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Need help with a $1500ish build.

Last response: in Systems
June 22, 2010 8:45:58 AM

Hello, I'm looking to build a new PC in the price realm of $1500 or so, though cheaper is most certainly better. I'm definitely looking for the best "bang for my buck" but there are certain things I'd like to meet to give me expansion options in the future.

My goal with this PC is primarily to broadcast HD gaming live to a site such as Justin TV. My current PC with a Pentium D can barely squeeze out 1024x760 resolution at very low FPS running games as simple as World of Warcraft on minimum settings, and it runs at a constant 90-100%. I'd like to broadcast 1080p at decent FPS with modern games at at least medium settings.

Here are the key things I want:

-8 gigs of RAM on 2 sticks, so I have the option to upgrade to 16 eventually. (Or is 4 plenty?)
-A fairly decent video card, so I have the option to add a 2nd eventually.
-A good CPU that's good bang for the buck (I was looking at the Phenom II X6 1055)
-A very quiet, yet air cooled system. I want minimum fan noise on my broadcast. (I'm thinking 230mm fans to help this)
-A case that will support full length video cards and 230mm fans (I'm looking at Cooler Master HAF 932 and ATCS 840)
-A PSU that will support all this and possible future upgrades (I'm looking at Corsair 850, maybe 1000?)
-A quiet CPU cooler. I don't need a super expensive one, I don't plan on overclocking.
-A motherboard that can support it all

I don't need a mouse, keyboard, speakers or a monitor (though I will be in the market for a nice 1080p monitor eventually, so any suggestions are welcome)

I do need a Hard Drive (A single 7200 RPM storage drive is plenty for me at this point) a Disc Drive, and anything else I may have missed.

Thanks everyone, any suggestions for making this build come to life as cheaply as possible are greatly appreciated!

More about : 1500ish build

June 22, 2010 9:01:20 AM

^ Well you wont need to spend $1500 for a build that you are planning for...
And also the X6 1055T might not offer better gaming performance than the X4 955 as games generally dont utilize all the 6-cores...
and what are the types of games that you are planning to play??
June 22, 2010 9:07:24 AM

gkay09 said:
^ Well you wont need to spend $1500 for a build that you are planning for...
And also the X6 1055T might not offer better gaming performance than the X4 955 as games generally dont utilize all the 6-cores...
and what are the types of games that you are planning to play??

The primary games I plan to play are MMOs, which aren't very demanding. WoW, and possible future MMOs like Star Wars: The Old Republic, but I would like the option to play things like Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2, and so on.

Also, keep in mind I want to broadcast HD gaming live, which is pretty dang processor intensive. For example, I can run Crysis on medium settings with my Pentium D/8800GT set up, but I can only broadcast World of Warcraft with minimum settings at a resolution of 1024x768, where I'd like to do 1080p resolution.

Also, hearing I can probably get away with less than $1500 is music to my ears. x]
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June 22, 2010 9:35:44 AM

For a Dual-core CPU, it would be a challenge to do that...
Well if you are not afraid of overclocking, then you should certainly get the 1055T to 1090T's speed, which am sure it can be done with stock voltages so you wont have any issues...Also using an aftermarket cooler would be better...

Mobo + CPU
Gigabyte 890GX + X6 1055T

HD 5850

RAM - IMO 4GB would suffice and also you can add 4GB more later on...

CASE - The ATCS 840 is a very good case...If you want a quiet one, then it would be a good option...

PSU - Corsair 750TX

HDD - Samsung F3 1TB

CPU Cooler -

So this should come well within your budget...
June 22, 2010 9:44:40 AM

I don't plan to overclock my processor. I have no problem getting a AMD Phenom II X4, those actually really nice and hey saving money is good especially if you don't think I'll lose much performance. Any X4 in particular you'd recommend?

Also, how big is the difference between ATI 5850 and 5870? Should I spend just a bit more and get the 5870, will it help in the long run?

And will a 750 PSU be strong enough if I were to add 4 more gigs of RAM and a 2nd video card?

EDIT: I'd also like to add that I do want to use 2 monitors, not for gaming on 2, just to game on one and have a 2nd one for like a web browser.
June 22, 2010 9:56:09 AM

^ My choice for the CPU would be the X4 955, but as you dont want to overclock, then the 965 is fine too...

As for the difference between the HD 5850 and the HD 5870, it is significant, but for your gaming needs, I doubt you would need the 5870...the 5850 can max out WoW @1080p or even higher...And also you have plans to add 1 more card later on so the HD 5850 should be fine...

As for the PSU, 750W can easily handle 2 cards(actually you can get away with a 650W PSU too but with a 750W you will have more headroom left)... and adding more RAM wont affect the power consumption significantly...

And using 2 monitors wont be an issue...
June 22, 2010 9:59:53 AM

Okay, thank you for all the help! I'll think about the video card choice, but I think I'll probably end up going with the 5870 because I want to play games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 as well, and I want to have the freedom to buy games like that without having to upgrade.
June 22, 2010 10:21:14 AM

One more thing I'd like to add, do you think the stock cooling with the ATCS 840 will be plenty, or should I add/swap fans?
June 22, 2010 10:54:57 AM

^^ Well I think I think you dint get what I said about the HD 5850...
It is like this...
- The HD 5850 is an overkill for WoW
- The HD 5850 can play at High-Very high setting @ 1080p, most of the graphic intensive games like Crysis Warhead too...,2433...
Also as you might crossfire, then the HD 5850 would suffice...

And as for the case, the stock fans are good...You might want to change the CPU HSF though...
Get any of those that I had listed...
June 22, 2010 5:13:10 PM

The 5850 is fine for your needs and abbout $100 cheaper then the 5870.... also get yourself a quality PSU ...look at the Ultra X4 PSU( found at also ASUS makes great motherboards
June 22, 2010 6:17:55 PM

I'd suggest going for the 5870 if it isn't stretching your budget too much.

My current system is a Phenom II X4 and a 5870, and with everything on Ultra at 1920x1200, Dalaran is generally between 25-30 fps, and 10-man raids are between 50-60 fps. I haven't been to any 25s in the last couple of weeks, but I intend to turn down shadows just to make sure that I'm still around 50 fps.

(No problems with Dragon Age or Mass Effect 2 at that resolution/high either, though.)
June 22, 2010 8:42:37 PM

For PSU I'm definitely a Corsair fanboy, and on top of that the Corsair 750W is on sale for $90 on top of being in a combo with the RAM I'm getting for another $30 off, so it's too great a deal to pass on, unless you all think 750W is just not enough.

For Motherboard I really don't know much about those, but I'm looking at this one because it has a $45 off combo with my CPU:

And for the 5850 vs 5870 thing, do you think the 5870 would be worth putting this build off for a month or so to get? I'm afraid sales/combos may end, and prices tend to vary.
June 23, 2010 4:57:59 AM

^ 750W would suffice...

As for that board has the older 790FX chipset which is why you are getting such a huge combo discount...And also it doesnt support USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s if that matters...

Also about the graphics card or in general about the overall build, prices only tend to come down...So if you are not in a hurry, then wait for a month...And there is a high probability that the ATI card prices would be slashes by $50 at the least...
June 24, 2010 10:11:30 AM

Motherboards are the things I'm least experienced with. Are there any in particular you'd recommend, at a decent price?
June 25, 2010 4:40:03 AM

^ Well if you get good combos with the 890FX boards, then you can get those...
Check out this combo of the X4 955 with the MSI 890FX...After the combo discount and rebates, the mobo would cost you about ~$145, which is the price of a 890GX mobo...

Other boards like this ASUS
and the Gigabyte 890GX that I had linked earlier is also very good choices...