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~$800 gaming PC, final revision

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August 10, 2010 9:15:13 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week roughly

BUDGET RANGE: Preferably less than $800, after rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Video games, video game programming, general use

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, DVD drive

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg's nice, but so long as it's a reputable website...

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Don't care so long as it works

OVERCLOCKING: Unlikely

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: These are for using multiple graphics cards, yes? Not interested.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My main concern is CPU. I want something fast, especially for non multi-threaded programs. Graphics are a distant second.
I've also never built a computer before, so please inform me if I'm using incompatible parts.



Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128425

CPU:
Intel Core i5-655K Clarkdale 3.2GHz 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Unlocked Desktop Processor BX80616I5655K
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116369

Hard drive:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181&cm_re=spinpoint_f3-_-22-152-181-_-Product

Video Card:
GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125333
Very much interested in getting a cheaper card than this, actually. I don't care much about playing games on max settings... I just want it to be adequate 3-4 years down the road.

Case:
Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153
Kinda clueless on choosing a case. This was just one of the cheaper ones. Advice would be appreciated if there's something better (don't care much about noise so long as it's no more than a low hum)

RAM:
Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PGV34G1333ELK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820220435
Cheaper would be nice here too. I don't need more than 2gb of RAM right now, and I can upgrade easily later.

Power supply:
Totally clueless here. I have no idea what I'll need. I saw a PSU guide linked from the stickies, but didn't really understand it at all.


Also curious if I'll need to buy cords to connect everything to the motherboard, of if they come with it/if I can salvage my SATA cords from my current computer.


EDIT: One game I'm currently playing (Dwarf Fortress) is VERY CPU intensive and can't make use of multiple cores. Would a quad be much worse than a duel core processor in this case?
August 10, 2010 9:30:11 PM

For 1280x1024, a 460 is going to be far more than you need. A 5770 may be more economical choice, and it still lets you play most games on high/very high settings on a 1920x1080 LCD monitor or HDTV.

The graphics card dictates what PSU you need. Look at the suggested wattage for the graphics card and buy a good quality Antec, Corsair or Seasonic PSU with around that wattage.
August 10, 2010 9:33:54 PM

+1 ^ way overkill on graphics card.
Related resources
August 10, 2010 10:33:11 PM

I agree with the above, I would get a quad, Phenom II or i5.
For the i5 750 here's a combo:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

For the Phenom, here's an AMD rig:

ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 + AMD Phenom II X4 955
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 + NZXT M59
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB + OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$837.92

It's a bit above your budget but you get a big full HD monitor.






August 11, 2010 12:40:28 AM

at that resolution a 9400gs can run crysis on very high settings xD
Honestly, I would still go for a gtx 460. What's the difference in price ? 40$ ? 50 $ It worth it.
How long can you stay with that monitor anyways ?
1 year ? 2 ? When you'll change monitor you'll greatly appreciate the gtx 460 ...

Those were my two cents
August 11, 2010 12:48:18 AM

Hrm, probably gonna go with mosox's AMD suggestions and skip the monitor. Can always get one later if my current one dies somehow.

Thanks all :D 


EDIT: I really don't care about graphics that much. I'm quite happy leaving stuff on low. Still though, I want to be able to run new games on this in 4 years or so.


EDIT EDIT: Before I buy these... One game I'm currently playing (Dwarf Fortress) is VERY CPU intensive and can't make use of multiple cores. Would a quad be much worse than a duel core processor in this case?
August 11, 2010 2:51:34 AM

Final revision:

AMD Phenom II X4 965
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 + NZXT M59
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB + OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Switched out the CPU for something slightly more expensive, costing me ~$60 by losing the combo deal.

Everything A-OK now, before I hit the order button?
August 11, 2010 11:05:57 AM

The 965 is the same CPU as 955 clocked a bit higher but if you want it here's a combo:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Also a big monitor is very nice for gaming/movies/whatever so think about getting one sooner, the HD 5770 is overkill for that resolution.

LE: no, a fast quad isn't worse for single threaded applications.
August 11, 2010 5:27:36 PM

kaijyuu said:

EDIT EDIT: Before I buy these... One game I'm currently playing (Dwarf Fortress) is VERY CPU intensive and can't make use of multiple cores. Would a quad be much worse than a duel core processor in this case?

If you look at the CPU articles section you will find a series within the past year where they compared games on single, dual, triple and quad cores. There is a huge improvement going from single to dual core. All computers are currently (at least should be) running a ton of junk background processes (antivirus, antispyware, other OS overhead programs, various utilities and autmated updates, etc.) and having a second core for those helps alot. There is even a substantial increas going to a triple core; there seems to be enough background processes that the third core still benefits even single threaded games. There was a relatively small overall increase going to a fourth core in single threaded games, and occasionally the 3 core actually performed better.

For a single threaded game like you describe, getting a good x3 CPU and overclocking it will get you the best performance/price. I got an Athlon II x3 2.9GHz CPU and have it easily running at 3.4 GHz. Pretty solid for most gaming purposes.
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