Tweaking the $500 gaming rig?

I have tweaked the Tom's reccomended $500 gaming rig a little... (I posted recently with the intention of building based off some old parts I had, but yesterday received unexpected funds). I am trying to keep it right around $500. I have a case, monitor. The current build below comes in at $492. Any small (inexpensive) tweaks I could do to improve upon this build would be great. Also, I do not want to have to overclock, and I prefer to buy from Newegg.com.

AMD Phenom II x4 925
I can get the AMD Phenom IIx4 945 for $10 more, the 955 Black Edition for $20 more... but is it worth the extra 10 or 20 dollars?
AS Rock M3A770DE Motherboard
4GB g.Skill DDR3 RAM
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video card
I can get teh Radeon 6870 for $20 more or the 6950 for $60 more... how much "better" are they?
Antec Earthwatts 380W Power Source
the reccomended build says this power source will do... other things I read say I need at least 400W, but preferably 500 or 600... do I?
Lite-On 24x DVD Burner
Seagate Barracuda 500GB Hard Drive
people have mixed opinions over whether the Seagate or the Western Digital are more reliable.. they are the same price, but which has a better track record?

Also, I am not opposed to intel.. I just don't know enough to compare intel with the AMD, I have always used AMD processors.
8 answers Last reply
More about tweaking gaming
  1. Any suggestions at all? I would like to pull the trigger on this order tonight when I get out of work, but I wanted to make sure there wasnt something else I should be considering. Thank you again.
  2. I would step up to the 955 well worth the $20 IMO. If you don't this combo saves you on the 925 & 6850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.637554

    Also there is a 5850 that is cheaper than that 6850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102932 It outperforms the 6850 due to more stream processors: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/295?vs=291

    The 6870 is gonna be better than both the 5850/6850: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/295?vs=290 But your looking at 3-6 fps or so for $40-60 bucks

    Here is the 6950 1GB vs the 5850: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/295?vs=331 So around 10+fps for about $100 bucks more

    If you do step up to the 5850 or 6870 I would recommend stepping up your PSU to 400W or more here are a few decent deals: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007657%20600014020%20600036434&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&CompareItemList=58|17-207-012^17-207-012-TS%2C17-815-008^17-815-008-TS%2C17-371-035^17-371-035-TS%2C17-341-016^17-341-016-S01%23 (all these PSU's have 2 pci-e connectors that are needed for the 5850/6870)
  3. Lite-On DVD Writer

    Seagate Barracuda 500GB Hard Drive

    4 GB G.Skill RAM

    AsRock Motherboard

    XIGMATEK 500W Power Supply

    Radeon HD 5850 XTreme 1GB

    AMD Phenom II x4 955 Black Edition


    All said and done - $492 before MIR

    Does this look like a good build? Will that motherboard suffice for my needs? (Thank you for the previous advice)
  4. Pretty decent for $500. The mobo should be fine, doesn't have usb3 and sata3 but those don't effect gaming at all.
  5. One more question, will this system be cool enough? My house runs warm, I wouldn't want these parts to overheat.
  6. should be ok.
  7. imaurer269 said:
    I would step up to the 955 well worth the $20 IMO. If you don't this combo saves you on the 925 & 6850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.637554

    Also there is a 5850 that is cheaper than that 6850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102932 It outperforms the 6850 due to more stream processors: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/295?vs=291

    The 6870 is gonna be better than both the 5850/6850: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/295?vs=290 But your looking at 3-6 fps or so for $40-60 bucks

    Here is the 6950 1GB vs the 5850: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/295?vs=331 So around 10+fps for about $100 bucks more

    If you do step up to the 5850 or 6870 I would recommend stepping up your PSU to 400W or more here are a few decent deals: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007657%20600014020%20600036434&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&CompareItemList=58|17-207-012^17-207-012-TS%2C17-815-008^17-815-008-TS%2C17-371-035^17-371-035-TS%2C17-341-016^17-341-016-S01%23 (all these PSU's have 2 pci-e connectors that are needed for the 5850/6870)



    correct me if im wrong cause i never have owned a AMD cpu but cant he get the 925 and then overclock it the the 3.4 ghz that the 965 runs at on the stock heat sink?
  8. kilcan said:
    Also, I do not want to have to overclock, and I prefer to buy from Newegg.com.


    Anonymous said:
    correct me if im wrong cause i never have owned a AMD cpu but cant he get the 925 and then overclock it the the 3.4 ghz that the 965 runs at on the stock heat sink?


    He could overclock the 925 but since he didn't want to the 25 bucks for going from 2.8GHZ to 3.2GHz is worth it. Also the 925 dose not have an unlocked multiplier like the 955 so if he ever does decide to overclock it would be much easier with the 955.
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