[Under $800] Budget Gaming Rig

Approximate Purchase Date: No rush, next couple months, unless prices exceed budget

Budget Range: Under $800

System Usage: Gaming. Gaming. Maybe some Gaming. :D

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, MX518 Mouse, Speakers, Monitor, SATA HD

Preferred Websites: Newegg.com or Frys.com (Maybe Xoxide.com for a case)

Parts Preference: I wanted to go AMD CPU with nVidia GPU, but realizing Radeon is the GPU King right now. Preference would be budget and quality over performance.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Dunno, what is it?

Monitor Resolution: Currently, 1680x1050 native, 22". Hope to upgrade, again, in a year or so to 1920x1080)

Additional Comments: At this moment, I think I like the HD 5770 so want to build a stable computer around that. My goal is to reach 30-45 framerate for the popular games I've missed in the last couple years, Crysis included. However, I have no need to max every option and turn on all the bling. I'm still using a GeForce 7600 GS so my tastes aren't refined, medium settings will likely be used. Whatever looks good without bogging things down.

If you reply with links, it'll help me if you mention what they are to. Looked at other threads and a post of just links wasn't helpful if I wanted to, maybe, specifically look at suggested motherboards or CPUs. Thanks.
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  1. Well a nice non-crossfire - which is having two AMD graphics cards installed at the same time build is just over $800.

    Phenom II x4 955
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808

    Gigabyte 785G
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128432

    G.Skill Ripjaws 1333MHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231276

    Asus HD 5770
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121363

    Spinpoint F3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181

    Seasonic 520W
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151094

    Antec 300
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

    Hyper 212+
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    If you need to cut it back, my first recommendation would be to drop down the processor... Maybe a Athlon II x4 635
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103702&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=3463938&SID=

    As for your Nvidia preference, they really have no answer for the 5770. If you insist, the 260 would be your best bet.
  2. ^ Oh and that comes to under $700.
  3. Thanks man I try for Combos!
  4. The information has been helpful so far. Especially the one with charts of framerates for different CPUs under different games and conditions. I was wondering why I wouldn't want the top i7 965 till I managed to find a price. Whew. :o

    Though I couldn't find what the rest of the hardware was for those tests.

    The consensus seems that the AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition is a strong chip for a gaming rig, and so much more affordable. Knowing that, it'll be easier to look at motherboards and RAM on my own.

    For now, I have three questions.

    What's the difference in these products? http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=40000343&Description=x4%20955&name=Processors%20-%20Desktops

    And I was planning on taking the HD out of this computer and put into the new one, but is there a significant boost in performance if I upgrade to a 3.0Gbs SATA drive? This one is only 1.5Gbs.

    During my initial foray into piecing together a new rig, I read something about computer cases and these new (to me), double-slot video cards, though I think the comment was outdated, but what would I want to look for in a case to make sure the video card fits in it?
  5. I think it's like C2 and C3 revision models. The C3(Prettier box, HDZ955FBGMBOX) i think can overclock better? I might be missing something here.
  6. 1) The top one is the C3 revision (as yadumadoda says) which is newer and may be a tad better at overclocking
    2) Yes you'll want the new HDD - 500GB platter will help as well
    3) No, all ATX cases will fit dual-slot GPUs
  7. Check my PSU and CPU Combo cause its a great deal for a 6 cored CPU!!! I think the i7 is an over rated and over priced CPU!

    Disclaimer: This is my advice and you don't have to take it to heart.
  8. I was talking with a friend and he said that I would do quite well with even just a tri-core Phenom. The Phenom II X3 720 to be precise. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103652

    This would also save me money, and if I get an AM3 motherboard, it'll leave room to grow if I ever discover a need for more cores. Though still having a little trouble narrowing down what motherboard to actually go for.
  9. That would work as well - have a look at some benchmarks.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/83?vs=88

    Basically, if you are trying to save some money go for the 770/870 chipset depending on whether you would like the new features like SATA 6GB/s.

    If you want to allow for crossfire in the future get a 790X/790GX/890GX.
  10. jbakerlent said:
    That would work as well - have a look at some benchmarks.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/83?vs=88

    Basically, if you are trying to save some money go for the 770/870 chipset depending on whether you would like the new features like SATA 6GB/s.

    If you want to allow for crossfire in the future get a 790X/790GX/890GX.


    *CHEERS*
  11. Hexamony said:


    Did you forget a PSU lol?

    So far all those parts look good to me and I couldn't really find you any better Combo's that would beat that build and the price of those parts look good. *Good Job*
  12. ^+1.
  13. The Spinpoint F3/7200.12, lower latency RAM, and HSF linked above would be better though...
  14. If you dont know what hes talking about its right here:

    Spinpoint F3/7200.12
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181

    RAM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231276

    HSF
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

    Those few parts will help improve your build.
  15. ^+1
  16. D'oh. I did forget a PSU. It's been a long time since I built a computer from pieces and even then my case had come with a PSU. I'll have to look at the links after school.

    For now, got another question. Was talking with another friend and he was saying the HD 5770 might not have much of a future in it, that within a year or two, it'll be outdated for games coming out. Instead, he's suggesting I look at the HD 5830. Is he right? And if I do go over my budget to get a video card with more of a future in it, would the HD 5830 be the right choice?

    Part of my goal is to play games from recent years that I missed, but I don't want to have to turn around and buy a new video card next year to keep up with new stuff.
  17. Well, since you are not getting a crossfire capable PSU, the 5770 is a little on the low end (you could crossfire if you got a larger one). At 1680x1050 it will perform quite well, but if you plan on keeping it for a few years and upgrading the monitor then you may want to go higher. If you were to go higher, I would jump up to a 5850.
  18. ATI Radeon HD 5850, ATI Radeon HD 5870 and ATI Radeon HD 5970. To warn you though nothing is really worth the money except the ATI Radeon HD 5850!

    As for Nvidia:
    GTX 470 Fermi
    GTX 480 Fermi

    I hope this helps as you can tell the higher the last numbers the newer the series.
  19. I've been thinking about it all day and decided that I can't really afford a better video card at this point. However, the motherboard I picked has room to grow later, doesn't it? If I wanted, I could buy a better video card later and actually for cheaper then it would be today. Plus, the AM3 slot can fit up to a six-core, if I really needed to go that route.

    So my question now is, what's the difference in the Heatsinks? The one I picked and the one suggested?

    And, oh, since I've never shopped for a PSU, how would I make sure I got one that provided enough power for my current or future needs? One calculator I found suggested around 280w which seems mighty low for a tri-core and powerful GPU, even low-end.
  20. Did you use this calculator?
    http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp

    For a single 5770 with a 125W CPU you'd be fine with a 500W, for two you'd be looking more at the 650W range.

    Your board only supports on GPU, but yes it will support Thuban CPUs.

    There's this combo with a X4 for very cheap... It supports crossfire. If you want to stick to the X3, then just grab the mobo and GPU by themselves.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.381162&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=3463938&SID=
  21. That CM Hyper 212+ is available at Microcenter for $19.99. Saves $10 if you have a local store. Saves you $3 if you buy off the website with S&H.

    Every penny counts! lol
  22. I like this PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005 . It's also a 650w so I can re-use it down the road if I need something stronger. Plus, the current rebates on it, nice.

    I switched heatsinks to the better looking Cooler Master one. I love charts. As much as I'm swayed by reviews, charts work wonders too.

    And I looked at the suggested RAM but couldn't figure out why I'd change. Sure, the latancy is different, but one is 1333 and one is 1600, so the one I picked, if I'm right, is faster in other ways.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2%2050008476%2040000147%201052129233%201052315794&bop=And&CompareItemList=147|20-231-277^20-231-277-TS,20-231-276^20-231-276-TS

    With the PSU added and heatsink change, the new total for this computer is $740.91. Not too bad and with some room to improve down the road.
  23. Yes, that PSU is very good as well, and is "future-proof." That RAM is fine, you won't notice any performance difference either way.
  24. All new post agreed! Heres another PSU Calculator:

    http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html?Tpk=psu%20calculator
  25. Regarding the GPU, the 5770 is limited in its future, it is a good budget card but will not last too long on its own. However, at your current reso it should be good for awhile, and at 1920 reso it is reaching its limit but still ok.

    My prefered option is too find the money for the 5850...but then I am not one for XFire or SLI. You have bought a board that has XFire capability, when the 5770 starts to show its limits, pick up a second one and XFire them - they run very well in Xfire.
  26. Honestly you see only a small Boost when SLI'ing or Crossfiring. You'd be better off going up a couple of series with ATI or Nvidia cards.

    For example:

    Instead of 2<9800GTX's in SLI

    Put in 1<GTX260

    Instead of 2<GTX260's

    Put in 1<GTX285

    Well I think I made my point.

    *CHEERS EVERYONE*
  27. Two 5770s will perform about the same as a 5850.
  28. 2<5770's 512MB $290.00 v.s $309.00 1<5850 1GB.

    The plus on the one card side is:

    >Less power usage
    >Less heat
    >Faster 16x - Unless you have a 16x Crossfire board, but if you don't it will down clock the second slot making the card a slower performance.
    >Over all better and more steady FPS with a Single GPU of a higher series of card.
  29. ^Agree, it's always best to get the best you can afford at the time.
  30. zooted said:
    Dont crossfire with that mobo its 16x,4x


    Thats what I mean its going to downclock with 2 GPU's in Blue and Gray slot.
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