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Opinions On New Build

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August 4, 2012 5:40:47 PM

Hello, I was wondering what you guys think about the build that an experienced builder helped me assemble. I'm mainly looking to game with the PC, but I'd still like to use it for watching Blu-ray, DVDs, and doing school-work. The games I'm looking at to play are Skyrim, Portal 2, Guild Wars 2, and Star Wars the Old Republic. Here are the specs:

COOLER MASTER Elite 430 RC-430-KWN1 Black Steel / Plastic Computer Case

Seagate ST310005N1A1AS-RK 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers

ASUS M5A97 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

GIGABYTE Ultra Durable VGA Series GV-R685OC-1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4100WMGUSBX

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

LITE-ON Black Internal 12X Blu-ray Combo SATA Model ihes112-04 - OEM


The total price, including accessories, is $950. How will the computer fare gaming-wise? Is the price/performance ratio acceptable, good, or bad? Should I buy any cooling fans or anything else? Thanks.

More about : opinions build

August 4, 2012 8:31:23 PM

The AMD FX-4100 isnt the greatest.

If i were you, i would replace the cpu and mobo (obviously) with a core i5 system, much faster, and would maybe cost $100 more, but it is WELL worth it!

If it had an i5 cpu and board, it would be a GREAT gaming build.

Hope I Helped
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August 4, 2012 8:47:25 PM

You could do MUCH better specially with an i5. In benches they blow the FX series out of the water.

Check out my $650 build here:
http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
At your price range you could get the i5 3450 and the 6870 or better.
Windows here:
http://www.softwaresupplygroup.com/microsoft-windows-7-...
BBB approved with an A+ rating so that site isn't sketchy.

i5 2400 (Keep in mind the i5 3450 is about 5-10% better) vs FX-8150
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/363?vs=434
6850 vs 6870
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/539?vs=540
August 5, 2012 12:25:22 AM

Is the Intel i5 really so much better that it justifies paying $100 more?
August 5, 2012 12:26:19 AM

Yes. It's like having a better quality car. :) 
August 5, 2012 12:29:23 AM

Stay away from FX CPUs for gaming systems. If you go AMD, get a Phenom II 965.

For gaming, you don't need a 2500K, or even a 2400. An i3-2120 or Phenom II is plenty of power to keep up with a 6850 or 6870 card. Stronger CPUs cannot make weaker video cards perform better.
August 5, 2012 12:29:48 AM

I just posted the benches for you but yes, and also I got the build within your budget so... I don't see what the issue is. I mean the build is within your budget. Less I might add except you're getting equivalent PSU performance, more GPU and more CPU performance.
August 5, 2012 12:30:44 AM

Yep, I agree with nekul. None of those games require a Quad core, but since azn included one in his build suggestion, get it.
August 5, 2012 12:33:04 AM

azeem40 said:
Yep, I agree with nekul. None of those games require a Quad core, but since azn included one in his build suggestion, get it.

Well, Skyrim does use a quad. In my experience with it, it runs 2 cores heavy, then my other 2 cores have activity in them, based on Windows Task Manager. But, for the graphical limitations a card like a 6850 or 6870 is going to have, its probably not necessary to get an i5. Although I will say that its better to go with the i5 for the sake of system longevity, rather than say run the i3 for 6 months and "upgrade" to an i5. Thats just silly when people do that.
August 5, 2012 12:35:03 AM

As long as I can play on med with my card in a few years when high isn't enough, I am happy. :) 
August 5, 2012 1:05:04 AM

nekulturny said:
Stay away from FX CPUs for gaming systems. If you go AMD, get a Phenom II 965.

For gaming, you don't need a 2500K, or even a 2400. An i3-2120 or Phenom II is plenty of power to keep up with a 6850 or 6870 card. Stronger CPUs cannot make weaker video cards perform better.


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-benchmark,3074-8.html

Unless I'm misreading something here, the 6850 isn't that weak.
August 5, 2012 1:22:30 AM

nekulturny said:
I never meant to imply that it was weak. At the entry-level, its a hell of a video card.

Merely that with its capabilities, one would not be able to really reap the benefits of an i5 in gaming vs say an i3. Does that make sense?

Yeah, I see what you're saying. Well, since the 6850 wouldn't be able to reap the benefits of an i5, and you say I should look at the i3, what about the AMD FX-4100? Even if it's weaker than the i5, would it still be better than the i3?

Gah, what I mean to ask, should I get the i3 or FX-4100?
August 5, 2012 1:30:05 AM

LOL, like I said, I would look at the Phenom II 965. Some will argue the i3 is better for gaming. They base this on the fact that in the most CPU intensive games Tom's benchmarked theres like a 1 or 2 FPS difference. Most games are limited by the video card as I already mentioned. And 1 or 2 FPS doesn't really matter a damn.

The i3 is a hell of a CPU for a dual core, but in multi-threaded stuff, the Phenom IIs with its 4 cores will outperform it.

Also, if you want to overclock, just because you can. The i3 can't be overclocked. The Phenom II can.

This would be my choice if not going for an i5. Yes it will work on the same mobo you already had picked out.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The problem with the FX CPUs is some things they're okay at, and some things they just plain suck at. I don't want to get too technical about it unless you're really curious. But the way they're designed is just very compromised.
August 5, 2012 1:35:08 AM

nekulturny said:
LOL, like I said, I would look at the Phenom II 965. Some will argue the i3 is better for gaming. They base this on the fact that in the most CPU intensive games Tom's benchmarked theres like a 1 or 2 FPS difference. Most games are limited by the video card as I already mentioned. And 1 or 2 FPS doesn't really matter a damn.

The i3 is a hell of a CPU for a dual core, but in multi-threaded stuff, the Phenom IIs with its 4 cores will outperform it.

Also, if you want to overclock, just because you can. The i3 can't be overclocked. The Phenom II can.

This would be my choice if not going for an i5. Yes it will work on the same mobo you already had picked out.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The problem with the FX CPUs is some things they're okay at, and some things they just plain suck at. I don't want to get too technical about it unless you're really curious. But the way they're designed is just very compromised.

Thanks for the help. :) 
August 5, 2012 1:35:50 AM

Usually games don't benefit much FPS from CPUs but it seems as though some cases the i5 does get some frame boosts depending on the game:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/363?vs=434
Scroll to the bottom.

But the 6850 isn't weak, but for the current day games it's not very strong either. I had a 5850 which performs the same as the 6850 just runs hotter. The 5850/6850 just doesn't handle games currently at the beauty it did. (Higher settings + AA) Though this strongly depends on the game, console ports usually are able to be run smoothly @ High settings on the 5850/6850.

August 5, 2012 1:38:07 AM

aznshinobi said:
Usually games don't benefit much FPS from CPUs but it seems as though some cases the i5 does get some frame boosts depending on the game:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/363?vs=434
Scroll to the bottom.

But the 6850 isn't weak, but for the current day games it's not very strong either. I had a 5850 which performs the same as the 6850 just runs hotter. The 5850/6850 just doesn't handle games currently at the beauty it did. (Higher settings + AA) Though this strongly depends on the game, console ports usually are able to be run smoothly @ High settings on the 5850/6850.

The FX gets its ass kicked because the 2 cores in the modules are too busy fighting with each other over the shared floating point unit and L2 cache.
August 5, 2012 1:43:02 AM

matthew_92 said:
Thanks for the help. :) 

You're welcome.
August 5, 2012 1:43:45 AM

aznshinobi said:
Usually games don't benefit much FPS from CPUs but it seems as though some cases the i5 does get some frame boosts depending on the game:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/363?vs=434
Scroll to the bottom.

But the 6850 isn't weak, but for the current day games it's not very strong either. I had a 5850 which performs the same as the 6850 just runs hotter. The 5850/6850 just doesn't handle games currently at the beauty it did. (Higher settings + AA) Though this strongly depends on the game, console ports usually are able to be run smoothly @ High settings on the 5850/6850.

Do you know if it would handle Guild Wars on high? I know that only the min requirements were released but what do you think? I know SWTOR, Portal 2, and Skyrim will be fine but I'm not sure about GW2 (that's the game I'm most interested in too).
August 5, 2012 1:45:23 AM

Most MMOs are pretty low in their system use. My guess is that it would be hard to find a modern CPU over $80 that would have trouble with GW2.
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