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New gaming PC for SC2

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June 3, 2010 4:28:21 AM

Hi everyone,

I know there's a ton of $600-$800 gaming PC threads on here already, but I hope someone can help me build something that's perfect for my situation. The last time I played any games with regularity was Diablo 2, so this is kind of a big deal for me.

I'm not going to get back into hardcore gaming, I just want to be able to enjoy SC2 at or near max resolution on a 32/37/42 HDTV (possible 720P if that matters). The only other games I would consider playing for nostalgia's sake are TF2 and definitely D3 when that comes out. This PC needs to be able to run D3 pretty well when that finally releases. It will also serve as my HTPC. I have a Gateway ML6720 laptop that will serve as my daily laptop.

With that said, I'm looking to build a PC (and I need EVERYTHING) up to $800. However, the price/performance usually hits a steep rise once we get into the serious hardware. I don't need any of that as I believe SC2 (and Blizzard) system requirements are pretty low. I'd really appreciate it if someone can help me build a PC that's going to do everything I want it to (SC2, HTPC), keep an eye on the future (D3), while not being overkill.

I'm not opposed to buying/upgrading a Dell if that's sufficient for my needs. I'm sorry if that's blasphemy on here, I hope not.

Thanks in advance!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
ASAP! I've been sitting on the Beta for over a month thinking my laptop was going to be fine once I upgraded the RAM

BUDGET RANGE:
Up to $800, but as low as possible while meeting my needs (ideally under $600)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: SC2, movies + music, Diablo 3 in the future (no other games)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
Monitor,OS (will need to buy Win7),keyboard,mouse,speakers...

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
newegg, amazon, fry's, tiger direct



OVERCLOCKING/Crossfire
I'm up for it if it meets my goals

MONITOR RESOLUTION:
1920x1080 (or whatever is max for a 32-42 in HDTV, it's currently looking like a 42" 720p)

VIDEO CARD
2 x XFX HD-485X-ZNFC Radeon HD 4850 1GB (based on site recc.. is this overkill?)



CPU
AMD HD9750XAGHBOX Phenom Quad-Core 9750 2.4GHz
I don't even know what this means, the last comp I built was a pentium 3. Do I need a cooler?
I'm not opposed to Intel but they generally cost more



MOBO
shrug

RAM:
At least 4GB and hopefully my MOBO has additional slots for future upgrades if necessary

Harddrive
I'd be interested in one of those new hybrid HD if I can exchange size for performance
Otherwise, Seagate Barracuda 7200 1.5 TB 7200RPM



PSU
I think crossfiring requires a higher rated PS so Lifetime Series Pro 650W Psu. I read something about modular PS but I'm not sure if I need something like that


Case
I don't need anything flashy

Drive
Blu Ray drive is preferred. My laptop can burn DVDs


If you made it this far, thanks!
Doug

More about : gaming sc2

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2010 4:38:33 AM

Just listed a build in an another thread...am sure that would work out fine for your needs...

^ X3 440 would be my pick then for your requirements...
Very good for gaming -
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x3-440-ga...

Here is a complete build...
Lian Li K62 + Seasonic S12 520W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

X3 440 + MSI 870 - Latest chipset with SATA 6GB/s and USB 3.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

RAM - Corsair 4GB DDR3 -
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics card - ASUS HD 5770 - I doubt you would need 2x HD 4850s...IMO not required for your gaming needs...this card would easily handle those games even at 1080p...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD - Samsung F3 1TB - For this price its a no brainer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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

Total - $665 Not including rebates...
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a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2010 4:41:45 AM

^ That build has a case that the OP of that thread wanted...If a normal case would do, then you can save some cash there...
Antec 300 + Antec TP 550-
This is a very good budget gaming case with very good airflow and the PSU is of high quality...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2010 4:46:42 AM

Oww dun go with a DDR2+ Phenom1 i.e Agena core build - that AM3 Rana is far cooler running, battle proven across several International h/w forums as arguably the best gaming chip ($$/performance) and offers a hell lot more OC headroom that any AM2+ Agena/Toliman/Kuma Above build looks good
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a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2010 4:48:08 AM

A few issues with your proposed build, crossfired 4850s, definitely overkill; first gen phenoms arent good to build around these days; the .11 series seagate drives had issues so stay clear of them; that PSU doesnt even have a brand so its definitely not high rated, stay clear of that one.

Here is what i came up with that can get fit into your budget. Bluray drives are still pretty expensive so i cant fit one of those in the budget, it goes slightly over budget with the bluray drive.

Gskill Eco CL7 1600MHz $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus 890GX motherboard + ASUS Bluray drive combo $185
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Antec 300 + Antec TP-550 combo $120 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

PII 955 C3 stepping + XFX 5770 $310
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Comes to $805 with $20 in MIR.
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June 3, 2010 5:11:44 AM

Here's my current build I just received yesterday, except the ram and mouse (should get them by Friday)... so I haven't tested the system yet.
I spent $732 after shipping and taxes. I saved roughly $70 since I got an inexpensive DVD writer and not a Blu-ray reader.

SCII is going to be a main focus for me as well as D3 and maybe Cataclysm and some FPS games. From what I've researched, this system should be able to play them at pretty much max settings and games such as Crysis at medium settings and since the gfx card has an HDMI, I'll try and hook it up to my 42" tv and see what it looks like.
I think something similar to this this should suit your needs, but we'll see what other have to say too.


Mobo: $81.21
MSI 785GM-E51 mATX AM3 785G DDR3

CPU: $79.62
AMD Athlon II X3 440 Triple Core Processor AM3 3.0GHZ

PSU: $43.07
OCZ FATAL1TY 550W

GPU: $138.01
Radeon HD 5750 1GB / VGA DVI HDMI DIRECTX11 CrossfireX ready

RAM: $112.98
G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB 2X2GB DDR3

HDD: $63.99 (OEM)
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB

Case: $36.49
Logisys Black ATX Tower Case

Cooling: $6.33/ea
2x Coolermaster 120MM Blue LED Case Fan

Thermal Compound: $11.89
Arctic Silver 5 HIGH-DENSITY Silver Thermal Compound

Keyboard: $27.42
Logitech Internet 350 Desktop Keyboard & Optical Mouse (I replaced the optical mouse for a laser)

Mouse: $32.94
SIDEWINDER X3 MOUSE

Blu-ray Reader: $85-110

With the Blu-ray, cost is about 750ish before tax/shipping.
Let me know what you think.
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June 5, 2010 9:03:46 PM

Best answer selected by douggiestyle.
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June 5, 2010 9:05:34 PM

Thanks for the help everyone! Pending final review, here's what I went with. Items with multiple recommendations pretty much made my decision automatic.

Case & PSU $130

Antec Three Hundred Black Computer Case
Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply

CPU & MOBO $160

AMD Athlon II X3 440 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop ProcessorMSI 870A-G54 ATX AMD Motherboard

GPU $170

ASUS CuCore Series Radeon HD 5770 EAH5770 CuCore/2DI/1GD5 Video Card

RAM $110
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
Went with this over the other one that was recommended since I'd had good experience w/ Corsair and haven't heard of g-skill

HD $70
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

I'm going to stick with a plain old DVD drive for now and upgrade down the line. Not sure if I need thermal compound, extra fans of a CPU cooler, but other than those things I'm all set!

Thanks again
Doug
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June 7, 2010 9:04:56 PM

I've been going over and over various PC builds for the past 3 weeks comparing reviews price/performance, looking for deals, trying out endless combo deals on Newegg to get the best possible value & performance for my budget (which was/is a bit lower than yours sans bluray)

I have to agree with much of what gkay09 posted particularly the the motherboard selection (MSI military class board offers top notch performance/features for an excellent price - comparable Asus boards cost 10-20 more). I also agree 2x 5850 is WAAAAAYYY overkill for SC2 and knowing that how good blizzard is with their coding I am quite confident D3 will run just as well as SC2. Being lazy here (not going to site my references since i'm leaving the office in 5 mins), i know SC2 runs 60+ frames per sec all maxed out @ 1080p on a 5750. Save your money on the pc build and get a 1080p tv, @ 720p (1280x720) you are not even going to be using the 5750 to its capacity. On that point save 20 bucks (unless u find a great deal on a 5770) and get the 5750 which the xfx flavor has been shown to easily overclock 20% with the provided ATI software (all you do is slide a little software bar to the right), essentially making it a 5770.

BTW my build is to do exactly what you want to do. One thing i think people overlooked is you HTPC requirements; in my case that indicates a not so gargantuan case, i was looking at micro atx and micro towers/ mid towers or lan box cases that could fit in my entertainment system and look nice.

OK to the build here is what I would put together: (crap i need to leave i'll edit this at home)


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June 8, 2010 3:11:16 PM

OK here is the build (all from newegg)

Mini Tower Computer Case Item #: N82E16811121091
-$10.00 Instant
$44.99
$34.99


OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V
V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS
Certified Modular Active PFC ...
Item #: N82E16817341016
-$30.00 Instant
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$89.99
$59.99


A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3
1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
Model AD3U1333B2G9-DRH
Item #: N82E16820211364
$103.99


Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5400 RPM SATA
3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822136490

Rosewill Windows Vista Certified Media center Infrared Remote
Control RRC-126
Item #: N82E16880101002
-$5.00 Instant
-$6.00 Combo
$99.98
$88.98


ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX
AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131406

ASUS Black Blu-ray Drive SATA Model BR-04B2T - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135205
-$10.00 Instant
-$15.00 Combo
$149.98
$124.98

MSI R5750-MD1G Radeon HD 5750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI
Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814127494

AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-
Core Desktop Processor Model ADX440WFGIBOX
Item #: N82E16819103843
-$10.00 Instant
-$15.00 Combo
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate
$219.98
$194.98


Rosewill - Select HDMI cable (6 FEET)
Item #: N82E16882021128
-$4.99 Saving
$4.99
$0.00

Subtotal: $607.91

Shipping: $11.70

Discount From Promo Code EMCYTYP55
Discount From Promo Code EMCYTYW38

Promo Code: -$11.00

Grand Total: $608.61

($568.61 after $40 dollars in mail in rebates)



I even threw in a remote (needed for any proper HTPC). I looked for the best combination of combos & rebates with the highest rated items. You can save allot of money buying this way.

You get a sleek micro tower that can fit in most entertainment systems, all the graphics power you need, an excellent (and great value) mobo that can easily overclock your cps (if needed) and unlock any cores available, fast ddr3 ram 4gb, large 1tb green hard drive (1.5tb is overkill, and the green edition is much better for htpc - last longer, quite, low power).

All for well under you $800 budget. You can put the extra $230 into buying a better 1080p hdtv or even better yet keep it in the bank/pay of bills.

Last thing i want to say is that this setup will give you 95%+ comparable performance of the other builds listed here for a fraction of the price. Which will keep you 100% happy with you requirements. IMO makes no sense to spend a cent more than this. Best of luck, hopefully you didn't pull the trigger already

--Chris
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