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$800 Gaming PC

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September 12, 2010 3:35:29 PM

Hello everyone!

It has almost been a year since I built my first PC and discussed the parts with the community here on tom's hardware. My gaming rig is still up and running if anyone was curious. I have also built a PC for general office and work use for my aunt and a budget gaming pc for myself to take to school (I'm still modding the case. I havnt had much time to work on it.)

Anyway, my cousin is in need of a new gaming PC. He requires this computer to be able to play games like the Call of Duty series and Guild Wars 2 (If that game ever comes out! :??:  )

Here is the build I put together.
I would like to run it by you guys to see if it is a good build and if there are any suggestions to lower the price.

CPU
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mother Board
ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive x2
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
These will be put into RAID 1

Memory
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card
XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD+R
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The case and a mobo with usb 3.0 are the only thing I was asked to keep the same if any changes were made.
This PC will be running Windows 7 Home Edition 64bit

Thanks everyone!
- City Street

More about : 800 gaming

September 12, 2010 3:42:08 PM

Not much you can do to lower the price and keep it running games.
Maybe a slightly cheaper PSU.
4gb ram isn't strictly speaking necessary, but it does help, and it wont be too long before 4gb is a minimum.
Does he need the raid array? It doesnt help for gaming...
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September 12, 2010 3:45:26 PM

well if its for cod and gw he has atleast a couple more months till either new one comes out better to wait for new stuff and lower prices. dont worry gw2 will be out their rushing it so itll be nice and crappy and they can make their money quicker
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September 12, 2010 4:06:41 PM

lookds good to me,
don't skimp out on the PSU... always under appreciated hardware...
just make sure its 80+ certified (its an energy efficiency thing)
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a b 4 Gaming
September 12, 2010 4:44:43 PM

you might consider the Athlon II X4 640 instead of the Phenom II X2 555.

Many games are using multiple cores now, and a dual core is no longer really recommended. The Athlon 640 is about the same price as the Phenom 555,

for a 5770 system, you can probably get by with a 500W power supply
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September 12, 2010 5:08:04 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
you might consider the Athlon II X4 640 instead of the Phenom II X2 555.

Many games are using multiple cores now, and a dual core is no longer really recommended. The Athlon 640 is about the same price as the Phenom 555,

for a 5770 system, you can probably get by with a 500W power supply



the phenom ii its better cause it has cache l3 that helps a lot in games... also that procesor has a very high rate to unlock 2 cores more... and just a few games can use 3 cores, and almost noone of them can use 4, also that cpu is a black edition.. that means that it has an easier overclock.

get an 600w power supply with that u will be able to crossfire. the Ocz 600w Stealthxstream is very cheap and its decent.



also u are geting the wrong motherboard, get an 870 chipset

get this ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... , u need cl7... the latency its the most important thing on ram

for the hdd raid 1 isnt needed cuase its very very very hard to lose a disk, and if u do the information can be easily recovered... the fastest hdd and the best priced is the samsung spinpoint f3 1tb

try to get windows 7 profesional 64 bit if u can over home premium

and that case is not good, and the usb 3 is not needed... and if u have a rare external hdd with usb 3 or something like that u can just use the motherboard ones

CHECK THIS CASES:

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

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 12, 2010 6:00:59 PM

Wut? Latency has almost no impact (less than 2%). No way is it worth that extra and 1.65 volts.
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September 12, 2010 6:11:39 PM

latency its the most important thing in ram, and more in amd
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September 12, 2010 6:15:03 PM

I'll agree it has more impact on AMD, but really it's not a significant factor in realworld applications.
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September 12, 2010 11:16:28 PM

or you could just get a decent mobo and a x3 445 and most likely gonna unlock to a x4 phenom for 80$ the 55 is nice but unlocking is not so common compared to the 445 damn near every one reviewed on newegg unlocked successfully including mine. if your really worried about the ram the gskill ripjaws cl7 or mushkin ecos. you could also do alot better on the mobo at that price catch a sale on a 890 or get the asrock 870 extreme3. same for the psu at that price go for a antec or corsair with less bad reviews. im one hell of a picky shopper so i did alot of reading around before i built mine and have no regrets except that i didnt put the money towards a car instead lol. under 800$ for my pc though that does everything i need and more including a asus 23in 2ms1080p lcd
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a b 4 Gaming
September 13, 2010 12:04:15 AM

x3 445 this is what you should buy

do not buy a dual core now if it will not unlock you have a two core cpu
which is not that great now that more cores are being used
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September 18, 2010 9:13:51 PM

I will not be overclocking anything on this build. Is the x3 445 a better choice than the phenon II?
Here is the new build.

CPU
AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mother Board
ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive x2
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
These will be put into RAID 1. I do not trust hard drives. As for anything with moving parts, it will fail eventually.

Memory
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This si the ram that I have in my pc and I figured that this ram is not much different than this one.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card
XFX HD-577A-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Anyone have a suggestion for a different power supply that is around $80 and is modular? I have no problems with this one, I used it to build another pc and it is working fine.

DVD+R
ASUS Black 24X DVD+R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX Mid Tower
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I do not see anything wrong with this case.

Windows 7 Home Edition 64bit
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a b 4 Gaming
September 18, 2010 9:17:20 PM

you don't need a 700W for that build. The OCZ Fatal1ty 550W is modular and cheaper

the Rana is better than the Phenom II X2
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September 18, 2010 9:35:21 PM

not for games.... also u can unlock 2 cores and he better get 600w for safe crossfire

hdd dont fail never :p  lol they never failed to me and i dont know anyone who have disk that failed .. even if they do u can easily recover the information.. and the samsung spinpoint f3 its better

and that case has not very good build quality
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a b 4 Gaming
September 18, 2010 9:39:35 PM

Juanchioo said:
not for games.... also u can unlock 2 cores and he better get 600w for safe crossfire

hdd dont fail never :p  lol they never failed to me and i dont know anyone who have disk that failed .. even if they do u can easily recover the information.. and the samsung spinpoint f3 its better

and that case has not very good build quality

You could unlock the 4th core on the X3 also, and neither is guaranteed.

Then, The ASUS 870 Mobos does not have real crossfire (X8/X8) support, a pair of 5770s plus a 445 uses less than 300W on load anyways.
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September 18, 2010 10:17:05 PM

but phenom ii has cache l3..
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September 18, 2010 10:26:25 PM

Juanchioo said:
not for games.... also u can unlock 2 cores and he better get 600w for safe crossfire

hdd dont fail never :p  lol they never failed to me and i dont know anyone who have disk that failed .. even if they do u can easily recover the information.. and the samsung spinpoint f3 its better

and that case has not very good build quality


Should I go for either the dual core or quad core then?


As for the psu how about this one?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 18, 2010 11:35:55 PM

getting that phenom ii dual core u can unlock 2 more and get a quadcore
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a b 4 Gaming
September 18, 2010 11:39:11 PM

the operative word here isn't can it's might. You might unlock more cores. Or you might not!. the L3 cache makes little to no difference at the same clockspeeds in most games. more cores will make a bigger change than that. Get the 3 core and you're guaranteed at least 3 cores
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September 18, 2010 11:42:37 PM

read the reviews on here youll see the 445 is a great choice. read reviews on newegg and look how many successfully unlocked and look at the 555. l3 cache is really not all that special the extra core will be better in general. ive read alot of the unlockable cpus working in some boards but not others which is why i chose asrock and the 445. asrock seems to unlock well according to reviews. even if it wont unlock it should overclock really well even on the stock cooler. i run mine at 3.5 unlocked stock cooler 33/40c 43-50c playin sc2 and cod4. the varied temps are from a really hot upstairs sometimes i can get the room cooled down. them are the lowest and highest temps ive seen so far but winter is almost here so yay. the psu you could prolly get a better one at that price and higher amps. the earthwatts 650 has been on sale a bit recently around 50. will you be using crossfire or not i havent seen you mention it at all. it would make a big difference on the mobo and psu you should get
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September 18, 2010 11:54:44 PM

Hmm, let me see if I can get a quad core and a faster GPU in for $800.

CPU: AMD Phenom II x4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-$150

MOBO: Same
-$120

RAM: G.SKILL ECO 4 GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-$97

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-$58

GPU: Gtx 460 1 GB Super clocked
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-$230 (after $10 rebate)

PSU: Corsair 650TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-$90

Case: Same
-$60

TOTAL: ~795 before rebate.

This is an overall better gaming build than one using a weaker athlon processor and this build upgrades graphics performance too. It did drop the RAID configuration in order to add more to the graphics budget, but RAID won't increase frames, better cpu and better gpu will.

EDIT: Was Windows 7 included in the $800? If so, nevermind.
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September 18, 2010 11:59:38 PM

dont add the ram.. he already have one good ram ( ripjaws 1333mhzcl7) and u can change gtx460 for 5830 cause he cant sli with amd but he can crossfire
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September 19, 2010 12:05:17 AM

Not with that motherboard. Has an x16 and x4 lane
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September 19, 2010 12:06:39 AM

And the gskill RAM is faster with lower voltage and also cas 7

EDIT: The ECOs, I mean.
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September 19, 2010 12:11:36 AM

but he allredy has ones
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September 19, 2010 12:48:21 AM

Oh, he already purchased the RAM? Sorry. It was a little tedious reading through on my phone.
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September 19, 2010 1:27:56 AM

Juanchioo said:
dont add the ram.. he already have one good ram ( ripjaws 1333mhzcl7) and u can change gtx460 for 5830 cause he cant sli with amd but he can crossfire


dont listen to anything this guys says hes been giving bad advice through the whole post

x3 445 unlocks to the same cpu as the 555 minus 100mhz. also alot more likely and already has 3 cores which will be more useful in general then 2 with l3 cache

ram speed/latency is not that much of a difference to really matter especially for normal usage which he already said wont be overclocking

l3 cache is not enough to matter compared to 3 cores if it doesnt unlock



btw here is an sli amd board uhum

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 19, 2010 1:45:22 AM

skervy said:
dont listen to anything this guys says hes been giving bad advice through the whole post

x3 445 unlocks to the same cpu as the 555 minus 100mhz. also alot more likely and already has 3 cores which will be more useful in general then 2 with l3 cache

ram speed/latency is not that much of a difference to really matter especially for normal usage which he already said wont be overclocking

l3 cache is not enough to matter compared to 3 cores if it doesnt unlock



btw here is an sli amd board uhum

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



ur a ****** phenom ii its beter.. its has a very high unlock rate and its black edition so overclock easier... if u unlock it u have an 940 for free

and amd sli boards are very expensive... with the money ur spending its better to go with amd
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2010 1:54:08 AM

Juanchioo said:
ur a ****** phenom ii its beter.. its has a very high unlock rate and its black edition so overclock easier... if u unlock it u have an 940 for free

and amd sli boards are very expensive... with the money ur spending its better to go with amd



he is right you should stop giving advice for now...........
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September 19, 2010 1:55:21 AM

and your a moron its pretty much the same price as a comparable crossfire board just nvidia instead of ati. the 445 is a denab core or atleast the majority on newegg right now so it is a phenom wih disabled l3 cache and 4th core so once again your a moron. look at my cpuz thats a x3 445 and he said hes not overclocking so black is nothing but extra cost in his case. and the 555 is a rare gamble from everything i seen (less then 50% and most only get 3) show me where it has a high unlock rate :p 
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September 19, 2010 3:22:06 AM

woah woah no need for the hostility here guys! I will not be doing any tweaking to any of the parts on this build. No unlocking of cores or anything like that. My cousin just needs a budget pc that he can play games on. He doesnt need anything overclocked.
One of my friends plays cod mw2 on the pc and he has an athlon dual core cpu and he says he has no problems.
This pc needs to last my cousin at least 5 years.
I believe that future game releases will utilize multi cores. Should I go with the triple core as stated before or with a quad core?
Once again I am trying to keep this in the $800 range

Is this quad core that much better than the x3 445?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b 4 Gaming
September 19, 2010 3:39:04 AM

just stick with the 445 if no overclocking will be done you will benefit more from the 500mhz clock speed just avoid the duel if you can
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September 19, 2010 3:47:10 AM

the 445 would be better gaming then that 4 core its 500mhz faster stock. just go with the 445 if it unlocks hey lucky you saved 70$ on a phenom. if not hey got a fast 3 core that will do fine and best cpu in its price range. unlocking is very simple a change in the bios its worth a shot just to check if it works or not. if you want it to last 5 years i would suggest the 870 asrock board so you can crossfire a 5770 down the road when you need more power for new games. otherwise youll have to dump the 5770 sooner then wanted and buy a whole new beefier card
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September 19, 2010 3:07:58 PM

Why aren't we considering the phenom II? This will increase his framerate noticeably especially in a year or so when newer games come out. If the $100 OS is not taken into account, then you should strongly consider phenom II + gtx 460 1 GB.
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September 19, 2010 6:54:38 PM

maybe youll take some ideas from it maybe you wont but this is what id make personally for 800$ today if i was in the market for one

Cpu x3 445 i almost guarantee it will unlock to a x4 phenom :p  even if it dont at stock it will give its monies worth
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo Asrock 870 extreme3 has usb3/sata6 8/8 crossfire 6 core spu support yada yada. basically all the features of the 150$ range boards but only cost 90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drives 2x spinpoint f3 1tb if you insist on raid. double the space for like 8$ more
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram pick your pleasure i added 90$ gskill just for the price range. any of the first 10 or more with high reviews would work fine. apparently it doesnt show them in order how i had so just change it to sort by best rating
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Psu+Gpu seasonic 650 and a 5770 very high quality psu and 80+ gold this is the star of the build :p  this is something to really consider if he wants a long lasting computer and will easily handle crossfire or a beefier video upgrade
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

you could save about 50$ on the case+dvd unless hes absolutely set on how that case looks and what he wants. 80$ is a little steep and it has top mounted psu which is becoming old fashion :p  also means you cant use any power supplys with a fan on top
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Windows 7 64
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


current total comes to 788.72 with sept10 promo code 10% off the psu
20$ rebate dropping it to 769$ if you plan on sending it in

this build will easily last your cousin a good time and future proof with just a cpu and video upgrade when the time comes that they wont run games well. definitely able to handle as is the cod series for the next couple years to come and gw2. if you do end up taking some ideas from this the psu could be dropped to save some money. it currently cost about 100$ after combo savings if you consider full price of the 5770 150$ but you will be able to sleep at ease knowing your cousins computer is powered with quality and wont randomly fry or burn his house down :p 
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