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First Rig - Need Advice on a budget PC! (challenge)

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January 14, 2011 2:37:17 PM

I'm looking to build my first medium-high range PC. I play games such as AION, the upcoming MMO RIFT, GTAIV, and other somewhat high spec games. I'm looking to run these games on high with good FPS. My budget is somewhere around 500-600 dollars.

Here's the catch, though. I have about 200 dollars worth of credit with Amazon.com, if I could buy all the parts from Amazon (directly from them so I could get Amazon Prime, if possible) that would be great. Or, if there's a part that I should get that's substantially cheaper or available only from Newegg, I could buy some parts from Amazon, some parts from Newegg.

Please help me out, and feel free to drop some tips for a first time builder!

Thanks!

:hello: 
January 14, 2011 7:45:12 PM

I'm sure people will suggest some good builds, but it will be good for you to know how to do it yourself as well. First of all, think of your computer like a chain. Your weakest link will be the bottleneck. Since you're after gaming, your budget will reflect your main two components, CPU and Graphics Card. My favorite place to find the best of these for the money is right here on Toms.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-cpu-overclocki...

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

After you find ones in your price range, it's time to look for everything else.

First go to Newegg. Look up the category of product you want. Then, use Neweggs brilliant feature of listing specs to narrow down your choices. Once you find a product with good reviews for a cheap price, search for that specific product in Amazon to see if it is better price. I live in CA so Amazon's no sales TAX often makes items cheaper than Newegg, although Amazon doesn't always have the selection. If your 1st newegg choice doesn't work, pick the next best one and repeat the process.

Anywho, I'll at least leave you a with a case recommendation. Either the Antec 300 or Rosewill Destroyer

http://www.amazon.com/Rosewill-DESTROYER-Black-Gaming-C...

PSU brands I will only ever buy Seasonic, Corsair, Silverstone, or certain Antecs. There are other good ones but this is a good starting list. You won't need more than 550 W it sounds like. The number 1 mistake I see on here is people buying PSUs with more Watts than needed.

January 14, 2011 7:59:05 PM

Thanks, how is this build?

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January 14, 2011 11:09:01 PM

BUMP
January 14, 2011 11:57:04 PM

It is decent but you could save $30 by getting the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX /ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... and you do not really need the wrist strap just hold on to the case and that will give you about 40 bucks more that you can put into a better graphics card
January 15, 2011 1:19:06 PM

atypicallemon said:
It is decent but you could save $30 by getting the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX /ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... and you do not really need the wrist strap just hold on to the case and that will give you about 40 bucks more that you can put into a better graphics card


This looks great. Might buy those two parts from Newegg and the rest from Amazon.

Any more opinions?
January 15, 2011 10:50:23 PM

BUMP
January 17, 2011 3:37:33 AM

Looking good... Like the motherboard choice, and should. Lose the Wrist brace... start practicing good build technique (touch ground before handling components).

I do take issue with your processor. Do you edit video or use Maya 3Dmax type programs? If not, quadcores are not your best value for gaming. Every processor core after two is used less and less by games (or not at all). So by switching to a two or three core CPU of equivalent speed will not lower your FPS in games by a significant amount. I.E. say Grand theft auto gets something like 101 FPS on a 3.3Ghz quad core, it will be something like 97 FPS on a 3.2 triple core... the quad core will cost significantly more in price. Of course, if you're willing to spend more to "future proof" your system (countered by the argument that CPUs are constantly dropping in price) a quad core is a good investment (then again games are starting to use more than 2 cores with much greater frequency than before).

If you want to knock out $67 of the cost without a drop in game performance for at least a year or two, I'd say go for something like this.
http://www.amazon.com/Athlon-455-Box-3-3G-512KB/dp/B003...

Good choice of budget case.

If you are really looking to save money, for $34.74 instead of $39.99 you can get a similar model, only this one isn't quite as tool-less. I don't find it to be tool-less that big a deal for simple builds, so for me it was worth the discount. http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-RC-310-BWN1-GP-Elit... I'm building a comp on the red/black model now and I like it so far.

That Power Supply has more Watts than you need, but I suppose if you ever want to CrossFire the 6850 than I suppose you'll have enough, although it's not generally recommended to xfire with a x4 pci e slot.

So that's it, decide if you really need a quadcore, slice the wrist brace (not the wrist), decide if you want a tool or tool-less case), and I think you're on your way to a good value gaming setup :) 

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January 17, 2011 6:46:52 AM
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Your newegg build is good too. I have no experience with the case, so I can't vouch for that, but the other components seem solid aside from the few cautionary tales of MoBo DOA woes. You could probably scrimp and save on a few components but I see you've payed to have extra ram slots, usb 3.0, extra pci e, and a quadcore. If it's in your budget, that's a good decision by my book (a frightening novel with lots of illustrations).
January 17, 2011 12:31:56 PM

Thanks Von and everyone else!
January 17, 2011 12:32:04 PM

Best answer selected by Realwords.
January 17, 2011 12:41:37 PM

Wow, I didn't know you could unlock cores on the X3... hmm...
January 17, 2011 12:56:39 PM

Based on the reviews, I'm going with that triple core. Saves me money and the unlockable core seems comparible to something that is 60 dollars more!
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