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$600 Budget Gaming Powerhouse

Approximate Purchase Date: Within a week

Budget Range: $450-$700 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Streaming, Playing 1080p & Blu-rays w/ 5.1, Web Surfing

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, OS, & Speakers

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

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: AMD Products

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Monitor Resolution: 1280x720 (720p)

Additional Comments: I am looking for the most power possible out of my budget range. I want to run every current game at near, or max settings, but at the same time I want plenty of usage, so I want a clear upgrade path. I plan on first doing crossfire (HD 6870x2), and then maybe getting a second drive for RAID. Then later when my CPU is a bottleneck (plan on OCing to 4.0ghz), I will upgrade to a AM3+ processor.

I have the 960t processor in mind because of the potential x6 that can be unlocked. I will need Bluetooth to use my PS3 controllers as game pads.

I want to get a Blu-ray drive eventually, and if I can fit it in my budget and not sacrifice power, why not?

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ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

APEX SK-393-C Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154109

HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145299

ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157280

PowerColor AX6870 1GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131378

RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-630SS 630W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Modular LED Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152035

Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16899261005

Kingston Value 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model KVR1333D3S8N9K2/4G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139659

AZiO BTD211 Micro Bluetooth Adapter USB 2.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833340019

AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HD96ZTWFGRBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103995

Subtotal: $583.90

Shipping: $23.98

Grand Total: $607.88
31 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about budget gaming powerhouse
  1. At such a low resolution you dont need the power of a 6870 to game well .
    Id say a 6850 at most

    and spend the money you save on a Asrock 970 gen4 mb and/or a better case

    Consider the Fx 4100 processor . The Zosma will scale clock for clock with a phenom
    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1766/

    ditch the antistatic strap . Just touch the case before you handle a component in to it , and wear cotton clothing as you work .

    The power supply is junk . Not worth using
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371034 is only $40 and would be enough even for a 6870 , and will cruise with a 6850
  2. nice build, i would get a much better psu
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371044
    and you dont need a anti static band, as far as you are touching metal surface of your case
  3. Thanks for the suggestions so far! I will make sure to change that PSU, probably to manu's because I want to be able to support my future upgrades. As far as the fx 4100 goes it's very tempting! The possibility of having a x6 aside, would that be my best quad core option?

    Also, on a 84" native 720p display would I get any benefit having the computer send a 1080p signal, and then having my projector down-convert? I sit 8 feet away from my screen.
  4. NO you should not output at 1080p and then have he screen scale the image . That will reduce image quality compared to just outputting the screens native resolution .

    Screen size is never an issue . Just resolution . And your resolution is les than a 19 inch widescreen monitor . You dont need the horse power of a 6870
  5. I guess with the money I would save with the 6850 I could just get the FX-6100. But I want to get the most bang for my buck with Crossfiring two 6870s.

    The longer I can play most games on max settings for the cheaper the price, including future upgrades, the better.
  6. Good to know about resolution and quality. Thanks for that info.
  7. Oh yeah, do you guys have any cheap recommendations for some case fans, and maybe another cheap case with better airflow? Thanks in advance.
  8. haf 912 is a great case, nice airflow too at 60$
    i wouldn't get the fx 4100, have you seen its single threaded performance, its below the 960t, i would surely get 960t, 124$ and possibility of unlocking 2 extra core, its a bargain! and yes, get a 6850 and it will run any game on ultra at that resolution
  9. Alright, 960t and the Haf it is! Does anyone have any suggestions on a CPU cooler, and a bang for your buck gaming mice?
  10. IF you want to overclock, cooler master hyper 212+ is the best budget cooler available for 25$ only
  11. Would you recommend a crappy case and a cpu cooler, or a decent case like the Haf or Challenger without a cooler?
  12. no i wouldn't recommend a crappy case, a case with good airflow is required to cool your cpu as well as your graphics card to through out all the heat , your pccomponents are producing. the stock heat sink by amd is pretty sufficient for normal use not overclocking
  13. Ok, here is where I stand:

    ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827135204

    Rosewill CHALLENGER-U3 Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, front mounted dual USB 3.0
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147060

    HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822145299

    ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813157280

    PowerColor AX6870 1GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814131378

    Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371044

    Kingston Value 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory Model KVR1333D3S8N9K2/4G
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820139659

    GIGABYTE GM-M6880 Metal Black USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826146010

    AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HD96ZTWFGRBOX
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103995

    Subtotal: $638.91

    Shipping: $13.99

    Grand Total: $652.90

    50 over target but it should be worth it for the case and PSU. I stuck with the 6870 because it actually turned out cheaper with shipping. Anything I should change with this build? Thanks for your help so far guys!
  14. Oh, one more thing! Can you tell if I will need two molex to sata adapters for those case fans?
  15. Best answer
    If you want to save a few bucks could use this psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341017 The Antec you have is a solid psu also tho. This is a nice case as well: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066&Tpk=antec%20illusion
    Spend a little more and get this ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428 you get twice as much(8GB vs 4GB) and faster well worth a few more dollars

    I have never dealt with powercolor so can't say anything about their cards or rebates, I have ordered over a dozen XFX cards in the last year and the rebates come fast and as a check(not a plastic card you can't put in the bank) I haven't had a bad XFX card yet. Personally I would get the xfx 6870 for a few more bucks over the powercolor. That's just my personal preference tho, the powercolor is more than likely a decent card and it looks like they pay rebates in checks as well.
  16. Alright, I'm going to go ahead and switch to that case and ram then! Thanks for the heads up.
  17. If you live anywhere near a Microcenter I just got a email - FX-4100 for $105 plus $50 off select AM3+ mobos, they only had three examples listed in the email:

    Gigabyte
    Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 Socket AM3+ 970 ATX
    963058
    GA-970A-UD3 Socket AM3+ 970 ATX
    REG. Price $119.99
    Instant Motherboard Savings - $10.00
    Bundle Savings - $50.00
    FINAL
    Motherboard
    Cost
    when purchased with the FX4100 or FX6100 $59.99


    Gigabyte
    Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Socket AM3+ 990FX ATX
    533240
    GA-990FXA-UD3 Socket AM3+ 990FX ATX
    REG. Price $174.99
    Instant Motherboard Savings - $25.00
    Mfr, Mail-in Rebate - $10.00
    Bundle Savings - $50.00
    FINAL
    Motherboard
    Cost
    when purchased with the FX4100 or FX6100 $89.99


    ASUS
    ASUS Sabertooth Socket AM3+ 990FX ATX
    525659
    Sabertooth Socket AM3+ 990FX ATX
    REG. Price $199.99
    Instant Motherboard Savings - $20.00
    Bundle Savings - $50.00
    FINAL
    Motherboard
    Cost
    when purchased with the FX4100 or FX6100 $129.99
  18. Nice, but unfortunately the only electronics stores around are Best Buy and Radio Shack.
  19. Well shoot, my motherboard is now out of stock. Looks like I'll have to wait a bit. Should I just wait for the HD 7xxx series cards to come out to buy my HD 6870? Will there be a price drop?
  20. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.788008

    With that deal, I can get a better price with the fx-6100 than the 1055t. I will overclock both using the Hyper 212+ as the cooler. Which processor should I choose?

    I have also changed to the 870 motherboard, is there any obvious drawbacks having these older N/S chips?
  21. At this point I can either get a 960t, fx-6100, or 1055t, with a Hyper 212+, or I can get just the 960t and a Radeon HD 6950. What do you guys think I should do for the best gaming performance in the years to come? Thanks for your time and help!
  22. I've been doing a lot of research and I'm thinking of switching to the i5-2500k, but I would like to have 6 cores for the latest and greatest games to use. What do you guys think I should do? With both processors I will be using the 212+ to overclock.
  23. cheap_gamer4life said:
    I've been doing a lot of research and I'm thinking of switching to the i5-2500k, but I would like to have 6 cores for the latest and greatest games to use. What do you guys think I should do? With both processors I will be using the 212+ to overclock.


    I would stick with either Phenom II X4 955... i5 2500K is overkill for your needs! At such resolution stick with either a 6770 (if you don't plan to upgrade your monitor soon) or a 6850 if you plan to upgrade

    AMD FX CPUs aren't that great for gaming and the only one I would consider buying is AMD FX 4170....when it comes out ofc
  24. Alright here is what I have after your input, and some research:

    ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827135204

    Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

    HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822145299

    ASRock 870 Extreme3 R2.0 AM3+ AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157272

    GIGABYTE GV-N560UD-1G GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125401

    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371034

    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428

    AMD Phenom II X4 960T Zosma 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor HD96ZTWFGRBOX
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103995

    Total: $643.92

    Yes, the video card is overkill, but that's the point. I want to run games with the settings completely maxed out. :)

    I'll need to get a new PSU when I do SLI, but I'm ok with that. In the future I'll also buy the 212+.

    If you have any ways I can bring the cost of this down while keeping the MAX possible settings, tell me now, or forever hold your peace.

    Thanks for your help guys!
  25. i am afraid of the psu, you would be at the edge of power requirement, spend some more money and get this psu
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341018

    you can also sli down the road
  26. hec Zephyr MX 750 750W Peak Output ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817339002

    What do you guys think of this PSU?
  27. cheap_gamer4life said:
    hec Zephyr MX 750 750W Peak Output ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817339002

    What do you guys think of this PSU?



    stay away from it
  28. Ok well If I'm going to have to spend nearly 100 dollars on a PSU, what PSU should I get that'll last me a long time?
  29. OCZ ZS Series 650W 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341048

    Oooh! I think I've a good one, what do you guys say?
  30. cheap_gamer4life said:
    OCZ ZS Series 650W 80PLUS Bronze High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341048

    Oooh! I think I've a good one, what do you guys say?



    green for this, its a good unit
  31. Best answer selected by cheap_gamer4life.
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