Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

$1000-1100~ gaming build, looking for feedback

Last response: in Systems
Share
July 15, 2010 8:00:11 PM

I've researched this pretty well but it seems like Tom's always has good advice to offer.
I considered a laptop for a change but I'm NEEDY and to get a good enough one, it would cost at least $1400.
Plus, I really, really enjoy building PCs. There's something about getting it all assembled just right, hitting the power button, and watching it successfully boot up. :D 

MOBO: BIOSTAR TA890FXE AM3 AMD 890FX
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 988 BE (I made sure it was the newer revision)
HSF: Xigmatek HDT S1283 120mm Rifle cooler
PSU: XFX Black Edition P1-750B-CAG9 750W
Case: Antec 900
GPU: HIS Radeon 5870
RAM: A-Data Gaming Series 4 GB DDR3 1600
DVD: Lite-On SATA DVD-RW
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3, 1TB model

Subtotal cost: $1,103.87 (without rebates).
Most of these items have free or very cheap shipping. I tried to take that into account.

The case and PSU are in a combo and both have $20 rebates, the motherboard and CPU are also in a combo and come with a $10 Newegg gift card.

The RAM comes with a 2GB flash drive (doesn't really matter to me, I have a bunch already) and seems to be generally well-liked.

From what I can tell, all 5870s around the $400 mark are about the same; that one comes with a free game.
I'd like to have the Radeon 5870. It seems like one heck of a card. I'm thinking that the day comes when it can't max things will be around the time it's cheap enough to get a second one and *BAM* - back in the game!
I've looked at the 5850. It seems like a nice card, if it were actually around the MSRP $259 instead of the $300+ it costs now. As it is, I can't see any reason not to get the better card since it's not THAT much more expensive.



Now, something I'm wondering about:

I think it MAY be possible to build this cheaper with an i5-750 and 1156 mobo instead, due to combo deals, but I'm not certain.
I like AMD. I liked the Athlon 64 3000+ back in the day when I was running it in a big, gaudy blue tower. However, on my current computer, I have an Core 2 Duo e6750, so I'm fine with Intel if that's a better bang right now.

(The gist of what I have now: Core 2 Duo e6750, 8800gt, 2gb DDR2 ram, 450w PSU, Centurion 5 case, 7 year old 80gb HDD that I don't trust anymore, and 3 year old 250gb HDD, running Windows XP. This will probably go to my brother.)



Usage Info:
I overclock a little, not an extreme amount but I like squeezing a little extra performance out of things... overclocking the Phenom 955 to be a little faster than the 965 is right up my alley, for instance.
I use a lot of storage - mostly photos and music. No movies, but I do a lot of Photoshop work as well as hook my digital piano up to my computer for recording, both of which eat up space.
July 15, 2010 8:13:52 PM

You can't get the i5-750 cheaper than the AMD build. You can get that build cheaper though.

Here's a ~$1,000 build with everything above (plus added quality):

CPU/GPU: X4 955 and HD 5870 $520
Mobo/PSU: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 and Corsair 750HX Modular $215 after rebates
RAM: G.Skill Eco 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $105
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB $75
Case/Optical: Coolermaster 690 and cheap SATA DVD burner $83
HSF: Sychte SCMG-2100 $35

Total: $1,033 after $35 of rebates.

The board you picked is absolutely the lowest quality you can get. The one I've included is very high quality and very future proof. The RAM you picked wouldn't be that good for overclocking. The G.Skill Ecos are basically made for it.
July 15, 2010 8:14:57 PM

i5-750 is actually ~$80 more than a phenom II build.

You can actually do a x4 955 and 5870 build for under $1k.

Full build

HD
F3 500gb $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Can go with 1tb for $20 more if you need the extra space. 500gb is a fair amount though.

RAm
Ripjaw 1600 cas 7 4gb, $95 after promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Better timings

Case/Optical
Antec 300 Illusion and Liteon $77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU/PSU
XFX 5870 and XFX 750W $450 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU/MOBO
Phenom II x4 955 and Ga 890 ud3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total including shipping $991. Also another $30 savings in rebates/gift card

Can add a CM Hyper 212 Plus for $30
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-Plus/dp/B...

Related resources
July 15, 2010 8:22:55 PM

I keep forgetting that the Ripjaws have that combo code. If you include the 1 TB HDD and HSF in banthracis' build and the Ripjaws in mine, they're pretty close in price.

I'll say that the 300 Illusion is a great case, it's just going to be small. I'd much rather spend the extra and get a larger case.

I'm pretty much anti-8xx chipsets. I don't see why you'd want to pay more for them when all it gives you is the ability to drop in the X6 CPUs (which you don't need) without a BIOS update (which is free). I don't see a lot of value there.
July 15, 2010 8:30:17 PM

Newegg got rid of the phenom II x4 and 790 combo.

So it was choice of $140 890 and $25 off combo, or $140 790 and rebate, but no combo.

The GPU/PSU deal is just too good to pass up^^
July 15, 2010 8:39:09 PM

Considering that if you back into the deal like I did, you get the rebate and a $60 combo, I'd say you can pass up the GPU/PSU combo. You end up paying $10 more in total, but you get one of the best, must trusted PSUs out there.
July 15, 2010 8:48:29 PM

Yea, it's a trade off. I calculated it to a $5 difference, but you're right it's $10.

Shrug, I'm gonna call this a case of too close to call, which is the better deal =D

July 15, 2010 8:50:30 PM

Fair enough. I just can't come to relying on the XFX PSUs entirely yet. I know they've gotten excellent reviews, but I just can't get over the fact that they're new to making them...
July 15, 2010 8:56:27 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Fair enough. I just can't come to relying on the XFX PSUs entirely yet. I know they've gotten excellent reviews, but I just can't get over the fact that they're new to making them...


I believe they're all Seasonic internals (I know the 850 is, pretty sure 650 & 750 are...I guess I could check the jonnyguru review to be sure), so it's not like the components are really suspect.
July 15, 2010 9:09:14 PM

I dunno, XFX might have added an instant blow up PSU after 5 years device to it, so they can make more money in the future.

You notice they don't offer lifetime warranty for their PSU's ;) 

July 15, 2010 9:13:01 PM

I'm not saying it's necessarily completely rational to not like XFX PSUs after tehy get such great reviews, I'm just saying I'd like to see some history first.
July 15, 2010 11:17:49 PM

Thanks a bunch fellas for the build improvements and the warning about the Biostar board... Gigabyte is what I used last time and I've never had any problems with it.

I like that Cooler Master case as well... seems pretty roomy. After working with a smallish tower once, I appreciate extra space. Never had a modular PSU before. That'll be interesting.
It says that the case comes with 3 fans but has space for up to 7 120mm fans.
Should I add in another fan or two? They're cheap.


Here's a screenshot of what's in the cart right now:






Cooler question: Besides the Scythe and Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus previously mentioned (as well as the Xigmatek HDT S1283 in my original post), are there any other good HSFs that might be worth considering? There seem to be a ton around the $30-50 range.


Overall: Any other accessories or anything that might be useful?
July 16, 2010 12:05:30 AM

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

You COULD buy a SSD, and you would see an enormous difference, but it's 200$ premium over your budget. Definitively for a future upgrade.

You have a GREAT gaming build proposed buy two of the greatest posters of TH's forums which will be able to run most games maxed out at a resolution of 1920 x 1080. All of that for 1K. Dude you don't need anything else ;) 
July 16, 2010 12:17:37 AM

Problem with frio is that it's price of $60, puts it right with the Tuniq tower 120 extreme($63) which cools as well if not better, but makes a lot less noise.

At load there's a 43% noise increase for LESS performance vs the tuniq.
http://www.frostytech.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=252...

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

Either way, under $50, Cm Hyper 212 plus and Scythe Mugen are best choices. Xigmatech is same performance as a 212 plus for more money (assuming you're paying the correct $30).

Most of us are holding back SSD recommendations for the moment as there's gonna be a major shift in SSD's prices in a few months.

25nm flash is costing half the price per gb to make. Whether this translates to SSD's costing 1/2 the price or, doubling of capacity for same money, remains to be seen.
July 16, 2010 12:19:41 AM

Oh and the Xigmatech requires a separate mounting kit to work with socket 1156 and 1366.
July 16, 2010 12:22:26 AM

Didn't know about the SSD future price changes. Interesting though. So if I'm planning on buying a new PC in 2 weeks, this means I shouldn't buy a SSD ?

I'll give you the point about Heatsink if you explain me what's VRM temperature measurement. ;) 
July 16, 2010 12:32:04 AM

Why do I always get the tech detail questions? >.<

Not sure what you're exactly asking, but basic summary.

VRM (voltage Regulator Module for those who don't know) refers to a device that regulates the voltages going to a chip, like GPU or CPU (I know obvious).

Now, if you've ever looked at your PSU, you'll notice that it's got +3.3v, +5v and +12 v, yet whenever you look in your BIOS, you see voltages of 1.25v for CPU or maybe 1.5v for the ram and 1.02 or so for GPU. The VRM serves to transform the voltage coming from your PSU into the low voltages the various chips requires.

This process, like most transformers(the electricity kind, not Optimus Prime kind), generates heat, which causes VRM's to heat up.

VRM temp measurement would be measuring the temp of the VRM device (see what I mean when I say no idea what you're asking?).
July 16, 2010 12:43:02 AM

banthracis said:
Why do I always get the tech detail questions? >.<

Not sure what you're exactly asking, but basic summary.

VRM (voltage Regulator Module for those who don't know) refers to a device that regulates the voltages going to a chip, like GPU or CPU (I know obvious).

Now, if you've ever looked at your PSU, you'll notice that it's got +3.3v, +5v and +12 v, yet whenever you look in your BIOS, you see voltages of 1.25v for CPU or maybe 1.5v for the ram and 1.02 or so for GPU. The VRM serves to transform the voltage coming from your PSU into the low voltages the various chips requires.

This process, like most transformers(the electricity kind, not Optimus Prime kind), generates heat, which causes VRM's to heat up.

VRM temp measurement would be measuring the temp of the VRM device (see what I mean when I say no idea what you're asking?).


This is what I meant. Bottom chart.

LOL at Transformers ;) 
July 16, 2010 12:50:55 AM

VRM looks like this


notice it's next to CPU? When CPu fan spins air will flow over these guys as well, cooling them.

No idea why Tom's is testing temps on something that a HSF isn't designed to cool in the first place.

July 16, 2010 12:57:26 AM

banthracis said:
VRM looks like this
http://www.xbitlabs.com/images/mainboards/asus-p4p800e/vrm.jpg

notice it's next to CPU? When CPu fan spins air will flow over these guys as well, cooling them.

No idea why Tom's is testing temps on something that a HSF isn't designed to cool in the first place.


Ok, out of subject, but what about SSD ? Should I buy one or wait for the 25nms ?

July 16, 2010 1:11:25 AM

I'm watching transformers atm (the optimus prime kind), so I'm half paying attention...but I do recall saying

Quote:
Most of us are holding back SSD recommendations for the moment as there's gonna be a major shift in SSD's prices in a few months.
:kaola: 
July 16, 2010 1:11:59 AM

You should wait for them not to be insanely expensive, unless you're planning on building with a budget of above $2,000. You really need a drive that's at least 80 GB or larger to be useful. Anything under that and you'd be able to store the OS and one or two games on it, which isn't that much. Good 80 GB SSDs (like Intel's) will cost at least $200.
July 16, 2010 1:12:31 AM

If you have a ton of budget left over, an SSD is worthwhile. If you're stretching your budget as is, wait.
July 16, 2010 1:22:55 AM

I was planning on buying the Intel X25-M 80GB (The one you mentioned).
I have a 2000$ Budget including two 21'' 1920 x 1080....

Should I wait or not ?
July 16, 2010 1:45:19 AM

Wait I'm confused now, you're not the OP. What kinda build are you trying to do? You could just start your own thread following sticky and we'll help you there.

Unless it's urgent then yes, you should wait a few months for ssd.
July 16, 2010 1:58:03 AM

Thanks ;)  Sorry
July 16, 2010 2:56:49 AM

HAH, I get a kick out of starting threads that lead to discussion.


I'm going with the Scythe since it's in stock for the right price at Newegg and has extra fan mounting capability (I have a thing for fans.

Thanks everyone for all the assistance, I'm glad I came here for advice!
July 16, 2010 10:42:13 PM

Very sorry Sam.
July 18, 2010 3:31:41 AM

I have been following this topic since I had a build in mind almost the same as Sam's. And I was wondering, whos build is better? MadAnimal, or Banthracis? Also, the x4 955 won't bottleneck the 5870, will it?
July 18, 2010 3:52:14 AM

The builds are about equal. I will add that my build is $10 cheaper than listed above right now (the CM 690 combo went down in price), while banthracis' build went up $10 (the Ripjaws' promo code is gone). Counting the HSFs, my build would be $8 cheaper. I personally think mine's a little better, as the PSU is higher quality and the case is a little bigger. Also, the HSF I included is generally considered slightly better overall than the Hyper 212 Plus. banthracis' board is a little newer, but the 8xx chipset doesn't really do that much. Really though, both are excellent builds. It mostly depends on price...

The 955 certainly won't bottleneck the 5870. In fact, the CPU is almost never the bottleneck. I could have easily stuck in the cheapest current socket CPU and it would be perfectly fine.
July 18, 2010 2:35:25 PM

Thanks a bunch. I think I will go with your build. Cheers, and happy building!
!