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Advice on $700 Gaming PC

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February 9, 2011 10:39:49 PM

Hi! Thanks for clicking on my thread. Without further ado,

Approximate Purchase Date: whenever, I'm actively looking at deals and want to try to get the best price at the best time

Budget Range: preferably $700 USD after rebates, but I'm willing to spend less or more, $600-$800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, schoolwork, media

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS, monitor*** (I'm looking to buy a new monitor but it doesn't have to be part of the budget)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I only know Newegg, but will buy from anywhere that is reputable and will ship to California

Country of Origin: USA

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: at least 1440x900

Additional Comments: I'm looking to build a new PC because I'm afraid my 3 year old leisure laptop will have problems running new games such as: Starcraft 2, Dragon Age 2, The Witcher 2, Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3, and any other games from the Fallout and Elder Scrolls franchises. So I'm looking to build a longterm gaming PC.

I've perused both tecmo34's and Proximon's excellent threads on builds and parts, and have picked out the parts that I think are good for me. But I'm just a newbie, so this is just me asking for advice from the pros :) . I want to make sure that each part is compatible, and if there are better alternatives to a part, please let me know!

Parts Preferences: edited on 2/11/11 to fit suggestions

Processor
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX ($160)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard
ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard ($90) ty aznshinobi, batuchka, aebome
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL ($50) ty aznshinobi
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card
DIAMOND 5850PE51G Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ($165 AR) ty aznshinobi
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ($65) ty aznshinobi, aebome
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply
XIGMATEK ACXTNRP-PC602 600W ATX12V Ver.2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply ($40 AR) ty aebome
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case
AZZA Helios 910 Black Japanese SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($55 AR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This case should fit the motherboard and the graphics card, right?

Optical Disk Drive
LG Black 10X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Disc Combo Model UH10LS20 LightScribe Support - OEM ($70)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor
Hanns·G HW-191APB Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 700:1 Built-in Speakers ($100)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Any monitor suggestions would be appreciated, I'm willing to spend about $120 apart from the PC budget, but I think I might just get a cheaper monitor. Also, how do I determine if a monitor is 720p or 1080p compatible?

After taking into account taxes and rebates, with these current parts I'm sitting around $800 :( . Are there any ways to cut costs? Do I have a part listed that is too powerful for what I'm looking for in my PC? Please share your knowledge with me, and thanks for reading!

Update: A big thank you to aznshinobi, batuchka, and aebome for helping me with this build! I'm sitting at $695 AR, which is awesome!

More about : advice 700 gaming

February 9, 2011 11:22:53 PM

Looks good =P you could save on somethings like downgrading on the 965 to a 955 instead. Same CPU just lower stock clock, easily OCable to 3.4 with no need to voltage change.

Motherboard is way more expensive than needed, a 90$ one like the Asrock 870 would do just fine.

For more builds refer to the 600$ build in my siggy (that should work nicely into your budget before including your monitor and blu-ray) or the 800$ one but that'll go a bit over.
February 10, 2011 6:50:53 AM

Thanks for the reply, aznshinobi! The sig link is another nice source of info as well :D . Would you get the Radeon HD 6850 over the 5770? And do both the cases and the power supply check out?
Related resources
February 10, 2011 6:53:46 AM

+1 8/8 on PCIex16 gen 2.0 is also fine if u thinking CF so consider an Asrock 870Extreme3 and far superior gaming performance out of the box with either a $199AR HD 5870 or a 2GB HD 6950
February 10, 2011 6:13:21 PM

batuchka, I'm not looking to crossfire if that what CF stands for :) . Thanks for seconding the Asrock mobo that aznshinobi mentioned though, I'll definitely get that instead. Those graphics cards that you mentioned are pretty expensive though! I checked them on Newegg and they are upwards of 200... but if I'm looking to not change my PC for a while I should consider it, shouldn't I. Hmm...



Questions remaining:
-if power supply is compatible
-which case to get
-are solid state drives worth considering
February 10, 2011 6:21:24 PM

Hmm do u happen to live near a Microcenter?
February 10, 2011 6:37:55 PM

See what you think of this build, which I think may suit what you are looking for.

As an alternative to the excellent Antec 300 case listed below, you could also look at the NZXT M59. I have used both, and they are both good cases with good ventilation.

Also, the power supply that I would have included in the build below is out of stock, but should be in tomorrow.
XIGMATEK ACXTNRP-PC602 600W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is $60 with $20 MIR, bringing the total to $785 (without rebates)
(its 700W big brother got an excellent review here http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...)

If you want further savings check out the NZXT Gamma case (identical to the M59, but without the plastic bezel and one of its fans), the AsRock 870 board mentioned above, and maybe a regular DVD burner, if you don't need blu-ray.

I hope that this is useful.


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152181
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$49.99


PowerColor AX6850 1GBD5-DH Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ...
Item #: N82E16814131374
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$20.00 Mail-in Rebate
$179.99


A-DATA Gaming Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model AX3U1600GB2G9-2G
Item #: N82E16820211409
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
-$3.00 Instant
$44.99
$41.99


LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray Reader SATA Model iHOS104-06 - OEM
Item #: N82E16827106325
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$49.99


COMBO: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116754
AND
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129042
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
-$10.00 Instant
-$5.00 Combo
$169.94
$154.94


COMBO: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
Item #: N82E16819103808
AND
ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813131647
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
-$11.99 Combo
$249.98
$237.99


Shipping: $9.73
Total: $724.62

(~$785 with PSU but before MIR)
February 11, 2011 2:14:49 AM

batuchka: I'm afraid I don't! The closest one to me is in Orange County and 90 min away :( 

aebome: Your post was definitely useful! That power supply looks good for its cost :) 

aznshinobi: Yea, I was looking into some graphics cards and I thought that a 5850 would be a huge upgrade (I currently have a HD 3650 on my laptop LOL), but aebome has a link to a 6850 for 160 AR (as opposed to 165 AR).

Should I grab the 6850 or is the 5850 better in some way?

I'm sitting at $530 without a graphics card, so with the Diamond 5850 or the Powercolor 6850 the build would cost $690-695 AR--awesome. I just need help deciding which O_O. I'd also like to know if my case and power supply are 100% compatible with all my parts!

Again, I appreciate all your responses.
February 11, 2011 2:24:55 AM

Well here is the thing.

If you plan to crossfire, the 6850 will be the better option, it has better scaling and I guess runs a bit cooler. HOWEVER.
If you don't plant to crossfire the 5850 is a better option as it has more power as a single card and also OCs to a past the performance of the 5870.

PS: If that 5850 Diamond is the same model 5850 I bought a few years ago when the 5850 came out (Yes I have a Diamond 5850) then it'll have unlocked voltage tweak and you'll be able to overclock past the 5870 as I said.
February 11, 2011 7:30:46 AM

Alright aznshinobi, you owning the Diamond 5850 has swayed me to get it :) 

One last thing though O_O do the case and power supply check out?
February 11, 2011 1:05:02 PM

If it is really the 80+ Bronze standard, and as good as they say. It should be good enough.

When I say the voltage tweak though, I'm not very sure that it is still that same one. But it seems like it is. mine had a sticker though, fell off. =P
March 9, 2011 11:40:49 PM

Ended up getting:


$140 AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$90 ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$42 (AR) XIGMATEK ACXTNRP-PC602 600W ATX12V Ver.2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$50 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$185 (AR) XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$65 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$27 Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA CD/DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$63 (AR) AZZA Helios 910 Black Japanese SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total with shipping and after rebate was $662, so with taxes thats a cool bit over $700

Once again, thanks for all the input and now I have a nice desktop :) 
!