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How does this look?

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August 13, 2012 3:33:30 PM

My boyfriend has an old dell xps 420 gaming pc. We upgraded his graphics but it is just getting slow in its old age. So for Christmas I would like to build him a new one. I will probably do most my shopping off new egg on black Friday to get the best I can for the least. Would love to get an intel, but in terms of budget I'm going to go with amd.i have this together so far:

Hard drive since he has no room.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cpu (been reading to stay away from fx/bulldozer
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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

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

And im going to get him the windows 7 upgrade since has has clunky resource hog vista.

So how does this look is there anything i can change or improve? It will be used mostly for gaming, wow,me3, skyrim etc. And he currently has a 6870hd for gpu.

More about : question

August 13, 2012 4:39:16 PM

Those games you mentioned are pretty CPU intensive. November is still a few months away, could you maybe save up a little more money and go for an Intel setup? Something like an i5 2500k is going to preform a lot better than the AMD on cpu intensive games. I made the same consideration in my recent upgrade--sticking with AMD or going Intel and ultimately I went with Intel and spent an extra $100 in my upgrade, and I think its worth the extra money.
Here is what I finally went with:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


This is just my personal preference, but I've had bad luck with Seagate HDDs. I prefer Western Digital, which yes their performance version is $10 more, but something like this is a great HD in my opinion:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your RAM is a good choice, I have used G.Skill in a lot of builds and its a very reliable, good quality brand.


Your choices above are by no means a bad selection. It will be a good choice for gaming on a budget, but if you are willing to spend just a little more I think you would get an even better performing gaming PC while still keeping on a low budget.
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August 13, 2012 5:38:28 PM

Fennis said:
Those games you mentioned are pretty CPU intensive. November is still a few months away, could you maybe save up a little more money and go for an Intel setup? Something like an i5 2500k is going to preform a lot better than the AMD on cpu intensive games. I made the same consideration in my recent upgrade--sticking with AMD or going Intel and ultimately I went with Intel and spent an extra $100 in my upgrade, and I think its worth the extra money.
Here is what I finally went with:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


This is just my personal preference, but I've had bad luck with Seagate HDDs. I prefer Western Digital, which yes their performance version is $10 more, but something like this is a great HD in my opinion:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your RAM is a good choice, I have used G.Skill in a lot of builds and its a very reliable, good quality brand.


Your choices above are by no means a bad selection. It will be a good choice for gaming on a budget, but if you are willing to spend just a little more I think you would get an even better performing gaming PC while still keeping on a low budget.


If I can catch it on sale I think I'm def. going to go with what you linked. What's the biggest PSU I'll need? Not sure what his is, I'd have to look.
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August 13, 2012 6:37:03 PM

Well, before I'd do anything, crack open his case and see what is in there. Obviously whatever is in there now is sufficient enough to run everything and I don't know what CPU he has in there now, but most newer generation CPUs use less power than ones from 3 years ago and that will give you even more headroom. Since you aren't upgrading his video card, which is the biggest energy hog in the computer, you can probably get by with what is in there now. Anything in the 450W-500W range is plenty and I would guess is close to what is in there.

If not, this is the PSU I would recommend:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Its efficient, quiet, and reliable. I use it in my own PC now and recommend it to friends/family when they are upgrading their PCs with no plans to buy a 2nd video card.
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August 13, 2012 7:07:03 PM

Fennis said:
Those games you mentioned are pretty CPU intensive. November is still a few months away, could you maybe save up a little more money and go for an Intel setup? Something like an i5 2500k is going to preform a lot better than the AMD on cpu intensive games. I made the same consideration in my recent upgrade--sticking with AMD or going Intel and ultimately I went with Intel and spent an extra $100 in my upgrade, and I think its worth the extra money.
Here is what I finally went with:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


This is just my personal preference, but I've had bad luck with Seagate HDDs. I prefer Western Digital, which yes their performance version is $10 more, but something like this is a great HD in my opinion:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your RAM is a good choice, I have used G.Skill in a lot of builds and its a very reliable, good quality brand.


Your choices above are by no means a bad selection. It will be a good choice for gaming on a budget, but if you are willing to spend just a little more I think you would get an even better performing gaming PC while still keeping on a low budget.

If he plays wow alot a intel would be better suited for that game( its very cpu intensive) but in most cases a phenom II will do just fine ( skyrim and me3 are gpu intensive.)
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August 13, 2012 8:34:43 PM

maskills24 said:
If he plays wow alot a intel would be better suited for that game( its very cpu intensive) but in most cases a phenom II will do just fine ( skyrim and me3 are gpu intensive.)


http://www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.asp... PC he has now, plays the games fine, just slow to load anything. Do i need a new case too? And the PSU is 425w.

i5 3570k - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asrock z77 pro3- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair Vengeance LP - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Samsung Spinpoint 1TB-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would this set up work well then? It's like 100$, figuring in black friday this might be doable. :hello: 
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August 13, 2012 8:54:00 PM

I'd be a very happy boyfriend with that as a Christmas gift! maskills24 is right though, for graphically intensive games, his current GPU will be the bottleneck, but still with what you just listed above for an upgrade, the overall performance of his new computer would be so much better and the 6870 will still perform very well on the games he wants to play.

It really does come down to personal preference. I've done a lot of research on current CPUs of AMD and Intel over the past month before I made my decision. The bulldozer line overall seems to be unimpressive. It is still a very good processor, but the Phenom IIs are basically just as good, it seems more like a side-grade over an upgrade to the FX chips though. You could get an AM3+ board and the Phenom chip, save a little money, and hope that AMD's next release is better--though you will pay a lot more for their newer chips. Intel's current 1155 structure is mainstream and will be around for a while longer, so you are not making any mistakes going towards them. In the benchmarks and reviews I've read, they are, overall, a better performing chip. In the end, I think its worth it paying a little more for the Intel setup. AMD will perform beautifully in games. It will give your boyfriend a significant upgrade in his gaming experience overall. I just think right now, Intel just has the edge and has a bit better future-proofing. Add in the SSD and you are giving him a great gift. Thats just my opinion though.
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August 13, 2012 9:12:17 PM

Fennis said:
I'd be a very happy boyfriend with that as a Christmas gift! maskills24 is right though, for graphically intensive games, his current GPU will be the bottleneck, but still with what you just listed above for an upgrade, the overall performance of his new computer would be so much better and the 6870 will still perform very well on the games he wants to play.

It really does come down to personal preference. I've done a lot of research on current CPUs of AMD and Intel over the past month before I made my decision. The bulldozer line overall seems to be unimpressive. It is still a very good processor, but the Phenom IIs are basically just as good, it seems more like a side-grade over an upgrade to the FX chips though. You could get an AM3+ board and the Phenom chip, save a little money, and hope that AMD's next release is better--though you will pay a lot more for their newer chips. Intel's current 1155 structure is mainstream and will be around for a while longer, so you are not making any mistakes going towards them. In the benchmarks and reviews I've read, they are, overall, a better performing chip. In the end, I think its worth it paying a little more for the Intel setup. AMD will perform beautifully in games. It will give your boyfriend a significant upgrade in his gaming experience overall. I just think right now, Intel just has the edge and has a bit better future-proofing. Add in the SSD and you are giving him a great gift. Thats just my opinion though.


I don't think I'd be able to do the SSD, he has space issues right now and a terabyte for that is a pretty hefty price lol. His computer runs the games now mostly at high or very high settings but his load times or anything else he does on it is godawful slow. He got my computer for me 2 years ago at Costco(hp p6627c, amd Athlon IIx4 635 CPU 2.9ghz with 6770hd card) swapped the graphics and psu and it runs better than his which annoys him, so I thought upgrading him would be a good present.
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August 13, 2012 10:54:50 PM

Phoenix91357 said:
I don't think I'd be able to do the SSD, he has space issues right now and a terabyte for that is a pretty hefty price lol. His computer runs the games now mostly at high or very high settings but his load times or anything else he does on it is godawful slow. He got my computer for me 2 years ago at Costco(hp p6627c, amd Athlon IIx4 635 CPU 2.9ghz with 6770hd card) swapped the graphics and psu and it runs better than his which annoys him, so I thought upgrading him would be a good present.


If you were to get a SSD, my thought it would be in addition to the 1TB drive. I have 2 500GB drives and will soon have a SSD to put Windows and most likely WoW on. The one I got was 128GB for $99 which would be enough to put Windows and a few games on it that have lots of loading--WoW and Skyrim for example. So, it would be an additional cost on top of it all--maybe something you do after the fact since you are trying to keep costs low.
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August 14, 2012 12:05:55 PM

Fennis said:
If you were to get a SSD, my thought it would be in addition to the 1TB drive. I have 2 500GB drives and will soon have a SSD to put Windows and most likely WoW on. The one I got was 128GB for $99 which would be enough to put Windows and a few games on it that have lots of loading--WoW and Skyrim for example. So, it would be an additional cost on top of it all--maybe something you do after the fact since you are trying to keep costs low.
+1 for fennis. The best gaming build in my opinion would need a ssd at least as a boot drive. As stated above you could toss a couple programs on it as well as the os, but i think a 60 gig ssd is enough, it is supposed to be a boot drive after all. with 60 gigs you could have the OS+ wow and maybe a couple smaller games on the os, then his Steam game directory(if he has steam) can be set on the hdd while the steam client can be installed on the ssd. a 60 gig ssd can be found as chep as 50 bucks with mail in rebates.
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