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Helping a friend build a new gaming rig ($650)

Last response: in Systems
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May 12, 2011 4:00:24 AM

This is what i have come up with:

CASE:
Antec 300 Illusion ($69.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066
HDD:
WD 500GB ($44.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073
MOBO:
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO ($88.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131402
GPU:
XFX HD 6870 ($194.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150506
PSU:
Corsair 650W ($89.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139005
RAM:
G.SKILL 4GB ($39.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277
CPU:
Phenom II X4 955 ($124.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103808

Total Shipped: $653.93

I was looking to see if everything looked ok or if there is anything i should change before he actually buys everything. Gonna be used for gaming mostly.
May 12, 2011 4:13:55 AM

Looks good, but I would swap that 6870 for a 5850, it's about the same performance but it's cheaper. http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Radeon-PCI-Express-Graph...
Also swap the mobo for this one, it's got more features for 1 dollar more. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Honestly though, I would suggest getting an i3-2100 as it will perform better than a 955. However, you won't be crossfiring with a 2100 as most of the h61/h67 mobo's dont support crossfire.
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May 12, 2011 4:55:21 AM

I think we are gonna stick with the 6870 because its newer tech. That and i read that with new drivers the 6870 is like 6% better than the 5850. Yeah the 5850 is cheaper but he was thinking down the road (like 2 years) he may add another 6870 when they are cheaper. I read 6870s crossfire better than 5850s too.

I thought about the i3 but it's only duel core. How would the newer games coming out (that utilize 4 cores) perform on the i3 versus an actual quad core cpu? Also wouldn't the Phenom be sort of more future proof, even though it's older than the i3? I mean if the performance with the i3 is really going to be noticeable then i'm sure he would pass on the future crossfire idea. I'm just paranoid about more and more things taking advantage of quad core down the line.

I think i will switch to that ASRock motherboard though. My only concern about it is that the ram i picked is 1600 and the motherboard supports it but only with overclocks? I'm not really sure how to overclock anything.
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May 12, 2011 5:05:31 AM

The i3 is a dual core, but it has Hyper Threading. This makes it effectively a quad core.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=289
As you can see, the 2100 is better than the 955 by a sizable margin in gaming. It's because of the newer tech.

As for the RAM question, it's easy. just set it to 1600MHz in the bios. Nothing to it.
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May 12, 2011 12:31:51 PM

Phenom's architecture is not as fast as the sandy bridge architecture in gaming, it might be better for multi tasking (the phenom) but in gaming the i3 2100 its a bit more powerfull :)  as for the grafic card if u plan to Xfire your choice is more powerfull than 5850 that alone performs just a tiny bit slower.
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May 12, 2011 6:33:54 PM

Don't get me wrong, that Phenom II will game just fine now, but I have to back striker on this...you really should go with Sandy Bridge. There is no future with an AM3 build. Period.

However, if you go LGA 1155 now, you can upgrade to an i5 or i7 down the road with just a CPU purchase. If you stay with AM3 you'll need to buy both a CPU and motherboard when you need to upgrade.

EDIT:
Aside from the CPU and board you listed, you've got a solid build. $40 more spent now is well worth it.

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Processor-i3-2100-LGA1155-B... <-- Intel Core i3-2100 $124.99
http://www.amazon.com/MSI-P67A-G43-B3-Intel-Motherboard... <-- MSI P67A-G43 $129.99

The following are solid alternatives to what you have listed that will free up some cash.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <-- XFX 'XXX Edition' 650w PSU $58.99 after rebate, plus it's semi-modular
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <-- Rosewill Challenger case $54.99
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