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$900 Gaming Computer

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May 25, 2010 2:26:18 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Looking to buy as soon as I get the community approval of this or suggested build.

BUDGET RANGE: $900 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies. Hope to at least play Starcraft 2 at max settings.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Optical drive

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, open to any other websites but I've only used newegg for computer related purchases before.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: No brand preference but I am looking to have a DX11 video card.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080. Though I'd like to say 1920x1200. I believe that's outside my budget.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is my first try at this so be gentle! A quiet PC would be nice but I'm really looking to get the most bang for my buck and staying at or below that $900 mark.Below is what I gathered to buy for this build. It's heavily influenced from the Tomshardware.com article "System Builder Marathon, March 2010: $750 Gaming PC". I may need speakers as well.
Edit: A problem arises. I forgot to include an Operating System. The cheapest I've found is Windows 7 Home Prem for $100 @ Newegg.com. I hope someone can help include this.


$60 Case = Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

$60 Hard Drive = Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

$150 Monitor = SCEPTRE X226W-1920 Black 21.5" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DCR(10000:1) 1000:1

$120 Motherboard = GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

$215 Video Card = SAPPHIRE 100297L Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ ATI Eyefinity Technology

$80 Power Supply = Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC

$110 Memory = G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

$71 CPU = AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor

$27 Heatsink = XIGMATEK HDT-S963 92mm Rifle CPU Cooler

$876 Total = After Rebates + Shipping fee

More about : 900 gaming computer

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May 25, 2010 2:44:41 AM
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do NOT get that video card!!!! Either bump it up to a 5850 or down to a 5770. The 5830 is definitely not considered a "bang for buck" card. The 5770 will max out starcraft 2 and its relatively cheap too.

BTW that cpu cooler isn't compatible with your mobo, the stock cooler will do just fine but if you really want a cpu cooler get a Coolermaster hyper 212 -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you end up going with the 5770 that will save you a good $70 and I'd recommend getting a better processor such as an Athlon II x4 635 or a Phenom II x3 720 which both cost $100

x4 635 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

x3 720 BE - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 25, 2010 4:02:51 AM

amk09 said:
do NOT get that video card!!!! Either bump it up to a 5850 or down to a 5770. The 5830 is definitely not considered a "bang for buck" card. The 5770 will max out starcraft 2 and its relatively cheap too.

BTW that cpu cooler isn't compatible with your mobo, the stock cooler will do just fine but if you really want a cpu cooler get a Coolermaster hyper 212 -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you end up going with the 5770 that will save you a good $70 and I'd recommend getting a better processor such as an Athlon II x4 635 or a Phenom II x3 720 which both cost $100

x4 635 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

x3 720 BE - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks for the reply! I swapped out the video card and cpu with a 5770 and the x4 635. Ditched the heat sink and added an Operating System.

Here's the list updated.


How about that? Total comes out to $930 after rebates which is fine.

Edit: I'm curious if I can get away with a cheaper Power supply and hard drive. Though I'm downgrading to the 5770 for now I want to crossfire later on and keep the PSU. Also I'm not too crazy about storage space. I've been doing fine on this 140gb hard drive.
Also, is this monitor ok? The reviews seem fine but I'm a little cautious as it seems to be a very low price.
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May 25, 2010 5:10:24 AM

You don't want to go cheap on the power supplies. You may save money in the short term (i.e. when you build) but they tend to fail and when they go they try to take other components with them.
May 25, 2010 5:50:25 AM

Sure, that's fine. I was just curious if anyone thought that was more power than I needed for this build. Not necessarily a lower quality one but maybe one with less power but keeping the quality, as I have no real sense of how much is needed.
May 25, 2010 5:55:08 AM

You could get a cheaper power supply as long as it is still a quality power supply. For your needs a good 500-550w PSU would be fine, but the ea650 is great value at $80 because most quality 500-550w power supplies run at about the same price.

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

This PSU is a good deal if you really want to save a few bucks. The truepower series is also a higher end series compared to the earthwatts.
May 25, 2010 7:18:30 AM

anonymousdude said:
You could get a cheaper power supply as long as it is still a quality power supply. For your needs a good 500-550w PSU would be fine, but the ea650 is great value at $80 because most quality 500-550w power supplies run at about the same price.

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

This PSU is a good deal if you really want to save a few bucks. The truepower series is also a higher end series compared to the earthwatts.

Thank you for the suggestion. I may stick with the original PSU though because I found a combo deal with the case I posted for $20 less.

One concern I have is with the video card. I simply chose it based on a few newegg reviews and the price. Will that video card be able to support crossfire later on when I have this motherboard?
May 25, 2010 12:53:58 PM

Having built rigs using the regular Antec 300 and more recently one using the CM 690 2 basic.
The CM is a higher quality case imho.
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=6...

psu -http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=30037&vpn=EA650&...

I agree with the 5770 recommendation over a 5830 and yes you can crossfire the 5770 in the future.

Although i would sacrifice for a 5850 but that's me and i did.


The CM Hyper 212+ is a winner price for performance wise.

Looks like a nice build with solid advice from Tom's contributers as always.

Btw NCIX price matches and there are only a few short weeks till HST takes effect if you live in Canada.
May 25, 2010 6:18:46 PM

With all due respect, the 5830 card is a nice choice for someone that is looking for price and performance between the 5770 and 5850.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/02/25/amds_ati_rade...

hardocp is a reputable site... if you'd prefer not to take my word on it, take a look at their review.

All the best-

May 25, 2010 7:27:12 PM

Sorry Davcon I'm not in Canada. Thanks for the suggestions though.

I agree with you eja78, but right now I can't afford to go any higher.

Here's what I'm looking to buy now. I hope this monitor is decent, the low price has me worried.



End up with $906.53 after rebates + shipping
May 26, 2010 5:29:07 PM

eja78 said:
With all due respect, the 5830 card is a nice choice for someone that is looking for price and performance between the 5770 and 5850.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/02/25/amds_ati_rade...

hardocp is a reputable site... if you'd prefer not to take my word on it, take a look at their review.

All the best-



When you compare the overall efficiency of the 5830 to the 5770 the better choice is clear. The 5830 is a much bigger, hotter, and power hungry card for a price premium that isn't worth it.
May 27, 2010 2:04:39 AM

amk09 said:
When you compare the overall efficiency of the 5830 to the 5770 the better choice is clear. The 5830 is a much bigger, hotter, and power hungry card for a price premium that isn't worth it.


Nothing abut your statement makes mine untrue. If you want a card with performance and price point between the 5770 and 5850, the 5830 is a reasonable choice.

Take a look at the article, and benchmarks conducted in the HardOCP article I posted (if you haven't already). For someone that can't afford a 5850, but can afford something more expensive than the 5770.... meh.. I'm being redundant.

you get the point, and the benchmarks, and analysis support my point. An opinion is just that...
May 27, 2010 2:17:07 AM

eja78 said:
Nothing abut your statement makes mine untrue. If you want a card with performance and price point between the 5770 and 5850, the 5830 is a reasonable choice.

Take a look at the article, and benchmarks conducted in the HardOCP article I posted (if you haven't already). For someone that can't afford a 5850, but can afford something more expensive than the 5770.... meh.. I'm being redundant.

you get the point, and the benchmarks, and analysis support my point. An opinion is just that...


Sure, your right about it having the performance and price between the 5770 and 5850, but when it comes to "bang for the buck" i don't think its a very suitable card.

It performs marginally better than the 5770 with the added bonus of being huge, hot, and much more power hungry. Not what i'd consider "bang for the buck".

5770 = $160

5830 = $240 + Huge, Hot, Power Hungry


Honestly the performance increase is not worth the extra $80, ESPECIALLY when you're on a budget like jabronie.
May 27, 2010 5:04:16 AM

Thanks to everyone for the help. I picked up the Asus monitor that was suggested as I was still a little weary on that original one.

Just bought the build, Thanks again guys.
May 27, 2010 5:04:53 AM

Best answer selected by jabronie.
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