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$500 Build

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November 12, 2012 12:02:10 PM

I'm planning on building a pc in around a month, wanted some input on how you guys think it would perform with games like bf3 crysis metro 2033 and other newer games, i'm looking to run the games on high settings or better at 1920x1080 and never drop below 30fps. I don't have money to add an i5 so that is out of the question, and i personally am not concerned with the easier upgrade path the i3 offers. If you can truthfully tell me i'll get the exact same fps out of an i3 dual core as the amd phenom II x4 965 black edition, and under my $500 budget without taking out the 560ti i'll consider switching it.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock 870iCafe R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($58.56 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($172.15 @ NCIX US)
Case: MSI TC- (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($27.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Raidmax 630W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($46.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $506.65
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 09:04 EST-0500)

More about : 500 build

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November 12, 2012 2:57:34 PM

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nrqA
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nrqA/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nrqA/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI 760GM-P21 (FX) Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.99 @ Mwave)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($158.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Mwave)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $500.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 11:56 EST-0500)

Mine has a better gpu, case and power supply. There is no need for a 965, when its the same as 955 but factory over clocked higher. You can easily do it yourself if you wanted to.
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November 12, 2012 3:07:13 PM

Do you live near a Microcenter? If so, you could fit either an i3-3225, or an FX-6300 in your budget.

Barring that, Ichrisk's build is solid.
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November 12, 2012 4:07:39 PM

Is there a performance difference between the 955 and the 965, i'm not planning on screwing around with overclocking anything, as i'm new to custom pc's and don't feel like messing around with it, and would rather not get any extra cooling. As far as at stock clock speeds which would be better?

And the closest microcenter is 2 hours away, not really too convenient, but would the i3 3225 or the fx-6300 offer enough of a performance increase to be worth it, and would the mobo then become more expensive?

Also the mobo you suggested ichrisk doesn't support that speed of ram, not sure if that causes problems or would actually just be waisted speed?
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November 12, 2012 4:12:22 PM

I would spend $500 on my build without including the video card, then save up for the video card I wanted. Always want to go strong with the processor.
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November 12, 2012 4:18:33 PM

I'm not truly worried about the processor, i understand an i5 2500k would blow this thing out of the water, but waiting for the gpu would require waiting until summer when i can save up enough money to splurge on a 670 or something around that power, as long as i'm able to run bf3 and similar games on high and always staying above 30-40fps at 1920x1080 i'll be satisfied. Remember this is a budget pc and i will have to give in some areas so i can take in others, and right now the gpu is more important to playing the games than the cpu in my opinion and from what i've seen a 965 be w/ 560 will run bf3 at around those settings, and i may switch that to a 7850. Personally I would love to get an i5 and a 560ti/7850, but my budget won't allow it, so i'm stuck with this option.

Also as it stands the monitor i'll be using until summer when i can replace it is about a 6 year old dell lcd that maxes at 1280x1024 so with what i've got i'll have no problems, and once summer comes i'll consider upgrading the gpu as well, but for now this is what my budget affords me and the purpose of this pc is to run games, not to sit there for 7 months until i can buy a gpu.
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November 12, 2012 4:20:43 PM

Alright then, sounds like your pretty strapped for cash. Most people doing builds have steady enough income that it would only take a month or so, but it sounds like you just scrounged up the $500.
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November 12, 2012 4:34:19 PM

FrozenC0re said:
Is there a performance difference between the 955 and the 965, i'm not planning on screwing around with overclocking anything, as i'm new to custom pc's and don't feel like messing around with it, and would rather not get any extra cooling. As far as at stock clock speeds which would be better?

And the closest microcenter is 2 hours away, not really too convenient, but would the i3 3225 or the fx-6300 offer enough of a performance increase to be worth it, and would the mobo then become more expensive?

Also the mobo you suggested ichrisk doesn't support that speed of ram, not sure if that causes problems or would actually just be waisted speed?


If you're not going to overclock, then the I3-3225 is a significant performance increase. The microcenter in-store CPU+Mobo combos will save you $50 over anywhere else (the processors run $10 or more cheaper, and they have a $40 off combo deal when you buy ceratin processors with a motherboard).

You'll have to decide if that's worth the 4 hour round trip, though :) 

good luck!
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November 12, 2012 4:34:30 PM

FrozenC0re said:
I'm not truly worried about the processor, i understand an i5 2500k would blow this thing out of the water, but waiting for the gpu would Personally I would love to get an i5 and a 560ti/7850, but my budget won't allow it, so i'm stuck with this option.


What about selling your old PC ? That way get more money.
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November 12, 2012 4:42:33 PM

My old desktop is an old stock dell with 1gb ram and a integrated gpu, and the one i'm currently using for games is a laptop i recently got for school. This will be my first gaming pc, so as it stands i'm stuck at the $500 budget. I switched it over to the 955 be and a 7850, also changed the mobo cause the one i had went from 50-90 overnight ... I'm not sure the 4 hour trip is worth that in my opinion, and i think that what i've got right now will work. Thanks for all the suggestions, now to start ordering parts and waiting to get it all set up.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock 880GM-LE FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($55.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($158.98 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Raidmax 530W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $471.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-12 13:48 EST-0500)
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November 12, 2012 5:05:13 PM

quilciri said:
If you're not going to overclock, then the I3-3225 is a significant performance increase. The microcenter in-store CPU+Mobo combos will save you $50 over anywhere else (the processors run $10 or more cheaper, and they have a $40 off combo deal when you buy ceratin processors with a motherboard).

You'll have to decide if that's worth the 4 hour round trip, though :) 

good luck!

What this man said. If you live near one, I suggest you go to it and check out their combos.

Getting an i3 would mean that you could not over clock, and it's a dual core with hyper threading. The phenom has 4 physical cores. It depends on what games you are going to play, as for single player, i3 and phenom work almost the same because bf3 would only require 2 cores. Multiplayer is different, as it needs 4 cores.

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November 12, 2012 5:06:20 PM

Thomas Creel said:
I would spend $500 on my build without including the video card, then save up for the video card I wanted. Always want to go strong with the processor.


For a gaming rig, it's not necessary to grab the strongest processor you can. The video card makes *far* more difference in your experience than the processor. My rig (with an oc'd x3 455 & oc'd HD 7850) posts 64.7 FPS avg in uniengine heaven @1920 with 4xAF and 4xMSAA.

That having been said, *some* games (such as Skyrim & modern RTS's) are more CPU-intensive than most. If you plan on playing those games extensively then you system build should skew slightly more towards the CPU.

Though, @1280x1024, a 955 & 7850 rig will post gratuitously high framerates in any game available.

enjoy!
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November 12, 2012 5:08:55 PM

quilciri said:
For a gaming rig, it's not necessary to grab the strongest processor you can. The video card makes *far* more difference in your experience than the processor. My rig (with an oc'd x3 455 & oc'd HD 7850) posts 64.7 FPS avg in uniengine heaven @1920 with 4xAF and 4xMSAA.

Yeah I agree but you don't want to upgrade later only to have your CPU bottenecking.
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November 12, 2012 5:12:34 PM

Thomas Creel said:
Yeah I agree but you don't want to upgrade later only to have your CPU bottenecking.

It would only bottleneck if you got another graphics card. It's logic man. Just think about it for a little.
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November 12, 2012 5:21:07 PM

Your probably right
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November 12, 2012 5:24:42 PM

So what would you say is the "best" gpu that the x4 955 BE could handle without bottle necking and without requiring overclocking?

Also I would be playing mostly multiplayer with bf3, there are some single player games, but i'm not entirely sure i'll get skyrim as i've already beaten it on 360.
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November 12, 2012 5:29:39 PM

lchrisk said:
as for single player, i3 and phenom work almost the same because bf3 would only require 2 cores. Multiplayer is different, as it needs 4 cores.


As much as I want AMD to come back from the abyss, this isn't accurate. The OP doesn't want to overclock, so our comparisons of the 955 to the I3 need to use stock speed performance.

In situations that use two cores, the I3 will outperform the stock speed 955 every time. In BF3 multiplayer and other gaming situations that can use four cores, teh stock 955 will perform equally to the I3. The per-core performance of sandy and ivy bridge really can't be refuted. A 955 would have to be overclocked to the limit to be in the ballpark with per-core, which is something the OP is not willing to do.
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November 12, 2012 5:30:28 PM

Would have to Xfire or SLI to botteneck it right now.
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November 12, 2012 5:49:10 PM

so in theory next summer i could go out and buy a gtx 670 or equivalent ati and it would run perfect?
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November 12, 2012 5:55:10 PM

Yeah your MOBO and CPU would handle it.
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November 12, 2012 10:05:54 PM

I forgot to ask but with the AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE, will that work with the ASRock 880GM-LE FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard, i've read without the bios update you can run am3 on am3+ mobo's but i've also read on older boards it will not work, does anyone know?
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