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Finally! A new PC (budget gamer)!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've been suffering with an Athlon XP 1800+ for far too long! It was pretty good when it was new, and it played my games very well, but that was long, long ago. Finally I can afford a new PC, at least so long as it's home-built on the cheap.

This'll be my main rig, primarily a gamer, but also for everything else I don't feel like doing, or don't know to do yet, under Linux (which I like, but I'm still a total novice at). I do plan to overclock, but conservatively. I don't care about seeing how far I can push it, just for best 24/7 gaming performance.

I'm mainly a roleplayer, but I also like turn-based strategy, combat flight sims and the occasional FPS just for when I feel like it. The games I'm most looking forward to, that my old system couldn't handle, are Oblivion, Fallout 3, and whatever MMORPG my old guild is playing now. Not too demanding, but I'll be playing at 1920 x 1080, and I'll probably want to try Crysis and some other more demanding new ones too.

This is what I've ordered, nearly all from Newegg. The final shipment should arrive this week, and then I'll get started:

  • Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout (sexy, couldn't resist the sale price, and has much better cooling than any of my old cases)
  • PSU: Corsair TX650W (overkill for now, but I see CF in my future)
  • Motherboard: ASRock 870 Extreme3 (great reviews, USB3, SATA3, and 8x/8x CF, all for $89)
  • CPU: Athlon II X4 640 (wanted 4 cores for games that support it and for multitasking; should overclock high enough to not bottleneck my GPUs)
  • HS/F: Kingwin XT-1264 (seems like one of the better performing budget coolers); I'll be using it with Zalman ZM-STG1 thermal grease, since the Arctic Silver I had may be too old, and I can't seem to find it anyway. The Zalman stuff brushes on, and I wanted to try it.
  • RAM: 4GB (2x2) G.Skill DDR3 1600 CL9 (probably won't OC real high, but I don't especially care, so long as it's good enough for gaming)
  • GPU: Sapphire Radeon 4650 512MB
  • Hard drive: WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA2
  • Optical drive: HP DVD burner SATA

The GPU is the obvious weakness for a gaming system, but sadly, the 4650 was the best I could afford for now, and that only thanks to a sweet Newegg deal (sale + combo). Well, it'll get me playing at least. I'm thinking of upgrading to a 5770 when I can, and then later a 2nd 5770 in Crossfire.

This is what I have on hand that I'll be using:

  • Hanns-G 24" LCD monitor, 1080P (I've had it for a few months, and been very happy with it)
  • Altec Lansing 5.1 speakers. I forget the model, but they're low end. Still sound pretty good though, good enough that I enjoy listening to music on them, even cranked pretty loud.
  • Cheap JVC HA-RX300 headphones.
  • Engage! wired optical mouse. They sell these for $16 at OfficeMax (and only there - it's an exclusive deal), and I love it. It's pretty in metallic blue, and ergonomic with 5 buttons that feel just right to me.
  • Keytronic 101-key full-size keyboard, black PS/2. Used, from a thrift store. Does everything I want, except be illuminated. Oh well, I guess I can find a reading light to shine on it or something.
  • OS: Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit 90-day trial version. (I'll get a real copy later, but this'll get me started without spending money I don't have.)

What do y'all think of the build? And what should I upgrade next after the GPU? More RAM? RAID-0? An SSD?
Edited by Izdaari - 8/23/10 at 2:59am
Tomoe Gozen
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 640 ASRock 870 Extreme3 ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU 12GB (2x2, 2x4) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 335 240GB SSD WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA2 HP dvd1260 Kingwin XT-1264 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 2x Hanns-G HH-241 24" 1080P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair TX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Storm Scout Logitech M500 5-button wired laser generic cheapie onboard 892 7.1 
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Tomoe Gozen
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 640 ASRock 870 Extreme3 ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU 12GB (2x2, 2x4) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 335 240GB SSD WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA2 HP dvd1260 Kingwin XT-1264 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 2x Hanns-G HH-241 24" 1080P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair TX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Storm Scout Logitech M500 5-button wired laser generic cheapie onboard 892 7.1 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 17
trust me, get a step up from a 4650. at least a 4670. you will not be able to play newer games with it. also as for the PSU, you could definitely do better for the $. asrock isn't really the best motherboard to buy as well.

EDIT:

this PSU is cheaper, it performs better, and it's modular.

this hard drive performs faster and is higher capacity, it's also the same price.

i would personally take this msi over the asrock.

the 5670 greatly out performs the 4650 and is only 5 dollars more.
Edited by venom55520 - 8/23/10 at 3:03am
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 4690k 4.7Ghz @1.219v 24/7 Gigabyte Z97 Gaming 3 Sapphire Tri-X R9 290x G.Skill Ares  
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung Evo 850 250GB Toshiba 3TB LOL Phanteks PH-TC14PE 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit / Xubuntu 16.04 QNIX QX2710 Evolution 2 OC'd to 110Hz CoolerMaster Quickfire Pro  XFX 850W Pro BE 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
NZXT H440 Monoprice Zowie AM steelseries QcK+ 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo E6600 Asus P5LD2-VM Sapphire HD 3870 512MB 2x1GB OCZ DDR2 800MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate 500GB Lite-On 24x DVD burner Stock Windows 8.1 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Sharp 47" TV Wireless keyboard/mouse combo Cheap Enermax 400W Banged up Coolermaster Elite 330 
Mouse
Touchpad 
  hide details  
Reply
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 4690k 4.7Ghz @1.219v 24/7 Gigabyte Z97 Gaming 3 Sapphire Tri-X R9 290x G.Skill Ares  
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung Evo 850 250GB Toshiba 3TB LOL Phanteks PH-TC14PE 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit / Xubuntu 16.04 QNIX QX2710 Evolution 2 OC'd to 110Hz CoolerMaster Quickfire Pro  XFX 850W Pro BE 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
NZXT H440 Monoprice Zowie AM steelseries QcK+ 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo E6600 Asus P5LD2-VM Sapphire HD 3870 512MB 2x1GB OCZ DDR2 800MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate 500GB Lite-On 24x DVD burner Stock Windows 8.1 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Sharp 47" TV Wireless keyboard/mouse combo Cheap Enermax 400W Banged up Coolermaster Elite 330 
Mouse
Touchpad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 17
If you are/know a college student, go use the $30 Windows 7 Professional thingy. It is an upgrade disc but if u activate right as u install drivers and get internet on there, it will activate. I tired to activate once on a PC like 3 days after installing and it wouldn't let me.

Link

All u need is a student email.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by venom55520 View Post
trust me, get a step up from a 4650. at least a 4670. you will not be able to play newer games with it. also as for the PSU, you could definitely do better for the $. asrock isn't really the best motherboard to buy as well.

EDIT:

this PSU is cheaper, it performs better, and it's modular.

this hard drive performs faster and is higher capacity, it's also the same price.

i would personally take this msi over the asrock.

the 5670 greatly out performs the 4650 and is only 5 dollars more.
Thanks for the thoughts!

That all sounds like great advice, except that I scored really good deals on the PSU and the hard drive, and an incredible deal, almost free on the 4650. I only expect to run the 4650 for a month or so anyway, before getting a 5770.

I thought about that MSI board, but like all the 870s except ASRock, it has 16x/4x CF. I was afraid that'd impact CF performance too much. Was I wrong about that? I could be, I haven't been able to find much written about it. But if the ASRock board gives me any trouble, I'll upgrade that too.
Tomoe Gozen
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 640 ASRock 870 Extreme3 ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU 12GB (2x2, 2x4) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 335 240GB SSD WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA2 HP dvd1260 Kingwin XT-1264 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 2x Hanns-G HH-241 24" 1080P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair TX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Storm Scout Logitech M500 5-button wired laser generic cheapie onboard 892 7.1 
  hide details  
Reply
Tomoe Gozen
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 640 ASRock 870 Extreme3 ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU 12GB (2x2, 2x4) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 335 240GB SSD WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA2 HP dvd1260 Kingwin XT-1264 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 2x Hanns-G HH-241 24" 1080P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair TX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Storm Scout Logitech M500 5-button wired laser generic cheapie onboard 892 7.1 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Izdaari View Post
Thanks for the thoughts!

That all sounds like great advice, except that I scored really good deals on the PSU and the hard drive, and an incredible deal, almost free on the 4650. I only expect to run the 4650 for a month or so anyway, before getting a 5770.

I thought about that MSI board, but like all the 870s except ASRock, it has 16x/4x CF. I was afraid that'd impact CF performance too much. Was I wrong about that? I could be, I haven't been able to find much written about it. But if the ASRock board gives me any trouble, I'll upgrade that too.
ah in that case, good job

you should be fine with the asrock so long as you don't plan to do any heavy ocing. it's just that their warranty is pretty bad. as far as 5770 CF goes, 16x/4x isn't going to give you a huge performance hit, if any. enjoy, i know you'll be blown away going from an athlon 1800.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 4690k 4.7Ghz @1.219v 24/7 Gigabyte Z97 Gaming 3 Sapphire Tri-X R9 290x G.Skill Ares  
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung Evo 850 250GB Toshiba 3TB LOL Phanteks PH-TC14PE 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit / Xubuntu 16.04 QNIX QX2710 Evolution 2 OC'd to 110Hz CoolerMaster Quickfire Pro  XFX 850W Pro BE 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
NZXT H440 Monoprice Zowie AM steelseries QcK+ 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo E6600 Asus P5LD2-VM Sapphire HD 3870 512MB 2x1GB OCZ DDR2 800MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate 500GB Lite-On 24x DVD burner Stock Windows 8.1 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Sharp 47" TV Wireless keyboard/mouse combo Cheap Enermax 400W Banged up Coolermaster Elite 330 
Mouse
Touchpad 
  hide details  
Reply
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 4690k 4.7Ghz @1.219v 24/7 Gigabyte Z97 Gaming 3 Sapphire Tri-X R9 290x G.Skill Ares  
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung Evo 850 250GB Toshiba 3TB LOL Phanteks PH-TC14PE 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit / Xubuntu 16.04 QNIX QX2710 Evolution 2 OC'd to 110Hz CoolerMaster Quickfire Pro  XFX 850W Pro BE 
CaseMouseMouse Pad
NZXT H440 Monoprice Zowie AM steelseries QcK+ 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo E6600 Asus P5LD2-VM Sapphire HD 3870 512MB 2x1GB OCZ DDR2 800MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate 500GB Lite-On 24x DVD burner Stock Windows 8.1 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Sharp 47" TV Wireless keyboard/mouse combo Cheap Enermax 400W Banged up Coolermaster Elite 330 
Mouse
Touchpad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeMoo220 View Post
If you are/know a college student, go use the $30 Windows 7 Professional thingy. It is an upgrade disc but if u activate right as u install drivers and get internet on there, it will activate. I tired to activate once on a PC like 3 days after installing and it wouldn't let me.

Link

All u need is a student email.
Excellent idea! I do plan on going back to school soon (some 30+ years later ), so maybe I'll be able to do that then.
Tomoe Gozen
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 640 ASRock 870 Extreme3 ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU 12GB (2x2, 2x4) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 335 240GB SSD WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA2 HP dvd1260 Kingwin XT-1264 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 2x Hanns-G HH-241 24" 1080P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair TX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Storm Scout Logitech M500 5-button wired laser generic cheapie onboard 892 7.1 
  hide details  
Reply
Tomoe Gozen
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 640 ASRock 870 Extreme3 ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU 12GB (2x2, 2x4) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 335 240GB SSD WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA2 HP dvd1260 Kingwin XT-1264 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 2x Hanns-G HH-241 24" 1080P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair TX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Storm Scout Logitech M500 5-button wired laser generic cheapie onboard 892 7.1 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Izdaari View Post
Excellent idea! I do plan on going back to school soon (some 30+ years later ), so maybe I'll be able to do that then.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeMoo220 View Post
If you are/know a college student
Missed that?

I personally used my email and like 5 other students I know to get cheap Win 7s for every build I make..
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeeMoo220 View Post
Missed that?

I personally used my email and like 5 other students I know to get cheap Win 7s for every build I make..
Hmm, yeah.

I probably do know one, though I'll have to think of who. I'm 56, so I don't hang with the college crowd too much anymore. I'll get to networking on that...
Tomoe Gozen
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 640 ASRock 870 Extreme3 ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU 12GB (2x2, 2x4) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 335 240GB SSD WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA2 HP dvd1260 Kingwin XT-1264 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 2x Hanns-G HH-241 24" 1080P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair TX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Storm Scout Logitech M500 5-button wired laser generic cheapie onboard 892 7.1 
  hide details  
Reply
Tomoe Gozen
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X4 640 ASRock 870 Extreme3 ASUS EAH5850 DirectCU 12GB (2x2, 2x4) G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 335 240GB SSD WD Caviar Black 640GB SATA2 HP dvd1260 Kingwin XT-1264 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 2x Hanns-G HH-241 24" 1080P Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Corsair TX650 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master Storm Scout Logitech M500 5-button wired laser generic cheapie onboard 892 7.1 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 17
OMG, so you CAN use an upgrade disc for the full install? Oh man if only I known this were possible, I could have saved myself 70 bucks.
post #10 of 17
you need a beter gpu for gaming dude atleats a 5670
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