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Review before I order

Last response: in Systems
July 19, 2010 5:44:54 PM

Hey guys, I'm building a budget gaming pc for my brother and using some of his recycled parts. (atx case, optical drives, hd) But before I purchase, I wanted to check in for feedback.





power supply (700w is more than he'll need with this build, but it was actually cheaper than the 500w alternative due to bundling):

all in all, it'll cost $350 after mail in rebates. looking forward to your thoughts, so if you've read this far, thanks!

More about : review order

July 19, 2010 6:02:33 PM

I wouldn't build that. First, OCZ RAM has compatibility issues with a wide range of boards. They're to be avoided at all costs. Second, the 4xxx series cards are old tech. You really should be looking at some of the 5xxx cards. Third, the board is not exactly current.

I'm assuming the $350 is about the budget for those parts. Here's what I'd look at:

CPU: X3 440 $75
GPU: HD 5750 $115 after rebate
Mobo/PSU: Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 and OCZ ModXStream 700W $110 after rebates
RAM: GeIL 2x2 GB 1333 mhz CAS Latency 9 $82

Total: $382. Couldn't quite get it under $350...
July 19, 2010 6:07:13 PM

It looks pretty good for your budget. With the GPU you are buying a DX10 (DirectX 10) only card when DX11 has come out but if you were going to get a DX11 card it would mean spending more money for less performance. The 4850, however, will be enough to get you by in most games for a year or so but just be aware that it's already getting outdated. I wouldn't say you could really get a better CPU for your money but you could get a cheaper motherboard such as this which supports everything you need. Just so you know ASRock is a division of ASUS and their boards are basically cheaper versions of ASUS boards.

I agree with you on the power supply; good choice and obviously better to get the 700w if it's cheaper! The RAM is good also :) 

EDIT: I was going to suggest something with a 5770 but I figured if challengepower wanted to spend more he would've chosen to spend more originally. Anyway, challengepower, if you can afford to spend a bit extra you will get better futureproofing and possibly better performance with MadAdrmiral's suggestions although I think there's not much in it between the 4850 and the 5770.
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July 19, 2010 6:20:10 PM

Oh wait, I didn't see your edit there, I thought you still had the 5770 in there ;) 
Wouldn't the performance of a 4850 actually be better than a 5750 though? If so, I would recommend that the OP actually gets the 4850. There's no point having DX11 etc. if you don't have the performance to run DX11 games properly. Nice DP by the way ;) 
July 19, 2010 6:29:11 PM

The 4850 and the 5750 are about equal, with the edge going to the 5750. Check out the charts section. The "Sum of FPS Benchmarks 1680x1050" has the 5750 at 205.6 and the 4850 at 175.4, which isn't a huge difference (it lessens at higher resolutions), but the additional features make it worth it in my opinion.
July 19, 2010 6:30:18 PM

Fair enough then. I don't think $300 is too much to ask to get better reliability, performance and futureproofing.
July 19, 2010 6:37:20 PM

First, OCZ RAM has compatibility issues with a wide range of boards. They're to be avoided at all costs.

I guess that answers the question I had in the memory subforum. ( I've purchased an OCZ psu in the past, and it's been great, I guess that doesn't really apply to their memory?

Third, the board is not exactly current.

Can I ask what you mean by this? What exactly should I be looking for in a mobo? this is something that has confused me a bit in the past as well. I was sure to check the socket type, memory standard and chip sets.

Wouldn't the performance
of a 4850 actually be better than a 5750 though?

I was contemplating between these 2 exactly. I mentioned this to my brother, as I have a 4850 myself, but I don't see too many games taking so much advantage of DX11 where DX10 becomes obsolete in these years to come.

In comparable benchmarks though, your comment has me wondering if the 4850 outperforms the 5750 in DX10?
July 19, 2010 6:43:50 PM

OCZ PSUs aren't even that high quality any more. They're excellent for their price though. Their RAM is just atrocious though. The voltage is all messed up. It's not worth the little bit of money saved to risk getting sticks that won't work.

The board isn't current because it doesn't have USB 3/SATA III support. That's basically it. Most high quality new boards will have that, making the build more future proof as you can add the newer devices to it later and not lose any speed. If you really wanted to be future proof, I'd spend a tad (like $20-30) more and get a USB 3/SATA III board with Crossfire support.

It doesn't. The 5750 is just slightly faster across the board. The GPU itself is an improved 4850 core, so without counting the special features (DX 11, bitstreaming, cooler operation, lower power usage, better in Crossfire, etc.) the 5750 is more powerful.

DX 11 isn't something that's necessary right now, but it will be in a year or two. I certainly wouldn't buy a new card that wasn't a DX 11 card right now.
July 19, 2010 6:47:22 PM

I'm with you on that. For my next upgrade I'm looking at around the 5830/GTX 460 point (when I have the money :(  lol)
To be honest though, USB 3 and SATA 6gb/s are only really on higher midrange boards and there are like no devices that support them fully at the moment as they're not yet fast enough to benefit from the increased bandwidth (although obviously I take your point on the future proofing). Seeing as I would fit this build into a "budget" category, challengepower, I would say you don't need to worry about not having those features.
July 19, 2010 7:21:34 PM

DX 11 isn't something that's necessary right now, but it will be in a year or two. I certainly wouldn't buy a new card that wasn't a DX 11 card right now.

Ok, if I'm not mistaken, just because the 5750 is DX11, doesn't mean it will run DX11 games well, correct?

and another, more broad question: I'm assuming DX11 games will still run under DX10 cards without the graphical improvements?

I'm having a helluva time finding memory compatibility charts on the Asus website, but I should probably add I have an ASUS board myself, with OCZ memory and have never encountered any problem.

July 19, 2010 7:23:49 PM

As of now there aren't any DX11 only games so yes they will still run with DX10. No it doesn't mean it can run DX11 games well but if MadAdmiral is right then it's faster than the 4850 anyway.

I think I may remember someone saying something about OCZ memory but I haven't heard anything (bad) about it for ages.
July 19, 2010 7:31:33 PM

DX 11 only games won't run on DX 10 games. Games that are released with both DX 10 and DX 11 settings will.

As for the OCZ memory issues, I think it's mostly a recent thing. I do know that it's very hit or miss. Sometimes there won't be a problem, sometimes there will be. I'd pay extra just to avoid the chance of it not working.
July 19, 2010 7:32:41 PM

Yeah but I meant that I think the only DX11 games out there at all at the moment also support DX10. I wasn't under the impression that there were any DX11 games out yet.
July 19, 2010 7:35:07 PM

That is true, but it won't be down the road.
July 19, 2010 7:36:33 PM

That is also true. I'm with the OP getting a 5750 anyway, along with the rest of your changes. It's just up to them whether they want to spend the extra $30 or so.
July 19, 2010 7:40:02 PM

Admiral, I noticed you recommended Athlon II X3 440 over the Athlon II X3 445. Is the difference between the two worth $10?

And I've never built anything with Geil memory, what's the scoop on them?
July 19, 2010 7:41:18 PM

3GHz is a nice round figure. Might as well save a bit of money and get the 440. The performance difference will be negligible.
July 19, 2010 7:43:19 PM

^That's why I picked the cheaper one.
July 19, 2010 7:47:58 PM

not sure if you saw my edit, but what's the scoop on Geil memory? I've never built anything from that manufacturer. Reliable? Are their products made of quality or generally on the cheaper side?
July 19, 2010 8:20:46 PM

They're one of the best budget brands. Generally, with the exclusion of OCZ, all RAM brands are failry equal.