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First time budget gaming rig

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August 19, 2010 5:19:04 PM

So I'm trying my hand at system building for the first time, and i would like your advice.
I am looking for a real budget build(I'm a student), but at the same time, I want to be able to still play games on high settings couples years down the road without building one from scratch again.

I'm a first time builder so I tried my best putting these parts together, but I'm not even entirely sure if they are all compatible, so I'm looking for some expertise.

These are the parts I have so far, please let me know if there are any problems, and if I need to invest more or if i can gimp out on somethings.

BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL


AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor ADX620WFGIBOX


ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm Ceramic CPU Cooler


Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

More about : time budget gaming rig

August 19, 2010 5:28:21 PM

You could trim cost there by opting for a 435 or 440 chip, forget the cooler unless your going to overclock
I'd recommend the AsRock M3A770DE board over the biostar too (also $59.99 on the Egg)
try contacting Newegg to see if they'll swap out the chip and or Board and how much it can save you,
and you dont mention graphics yet, but the Sapphire 5770 goes well in that set up too
Hth,
Moto
August 19, 2010 5:37:47 PM

I dont see a graphics card. The 5770 is probably the highest performing card you want to look at on a tight budget.

I wouldnt go with that CPU. A higher frequency CPU will perform better for almost all games and anything but heavy multi-processing. An Athlon IIx3 440 or 445 would suit your needs better.

Biostar would not be my choice of motherboards unless there were some professional reviews of that specific model. They make some good and some junk. You should look for a newer model that has USB3 and SATA 6GB; the prices are not that much higher. I would look at ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI as manufacturers.
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August 20, 2010 3:53:33 AM

Motopsychojdn said:
You could trim cost there by opting for a 435 or 440 chip, forget the cooler unless your going to overclock
I'd recommend the AsRock M3A770DE board over the biostar too (also $59.99 on the Egg)
try contacting Newegg to see if they'll swap out the chip and or Board and how much it can save you,
and you dont mention graphics yet, but the Sapphire 5770 goes well in that set up too
Hth,
Moto


I do remember looking at that board, but what is the deal with pci 2.0 x4? how does that work?
August 20, 2010 4:46:37 AM

dndhatcher said:
I dont see a graphics card. The 5770 is probably the highest performing card you want to look at on a tight budget.

I wouldnt go with that CPU. A higher frequency CPU will perform better for almost all games and anything but heavy multi-processing. An Athlon IIx3 440 or 445 would suit your needs better.

Biostar would not be my choice of motherboards unless there were some professional reviews of that specific model. They make some good and some junk. You should look for a newer model that has USB3 and SATA 6GB; the prices are not that much higher. I would look at ASUS, Gigabyte and MSI as manufacturers.


Is triple core really worth it?
August 20, 2010 6:15:56 AM

I was working on the Student ethos of bang for buck as you Americans call it, and the triple cores are more than capable of handling most of todays games at a decent pace, especially when hooked to a decent gfx card,

but check this review out and see the conclusion page if nothing else,
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x3-440-ga...

The pcie 2.0x4 lanes thats on your second slot, your first slot, (the green one) is 16 lane I.E. fullspeed, the only time the second slot would come into it is if you crossfired later on, but I considered the budget statement again, budget builders dont usually go for multiple gfx cards

Not sure what games your intending on playing, but if you list them, ill visit a 'can My pc play this' website and get some numbers for you, not exact fps, it just rates how well your system should play a particular game
http://www.yougamers.com/gameometer/10213/
if you want to check it out :) 

My Rig specs btw:
AsRock M3a770de, same board
AMD x3 435, (I'll lock my extra core and restore stock clock of 2.9GHz) to test as a triplecore
4 Gb 1600 ram
Sapphire 5770, again, I'll set to stock settings
my Hdd's just a samsung 7200rpm 80Gb thing

post a list of games and I'll post reply later after I've had some sleep :) 
Moto
August 20, 2010 11:11:56 AM

Well starcraft 2 is the most important need right now, since I play it competitively, but I've seen it run on a much lesser machines on high settings so I am not too worried about that. Other than that, I'll probably end up catching up on some older fps like crysis and far cry.

Also, I was hoping that once I save up some more money, and the price of cards drop a bit, I woudl pick up another 5770 to put in crossfire. Do you happen to know a cheap motherboard with 2 pci 2.0 x16?
August 20, 2010 11:41:37 AM

I can try to find one yes,
back in a bit,
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2 lanes both at 16x, $90 before any rebates/combo deal you might work out with them, you'd be going down to 1066 ddr2 though but I dont see that being a huge issue to be honest as that Mobo will last you an upgrade or two to come,
i'll check out sc2 and get back to you later :) 
Moto
August 20, 2010 12:02:32 PM

For Crossfire capability you will be looking at the 790 series of mobos, Gigabyte/Asus are your best bet.

As for the CPU, you definately want the Rana x3 440. For gaming these days, I won't even consider a dual core processor. The x3 440 is fantastic - cheap, fast, three cores which is just what you need for gaming.
August 20, 2010 12:26:51 PM

Ok, just ran the yougamers thing, 3 cores at 2.9Ghz, 4Gb ram at 733Mhz and got


Graphics is only just above the recommended on that, but remember 5770's will clock relatively easily as will the chip,
if you find a DDR3 Mobo at price to suit and get the 440, you'll be all set, I'd consider a Mobo with x8 on crossfire as i believe theres not much difference realworld between x8 and x16,
thats ofc if you do crossfire down the line
hope this helps,
Moto
August 20, 2010 1:36:48 PM

ok so i think i decided on the 440 with this mobo:

MSI 790X-G45 AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

with this video card:

SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

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

The whole thing comes out just under $650. Gonna wait a bit to see what you think and gonna order later today. Thanks for all your help!
August 20, 2010 2:34:33 PM

All looks good to me,
remember to review your ram to the correct speed, plus 1066 will be cheaper than 1600, saving a bit more,
if your happy with that go ahead and order :) 
Moto
August 21, 2010 3:01:41 PM

One last thing though. If I add another video card later on, would the power supply have enough juice to handle it? If not, what kind of psu should I look at?
August 21, 2010 3:46:47 PM

520w may be a touch low for that Rig with Xfire on it, go to
http://www.thermaltake.outervision.com/
build the Rig as you'd want it for Xfire, include hard drives fans everything, then it calculates what power it would need,bear in mind its a minimum recommendation I.e if it says 580w needed, up your psu to 650w to be sure
Moto
August 21, 2010 5:53:42 PM

cool, hope to see you back here when it all arrives :) 
Moto
August 21, 2010 6:12:09 PM

tk0802kim said:
So I'm trying my hand at system building for the first time, and i would like your advice.
I am looking for a real budget build(I'm a student), but at the same time, I want to be able to still play games on high settings couples years down the road without building one from scratch again.

I'm a first time builder so I tried my best putting these parts together, but I'm not even entirely sure if they are all compatible, so I'm looking for some expertise.

These are the parts I have so far, please let me know if there are any problems, and if I need to invest more or if i can gimp out on somethings.

BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL


AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor ADX620WFGIBOX


ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm Ceramic CPU Cooler


Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply


Hey, welcome to the board. Here's what I have to say about your build and requirements:

Requirements:

1. real budget build - need a price, I'm thinking about $1000 exc. monitor
2. play games on high even a couple years down the road - at what resolution?

Build:

1. parts look good. Looks like they will work together! Luckily, AMD parts are relatively cheap, but good performance.

Mobo and CPU are definitely on the cheap side. The mobo is probably alright, but for wanting to play games on high (at any resolution), it might be a good idea to buy a slightly better CPU (you will want to put as much as you can into your GPU, but if the CPU is trash it will bottleneck the output of the GPU).

As for CPU, go with a phenom ii x4 945 (the mobo you selected recommends a maximum TDP of 95W for the CPU; ruling out an x4 955). Both are great value and can overclock fairly well in the future.

As for cooling, you should be fine with the stock HSF; however, if you desire another cooler, go with something like the coolermaster 212 plus. Costs a tad more, but it's a highly regarded cooler.

Case is fine as well.

Video card: since that motherboard will not do SLI/Crossfire, I would invest in an nVidia gtx 470 ($300~350). I can't recommend a Radeon card unless you went up to a 5870 but it costs about $50 more than the 470 and performs about the same (depending on the application).

This card with the x4 945 and 4gb of ram, should have you on high settings at 1080p for maybe a year, two years at a lower resolution. Keep in mind; however, that this does not hold true for many games being released now: dirt 2, metro 2033 etc. Frankly, you can't play those on high at 1080p without spending a litt...bunch more.

Lol, I just noticed that the biostar board is cheaper at newegg.ca by $5, odd.

That board, x4 945, case, ram, gtx470, hyper 212 plus cooler comes to about $700. Note this doesn't include your HDD, PSU, and optical drive ($120-150).

For that kind of money, you could look at another decent solution such as this:

i5 750 - $195
EVGA P55V - $75 ($20 MIR) -> $55 - LOL, micro-atx but supports SLI
same ram - $95
same case - $60
hyper 212 plus - $50
gtx 470 - $300
psu ocz modxstream pro 700W - $80 ($25 MIR) = $55
hdd seagate 7200rpm 640gb - $85
optical drive - $20

Total --> $915

Now to get that 910 down a little:

Buy a GTX 460 1GB card instead of the 470. Save $100. Definitely not as powerful BUT, in a few months to a year, when you have another $200 saved up, you can buy another of the same card and your 2 460s will outperform just about every single GPU card on the market today.

$815 - down a little more:

instead of i5 750, go with an i3 530 (dual core with hyper threading). Clocked at 2.93, this puppy will still overclock great. Not as future-proof as the i5 750, but it's $80 less.

$735 - lastly hard drive. A 500gb is all a student should need.

500gb samsung Spinpoint F3 $55

new and final total - $705

So unless my math is all screwy (it's 3am and I am putting off sleep so it probably is)... you can get the bare-bones AMD setup for about $800 to $850 before a monitor, or you can get the slightly better i3 system for $705 before a monitor. Or, you can get the i5 system for $910 before a monitor. Add $20 to any system and get the Corsair H50 water cpu cooler which will perform about the same with half the noise.

I will just keep on rambling. I am building a system for something like 1300 next month.

Xeon X3440 (quad core like i5 750, but with hyperthreading as the 750 lacks it)
P7P55D-e pro mobo
4gb ram (probably the same as you chose)
gtx 460 1gb (2 cards)
nexus rx8500 850w psu
antec 1200
cheap dvdrw
1TB spinpoint hdd
air cooler or h50.. still deciding

The sad thing is, the $910 build (plus $200) will perform quite similarily except at higher resolutions.
!