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$700 to $800 AMD Gaming Build

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February 6, 2012 6:39:32 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next 2-3 weeks

Budget Range: $700 to $800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Light video editing (home videos), Surfing the web

Parts Not Required: OS, keyboard, mouse, monitor, SSD (I don't think I need one)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference as long as they are reputable and reliable.

Country: United States

Parts Preferences: AMD CPUs and GPUs only please. I prefer Western Digital hard drives because thats what I tend to use, but I am open to other brands if they are reliable.

Overclocking: Maybe, depends on how easy and safe it is and if the benefit is worth it.

SLI or Crossfire: Not now, but I may consider it in the future when I need to upgrade.

Monitor Resolution: Not sure, but probably not higher than 1680 x 1050.

Additional Comments: I would like to use this computer for as long as possible so it would be nice if I can easily upgrade it. Also, thank you for taking the time to help me.
February 6, 2012 8:19:40 AM

Just a quick question: Why would you want only AMD CPUs and GPUs?
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February 6, 2012 8:37:02 AM

vitornob said:
Just a quick question: Why would you want only AMD CPUs and GPUs?


^ This - I am VERY unsure about the AMD CPU Part - I'm afraid there will be tumbleweeds in this thread unless there is a good reason - most of us here at Toms don't really know how to reccomend an AMD CPU and havent done for quite some time (Athlon 64 anyone?)
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February 6, 2012 8:40:49 AM

I ask this cause is more than proven that the i3-2100 is a strong CPU, better than all AMD cpus, sometimes even if you overclock the AMD ones (speaking in games area, in highly multi-thread apps this might change).

Here some links for enlight this:

Benchmark Results: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3 - Here the cpus doesn't make difference, at 1080p the GPU is the bottleneck
Benchmark Results: Just Cause 2
Benchmark Results: StarCraft II
Benchmark Results: DiRT 3
AMD Or Intel: Which Offers Better Gaming Performance?



Useful quotes:
- "the dual-core Pentium G630 and G860, which perform incredibly well, matching up to AMD's former Phenom II X4 955 flagship"

- "At $80 and $100 respectively, both Sandy Bridge-based Pentiums boldly snatch the budget gaming CPU recommendation from the Athlon II CPUs we’re used to seeing dominate this segment."

- "With the sub-$100 Pentiums performing so well, Intel's $125 Core i3-2100 easily beats more expensive Phenom II and FX models. And the $190 Core i5-2400 dominates the sub-$200 landscape without challenge, really. As such, we're almost-shockingly left without an AMD CPU to recommend at any price point."

Considerations:
- If you buy an AMD cpu, you won't have an open upgrade path, since for gaming the best cpu you could buy is the Phenom II X4/X6 (The FX line isn't that good for gaming, and it's expensive). Considering the next cpu (bulldozer) isn't AM3+ socket you're in a dead end.

- If you go with the sandy-bridge (i3-2100 for example) you have a whole world from upgrade, considering this is more likely the mid-low sandy-bridge performer, without considering Ivy-bridge is coming out and is socket compatible! (disconsidering the H61 chipset)
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February 6, 2012 9:36:34 AM

My build that I brought of ebay cost me around 750 and I can BF3 on ultra settings fine.

CPU: FX-4100
GPU: 6950 2GB
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P
RAM: 8 GB G.skill 1333
Hard Drive: 1 TB Seagate Barracuda
Case: Antec Three Hundred
PSU: 750w Huntkey PSU
Optical Drive: Lite On DvD Writer
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February 6, 2012 9:59:20 AM

amd phenomII x4 960t/x6 1090t
sapphire hd 6850 the rest 500gb wdcb hdd
520w seasonic 80plus bronze
8gb g.skill 1333/1600 either are good
lg/samsung odd
antec 300/nzxt source 210
mobo:any 4 slot ram and am3+
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February 7, 2012 1:36:16 AM

vitornob said:
Just a quick question: Why would you want only AMD CPUs and GPUs?


Well, its not really a big deal. I can go with Intel CPUs too. It just seems kind of pointless to ask for a $700- $800 Intel build since it seems like there is enough of them on the forums that I wouldn't need to make my own topic.

Thank you for the info and links, they are very helpful. I'll probably post again with what I end up deciding on after I read more stuff.

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February 8, 2012 6:38:29 AM

Okay so after doing some more reading, I think it will be a good idea to go with an Intel CPU, but I have some questions.

CPU:
How much of a performance difference is there between an i3 and i5?
Also, which i3 and which i5 are the best? I know that people recommend the i3-2100 and the i5-2500k alot and the i5-2500k is good for overclocking. But are there other i3's and i5's that are worth considering?

I feel like an i5 would be more future proof since it has 4 cores.

Motherboard:
So, there's alot of motherboards out there. I know I need a LGA 1155 Socket, but I am unsure as to what chipset to use. It looks like the main choices are H67, P67, and Z68. Z68 seems to be the best one, but I am not sure.

What are some good motherboards at various price points (like sub-$100, ~$120, ~$150, and I probably won't pay more than that)?

Also, is there a benefit to use both the integrated graphics and a discrete graphics card? Are there any disadvantages?

GPU:
I am probably going to go with an AMD Radeon HD 6850.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Is there much of a difference between Sapphire, HIS, PowerColor, XFX, etc.?

Case:
I am most likely going to go with the Cooler Master HAF 912 or something similar.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU:
I am not entirely sure how much power I will need. I was looking at the Seasonic M12II and S12II because I know they are good. However, I was wondering if there was anything cheaper than that.

Memory:
Probably going to go with 8 gb of DDR3 1333 G.Skill ram. Although, I was wondering how important heat spreaders are.

Optical Drive:
How good are Lite-On drives? Seems like they are reliable.

General Questions:
How good is Newegg's return policy and replacement policy? If I get something and its broken, will I be able to get a replacement/refund easily?

How easy is it to do the rebates for stuff I buy from Newegg?

Also, is it a good idea to buy anything from Fry's or BestBuy? It seems like Newegg is better.

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February 8, 2012 9:14:57 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Thermaltake V9 Black Edition - $54.99 With Rebates

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Core i5 2400 3.1ghz - $189.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - ASRock Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 Mobo - $121.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Hitachi Deskstar 500GB 7200rpm 32MB - $79.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Corsair Vengeance White LP DDR3 1600Mhz RAM 8GB - $49.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Antec Earthwatts 650W 80+ Cert PSU - $79.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - MSI Twin Frozr II GTX560ti 1GB OC - $229.99 With Rebates

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - LG 22X DVD Burner - $15.99

Total With Rebates - $822.92

PROS -

- Upgrades to Ivy Bridge with full PCI-E 3.0 Support
- SLI/Xfire Capable Motherboard and PSU
- Quad Core i5 2400
- Extremely Cool and Quiet Factory OC'd 560ti with the award winning Twin Frozr II Cooler installed
- Low Profile RAM in case an aftermarket cooler needs to be installed

CONS -

$22.92 over budget
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February 9, 2012 8:07:04 AM

demonicimpact said:
What if I bought this combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

And then bought a GPU and optical drive to complete it? Will that work?


But to keep within budget you would have to get an inferior Graphics Card.

The system I showed you will perform much better than that Combo + a $130 Graphics card.
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