First desktop buying advice

The Plan: Build personal gaming desktop

The Games: Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Natural Selection 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Day of Defeat: Source, other various Valve games.

The Performance: I would like to run BC2 on AT LEAST middle to moderately high (preferably between middle and highest) settings and receive swell performance (70+ fps). If this is possible, the other games should be a breeze to run.

The Budget: I do not intend to pay more than $250 for a graphics card, yet I am open to any feedback on options within $200-$300 range.

The Preference: My spidey sense tells me nVidia, though I am open to any feedback regarding either nVidia and ATI/AMD.

If I am missing anything, inform me. I am open to suggestions or advice regarding any brand, and I am also open to general advice regarding my project as well.

Thanks.
20 answers Last reply
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  1. For $250 the best you are going to do is the GTX 470. This one in particular is a nice deal with the promo code and rebate;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121372
    If you are willing to go up to $300 the HD6950 can be unlocked into an HD6970 which makes it the best choice for the money on the high end;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102914
  2. How cool does it run? Im kicking myself for not mentioning something originally, but I would not like a hot system at all.
  3. Heat given off is directly related to the amount of power used by a card. Any high end card is going to use a good amount of power. The current Nvidia cards are not very power efficient. If you want something that is power efficient while still delivering good performance I would recommend the HD5850 or HD6950. If you do unlock the HD6950 however or start overclocking either card with a voltage increase they will use substantially more power and give off more heat.
  4. Ah right. Well I definitely will not be overclocking anyway. I understand the card will make alot of heat, I just get paranoid that it might burn out. Also, I am assuming a 650 watt supply will provide enough juice. I really appreciate your help.
  5. It's like evga-geforce-gtx-460-ftw-01g-p3-1378-tr-overclocked,2795-7.html article was written for you.

    look at the temp and power if your intrested.

    And yes 650 watt will be enough if it is a high quality power supply, what brand is yours?
  6. Premiumgoodale said:
    Ah right. Well I definitely will not be overclocking anyway. I understand the card will make alot of heat, I just get paranoid that it might burn out. Also, I am assuming a 650 watt supply will provide enough juice. I really appreciate your help.

    Well even the Fermi(Nvidia) card are designed to handle the amount of heat they produce so I wouldn't worry about it too much. Plus the latest generations of video cards have good power scaling so when not actually being used for gaming they underclock themselves and use very little power/give off very little heat.
  7. The asus card jy mentioned is a great buy for $198. For $50 more, the 3% factory OC just doesn't seem worth it

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130549

    Here's a build I did about a month and a half ago .... prices may be outdated

    Case - $90 - Coolermaster HAF-922 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197
    Case Fans - Later - CM Red 200 mm http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103072
    PSU - $120 - Corsair HX750 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139010
    MoBo - $200 - Asus Sabertooth http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131665
    CPU - $295 - Intel i7-950 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115211
    Cooler - $40 - Scythe SCMG 2100 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185142
    TIM - $5 - Shin Etsu http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835150080
    RAM - $110 - 3 x 2GB Mushkin CAS 7 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226155
    GFX - $220 - EVGA GTX 460 SC http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130575
    GFX - Later - Same
    HD - $55 - Seagate 7200.12 1TB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148433
    SSD - Later - OCZ Vertex 2 3.5" 120GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227590
    DVD Writer - $19 - ASUS 24X DVD Writer http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204
    OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116754
    Monitor - $190 - ASUS VH242H1920x1080 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236052
    Keyboard - $45 - Logitech G110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126087
    Mouse - $30 - Logitech MX-518 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104318

    That came to $1519. Changes I'd make today are:

    The Asus 470 for $198 gives better performance at $22 cheaper.

    That will require upping the PSU to 850 watts though so as to accommodate a 2nd GFX card in SLI at a later date. Never going to overclock ? Wow, I'd have t see a custom built gaming rig that isn't OC'd is a rarity. No need to OC to the extreme where potential long term effects might exist.....however the MoBo will take you to BCLK 160 with a single click and I'd at leats reserve the ability to do so.

    To OC and use twin GFX however requires a high quality PSU. Adding the Corsair HX850 adds some $$ as it's $170 for a case / PSU combo of $280. The Antec DF85 full tower ($180) w/ CP-850 ($120) then becomes a viable alternative.

    Alternately, the XFX Black Edition is only $120 and an equal to both of those PSU's. However if ya sure ya not going to OC .... ever, a Corsair TX or Antec TP will serve as the 850 watter. If sticking w/ 1 GFX card, a EA-650 or TX650 will do just fine.
  8. Yeah, at least OCing the processor is a very good idea. Particularly the i5 or i7 tends to overclock easily and well. There is pretty much no real reason not to as it is very safe unless you do crazy stuff like jacking the voltage all the way up on the stock cooler and ignoring temps. Even then the current processors have built-in safety features that should kick in before you manage to damage anything.
  9. Thank you for that article! And also, I have not planned on OCing the processor unless I do get a separate heatsink & fan. I should have just posted my build ideas originally and could have saved you wonderful people some time.

    So here it is:

    Case - Antec Three Hundred - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042
    CPU - Intel Core i3 550 Dual Core - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115065
    Graphics Card - Asus ENGTX 470 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121372
    RAM - 4gb Crucial - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148262
    MOBO - Intel P55 Micro ATX - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121388
    PSU - Antec 650w - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371015
    HDD - WD640 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218
    CD/DVD - Dont care, I never ever write dvds. Ill get something simple and cheap, LiteOn or maybe Asus.
    Monitor - My Vizio tv bahaha! No really, please tell me if this is a bad idea!

    Nothin too fancy here and I feel like I know what I can get away with sacrificing without hindering what I am looking to do. I might up a few things like the CPU since I luckily wont be paying for it, but I love to compete with myself on trying to build an awesome machine while spending as little as possible. I plan on this lasting me a while with as few upgrades as possible, though I dont know why, I guess it is just the way I am.

    I just posted this to give you an example of my thought process and such: I dont see the need to build a $1500 machine when I can build something similar, but acceptable for ~$700. I do appreciate your input though, highly! And also, I do not mean to criticize your suggestion, I am just letting you know how my purchasing thought process works.

    Again, thank you for your suggestions and assistance! Feel free to help more on the components I have listed.
  10. And sorry, I did not manage to figure out how to make cool clickable links like you guys.
  11. You just tried too hard. You make the clickable links by just pasting them. The site does the rest.
    I would definitely up the CPU to a quad core, preferably an i5 but a Phenom II x4 would also be a good choice for the money
    This ram is cheaper, faster and comes equipped with heat spreader;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277
    This hard drive is the same price, larger and the fastest you can buy for a reasonable price;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185
    I would not recommend an Intel motherboard. There are better brands and often Intel boards don't even allow for the option of overclocking. If you can afford a bit more this Asus board is full ATX with more room for expansion/upgrades and has several more current features like USB 3.0 and 6 g/s SATA;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131634
    Here it is an a combo with an i5 to save some money;
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.564745
  12. Thanks! And thanks for those links... you patrol newegg like nobody I have ever seen. How is the quality of that RAM? I chose crucial because that is the only brand my manager would use when I built computers for customers back in the day, and there were NEVER any memory-related issues (or issues with our computers at all) with our customers.

    I appreciate your help. This has gotten to be quite interesting and informative for me, for I was thinking I could build a ballin machine for $600! I suppose I was just stuck in the glory days of working for an awesome local computer repair shop back in 2007 :kaola:
  13. Just check out the feedback on the ram, it's top notch. Crucial is a good brand but there are some other good ones as well.
    You can build something quite good for $600 but parts like the GTX 470 and an i5 are fairly high end and high end will require a bit more. What you can do is gather parts over time. Sign up for newegg's mailing list. A few times a week they will have new sales so keep an eye out for the best deals on parts you are interested in. Keeping an eye on the available combos is a good idea as well as they will change over time too. If it's still a bit more than you can spend scaling back to a Phenom II x4 system can save probably about $100 if you find a good combo.
    Oh yeah, the TV as a monitor... it's fine for gaming but for normal computer usage you may not like it. Is it 1080p and if so what size is the screen?
  14. If its fine for gaming then thats all that matters. Regular computing is minimum and I would rather be doing something else, or gaming ;). $800 is no problem at all, I would not like to go over 900 though, and the system I have "made" thru newegg is fantastic, thanks to your intelligent feedback. I have an i5 quad and gtx 470 no prob and I feel great!

    Thanks for your help, and keep on helping others, brother!
  15. Premiumgoodale said:
    The Plan: Build personal gaming desktop

    The Games: Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Natural Selection 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Day of Defeat: Source, other various Valve games.

    The Performance: I would like to run BC2 on AT LEAST middle to moderately high (preferably between middle and highest) settings and receive swell performance (70+ fps). If this is possible, the other games should be a breeze to run.

    The Budget: I do not intend to pay more than $250 for a graphics card, yet I am open to any feedback on options within $200-$300 range.

    The Preference: My spidey sense tells me nVidia, though I am open to any feedback regarding either nVidia and ATI/AMD.

    If I am missing anything, inform me. I am open to suggestions or advice regarding any brand, and I am also open to general advice regarding my project as well.

    Thanks.



    Do you play dod:s in FDL? Just curious because I don't see many people reference dod:s on this forum other than me ;)

    BTW I run an AMD phenom II x4 and even when I had my horrible ati 5770 I was @ about 200 - 250fps on texture maps in dods. I then had a 5870, 6850 and finally got a gtx 570. The 470 is a good choice. Since I went to nVidia graphics, I won't ever go back :)

    BTW I gotta give +1 to the ripjaws, especially if you get an AMD system. Mine clocks @ 1333 w/ timings of 7/7/7/24. Stable.
  16. HAHA Man I have no idea what you just said about FDL and and 7/7/7/24. I am a nub. 200 fps is not bad at all though, and once my fps goes above 60 I cant tell the difference. You'll laugh at my current system... a LAPTOP LMAO!

    2.1GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8100
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450
    3gb DDR2

    Thats all I need to say for a good laugh. I can run dods fine (40-60fps) on that, but it will heat my laptop up after a good while.

    My specialty is the mg42, and I tell ya... I am very deadly with it, especially on anzio. I usually rambo the hell out of allies on that map, and i have a few tricky deploy points, but im usually on the move ramboing.
  17. hehe well the 7/7/7/24 is the cas latency/timings of the RAM. AMD prefers lower latencies from what I've found, but higher frequency may be beneficial of Intel. IDK.

    FDL is the competitive DoDs league, teams of 6v6. Pretty nerdy I know lol.
    The league used to be CAL, then XPL, now FDL.
    The 570gtx will pull 400fps on stock maps, and you may not notice a difference above 60, but my accuracy and shot registration are better w/ higher fps.

    My best weapon is the m1, and I alternate between heavy (support) and rifles in matches.

    Anzio is one of the best stock maps (not my favorite) but when I do play in pubs it is usually on a Anzio, Aregentan (my favorite map) or Donner server. Check this video sometime: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DoFgTcoxkU&feature=player_embedded

    Add me through Steam if you want account Myrgatroid.

    Goodluck!
  18. Next time I log Steam i will add you. I dont think I was a part of XPL of FDL, but I do know that my old clan was a part of some match league in the summer of 09. Devils Brigade. An old member restarted the clan in DoD:S and I loved being a part of it. Unfortunately, many of our members had real world issues and priorities to attend to and now we are back to being inactive. Ill check that video later today as well as add you, man.

    Also, I know Sandy Bridge is releasing soon, should I wait to buy my processor until then? I probably will have to make a post like this again since I am not building until my laptop is about shot.
  19. Yeah, wait for the new processors. For now you seem to have the basics of what you are looking for so like I suggested earlier picking components up over time by keeping an eye on the sales can save you a good amount of money.
  20. if you look around you can get a a full system with a i5-760, 4gb of 1600 ram, and a hd6870 for around 850$... at least that was what i paid back in November when i built my new pc
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