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Good Budget Gamer build?

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February 6, 2013 11:42:30 PM

I'm working on coming up with something ~$600 w/OS and this is what i've found that seems to be fairly good mid range

AMD Phenom II X4 965 $95 Plan on upgrading to FX-6300 Later
MSI 970A-G46 Motherboard $65
XFX Radeon HD 6870 $130
Corsair XMS3(2x$GB) PC3 12800 $47
Ultra LSP550 Watt PSU $40
Toshiba 1TB 7200RPM HDD $60
Lite-On IHAS124-04 $16
Thermaltake V3 Case $20 Selected because it's the cheapest mid-tower I found
Windows 7 HP $100
Total $573

It Seems like this setup should do most anything i need it to do But want someone else Opinion
Should this be able to play most games in low-High settings smoothly?

Best solution

February 7, 2013 12:22:40 AM

I don't know what that power supply is which means it probably sucks. You don't want to go generic PSU.

I'd make a few changes --

GPU: Radeon HD 7850 1GB $165 + $5 shipping
PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 80 PLUS BRONZE $45 (before $5 off w/ promo code EMCXVXW57, ends 2/7 and $20 mail-in-rebate)
RAM: Patriot 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 $48 (before $6 off w/ promo code EMCXVXR44, ends 2/11)

I added $46 to your build price ($35 if you order by tomorrow or $40 if you order by Monday... assuming the parts you picked were free shipping), but you're getting a much more capable gamer. The GPU is a lot faster, the RAM is a little faster for $1 more (and I think at a lower voltage), and the PSU is bronze rated. Everything else you selected is pretty budget conscience.

Corsair PSUs aren't the pinnacle by any means, but it should be a lot better than what you selected and much less likely to explode and take your entire PC with it. There's also a very good 380W Antec in the same price range, and it would have no problem powering your system stock, but it may be cutting it close if you're overclocking. A 6870 will be capable of playing everything out right now. It will even max out most direct-x 9 games. But you'll be much happier with a 7850 -- higher frame rates, longer lifespan, less power usage. The RAM change really isn't a huge deal, but 1600Mhz sets are almost identical in price to 1333Mhz kits, and it never hurts to have a lower voltage set.
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February 7, 2013 12:34:12 AM

hapkido said:
I don't know what that power supply is which means it probably sucks. You don't want to go generic PSU.

I'd make a few changes --

GPU: Radeon HD 7850 1GB $165 + $5 shipping
PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 80 PLUS BRONZE $45 (before $5 off w/ promo code EMCXVXW57, ends 2/7 and $20 mail-in-rebate)
RAM: Patriot 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 $48 (before $6 off w/ promo code EMCXVXR44, ends 2/11)

I added $46 to your build price ($35 if you order by tomorrow or $40 if you order by Monday... assuming the parts you picked were free shipping), but you're getting a much more capable gamer. The GPU is a lot faster, the RAM is a little faster for $1 more (and I think at a lower voltage), and the PSU is bronze rated. Everything else you selected is pretty budget conscience.

Corsair PSUs aren't the pinnacle by any means, but it should be a lot better than what you selected and much less likely to explode and take your entire PC with it. There's also a very good 380W Antec in the same price range, and it would have no problem powering your system stock, but it may be cutting it close if you're overclocking. A 6870 will be capable of playing everything out right now. It will even max out most direct-x 9 games. But you'll be much happier with a 7850 -- higher frame rates, longer lifespan, less power usage. The RAM change really isn't a huge deal, but 1600Mhz sets are almost identical in price to 1333Mhz kits, and it never hurts to have a lower voltage set.

Is a 430W going to be enough if I later decide to Do some overclocking and put in watercooling?
How much difference in gamplay would a 2GB Card Make over a 1GB?
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February 7, 2013 12:41:45 AM

And it looks like a failure of a superhero costume IMO... Lol
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February 7, 2013 1:59:31 AM

Maxitout said:
Is a 430W going to be enough if I later decide to Do some overclocking and put in watercooling?
How much difference in gamplay would a 2GB Card Make over a 1GB?


It should provide you enough room to overclock a bit. 7850s are 130W cards and Phenom IIs are 95W processors.

I wouldn't even consider watercooling at your budget. It's expensive and is going to provide less return than just buying faster parts. Watercooling starts to be less-uneconomical when you already have the most expensive parts.

The difference between the 1GB and 2GB cards is just that, one has 1GB more RAM. It's not going to make a difference most of the time, and the 7850 is still slow enough (relatively) where it's going to run out of processing power before VRAM becomes an issue in the games where 1GB isn't enough. 1GB is still enough for most games.

For everyone else... you can't include rebates in your purchase price. It's money that comes out of your pocket and you wait months to recoup. If you have a set budget, rebates do nothing to lower that cost. I only account for rebates when two parts are the same price before rebate -- only then is the part with a rebate a better deal. If you have a budget, checkout price -- cost of parts + cost of shipping, before rebates -- is what you should be looking for.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 7, 2013 5:21:24 AM

Im suggesting this build. You can get an i5 when haswell comes out for cheaper and just grab a better gpu when you can afford.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BYd9
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BYd9/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BYd9/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($104.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $587.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-07 02:21 EST-0500)
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February 7, 2013 5:30:36 AM

Why are you suggesting a $642.90 system, on a ~$600 budget, with a worse video card over what he initially chose -- and then suggest he spends another $300 in upgrades in a few months? Does that make any sense at all?
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February 7, 2013 9:59:20 PM

what video card would be the next step up from the HD6870? would it be the 7850 or something lower?
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February 7, 2013 10:07:28 PM

hapkido said:
It should provide you enough room to overclock a bit. 7850s are 130W cards and Phenom IIs are 95W processors.

I wouldn't even consider watercooling at your budget. It's expensive and is going to provide less return than just buying faster parts. Watercooling starts to be less-uneconomical when you already have the most expensive parts.

The difference between the 1GB and 2GB cards is just that, one has 1GB more RAM. It's not going to make a difference most of the time, and the 7850 is still slow enough (relatively) where it's going to run out of processing power before VRAM becomes an issue in the games where 1GB isn't enough. 1GB is still enough for most games.

For everyone else... you can't include rebates in your purchase price. It's money that comes out of your pocket and you wait months to recoup. If you have a set budget, rebates do nothing to lower that cost. I only account for rebates when two parts are the same price before rebate -- only then is the part with a rebate a better deal. If you have a budget, checkout price -- cost of parts + cost of shipping, before rebates -- is what you should be looking for.

Is the Phenom II X4 965 suppose to be a 95W processor? because acording to Newegg its a 125W, Pherhaps I'm not understanding their Specs
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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February 8, 2013 2:57:40 AM

My mistake, you're right. So 255W for your two big parts (assuming you get a 7850) under full load. Conservatively 100W for the rest of the system. You should still have a bit of room.

Next step up from 6870 would be either a 6950 or 7850.
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February 8, 2013 7:57:41 PM

hapkido said:
My mistake, you're right. So 255W for your two big parts (assuming you get a 7850) under full load. Conservatively 100W for the rest of the system. You should still have a bit of room.

Next step up from 6870 would be either a 6950 or 7850.

So I looked at this benchmark comparison and it looks like the 7850 is just a little better than the 6950 http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/510?vs=549
would you pick the 7850 over the 6950? lower price and power consumption
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February 8, 2013 8:58:11 PM

I'd absolutely pick a 7850 over a 6950 -- it should be a little faster and uses less power.
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February 8, 2013 9:24:47 PM

Maxitout said:
Is the Phenom II X4 965 suppose to be a 95W processor? because acording to Newegg its a 125W, Pherhaps I'm not understanding their Specs
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Just remember that the 125 watt rating listed is the TDP (thermal dissipation, not total power consumption). The same goes for every CPU and\or GPU where a TDP is listed, even though different companies measure TDP in different ways. A simple google search will tell you what a 125 watt TDP means, theres no reason for me to get into that here.
I bought a Phenom II X4 965 BE a few months ago. Its a fantastic CPU if you are considering AMD. The current gen FX CPUs (FX-4300, FX-6300 and FX-83XX) only show a marginal improvement in most real world applications over the Phenom II (gaming included). For me its certainly not worth the increased price. Buy an AM3+ motherboard (make sure it uses a 900-series chipset), a Phenom II x4 and wait for AMD to roll out thier Steamroller CPUs. I'm hoping for a more dramatic improvement when those processors are released.
One last thought. If you do buy a Phenom II, make sure you get a good after market cooler. Mine is running at a very stable 4.2 GHz with a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. I've had it running at 4.5 GHz, but the 125 watt TDP CPUs dont seem to have as much overclocking headroom as the lower TDP CPUs.
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February 8, 2013 11:59:52 PM

Correct, the 125W TDP listed on the CPU (and all parts) is the amount of heat in watts it can dissipate. It could use more wattage to run, but they're generally interchangeable for normal usage.
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February 9, 2013 1:16:52 PM

so would i be able to run a Phenom II x4 965 BE in a Board that supports Processors up to 95W TDP? Or do i need to make sure the board supports 125W TDP processors?
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February 16, 2013 9:55:40 AM

Best answer selected by Maxitout.
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