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Is this a good gaming build for under 700$?

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February 6, 2011 4:19:15 PM

Hello, I was wondering if any of you could make any improvements to this build to bring the price lower? Any compatibility issues? Thanks.

Case:
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811129042 (60$)


Hard Drive
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:HD502HJ
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822152181 (50$)


PSU
Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371031 (70$)

GPU
MSI N460GTX -M2D1GD5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814127551


RAM
CORSAIR XMS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Ultra Stable Desktop Memory Model http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820145299 (50$)

DVD burner
LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827106289 (16$)

this is the combo deal for the motherboard/processor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.596008
(240$)

I don't need a OS or monitor/speakers/mouse/keyboard. I usually game at around a 1920x1080 resolution, usually with RTS games like starcraft 2. I kind of wanted to get the total price under 650$, so i was wondering if any of you could post any changes to this build that lower the price without impacting the performance by too much.

More about : good gaming build 700

February 6, 2011 6:55:25 PM

Isn't the athlon 2 x4 a big step down from the phenom 2 x4?
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February 6, 2011 8:15:52 PM

coolguy7676 said:
Hello, I was wondering if any of you could make any improvements to this build to bring the price lower? Any compatibility issues? Thanks.

Case:
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (60$)


Hard Drive
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:HD502HJ
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (50$)


PSU
Antec NEO ECO 620C 620W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (70$)

GPU
EVGA 01G-P3-1366-TR GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (160$)


RAM
CORSAIR XMS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Ultra Stable Desktop Memory Model http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (50$)

DVD burner
LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (16$)

this is the combo deal for the motherboard/processor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
(240$)

I don't need a OS or monitor/speakers/mouse/keyboard. I usually game at around a 1920x1080 resolution, usually with RTS games like starcraft 2. I kind of wanted to get the total price under 650$, so i was wondering if any of you could post any changes to this build that lower the price without impacting the performance by too much.

February 6, 2011 9:55:41 PM

You could try out my 600$ budget build in my siggy I think it'd work out just fine for you. If you go with your build, the 460 SE is garbage, it's worse than the 460 768mb. Oh but at your resolution, swap out the 6850 in my 600$ build for a 6950 1GB. That'll work out just nicely.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Gainward/GeForce_GTX...
February 6, 2011 11:13:04 PM

so would replacing the GPU with this:

MSI N460GTX -M2D1GD5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

make this build good? The 6950 is just too expensive for me right now. And the amd athlon x3 rana seems like too much of a downgrade from any phenom processor for me to consider, unless you can convince me otherwise. Thanks for the help!
February 7, 2011 11:14:25 AM

I'm just not sure if the athlon 2 x3 is good enough for my needs. The graphics cards seem great, but without cutting back on the cpu it's impossible for me to stay under 700$. And the phenom 2 925 x4 also seems like a downgrade. Does the difference between the the gtx 460 and the gtx 560/radeon 6950 make up for the difference between the phenom 2 x4 965 black edition and the athlon 2 x3/phenom 2 x4 925? Thanks again for your help.
February 7, 2011 2:09:13 PM

There are many factors that determine when a computer becomes CPU or GPu limited. So I'll divide it into CPu and GPU

CPU half of the explanation-
Short answer. Depending upon resolution and type of game. IE how well threaded it is and whether it has physics and AI, or just AI. Also if it's AI intensive like RTS or not, like FPS.

Long explanation
Threading
Games are very poorly threaded. The part of gaming that is well
threaded, the graphics portions, is handled by the GPU, which already
have hundreds of cores.

In gaming, the most CPU intensive task is AI. AI, by definition is not
a parallel process. It is extremely difficult to thread AI. Most games
that are "multi threaded" actually keep AI on 1 thread and throw the
rest (minor far less intensive stuff) on the other.

Can you design a game to utilize 4 or more cores? Sure, you can throw
all the CPU non intensive calculations onto their own threads, but
until someone figures out a good way to thread nonparallel
computations, the performance increase will be minimal, as the hard
work is still restricted to 1 thread.

This issue has been stumping programmers for decades. There are ways
to do this in specific situations, but no general solution yet. A
general solution allowing infinite threading of nonparallel
calculations would be the programming equivalent of finding the cure
for cancer, noble prize stuff for sure.

Basically think of it this way. On a math exam you have a 3 part
question in which the answer to part each part depends on previous
answers. IE

A. Add up 3 and 5.
B. Use the answer from part A and divide by 2
C. Use the answer from part B and triple it.

what is the final answer?

This is the type of thinking AI requires. Threading this is the
equivalent of calculating the answer to A, B and C simultaneously.
It's not impossible like the mathematical equivalent is, but it's not
easy.

For this reason, more than 3 threads has very little benefit. So if a game is well threaded, it'll utilize CPU up to 3 threads.

On the other hand, if it's not well threaded you're better off with high speed single or dual core.

GPU half of the answer:
Short- depends on resolution, eye candy and drivers.

Long Answer
The higher the resolution, the more the GPU needs to calculate. Hence, the higher the resolution, the more the the bottleneck shifts towards GPU.

At the same time, enabling AF and AA also require further GPu calculations. So if you turn up the eye candy, GPU has to work harder and further pushes bottleneck to GPU.

Additional features such as tessellation also are GPU calculated. So these will also shift bottleneck to GPU.

At the same time, even if the hardware is capable, if drivers aren't then you got issues. If drivers are extremely poor (take TERA currently for ex) both ATI and Nvidia GPU's are getting unplayable FPS when theoretically they should be fine. So in this case, the bottleneck is with the drivers, not the CPU or GPU technically.

Summary:
Bottleneck moves toward CPU if:
Lots of Physics
Lots of AI
Poor threading
Low resolution

Bottleneck moves to GPU if:
High Resolution
Eye candy enabled
Tessellation is used

Bottleneck moves to drivers if drivers just fail.

In general, since people want to game at the highest res and with as much eye candy as they can, you'll find GPu bottleneck.

The one exception to this is poor software coding. If a game isn't coded to use CPU /GPU properly all bets are off and it'll depend upon game where bottleneck goes.

So depending upon your settings you can be GPU or CPU limited. In general though, gaming is GPU limited and to max out even a $75 athlon II x3 processor while gaming at 1080p or higher with full eyecandy is difficult.

You typically see GPU bottlenecks either in SLI/Xfire setups of top end GPU's or once FPS is already well over 60. The other exceptions is as mentioned above, in cases of horrendous programing/drivers (cough civ 5, GTA IV cough).

For your needs going with an athlon II x3 and using savings to get a better GPu is the better choice.
February 7, 2011 2:29:09 PM

Actually if you're fine with dealing with MIR, you can do an athlon ii x4 + 6950 2gb (potential unlock to 6970) build for $655

optical
Sony $19
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

case
antec 300 $60 w/ $15 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD
7200.12 500gb $38 w/ Promo code
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU
HD 6950 $280 w/ $20 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can try to bios unlock this into a free upgrade to 6970, no guarantees though.

PSU
XFX 650 W $99 w/$30 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
G Skill Ripjaw ddr3 1600 cas 7 $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU/mobo Asus evo and athlon ii x4 $172 w/ $15 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Promo Codes Used: EMCKHKJ25 EMCKHKG45

Total: $735 including shipping
After Rebates $655

If you really wanna drop it to under $650 then you could grab a 1gb 6950 and save $25. No unlock to 6970 though.
February 7, 2011 9:09:36 PM

You visualize the separation between both chips as if it'll cause a huge problem, THG did a benchmark/test on SC2 with some chips. They determined you could play it at max settings on 1920x1080 with a 6870 and a 450 (Athlon X3) would work just fine. Course the 925 isn't a huge downgrade it's a Phenom based on the same arch, just a lower clock.
February 8, 2011 10:46:27 PM

Thanks a lot for all of your help everyone. I'll go with the phenom 925 and buy a better graphics card. Is the 6950 worth it if i'm only playing starcraft ii? It seems like it would be overkill for it, even at my resolution. The gtx 460 seems like it should handle sc2 on max settings with no problems. I'm not sure though.
!