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Deciding a Desktop configuration for Gaming and programming

pcconfig i5 intel low budget help programming configuration

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#1 Pip3r4o

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:07 PM

Greetings to all!
I'm on a very low budget of £510 or $815. For the last month I've been looking for a configuration to suit my gaming and programming/rendering needs within this money frame, asked a few people and was given a lot of different opinions. I am very thorn between 2 configurations

Tower: ATX, CoolerMaster K350, 600W PSU
MB: Asus P8B75-M LE, DDR3, PCI-E 3.0, SB7.1,....., uATX
Memory: 2x4GB(could be 2x8 if needed) DDR3 1600MHz Corsair Vengeance
CPU: Core i5 3450 (3.1/3.5GHZ [Turbo Boost], 6 MB L3, 650MHz GPU)
GPU: AMD HD7850, 2GB, Sapphire PCI-E, DDR5, 256bit  //Was looking for a geforce equivalent for a similar price but couldn't find any according to benchmarks
HDD: WD 500GB Caviar Black 7200 rpm 32MB SATA3  //Already got this

A cheap tower with not so cheap PSU
MB with 1156/1366 socket
Memory 2x4GB or 2x3GB respectively
CPU: Core i7 870 or i7 920 respectively OC with water cooling
GPU: Geforce gtx 480
HDD: WD 500GB Caviar black 7200 32Mb SATA3  //Already got this

I am aware that the 1st config's tower+PSU is quite a cheap offer so the PSU may not be any good. I was told that the 2nd configuration would suit both of my needs, that it will last for  3-4 years and also that the 1st configuration's components are of low quality and would cause many problems. But I am very sceptical that games would run with very high performance on high settings.
Game targets are: Guild Wars2, Battlefield 3, Witcher 2 enhanced edition, etc.
My Monitor is 19", 60Mhz, supports res only up to 1280 x 1024 but will buy a new one after Christmas 22-23" 1680 x 1050 or 1920 x 1080

TL;DR: Can the first configuration last some 2-3 years component durability-wise and also be used for programming, 3d rendering and stuff? What about the second one?

Edited by Pip3r4o, 10 November 2012 - 05:19 PM.


#2 Quaker

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 05:43 PM

I don't see any advantage to using old i7-870 or 920 parts to build a new machine. I'd stick with the first config (i5-3450).

With regards to the first config:

- CoolerMaster is a well known company with a reputation to protect. If the power supply that comes with the case is an actual CM choice (not added by a retailer later) then it may be a bit overrated and/or inefficient, but it should work well enough. The only time you might run into problems is during gaming sessions at high graphics settings, resolution, and frame rates, in which case, reducing settings would fix things until you got a better PSU. In pretty much any other situation, the PSU should be fine.
Do you know any details about the PSU? How much does the case + PSU cost?
(That case is available in Canada at less than $40 after rebate, without a PSU)

- for a graphics card, you could consider a GTX-660 (non Ti). It performs on a par with the the HD7850. Check prices.

Edited by Quaker, 10 November 2012 - 05:46 PM.


#3 Pip3r4o

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:00 PM

I could only find the ASUS Gtx-660 which is at $334, which is $115 more expensive than the AMD one.
On the other side the CM case+PSU is $85. Regarding the PSU I could only find that it's PS2 type(ATX)

#4 Essence Snow

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:08 PM

At 334 the one you found must be a ti version....the non ti 660 comes in around 230ish.

#5 Pip3r4o

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:14 PM

I checked twice, the gtx-660 ti is 49$ more than the non ti.

Please do reply what your thoughts are for the 2nd config and from a programmer's point of view( if you are one, that is). Thanks in advance!

#6 typographie

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:09 PM

View PostPip3r4o, on 10 November 2012 - 05:07 PM, said:

programming/rendering needs

If you want feedback specially-tailored to this, I think you need to expand on it a bit.

From what I understand from the limited amount I've done it, programming is essentially text editing and thus not very hardware-sensitive. If you're going to be using some other apps that may need something special, you need to specify that. Rendering definitely has some hardware-sensitive concerns, but again, we really need to know what apps you will be using as they all perform differently and take advantage of different technologies.

A lot of mainstream rendering suites make use of an i7's Hyperthreading feature, but if the choice is between a first-generation i7 and a third-generation i5, the latter is probably still faster.

Edited by typographie, 10 November 2012 - 09:11 PM.


#7 Pip3r4o

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

View Posttypographie, on 10 November 2012 - 09:09 PM, said:

If you want feedback specially-tailored to this, I think you need to expand on it a bit.

From what I understand from the limited amount I've done it, programming is essentially text editing and thus not very hardware-sensitive. If you're going to be using some other apps that may need something special, you need to specify that. Rendering definitely has some hardware-sensitive concerns, but again, we really need to know what apps you will be using as they all perform differently and take advantage of different technologies.

A lot of mainstream rendering suites make use of an i7's Hyperthreading feature, but if the choice is between a first-generation i7 and a third-generation i5, the latter is probably still faster.
I was told that exactly because Hyperthreading was extremely useful feature, and that 1366 and 1156 were the most stable platforms, which I fail to believe.

I found cheaper components and managed to put in a case and a PSU separately, I'd like to hear your comment about them


I5-3450 /3.1G/6MB/BOX/LGA1155
CORSAIR 2x4GB Vengeance DDR3 1600Mhz 1.35V
SAPPHIRE HD7850 2GB GDDR5
PSU FORTRON RIDER 650 BRONZE
ASROCK B75 PRO3 /B75/1155
Thermaltake V3 blacX edition VL800M1W2N

#8 Pip3r4o

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

Bump, please comment on the configuration above ^^^.
Thank you again in advance!

#9 Quaker

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:49 PM

Above config:

- there's no need for 1.35v RAM. You could save a bit by using standard 1.5v (Don't get 1.65v though)

- I'm not familiar with Fortron PSUs - I'd go for the Corsair CX600, but the Fortron may be fine. - http://nikem-bg.net/...er-Series-CX-V2

- programming takes brain power, not computer power. Unless you are programming professionally, you need not worry about the above config. Even if you are doing it pro or semi-pro, the only difference would be time - a more powerful CPU might take less time to compile the results. But you are only talking minutes at the most.

Edited by Quaker, 11 November 2012 - 03:51 PM.


#10 Pip3r4o

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:05 PM

View PostQuaker, on 11 November 2012 - 03:49 PM, said:

Above config:

- there's no need for 1.35v RAM. You could save a bit by using standard 1.5v (Don't get 1.65v though)

- I'm not familiar with Fortron PSUs - I'd go for the Corsair CX600, but the Fortron may be fine. - http://nikem-bg.net/...er-Series-CX-V2

- programming takes brain power, not computer power. Unless you are programming professionally, you need not worry about the above config. Even if you are doing it pro or semi-pro, the only difference would be time - a more powerful CPU might take less time to compile the results. But you are only talking minutes at the most.

Thankies for your help, I am just curious, why does the voltage matter so much for the RAM?
I thought that less voltage means lower heating.

Edited by Pip3r4o, 11 November 2012 - 07:15 PM.


#11 Ezendor

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:02 AM

View PostPip3r4o, on 11 November 2012 - 07:05 PM, said:

Thankies for your help, I am just curious, why does the voltage matter so much for the RAM?
I thought that less voltage means lower heating.

Lower heating, but then they are more expensive cos they are special snow flake RAM chips~

#12 Vayra86

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:47 PM

Your last setup looks like a very good one.

Consider swapping Asrock with a Gigabyte, MSI or preferably even Asus with similar specs. The extra five bucks give you better heatsinks.

The PSU looks ok, but I still recommend going with top brands for it. Reliability is everything, your entire system depends on it. Corsair's the obvious choice, again worth the extra five bucks.

Also. No known issues with the lga 1155 sockets.

Edited by Vayra86, 12 November 2012 - 08:49 PM.


#13 Pip3r4o

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

View PostVayra86, on 12 November 2012 - 08:47 PM, said:

Your last setup looks like a very good one.

Consider swapping Asrock with a Gigabyte, MSI or preferably even Asus with similar specs. The extra five bucks give you better heatsinks.

The PSU looks ok, but I still recommend going with top brands for it. Reliability is everything, your entire system depends on it. Corsair's the obvious choice, again worth the extra five bucks.

Also. No known issues with the lga 1155 sockets.

If I recall right Fortron used to be good regarding PSU, might be quite wrong though.

That's the MOBO I came across, compared it to the AsRock one and couldn't find anything that I'll be missing on the Asus one, correct me if there's something that I haven't noticed about it, thanks
http://nikem-bg.net/...escription.html

#14 Vayra86

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:07 PM

Good board, does what you need.

If you are ever intending to get an Xfire setup however, I would recommend a board that has a 2nd pci x8 slot, instead of the x4 on this one.

If not, take the Asus.

#15 Pip3r4o

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

Oh no, I don't intend to crossfire with this setup.

Thanks to everybody who helped me make up my mind about my new configuration. Cheers, keep doing what you do best! And see you in game!




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