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$700 First Gaming Build

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June 3, 2011 2:08:24 AM

Hey Toms Hardware! Kind of new to this, and I have recently saw that making your own computer is very valuable and cost effective. I am also looking to get a Computer for playing Starcraft II and possibly aim to get a playable FPS on BF3 when it comes out.

Hopefully I can make a very powerful low budget PC.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 Weeks

Budget Range: 750 max After MIR

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Starcraft II, BF3, Crysis II, gaming, and movies, office work/study.

Parts Not Required: I already have the PNY 1GB Non OC Version of the GTX 460 (Just bought it, still returnable(bought for my dell pc)) I'm planning to add another one later on. If there is a better GPU I should get and still under budget please suggest if I should upgrade or not. Monitor. I also have a 550W BFG PSU, should I upgrade? This PSU is about 2-3 years old and not returnable.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any place that's cheap and ships very cheaply to the US. I also have a microcenter 20min away.

Country of Origin: In the USA.

Parts Preferences: Not really any preferences. I don't really have any idea what's the best other than i5-2500k is the best CPU for gaming.

Overclocking: Yes, a way to make it even more cost effective and get better performance.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future.

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: Style.

More about : 700 gaming build

June 3, 2011 2:29:00 AM

do you need an OS? and is the cost of it included in the budget?
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June 3, 2011 2:33:56 AM

Not included in budget.
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June 3, 2011 2:59:43 AM

Underlight said:
Hey Toms Hardware! Kind of new to this, and I have recently saw that making your own computer is very valuable and cost effective. I am also looking to get a Computer for playing Starcraft II and possibly aim to get a playable FPS on BF3 when it comes out.

Hopefully I can make a very powerful low budget PC.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 Weeks

Budget Range: 750 max After MIR

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Starcraft II, BF3, Crysis II, gaming, and movies, office work/study.

Parts Not Required: I already have the PNY 1GB Non OC Version of the GTX 460 (Just bought it, still returnable(bought for my dell pc)) I'm planning to add another one later on. If there is a better GPU I should get and still under budget please suggest if I should upgrade or not. Monitor. I also have a 550W BFG PSU, should I upgrade? This PSU is about 2-3 years old and not returnable.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any place that's cheap and ships very cheaply to the US. I also have a microcenter 20min away.

Country of Origin: In the USA.

Parts Preferences: Not really any preferences. I don't really have any idea what's the best other than i5-2500k is the best CPU for gaming.

Overclocking: Yes, a way to make it even more cost effective and get better performance.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future.

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Additional Comments: Style.



this is what i got for u and will be compatible with bulldozer ;D, if you can still return the gtx 460 get the hd 6870 i put in the links, then u can crossfire and get perfect performance

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


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June 3, 2011 3:01:38 AM

well just saw you already have a psu, dont knw if its good, but if you plan on crossfire in the future the corsair i put on the links will do it for the hd 6870's
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June 3, 2011 6:48:16 AM

If you like AMD and want to future upgrade to Bulldozer or Zambezi then this is what you will need-

ASUS M5A88-V EVO AM3+ AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this is cutting edge AMD:
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More expensive now but will wear well in the future. My budget is the same And I'm considering it.
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June 3, 2011 10:08:10 AM

With megagabobes build will I be able to OC the AMD CPU, and is it much different from the i5-2500k will it be better for the future when Bulldozer comes or?

Thanks for the helpful reply!
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June 3, 2011 2:29:58 PM

Underlight said:
With megagabobes build will I be able to OC the AMD CPU, and is it much different from the i5-2500k will it be better for the future when Bulldozer comes or?

Thanks for the helpful reply!


The i5 2500k is faster, but the fps difference is not noticeable while gaming, you could game on any of the two cpus with any gpu and you wont feel a defference
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June 3, 2011 2:32:23 PM

Underlight said:
With megagabobes build will I be able to OC the AMD CPU, and is it much different from the i5-2500k will it be better for the future when Bulldozer comes or?

Thanks for the helpful reply!

and with my build you will be able to upgrade to bulldozer with just a BIOS update, enough future proof in my opinion
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June 3, 2011 3:50:39 PM

crossfire requires game-specific drivers and support by the game's developers to function properly. without this support, you can actually see decreased performance. you can disable crossfire with a click however, and use a single card when this happens.
this is the biggest downside to multi-card setups, games dont always support them (but most mainstream games do)

on a side note: megagabobe is absolutely incorrect to say that you could game on any gpu and see no difference between the 955 and i5-2500k:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/990fx-sli-am3,2953-...
the linked benchmark shows a 980 (this is a HIGHER clocked 955) vs an i5-2400 (a lower clocked i5-2500k). In many games you will see no difference if your GPU is bottlenecking. However, blizzard games (like WoW and SCII) can rely heavily on the processor. You will absolutely notice a difference between the two processors during a large 2v2 battle in SC2 at ultra settings.
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June 3, 2011 4:05:16 PM

I know that WoW is a very CPU reliant game, but is Starcraft II CPU reliant? I'm Masters and I want the best possible performance/quality.

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June 3, 2011 4:41:38 PM

Okay but say I upgrade to Bulldozer later on in August, if it will be better than Intel's SB CPU's will this AMD setup right now be a better investment? What do you guys recommend? I can't decide between AMD and Intel.
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June 3, 2011 4:43:30 PM

But I do get the i5 2500k for 179 from micro center, but then my budget goes way up T_T
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June 3, 2011 6:41:50 PM

I would go for the amd, bro the 955 is just $115!! and its performance is very good in my opinion, im sure you will max out starcraft 2 with that cpu, i played it on max with a core 2 duo e7400 in 2vs2 battles and run fine the %80 on the time, i just had some flickering some times
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June 3, 2011 6:43:45 PM

then you can change to a phenom ii x6, or the bulldozer 8 cores, you have plenty future upgrade paths, and they said the range of prices for new amd bulldozer cpu will be from $150-$300, not expensive at all and are supposed to be better than sandy bridge
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June 3, 2011 8:59:21 PM

Can I Overclock the AMD. and by how much? Should I/can I?
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June 3, 2011 11:53:42 PM

commandercup said:
Can I Overclock the AMD. and by how much? Should I/can I?

yes you can, with the stock cooler you can get it lo like 3.6ghz-3.7ghz with an aftermarket cooler you can get 4ghz or past that
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June 3, 2011 11:57:08 PM

Wow I'm stealing this build.
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June 4, 2011 12:06:25 AM

commandercup said:
Wow I'm stealing this build.

go ahead haha, in my opinion is one of the best budget builds you can make
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June 4, 2011 12:10:04 AM

commandercup said:
Wow I'm stealing this build.

little by little you can turn this build into a beast, you still have several upgrade paths
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June 4, 2011 3:40:02 AM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor... Tom's itself shows you that even the cheapest quad-core Sandy Bridge will destroy a 955. Now don't get me wrong I like AMD but as it stands right know they have nothing on Sandy Bridge. Second comment if we are going to consider future upgrads it has been stated before (and im pretty sure it was on Tom's) that the majority of Sandy Bridge motherboards will be compatible with Ivy Bridge which will be released 2012 and that give you time to save up. Personally for $700 I would buy this:
Cpu-$225 i5 2500k or
$185 i5 2300
Motherboard-$145 Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3 or
$115 Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H or
$133 MSI P67A-G45
Video Card- Already Have
PSU- As of now I think your fine but for SLi
-$110 Corsair TX750 Any decent 650-750w psu will be fine for 460 Sli I think
Case- Really Subjective I personally like NZXT, CoolerMaster, Corsair(Highend imho)
-CoolerMaster HAF series is good
-NZXT M59, Phantom(Very nice), others
-Corsair 600T, 800D
RAM- Corsair, GSkill, Kingston are the ones I perfer, anything DDR3 1.5v and probably 1600mhz
HDD- Westren Digital or Samsung F3, again depends on how much storage you want
DvD- Any $20 one will do imho
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June 4, 2011 5:06:05 AM

mgf derp said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor... Tom's itself shows you that even the cheapest quad-core Sandy Bridge will destroy a 955. Now don't get me wrong I like AMD but as it stands right know they have nothing on Sandy Bridge. Second comment if we are going to consider future upgrads it has been stated before (and im pretty sure it was on Tom's) that the majority of Sandy Bridge motherboards will be compatible with Ivy Bridge which will be released 2012 and that give you time to save up. Personally for $700 I would buy this:
Cpu-$225 i5 2500k or
$185 i5 2300
Motherboard-$145 Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3 or
$115 Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H or
$133 MSI P67A-G45
Video Card- Already Have
PSU- As of now I think your fine but for SLi
-$110 Corsair TX750 Any decent 650-750w psu will be fine for 460 Sli I think
Case- Really Subjective I personally like NZXT, CoolerMaster, Corsair(Highend imho)
-CoolerMaster HAF series is good
-NZXT M59, Phantom(Very nice), others
-Corsair 600T, 800D
RAM- Corsair, GSkill, Kingston are the ones I perfer, anything DDR3 1.5v and probably 1600mhz
HDD- Westren Digital or Samsung F3, again depends on how much storage you want
DvD- Any $20 one will do imho

its not about which one destroys whom, $115 for the 955 is a very good deal and will give you the performance to max out anything
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!