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New $1200 Gaming Rig--Requesting Feedback

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July 11, 2010 1:35:30 AM

Hello everyone,

My Asus G-Series laptop recently died and I have decided that I would like to replace it with a moderately powerful gaming desktop. My budget for this PC is about $1200 and I hope to use it to play several upcoming games (e.g. Starcraft 2, Diablo 3, Portal 2) at high settings and at somewhat high resolution. Although I have put together several rigs over the past few years, my knowledge of where my money will be best spent in order to maximize gaming performance is decidedly lacking. That being said, I attempted to come up with with one possibility that includes parts that have received mostly positive reviews and that would also leave room for a fair amount of upgradeability (i.e. adding a second video card or more RAM). I would greatly appreciate your feedback and I am more than willing to swap out any component if someone can provide a reasonable argument as to why I should do so. If any more information is required on my behalf, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thank you for your help!

Edit: Updated (again) build:

CASE: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB

MOBO: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard

VIDEO CARD: SAPPHIRE Toxic 100282-2GTXSR Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 2GB 256-bit--May Crossfire in the future.

PSU: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W (Modular)

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

OS: Win7 Home Premium 64-bit

Any more suggestions are welcome
July 11, 2010 2:56:16 AM

To save money I'd get the Corsair HX650W instead which should deliver enough power for an HD 5850 CrossFireX setup if you decide to add another one later on. For the HDD, I'd get a SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB for $10 less, it's a bit faster.

I also suggest this RAM kit instead:

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

It has lower latencies so it should perform better. Not noticeable, but if you plan to benchmark and overclock you might find the lower latencies helpful.

Also, you might as well get the Cooler Master CM 690 II Advanced for around the same price instead of the Antec 900. Either that or the HAF 922.
July 11, 2010 4:52:06 AM

Thanks Lmeow. I went ahead and switched out the RAM and HD, but what advantages do the cases you've suggested offer over the 902? I've had good results with my old Antec case and the 900/902 seems to be very well respected. Also, I may just stick with the 750W version to be on the safe side and it only adds $20 on to the final price unless the 650W would for sure provide enough power for Crossfire. I also forgot to mention that I do not intend to overclock, although I would like to be capable of it if I decide to in the future.
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July 11, 2010 5:18:31 AM

Just I've heard these newer cases have good airflow, 'specially the HAF 922, and the CM 690 II Advanced is simply newer and has a lot of room for expansion. This might be wrong, but I heard the Antec 900 or 902, not sure which one had relatively noisy case fans.

If you're purely gaming then the Phenom II X4 955 would be a better choice.

As for the PSU, a 650W PSU would be adequate but if you intend to overclock later on you should stick with the HX750W.
July 11, 2010 5:56:22 AM

I think this is the third time I've posted this today, but I have to throw it out there... I see a lot of people buying 5850's (and rightfully so, it's a great card), but the GTX 470 is the same price right now. I know some would prefer the 5000 Series regardless, but to me it's more performance for free. The downside is it likes more power.. but you're getting a 750W.

$300 Gigabyte GTX 470 AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-or-
$320 EVGA GTX 470 w/ Cryostasis (+ Lifetime Warranty)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-or-
$305 ZOTAC GTX 470 AR (+ Lifetime Warranty)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another note... If you wanted to SLI in the future though, a 750W PSU wouldn't work for 470's.
If you still wanted to SLI, a combo like this would work well: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
The 950W PSU is actually cheaper than that 750W you have listed, but it's fixed cables, not modular.
This is modular: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $475 after $40 MIR on the PSU.
July 11, 2010 7:27:43 AM

redechelon said:
I think this is the third time I've posted this today, but I have to throw it out there... I see a lot of people buying 5850's (and rightfully so, it's a great card), but the GTX 470 is the same price right now. I know some would prefer the 5000 Series regardless, but to me it's more performance for free. The downside is it likes more power.. but you're getting a 750W.

$300 Gigabyte GTX 470 AR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-or-
$320 EVGA GTX 470 w/ Cryostasis (+ Lifetime Warranty)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-or-
$305 ZOTAC GTX 470 AR (+ Lifetime Warranty)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Another note... If you wanted to SLI in the future though, a 750W PSU wouldn't work for 470's.
If you still wanted to SLI, a combo like this would work well: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
The 950W PSU is actually cheaper than that 750W you have listed, but it's fixed cables, not modular.
This is modular: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $475 after $40 MIR on the PSU.


Interesting...I'll definitely look into it. I'm not really an ATI fanboy or anything but I know the 5850's have a very solid reputation. Power consumption is another issue, but if I can get a 470 with the possibility of SLI in the future for the same price then I may just do so. Thanks for the advice.
July 11, 2010 9:03:17 AM

Thanks for the help guys. I just have one last question for anyone who might know: Would I be able to run two of these cards http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... in crossfire with the 750W PSU? One of the Newegg reviewers recommended at least an 850W to run that setup, but I put my entire build through a PSU calculator and it came up with 500W. I may have missed something, but it sure seems like the 750 will be plenty. Let me know what you think.
July 11, 2010 10:40:14 AM

Don't trust newegg reviewers unless they actually have done it before and know what they are doing. ^^

750W is plenty for HD 5850 in CFX. If I recall... two HD 5850s with an i7 975 3.33 GHz used around 480W? Don't worry about it though, since you want to overclock later on stick with the HX750W.
July 11, 2010 3:02:35 PM

Everything looks ok but i would rather save a few bucks and go for the non-modular Corsair TX750W. It's a really reliable psu.

If you are considering the GTX470, remember that you cannot have a SLI setup in the future because AMD-based motherboard only support crossfire.

Also, if you are really building this rig mainly for gaming, then the X4 965/955 is a better choice, simply because they perform better than the X6 in gaming(according to benchmarks by THG themselves). They are cheaper too.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-phenom-ii-x6-10...
July 11, 2010 4:29:10 PM

Thank you all! This has been extremely helpful and I think I'm now ready to place the order. Bujinyun, I think I will stick with the modular version just because I have used the non-modular 750W in a previous build and there were just too many thick, unused cables to route out of the way. I am planning to go with the x4 965 though. I also decided to stick with the 5850 as opposed to the GTX470 mainly due to power consumption/overheating issues. I will most likely place the order tomorrow, so if anyone has any final thoughts then please let me know! Thanks again.

Revised Build:

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner


COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive


ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX Motherboard


SAPPHIRE Toxic 100282-2GTXSR Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 2GB 256-bit


CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC


AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium



Grand total: $1,207.91
July 11, 2010 4:33:45 PM

Good luck! :) 
July 11, 2010 4:42:09 PM

Nice build.

Few more things, that 5850 is the same price as some 5870's so it would be hard not to make the jump. Or I'd just get a regular one.
EDIT: Ooo, here's one on sale for the weekend: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And in case you didn't know, the only difference of a 965 from the 955 is the multiplier, and you can increase this yourself.

Also, I had that motherboard for a few years, I really liked it =]
July 11, 2010 4:48:09 PM

redechelon said:
Nice build.

Few more things, that 5850 is the same price as some 5870's so it would be hard not to make the jump. Or I'd just get a regular one.
EDIT: Ooo, here's one on sale for the weekend: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And in case you didn't know, the only difference of a 965 from the 955 is the multiplier, and you can increase this yourself.

Also, I had that motherboard for a few years, I really liked it =]


You're right, but the main things that caught my eye about that 5850 model was the 2gb of video memory and the fact that it uses vapor-x cooling. Do you think I could still crossfire that 5870 in the future and not have to worry about heat issues?
July 11, 2010 5:20:59 PM

Oh yeah, you'd be fine. Of course, they will need more power as well.

An extra gig of memory will make a very negligible difference. It would help with large resolutions, though.
July 11, 2010 5:51:00 PM

redechelon said:
Oh yeah, you'd be fine. Of course, they will need more power as well.

An extra gig of memory will make a very negligible difference. It would help with large resolutions, though.


So I would have to upgrade the PSU in order to Crossfire two 5870's you think?
July 11, 2010 6:03:02 PM

knichols22 said:
So I would have to upgrade the PSU in order to Crossfire two 5870's you think?


Yeah, if you're going to overclock also, I'd say get a 950W or 1000W.
So in the end, it would run you an extra $50.
July 12, 2010 1:01:20 AM

I think I will definitely go with that 5870, but I'm still on the fence about upgrading the PSU. Most of the reviews I've read seem to agree that 750W is plenty in order to Xfire two 5870's. I don't know for sure if I will overclock either--I'd just like to have it as a possibility.
July 12, 2010 1:25:01 AM

knichols22 said:
I think I will definitely go with that 5870, but I'm still on the fence about upgrading the PSU. Most of the reviews I've read seem to agree that 750W is plenty in order to Xfire two 5870's. I don't know for sure if I will overclock either--I'd just like to have it as a possibility.


Hmmm... maybe you're right, but the PSU calculators are telling me 817W with 2 hard drives, and 778W with just 1, so I dunno... I'd at least get an 850W, but I OC and like to be on the safe side as far as power, so it's your call. Have fun building the rig though =]
July 12, 2010 1:46:12 AM

Could anyone give a second opinion on this? I'd rather avoid upping the PSU if possible but I also don't want to be cutting it too close. Thanks.
July 12, 2010 9:35:51 AM

I could be wrong, but I though 650W was enough for a moderate o'c and 2 5850s, 750W was enough for a moderate o'c and 2 5870s.
!