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New build. Tell me what you think!!

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September 20, 2012 3:42:41 PM

I'm planning on building a desktop soon, but I'm on a really tight budget, so this is what I've come up with.

My question is: will this desktop be able to play games like Battlefield 3, TESV: Skyrim, Crysis and Crysis 2, NFS: The Run, NFS: SHIFT 2 Unleashed, CoD (Black Ops, MW3,) Blacklight Retribution, etc. preferably at medium/high settings??

Specs:
- AMD Athlon II X3 450 Triple-Core @ 3.2GHz
- MSI 970A-G46 ATX AM3+ SLI/CrossFire Motherboard
- ASUS NVIDIA GT 520 1GB GDDR3 (OEM) (got it off a friend)
- Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200RPM HDD
- Kingston ValueRAM (1X4GB) DDR3 @ 1333MHz
- XFX PRO 750W Core Edition PSU
- Thermaltake V6GT CPU Cooler


Including the aftermarket CPU cooler, this build will cost me around $350 after tax, shipping and rebates. I live in Canada, so... yeah.

I realize the PSU is way more than I need for THIS build, but it gives me room for upgrading later on, and right now it's the same price as a 450W-550W, so that's why I chose this PSU.

More about : build

September 20, 2012 4:27:33 PM

This rig should be fine for gaming at medium settings for most games. Do you already have a case,optical drive, keyboard/mouse, and display?
September 20, 2012 4:34:33 PM

I'll suggest that for around that price, you canget an A8-3850 or 3870K and an Hd 6670 which will goive you far better gaming performance (high graphocs in many games, medium in the most demanding)
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September 20, 2012 4:34:45 PM

COLGeek said:
This rig should be fine for gaming at medium settings for most games. Do you already have a case,optical drive, keyboard/mouse, and display?


Yeah, I've got a case, keyboard, two mice, and an HDTV already. The only thing I don't have is an optical drive, but for the time being I won't one, so I'm not worried about that right now.
September 20, 2012 4:43:57 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
I'll suggest that for around that price, you canget an A8-3850 or 3870K and an Hd 6670 which will goive you far better gaming performance (high graphocs in many games, medium in the most demanding)


How would the A8-3870K's Radeon HD 6550D IGP compare to the GT 520 when gaming? Would the IGP be better than the GT 520 in terms of gaming, or...?
September 20, 2012 4:46:46 PM

The 6550D is not the same as the suggested 6670 (which is a very good GPU for the money). The integrated 6550D will not perform on par with the 520, or even close.
September 20, 2012 4:50:24 PM

COLGeek said:
The 6550D is not the same as the suggested 6670 (which is a very good GPU for the money). The integrated 6550D will not perform on par with the 520, or even close.


Okay, so how well does the A8-3870K (just the CPU part of the APU) perform in comparison to the Athlon II X3 450 when gaming? Is it worth the extra $40-$50 to get the A8-3870K over the Athlon II X3 450, or do they both perform about the same?
September 20, 2012 4:57:41 PM

They won't be all that different on most things. Things to keep in mind, the A8-3870K has 4 cores, but requires a Socket FM1 mobo. The Athlon 450 x3 only has 3 cores, but goes in a more standard Socket AM3/AM3+ board. Going with an AM3+ motherboard gives you greater upgrade options down the road.

The A8-3870K can also Crossfire with the proposed HD6670.

Personally, I think the AM3+ and stronger single GPU solution is better in the long term. Still not a bad config as proposed by ScrewySqrl.
September 20, 2012 5:06:56 PM

COLGeek said:
They won't be all that different on most things. Things to keep in mind, the A8-3870K has 4 cores, but requires a Socket FM1 mobo. The Athlon 450 x3 only has 3 cores, but goes in a more standard Socket AM3/AM3+ board. Going with an AM3+ motherboard gives you greater upgrade options down the road.

The A8-3870K can also Crossfire with the proposed HD6670.

Personally, I think the AM3+ and stronger single GPU solution is better in the long term. Still not a bad config as proposed by ScrewySqrl.


Yeah, socket FM1 really isn't all that popular, whereas the motherboard I chose is a socket AM3/AM3+ motherboard, which means I can install a wide variety of Athlon II/Phemon II/FX/Sempron series processors. My intention was to get a cheap processor now, and then save up for either a Phenom II X4 965 BE, FX-4170 or an FX-8150 (if it comes down in price.)

This motherboard also has two PCI-E x16 slots, so I would have the option to set up CrossFire or SLI with two graphics cards if I choose later on.
September 20, 2012 7:10:17 PM

the A8-3850/3870 is basically an Athlon II X4 at 2.9/3.0 GHz (so basicaly an Athlon II 635/640) with an integral GPU that is slightly better than an HD 5450.

in crossfire with a HD 6670, it approaches the ability of a 6770 (or 7750), which is going to be just better than the GT 520.

and you can get it at CA$350

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A8-3870K 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Canada Computers)
Motherboard: ASRock A55M-HVS Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($21.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card ($45.59 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.88 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 400W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($29.88 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $343.30
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-20 15:09 EDT-0400)
September 20, 2012 7:28:22 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
the A8-3850/3870 is basically an Athlon II X4 at 2.9/3.0 GHz (so basicaly an Athlon II 635/640) with an integral GPU that is slightly better than an HD 5450.

in crossfire with a HD 6670, it approaches the ability of a 6770 (or 7750), which is going to be just better than the GT 520.

and you can get it at CA$350

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A8-3870K 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Canada Computers)
Motherboard: ASRock A55M-HVS Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($21.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card ($45.59 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.88 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 400W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($29.88 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $343.30
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-20 15:09 EDT-0400)


I would have both an IGP and a dedicated GPU if I were to go this route. Also, if I take out the case and optical drive, I'm saving approx. $45-$50, which would mean that I would only be spending just under $300 for a quad-core unlocked CPU, 4GB of 1600MHz RAM, 320GB 7200RPM HDD, and 1.5GB total GPU memory in dual graphics mode, plus a 400W PSU. Definitely not a bad deal.

However, there would be very little room for upgrades though, as the socket only supports a few processors, and the motherboard only has one PCI-E x16 slot.
September 20, 2012 7:36:45 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
the A8-3850/3870 is basically an Athlon II X4 at 2.9/3.0 GHz (so basicaly an Athlon II 635/640) with an integral GPU that is slightly better than an HD 5450.

in crossfire with a HD 6670, it approaches the ability of a 6770 (or 7750), which is going to be just better than the GT 520.

and you can get it at CA$350

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A8-3870K 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Canada Computers)
Motherboard: ASRock A55M-HVS Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($21.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F4 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card ($45.59 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.88 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 400W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($29.88 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Canada Computers)
Total: $343.30
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-09-20 15:09 EDT-0400)


Would I gain any performance in games if I went with an AMD FX-4100 quad-core @ 3.6GHz and just the HD 6670 1GB, or would the A8-3870K and the dual graphics (6550D + 6670) still be a better choice for gaming?
September 20, 2012 7:37:18 PM

I have a FM1 system at home with an A8-3850K and HD6670 in it. It is my wife's, MrsGeek, desktop. It is great for what she does and will game fairly well. Building it was a piece of cake and its overall performance has been surprising.

However, its "future proofness" is very limited. For our use, that isn't a problem.

For firinmylazerman, I get the impression you want more flexibility with future upgrades. If that is a factor, the the AM3+ gives you that flexibility.
September 20, 2012 7:41:26 PM

firinmylazerman said:
Would I gain any performance in games if I went with an AMD FX-4100 quad-core @ 3.6GHz and just the HD 6670 1GB, or would the A8-3870K and the dual graphics (6550D + 6670) still be a better choice for gaming?

This combo (FX-4100) would give you stronger CPU performance, but less GPU performance where the CF (6550D+6670) solution is in place (A8-3870K).

If you are going down the single GPU (AMD) route, consider the HD7770.

It would be stronger than the CF solution, in the vast majority of cases with no CF micro-stutter issues.
September 20, 2012 7:44:00 PM

The 520 is a garbage card for gaming. Sorry but it is. The suggestions of the 6670 or 7770 is good.
September 20, 2012 7:49:18 PM

COLGeek said:
This combo (FX-4100) would give you stronger CPU performance, but less GPU performance where the CF (6550D+6670) solution is in place (A8-3870K).

If you are going down the single GPU (AMD) route, consider the HD7770.

It would be stronger than the CF solution, in the vast majority of cases with no CF micro-stutter issues.


How much of a difference in gaming performance do you think there would there be if I went with the FX-4100 + the GT 520 1GB? Would it be enough of a drop for me to spend an extra $50-$80 on a graphics card, or would I be able to still play games at medium settings @ 1366 x 768 do you think?

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September 20, 2012 7:57:17 PM
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You can certainly game at medium settings at 1366x768 with the 520.

Since you already have the GPU, go with it for now and upgrade later if you need to.

vrumor is right, the 520 isn't a "gaming" GPU, but it will do in a pinch.
September 20, 2012 8:08:34 PM

COLGeek said:
You can certainly game at medium settings at 1366x768 with the 520.

Since you already have the GPU, go with it for now and upgrade later if you need to.

vrumor is right, the 520 isn't a "gaming" GPU, but it will do in a pinch.


This desktop build below will cost approx. $330 after taxes (counting of course that the GT 520 is free for me) Tell me what you think :) 

AMD FX-4100 Quad-Core @ 3.6GHz
Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 Socket AM3+ CrossFire/SLI Motherboard
ASUS NVIDIA GT 520 1GB GDDR3 (OEM)
Seagate Barracuda 500GB SATA3 HDD
Mushkin Silverline 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM
OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular PSU

This build will allow me to upgrade the graphics card (with the option of SLI/CrossFire,) and CPU later.
EDIT: I would probably have to buy a new PSU if I were to SLI/CrossFire, but... you know, at least the option's there with the motherboard :p 
September 20, 2012 8:15:41 PM

Looks good. Have fun with it!
September 27, 2012 12:22:09 AM

Best answer selected by firinmylazerman.
!