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Advice on midrange gaming PC?

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June 19, 2010 6:42:43 AM

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?

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: n/a

OVERCLOCKING: sure, a little

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

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

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.

More about : advice midrange gaming

a b 4 Gaming
June 19, 2010 7:04:46 AM

$616AR
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June 19, 2010 7:07:18 AM

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.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 19, 2010 7:18:21 AM

Definitely and the $$ pumped into a GPU like HD 5850 will be massively beneficial especially in a game like Crysis ^^
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June 19, 2010 7:20:13 AM

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.
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June 19, 2010 7:29:37 AM

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: http://www.yougamers.com/gameometer/10360/
Maybe in this case the i5-750 would be the route to go?
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
June 19, 2010 7:32:52 AM

Maybe board + ram combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
That AthlonII X4
and definitely stick to the HD 5850 hehe
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June 19, 2010 7:35:46 AM

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 :/ 
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a b 4 Gaming
June 19, 2010 7:39:36 AM

You are welcomed ^^
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June 19, 2010 4:22:44 PM

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?
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July 10, 2010 10:55:17 PM

Best answer selected by NecessaryEvil4.
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August 21, 2010 9:53:21 AM

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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