New gaming machine smart at this time?

By Tank
Jun 12, 2011
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  1. Good day everyone.

    Well I have reached the point with my old machine where I am fed up with it's performance. I am still running a single core 3800+ with a 7900GT for graphics. Needless to say, coupled to a 27 inch monitor running at 1920 resolution, I can't play even old games on medium settings.

    I have come up with a budget system right now, all I can afford, and I think it offers a lot of options for the future. However, I have been out of the hardware loop for a good 2 years now. I have spent the last month catching up on information. I am going to explain my specs, and my reasons for them, and hopefully some hardcore hardware gurus can help me confirm I am making the right choices.

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHZ
    MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
    RAM: Corsair XMS3 CMX8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600
    VIDEO CARD: MSI N570GTX Twin Frozr II OC
    CASE: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D
    PSU: Corsair Professional Series Gold AX850

    Now, the first thing that jumps out is yes, I am thinking of diving right into the 990FX chipset. This way, I am ready to upgrade anytime once the upcoming Bulldozer series is released from AMD. Also, with this motherboard, I can run a SLI Nvidia setup with a AMD CPU, something that hasn't been possible in the past.

    The CPU has very good overclocking ability, so I hear, and I see no point in buying a 6 core CPU right now, when the 8 core Bulldozers are just around the corner. This 955 is a steal of a deal at $100 including the HSF. Not to mention, virtually nothing available can take advantage of 6 cores, and I do not do ANY video editing.

    The video card is not entirely what I want, I wanted a GTX580, but it simply is not in the cards. For a price jump of $175 more to get into a GTX580, I have heard it is not worth it. The GTX570 can overclock to near 580 speeds, and 2 GTX 570's give almost identical performance to a GTX580 SLI setup, for half the price. In the near future, probably 4 months or so, I can buy another GTX 570 and SLI that setup, and be good for a few years to come.

    The power supply is big enough that I can SLI any Nvidia cards out there, since I have no interest in ever running more than 2 graphics cards at once.

    The case is huge, and easy to build in. While expensive, I think the case is one that is worth keeping for years to come. I know I will always be able to handle bigger motherboards, and bigger video cards down the road, let's face it, hardware is not shrinking.

    All in all, I just want to play current and future games for at least the next year or two. I cannot stand lag and turned down graphics, it just ruins the game play experience. I do not edit video, use photoshop to create digital art, or anything of that sort. This is strictly for watching movies, listening to music, browsing, and playing games.

    Does it sound like this is a good way to go?
  2. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,700   +586

    Looks fine. You've obviously looked at a build with a degree of futureproofing (as much as there can be) in mind and some solid choices in build quality/warranty/longevity/expandibility.
    I own an 800D, and they are a very roomy chassis. The 700D offers a little more for a few less dollars- although you would have to do without the window.
  3. Tank

    Tank Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 37

    Spent the afternoon price checking around, saved enough money to upgrade to a 970 CPU and get a SSD for the boot drive.
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    I'd recommend this PSU instead. Will work out cheaper, with the large rebate (they provide a prepaid card though, not cash), and has only about 50W less power on the +12V rails than the AX850; insignificant IMHO keeping in mind the price difference.

    Also, DDR3 1333MHz RAM is good enough IMHO, and will save you a little money as well. No need to go for Corsair exclusively either; kits from OCZ, G.SKILL, Patriot, GeiL and Kingston are usually priced better and perform exactly the same.
  5. Tank

    Tank Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 37

    I price matched on my Corsair PSU and ended up paying $150 only, so for that price, it was worth it to stay with the 80 plus gold 850 watt.

    Also with the RAM, it was pretty cheap, $88, so to save a few bucks for a lower speed, no big deal, order was already placed.

    Glad I stepped up to that 970 CPU though, I know it's just a higher clocked 955, but it should have slightly more OC headroom with a good cooling solution.
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,277   +22

    The Enermax is also 80 Plus Gold certified, but yes, $150 is a great price.
  7. Tank

    Tank Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 37

    New system is complete! Specs as follows.

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition
    MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5
    RAM: Kingston HyperX 8GB DDR3 1600
    CASE: Corsair Obsidian Series 800D
    GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 570 OC Fermi 780MHZ 1.28GB
    BOOT DRIVE: OCZ Agility 3 60GB 2.5IN SATA3 Sandforce SF-2281 SSD
    STORAGE DRIVES: 2 X 500GB WD Caviar Black
    PSU: Corsair Professional Series Gold AX850
    SOUNDCARD: AuzenTech X-FI Hometheater HD
    OS: Windows 7 Professional 64 bit

    This machine went way over my budget, but I have to say I have never been happier. There is not so much as a hiccup with anything, incredibly fast boot times. The soundcard was not originally in the plans, but boy am I ever glad I did it. In the next few months I will be picking up another GTX570 for SLI. Soon as the Bulldozer CPU's come out I will pick up one of those, and I am good to go for a few years.


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