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Gaming Build - $800

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February 15, 2012 1:02:46 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: $800 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, multitasking, web browsing, movies/music............video editing i guess?

Parts Not Required: keyboard and mouse

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, and anywhere else thats cheap

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: thinking about OC the i5

Overclocking: Probably

SLI or Crossfire:p robably not

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I will probably overclock and dual screen. I want to be able to run games smoothly and switch in and out of windows fast.

Thanks.

More about : gaming build 800

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February 15, 2012 2:13:55 AM

Assuming you need everything to build the system including OS this fits the budget. You could upgrade to the i5-2500k so you could OC for another $100.

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February 15, 2012 2:25:48 AM

Thanks!

The only problem is the optical drive and memory are out of stock atm. Any other suggestions?

And I am choosing to switch to the i5-2500k for $100 more. So i guess $900 is my max now.
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February 15, 2012 2:38:19 AM

What kind of games are you going to be playing? Are you gaming on dual-monitor or just, having games on one monitor, windows on another, etc?

Depending on games you're playing you may want to invest in a slightly better card, maybe a 6870 (possibly 2gb version if you're going to be doing graphics intensive stuff on both screens, if it's not too expensive I suppose) or even a 6950.

I haven't taken a good look at the 6850 but the 6870 seems like a solid deal, I saw one the other day for about $169.99 , $159.99 after rebate I believe- that deal might be over though. 6870 performs relatively onpar with the 6950 in a lot of games too.
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February 15, 2012 2:43:55 AM

Yeah probably, games on one monitor, and windows on the other.

Games would include Starcraft 2, Heroes of Newerth, Guild Wars 2, maybe some steam games.
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February 15, 2012 3:00:52 AM

Yeah a 6850 or 6870 would probably be plenty for those games. Check some benchmarks for games you're going to play to make sure.

For optical drive, If you don't need anything special you could check this out:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It'll be around $24-25ish after shipping

For RAM, I think it's recommended you get something that doesn't have heatsinks, kind of leaves more room when you install a cooler for your i5 I guess, depends on your case and all that I suppose.

If overclocking your i5 you're going to want an aftermarket cooler too, a lot of people go with the http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But there are a lot of options - I don't really know a whole lot about it so I don't want to recommend anything specific. Someone else could probably give some suggestions.

Oh also, I've read that Intel gets pissy if you use ram that's higher than 1333 and could void your warranty, if you ever need to RMA or anything. I think it's the same case with installing an aftermarket cooler.. don't take my word for it though, I'd double check ;) 

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February 15, 2012 5:27:30 PM

Also, the build will allow me to dual screen, right? I will just need an adapter of some sort..?

EDIT: is 4GB of ram enough for multitasking? I will have a game running and browsing webs, listening music, chatting, etc.
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February 15, 2012 11:34:10 PM

bump. i wanna buy the parts really soon.
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February 16, 2012 12:18:03 AM

I'd be careful about bumping cause it's against tom's rules haha just a fair warning.

As far as i understand and anyone is more than welcome to correct me. You can run a dual monitor setup you just have to have one monitor hooked up via VGA and the other monitor via DVI.

I would go with 8 gb of ram if you can for future proofing and cause it's cheap right now. But if you can't do it, you should be able to play most games while doing some simple background tasking.

What games are you planning on playing?
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February 16, 2012 12:40:22 AM

Starcraft 2, Heroes of Newerth, Guild Wars 2, steam games
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February 16, 2012 2:45:49 AM

SC2, HoN, depends what steam games, and guild wars 2 I wouldn't think are super intensive games...

I know for a fact that HoN is not very demanding, I can't imagine SC2 being very demanding.

For games like CSS, Dod:s, HL2 series and all that jazz, HoN, and SC2 a 6850/6870 or a card in that price range should smoke those games.

By steam games do you mean games that are specific to steam? like the aforementioned, or just any possible game that you might have on steam, ie. skyrim, assassin's creed series, etc...?

Ultimately I'd say you should check benchmarks for the specific card or cards you are considering, and in the games that you will be playing.

I really don't know a lot about running multi-monitor setups, but I would think that by running another monitor you are going to be sucking some power away from the GPU, since the GPU is displaying on both monitors. So you may want to research on that a little bit, and figure out what you'll really need to run smooth games and have a smooth browsing/whatever experience on the other monitor at the same time.
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February 16, 2012 3:27:06 AM

As far as a video cards the 6870 should work fine for pretty much any game, as long as you're not expecting to run them at really high settings. The power consumptions shouldnt change much with 2 monitors itll be more of a strain on the GPU.

I was asking what games to provide you with a better answer for the ram. Battelfield 3, a common test game for builds, requires 2gb of ram and recommends for 4 so in that case you should be fine. I still think that if you can put a couple of more bucks into it, go for 8gbs but thats up to you.

oh and starcraft two recommends only 2 gb of ram and a radeon 3870 a 6870 blows it out of the water.
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February 16, 2012 3:39:35 AM

Right now im planning on getting the 6850, would that be enough? If i swap to the 6870, would everything still be compatible? I dont know what to check for compatibility.

And for steam, MW2, CS.
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February 16, 2012 6:32:59 PM

Asdfxdasdf said:
Right now im planning on getting the 6850, would that be enough? If i swap to the 6870, would everything still be compatible? I dont know what to check for compatibility.

And for steam, MW2, CS.



Yeah you'd be fine if you switched to a 6870.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/291?vs=290

Above benchmark compares the 6850 with the 6870 in certain games - In my opinion, if you can comfortably afford the 6870, it seems like a better deal.

I think either card will do fine with the games you mention, I'm just a big fan when it comes to price/performance. For a little extra money it seems like you're getting quite a bit. Depends how tight you are on your budget though of course, if you can't comfortably afford it right now then go with the one you can.

The Sapphire 6850 that was linked above is $150 ($140 after rebate) + $7 shipping

You could easily pickup a Sapphire 6870 for a bit more.

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

$170, $160 after rebate, plus free shipping... so it's like $13 more initially.

There are some other brands you can check out as well, but they might be a little bit more pricey. Most of the others seem around the $180-$200 range.
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February 25, 2012 11:37:18 PM

Best answer selected by asdfxdasdf.
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