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Core components for a value gaming build

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November 25, 2010 12:39:51 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: next few weeks

Budget Range: $400 to $500 for core components (MB, CPU, RAM)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (FPS gaming, word processing, light photo editing, surfing the internet)

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, Just got Corsair 750TX PSU, Case is CM 690)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon.com, buy.com, no microcenter near here :( 

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: none but my last Gigabyte MB really impressed me, ASRock seems to be the value leader

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Yes but later

Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 now but hope to move to 1920x1200 in the next year and add a second GPU

Additional Comments: I want a MB that is capable of at least x8, x8 in CF/SLI. Price/performance value is my highest priority. USB 3 and SATA 6 are not priorities. Depending on the chipset reccomendations I plan to get a 460 or a 6850 GPU (<$200). When I get a new monitor I will add a second GPU.

Here is my question: Which combination of MB/CPU/RAM should I be considering given current prices?
November 25, 2010 1:11:31 AM

select item 1 quantity of item 1
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
Item #: N82E16820231303
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy $84.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

select item 2 quantity of item 2
ASUS P7P55D-E Pro LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131621
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options13-131-621|hide options13-131-621)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge.(more info13-131-621.0.120)

1 year: $19.99
2 year: $36.99
-$10.00 Instant
$189.99
$179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

select item 3 quantity of item 3
Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760
Item #: N82E16819115067
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options19-115-067|hide options19-115-067)
Service Net Replacement Extended Warranty
The product will be replaced and shipped directly to you at no charge.(more info19-115-067.0.120)

1 year: $19.99
2 year: $36.99
-$34.00 Instant
$208.99
$174.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Subtotal: $439.97
November 25, 2010 3:08:00 AM

Thanks Niklas for the suggestion.

Both the GSkill and i5-760 have a very nice discount now!
:love: 

That's part of what is confusing me along with the various chipsets and GPU compatibility issues.

Anybody else gonna bite? Gkay? Vindictive? Mr Pizza? Bachuka? You guys and the rest of Tom's have earned my respect and I am hoping you will give me some good advice. If Niklas hit it perfect let me know that too!

Thanks.
Related resources
November 25, 2010 3:17:25 AM

Quote:
That's part of what is confusing me along with the various chipsets and GPU compatibility issues.
? I don't get what you are sayin' here... =/
Quote:
Depending on the chipset reccomendations I plan to get a 460 or a 6850 GPU
Is this what you are refering to? if so, I'd get the 6850, they scale nicely in Crossfire, and are pretty good. =D


Edit: yeah Niklas did a good job =D.... ALMOST room for a SSD...
November 25, 2010 3:51:47 AM

For gaming, the core(most important) component is the graphics card. For 1080P or better spend a bit more now, and less if needed elsewhere. Look at a 6870 or GTX470 class card.
My preferred upgrade path would be to replace the single card with another stronger single card if necessary. This keeps your initial cost for a motherboard and psu lower. Some games do not scale well with dual gpu chips.

For a single graphics card, there are no compatibility issues. Either ATI or Nvidia will do well in a single X16 slot.

If you will be planning for dual cards, SLI is for Nvidia cards, and crossfire is for ATI cards. Most motherboards with two graphics slots support crossfire. Some will pay Nvidia the extra license for adding SLI capability. Read the specs carefully.

Unless your need is urgent, wait for the sandy bridge launch on Jan 5. Read about it here:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...

Otherwise a the i5-750 or similar will do well. To keep costs down, consider a mini-ATX motherboard .
Perhaps something like this EVGA unit for $75:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A micro-ATX lets you use a smaller portable case if you are into LAN parties.

November 25, 2010 8:31:23 AM

Quote:
Price/performance value is my highest priority. USB 3 and SATA 6 are not priorities.

SATA/USB 3.0 not a deal breaker and with socket change time + games not even X4 optimised any X4/CF capable combo would do fine, hit an after market cooler to clock away No point pay a painful premium hehe

$474AR with HD 6870 included (if overkill tone down to HD 6850)

$10 off if nabbing the HD 6870 here ^^
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=PC-6870_1G&tit...

HD6K: single/CF review
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3987/amds-radeon-6870-685...
November 25, 2010 12:43:14 PM

Atotalnoob said:
Quote:
That's part of what is confusing me along with the various chipsets and GPU compatibility issues.
? I don't get what you are sayin' here... =/

I know enough to be dangerous! lol I think what I am trying to say is I have no idea between the P55 and x58? Chipsets---I am not even sure I named them right. And I know even less about AMD chipsets. I have seen that some Intel boards have problems with CF and AMD boards don't like SLI (Except mabye with a hack?)

Quote:
Depending on the chipset reccomendations I plan to get a 460 or a 6850 GPU
Is this what you are refering to? if so, I'd get the 6850, they scale nicely in Crossfire, and are pretty good. =D


Edit: yeah Niklas did a good job =D.... ALMOST room for a SSD...


Yeah, I've never been an early adopter.

Geofelt, I am a patient fellow but I also know there is always something better. Are you thinking that when SB comes out the prices of these last gen computers will drop or are you thinking that SB will give me some low cost (Value) options? It looks like from the article SB is a mid-range product line. I have not read anything on it assuming :non:  it was the latest high tech.
November 25, 2010 1:02:21 PM

Batuchka, I think you are the low cost leader! ;)  I think I can see your logic too about not paying a premium for a x8 x8 board. Are you saying save money now ($50-$75?) by skipping the CF/SLI board then when I am ready to upgrade I can add that savings toward another single GPU?

My thinking is that given how well the 6850 and 460 run in pairs, and assuming (again) that the prices will drop by 40% in a year or more (making them nearer $80), adding a second card would be a cheap way to bring a significant graphics boost.

I guess I have always thought that by the time a GPU is at life's end so is the rest of the system. And I run systems for 4-7 years usually before I upgrade (slowly lowering the eye candy :(  ). But now that you got me thinking that really the RAM speed and CPUs don't change as fast as GPU's.

Thank you everyone for the input, you have given me some things to think about.

Any more votes to wait for Sandy Bridge since I really don't have any urgent need to get a new computer?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

November 25, 2010 2:34:06 PM

Mutt x said:
Yeah, I've never been an early adopter.

Geofelt, I am a patient fellow but I also know there is always something better. Are you thinking that when SB comes out the prices of these last gen computers will drop or are you thinking that SB will give me some low cost (Value) options? It looks like from the article SB is a mid-range product line. I have not read anything on it assuming :non:  it was the latest high tech.


Prices on last gen processors have already dropped in anticipation of SB. SB will be stronger by 15% on a clock for clock basis while selling for similar prices. If Anandtech is correct, they estimate that the 2500K, the 3.3ghz quad that can be overclocked will sell for $216 in 1000 unit lots. If true, it is a no brainer. Remember that a good duo @ 3.0 or better will run most games well. The limitation will be the graphics card.
The only lower estimated price is $138 for the 2100 which is a 65w unit that is a bit more expensive.

After launch, the current gen retail prices may well climb because they will be a replacement market which is price insensitive. You can expect current parts to go for a good discount on the used market.

Since you have no urgent need, why not wait and see?

As to the upgrade strategy of planning on a second card in a few years:
I think many have planned on this, but when the time comes, they go for other options.
How many that now own a great 8800GTX from a few years ago still feel that a second 8800GTX is still a good upgrade option?

In a year or two, 22nm parts will arrive. Since manufacturing can produce twice as many chips per wafer, manufacturing costs will drop. Performance will be up and replacements will be the best option.
November 25, 2010 6:11:13 PM

Quote:
I think I can see your logic too about not paying a premium for a x8 x8 board.
also, your GPU only gets a signifigant bottleneck at X1.... it is like 75% performance.... sooo X4 or higher is fine =D
November 26, 2010 1:03:49 AM

Mutt x said:
Batuchka, I think you are the low cost leader! ;)  I think I can see your logic too about not paying a premium for a x8 x8 board. Are you saying save money now ($50-$75?) by skipping the CF/SLI board then when I am ready to upgrade I can add that savings toward another single GPU?
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Quote:
Expansion Slots
PCI Express 2.0 x16
2 (one x16 or dual x8 link)

That 790X is 8/8 CFable actually :D  Yep happy hols
!