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Possible final decision on budget gaming rig.

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September 19, 2011 4:22:49 AM

Before you read, I would like to say THANK YOU in advance to the community here at Tom's Hardware. Thank you for taking the time to read.
I am buying a new computer, (Finally) after suffering a few years of minimum quality games with choppy gameplay and almost playable frame rates, I decided to build a computer. I have been researching for a couple months, got lots of help from people, and etc.
I am trying to make my FINAL decision on this computer now, and want all the help, suggestions, and opinions I can get. EVERY suggestion is considered.
IMPORTANT NOTE!: I have a 32" 720p LCD TV as my monitor, meaning I can run a game more then twice as fast with the same card due to the resolution, correct?

Approximate Purchase Date: In time for Battlefield 3, or later.

Budget Range: Lets say $590-$690 MAX (I don't wanna spend $690 if I don't HAVE to, I need $100 for something else I kinda want)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, (Battlefield 3, All Points Bulletin, free online FPS games etc.) Netflix/Hulu, internet surfing, occasional video making. Did I say gaming? :lol: 

Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, operating system, and speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.newegg.com unless CHEAPER elsewhere.

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: I currently have my mind set on a XFX 6790, 8GB of G Skill 1333 memory, and a AMD Phenom II x4 955, I think they will fit my needs perfect. As I said, open to suggestions, if you think there is a better Intel or Nvidia equivalent or etc. feel free to share. Also, throw a hyper 212 plus or better equivalent in the build.

Overclocking: BIG maybe, I will just say I am not comfortable with it, and I have NEVER done it before, let alone know how it works.

SLI or Crossfire: Big maybe.

Monitor Resolution: TAKE NOTE as I said before, 720p. Got it right? :D 

Additional Comments: I just want the best possible computer for a good price, I want to be able to max pretty much any game (Which is apparently easier with my resolution) with smooth gameplay, I don't care ALOT for frame rates. If its say, maximum graphics, (On any game) and I get around 30 fps (Which is about how much consoles average) I would be happy.

Thanks for reading. And thank you to the community for all your help.
September 19, 2011 4:46:51 AM
September 19, 2011 4:48:07 AM

Quick reminderish post. Take note as I said before, "I just want the best possible computer for a good price, I want to be able to max pretty much any game (Which is apparently easier with my resolution) with smooth gameplay, I don't care ALOT for frame rates. If its say, maximum graphics, (On any game) and I get around 30 fps (Which is about how much consoles average) I would be happy." Take my budget note too.
Thanks again.
Related resources
September 19, 2011 4:53:58 AM
September 19, 2011 5:00:02 AM

i5 2400 / 2500 pretty much beats any of the x4 Phenoms in a good percentage of bench marks

The 6870 is a very powerful well rounded card for a very decent price, it's better than any Nvidia card out there within the same price range.

The rest is pretty much self explanatory.
September 19, 2011 5:00:44 AM

Points to consider
No game could use 8 gig of RAM . No game could even use 4 gig of RAM

But 4 gig is convenient and cheap

At the 720p resolution you are definitely not going to need a top end graphics card

The 6790 is a reasonable choice , but nothing stronger than that
September 19, 2011 5:05:09 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Points to consider
No game could use 8 gig of RAM . No game could even use 4 gig of RAM

But 4 gig is convenient and cheap

At the 720p resolution you are definitely not going to need a top end graphics card

The 6790 is a reasonable choice , but nothing stronger than that


Another stick is just another $25, and it future proofs the ram. And the XFX 6970 dual fan looks good yes, I have seen videos of a 6770 or 6790 maxing games like crysis 2 at playable framerates. Even at a higher resolution then 720p, so I am confident that it will be plenty for me.
September 19, 2011 5:09:04 AM

You can always add more RAM later , but if you are working to a budget , then buy quality fundamentals like case ,psu and motherboard .
Then add luxuries like another 4 gig of RAM if you can afford them
September 19, 2011 5:18:03 AM

Outlander_04 said:
You can always add more RAM later , but if you are working to a budget , then buy quality fundamentals like case ,psu and motherboard .
Then add luxuries like another 4 gig of RAM if you can afford them


Any suggestions other then that? For my build I am thinking, Phenom II x4 955, HD 6790, Hyper 212 +, the RAM, and a Rosewill Challenger. (If another case is a better alternative for the same price or lower, share.) But I need a good quality ATX mobo, (I don't like micro ATX, it seems cramped) a solid PSU, and HDD. I don't know much about power usage so I always need help with PSUs, and there are so many HDDs to choose from, I don't know what is good for me. And mobos, well, I know a little, but I would prefer someone who knows what they are talking about.
September 19, 2011 5:27:48 AM



Phenom 955 $120

GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ $98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) $33
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-679X-ZDFC Radeon HD 6790 $120 after rebate

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 $30

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any dvd drive $20

Antec Three Hundred + BP430 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$571
September 19, 2011 5:44:45 AM

Outlander_04 said:
Phenom 955 $120

GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3 AM3+ $98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) $33
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX HD-679X-ZDFC Radeon HD 6790 $120 after rebate

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 $30

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any dvd drive $20

Antec Three Hundred + BP430 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$571


Thanks, although, my .02 cents.
Board looks good, has nice reviews, Gigabyte. BUT, which one of these two is better? (Both are good boards and brands)
ASUS M5A97:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

About the ram, since I would be upgrading later to 8GB, wouldn't it be ideal to just buy 1 4GB stick? And get 1 more later on instead of having four? (Although I think I will just buy the 8GB now, its not that much money.)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I kinda like the Rosewill Challenger, has 3 fans already, one of the most popular cases ever, $60, Toms recommended buy 2010.... I also don't like cases that come with PSUs, almost all of them seem unreliable.
What do you think?
September 19, 2011 5:57:30 AM

The M5A97 is out of stock . In some ways its a better board . In others its not . Both are quality products .
The gigabyte is good
If your budget stretched higher then the M5A97 evo is an even better choice

Two sticks of RAM run in dual channel so you get higher performance . Dont use a single 4 gig stick . The mb has two pairs of slots so if you are adding more RAM there is room for more .

The rosewill is a decent case . The front panel is a little plastic looking .
Buy it if you like it , but keep in mind you will also need to spend money on a decent power supply . Budget 50 - $60 for that .
The antec 300 is very well made . Some people would say its a little plain , but I like it .The cooling is excellent . There is a 140 mm fan in the top , and another 120 mm in the back . You can also add two more 120 mm fans to the front .
Its worth checking the price on the Illusion 300 which has led fans in the front . But again it raises your budget
http://www.bjorn3d.com/articles/Antec_Three_Hundred/129...

The Antec is better quailty IMO

Here is what Tomshardware actually said about the Rosewill
"Rosewill wins the value competition (and consequently, our Recommended Buy award). But we can only really sign off on it for buyers who have extremely tight budgets. All but one of the cases we looked at today are made of 0.6 mm or thinner steel and lack the durability (and noise dampening) we prefer for long-term (and daily) use. The one exception, Antec’s Three Hundred is priced beyond the $50 target set forth during the planning stages of this piece. Though many of us have also been accused of being cheap, we’d all gladly pay a few dollars more for a 0.8 mm-thick model."

They liked the Antec more, but back then the rosewill was cheaper and they were building to a budget
September 19, 2011 6:08:11 AM

Outlander_04 said:
The M5A97 is out of stock . In some ways its a better board . In others its not . Both are quality products .
The gigabyte is good
If your budget stretched higher then the M5A97 evo is an even better choice

Two sticks of RAM run in dual channel so you get higher performance . Dont use a single 4 gig stick . The mb has two pairs of slots so if you are adding more RAM there is room for more .

The rosewill is a decent case . The front panel is a little plastic looking .
Buy it if you like it , but keep in mind you will also need to spend money on a decent power supply . Budget 50 - $60 for that .
The antec 300 is very well made . Some people would say its a little plain , but I like it .The cooling is excellent . There is a 140 mm fan in the top , and another 120 mm in the back . You can also add two more 120 mm fans to the front .
Its worth checking the price on the Illusion 300 which has led fans in the front . But again it raises your budget
http://www.bjorn3d.com/articles/Antec_Three_Hundred/129...

The Antec is better quailty IMO


So in your opinion which of the two boards is better? They are alike but it doesn't matter much to me. And so what your saying about the RAM means that 4x2GB of ram is faster then 2x4gb of ram, correct?

This PSU looks good, one of the best rated on Newegg, 80 Plus certified, Antec, and its EVEN MODULAR!
What do you think?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 19, 2011 6:36:35 AM

Anyone else? Last suggestions or opinions? What do you think of the rig? Do you think its reliable and well put together? Should it run games fine?
September 19, 2011 6:59:11 AM

4 x2 of RAM is not faster and 2 x4 .

There are two channels so if you have 4 sticks it is still pairs in dual channel
September 19, 2011 7:01:49 AM

i would take a better vid card like the 6850. At least then you have some sort of future proofing when a new, more graphically demanding game, comes out.Also the 6790 actually uses more power than the 6850 as it is based on the 6870 PCB with deactivated shaders etc. Ram is so cheap, just get the 8gb now, also if you wanted to get more ram later, realise that you need to get matched pairs of the same ram or you will have issues.
September 19, 2011 7:02:39 AM

leolego said:
And so what your saying about the RAM means that 4x2GB of ram is faster then 2x4gb of ram, correct?

No. Dual channel RAM requires an even number of sticks to run in dual channel. In dual channel the sticks of ram are interleaved to increase throughput (bandwidth).
September 19, 2011 7:37:07 AM

More is not always better .

A game is a 32 bit program and cant possibly use even 4 gig of RAM .

Buying 8 gig of RAM for a gaming machine is roughly as smart as setting fire to cash until you have less . When you have a budget adding extra seems even dumber than usual
September 19, 2011 7:49:25 AM

Outlander_04 said:
More is not always better .

A game is a 32 bit program and cant possibly use even 4 gig of RAM .

Buying 8 gig of RAM for a gaming machine is roughly as smart as setting fire to cash until you have less . When you have a budget adding extra seems even dumber than usual


Alright... Is the Antec BP550 good? If so I am gonna go ahead and get the rig.
September 19, 2011 12:00:50 PM

I know this is an extreme case but running the 64bit executable of the original Crysis I've seen the last level get to 4GB of RAM usage. Also I've gotten Minecraft (also 64 bit) to 6GB RAM usage by using 512x textures.
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