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How much Do I Need?

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Last response: in Systems
February 5, 2011 12:03:04 AM

I recently asked toms hardware to help me with an AMD build, and I'm now posed with another question, how much do I really need? With some builds at the enthusiast levels totaling over a couple grand and the most stingy of builders with $400 gaming pc builds, I am feeling lost not in terms of how to arrange a build, but wrather how much to spend.

So for a gaming pc at a res. of 1920x1200 at 55-60 fps on new games how much of a computer should I be aiming for?

EDIT: ( could I get a suggested build for ~800 maybe less, that meet these requirements?)

More about : question

February 5, 2011 1:08:58 AM

That depends on the games involved and the expected longevity of the system.

Many or even most games are still happy with a fast dual-core CPU and a $200 video card at 19x12.

A game like Civ V, or Total War, or others might appreciate the extra processing power of a strong quad-core, and more titles in the future will like that as well.

I usually try to recommend a system with a CPU that will last through a few video card upgrades. Been building since around '93 and I promise you whatever CPU you buy, it will eventually become a serious bottleneck. You just have to decide when that might happen and how much the extra time is worth.

My current system is an overclocked E8400 (dual) and a 5870, both on water but more for quiet than any extreme OC. I'm now ready to upgrade to a quad but waiting for the Sandy Bridge chipset to come back from it's recall.

i5-760 is a fine CPU for now, but I question how many years can be had out of it. Same for the AMD CPUs. I really don't think it's a great time to buy too much. If you really need to do it now, those are probably the best options.

So either wait for Bulldozer/P67 or shoot for something in the 1K range.
February 5, 2011 1:14:35 AM

Yeah, I've been looking at both Intel and AMD and was dissapointed with the 6 series chipsets being deshelved from Newegg. Mainly why I was asking this question was to see if there was a somewhat concrete answer, but I guess it's just personal preference.

Do you think a 955 BE and a MSI 460 Hawk would be good enough for Crysis 2?
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February 5, 2011 2:22:34 AM

Not at 1920 x 1200
with everything turned on

need atleast 6970 or equivalent.
February 5, 2011 3:49:14 AM

Well, what I've heard of Crysis 2 indicates it will run fine with that, but not at highest settings of course.

I think a 6950 2GB is a good value right now, and will cover reasonably good settings in Crysis 2. Get an 890GX board for possible future crossfire and a quality PSU in the 750W range and 2X4GB of RAM, and you are probably in pretty good shape.
February 5, 2011 4:08:04 AM

The 955 is, the 460 will be wanting a bit at 1080p and Crysis 2. 6870 at least, or the 6950/GTX560 is a much better choice.
February 5, 2011 1:03:37 PM

I was hoping that specifically the Hawk or Talon Attack version would give enough oc head way to yield a high 30-40 fps but I'm pretty much set up for a SLI configuration later on except another card.

I also saw a benchmark on a forum where Crysis warhead ran on SLI hawks with a 61.5 fps max but yet again only if I had another card. I like the 6870 rec. it would be cheaper than a sli just depends if I can squeeze the extra ~30 bucks from my parents on top of $850 up front for the 6870.

Thanks for the help by the way :D 
February 5, 2011 1:30:59 PM

I'd say a 6850 crossfire would be ideal (and runs 350 right now)
February 5, 2011 1:38:31 PM there enough difference between the scaling to warant another 30 bucks for SLI 460 hawks

EDIT: scratch that last comment 2 6850's is equal/better than a 580 :ouch: 

thank you ScrewySqrl you have made my day!
February 5, 2011 6:51:17 PM

get the 870 Extreme 3 from AS Rock
February 5, 2011 7:42:50 PM

It's already in my budget :D 
can't beat asus at a cheaper price AKA ASrock

My build:

AMD Phenom II x4 955BE
Asrock Extreme 3 870
G.skill NS 4gb (2x2) DDR3 1333Mhz
Asus EAH6850 ( getting another one later on)
Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb (as boot drive, upgrading later)
Antec Neo Eco 620 (same as a Earth watts except 5 bucks cheaper and 30w less power)
-(2 molex to 6 pin adapter cables for CFX later on)
Antec 300 case
Cooler master hyper 212+
Asus 24x DVD-RW OEM
Win7 Home 64bit OEM
+ shipping =$828.91 USD
February 5, 2011 8:01:38 PM

Seems fine but i suggest get the RAM at 1600 Mhz rather than 1300 mhz. Its better for overclocking.
And the PSU isn't going to support crossfire, because it has only 2 connectors, which will be taken by a single card.
February 5, 2011 8:10:39 PM

I was thinking I should upgrade the ram too, but in the case of the PSU u are technically correct but it has 6 Molex and with 2 adapters running to 6pins I can do this cheaper than I can buy a comparable quality PSU.

I also thought with using the adapter I would be limited in case fans but I can use the Mobo to take 3 and 2 left over molex pins for fans which will max out my Antec 300.

Edit: I used the eXtreme Psu calculator and put everything into account that we have talked about including 5 fans 3 120s and 2 140s without high performance or LED's and it came to 504w so I think a 620 continuous should hold it.
February 5, 2011 8:16:41 PM

ASRock is fine but just realize you are getting a 1 year warranty instead of 3.
February 5, 2011 8:22:45 PM

to Proximon: I know, what I could do is either go to an asus board which should give me a 3 year warranty, or I could buy a warranty with Newegg for 10 bucks.
February 5, 2011 8:28:28 PM

the as rock board has 8x/8x crossfire, that is why you get it. Its $20 cheaper than any 890.

Also HD6850 uses a SINGLE 6 pin PCIe power connector.
February 5, 2011 8:29:53 PM

To Proximon: how about this Asus board in the place of the Asrock

ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
I don't think it had as good reviews but it does have 3 year a warranty

EDIT: this board has a 16x and a 4x Pcie connector on the board I missed that, the Asrock board is much better and cheaper :D 
February 5, 2011 8:38:22 PM

ScrewySqrl yeah I was going with the Asrock board too, though a longer warranty would be nice.

Sorry, I got mixed up on the connectors I got it confused with the 460 Hawks. I'll make sure that everything checks out right before I purchase anything.
February 5, 2011 8:47:23 PM

So except a couple things I missed in the forum my configuration that I originally set out to build seems pretty straight, any more suggestions?