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Old 11-14-10, 08:57 AM   #1
Intel17
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Default It's ALIVE! (Budget gaming build!)

Hey all,

So a friend of mine wanted a gaming PC, and I ultimately came up with the following:

Athlon II X3 445
4GB Crucial DDR3-1333
Zotac GTX 460 768MB
ASRock M3A770DE
Asus 18.5" Monitor (native res: 1366 x 768)
Western Digital 500GB HDD
Samsung 22X DVD Burner
Rosewill Stallion 500W Power supply

Total cost? $634 (that's with $40 shipping!)

I set it up today, and holy crap. Whoever said you needed a $2,000 PC to play games well was full of it. This resolution is higher than the Xbox 360 or PS3's (I believe anyway -- they're 1280x720, right?), and in testing all of my friend's games (Fallout New Vegas, CoD: MW2, BioShock 1/2), I can *crank* everything up to max and have it run ridiculously smoothly.

He's extremely happy, too, especially since he just came from a laptop with a Core 2 Duo @ 2.4 GHz + some Quadro 160M or something?

He was very close to buying a console because he was "sick of games not running", but I told him to invest the money he'd spend re-buying his games + getting a new console into a PC that I promised him would be under $650. Let's just say that it's going to be a really difficult rest of the semester with the LAN parties we'll be having here in the dorms!

So moral of the story? If you have a friend in a similar situation, help them fix their performance problems (by maybe even setting them up with the computer spec'd above -- perhaps with some changes depending on their budget). Help keep PC gaming alive by letting people experience it the way it was meant to be.

Now time to see how well this sucker overclocks stably before I hand it to him permanent.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:12 AM   #2
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How much would it have been without the monitor, DVD player, and power supply?
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Old 11-14-10, 10:17 AM   #3
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Default Re: It's ALIVE! (Budget gaming build!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albo View Post
How much would it have been without the monitor, DVD player, and power supply?
$160-$220 less.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:31 AM   #4
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Thanks rage. I looked up the price of the mobo CPU and ram. It came up to 180. That's awesome. That, case, and a GPU. And that's it.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: It's ALIVE! (Budget gaming build!)

Albo is on to something, those parts may not be neccessary. Just stick the hard drive in someone elses computer then install windows on it and bypass the need for the dvd drive. Then hook it up to a tv so you don't need the monitor. Finally solder a power chord's wires to your mother board and plug the other end into the wall. Who needs a stinking power supply?
Think of all the money you will save for a split second before the motherboard goes up in flames and takes your tv out that is hooked up to it.

Hmm maybe not a good idea on second thought...
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Old 11-14-10, 10:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: It's ALIVE! (Budget gaming build!)



The setup in the OP will basically keep up with a stock i7, the 460 768 can keep pace with an HD 5850 (and likely performs a bit better in tessellation-heavy games) ... it's a great setup for 1920x1080 gaming with a little AA thrown in, OR with that 720p LCD, a LOT of AA can be used.
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Old 11-14-10, 11:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betterdan View Post
Albo is on to something, those parts may not be neccessary. Just stick the hard drive in someone elses computer then install windows on it and bypass the need for the dvd drive. Then hook it up to a tv so you don't need the monitor. Finally solder a power chord's wires to your mother board and plug the other end into the wall. Who needs a stinking power supply?
Think of all the money you will save for a split second before the motherboard goes up in flames and takes your tv out that is hooked up to it.

Hmm maybe not a good idea on second thought...
Haha
I have a monitor, DVD drive and a power supply already so that's why I didn't need those. The power supply I have is a 550 watt.

I'm so interested in this. I wonder how much I can get out of the things I have right now.
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Old 11-14-10, 01:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: It's ALIVE! (Budget gaming build!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Intel17 View Post
Hey all,

So a friend of mine wanted a gaming PC, and I ultimately came up with the following:

Athlon II X3 445
4GB Crucial DDR3-1333
Zotac GTX 460 768MB
ASRock M3A770DE
Asus 18.5" Monitor (native res: 1366 x 768)
Western Digital 500GB HDD
Samsung 22X DVD Burner
Rosewill Stallion 500W Power supply

Total cost? $634 (that's with $40 shipping!)

I set it up today, and holy crap. Whoever said you needed a $2,000 PC to play games well was full of it. This resolution is higher than the Xbox 360 or PS3's (I believe anyway -- they're 1280x720, right?), and in testing all of my friend's games (Fallout New Vegas, CoD: MW2, BioShock 1/2), I can *crank* everything up to max and have it run ridiculously smoothly.

He's extremely happy, too, especially since he just came from a laptop with a Core 2 Duo @ 2.4 GHz + some Quadro 160M or something?

He was very close to buying a console because he was "sick of games not running", but I told him to invest the money he'd spend re-buying his games + getting a new console into a PC that I promised him would be under $650. Let's just say that it's going to be a really difficult rest of the semester with the LAN parties we'll be having here in the dorms!

So moral of the story? If you have a friend in a similar situation, help them fix their performance problems (by maybe even setting them up with the computer spec'd above -- perhaps with some changes depending on their budget). Help keep PC gaming alive by letting people experience it the way it was meant to be.

Now time to see how well this sucker overclocks stably before I hand it to him permanent.
Congratulations on a well-stable build, BUT as it's for a friend of yours, I would like to give you a little piece of advice...

As a computer technician and hardware builder I've learned one of the most important lessons about 'helping'... just put what is essential, nothing more, nothing less.

What I mean with that is... don't go too wild on the overclocking as things like a change in ambient temperature or a change in the environment that PC is going to run suffices to end runing your attempt in the end. And you may ask... why?

A change in the ambient temperature is, essentially, a change in the operational temperature of your processor (MIN and MAX, respectively). An X3 445 is rated at a maximum of 75 degrees Celsius (before throttling, that is...). Let's suppose you go for an extreme overclock and the CPU MIN-MAX becomes something like... 45-46 at idle and... 62-67 at load (if we're talking about the stock AMD cooler, that's it).

It's ok depending on the moment you build the PC. Right now we're in autumn and about to go to winter. But think about what could happen in the summer. 15 more degrees over your current 'average' and that's a different story.

As an overclocker, you have to think about that... as your friend (ideally) shouldn't need to open his PC case or service it in any way... a good build is, by definition, that you do once and only once

Apart from that... nothing more to add.

The CPU looks really good, but let me ask you something... why didn't you go for something like a 2.5? At 65W is quite good for energy efficiency and, honestly, even having now a 1055T... I'm considering returning to my good ol' X4 905e and my old setup, there's a difference in performance but... not that much in an objective way (I have yet to see a game which spans a 50%+ workload on all cores at the same time, Crysis Warhead was the excepcion, but not even GTA4 got that far).

Just my 2 cents
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Old 11-14-10, 03:08 PM   #9
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How would this system run with a game like gta iv? Intel, mind running that, if you have it please? Thanks.
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Old 11-14-10, 06:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: It's ALIVE! (Budget gaming build!)

Yeah, give us a test run, with those specs I'd easily bet... 50+ minimum
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Old 11-14-10, 06:22 PM   #11
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Default Re: It's ALIVE! (Budget gaming build!)

Why skimp a on DVD drive? They are like the cheapest component.
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Old 11-14-10, 06:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Why skimp a on DVD drive? They are like the cheapest component.
If that's towards me, I already have a DVD drive. And it works fine.
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