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[New Build] Economy Gaming $450 - Challenge!

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October 28, 2010 2:28:50 AM

Hi all, here's the challenge:

I would greatly appreciate some expert advice on a cost-effective new build specifically for gaming and linking to an HD 1080p TV. The requirements are below.

Approximate Purchase Date: November 1st - December 1st

Budget Range: $450 or less

System Usage: Specifically for maxing out Mass Effect 2, Star Wars the Old Republic, Lord of the Rings Online, browsing on the web with HD 1080p TV with internet access.

Parts Not Required: I have 2 80GB Hard Drives, a salvaged Xbox 360 CD Rom Drive and Wireless Mouse, Wireless Keyboard, TV

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com - any others OK

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: I know that I need RAM, CPU, Motherboard, Video Card and Case/Cooling. Cable for TV as well?

Overclocking: Maybe, Advice?

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe Advice?

Monitor Resolution: Need advice for HD TV monitor - what do I need on the PC side for best compatibility with gaming?

Additional Comments: Appreciate the help - I'm decent with PC's but I am not up to date on current hardware


Thanks Again!

More about : build economy gaming 450 challenge

October 28, 2010 2:56:01 AM

Thanks bud I do still need to buy the TV haha.
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October 28, 2010 3:05:18 AM

dont buy that.. its a plasma.. they are bad, they break
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October 28, 2010 3:15:30 AM

Ok still waiting for anyone who can help me with this PC challenge. This is what I have so far . . . keep in mind that this is slightly over budget. And I may be forgetting things like fans, cables and artic silver so please advise if this is necessary.

Here's what I have thus far (click to zoom):





Note that I went for Tri-core for gaming reasons, because I believe it can be unlocked and based off recommendations. The Video Card is based off recommendations from Newegg but I have no clue as to its viability vs others in the same price range.

Opinions please! Where are all of the outspoken people when you want them? Haha :) 
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October 28, 2010 4:50:25 AM

They're probably all gone because its night time and its the middle of the week.

Keep in mind you need a mobo that supports core unlocking to actually unlock cores.

All the GPUs of the same model are the same. You just pay for the factory overclocking from the base clock, warranty, and how well the manufacturer has established themselves (customer support).

Athlon II x3 445 and ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 $157.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 $61.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PowerColor Radeon HD 5770 $134.99 - $20 rebate = $114.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 300 Case and EarthWatts 650W $119.98 - $15 rebate = $104.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total: $474.94 - $35 rebates = $439.94

If the budget is before rebates, drop the 4gb ram for one 2gb stick and add another later when you got the money.

You don't need arctic silver, the stock heatsink already has thermal paste applied.

Only need aftermarket cooler if you plan to do extreme overclocking. You can do minor OC fine with the stock cooler.
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October 28, 2010 6:13:38 AM

Wow thank you Juanchioo and Kureme.

Kureme that build looks great. . . can you tell me why you're recommending that particular GPU (5770 Powercore) vs the 5770 Sapphire?

And how important is the CPU type/power going to be with games?
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a b 4 Gaming
October 28, 2010 10:44:12 AM

$440AR - think u on a IDE ODD so free SATA DVDRW with combo hehe

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October 28, 2010 11:33:23 AM

Don't suggest a freakin POWERCOLOR product to people, go with XFX, Sapphire or HIS
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October 28, 2010 6:01:55 PM

Juanchioo said:
dont buy that.. its a plasma.. they are bad, they break


That's a helpful remark. You have sources to back that up?

http://www.smarthouse.com.au/TVs_And_Large_Display/X3R4...

"Panasonic's 50" plasma is the best TV overall, according to an Annual Product Reliability Survey conducted by US organisation Consumer Reports."

http://www.consumersearch.com/plasma-tv/best-plasma-tv

"Panasonic plasma TVs are best overall"

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computer...

"Panasonic is the market leader in plasma TVs"
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October 28, 2010 6:58:23 PM

starflame said:
Wow thank you Juanchioo and Kureme.

Kureme that build looks great. . . can you tell me why you're recommending that particular GPU (5770 Powercore) vs the 5770 Sapphire?

And how important is the CPU type/power going to be with games?


Most probably because to say within budget. There is nothing wrong with PowerColor. They're usually great for people aiming for small builds because they usually use shorter cards than the mainstream but in this case, the price was the deciding factor. It seems the price rose overnight so my recommendation should change to the HIS one for $124.99 after rebate.

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

Regarding the plasma, they're great as TVs, but not so much as PC monitors. They are very prone to image burn-ins from displaying the same image for extended periods of time, i.e. the desktop. For a PC monitor definitely stick with LCDs.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 28, 2010 7:21:39 PM

here is my build for $445:

Athlon II X3 445 and 4 GB Mushkin DDR3 1333 RAM: $124.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Asrock 770 motherboard: $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ 500W Modular 80+ PSU and 500 GB Samsung F3 hard drive: $89.98 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

MSI GTS 450: $119.99 w/ $25 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill basic case $29.99 (w/ 1 120MM Fan)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

additional 120mm fan: $3.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

22x DVD burner: $15.39 (10% off thru 11/3)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$444.31 total
$10.73 shipping

$454.94 total less $45 in rebates.
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October 28, 2010 7:59:34 PM

Thanks for all the great advice guys.

I was comparing the 6850 vs the 5770 on passmark and the 6850 is ridiculously more powerful for the price (rated 25% better). I am, however, paranoid about overheating in the case, which is my current prob.

Some of the cases mentioned look good but this is my biggest weak spot in knowledge. Should I sacrifice some cost in the case and get the 6850 card (batuchka suggested), or go with something like the 5770 and put more into cooling (Kureme)...

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October 28, 2010 8:20:07 PM

You generally shouldn't have much overheating issues unless you improperly install the heatsink or do some heavy overclocking.

For the case, I wouldn't get anything below $30 because of poor design/construction/quality. They will be flimsy, rattle and/or literally fall apart.

Obviously get the 6850 if you can because it is "much better" but if you go with that kind of thinking, you may as well throw down another $300 for a budget i5 760 build.

Personally, I don't care too much about aesthetics so I can deal with an ugly or old case so long as it has decent airflow and most of the money is going towards performance. You usually have air being blown out through the PSU so at a minimum so you only need one more fan, preferably sucking air in from the front or blowing the hot air out behind the CPU cooler. Ideally you would want both of these.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 28, 2010 8:23:52 PM

Get the 6850 if you can.
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a b 4 Gaming
October 29, 2010 1:16:34 AM

starflame said:
Thanks for all the great advice guys.

I was comparing the 6850 vs the 5770 on passmark and the 6850 is ridiculously more powerful for the price (rated 25% better). I am, however, paranoid about overheating in the case, which is my current prob.

Some of the cases mentioned look good but this is my biggest weak spot in knowledge. Should I sacrifice some cost in the case and get the 6850 card (batuchka suggested), or go with something like the 5770 and put more into cooling (Kureme)...



With small differences, etc there is very little reason not to go with the HD 6850 as the gulf between it and HD 5770 is rather huge :ouch:  No reason to settle for inferior performance for the same $$
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