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Need help in getting a new AMD gaming PC

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February 1, 2011 5:16:50 AM

Can anyone please give me a gaming rig spec with an AMD processor, that's worth $570 or less?

BUDGET FOR THE FOLLOWING: $570
> Motherboard - (want to get the best possible one so it'll last 2 years or so)
> GPU - (something good but cheap at around $150)
> Processor - (AMD Phenom II x4 or which ever will last at least 2 years)
> RAM - (2 GB or preferrably 4GB per RAM at 1333 or preferrably at 1600)
> PSU - (not too expensive as mid to low-range will do)
> Hard Drive - (preferrably the best possible speed with 1 TB or 500 GB space; speed over size)
> Processor cooling fan - (not really a requirement but I plan to buy one even if it exceeds my budget)

I know you'll put more budget on the GPU for better gaming performance, but I'm planning to upgrade the GPU after about 6 months so a cheap one will do, at around $150 or less.

I want to focus more on the mobo and the processor, since I want them to last for more than a year or two.

I was also planning to get at least 8 GB to 12 GB RAM if my budget permits me to (4GB RAM per stick or whatever they should be called).

I'm starting from scratch so I don't even have 40 GB hard drive to start with. I am dedicating all that budget to hardware so OS and all other softwares are not an issue here. I won't be needing any monitor, as I already have one.

I'll take care of all other stuff like DVD drives and such. I'm excluding these from the budget.

With regards to the games I want to play.. I want to play every single game that I can starting from DOTA and games like L4D1&2, LP2(Lost Planet 2), ME2(Mass Effect 2), GTA IV, and so on and so forth.

I hope and wish someone will be kind enough to help me out and give me really good PC specs. Thanks for reading this!!

More about : amd gaming

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February 1, 2011 5:54:52 AM

All prices newegg.com.

Asrock 870 extreme 3 motherboard $89.99 shipped

AMD phenom II 965 black $164.99 shipped

Sparkle SXS 450 1024D5SNP geforce gts 450 fermi fanless video card $149.99 shipped Use only in well ventilated cases. I prefer fanless, but you may want another brand with a regular fan.

Gskill ripjaws series 1.5v 2x2 gb 1600 ddr3 $49.99 shipped (my personal ram)

Antec truepower 550w cable select $64.99 shipped with promo code ends today

Western Digital WD10EALX 1 TB 6.0 sata hardrive $74.99 shipped

Xigmatec Dark Knight S1283V Rev W 120mm cooler $24.96 after rebate shipped

Total: about $620 after rebates




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February 1, 2011 5:36:52 PM

You wont see much of a performance different between 1600 and 1333. I would drop the 965 and go for a 955 BE. Bump it up one multiplier and you now have a 965 BE.

As an alternative for Western Digital (which I love) you can look at the samung spinpoint series.

Personally I would get a video card with a cooling fan. I have a computer with an 8600 GT? passively cooled, the heat started causing the transistors to maye an annoying high pitched noise. I dropped a 120mm fan on the top of it and called it a day.
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February 1, 2011 5:46:00 PM

I would grab this 5770 for $100 AR. That shaves $50 off the GPU and puts you right at your budget.

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

Also, this samsung F3 1TB for $65. Saves you $10
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Good PSU and RAM.

Since you're getting a cooler anyways, might as well grab the Phenom II 955 and just overclock it. Saves you $16 and has a $10 promo card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For the Cooler, personally I prefer this one due to the fact that it mounts in a crossflow orientation. The dark knight only mounts in the updraft configuration. It's a little more money though but no rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 1, 2011 5:56:15 PM

$50 over budget...
Same mobo; excellent choice.
Get the 955BE for $149; it will overclock to 965 levels with a simple multiplier bump.
ASUS CuCore Series EAH5770 CuCore/2DI/1GD5 Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card: $140 (w/$20 MIR)
Will outperform a GTS450.
Get a 500GB Samsung Spinpoint F3 for $50.
That PSU is a great choice; buy it now before that discount expires. I've got one and it is nice and quiet.
You can find some DDR3-1333 RAM for $38-$40.

Those changes should fit your stated budget.

Edit: and I see that jedi940 found you an even better deal on the video card (but it is $120 before MIR)
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February 1, 2011 7:05:38 PM

Less Processor: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz: $75 With Promo Code EMCKHKJ35

More Graphics Card: Asus Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5: $215 (before $30 rebate)

Asus M4A79XTD EVO AM3 790X: $99 (before $15 rebate)

Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333: $45

Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB HDD: $65

Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W: $70 (before $20 rebate)

$569 before $65 in rebates (which you should wait patiently for :lol:  )

I get the Asus 'Quick' rebates back in a month.

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February 1, 2011 9:54:28 PM

The ASRock mobo has a newer chipset.
What is your monitor resolution? I suspect an Athlon II would bottleneck a HD5850, unless you got lucky and unlocked a stable 4th core and/or got a decent overclock out of it. Since the OP specifically mentioned $150 max for the GPU (with a future upgrade likely), I'd stick to the stronger CPU. Something like a HD5770, 768MB GTX460, or even a HD5750, especially if it means lowering a setting or two to get decent FPS, will provide useful information on just how much of an upgrade is needed.
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February 1, 2011 10:35:30 PM

An HD5850 simply slobber-knocks an HD5770 and runs quite well with a stock X3 Rana ...



From Toms: Gamers: Do You Need More Than An Athlon II X3?

Should get a nice boost, too, with an over-clock (including the IMC/NB) ... 15%? --- 20%? Be fun to find out.

I suspect the 870 north-bridge in that AsRock is really a cut-down 890GX because it has the exact same 22 PCIe lanes of the Asus 790 north-bridge, not the typical 870 specifications. The sb850 means nothing to his gaming, and the Asus 790X is simply a better motherboard.
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February 2, 2011 2:22:38 AM

keep in mind that those benchmarks are at 1680x1050. most people game at 1920x1080 now. I would still recommend a better processor. Tom's has tested whether L3 is helpful and they concluded that if overclocking, the phenom will scale better than the Athlon. Besids the OP said he would be getting a new graphics card in 6 months anyways. Its much easier to buy more CPU horsepower first and update the graphics card later. Otherwise, you are stuck trying to buy an out of date processor for a dead chipset and the prices still haven't gone down.

I still stick by my original recommendation which was a small tweak of the build suggested by o1die
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February 2, 2011 2:45:07 AM
February 2, 2011 4:39:56 AM

Thank you to all who replied. I really appreciate it, but can anyone please give me a bit of explanation as to why one component would be better than the other. It's really hard to weigh the pros and cons.

With regards to the processor, it seems that a lot of people are suggesting that the Phenom II x4 955 BE would be a better pick over Phenom II x4 965 BE. I was just wondering if anyone can explain why Phenom II x4 965 BE is not worth the extra I'll be paying, and honestly, I was planning on getting the Phenom II x4 970 BE instead. This way, I would get a higher speed if I OC it too.
Phenom II x4 970 BE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With regards to the mobo, I can't really decide which is the best but I would prefer if it can handle 1600 RAM at stock speed. I also want something that can handle more than 16 GB of RAM, but I'm probably looking for something that doesn't exist yet, so I'm fine with that. I was looking to get something like the mobo I posted below. Please tell me if I'll be making a big mistake by getting this or if I am also looking for the wrong type of mobo.
ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890FX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would also appreciate it if anyone can help me compare these mobos
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-130-274^13-130-274-TS,13-128-441^13-128-441-TS,13-157-208^13-157-208-TS,13-130-223^13-130-223-TS

jedi940 is also right when he said that I'll be wasting money right now if I spend too much on the GPU, because I'm already planning to get a new one 6 months after I buy this rig.

I hope you continue to help me decide which would be best. : )
Thanks a lot!
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February 2, 2011 4:56:11 AM

The 970 doesn't run that much faster; not worth the extra cost. The asus board you plan on getting will work fine, but if you can save $60 with the asrock, I would get it instead. I've had good luck with asrock, and they answered my emails. I got a chance to try three of them about 2 years ago. They work fine, though the asus may overclock better.
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February 2, 2011 8:59:25 AM

^That's about how I would assess the CPU and mobos as well. I've used at least five ASRock boards myself (the last one a week and a half ago), all without issues.
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February 2, 2011 9:42:27 AM

If you are getting a new GPU soon why not get one noe you can crossfire it with.
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February 2, 2011 12:05:27 PM

emmanuelxian07 said:
Thank you to all who replied. I really appreciate it, but can anyone please give me a bit of explanation as to why one component would be better than the other. It's really hard to weigh the pros and cons.

With regards to the processor, it seems that a lot of people are suggesting that the Phenom II x4 955 BE would be a better pick over Phenom II x4 965 BE. I was just wondering if anyone can explain why Phenom II x4 965 BE is not worth the extra I'll be paying, and honestly, I was planning on getting the Phenom II x4 970 BE instead. This way, I would get a higher speed if I OC it too.
Phenom II x4 970 BE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

With regards to the mobo, I can't really decide which is the best but I would prefer if it can handle 1600 RAM at stock speed. I also want something that can handle more than 16 GB of RAM, but I'm probably looking for something that doesn't exist yet, so I'm fine with that. I was looking to get something like the mobo I posted below. Please tell me if I'll be making a big mistake by getting this or if I am also looking for the wrong type of mobo.
ASUS M4A89TD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890FX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would also appreciate it if anyone can help me compare these mobos
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-130-274^13-130-274-TS,13-128-441^13-128-441-TS,13-157-208^13-157-208-TS,13-130-223^13-130-223-TS

jedi940 is also right when he said that I'll be wasting money right now if I spend too much on the GPU, because I'm already planning to get a new one 6 months after I buy this rig.

I hope you continue to help me decide which would be best. : )
Thanks a lot!

I have the Gigabyte 890 fxa ud5 , great board , lots of options to OC , well built . Can add vid cards in future , I now have 2 , might go for 3 IF I find it will add performance . Has 2 lan ports and lots of legacy ports on the board . So fa I think it is worth the extra $$
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February 2, 2011 1:14:56 PM

emmanuelxian07 said:
Can anyone please give me a gaming rig spec with an AMD processor, that's worth $570 or less?


It's the graphics card ... graphics card ... graphics card ... graphics card.

The best single card for your budget is the HD5850.

Did you hear the echo about the graphics card? The only debate: Should you choose an HD6850 at the same price as an HD5850?

I would say "Yes" with the intention of CrossFiring the HD6850. Yah see, a single HD6850 is a tad slower than a single HD5850, BUT when you CrossFire the HD6850 they trade blows. System at load with the HD6850 CF is less than 450w and the 6850 will be on the market longer.



Quote:
I'll be wasting money right now if I spend too much on the GPU, because I'm already planning to get a new one 6 months after I buy this rig.


Dude ... think about what you are saying here.

Quote:
Its much easier to buy more CPU horsepower first and update the graphics card later.


Silly talk. This is just wrong. Sorry. And the OP is a perfect example.

He's planning to "upgrade his video card in six months". I'm not seeing a better graphics upgrade in six months than a second HD6850. By next Fall the OP may effectively double his frame rates for ... $110?

So ... how much is that X3 Rana going to 'bottleneck' those doubled frame rates? Do you think we might offset that 'bottleneck' somewhat with the X3 Rana at 15x250MHz with the IMC/NB at 2500MHz?

Quote:
can anyone please give me a bit of explanation as to why one component would be better than the other. It's really hard to weigh the pros and cons.


"Yah need more power, Captain!"





The Asus 790X much improved electrical plus the headroom available when using a 95w processor. Each north bridge on the motherboards is the same --- this area drives your video card(s). There are 22 PCIe lanes.

The 890FX motherboards you linked have 36 PCIe lanes off the north bridge. Now is not the time to go there (if you are still within your budget).


Take my build, snag your rebates and buy a nice cooler. Your first upgrade is your video -- I suggest the HD6850 as the way forward. Others have their own inferior suggestions - LOL

After the HD6850X2 upgrade, you move everything into a new 990FX motherboard. That should open up some options [:jaydeejohn:5]













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February 2, 2011 4:46:47 PM

First, everyone is recommending getting the 955 because it is cheaper. With a simple multiplier change, it will easily reach speeds of the 965 and 970. Also, with AMD, a higher base clock doesn't always mean that it will overclock better.

Again, I find it perfectly sensible to always get more CPU power than you need at first. Here is why. Graphics cards are way easier to update. All PCIe graphics cards are backwards compatible. You can drop in anything from the Raedon X1XXX series all the way up to an HD6XXX card. The next line AMD comes out with will work too. You don't have near that many choices with processors. Once a new chipset comes out there are no new processors made for your old one. Until they come out with a different interface than PCIe, you can always grab the newest graphics card and put it in your computer. Thats why I always suggest spending a little more on the processor because chances are you will never upgrade it. Look around on the forum. Every time someone asks whether to upgrade the processor or gpu, most people suggest the GPU. Updating the processor usually means a processor/motherboard/RAM combination. A graphics card is just a graphics card. Doesn't need anything else as long as you did your work right and got the right power supply.

At what resolution do you game? If 1080p, then grab a 5770, if less then that, you can grab an even cheaper card. Then save up in 6 months and get a decent card. If you get a better card now and only go with the Athlon II processor, you will end up bottlenecking your system. Look at the review mentioned earlier titled Gamers: Do You Need More Than An Athlon II X3? You will see that while you get acceptable frame rates with the x3, the i7-920 is a significant increase.

As for the motherboard, I usually look for features like USB 3.0 and SATA III. These are things you will want in the future. SATA III if you use an SSD, and USB 3.0 when devices start to use the increased throughput they have to offer. As for power phases, more isn't always better if you have a solid product. I have a Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H which is a 4+1 phase design and have overclocked my Phenom 1090T successfully as high as 4.2GHz. Currently it is stable at 4.0GHz. I love this board.
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February 2, 2011 9:55:06 PM

jedi940 said:
First, everyone is recommending getting the 955 because it is cheaper. With a simple multiplier change, it will easily reach speeds of the 965 and 970. Also, with AMD, a higher base clock doesn't always mean that it will overclock better.


I'm just curious about the processor. If for example I get the 970 BE, won't it OC better than the 955 BE? Can the 955 BE beat the 970 BE if for example we take away the price from the picture?


jedi940 said:
Graphics cards are way easier to update. All PCIe graphics cards are backwards compatible.


jedi940 said:
Every time someone asks whether to upgrade the processor or gpu, most people suggest the GPU. Updating the processor usually means a processor/motherboard/RAM combination.


This is exactly my point that's why I said I was planning to upgrade my GPU after about 6 months. This would save me more money as compared to buying the best GPU and buying a cheaper processor, mobo, and RAM.


Alright. Since all of you tell me that the 955 BE is the best for me, I'll get that. Now my question is, which motherboard should I get? I think wisecracker's idea with regards to CrossFiring the HD6850 is good. I'm not so sure because no one else backed him up, but if it will boost the performance of my rig, I'm willing to consider that as well. I'll just be playing games so I don't really need more than one monitor and I want to play most games in max settings and at the highest resolution, but given the fact that I have just a small budget right now, I can adjust to playing with resolutions a little less than the maximum. With regards to the mobo, I want to invest on the best that I can get. Please suggest what would be the best considering my budget and what would be the best if I have an unlimited budget for the mobo. I am also considering the mobo wisecracker suggested - the Asus 790X, or maybe the ASRock mobo. Please suggest a motherboard that's good at OCing the 955 BE and one which will really last a long time. Please suggest a mobo that's within my budget and one that is over my budget, which you also considered as the best.


T H A N K S ! ! !
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February 2, 2011 11:16:27 PM

Is it me or did this $570 build just become an $1100 build ? I think you need to step back and take a good hard look before you die of sticker shock.
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February 3, 2011 1:46:53 AM

Motherboard $90 Asrock 970 Extreme 3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU $149 955 BE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM $50 Gskill Ripjaw 1600MHz 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU $100 AR HIS 5770
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU $70 AR Corsair 650tx
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD $65 Spinpoint F3 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $524

If you have 570 to spend, I would recommend grabbing an 6850 now and another one in six months.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Brings the total to $584 but hopefully you can dig up another $14

No where close to $1100
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February 3, 2011 1:50:52 AM

Also, if you want the Phenom II 970, don't let us talk you out of it. There is just no guarantee that it will overclock better. With intel, a higher base clock usually means a better overclock. AMD's current generation processors just don't seem to work that way. Great example is when the Phemon X6 1100T came out. Higher base clock but the overclock wasn't any better.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-x6-1100t-...
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February 3, 2011 9:52:09 AM

^+1 to jedis build its exactly want I would choose on that budget, if you want to overclck it get a hyper 212+ for an extra $30.
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February 4, 2011 11:49:24 AM

+1 for me. and I've changed my mind ...

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB: $283 (before $20 rebate)



AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz: $75 With Promo Code EMCKHKJ35

Asus M4A79XTD EVO AM3 790X: $89 (before $15 rebate) price dropped - and it's got a 3-year warranty, too

Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333: $45

Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB HDD: $50

Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W: $70 (before $20 rebate)

$612 before $55 in rebates = $557

winner winner chicken dinner

made a great move from where we started (and have generally stayed in the budget envelop, too [:jaydeejohn:5] )

from: Anand


The 955BE is a great enthusiast chip ... for about the next 60 days. The X3 Rana at 50% of the cost will provide 90-95% of the 955BE performance in gaming - before a little OC'ing. With the HD6950 2GB you are set for years - the only thing you have to worry about is if (or when if you feel it is necessary) to buy a second card.

And congratulations, you just kicked nVidia in the nads. Your HD6850 blows past the GeForce GTX 570 in ME2 for $100 less.

The way the memory goes with AMD, ddr3 1333 is the sweet spot for a 250MHz clock (to run your RAMs at spec speed when overclocking) - 14x250MHz with the IMC/NB at 2500MHz will run ddr3 1333 at spec speed if you drop the memory ratio to 533. That OC ain't gonna hold you back much, if anything.

If you want to spend some extra $$$ (for something other than a cooler) for +$40 you may make the leap to ddr3 1866MHz. That gives you the 280MHz clock - probably a sweet spot for that Asus 790X.

The other reason for ddr3 1866MHz: Current projected stock speed of Zambezi IMC

All Hail Zambezi !


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February 4, 2011 12:47:58 PM

First, do we even know what resolution we are looking at? Unless I missed it, I don't think we do.

Second, in regard to Wisecracker's build . . . If the only thing you are going to do is game with this computer on a single monitor and do some occasional internet browsing, then I might lean a little more toward his build. I re-read the article toms posted to refresh my memory and at resolutions of 1080p and above. It might make more sense to just drop in a bigger card now with a lower processor. This also applies to the games you listed. If you enjoy playing real-time strategy games, then I would disagree as you will need a powerful processor to assist you there.

If you go with wisecrackers build you wouldn't have to buy another GPU. If you are set on purchasing another card anyways, I might even revise my build using some of the parts from wisecracker's.

I would use the same PSU, RAM, HDD

CPU i5-760 $209
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...;i5-760-_-19-115-067-_-Product

Mobo ASRock P55 PRO USB3 $100 but no crossfire. its your choice if you think you will ever use it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU 5770 I suggested earlier for $100 AR

Total is $554 AR $604 Before.

I know you said AMD processor but I thought I would show you an intel build for comparison. Almost the same price but a different configuration. Just another option for you to consider. Really depends on whether you want to buy another graphics card in 6 months or not.
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February 4, 2011 8:49:00 PM

jedi940 said:
I know you said AMD processor but I thought I would show you an intel build for comparison. Almost the same price but a different configuration. Just another option for you to consider. Really depends on whether you want to buy another graphics card in 6 months or not.


Thanks for the suggestion dude! Honestly, I've been planning to get an Intel rig a while back, but because of the issue with the P67 mobos and the extreme price I'd have to pay, I changed my mind. I wanted to get the Sandy Bridge but that would mean I'd have to spend about $680 which I think is already too much for a gaming rig. I really appreciate all of your help and although everyone does not agree on just 1 thing, at least I'm getting a hind of the pros and cons of my options right now.
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February 5, 2011 5:23:34 PM

emmanuaelxian07 to note the i5-760 doesn't use those defective Sandy Bridge mobo's rather it is the older LGA 1156 platform rather than the new just recently discovered defective Sandy Bridge chip set LGA 1155 mobos.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGA_1156

i5-760 is quite a potent gamer CPU.
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