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Getting back in the game. Budget gaming components. Help please

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November 11, 2011 5:11:30 AM

Hello all,

I have recently decided I can no longer deal with my E4400 CPU and my 2gigs of DDR2. Not to mention my old 8800GTS with 320MB...

Anyway, all in all this system really isn't all that bad, but I know I could be playing SW:TOR next month and Skyrim (installed it tonight yay) on a relatively cheap computer at a much higher frame rate and with much higher settings.

What I am looking for is some advice on a budget build, I will be keeping my PSU, optical drive and my SATA2 Drives. I don't feel the need to get an SSD because I am not all that concerned with load times, mainly frame rate and image quality.

So here is my actual question I guess:

Which CPU/Mobo/RAM combo would leave me with enough cash to buy lets say a 6870 or comparable GPU if I am on a budget of around $450 to $500 (US)?

I am very interested in hearing ideas about both AMD and Intel solutions as I am only loyal to what gives me the most bang for my buck...

Thank you in advance for the help! I am obsessing over this right now and I would love to get the ball rolling soon! :D 
November 11, 2011 5:17:15 AM

nunyaabidniss said:
Hello all,

I have recently decided I can no longer deal with my E4400 CPU and my 2gigs of DDR2. Not to mention my old 8800GTS with 320MB...

Anyway, all in all this system really isn't all that bad, but I know I could be playing SW:TOR next month and Skyrim (installed it tonight yay) on a relatively cheap computer at a much higher frame rate and with much higher settings.

What I am looking for is some advice on a budget build, I will be keeping my PSU, optical drive and my SATA2 Drives. I don't feel the need to get an SSD because I am not all that concerned with load times, mainly frame rate and image quality.

So here is my actual question I guess:

Which CPU/Mobo/RAM combo would leave me with enough cash to buy lets say a 6870 or comparable GPU if I am on a budget of around $450 to $500 (US)?

I am very interested in hearing ideas about both AMD and Intel solutions as I am only loyal to what gives me the most bang for my buck...

Thank you in advance for the help! I am obsessing over this right now and I would love to get the ball rolling soon! :D 



basically I would just get a cheap updated MOBO that can take the newer ram, and then get a new video card that is 1 gig, like a 6870 or something like that on sale. spend maybe 300, and be rocking again, with 8 gigs of ram and 1 gig of video ram.
a b à CPUs
November 11, 2011 6:15:25 AM

Unfortunately the new PC that you are getting wont do much with a $500 budget. The i5 2500k is $215 n nice Z68 board is around $170 and new good RAM's can be something around $90. Then you have to get a new GPU and a new PSU (only if your old PSU is not up to the mark of course).
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a b à CPUs
November 11, 2011 8:16:27 AM

nunyaabidniss said:
Hello all,

I have recently decided I can no longer deal with my E4400 CPU and my 2gigs of DDR2. Not to mention my old 8800GTS with 320MB...

Anyway, all in all this system really isn't all that bad, but I know I could be playing SW:TOR next month and Skyrim (installed it tonight yay) on a relatively cheap computer at a much higher frame rate and with much higher settings.

What I am looking for is some advice on a budget build, I will be keeping my PSU, optical drive and my SATA2 Drives. I don't feel the need to get an SSD because I am not all that concerned with load times, mainly frame rate and image quality.

So here is my actual question I guess:

Which CPU/Mobo/RAM combo would leave me with enough cash to buy lets say a 6870 or comparable GPU if I am on a budget of around $450 to $500 (US)?

I am very interested in hearing ideas about both AMD and Intel solutions as I am only loyal to what gives me the most bang for my buck...

Thank you in advance for the help! I am obsessing over this right now and I would love to get the ball rolling soon! :D 


Is that a budget with a gpu or without?

With a GPU, this build should be decent for your wants.

Intel Core i3-2130 3.4GHz $149.99

GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 $129.99

XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 $169.99 ($149.99 after mail-in rebate)

Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 $26.99

Total + shipping: $484.29
With rebates: $464.29

I really cant find a better setup than this for the budget. Unless i really wanted lower the MB standard than what it already is, i cant fit a core i5 2500K (perfect long term gaming cpu) into the build.

Although for skyrim at least, according to toms performance article about the game, http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...

It will only use 2 threads/cores so this core i3 (highest clocked i3 there is) "should" be able to handle that game just fine.



Now if that budget is only for the CPU/RAM/MB then we could be cooking with some really good parts.

Well, hope this helps and welcome to the forums. :hello: 
a c 111 à CPUs
November 11, 2011 11:01:30 AM

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz: $115

Giga-Byte GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3: $110

Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB: $273 before $20 rebate

Crucial 4GB DDR3 1333: $23
(single 4GB stick)


Pop in that second 4GB stick when yah rob yer piggybank.

Here's a little info for you to consider on your PSU ...



Note this is with Furmark so you won't max at these levels. Modded plus 20% with an 'light' OC on the PhII 965 should put your 'power at the wall' at 475-500w -- hopefully, your current PSU is at least 600w to take full advantage of your components ...
a b à CPUs
November 11, 2011 5:14:29 PM

Drop by and read this article

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-overclock...

and then subtract off the parts you are keeping and see where you can add back in a bit of money to soup up some areas with the left over cash.

You may come out better out the other side if you do this.

It couldn't hurt to try, at least.

November 11, 2011 6:42:49 PM

So unfortunately my budget does include the GPU, but I know I still have options!

I cracked open my case this morning and this is what I found...

I am going to be keeping my Antec P183 case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

my Antec Earthwatts 500 PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

my LG DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and lastly my 2 SATA2 drives
Samsung 500GB and a WD 320GB
...

I have come up with 3 different builds based on the replies and this is what I have found:

Build 1:

This build would include my current CPU by upgrading to newer Socket 775 components. I would be able to get a better graphics card with this build, but I have a feeling the CPU may drag me down in the future.

HIS IceQ X Turbo HD 6950 2GB = $270
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-P45T-ES3G Mobo = $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaw 2x4GB DDR3 1600 = $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Free shipping, total cost of build $395

Build 2:

This build is an AMD build I have actually had interest in for quite some time, but I really am not sure if the performance/cost ratio is there with AMD right now.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition = $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-990XA-UD3 AM3+ Mobo = $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6870 1GB = $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaw 2x4GB DDR3 1600 = $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Free shipping so total cost of this build is at $495 (on the cusp of breaking the limit)

Build 3:

This build seems to be a friend of mines least favorite because he does not believe the i3 is a big enough upgrade over my current CPU to justify the cost of this build.

Intel i3-2100 socket 1155 = $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI P67A-G45 (B3) Mobo = $135
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE Radeon HD 6870 1GB = $180
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaw 2x4GB DDR3 1600 = $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Free Shipping so, total cost of this build is again on the cusp at $485

Anyone with any suggestions or actual data to support one or none of these choices please give it here!

I will be ordering most of the parts on the 15th so that leaves me a few days to come up with my choice!

Thanks again!!
a c 111 à CPUs
November 11, 2011 7:37:00 PM

The $15-off promo code on the PhII 965 expires on the 14th.

I own the GA-990XA-UD3 and think it's a great motherboard - not a good fit on a budget build, however. I power 2 external hard-drive enclosures with the dual eSATA (which I suspect is not the reason you are considering purchasing it ;-) ). The issue is The Egg (as far as I know) is still selling the 1st revision of the mobo which limits OC'ing because of the lack of LLC (it controls VDroop).

Otherwise, the only other thing to be aware of is that to maintain complete stability, verify that each BIOS (it has two!) is flashed to the current version (F6). It's a simple process outlined in the manual (or I can give you a link to a post over at XS which explains it).

Dual-channel versus single-channel RAMs is not that big of a deal - maybe 5% performance difference on average. With a Phenom this difference may be overcome by simply increasing the speed of the IMC/NB from 2000- to 2400MHz (normally at stock volts, too) which will increase bandwidth 6-8% and reduce latency 6-8%, recovering the performance loss.

The AMD 69xx-series has a utility called PowerTune which allows you to under-volt the video card at load, if necessary. At stock, the HD6950 is roughly 20% faster than the HD6870. The issue with the HD6950 you selected is that it does NOT flash to a 6970 and unlock the extra shaders.

The PhII 965 will have not issues pushing either video card. As a general rule of thumb in gaming builds remember: It's the video card!





a b à CPUs
November 11, 2011 7:39:12 PM

+1 Wisecrackers build is amazing for this budget.
November 11, 2011 7:48:44 PM

FinneousPJ said:
+1 Wisecrackers build is amazing for this budget.


Have a link to this build my friend?
a b à CPUs
November 11, 2011 8:05:52 PM

Scroll up.
November 11, 2011 8:10:03 PM

FinneousPJ said:
Scroll up.


Sometimes I amaze myself. >.< Thanks
a c 111 à CPUs
November 11, 2011 9:21:42 PM

nunyaabidniss said:
Sometimes I amaze myself. >.< Thanks


No worries ... I just realized I have the GA-990FXA-UD3 :lol: 

It really comes down to your PSU - which is a good thing and a bad thing. At stock in gaming with the HD6950 and PhII 965 you will be in the 370-380w range which gives precious space to take advantage of the headroom you will actually have with all the components - in effect, that gives you a major upgrade waiting for when you are ready to invest $70 or so in a new PSU.

The PhII 965 at 3.4GHz will push the 6950, but at stock volts you might hit 3.6-3.7GHz for a little boost, maybe even with a -0.125v under-volt if you were so inclined. If your Karma is good that might free up enough juice to unlock the shaders on the HD6950 (costing yah 30w which will certainly max you out on the Antec 500w -- 500 x .80 = 400w).

One thing you can do right now is download and run OCCT. At the close of a one hour 'stress-test' run, it will open a window with a series of charts.

Those charts include information regarding your 'voltage flow' and 'ripple' over the term of the test to each of your components. Minimal ripple means your power is 'clean' and not subject to dips in voltage which can impact performance at load.




a b à CPUs
November 11, 2011 10:07:28 PM

Well i would go to Wisecracker build as well. :lol: 

Better gpu for gaming than what i selected. (should of looked at the AMD cpu's >.<..... Guess im too focused on an upcoming intel build for my self.)
!