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Old 11-11-2010, 06:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gaming @ 1440x900, CPU question.

Building a budget gaming rig ($650~). Going with a 5770 and was looking at picking up a 19" Samsung since it's local and cheap. Native resolution of 1440x900. My understanding is that at lower resolutions games are more dependent on CPU speed as opposed to the Gfx card. Sooo I was looking at a Athlon II X3 455 and a Phenom II X2 555, later being roughly $15 more. Which would be best for me considering resolution and the 5770? I also thought of maybe keeping the cheaper Athlon II X3 and getting a larger monitor for 1920x1080 resolution to rely more on the 5770 than the CPU, the more expensive option. Which would offer better performance? I want to play all newer games, medium maybe some high graphic details. Or is there a better CPU that I totally overlooked? Want to stick to AMD for price/power reasons. Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming @ 1440x900, CPU question.

I would get the fastest 3 or 4 core AMD cpu you can afford.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming @ 1440x900, CPU question.

That's correct, gaming at lower resolutions the game's going to be more CPU dependent than it would be if you were playing a game at 1680x1050 or 1920x1080. Regardless of which way you go, you're going to want to get the best CPU you can get for your money. Even gaming at much higher resolutions, like 2560x1600, you'd want a CPU that can feed the video card fast enough. It's all about balance. I'd definitely recommend staying away from the Athlon II for gaming, as they lack an L3 cache.

I had a X2 555 and was pleased with it, but looking at CPU usage during a game like L4D2 gaming at 1280x1024, I can see all four cores of my X4 955 chugging away. AMD rolled out this guy recently at the same price point as the X2 555 was-

Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X3 740 Black Edition Heka 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor HDZ740WFK3DGI - Processors - Desktops


Do you want myself or someone else could configure a computer for you? If so, does your $650 budget include the monitor? All of the parts depend on your total budget.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming @ 1440x900, CPU question.

I would go with the cheaper cpu and the 1920x1080 monitor. I went from a 19" 1440x900 monitor to a 23.6" 1920x1080 monitor earlier this year and the difference is incredible. A 5770 1gb will even do a pretty good job of running most games at 1080p too.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming @ 1440x900, CPU question.

I pretty much have all my parts. I used Budget Gaming PC | Hardware Revolution as a model. Only parts that are different are the CPU. Yes, I need a monitor but I can get a Samsung SyncMaster 19" for $80 used or buy from NewEgg. I would love a larger monitor but with $650~ gotta make cuts somewhere. I would love some help building if this isn't how my money is best spent. I'll be gaming on this mainly. Thanks!

Edit: Oh yea, gotta have a wireless adapter included as well. Was going to go with http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833320049 for $20.
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Old 11-11-2010, 08:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming @ 1440x900, CPU question.

I just checked the site, it looks solid. Two thing's I'd change. First thing, going back to what I said about the CPU, I'd definitely grab the X3 740 over any Athlon II. And second I'd get a Western Digital hard drive over a Samsung.

Their Blue series is between their Green and Black. Green's for storage, Blue offers better performance and is a good series for your operating system and software, and their Black series is their performance series. You can get a 500GB Black for $59.99, a 640GB Black for $5 more, a 1TB for $5 than that, so on and so forth. Their 3.0Gb/s Blacks (I'm guessing these are the ones in your price range) come with a 32MB cache, where as their SATA 6.0Gb/s models come with a 64MB cache.
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Old 11-11-2010, 09:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming @ 1440x900, CPU question.

I'll get the OEM Phenom II X3 740 but I will need a heatsink. Something cheap that works ok, $25 range if possible. I can upgrade it later on (2 weeks) but for now I really need to pinch the pennies so I can order it asap. If the heatsink has included thermal paste that would be even better. Thanks for the HD recommendation, I will check them out now. If I can manage I'll grab the Ripjaws over the RAM I have selected now if it's that much better.
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming @ 1440x900, CPU question.

I haven't seen a retail box X3 740 yet.

If you can do $6 more- Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler

Or if not, Newegg.com - XIGMATEK LOKI SD963 92mm HYPRO Bearing CPU Cooler bracket included dual fan push pull compatible

You really don't need to worry too much about the memory. This brand has been around for ages and they're great. When I build boxes for others on a budget, I usually go with Mushkin, Kingston, Patriot, or Corsair.Newegg.com - Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996586

Sure you can get faster, but for gaming it's really not going to matter, in some cases you might see a few frames per second more at the most. Money's definitely better spent elsewhere on a tight budget.


EDIT: I just remembered the Cooler Master heatsink does come with thermal paste, but I'm not sure if the Xigmatek does or not.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming @ 1440x900, CPU question.

Not seeing where it says the Coolmaster comes with grease or anything, this one does for $3 more and has a ton of great reviews on NewEgg along with other sites annd it's fanless annnd mail-in-rebate! Looks like a winner. Going to make a final build list and post here today, should be ordering tomorrow or Sunday if yall approve.

Newegg.com - XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler I5 775 AMD compatible
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Gaming @ 1440x900, CPU question.

Well, my retail CM Hyper 212 Plus did, so I assumed that would haha.

That's another great heatsink, I've seen it used for builds on here lots of times. It looks to me after clicking on the pictures, it does come with a fan. Plus, I wouldn't suggest using a fanless heatsink in a desktop that you're going to game on (or maybe overclock on? Not sure if you are or not), as you're going to build up lots of heat in that box. The cooler temps you have, the better. If you were building a low power file server or a HTPC, a passive heatsink would be just fine. Otherwise, a fan or two for your heatsink is necessary.
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