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First Build Ever - for Starcraft II and RPGs

Last response: in Systems
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September 11, 2010 6:56:49 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Not sure yet.

BUDGET RANGE: About $800 (including everything)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, web browsing, music

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, keyboard, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD, and I'm game for anything else...even this I'd be willing to change

OVERCLOCKING: Possibly

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Crossfire eventually

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

I've never built a PC before. I've been doing a lot of research on here looking at performance charts, articles, etc. I want to play Starcraft II (hopefully on ultra), RPGs like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, and first person shooters like MW2. Here is what I'm thinking for parts:


CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 955 Black edition ($150)
RAM: 2 x 2 GB DDR3 ($80 - $110)
Graphics Card: Radeon HD 5770 ($150)
Case: Cooler Master USP 100 w/ 650w power supply ($80)


I'm not too picky about the other parts. I do have a friend that has built PCs before and can help me with actually building it. I don't know how to OC and I'm a little afraid about frying my parts. I have noticed in the builds on Tom's Hardware that they usually go with a more expensive graphics card and a less expensive processor. I'm more concerned about framerate than graphics quality, so let me know if what I have is good option. Like I said, I'm new to this, and any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Haff

More about : build starcraft rpgs

September 11, 2010 8:03:35 AM

haff said:
I'm not too picky about the other parts. I do have a friend that has built PCs before and can help me with actually building it. I don't know how to OC and I'm a little afraid about frying my parts.


Don't worry about "frying" your parts; that isn't what happens. Overclocking isn't as dangerous or as tedious as you would think. Components that are overclocked may degrade (become less stable, overclockable) more quickly (overheating is a more significant factor), but this will happen over a long period of time (years) unless the conditions are very extreme (sustained >70C temperatures maybe).

With an aftermarket CPU cooler and a review of the guides available for overclocking your processor, you have nothing to worry about.

haff said:
I have noticed in the builds on Tom's Hardware that they usually go with a more expensive graphics card and a less expensive processor. I'm more concerned about framerate than graphics quality, so let me know if what I have is good option.


The graphics card doesn't just determine the graphics quality; it is the primary determinant of the framerate a game will run at. Most games don't really challenge modern processors so the graphics card is much more important. At 1920x1080 the HD5770 is going to struggle to produce decent framerates in some games, even with the quality turned down. Here's a list of benchmarks:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/172?vs=164

I would go with an HD 5850 just to be ahead of the curve as new and more demanding games come out. (The HD 5830 is kind of a failure, an inefficient HD48XX redesign)
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September 11, 2010 3:44:47 PM

Guys, thanks a ton. I really do appreciate the help.

Wielander, I will have to look into overclocking. Do you think I would have to get an extra fan? Also, the Anandtech benchmarks were helpful. I didn't know sites other than this one ran tests like that.

Batuchka, your setup definitely looks better than mine. I had no idea about all the combo offers out there. I will have to get an OS though.
September 11, 2010 7:18:23 PM

haff said:
Wielander, I will have to look into overclocking. Do you think I would have to get an extra fan?


For a light overclock, up to like 3.5 GHz, you wouldn't need an aftermarket cooler. Note that the Phenom II X4 965 (they are both unlocked so it's basically the same processor) runs at 3.4 GHz stock with the same fan.
September 12, 2010 4:39:16 AM

Yep combos are your best frens when shopping on Egg :p 
!