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Need help with building my first budget gaming rig

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September 17, 2010 9:26:01 AM

Hey guys, Im looking to build a new computer which I will be using mostly for web browsing and gaming (Starcraft 2). I decided to opt for AMD as I am on a budget. I have never really pieced a build together and therefore I dont have much knowledge when it comes to building a budget gaming rig. I decided to go with the AMD Phenom™ II X4 965 Black Edition. Micro center has some pretty good bundle deals with mobo's and I'm unsure which one to buy. I ideally would like to spend no more than $230 for the cpu and mobo combo therefore excluding the last mobo option (M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 890) unless that mobo is far much superior than the others and then ill try consider it. Or if you think the Phenom is overkill and I could save more money by just opting for the Athlon series please let me know. Also if there is a particular RAM that would go well with this build. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


Here is the link to all the combos: http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...

Parts I currently bought:
Antec Three Hundred Illusion
Antec BP 550 Modular PSU
WD Caviar Blue 500GB
512MB Video Card (My friend is providing me with a free one. Forgot the brand. Im willing to use this for now as I can upgrade this later)
a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2010 9:44:46 AM

^ For your need, IMO you wont need AMD Phenom...
Get the AMD Athlon II X4 640 with the 870A-G54 Socket AM3 870 ATX**
It is a good MSI board and for a single card config, it would suffice...
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a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2010 9:46:05 AM

What is the model of the graphic card ? And your monitor's resolution ?
Even if you have a powerful CPU and a very weak graphic card, then your PC might not offer very good gaming performance...
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September 17, 2010 9:54:35 AM

I cant recall the model of the graphics card. I know that its an older 512MB card. I know I will probably only be able to play on medium settings until I buy a better card to replace it, but in the meantime I am fine with just having this card in there since my friend is giving it to me for free and I kind of just want to get my computer up and running.

I actually do not have a monitor as well but I will most likely buy a monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1080
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September 17, 2010 9:55:43 AM

oh and btw I guess 870 ATX is no longer in stock :/ 
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a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2010 10:14:22 AM

^ Hmm, then get the ASUS one - M4A87TD/USB3
That last board is not required if you will not be going Crossfire...
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a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2010 2:24:36 PM

I don't think ANY 512 card will handle 1920x1080 very well.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2010 3:03:08 PM

It would be really useful to know what that graphics card is: a) an old pooch can only run so fast, and b) Crossfire isn't relevant if it's a nVidia board. Of course, your BP550 is fine for a single card, but likely is not suitable for multiple GPUs (a pair of lower powered GPUs it could handle would be better replaced by a single, more powerful card).

Screwy, granted my games are older (e.g. Guild Wars), but I've been running at 1920x1080 with a 512MB HD4850 and staying pegged at 60FPS. That wouldn't be true with the latest FPS, but it's going to depend on the games and what settings are acceptable.
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September 17, 2010 7:12:22 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
I don't think ANY 512 card will handle 1920x1080 very well.


My brother right now has a 512MB card bc his card went to poop so he is using his friends and his resolution is either 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 and he currently plays SC2 on medium settings
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September 17, 2010 7:18:37 PM

Onus said:
It would be really useful to know what that graphics card is: a) an old pooch can only run so fast, and b) Crossfire isn't relevant if it's a nVidia board. Of course, your BP550 is fine for a single card, but likely is not suitable for multiple GPUs (a pair of lower powered GPUs it could handle would be better replaced by a single, more powerful card).

Screwy, granted my games are older (e.g. Guild Wars), but I've been running at 1920x1080 with a 512MB HD4850 and staying pegged at 60FPS. That wouldn't be true with the latest FPS, but it's going to depend on the games and what settings are acceptable.


Ok so I just asked my friend about this graphics card and this is the one he has. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)

I do not plan on crossfiring. What do you guys think about the combo deal with the ASUS mobo? (M4A87TD/USB3) Is that a good deal or is there a better alternative for $230?
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a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2010 7:49:11 PM

wow...a a 7950? I haven't seen one of those in years. They were ungodly fast back in 2007, but probly only about the equal of a GTS 260 now. Should be able to run DX 9 stuff great, won't do DX 10 or 11.
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September 17, 2010 8:01:06 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
wow...a a 7950? I haven't seen one of those in years. They were ungodly fast back in 2007, but probly only about the equal of a GTS 260 now. Should be able to run DX 9 stuff great, won't do DX 10 or 11.


Huh? sorry you kinda lost me.. DX 9, DX 10 or 11?
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a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2010 8:32:05 PM

the 7950 is a DirectX 9.0 only card, It won't do Direct X 10 or 11, which are newer graphics protocols.
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September 17, 2010 9:27:36 PM

ohhh ok gotcha.. thanks!
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September 17, 2010 9:32:39 PM

oh and btw I dont mind spending the extra $60 if the Phenom II X4 965 is more "future proof" than the Athlon II X4 640.

So do you think the Phenom combo with the ASUS mobo (M4A87TD/USB3) is a good deal? I will be making my purchase on Sunday
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September 17, 2010 10:44:09 PM

Well the phenom processor is $166 and the Asus 890 mobo is 100. I can get it for $230 so with the release of these new chips, I would need the phenom to drop more than $36
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September 18, 2010 1:37:15 AM

ScrewySqrl said:
wow...a a 7950? I haven't seen one of those in years. They were ungodly fast back in 2007, but probly only about the equal of a GTS 260 now. Should be able to run DX 9 stuff great, won't do DX 10 or 11.


No. They the 7950 is slower than a 8600GT. is approximately half the power of a 8800GT 512mb
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September 18, 2010 5:31:08 PM

marraco said:
No. They the 7950 is slower than a 8600GT. is approximately half the power of a 8800GT 512mb


I will probably upgrade the video card very soon as it seems like to be a very old and slow card now.. I just really want to get this computer up and running...
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!