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<$600 gaming build (sc2)

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August 30, 2010 1:02:56 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: in ~2 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: <$600 Before rebates (very firm on this price point)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Starcraft II, general use (web/music/etc)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, DVD Drive)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'd much prefer a AMD Tri-core (hoping to unlock the fourth! :D ) and I'm set on a GTX460 video card. Taking full capability of 1600 G.skill ram would be great as well.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe, if I knew a starting point/links that would be great!

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not anytime soon at all

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The more USB ports the better, and I'd like the coolest case you can muster up (multiple fans would be a plus)!

Anyhow, I want to hit the following benchmarks:
-AMDx3 with a lucky roll on the 4th core, if not, that's fine I suppose
-GTX 460
-4GB of 1600 G.skill RAM

I hope it will be easy to give me the best bang for my buck with this build, as I don't need an OS, so that's definitely a plus on the pricing! Thanks muchly in advance~

More about : 600 gaming build sc2

August 30, 2010 2:10:05 PM

Getting a 460 without losing quality or features somewhere is going to be difficult. Also, given your monitor's resolution, you really need to reconsider your stance on Crossfire (SLI isn't a good option with AMD) if you want to play anything besides StarCraft or other mass market games.

The 460 with an AMD CPU isn't a great choice, especially with your budget. The 460 is a good card, but only really shines in SLI. It's very difficult to get a good SLI board for AMD. You typically have to pay more, get fewer features (you lose USB 3/SATA III support in most cases) and risk lower quality. I highly advise not getting the 460. Also, given the uses you've listed, the 5770 would do just as well.

So here's what I'd recommend for $600 as a general gaming build (checking prices/combos):

CPU/GPU: X3 440 and HD 5770 $198 after rebate
Mobo: ASRock 870 Extreme3 $90
RAM/Case: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and Thermaltake V9 $143 after rebate
HDD/PSU: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB and Corsair 650W $135 after rebate
HSF: Sycthe SCMG-2100 $40

Total: $606

A touch over (way over before rebates, but they're all reliable companies), but you can leave out the HSF until later. I know for a fact that Corsair gets that rebate to you really fast. I got mine back in under two weeks.
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August 30, 2010 2:11:48 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Getting a 460 without losing quality or features somewhere is going to be difficult. Also, given your monitor's resolution, you really need to reconsider your stance on Crossfire (SLI isn't a good option with AMD) if you want to play anything besides StarCraft or other mass market games.

The 460 with an AMD CPU isn't a great choice, especially with your budget. The 460 is a good card, but only really shines in SLI. It's very difficult to get a good SLI board for AMD. You typically have to pay more, get fewer features (you lose USB 3/SATA III support in most cases) and risk lower quality. I highly advise not getting the 460. Also, given the uses you've listed, the 5770 would do just as well.

So here's what I'd recommend for $600 as a general gaming build (checking prices/combos):

CPU/GPU: X3 440 and HD 5770 $198 after rebate
Mobo: ASRock 870 Extreme3 $90
RAM: G.Skill Eco 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $99
HDD/PSU: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB and Corsair 650W $135 after rebate
Case: Coolermaster 690 II $70

Total: $592


That's a nice build.
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August 30, 2010 2:26:53 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Getting a 460 without losing quality or features somewhere is going to be difficult. Also, given your monitor's resolution, you really need to reconsider your stance on Crossfire (SLI isn't a good option with AMD) if you want to play anything besides StarCraft or other mass market games.

The 460 with an AMD CPU isn't a great choice, especially with your budget. The 460 is a good card, but only really shines in SLI. It's very difficult to get a good SLI board for AMD. You typically have to pay more, get fewer features (you lose USB 3/SATA III support in most cases) and risk lower quality. I highly advise not getting the 460. Also, given the uses you've listed, the 5770 would do just as well.

So here's what I'd recommend for $600 as a general gaming build (checking prices/combos):

CPU/GPU: X3 440 and HD 5770 $198 after rebate
Mobo: ASRock 870 Extreme3 $90
RAM/Case: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and Thermaltake V9 $143 after rebate
HDD/PSU: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB and Corsair 650W $135 after rebate
HSF: Sycthe SCMG-2100 $40

Total: $606

A touch over (way over before rebates, but they're all reliable companies), but you can leave out the HSF until later. I know for a fact that Corsair gets that rebate to you really fast. I got mine back in under two weeks.


Oh, well damn, I was under the impression that Nvidia cards ran Sc2 much better than Radeon cards, which is why I was going with the GTX 460. If video card output becomes a problem later, I can add in another card for X-fire with your current build, correct? That would be a great plan for me if that's possible, as I'm sure the one 5770 will hold me over for quite a while leaving me breathing room to upgrade later, no?

Thanks very much for the advice, also, if you were to upgrade anything in the build you posted which parts would you want to upgrade first? I suppose I can be patient with pricing (to the tune of ~$150) if the upgrade I will get by doing so is substantial. Thoughts?

Also, thanks very much for the advice! :D 
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August 30, 2010 2:36:26 PM

shoegaze said:
Oh, well damn, I was under the impression that Nvidia cards ran Sc2 much better than Radeon cards, which is why I was going with the GTX 460. If video card output becomes a problem later, I can add in another card for X-fire with your current build, correct? That would be a great plan for me if that's possible, as I'm sure the one 5770 will hold me over for quite a while leaving me breathing room to upgrade later, no?

Thanks very much for the advice, also, if you were to upgrade anything in the build you posted which parts would you want to upgrade first? I suppose I can be patient with pricing (to the tune of ~$150) if the upgrade I will get by doing so is substantial. Thoughts?

Also, thanks very much for the advice! :D 


I think that the problem with ATi cards in SC2 is being fixed with the newest drivers (10.8)
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August 30, 2010 2:41:14 PM


Rana x3 445 and biostar 770 e3 combo, $110.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Zotec Geforce GTX 460 w/ free Starcraft Trial and Free copy of Just Cause 2: $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Rosewill Challenger case and Liteon 22x DVD burner: 70.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Spinpoint F3 500GB and OCZ 550W Fatal1ty: $99.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

4 GB DDR3 1333 RAM: 77.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$579.94 plus shipping.

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August 30, 2010 2:41:59 PM

Not really. ATI's cards originally didn't support AA in SC2, but a driver update fixed that. I've got an HD 5750 (much weaker than the 5770), and I run SC2 at Ultra details on everything without a problem. Of course, I've also got an X4 955, so that would help.

You could easily drop in a second 5770 later to boost perfromance. In fact, I highly recommend it if you start playing any other games. The 5770 is a good card, but it's a bit weak to handle most games at 1080p. I'd say that really anything that's outside of the mass market (Blizzard games, Call of Duty, etc.) are going to need to have the details turned down a bit to run properly.

The two upgrades I would think about would be upgrading the CPU to the X4 955 (about $80 more). While not critical for most games, SC2 really likes quad cores. This would be the first option assuming SC2 is the only thing you play.

After that (or first if you play other games), I'd upgrade the GPU. The HD 5850 is the next good step up and can be had for about $125 or so more than the 5770.

If you're talking about upgrading down the road, the GPU would be the easiest/cheapest thing to upgrade. Just drop a second 5770 in there. After that, you'd be looking at the CPU, with the X6s being an option. Right now, the value isn't really there for switching the CPU though, so it'd be better to wait and see what comes out.

EDIT: Like I said, the 460 is out of budget if you want quality. Screwy's build has got the lowest quality board you can possibly find, paired with a questionable PSU (good price though). You know you're in trouble when your board essentially costs $30. Not only that, but there's no cheap upgrade path. The 460 won't play very well at 1080p either, so you'd never see really good performance out of that build.
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August 30, 2010 2:42:53 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
Rana x3 445 and biostar 770 e3 combo, $110.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Zotec Geforce GTX 460 w/ free Starcraft Trial and Free copy of Just Cause 2: $219.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Rosewill Challenger case and Liteon 22x DVD burner: 70.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Spinpoint F3 500GB and OCZ 550W Fatal1ty: $99.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

4 GB DDR3 1333 RAM: 77.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$579.94 plus shipping.


This is even better.
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August 30, 2010 2:49:34 PM

there is another option:

This combo is $530, 510 after rebates
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

then you can get the 460 for $219, or the 768 MB version (loses about 3% in FPS compared to the 1GB) for $189

Its an SLI board, so you can upgrade to a second 460 eventually

---
as for my first post, the biostar board is cheap, but should still last 2 or 3 years (that's its warranty), by which time you'll be upgrading again anyway.

and teh OCZ Fatal1ty 550 is a solid power supply that has NOT gotten poor reviews. OCZ is one of the top 10 PSU makers out there.
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August 30, 2010 2:52:35 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
there is another option:

This combo is $530, 510 after rebates
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

then you can get the 460 for $219, or the 768 MB version (loses about 3% in FPS compared to the 1GB) for $189

Its an SLI board, so you can upgrade to a second 460 eventually


Rosewill PSU....... :pfff: 

Other than that, the combo is really nice, but the PSU ruins eveything.
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August 30, 2010 2:55:30 PM

That's better, but you'd be about $100 over budget, assuming you get the smaller 460. I already pointed out the problems with the AMD SLI boards, so there's not much to be said about it now. Rosewill has been getting some decent PSU reviews lately for some of their products (not sure which ones), but I don't really trust them.

I also think that the FPS loss is more than 3%. I think it's more like 10%. I'm not positive, but I know the smaller 460 performs worse than the HD 5830 while the newer one performs significantly better. That's definitely more than a 1 FPS (on a playable game) difference.
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August 30, 2010 3:00:18 PM

Well, crud, they changed it.

It used to be an Antec PSU
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August 30, 2010 3:00:59 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
Well, crud, they changed it.

It used to be an Antec PSU


Damn.
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August 30, 2010 9:41:09 PM

MadAdmiral said:
Not really. ATI's cards originally didn't support AA in SC2, but a driver update fixed that. I've got an HD 5750 (much weaker than the 5770), and I run SC2 at Ultra details on everything without a problem. Of course, I've also got an X4 955, so that would help.

You could easily drop in a second 5770 later to boost perfromance. In fact, I highly recommend it if you start playing any other games. The 5770 is a good card, but it's a bit weak to handle most games at 1080p. I'd say that really anything that's outside of the mass market (Blizzard games, Call of Duty, etc.) are going to need to have the details turned down a bit to run properly.

The two upgrades I would think about would be upgrading the CPU to the X4 955 (about $80 more). While not critical for most games, SC2 really likes quad cores. This would be the first option assuming SC2 is the only thing you play.

After that (or first if you play other games), I'd upgrade the GPU. The HD 5850 is the next good step up and can be had for about $125 or so more than the 5770.

If you're talking about upgrading down the road, the GPU would be the easiest/cheapest thing to upgrade. Just drop a second 5770 in there. After that, you'd be looking at the CPU, with the X6s being an option. Right now, the value isn't really there for switching the CPU though, so it'd be better to wait and see what comes out.

EDIT: Like I said, the 460 is out of budget if you want quality. Screwy's build has got the lowest quality board you can possibly find, paired with a questionable PSU (good price though). You know you're in trouble when your board essentially costs $30. Not only that, but there's no cheap upgrade path. The 460 won't play very well at 1080p either, so you'd never see really good performance out of that build.


Awesome! Dropping in a 5770 if I choose to play other games definitely wouldn't be a problem, and after analyzing the specs on the motherboard you suggested I'd have more than enough headroom for upgrades down the road. I think I'll try my luck at unlocking a 4th core, and if that falls through I can just grab an X6 later on down the road if I truly *need* more CPU power.

I appreciate the suggestions ScrewySqrl, but after comparing parts based on other topics and against MadAdmiral's build, I think his suggestion is *exactly* what I was looking for.

I shouldn't run into any major fps drops running a 3-core playing Sc2 on ultra, should I? At this point that would be my only concern. Barring that, I think I'll purchase MadAdmiral's build by the end of the week (hopefully!) :wahoo:  :p 
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August 30, 2010 9:43:18 PM

You shouldn't. The X3 is fast enough that you don't have to worry about a bottleneck, especially if you overclock and/or unlock.

Make sure to look around for other deals. I try to find the best possible combos, but I don't always find them. Also, the combos change a lot too, so make sure you find some good ones.
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!