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Custom Gaming build1200-1400

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November 9, 2010 6:47:43 PM

Hello,
I looked over the top stickies just seemed like the builds were a bit dated so i figured i start my own thread and see whats best this month

Approximate Purchase Date: This Month

Budget Range: 1200-1400 US$ including shipping etc.


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Lots of gaming, surfing the net, other basics

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, microcenter

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: Open to AMD or Intel, whatever is going to get me better framerates\Gaming performance for my money :p 

Overclocking: will do a slight overclock, not looking to spend much on a great hsf

SLI or Crossfire: Sure would be willing, def want the option on the mobo for upgrades

Monitor Resolution: 24" 1920x1080- already have

Additional Comments: Wife will use for the basics, I mostly play civilization, BadCompany, and some other RTS, quiet would be nice, mid tower no full, would like it to be reasonably upgradeable. Need to include Windows 7 in the cost

Any help would be appreciated Thanks for all the suggestions.
November 9, 2010 7:03:47 PM

Try this -
Case: Coolermaster Haf 922 ($99)
MB: Asus M4A89TD Pro ($180)
CPU: AMD Phenom X4 970 BE ($185)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw 4GB DDR 3 1600 CAS7 ($94)
Graphics: Radeon HD 6870 ($250ish) You pick the brand based on warranty, extras etc. Add a second in xfire later...
HDD1: OCZ Agility 2 SSD 60 GB ($129)
HDD2: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB ($90)
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX ($110)
Windows 7: Home Premium OEM ($99)

That's a bit under $1300 at Newegg w/o any coupons or combo discounts (and there are several) but also doesn't include shipping. Leaves you a little wiggle room if you want to make changes or add a little something extra somewhere.
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November 9, 2010 7:23:19 PM

gsgoody said:
Try this -
Case: Coolermaster Haf 922 ($99)
MB: Asus M4A89TD Pro ($180)
CPU: AMD Phenom X4 970 BE ($185)
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw 4GB DDR 3 1600 CAS7 ($94)
Graphics: Radeon HD 6870 ($250ish) You pick the brand based on warranty, extras etc. Add a second in xfire later...
HDD1: OCZ Agility 2 SSD 60 GB ($129)
HDD2: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB ($90)
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX ($110)
Windows 7: Home Premium OEM ($99)

That's a bit under $1300 at Newegg w/o any coupons or combo discounts (and there are several) but also doesn't include shipping. Leaves you a little wiggle room if you want to make changes or add a little something extra somewhere.


Why not go for the 955 and OC it? save some money with that. And is SSD necessary?
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a b 4 Gaming
November 9, 2010 7:25:12 PM

^Not that great. First, an overly expensive board. Second, an unnecessary expense in the SSD. Third, an overly expensive standard HDD. Fourth, an overly expensive GPU.

Here's what I'd change:

CPU: X4 955. No reason to pay more than you need to for a great CPU. They're basically the same, just the 955 is only $150ish.

Mobo: ASRock 870 Extreme 3 (best value) or the Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 would be just as good and a lot cheaper ($100 less on the ASRock, $40 on the Asus).

RAM: Grab the G.Skill Eco sticks for $5 less. They use less power and have more overhead for overclocking.

GPU: I'm not sold on the 6xxx series. The 5850 is just as powerful, and a good $50 less. Or spend a touch more and get the 5870 with more power. Pair the HD 5850 with an XFX 650W PSU for $215 after rebates to save a bundle and lose nothing in terms of performance.

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB. Just as fast and high quality, but $15 (or more) less.
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November 9, 2010 7:29:12 PM

Why go with the 970 over the 955? easier to OC on stock HSF? that would be nice

love the GPU that was exactly what i was looking at, and adding a second one down the line if need be.

Ill prob go with the spinpoint 1TB HD had good exp with them and I can get them a bit cheaper
and not sure im going to go with a SSD right now... just dont like the price for the storage when it really doesnt help gaming that much but will keep it in mind

Also love that PSU I put that in my friends i7 rig and hes never had any problems


Thanks gsgoody for the suggestions, was pretty much same stuff i was looking at, just some minor changes like you mentioned.

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November 9, 2010 7:36:39 PM

MadAdmiral said:
^Not that great. First, an overly expensive board. Second, an unnecessary expense in the SSD. Third, an overly expensive standard HDD. Fourth, an overly expensive GPU.

Here's what I'd change:

CPU: X4 955. No reason to pay more than you need to for a great CPU. They're basically the same, just the 955 is only $150ish.

Mobo: ASRock 870 Extreme 3 (best value) or the Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 would be just as good and a lot cheaper ($100 less on the ASRock, $40 on the Asus).

RAM: Grab the G.Skill Eco sticks for $5 less. They use less power and have more overhead for overclocking.

GPU: I'm not sold on the 6xxx series. The 5850 is just as powerful, and a good $50 less. Or spend a touch more and get the 5870 with more power. Pair the HD 5850 with an XFX 650W PSU for $215 after rebates to save a bundle and lose nothing in terms of performance.

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB. Just as fast and high quality, but $15 (or more) less.



Nice ya i figured the 955 would be a better choice than the 970, same chip and I can do the OC

Do the 5850 Crossfire just as well as the 6xxx series? I have heard that the 6xxx crossfires well. Also I can look it up but do both the 5850, 5870, and 6xxx fit easily in most mid tower cases?

I agree on the HD had good exp with the spinpoints
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November 9, 2010 7:48:22 PM

1-anh said:
Why not go for the 955 and OC it? save some money with that. And is SSD necessary?


Yeah, understood... but on the other side you are now going to move away from the stock cooler and add a better HSF so you are probably more than making up the difference there.

No, the SSD certainly isn't necessary but I'm a HUGE fan. Doesn't help with in game performance directly but load times, transitions etc are just TINY.
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November 9, 2010 7:58:53 PM

strangerdanger_22 said:
Why go with the 970 over the 955? easier to OC on stock HSF? that would be nice

love the GPU that was exactly what i was looking at, and adding a second one down the line if need be.

Ill prob go with the spinpoint 1TB HD had good exp with them and I can get them a bit cheaper
and not sure im going to go with a SSD right now... just dont like the price for the storage when it really doesnt help gaming that much but will keep it in mind

Also love that PSU I put that in my friends i7 rig and hes never had any problems


Thanks gsgoody for the suggestions, was pretty much same stuff i was looking at, just some minor changes like you mentioned.



Lots of folks swear by the spinpoints. I've had a couple of bad experiences with them so I'm turned off. You know how it is.. ask 100 people... get 100 answers.

The 6870 right now is a good mid range card. If you are thinking about xfire somewhere soon down the line then it'll work well for you.
And yeah, I gave you the wrong MB model. The Asus M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 or maybe the GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H. Not a fan of the ASRock boards. I think they are kind of cheap... and not in that good way.

Also, the HAF 922 case is pretty big for a mid tower. Should be no problem fitting your card(s) in there.
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a b 4 Gaming
November 9, 2010 7:58:56 PM

The 6xxx Crossfires better than the 5850, but you've got to figure you'd save a good $100-$150 over the two 5xxx cards. I don't know the numbers on the CF 6870s, but I'm certain it's not enough of an advantage to overcome the cost difference.

All three of those cards should fit fairly easily into most cases. The 5850/6870 definitely will, and I can't think of a standard sized case that the 5870 won't fit in.

EDIT: Just noticed the "no full tower" part. The HAF is a mid tower in name only. It's larger than many true full towers. Instead, I'd take a look at the Antec 300 Illusion, Coolermaster 690, Coolermaster Centurion 5 and Rosewill Challenger. They'll all excellent mid towers at good prices.

ASRock tends to have a bad name. They were originally part of Asus (recently spun-off into a separate company), so they're still good quality. Their boards constantly win recommendations (including Tom's "Recommended Buys").
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November 16, 2010 11:18:18 AM

Best answer selected by Strangerdanger_22.
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