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1st build $600-700 Gaming PC w/OS

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September 16, 2010 3:09:38 PM

Hello,
Approximate Purchase Date: next couple of weeks

Budget Range: 600-700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, movies, surfing web

Parts Not Required: monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: best bang for my buck

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution:

Additional Comments: Don't have a clue on what brands are better than others looking for advice. Want something I can use with my 42" lcd 1080p vizio to play FFXIV

Here is what I could combo together using newegg:

CPU & MB COMBO: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX445WFGMBOX

BIOSTAR TA785G3HD AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mem & Case combo: LIAN LI Lancool PC-K58W Black 0.8 mm SECC, Plastic Mesh ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

(Is this mem better?)G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU & GPU Combo: Diablotek PHD Series PHD550 550W ATX12V V2.2 Power Supply

SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Green WD6400AADS 640GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i-rocks RF-6520-BK Black 2.4GHz Wireless Ultra Slim 1.5 AREA Keyboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Price before shipping/rebates 626.90 Need a wireless mouse also

Have never put a PC together not sure if all my components are compatible and how hard it is to build a pc and have been debating this instead:

HP Pavilion P6320f Refurbished Desktop PC - AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6GHz, 6GB DDR3, 500GB HDD, DVDRW, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

And then upgrade the GPU and PSU to the above combo for just over $600

Would love some advice, thanks!

Best solution

September 16, 2010 5:31:51 PM

Yuck. There is a lot of very bad parts in there. Biostar is about as cheap and low quality as you can get, as is Diablotek. Also, you don't want to touch a 32-bit OS any more as it will limit your RAM.

CPU/GPU: X3 445 and HD 5770 $208 after rebate
Mobo/OS: ASRock 770 Extreme3 and Windows 7 Home 64-bit OEM $165
RAM: G.Skill Eco 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $97
HDD/PSU: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB and OCZ Fatal1ty 550W $100 after rebate. There is usually one with the 500 GB model as well, but it's sold out. It would save $20.
Case/Optical: Rosewill Blackbone and cheap SATA DVD burner $43

Total: $613

No Crossfire. If you want that, spend another $15 on the board to get an ASRock 870 Extreme3 and switch the HDD/PSU combo to: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB and Corsair 650W $135 after rebate
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September 16, 2010 6:57:37 PM

Thanks, I've been trying to read as much as I can the last few days so that I can put together a decent pc that will last a few years while trying to stay under $700. I see a lot of people saying the GTX 460 1GB is a way better gpu. Should I try to budget in that? I also am not in much of a rush and have seen a few people say that over the next few months prices might drop with the introduction of new tech. Would I be better off waiting untill Dec maybe even March-April 2011? I will continue to try and research to find the better brands of products and keep my eyes out for deals.
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September 16, 2010 7:34:12 PM

By March/April Sandy Bridge, Bobcat, and Bulldozer will be out, and all of them promise to seriously shake up the PC market.
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September 16, 2010 8:29:04 PM

You're not fitting in the 460. Also, if you're looking for a cheap/easy performance boost, you definitely want to have the ability to add a second GPU in Crossfire/SLI. You can't get good AMD SLI boards, and Intel is way out of budget.

As good as the 460 is, it's pretty bad by itself. As a single card, it's overpriced and underpowered. It only really shines in SLI, which wouldn't be advisable with AMD.

Since you're not able to take advantage of SLI, you're really looking at having a single 460 or dual 5770s down the road. A single 460 wouldn't play games well at 1080p, while the dual 5770s would play everything with all the details turned up. That's a pretty hefty trade off, especially since you'll pay more for the 460.
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September 16, 2010 8:52:35 PM

Put this build together after advice and more research with the idea of trying to unlock 4th core and upgrade to crossfire down the road

HIS 1GB HD 5770 & X3 445

ASRock 870 EXTREME3 & Windows

Cosair 650W & F3 1TB 7200rpm

Case & DVD Burner

G.skill ripjaws

I still haven't researched memory much, r there better options for the $80-90 range? Is everything above compatible?

Also would like to know if I'm getting in over my head being a first time builder, will there be enough info I can pull of the web/forums?

Current build is 670 after shipping and $20 in MIR
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September 16, 2010 8:59:22 PM

Admiral maintains a bias against the 460 which is not supported by most reviews. The 460 1GB is superior to the 5770 and 5830, and slightly inferior to the 5850. Its the best bang-for-buck card available right now at $220ish. It has driven the cost of the 5770 down from $169 to $139 in just over 2 months of being out (enough that the GTS 450 may struggle at its $129 price point)

yes, is scales amazingly well, but even Solo it is a fine card for gaming up to 1920x1080.
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September 16, 2010 9:18:01 PM

I maintain a "bias" because it can't perform at 1080p. Of course, neither does the 5770. Both perform well at lower resolutions. The 460 is more powerful, but both offer playable rates across the board with the lower resolution. Why pay more for something that doesn't give you the ability to get more from it? You really need the 5850 to play at 1080p, and with it's price falling (I've seen it as low as $250), the 460 is less attractive.

I also don't like it because it doesn't fit the budget. To really get potential out of it, you need an Intel CPU. If you're spending the extra on the CPU, you should already have at least the HD 5870 in the build. There's no point in spending that much on the CPU (which won't help gaming) and getting a weaker card. You'd do better to downgrade the CPU and upgrade the GPU. A X4 955/HD 5870 pair would drastically outperform an i5/460 pair.

In summary, the 460 is a good idea. If it were priced at $150 instead of $220, it would get my recommendation, except for the lack of an upgrade path with AMD. Unfortunately, it's not that cheap. So it remains in no man's land, just like the 5830 with which it competes. Too expensive for cheap/lower powered builds, yet not powerful enough by itself for higher budget builds.

@imaurer: That's a pretty good build. In fact, with the exception of the RAM, it's what I'd recommend if you don't mind spending that much. I would switch the RAM to the Ecos I linked in my build if you want to do some overclocking. The faster speed and tighter timings will help greatly in that regard. I'd definitely look for some 1333 mhz CL 7 or 1600 mhz CL 9 (they're roughly equivalent) sticks if you don't want to overclock. They'll be faster for roughly the same price.

As for good guides to building, there is an excellent one linked through the stickies at the top of the forum. There's also a ton of other guides and info out there. Read up on it as much as you can.
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September 16, 2010 9:50:13 PM

Can you reuse some stuff from your old PC (HDD, optical, case, PSU)?

ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 + AMD Athlon II X4 640
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB + Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HIS H585FN1GD Radeon HD 5850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer + Rosewill DESTROYER
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$693.92

No OS, you can use the old one for now.


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September 16, 2010 10:04:12 PM

My last PC came prebuilt back 2004 I assumed parts are too outdated.
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September 16, 2010 10:39:45 PM

OK, don't bother then, you can also wait for a few more weeks for the ATI 6 series to show up.
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September 17, 2010 1:22:00 AM

I hate the SBM builds. They look like good ideas, but they simply aren't that great. Yes, you get good gaming performance out of them. However, they often lack some critical features that matter to someone planning on keeping the build for more than a year or two. The majority of them feature absolutely no upgrade path (no Crossfire, no USB 3/SATA III, little ability to add more devices, etc.). They certainly get good FPS, but that's about it.
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September 17, 2010 2:13:34 AM

Thanks for the advice and input. The more I read on the results of the FFXIV benchmark results on different systems the more it seems like I should wait a few months and raise my budget to the $1000-1500 range if I want a nice system to play on. Hopefully I can wait long enough without too much FF withdrawal. Gonna continue to read on overclocking and see what the next few months brings in new tech. Now I'm really excited to build a system tho!
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September 17, 2010 2:49:02 AM

imaurer269 said:
Thanks, I've been trying to read as much as I can the last few days so that I can put together a decent pc that will last a few years while trying to stay under $700. I see a lot of people saying the GTX 460 1GB is a way better gpu. Should I try to budget in that? I also am not in much of a rush and have seen a few people say that over the next few months prices might drop with the introduction of new tech. Would I be better off waiting untill Dec maybe even March-April 2011? I will continue to try and research to find the better brands of products and keep my eyes out for deals.


Well the good news is u dun need to deal with a HD 5770 with a $6xx-700 budget Most peeps who have no real experience building with brands outside their comfort zones or just ignorant would stick to that which is familiar and TA785G3HD is a known budget OC/unlocker
http://67.90.82.13/forums/showthread.php?t=245020

So tower @ $551AR


OS $100

$651AR, dun waste time settling for inferior gaming performance
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September 17, 2010 4:28:52 PM

You're not getting out of the fact that Biostar makes absolutely crappy boards by posting a link to a forum. I don't care if the board is functional when someone builds with it, I care if it will last. Which it won't because it's the bottom of the barrel in quality. I don't see why you think a $600-700 budget means you should settle for terrible quality.

Granted, ASRock isn't the best quality, but it's certainly higher than Biostar. In terms of quality, the top brands by far are Asus and Gigabyte. Following them is ASRock, MSI and EVGA (in that order, in my opinion). After that, it's not even worth considering. That bottom category contains Intel, Foxconn, Biostar and whoever else is out there.

I wouldn't call spend the same amount for lower quality, relatively equal performance and a no upgrade path a good idea. For the $650-670, you'd be able to get the X3 with a 5770, a good quality 1 TB HDD (Seagate's alright, but Samsung is better), a great quality PSU (OCZ is between decent and bad, and should be avoided if possible), and a Crossfire ready board. That's a lot more value for the same price.

Would you get a few less FPS right now with the X3/5770? Yes, but it won't make a difference in the real world. Both the 460 and 5770 can't play well at 1080p without turning down a lot of details, and both play practically everything with all the details at lower resolutions. So why sacrifice quality and upgrade potential to get nothing that will actually help you game?
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September 17, 2010 6:37:50 PM

Technically, those parts would be fine. The board supports SLI and the PSU is big enough to handle dual 460s. However, there are some slight problems with the AMD SLI boards. They are notorious for being low quality and unreliable. I tend to avoid them. In addition, the board is expensive, yet is missing several key future proofing features found on cheaper, higher quality boards, such as USB 3 and SATA III support.

The X2 is a horrible choice. Unlocking isn't guaranteed, it's only a possibility. If it doesn't unlock, you've got a dual core that's practically obsolete. It's highly recommended to pick up the cheaper triple core CPUs instead. Tom's has consistently recommended the X3 4xx over the more expensive X2 5xx and X4 6xx CPUs in the monthly "Best Gaming CPUs for the Money" articles.

As far as the RAM goes, I like the 1.5-16V Mushkins (the left ones) and the G.Skills best. I'd still consider getting the 1600 mhz CL 7 Ecos for a touch more to get some more speed.
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September 17, 2010 6:53:21 PM

Ok I wasn't sure if those were compatible with that MB. Is there a AMD MB that supports SLI that have USB 3 and SATA III support?
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September 17, 2010 6:59:29 PM

imaurer269 said:
Ok I wasn't sure if those were compatible with that MB. Is there a AMD MB that supports SLI that have USB 3 and SATA III support?


no
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September 18, 2010 6:31:55 AM

Whatever u do please do not settle for a HD 5770 due to ignorance and peeps passing off opinions as facts @@
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September 19, 2010 5:11:24 PM

Best answer selected by imaurer269.
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