Rig rebuild on a budget, suggestions?

pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

My Phenom II 945 system with an ATI (not AMD, that old) 5850 has finally reached the end of its gaming life. New games will not run on this system and most games made in the past 2-3 years have to be run on lower settings than I would like.

I have a budget of around $800. I need CPU (and hsf), Mobo, RAM and GPU. The case, PSU, and drives are all in, well not good, but acceptable condition. I have absolutely no idea about current components/specs.

Help me play Battlefront, Fallout 4 and whatever else is coming out in the next year. Really this is about playing Battlefront. PEW PEW LASERS BEAMS!


  • KarmaKarma Likes yoga Icrontian

    Case size and psu power?

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    Full ATX and 800w PSU

  • _k_k P-Town, Texas Icrontian
    edited October 2015

    This would put you right at $800.

    Intel Core i7-4770
    GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 960
    CORSAIR Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
    And whatever heatsink
    $778 shipped

    Or http://pcpartpicker.com/p/w8m2yc . If you have a local MicroCenter SkyLake is cheap instore.

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian
    edited October 2015

    I would like to be below the $800 figure I posted, that is the max I can pay and even that is not likely for at least a month. The reason: $800 is close to 75% of a months pay for me. The hospitality industry pays crap to keep us stuck and right now it is fucking up my ability to buy a new rig.

    Also I have 4gigs (2x2) of DDR3 1600 already, does that make a difference or would it be better to just get new ram and make this rig into media box?

  • _k_k P-Town, Texas Icrontian
    edited October 2015

    BattleFront is going to be your benchmark since thats what you want to play. Here is one that is $678, I can spend some more time digging into things this afternoon. I am shooting for the recommended settings with NVIDIA, LGA 1151 socket on a z170 chipset, and 16GB of RAM.

    Minimum PC System Requirements

    OS: 64-bit Windows 7 or later
    Processor (Intel): Intel i3 6300T or equivalent
    Memory: 8GB RAM
    Hard Drive: At least 40 GB of free space
    Graphics card (NVIDIA): Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB
    Graphics card (ATI): ATI Radeon HD 7850 2GB
    DirectX: 11.0 Compatible video card or equivalent
    Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection

    Recommended PC System Requirements

    OS: 64-bit Windows 10 or later
    Processor (Intel): Intel i5 6600 or equivalent
    Memory: 16GB RAM
    Hard Drive: At least 40 GB of free space
    Graphics card (NVIDIA): Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB
    Graphics card (AMD): AMD Radeon R9 290 4GB
    DirectX: 11.1 Compatible video card or equivalent
    Online Connection Requirements: 512 KBPS or faster Internet connection

  • TheLostSwedeTheLostSwede Trondheim, Norway Icrontian
    edited October 2015

    Hey Pigflipper,

    A couple of questions:

    Is this rig for anything else than gaming?
    What resolution is your current screen and do you plan on adding another screen with more resolution anytime soon?
    Would buying used be an option?

    The only new system i would recommend today is the LGA 2011 (5820k), cause it is so much better than the rest, even if it isn't much more expensive than a Skylake system. However, it is outside your budget.

    If this is for gaming and normal pc usage only, paying for hyperthreading is of no use. If you are happy with the normal turbo-mode and dont overclock, there is no need to buy a cpu with the "K".

    Spend as much money on the videocard as you can is my advice.

    A used i5 2500k which is one of the best gaming cpu's ever made goes for around $70 on ebay and there is a lot of them. (i know i just said dont buy a "k" if you dont overclock, but this one is an exception)
    A used Asus LGA 1155 mainboard goes for around the same.
    Add another 4GB of ram, ram is pretty cheap and 4GB is too little.
    Search for a good deal on a GTX 980 from either Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte or MSI.

    That should net you well under $800 and you should have room to spare to get a good cpu cooling unit.

  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited October 2015

    This is where I am obligated to point out that AMD has faster products for less money in the segments occupied by the GTX 960, 970 and 980. They are the Radeon R9 380, 390 and 390X, respectively.

  • TheLostSwedeTheLostSwede Trondheim, Norway Icrontian

    With the 390x i think i would agree(dont have it, only have the gtx 980) except for the fact that it draws about 50% more power in many games.

    The 390x will save you another $100.

  • _k_k P-Town, Texas Icrontian

    Any Radeon R9 390X in most scenarios will be performing roughly at GeForce GTX 980 and Titan like performance, if priced right that is a pretty >okay position to be in. Performance wise all modern games up-to 2560x1440 will run pretty good, and that is at the good image quality settings. >For Ultra HD the 8 GB comes in handy, then again one card is not powerful enough to drive that resolution for gaming with high image quality >settings and proper AA levels. What I am trying to say is that the 8GB graphics memory is nice and welcome, but might be a little irrelevant for most >end-users while you do pay a price premium for it.


    Drivers then, I decided I MUST make a comment on them. My main concern with the 290 and 390 series products are not so much the hardware and >the performance the GPU can deliver, no, my main concern is proper driver support. For the past year AMD's driver support has been sub-par, and >that's the honest truth. WHQL driver releases are slow and often the Beta releases are released too late. A good example here was the recently >released 'The Witcher 3', it took AMD four weeks before they released a driver that enabled Crossfire support. This is a problem that is hindering and >bothering the end-users, AMD needs to step up their game and release 0-day driver releases with at the very least AAA rated titles. As hey, you want >to play that game at launch day without the worry that your graphics card isn't optimized or multi-GPU enabled.

    Just like opinions and stuff I guess.

  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian

    One reviewer formed an opinion about our driver based on a game shrouded in intense controversy? Just opinions and stuff, indeed.

  • _k_k P-Town, Texas Icrontian
    edited October 2015

    This has a little older gear in it, but it gives you $400 before your hardlimit(assuming rebates). That much room lets you buy up to a 390x but excludes the GTX980.

    In the above case you can sacrifice the upper GPUs(390x) to gain more processor/mobo/RAM or simply not spend so much. The LGA-1150 socket means you can use DDR3 which saves you about $25 per 16GB and there are a lot more choices for the CPU thus allowing a better fit in the cost:performance domain.

  • On the AMD vs. Nvidia side of the argument, I'll say crossfire driver support has gone downhill (and I'm AMD's original fanboy). That said, if you are sporting a single card, they still are the price performance champ. There are so many ultra powerful cards to drive a single monitor in high settings with relative ease that going crossfire or SLI is probably not necessary anyhow.

    TLDR, still buy @Thrax shit....

    Now if I were you I might think about getting a card and slapping it in the old machine first. Maybe get another pair of matching DDR3 on the cheap (I assume you are on an AM3?) That way you have a nice upgrade and at least the graphics card will be portable if it doesn't live up to expectations.

    If you are driving a single monitor at 1080P consider the R9 380 4GB model. Forget the 2GB card, the extra 2GB is worth the small premium in today's games.

    If you want to go 1440P or perhaps a multi monitor set up, consider the 390X.

    It may be worth just getting a little extra RAM and swapping out the video card first. If you are not happy, those parts are portable.

  • It kills me, but if I'm throwing my board out right now and starting over, with an $800 budget I'm buying an i5 6500 at $200, a decent LGA 1151 board, maybe $129 or so, a 16 GB DDR4 kit at about $110, then probably the R9 380 4GB at $229 leaving me some left for maybe a new SSD or something. Would be difficult for me to justify any platform other than LGA 1151 right now. It is the way forward until AMD releases Zen next year.

  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian

    @Cliff_Forster said:
    It kills me, but if I'm throwing my board out right now and starting over, with an $800 budget I'm buying an i5 6500 at $200, a decent LGA 1151 board, maybe $129 or so, a 16 GB DDR4 kit at about $110, then probably the R9 380 4GB at $229 leaving me some left for maybe a new SSD or something. Would be difficult for me to justify any platform other than LGA 1151 right now. It is the way forward until AMD releases Zen next year.

    @Cyclonite and I were talking about this today. You can get a i5 6600K Skylake, 1151 Motherboard and 32GB of DDR4 for $600. That's one hell of a performance combo for budget money

  • TheLostSwedeTheLostSwede Trondheim, Norway Icrontian

    If cpu is that important, i would definitely get a 5820k system with a R9 380 4GB for $830.


  • I don't get the feeling Intel is as committed on LGA2011 v3, not that I'd see that big an issue with that on a 5820k, that should be good for a few years without a doubt.

    One interesting thing to consider is how DX12 and Vulkan are going to impact the CPU by more efficiently managing multi threaded loads. This seems to be the killer app that came four years too late for AMD to leverage the true power of the FX architectures on AM3+. All speculation points to AMD Zen being a lot more Intel like in architecture which sends a mixed message (because interviews with Richard Huddy of AMD would have you think FX is ready to bust out as soon as software developers get the low level API's they need). I want to believe in a AM3+ FX payoff that is just late arriving, but I don't know how I'd tell anyone to invest in it unless they were going strict budget. The FX 6300 is a good chip for $100, and its a low enough point of entry where if you are really disappointed in it in a year you don't feel too cheated to build again, but I'm not going out and buying a $229 AMD motherboard and a $200 CPU. Intel just looks like the better bet right now on anything that someone is committed to spending real money on upgrades.

    That said every Battlefront benchmark I have read has AMD in the lead on the GPU side. It isn't until you get to the ultra high end in 4K that Nvidia closes the gap. At 1080P and 1440P with the R9 380 and R9 390 respectively they are killing Nvidia's similar priced offerings. Buying a good card based on the info is pretty easy, figuring out what platform to eventually move it to is the trick.

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian

    Thanks for all the input guys, I have priced out several builds based on y'alls recommendations.

    One question though: I am finding that my estimated budget of $800 is probably a pipe dream until after the holiday season. Is there anything I can do to my current system that will at least get me through to the spring? I know I need a new video card, this one has a dead fan and currently (read: past 3 years) has two fans ducted/bolted into the shroud for cooling...they are old ass Sunon 80mm 50cfm that I orignally bought for an overclocked Tbird system. The video card has started throwing DX errors when launching newer games, though sometimes it runs anyways. Complete (and correct) system specs below:

    Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UDH3
    Phenom II 945
    2x2gig DDR3
    XFX Radeon HD5850
    800w Antec PSU
    2x1.5TB Seagate HDDs
    Ancient Lite-On CD/DVD (I have not used the drive since...well...I don't even know when)
    NZXT Full ATX tower case (love this case)

    Is there another, newer CPU and/or GPU I can throw into this thing?

  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian

    $800 isn't a pipedream. You can get a full system with a monitor for that price, including hard drives.

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    I think he's saying he won't be able to pull together $800

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian

    I may have a solid GPU at home I can just give you. Let me see what it is when I get home tonight.

  • I'm pretty sure I have some kind of Phenom II sitting on an old DFI board I have not run in a bit. I'll check it and let you know what is on there. I think it might be a 965 which will clock a bit better. I will let you know.

    The high spec suggests 16 GB for Battlefront. I'll tell you this, don't do it over four Dimms on a Phenom II, do if over two, the memory controller will handle everything better. Throw your other RAM aside for a budget system down the line.



    I'm running 60 FPS on a 285 with half the VRAM in 1080P. My CPU is faster, but I don't know how limiting it will be.

  • pigflipperpigflipper The Forgotten Coast Icrontian
    edited October 2015

    Even for a "get by build" I know I will need more RAM, hell, I wish I had more in here already.

    I have to say though, this 5850 has been a damn good workhorse GPU over the years, probably the longest I have had a video card that still managed to play games at acceptable FPS/resolution.

    My main question is really how recent of a CPU I can put in this board; I'm not sure which, if any, AM3 cpu that is better will be supported.

  • You can run any Phenom II. I checked, they are all qualified. Up to the X6 1100.

  • @pigflipper - Here is what I have. PM me your address if you would like it. It is the Phenom II X4 965. Basically your chip with about 12% better stock clocks. It's unlocked, getting it to 3.7 or so is super easy. May not be a long term answer but it should feed your GPU better for now. http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition - HDZ965FBK4DGI (HDZ965FBGIBOX).html

  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited December 2015

    Sapphire Radeon HD6950. Works fine. Yours if you want it.

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