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First timer building a StarCraft 2 rig!

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August 1, 2010 7:29:33 PM

Dear Tom's Hardwarians! I have a mission for you, and that is to help a 16 year old dude build his very first computer!

The Scenario
-Run StarCraft 2 in High/Ultra with good fps (40+) even on big custom maps.
-Use my old hard drive. I can't separate from my XP Home Edition :) .

My build

GPU $230

MOTHERBOARD $140

4GB RAM $100

POWER SUPPLY $120

CPU $170

= $760

Questions:
-For the case, should I use my spare computer's case?
-Do I really need a power supply? I got a spare power supply thats probably 500w.

Also feel free to recommend any changes!
a b B Homebuilt system
a c 277 ) Power supply
August 1, 2010 7:34:12 PM

The parts you picked cannot work together, you have an intel processor and an AM3 board, not a chance of it fitting together. Post using this template and we can help you pick out parts that will actually be compatible, of good quality, and work well for your needs.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
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August 1, 2010 7:57:03 PM

OR I can upgrade my 5 year old computer

Intel 3.0ghz single core -> Duo Core 3.0ghz $170
ATI HD4650 1G -> NVIDIA GTX460 $230
2G DDR RAM + 2G DDR RAM $75
= $475

Now I'm not sure if all of these fit into a 5 year old computer


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Related resources
August 1, 2010 8:04:35 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This month

BUDGET RANGE: 500-900 Before Rebate

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: StarCraft 2 and upcoming Blizzard games

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Casing, Power Supply (BFGR 450W)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA east

PARTS PREFERENCES: can adapt

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENT: I'm building this in case my 5 year old computer can't be upgraded
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 277 ) Power supply
August 1, 2010 10:22:07 PM

What case do you currently have? Im going to include a new PSU in my build because your old one isnt too good, and a new case just to make sure you can fit everything.

This comes to $870 before $20 MIR
Gigabyte GTX 460 $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX 650W/Antec 900 $165 - $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Samsung F3 1TB $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gskill Eco 2x2GB 1600MHz $105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i5 760/ASUS P7P55 LX $295
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

If you need a new copy of windows it will add another 90 or 100 onto the price.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2010 12:36:03 AM

Or a Athlon II x3 for like $80
for graphics an HD 5770 for like $150
and a 770 chipset mobo for like $80
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August 2, 2010 1:26:52 AM
August 2, 2010 2:59:02 AM

Quote:
here is a build for $745.92 before $40 rebates

cpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103808

ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820226154

psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817341016

gpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814125333

mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813130290

hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822148433

case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811163168

odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827136180

this build can max out any game at that resoloution

Wow thanks for your build

So after rebate its $700, and with my 450W extra power supply and extra case, thats ~$590.

Ok I've never dealt with a new hard drive before, so should I buy the Windows 7 System Builder's software to install it into that hard drive?

I'd really love to copy the contents of my old hard drive to the new one, and be able to boot it, but I don't know how
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August 2, 2010 3:06:46 AM

pasido said:
Quote:
here is a build for $745.92 before $40 rebates

cpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103808

ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820226154

psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817341016

gpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814125333

mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813130290

hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822148433

case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811163168

odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827136180

this build can max out any game at that resoloution

Wow thanks for your build

So after rebate its $700, and with my 450W extra power supply and extra case, thats ~$590.

Ok I've never dealt with a new hard drive before, so should I buy the Windows 7 System Builder's software to install it into that hard drive?

I'd really love to copy the contents of my old hard drive to the new one, and be able to boot it, but I don't know how


dunno about transfering, although u could probobly buy a program for that of some sort. why're you goin for the system builder and not the full version? just to be safe of course
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2010 3:19:55 AM

The 460 is a pretty good card. But if you ever want to add a second card, you won't be able to. Since that mobo can do it, I think you should keep that option open. So get an HD 5770 or HD 5830. Or if you're cool with ebay a HD 4890 would also do it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2010 11:44:02 AM

AMD Athlon II x3 RANA 440 - $77
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI 750 + Windows 7- $190
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

G Skill 4gb 1600mhz ECO RAM - $105
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte 460 - $230
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Drive - $18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Case/XFX PSU 650W - $145 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total: $765 ($745 after rebate
This includes Windows 7 which you will want and need.
I would try to squeeze a decent monitor into the budget simply because it is criminal to play at such low resolution.

Asus 21.5 inch 1920 x 1080 resolution monitor$180 ($160 after rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

New total: $925 pre rebate ($885 after rebate)

Just outside budget, but gives you a new build with windows 7 and a decent monitor as well. The only problem is you would be using the old HDD unless you have $55 for a Samsung Spinpoint F3.

The CPU is cheaper but a great performer, the GPU will manage at HD resolution especially if you OC it, the motherboard can run SLI if ever you wanted a second GTX460.

If you are not buying a new monitor a 5770 GPU will be a better buy for you as even that is overkill but is only $150. You can then get a different motherboard as you no longer need SLI
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August 2, 2010 11:52:20 AM

great build asteldian but the x3 will be a huge bottle neck if u sli the gtx 460's
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August 2, 2010 11:58:14 AM
August 2, 2010 12:35:39 PM

Well the case I have I got from a guy who builds computer, so it's big enough.

I probably won't go for SLI, 2 graphics cards is just overkill, since I'm just running Starcraft 2 and I don't plan on getting any other hardcore games like Crysis 2.

I've researched that StarCraft 2 only uses 2 cores so it all comes down to the GHZ's
http://www.techspot.com/review/305-starcraft2-performan...

So I'm opting for this one for my budget:

AMD Phenom II 555 3.2GHZ - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It'll perform as well as a quad core 3.2hz since SC2 only utilizes 2 cores.

So here is my build so far:

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

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

psu: Using my own 450W BFG

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

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

hdd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-> Not trusting the Seagate ones from customer reviews, and 1TB is overkill

case: Using my own case

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

100.99 + 229.99 + 69.99 + 54.99 + 17.99 = $473.95
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August 2, 2010 12:38:49 PM

never ever get a dual core these days the upcoming games will all utilize 4 cores and it's only $60 more
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August 2, 2010 12:52:36 PM

Well the only game I'm planning to get after SC2 is Diablo 3, and I doubt Blizzard will utilize a quad core for that

I'm also planning on getting Windows 7 64bit For System Builders, for $90 combo, so it is $560 total
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
a c 139 ) Power supply
August 2, 2010 1:01:41 PM

Hello pasido;
The GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI isn't listed on the Gigabyte website yet but the recommended power requirements for the GTX 460/768 listed on the website says "*Minimum 550W or greater system power supply with two 6-pin external power connectors"

Phenom II x2 555 3.2GHZ or Phenom II x4 955 3.2GHZ? You aren't buying your parts for this years (or last years) games. Look ahead at what else coming out soon & into the future and the x4 makes a lot more sense.
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Anonymous
August 2, 2010 1:03:30 PM

There's no point building a computer which will work great with Starcraft 2 but then finding out that some new game you want to play doesn't work very well at all with dual cores. You'll only end up kicking yourself for doing that.

Do not use that old PSU! Whilst it may be okay in your current computer, it's 5 years old and in power supplies, capacitors wear out over time, meaning that it will no longer be able to produce the 450W which it says it should. Anyhow, the MINIMUM for a GTX 460 is a 450W PSU, so you want to add a little on there for safety. I'd get a 650W or higher if I were you.

Also, when operating systems are installed they are essentially paired with the system they are installed on. Moving your hard drive to a new computer (or copying everything on it to a new hard drive IN a new computer) will not allow you to boot from Windows XP. What I suggest you do is firstly build your new PC and install Windows 7, then put your old hard drive in alongside your new one and copy all the files you need from there onto your new drive. You can then use the old drive as a backup, as extra storage, or you can remove it and use it elsewhere (or get rid of it :p )

My recommendations:

CPU: Phenom II X4 955 - $159.99
Very fast quad core processor.

Motherboard & OS: ASUS M4A87TD & Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - $189.98
Good board which supports SLI for the future.

RAM: Mushkin Enhance Sliverline - $97.99
Decent speed, 4GB is enough for now.

Graphics Card: Zotac GTX 460 1GB & Free Just Cause 2 - $229.99
Very good card, is enough for now especially considering you're only playing at a reasonably low resolution. Just Cause 2 is great fun too :bounce: 

Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $74.99
Fast, spacious drive.

Optical Drive: Lite-On 24x DVD RW - $18.99
Cheap, does the job. Don't need to spend more money on this.

Power Supply: Corsair 650TX - $89.99
Enough power and connections for your system, won't have to worry about anything with this. Corsair is one of the most reliable companies for PSUs.

Total: $861.92 before rebates

EDIT: I hadn't seen that page on the Gigabyte card. On the Palit site and the Nvidia site it says you need a 450W PSU.
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2010 1:08:21 PM

3 Core is the sweet spot, that is why the RANA 440 is so popular. It is 3ghz and has the 3 cores. The reason quad core is much better than dual core is simply because of the addition of a third core rather than the 4th. It is why AMD were smart to release tri core processors.

I went with the RANA because the money saved could go towards a bigger screen. I would not get a dual core under any circumstance now, especially when the RANA x3 is fast and cheap. Remember, while Star Craft uses two cores, you also have any and everything else the computer runs sharing those cores at the same time. By going with a tri core processor, you free up the load on the cores so that they arededicated pretty much purely on Starcraft 2 while Windows, Skype and other programmes make use of the extra core

If you are not going to get a new monitor now or in the near future then don't bother with the GTX460, at your resolution you can save $70 be going with the 5770 and even then will have more GPU power than you need.
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August 2, 2010 1:43:16 PM
August 2, 2010 3:25:49 PM

If you want to compare your rig to those already playing SC2 on ultra check out this thread: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_i...

Also, you will proabbly have difficulty swapping the hard drive to a new motherboard. Make sure you have a backup. Use your xp home edition installation cd to do a repair install when booting up for the first time. Make sure you also have your product key (they are several free download programs that will find your key encrypted on your registry as well as a way to create your own xp installation disc in the event you lost yours).
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a b B Homebuilt system
August 2, 2010 3:48:21 PM

@asteldian

Thank god there's someone else here who doesn't want to spend lots of money for no reason.
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August 2, 2010 5:07:13 PM

Ok after seeing many suggestions to go for quad core I decided that a 3 core would be adequate for my needs. Like I said I don't plan on getting any other games other than the ones blizzard releases. I have been playing Warcraft 3 for years over any other games, other than StarCraft 2.

MOBO + OS $159.98 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
-> For AMD3 and Windows 7

HDD $54.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-> 500GB is good enough

CPU $84.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
->2 3.1GHZ Cores for SC2
1 3.1GHZ Core for other stuff

RAM $89.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - My own 450W and its only 1 years old

GPU $149.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-> I realized that gtx460 is waay overkill for my resolution

ODD $17.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-> for drivers and SC2 install

= $557.93 before $15 REBATE
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August 2, 2010 5:27:05 PM

You're going to need a bigger PSU than 450W to power that graphics cards.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/279391-28-power-requi...

Even though it's mid-range, their site also recommends a 450W PSU. Using that, 45oW/12V = 37.5A. Does your PSU get that much amperage on one rail? I think you need to go bigger.
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Best solution

August 2, 2010 5:27:31 PM
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August 2, 2010 5:28:43 PM

no he only needs 450 Watt or greater power supply with one 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors
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August 2, 2010 5:43:47 PM

Well that ODD comes with a $7 shipping O.o

The processor and gpu ill consider

I don't trust those Mushkin RAMs, no customer reviews
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August 2, 2010 5:50:45 PM

mushkin is a recommended brand it's very high quality and comes with lifetime warranty.
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August 2, 2010 5:57:03 PM

Also is 3.0ghz -> 3.1ghz a big difference?
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August 2, 2010 6:01:27 PM

no you will notice nothing
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August 2, 2010 7:26:42 PM

Well modifying my previous build I have this:

MOBO + OS $159.98 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HDD 160GB $38.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(I usually only use 80GB max)

CPU $76.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM $89.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - My own 450W and its only 1 years old

GPU $139.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ODD $17.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

=$523.93 Before $30 rebate

Sounds good
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August 2, 2010 8:59:48 PM

good build good luck and happy building
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August 2, 2010 9:15:44 PM

Thanks :D 
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August 2, 2010 9:16:07 PM

Best answer selected by pasido.
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