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Upgrading from an old "gaming" laptop

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September 16, 2012 10:31:11 PM

Hello forums. I've been trying to price out a new system with parts only from Newegg. I am currently using an old Gateway FX P-6860 laptop for my normal computer usage (Youtube, HD Streams, video editing) and casual gaming. The games are World of Warcraft (15-20 hours weekly) and Skyrim (4-6 hours weekly). I had a system in mind but I realized I needed a monitor because I'll be going from a laptop to a desktop. So that extra cost has really cut down my system performance.

So here's what I was thinking for parts. Max cost is $500 after Taxes & Shipping (very strict budget).

Acer 21.5" 1920x1080 LCD $110 + $8 Recycle Fee
Seagate Barracuda 320gb 7200rpm 6gb/s $60
Samsung 22x DVDRW $17 + $5 Shipping
Antec VP-450 450W PSU $35 + $4 Shipping
CORSAIR XMS3 2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 $37

This is where I have options. The components already listed will work with whatever CPU / Mobo & GPU I get. I have ~$170 for the CPU, Mobo & GPU. (I already have an ATX Mid Tower case, keyboard, mouse, speakers & Win 7)

Option 1: AMD APU & decent ATX Mobo
AMD A8-3870K Llano $110 - $11 Promo Code
MSI A75A-G35 Hudson D3 SATA 6gb/s ATX Mobo $80
Total Cost after shipping, taxes & fees $477

Option 2: Pentium G series, cheap MATX Mobo & cheap video
Pentium G860 3.0ghz $75
ECS H61H2-M12 LGA MATX $50
PowerColor Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 (based on Tom's "Best card under $70) $60 + $7 Shipping
Total cost after shipping, taxes & fees $497

I'm looking for honest, no BS (no fanboy) feedback. I will be purchasing this system by mid week ~Sep 19th. Thank you everyone that replies.

Based on the reviews, I'm predicting the Pentium & 6670 will outperform the A8 even with the gimped Mobo, but ya'll are the experts, I haven't built a system in over 5 years.









September 16, 2012 11:25:09 PM

After fully reading the article Battle At $140: Can An APU Beat An Intel CPU And Add-In Graphics? I think I found the answer to my question.

If the Pentium G620 2.6ghz and a Radeon HD 6670 can outperform the OC'd A8-3870 in games then the Pentium G860 3.0ghz (400mhz faster than the tested G620) I listed is definitely the way to go. Also, the upgrade opportunities are endless. i3 or i5 and an HD 6850 and new mobo next tax season. I'm sold on the Pentium.
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a b D Laptop
September 16, 2012 11:35:14 PM

You could do a lot better than that. I'll get you a build for a recommendation.
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a b D Laptop
September 16, 2012 11:46:47 PM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hFDg

That's got a good 1080p monitor and is still a much better build than any that has a Radeon 6670 or a Pentium CPU. Phenom II x4 955 with a highly factory overclocked Radeon 7770 that'll compete with any Radeon 6870 in gaming performance. It comes in at under $493 after rebates. If you can't do rebates, then this is also a good build that isn't much worse:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hFGj
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September 17, 2012 12:03:27 AM

First off, thank you for your reply and taking the time to suggest parts. After reviewing your list I don't need a case, you left out an Optical Drive, that monitor isn't sold at Newegg, only 4gb RAM (I thought 8gb was minimum now), I'm not sure how much power I'll need but I think 350w is kind of weak and AMD Phenom > Pentium?
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a b D Laptop
September 17, 2012 12:06:58 AM

Sorry, a case can be switched out with an 8GB memory kit. The case is $30 and a good 8GB memory kit will go for less than $30 more than the 4GB kit that I recommended.

Does the monitor need to eb from newegg? I didn't realize that you were only buying from newegg, maybe you said this and I missed it.

Phenom II x4 is better than Intel's Pentiums in most games. Intel's i5s are then better than the Phenom II x4s, but not the Pentiums. The i3s are more comparable to the Phenom II x4s, but they're more expensive than the model that I recommended.

Also, although 8GB is often recommended, 4GB is still the minimum.
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a b D Laptop
September 17, 2012 12:09:58 AM

Also, the 350W PSU that I recommended is plenty for this build. I did the math to be sure and I can show you it if you want proof.
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a b D Laptop
September 17, 2012 12:11:20 AM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/hFPV

Revised recommendation. If you'd rather do something differently, then that is your choice. This is only my recommendation, nothing more.
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