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My $338 SLI quad core gaming rig!.....thoughts?

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September 9, 2012 7:20:56 AM

I just put together the CHEAPEST gaming rig I could a few months ago since I am on an EXTREME budget. Let me know what you think of it!

CPU: AMD Phenom II B73 (It's a Phenom II 720 rebadge) : $39
Mobo: MSI 990XA-GD55 :$18
GPU: 2x MSI 8800 GT O/C 512mb SLI :$30 x 2 (USED off ebay)
Ram 2x2GB DDR3-1600 :$29
Case: Raidmax (can't remeber the model #) :$39
Heatsink/Fan: Coolermaster :$15
PSU: Rhino 450Watt :$39
Hard Drive: 2TB 7200rpm Hitachi Deskstar :$99


I went for the MSI 8800GT factory O/C SLI route instead of the Radeon 6670 people usually recommend for a budget system since it crushes the 6670 performance wise, and I can keep a 8800 GT for PhysX when it's time to upgrade and use the other 8800 in a old desktop I have with anemic integrated geforce 6150SE graphics. I couldn't pass up the $18 mobo, so I had to go the AMD CPU route. This rig is fast enough to play Max Payne 3, Spec Ops: The Line, smoothly maxed out at 1080p. BF3 runs well maxed out too. Smooth gameplay for me is 35fps avg or more. I'm quite impressed with the old 8800 GT. My Phenom II B73's 4th core unlocked successfully so I'm running a quad core SLI gaming rig for under $370!

What do you guys think? Good deal or not? What parts would you have recommended over what I have selected?

Before the trolls come out in full force and say this is a slow POS rig, remember the price. A $330 PC from Bestbuy would have a AMD-E450, integrated graphics, 500GB HD and etc. Basically it wouldn't even surf the internet and watch HD video very well, and gaming would be unthinkable.
September 9, 2012 7:28:05 AM

Doubt that 8800 SLIs will run with that PSU reliably for an extended period of time. Never heard of Rhino. 8800s are power sucking whores.
September 9, 2012 7:28:33 AM

That build will fall apart at 1080p with Max Payne 3 and BF3 maxed. I doubt you are even getting 35FPS. More like 25 dropping lower.
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September 9, 2012 7:38:11 AM

Smeg45 said:
That build will fall apart at 1080p with Max Payne 3 and BF3 maxed. I doubt you are even getting 35FPS. More like 25 dropping lower.



Max Payne is really not a demanding game at all and runs well. BF3 is reasonably smooth but the fps drops to a minimum of 25fps or so with the graphics maxed (except AA). I'm assuming you are dismissing the 8800GT SLi because it's old. Checkout the Tom's hardware GPU hierarchy list. The 8800GT O/C SLi is pretty decent especially compared to the budget gaming rig GPUs I usually see on recommendation lists.

I agree the PSU is a bit worrisome. Has anyone else built a gaming for under $350? I curious to know your specs if so. For this price, you can basically only get what amounts to a nettop at bestbuy.
September 9, 2012 7:48:19 AM

burmaz said:
Max Payne is really not a demanding game at all and runs well. BF3 is reasonably smooth but the fps drops to a minimum of 25fps or so with the graphics maxed (except AA). I'm assuming you are dismissing the 8800GT SLi because it's old. Checkout the Tom's hardware GPU hierarchy list. The 8800GT O/C SLi is pretty decent especially compared to the budget gaming rig GPUs I usually see on recommendation lists.

I agree the PSU is a bit worrisome. Has anyone else built a gaming for under $350? I curious to know your specs if so.


Not demanding? Say what? Its very demanding with AA/AF pushed up and you'd run out of vRAM before you maxed it out. 25FPS drops are not smooth. At all. Its a stuttery mess.
September 9, 2012 7:52:55 AM

Smeg45 said:
Not demanding? Say what? Its very demanding with AA/AF pushed up and you'd run out of vRAM before you maxed it out. 25FPS drops are not smooth. At all. Its a stuttery mess.



Are you familiar with the performance of a 8800 SLi compared to newer cards? It's not as slow as you think. BTW, I said EXCEPT AA, and I said reasonably smooth. What system do you know of for $330 that will out perform this one? I'm all ears. This question is the point of this thread, it's not a "look at me my rig is better than yours" bragfest thread. I'm talking about MAX peformance for the $ for as cheap as possible.
September 9, 2012 8:34:00 AM

Unless you are running at a very low resolution with all eye candy off what you are saying isnt realistic. And I built an i3 2100 with 6670 GDDR5 low profile for about $100 under that and itll outperform that, so yes, I have built a higher performing system for way under that. You say it isnt a a my rig is better than your rig thread, but you are thumping your own chest by saying "What system do you know of for $330 that will out perform this one? I'm all ears." I build them into NES cases as well. So the cool factor is off the charts.
September 9, 2012 8:48:16 AM

vrumor said:
Unless you are running at a very low resolution with all eye candy off what you are saying isnt realistic. And I built an i3 2100 with 6670 GDDR5 low profile for about $100 under that and itll outperform that, so yes, I have built a higher performing system for way under that. You say it isnt a a my rig is better than your rig thread, but you are thumping your own chest by saying "What system do you know of for $330 that will out perform this one? I'm all ears." I build them into NES cases as well. So the cool factor is off the charts.



Finally an answer I was looking for in this thread. Gimme the prices of the parts and specs that went into your $230. A 6670 with GDDR5 performs on par with a 8800GT according to toms hardware, but my rig has 2x 8800GT SLi. Two 8800 GTs factory O/C running SLi perform similarly to a Radeon 6790, again, according to Tom's Hardware, so I don't know if you can say it "out performs mine for way less". I'm basically trying to figure out if my build was a good deal or not.
September 9, 2012 8:53:35 AM

I build and sell them as a business. So no, im not going to list what I pay for parts. Tell me how your rig does in DX11. Oh wait, it doesnt. Look, what you built is great for your needs. However, the GPU isnt the god all end all in every system. The CPU you have is pretty low end. Where does that stack up in the CPU heirarchy list compared to the i3 2100? The i3 outperforms my 6 core 1090T. The i3 isnt my personal gaming rig, I sell them. Hate to tell ya, SLIing 8800s isnt that great of a performance bump either. The technology is so much more efficient now and stable. You wanted a pat on your back for what you built, thats awesome. But it really isnt all that.
September 9, 2012 8:58:28 AM

vrumor said:
I build and sell them as a business. So no, im not going to list what I pay for parts. Tell me how your rig does in DX11. Oh wait, it doesnt. Look, what you built is great for your needs. However, the GPU isnt the god all end all in every system. The CPU you have is pretty low end. Where does that stack up in the CPU heirarchy list compared to the i3 2100? The i3 outperforms my 6 core 1090T. The i3 isnt my personal gaming rig, I sell them. Hate to tell ya, SLIing 8800s isnt that great of a performance bump either. The technology is so much more efficient now and stable. You wanted a pat on your back for what you built, thats awesome. But it really isnt all that.


The i3 is in the same category as my CPU since my 4th core is unlocked in the list. I'm just going by what Tom's Hardware says the 8800 SLI performs, which is around that of a 6790. Since you don't want to list prices, can you list the specs? The budget gaming guides I see online usually describe systems that don't actually offer the most bang for the buck. Any benchmarks?


I'm not doubting you or anything. This is acutally my first gaming build since my Athlon64 w/ Radeon 8500 back in '02 or so. :lol:  . I primarily use laptops.
September 9, 2012 9:09:06 AM

Sorry to say but your CPU is no where near the performance of an i3-2100. As I said it outperforms my 1090T. What other specs do you need? It has 4 gb of RAM, an H61 mobo, 10k WD Velociraptor Enterprise 2.5 inch HD, a slim DVD burner. Did I miss anything? Also hate to tell ya, just cause the 4th core unlocked doesnt translate directly into more performance in gaming. Most games dont use more than 2 threads. And since you are going by the charts, as you should, its 3 tiers below the i3-2100. What I do isnt a traditional build at all. Its built into the old Nintendo Entertainment System cases. The cases are 25 years old. Only benchmark I do is Unigine. I get ~650 score at 1080p stock settings. Or cards perform relatively the same at DX9. Its like comparing apples to oranges, really. Well according to your 2nd to last post, if I dont list what it cost me, it doesnt exist. So yeah you are doubting me. I build them in 3 different configurations, an E-350 basic build, E-350 with a 6570 GGDR3 2gb version and now the i3 6670 version. Dont think anyone, you or I, is trying to be a jerkoff, altho it may come off that way on both ends. As I said, the build you have at that cost is perfect for what you want to do with it. If ya wanna see pics of the finished product, send me your email in a private message here and ill shoot ya off a few pics of what I build. Im experimenting with internal parts to get max performance and still being able to keep it cool. Next im gonna try a 7750 low profile card.
September 9, 2012 8:41:25 PM

burmaz said:
Are you familiar with the performance of a 8800 SLi compared to newer cards? It's not as slow as you think. BTW, I said EXCEPT AA, and I said reasonably smooth. What system do you know of for $330 that will out perform this one? I'm all ears. This question is the point of this thread, it's not a "look at me my rig is better than yours" bragfest thread. I'm talking about MAX peformance for the $ for as cheap as possible.


You want max performance for $ you need at least $800. There is no way you are playing Direct X 11 or 10 titles on that card @ 1080 - the card only supports DirectX 9 and its sloooooow, there is no max performance for $ in your build. Its slow and hot and unless you post some FRAPS videos with your settings I seriously doubt you are running those games at any sort of playable FPS.
September 9, 2012 9:52:16 PM

lol this thread makes me laugh
September 11, 2012 4:39:18 AM

Smeg45 said:
You want max performance for $ you need at least $800. There is no way you are playing Direct X 11 or 10 titles on that card @ 1080 - the card only supports DirectX 9 and its sloooooow, there is no max performance for $ in your build. Its slow and hot and unless you post some FRAPS videos with your settings I seriously doubt you are running those games at any sort of playable FPS.



How do I post a FRAPS screenshot/video on here? We all know FRAPS hurts fps too. Btw clearly you know nothing at all about the 8800 if you think it is a Direct X 9 card. Therefore, I suggest you stop posting.
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