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Old April 17, 2009, 08:24 AM
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Default What is the best route to take?

In a bit of a quandry here and would love to have anyone's input on what I should do. First off, I don't do a lot of heavy tasks on the pc....mainly internet, downloading, and FPS gaming. The only multitasking would really be downloading and gaming. I want to try and future-proof for a long as possible (hopefully 2-3 yrs. might be realistic especially for games). I won't be overclocking (may experiment a bit), and don't need super eye-candy for games, but just wanting playable frame rates with decent (mid-high level) settings. I pretty well need all components. Budget (not including a 22" monitor which I'll get) would preferably be no more than $1,100 (taxes in).

I've chosen a "base" with the following components:
- WD Black Caviar 640 HD
- Coolermaster 690 case
- Corsair 650 PSU
- Vista 64 bit Home Premium Edition

It's the other items I need help with. Not sure whether to spend a bit more now and be able to upgrade easier, or get a playable cheaper system.

For CPU - was thinking of a Phenom II 720, or Intel E-5200 (maybe E7400)
For motherboard - either an AM3 or AM2+, or cheapish Socket 775
RAM - do I go DDR3 or DDR2?
GPU - was thinking of either ATI 4850 or 4870 (512 MB or 1 GB?), or GTX260 core 216

Basically the choice is to do a cheaper Intel duo core system for now, or go the AMD route with the AM3 or AM2+ (with hopefully better future upgrade options). I know a Socket 775 system will be a lot cheaper than $1,100, but then I'd have to upgrade more parts later.

My gut reaction is to do the AM3 route with the Phenom II 720 CPU; an ASUS M4A78T-E ATX 790GX motherboard; G.SKILL F3-10666CL9T-6GBNQ 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1333 memory; and either the GTX 260 or an ATI 4870 1GB GPU.

Your suggestions/comments are much appreciated....thank-you.
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Old April 17, 2009, 08:29 AM
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As an Intel fan, I'd have to reccomend a quad-core Intel setup vs. an AMD one, especially if you're not going to be OCing. A P35 or P45 board will do you justice, they can be had for $100 to $150 nowadays, except for slightly higher-end ones
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Old April 17, 2009, 08:47 AM
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Go with the Phenom II 720 and a HD4850. Should keep you within budget and will do everything you want. If you are going get a HD4870 1GB, you'd be better off getting the HD4890 instead IMO.

My HD4850 plays every game on like maximum settings on my 22" (1680x1050), so if you can suffice with mid-high settings, then it should last you longer.

If you want proper AM3 support, you have to go DDR3.

And OS wise, you might want to consider running Windows 7 RC (due out in May) and run that until it comes out. Saves you money now which you could put towards a HD4870 or HD4890.

Also OC'ing on the AMD platform is pretty easy, you could just install Overdrive and let it do everything for you.
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Old April 17, 2009, 10:10 AM
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The 4850 and the 4870 has a very small price gap, whereas the 4870 and the 4890 has like a $100 price gap.
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Old April 17, 2009, 02:22 PM
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Why not just drop a GTS 250 in there? its a bit better then the 4870 but is going for like $150 right now. Should give you some pretty playable frames in resolutions up to 1650x1080 and med-high graphics settings. also the Evga core 216 vanilla is going for $219 @ NCIX and Direct canada right now and would be a great card for this build as well.
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Old April 17, 2009, 02:28 PM
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I don't think a GTS 250 is better than a 4870 since 250=4850

and he can crossfire later on if he go AMD
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Old April 17, 2009, 02:32 PM
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Actually someone's selling the 4850 for $100 in the Buy/Sell section. I'd say get that, it's a pretty awesome deal.
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Old April 17, 2009, 04:29 PM
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grab a 4830 and overclock it and u have a 4850 plus u could X fire later
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Old April 17, 2009, 06:34 PM
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E8400
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ftw...
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Old April 18, 2009, 09:10 AM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I think I'll go the AMD road since there seems to be more upgrade room than a Socket 775. Now I just have to decide on a GPU. It'll either be a 4850 or the 260 (216)....leaning toward the 260 if it's only $20-30 more than a 4850.
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