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New Gaming Rig $500 AMD

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=N82E16817371002


New Parts:
Seagate 7200 rpm Sata 6gb/sec 500gb drive $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148767

ASRock 870 Extreme3 AM3+ Mobo $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157272

Asus Radeon 6770 1gb GDDR5 VCard $99 w/ rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121474

Mushkin 2x4gb ddr3 1600 Ram $37
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226288

AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black (Quad core 3.5 ghz) $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103894

Will need a Sata Dvd
Cheap LiteOn DVD Burner $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289

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!
38 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. for $500 you could get an i3-2100 based build or even an i5-2500k build! AMD is not the option you want
  2. Thanks!
    Would this be better than the Phenom II X4 3.5 ghz? Its about $55 more.

    Intell i5-2300 Sandy Bridge 2.8GHz (3.1GHz Turbo Boost)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115076
  3. 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.
  4. Memory, this has better latency. Cheaper
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ $24.99 free shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231190
  5. I thought the 1600mhz might trump the better latency?
    Also the $37 is for 8 gigs of the mushkin in 2 sticks.
  6. 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.
  7. 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=N82E16820231416
  8. He has a case & PSU - If you could only get your hands on another $100.....
    -Bruce
  9. Do you have a microcenter near you? i3 combo with a mobo with good vrms: www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/943109-about-vrms-mosfets-motherboard-safety-125w.html, 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.
  10. 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)
  11. 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=N82E16819103996&Tpk=FX-4100

    The new FX series paired up with a nice AM3+ mobo, you can OC these guys easily and pretty high.
  12. 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...
  13. 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?product_id=0364087
    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.
  14. 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)
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. 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 :)
  18. 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.
  19. ^^^^^ 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)
  20. Best answer
    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-review-intel-core-i7-2600k-i5-2500k-core-i3-2100-tested/20

    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)
  21. Good point. I am thinking about going the i3 route, but will a dual core really last for a while?
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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+?
  26. Oh God no. There's no AMD processors that are legitimate contendors to the i5 2500K.
  27. 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?
  28. 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.
  29. The mobo suggested above from micro-center is an mATX, I have a huge case so I am looking at these 2 boards instead.

    They are both $99 with rebate.

    Gigabyte
    GA-Z68AP-D3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0375352

    Biostar
    TZ68A+RCH LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0371606
  30. 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.
  31. 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
  32. 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!
  33. SC2? Really? I wouldn't expect that since core count barely seems to matter: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/blizzard-entertainment-starcraft-ii-benchmark,2611-9.html
    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.
  34. I got my i3 and Gigabyte board yesterday from Microcenter. Ordering the rest of the stuff now from newegg. THANKS for all the input!
  35. Sounds good. Feel free to post back if you have any issues with the build.
  36. Best answer selected by jarardo.
  37. 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!
  38. Have fun :)!
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