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$1500-$2000 Gaming/Media PC

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July 2, 2010 6:35:05 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 2-3 Months from now

BUDGET: $1500-$2000 (The closer to 1500, the better)

SYSTEM USAGE: Gaming (FFXIV, Starcraft 2), Simulations (CFD), Media Center, Internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Monitor (I have a BenQ FP241W that I like.)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S): , and (I have dealt with these sites before, although anywhere that ships to Canada at reasonable prices is fine with me.)

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'd like to stick with an Intel processor and prefer to go with whichever graphics card company is leading at the moment though (I believe this is ATI?).

OVERCLOCKING: Yes, moderate.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I'm open to this, but for the moment I'd prefer a 1 card solution.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 24" 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
The last time I built a computer was about 3 years ago, and with school I haven't been able to keep up with technology trends. This is why I'm opting to graciously ask all of you, the experts and enthusiasts :wahoo: . As I do live in Canada, I don't think I can use sites such as Newegg (correct me if I'm wrong, however).

If it's feasible at this price point, I'd like to have an SSD to store my games, programs and OS (Windows 7). Judging by my current configuration, I believe I need a 100-120 GB SSD to accomplish this.

One constraint, however, is that this configuration has to fit in a mid tower size case (space issues). The gaming computer I built fit within an Antec 900 case (the Antec 900 2 case looks good).

One last thing... Depending on when mainstream Intel 32nm processors are being released (aka not the $1000 ones), I don't mind spending a bit of extra money for one of those.

Thank you in advance for any help you can offer me!
Julian

More about : 1500 2000 gaming media

July 2, 2010 6:43:51 PM

Nvidia and ati are neck at neck both having advantages in specific situations.

As for an ssd I think 100-120 is not really feasable here maybe we can fit an 80gb one in though.

Most systems fit in mid towers so no problems there.

Intel 32nm mainstreams are coming out pretty soon and are supposed to be not so expensive so that's maybe an option. They'll come out in a few months.

And newegg.ca exists and is pretty good you can order from there.

Can you try putting something together and then we can comment?
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 6:51:49 PM

For what you are doing there is no conceivable reason to limit yourself only to Intel. If you are firm on sticking with Intel be prepared to either pay more for a comparable system or pay the same for a weaker system.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 7:10:44 PM

if you wanna do gaming, main choices are the i5 750, and the amd 955. the amd 955 is cheaper, but gets the job done WELL, the 750 is more expensive, and gets the job done better, just not very noticably better. imo, ati is on top, but only since they are cheaper, 15 degrees cooler, and take up 100 less watts. nvidia win in performance, but not even by a massive margin, so for this budget, id say a 5870, maybe a 470. ssd is feasible at this price, but no bigger than 100 gigs. there are better mid towers than the 902. heres what id do:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

thats comes out at around 1634.42 ca dollars.
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July 2, 2010 7:54:45 PM

ares1214 said:
if you wanna do gaming, main choices are the i5 750, and the amd 955. the amd 955 is cheaper, but gets the job done WELL, the 750 is more expensive, and gets the job done better, just not very noticably better. imo, ati is on top, but only since they are cheaper, 15 degrees cooler, and take up 100 less watts. nvidia win in performance, but not even by a massive margin, so for this budget, id say a 5870, maybe a 470. ssd is feasible at this price, but no bigger than 100 gigs. there are better mid towers than the 902. heres what id do:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

thats comes out at around 1634.42 ca dollars.


I appreciate the IMO but still you aren't correct. 470gtx sli performance on par with or marginally better than 5870 CF. It's cheaper, only 4 degrees hotter and consumes around 25watts more per card. Nothing near 15degrees or 100watts. In this situation in my eyes nvidia makes minced meat out of ati but in others it will be the other way around.

Your choice of components has a lot to with what you will do with your system in the future. I bought a similarly priced system recently and put an i7 930 into it which is far better than a 955. As in I payed a lot for my base components: ram, mobo and cpu so there was room to upgrade later as in: more graphics cards, ssd's, more screens, sound card. So my question for you is is this a one time thing or are going upgrade every now and then. If you aren't willing to upgrade later then a 955 will do otherwise I'd opt for i5 750, i7 875k or a 930.
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July 2, 2010 8:00:45 PM

also ares's build is very good if you aren't planning on uprgades
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 8:06:09 PM

well, they are too close to come down to fact, so it is an opinion thing. look:

http://www.techspot.com/review/283-geforce-gtx-400-vs-r...

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

now, if you ask me, i see the 5870 winning a vaste majority of them, using less power, and running cooler. yes it costs around 30-50$ more, but overall, i think it is worth it. and the 480/485 consumes 100 watts more, and 15 degrees hotter. and u need your eyes checked if thats how you see the situation. and as far as gaming, id rather get a 955. more future proof, MUCH cheaper, obviously less performance, but u can get a much better video card with a 955 than u can with a i7. also, the 955 am3 is future proof, 1156 and 1366 are DEAD.
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July 2, 2010 8:07:22 PM

Thanks for the quick responses everyone. To answer a few questions;

-I am very open to upgrading in the future, as this is something I've always done.
-I also forgot to mention that I don't need to include a copy of Windows 7 in the budget. I already have an extra copy of this waiting for a new computer.
-I'd like to go for an i7 processor, as its my understanding they are also better for use in simulations than i5 (I'm an aerospace student, I'll be running simulations alot as well). How does AMD compare in this regard (I don't know much about AMD processors ;\).
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 8:08:17 PM

as far as 470 vs 5870, its an opinion thing, it really is. 470 wins nvidia games, 5870 wins ati games, and wins more games overall, but also costs more. however it runs cooler and uses less energy. its an opinion thing, i say overall it goes to the 5870. but as for gaming, its really only between the 750 and 955, and the 955 gives great (lesser, but still great) performance, and costs less, as well as holding the future upgradability.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 8:10:09 PM

if you are more into simulations and applications, the pretty undisputable winner there is the 1090T imo, but this is also close like the 470 and 5870. for less gaming, more simulating, id definitely go either 1055T+470, or 1090T+5850.
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July 2, 2010 8:12:00 PM

ares1214 said:
well, they are too close to come down to fact, so it is an opinion thing. look:

http://www.techspot.com/review/283-geforce-gtx-400-vs-r...

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

now, if you ask me, i see the 5870 winning a vaste majority of them, using less power, and running cooler. yes it costs around 30-50$ more, but overall, i think it is worth it. and the 480/485 consumes 100 watts more, and 15 degrees hotter. and u need your eyes checked if thats how you see the situation. and as far as gaming, id rather get a 955. more future proof, MUCH cheaper, obviously less performance, but u can get a much better video card with a 955 than u can with a i7. also, the 955 am3 is future proof, 1156 and 1366 are DEAD.


Yeah the 5870 as a single card is a very good buy but they have horrible crossfire scaling. Although a 5870 will beat a 470 consistently 470sli performs slightly better than 5870 CF. And sorry about the 100watt thing I though you were talking about 5870/470.

And yeah an 955 will leave room for a better card and I would get a 955 if there are no upgrades intended. But once you start getting 2 5870s or 470s for that matter your cpu will start to suffer. And yes 1156 is pretty dead but 1366 still has a year of joyful life. But the thing is if you get a poweful cpu like that you probably won't upgrade it anyways. So dead or not I doesn't make that much of a difference.
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July 2, 2010 8:13:59 PM

Sorry I should have phrased it better :s. Gaming is my main priority with this machine. I just wanted my machine to be capable of simulations as well. I have access to a school computing cluster, but just wanted the ability to simulate at times when I'm not at school.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 8:16:37 PM

this sounds like a good time for a 1055T. its a 2.8 GHz 6 core cpu. the 6 cores make it good for simulations. it only costs 40$ more than the 955. the only problem is that at stock it wont do as well in gaming, but if you give it a good oc, it will do the exact same. both cpus usually max out at around 4 GHz on air for an oc, and perform the same there, so you would be fine for gaming.
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July 2, 2010 8:18:20 PM

Hm that sounds good to me. I'll put together a list based on these suggestions when I get home from work later and post it. Thank you everyone for your help thus far!
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 8:22:38 PM

if it were me, id just sub out the 955 in my build with a 1055t, and then get that. maybe back the 5870 down to a 5850.
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July 2, 2010 9:01:03 PM

i7s are still the champions though. Stock clocked they aren't so amazing but they are very good OCers. As far as my knowledge goes a 1090 is on par with a 930 overall. Givinf the thuban an edge in 4+threaded apps and the i7 in less threaded apps. Also a 930 gives a 4percent increase in GPU performance when in a dual card setup. And even more with 3-4 cards. 3-4 cards isn't really an option with any other chipset than x58.

The i7 is better than the thuban for your purposes but also priced higher.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 9:05:45 PM

hardcore, emphasis on the hard, gaming, the i7 wins, most everything else, thuban wins.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 9:09:25 PM

OP, if you want to stick closer to $1500, AMD is more likely to meet all of your requirements. If you're ok going up to $2000, an i7 is within your price range.

somebody_007, I've noticed that you keep comparing 470 SLI & 5870 Crossfire, when most of the people are asking about a single-card solution (or only have the budget for a single-card solution). Crossfire scaling isn't "horrible", it's just not as good as SLI scaling. And in all likelihood, a large percentage of people that are leaving Crossfire as an option in their current builds are never going to use it, and will instead just get the next big graphics card when they upgrade.

Maybe you could keep the SLI vs. Crossfire arguments to threads that are actually focused on going with a dual (or tri-/quad-) card setup?

Full builds for the OP in an upcoming post.
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July 2, 2010 9:20:53 PM

coldsleep said:
OP, if you want to stick closer to $1500, AMD is more likely to meet all of your requirements. If you're ok going up to $2000, an i7 is within your price range.

somebody_007, I've noticed that you keep comparing 470 SLI & 5870 Crossfire, when most of the people are asking about a single-card solution (or only have the budget for a single-card solution). Crossfire scaling isn't "horrible", it's just not as good as SLI scaling. And in all likelihood, a large percentage of people that are leaving Crossfire as an option in their current builds are never going to use it, and will instead just get the next big graphics card when they upgrade.

Maybe you could keep the SLI vs. Crossfire arguments to threads that are actually focused on going with a dual (or tri-/quad-) card setup?

Full builds for the OP in an upcoming post.


Well crossfire or sli is possible in this price point. And he mentioned he will upgrade I don't know whether he will really do it.

And so for the 5870 crossfire scaling. It isn't horrible but it is pretty bad compared to sli or 5850 crossfire.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 9:49:00 PM

AMD build:
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 - $160
HSF - Hyper 212+ ($30 at amazon) or your choice from Frostytech's top "5" list. (Don't pay $50-60 for it at newegg.)
Mobo - MSI 890FXA-GD70 - $200
RAM - Mushkin Silverline 4 GB CAS 7 1600 MHz - $100
SSD - Intel X25-M - $220
or
OCZ Agility 2 - $310
HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB - $80
GPU - XFX 5870 - $385 - sale ends 7/5
PSU - Corsair 750TX Active PFC 80+ - $110 ($100 after $10 MIR)
Case - HAF 922 - $90 (+$10 shipping) or whatever suits your fancy

Total - about $1385, leaving room to either get another 4 GB of RAM or a better cooling solution, or a fancier case, or the Agility 2 SSD, or a 1090T X6...or a 480 (for about $100 over the cost of the 5870). Note that the AMD board will not be able to do 480 SLI.

The 1090T X6 is intriguing, but whether it's more worthwhile than going with an i7 is really going to depend on what applications you run. See this comparison for more details. Multi-threaded rendering apps are where it pulls ahead, but on poorly-threaded apps, it suffers.

If you choose to go with a Phenom II X4, there's also the possibility of upgrading to the Bulldozer chip when it comes out next year if you find your processing power lagging.


Intel Build:
CPU - Intel i7-930 - $290
HSF - Hyper 212+ ($30 at amazon) or your choice from Frostytech's top "5" list
Mobo - Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R - $210
RAM - Mushkin Silverline 6 GB CAS 7 1600 MHz - $150
SSD - OCZ Agility 2 - $310
HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB - $80
GPU - EVGA 480 Superclocked - $510
PSU - Corsair 950TX Active PFC 80+ Bronze -$140 (-$10 MIR) certified for 480 SLI by slizone.com
Case - HAF 922 - $90 (+$10 shipping) or whatever suits your fancy

Total - about $1820, leaving room to either get another 6 GB of RAM, pricier RAM, a better cooling solution, or a fancier case.


And finally, as an ex-aerospace student, I wish you good luck on your gruelling journey. ;) 
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 9:51:17 PM

Somebody_007 said:
Well crossfire or sli is possible in this price point. And he mentioned he will upgrade I don't know whether he will really do it.


Upgrading, sure. Crossfire 5870 or SLI 480 isn't really possible at $1500-2000 without really cutting corners elsewhere. I guess you could probably SLI 470...but I have trouble recommending SLI at the start of a build, unless you have money that you're trying to get rid of.


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July 2, 2010 10:06:11 PM

Yeah I also agree that going sli from the start isn't the best idea but I mainly mentioned it for future upgrades. As for coldsleeps' build I can do nothing but nod and agree.

I would get a better case though. I find the 922 pretty ugly on the outside and simply appaling on the inside. It's an opnion though and the case performs pretty well.

Btw do you build aeroplanes now?
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 10:11:15 PM

Agreed on the HAF 922 being ugly, I just tend to set it as a default recommendation and if someone wants to pay more for aesthetics or get one of the other good $100ish cases, I fully support that. I've never used the HAF 922 myself, it just gets so many recommendations around here that it's hard to ignore. I have a Thermaltake Spedo Advance myself. Need to take pics of my new build. :) 

I actually quit aerospace and I'm a full-time UNIX nerd (with a little Windows on the side for fun). I found Dynamics & DiffEq to be brutal and changed majors. Heh.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2010 10:12:37 PM

What did you do in aerospace coldsleep?
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