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Gaming System, $1300 max, so confused, please help

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June 10, 2010 4:04:04 PM

If you haven't seen any of my previous posts...I basically want as good of a gaming system as I can get for $1300 at the VERY most. My main usage will be WoW (World of Warcraft) and probably Diablo 3 in the future. I want something that can last me a solid 2-3+ years without going downhill. I don't know a whole lot of about 'technical' computer stuff and the different parts so its hard for me to compare to know what to go for. It seems like every time I get close to settling on one brand or type of product, someone else comes in and says 'No, go with this' instead haha.

From what I gathered, going with a 5870 video card is the way to go if I can fit it into my budget. With that said, I don't want to sacrifice in other areas just to be able to get the 5870 if the lesser quality other parts will affect my gaming performance. I want to be able to play WoW on full settings and full fps/no lag in 25 man raids if at all possible (right now, I'm raiding on my laptop and getting 15 fps and its beyond awful).

Here is a build that someone else suggested that I thought may be good:

http://i50.tinypic.com/2q9dgld.png

Here are the links to the items individually:

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

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

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

Power Supply (PSU): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

Hard Drive / Case Combo Deal: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Video Card / Processor Combo Deal: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The operating system, I will probably try to find a friend still in college and have him help me out with one of those special deals for windows 7.

I would like some help in evaluating this build..if there is anything I can do better/replace for better value/better product, etc.

Couple of things I have come across while looking at these products:

The MoBo: Just from doing research here, I learned what exactly Crossfire/SLI is as well as overclocking. From what I understand, this motherboard is not capable of having crossfire/sli, however, with getting a 5870 and for what I need it for, would I ever really need to add an additional video card? And in terms of overclocking, from what I gather, it is pushing your system a little past what it is meant for? Is this something I should even worry about, aka, is it something that I'd have to do on my own or something that just happens? Again, I don't know much about technical computer stuff.

The Case: I like the way it looks and it got pretty good reviews, however, somewhere along the way of doing my research on this site, someone said they didn't recommend it because it didn't have dust filters or something like that..any thoughts on that?

NOW the BIG thing...the Video Card / Processor Combo: the price is decent for both in a combo, but obviously its the most expensive thing I am purchasing...the reviews on the video card are so-so...it seems a lot of people are having the same BIOS (not sure what that stands for?) issue with video playback and 3d or something. People say its good for gaming, although one person said it messes up with 3d WoW graphics, but everyone else said it was great for gaming but messed up on video playback. So yea...I'm not really sure what to think about this...but if I am going to be spending this much money on something, I want to make sure I am getting a quality product. I know there are a bunch of other 5870's (I don't really know what the differences are) but they all seem to either be quite a bit more expensive or don't have very many reviews. One I found that would only be like $25 more is: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... but there is only 2 reviews on it so far.

Any and all help is VERY much appreciated from someone who wants a good gaming computer without really knowing much about how to go about getting it haha. Thanks :-)
a b 4 Gaming
a b Ý World of Warcraft
June 10, 2010 4:47:28 PM

If you hadn't of said you didn't know much no one would have known that from looking at your list.

Are you over budget? You can spend quite a bit less and still meet your gaming objective. (Except maybe for the 'no lag in 25 man raids'. That could be as much an internet problem as a computer problem.)

Overall you have a good selection for gaming beyond WoW and for the next couple years new games.

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a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 4:58:45 PM

I don't have any experience with that specific card, but I can tell you that I have my settings at Ultra for everything except 25-man raids and the only place I see fps below 60ish is in Dalaran (surprise surprise), but I still hit about 30 fps there.

In 25s, I turn down shadows (and that's it) and get about 40-50fps most of the time (obvious exceptions are things like Lady Deathwhisper with a lot of adds and particle effects, I'm guessing it drops to about 30fps). In 10s, I leave shadows all the way up and it's typically between 50-60fps.

The build looks good to me, it's pretty similar to the rig I just built.

As far as CrossFire, if you don't expect to have max performance on new games in 2 years or so, you don't need it. You could, of course, just upgrade your single graphics card when you notice that your performance is slipping. Having CrossFire as an upgrade option is nice, but most people never use it, as getting a new graphics card frequently ends up being a better choice.
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June 10, 2010 5:02:39 PM

i bought this exact video card last week. no issues with video playback or GSOD, though obviously i'm a sample size of 1. i do know that newegg is particularly good about replacing malfunctioning hardware.

it's like a 50-60 dollar price increase to get a 5870 with a 5-egg newegg review. it's up to you to decide if that's worth it for the slightly reduced chance of having to RMA the card.
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June 10, 2010 7:20:10 PM

I am a little over the budget I originally wanted to spend (around $1000)...but I am willing to spend $12-1300 if it is able to get me some decent upgrades, the higher video card, and in effect a nice increase in performance, which seems to be the case with this build from what I have heard from a few people, although I would definitely like some more people's input.

That's good to hear cold, I definitely look forward to being able to put my settings on ultra, right now i have every single thing on the lowest setting and it sucks.

In terms of crossfire, is there another MoBo I should go with around the same price/quality, just to be safe in case I ever did decide to add another graphics card?

Yea, Ultima, I think you are actually the one who posted this entire build for the most part on another one of my threads. Did you read the reviews for the card? It does seem like there are quite a few people who are having the same problems with it. Which card would you recommend if I spent the extra few bucks to try to be safe?

Would definitely like some more input from others on the entire build, and especially the video card.

Thanks for the input so far, I appreciate it!
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June 10, 2010 7:24:33 PM

Mushman said:

In terms of crossfire, is there another MoBo I should go with around the same price/quality, just to be safe in case I ever did decide to add another graphics card?

my understanding is that x8/x8 crossfire causes like a 3% performance hit versus x16/x16. someone with more expertise should confirm/refute this though.

Mushman said:

Yea, Ultima, I think you are actually the one who posted this entire build for the most part on another one of my threads. Did you read the reviews for the card? It does seem like there are quite a few people who are having the same problems with it. Which card would you recommend if I spent the extra few bucks to try to be safe?

honestly, i'm not sure. sapphire and xfx are both well-respected brands, but their respective 5-star 5870s have too few reviews to make me sure enough to buy them.

you could also downgrade to a 5850 and save 85 bucks hitting this combo:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

would bring you a little closer to budget without a huge hit to performance. then of course you could xfire in the future if you needed to upgrade.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 7:29:06 PM

An easy way to knock off nearly $100 from the price and not suffer too much in gaming performance would be to go with an Athlon II X3 440 instead of the 955.

Here's a comparison: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=119

There are a couple of 890GX boards around the same price that have similar features, but I'd say the Gigabyte board you've picked is quite good. That board can CrossFire just fine at 8x/8x. You are unlikely to see any performance degradation between 16x/16x vs. 8x/8x unless you were CrossFire-ing 2x5970.
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June 10, 2010 8:01:05 PM

coldsleep said:


There are a couple of 890GX boards around the same price that have similar features, but I'd say the Gigabyte board you've picked is quite good. That board can CrossFire just fine at 8x/8x. You are unlikely to see any performance degradation between 16x/16x vs. 8x/8x unless you were CrossFire-ing 2x5970.


Oh, so the Mobo I linked... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

...Can do crossfire(adding another card) if I ever wanted to in the future? I don't see it anywhere on the specs or anything like I have for other Mobo's so I wasn't sure. Also, I have no idea what you mean by 8x/8x vs 16x/16x haha, again don't know much at all about this stuff.

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a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 8:10:37 PM

Yes. For CrossFire, you need multiple PCI-E 2.0 x16 slots.

If you look at the specs for that motherboard, there is an item where it lists the PCI slots. There are a certain number of lanes that the motherboard can devote to each PCI slot. A "full" PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot has, you guessed it, 16 lanes. If the motherboard only has, say, 24 lanes total, it can devote 16 to the primary graphics slot, then disable 8 if a 2nd card is put in the 2nd slot, leaving the remaining lanes for the x4 and x1 slots, etc.

CrossFire runs acceptably with either 2 (or more) slots with at least 8 lanes. While you can put a graphics card in a slot with only 4 lanes, it is reportedly a noticeable bottleneck (I've never seen it in person), and it's not recommended.

Your motherboard manual will tell you which slots are the x16 lanes for graphics cards.
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June 10, 2010 8:18:20 PM

Not going to lie, what you said just confused me even more. I'm sure your explanation was fine, I'm just not someone who knows about computer parts at all. So the simple answer to whether I'd be able to crossfire/add another card in the future with the motherboard that I posted would be: Yes (but not fully or something?) Sorry if this doesn't make any sense, just trying to figure it all out.

Would appreciate some other people's input on the build as a whole and the video card still. Thanks again, appreciate all of the help as always.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 10, 2010 9:46:08 PM

Short answer: Yes, but if you ugpraded to 2 huge video cards (5970s or something), you may see about 95% of the performance of someone with a more expensive mobo.
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June 11, 2010 1:33:14 PM

Thanks for your input so far, you have definitely made some stuff more understandable for me.

Anyone else have any input on the build overall and/or the video card?
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June 11, 2010 11:36:25 PM

bump :) 
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June 14, 2010 4:14:00 AM

bump...anyone else have input on the build or the video cardddddd?
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