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$1500-ish Gaming Computer ( I am Noob)

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July 1, 2010 8:19:00 AM


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP

BUDGET RANGE: $1500-ish

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Extensive Gaming. Movies.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: None

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: U.S.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Not really biased. Intel maybe.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe. (Once I learn how and how overclocking will help me.)

Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe. (Probably not.)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Going for Good Quality.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quality and Budget.

_________________________________________

Please give suggestions and advice.

I am rather inexperienced and the below components are a test to build upon.


CPU: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield = $290

Mobo: ASUS P6X58D-E LGA 1366 Intel x58 = $240

GPU: EVGA Geforce GTX 470 = $330


July 1, 2010 9:34:52 AM

Do you have a monitor? If so what is it's highest capable resolution?

Should mouse/keyboard/OS be included in the price?
Related resources
July 1, 2010 2:10:59 PM

If you need OS monitor mouse and keyboard, 5870, isn't doable with a x58 system for under $1,500.

Either way, for gaming, don't need an i7. The extra threads they have adds nothings, you're better off with a i5-750.


OPtical $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE
HAF 922 $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
Spinpoint F3 $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor
LG 23" 1920x1080 $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU
XFX 5870 $390
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Saitek Eclipse Keyboard $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MX518 Mouse $38
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo
Asus P7P55D-E Pro $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU
i5-750 $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS
Win 7 Oem 64 bit $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram/PSU
Ripjaw 1600 cas 7 4gb and 850TX $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Promo Codes EMCYVYZ35,EMCYVYZ27,MBJULY,EMCYVYZ29,EMCYVYZ23

Total: $1487, including shipping before rebates.
July 1, 2010 2:16:29 PM

^ he's right. a i5 750 would do good at gaming. i just pick a i7 build because OF EXTENSIVE GAMING. but. i agree with the i5 750 + 5870 rig :D 
July 1, 2010 5:15:55 PM

So for just gaming, an i7 build is not required?
(It would be nice if someone could explain.)
July 1, 2010 5:21:18 PM

Nope don't really need an i7. I5 is plenty for gaming. Look up the performance charts between the i7 and i5 and check the fps. I5 will save u money and there won't really be a difference
July 1, 2010 5:23:52 PM

The i7 is a very fast proccesor and is not "needed" for gaming as the purpose of a cpu in games is ussually not to bottleneck the gpu. And the i5 is powerfull enough to use the gpu to it's full extend(in most games some are very cpu intensive).

So an i7 would only improve performance by a few fps. If you stick with one or two 5870's that is anyways.

But where i7 does have an advantage is that it has full 16/16 lanes which would give you 4-5percent better GPU performance if you use two cards.

So is the dual card performance bump and better cpu worth the premium? that my friend is your choice. If you want to upgrade later to more cards an i7 will prove an advantage. Also if you plan on adding more cards later I'd get a 470gtx if not I'd stick with the 5870.
July 1, 2010 5:42:54 PM

The sheer cost effectiveness of the i5 i think in this build makes it the better choice. Save the cash and spend it on other parts of the build if you want
July 1, 2010 6:18:17 PM

nuke123 said:
The sheer cost effectiveness of the i5 i think in this build makes it the better choice. Save the cash and spend it on other parts of the build if you want http://www.freesmileys4u.info/pics/s/5.gif


exactly. Save money on ur CPU and dump more money into ur gpu.

Thats wise advice I was once given by a wise old man on top of a mountain.
July 1, 2010 6:22:20 PM

ok and with an intel i5, what graphics cards would best compliment it?

I still can't decide whether i want the Radeon HD 5870 or the GTX 470.
July 1, 2010 6:44:25 PM

5870 would be the one to get. Price wise, the average price increase matches average performance increase vs 470. You get the additional benefit of much lower power, heat and noise.

i5 vs i7 wise, both CPU's are actually the same architecture and pretty much the same chip. The difference is that the i5-750 includes on on die PCIe controller.

The actual processor core however, is the same on both chips. Essentially, an i5-750 is an i7-930 without hyper threading. Technically the i5 does have it, it's just been disabled by Intel so it's not too good a deal. The i7-860, is actually just an i5-750 chip with the hyper threading not disabled.

The functional difference, is that due to the on die PCIe controller, the i5-750 and i7-8xx line is limited to 16 PCIe 2.0 lanes, as opposed to the 32 for x58.

Now that all said, no game utilizes more than 3 threads, so the other 5 on a i7-930 are wasted, which is why it bench's the same as a i5-750. In fact, thanks to hyper threading overhead, the i5-750 actually benchmarks a bit higher in gaming when compared to the same clocked i7-920.

Granted, the turbo boost differences also helps the i5-750.

As for the PCIe limitation, it's not an issue until you use more than 2 GPU's. Given the horrendous SLI and xfire scaling beyond 2 GPU's, it's pretty much not worth the money anyway. Bear in mind 2 GPU's is already $600-1000 alone.



July 1, 2010 6:54:48 PM

Thanks banthracis for the thorough response.

A lot of things above I don't understand as I am new to hardware.

So you are recommending the 5870.
Could you recommend a brand that makes the 5870?
(I was hoping to get the GTX 470 because of the EVGA lifetime warantee. Are there any companies that do that with the 5870?)


Also, I have done some reading on 5870's and have stumbled upon this thread

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/291232-33-5850-5870

In your opinion, how does the 5850 compare with the 5870?
July 1, 2010 7:00:21 PM

The 5870 is on average 12-17% faster for a ~30% price increase.

It's entirely up to you if that difference is worth it.

If you define smooth gameplay as 40fps average, 25 min (about the high end of what most in the industry use), neither GPU hits that w/ AA at 1920x1080, max settings in every game.

However, that 12%-17% difference does put the 5870 very close.

The 5870 i linked above is XFX which is double lifetime warranty. Better than EVGA!
July 1, 2010 7:14:39 PM

The 5870 is a better buy than the 470 due to the lower power consumption and heat(this is a neglectable issue though as fermi can wistand higher temps.

470gtx sli however is slightly faster than 5870 CF and costs far less. Granted it consumes 10percent more at load but the 100dollars price difference makes it worth it.

So IMO if you are adding a card later on get a 470gtx. This one specifically http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... it's got a worse warrenty but it's cheap fast and has good cooling. If you prefer a good warrenty then get the evga superclocked+.

If you aren't adding any more cards down th line then an xfx 5870 would be the way to go.
July 1, 2010 7:46:45 PM

Somebody_007 said:

470gtx sli however is slightly faster than 5870 CF and costs far less. Granted it consumes 10percent more at load but the 100dollars price difference makes it worth it.


That part isn't actually true.

If you take a look at the comparison's at 1920x1080, it's still less on average than 5870 xfire.

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...


However, the $ per FPS does shift a lot, and the 470 becomes the better value.

5870's seems to scale pretty poorly in xfire. Even GTX 480's become a better value.

Incidentally, 5850 xfire does scale VERY well, better than 470 actually.
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

However, in any sort of SLI/Xfire comparison bear in mind the performance is very much driver limited. Both sides constantly improve drivers so you'll see cyclic changes in performance/$ as each releases new drivers.

Granted, single card performance also increases, but nowhere near the degree Xfire/SLi does. The huge scaling difference between xfire 5850's and 5870's for example, demonstrates just how much multi GPU setups are dependent on drivers.

The theoretical limit to scaling is 100% increase, or doubling of the FPS over 1 card. How close it get's to this is entirely dependent on drivers, and not something anyone can predict.
July 1, 2010 8:11:36 PM

the thing is you also need to take into account that the new nvidia drivers improve performance by a bit giving it the bump it needs to beat 5870 CF.

And the difference between 5850CF and 5870CF really stumps though.

And yeah it is drier limited but nvidia is known to put more effort into drivers than ati that's why their cards are so expensive.
July 1, 2010 9:29:08 PM

I don't think i'll be buying another Video Card so i think i choose xfx 5870.

Also, question about the build provided by banthracis earlier,

_________________________________________

OPtical $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827118039

CASE
HAF 922 $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119197

HD
Spinpoint F3 $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152185

Monitor
LG 23" 1920x1080 $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6824005152

GPU
XFX 5870 $390
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814150490

Saitek Eclipse Keyboard $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6823175104

MX518 Mouse $38
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6826104178

Mobo
Asus P7P55D-E Pro $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813131621

CPU
i5-750 $200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115215

OS
Win 7 Oem 64 bit $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6832116754

Ram/PSU
Ripjaw 1600 cas 7 4gb and 850TX $210
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.432133

Promo Codes EMCYVYZ35,EMCYVYZ27,MBJULY,EMCYVYZ29,EMCYVYZ23

Total: $1487, including shipping before rebates.

________________________________________

1. Case: instead of HAF 922 can i use an antec 900 instead? (any pros, cons, i just saw it had like 5000 reviews and rated well on newegg and looked nice)

2.Mobo : reading mixed reviews on newegg, is this trustworthy?(sorry if im paranoid)

3. OS : What is OEM? Is it harder for a noob like me?

4. RAM: Is 4 gb RAM all i need?

5. PSU: is 850W too much or is it worth it?



I forgot to thank banthracis for the initial build.
July 1, 2010 9:39:57 PM

1. They are both very good cases

2. Most motherboards have mixed reviews on newegg because many pc builds have issues and lots of those are mobo related(I had a mobo issue recently). And a lot of people express their frustration by writing bad newegg reviews. Even the very high end and good quality mobos like the RIIIE have mixed reviews.

3. If you don't have to many apps open at the same time yes it certainly is.

4. If you won't be adding any more 5870's you could get away with 550. I'd get a 650 though since this is a very good deal: antec EA 650+ antec 900 for 170.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 1, 2010 9:42:15 PM

Somebody_007 said:
And yeah it is drier limited but nvidia is known to put more effort into drivers than ati that's why their cards are so expensive.


While nVidia does have a better history of providing drivers, that's not really a reason for the cards to be more expensive. "Because the market will bear it" is a better reason.

The Antec 900 and 902 (updated version, I believe, currently the same price as the 900 after MIR) are also fine cases. I have not worked with either of them or the HAF 922, but they're all fairly well-regarded. The HAF 922 sees more recommendations because it's larger, usually a little cheaper, and there's a lot of room inside. The HAF has 2x 200mm & 1x 120 mm fans, while the 902 has 3x 120mm & 1x 200mm.
July 1, 2010 9:46:31 PM

tie23he said:

3. OS : What is OEM? Is it harder for a noob like me?

4. RAM: Is 4 gb RAM all i need?


OEM means that if you run into a bug, you can't contact Microsoft for support. While that sounds bad, compare how many times have you needed to contact Microsoft in the past vs. how many times you found the answer to your problems with a bit of quick google-fu. However, the install and your general experience will be the same as with a retail copy.

The other downside to OEM is that the license is not transferable to a new machine. This may or may not be an issue for you. If you plan on building a new computer every year, then you might want a retail copy. If you plan on keeping this computer for 3-4 years, you're probably better off with OEM. The license for an OEM install of Windows is tied to the motherboard. If you have to replace the motherboard due to damage, you can call up Microsoft and they will generally get you a new license key for the motherboard.

4 GB is enough for gaming & general-purpose machines.
July 1, 2010 9:46:53 PM

The way I see it nvidia just has far more people with far more resources on new technologies and drivers than ati. And that money has to come from somewhere IOW our pockets ;) .
July 1, 2010 9:53:25 PM

Not to get way off topic, but ATI has improved quite a bit since AMD bought them. Among other things, Linux drivers have improved a lot over the last couple of years. Not to mention, ATI both moved to a new fabrication process and sprung Eyefinity on the market with the 5xxx series. nVidia added 3D Vision, but didn't move to a new fab process with Fermi.
July 1, 2010 9:53:35 PM

coldsleep said:
OEM means that if you run into a bug, you can't contact Microsoft for support. While that sounds bad, compare how many times have you needed to contact Microsoft in the past vs. how many times you found the answer to your problems with a bit of quick google-fu.

The other downside to OEM is that the license is not transferable to a new machine. This may or may not be an issue for you. If you plan on building a new computer every year, then you might want a retail copy. If you plan on keeping this computer for 3-4 years, you're probably better off with OEM. The license for an OEM install of Windows is tied to the motherboard. If you have to replace the motherboard due to damage, you can call up Microsoft and they will generally get you a new license key for the motherboard.

4 GB is enough for gaming & general-purpose machines.


Strange how did I skip question 3 lol it's time for me to go to sleep.

Well coldsleep mentioned it all really. Also microsoft customer support expires after a year or two if you get the full version so that's not that helpful anyways. Although unlike coldsleep's experiences I have been helped pretty well by microsoft customer support but that could just be me and I think people on toms know just as much about pc's than them either way.

And about the system tied thing. My mobo died and all I had to do was make a free electronic call to legalise my new hardware. No hassle whatsoever. It seemed all pretty standard. I got a code from my pc I had to type it in to the phone and I got a new code back and that was it. No humans involved. I live in belgium though things could be different in Amercia.

July 1, 2010 9:56:42 PM

Somebody_007 said:
Although unlike coldsleep's experiences I have been helped pretty well by microsoft customer support but that could just be me and I think people on toms know just as much about pc's than them either way.


Just to be clear, I haven't had bad experiences with Microsoft. I've never had to contact them. All of the Windows problems I've had with my home PC, I've been able to solve with a quick google search...which is much faster than calling up any support, waiting on the line, and then walking through all the troubleshooting steps. Windows is rather well-documented through Microsoft's own KnowledgeBase, as well as through forums & other sources of info.
July 1, 2010 9:58:38 PM

coldsleep said:
Not to get way off topic, but ATI has improved quite a bit since AMD bought them. Among other things, Linux drivers have improved a lot over the last couple of years. Not to mention, ATI both moved to a new fabrication process and sprung Eyefinity on the market with the 5xxx series. nVidia added 3D Vision, but didn't move to a new fab process with Fermi.


Yeah ati's been doing some catching up but Nvidia is known for being "higher end" than the competition just like intel. And I think they will do everything they can to keep it that way. I think they will succeed if they improve fermi. I mean if it gets more efficient you'll have less heat less power consumption and more performance.

Ok that was off topic lol.
July 2, 2010 12:01:15 AM

MS support is better than Dell's, but not by much.

Hell, I got a student discount version of win 7 initially, and when I told then it wasn't valid for a fresh install, they told me 3 times to make sure I entered to code correctly. Oddly, enough I caps "I made sure code was entered correctly" every e-mail I sent them...

Course I'd solved the issue myself long before I even got the first reply thanks to google.

But, yea, haven't actually expected answers from big company tech support for a long time.
July 2, 2010 2:03:11 AM

SSDs are nice, but I don't think it's worth it at your budget. They don't offer any in-game fps improvements, and you'd have to sacrifice too much elsewhere in the system to get one.

I'd hold off and get one as a future upgrade when prices are a little more reasonable.
July 2, 2010 4:46:56 AM

LCD monitors have become a pretty mature tech. Very little difference between the major companies. Just look for ports you want, the size you want, and find the best price. LG one i linked currently has a promo making it $162, basically the cheapest decent 1920x1080 on newegg atm.
July 2, 2010 5:11:00 AM

Where do you find these promos and the codes?
July 2, 2010 1:01:07 PM

I listed the codes you need in the build. You get them e-mailed to you if you sign up for newegg promotions.
!