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Looking for $600 budget gaming build
Oct 16 2011, 5:11 am
By: xAngelSpiritx  

Oct 16 2011, 5:11 am xAngelSpiritx Post #1

eternal lurker

Right. So, one of my friends decided that he was going to build a new budget gaming rig. He told me that he "knew a thing or two about computers" and decided to make this build himself. Dubious, I asked him if I could look over the build before he bought it.

Sure enough, my suspicions were well founded. This is what he came up with:
Quote
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($114.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock 880GM-LE Micro ATX AM3 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($33.09 @ NCIX)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F2 EG 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($234.71 @ NCIX)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 310 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Canada Computers)
Power Supply: Raidmax 530W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Total: $597.75
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

After I promptly told him how much of an idiot he was, he challenged me to make a counter-build. This is what I came up with, but I'd like to know if it's okay or if I overlooked something. Note, I gave him one of my old optical drives so he doesn't need one.
Quote
CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($114.69 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3-B3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($25.96 @ DirectCanada)
Storage Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Boot Drive: OCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($81.57 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card ($168.45 @ DirectCanada)
Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.59 @ TigerDirect Canada)
Power Supply: Antec 520W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Total: $640.23
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)

All prices are in CAD, since we live in Canada :P.
I'm considering taking out the SSD and using the extra money for a 6950, but that would push the price total even higher than it is now. Any advice?

Thanks in advance!



None.

Oct 16 2011, 5:28 am Aristocrat Post #2



The performance boost given by a decent SSD will far exceed what you'd get for buying a 6950 over a 6870. Can't speak for that particular OCZ drive though.



None.

Oct 16 2011, 12:36 pm NudeRaider Post #3

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

A SSD boosts only loading times. A video card boosts rendering speed. Those 2 are not comparable.

What it comes down to is if your friend wants Windows and programs and 1-2 select games to load faster
or if he wants his build to be as future proof as possible. The 6870 will handle everything you can throw at it just fine for now.




Oct 16 2011, 1:33 pm rockz Post #4

ᴄʜᴇᴇsᴇ ɪᴛ!

>Canada
>Not using NCIX for everything
fail.


Just some tiny things i've noticed from canada stuff:
get a caviar black for the same price as spinpoint f3. Spinpoints aren't cheap in canada, and caviar blacks are more reliable. Seriously, I can get a spinpoint f3 for $50, but it still costs $80 to get a caviar black in the states.
http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/227170/Western_Digital/WD1002FAEX/
Check canada computers first. They have ridiculous deals.
http://www.canadacomputers.com/top20.php

Post has been edited 1 time(s), last time on Oct 16 2011, 1:49 pm by rockz.



"Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman - do we have to call the Gentleman a gentleman if he's not one?"

Oct 16 2011, 4:15 pm Aristocrat Post #5



Quote from NudeRaider
A SSD boosts only loading times. A video card boosts rendering speed. Those 2 are not comparable.
SSD boosts I/O speeds for everything he puts on it, which is quite noticeable for everyday operations. A "performance boost" in terms of how fast/responsive everything feels in general can be measured here as time saved by having that component instead of a cheaper alternative.

Having a 6950 instead of a 6870 will maybe give you 10-15% more FPS during very graphically intensive games (and if you don't use the highest settings for everything, chances are the FPS given by both cards will exceed your refresh rate anyway), while having a SSD + HDD combo instead of a single HDD gives all-around, very noticeable increases in speed.

Since it's a budget gaming build, I'm not really seeing any corners that can be comfortably cut, although I would have preferred some better components myself.



None.

Oct 16 2011, 5:01 pm xAngelSpiritx Post #6

eternal lurker

Quote
get a caviar black for the same price as spinpoint f3. Spinpoints aren't cheap in canada, and caviar blacks are more reliable. Seriously, I can get a spinpoint f3 for $50, but it still costs $80 to get a caviar black in the states.
Lowest price I can find for a Caviar Black at the moment is $80 with free shipping. I'll go for it, thanks.

As far as gaming performance goes, I've asked him and he wants 35+ FPS on medium-high settings in most of today's games. A bit obscure, I know, but he refused to go into more detail.

Thanks for the advice!



None.

Oct 16 2011, 6:51 pm Excalibur Post #7

The sword and the faith

Your friend has no idea about brands or reliability. Raidmax PSU? Really? Ugh.

I can give you an alternate build if you want but I'm not sure how much it'd differ from yours since its CA.




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Oct 16 2011, 7:01 pm xAngelSpiritx Post #8

eternal lurker

Quote from Excalibur
Your friend has no idea about brands or reliability. Raidmax PSU? Really? Ugh.

I can give you an alternate build if you want but I'm not sure how much it'd differ from yours since its CA.
I told him he was an idiot :P. If you want to, I'll gladly consider any alternate build, but I'm more curious to know if I did anything wrong/could do anything better on my own proposed build. If you do want to try an alternate build, AFAIK the prices shouldn't be too much different. It's up to you though.



None.

Oct 16 2011, 7:46 pm NudeRaider Post #9

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from Aristocrat
a SSD + HDD combo instead of a single HDD gives all-around, very noticeable increases in speed.
This is why I commented in the first place. It doesn't increase overall speed. It increases loading speeds. And yes, that includes opening "My Computer" and other things that are not already in RAM. But nothing will run faster, as in gaming performance stays the same.
I don't say you're wrong, I just mean to clarify "which" speeds are increased.




Oct 16 2011, 8:35 pm Lanthanide Post #10



If you're running on a 22" or 24" LCD, which most people are these days, you don't really need to get the very top end graphics cards anyway. High end graphics cards simply boost the resolution at which a given framerate with a given quality can be achieved, and reducing the resolution is the quickest way to reduce the load on the GPU.

IMO an SSD is much more worth it.



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