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Opinions on $650 Gaming PC

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am saving up for a new PC and wanted to get recommendations on what I should get. The monitor I will be playing with is in my sig (an HP w2207 @1680x1050). I would like to make a PC that can run everything at high or ultra with a bit of AA (2xAA) and AF (8x). I would like the possibility of adding another GPU in the future, too (if possible). I will be buying the case here since the shipping to here is too expensive for that. Given that, $50 of the budget is for the case, so the cost for all the other parts should be $600 inc. shipping (since this is PR, a zip code like 00926 should be used). I already have the OS.

Without further ado, here is the two builds I was able to come up with:

Asus DVD+ RW Drive: $19

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB: $40

Sapphire Radeon HD 6870: $210

Antec EarthWatts-500D PSU: $60

G.Skill NS 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM: $40

AsRock H61M-S LGA 1155 Motherboard: $63

Intel Core i3 2100: $125

Subtotal: $557
Total: $605

AMD route:

Asus DVD+ RW Drive: $19

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB: $40

Asus M4A79XTD EVO AM3 Motherboard: $119

PowerColor Radeon HD 6850: $170

Antec EarthWatts-500D PSU: $60

G.Skill NS 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM: $40

AMD Phenom II X4 820: $100

Rosewill RCX-Z80-AL CPU Cooler: $10

Now, from what I can gather, the Intel build will have better performance upfront and will be more efficient, but it does not offer an upgrade path. Also, I can't over-clock the CPU, though that is largely canceled by the fact that Sandy Bridge has much higher IPC than Deneb (this goes for most games and other apps). The Phenom II should be faster in multi-threaded games and apps, however. The PSU I know is very reliable and will be able to handle any of the rigs, even if I decide to throw a second 6850 in the AMD build. The motherboard on the AMD build is also better.

Subtotal: $558
Total: $608

Intel build pros:

Core i3 2100 will be faster in most day-to-day scenarios
Radeon HD 6870 is a good amount faster
Higher efficiency; lower power consumption

Cons:

No upgrade path for CrossFire
May be slower in future games because they're now multi-threaded
Motherboard is okay-ish
CPU cannot be over-clocked
Dual-Core/Quad-Threaded is slower in multi-threaded apps

AMD build pros:
Great upgrade path for CrossFire
Motherboard has more features
CPU can be over-clocked
Faster in multi-threaded apps

Cons:

Intel build should perform faster in most things upfront
Less efficient

The Intel build should be faster upfront but I'm stuck with what I get. It should consume less power, though. The AMD build should be slower upfront but I have a good upgrade path and if I OC the CPU it should be around the same speed. If I add another Radeon HD 6850, it should be MUCH faster than a single 6870.

Also, since I know some will mention the PSU not being enough for 6850 CrossFire:

http://cdn5.tweaktown.com/content/3/...WVR31cVq02.png

What are your opinions? Should I get something different altogether?
Edited by LOL_Wut_Axel - 3/26/11 at 2:47pm
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo P7450 @2.7GHz Pegatron G60VX (A12) GeForce GTX 260M 1GB @610/1500/2000 Hynix 4GB DDR2 @1000MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320GB LG GSA-T50N, HP dvd1170r Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP W2207 22" (1680x1050) 
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Microsoft Digital media Keyboard 3000 Delta Electronics ADP-120ZB BB 120W Logitech G500 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo P7450 @2.7GHz Pegatron G60VX (A12) GeForce GTX 260M 1GB @610/1500/2000 Hynix 4GB DDR2 @1000MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320GB LG GSA-T50N, HP dvd1170r Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP W2207 22" (1680x1050) 
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post #2 of 8
I would definitely go the intel route. It will be much better for day to day use and for gaming due to the better video card. And it is true that you can't crossfire, but you can always get a better card and put it in at a later date if you need to upgrade.
The Build
(13 items)
 
  
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Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield @ 4.2 GHz ASUS P6X58D Premium Dual Unlocked ASUS ATI HD6950s G.SKILL 6GB DDR3 1600 
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Intel X25-M 2.5" 80GB SSD and 1TB WD Caviar Black Pioneer Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell u2711 
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The Build
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Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield @ 4.2 GHz ASUS P6X58D Premium Dual Unlocked ASUS ATI HD6950s G.SKILL 6GB DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Intel X25-M 2.5" 80GB SSD and 1TB WD Caviar Black Pioneer Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Dell u2711 
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post #3 of 8
how about this + whatever GPU you can get with the leftover

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...3097&CatId=333
simple stuff
(13 items)
 
  
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Intel SB 2500k @ 4.5GHz MSI P67A-GD55 MSI TFII 6950 2GB @945/1415 2x4GB DDR3 1333MHz 
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Seagate 1tb Windows 7 64bit Viewsonic VX2450 LED Corsair GS600 
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CM HAF 922 
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simple stuff
(13 items)
 
  
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Intel SB 2500k @ 4.5GHz MSI P67A-GD55 MSI TFII 6950 2GB @945/1415 2x4GB DDR3 1333MHz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
Seagate 1tb Windows 7 64bit Viewsonic VX2450 LED Corsair GS600 
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CM HAF 922 
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post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
how about this + whatever GPU you can get with the leftover

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...3097&CatId=333
Pretty good, except for some things:

The Hard Drive is a Seagate Barracuda LP (11 series). That means a pretty much guaranteed premature death due to the firmware it comes with. The PSU probably can't output reliably half the power it's rated for, either.

It's cheaper, but only because they skipped more on the parts.

Edit:

Well, I do notice that it's a 2500K. Still, getting a Radeon HD 6850 would put it way over budget. That and I'd have to sell the PSU and HDD it comes with.
Edited by LOL_Wut_Axel - 3/29/11 at 5:15pm
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo P7450 @2.7GHz Pegatron G60VX (A12) GeForce GTX 260M 1GB @610/1500/2000 Hynix 4GB DDR2 @1000MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320GB LG GSA-T50N, HP dvd1170r Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP W2207 22" (1680x1050) 
KeyboardPowerMouse
Microsoft Digital media Keyboard 3000 Delta Electronics ADP-120ZB BB 120W Logitech G500 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo P7450 @2.7GHz Pegatron G60VX (A12) GeForce GTX 260M 1GB @610/1500/2000 Hynix 4GB DDR2 @1000MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320GB LG GSA-T50N, HP dvd1170r Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP W2207 22" (1680x1050) 
KeyboardPowerMouse
Microsoft Digital media Keyboard 3000 Delta Electronics ADP-120ZB BB 120W Logitech G500 
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post #5 of 8
go intel route, and get this instead, much more performance at a lower price. Win-win situation I would upgrade to the i5-2400 since it's much more performance for only $60.
    
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i5-2410M @ 2.9ghz Nvidia GT 540M 1GB DDR3 4GB DDR3 1333mhz 500GB 5400rpm 
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post #6 of 8
How fast do you need to upgrade? If you have the time i would wait save some buck and go with a x6er. Man you really don`t want to buy a CPU you can`t overclock (not on this website )
/* Redemption*/
(14 items)
 
  
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I7 3930K Asus Sabertooth Asus GTX 680 8x4GB G.Skill@1337MHz 
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2xM4 64GB/ / F3 - 1TB / 2x2TB Baracudas some LG Modified EK 360 HFX 2x(Win7 x64) 
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/* Redemption*/
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I7 3930K Asus Sabertooth Asus GTX 680 8x4GB G.Skill@1337MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2xM4 64GB/ / F3 - 1TB / 2x2TB Baracudas some LG Modified EK 360 HFX 2x(Win7 x64) 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
SyncMaster P2770HD and SyncMaster 940NW Roccat Isku Corsair Gold AX750 NZXT 810 Switch 
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post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robwadeson View Post
go intel route, and get this instead, much more performance at a lower price. Win-win situation I would upgrade to the i5-2400 since it's much more performance for only $60.
Wow, great deal. The 5870 is just 5% slower then the 6950 1GB and much faster than the 6870.

+rep
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo P7450 @2.7GHz Pegatron G60VX (A12) GeForce GTX 260M 1GB @610/1500/2000 Hynix 4GB DDR2 @1000MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320GB LG GSA-T50N, HP dvd1170r Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP W2207 22" (1680x1050) 
KeyboardPowerMouse
Microsoft Digital media Keyboard 3000 Delta Electronics ADP-120ZB BB 120W Logitech G500 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo P7450 @2.7GHz Pegatron G60VX (A12) GeForce GTX 260M 1GB @610/1500/2000 Hynix 4GB DDR2 @1000MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320GB LG GSA-T50N, HP dvd1170r Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP W2207 22" (1680x1050) 
KeyboardPowerMouse
Microsoft Digital media Keyboard 3000 Delta Electronics ADP-120ZB BB 120W Logitech G500 
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
The deal on the Radeon HD 5870 is just too good to pass up. I'll probably be getting the Intel build with the 5870 and two case fans. That puts me at $610 (case is $50), so it's still within budget.

Thanks to all that helped.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo P7450 @2.7GHz Pegatron G60VX (A12) GeForce GTX 260M 1GB @610/1500/2000 Hynix 4GB DDR2 @1000MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320GB LG GSA-T50N, HP dvd1170r Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP W2207 22" (1680x1050) 
KeyboardPowerMouse
Microsoft Digital media Keyboard 3000 Delta Electronics ADP-120ZB BB 120W Logitech G500 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core 2 Duo P7450 @2.7GHz Pegatron G60VX (A12) GeForce GTX 260M 1GB @610/1500/2000 Hynix 4GB DDR2 @1000MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Seagate Momentus 7200.4 320GB LG GSA-T50N, HP dvd1170r Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit HP W2207 22" (1680x1050) 
KeyboardPowerMouse
Microsoft Digital media Keyboard 3000 Delta Electronics ADP-120ZB BB 120W Logitech G500 
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