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Building a gaming rig

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May 11, 2010 8:00:47 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: N/A
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, HTPC & surfing the web
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, & CD/DVD drive. Also a monitor is not required at this time, but I am looking for a good monitor/TV.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: N/A
PARTS PREFERENCES: N/A
OVERCLOCKING: No, but SLI/Crossfire someday maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: I currently have a Samsung SyncMaster 225bw which has a max resolution of 1680 x 1050 / 60.0 Hz (url: http://reviews.cnet.com/lcd-monitors/samsung-syncmaster...;rnav)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I was wondering if I could get some opinions on the following parts below. I would like to be able to run all current games at max graphics if possible. Also any advise if paying extra for a 10,000 rpm hard drive is worth buying, for what I am using my computer for.

Case : $99.99
Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
url: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: $99.99
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
url: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: $234.99
SAPPHIRE 100297L Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ ATI Eyefinity
url: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Suppy: $129.99
ZALMAN ZM750-HP 750W Continuous @ 45°C (Maximum Continuous Peak: 850W) ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire
url: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: $99.99
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ
url: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: $99.99
ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
url: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: $189.99
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8500
url: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

TOTAL: $954.93 + 9.67 shipping

More about : building gaming rig

a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 8:11:18 PM

There is absolutely nothing I like in that build. You've got obsolete CPU, board, and RAM, a case that's more expensive than the one that replaced it, a slower HDD, a poor quality PSU and a bad price-to-performance GPU.

Here's a much, much better build:

CPU/GPU: X4 955 and HD 5770 $298 after rebate
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $120 after rebate
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $90 (faster/cheaper than the WD Caviar Black)
Case/PSU: Antec 902 and Earthwatts 650W $145 after rebate


Total: $773 after rebates (plus $16 shipping). The 5770 is more than enough for a 1680x monitor, and the Crossfire possibility will keep a high level of performance once you upgrade to 1920x1080.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 8:20:14 PM

I would not spend that much money to buy CPU/Motherboard/RAM that is a generation behind. For almost the same price you can get a new i5, p55 motherboard and DDR3 RAM.

As an Antec 900 and Antec 300 illusion owner, I can no longer recommend the 900. Not having dust filters (the 300 has dust filters) really made me change my mind about the case. I recommend either going for the 300 illusion or the 902 model (which is the size of a 900, but looks like a 1200 and has filters.

The WD 1TB FALS is an old model with lower density platters. You want to get either the newer WD 1TB FAEX model or the Samsung F3 1TB or the Seagate 7200.12 1TB.

The Zalman PSU looks overpriced and to be of an older design. It does not have enough 12V rail amperage for a 750W PSU. I would go with the cheaper Antec EA650/EA750 or TP650/TP750 or Corsair 750.

The 5830 is in kind of a wierd spot. It has no competition at its price point so its price/performance is not as good as the 5770 or the 5850. Id prefer to go up or down one step rather than use that card, but its still an ok choice if you have researched and really like it.

*edit
MadAd has posted while I was typing this. His build is a far better price/performance than what you had chosen.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 8:44:35 PM

Oh - and your desire to run "all current games at max graphics" is going to be trouble. In order to run Crysis at max graphics you will need a 5970 GPU and an i5 750 CPU with a solid overclock. That level of system will cost you $2000. You can run most games at max for half that much money.


10K HDDs are also outdated. You use SSDs as boot drives to increase load times. A good 80-120GB SSD would be a nice upgrade, but wont fit in a $1000 budget.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 8:46:30 PM

That's not exactly true. You can run Crysis at max details at 1920x1080 with a 5870 and a lesser CPU than the i5, assuming you overclock it. To do that at 1680x1050, you'd only need a 5850.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that the 10K RPM drives are completely not worth it. The older models (non-SATA 6 GBps) aren't any faster than the 500 GB platter drives (mentioned above) and cost three times as much. The new one is a bit faster, but costs as much as a SSD, which is an order of magnitude faster. Regardless, you don't have the budget for either.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 11, 2010 8:56:05 PM

Usually 30 FPS is considered playable. Also, anything above 60 FPS can't be seen, as usually monitors have a refresh rate of 60 Hz (which is 60 FPS). So saying 60 FPS is preferred is going to make you waste a lot of money on graphics power you can't see.
May 12, 2010 1:23:47 AM

Why is the Radeon HD 5770 better than the ATI Radeon HD 5830 CF? Per Tom's hardware bench marks the 5830 is better?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 2:42:05 AM

It's not, but it's a lot better in terms of price for performance. Put it this way. With your current resolution, you won't need anything above the 5770, making the extra you spend on the 5830 a waste of money. If you were to go ahead and upgrade to a 1920x1080 monitor now, the 5830 would be too weak, making the money you spend on it a waste. Thus, if you weren't thinking of getting a monitor now, the 5770 would be better because you're not wasting money when you don't need to AND you won't be wasting money when you need the upgrade.

I would like to point out that the second build I posted would be all around better for gaming than your build and it includes a monitor for roughly the same price.
May 12, 2010 5:11:05 AM

MadAdmiral said:
It's not, but it's a lot better in terms of price for performance. Put it this way. With your current resolution, you won't need anything above the 5770, making the extra you spend on the 5830 a waste of money. If you were to go ahead and upgrade to a 1920x1080 monitor now, the 5830 would be too weak, making the money you spend on it a waste. Thus, if you weren't thinking of getting a monitor now, the 5770 would be better because you're not wasting money when you don't need to AND you won't be wasting money when you need the upgrade.

I would like to point out that the second build I posted would be all around better for gaming than your build and it includes a monitor for roughly the same price.


MadAdmiral, the charts on this site show the HD5830 being the best on the "overall" charts. Even better than the HD5850.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 12:10:45 PM

Those charts aren't accurate. The ranking goes as such: 5750, 5770, 5830, 5850, 5750 (barely), 5870, 5770 CF, 5970. Check out the 2009 charts. The 2010 charts are new and aren't complete yet.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 6:30:40 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Usually 30 FPS is considered playable.

Those are avg, not minimum FPS ratings. Look at the currrent "balanced system" series articles. 40FPS average is what you look for so that minimums stay over 30. If you are only getting 30FPS average you will be choppy below 30FPS alot of the time.
Also, anything above 60 FPS can't be seen, as usually monitors have a refresh rate of 60 Hz (which is 60 FPS). So saying 60 FPS is preferred is going to make you waste a lot of money on graphics power you can't see. said:
Also, anything above 60 FPS can't be seen, as usually monitors have a refresh rate of 60 Hz (which is 60 FPS). So saying 60 FPS is preferred is going to make you waste a lot of money on graphics power you can't see.
So you prefer to play at 40FPS over 60FPS? That doesnt even make sense to say. Most 1920 and below monitors run at 60Hz so for optimum gameplay smoothness a minimum FPS of 60 is what you want. So what if your peak FPS goes over 60 and is not visible, thats irrelevant to what is preferred, which is smooth gameplay. 60 FPS is preferred over 40FPS, its silly to say otherwise. It may cost more than its worth to go up that extra 20FPS, but thats a different issue to debate.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 6:38:11 PM

Of course I would prefer to play at 60 FPS. That doesn't mean I'd pay more to play at above that. There's a huge difference between playable and preferred. If we're going to start rating cards on what the preferred FPS is, nothing would be passing reviews.

Also, I typically use the 30 FPS minimum, not 30 FPS average. Here's a review with Crysis (average and minium). The 5870 had 29 FPS minimum with no AA, 21 with AA, with an average of 46 and 39 respectively. I'd say that's fairly playable., but to get those numbers up, you can easily overclock the card.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 12, 2010 6:46:09 PM

boman085 said:
Why is the Radeon HD 5770 better than the ATI Radeon HD 5830 CF? Per Tom's hardware bench marks the 5830 is better?


boman085 said:
MadAdmiral, the charts on this site show the HD5830 being the best on the "overall" charts. Even better than the HD5850.


They dont show the 5830 as better than the 5850. 5830 CF is TWO 5830s in crossfire, which are faster than a single 5850.
The chart does not include a 5970, 5870 or 5770 crossfire rating. It is accurate, just not complete.

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2010-gaming-graphics...
This chart shows a single 5830 at 308, a single 5850 at 380 and a single 5770 at 258. Current prices in US are 5770 for $160-$170, 5830 for $235-260 and 5850 for $300-$320.

Compared to a 5770 a 5830 costs 50% more for a 20% speed increase
Compared to a 5830 a 5850 costs 30% more for a 20% speed increase

To compound the problem, the 5850 is a strong performer at 1920x1200 resolutions and the 5830 isnt quite strong enough. Basically the card just doesnt give you enough advantage over a 5770 to warrant the price tag. If it was priced closer to $200 it would be a more reasonable value.
May 13, 2010 10:48:24 AM

Thanks for all the help!!! I am going to buy the following setup.

GPU: Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 (looking for a really good hdtv....28'' to 36'')
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD
Memory: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
May 13, 2010 12:19:52 PM

Looks great. Don't forget to check for deals and combos before you order.
!