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New Desktop Pricing Assistance

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July 24, 2010 10:51:59 PM

Hi guys:

I'm new to tomshardware but this seemed like a good forum for computer assistance. My Mac laptop is going on 4 years old and I am going to need to replace it soon I feel. I leaning towards a Windows 7 desktop because I'll be out of college and won't need the portability as much. I also enjoy gaming and figured a nice PC would complement my 23in Samsung LED monitor I got for my xbox 360.

This is what I have roughly created for $740:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 925 2.8ghz
AMD Heatsink/Fan
ASUS motherboard, standard
RAM: 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz
HD: 750GB 7200rpm
Optical: 22x LG SATA Dual layer DVD+-RW
Graphics Card: 1GB ATI Radeon 5750
OS: Windows 7 Home 64bit
Power: 550 watt stock supply

How would you guys rate this computer with regards to both performance, and it's value for $740? Are there parts I should exchange around to get better performance for similar cost? I noticed AMD chips are MUCH cheaper than Intel...are Intel significantly better or is it just their larger name/marketing? Should I add a cheap sound card? I have heard a new round of Nvidia cards are coming out soon...so should I hold off and get one of those instead? It's not an emergency to buy a PC right now.
Source: this was using eCollegePC, a website recommended to me by a fraternity brother who loves his computer from them.
July 24, 2010 11:23:51 PM

Pretty decent.

Intel CPUs/motherboards are more expensive because well... it's Intel. They have a faster architecture although the Phenom IIs perform decently enough, and it's also to do with marketing.

Sound cards... not really worth it with a ~$750 budget.

You would be better making your own... but it's up to you. It's actually not a bad PC for an OEM... normally they stick an i7 930 and unbalance it severely with an HD 5570 or something but this looks alright.
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July 24, 2010 11:50:40 PM

Lmeow said:
Pretty decent.

Intel CPUs/motherboards are more expensive because well... it's Intel. They have a faster architecture although the Phenom IIs perform decently enough, and it's also to do with marketing.

Sound cards... not really worth it with a ~$750 budget.

You would be better making your own... but it's up to you. It's actually not a bad PC for an OEM... normally they stick an i7 930 and unbalance it severely with an HD 5570 or something but this looks alright.


I have never made a computer and I'm just a bit nervous about breaking something/irreparably screwing something up lol. How difficult is it? I'm pretty intelligent but I guess it's just 1st time jitters. Could I get all that for less money if I made it? Like through Newegg? If I could get it for a better price, what part of the system would you improve for best performance/longevity?
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July 25, 2010 12:07:30 AM

It's more like you could get better parts for the same price.

I would improve the motherboard, because no doubt they'll stick a µATX AM3 board in there with a 760G chipset or something cheap.

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July 25, 2010 12:52:55 AM

Lmeow said:
It's more like you could get better parts for the same price.

I would improve the motherboard, because no doubt they'll stick a µATX AM3 board in there with a 760G chipset or something cheap.


I put together a different system with the Intel builder. This one is around $825 with a 2.8ghz Intel i5 760 and as ASrock P55M Pro mother board. Everything else is identical. Is this Intel chip quite a bit better for the increase in cost? You can add an i7 860 for $70 more...
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Anonymous
July 25, 2010 1:23:54 AM

It is quite a bit faster but I'd say your money would much better be spent on the graphics card. With that CPU you might get an extra 5 FPS in games but by spending $75 more on the graphics card instead you'll gain more like 20 FPS average.

I could put together a list of components for like $750-$850 if that's your budget roughly to give you an idea about what you could get if you bought the parts from newegg and built it yourself. I'm sure someone else will beat me to it though...
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July 25, 2010 1:27:29 AM

Anonymous said:
It is quite a bit faster but I'd say your money would much better be spent on the graphics card. With that CPU you might get an extra 5 FPS in games but by spending $75 more on the graphics card instead you'll gain more like 20 FPS average.

I could put together a list of components for like $750-$850 if that's your budget roughly to give you an idea about what you could get if you bought the parts from newegg and built it yourself. I'm sure someone else will beat me to it though...


If you could do that, it would be lovely :bounce: 
I've never done it before so I'm just sort of guessing lol. Price range somewhere around $800, best performance possible. Thanks again!
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Anonymous
July 25, 2010 1:39:01 AM

CPU: Phenom II X4 945 - $139.99
Fast quad core processor.

Motherboard: ASRock M3A770DE - $59.99
Good board which supports everything you need for this build.

RAM: OCZ 4GB Kit DDR3 1600MHz - $95
Decent speed, 4GB is enough for now.

Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 460 1GB - $229.99
Very good card, tons faster than the 5750 in that build.

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB - $74.99
Reliable and fast, as well as spacious.

Optical Drive: Lite-On 24x DVD RW - $17.99
Cheap, does the job. Don't need to spend more money on this.

Power Supply: Thermaltake 600W - $64.99
Enough power and connectors for your system and it's from a reliable company too.

Case: Rosewill Black Case - $29.99
Pretty cheap case but unless you're spending more than a grand overall there's no real need to spend more on a case.

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - $99.99
Same old really. No reason to spend more and get Pro or Ultimate.

Total: $812.92

This will beat either of those setups in games and the first one in general use. You also get more hard drive space and all of the benefits that come with building your own PC (customization, upgradeability etc.)

EDIT: Aha, my plan worked! I thought I'd start putting together a build before you actually answered so that even if you said no I could show you anyway XD
I didn't realise you'd posted that until after I posted this :lol: 
Damn, it still took me 12 minutes :( 
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July 25, 2010 1:54:22 AM

Anonymous said:
CPU: Phenom II X4 945 - $139.99
Fast quad core processor.

Motherboard: ASRock M3A770DE - $59.99
Good board which supports everything you need for this build.

RAM: OCZ 4GB Kit DDR3 1600MHz - $95
Decent speed, 4GB is enough for now.

Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 460 1GB - $229.99
Very good card, tons faster than the 5750 in that build.

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 1TB - $74.99
Reliable and fast, as well as spacious.

Optical Drive: Lite-On 24x DVD RW - $17.99
Cheap, does the job. Don't need to spend more money on this.

Power Supply: Thermaltake 600W - $64.99
Enough power and connectors for your system and it's from a reliable company too.

Case: Rosewill Black Case - $29.99
Pretty cheap case but unless you're spending more than a grand overall there's no real need to spend more on a case.

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - $99.99
Same old really. No reason to spend more and get Pro or Ultimate.

Total: $812.92

This will beat either of those setups in games and the first one in general use. You also get more hard drive space and all of the benefits that come with building your own PC (customization, upgradeability etc.)

EDIT: Aha, my plan worked! I thought I'd start putting together a build before you actually answered so that even if you said no I could show you anyway XD
I didn't realise you'd posted that until after I posted this :lol: 
Damn, it still took me 12 minutes :( 


Thanks for putting that together for me, I'm definitely gonna check it out. Are there other parts I would need to actually put it together like cables or screws? Or is all of that included in the other pieces?
I believe Crysis, that 3 year old game lol is still the graphical standard for computers. Any idea how well this would run Crysis? Ballpark haha.
Thanks again :) 
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Anonymous
July 25, 2010 2:03:21 AM

The motherboard should come with the SATA cables for the hard drive and DVD drive and the case will come with screws. As for tools: you will need a screwdriver, for the screws.

God, tell me about Crysis. When Crysis was out I believe my graphics card was the third fastest card out there and it can't really run it on medium too well. For your computer, assuming that your monitor is 1080p, I'd say you'd probably be looking at medium or high settings without anti aliasing to get decent frame rates. You could always turn the in-game resolution down as well. Ball-park - medium to high on Crysis basically. You'll definitely be able to play it but you'd be looking at upwards of $2k to get something which will actually be able to max it out at your resolution :o 
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July 25, 2010 2:07:24 AM

Anonymous said:
The motherboard should come with the SATA cables for the hard drive and DVD drive and the case will come with screws. As for tools: you will need a screwdriver, for the screws.

God, tell me about Crysis. When Crysis was out I believe my graphics card was the third fastest card out there and it can't really run it on medium too well. For your computer, assuming that your monitor is 1080p, I'd say you'd probably be looking at medium or high settings without anti aliasing to get decent frame rates. You could always turn the in-game resolution down as well. Ball-park - medium to high on Crysis basically. You'll definitely be able to play it but you'd be looking at upwards of $2k to get something which will actually be able to max it out at your resolution :o 


Jesus, it's crazy that the game is that old and still destroys computers. Upcoming games I am also looking at are StarCraft 2, Diablo 3, and then Rage. I'm pretty sure if it can run Crysis it should be able to run these lol. Thanks again :) 
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Anonymous
July 25, 2010 2:11:24 AM

It'll tear through Starcraft II but the system requirements haven't been announced for the other two yet. Don't worry about it though, you'll be able to run them ;) 
You're welcome. Any more questions, don't hesitate to ask. :) 
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July 25, 2010 2:21:05 AM

Anonymous said:
It'll tear through Starcraft II but the system requirements haven't been announced for the other two yet. Don't worry about it though, you'll be able to run them ;) 
You're welcome. Any more questions, don't hesitate to ask. :) 


Awesome, I wish everyone on forums was as courteous and helpful as you are!
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July 25, 2010 2:40:49 AM

There are a few suggestions I would make to dangerman's build, which is well put together.

I'd personally go for the SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1 TB, priced similarly but should be a bit faster.

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

As for the motherboard, I'd spend an extra $15 and get the ASRock 770 Extreme3 which has SATA/USB 3 - most USB 3.0 cards cost around $30, so you're already saving money in a sense.

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

I'm not exactly a fan of Thermaltake products, including PSUs. For $5, you get a far more reliable PSU with better efficiency, the SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W - SeaSonic is one of the best PSU manufacturers. It has enough power for any single card setup (except the higher end GTX 295, HD 4870 X2 and the HD 5970 (technically speaking, it has more than enough power for it, just it gets a bit too close in terms of power consumption).

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

If you need modular cabling, the Antec BP550 Plus would be a good choice:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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July 25, 2010 3:15:50 AM

Lmeow said:
There are a few suggestions I would make to dangerman's build, which is well put together.

I'd personally go for the SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1 TB, priced similarly but should be a bit faster.

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

As for the motherboard, I'd spend an extra $15 and get the ASRock 770 Extreme3 which has SATA/USB 3 - most USB 3.0 cards cost around $30, so you're already saving money in a sense.

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

I'm not exactly a fan of Thermaltake products, including PSUs. For $5, you get a far more reliable PSU with better efficiency, the SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W - SeaSonic is one of the best PSU manufacturers. It has enough power for any single card setup (except the higher end GTX 295, HD 4870 X2 and the HD 5970 (technically speaking, it has more than enough power for it, just it gets a bit too close in terms of power consumption).

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

If you need modular cabling, the Antec BP550 Plus would be a good choice:

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


thanks for the input :wahoo:  now I just have to figure out how to put it all together lol
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July 25, 2010 11:41:06 PM

Update: a friend found me an Intel i7 930 for $200 and I've heard they are much better so I will likely be going with that one:) 
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!