off some dollars without sacrificing quality, please let me know.


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CASE:
NZXT TEMPEST EVO Crafted Series TEVO-001BK Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

CPU:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

HSF:
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler

MOTHERBOARD:
Debating 790FX vs 890FX. Leaning towards something with SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0.

RAM:
G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO

GPU:
5850. Leaning toward XFX because of the warranty, but I have read about some crashing problems with their cards.

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
or
Antec TruePower New TP-750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC

HDD:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

OPTICAL:
LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer LightScribe Support

SPEAKERS:
Looking to spend up to about $100 here. Debating 5.1 vs 2.1 for gaming.

MONITOR:
Looking to spend up to about $200 here. Unsure about which resolution I should get (which will affect GPU choice) or if I should be concerned with pixel mapping. Has to be from NCIX US because I have OCD with dead pixels. :na: 

More about : 1500 gaming

May 8, 2010 1:30:57 PM

the f3 is the best 7200 rpm hdd out right now, get that. the main advantages of the 890fx is its already support 6 cores, more future proof, U3S6, more pci slots, and slightly better performing. So unless you want to get a 6 core, which for gaming isnt the best move, you should be fine with a 790x board like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

that board also has U3S6. the 5850 or 5770 depends on what games you play, and at what resolution. there are also better cases for the same, or lesser pricing, like this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

that is an amazing case right there, and also a bit cheaper.
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May 10, 2010 1:00:25 AM

jbakerlent said:
Welcome to the forum. Looks pretty good.
I'd get these Ripjaws instead
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks, jbakerlent. I see that RAM has tighter timings than what I had selected. While browsing more, I also found G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO which has the same timings as what you recommended, but they also operate at a lower voltage. This would translate to power savings and higher overclocking potential, correct? They don't have as many reviews, but G.SKILL seems to produce quality overall so I'm not too concerned if I were to get those.

Quote:
Then this PSU is a bit better and it's cheaper (at least on newegg)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Both PSUs seem to be pretty good. The Corsair I selected uses a single 12V rail, but the Antec you recommended uses four 12V rails. Doesn't this mean that I will have to manually balance the power between devices if I used the Antec? If so, I think I might stick with the Corsair.

Quote:
You shouldn't need extra TIM (thermal paste) because the Hyper+ comes with a tube.


Do you think the TIM will be sufficient if I plan to overclock the CPU? I also read in some reviews that it was kind of thick and hard to spread.
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May 10, 2010 3:33:06 PM

ares1214 said:
the f3 is the best 7200 rpm hdd out right now, get that.


Thanks, ares. I have to agree with you. I found some =on&prod[2770]=on&prod[2369]=on&prod[2367]=on&prod[2365]=on] benchmarks and I now plan to get the F3.

Quote:
the main advantages of the 890fx is its already support 6 cores, more future proof, U3S6, more pci slots, and slightly better performing. So unless you want to get a 6 core, which for gaming isnt the best move, you should be fine with a 790x board like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

that board also has U3S6.


The board you recommend has a nice feature set for a decent price, but I'm concerned about this: "To reach DDR3 1866 MHz or above, you must install two memory modules and install them in the DDR3_3 and DDR3_4 memory sockets." Does this mean I could only use 2 modules when overclocking the memory?

I also found a similar quote from a TH article in 2009, but hopefully it's no longer accurate: "If you're using the X4 955 on... an AM3 platform, you can install DDR3-1333, though it should be noted that only one module per channel works at that frequency." Again, does this mean I am limited to only 2 modules, regardless of overclocking?

Quote:
there are also better cases for the same, or lesser pricing, like this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

that is an amazing case right there, and also a bit cheaper.


That is a sexy case! I see it has even more fans than the Antec 900 plus cable management. Due to shipping costs, it actually comes out to the same price as the Antec, though, assuming I actually get the rebate. I'm now leaning toward your recommendation, but I see a few people have complained about the quality/construction of the front panel ports and buttons. Do you have any experience with this case?
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May 10, 2010 4:42:39 PM

I don't know about the case - I really like my 900.

As for the mobo, I would recommend an 890GX.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It gives you all the new features - USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s while still keeping the price down and allowing for crossfire.

Regarding the monitor look for a 1920x1080 LG or Samsung with a 2-5ms response time.

Either PSU is fine, the Antec gets my recommendation.

Of the graphics cards I would narrow it down to the 5770 and 5850. Between those two it depends on how high of settings you want to run and whether you would add a second 5770 in the future (your current build allows for it). The 5770 is fine imo, but adding everything up and throwing in a $200 monitor you still are only spending $1000 with the 5770.
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May 10, 2010 4:43:07 PM

for gaming a 5850 is a minimum. a 5770 will struggle in some modern day games and just fail in later ones on high settings.
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May 11, 2010 10:25:28 PM

Ok, I'm going with the ECOs, dropping the TIM, and probably gonna go with the Antec PSU because it's better.

Somebody_007 said:
for gaming a 5850 is a minimum. a 5770 will struggle in some modern day games and just fail in later ones on high settings.


somebody_007, you make a good point. Two 5770s in Crossfire is about the same as a 5850, so I'd be better off just getting the 5850 now and dropping another one in later if I want better performance.

jbakerlent said:
I don't know about the case - I really like my 900.


Yeah, after giving it more thought, I may just stick with the Antec. Rebates seem to be unreliable for a lot of people anyway. Do you have any complaints/cons with your 900?

Quote:
As for the mobo, I would recommend an 890GX.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It gives you all the new features - USB 3.0, SATA 6Gb/s while still keeping the price down and allowing for crossfire.


I like that board except that it seems to suffer from poor design. I agree that I should go with the 890 series chipset. I'm gonna do some more looking around to see what I can come up with.

Quote:

Regarding the monitor look for a 1920x1080 LG or Samsung with a 2-5ms response time.


I've been using a Dell Ultrasharp 1704FPT for years, and I hadn't read up on LCDs/response times/etc. It's listed as 12ms, :cry:  but doesn't say whether that is for greys or blacks.

I have stumbled onto Samsung F2380 23IN Widescreen LCD Monitor cPVA 1920X1080 16:9 150000:1DC DVI-D 3000:1 Static VGA . I understand that the response time is 8ms, but that's not much worse than 5ms, and it's better than what I've been using. Additionally, it's not a TN panel; it's cPVA, so the color reproduction and viewing angles are superior.

Furthermore, a review here on TH rates it pretty good, even for gaming. An X-bit Labs article says that "these monitors are not too slow and roughly correspond to 5-millisecond TN matrixes, but you should take this into account if you like to play dynamic games." Should I consider this one at all?
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May 11, 2010 10:36:51 PM

I am very happy with my 900, the only thing is the 902 is actually about the same price right now after a rebate. If I was buying new I would get it instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What do you mean when you say poor design? Did you see something on the Newegg reviews? I largely ignore them, unless there is a consistent repeating problem that I think might actually be legitimate. I doubt an Asus board would be poorly designed, though.

Regarding the monitor, here's a really good deal on a Samsung monitor - by chance I own a very similar one (2494).

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/pr...

Enter both of these codes
TRVNZNW8XV279N
RSSZMZBJJB83M0

Edit: typo

They expire on 5/12 and 5/13.
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May 11, 2010 11:06:30 PM

definitly get the 5850 !
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May 11, 2010 11:36:17 PM

You could always split the difference and get the 5830. :p 
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May 12, 2010 1:01:00 AM

jbakerlent said:
I am very happy with my 900, the only thing is the 902 is actually about the same price right now after a rebate. If I was buying new I would get it instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'm so indecisive haha! But after more consideration, I think I'm actually gonna go with the NZXT Tempest EVO case.


Quote:
What do you mean when you say poor design? Did you see something on the Newegg reviews? I largely ignore them, unless there is a consistent repeating problem that I think might actually be legitimate. I doubt an Asus board would be poorly designed, though.


The main PCIe slot is at the base of the board. Reviewers have complained about it covering one of the 2 PCI slots and making the other one cramped when trying to use it. A few people have also complained about sound quality (static, hiss).

Quote:
Regarding the monitor, here's a really good deal on a Samsung monitor - by chance I own a very similar one (2494).

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/pr...

Enter both of these codes
TRVNZNW8XV279N
RSSZMZBJJB83M0

Edit: typo

They expire on 5/12 and 5/13.


Your link isn't working for me; however, I'm not sure I'd purchase through Dell anyway unless I can return the monitor due to even one dead pixel with no questions asked. I guess I could contact them and see.

foxmulder13 said:
definitly get the 5850 !


Agreed!

Shadodragon said:
You could always split the difference and get the 5830. :p 


Haha good one! ;) 
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May 12, 2010 1:52:19 AM

the 5830 is such an unlucky card its placed between the 2 most popular video cards for system builders if only it was a little bit cheaper or performed slightly better
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