Old 05-09-2012, 05:55 AM #1
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Default Gaming pc on a budget?

Diablo 3 is getting ready to come out, and I found out that my laptop is right under the minimum system requirements.
Luckily, my wife has given me the go ahead to purchase a desktop PC (we both have laptops)

I already have 2 LCD monitors, so I really just need a tower.


I wanted to keep the purchase between $400-$500.

Problem is, Graphics cards have gotten a lot more complicated since I was a teenager and it seemed they just went by how many MB they were.

Here is my goal...
>3ghrz dual processor.
16GB ram
graphics card.......really at a loss here. I just want one that will EASILY run Diablo 3, which lists this: NVIDIA® GeForce® 260 or ATI Radeon™ HD 4870 or better


Initially, I had the idea of buying this tower and upgrading it.
Newegg.com - ThinkCentre M58 (7244A39) Desktop PC Pentium E6600(3.06GHz) 2GB DDR3 500GB HDD Capacity Intel GMA 4500 Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit

I was going to buy new ram and a new graphics card for it. But it lists the tower as having a 250W power supply. The graphics card I found says it needs a 400W power supply.

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GV-N430-2GI GeForce GT 430 (Fermi) 2GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card




....I've been searching for a few hours now. Anyone got any suggestions for me?


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Old 05-09-2012, 06:02 AM #2
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

This:
whatGFX - the fastest and easiest way to choose a new graphics card
will help you choose the graphics card. It's a graph of the performance of every graphics card vs the price. It helps you get the best bang for your buck.

Also, don't get skimpy on the power supply. I see a lot of people getting problems with their DIY computer blue screening, dead hardware and other stuff because they got a got a bad PS. They always blame it on something else too, but it's usually the PS. Don't get suckered by the free power supply that comes with cases. Those power supplies that come free often have low amperage even if they advertise a high wattage. You get what you pay for with the power supply. Best to go with corsair, PC power, XFX or Antec.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:05 AM #3
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARGLaser View Post
This:
whatGFX - the fastest and easiest way to choose a new graphics card
will help you choose the graphics card. It's a graph of the performance of every graphics card vs the price. It helps you get the best bang for your buck.

Also, don't get skimpy on the power supply. I see a lot of people getting problems with their DIY computer blue screening, dead hardware and other stuff because they got a got a bad PS. They always blame it on something else too, but it's usually the PS. Don't get suckered by the free power supply that comes with cases. Those power supplies that come free often have low amperage even if they advertise a high wattage. You get what you pay for with the power supply. Best to go with corsair, PC power, XFX or Antec.
One thing that drew me to that graphics card is one of the reviews the person mentions beta testing Diablo 3 and it running perfectly.
Is there really anything wrong with that tower if I bought it, the new graphics card, RAM, and a new power supply to power the graphics card?

I'm trying to find out why a tower with a 3Ghrz processor is only $299 when all the others are twice that.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:32 AM #4
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

Honestly, no clue about that tower. You may have trouble fitting 16gb of ram into it though. (and into your budget) Also, I suspect it takes older and slower DDR2 ram...

The processor in that is not ideal for gaming. The Pentiums are really old CPU's and the reason it has so much raw power is because it only has two cores. The less cores, the faster it is. The Pentium 4's went up to 4Ghz before they were discontinued.

I think this:
System Build - PCPartPicker
will give you the most bang for your buck. (Scrap the SSD on that list though) it's a little over your budget, but it's got lots of power. The I3 will be better for diablo as well.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:43 AM #5
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

Are you going to be playing any FPS games by any chance? I would recommend a NVIDIA card. Something like a GTX 460 and up would be great.

I have a GTX 260 which isn't DX 11 but I get pretty decent frame rates on 1680 x 1050. (Lower rez monitor setting to some ppl I know I think they mean the GTX 260 under the minimum requirements listing.

I play Battlefield 3, Flight Sim X, Crysis etc. which all have pretty hefty graphics card requirements and the frame rates are all acceptable enough for me (35 to 60 fps depending on the game) You could probably find a GTX 260 for very cheap, although it would always be better as they say to get something that will be able to handle other things in the future you may throw at it.

Also I only have 4 gig of ram and do fine with all these graphics card taxing games sims etc.

If you get a DX 11 card such as NVIDIA GTX 460 and up you will get some better graphics effects available like tessellation which gives much finer 3d details on the surface of objects rather than a faker looking flat texture on some objects. (I'm not a super computer expert so I hope this is a somewhat accurate description of the benefits of DX 11 over DX 9/10 capable GFX cards and the benefits of DX 11's tesselation capability .)

GTX 260 will require a 500W graphics card at the minimum. Some people have said you can run a GTX 460 on a 550W but it is not that advisable if you have other things on your PC which compete for power.

This is what DX 11 and tesselation can look like, but no game truly takes advantage of all the possiblities as they have to find a lowest common denominator so to speak that will make the games run good for the most possible users.




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Old 05-09-2012, 09:33 AM #6
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

I set up a little shopping cart for you on newegg.com. It's a little over budget, but I honestly don't see how it can get any cheaper..

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Old 05-09-2012, 09:44 AM #7
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

You may want to avoid processors with integrated graphics cards. Since you're already buying a seperate one, that's just being a waste of money on another GPU you'll never use, and that money could've been poured into better processor.

Personally I'm more inclinded to go toward AMD processors - Even the old Phenom X4 is incredible GPU that'll run all the games perfectly fine. Almost no games today require some special CPU usage - it's Graphics card that you need to worry about.

And if you're looking for a bit lower price, I'd highly suggest going for Radeon 6850 - it's currently the single best "bang-for-buck" ratio you can get. It'll run EVERYTHING out today just fine on maxed out settings and resolutions.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:55 AM #8
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eudaimonium View Post
You may want to avoid processors with integrated graphics cards. Since you're already buying a seperate one, that's just being a waste of money on another GPU you'll never use, and that money could've been poured into better processor.

Personally I'm more inclinded to go toward AMD processors - Even the old Phenom X4 is incredible GPU that'll run all the games perfectly fine. Almost no games today require some special CPU usage - it's Graphics card that you need to worry about.

And if you're looking for a bit lower price, I'd highly suggest going for Radeon 6850 - it's currently the single best "bang-for-buck" ratio you can get. It'll run EVERYTHING out today just fine on maxed out settings and resolutions.

You don't have much choice today. The Intel CPU I linked to will perform equally good as the X4 AMD CPU's. Plus it's newer and will save money in power consumption and such. All new Intel CPU's come with integrated GPU's, not much you can do about it.

Here's a benchmark: AnandTech - Bench - CPU
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:03 AM #9
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

Wasn't there a new AMD processor that hit the marked recently, FX series or something?

AMD FX 4-core processors,
AMD FX Processors
They seem to really crank out a lot of performance.

See if you can't find any of those.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:09 AM #10
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eudaimonium View Post
Wasn't there a new AMD processor that hit the marked recently, FX series or something?

AMD FX 4-core processors,
AMD FX Processors
They seem to really crank out a lot of performance.

See if you can't find any of those.
Those were kind of a disappointment. I'd stay away. Weak performance and very high power consumption.. The dual-core Intel i3 2100 is just as good as the octa-core FX 8150 at more than twice the price, that says quite a lot..

AnandTech - Bench - CPU
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:12 AM #11
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

FX or bulldozer missed its mark in most circles and no operating system is optimized for them, as far as no game needing a good gpu, civ 5 runs off the cpu mostly, many simulators run from cpu as well or games that have allot of physics but don't use physx. I am using a amd955 overclocked to 3.9 and I choke it up playing civ 5 at end game, this is with a gtx 470. the sandybridge dual core with be fine for most games and in a single thread will spank the junk out of an FX, though if you need 8 cores go for it.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:58 AM #12
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

Woah, didn't know that.

Damn, I guess I'm not as "in the element" as I though I was lately. I was always following all the latest hardware releases and progress and all.

Heh, I guess I stopped following after I bought my own PC some almost 3 years ago. I should really start following up on all of this.

In short, you really can't miss with CPU - whatever you pick, they're all fine. Back home, I've got an Athlon X2 7750+ BE, it's still as good as any. GPU does show some fine aging (Radeon 4670), but for $450 back when I got it, that machine offered a lot more than I thought I payed for. Even with that "outdated" machine, Modern Warfare runs great on 1680x1050 (my max resolution) with only SSAO turned off and Specular maps turned to "High" instead of "Extra".

Mass Effect 1 and 2 run at almost always 60 FPS on everything maxed out, ME3 runs on 1440x900, rest of settings maxed out.

Crysis 2 is at some 30-40 FPS average at 1280x800 (that's DX10).

Seriously, whatever you pick today with your budget, you can't go wrong.

EDIT -
The only game that ever brought my PC to it's knees was Metro 2033. That's one hardware-hungry game. I couldn't play it on DX10 no matter what settings, and even on DX9 I had to turn down the resolution way back to 1280x800 and set majority of in-games details to Medium, while keeping advanced post-process effects like SSAO off.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:45 PM #13
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

CPUs: Intel Core i3 > everything else in that price bracket. The FX-4100 isn't really worth the effort, even if you do choose to overclock it.

GPUs: Try to pick up a Radeon HD6850 or 6870 for cheap if you can. They're EOL now (with the release of the HD7700s) and most stores are clearing them out. They're faster than the 7700s replacing them, in any case.

The HD6850 sits slightly above the GTX550Ti from nVidia, while the HD6870 matches up with the GTX560. The HD7770 sits below both of 'em.

RAM is cheap enough that you won't need to worry about it.

In any case, stay away from the old ThinkCentres. They're a nightmare to upgrade and the Pentium E6600 is outdone by even the cheapest Celerons available today.

Ultimately, though:

1. What sort of games are you playing? Give me names, titles.
2. How long do you want this rig to last you?
3. Do you intend on doing anything else other than gaming?

Oh, and by the way, I get paid to spec up gaming computers (possibly next to monitor engineer as 'worst job ever'), so if you want to work something out via PM I'm fine with that too.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:37 PM #14
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

the only game I intend to play is diablo 3.

All my other gaming is done on box 360...

I ended up buying this pc.
Acer Aspire AX1420-UR10P Desktop PC - AMD Athlon II X4 645 3.1GHz, 4GB DDR3, 500GB HDD, DVDRW, NVIDIA GeForce 6150SE Graphics, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit at TigerDirect.com

I also bought this video card
EVGA Corporation NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 896-P3-1262-TR 896P31262TR 0843368010188 | eBay

But it looks like i'll need to upgrade the pc's power supply to use it....
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:07 PM #15
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

You could've gotten much more performance for a similar price if you had listened to us, just saying..

i3 2100 beats Athlon 645 with about 30%, 6850 beats GTX 260 by about 20%.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:22 PM #16
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Default Re: Gaming pc on a budget?

The danger with buying "package" towers is you really can't upgrade, with just buying a part and plugging it in.

Not even a question that you need a better PSU... the one in there is 220W.

You need at least 500W...

Quote:
Minimum of a 500 Watt power supply.
(Minimum recommended power supply with +12 Volt current rating of 36 Amp Amps.)
Two available 6-pin Molex hard drive power dongles
It also runs rather hot, and your tower doesn't look like it will have good airflow.

See if you can back out on the order, and grab yourself a gtx 460 instead. If you're patient you can find one for ~$100.

Please also don't waste money on 16GB of ram. 4GB is likely plenty, if you want to, upgrade to 6gb, but anymore will likely be a waste.

I'm using a gtx 460 (1GB MSI Cyclone) myself right now, thinking of upgrading to a gtx 480 (slightly dated, but by far the best value vs performance right now). As it is though, I'm able to run every game at high, or ultra high settings, at 1920x1080.

Last edited by InfinitusEquitas; 05-09-2012 at 04:33 PM.
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