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Old 10-15-2009, 08:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default $1000 gaming build

I should first mention I'm in Canada where components are much more expensive so $1000 here probably gets me about as much as $800-$850 would down there.

So, I was going to build one last year but ended up putting it off. My current rig is now 4 years old and is having a very hard time with some of the newer games even on the lowest settings so I think it's about time to retire her.

I was hoping to be able to build a new machine for around $800 CAD. When I was looking at prices last year, that seemed very reasonable. But now, it looks like I can't really get away with any less than $1000 for a decent quality build that will last me a while. I'd like to shave off a few dollars if I could but it isn't a huge priority.

So here's what I've come up with so far:

Case - Antec Three Hundred - $64.90
PS - ModXStream Pro 600W - $83.67
CPU Heatsink - Zalman CNPS9500 - $40.02

Mobo - Gigabyte GA-X48-D6Q
CPU - Q9550
Mobo & CPU combo - $384.98

Video - Powercolor Radeon HD4870 1GB
RAM - OCZ Reaper DDR2 1066
Video & RAM combo - $239.98

Shipping - $15.23
HST - $118.78

Total - $1032.44
MIR - $35.00

Total after MIR: $997.44 (plus cost of fans)

I'm still trying to figure out which fans to get for the front of the case. Preferably something that isn't too noisy or expensive. Suggestions would be nice

For the case, the Antec 300 seemed perfect since I was hoping to do a little bit of overclocking and it's got tons of airflow.

I ended up deciding to go with the OCZ power supply as a bit of a compromise between quality and price. I kind of wanted the Corsair 550W PS but it seemed a bit too expensive. I figured 550W should be more than enough for me to do a bit of overclocking and eventually add in a second video card.

The processor choice was a bit of a dillemma. I was originally going to go with a Q6600, but they apparently aren't sold anymore. The Q9550 has a higher clock speed, more L2 cache, and runs cooler when OCed because of the smaller architecture so I guess it's worth the extra money. The 9400 is an option too, but I'm not sure how much of a performance hit it would be to have half the L2 cache (and a slightly lower clock speed). It is $40 less but I'm unsure of whether or not the performance hit would be worth that $40. (The same combo with the GA-X48 is available with both processors). The core i7s are still far too expensive for me and I honestly don't really think it's worth that much extra (especially when you factor in how much more you have to spend on the mobo and ddr3 ram, and none of the mobos look particularly good)

I've decided to go with an X48 mobo since I would like to add in a second 4870 at some point down the road. The PCIe slots on the P45 motherboards are reduced to x8 when run in crossfire, while the X48 remains at x16, meaning that adding a second video card onto a x48 mobo will have a much more dramatic effect. It also seemed like a good idea since with the combo deal it ended up being not all that much more expensive than a mobo with a P45 northbridge, and the Gigabyte x48 motherboard seems to have some fairly good reviews.

As for the video card, I've been pretty much set on a 4870. I had thought about getting a GTX 260 instead, but the selection of mobos with an nForce northbridge (for SLI down the road) is horrendous and they are all seem to have bad reviews. I could drop to a 4850 and save $30-40 but I'm afraid the performance hit might be too big. The 4890 is a bit too pricey. I'm currently playing 2 games which both use the Cry engine, so I'd like for the card to at least be able to handle that.

RAM was pretty much a tossup between the OCZ Reaper and Mushkin's DDR2 1066 CL5 RAM. The Mushkin RAM would have been about $5 more expensive, but more importantly, it seemed to only be overclocked DDR2 800 RAM, while the OCZ Reaper wasn't (meaning I could overclock it more if I wanted to).

Any suggestions/comments?
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: $1000 gaming build

have you considered going with an amd cpu instead? a cpu like the phenom ii x4 955 would offer pretty much the same performance as that q9550 for less money.

like these parts
Newegg.ca - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops
Newegg.ca - GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

also, you dont need a mobo that will sustain both pci-e lanes at x16 if you choose to crossfire. the only real cards at this point which might begin to be limited by sli/cfx at x8/x8 are cards with gtx 295/hd 5870 performance. you will have no bottleneck running xfired 4870's at x8/x8.

you could go with this 4870 instead.
Newegg.ca - XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
its still got the 1gb of memory, its from a great brand, and its got a lifetime warranty.

and go with different ram. this particular set has been used very successfully by some members here.
Newegg.ca - G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B - Desktop Memory

and for the case, you could check out the antec 300 illusion, which comes already with 4 fans.
Newegg.com - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: $1000 gaming build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffin Man View Post
have you considered going with an amd cpu instead? a cpu like the phenom ii x4 955 would offer pretty much the same performance as that q9550 for less money.

like these parts
Newegg.ca - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops
Newegg.ca - GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards
That mobo seems to have the same issue that the P45 ones do - The PCIe slots operate at only x8 in crossfire instead of x16, which makes it kind of pointless. I'm not sure about switching to an AMD processor. I know the intel ones overclock very well, though I honestly don't know much about AMD processors.

Quote:
also, you dont need a mobo that will sustain both pci-e lanes at x16 if you choose to crossfire. the only real cards at this point which might begin to be limited by sli/cfx at x8/x8 are cards with gtx 295/5870 performance. you will have no bottleneck running xfired 4870's at x8/x8.
According to this article, there seems to be a fairly significant difference, even with the 4850.

Quote:
you could go with this 4870 instead.
Newegg.ca - XFX HD-487A-ZWFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards
its still got the 1gb of memory, its from a great brand, and its got a lifetime warranty.
Ooh, I hadn't noticed that that one had a lifetime warranty. Done!

Quote:
and go with different ram. this particular set has been used very successfully by some members here.
Newegg.ca - G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B - Desktop Memory
How big a performance hit is it to drop from 1066 to 800 though?

Quote:
and for the case, you could check out the antec 300 illusion, which comes already with 4 fans.
Newegg.com - Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases
Yes, I noticed that, but I'd have to pay $35 extra for that case (it's $5 more expensive plus I'd have to pay $30 in shipping. Shipping from directcanada is free, but unfortunately they don't have the illusion). I should be able to get a couple of good fans for less.

Thank you very much for the help!
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: $1000 gaming build

yea but even in that review, its only in one game, and a well known system stressful game at that (crysis). in every other test there, unless you are playing at that huge 2560x1600 res., theres like a 5fps difference max (in one game), or very few points difference (in the tests that give scores).

but if youd feel more comfortable with a mobo that supports crossfire at x16/x16, then take a look at this one in this combo.
Newegg.ca - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!

if you want to spend more on the intel cpu, hey thats fine. im just suggesting an alternative.

for the ram, you wont notice any real difference. probably more in benches. the members here that used that set have found that it can be quite OCing friendly. but again, its just a suggestion..
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: $1000 gaming build

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model ADX620WFGIBOX - Retail
&
ASUS M4A79 Deluxe AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

$294.48

No hard drive? No OS?
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: $1000 gaming build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muffin Man View Post
yea but even in that review, its only in one game, and a well known system stressful game at that (crysis). in every other test there, unless you are playing at that huge 2560x1600 res., theres like a 5fps difference max (in one game), or very few points difference (in the tests that give scores).
As I mentioned, though, two of the games I play now use the cry engine, plus I'd *like* to be able to play newer games that come out in the near future. Plus, I'm only going to be getting a second video card once I start playing games that are too stressful for a single card.

Quote:
but if youd feel more comfortable with a mobo that supports crossfire at x16/x16, then take a look at this one in this combo.
Newegg.ca - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!

if you want to spend more on the intel cpu, hey thats fine. im just suggesting an alternative.
All I mentioned was that I don't know very much about AMD CPUs. It would be nice to know how the Phenom 955 compares with the Q9550 at both stock speeds and overclocked before I decide to switch. How big a difference in speed is there? Which one runs cooler when overclocked? Which one will last longer? How big of an effect will I actually see on gameplay now and in the future, if I switched to an AMD cpu?

Also, that combo you linked actually costs slightly more than the CPU/MB combo in my build

edit: How does the Phenom 945 compare with the 955 or the Q9550 in terms of game performance? There is this combo of a Phenom 945 and an Asus M4A79 Deluxe which would be about $20 cheaper than the GA-X48/Q9550 combo that I have in my build now. I could also go with a Q9400/GA-X48 combo which would be $44 less. Is there much difference in gaming performance between the Q9400 and the Q9550?
Quote:
for the ram, you wont notice any real difference. probably more in benches. the members here that used that set have found that it can be quite OCing friendly. but again, its just a suggestion..
Alright, I'll switch to the G.Skill RAM then. It does seem to have better reviews, so since it's less expensive, and doesn't make a huge difference in actual game performance I might as well.

Quote:
No hard drive? No OS?
Ah, I did include the HD in my price but forgot to include it in the list. This is the one I'm looking at:
Seagate Barracuda 1TB - $84.88
And no, I don't see any sense in buying a new OS when the one I have works perfectly fine.
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: $1000 gaming build

i don't recommand powercolor cuz its very bad if you get Gigabyte 4850 bater than powercolor 4870
and this talk from My personal experience
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: $1000 gaming build

I would recommend these hard drives over the Seagate.

Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200RPM 32MB Dual Proc 3.5IN Sata Hard Drive Oem 5YR Mfg Warranty - DirectCanada
Very fast, extremely reliable.

Western Digital WD10EADS Caviar Green 1TB Sata 32MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive Oem - DirectCanada
1TB, slightly cheaper, more reliable.

Western Digital WD1001FALS Caviar Black 1TB SATA2 7200RPM 4.2MS 32MB 3.5IN Dual Proc Hard Drive Oem - DirectCanada
Best of both worlds... fast and 1TB. Just a few bucks more.
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My Rig: SABLE
Antec 300 Illusion / Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W / ASUS GeForce GTX 960 GTX960-DC2OC-2GD5
AMD FX 8320 x8 Black Edition / Gelid Tranquillo / MSI 970A-G43
Sandisk Ultra Plus 128GB / Samsung 840 120GB / WD Black 750GB / WD Green 1TB
2x4GB DDR3 1600 - 2x2GB DDR3 1600
Win10 Ent 64-bit - Mionix Naos 7000 Mouse - CM Storm QuickFire Rapid Mech Keyboard


R.I.P. Danny L. Trotter ... 14 Nov 1945 - 4 Sept 2009
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