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$1100 Gaming Build

Last response: in Systems
June 22, 2010 3:53:04 AM

Hi, all. Thanks for taking the time to help out.


BUDGET RANGE: $1100 would be ideal, but willing to give it some leeway if it will make a noticeable difference.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (I'd like to be able to run the GTA IV processor-heavy and the Crysis visually-intensive games equally well), internet surfing and streaming video, MS Office

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitors (I have two of these from a few years ago, and one of these that I'm also thinking of using), speakers, OS, DVD drive.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, wherever else the deals are.

PARTS PREFERENCES: None really, I just want the best performance for the money.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, but not EXTREMELY EXTREME OCing or anything.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: If budget allows, or possibly somewhere down the line when I'm yearning for a boost.


Well, I built my first computer five years ago and haven't really followed the hardware game since then, but I've been lurking around and trying to see what's up these days. I guess I have a few main questions:

Does AMD still provide the best performance to price ratio? Which platform should I choose? On similar lines, ideally this computer needs to last for a while (at least 3 years) and upgradability is definitely a factor.

Would it be worth it to wait a while for current prices to go down (i.e., will there be any new hardware coming out soon that will drive down prices on old stock)?

Finally, are there significant gains to be made with new monitors, or does 1440x900 still cut it? Also, would using my 32" LCD TV in my setup be a stupid idea?


More about : 1100 gaming build

June 22, 2010 5:52:13 AM

Here is a setup...
X4 955 + CM 690

4GB DDR3 Corsair

Gigabyte 890GX

XFX HD 5850 + XFX 650W PSU

Samsung F3 1TB

CPU Cooler-
Sunbeam CCTF 120MM


Total - ~$955 | $910 Including rebates...

As for your questions...

1. Yes, AMD still offers the best performance/ price ratio

2. The GPU prices might go down next month as Nvidia will be launching their newer cards so ATI would respond with a price cut to stay in competition...

3. Well 1440X900 still is a decent resolution, so its fine...
Using the 32" moght not be a good idea as the resolution is lower than your current monitor resolution...If it was an 1080p, then its fine...
And you get 21"=23" 1080p monitors for about ~$200...So its upto you to decide if you want new monitor right now...
June 22, 2010 4:12:36 PM

That looks like a pretty nice setup, thanks. If I were to throw in another 5850 sometime down the line, would that CPU let it reach its full potential? Also, is there anything to be gained by getting a 965 instead, or with overclocking will it all pretty much be a wash? Thanks!
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June 22, 2010 4:37:43 PM
June 22, 2010 4:41:03 PM

mrhoshos96 said:
get the i5 preforms better than the 965BE in gta and every game

Not really significantly (except for the Far Cry 2 benchmark apparently).

That being said, if you want to go Intel, the i5-750 is an excellent processor...but the AMD Phenom II X4s are also quite good, and the platform cost is usually a little cheaper, potentially allowing you to afford a better graphics card.
June 22, 2010 5:21:41 PM

You could totally go 5870 for that money.

HAF 922 $90

Spinpoint F3 1Tb $70

5870 $351 w/ Promo Code Also has MWF2 free

Ripjaw 1600 Cas 7 $100

OCZ 700W 80+ and Liteon $89 w/ $25 MIR

Phenom II X4 955 and GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 $280 w/ $15 MIR and $15 gift certificate and free game

Total: $935 After $55 MIR

If you want Intel use this MOBO/CPu combo
i5-750 and Asus $345

Brings Total to $1030 after MIR
June 25, 2010 5:26:36 AM

Ok, so I've got a line on free HDD and optical drive, so I can pump that money right back in to the system or save it to make upgrades later. I took your same basic setup and tweaked a few things around.

Case & PSU

Processor & Mobo
i5-750 and Asus ASUS P7P55D-E Pro

Ripjaw 1600 Cas 7 [...] 6820231303

All this adds up to just over $600 before shipping. So my question is what video card(s) should I get? A pair of 5770s? A single 5850 or 5870? Two 5770s would give good performance now, but limit my upgrading options down the line (unless I were to toss them in favor of new cards, which would just be pissing $325+ down the drain), so I'm guessing it should be a 5850 or 5870. Also, I heard that the 5870s are pretty long - would one (and probably a second in the future) fit in that case?

Also, does anyone have any suggestions of a good HSF? Thanks!
June 25, 2010 5:40:22 AM

^ Well if you will be going with HD 5850/ HD 5870 and might add 1 more later down the road, then get a higher powered PSU...
HAF + CM Real Power 700W
Dont get the CM GX series PSUs...they are not good performers...
But a heads up on the Real Power...This PSU has more than enough power for 2x HD 5870s...but you would need to use power adaptors to power the 2nd card though...

June 25, 2010 7:07:10 AM

The PSU you recommended is the same series, just has 100W more. Is it worth the extra $30, and is 600W not enough for SLI?

I think I'm going to go with the HSF that mrhoshos recommended (

I'm probably won't be overclocking the RAM, so would the ECOs just be more energy efficient, or is one better than the other at stock speed?
June 25, 2010 10:48:39 AM

^ Well for HD 5850/ HD 5870 Crossfire, 650W is the safest level...
600W may suffice HD 5750/ HD 5770(Again, if you have an overclocked CPU, then again a 650W would be safe)...

As for the CPU cooler, CM Hyper 212+ is no doubt a very good one...but did you check out the shipping time duration there ?? That is the reason why I dint suggest that...

And the ECO would be slightly more efficient than the other...And both operate at same speed and timings so performance wont change much...
June 25, 2010 9:47:11 PM

Ah, silly old me didn't see that it would take TWO MONTHS for that thing to get back in stock. Man. Anyways, I think I have a config that is pretty much set:

Case & PSU - $170

Processor & Mobo - $345
i5-750 and Asus ASUS P7P55D-E Pro

RAM - $110
G.SKILL ECO 1600 Cas 7

GPU - $351 after promo code
HIS Radeon 5870

HSF - $35
Scythe SCMG-2100

Arctic Silver & 2 DVI cables: $30

This all adds up to $1049.85. Is there anyone who would recommend switching the 5870 for a slightly more reputable 5850, or does this look good?
June 27, 2010 12:00:49 PM

I don't see any real reason to go for the 5850 over 5870, up to you though