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$550 Gaming Build

Last response: in Systems
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October 24, 2011 1:07:35 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: In about 1 month

Budget Range: $450-$550 before rebates and shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Starcraft 2, Battlefield 3, Youtube

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Windows 7 Ultimate, Seagate Barracuda 500GB, 23 inch 1080p LG monitor

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, microcenter

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: AMD, blue LED case

Overclocking: Yes (4.2 GHz- 4.5 GHz) (also unlocking to B60)

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, probably not

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Just trying to build a quiet gaming PC that can at least RUN all my games on 1080p

Phenom II x2 560 ($47.99)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Asus M5A97 EVO AM3+ ATX AMD ($119.99)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Cooler Master HAF912 Mid-Tower Computer Case ($54.99) ($64.99 w/o MIR)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
Antec Tricool 120mm Blue LED Fans x2 ($7.98)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
G.Skill Sniper RAM 8GB DDR3-1600 MHz ($47.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630w Continuous Power PSU ($59.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus ($25.19)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asus Direct CU Radeon HD 6850 ($139.99) ($159.99 w/o MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
LG 24x DVD/CD Burner ($18.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler Master Megaflow 200 mm Blue LED Fan ($20.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
TOTAL =
$240.95 at Microcenter (+$14.46 tax)
$333.14 at Newegg (+$5.98 shipping)
$574.09 overall (+$20.44 shipping/tax)
$594.53 (+$10 off with newcustomer10)

Any thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

More about : 550 gaming build

October 24, 2011 1:11:59 AM

Are you really going to buy now? Your CPU is pretty weak.

I'd get just an AM3 motherboard than am3+
Get 4gb of ram
Drop the coolers
Get AMD Phenom II x4.
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October 24, 2011 1:19:09 AM

I read that there's a 80% chance the cores aren't defective.
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October 24, 2011 1:21:17 AM

It's up to you. If there's a chance that it won't unlock then you're stuck with a crappy CPU.

All I know is that getting AM3+ motherboard is crazy when your CPU is so weak.
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October 24, 2011 1:29:10 AM

890 chipsets cost about the same amazingly. Besides, SC2 only uses 2 cores at once so I'd actually get BETTER performance with an OC'ed 560. But I appreciate your input.
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October 24, 2011 3:50:58 AM

That build is waaaaay weaker than the system builder machine that has a quad core and a 6870
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October 24, 2011 10:20:28 AM

That's because the system builder had NO UPGRADE PATH whatsoever. I need this build to be upgradable for like 2 years.
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October 24, 2011 10:36:58 AM

I need my system to be quiet too as that is high on the list.
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October 24, 2011 11:10:19 AM

U will get some problems if this cpu won't unlock. Why not spend a little more and get a X3 or X4?
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October 24, 2011 11:14:03 AM

Starcraft 2 uses 2 cores at max (need to verify that). But Battlefield 3 uses more than that. Witcher 2, Dragon Age 2, GTA 4, games with unreal engine 3, etc.
Games starting to go to triple or more cores area. U should invest in that!
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October 24, 2011 11:48:21 AM

The discount is only with a x2 560, x4 970, and x6 1090. For the price of one 970, I can get TWO x2 560. Besides, I'm fairly confident about unlocking. Even if it isn't able to unlock, I'll be able to get 4.2 GHz or so with a hyper 212 evo. The games I play don't use more than 2 cores at a time, (except for tf2 and bf3). I can always upgrade at christmas if I need to.
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October 24, 2011 1:12:40 PM

How many builds do you do a month? It seems like I see you on here weekly with a new build. Getting a cpu with the sole intention of unlocking isnt a wise idea considering they are usually cores that came back with a defect. In the same sense to keep up with the demand they will lock good cores. As far as an upgrade path, when you are in the $500 range you want to get the most fps per $. So upgrade ability is generally sacrificed.
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October 24, 2011 2:11:31 PM

It's all the same build. Prices frequently change, things go out of stock, etc. And the reason I want an upgrable computer is the computer that I orginally had, I was only able to add in a discrete gpu and upgrade the cpu. Since the case is small and the psu is so weak.
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October 24, 2011 2:36:53 PM

It's really a bad idea. Just get a part time job or something.
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October 24, 2011 2:46:24 PM

I'm 14. -.- I go to the hardest high school in GA.
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October 24, 2011 8:58:39 PM

that seems like an alright build. You shouldn't count on cores unlocking. Even if they do doesn't mean they are going to be stable. I'm not sure how much of a difference living in Canada makes but i put together an pc on newegg and it comes to $577 thats without 10 dollar off promo code and before 20 mail in rebate. So its $567 before tax and shipping and before 20 MIR. It has a quad core and better video card. Only thing it doesnt have is the fan pack. I`m sure you could get the extra 10 bucks if you tried.

PSU - same as the one you have selected

AMD Athlon II x4 3.1ghz

DVD/CD burner

ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970

Sapphire HD6870 with free dirt 3 download and 10 dollar off promo code and 20 dollar mail in rebate.

G.Skill 4GB ram

Case same as yours
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October 24, 2011 10:39:31 PM

Ok. Any comments an ANYTHING BUT the CPU? Thanks. I'm uber determined to get the x2 as there is a very good unlocking chance and stability. And it'll do well in starcraft which is only multithreaded for 2 cores. That's all that really matters to me.
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October 25, 2011 1:46:10 AM

samuelspark said:
Ok. Any comments an ANYTHING BUT the CPU? Thanks. I'm uber determined to get the x2 as there is a very good unlocking chance and stability. And it'll do well in starcraft which is only multithreaded for 2 cores. That's all that really matters to me.


Building a PC is all about deciding what you want to include in it. You sound like you know exactly what you want so I say if you're so sure about what you want everything else looks fine.
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October 25, 2011 2:01:03 AM

Usually the Athlon X3's will out perform phenom X2's dollar for dollar .Sometimes by quite a lot

and theres no point using 8 gig of RAM in a gaming build . It wont add any detectable performance , but it will rob you of $20 you could have spent on a better graphics card that will give a major boost in performance

Nice mb that M5A97 evo
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October 25, 2011 2:39:28 AM

On on of my previous posts, a guy said that 8GB ram was recommended for windows 7 ultimate 64 bit.... I really don't want anything higher than a 6850 as I might crossfire. Might get a M5A99X. I don't think the few fps are worth the $25 though.
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October 25, 2011 2:41:06 AM

samuelspark said:
On on of my previous posts, a guy said that 8GB ram was recommended for windows 7 ultimate 64 bit.... I really don't want anything higher than a 6850 as I might crossfire. Might get a M5A99X. I don't think the few fps are worth the $25 though.


Lol no. 4gb is fine especially for a dual core.
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