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Very Cheap Gaming Rig

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  • New Build
  • Gaming
  • Systems
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August 19, 2011 7:58:47 AM

So my friend wants to build a gaming computer, has a small budget, and dosn't care about benchmarking or highest ingame settings or bragging rights.
He already bought a PSU for a very good price from a friend, he will buy my GTX 260 for a good price, and he has a case that he got virtually for free. So he needs a motherboard, RAM, and a CPU.

I started recomending this:
AMD Phenom II X4 955
4GB G.Skill NT Series DDR3-1333 DIMM CL9 Dual Kit (Or any value RAM)
ASRock M3N78D nForce 720D AM3 ATX

I am familiar with the Intel chipsets, but not so with the AMD ones. Does is make a difference? Which ones are solid chipsets? (He doesn't need many extra features.)


So this would be the ultimate value computer for playing all games medium/high settings and internet surfing, but I'm also wondering if maybe I should go down the i3, or Core 2 Quad/Duo path.... I mean, I know the AMD quads get killed against Sandybridge, but is there any cheaper Intel powerhouse available?

More about : cheap gaming rig

a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2011 8:04:58 AM

If mainly for gaming, then the i3 2100 is a very good alternative,...
August 19, 2011 8:07:18 AM

Yeah, thats exactly what I was looking at... How much faster is it? Hes not really a big multitasker so he wouldn't need 4 cores, and the HT has got the i3s back anyway. But how much better is the i3?
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August 19, 2011 8:20:45 AM

Wow, so looks like the i3 beats all.
(I'm assuming Llano is crap, right?)

So the i3 2120 is the best, but a little expensive just for that little bump over the i3 2100.

a b 4 Gaming
August 19, 2011 8:29:30 AM

^ Llano belongs to a different class of CPUs,... It will make a very good HTPC CPU as it has a very powerful onboard video which can handle any HTPC tasks easy,...
So I dont think it is correct to compare these 2 CPUs,...

Ya its basically the same chip but clocked higher,...
August 19, 2011 8:31:40 AM

What resolution settings is he going to be playing at? If higher than 1024/768 res the AMD walks away from the i3. What wattage/brand is the PSU? If going for the AMD build, I'd recommend an AM3+ board instead.
August 19, 2011 8:49:08 AM

If you decide on the AMD path

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$30 Xigmatek Asgard II (painted interior, tooless, and has well placed openings)(never mentioned anything about a case, or DVD)
MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$60 GIGABYTE GA-78LMT-S2P AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard ($30 more will get USB3.0, and SATA 6)
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$120 AMD Phenom II X4 955 (you can get a decent OC with the stock HSF)
RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$23 G.SKILL Value Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
DVD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$19 LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk 24X
August 19, 2011 3:33:12 PM

Well hes got a new full-hd screen, (1920x1080) so he'd probably want to play at that resolution if the system will take it....

PSU: Coolermaster GX Series 750W
I saw it was rated as a cheap/bad PSU on a site, he got it used, but theres no way hes gonna try to get 750 watts from it.

Oh, hes already got a used case.

I am convinced of the i3 2100s worth, being the same pirce as the Phenom II 955, should I pick out the cheapest 1155 p67 mobo? The p67s are more expensive than the h61s, is he gonna see a performance increase?
August 22, 2011 8:33:00 AM

No performance difference, not with an i3. And at that res, the AMD will beat the i3 (moreso if he later grabs an ATI card).
August 22, 2011 3:29:57 PM

Oh, I missread your earlier post. So you are saying the AMD PII X4 955 is the best shot. But the tomshardware test before was run at 1080p, and the i3 2100 came out on top. Not by much, but still on top.
August 22, 2011 3:44:01 PM

Don't go for an i3 2100 even if it beats Phenom II X4 955BE in gaming.

The 955BE will perform better in multithreaded tasks like video transcoding. I didn't know about the 955BE at the time I bought my i3. Can't say I am disappointed with it, though. I am a casual gamer gaming at 1024x768 without a discrete GPU.
August 23, 2011 5:20:16 AM

Ok, so now two people are saying AMD... It is smarter to buy a quad core and not a dual core isnt it? But my friend is not gonna be doing many other tasks. He'll be doing:
1. Internet (Email, youtube, etc.)
2. Gaming (Shogun 2:Total War, Crysis :-P, Portal (2), Battlefield 2 + 3)
3. Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint)
4. Hard drive data copying and watching movies.
August 23, 2011 11:02:45 AM

Additionally Bulldozer is coming out next month, so expect a fire sale on the older AM3 processors (if he can hold out till the 19th of Sep). The quad would be the better buy if he intends to keep the system for a while. While there are few games coded for more than 2 cores, that will change soon (I hope). The quad will be roughly even with the i3 for games, some better some worse (maybe 10% difference till he OC's, then the 955 stomps the i3), newer versions of MS Office (2007) are coded for multi core. Websites load faster/slower more due to connection speed and RAM. Add a Hyper 212 (~$30), and you can get a good OC from the 955.

If he can afford a 990xx AM3+ AMD board, he'll be able to X-Fire or SLI on the board (drivers are a bit buggy atm).
August 23, 2011 1:55:40 PM

Ok, so AMD it is. How real is September 19th as a release date? He still needs to scrap some more money together anyway, but just wondering.

Well he wont need to SLI/Crossfire on the board, and the 990s start at like 90 euro.... What is a good, cheap chipset. Will it even effect performance?

I'm not sure if I would want to OC later, how high will a Phenom II get with a Scythe Mugen 2 or such cooler?

So now which Phenom II should he get?
AMD Phenom II X4 840 4x 3.20GHz So.AM3 BOX -----75 Euro (Not black edition.)
AMD Phenom II X4 850 4x 3.30GHz So.AM3 BOX -----85 Euro (Not Black edition.)
AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 955 4x 3.20GHz So.AM3 BOX -----90 Euro
AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition 965 4x 3.40GHz So.AM3 BOX -----97 Euro

August 25, 2011 10:11:07 AM

You can usually squeeze at least .60GHz from a BE on the stock cooler, so look at the 955. With a quality cooler you can easily top .90GHz. Since he's not going to SLI or x-fire you can get a cheaper AM3+ board than the 990's (a 970, or even the venerable 880) as all but a few AM3+ boards have USB3, and SATA 6.
August 25, 2011 2:31:57 PM

Hmm, but the Black Editions are the same when at stock clocks, right?
And is getting a really cheap, old chipset board gonna hurt performance?
August 26, 2011 7:40:50 AM

The biggest thing about the BE chips is they all have L3 cache. An older chipset can affect performance negatively. The newer chipsets will help, but the older gfx card and older HDD's will affect the build more.
March 4, 2013 6:18:52 AM

check this out
intel core i3 3220 3.40 ghz
asus p8 b75-m
ati /amd hd 7770 ghz edition
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