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After lots of research + bargain hunting..Best $1000 AMD gaming build?

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September 4, 2010 3:00:31 AM

So I'm putting together a primary gaming rig for $1000. It's my first build, but with lots of time posting and reading on these forums, and checking out lots of component combinations on Newegg, I think I've finally come up with a quality build that provides the best bang for my buck. Let me break it down:

ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I think this is the cheapest quality MOBO for exactly what I need. Good features and reviews and crossfire ready.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX + Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case COMBO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

This proc should be sufficient, and the case is highly rated.

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

XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Appears to be generally regarded as the best 5850 around. Should be enough for now, and plans to add another later.

CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply +G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM COMBO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Looks like a high quality power supply that can handle everything it needs to. And the RAM should be fine. I'll add more later.

Scythe SCMG-2100 Sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That brings us to the HD. This one I'm not quite sure about, as I've been having trouble finding some clear comparisons. I need a little more info on the importance of the cache and the on board SATA. I've been looking at these two....

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or the

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Western digital appears to have better specs, and with it in the cart the total comes out to $950.87


I'm hoping for thoughts and suggestions on this build, and please elaborate on your suggestions! With it as-is I could prob go a little higher, maybe in the proc OR the video card.
September 4, 2010 3:09:41 AM

If you're willing to not go AMD you can get a more powerful (and nicer overall) system for just a bit more.

GTX 470 270$
i5-760 210$
MSI-P55a-G55 105$
G.skill eco series 99$
850 watt XFX black edition PSU 105$
Samsung F3 75$
Litescribe DVD burner 20$
HAF 922 90$

984. Probably a Hyper 212+ Cooler for 25$.
September 4, 2010 3:32:19 AM

Ah man you've dumped another can of worms on it. Explain exactly how this would be better for my purposes.
Related resources
September 4, 2010 4:01:53 AM

sp12 said:
If you're willing to not go AMD you can get a more powerful (and nicer overall) system for just a bit more.

GTX 470 270$
i5-760 210$
MSI-P55a-G55 105$
G.skill eco series 99$
850 watt XFX black edition PSU 105$
Samsung F3 75$
Litescribe DVD burner 20$
HAF 922 90$

984. Probably a Hyper 212+ Cooler for 25$.


Muckle, I commented quite a bit in your other thread, and while sp12 posts a good deal, your ram/psu combo is cheaper and just as good if not better, same HDD, same DVD burner, Same cooler, Similar Mobo's.

5850>GTX470 and IMO your case is better... :D 

Really that build looks great to me. The only thing I would consider is a different Mobo/CPU combo if you want to go the i5-760 route. Personally I would probably go with the i5 because even if you keep everything else then throw in the cpu/mobo then your rig will still total ~1grand
September 4, 2010 4:06:00 AM

The i5 is a fair bit faster overall, and scales better with overclocking. It is more expensive, however. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=109 And that's against an i5-750, not 760.

The 470 is also a fair bit faster overall, 10$ more expensive. However, it has the drawbacks of power consumption. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/164?vs=160 It's actually a bit faster than in those benches as drivers have improved.

Mobo is a P55 mobo to accommodate the i5, dual X8/x8 for crossfire/SLI. However, it just jumped back to 125$, so let me see if there's a different one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

are all good.

ECO series ram is low voltage (aids CPU overclocking, reduces heat/energy a bit, more likely to be usable with 32nm), while the XFX PSU is silver-efficiency, modular, and has higher build quality than the Corsair.

Samsung F3 can actually be had for 60$. Beats/matches the Caviar black.

Case is more personal preferance, but the 922 will fit everything and has good airflow while being decently attractive.
September 4, 2010 4:30:03 AM

Thanks both for the advice. Really I have no allegiance to either AMD or Intel. I'm purely going for best bang for my buck. Again, primary gaming. I'm pretty sure about all the other components, so I could consider pretty much the same build with just the intel mobo and proc. And hell I dunno maybe the friggin gtx 470. I need to look into this more.
September 4, 2010 5:03:58 AM

I've commented in another thread showing the little - if any - benefit from going i5 vs a 955 cpu. the differences show mainly in video encoding, and even that is just around a 10 second advantage over 2 minute period, which wont be noticed if u do batches overnight/multitask. the savings are quite substantial, around $80 if u find a good deal. sub-$1000 gaming rigs should base their system around AMD because the savings can be spent on your GPU, and you will see more difference in performance here.

955 + MSI 890GXM-G65 USB 3.0/SATA3 $260
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] =10&Page=2

XFX 5850 + OCZ Signature 4GB 1600Mhz RAM $330
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.493543

Samsung F3 1TB + Corsair 650TX 650W 80 Plus $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.492764

Antec 300 Illusion + DVD Burner - $84
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.492944

TOTAL = $809 after rebates

You then have $191 to get your cpu cooling, and maybe even squeeze in an ssd boot drive which will make your system faster than any intel based rig at this price point. I would only start going intel with budgets above $1200

EDIT: The AM3 socket also gives you an upgrade path with the upcoming AMD Bulldozer CPU's, whereas the 1156 is a "dead" socket as in intel isn't releasing anything new on this platform. If you need convincing that there is practically no difference between the two CPU's in gaming here's a few links:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/art [...] iew/819/10
They 955 is beating the i5 by a frame.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/art [...] iew/819/11
The i5 beating the 955 by 3 frames.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=109
Fallout 3, Crysis and Left 4 Dead they are identical. The i5 seems to perform better in one scene of Far Cry 2 though, but its seems to be a weird result to me.
September 4, 2010 5:31:08 AM

itouchedyou said:
I've commented in another thread showing the little - if any - benefit from going i5 vs a 955 cpu. the differences show mainly in video encoding, and even that is just around a 10 second advantage over 2 minute period, which wont be noticed if u do batches overnight/multitask. the savings are quite substantial, around $80 if u find a good deal. sub-$1000 gaming rigs should base their system around AMD because the savings can be spent on your GPU, and you will see more difference in performance here.

955 + MSI 890GXM-G65 USB 3.0/SATA3 $260
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] =10&Page=2

XFX 5850 + OCZ Signature 4GB 1600Mhz RAM $330
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.493543

Samsung F3 1TB + Corsair 650TX 650W 80 Plus $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.492764

Antec 300 Illusion + DVD Burner - $84
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.492944

TOTAL = $809 after rebates

You then have $191 to get your cpu cooling, and maybe even squeeze in an ssd boot drive which will make your system faster than any intel based rig at this price point. I would only start going intel with budgets above $1200

EDIT: The AM3 socket also gives you an upgrade path with the upcoming AMD Bulldozer CPU's, whereas the 1156 is a "dead" socket as in intel isn't releasing anything new on this platform. If you need convincing that there is practically no difference between the two CPU's in gaming here's a few links:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/art [...] iew/819/10
They 955 is beating the i5 by a frame.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/art [...] iew/819/11
The i5 beating the 955 by 3 frames.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=109
Fallout 3, Crysis and Left 4 Dead they are identical. The i5 seems to perform better in one scene of Far Cry 2 though, but its seems to be a weird result to me.


Lots of good info. Can you fix the links?
September 4, 2010 6:55:35 AM

I think either way is good. You need P55 with x8/x8 if you are ever going to SLI a GTX 470.

I think we've already discussed the pros and cons of the two platforms pretty thoroughly.

When looking at head to head comparisons of the GPUs, you have to also look at which drivers were used and when they were done. Both GPUs are strong for sure, and will give you great performance.

I can even see itouchedyou's build working, but I think the 650TX needs to be reviewed. It's not the original 650TX but is actually the 650TX-C, made by CWT not Seasonic as the old one was.
September 4, 2010 1:03:48 PM

itouchedyou said:
I've commented in another thread showing the little - if any - benefit from going i5 vs a 955 cpu. the differences show mainly in video encoding, and even that is just around a 10 second advantage over 2 minute period, which wont be noticed if u do batches overnight/multitask. the savings are quite substantial, around $80 if u find a good deal. sub-$1000 gaming rigs should base their system around AMD because the savings can be spent on your GPU, and you will see more difference in performance here.

EDIT: The AM3 socket also gives you an upgrade path with the upcoming AMD Bulldozer CPU's, whereas the 1156 is a "dead" socket as in intel isn't releasing anything new on this platform. If you need convincing that there is practically no difference between the two CPU's in gaming here's a few links:

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/art [...] iew/819/10
They 955 is beating the i5 by a frame.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/art [...] iew/819/11
The i5 beating the 955 by 3 frames.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=109
Fallout 3, Crysis and Left 4 Dead they are identical. The i5 seems to perform better in one scene of Far Cry 2 though, but its seems to be a weird result to me.


I like that build, but the i5 is can be 50% faster in games. http://www.techspot.com/review/305-starcraft2-performan... in SC2 at stock it's 14% faster. When both OCed to 3.8, the i5 is 40% faster. In dragon age it's 40% faster at stock. To say there's little benefit from an i5 over a P2 is false, to say that it's smarter to spend money on a CPU over a GPU for gaming is also false, however. If you can get the i5 without cutting into your GPU budget, go for it. If not, don't.

Also, look at the updated anandtech bench I linked showing gaming results. There are some games where you're GPU limited and it doesn't matter, but in most games you'll get ~20% higher FPS, with a range of 0-48%. I agree more money on the GPU, but past the 470 there's not a lot of good purchases at this point.

JF-AMD has come out and said Bulldozer won't be AM3 compatible, so it's just as dead.
September 4, 2010 2:20:41 PM

yeah, i just read that the bulldozer is unlikely to be AM3 compatible :( 
September 4, 2010 3:03:23 PM

itouchedyou said:
yeah, i just read that the bulldozer is unlikely to be AM3 compatible :( 

Its gonna be some AM3+ stuff, same mounting, but new pin-out so that means new motherboards! yay! not. :cry: 
September 4, 2010 4:41:43 PM

I guess it would be foolish to expect a clear answer. Can we at least agree that if I WERE to go amd, this is a solid build? I could look at it with an intel prof and mobo but honestly there's been so many conflicting opinions on here who knows. If you do prove it concisely and with references
September 4, 2010 5:10:59 PM

I have basically the same build i am finalizing right now. Here are the combos i used if its any help with the price...

Case/PSU
Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC ...
show details
Antec Six Hundred Black Black Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$139.99


955/5850:
. AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
show details
GIGABYTE GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video ...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$384.99


Our posts keep crossing. i hope this helps you out. MOBO selection is holding me up
September 4, 2010 6:15:47 PM

muckle said:
checked out this thread regarding the mobo.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...

I might actually keep the rest the same and go i5 750 now.



Thanks. Yea i have been reading that one, picked it as well. i am personal sticking with the 955 sc2 loves it
!