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Trying to build an affordable gaming rig


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#1 thinbalion

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 04:50 PM

Hi all,

I'm very new here and trying to build my first computer, so this may well be the first in a long line of posts.

I'm basically trying to build a fairly inexpensive gaming pc that can run anything from Mass Effect 2 to Starcraft 2 without much problem. Also this is something I would like to be able to upgrade in the future based on availability of funds. So looking at something that can run well currently, but can also be upgraded for higher performance. This is part of what led me to choose a full tower over a mid-tower (I could be mistaken in doing so, but that's why I'm posting here).

I've been tinkering with this a few days now, and this is what I've been able to come up with. Prices have been taken off of Newegg.com:


GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM-US2H AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard LINK

@ $64.99

AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision HDZ555WFGMBOX LINK
@ $100.99

Patriot Viper 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model PVT36G1600ELK LINK
@ $169.99

XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card LINK
@ $159.99

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive LINK
@ $89.99

LITE-ON 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 Writer LightScribe Support LINK
@ $25.99

Creative 70SB073A00000 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer LINK
@ $64.99

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit
@ $99.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case LINK
@ $129.98

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 LINK
@ $89.99

COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible V8 RR-UV8-XBU1-GP 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler LINK
@ $59.99

TOTAL: $1,056.88

This is not factoring any rebates, or additional deals on Newegg. So it may even run lower than that. Also i'm not entirely certain that the CPU cooler is entirely necessary, so that would drop the price further.

In any event, please let me know what you think. Your opinions are very much appreciated.

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#2 JonM33

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 04:57 PM

AMD is dual channel so go with a dual channel kit instead. What you selected is a triple channel kit.

Great power supply choice.

That heatsink is a bit overkill but it depends on whether or not you intend on extreme overclocking.

#3 dpunisher

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 07:16 PM

Random stuff:

Ditch the soundcard, roll some extra money into a full size ATX board:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813128443

Cooler: http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6603 Avoid Newegg on this one due to price. It is a $30 cooler.

Ditto on the RAM, you need a 2X2gig set of DDR3.

It gags me to recommend NVidia, but if you can scrounge the cash, a GTX 260 is significantly faster than a 5770 for $30 more.

I am sure the AMD gurus will have more to add.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#4 JonM33

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 08:32 PM

^^^I think you mean GTX 460. :thumbsup:

#5 dpunisher

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 08:48 PM

Indeed I did.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#6 DJBPace07

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 10:55 PM

The CPU cooler is not needed, unless you are going to be doing some serious overclocking. The sound card (EEEK!!! Creative!!!) is also unnecessary unless you are going to be listening to lots of music on your PC and already have good speakers or headphones. I also suggest swapping out that memory for the G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 RAM kit. It is a single-stick RAM kit so if you want to fully maximize the amount of RAM that motherboard can use, you will still have that option. If you have the cash, I would go for the SAPPHIRE 100297L Radeon HD 5830 1GB which is better than what you have now, especially in shooters. A GTX 260 1GB, which is about $230 and the model you should get, is still a little faster than the 5830, though, your option to use SLI is gone. I have Mass Effect 2 and two GeForce 9800 GTX's in SLI occasionally slow down on even a quad core CPU. But, then again, having to force anti-aliasing on may have degraded my performance somewhat (Seriously, Bioware, fix this in Mass Effect 3! I know you can tweak the Unreal Engine.)

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#7 thinbalion

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 12:01 AM

Alright, taking all of that into account I've tinkered some more and come up with the following:

CPU/Mother Board/Video Card: HERE --> $413.97

Memory/OS: HERE --> $180.98

HDD: HERE --> $74.99

CD/DVD Burner: HERE --> $25.99

Case: HERE --> $99.99

PSU: HERE --> $89.99

Cooler: HERE --> $29.99

TOTAL: $915.90

Eventually the idea will be to add a second SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5770 1GB video card and take advantage of crossfire, but that can wait for the time being. That will most likely require the cooler, and for the additional cost it can't hurt for the time being, or so I figure (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, after all I'm very new at this).

Thank you for the suggestions, or I would have totally messed up the RAM.

Let me know what you think of this.

#8 JonM33

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:59 AM

All of those are good but you might have an issue with that OCZ memory. I used to buy OCZ in the past but in recent years their quality hasn't been up to par. You might be stuck with an RMA. Go for Mushkin, Kingston, G-Skill, Patriot, Corsair or Crucial.

Also, take a look at the Antec 300 case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811129042

It's VERY easy to work with, has a ton of cooling options and is solidly constructed. The newer ones come with a mount for a 2.5-inch SSD if you ever choose to get one.

#9 thinbalion

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 11:49 AM

Thanks JonM33, I actually switched things around and I'm looking at a G-Skill stick w/ 4GB now... i.e. i found some better combo packs and decided to go with the 4gb so that I can eventually upgrade this to 16gb.

Anyway, here's what I got, getting ready to pull the trigger on this soon...

CPU/Mother Board/Video Card: HERE --> $413.97

Case/OS: HERE --> $184.98

HDD/PSU: HERE --> $144.98

CD/DVD Burner: HERE --> $25.99

Cooler: HERE --> $29.99

Memory: HERE --> $99.99

Thermal Paste: HERE --> $9.99


That about does it, please let me know if I'm making a terminal error... Otherwise, thank you for all the help!

#10 thinbalion

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 12:31 PM

Actually make that G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 @ $97.99

It comes out to a grand total of $826.76 with rebates... I wonder if I can count on those at all.

Either way, I think I'll be pulling the trigger on this in a few hours, gonna let the decision sink in a bit :thumbsup:

#11 JonM33

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 12:31 PM

Looks good to me. You are giving me the upgrade bug now. :thumbsup:

#12 thinbalion

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 02:57 PM

Looks good to me. You are giving me the upgrade bug now. :thumbsup:


It's a lot of fun. I have spent altogether too much time looking at parts, but I know so much more than I did before. Good stuff.

#13 DJBPace07

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:29 PM

Looking over the new build...

That doesn't look like much of a combo, the $35 dollars you save can be made up by getting a Phenom II X4 955 (Which is identical to the 965, hardware wise) and save $20, go to a newer and equally as powerful 8-series motherboard and save $20 more dollars. I wonder if in addition to the rebates, what the price difference is. That ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X is an older model motherboard that does not have USB 3.0 nor does it have SATA 6. It is reasonable, but if you want those options, I would go for the ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870. Surprisingly, though, the more budget oriented 870 has the same Crossfire speeds as the more expensive 790X and for a lower price even without the rebate. Also, the 5770 is a good card, but you may have performance issues with it and upcoming titles, depending on what your chosen genre of games are. If you can afford to, get a 5830. Also, you don't need the thermal paste as it comes pre-applied to the cooler.

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#14 thinbalion

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 12:57 AM

So I decided to ditch my crossfire ideas in exchange for a GTX 460 1GB (also thanks DJBPace07 for suggesting the MoBo, I deviate to a slightly cheaper version but still)... so:

MoBo: LINK --> $84.99
Case/OS: LINK --> $184.98
HDD/PSU: LINK --> $144.98
CPU/RAM: LINK --> $236.98
GPU: LINK --> $229.99
CD/DVD: LINK --> $25.99
Cooler: LINK --> $29.99

TOTAL: $937.90
SHIPPING: $18.70
REBATES: $55.00

Plus there's a $10.00 gift card in there somewhere, so if stagger this into two purchases I can take advantage of that too.

GRAND TOTAL: $872.90

#15 JonM33

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 08:42 AM

Just FYI that ASRock is Asus' cheap-o brand.




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