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Old 01-04-2011, 07:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Building Gaming Desktop - Advice please

Hey all,

I just returned the laptop in my sig because I am very unimpressed with the gaming performance. I should not have had such high expectations for a laptop, but you live and learn! I guess even a mid-grade desktop can out-perform the best gaming laptop available.

I will be building a desktop (purchasing all hardware from newegg). My budget is around ~$800 including the Windows 7 OS. I already bought an Acer 23" LCD, and a keyboard (already have a mouse). So altogether, I will spend $1,000. If I need to spend more, I can. If this is enough to get the newest CPUs + GPUs, then that is enough for me. I would like to play all games on high details, obviously.

I am very unfamiliar with the new Core i3/5/7 from Intel. There are dual cores and quad cores. Can someone please explain to me which CPU would benefit me the most? My previous build had the E8400 (C2D @ 3.0 GHz) and that was very good at stock. Is dual core still better than quad core for gaming? I'm not a big multi-tasker, so I would think 2 cores is enough.

I have a preference for Intel and nVidia, if that means anything. I would hope to make this machine future proof (allowing me to upgrade in the future if necessary).

While I do have prior experience building a desktop, my memory needs refreshing. Please let me know everything that I need to buy.

Thanks a lot!!
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Building Gaming Desktop - Advice please

The happy part right now is the new intel chips come out this week, 1155 scket, so it will drop the 1156 chips in price.

I'd go for a 1156 i5, aka quad core, an ati video card... best bang for buck AND power.

Only thing is until Sandy bridge comes out, its unknow how much 1156 drops.

But you'd want a build like this:

Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, LED LCD TV, Digital Cameras and more!
Newegg.com - XFX HD-583X-ZAFV Radeon HD 5830 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity
Newegg.com - OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV4GK
Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply
Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - Operating Systems

And a case and optical of your choice. The parts above are 880ish less 50mir but with sandybridge coming out, the cpu/mobo will drop in price.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building Gaming Desktop - Advice please

The i3's are dual core chips with 2 physical cores but 4 total threads for multitasking. The i5's are usually quad cores with 4 physical cores and 4 total threads. The i7's are quad cores with 4 physical cores and 8 total threads. (and the high end i7's are 6 cores with 6 physical cores and 12 threads.) If you enjoy gaming but don't really need the extra multitasking then I'd suggest going with an i5 as opposed to the i7. They are still quad cores and with the same 8mb L3 cache as the i7's but just without the extra threads. This will leave more money for the video card which is more important when gaming. Here's a build I would recommended for your budget.

CPU: Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80605I5760
Mobo: Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Memory: Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
Videocard: Newegg.com - SAPPHIRE 100314SR Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
HDD: Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Optical: Newegg.com - ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - CD / DVD Burners
OS: Newegg.com - Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - Operating Systems

Case and PSU are arbitrary.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building Gaming Desktop - Advice please

Thanks very much for the advice!

I also need WiFi, so will I need a separate card, or is that built into the MB?

I was considering the Core i5-650 for $182...Is it worth it to go with quad core over dual core?

Also, I don't need a 1 TB HDD, so maybe I can save some money there.

I will be purchasing all the hardware at the end of next week because I am waiting for my refund from the laptop. Will prices drop by then?
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building Gaming Desktop - Advice please

The motherboard doesn't usually include a wifi adapter so you'll have to pick one up. Just make sure that it is wireless N. And for the small difference in price then I say yes go with the quad core i5 760. If you just want a dual core tho then get the i3 540. Still a strong chip for the price.

Newegg.com - Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80616I3540

As for the HDD, here's a good deal on a 500GB Western Digital Blue Drive.

Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

hope this was helpful.
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-Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building Gaming Desktop - Advice please

What exactly is the difference between the Core i5-650 and the Core i3-540 (apart from clock speed). For $115, that price is nice..I just don't want to regret the decision...is the Core i3 an improvement over my previous C2D E8400??

Thanks! Much appreciated!!
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Building Gaming Desktop - Advice please

yes it is an improvement, but if you want to play the latest games on the best settings then i would recommend the i5 quad for best performance. and like @patonb said the price will drop in a week or so.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Building Gaming Desktop - Advice please

I agree with gunzidiot and patonb, get the i5 760. The difference between the 760, which is a true quad core, and 650, which is a dual core with HT, is only $20. The reason the i5 650 is so expensive is because it has a integrated GPU, which isn't good for gaming. Since you'll be using an external GPU it doesn't make sense to buy the i5 650, you won't be using the integrated GPU, while you can get a true quad core for $20 more.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Building Gaming Desktop - Advice please

I'm only gonna add...... New games do use more than 2 cores now, so a quads a must.

But get a decent psu, and the gigybite board and the 500Gig drive and you'll be at 800 easily.

The 1155 is coming out this weekend so hold off for 2 weeks.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Building Gaming Desktop - Advice please

Oh, my bad then. Post corrected.
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