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First build gaming PC, $1000 budget

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March 8, 2012 8:03:04 PM

After some research and suggestions I think Im going with this setup. Does anyone see something I should re-consider or change? I really have been out of the loop awhile.. Im especially unsure about the motherboard. I dont really plan using an SLI Crossfire setup if that helps any:

HDD- Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB
MOBO- ASUS M5A99X EVO (AMD)
CPU- AMD Phenom II Black Edition (quad core)
GPU- XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB (dual fan version)
RAM- Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4gb)
PSU- Corsair GS 600w
Case- NZXT Phantom 410 ATX mid tower



System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Design Programs (Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.), surfing the net.

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900
March 10, 2012 9:40:30 PM

Bump. Anyone?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 12:41:52 AM

Looks like a winner to me. I'm currently between motherboards. I have a Phenom II 975, was on a Gigabyte Mobo, it died. I wasn't happy with the cust support I got from Gigabyte so I ordered an Asus Sabertooth as the replacement.

As far as I know Asus has a pretty good reputation of making motherboards, but then again, I thought that about Gigabyte a month ago until yesterday morning....


Either way, going with the AM3+ mobo is a really good idea, Phenom IIs are a generation old, but they still hold their ground in the modern market, and you have expandability options with the more modern board.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 1:02:08 AM

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Either way, going with the AM3+ mobo is a really good idea, Phenom IIs are a generation old, but they still hold their ground in the modern market, and you have expandability options with the more modern board.


Actually they're more like two or three generations old. And they're not holding their ground against Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge. The next round of AMD CPUs are reportedly going to use an entirely new socket and motherboard design.

I wouldn't go AMD right now - even the $70 Pentium G620 far outperforms a $250 FX-8150: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pentium-g620-amd-a8...

Try this setup:

Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3H
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Intel Core i5-2400
PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - Corsair TX650
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 1:14:56 AM

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I wouldn't go AMD right now - even the $70 Pentium G620 far outperforms a $250 FX-8150.

thats a little far fetched, granted the Bulldozer has its fair share of problems lol.

Piledrivers are set to use AM3+ Sockets as far as I know., AM3+ was just released last fall. and AMD has a better track record lately of backwards compatibility than Intel. But its the OP's call.

Phenom II is still a very viable CPU in 2012.

Although, if you have a source that shows the AM3+ is getting replaced already, I'd be interested in seeing it.

Edit: I'm looking into this, thats a real interesting thing you've got me curious about.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 1:34:18 AM

Of course, I consulted professor Wikipedia, Excuse me, Piledrivers weren't meant to be AM3+.

Steamroller which is set for 2014, is supposed to retain AM3+ .. Excavator which would be their APUs (BTW I get confused by all these silly names), is supposed to be folded into the FX line at some point, (in sickness and in health- supposedly AMD's APUs show promise). Which I would assume means, they'd go with the AM3+ socket and chipset.
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 4:24:59 AM

nekulturny said:
Of course, I consulted professor Wikipedia, Excuse me, Piledrivers weren't meant to be AM3+.

Steamroller which is set for 2014, is supposed to retain AM3+ .. Excavator which would be their APUs (BTW I get confused by all these silly names), is supposed to be folded into the FX line at some point, (in sickness and in health- supposedly AMD's APUs show promise). Which I would assume means, they'd go with the AM3+ socket and chipset.


I find it hard to believe that they're still sticking with AM3 for the foreseeable future. Test after test shows even the lowest end Sandy Bridge CPUs beating the highest end AM3 CPUs. The problem with Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it, and Stephen Colbert and Daniel Tosh have been more than pointing this out on numerous occasions. If AMD wants to beat or even match Intel they're going to have to go back to the proverbial drawing board, so to speak.

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thats a little far fetched, granted the Bulldozer has its fair share of problems lol.


That's why I can't recommend any AMD CPU right now - Bulldozer has tons of issues associated with it.

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Phenom II is still a very viable CPU in 2012.


I have two systems - one uses a Phenom II and the other uses an i3-2120, I *FAR* prefer the i3-based system, I will eventually be replacing my AM3 system with it, but that's a long term thing.

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Edit: I'm looking into this, thats a real interesting thing you've got me curious about.


Yeah check out the benchmarks I linked to - and that's just on a few games.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 4:51:28 AM

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I find it hard to believe that they're still sticking with AM3 for the foreseeable future.


They say they are. Will they change? Maybe.

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Test after test shows even the lowest end Sandy Bridge CPUs beating the highest end AM3 CPUs.


Depends on what you're doing with it. Gaming still can't effectively use more than 2 cores. It doesn't matter how bad the bulldozer architecture is, dual core is not going to beat an 8 core anything in a multi-threaded application.

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The problem with Wikipedia is that anyone can edit it, and Stephen Colbert and Daniel Tosh have been more than pointing this out on numerous occasions.


Oh yea, no doubt, thats why I usually take a look at the references cited on wikipedia. You can use wikipedia effectively so long as you check the sources to make sure its not just some random person pulling information out their backside. Now, it bears further looking into, because as far as I can tell this doens't really give detailed sources about keeping the socket. Maybe I'm wrong on this (still a first year IT major- cut me some slack if ur already got "teh degreez", but I dont' see why they really need to change the socket to take their architecture back to the drawing board, not all of the pins on a CPU actually "do" anything at all. Some of them are "reserved pins", I would assume reserved for... drawing board changes.

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I have two systems - one uses a Phenom II and the other uses an i3-2120, I *FAR* prefer the i3-based system, I will eventually be replacing my AM3 system with it, but that's a long term thing.


I'd have to see your benchmarks on that one, you're using a Thurban, I'm running a Deneb. I've posted benchmarks in another thread, while its clear the 2500k overall outperforms my 975 Deneb, it still holds its own against it, considering its older, and cheaper thats interesting.

It really comes down to the person's budget, and what they want to do with their computer. Me, I'm not a heavy gamer. In fact the only game I really play is still a 1-core Java based MMORPG. I've dabbled with some newer games, and really, for a budget gaming system such as the OP is looking for, hes better off going more expensive on the graphics card, the Deneb Phenom II will take anything hes going to throw at it and smile.

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Core-i5-2500K-vs...

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Yeah check out the benchmarks I linked to - and that's just on a few games.


I don't see any links in your post, but I'll be glad to check em out. :bounce: 

At least you're not one of those guys who acts like now that sandy bridge is out, the phenom II is trash and always was. I've met those guys, you cant tell them anything lol.

edit: I see the link you were referring to.. Reading it. Looks like its comparing Llano to Core.. Not Bulldozer
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a c 92 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 6:05:19 AM

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I don't see any links in your post, but I'll be glad to check em out. :bounce: 

At least you're not one of those guys who acts like now that sandy bridge is out, the phenom II is trash and always was. I've met those guys, you cant tell them anything lol.

edit: I see the link you were referring to.. Reading it. Looks like its comparing Llano to Core.. Not Bulldozer


This is what I'm talking about: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pentium-g620-amd-a8...

Specifically pages 5 and 6 show where the FX-8150 is outperformed by the Pentium G620.

The thing is I never take either side - I'll get whatever CPU / GPU combination performs the best. If it's AMD, I'll get an AMD system - if it's Intel, I'll get an Intel system. That review actually takes a number of sub $200 CPUs and compares them all - Pentiums, Llanos, Phenoms, and i3/i5s.


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Depends on what you're doing with it. Gaming still can't effectively use more than 2 cores. It doesn't matter how bad the bulldozer architecture is, dual core is not going to beat an 8 core anything in a multi-threaded application.


That's definitely true - gaming systems usually don't use more than 2 cores. I have the Phenom II because my system that I use it for is more for managing my rather extensive media collection, hence the large storage configuration.
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March 11, 2012 6:33:09 AM

Very enlightening info. I was about to ask about the FX series, but I see it was a little underwhelming. It seems I would still be better off sticking with a Phenom II for now? The Phenom II x6 is only $15 more then the x4 if it would be worth it. I'll probably wait and see how the Piledriver series turns out.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 6:43:10 AM

Okay, I'm looking on page 5 and 6. I think I see where the confusion lies. The A8-3870K is not the $250 Fx-8150. The A8-3870k is AMD's Llano APU. Its a completely different socket (FM1), architecture and chipset from Bulldozer aka FX, at least as I understand it. Maybe I'm missing something in that link? Or you posted the wrong one?

This is the headline I'm getting from the link you posted: Battle At $140: Can An APU Beat An Intel CPU And Add-In Graphics?


Page 5 headline: Benchmark Results: Metro 2033
Page 6: Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


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I'll get whatever CPU / GPU combination performs the best. If it's AMD, I'll get an AMD system

I'm a college student, I get what I can afford lol. I'll worry about the "kill anything thats breathing" after I graduate and get into the field. But first, the significant other wants a house. God knows he puts up with enough of my BS to deserve it. :o 

But anyway, I tend to gravitate towards NVIDIA. Not so much because I think their better, just thats what I've always had. As far as CPUs, I've had both Intel and AMD. Although, my computer which is currently out of commission due to a failed Gigabyte board, was my first custom build. From a purely analytical standpoint (since I lack experience), I prefer AMD simply for their better reputation of compatibility.

Intel changed sockets on us to give us Sandy Bridge with no backwards compatibility. Where AMD has been giving us backwards and forward compatibility I'm not a fan of having to buy parts to replace ones that aren't broke to get a little better performance, thats a personal thing really from a consumer standpoint.


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I have the Phenom II because my system that I use it for is more for managing my rather extensive media collection, hence the large storage configuration.


Well for that kind of stuff, the Thuban is well suited for it, however, for gaming performance, the Deneb quad core is gonna spank it. Since you're only using 2 cores to game practically, and the more cores overall translates into slower individual core speed. (at least so my professor says- yes! I get to blame her if I'm wrong on that one!, she told us that last week)

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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 6:45:59 AM

wizzleteets said:
Very enlightening info. I was about to ask about the FX series, but I see it was a little underwhelming. It seems I would still be better off sticking with a Phenom II for now? The Phenom II x6 is only $15 more then the x4 if it would be worth it. I'll probably wait and see how the Piledriver series turns out.



Glad our geeky discussion helps lol. :D 

Honestly, the debate about the FX series, all of the technical fine print aside, it probably does just fine for gaming for the average Joe. My eyes aren't that great, is the average person really going to notice the difference between 120FPS and 100? I don't think I would. There en lies the inherent problem with benchmarks.

For gaming, if you're set on the Phenom II, I would advise going with the Deneb Quad core, rather than the 6 core Thuban.
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March 11, 2012 6:52:54 AM

Best answer selected by wizzleteets.
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