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600-750$ Gaming PC.. Overwhelmed by Options

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July 22, 2010 8:13:03 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Hopefully today, if all goes well

BUDGET RANGE: 600-750$

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Photoshop, Movies, Homework

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Monitor, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: I don't know enough to know the good and bad brands, any insight is more than welcome.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Last computer died, which was a hybrid of store bought + upgraded parts. I heard store bought computers have a tendency to die pretty shortly after the warranties finish, so I wanted to make my own this time.. plus it is cheaper. I haven't built a computer before, but my friend who has is more than willing to help. Like the title says, the biggest trouble I am having is sorting through all the options and the brands and knowing which is best. I haven't decided on a single part yet, so unfortunately, I have none to post here.. Thanks in advance for any help!
July 22, 2010 9:10:27 PM

Hey, thanks for the quick reply, I really appreciate it! It looks great, but like I said, I'm a little un-savvy so I have a couple questions that anyone can answer if they'd like to..

1. Mixing an AMD processor with an Intel GPU won't affect anything, right?

2. Is it alright to downgrade the HD if I will never use 1 TB or will it affect performance?

3. Is the 1 fan that comes with the case sufficient? i'm assuming it is since I most likely won't overclock..

4. Is OCZ an alright brand for the PSU? I've heard mixed reviews for them, but I'm willing to trust your judgment if they are fine.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 22, 2010 9:15:59 PM

1.) Nope. That's pretty much a myth stemming from a long time ago when virtually all CPUs were Intel and ATI GPUs had major driver issues.

2.) Just get the 500 GB version of the Spinpoint F3. It'll only save $20 though.

3.) Probably. You may want to add a second if issues arise.

4.) They're good for the price. I wouldn't get one that cuts too close to the wattage needed, which this one doesn't.
a b 4 Gaming
July 22, 2010 9:17:07 PM

Athlon II x3 and 5850 alternative w/ xfire potential

GPU
GA 5850 $300 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAm
G SKill Eco $105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD and Case
7200.12 500GB and NZXT Gamma $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

PSU/optical
OCZ 550W and Sony $73 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CPU/Mobo
Athlon II x3 and Ga 790 UD4 $198 w/ $15 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total: $721 after shipping and rebates


Only thing I don't like is the case, but besides that's its a top notch gaming build.

Alternatively, you can get a Phenom II x4 945 into the build for $750 after rebates using this mobo/cpu combo instead. No xfire potential though.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
July 22, 2010 9:25:40 PM

Thanks guys, I enjoy the good help, but now I can't decide on a system.. Are there pros and cons to each or are their specs so close that it's just a matter of personal preference?

I also apologize for all the questions.. I just wanna get it right the first time.
July 22, 2010 9:37:39 PM

For a cheap but solid case I would recommend the Antec 300 Illusion. It comes with 4 fans and should keep things cool.

Antec 300 Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower


Heres a nice combo with a PSU. Antec makes quality PSU's:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Also, I have to go with MadAdmiral's CPU/GPU build as being the better option. A quad-core CPU is nice, and the Geforce 460 is almost as powerful as the Radeon 5850 but is about $40 less.
a b 4 Gaming
July 22, 2010 9:41:46 PM

If you're willing to OC the CPU a bit, the Athlon II x3 and 5850 will give you better FPS.

However, the x4 will be better at non-gaming workstation tasks, and in general, CPU's last longer than GPU's before being outdated.

The Athlon II + 5850 has xfire mobo.

The phenom II x4 builds do not.

Mad used a 1tb hd, I used a 500gb.

Those are the main differences.

July 22, 2010 10:57:13 PM

Final question, hopefully.. How big of difference is it between the:
GeForce 460 GTX 768MB 192-bit or,
GeForce 460 GTX 1GB 256-bit
a b 4 Gaming
July 22, 2010 11:46:28 PM

768mb vs 1gb 460 depends on resolution. While the 768 is better performance/$, the 1gb is the one to get due as the RAM limitation makes a big difference at higher resolutions.

Both Tom's and anandtech have in depth reviews if you wanna take a look.

a b 4 Gaming
July 23, 2010 5:16:59 AM

You will not be able to sli the gtx 460 in the future.

SLI is not supported by ATI chipsets. There are a few boards with a SLI chip that will work. Those aren't ATI supported either though.

July 23, 2010 5:41:08 AM

SLI isn't a big deal to me, if I had more to spend, maybe, but my budget is always fairly limited, so I don't think I'll have spare cash any time soon for another GTX 460. Aside from that, does the rest look fine?
July 23, 2010 5:55:28 AM

If you don't want crossfire, get a board that doesn't support it to save some money if you can find a comparable combo deal.
a b 4 Gaming
July 23, 2010 6:14:52 AM

HD 5850 is way better than the GTX460/768

GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 + AMD Athlon II X3 440
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB + Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 + NZXT GAMMA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
SAPPHIRE 100282-3SR Radeon HD 5850 (or whatever 5850)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
LITE-ON Black 24X DV
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$717.92

NZXT Gamma is a good case.
a b 4 Gaming
July 23, 2010 6:49:16 AM

Agree but if GTX 460 build should come in way cheaper :p  $660AR

Knock off $20 if F3 500GB is fine
July 28, 2010 12:40:12 AM

A few days later, I finally decided to go with something very close to batuchka's build, just changed the case and ram. Thanks to anyone who gave input, I gave every post a thumbs up because each post helped! Definitely a big fan of Tom's Hardware now :) 
!