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New under 1000$ Budget/Performance Build

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April 21, 2011 11:28:08 AM

First some history:

I am upgrading from a system I built about 5 years ago.
Current system specs are:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800 Manchester Socket 939 running @ 2ghz

Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI Mobo (Award F7 bios)

4GB (4 X 1GB) Corsair PC3200 DDR - Just upgraded to 4 from 2 and didn't really see any performance increase. For some reason only 3 GB is showing up in windows. (4 shows in CPU-Z)

Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB x2 (SLi) - Just did this upgrade as well.. Found a card on ebay for 30$. Didn't see any improvement really.

WD 74GB 10000 rpm Raptor

WD 160GB 7200 (Blue I think)

Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I had to replace the graphics card about 2 years ago. Besides that the system is still running OK. After doing the few "upgrades" to the ram and SLi with another card my computer gets blue screen errors every 2nd or third time I turn it on. I will probably give this current setup to my wife after taking out one of the graphics cards and the 2GB ram to make it stable again.

I plan to yank the raptor and use it with an SSD in new build.





Approximate Purchase Date: 2-3 Weeks

Budget Range: 800-1000 Before [mail in] rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming(CSS,LoL,Eve,D3,newer games as they come out), Schoolwork(MS Office etc..), Surfing

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Ive used newegg in the past; but lower prices on same exact part would be a valid reason for me to use another trusted site.

Country of Origin: Oregon, United States

Parts Preferences: I don't really have one. Ive only built one PC in the past and heard AMD is better for gaming; they also seem to be less expensive. Also in the past ive went with Nvidia but would like to try ATI; again if one is better suited for my needs I have no preference.

Overclocking: Maybe - I have not done this before, but I have seen some folks talk about unlocking Phenom II dual cores and OC'ing. Is this worth the 50-70$ ill save since I havn't done it?

SLI or Crossfire: No - not yet atleast, I just want a good solid single card.

Monitor Resolution: Currently 1680x1050 and this seems to suit me well.

Additional Comments: Basically looking for good gaming performance for several years to come - without spending a fortune.


Here is the parts I have selected thus far:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - Combo price 231.98

HIS H687F1G2M Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - Combo price 199.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
COOLER MASTER GX Series RS650-ACAAE3-US 650W ATX12V v2.31 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - Combo price 109.98

Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Price 134.99

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Price 34.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Price 99.99

Total : 811.92

I probably need to throw a monitor in there so wife can have this 22".

Let me know if I left anything out.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
enjken
April 21, 2011 12:00:17 PM

Not a bad build overall...

CPU - The Phenom X4 955 / 965 / 970 are all the same CPU with the multiplier being different from the factory. And, since they are all Black Edition processors, you can purchase the 955 and set the multiplier in the BIOS to the 970 settings (or overclock it higher). No need to spend extra money here...

MB - Not bad. Only 1 PCIe 16x slot, but no big deal if you never plan on running a second GPU.

GPU - The HD 6870 is a good card, but the HIS is kinda pricey at $200. The HIS, Powercooler, Gigabyte and Saphire cards are all cheaper... At that price mark, I would go with the HD 6950 below.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU - The Cooler Master unit is OK at best, but IMHO stick with Antec, Corsair, XFX or SeaSonic. If you are considering a second GPU down the road, then up the PSU to an 850w model.
Antec 650w => http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD - No additional drive? If this was overlooked, the Samsung F3 1TB is a good option @ $55.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Do you have a Microcenter near you? They have some CPU + MB bundles that would save some money, and the Hyper 212+ is cheaper..

EDIT: With an $800 budget, you are getting into an Intel Sandy Bridge install. I am sure someone will have a good build option with SB for you in 3... 2... 1...
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April 21, 2011 12:26:35 PM

enjken said:
First some history:

I am upgrading from a system I built about 5 years ago.
Current system specs are:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800 Manchester Socket 939 running @ 2ghz

Gigabyte GA-K8N-SLI Mobo (Award F7 bios)

4GB (4 X 1GB) Corsair PC3200 DDR - Just upgraded to 4 from 2 and didn't really see any performance increase. For some reason only 3 GB is showing up in windows. (4 shows in CPU-Z)

Nvidia GeForce 8600 GTS 256 MB x2 (SLi) - Just did this upgrade as well.. Found a card on ebay for 30$. Didn't see any improvement really.

WD 74GB 10000 rpm Raptor

WD 160GB 7200 (Blue I think)

Acer AL2216Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I had to replace the graphics card about 2 years ago. Besides that the system is still running OK. After doing the few "upgrades" to the ram and SLi with another card my computer gets blue screen errors every 2nd or third time I turn it on. I will probably give this current setup to my wife after taking out one of the graphics cards and the 2GB ram to make it stable again.

I plan to yank the raptor and use it with an SSD in new build.





Approximate Purchase Date: 2-3 Weeks

Budget Range: 800-1000 Before [mail in] rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming(CSS,LoL,Eve,D3,newer games as they come out), Schoolwork(MS Office etc..), Surfing

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Ive used newegg in the past; but lower prices on same exact part would be a valid reason for me to use another trusted site.

Country of Origin: Oregon, United States

Parts Preferences: I don't really have one. Ive only built one PC in the past and heard AMD is better for gaming; they also seem to be less expensive. Also in the past ive went with Nvidia but would like to try ATI; again if one is better suited for my needs I have no preference.

Overclocking: Maybe - I have not done this before, but I have seen some folks talk about unlocking Phenom II dual cores and OC'ing. Is this worth the 50-70$ ill save since I havn't done it?

SLI or Crossfire: No - not yet atleast, I just want a good solid single card.

Monitor Resolution: Currently 1680x1050 and this seems to suit me well.

Additional Comments: Basically looking for good gaming performance for several years to come - without spending a fortune.


Here is the parts I have selected thus far:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - Combo price 231.98

HIS H687F1G2M Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - Combo price 199.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
COOLER MASTER GX Series RS650-ACAAE3-US 650W ATX12V v2.31 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - Combo price 109.98

Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Price 134.99

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Price 34.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Price 99.99

Total : 811.92

I probably need to throw a monitor in there so wife can have this 22".

Let me know if I left anything out.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
enjken



First thinggs first, intel is using much newer technology now for processors compared to nvidia. Its so much so that an intel 2nd gen dual core is actually better for gaming than a phenom 970 BE (Which is a slightly faster clocked version of your processor). Once you get to quad core.. well the performance all across the board of the newest intel processors blow away AMD, at almost every price point. I'm not an intel fan, thats just how it is, and 99% of the forummers here will back this up, even the AMD fanboys.

Here is a site that you can use to COMPARE different processors/gpus etc. Heres a comparison between the processor u currently picked and the i5 2500k. Its got loads of benchmarks, some are for gaming, some are for encoding/winzip (In this case, lower numbers are better, i.e. extracting a file in 5 seconds is better than extracting in 30). Basically, the i5 2500k owns the 965 in each and every benchmark, by a significant margin. i.e. in WoW 74 fps for the 965, 120 for the i5 2500k. AMD is releasing their next gen processors later this year, but as of now are nothing compared to intels processors.

If you have a microcenter store near you, they sell i5 2500k's for $180-190. I can't recommend it with your budget, plus the fact you need a monitor in that budget as well. I'd recommend an i5 2400 which is still better than every AMD processor easily. Note, this processor (without the 'k') cannot overclock much at all, but since you were 'maybe overclocking' it'll at least stop you from blowing your pc up. (hopefully).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E... $190.


Next, power supply: The GX series by cooler master has problems. Big problems. Do not buy it, invest in a decent power supply or you'll be sorry. Heres a very good power supply from XFX (Really improved its PSU's over the last year, and is now a top quality provider of PSU's, as they are made by seasonic, who make the best psus in the world).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59 after rebate. I know that the combo you bought it in means that it now costs $110 for your PSU+case, but,even though its $30 more, i just cannot let you buy that PSU. Many psu companies make poor quality psu's that do not deliver the full 650W that it says on the sticker under any conditions present in any computer and can blow up your system. The HAF 912 is a decent case, especially if you like its looks.

Ram: You only need 4GB for gaming and every day tasks. 8GB is a waste for your needs and budget, if you had a $1500 budget without needing a monitor, i would recommend 8GB- its worth it in a few years time, and does give a very slight performance increase, but at your budget, money can be better spent elsewhere. Good choice though, if u did get 8GB, you couldn't get much better ram for the price.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Mushkin $47, 4gb 1600MHZ ram, slightly better quality than g.skill (negligible and arguable, but thats what people ive talked to think). Or get the 4gb version of what you selected ; http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $50, The $50 looks better but you can value that.

Hyper 212 is good, not exactly necessary if not overclocking, but a good idea, so keep it. $35. Your pick so follow your own link

Case: Cooler master 912 $50AR. Your pick, so you have link.

I don't know about you but you need a Cd/DVD burner ¬ Any generic $20-25 one that takes your fancy and is from a decent brand. i.e. line on, samsung, sony LG asus..

Which leaves us $600 for... graphics, monitor, mobo and perhaps an SSD.

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Tentative pick, im not a mobo specialist, but this is one of the cheaper mobos that support sli at 8x/8x (which u indicated you were interested in in the future) and is from a good brand and also a good series $150.

monitor: I'm even more tentative to recommend a monitor. This is cheap, LED and 23", full hd (1920x1080) but is apparently below average in features and probably quality. Its $160, but id set aside $200-250 for a better monitor.

Graphics... this ones your choice, for the games you selected well.... Plus, im going to assume you are giving your 1680x1050 monitor and get a 1920x1080 monitor.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $200 AR. The overall build costs just shy of $1080¬, so if you can't afford this much on the PC, drop down to a GTX 460 768mb, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... This card is legendary, and last of a dying breed. 2 of these will equal a GTX 570.

HDD (You missed this out before): The WD blue is basically an 'eco drive' which is an excuse for having a slow HDD. Obviously a slow mini cooper is more fuel efficient than a $4 million ferrari or w/e..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Cheapest and fastest 1TB HDD you'll find. The 500GB version is only $5 less, so no point getting the 500Gb version.

Total price, if monitor is $200 and mobo is $150 is $990¬ after some rebates. Combo deals can be found if you add each p No SSD sorry :( . Plus you need windows 7 if you don't have a copy $100, so if u don't have one and can't up your budget, drop down to a GTX 460 768mb that i linked you..

Upgrades to consider if you are perhaps willing to add a few more dollars to the PC fund, or some products i have listed/equivalents are cheaper on the day of purchase, then these upgrade choices might come in handy. All are combo deals and useful.

You can consider getting an i5 2500k (overclockable) http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... with the cpu cooler you already picked for $250 (opposed to $190+35=225 right now).

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Instead of $150 for mobo, plus $50 for RAM, consider getting mobo plus 8GB of $110 ram for $235 ($35 for the extra 4GB of 1600MHZ ram. Plus, 2 sets of 2x2GB ram are slower than a set of 2x4GB ram, so a future 4GB set would be slower than $35 spent now).
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April 21, 2011 3:02:29 PM

I would go with the I5 2500k the phenom II 965 isn't in the same ball park as the new sandy bride cpu's. Also the I52500k use less voltage and runs way cooler. You will also have good overclocking and will be future proof for a couple of years. Stay clear of amd as of now!!
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April 21, 2011 3:42:19 PM

This is a solid good Case for ventalation
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

This is a good psu for overclocking and has plenty of hookups
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Good cheap Harddrive
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Excellent memory 8gb of ram and 20$ rebate it's a steal
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Good mobo with sli and crossfire support + good overclocking
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

i5 2500k
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Excellent cpu cooler
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Descent ssd will speed boot time and make your computer run like a dream
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Excellent powerful video card and you could add a crossfire setup in the future to make it even more powerful.
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

My build comes out to $1,009 and it has 8gb of memory a good psu, a solid motherboard for overclocking and a really good video card and even has a ssd drive. I would conclude that I left the monitor out because that is something that you can add in the future. If you want a powerful gaming it's better to spend the most you can on hardware and then add in secondary parts in the future. You well be able of overclocked this build and you can add more memory and a secondary video card in the future.
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April 21, 2011 9:37:16 PM

Thank you for the replies.

Keeping current monitor, keyboard, mouse, and 74gb raptor. EDIT: I already have a copy of Windows 7 - recently bought a 3-pack.

Using your posts and looking some more I have come up with this:

ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - 234.98
Thanks for recommend.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - 251.98
Thanks for recommend.

HIS IceQ X Turbo H685QNT1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 189.99
I think a 6850 will be sufficient for the games I play. The only fps I touch at the moment is Steam platform. These HIS cards seem to be solid with good reviews.

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 74.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 59.99

Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820148357 - 134.99

Total: 946.92 - Still under budget with SSD.

Also I am going to use the 74gb raptor from old build as well. I wont need more storage trust me. Ran off the 74gb raptor for 5 years.

What do you guys think?
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April 21, 2011 9:55:08 PM

Hmmmm it looks like a pretty sweet build. If it was me, I would need another HDD, like the 1 TB Samsung F3 mentioned above. But if you don't need more space then you don't need another drive.

If you want to use your entire budget, the only place I could see you spending the extra $60 would be on a better video card. The 6850 is an awesome card for 1680x1050 resolutions, and you probably shouldnt have much trouble playing even the newer games on highest settings at that resolution. But if you ever wanna buy a new 1920x1080 monitor, you would be better off with a 6870 or even better, a 6950.
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April 22, 2011 2:23:04 AM

A 2500k is a beast CPU, true, but games are more heavily GPU dependent so I would drop that 2500K for a non K CPU and raise my GPU. Everything else is good, I have the Asus P8P67-M Pro and other than a SLI setup causing the cards to be really close to each other I have had zero complaints.
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April 22, 2011 2:48:34 AM

enjken said:
Thank you for the replies.

Keeping current monitor, keyboard, mouse, and 74gb raptor. EDIT: I already have a copy of Windows 7 - recently bought a 3-pack.

Using your posts and looking some more I have come up with this:

ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - 234.98
Thanks for recommend.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - 251.98
Thanks for recommend.

HIS IceQ X Turbo H685QNT1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 189.99
I think a 6850 will be sufficient for the games I play. The only fps I touch at the moment is Steam platform. These HIS cards seem to be solid with good reviews.

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 74.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 59.99

Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820148357 - 134.99

Total: 946.92 - Still under budget with SSD.

Also I am going to use the 74gb raptor from old build as well. I wont need more storage trust me. Ran off the 74gb raptor for 5 years.

What do you guys think?


The EA650W psu is really solid, but its $75 and many years old now (MANY) and the XFX650W psu i recommended is either late 2010 or early 2011 from the top of my head, and $17 cheaper. Plus its better now (new technology).
The HD 6850 is an excellent card yes, HIS isn't that great, but its 'solid.' However, the card i recommended 560Ti, is around 30% better and $10 more. Heres a comparison between the 6850 and the 560Ti

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/291?vs=330

140fps vs 90 fps is the most one sided benchmark i saw, but most of the tests see the 560Ti 35-50% ahead in fps, for $10 more! Plus, at idle temp its only 28 degrees, vs the 6850 at over 40. For the sake of the future life and value for money, its a steal. That 6850 @ $190 is also a very expensive model, and not great. middle of the line model more like. The 6870 sells for around $190, but also suffers at the hands of the $200 560Ti i listed, as can be seen here:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/290?vs=330

The 560Ti at gamer quality settings, at 1680x1050 res with 4AA on crysis 2 gives a minimum fps rate of 28~. your fps should always be above 30 to be considered 'playable', as 30fps is the 'golden' number - The minimum fps required to properly play a game. So.. the 6850 will struggle in the more demanding games at that resolution, even today. So in a little while... ...
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