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Gaming PC @$550

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June 3, 2012 3:27:06 PM

HI guys.. :D 
So i want to build a system which about $550...
Can you guys suggest me what can i buys ...
I'm going to do some rendering and heavy gaming on this pc..
Right now im using:
Pentium 4 @2.4GHz[SH*T]
1GB Ram DDR2 600Mhz{SH*T]
Geforce 9600GT 512MB GDDR3[OK]

the parts i will be needing are:
CPU(Preferably quad core)
Motherboard(LGA 1155)
GPU(HD 6870 or GTX 560)suggest me one please
Ram(4GB)
PSU(well the GPU asks 500w so i would go with a 550w)

So that is it!!!
Thank you...

Also that's my first thread here... Sorry if i posted in the wrong section :D 

More about : gaming 550

a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2012 3:51:41 PM

Click the link in my signature to see what sort of system you should be aiming for.

You will have a tough time stretching for some of the things you want like a quad core and a 6870.

Doing so would require you to make serious sacrifices elsewhere which could result in unstable operations.

The $600 setup should be gettable for about $550ish and it is well balanced and will be very stable and it is maximally unlikely that you will have a lot of difficult troubleshooting issues to sort out when you receive the parts.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2012 3:54:30 PM

You might want to jump on over to the Systems > New Build section of the THG forums where they handle about a couple dozen of these requests per day.
And they are more in tune with current prices, sales and combo deals.

If you fill out the form in *How To Ask For New Build Advice* you'll answer all the standard questions that help things get started

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June 3, 2012 4:20:48 PM

Raiddinn said:
Click the link in my signature to see what sort of system you should be aiming for.

You will have a tough time stretching for some of the things you want like a quad core and a 6870.

Doing so would require you to make serious sacrifices elsewhere which could result in unstable operations.

The $600 setup should be gettable for about $550ish and it is well balanced and will be very stable and it is maximally unlikely that you will have a lot of difficult troubleshooting issues to sort out when you receive the parts.




Thank you for the reply..

I checked your link and clicked the $600 one...
I found various parts that I won't need..
Here's what's listed there:

i3-2120
Gigabyte GA-H61M-DS2
Crucial 2x 4GB 1333
HD 6850
XFX Pro 450w Core
HAF 912
Generic, Included in the processor box
Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB 7200 RPM
Asus 24x DVD

I won't need the DVD drive,Case, HDD and the extra 4Gb of Ram as I plan to use only 4...
For the PSU, i need a 550w one..
If I remove these, would it leave me the extra bucks needed to upgrade the CPU and GPU???
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a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2012 5:04:49 PM

WR2 said:
You might want to jump on over to the Systems > New Build section of the THG forums where they handle about a couple dozen of these requests per day.
And they are more in tune with current prices, sales and combo deals.


Luckily for him that section is my home.

Themegadine - If you drop that stuff, yes you can afford to get a better processor and video card.

However, you should seriously consider the advisability of dropping the case.

What case is it that you intend to use with this computer? The case makes a huge impact on how the computer functions and for a good gaming setup you really want to have a good case.

Also, it is worth the $20 to get the extra 4 GBs of RAM if you are going to be using a 64 bit OS. Eight is much better than 4. It would be $20 well spent as long as your computer can access it (which it can't with a 32 bit OS).

Also, while a 550w would be a more conservative PSU than a 450w would, I don't know that I would say "need" is the right word to use.

If you look here

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphics/2010/10/22/at...

the power consumption of a 6870 at load, as in during gaming when the video card is using all its non-OCd power, the power consumption for a regular system would come in at about 247 watts.

The reason the suggestion is for 550w or more watts is because even the most crappy and mislabeled 550w PSU (like Apevias, Diabloteks, and so on) can usually manage at least 247w.

Non-crappy well labeled PSUs with 250w would be able to handle a 6870 just fine.

The XFX that I suggested falls into the latter category and they are extremely well made. So well made that the XFX 450w can do 550w better than most 550w PSUs can.

All of that also depends a lot on which case you have so a bad case can make both good and bad PSUs fail to perform up to the levels they are quite capable of which is why I would like to ensure that your cooling system is very good.

The worse your case, the more wattage you need in your PSU.

Anyway, if you just drop the hard drive you should be able to push up to an i5-2400 quad core and very powerful Intel processor and you should have enough left over to bump up to a 6870 as well. Especially if you are losing the DVD drive in the mix too.
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June 3, 2012 5:43:43 PM

Quote:
Luckily for him that section is my home.

Themegadine - If you drop that stuff, yes you can afford to get a better processor and video card.

However, you should seriously consider the advisability of dropping the case.

What case is it that you intend to use with this computer? The case makes a huge impact on how the computer functions and for a good gaming setup you really want to have a good case.

Also, it is worth the $20 to get the extra 4 GBs of RAM if you are going to be using a 64 bit OS. Eight is much better than 4. It would be $20 well spent as long as your computer can access it (which it can't with a 32 bit OS).

Also, while a 550w would be a more conservative PSU than a 450w would, I don't know that I would say "need" is the right word to use.

If you look here

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/g [...] 0-review/9

the power consumption of a 6870 at load, as in during gaming when the video card is using all its non-OCd power, the power consumption for a regular system would come in at about 247 watts.

The reason the suggestion is for 550w or more watts is because even the most crappy and mislabeled 550w PSU (like Apevias, Diabloteks, and so on) can usually manage at least 247w.

Non-crappy well labeled PSUs with 250w would be able to handle a 6870 just fine.

The XFX that I suggested falls into the latter category and they are extremely well made. So well made that the XFX 450w can do 550w better than most 550w PSUs can.

All of that also depends a lot on which case you have so a bad case can make both good and bad PSUs fail to perform up to the levels they are quite capable of which is why I would like to ensure that your cooling system is very good.

The worse your case, the more wattage you need in your PSU.

Anyway, if you just drop the hard drive you should be able to push up to an i5-2400 quad core and very powerful Intel processor and you should have enough left over to bump up to a 6870 as well. Especially if you are losing the DVD drive in the mix too.



LOL. You are reading in my mind!!!
I have a cr*ppy case of some brand..
So you are telling me that a *good* 450w PSU will be enough for the 6870..
As for the card, ain't there other alternatives to the 6870.. Like the GTX 560(Not 'ti' of course)...

Some or most people I found on forums said that 4GB of ram is enough for today's games... I do use rendering programs..
As you are the expert, could tell me the performance boost i get from 4 gigs to 8?? Or is there anywhere i can see it... I can upgrade ram anytime i want because Ram is cheap nowadays.. But still for the start of my build, i will use 4..

Also my case stays sometimes open (pay attention to 'sometimes') as i swap my backup hard drives quite often...
This sould help cooling i guess...
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a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2012 6:18:48 PM

For $10 more I would take the i5-2400. It has 300 MHZ more which is a pretty good step up for $10. You would be getting about 11% more processor speed for about 5% more $.

Yes, a top of the line 450w PSU paired with a really good low end case would be more than enough for a 6870 or 560.

I am generally the sort of person that likes to be conservative with such things, so part of me wants to say just get the 550w so there is not even a 1% chance it won't work, but if all you are using is 250w then the XFX 450w is more than enough. I feel pretty confident in that statement.

The difference between an XFX 450w and an XFX 550w is about $15 and I truly think that if you spent the extra $15 you would be buying yourself nothing but possibly increased longevity.

If you are going to stick with OCZ, then I would take a 550w instead. I dislike this brand with a passion, because they have quality issues in pretty much all their product lines so bad they have to leave entire industries, but I do have to admit they make some OK products too. If you are set on getting an OCZ PSU you will want to definitely do your research to make sure you aren't getting one of the lemons.

Reviews on retailers websites aren't good enough, it has to be from a serious review website like Johnnyguru, Hardware Secrets, Hard OCP, Overclockers.net, or one like those who both know what they are talking about and aren't afraid to rip into a manufacturer for making a subpar product.

Hardware Secrets is always the first place I turn for a good review and Johnnyguru always the second. If neither of them reviewed a PSU or at least one from the same model line, usually I won't even consider standing behind it.

Between 560 non TI and 6870 I would just get whichever one is the cheapest.

RAM - It is sorta like power. You never have a problem until you try to go just the teensiest bit over what your computer has available, then things go downhill rapidly.

Windows 7 is going to use about 2 GBs of RAM itself and a game can use up to another 2 GBs, so those two things together can potentially use a whole 4 GBs. If you want to have a web browser open with multiple tabs and you want to run some other music program at the same time or whatever then you have to hope that Windows or the game will be willing to give up some of their allotments without a performance hit or else you will experience a problem.

Just because every game can use up to 2 GBs doesn't mean it will, so maybe none of your games will ever use more than 1.5 GBs or whatever and that would leave half a GB to spare for whatever else wants to run at the same time or whatever and you could be fine.

On the other hand, there is absolutely zero way you would ever experience any problems with 8 GBs in a game. Anything Windows would try to do in the background would never begin to touch the spare 4 GBs you have laying around. You could have whatever open in the background you want and Windows wouldn't flinch.

Obviously, I exaggerate a little. If you try to run 2 more games at the same time that are each using 2 GBs or if you try to run a web server that has to spawn thousands of processes to keep up with everyone's web traffic then it is possible to eat up the extra 4 GBs, but I have never once heard of anyone have a RAM related problem during gaming when they had 8 GBs.

However, I have heard quite a few times that people had problems related to lack of RAM with 4 GBs.

I am the sort of person who wants their computer to work perfectly all the time, so the extra $20 to rule out such problems is a bargain for me.

I couldn't fault you for just going with CT51264BA1339 to start with and add another one if you experience problems, but I would just get both up front if it were me in your shoes (CT2KIT51264BA1339).

You should note that a major RAM maker recently went bankrupt. The reduction in supply and competition will potentially cause RAM prices to begin rising in the future from their record low levels.

Case - I absolutely would suggest very strongly that you invest in a good case. A good case has so much impact on the operation of every part that it is hard to adequately describe it.

The HAF 912 is an extremely good budget case and I recommend it to everyone. It is worth shelling out the money for.

So many times on these boards a person has come in here with a huge problem that traces directly back to their having a bad case and I wouldn't like to see that happen to you.
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June 3, 2012 6:49:30 PM

Quote:
For $10 more I would take the i5-2400. It has 300 MHZ more which is a pretty good step up for $10. You would be getting about 11% more processor speed for about 5% more $.

Yes, a top of the line 450w PSU paired with a really good low end case would be more than enough for a 6870 or 560.

I am generally the sort of person that likes to be conservative with such things, so part of me wants to say just get the 550w so there is not even a 1% chance it won't work, but if all you are using is 250w then the XFX 450w is more than enough. I feel pretty confident in that statement.

The difference between an XFX 450w and an XFX 550w is about $15 and I truly think that if you spent the extra $15 you would be buying yourself nothing but possibly increased longevity.

If you are going to stick with OCZ, then I would take a 550w instead. I dislike this brand with a passion, because they have quality issues in pretty much all their product lines so bad they have to leave entire industries, but I do have to admit they make some OK products too. If you are set on getting an OCZ PSU you will want to definitely do your research to make sure you aren't getting one of the lemons.

Reviews on retailers websites aren't good enough, it has to be from a serious review website like Johnnyguru, Hardware Secrets, Hard OCP, Overclockers.net, or one like those who both know what they are talking about and aren't afraid to rip into a manufacturer for making a subpar product.

Hardware Secrets is always the first place I turn for a good review and Johnnyguru always the second. If neither of them reviewed a PSU or at least one from the same model line, usually I won't even consider standing behind it.

Between 560 non TI and 6870 I would just get whichever one is the cheapest.

RAM - It is sorta like power. You never have a problem until you try to go just the teensiest bit over what your computer has available, then things go downhill rapidly.

Windows 7 is going to use about 2 GBs of RAM itself and a game can use up to another 2 GBs, so those two things together can potentially use a whole 4 GBs. If you want to have a web browser open with multiple tabs and you want to run some other music program at the same time or whatever then you have to hope that Windows or the game will be willing to give up some of their allotments without a performance hit or else you will experience a problem.

Just because every game can use up to 2 GBs doesn't mean it will, so maybe none of your games will ever use more than 1.5 GBs or whatever and that would leave half a GB to spare for whatever else wants to run at the same time or whatever and you could be fine.

On the other hand, there is absolutely zero way you would ever experience any problems with 8 GBs in a game. Anything Windows would try to do in the background would never begin to touch the spare 4 GBs you have laying around. You could have whatever open in the background you want and Windows wouldn't flinch.

Obviously, I exaggerate a little. If you try to run 2 more games at the same time that are each using 2 GBs or if you try to run a web server that has to spawn thousands of processes to keep up with everyone's web traffic then it is possible to eat up the extra 4 GBs, but I have never once heard of anyone have a RAM related problem during gaming when they had 8 GBs.

However, I have heard quite a few times that people had problems related to lack of RAM with 4 GBs.

I am the sort of person who wants their computer to work perfectly all the time, so the extra $20 to rule out such problems is a bargain for me.

I couldn't fault you for just going with CT51264BA1339 to start with and add another one if you experience problems, but I would just get both up front if it were me in your shoes (CT2KIT51264BA1339).

You should note that a major RAM maker recently went bankrupt. The reduction in supply and competition will potentially cause RAM prices to begin rising in the future from their record low levels.

Case - I absolutely would suggest very strongly that you invest in a good case. A good case has so much impact on the operation of every part that it is hard to adequately describe it.

The HAF 912 is an extremely good budget case and I recommend it to everyone. It is worth shelling out the money for.

So many times on these boards a person has come in here with a huge problem that traces directly back to their having a bad case and I wouldn't like to see that happen to you.



Thank you for the wonderful and quick reply...

Well for the $10 performance boost i agree with you... And for the Ram the 8Gb is too much right now... I will settle with 6GB for now..
As for the PSU, I will get the XFX 450w that you suggested...
Gpu, I'm still watching videos and benchmarks showing the capabilities of those cards... I will probably wait for something like the GTX 650ti or something... :D 

I see that you are using the [CT2KIT51264BA1339] 8GB kit... Also for your current rig, what stuff do you do on the pc like gaming or browsing.. Also when you browse, is it flawless? Does it lag once in a while?

As for the Haf 912 i will do some research on it later as it is 11:45 here in my country..

Oh btw, and can you suggest me a good online retailer that ships worldwide??
I live in Mauritius BTW.. :D 

Again thank you for the great explanation and reply..
I will not be able to reply until tomorrow(Monday) or maybe Tuesday..
Will you still be here?? ;) 
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a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2012 7:24:48 PM

I would skip the 6 GBs, 2x 4GBs is the ideal and you might as well just stick with 1x 4GBs and get a matching stick for the second one if you save up another $20 in a couple months or whatever.

It is better to keep the matched sticks so not with 1x 4 + 1x 2, and its better to have 2 sticks than 4, so 3x 2GBs with a future 1x 2GB to bring you up to 4x 2GBs is also a little sub par.

The RAM set that I said, CT2KIT51264BA1339 (I type it easily from memory) I suggest to everyone because I happen to think it is about the best RAM that is on the market today in terms of DOA rates, performance, reliability, and so on.

I have suggested it to hundreds of people and although not everyone has done as I suggested out of all the people that have I have never heard 1 single complaint from any of them.

As for my PC, I use it primarily for gaming, programming, and browsing. I never have problems with it. I pay a little more for a lot more quality where it is useful to do so and shave off expenses where I know I won't feel too much of a loss from it.

I have enough time in the hardware game that I know all the failure rates for various things and what to avoid and so on. I guess you can take that as a sign that all the parts in my signature are worth every penny of the cost, because I don't have a lot of pennies and I still chose those things rather than cheaper or more powerful alternatives.

My computer runs flawlessly all the time, never a problem. I haven't had to do any RMAs or anything like that either. I expect the parts I receive to work on day 1 and so far they have. Statistically, I am bound to get something DOA eventually, but I try my hardest to avoid that.

HAF 912 - I couldn't recommend anything more highly. If there was a best case with all factors considered it would probably win.

I don't know about worldwide retailers. I get everything from Newegg and Micro Center, but those may be USA only.

I should still be around when you get back. I have been around here for a long time now and although I am preparing to move to another house a few states away in RL I do still get a good bit of time in on here even still.
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June 3, 2012 7:46:13 PM

My last reply of the night [or day]..
Is the motherboard i chose a good one..
Also the HAF 912 costs like $133 :/ 
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a b 4 Gaming
June 3, 2012 8:18:01 PM

I don't know how much other cases cost in your area, but I guess if you can give me some options for cheaper cases that have bottom mount PSU racks I will look into them and see if you might be able to get close to the benefits from the HAF 912 for a lot less than the $133.

Motherboard - It is probably a little overkill. I happen to be the type that likes to minimize the motherboard line item expense, though, and others differ on that.

As an individual item I can't see any good reason not to get that board. Asrock is an OK company and it will probably work just fine. The only good reason not to get it would be if something equal could be found cheaper. I would think that is a possibility, but I don't know how things are internationally.

The computer store I go to in the USA always has $50 off motherboard deals so I always get motherboards at least 50% off and I got my last one before the current one for 1 cent because the -$50 would have made it cost less than 0 and the system needed it to cost at least some amount.

That motherboard, btw, worked great every day that I used it, which was a long time.

You don't need to go expensive on a motherboard, it just needs to work.

In that regard, you don't need a Z68 or Z77 motherboard to use an i5-2400. A regular H61 motherboard would work and should be available much cheaper.

It wouldn't have all the same features, but it should work if you get one from a good manufacturer.

The biggest thing you lose with older boards is UEFI which is a really nice way to interact with the BIOS (a task that for most people is an ultra rare occurrence).
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June 6, 2012 4:49:59 PM

Well, for the motherboard, I would want one which is future proof so that I can upgrade later(Ivy!!!!)

Also how would this rig perform in gaming and rendering?
Like max out newer games like BF3, MOH:Warfighter and other very demanding games?
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a b 4 Gaming
June 6, 2012 6:22:10 PM

You can spend your money however you want, but I think most people don't get a lot of value out of "future proofing". When they are ready to upgrade they often find out that the readiness they paid for they don't have because Intel or AMD has come out with a new slot type and the new processor doesn't fit in the "future proof" slot.

If you did end up getting an i5-2400, the upgrade to an i5-3570k wouldn't be that huge performance wise. Probably not enough to spend another $220 on. If you went with the 2300 now instead of the 2400 there would be more of a reason to step up but it still wouldn't be that huge of a jump.

I always suggest people replace their whole core as a block (Processor, Motherboard, and RAM) and use their money well now without concern for later.

Not that I am suggesting to invest in things with no future like slot 775 or slot 1356 or 1156, but 1155 has a reasonable chance of seeing further releases past Ivy.

Whatever motherboards you get now would probably require a BIOS update to use Ivy (unless they are Z77s) and they would probably all require one to use whatever is after Ivy which would be fine since you would already have an Intel processor to do the update with.

I don't see any good reason to think a H61 won't work with Ivy or beyond as long as the manufacturer makes a BIOS update available. There is no way to know if that will happen ahead of time or not, but H61 is capable of Ivy chips currently as long as you don't want to do super amounts of OCing since H61 is kinda bad at that.

H61 you can only do the video card. P67 you can do video card and processor. Z68 you can do video card, processor, and RAM.

A GTX 560 is more of a budget card these days, so I wouldn't expect it to max out new stuff unless you have a very low resolution monitor. I would highly doubt you would max out anything new on 1900x1080, but probably yes on 1280x1024.

In any event, with the stuff I said, scaling back on the motherboard and scaling up on processor and video card you would do better for however long you used the computer as you would in the reverse case.

With low budgets you can't expect the ultimate results. People that spend as much on their video card as you do on your whole computer will always win.

All that matters is that you do the best with what you have. Whether you get 60 FPS or 30 FPS in game X doesn't matter as long as you couldn't have gotten more some other way.

Unless you are thinking of just not buying a new computer at all if it isn't going to max out all the newest games on this budget. If so then you may want to pull the plug because there are games out there that would most likely crush this setup and if there aren't any now there will most likely be some in 6 or 12 months.

The computer as either of us built it would do better than an Xbox 360 or PS3 in any event, if that is the alternative.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 6, 2012 10:22:23 PM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
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June 8, 2012 1:56:53 PM

@ Raiddinn
z68 boards too can be updated to support Ivy Bridge...
As you said, the motherboard isn't the part that I will be spending the most on.
The features that I need from a 'basic' board is
Overclockablity( I know i5 2300/2400 doesn't support ut but I would most probably need it in the future if I decide to upgrade)
2x PCI-E(For SLI, can be whether 16x,4x or 8x,8x)
4 Ram slots
and that's it...
I know for my budget its a bit too much...
As for the games, and as I stated above, I plan to SLI in the future... The maxing out is just for the current gen games.. If maxing out gives me at least 35FPS, i will be extremely happy with it and if not , i will reduce the details.. As long as I can play the game at reasonable Frame rates, its good...

@recon-uk
Its a great system but my budget is $500... I made a great effort stretching it to $550...
I don't think $611 will be possible.. Still thanks for the idea :) 
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