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Old 12-25-2010, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default New Gaming Rig for Friend

Alrighty. Well, Merry Christmas if you're reading this today! I had some extra time so I figured I'd post the build I plan on doing for my friend. He's stuck now with a junker laptop and wants to move to a desktop so that he can game on it. He's budgeted $1,000 and I am to get $50-$100 of that for building it for him, so consider the budget around $900.

Here's what I've got lined up, I just want to know if you've got suggestions. At the end of the day, I'm almost positive he wants to go AMD/ATI as you've got more bang for the buck in the current market.

CPU - PII X4 965

MB - ASUS M4A87TD EVO 870
RAM - Gskill 8GB
Graphics - XFX 6870
DVD - Sony Optiarc
HDD - WD 640GB
PSU - Corsair 750W
Case - Lian Li (if you have suggestions here, that's fine. I wanted something nice, with a window, for under $100 with shipping)\

Total came to around $910 without shipping factored in. But prices will fluctuate by the time he buys it--it'll be in at least a month or two.

Initially, we were going to go hexcore, but I realized to fit his budget, we would GPU bottleneck him and that would be pointless. I don't feel a hexcore is needed for him to game adequately.

Let me know whatcha think. Thanks guys.
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: New Gaming Rig for Friend

You're right on the hexcore. It's just a little overkill for someone with his price range, but you've picked such a great set of components here, I'm only going to make one suggestion. Tone the power supply down a bit. You don't need 750 watts for that build. It'll hum along happily on a 650 or even a 600 watt. Stick with Corsair and you'll be doubly covered. If you want to trim $10, check out Mushkin memory. They're made here in the states and their RMA should you ever need one (I haven't for a while) they are quick. Newegg.com - Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 996770 should be a nice set.

Keep in mind that memory speed on the AMD platform isn't as important as it is on Intel.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: New Gaming Rig for Friend

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Originally Posted by og View Post
You're right on the hexcore. It's just a little overkill for someone with his price range, but you've picked such a great set of components here, I'm only going to make one suggestion. Tone the power supply down a bit. You don't need 750 watts for that build. It'll hum along happily on a 650 or even a 600 watt. Stick with Corsair and you'll be doubly covered. If you want to trim $10, check out Mushkin memory. They're made here in the states and their RMA should you ever need one (I haven't for a while) they are quick. Newegg.com - Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 996770 should be a nice set.

Keep in mind that memory speed on the AMD platform isn't as important as it is on Intel.
Thanks for the input. I'll explain a few things as to why I picked what I did:

PSU - Yes, overkill. However, I don't want to cut it close with a 600W. I may see what the price difference is between the 650W and 750W (listed) Corsairs when it comes time to purchase, but unless they are significant, I don't want him to have to upgrade his PSU the next time he upgrades his system. The 6870 draws about 300W under load (or so some googling told me)...I don't want to leave the rest of the system with only 300W. Amps is the main thing, and that's why I have been using single rail Corsairs and Antecs for the past two years with most of my clients (I run a small computer shop as a side job...I'm in college). I haven't done a gaming rig for a while, so that's why I posted this setup for review.

RAM - Yes, I realize there are cheaper alternatives, but G.Skill is the brand I've been using now for quite sometime, along with corsair and crucial. They have yet to let me down. I was a diehard OCZ guy (great bang for the buck), but they've gone to hell and back with their Q.C. and until they step it up, I'll keep my hands away from them. For an extra $10, I'll take the extra speed on the RAM because the MB supports it. Might as well use whatcha got (same reason why I'm going SATAIII on the HDD). Also, it WAS $10 cheaper, so I'm looking for that deal again when it comes time to purchase.

I'll check back in before I order things for him, but I'm assuming all should go as planned.

Appreciate the input, og! Cheers, mate.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: New Gaming Rig for Friend

Well, I only suggested Mushkin because (other than them being 50 miles up the road from me) I know that they source most everything in the USA, so some folks get that warm fuzzy when they buy Mushkin.

I still think it's a disservice however to do a 750 watt power supply, especially if the user won't be doing SLI or CrossFire. I have a fully loaded home PC with twice as many drives and even had SLI with "only" a 650 watt power supply. Power supply overspeccing is a common thing in the PC world. I don't want to tell you how to do things, just that I don't agree with it. I can appreciate the desire to have headroom however.

Also, the 300 watt draw is what the system pulls from the outlet, and not the card itself.
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Old 12-28-2010, 02:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: New Gaming Rig for Friend

Decent to good CPU, good video card, I'd stick with the 750W power supply that way you can always add extra drives or SLI/crossfire without needing to upgrade it. 8GB of memory is quite a bit, make sure to get a 64 bit operating system (IE windows 7 64 bit) to be able to acutally use all of that memory.

Overall a good build
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Old 12-28-2010, 11:53 AM   #6
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Decent to good CPU,
Besides the hexcore, it's pretty much the top AMD standard right now, as far as I'm concerned. He won't need the hex, and I won't let him take anything less than this for gaming. With the MB, he'll have good upgradability (making up words now haha) in the future.
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Originally Posted by lyth0s View Post
good video card,
Yup. He and I are both ATI guys. I can't justify the added cost for nvidia lately, and never liked them much anyways.
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Originally Posted by lyth0s View Post
I'd stick with the 750W power supply that way you can always add extra drives or SLI/crossfire without needing to upgrade it.
Like I said, I plan on sticking with it. The only way I would justify lowering down to the 650W version is if there is a very significant price difference. I want the top end capability in case he ever does something extreme. If I'm going to have him shell out the money for a Corsair, I'm not going to have him shell it out again in the future when we don't have /quite/ enough power. I want him to have C.F. capability if he would ever want/need it.
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Originally Posted by lyth0s View Post
8GB of memory is quite a bit, make sure to get a 64 bit operating system (IE windows 7 64 bit) to be able to acutally use all of that memory.
8GB is quickly becoming the standard for high performance AMD desktops, in my opinion. I have no problem just throwing in 4GB for a customer who is using it for multi-tasking office things (word, excel, etc, etc), but for someone who is gaming and may or may not be using Adobe products to just fool around with, I wouldn't go less than 8GB. I have 6GB in my desktop now, and I can't wait to upgrade to 8GB in the future. I can always use a little headroom for what I use my computer for. And yes, I know. I've been using 64 bit as much as possible. Can't wait till we're out of this 32/64 bit crap so my customers can stop coming to me all confused. Haha.

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Overall a good build
Gratzie.
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