Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

clever id wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:
clever id wrote:

specs

That can be an effective base for a mid range gaming system.

I would be hesitant to spend too much money on components that won't transfer to a newer system down the line, so personally I wouldn't load up on too much RAM. Maybe go to 4 gigs if you can do it without discarding the existing sticks. Buying a big chunk of DDR2 doesn't seem like a good use on your money, even at RAM prices.

If I had that system and I wanted to refresh it I would go in this order.

1) Second big hard drive. New games are large.
2) New GPU. The 7800 is pretty geriatric, SLI scaling isn't great and adds complications. I'm pretty sure that any ATI 4850/70 or 5850/70 or even 5770 will be an improvement
3) Windows 7.
4) More RAM if the 2 gigs is clearly holding the system back.

GPU, HD and Windows can go to a new system if you update your platform. Everything else will go on the junk heap, or into a file server, or be handed on to a 10 year old for Peggle.

Good News/Bad News...

Good News is the specs have changed and it now has 6 gigs of RAM, Windows 7, and a 1TB HD.

Bad News is instead of replacing the computer I was using at work they upgraded so I won't get the computer for a few more months.

Looks like I'll go for the GPU upgrade if everything else stays the same, and because of the work provided upgrades I can afford to sink a extra $200 into it

Thanks for the input.

Good and bad news indeed, but worth the wait.

Drop a really good GPU in there and you have a solid machine.

Local shop near chicago is selling core i7 920 for 199.99 plus tax. I just picked one up.

I could really use some GWJer help right about now. I have 700 dollars with which I can build a gaming PC, but I honestly have no idea where to start. This is the first PC I will have ever built. I already have a sound card that I am willing to reuse, and a monitor. I also have a DVD drive. I don't necessarily need a hard drive in addition to everything, but it would be much more manageable if I did.

Can anyone help me out with a start? I think if I have a basic idea of what I am doing, I will be able to manage some sort of build.

1) What is the native resolution of your monitor. If it's less than 1920x1200 are you going to be getting a new monitor sometime in the next couple of years?
2) Do you have an OS that you can use to install or do you need to buy a new version of Windows.
3) Hard drive will be recommended.
4) What sound card?

garion333 wrote:

1) What is the native resolution of your monitor. If it's less than 1920x1200 are you going to be getting a new monitor sometime in the next couple of years?
2) Do you have an OS that you can use to install or do you need to buy a new version of Windows.
3) Hard drive will be recommended.
4) What sound card?

1. Probably so. The native resolution is 1280x1024.
2. I have a copy of Windows 7 ready to install.
4. I have a Sound Blaster Audigy, but my headset(Logitech G35) is 7.1 audio.

I'd recommend something along the lines of what I recommended in this post. Those prices come from CyberPower, so saving some money from somewhere like NewEgg wouldn't be a problem. And his build included the cost of Windows 7 (~$110).

One of the major changes from that build (other than specific parts, like different case, ram, motherboard and hard drive) is that the 4890 is nearly impossible to find right now. Ati is really pushing their 5 series and I'm not in love with the 5770, which for the money is where you should be looking. What I'm saying is that the 4890 would be swapped out in the build I linked with the 5770. Personally, I see no reason to go with Nvidia right now based on price/performance. If you're a Nvidia lover, concessions can be made.

garion333 wrote:

I'd recommend something along the lines of what I recommended in this post. Those prices come from CyberPower, so saving some money from somewhere like NewEgg wouldn't be a problem. And his build included the cost of Windows 7 (~$110).

One of the major changes from that build (other than specific parts, like different case, ram, motherboard and hard drive) is that the 4890 is nearly impossible to find right now. Ati is really pushing their 5 series and I'm not in love with the 5770, which for the money is where you should be looking. What I'm saying is that the 4890 would be swapped out in the build I linked with the 5770. Personally, I see no reason to go with Nvidia right now based on price/performance. If you're a Nvidia lover, concessions can be made. ;)

I'm completely neutral on the video card battle, so feel free to sway me either way. I'm in the process of adding up the costs of it right now to see if it fits the bill.

Unfortunately, I think this build steps a bit above my price range, if I have the right prices.

Yeah, it's looking upward of $800 instead of $700. Cutting out a hard drive gets it closer to $700, as does going with a 5750 instead of the 5770.

We can certainly do an AMD build, but those i5's are sweet.

garion333 wrote:

Yeah, it's looking upward of $800 instead of $700. Cutting out a hard drive gets it closer to $700, as does going with a 5750 instead of the 5770.

We can certainly do an AMD build, but those i5's are sweet.

I'd like an i5 if I can fit it in.

Someone on Reddit suggested a build like this:

" * Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3
* CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 620 Quad Core 2,6 GHz
* RAM: Kingston 2x1GB or 2x2GB
* GPU: ATI HD5770
* PSU: Something 500-600W on the 40$ - 60$ range
* A cheap and functional case, no flashy leds, etc
* You should still have some money left (~200$), get w/e disk and dvd-reader you want.
* Also, take advantage of newegg combos if you can.

And don't bother with the sound card, no one needs a sound card."

What do you think about that? I'm easily going to go for 4gb of ram. Is it worthy of running newer games?

garion333 wrote:
Faceless Joe wrote:

* PSU: Something 500-600W on the 40$ - 60$ range

I wouldn't trust that.

Is there a better one you would suggest?

I understand that the build this guy gave me is very basic. I'm just curious if it's something that I could build off of.

How much better performance will the i5 be over AMD?

Faceless Joe wrote:

* PSU: Something 500-600W on the 40$ - 60$ range

I wouldn't trust that.

The problem with going Intel is that everything is more expensive. AMD is definitely going to be cheaper all around. I mean, the cheapest Intel motherboards for an i5 is $100 (well, there's one for $85) and i5's run on DDR3, which is also more expensive.

Well, the i5 is fairly significantly faster than the 620. But is it worth the extra money everything would cost for an i5 rig? That's up to you and what you plan on doing with it.

Read over this article (basically the gaming performance and conclusion section should be enough) and you decide.

There's nothing wrong with AMD; they're not _that_ far behind on CPU. They're not quite as nice, but almost all games are GPU-bound, rather than CPU-choked, so when you're down on a shoestring budget like this, you'll get a faster system overall if you buy AMD and a better video card, rather than skimping on video to get Intel.

For gaming, if your video card sucks, it doesn't matter how fast your processor is.

What I'd really recommend would be waiting long enough to save another $200 or so, to be able to swing the i5 and a solid vid card. I think of $850 as being about the floor for a really solid gaming machine... much below that, and you're trading things away. Trading down to AMD is probably the first step, not the last, unless you plan to spend more money on a video card soon.

Also note that your monitor is pretty low-resolution by modern standards, and you may want to replace that soon, as well. When sizing your video card, keep your target resolution in mind.

If you plan to keep that monitor a long time, then trading down on video card makes more sense than it otherwise would..... in that case, it might actually be smarter to buy Intel and a weaker graphic card.

For what it's worth, I just got my 5750. I was going to get a 5770, but for purely budgetary reasons, I cut it back. I've been really really happy with it.

I have a Core 2 duo @ 2.4Ghz, Win 7 64-bit, and 4GB of RAM. With the 5750 I'm still maxing out Batman: AA at 1920 x 1080 (no antialiasing), and I can run Left 4 Dead 2 with everything all the way up without a hitch.

If your budget is that tight, it's hard to beat for $140. In a year, maybe I'll pick up a second even cheaper and crossfire them if I need the boost, who knows.

I'm getting ready to build a new gaming machine, and I humbly submit these parts for Goodjer feedback:
Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P
Intel Core i5-750
Corsair XMS3 2X2GB DDR3 1600
WD Caviar Black 1TB
LG 8x BD-ROM Combo
Thermaltake EVO_blue 550W PSU
Antec Three Hundred Black Case
XFX Radeon HD 4870 1GB - already purchased
I'm running a single monitor at 1920x1200.

The only thing I'm not feeling confident about is the memory. As far as I can tell there are a number of 2x2GB kits from this manufacturer at varying price points. Any help with what the differences are and what their effect on performance would be very helpful.
I decided that I don't quite have the budget for a fast boot/OS drive (e.g. SSD or 10k Raptor) right now, but I will be watching the occasional film (hence the BD-ROM).
Any other thoughts? Am I over-purchasing in one area? Skimping in another?

That power supply only has 75% efficiency and is modular, which most of us dislike. I'm a little at a loss on why that PSU costs $100. It's only 550w.

Edit: Oh, I see, modular PSUs cost more. Well, I'd recommend this, but if you want to go modular, you could go with this.

That's a good catch. I missed the "modular" in the description. That Corsair will do just fine, plus it's cheaper with the rebate

OG_slinger wrote:

That being said, it looks like I'll have an extremely low mileage 4870 available soon if anyone is looking for a new GPU.

OG, PM sent about that vid card.

Phishposer wrote:

I'm getting ready to build a new gaming machine, and I humbly submit these parts for Goodjer feedback:
Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD4P
Intel Core i5-750
Corsair XMS3 2X2GB DDR3 1600

The only thing I'm not feeling confident about is the memory. As far as I can tell there are a number of 2x2GB kits from this manufacturer at varying price points. Any help with what the differences are and what their effect on performance would be very helpful.

Can't really comment on the performance of the different Corsair memory but as far as stability goes, I'm running that exact RAM, CPU and the GIGABYTE GA-P55-UD4P (lack of A would be a different revision of the same board I guess) and it runs without a hiccup. That and I very happy with my setup, even with an older 9800GTX+ 512MB vid card.

Excellent, thanks Redhwk. I'm picking up parts gradually over the next week or so.

Someone over at Tom's Hardware suggested this build:

CPU Phenom II X3 BE $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

MOBO Gigabyte UD3P $69.99 after $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

Memory
G skill Ripjaw DDR3 1333 7-7-7-21 $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

Video Card
HD5770 $169.99 after $10 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

Hard Drive
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 $54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

Power Supply/Case HAF 922 and OCZ Stealthxstream 700W $149.97 before $40 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboD...

HSF Hyper 212 Plus $29.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...

I'm actually not certain what that last part is for. It'll be 655.92, after $60 MIR, before shipping.

What do you think?

It's a cpu cooler as the X3 is OEM.

garion333 wrote:

It's a cpu cooler as the X3 is OEM.

Is that a bad thing? I'm really green when it comes to computer parts.

What do you think of the overall build?

Faceless Joe wrote:
garion333 wrote:

It's a cpu cooler as the X3 is OEM.

Is that a bad thing? I'm really green when it comes to computer parts.

What do you think of the overall build?

The OEM? No, it's not a bad thing, it just means you're only gonna be getting the chip. It's still legit, not a refurbished part or anything. If you are going to be getting a Black Edition processor from AMD, you want an aftermarket CPU cooler because the BE are made for overclocking. The multiplier is unlocked, which is the easiest way to overclock any processor. When (and if) the time comes, I can walk you through it. I have that exact processor and overclocking took all of 30 seconds in the Bios.

The build looks decent otherwise. I wouldn't get either the case or power supply on their own, but the $30 savings on the combo deal is nice. The power supply, however, is not the most ideal. Many of us preach the single rail 12v+ power supplies over the multiple rail psus (sorry for being slightly technical there). But it's not modular and has over 85% efficiency (very good). With the mir and the combo deal it's a good price.

I'm personally not a huge fan of the 5770, but it's still a good card. The problem is there really isn't an option between the 5770 and 5850 right now. All the 4 series are running out of stock. Anyway, I'm definitely in the Ati camp right now. I keep saying it, but Nvidia just isn't showing the performance for the extra $$ their cards cost.

At the end of the day, I think you'll be satisfied with the build. I like the X3 720 and I'm a huge fan of Gigabyte boards, so you get two thumbs up there.

You definitely want to buy some Artic Silver for the cpu.

What OS are you planning on installing?

garion333 wrote:
Faceless Joe wrote:
garion333 wrote:

It's a cpu cooler as the X3 is OEM.

Is that a bad thing? I'm really green when it comes to computer parts.

What do you think of the overall build?

The OEM? No, it's not a bad thing, it just means you're only gonna be getting the chip. It's still legit, not a refurbished part or anything. If you are going to be getting a Black Edition processor from AMD, you want an aftermarket CPU cooler because the BE are made for overclocking. The multiplier is unlocked, which is the easiest way to overclock any processor. When (and if) the time comes, I can walk you through it. I have that exact processor and overclocking took all of 30 seconds in the Bios.

The build looks decent otherwise. I wouldn't get either the case or power supply on their own, but the $30 savings on the combo deal is nice. The power supply, however, is not the most ideal. Many of us preach the single rail 12v+ power supplies over the multiple rail psus (sorry for being slightly technical there). But it's not modular and has over 85% efficiency (very good). With the mir and the combo deal it's a good price.

I'm personally not a huge fan of the 5770, but it's still a good card. The problem is there really isn't an option between the 5770 and 5850 right now. All the 4 series are running out of stock. Anyway, I'm definitely in the Ati camp right now. I keep saying it, but Nvidia just isn't showing the performance for the extra $$ their cards cost.

At the end of the day, I think you'll be satisfied with the build. I like the X3 720 and I'm a huge fan of Gigabyte boards, so you get two thumbs up there.

You definitely want to buy some Artic Silver for the cpu.

What OS are you planning on installing?

Windows 7. Not sure what version(that is, ultimate or professional, etc.), but I know the differences are marginal. Why do you ask?

Which of the 4 series are you talking about specifically?

And am I definitely going to want to overclock this? I have no opposition to it, just curious. It's good that you have the same processor, because I have no idea what I'm doing with it.

Yes, you'll want to overclock it. It's made to be overclocked and it likes it. You'll be able to push 3.2ghz off it without raising the stock voltage at all or the temperature of the chip too much. With an aftermarket cpu cooler (like you're getting), you can push it up to 3.7ghz or so, but I don't see the need personally. 3.2ghz is fast enough for me right now.

Well, the 5770 is on par or a bit behind (and occasionally a little ahead) the 4870 in most game benchmarking. It really depends on the game and the settings (resolution, anti-aliasing). For the premium on the new cards it doesn't perform as well as I wanted it to, but it does run cooler and use less energy, so there are positives to the card.

But the 5770 comes in pretty damn far behind the 4890 in most benchmarking tests, which is why I grabbed one on sale for $170 before they started disappearing off the "shelves". I'd like a 5850, sure, but $300. No way. The 5770 is very much the best choice for a midrange gaming pc right now.

You can see for yourself here. Anandtech was a bit more negative about the 5770 than a lot of other places, but I tend to agree with them overall.

I asked about the OS because I wanted to make sure you had a 64-bit OS so you can utilize all your ram. I just bought Windows 7 and I'd recommend getting Home Premium. Most of the stuff in Professional that isn't in Home Premium are things I've never even heard of. I'm not concerned with encryption and stuff like that. The only thing I felt like Pro had that I wanted was the XP mode, but considering I lived with Vista for 2 years without an XP mode, I'm fine without it on my Windows 7. Pro is significantly more expensive and I doubt I'll be pushing the barrier with Home Premium's limit on RAM anytime soon. It's a 16 gb limit. (You can see a nice chart of the differences at Wikipedia.)

garion333 wrote:

Yes, you'll want to overclock it. It's made to be overclocked and it likes it. You'll be able to push 3.2ghz off it without raising the stock voltage at all or the temperature of the chip too much. With an aftermarket cpu cooler (like you're getting), you can push it up to 3.7ghz or so, but I don't see the need personally. 3.2ghz is fast enough for me right now.

Well, the 5770 is on par or a bit behind (and occasionally a little ahead) the 4870 in most game benchmarking. It really depends on the game and the settings (resolution, anti-aliasing). For the premium on the new cards it doesn't perform as well as I wanted it to, but it does run cooler and use less energy, so there are positives to the card.

But the 5770 comes in pretty damn far behind the 4890 in most benchmarking tests, which is why I grabbed one on sale for $170 before they started disappearing off the "shelves". I'd like a 5850, sure, but $300. No way. The 5770 is very much the best choice for a midrange gaming pc right now.

You can see for yourself here. Anandtech was a bit more negative about the 5770 than a lot of other places, but I tend to agree with them overall.

I asked about the OS because I wanted to make sure you had a 64-bit OS so you can utilize all your ram. I just bought Windows 7 and I'd recommend getting Home Premium. Most of the stuff in Professional that isn't in Home Premium are things I've never even heard of. I'm not concerned with encryption and stuff like that. The only thing I felt like Pro had that I wanted was the XP mode, but considering I lived with Vista for 2 years without an XP mode, I'm fine without it on my Windows 7. Pro is significantly more expensive and I doubt I'll be pushing the barrier with Home Premium's limit on RAM anytime soon. It's a 16 gb limit. (You can see a nice chart of the differences at Wikipedia.)

It will be 64 bit. Unfortunately, I found it not a little while ago that one of those rebates will be going away if I don't buy it today, so that raises the cost, but I can deal with it. I'll let you know if this is the definite machine I'm going to go with, and then you can explain the overclocking business whenever you get the opportunity.

Anyone have solid opinions of the Core i3? I see they are available now at really competitive prices and bit-tech.net has a positive review.

For me the options are Core2, Core i3 or AMD AM3, the i3 seems the best option by a long way.

Over on Ars, people seemed pretty underwhelmed by the i3.