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First time budget amd gaming build

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July 24, 2011 6:36:06 PM

Hello all,

I'm a first-timer looking to build a budget gaming computer.

Approximate Purchase Date: next few weeks

Budget Range: >$1000 all told

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, movies, internet.

Parts Not Required: I need it all

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: Not picky

Overclocking: Maybe in the future

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: No monitor yet

Additional Comments: At first I would like this to be able to play games like SC2 on max, but be able/upgradable to get into more demanding games in the future when I have more money and interest.

I've been perusing these forums and newegg.com and have put together a tentative rig:


AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX
ASUS M5A99X EVO AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...
combo: $262.98

COOLER MASTER GX Series RS650-ACAAE3-US 650W ATX12V v2.31 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...
combo: $129.98 - $25 MIR

SAPPHIRE 100338L Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Item...
combo: #165.98 - $20 MIR

ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
$16.99

Seagate Barracuda ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
$39.99

Hanns·G HZ201DPB Black 20" 5ms WideScreen LCD Monitor w/Speakers 250 cd/m2 X-Contrast 15,000:1 (1,000:1)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
deal: $99.99 + free shipping before 7/26

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
$109.99


Including shipping this totals $965 and then - $45 of MIR = $920


Advice on compatibility & alternatives is much appreciated!
July 25, 2011 5:44:52 PM

I have a couple comments....

For $1000 you can get build a gaming rig with an Intel Sandy Bridge i5. The i3 games better than a Phenom II 955, so imagine was two more cores will do. An HD 6770 should push smooth frames rates at 1600x900 resolution, but I think we can get a better monitor and a better GPU. Directcanada.com has free shipping on orders over $50 and has some pretty good prices too. I don't like Coolermaster PSUs. I think Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, and XFX (rebranded Seasonics) are your best bet.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500k
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12200BD1527&v...
$209.69

MOBO: MSI P67A-G45
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12980BD2530&v... (B3)&manufacture=MSI
$136.03 ($15 MIR available)

RAM: G.Skill 4GB (2x2GB) 1333MHz C8 DDR3
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15380BD0554&v...
$31.70

GPU: Sapphire HD 6850
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=14080BD0240&v...
$164.69

HDD: WD Black 500GB SATAIII
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=25350AC0126&v... Digital WD
$54.69

Optical: LG SuperMulti 22x SATA DVD Writer
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12600DR6205&v...
$16.93

PSU: XFX PRO 650w
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=15180AC8566&v...
$77.10

Case: CoolerMaster HAF 912
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11130AC0700&v...
$46.69

Monitor: ASUS VH222H 21.5" LCD 1920x1080 5ms
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=10530MN0571&v...
$128.44 ($10 MIR available)

OS: Windown 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM
http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=12850SW2113&v...
$111.30

Total: $977.26 shipped with $25 in rebates available.


So here we have an i5-2500k rig. This will allow for a great overclock with the addition of an aftermarket heatsink down the line. The MSI motherboard supports Crossfire at x8/x8 and has SATA III and USB 3.0. The XFX PSU is a quality unit, supplying enough power and connectors if you choose to add another GPU later. The HD 6850 is a good mid-level card, and if you do add another later, expect performance greater than an HD 6970 and similar to a GTX 580. Combine this with a full-HD monitor and you have a great gaming rig for under $1000.
July 26, 2011 4:02:26 PM

hmm when I add all that up on direct canada I get $1170 after tax/shipping.

The amd build I posted but substituted with an XFX 750W and Antec 300 case, hold the monitor, comes to $908 shipped after tax from newegg with $70 MIR. Throw in a ~$150 monitor and thats ~ $988.

That would give me and extra $200 over the intel build to throw at another 6850 or a better single GPU.

Do you think for primarily gaming the extra $$ on the i5 would be worth it?

Thanks for the input!

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July 26, 2011 4:24:15 PM

RBJames said:
hmm when I add all that up on direct canada I get $1170 after tax/shipping.

The amd build I posted but substituted with an XFX 750W and Antec 300 case, hold the monitor, comes to $908 shipped after tax from newegg with $70 MIR. Throw in a ~$150 monitor and thats ~ $988.

That would give me and extra $200 over the intel build to throw at another 6850 or a better single GPU.

Do you think for primarily gaming the extra $$ on the i5 would be worth it?

Thanks for the input!

There is no shipping fee at direct canada, so please let us know what your tax is so we can figure it in.
July 26, 2011 8:06:09 PM

RBJames said:
hmm when I add all that up on direct canada I get $1170 after tax/shipping.

The amd build I posted but substituted with an XFX 750W and Antec 300 case, hold the monitor, comes to $908 shipped after tax from newegg with $70 MIR. Throw in a ~$150 monitor and thats ~ $988.

That would give me and extra $200 over the intel build to throw at another 6850 or a better single GPU.

Do you think for primarily gaming the extra $$ on the i5 would be worth it?

Thanks for the input!


If you are talking about 6850s or 6870s, you don't need an 750w PSU, even for an overclock on them and the CPU. Even 6950s in CF is doable on 650 watts with room to spare.

On to Phenom II 955 vs. i5-2500k....check out this comparison.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=288

If I remember correctly, the common ceiling on a Phenom II is around 4.0GHz. 4.5GHz is pretty routine on a 2500k with a Hyper 212+. Motherboards notwithstanding, if you go with a Megahalems, Thermalright Silver Arrow, or Noctua NH-D14 you're looking at closer to 5.0GHz stable. Combine the overclocking potential with its superiority at stock speeds and the i5 is the clear choice. It will still be going strong at the point in time you will need to upgrade a Phenom II (and the motherboard and possibly memory, too).

Are you figuring rebates into your budget? Tax must be around 16.5% (1.0-(977/1170))? Holy crap. I did not take that into consideration...

Now, even if you absolutely can't spend that much, there are other options that I still think are better than a Phenom II, like an i5-2400 paired with an H61 motherboard. You might think I'm an Intel fanboy by all this. Not the case...in fact I'd say I'm an AMD fan. I hope BD kills SB in performance. Currently though, the 2500k is the best gaming chip on the market and with your budget (inc. monitor and OS), I can't recommend anything other than Sandy Bridge.
July 31, 2011 6:58:23 PM

Hey thanks for the advice.

My tax is 12% HST but the problem was certain items don't get free shipping on direct canada.

Trying to get the price down a little, what do you think of this mother board?

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11830BD6226

The GPU doesn't ship free fron DC, but there's a good deal on a 6870 from newegg:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I also found a good deal on 8GB ram, but a commenter said it may have problems with SB. do you know anything about that?

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I think I'll wait to pick up a monitor in-store where I can find a sale.

I'd appreciate any other suggestions to get the price down, but I'd like to play blizzard games on this at maxed settings and use it for internet/movies/music and potentially a linux dual-boot for 3D modelling.

thanks again
August 1, 2011 1:05:59 PM

RBJames said:
Hey thanks for the advice.

My tax is 12% HST but the problem was certain items don't get free shipping on direct canada.

Trying to get the price down a little, what do you think of this mother board?

http://www.directcanada.com/products/?sku=11830BD6226

The GPU doesn't ship free fron DC, but there's a good deal on a 6870 from newegg:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I also found a good deal on 8GB ram, but a commenter said it may have problems with SB. do you know anything about that?

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I think I'll wait to pick up a monitor in-store where I can find a sale.

I'd appreciate any other suggestions to get the price down, but I'd like to play blizzard games on this at maxed settings and use it for internet/movies/music and potentially a linux dual-boot for 3D modelling.

thanks again


That motherboard will work fine. Just so you're aware, you can't overclock or SLI/Crossfire with H61/H67 boards. $106 for 8GB of RAM is not a deal, even if you consider the $20 rebate. Look for 8GB of 1333MHz CL9 1.5v DDR3 for around $50. That's a deal. G.Skill is a good brand. That 6870/RAM combo is a good price, but sold out. :( 
!