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New Gaming Rig $500 AMD

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January 9, 2012 6:29:47 PM

Thanks for taking a look, any input would be appreciated. Is this a piece of crap? Is this awesome? Suggestions?

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 days

Budget Range: $500 (Already Have PSU and Case)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, web browsing. I mostly play strategy games, Civ, SOTS, Shogun TW2. Also like Skyrim, fallout type stuff. Would maybe play some more like GTAIV or some shooters if my pc could handle it.

I Definitely want this to be able to handle Planetside 2 when it comes out.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, Monitor, PSU, Case.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: US

Parts Preferences: AMD, no knowledge about current Intell/Nvidia parts.

Overclocking: A little if needed.

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Dont know what I will use, will have a 23-24" widescreen.



Already have this power supply:
Antec True Power 3 550 watt 3 rails
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


New Parts:
Seagate 7200 rpm Sata 6gb/sec 500gb drive $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock 870 Extreme3 AM3+ Mobo $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus Radeon 6770 1gb GDDR5 VCard $99 w/ rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin 2x4gb ddr3 1600 Ram $37
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black (Quad core 3.5 ghz) $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Will need a Sata Dvd
Cheap LiteOn DVD Burner $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also have one old IDE hard drive will be hooking up with a Sata IDE adapter.

I am getting ready to pull the trigger on this. I have not built a PC for quite a few years and would appreciate any input! Like I mentioned above I am definitely stoked for Planetside 2 to come out and want a rig capable of handling it.

Also planning on using Win 7 64 bit unless there is any reason not to.

Thanks!

More about : gaming rig 500 amd

January 9, 2012 6:37:01 PM

for $500 you could get an i3-2100 based build or even an i5-2500k build! AMD is not the option you want
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January 9, 2012 7:57:34 PM

gooseta said:
for $500 you could get an i3-2100 based build or even an i5-2500k build! AMD is not the option you want


Why isn't AMD the option he wants? A i3/i5 with a 6770 is going to throw the same exact framerates as a X4 and a 6770.
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January 9, 2012 8:25:28 PM

I thought the 1600mhz might trump the better latency?
Also the $37 is for 8 gigs of the mushkin in 2 sticks.
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January 9, 2012 8:31:12 PM

I get tired hearing of these $500-$600 Intel I5 builds....By the time you get the CPU, MB, HSF(otherwise why would you get a K model?), and RAM, you have spent about $400. Leaves $200 or less for a GPU and nothing for a decent PSU, HDD, DVD burner or case.
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January 9, 2012 8:39:36 PM

I already have a good PSU and Case. The HDD will have to be upgraded later when I can afford it.

I am looking at some different ram with lower latency, around the same price for lower latency there is Patriot, Kingston, Team xtreem, Pareema, and Wintec. Any thoughts on these companies?

I also see a Gskill with a 9 latency for around the same price might go with that.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 9, 2012 8:42:26 PM

He has a case & PSU - If you could only get your hands on another $100.....
-Bruce
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January 9, 2012 8:50:16 PM

Do you have a microcenter near you? i3 combo with a mobo with good vrms: www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/943109-about-vrms-mosfets-mo..., sounds like an excellent deal.

get something above a 6850 and you got yourself a highly upgradable rig to i5-2500k and beyond in a few years while you have an inexpensive budget solution for an i3 that will trade blows with high overclocks on Phenom II's.
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January 9, 2012 9:31:05 PM

There is a microcenter about an hour away.

The MOBO above is listed as acceptable for all the VRMS stuff from that article.
I am already pushing my budget limits, the 6850 is about $50 more. I have already bumped up most components from what I was originally looking at.

Thanks for all the input!

Do you guys have an opinion on how this will perform as it stands? I will probaby go with the Gskill ram instead.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231416

Like I said above been a while since I've done this, so it looks like the FSB is 2600mhz with Hypertransport. Does that mean if I don't overclock, any RAM clock-speeds over 1300mhz aren't going to matter? (Or am I totally off there)
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January 9, 2012 9:35:02 PM

AMD is going to be the best option for your build. Unless you have 1000 bucks to spend on a rig, AMD is the way to go. You should actually get the new FX-4100.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The new FX series paired up with a nice AM3+ mobo, you can OC these guys easily and pretty high.
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January 9, 2012 10:35:14 PM

OP--you've received a lot of mediocre advice.

So you need:

CPU: $100 i3-2100 w/ mobo combo @ Micro Center
Mobo: -$50 + Price @ Micro Center Must support IDE
RAM: $30 Any 8GB (2x4GB) 1600CL9 kit on Newegg sale--sign up for their email list.
Graphics: $200 Radeon 6950 1GB from anywhere
PSU: Already own--what model?
HDD: already own IDE--wait for prices to drop to upgrade. What size is it?
Case: Already own--what model?
DVD: Do you already own an IDE DVD drive?

TOTAL (with $100 mobo): $380

You'll be going to Micro Center for an i3-2100 + mobo combo. I'll look up specifics and give them to you in a bit. But the above should get you started.

EDIT: No motherboards worth purchasing have IDE--changes are required to this post and will be updated...
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January 9, 2012 10:43:26 PM

Screw it...go for total awesomeness...

CPU: $100 i3 w/ mobo combo
Mobo: $55 ($105-$50 Bundle) GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 w/ SLI USB 3.0 (rear) & SATA III http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
RAM: $30 kit
Graphics: $200 Radeon 6950 1GB
PSU: Already own
SSD: $130 SATA III 120GB drive--plenty of sales like this nowadays. Keep an eye on slickdeals.net.
Case: Already own
DVD: Who needs DVD? Install Windows from a flash drive.

TOTAL: $515

Totally awesome with no compromises. Then drop in an Ivy Bridge i5 in two or three years to get two more years out of it.
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January 9, 2012 10:46:07 PM

No, to hell with the i3. I cannot stand that CPU. Keep the CPU you have in your OP.

Actually everything you have seems to be solid for your budget. However, if at all possible, I'd reccomend waiting until you have some more cash to get at least an 86870 or a 560 (non ti version)
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January 9, 2012 10:48:20 PM

Already have this power supply:
Antec True Power 3 550 watt 3 rails
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371002

I have a 500gig IDE Drive.

Yes I have 2 IDE DVD drives.

So a i3-2100 with the Radeon 6950 is going to be superior to what I have in the first post? I get that the 6950 is way better, but isn't the i3-2100 inferior to the Phenom II x4 3.5 ghz?
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January 9, 2012 11:09:10 PM

RichterFry said:
No, to hell with the i3. I cannot stand that CPU. Keep the CPU you have in your OP.

Actually everything you have seems to be solid for your budget. However, if at all possible, I'd reccomend waiting until you have some more cash to get at least an 86870 or a 560 (non ti version)
Can you explain why you hate the i3-2100 in a gaming build? I can't justify any other purchase when it's only $100 and gets you $50 off a motherboard.
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January 9, 2012 11:26:54 PM

Tomshardware: Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: November 2011

List of the best gaming CPUs for the money:

Best Gaming CPU for ~$80: Athlon II X3 455
Best Gaming CPU for $100: Phenom II X4 840 or Pentium G860
Best Gaming CPU for $125: Core i3-2100
Best Gaming CPU for $190: Core i5-2400
Best Gaming CPU for $200: None
Best Gaming CPU for $225: Core i5-2500K

Anandtech: Benchmark Results: AMD Phenom II X4 970 BE vs Intel Core i3 2100

Look at the charts and think if it's a good idea or not :) 

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January 9, 2012 11:29:43 PM

dalauder said:
Can you explain why you hate the i3-2100 in a gaming build? I can't justify any other purchase when it's only $100 and gets you $50 off a motherboard.

I would take the phenom x4 970 over the i3 2100 as a one off purchase, its a faster overall processor. But from an upgradeability point of view, the i3 makes more sense. AMD has no upgrades to the phenom II, just crappy fx processors which are worse than the phenom II, especially for gaming. If you got a socket 1555 board with i3, you have very good upgrade opportunities later on to i5 or i7.
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January 10, 2012 1:04:11 AM

^^^^^ That's true.

I have an i3 and a phenom II X4, and the phenom just does everything better, as far as I can tell. Having said that, however, I am about to order an i5 2500K, which means I need to buy a new mobo as well, so if you plan on upgrading, keep that in mind (also if you ever plan on adding another graphics card or whatever, make sure there's at least 2 8x PCI slots)
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Best solution

January 10, 2012 1:05:58 AM

I think you guys are missing the point:

Micro Center is giving $50 off a motherboard with purchase of their already discounted $99 i3-2100.

Taking money into consideration, it's a no-contest since an i3-2100 can give plenty good enough gaming performance. And this is a gaming build. No other option gives as good of gaming quality at the end of the day and that's what we're talking about, right? i3-2100 in gaming: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

It's worth buying the i3-2100 on that deal just to ebay it in a couple months and upgrade to an Ivy Bridge. That Z68 motherboard I linked above supports Ivy Bridge, is SLI compatible, has USB 3.0 & SATA III, is $55 after rebate, and I can vouch for it personally to say I've been very happy with it's SLI performance and light overclocking (Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3)
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January 10, 2012 12:38:32 PM

Good point. I am thinking about going the i3 route, but will a dual core really last for a while?
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January 10, 2012 4:50:05 PM

Not likely, but how long is a while? It will be out of date probably sooner than later, but it will save you some cash later at the expense of performance sooner.
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January 10, 2012 8:20:16 PM

RichterFry said:
Not likely, but how long is a while? It will be out of date probably sooner than later, but it will save you some cash later at the expense of performance sooner.
Once again I ask--what gaming performance does it cost him sooner? Please post some benchmarks to validate your claims. So far I have just seen how a Phenom II x4 edges it in productivity suites--and not by a big margin.

He'll still be able to ebay the i3-2100 for $50 in a year and his motherboard's worth $100, so he's not really losing any money to buy the i3 and upgrade when the time comes.

However if you want to talk about how long the more expensive Phenom II x4 will last...will that last for a while? It's a dead-end socket and system while costing more. The i3 saves him $60+ now and provides a future upgrade path to a machine that will be amazing in 3+ years while being plenty gaming capable today. I understand you like Phenom II's more--but please explain why or it just looks like a bias.
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January 10, 2012 9:29:59 PM

Perhaps it is just me being biased, but as I said before, I have both, and the AMD outperforms it, by a long shot, in gaming and in general use.
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January 11, 2012 1:57:48 AM

I get that it is more upgradable.

I was planning on being able to upgrade with the AM3+ socket later, but apparently there are no good AMD gaming processors that will be comparable to the i7- using socket AM3+?
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January 11, 2012 2:52:09 AM

Oh God no. There's no AMD processors that are legitimate contendors to the i5 2500K.
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January 11, 2012 1:18:13 PM

Ok that pretty much locks me in to the Intel route then. I was originally looking at a 6 core Zambezi but when I started reading the reviews people were saying the Phenom II X4 was out performing it. I assumed eventually they would put out a line of 6-8 core CPUs with a little more oomph.

If I am not mistaken the 1155 Socket will only ever support Quad core CPUs?
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January 11, 2012 1:21:18 PM

I'm not sure how the sockets work with Intel, at all. Some clarification here would be nice for me as well, as I'm surrently upgrading from a Phenom II to an i5 2500K myself.
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January 11, 2012 11:46:27 PM

There's not too much of a difference between those two. You loose SLI support versus the mATX--but if you go with Radeon graphics, you'll still have CrossfireX support. I definitely recommend the Gigabyte. For myself, I've got a black/red color scheme going on and would go with the Biostar--but it's not nearly as respected a brand.

Back to the i3-2100 vs Phenom II x4...since you've got both RichterFry, I'd like to get a bit more insight on the differences.

My friend's running a Phenom II x2 555 and I always get frustrated watching him game because he hits CPU bottlenecks so his framerate stutters now and then (he's got a GTX 470 that effectively cost him $110). Is the i3-2100 kinda like that? Because the i7-930, i7-2600K, and i7-2630QM's I've done most my gaming on lately don't do that and if that's the case, people need to rethink the assumption of i3-2100's gaming prowess.
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January 12, 2012 12:09:22 AM

I find that the load times for levels is frustrating long when playing online, and yes, it does seem that there's some stuttering when playing games like SC2
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January 12, 2012 1:54:15 PM

RichterFry said:
I find that the load times for levels is frustrating long when playing online, and yes, it does seem that there's some stuttering when playing games like SC2


Are you talking about your i3 system?

Can you list the entire system specs?

Thanks!
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January 12, 2012 8:46:16 PM

SC2? Really? I wouldn't expect that since core count barely seems to matter: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/blizzard-entertainm...
Not to say I wouldn't expect there to be a couple games than the i3-2100 stutters on (Not that I've heard tell of specifics. My i7 can't handle Civ 5 for some reason.), but SC2 isn't the one I'd expect.

I'd like to see an investigation into CPU's impacts on load times. People always attribute it straight to the HDD, but I've never seen it benchmarked.

It's hard for me to think the i3-2100 is insufficient for gaming because reviewers always say the opposite. But it's hard to ignore an actual user's testimony. I'm definitely gonna have to research this more.
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January 13, 2012 1:04:28 PM

I got my i3 and Gigabyte board yesterday from Microcenter. Ordering the rest of the stuff now from newegg. THANKS for all the input!
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January 13, 2012 11:53:46 PM

Sounds good. Feel free to post back if you have any issues with the build.
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January 14, 2012 1:43:16 PM

Best answer selected by jarardo.
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January 14, 2012 8:15:42 PM

Everything should be here next week.

I did the i3 with the gigabit board
Sapphire Radeon 6870 (Big upgrade from what I was planning)
8 gigs mushkin 1600 9 9 9 24
6gig/sec sata
Also got a new 23" widescreen

I am stoked can't wait to get it fired up!


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January 16, 2012 8:25:27 PM

Have fun :) !
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!