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Under $1000 gaming and work PC

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November 21, 2010 11:10:39 AM

I'm looking to build a computer under $1000, preferably under $800. It will be used primarily for gaming, working, and video-chatting (long-distance family). This is the first time I've attempted a computer build, I have some basic knowledge of computers but have not attempted something along these lines. I would greatly appreciate any, and all, assistance able to be provided. I would like it to be able to handle dual-monitors, possibly a tertiary as well (small flat-screen television). I've got a usable keyboard, mouse, and speaker set; nothing fancy but workable for now so am looking to bypass those requirements at this time. I would like to have a SSD boot drive, as I've heard that they greatly aid in boot, and load times for programs; but still have a larger internal HDD, but I also have an external hard drive as well. I have no personal preference towards AMD or Intel, but would prefer a built that is more easily upgradeable as the options appear (both product and funds). Thanks all!

More about : 1000 gaming work

November 23, 2010 3:06:53 AM

Could anybody assist me please? I really would appreciate the help, thanks!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 23, 2010 3:27:42 AM

What kind of work do you do/what applications do you use? If it's something like AutoCAD or heavy movie editing, it will change your needs from just Office and minor Photoshop use.

As a base, I would recommend the AMD Phenom II X4 955 CPU and an 890 chipset AMD board, with 4 GB RAM and a 64 GB SSD. Depending on the graphics usage, we can choose the right GPU and power supply for the build.
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November 23, 2010 9:02:10 AM

If your going for that price i would agree with boiler dont try to go for an i5 or i7 just get an amd. this will save you a lot of money for other stuff :) 
November 23, 2010 6:29:19 PM

Just basic office work, nothing extraordinary. Computer will see mostly heavy file storage/access, gaming, video/music use, and a LOT of Internet browsing. It needs to be able to handle 2 to 3 monitors. I think the largest concern for me will be the gaming requirements, the other uses are mostly minor I suppose; in regards to system requirements. I want the SSD as the boot drive, but will still require a decently fast (7500 rpm) HDD for storage; mostly because I'm extremely impatient ;-). Please let me know if another other specs to clear up to aid in your helping me, thanks so much!
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 23, 2010 6:32:52 PM

If you could fill out the info requested in the How to Ask for New Build Advice thread, it would help a lot.

For gaming, the primary consideration is going to be what resolution you game at.

Getting an SSD at your budget is going to eat up about 15-20% of your total, it can be done, but it's going to make it a less-capable gaming system. I would recommend waiting on the SSD and add it as an upgrade in a few months (or save up for a little longer and get it all at once).
November 23, 2010 6:34:07 PM

Actually, i was just looking at that oddly enough, will update very shortly. Thanks.
November 23, 2010 6:55:10 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: End of Year preferably, but if any shortly after release dates for new product are known that may reduce current costs, I am willing to wait a bit

Budget Range: $1000 maximum, preferably under $800 without omitting too much

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Internet Access, Basic Office work, Movie watching (Blu-ray would be great), listening to music

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitors.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com; Tigerdirect.com; preferably shopping all on a single site to reduce hassle, but willing to break up purchases if cost beneficial.

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Would like HDMI & YPBR output on the video cards.

Overclocking: Not preferably.

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Apparently the Monitors I received are all discontinued; I tried googling them but not much information. I listed the items below so if you have better luck please be my guest (sorry)

Additional Comments: I would like it be fast, but quiet (normal I guess)

1st and 2nd Monitors: Samsung GH19WS (discontinued)


Entered CNET Catalog: 06/03/2009
SKU: GH19WS
Manufacturer: Samsung

3rd Monitor/TV: Westinghouse lcm-19w6 (Unable to find so am using the LTV-19W6 specs)
Display Specifications

Viewable Screen Size 19" Diagonal

Aspect Ratio 16:10

Native/Optimum Resolution 1440 x 900

Color Capability 16.2 Million colors


Connectors

QTY TYPE

1 Composite In

1 S-Video In

1 YPbPr

1 VGA

1 Audio Out (mini)

2 Audio In (Dual RCA)

1 Antenna In


Compatible Modes

NTSC 480i

HDTV 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i

PC 1440 x 900

Clear QAM


Picture

Contrast Ratio 500:1 (typ)

Color Gamut 75% NTSC

Lamp Life 40,000 Hrs

Viewing Angle 150° Horizontal
130° Vertical

Response Time 8 ms (typ)


Dimensions and Weight

1615" x 18.9" x 5.2" (with Base)
11.7 lbs (with Base)
14.8" x 18.9" x 3.2" (w/o Base)
10 lbs (w/o Base)
21.5" x 18.5" x 6.5" (carton dimensions)
16 lbs (carton weight)


Audio

2-2.25 watt speakers


Cabinet Color

Black/Silver


Installation Options

75mm x 75mm VESA® Pattern
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 23, 2010 8:00:19 PM

I don't think you're going to find any (or at least many) modern video cards with YPbPr out. AMD/ATI cards are pretty much only DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort, with D-SUB on the lower-end cards. nVidia is the same, except no DisplayPort. Your best bet is probably a converter, if you really need YPbPr.

Unless you plan to game on both monitors at once (completely possible), you don't need a very high-end video card. If you're considering upgrading to a 1920x1080 monitor or two in the near future, then it might be worthwhile to get a bigger video card now, though.

Intel is coming out with the new processor line Sandy Bridge in about the first week of January. It's likely that a build using that processor will come in near the high end of your budget, if not above it, so the best reason to wait for it is to see what effect it has on the pricing of other chips. At any rate, an AMD Phenom II X4 is more than enough for gaming and standard office work. If you chose to upgrade to an i5 or Sandy Bridge build, all you would need to change from the build below is the processor & mobo.

Note that I didn't look for combos, just lowest individual components, to give you an idea of what to look for. There are definitely some good deals out there that will bring the cost down a little.

AMD build:
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 - $145
Mobo - Gigabyte 870A-UD3 - $95 - USB 3.0 & SATA 6.0 Gb/s
RAM - Geil 4 GB kit - $49 + $1 shipping - not amazing specs, but decent
GPU - MSI 5770 1 GB - $140
or go with a 6850 for a little more future-resistance
SSD - Corsair Force 60 GB - $126 (-$20 MIR)
HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB - $55 - currently on sale for the 500 GB price!!!
PSU - Antec EarthWatts 650W - $70 - possibly slight overkill, but a very good PSU
Case - Antec 300 Illusion - $70 + free shipping
OS - Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - $100

Total: $845 with the 5770
You could go with a slightly smaller PSU to save a little money, or potentially shave off $50 or so with combos. Alternatively, go with a 6850 or similar $200ish video card (GTX 460 1 GB, AMD 6870, GTX 470) for the future and keep the EarthWatts if you want to spend a little more.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 23, 2010 10:39:55 PM

coldsleep said:

Getting an SSD at your budget is going to eat up about 15-20% of your total, it can be done, but it's going to make it a less-capable gaming system. I would recommend waiting on the SSD and add it as an upgrade in a few months (or save up for a little longer and get it all at once).


All he needs is a 30-40GB SSD that has good read rates at the very least. Those are under $100 now.




Coldsleep's parts list is a very solid build that will perform very well. The 6900s are coming out soon, which will drastically improve gaming performance.
November 23, 2010 10:56:09 PM

coldsleep said:
I don't think you're going to find any (or at least many) modern video cards with YPbPr out. AMD/ATI cards are pretty much only DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort, with D-SUB on the lower-end cards. nVidia is the same, except no DisplayPort. Your best bet is probably a converter, if you really need YPbPr.

Unless you plan to game on both monitors at once (completely possible), you don't need a very high-end video card. If you're considering upgrading to a 1920x1080 monitor or two in the near future, then it might be worthwhile to get a bigger video card now, though.

Intel is coming out with the new processor line Sandy Bridge in about the first week of January. It's likely that a build using that processor will come in near the high end of your budget, if not above it, so the best reason to wait for it is to see what effect it has on the pricing of other chips. At any rate, an AMD Phenom II X4 is more than enough for gaming and standard office work. If you chose to upgrade to an i5 or Sandy Bridge build, all you would need to change from the build below is the processor & mobo.

Note that I didn't look for combos, just lowest individual components, to give you an idea of what to look for. There are definitely some good deals out there that will bring the cost down a little.

AMD build:
CPU - AMD Phenom II X4 955 - $145
Mobo - Gigabyte 870A-UD3 - $95 - USB 3.0 & SATA 6.0 Gb/s
RAM - Geil 4 GB kit - $49 + $1 shipping - not amazing specs, but decent
GPU - MSI 5770 1 GB - $140
or go with a 6850 for a little more future-resistance
SSD - Corsair Force 60 GB - $126 (-$20 MIR)
HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB - $55 - currently on sale for the 500 GB price!!!
PSU - Antec EarthWatts 650W - $70 - possibly slight overkill, but a very good PSU
Case - Antec 300 Illusion - $70 + free shipping
OS - Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - $100

Total: $845 with the 5770
You could go with a slightly smaller PSU to save a little money, or potentially shave off $50 or so with combos. Alternatively, go with a 6850 or similar $200ish video card (GTX 460 1 GB, AMD 6870, GTX 470) for the future and keep the EarthWatts if you want to spend a little more.


I think you could do a lot better than that. I got the build in my signature for $897 and it is far superior, AND there are a crazy amount of Black Friday deals going on around this season. He does include an SSD, which I didn't, but like it's said, you can get that for well under $100 now.

I'd recommended checking out this guy's builds, then adding the SSD and customizing as you see fit. http://www.hardware-revolution.com/computer-systems/
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 23, 2010 11:06:23 PM

That builder isn't using the best parts; he skimps on RAM (even for $3!) and the motherboard on almost all of his builds. I would try to match his specifications, but not the exact parts.
November 24, 2010 2:32:10 AM

boiler1990 said:
That builder isn't using the best parts; he skimps on RAM (even for $3!) and the motherboard on almost all of his builds. I would try to match his specifications, but not the exact parts.

I'm not saying yo're wrong, because it's all a matter of opinion, but it sounds to me like you have high-than-most standards on necessary mobos. I don't really agree with you on the RAM.

That said, a few of these builds are a month or two old (he updates them occasionally, but computers move pretty fast) so obviously a good deal hunter could beat his prices/specs with some patience. Either way it's a good starting point though.

I think it's most helpful, because you get an idea of what is balanced, ie, am I spending too much or too little on x part based on my other parts. I'd never built before, so lists like this were EXTREMELY helpful.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 24, 2010 1:50:54 PM

AdamOnFirst said:
I think you could do a lot better than that. I got the build in my signature for $897 and it is far superior, AND there are a crazy amount of Black Friday deals going on around this season. He does include an SSD, which I didn't, but like it's said, you can get that for well under $100 now.


I agree that you could do better than the price I came up with. I noted that I hadn't bothered looking for combos/sales/deals of any kind. That being said, the build I came up with was in budget and pretty capable for the price.

Since the OP specifically mentioned wanting an SSD and is running dual 1440x900, skimping on the graphics solution in order to get the SSD seemed reasonable. Dual anything (5770, 460, 6850, etc.) would be absolute overkill for that monitor resolution.

I wouldn't bother with any SSD smaller than 60 GB, as you want to keep about 20% free for ideal performance, and while you could get away with a smaller one with just the OS on it, I think it's hard to see the benefits of an SSD without at least putting a game and a couple of productivity apps on it.
November 24, 2010 1:58:17 PM

Also, thanks all you guys for your help so far.... it is most appreciated!
November 24, 2010 2:00:25 PM

Also, I'm sorry for not mentioning earlier but the OS I can get at a discount so disregard the need for that. And I want the the graphics card to be applicable to an upgrade at a future date if/when I get nicer monitors.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 24, 2010 2:16:58 PM

Most of the cards we suggested will work very well at 1920x1080 (what I'm running my 470 on) or 1920x1200, so no major worries there. You'll really just need a motherboard with extra PCI-Express slots so you can add another card(s) at some point in the future.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 24, 2010 2:23:49 PM

Without needing to consider the OS, I'd replace the 5770 with any 6850 selling for $200 (or less), putting you at $805.

As a note, the 870 mobo in my build won't do CrossFire (or SLI), you could certainly get an 890GX motherboard for not too much more that will CF at 8x/8x. Something like this ASRock 890GX Extreme3 for $125. If you find that the performance is lacking later, you could add another 6850 (or whatever AMD graphics card you choose to go with).

Alternatively, just stick with the 870 mobo. The 6850 will be good for a number of years at 1920x1080. By the time you feel the need to upgrade, there will certainly be a better card available to replace it with, rather than messing with CrossFire.

EDIT: I guess the real question is that in your post above, you indicated no CF/SLI, with an SSD. You don't need CF/SLI for a good gaming experience at 1920x1080. Pretty much any $200+ graphics card should be fine at that resolution for the next couple of years. If you want to leave the ability to CF/SLI in the future, you need to buy a large-ish power supply (650W minimum, possibly more), and buy a more expensive motherboard. If you want to spend on that ability, it's going to be hard to hit your budget and still afford a reasonably-sized SSD.

For gaming and light office work, there's little advantage to going with an Intel i5-7xx over AMD Phenom II X4, though it can be fit into your budget if you prefer going with Intel.
November 24, 2010 4:46:55 PM

coldsleep said:

For gaming and light office work, there's little advantage to going with an Intel i5-7xx over AMD Phenom II X4, though it can be fit into your budget if you prefer going with Intel.


In the $850-1000 price range, that just isn't true, the benchmarks clearly favor intel. However, if the OP decides to go more in the <$800 range range he mentioned, AMD starts to become a very valid, and probably the best, option. I think that's what you meant, but I wanted to clarify.

Also, regarding ^ mentioning that you don't need SLI, I totally agree. If I indicated you did, I didn't mean to. A 6850 or 6870 would do very nicely, as would a GTX 460. Honestly, you could get the same set-up as I got, only opt for a single GPU, which could save you $50 on the mobo and $100 or more on the GPU, and a few more dollars on the power supply. You could then get the SSD, and still be down near the $800 level you said you preferred.

The question for the future is, when you upgrade the card, will you just buy a new card for $200, or will you buy a second copy of what you currently have (like another 6870 or something) for very cheap and run it in SLI. The upgrade to the second "obsolete" card will be cheaper by far and grant equal performance, but you'll have to have a mobo at least $50 more expensive, and spend another $30 or so on your PSU. Keep in mind, you'll also have to buy a new mobo if you want upgrade you processor substantially, basically ever, anyway. I'm of the opinion on a budget PC that it doesn't make a ton of sense to spend too much on an upgradeable mobo, because the mobo tech probably won't outlast the life of your components anyway.
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 24, 2010 5:10:29 PM

AdamOnFirst said:
In the $850-1000 price range, that just isn't true, the benchmarks clearly favor intel. However, if the OP decides to go more in the <$800 range range he mentioned, AMD starts to become a very valid, and probably the best, option. I think that's what you meant, but I wanted to clarify.


I think we largely agree, but... :) 

To clarify my point, for "light" office work, any modern quad core is going to be more than sufficient...in fact, a dual-core should be fine. Benchmarks don't really mean anything when all you're doing is word processing and browsing the internet. An SSD is going to provide a more noticeable performance boost (as will a faster internet connection) than the difference between a Phenom II and an i5.

I agree that the i5 is better on productivity benchmarks. But the OP's indicated workload didn't indicate that heavy Excel use (Monte Carlo simluations, etc.), 3D rendering, or anything of the sort was on the table. At the current 1440x900 resolution, it may, of course be more CPU-limited, but in that case, we're still talking about buying an overkill GPU for the current resolution and upgrading the monitor later.

For gaming, it largely depends on the game and what resolution you're talking about. At 1920x1080 and up, most games are GPU-limited, not CPU-limited. The i5 may get a few more fps (like, 2-3), but in most games it's not a really significant difference.

Examples:
Fallout 3 at 1680x1050 - GPU limited
Crysis Warhead at 1680x1050 - GPU limited
Dragon Age Origins at 1680x1050 - clearly favors Intel, but the top AMD entries are still nearly double human vision
StarCraft 2 - i5 a few fps better
Far Cry 2 at 1680x1050 - significantly favors Intel

Dragon Age Origins & Far Cry 2 are the only ones that are massively in favor of Intel, but in the case of DAO, it doesn't really matter. If Far Cry 2 is your main game, then yes, you really should go Intel. In most other cases, my advice is to let your budget decide.

If an i5 is within budget, it's a great processor. My build above was trying to hit the $800 mark (or close to it), at which an i5 isn't really feasible. Though I might just suggest spending about $800 on the computer and going up to about $1k by adding a 1920x1080 monitor for another $150 or so.
November 24, 2010 5:19:56 PM

coldsleep said:


If an i5 is within budget, it's a great processor. My build above was trying to hit the $800 mark (or close to it), at which an i5 isn't really feasible. Though I might just suggest spending about $800 on the computer and going up to about $1k by adding a 1920x1080 monitor for another $150 or so.


This really is the bottom line. The budget HAS to decide, because that's all there is, really. I like your idea of spending extra on a bigger monitor rather than performance, because the smaller monitor won't use all of even the $800 model. Your DISPLAY would be the limiting component instead of your GPU, CPU, etct
November 26, 2010 9:27:24 PM

Ok, say then that I stick with the 2 or 3 monitors that i have at this time, and decide to upgrade/replace a monitor to a more updated component and use that one for my gaming at that time. what components list should i have to be able to perform that later purchase of the additional/replacement monitor without having to further purchase another part. So basically a final build list, with the option the add the 4th monitor of a better quality at the time that i can. does that request make sense?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 26, 2010 10:03:02 PM

To move to a larger (I'll assume 1920x1080) monitor, all you really need is a 6870 or a GTX 470 instead of any of the graphics cards listed above. They run about $260-280 right now.

Other than that, no changes are needed from my build above. You should be able to fit it under $800 if you lose the SSD.

Or you could get a single 6850 and buy another one to CrossFire when you get the new monitor.

Again, if you want to buy right now, there are some deals available this weekend, but I would suggest waiting until Sandy Bridge and the ATI 69xx series is released.
November 26, 2010 10:14:23 PM

Whats the date on that?
a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
November 27, 2010 1:44:14 AM

69xx series 12/13/2010 (approx.)
Sandy Bridge 1/5/2011
!