Advice on midrange gaming PC?

Long-time follower of Tom's, but excited to be a first-time poster :)

I am always intrigued by the "Building a Balanced Gaming PC" articles, but I just wish there was more details in those articles to base my PC-building decisions off of (so I decided to make a post here in search of some suggestions I may not have thought of or read about).

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: I'm in no hurry at all (cash builds up slowly being a college student)

BUDGET RANGE: maybe around $600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet, Microsoft office stuff

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, hard drive, optical drive, case, and if possible would like to re-use PSU (OCZ600SXS)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: doesn't everyone use newegg?



OVERCLOCKING: sure, a little

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: never considered it (and don't consider myself to be pc-savvy enough to manage it properly)


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I basically would like to play Crysis at 1680x1050 on very high settings with no AA or AF or any other fancy stuff enabled while maintaining a minimum of around 45 FPS

In order to build a "balanced gaming PC", I was thinking about going with a 5850 and i5-750 b/c of all the good stuff I've read about them here at Tom's, but I'm really just not sure if that will be balanced.

I don't care if the CPU is Intel or AMD or if the GPU is Nvidia or ATI; any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
13 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about advice midrange gaming
  1. $616AR
  2. batuchka, thanks for suggestions, I'm looking into them now.

    Oh and I forgot, I can also re-use my optical drive, 250gB hard drive, and case.
  3. Then get some juicy CL 7 DDR3 1333 perhaps?
    And a NZXT Beta EVO case which is HD 5870 worthy in case for future GPU upgrades?
    You are welcomed ^^
  4. Definitely and the $$ pumped into a GPU like HD 5850 will be massively beneficial especially in a game like Crysis ^^
  5. Yep, I'm happy with my current NZXT M59 case :)

    I haven't put much thought into a tri-core CPU like you've suggested. Are you sure an Athlon II X3 440 will handle Crysis maxed out? That's the only part I'm worried about. Thanks again for the help.
  6. Oh ok, I never figured that the i5-750 would be overkill for Crysis (what with so many Crysis players buying the i7's and pricey socket 1366 mobos these days).

    Another game I would like to play is Shattered Horizon, but I see that a quad core CPU is recommended:
    Maybe in this case the i5-750 would be the route to go?
  7. Not really if u look at GTA4:
    Recommended Specifications : AMD Phenom X3 8450
    The Rana 440 is a whole lot better than previous gen X3 8450 but if u insist on a quad a smallish $20+ top up for AthlonII X4?
  8. Best answer
    Maybe board + ram combo
    That AthlonII X4
    and definitely stick to the HD 5850 hehe
  9. Yeah it just seems like quad core is the way to go these days and I don't want to have to upgrade the CPU for a few years. Thanks for the ideas, now I have some more research to do :/
  10. You are welcomed ^^
  11. Ok so I've been if thinking the Athlon II X3 440 is good enough to play Crysis on very high settings, then maybe I don't need a whole new rig. Perhpas just the 5850 upgrade will suffice? I'm currently using a Core 2 Duo E6750 @ 3.44 ghz but I fear that I won't get full potential out of a 5850 with this old CPU.

    Does anyone have a similar CPU with a GPU like the 5850 that can verify whether or not the CPU will be holding back the 5850's potential in Crysis?
  12. Best answer selected by NecessaryEvil4.
  13. I realize that this topic is quite old now, but I've decided to get a GTX 470 as I got a decent deal picking one up for $250. Unfortunately, I fear that my dual core CPU is not sufficient enough to play BC2. I must say that I'm surprised my performance is so poor considering that my E6750 is running at 3.7 GHz. Despite this relatively high frequency, I get 20-30 FPS in BC2.

    I'm sure the 470 isn't responsible for the poor performance, so I'm assuming a CPU upgrade is in order. My question is would you guys recommend that I upgrade within the same old 775 socket (maybe get a Q9550) or start from scratch with a new mobo, cpu, and ram? I realize that it would be much cheaper to simply upgrade to say a Q9550 over the a complete new build, but as far as "bang for your buck" goes, which path is best?

    For the heck of it, here's my current setup copied from my xfire page:

    Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E6750 @ 2.66GHz (2 CPUs), ~3.72GHz
    Memory: 4096MB RAM
    Hard Drive: 224 GB
    Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470
    Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster T220
    Sound Card: Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)
    Speakers/Headphones: Turtle Beach HPA2 Surround Gaming Headset
    Keyboard: USB Root Hub
    Mouse: USB Root Hub
    Mouse Surface: Max Payne
    Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7600) (7600.win7_gdr.100226-1909)
    Motherboard: GA-P35-DS3L
    Computer Case: NZXT M59
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