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Budget Gaming Computer $700-800 Help!

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February 18, 2011 1:50:16 AM

Hello,

I recently decided to make my own computer and I had someone recommend these parts because I heard that AMD gives more bang for the buck for budget gaming comps.

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/8/neweggpcbuild.pn... <- The Newegg build he recommended to me.

Overall, I'd like a computer that can max out SC2 and play some future games such as diablo 3 in good high settings.
My budget is from $700-800 and I have some questions about this build.

1. The graphics card he chose for me is pretty expensive...is it possible to choose a less-expensive gfx card to still get what I want (max out sc2/play future games high settings)?

2. With my budget, is there a better build I can make?

3. http://www.techspot.com/review/305-starcraft2-performan... From this website, will the 955 AMD processor as shown in the build recommended for me be a possible bottleneck? Or am I good?

4. Will the build be upgradable for future parts?


Thanks a lot in advance for everyone that comments/criticizes/helps me. I'm planning on buying the comp pretty soon. Please let me know what you guys think! and I would appreciate it if you guys can answer some of the questions I have.
February 18, 2011 2:06:45 AM

Thats a GPU (6950) and a CPU (955) combo. That's a good deal for under $400. The 955 is good for gaming, it wont bottleneck a single 6950. You should fill out the "how to ask for advice" so we know what your needs are. (Monitor resolution would help)
February 18, 2011 2:42:49 AM

goatsword said:
Thats a GPU (6950) and a CPU (955) combo. That's a good deal for under $400. The 955 is good for gaming, it wont bottleneck a single 6950. You should fill out the "how to ask for advice" so we know what your needs are. (Monitor resolution would help)



Sorry. Really new to this forum :) ...So like I mentioned in one of the questions, is it possible to still get the best performance for sc2 / future games with a cheaper GPU? Or is it really worth getting for the future? (Just want a GPU that can support future games for several years and still being able to upgrade by x-firing or SLI)

Approximate Purchase Date: this week (maybe next but prob not)


Budget Range: 700-800$ (for just desktop) / I'd like some suggestions for a new monitor


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming


Parts Not Required: Mouse / Speakers / Windows 7


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg / any other websites that offers similar deals


Country of Origin: NY, US


Parts Preferences: Anything that will fulfill my needs that I stated in the first post (bang for the buck deal)


Overclocking: Maybe....never OC'd before but since it will improve performance I'll open the possibility for it


SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (most likely yes since I want to probably upgrade in the future)


Monitor Resolution: Need a new monitor and I don't know the current resolution on my 17'' because I am away from home atm.

Related resources
February 18, 2011 3:22:34 AM

All parts are on Newegg unless otherwise noted:
$90 Antec 750W PSU (for future Crossfire): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$140: Phenom II x4 955
$245 AR HIS 6950 2GB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$90 ASRock 870 Extreme 3 (8x/8x PCI-e)
$90 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 8GB (2x4GB)
$55 Rosewill Smart One w/ free shipping: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HDD: Samsung spinpoint F3 1TB $55
DVD: $17 cheapest SATA DVD burner on Newegg.com
Total: $782

Monitor: Any 22" 1920x1080 monitor with decent reviews, try Tiger Direct ~$130

Your 6950/Phenom II 955 combo for $396 is good too. You may want to replace my CPU & graphics with that for the same price. Also, you'll be thanking us in two years for sure for not getting cheaper graphics.
February 18, 2011 3:25:20 AM

A 955 will work for at least two years in all games--and longer if you overclock it. It will overclock easily (just go to the bios and increase the multiplier). I got a Phenom II x2 565BE up to 4.0GHz on stock voltage. So you might be able to OC it with about 1 hour of research. I've got some quick tutorials on that around here somewhere.
February 18, 2011 3:33:21 AM

With the new sandy bridge AMD actually isn't that much cheaper then intel. You can get a sandy bridge motherboard for $150 i5 2500k for $199..Yeah you'll spend like $50 more but you get a better deal and a faster computer. If your going to spend 700-800bucks your probably better off saving a few hundred more and build a better system imo. By waiting a few months sandy bridge will be out or the new AMD bulldozer will be out.
February 18, 2011 3:40:01 AM

But quite frankly, I think you should wait for Sandy Bridge and/or Bulldozer.
February 18, 2011 3:48:37 AM

Yeah thanks for all the inputs so far...Question #1 is answered thanks to dalauder.

I did consider getting a better computer in the near-future Bigmac08 but I'm very restricted budget-wise because of school/etc. I currently am not employed because of interns/school/etc...so that's why I'm deciding to buy a decent/upgradable computer so when I do get some extra cash I can easily replace some parts etc.

Dalauder, many people have told me that I won't be needing 8gb ddr3 but just only 4gb because I won't need it. I'm not savvy on computers to really say anything about it but if anyone can answer that question, that would be awesome. Btw thanks for the monitor link on tigerdirect...I'll def check out their products as well.

edit: I'll ask around more if I should wait for the sandybridge
February 18, 2011 6:42:11 AM

Everyone will tell you the same. You should wait for SB/Bulldozer.

If you're really money restricted, you should get a Phenom II x2 560BE. And you don't NEED 8GB of ram. But at the price it's going for now--it's worth having two 4GB sticks in dual channel instead of upgrading in a couple years to 4 sticks that won't be dual channel (slower). If you can't afford the $30, then get 4GB for now and it will be fine.

Btw, the reason I push the 6950 is because it is easy to upgrade it to 6970 performance without damaging it. And 6970 performance for $245 is WAY better than 6870 performance for $195. And in two years--you're be really glad it upgrades. And in four, you'll be pretty happy with two in crossfire. They'll even run nicely in a new rig if you migrate them to it (all you'll have to replace is the mobo & CPU. RAM, HDD, PSU, Case will carry over).
a b 4 Gaming
February 18, 2011 7:18:45 AM

greyfox92 said:
is it possible to still get the best performance for sc2 / future games with a cheaper GPU? Or is it really worth getting for the future?


Negative - games aren't even quadcore optimised over a spread so for the same $$ always hit a superior GPU as compromises here would hurt you bad and fast :ouch: 


The Game Rundown: Finding CPU/GPU Bottlenecks, Part 2
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/game-performance-bo...
Quote:
Conclusion: A Trend Toward 3+ Cores

The average optimal number of CPU cores suggested by the test results is 2.75, showing a clear trend towards at least three CPU cores.The question of whether the CPU or GPU is most important is easily answered. If you don't have a multi-core CPU, then upgrade it. If you have a dual-core CPU at around 3 GHz, then invest your money into a graphics card, as most games are GPU-limited. This is not something that will change with new DirectX 11 games.

February 18, 2011 1:35:06 PM

Yeah I doubt I'll wait for the bulldozer/SB because I am pretty restricted in cash. I'll look into the Phenom II X2 560BE.
Also thanks a lot bat for the thread and the cores info on gaming...least I want is a quad-core anyway.

Pretty much all my questions have been answered :)  thanks everyone. If I prefer the Phenom II X2 560BE over the 955, I'll try to make a new build asap and post it.

Is the Phenom II X2 560BE better over the 955?

I'll try to make a build to fit my budget. Also, if there's other recommendations/criticisms about my current build please let me know. Thanks!

EDIT: Oh and also, will I need a cooler/heatsink with this desktop?
EDIT: I looked at the Phenom II X2 560BE and I saw that it's easy to unlock the other 2 cores, making it a quad but I've never done this before and I don't mind paying an extra 25$ to get the 955.
a b 4 Gaming
February 18, 2011 2:13:23 PM

Unlocking while cool is not a given but a bonus so i wouldn't depend on it 100% Ya with such a small top up 955BE for me ^^
February 18, 2011 7:40:18 PM

batuchka said:
Unlocking while cool is not a given but a bonus so i wouldn't depend on it 100% Ya with such a small top up 955BE for me ^^



Exactly what I was thinking :) 

Oh and also, will I need a cooler/heatsink with this desktop? and is my PSU good enough?
February 19, 2011 1:44:04 AM

Since $40 for a cooler may impact your graphics or which CPU you purchase--hold off on the cooler until your CPU seems to be limited and you OC it and see high temps.

If you get an x2, get the 555 for $90 since it's also the C3 revision. At least that's $40 cheaper than the 955. I'd get the 955 if I could afford it though.

Only half the x2's (both 560's) I've tried unlock. And the one that did OC'd to 3.7GHz w/ no voltage increase. The x2 without unlocked cores went to 4.0GHz on nearly stock voltage--same that I'd expect from a 955, which means better OC'ing with 4 cores than an unlocked 555.
February 19, 2011 2:53:52 AM

dalauder said:
Since $40 for a cooler may impact your graphics or which CPU you purchase--hold off on the cooler until your CPU seems to be limited and you OC it and see high temps.

If you get an x2, get the 555 for $90 since it's also the C3 revision. At least that's $40 cheaper than the 955. I'd get the 955 if I could afford it though.

Only half the x2's (both 560's) I've tried unlock. And the one that did OC'd to 3.7GHz w/ no voltage increase. The x2 without unlocked cores went to 4.0GHz on nearly stock voltage--same that I'd expect from a 955, which means better OC'ing with 4 cores than an unlocked 555.



Oh I'm just wondering if the build on the first post (mine) with the 955 and the 6950 hd gpu will be working fine with the stock and the case w/ the 2 fans

Also, someone mentioned in another forum that I might want to get a 850w psu...but I personally think 750w is enough...any comments on this?
February 19, 2011 3:33:48 AM

I have an 850W for an i7 and future second GTX 470. That's so I'm fine with overclocking. I currently have 3 HDDs, but sometimes I run 2 more and I might leave some 2TB+ ones in in the future. I also will add 2xSSDs in RAID0 and OC the heck out of my GTX 470s--so I need 850W for that freedom and should probably double check that it's adequate.

Check http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp and if it says you're fine with a 750W and two 6950's drawing the max 225W (PCI-e 75W+ 2x6-pin 150W), and you OC'd CPU--then you're fine, probably. Just make sure you include things like capacitor aging and buy yourself a PSU from a quality manufacturer. I only got 700W recommended (650W required) when I guessed on what I thought your build would be.
February 19, 2011 3:59:24 AM

dalauder said:
I have an 850W for an i7 and future second GTX 470. That's so I'm fine with overclocking. I currently have 3 HDDs, but sometimes I run 2 more and I might leave some 2TB+ ones in in the future. I also will add 2xSSDs in RAID0 and OC the heck out of my GTX 470s--so I need 850W for that freedom and should probably double check that it's adequate.

Check http://extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp and if it says you're fine with a 750W and two 6950's drawing the max 225W (PCI-e 75W+ 2x6-pin 150W), and you OC'd CPU--then you're fine, probably. Just make sure you include things like capacitor aging and buy yourself a PSU from a quality manufacturer. I only got 700W recommended (650W required) when I guessed on what I thought your build would be.



wow once again thanks! you've been a great help to me so far :) 
a b 4 Gaming
February 19, 2011 7:19:56 AM

No OC - stock HSF is fine else CM Hyper 212+?
February 19, 2011 2:12:10 PM

batuchka said:
No OC - stock HSF is fine else CM Hyper 212+?



alright thanks. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to OC but it's still a possibility if its easy which I hear from a lot of people with BE's
a b 4 Gaming
February 19, 2011 2:35:39 PM

Yes but if looking to get a serious OC and feeding that chip some volts - hit an aftermarket HSF later on and it's all good ^^
February 19, 2011 3:52:29 PM

batuchka said:
Yes but if looking to get a serious OC and feeding that chip some volts - hit an aftermarket HSF later on and it's all good ^^



yeah I might just get a hsf that i can use even after I upgrade etc
February 20, 2011 9:41:48 PM

It's worth it to OC--even a light one with stock heatsink. It'll only take you an hour to install some monitoring tools (CPU-Z, HWMonitor) and increase your multiplier until it's not stable on 50x run throughs on LinX (10x or maybe 5x run throughs are adequate per bump, but do at least 50x to check temps and stability on your final clock). Most people also Prime95 at this point--I don't cuz I live in the tropics.
February 21, 2011 12:54:02 AM

dalauder said:
It's worth it to OC--even a light one with stock heatsink. It'll only take you an hour to install some monitoring tools (CPU-Z, HWMonitor) and increase your multiplier until it's not stable on 50x run throughs on LinX (10x or maybe 5x run throughs are adequate per bump, but do at least 50x to check temps and stability on your final clock). Most people also Prime95 at this point--I don't cuz I live in the tropics.



haha I apologize...I don't know anything you just wrote :(  I never had any exp OC'ing but if it's that good...I'll look into it and ask friends
February 21, 2011 1:19:01 AM

Oh--heheh...

So if you go into your Bios, there's a multiplier for your CPU. That's the speed times the base clock that it runs at (there's also a speed for your base clock shown somewhere). Your CPU speed is base clock x multiplier. In the case of a 955, it's something like 16.5x 200MHz.

Only AMD Black Edition CPUs and Intel K or X series CPUs are unlocked and allow multiplier adjustment. You have to adjust the bus speed (base clock) on the rest.

If you install those programs of CPU-Z and HW Monitor, you'll be able to see your CPU settigns and monitor your temps to make sure they don't get too hot. LinX is a simple tool that can be used to test stability. Anyways, post in the forums under overclocking sometime if you're interested.
February 21, 2011 1:24:11 AM

LinX and Prime95 are stressing tools. they load the cpu up to 100% and keep it there until the you close the program or finish the run. if the cpu is overclocked and it runs either comfortably it is a safe overclock.

its all about stability. when you build your computer run prime 95 and furmark. if it doesnt get to hot while running these your fine
February 21, 2011 4:00:46 AM

thanks a lot you two...I'll definitely post in the OC forums after I get my desktop set up.

Apparently my buy is going to be delayed for 2 weeks =( hopefully the prices dont drastically change
February 22, 2011 1:21:17 AM

965 isnt that much more expensive than the 955...is there a reason why most people recommend the 955 BE for me?
February 22, 2011 7:02:05 PM

It's decided. I'm going to buy my computer parts in a week and a half so all the parts are ready to assemble when i get home!

Thanks every who has helped me out.

I would appreciate it if someone can answer my last post.
February 23, 2011 3:47:12 AM

bump
a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2011 6:21:39 AM

955BE could be had for $139.99 while 965BE is $20 top up - the difference could mean an after market HSF but if thats an insignificant top up your call hehe
February 23, 2011 1:49:39 PM

batuchka said:
955BE could be had for $139.99 while 965BE is $20 top up - the difference could mean an after market HSF but if thats an insignificant top up your call hehe



Ahh thanks! I'll just stick to the 955 then

If I want to OC, what HS/Cooler should I get?

and just a final checkup...are all the parts compatible and will they fit the mid tower that I chose?
a b 4 Gaming
February 23, 2011 3:48:24 PM

CM Hyper 212+
Scythe Mugen 2
Thermaltake Frio (if u can a good deal/price else better bang for above two)
February 23, 2011 8:35:38 PM

batuchka said:
CM Hyper 212+
Scythe Mugen 2
Thermaltake Frio (if u can a good deal/price else better bang for above two)


mugen no longer available i newegg so I'll just go for the CM HYPER 212+...read the reviews and seems awesome
February 23, 2011 11:37:29 PM

Apparently the motherboard I wanted as shown in my first post sold out on newegg because of its ridiculous sale price. I'm going to buy the computer prob next week so any suggestions on a motherboard similar to that one? or if I can order the same motherboard from somewhere else for cheap?
February 24, 2011 2:09:08 AM

K nvm so the motherboard isnt offered as cheap as in newegg =(

lmk other motherboard options I can use
February 24, 2011 6:29:54 AM

ASRock 870 extreme3, it's part of ASUSTeK's budget line of mobos. This board will support all your stuff, overclock decently and can run 2 cards at (8x/8x) which won't effect the performance of high-end cards.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You could also try a GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 if you don't like the previous.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm recommending those mobo's based on your original post. If you decide to go with 2 cores, you can probably save even more cash with a 790fx board.

Also if you really want massive GPU options, this board is 149 dollars, will support a 2core CPU and maybe even more with a bios update, and offers up to quad Crossfire speeds of (16x/16x), (16x/8x/8x), (8x,8x,8x,8x). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 24, 2011 9:56:07 PM

Thanks!
February 25, 2011 10:29:18 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm deciding on either this mobo above

or this one below

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

only if the one below is available within the next few days


What do you guys think?

And just a last checkup before I place my order on probably Sunday...if everything looking compatible to you guys?

This is my revised build (nothing much changed)

Processor: Phenom II X4 955BE
Graphics Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB GPU
Power Supply: Corsair TX 750W (80+ Cert)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
CPU Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212+
Ram: A-DATA GAMING SERIES 4 GB (2x2 GB) 240-Pin DDR3
Motherboard: ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6GB/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD http://www.newegg.com/Product/...?Item=N82E16813131647
Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0 GB/s
CD/DVD drive: ASUS 24x Dvd Burner


With this build...

I should be able to OC at about 3.8 GHz right?

And also...what program or how do you clock the 6950 2GB to the 6970?

edited
February 26, 2011 12:24:13 AM

I replaced the CM psu with the corsair one listed above

Also replaced the g skill ripjaws because I heard from a credible AMD member that lots of problems have been coming up with amd evo mobos with the g skills

I replaced them with the A-DATA gaming 4gb series as listed above

Please lmk if u can answer the questions above
a b 4 Gaming
February 26, 2011 7:49:30 AM

Stick to the Asrock 870Extreme3 suggested earlier - 8/8 cf capability vs 16/4 in that Asus 870 whilst coming at a lower price point....

Just with any sort of unlocking: getting 6950 unlocked to 6970 is to be seen as a bonus not a given but here is the relevant info
http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...
February 26, 2011 2:47:10 PM

batuchka said:
Stick to the Asrock 870Extreme3 suggested earlier - 8/8 cf capability vs 16/4 in that Asus 870 whilst coming at a lower price point....

Just with any sort of unlocking: getting 6950 unlocked to 6970 is to be seen as a bonus not a given but here is the relevant info
http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcar...


I don't plan on crossfiring (not until late into the future and that's when I have more $ to spend for a better mobo)
Just want something that will last a long time after OC/gaming for few years

Idk if ASROCK is a good enough company to provide good/lasting components like MSI or ASUS
Frankly I don't trust ASROCK that much :(  and am willing to spend a few more bucks to get something I trust

But...these are the mobos I am considering (but please feel free to add any) and I listed my dilemmas along with each


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Never heard of ASROCK and I don't trust it as much as ASUS or MSI etc

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... MSI but not too many reviews to see if its good for OC/etc

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Sold out but should I get this if it's available by tomorrow?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Again, ASROCK but not many reviews


I understand that the 870 motherboard is a little more "newer" than the 790/770....but is there really a big difference to choose the 870 over the 790 when gaming/OC?
Also, should I trust ASROCK (I understand that ASUS is their parent company but still...ASUS doesnt make it necessarily)?


Overall I want a mobo that fulfills the following:

At least 1 2.0x16 PCI express slot (which almost every mobo has now) - don't need crossfiring capabilities
Parts that will last a long time after OC
I will be using a 11'' GPU so something that won't block any important slots on the mobo
ddr3 1600 support
3.0 USB
6.0 GB/s SATA

I really like the MSI one I posted since it fulfills all of the parts I want but can anyone tell me with confidence that it's ok to OC with that mobo easily? Well let me know what you guys think

Thanks in advance
!