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zicogja421

Want to Build a Gaming Desktop

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Hello. The time has come for me to buy a new computer, and I would like any advice you have to offer. Here is my situation:

 

Upgrade-friendly: I would like to buy a computer that will last at least for 3 years and preferably for at least 5. By 'a computer that will last', I mean a computer that I will be able to upgrade without having to buy a new mobo, case, or psu. I imagine that I could keep up with at least most games if I upgrade only the graphics card and perhaps the cpu and ram over the years, but I would like not to have to upgrade the other 3 things for at least 3 years, like I said.

 

Time Frame: I would like to buy this computer during June, but if a new generation of mobo, case, or cpu is coming out in July that will probably last, then I would consider waiting.

 

Uses (My main 2 concerns):

 

1. I am into competitive gaming and single player games, but I don't need the computer to be able to get great fps at the highest resolution or detail; I usually dumb down the game config anyway for competitive purposes, but I would like the option to play single player-games without having them look like complete junk. In other words, I don't need or even want to play at the highest quality, but I would like single player games to at least look decent. I certainly want consistent and high (preferably 90+) fps for competitive online games (shooters like Wolfenstein, Battlefield 2, QuakeWars, UT3, etc.), but I don't want or expect this kind of fps at high quality.

 

2. Multiple programs running. I would like to be able to keep my browser, Winamp, Xfire, AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Ventrilo, and maybe 2 other programs open while I game without having the background programs lagging my game performance.

 

 

Current preferences: I have some ideas in mind already, but I am not sure if they will satisfy my uses and upgrade-friendly desires.

 

1. CPU: Quad-Core Processor (From what I understand, most games aren't taking advantage of the 4 cores available, but I think it will be useful to have in the upcoming years). I was excited about the i7 processors and the corresponding mobos, but I hear they are being discontinued? Does this mean I should wait? Or will the mobos that correspond with, say, the phenom II Quad Core or Core 2 Quad Core CPU's last a while?

 

2. OS: Windows Vista Home 64-bit (I like XP, but it seems that it might be better to get the newer generation OS)

 

3. HD: 1 TB Hard Drive (Preferably not slow; I don't really store much: only games, music, documents, and some videos, but I would like to buy a TB in case I need to do some video rendering and just so that I won't have to buy another one for a long time)

 

4. RAM: At least 4GB RAM (Maybe even 6GB? From what I understand, the Vista OS takes up a hunk of RAM on its own)

 

5. Video Card: Looking at Radeon 4850 or 4870, but I will sacrifice some speed for a better price.

 

6. DVD-ROM/W/RW Drive. Something basic, to watch and burn DVD's. Not really interested in Blu-Ray.

 

7. Case: Mid-size, but maybe full just so that I won't have to replace it for maybe 10 years? lol. Something that perhaps will fit, eventually 3 or even 4 video cards if necessary and fans.

 

8. PSU: Something that will comfortably handle my system

 

9. Mobo: I want something that has at least Max 12 GB ram, 3 or 4 SLI or Crossfire, 6 or 8 USB ports. AND SOMETHING THAT WILL LIKELY LET ME UPGRADE MY CPU WHEN NECESSARY.

 

Finally, my price range: 1,150.

 

Any input appreciated. Thanks.

Edited by zicogja421

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These days it is really hard to make a PC that lasts 1 year yet alone 5 years.

 

I'm not sure if you should wait or not... Core i5 is coming out and some Core i7 are being discontinued. If you get a Core i7, it is LGA1366. Maybe Intel won't use LGA1366 ever again, so this means if you want a new PC you need to buy a new mobo.

 

If you want to get a PC now. Definitely Core i7. Core i7 owns the floor with all other CPU.

 

For graphics cards, a HD4870 will own all online games and play most "proper" games with lowered detail. If you are going for budget then HD4770 is great. A overclocked HD4770 comes really close to the GTS250 and the HD4850.

 

I think 4GB of RAM is enough these days, especially with 7 coming out. I use windows 7 with 512mb of RAM and it works well.

 

PSU maybe a 650W?

 

You said it has to be update friendly, if you are looking for update friendly. Look no further then AMD. I think you can use AM3 CPU's on AM2+ mobos (or something like that). That's basically running Core i7 on a Core 2 Duo mobo.

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Hi Zicogja,

 

First of all, welcome back to OCC :) (I see you've been a member for months, but you've posted only a few posts)

 

I'd definitely recommend to stick with the Core i7 920 (D0 Stepping). It'll offer you great performance for many years and is in some cases cheaper than Core 2 Quads. As far as I can see Intel is discontinuing them as the Core i7's offer better and cheaper performance than the costly high-end i5's.

 

To save some money you should stick with the Windows 7 RC Build 7100. I've seen it in actions and it's pretty stable as a main OS.

 

A 1TB Western Digital Caviar Black should give you enough speed and storage.

 

As for RAM, any decent 2x3GB or 3x1GB Tri-channel kit should do the trick from a reputable maker, eg. Corsair and Patriot.

 

I think a 4850 or 4870 should suffice, but if you want some power a 4770 Crossfire setup would help you attain high frame rates (Its up to your budget here - 4850, 4870 or 4770 CF).

 

Any DVD RW drive is OK, they all do the same thing (basically).

 

I'd recommend you to go with a full tower case, as I only see PC components getting bigger. Some you could choose include the CM HAF932 or Antec 1200 - again, dependent on your budgeting of parts.

 

Any good quality PSU over 650W should be enough such as the Corsair TX650.

 

There are many motherboard choices for Core i7, but I'd go with the MSI Eclipse motherboard as it supports Crossfire and 3 way SLI. There are other choices too that you may find more suitable such as the ASUS P6T or P6T Deluxe or AsRock SuperComputer. As all these motherboards are basedon the LGA1366 socket there are no guarantees about future CPU upgrades, as it is totally dependent on Intel to release new CPUs for it. I'd be inclined to think they they won't release any major new CPUs for the 1366 socket except the 32nm Core i7s. The current Core i7's have more than enough power for gaming/rendering.

 

Feel free to ask any questions or for clarification.

 

Thanks,

PremiumGFX

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Hi Zicogja,

 

First of all, welcome back to OCC :) (I see you've been a member for months, but you've posted only a few posts)

 

Thanks :)

 

I'm not sure if you should wait or not... Core i5 is coming out and some Core i7 are being discontinued. If you get a Core i7, it is LGA1366. Maybe Intel won't use LGA1366 ever again, so this means if you want a new PC you need to buy a new mobo.

 

If you want to get a PC now. Definitely Core i7. Core i7 owns the floor with all other CPU.

 

....

 

You said it has to be update friendly, if you are looking for update friendly. Look no further then AMD. I think you can use AM3 CPU's on AM2+ mobos (or something like that). That's basically running Core i7 on a Core 2 Duo mobo.

 

 

I'd definitely recommend to stick with the Core i7 920 (D0 Stepping). It'll offer you great performance for many years and is in some cases cheaper than Core 2 Quads. As far as I can see Intel is discontinuing them as the Core i7's offer better and cheaper performance than the costly high-end i5's.

 

There are many motherboard choices for Core i7, but I'd go with the MSI Eclipse motherboard as it supports Crossfire and 3 way SLI. There are other choices too that you may find more suitable such as the ASUS P6T or P6T Deluxe or AsRock SuperComputer. As all these motherboards are basedon the LGA1366 socket there are no guarantees about future CPU upgrades, as it is totally dependent on Intel to release new CPUs for it. I'd be inclined to think they they won't release any major new CPUs for the 1366 socket except the 32nm Core i7s. The current Core i7's have more than enough power for gaming/rendering.

 

I definitely would like to get the 920, because, as both of you say, it will offer me great performance and will very likely keep up with most games for at least a couple of years. My only concern regarding the 920 is that the mobo (the socket) will never be utilized again, meaning that I would have to buy a new mobo whenever it is that I decide to upgrade the CPU... then again, I don't know if that concern is enough reason for me NOT to get it. Any ideas on whether or not I should get a Phenom II x4 or a Core 2 Quad? I mean, any ideas on whether those mobos/sockets will likely last longer than the 920 mobos?

 

For graphics cards, a HD4870 will own all online games and play most "proper" games with lowered detail. If you are going for budget then HD4770 is great. A overclocked HD4770 comes really close to the GTS250 and the HD4850.

 

...

 

PSU maybe a 650W?

 

 

I think a 4850 or 4870 should suffice, but if you want some power a 4770 Crossfire setup would help you attain high frame rates (Its up to your budget here - 4850, 4870 or 4770 CF).

 

...

 

Any good quality PSU over 650W should be enough such as the Corsair TX650.

 

Assuming that I will add another vid card in maybe 1 or 2 years (which I likely will) in either SLI or Crossfire with my first, do you think 650 will be enough to handle the 2 vid cards?

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There are rumors tat the socket 1366 will be used as "high preformance socket" by intel but nothing is sure... :unsure:

With am3 and phenom 2 you would have to change your cpu in a year or so. but am3 won't last for 5 years... (No socket lasts for more than than 5 years).

 

With both setups 3 years wil be enough for the mb and socket after that you probably will have to replace it.

As jgv said amd might be backwards compatible but that can't be said now...

 

I would choose the i7 because its socket might last longer than any other...

But if you wait you could get an i5 witch socket will last a while (as it will replace 775) and it will have cheape cpu's

 

If you want your psu to last that long (and even longer than 5 year) make sure it isn't @ full load. In other words go overkill you will also have improved efficiency.

Edited by Reagnon

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Depends on what you mean by last 5 years. My socket 939 opteron 180 lasted 4+ years and still played the latest games like GTA4 and fallout 3. But i still had to add stuff to my rig every now an again. Starting with RAM and the video card twice. Then I got more faster ram and overclocked the bus more. So the CPU and motherboard lasted but there was still things to add in to keep me playing the most up to date games. As far as browsing and video and DVD went i never needed to upgrade anything for that and the computer can still run 2 + yrs. I upgraded from my opteron but really didnt need to. Dont listen to ppl when they say the phenom 2 will need to be upgraded in one year. That is the most retarded thing to here ppl say so far today. What in the world are they basing that on. Do you Reagnon actually believe that the phenom 2 will not be able to run apps or even the latest games in 1 year from now. I have been doing this since 1995 and nothing changes that quick. NO the Phenom 2 will not be obsolete in a year. In three years still 50% or greater of all home computers owned will still be less powerful then the phenom 2 being sold today. This is really how it goes. Less then 25% of computer users upgrade with every new "big thing" that comes out PC. And let me tell you, other then benchmarking numbers showing fps there is really no big difference from running the latest games on my 4+yr old opteron 180 2.8 dual core then my phenom x4 at 3.7 ghz. Its only barely visible with the same gtx 260. There is a lot of hype but dont fall victim as thats all it is.!

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OK, Socket 1366 is end-of-line by Q4 2010.

AM3 will be backwards compatible with AM3+ processors when they come out, like AM2-AM2+

AMD is the best choice, but max 8GB (16GB if 4GB Sticks of DDR3) of RAM.

If you want future compatibility - AMD is deffinatley the way.

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Depends on what you mean by last 5 years. My socket 939 opteron 180 lasted 4+ years and still played the latest games like GTA4 and fallout 3. But i still had to add stuff to my rig every now an again. Starting with RAM and the video card twice. Then I got more faster ram and overclocked the bus more. So the CPU and motherboard lasted but there was still things to add in to keep me playing the most up to date games. As far as browsing and video and DVD went i never needed to upgrade anything for that and the computer can still run 2 + yrs.

 

I said in my first post what I meant by something that will last 3-5 years: basically, a computer whose case, psu, and mobo I won't have to replace for that amount of time, while likely being able to play new games that come out during that time by only having to upgrade and/or add video cards or RAM.

 

As for gaming, I am not very familiar with the advantages of different resolutions; whenever I read the benchmark reviews for different CPU's and video cards, I don't even recognize the resolutions they test the games at. For the last 6 years (when I bought my Dell Dimension 4550, P4, 2.4 GHz, 1 GB Ram, Radeon 9800 Pro), I have been gaming at either 800x600 or 1024x768, and it seems fine, so I will probably game at 1024x768 or a little higher, and I am fine with playing at medium quality (detail, lighting, etc). I played games like UT 99, Battlefield 2, RTCW, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory at 1024x768 or less and all with medium or low configs to get high-FPS, but I am not sure if there is any performance or competitive-gaming advantage of having a higher resolution than 1024x768. I would like to be able to play such games as the new Wolfenstein, Battlefield 2, Enemy Territory, Quake Wars, FEAR, HL2 at good (at least 76+ but preferably at least 90) and consistent FPS.

 

Also, to clarify something, I am not actually going to build my computer, but I plan to customize my computer from http://www.ibuypower.com/ I will post some possibilities soon for comparison and advice. Thanks for the advice so far, and any more input is appreciated.

Edited by zicogja421

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I said in my first post what I meant by something that will last 3-5 years: basically, a computer whose case, psu, and mobo I won't have to replace for that amount of time, while likely being able to play new games that come out during that time by only having to upgrade and/or add video cards or RAM.

 

As for gaming, I am not very familiar with the advantages of different resolutions; whenever I read the benchmark reviews for different CPU's and video cards, I don't even recognize the resolutions they test the games at. For the last 6 years (when I bought my Dell Dimension 4550, P4, 2.4 GHz, 1 GB Ram, Radeon 9800 Pro), I have been gaming at either 800x600 or 1024x768, and it seems fine, so I will probably game at 1024x768 or a little higher, and I am fine with playing at medium quality (detail, lighting, etc). I played games like UT 99, Battlefield 2, RTCW, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory at 1024x768 or less and all with medium or low configs to get high-FPS, but I am not sure if there is any performance or competitive-gaming advantage of having a higher resolution than 1024x768. I would like to be able to play such games as the new Wolfenstein, Battlefield 2, Enemy Territory, Quake Wars, FEAR, HL2 at good (at least 76+ but preferably at least 90) and consistent FPS.

 

Also, to clarify something, I am not actually going to build my computer, but I plan to customize my computer from http://www.ibuypower.com/ I will post some possibilities soon for comparison and advice. Thanks for the advice so far, and any more input is appreciated.

 

Well I think you still can build a longterm computer as long as you can do minor upgrades here and there, you should be able to keep it goin for a bit. If you are building right know or very soon then you should go the phenom2/AM3 route, that will suit you in your plan. If you wait you could go the i5 route, I just wouldnt go the i7 just yet.

Now the intel is a little harder to predict. The i5 is goin to come out on a new socket which will coexist with the i7, See the performance of the i5 will be within the entry and mid level i7 setups. This is where I see things could totally change. The i5 socket or the i7 socket could replace the other. I just wonder how they can co-exist in harmony.

So i think you should go with the amd am3 phenom2 system if you are building any time soon, as this will be fine and dandy for your plans, nothing is 100% but I been in computers for since forever and i see it totally a safe path

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Trust me, you can play all the games now with a E8400 for a long time. (look at all the system requirements). So Core i7 will be overkill.

 

I can't imagine the system requirements saying: 2.8ghz quad core processor

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So far, this is what I came up with for a 920 system (I still haven't ruled out Core 2 Quad or Phenom II x4):

 

Case ( Nzxt Tempest Gaming Tower Case w/420W Power Supply Black )

Power Supply ( 750 Watt -- Corsair CMPSU-750TX Power Supply Quad SLI Ready )

Processor ( [New !!] Intel

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I can't imagine the system requirements saying: 2.8ghz quad core processor

 

"Nobody will ever need more than 640k RAM!" -- Bill Gates

 

Hmm... Coincidence?

 

Anyway, to OP, i7 is a good idea, LGA 1366 is not being discontinued, Gulftown is coming on the same socket(1366). Vista is a skip. Win 7>Xp>Vista.

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