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Building my first entertainment PC

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April 20, 2012 6:26:58 AM

Hello guys, I will be building my first entertainment PC. By entertainment here, I mean watching HD movies and also be able play demanding PC games (Crysis 2, Metro 2033 and etc..) at high to very high settings. Oh, and I am grooming my PC to prepare for GTA 5 as well. =)

So I really need your feedback. I don't want to simply build a PC that will be bottleneck in terms of performance.

My budget will be around $700-800 . Resolution to be at 1920x1080.

What are the cheap yet reliable and good components that are recommended (brands as well) ? CPU, hdd, GPU, RAM , etc etc.


Thanks guys.

More about : building entertainment

a c 118 B Homebuilt system
April 20, 2012 1:11:37 PM

Take a quad core CPU, if an i5 puts you out of budget, don't let any noobs talk you into an i3, a dual core CPU is not up to snuff for high performance, even a very good one like an i3.

CPU- Phenom II 965 Black Edition- $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo- Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3- $145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Video Card- EVGA 560 TI Overclocked- $250
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


HDD- WDC 500GB -$85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM- Gskilll 8GB kit -$47
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU- Corsair TX650v2- $90
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case- HAF 912- $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $797
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 20, 2012 1:55:02 PM

Quad core i5-2400 and HD 7850 GPU = quiet, powerfull, HTPC/Gamer
no fussing with overclocking it will just do it all stock out of the box. except maybe Metro, you need more that $800 to play it on high, medium + with no problems.

CPU Performance:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
GPU Performance:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

the system
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Internal Model IHAS324
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16827106352
$19.99

NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16811146075
$39.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16822152185
-$30.00 Instant
$139.99
$109.99

PowerColor AX7850 2GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16814131464
$249.99

SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16817151093
-$40.00 Instant
$99.99
$59.99

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16820231424
$37.99

MSI H61MA-E35 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16813130629
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$79.99

Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16819115074
$189.99
--------
$787.92 +$23 Shipping and - $10 MIR
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
April 20, 2012 2:05:36 PM

jerreddredd said:
Quad core i5-2400 and HD 7850 GPU = quiet, powerfull, HTPC/Gamer
no fussing with overclocking it will just do it all stock out of the box. except maybe Metro, you need more that $800 to play it on high, medium + with no problems.

CPU Performance:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
GPU Performance:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-revi...

the system
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Internal Model IHAS324
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16827106352
$19.99

NZXT Source 210 S210-001 Black “Aluminum Brush / Plastic” ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16811146075
$39.99

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16822152185
-$30.00 Instant
$139.99
$109.99

PowerColor AX7850 2GBD5-2DH Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16814131464
$249.99

SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16817151093
-$40.00 Instant
$99.99
$59.99

G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16820231424
$37.99

MSI H61MA-E35 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16813130629
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$79.99

Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Item #: N82E16819115074
$189.99
--------
$787.92 +$23 Shipping and - $10 MIR


Now that would indeed be a better choice than an i3. Seriously, people need to stop recommending i3 systems.
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April 22, 2012 4:03:30 AM

nekulturny said:
Now that would indeed be a better choice than an i3. Seriously, people need to stop recommending i3 systems.



Hello and thanks for ur recommendations! anyway , i dont quite understand the fuss abt i3? is it that bad?

There are rumours going on arnd review websites that says phenom are not as good as the i5, as the i5 can be OC further without problems. However the phenom is just not that good when it comes to high end performance. Is this true?

I was thinking about phenom as well, as its cheaper. But again, I don't want to sacrifice performance for slight pricing.

Please give me advice. Thanks!
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April 22, 2012 4:48:06 AM

My htpc:
AMD 615e ($90 from TD new on ebay right now)
AMd 6570 ($35 if you get with rebate)
Asus M4A88T-I ($118 on directron using 1.5% promo code, preffered3)
8GB ddr3 204pin 1333Mhz laptop G.Skill Ram(cheap as $20 with rebate, normally $35-$40)
Kingston 64GB ssdnow (can get equiv for $55, I stream videos from my server)
Apevia 100-itx case ($30-$50 depending on rebate, heavily moded)
Replaced PSU down 120W + laptop charger($35)
3x scythe 20mmx40mm
2x scythe 10mmx40mm
scythe 10mmx60mm (order it from quietpc UK, it is not carried in the US)

Much lower in cost. I can still play Crysis maxed at 18 fps. And it runs load power of 75W, it really does save a lot in power cost over the course of a year. I guess it depends on what you want. I would go for another case though, it took me two weeks of moding to get everything to work. Alternately get a case that can fit a full profile VGA and get a 7750. Your power consumption should not go up. My main comp has this setup with a 1100t and a 7750, it pulls about 31 fps in Crysis (Crysis 2 is higher).
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 22, 2012 7:32:19 AM

sylvester21 said:
Hello and thanks for ur recommendations! anyway , i dont quite understand the fuss abt i3? is it that bad?

There are rumours going on arnd review websites that says phenom are not as good as the i5, as the i5 can be OC further without problems. However the phenom is just not that good when it comes to high end performance. Is this true?

I was thinking about phenom as well, as its cheaper. But again, I don't want to sacrifice performance for slight pricing.

Please give me advice. Thanks!


the i3 is a dual core and the i5 is a quad core as is the AMD 965BE. if it is in your budget, a quad core is better as more games and apps will eventually utilized more than one or two cores.

in games, the average of 40 FPS is considered as the minimum for smooth playing and not dropping below 30 at any time. for most people anything over 25FPS is indistinguishable.

if you would like to Overclock an i5, you will need do go with the "K" series and a P67, Z68 or Z77 Mother board which will drive up the price of the build I quoted about $60. The AMD x4 965BE can be over clocked as is, but even over clocked, it is not as fast a the stock i5 2400.
as nekulturny pointed out to me in a another thread, the 965BE easily over clocks to the 980BE speeds just using the CPU multiplier (you can over clock the AMD chip further with a little more effort and a upgraded HSF)

This chart shows the performance differences between the i5 2400 and the a over clocked 965BE (980BE speeds). you can also select the i3 2100 also to see how it stacks up.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/363?vs=362
note: in some of the tests higher is better and some lower is better

Here is THG take on the Gaming ability of sub $200 processors.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
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