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Mid level gaming PC advice, best bang for your buck

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April 5, 2011 11:55:31 PM

So I've been looking into building a PC for a long time, but lacked the technical knowhow until recently. Im comfortable enough while working around electronics now (I'm an electrical engineering student) and im knowledgeable enough about computers to know that i can have an absolutely awesome PC if i build it. my main concern is power, I already have a 21.5 inch 1080p LED backlit monitor from ASUS, and it would be silly to not be able to fully utilize it, so i need a decent graphics card.

anyway, main uses: decent gaming, MATLAB, simulation software, media center?
build date: may
O/C: Will try
SLI/Crossfire: maybe.. probably not

Ive been shopping through newegg's weekly deals, and already purchased a PSU on sale...

PSU: Corsair 650W Modular
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

must be able to display on this:
Monitor: ASUS 21.5 inch, 1080p
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

i'm worried about not having enough power... Should i return it and get a 750 or 800? the rest of the components i still need to buy, so theyre flexible, and I'd love suggestions!

CPU: AMD 6 core, 3.2 GHZ
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mobo: i haven't settled yet... I want something that will be worth upgrading in the future, so i'm willing to spend money on it. definitely need help with this though..

ram: easy enough to pick. preferably 8 GB, but upgradeable.

GPU: tentatively, MSI Hawk ATI 6870 -its a little pricey for me, but if there is a HUGELY better one for a little more, i'll splurge.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: I was thinknig the antec Lanboy air, blue/black? but im open for suggestions. cooling is primary concern.


Anyway, Thanks so much for your help! Id appreciate any design suggestions!




More about : mid level gaming advice bang buck

April 6, 2011 12:05:29 AM

First, 650W Corsair is PLENTY for what you've got. You could even get by with less wattage, but that's a pretty good price for that PSU.

Second, why the 6-core AMD? Right now, the smart buy is Intel Sandy Bridge. Unless you are doing video encoding or something that actually uses 6 cores, it's not the right part for you. Take a look at the i5-2500 or i7-2600 processors. If overclocking is on the table, look for the parts with a "K" suffix (i.e. i7-2600K).

Your video card selection might depend on the games you plan to play @ 1920x1080. What games do you play?

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April 6, 2011 12:25:15 AM

+1 for the i5-2500K
def. a better buy for current games. None take advantage of all 6 cores.
a good video card, i'm an Nvidia person, so i'd go w/ something like the GeForce GTX 560 Ti.

As for a motherboard, i'd go w/ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (that is if you decide to go w/ Intel)
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April 6, 2011 12:32:22 AM

arges86 said:
+1 for the i5-2500K

As for a motherboard, i'd go w/ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (that is if you decide to go w/ Intel)


I really like that mobo.. sata 6 gb/s is definitely on my priorities list.

Do any programs actually use 6 cores? Just a passing thought, but virtual machines sound interesting, i imagine the 4 core cpu can handle it.

why i5 over an i7? if i may ask

Thanks again, I feel a little like a noob asking these kind of questions
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April 6, 2011 12:40:58 AM

rwpritchett said:
First, 650W Corsair is PLENTY for what you've got. You could even get by with less wattage, but that's a pretty good price for that PSU.

Second, why the 6-core AMD? Right now, the smart buy is Intel Sandy Bridge. Unless you are doing video encoding or something that actually uses 6 cores, it's not the right part for you. Take a look at the i5-2500 or i7-2600 processors. If overclocking is on the table, look for the parts with a "K" suffix (i.e. i7-2600K).

Your video card selection might depend on the games you plan to play @ 1920x1080. What games do you play?



oh good, i was a little nervous, but i know you can't go wrong with corsair.

I guess i was going for AMD because i've been told you're getting more bang for your buck, not specifically because i plan to be encoding huge amounts of video. I do want to be able to run pspice, matlab and other high level programs, with the option to add in a TV tuner/video recorder, but i'm not sure if that will happen now/ever.

Why would the Intel Sandy Bridge line be better? Just curious. O/C isnt a priority, more of a cuirosity. Longevity and overall performance is what I'm looking for.

My previous desktop is a relic, the last games I played religiously were Baldurs Gate through star wars knights of the old republic. At school I've been playing minecraft and civ iv on my laptop. But, I want to be able to play the star wars MMO thats coming out in a few months, even though it makes me feel like a huge dork, along with the new starcraft, perhaps crysis?
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April 6, 2011 12:46:29 AM

i think some programs, like Photoshop, and Encoding software (programs like Handbrake) can utilize all the cores. Games do not.
I'd go w/ the I5 because i don't think that the price increase to an i7 is worth it.
The i5 can be OCed nicely, and runs most games on par w/ its higher priced counterparts

Toms has many Sandybridge articles, on why they're good for gaming.
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