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Gaming Build for $1200 - $1600

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November 8, 2010 1:52:26 AM

Hey all,

Every 2 years, I've built a new "gaming" PC knowing I'll have to build a new one 2 years later. Usually, it has been for a system in the price range of $800 - $1200 but now I have a job and can put up a bit more money. However, I'm so out of the loop that I don't know what the best current MB/CPU/GPU/RAM/HD combos are for gaming.

If someone could suggest a good build for my price range, I could start looking for deals on parts (Black November on newegg, etc.). I've realized that upgradeability is kinda useless since by the time I upgrade, there's a whole new set of components out that aren't compatible with my old stuff. Also, I don't want to buy a good system just to have new parts come out in 1 month so if you guys have knowledge that the current "top parts" may become cheaper soon, I can wait for a month (but probably not more) .

The MAIN (and ONLY) game I'm playing right now is STARCRAFT 2 so I'd like to spec my system towards running that game in ULTRA settings!

Here are a few things I'm considering:
i5 vs i7 - Don't know what the difference is.
Single GPU vs. dual GPUs - I don't know if Starcraft 2 requires that much power or not, also price.
SSD vs 10000RPM hard drive - Is SSD worth it? What size will I need for OS + games?
RAM - I've heard something about triple channel and have no clue what that is.
Power supply - no clue what I need here.

I'm sure there is a build that I'm looking for somewhere on the forums but I'm a bit busy and don't have time to peruse the forums. If someone could answer my questions and/or provide a link, that would be very useful :) . Thanks!!

More about : gaming build 1200 1600

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November 8, 2010 2:12:55 AM

darkknight4686 said:
Hey all,

Every 2 years, I've built a new "gaming" PC knowing I'll have to build a new one 2 years later. Usually, it has been for a system in the price range of $800 - $1200 but now I have a job and can put up a bit more money. However, I'm so out of the loop that I don't know what the best current MB/CPU/GPU/RAM/HD combos are for gaming.

If someone could suggest a good build for my price range, I could start looking for deals on parts (Black November on newegg, etc.). I've realized that upgradeability is kinda useless since by the time I upgrade, there's a whole new set of components out that aren't compatible with my old stuff. Also, I don't want to buy a good system just to have new parts come out in 1 month so if you guys have knowledge that the current "top parts" may become cheaper soon, I can wait for a month (but probably not more) .

The MAIN (and ONLY) game I'm playing right now is STARCRAFT 2 so I'd like to spec my system towards running that game in ULTRA settings!

Here are a few things I'm considering:
i5 vs i7 - Don't know what the difference is.
Single GPU vs. dual GPUs - I don't know if Starcraft 2 requires that much power or not, also price.
SSD vs 10000RPM hard drive - Is SSD worth it? What size will I need for OS + games?
RAM - I've heard something about triple channel and have no clue what that is.
Power supply - no clue what I need here.

I'm sure there is a build that I'm looking for somewhere on the forums but I'm a bit busy and don't have time to peruse the forums. If someone could answer my questions and/or provide a link, that would be very useful :) . Thanks!!


I GOTYA BUDDY! here we go:

1 & 4.Basically different chipsets. i5 (lga1156) performs better (barely) than an i7 950 (lga 1336) ONLY IN GAMES. The i7 950 will perform better in basically any other task. The lga1156 is also cheaper to build on, mobo is cheaper, + only requires dual channel RAM (at least 2 stick of ram) as opposed to triple channel (3 sticks of ram). Triple channel has a very small performance increase over dual so imo not worth it.

2. Well with your budget you should go dual GPU because its easily doable and most games get maxed out by the gpu and not the cpu.

3. I would highly suggest using a SSD for your OS and only your most used game or 2. as the price per GB is ridiculous.

5. For crossfired Radeon 6870's (which I'm going to suggest you) its recommended at least 600W by AMD. But I'd go 700+ for breathing room.

Here:

AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2Ghz - $153 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808&cm_re=phenom_II_x4_955-_-19-103-808-_-Product

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H - $135 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128435&Tpk=Gigabyte%u2019s%20GA-890GPA-UD3H

Haf 922 Blue Edition - $100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119224&cm_re=haf_922-_-11-119-224-_-Product

Sapphire Radeon HD 6870 - $240 x 2 = $480 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102909&cm_re=radeon_6870-_-14-102-909-_-Product

Corsair Professional Series AX750 - $170 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139016

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB - $70 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185

OCZ Agility 2 3.5" 90GB - $180 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227604


G.Skill Ripjaw DDR3 1333 C8 - $75 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231275&cm_re=g.skill_ddr3_1333-_-20-231-275-_-Product


Lite on dvd burner/reader - $17 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-RSSDailyDeals-_-na-_-na&AID=10521304&PID=3463938&SID=

Spire TherMax Eclipse II Cooler - $55 http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11423/cpu-spi-28/Spire_TherMax_Eclipse_II_Five_DT_Heatpipe_Universal_CPU_Cooler_SP984B1-V2_-_Sockets_775_1156_1366_939_AM2_AM2_AM3.html?tl=g40

Shin-Etsu - $5 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080&cm_re=shin-etsu-_-35-150-080-_-Product

Windows 7 64 bit Home Edition - $99 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754&cm_re=windows_7-_-32-116-754-_-Product
=$1539 (some of the prices are a little off because I made this list 2 weeks ago)
this will be my build at the end of december. and its beautiful :D . Hope you like it.

Can play anything you want here.
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November 8, 2010 2:25:06 AM

Thanks for the thorough reply. I do tend to go with INTEL / NVIDIA systems (unless there is a >$100 cost difference ... just personal preference) so could you just name/link the corresponding MB/CPU/GPU parts for those systems?

Also, I will reuse the following parts from my current computer:
-Non-SSD HD (i don't need alot of space)
-DVD-RW + CD-ROM
-Windows OS
If any of these could be in conflict with the newer parts, please do let me know.

Also, I've been thinking of upgrading my case even though its been serving me well. There is too much dust gathering inside my chassis which makes me think I could get a better ventilated/cooler-looking one.

Thanks for your help!
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November 8, 2010 2:49:28 AM

i5 750 lga 1156 $200 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115215&cm_re=i5_750-_-19-115-215-_-Product

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro $180 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131621

MSI N460GTX Hawk GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card - $210 x 2 = $420 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127518 +free HAWX 2 (twice? not very useful twice but still :D )

new total just swapping out these 3 parts = $1591
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November 8, 2010 4:00:49 AM

Nice!

Along the same lines as my reply above, I wanted to know if I could simply replace my current video card with the newer ones and be good to go.

Lately, Starcraft 2 has been choppy/lagging in games and I think it's my rig and not the network. Is there a way to find out if my bottleneck is CPU/GPU/bandwidth?

Also, is my current PSU (listed below) okay for the SLI 460, if I decide to go that route?

Here are the specs for my current rig:
MB: GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor
GPU: EVGA 512-P3-N841-AR GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
RAM: OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply


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November 8, 2010 4:31:29 AM

Best answer selected by darkknight4686.
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November 10, 2010 2:18:46 AM

Awesome build man, definitely going to base mine at the end of this month of it.

What do you think about i5 750 vs Phenom II x 4 955 in regards to gaming?
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November 10, 2010 11:45:38 AM

Susmaster said:
Awesome build man, definitely going to base mine at the end of this month of it.

What do you think about i5 750 vs Phenom II x 4 955 in regards to gaming?


In my person opinion:
$800-1200 - AMD Phenom II X4 955BE amd 3
$1201-1400 - i5 750 (or 760 if price is the same or within $5) lga 1156
$1400+ - i7 870 lga 1156
(exception!: if going to run over 2 graphic cards in sli or CF get an X58 chipset like i7 950)
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December 3, 2010 12:52:42 PM

Rookie Builder - USE "GAMING" what else is there? oh yeah porn !

I'm purchasing pieces as we speak,

Comments PLease!!!!

X4 3.4g 965 - (Hate INtel Nazi's) $265

Mobo - ASRock 890FX Deluxe4 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Looks Cheap Has all bells and whistles - good reviews never heard of em) $165

PSu - COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS700 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $60

SSD - Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe MKNSSDCL120GB $ 225

gtx 480 asus $400 at Best Buy now - Should I of waited for new product?

win7 etc... $1,000,000

PLease HELP!

Which ram 1336 1600? WTF? 4gigs 8 gigs?

WINTEC AMPO 8GB (2 x 4GB) 1333 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333

or G. Skill 1600 8 gigs?

This bitch is gonna cost me $1400 I'm I nuts? or is this the ***? Need to know before I bankrupt myself!

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December 3, 2010 2:28:01 PM

I'd get 8GB.. obviously DDR3 1600 is better if you can afford it.

Shouldn't have bought a gtx 480 at all, its like NVidia's mistake. Gtx 580 is better and more quiet, and uses less power.
I also would've suggested Radeon 6870 because you can't SLI on that board without hacking it.

Get a sandforce controller SSD, whichever is the cheapest. Mushkin, OCZ Vertex 2, G.Skill Phoenix, Corsair Force.

I wouldn't get that PSU because its cooler master.. Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, XFX.
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December 3, 2010 3:59:22 PM

The board has been my toughest decision - I did not see that video chip set - TY

I picked the card based on Toms Hardware reviews and am ashamed to admit I bought a vid card for $400, $500 is ludicrous. I was hoping that in the future I could add another card - futureproofing. Is that accurate or is two cards just for bigger/more screens? I use single screen. Power use noise no concern bang/buck

I think that card is the best fps/$ and if thats true and a second card will future-proof then I would like a mobo to accommodate and one with all the bells and whistles hoping that it will be future-proof as well.

I'm fine w/ dif psu just trying to be cheap ~ which never seems to pay off thats why I'm considering a $400 card, albeit I can't tell the wife that !

What do you think about this - could you recommend a mobo that would suite me.

I don't mind investing if its currently viewed as future-proofing but I'm building my own because I want it done right - and thats why I'm here - please help the Newb!

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=noob
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December 3, 2010 4:11:03 PM

it is my duty, as repulsive, as despicable, as evil as it is

My slaughter will be biblical, an amd based pandemic with Stalin like execution no names will be taken no face left intact it will be referred to as the cyber black ages by noobs for the next century

Deliver unto Alpha Wulf his Excalibur... and you will be known as the golden enabler whose wisdom and wizardry crafted Thors hammer that rid the internets of noobs FOREVER !





internets - ah, makes me laugh everytime
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December 3, 2010 4:47:42 PM

all you need is an i3 for starcraft II in ultra with good frame rates - this is what im using
4gb mem is more than enough
get as good a video card as you can, thats the main thing, dump the money you save by getting a cheaper CPU into the video card
im running 30-40FPS with just a HD 4850, which is OLD, you will kill that game with anything over an HD 5770, 95% of the time.
NOTE: certain parts of the game get slow on even a kickass machine, because of huge battles, if you want >60fps all the time, get a badass GPU!!
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December 3, 2010 5:36:52 PM

The I don't see it as the best bang for $.

Get 2 gtx 1Gb gtx 460's SLI for $360 and it will kill a gtx 480 while only needing a 700W psu, only thing is your done, no adding another card. But you need to switch to intel really to SLI, amd has some boards that do it but they are older and don't have usb3 or sata 3.
Another Option would be a Gigabyte GTX 470 Super Over Clock for $300 and performs about 4 fps behind the gtx 480, uses less power, is more quiet, and cost $100 less.

Cpu option, switch to a i5 750/760.
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December 3, 2010 9:51:11 PM

After rehashing my approach I concede that the 6870 looks like the best bet for me. That will allow me to utilize said board etc. Unless I also reconsider the i5 is that what you would recommend Vindictive? and if so would you rec a mobo that would allow dual 6870 - I would prefer amd but have no sound reasoning - lol. I would like to hear what you think?

Heres a handy article for others looking into video cards
http://www.hardware-revolution.com/best-video-cards-nov...
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December 3, 2010 9:58:43 PM

Since its just for gaming I'd stay with an AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE.
i5 and X4 955 perform near the same in gaming.

and the 6870 is a good card, performs around the same as a gtx 470 and costs the same as well. All while using less power and producing less heat.
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December 3, 2010 11:59:37 PM

I appreciate you volunteering you time to assist me. I hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!
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!