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Good gaming rig for the price?

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October 4, 2010 10:57:26 AM

- PCU: Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q6600 (8M Cache, 4x2.40 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB)
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce 9800GT
- RAM: 4 GB DDR2
- DVD: DVD x22 RAM+DL Samsung
- HDD: Western Digital 250GB (SATAII)
- Card READER 21 in 1
- POWER SUPPLY: 500W
- LED: Blue LED on front
- SOFTWARE: win7 , Works 9, Microsort Security Essentials


I'm wanting to get a decent enough gaming pc. Nothing crazy high performance, but enough to be able to run left 4 dead 2 on max settings and other FPS' like CoD etc. I found this PC second hand for £350 ($550ish) and would just like other people's opinions... Ideally I'd like to run games in full HD, can the GPU do/handle that? Not essential, but would be nice ;)  Would it even support a OS resolution of that??? (More important). Unfortunately, I do not know if the 9800GT is the 512 or the 1GB model.

Thanks guys :) 

More about : good gaming rig price

a c 271 U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 11:03:01 AM

You should be fine with that as it'll do everything on your question list.
October 4, 2010 11:12:09 AM

thanks for your quick reply, mousemonkey - just to confirm, even if it is the 512mb GPU version, will I still be able to run 1080p res on a 22" monitor (non gaming)? How do you think it would fare with that res for gaming although I'm aware this could be pushing it!
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a c 271 U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 11:14:46 AM

It will depend on the game, some are more GPU reliant than others. My 8800GT's still run anything at 19 x 10 even if the game does not support dual cards.
October 4, 2010 11:25:33 AM

sure, i appreciate that and to be honest, a lot of my favourite games are based on the source engine which i know is very economical with processing. i just want to make sure i could get decent results with other engines too. I've been off the PC gaming radar for a few years now so I'm trying to play catch up in terms of what's now available. thanks for your help mate :) 
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 11:44:16 AM

You're welcome.
October 4, 2010 11:53:46 AM

Quote:
Game engines like frostbite,path engine,dunia,cryengine ect. are very demanding and would make your gpu beg for mercy if you try running games based on those engine with your card at fullhd res even at med to max setting.



I agree, but like I said, full HD is a luxury that i'm more than willing to give up. How do you think said engines would run if i brought it down to 1600 or 1200 resolutions? (i know those arn't full resolutions, just cant remember the height figures for those popular res'). What kinda settings would I be running to get a stable, good frame rate at these res'?

Thanks :) 
October 4, 2010 11:55:25 AM

EDIT- on say, MW2, Crysis, Bad Company 2 etc?
October 4, 2010 12:08:50 PM

I really like smooth frame rates, so would strongly prefer for it to not go below 50fps... Could I play left 4 dead 2 (including HL2, CS:S etc) max settings, full hd res (or just a bit below) like this? (I don't mind losing some AA).
October 4, 2010 12:29:30 PM

lol right sorry for my ignorance! thanks for your help, I think I'll go ahead with the pc once I take a look at it :) 
October 4, 2010 1:53:39 PM

hey guys i forgot to post this that i've been weighing up the last few days... the pc i mentioned before is a possibility but second hand. in your opinion, how does it compare to this brand new build:

CPU:
AMD Phenom II X2 555 AM3
Operating System:
MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Motherboard:
Asus M4N68T-M
Memory:
4GB DDR3 1333mhz (2x 2GB)
Hard Drives:
500GB S-ATAII 3.0Gb/s
Optical Drive:
22x DVD±RW DL S-ATA
Graphics card:
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 1GB
Sound card:
Onboard 7.1 Audio
Case:
Xigmatek Asgard + 500W PSU
Warranty:
3 Year Bronze Warranty

This costs £399 so a bit more expensive but not significantly. I could afford either. Now I know its a dual core and AMD, but which is the better overall system? Also taking into account upgradability. I've been wanting to know this for ages but can't find the info myself... Hope you guys can provide insight!

Cheers.
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 1:58:57 PM

Buy the new PC, you'll be happer with the results.
October 4, 2010 2:05:27 PM

thanks for the advice deweycd, but care to elaborate?
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 2:12:29 PM

A new PC is always preferable and the GTS250 is a bit better than the 9800GT, add the fact that the CPU can be replaced for a better one when cashflow allows and it's a winner in my book.
October 4, 2010 2:24:33 PM

I spoke to a member of the sales team behind dinopc.com (the place with this new build) about the £399 PC and a £649 with an i5 about future proofing (I know to take these things with a pinch of salt as he IS in sales) and he said it would be a lot more difficult to upgrade the AMD duel core CPU. Is this bs to get my to buy the more expensive PC? I really don't know much about CPU upgrading, would I at one point be able to get an I5 or similar Intel or AMD quad core in there or how does it work?

Sorry for the continuous stream of questions, I've been researching for months and have some burning questions!!
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 2:33:33 PM

The AMD rig is using an AM3 board which is still current and has a long list of CPU's that can be used in it whereas the Q6600 is on a 775 motherboard which has been discontinued and no CPU's are made for it any more. In short the the sales person is flat out lying.
October 4, 2010 2:43:51 PM

haha nice one thanks, its good to hear from someone who isn't an over opinionated kid and just offers facts ;)  My budgets not too firm dipankar, in theory I COULD go for anything, but I can't bring myself to spend too much on a PC, as gamers go, I'm probably pretty casual (if I had the spare time it would be a different story lol) so really around £650 ($800-$900) would be my absolute maximum, but I might get buyers remorse from spending so much... so I would strongly PREFER to be spending more in the £300-£450 ($400-$550) bracket. Those exchange rates probably arn't THAT accurate but close enough I think. DinoPC have this for £639, which seems like a GREAT 'budget' gaming PC, but I'd really rather not spend that...but...maybe I would lol... Here's the specs for said PC:
CPU:
Intel Core i5 760
Operating System:
MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Motherboard:
Asus P7P55-M
Memory:
8GB DDR3 1333mhz (4x 2GB)
Hard Drives:
1TB S-ATAII 3.0Gb/s
Optical Drive:
22x DVD±RW DL S-ATA
Graphics card:
ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB
Sound card:
Onboard 7.1 Audio
Case:
Xigmatek Asgard + 500W PSU
Warranty:
3 Year Bronze Warranty
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 2:44:17 PM

The AMD system is completely upgradeable with current components and an I5 would also be. However the used Q660 is not upgradeable as mousemonkey mentioned. If you purchase the AMD system you will be saving a bit of upfront cost compared to the I5 and will be able to purchase an upgraded CPU to get better performance (Eg a 4 or 6 core at higher clock speeds). As for other components, the GPU provides you with a slight upgrade in the AMD and you with have a bit bigger harddrive. Otherwise many of the components are the same. Purchase the new PC for the upgrade path and newer motherboard.
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 2:44:51 PM

Your based in the UK?

Try ebuyer.com or overclockers.co.uk. I Use these and they are pretty cheap, even think overclockers do built up rigs aswell, rather then building from the bottom up.

I use both site alot and can vouch for there support and delievery times etc.
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 2:48:24 PM

j_crerar said:
haha nice one thanks, its good to hear from someone who isn't an over opinionated kid and just offers facts ;)  My budgets not too firm dipankar, in theory I COULD go for anything, but I can't bring myself to spend too much on a PC, as gamers go, I'm probably pretty casual (if I had the spare time it would be a different story lol) so really around £650 ($800-$900) would be my absolute maximum, but I might get buyers remorse from spending so much... so I would strongly PREFER to be spending more in the £300-£450 ($400-$550) bracket. Those exchange rates probably arn't THAT accurate but close enough I think. DinoPC have this for £639, which seems like a GREAT 'budget' gaming PC, but I'd really rather not spend that...but...maybe I would lol... Here's the specs for said PC:
CPU:
Intel Core i5 760
Operating System:
MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Motherboard:
Asus P7P55-M
Memory:
8GB DDR3 1333mhz (4x 2GB)
Hard Drives:
1TB S-ATAII 3.0Gb/s
Optical Drive:
22x DVD±RW DL S-ATA
Graphics card:
ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB
Sound card:
Onboard 7.1 Audio
Case:
Xigmatek Asgard + 500W PSU
Warranty:
3 Year Bronze Warranty



For an average gamer this is a great PC, upgraded CPU, RAM, and GPU compared to the AMD system you mentioned. This would prevent you from looking at upgrading any time soon and uses all modern components. Also you will have even more harddrive space as I compared to what I mentioned before.

So for a cheapest PC, go for the Q6600. For an upgradeable PC but a bit lower cost go for the AMD, for a full system without the need for upgrades anytime soon go for the I5. If this was me I would go for the I5 and save having to spend more money down the road doing upgrades. It is a good system and it is a really reasonable price.
October 4, 2010 3:11:13 PM

thanks guys. yeah believe me I would much rather have the i5 build, but in your opinion is it really worth the (significantly) increased cost? There is actually a system in between which is exactly the same as the i5 rig except it has a Phenom II quad CPU instead for £589, but thats only £50 cheaper than the i5 and when I'm already spending almost £600 (hypothetically ;)  ) what's another £50 lol?

Basically my question is is the i5 build £240 better than the AMD dual core build? And yes I'm based in the UK and have checked out overclockers and ebuyer. The pre-built rigs arn't quite as good value as dinopc and while they seem better for buying components to build your own, I really don't have the time to do that and after calculating, would actually save me around £10 than buying from Dinopc lol! By the way i'm very jealous of both your pc's specs deweycd and reccy!
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 3:16:35 PM

Ahh no worries mate, i like to build my own from the bottom up then i know what im getting and how far i can go each component at a time as i can build a system within hours and have it up and running within Windows pretty sharpish.

What is the full model of the Phenom II? If its like a 955 BE or something then its defo worth the -£50 as its not that much of a downgrade if at all compared to the i5.
October 4, 2010 3:23:35 PM

Yeah I've heard it can be quite straightforward and if I had more free time at the moment I would love to spend take my time with it and build it from the ground up, maybe my next pc :) 

The Phenom is actually a 955 BE and the i5 is a 760. So you think its not worth taking the hit with the £50? I've looked at tech sheets for both and the i5 does out perform but I have no basis of comparison so I don't know if it out performs to a significant/noticeable degree?
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 3:23:38 PM

I personally like the option of buying a system with the 5770 as compared to the GTS 250. I find that an improvement in the GPU is the easiest thing to see. As for Phenom II vs I5 this is preference as both a quite good and probably comparable. I selected Intel only becasue of the I7 being very hard to beat. If I was looking in a bit lower price range I probably would have went AMD due to the new 6 cores being such a good price. Your now getting into the area of preference so you will have to make the final choice but my preference would be to spend a bit more on upfront cost instead of pay more later to do upgrades. Figure it this way pay 400 for inital system and 300 in upgrades or pay 600 for inital and 0 for upgrades. It is all about when you want to pay. Cheaper now ususally mean more later for upgrades when talking about mid range systems.
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 3:29:15 PM

j_crerar said:
Yeah I've heard it can be quite straightforward and if I had more free time at the moment I would love to spend take my time with it and build it from the ground up, maybe my next pc :) 

The Phenom is actually a 955 BE and the i5 is a 760. So you think its not worth taking the hit with the £50? I've looked at tech sheets for both and the i5 does out perform but I have no basis of comparison so I don't know if it out performs to a significant/noticeable degree?


The i5 is "better" but again, debatable and is pretty only slightly ahead in performance wise compared to the 955BE, again, is this worth the 50 sheets extra?

Me old man was in the exact same perdicument, and decided to go with the 955BE and actually plays everything perfectly fine.

Settlers 7, Ghost Warrior, Starcraft 2, Dead Rising 2, Metro 2033 etc.

The thing is, AMD is alot cheaper than Intel, but for "Best Bang For Buck" would be scaling towards the 955BE over the i5.

Again, its upto you, by no means the 955BE isnt furture proof and will be needed to be upgraded in the following months, you'll surely get 2/3 years out the baby. If an X2 4200 Dual Core plays most games pretty keenly then i can see the 955BE lasting years to come.
October 4, 2010 3:31:47 PM

deweycd said:
I personally like the option of buying a system with the 5770 as compared to the GTS 250. I find that an improvement in the GPU is the easiest thing to see. As for Phenom II vs I5 this is preference as both a quite good and probably comparable. I selected Intel only becasue of the I7 being very hard to beat. If I was looking in a bit lower price range I probably would have went AMD due to the new 6 cores being such a good price. Your now getting into the area of preference so you will have to make the final choice but my preference would be to spend a bit more on upfront cost instead of pay more later to do upgrades. Figure it this way pay 400 for inital system and 300 in upgrades or pay 600 for inital and 0 for upgrades. It is all about when you want to pay. Cheaper now ususally mean more later for upgrades when talking about mid range systems.


That seems like sound advice mate and you bastards are slowly making me lean towards the pricier systems! I'll be knocking on your door when I can't pay my monthly bills lol! ;) 

Since you guys are clearly more involved in components/pc's in general than I am, do you guys know if we are on a crest of a wave technologically or not? What I mean is, as I'm sure you know, there's always a point every few years where there's a big push of advancement in any given field of tech, be it TV's, hi fis, computers, whatever and some poor people make their purchase weeks before times and end up buying something that is made redundant and out of date years before it 'should' have been. Sorry if I'm not explaining this well. From my research, its seems that's just happened (with new 'budgety' cards like the 5770 that outperform hi end cards of 1-2 years ago), so now seems like the right time to buy... am i right? Sorry for the long winded post!
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 3:34:02 PM

ATI is just about to come out with its next generation GPU which should show inprovements in performance at the same cost as a comparable level card of the 5xxx generation. These new cards should also drive down the cost of the 5xxx. AMD is not going to be releasing a new CPU until 2011 that will cause a game change and Intel hasn't given any firm dates on the next upgrade to replace the I5. As for memory or motherboards, these tend to change slowly overtime and stay at one relative price. Other components are optional and thus not as dependant on tech waves. As for game changing technologies to drive computers in the next while, 3d displays are on the up and up but the 5xxx gen ATI cards should be ready to run these without problems. Overall your are unlikely to have a tech wave affect you except for your GPU (5770). This isn't going to change your life much and prices may change 10-20 for this card in the short term (~4 months). This isn't a bad time to buy and you won't likely be recaping in the next year saying I should have waited.
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 3:35:47 PM

"right" time is never in PC technology terms as you buy now and as soon as you open it, its outdated.

My rig is outdated due to Sandy Bridge/Bulldozer coming out, the 955BE is outdated, even Sandybridge/Bulldozer is outdated as soon as it comes out. Technology moves forward that fast, no doubt AMD/Intel have already the option to process even faster than the current market produces. Meaning, they have to draw the line of moving tech forward, as having too much out at one time lowers profits..

October 4, 2010 3:37:06 PM

reccy said:
The i5 is "better" but again, debatable and is pretty only slightly ahead in performance wise compared to the 955BE, again, is this worth the 50 sheets extra?

Me old man was in the exact same perdicument, and decided to go with the 955BE and actually plays everything perfectly fine.

Settlers 7, Ghost Warrior, Starcraft 2, Dead Rising 2, Metro 2033 etc.

The thing is, AMD is alot cheaper than Intel, but for "Best Bang For Buck" would be scaling towards the 955BE over the i5.

Again, its upto you, by no means the 955BE isnt furture proof and will be needed to be upgraded in the following months, you'll surely get 2/3 years out the baby. If an X2 4200 Dual Core plays most games pretty keenly then i can see the 955BE lasting years to come.


Also good advice reccy and whilst I never have any problems being decisive, I don't like to leave any stone unturned when buying anything over £200 when there are options, so please forgive the pedantic nature of some of my q's!

I should have also pointed out that I will be using the PC for work I do once or twice a week at home (I am an audio professional) and need it to be fast for bouncing down mixes (if you know what i mean by that) so need it to be speedy for that. Is that something that would rely on RAM or CPU? Does this change anything you've recommended? I mainly want it for games but I won't feel so guilty about spending so much on something to play games if I can tell myself I've done a bit of work on it too ;) 

By the way, sound cards not important, I won't be doing any actual mixing or recording on it.
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 3:40:30 PM

Those apps tend to like CPU's but any of the one's discussed will be more than enough.
October 4, 2010 3:40:48 PM

reccy said:
"right" time is never in PC technology terms as you buy now and as soon as you open it, its outdated.

My rig is outdated due to Sandy Bridge/Bulldozer coming out, the 955BE is outdated, even Sandybridge/Bulldozer is outdated as soon as it comes out. Technology moves forward that fast, no doubt AMD/Intel have already the option to process even faster than the current market produces. Meaning, they have to draw the line of moving tech forward, as having too much out at one time lowers profits..


I hear you, I really meant significant advances (think, multi core, huge increase in average RAM etc). But fair enough, I just have friends that have bought macs the week before the new model is out lol. I appreciate I probably shouldn't say the 'M' word here and that they were also dumbasses because it's very easy to predict when Apple releases they're next evo of builds (because its the same time every year)- i just thought intel/AMD/ATI/nVidia might do similar launches...
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 3:46:32 PM

They all do and in that respect the refresh of ATi cards is out later this month Nvidia's might be early next year and both and AMD and Intel are set to release new CPU's sometime next year but that doesn't mean that what is available now won't still be more than good enough.
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 3:46:33 PM

j_crerar said:
I hear you, I really meant significant advances (think, multi core, huge increase in average RAM etc). But fair enough, I just have friends that have bought macs the week before the new model is out lol. I appreciate I probably shouldn't say the 'M' word here and that they were also dumbasses because it's very easy to predict when Apple releases they're next evo of builds (because its the same time every year)- i just thought intel/AMD/ATI/nVidia might do similar launches...


There is a lot of speculations that goes on on when AMD/Intel/etc will do their releases. A common time is just in time for school to start in september (also gets them out before christmas) but they also tend to release things in March-May time frame. There is never a set date but it seems like more is released around these times. Computer has good times if you know exactly when things ar to be release but that isn't common. The only known expectation is ATI's 6xxx series but the release date currently out is only speculation.

As for using this in your job, you would do well with either system.
October 4, 2010 3:51:48 PM

Mousemonkey said:
They all do and in that respect the refresh of ATi cards is out later this month


aaah wish you hadn't said that! (well kinda). Is that the 6xxx series? Do you think it's worth holding out for them because at the end of the day if I can get better GPU for the same price if I waited a few weeks why not? Are they actually confirmed to be out this month or is it speculation like dewey hinted at?

But thanks guys, interesting stuff...
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 3:54:40 PM

No confirmation and likely to be in short supply if it is like any other hardware release. No one is sure of the performance difference or pricing. If you want the system in the next month or two it woudl be best to go with what you spec'ed out.
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 3:55:42 PM

j_crerar said:
aaah wish you hadn't said that! (well kinda). Is that the 6xxx series? Do you think it's worth holding out for them because at the end of the day if I can get better GPU for the same price if I waited a few weeks why not? Are they actually confirmed to be out this month or is it speculation like dewey hinted at?

But thanks guys, interesting stuff...

Yes it's the 6xxx series that's slated for launch this month but as for when general availability and what prices or performance will be, that's a tad unknown.
October 4, 2010 4:01:20 PM

ok guys cheers, i'll just keep on with the builds i've been harping on about. i'm seeing this guys PC (the original quad core £350 second hand one) but after our discussion i'm definitely leaning against the new ones. So if i were to upgrade the CPU on that, I would also have to upgrade the motherboard? Is this where it would become quite a pricey upgrade? What if I could haggle it down to £300? Worth saving £100 over the Phenom x2 or the £260 over the Phenom x 4 + 5770?
October 4, 2010 4:05:23 PM

i missed out the word 'tonight', i'm seeing this guys PC 'tonight'!
October 4, 2010 4:15:04 PM

u noe if uask me you should really go in for building your own cpu
October 4, 2010 4:19:54 PM

vada said:
u noe if uask me you should really go in for building your own cpu


do you not think I would need a lab and at least a vague understanding of nanotechnology? ;) 
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 4:22:51 PM

j_crerar said:
do you not think I would need a lab and at least a vague understanding of nanotechnology? ;) 

You would most likely need a fabrication plant as well, try ebay. :whistle: 
October 4, 2010 4:25:01 PM

Mousemonkey said:
You would most likely need a fabrication plant as well, try ebay. :whistle: 


i don't even have a white coat. step one man!
October 4, 2010 4:46:49 PM

ok guys, one more question (i promise!) I can upgrade the GTS250 1GB card on the £399 Phenom II build to a 5770 for £38. Bringing it up to £440ish. First of all, would I bet bottlenecking the card with the CPU at all or anything like that? Is it a worthy upgrade as everyone for gaming says get the best GPU you can afford and thats it pretty much.

Thanks, then I'll go and actually buy something instead of if-ing and but-ing on this forum ;) 
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 4:51:30 PM

A 5770 would be comparable to a GTX260 which is faster than a GTS250, so long as you game at the 16x 10 res a CPU "bottleneck" shouldn't occur
October 4, 2010 6:10:31 PM

what if i were to run in full hd? and why could that potentially bottleneck the CPU? Is it simply the CPU isn't powerful enough? If I had the Phenom II x4 955 BE i take it that wouldn't occur?
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 7:03:10 PM

j_crerar said:
what if i were to run in full hd? and why could that potentially bottleneck the CPU? Is it simply the CPU isn't powerful enough? If I had the Phenom II x4 955 BE i take it that wouldn't occur?


Correct, not many GPU's (single) will bottleneck that CPU thats out on the market.

It when you start adding Sli/Crossfire scenario's to a build, is when you need a super duper CPU/OC'd - But even then i dont think the 955BE would be a bottleneck in a Sli/Crossfire Scenario
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 7:26:03 PM

You shouldn't have a problem with bottlenecking on HD with either CPU. Both would work welll with the graphics upgrade I would still go with the Phenom II x4 955 BE to save on having to upgrade as soon as you would want to with the other.
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 7:27:19 PM

reccy, have you bottlenecked your system yet? I may have but that is only becasue of the resolution I'm currently limited at (16x10)?
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 7:31:52 PM

If im honest i havent noticed a bottleneck, i thought i did in Mafia2 as sometimes driving was laggy and quite different, but found out it was a bug in the game as many people eperianced the same.

I play all me games at everything MAXED out as far as it will go and their is very little which happens in terms of low FPS or game lag. The one thing im very Unimpressed with is the Age of Conan Game, I have everything maxed out apart from the view distance which is at the default rating and i get 30-40 FPS.. It not that graphically good either to warranty such low frames, but everything else im playing is that smooth its almost erotic to play
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2010 7:37:34 PM

I really like the fact that when I load up a newly installed game it automatticly sets all the options to their highest without requireing tweeks. This has happened in almost every game but now and then I have to fix one or two settings to account for a bit lower setting then what my system will handle.
!