View Full Version : Is This a Good CPU for Gaming?

07-06-2008, 07:20 PM
Please help me decide if this would be a good CPU to play the newest games!


I found this through the AMD website's "Compare and Choose" section.


Rogue Nine
07-06-2008, 07:30 PM
Ah Tysy, are you looking to upgrade your CPU for the newest games coming out (specifically Mass Effect)? Because if so, then there are more things to consider than just the CPU. The most important thing would be to find out if your current motherboard is compatible with the CPU you've picked out. If your system is more than a few years old, it's likely you'll have to replace it altogether, as it is probably not compatible with modern day parts.

Why don't you give us a budget to work with and we'll see if we can find you some decent rig specs? :)

07-06-2008, 07:39 PM
I'm looking to spend less that $1,000, preferably less than $500, but I don't think you can get a good rig for that much...:(

Rogue Nine
07-06-2008, 08:01 PM
How about this system (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227043)? It's got pretty good specs and while the video card isn't that great, you could probably swap it out for one of these (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125086), which should run Mass Effect pretty well under medium settings.

In total, that should run you in the $650-$700 range if you get the 3850, around $550 if you bite the bullet and go with the 8400GS.

07-06-2008, 09:20 PM
Will the not-so-great video card be able to run Mass Effect, albeit at low settings?

Rogue Nine
07-06-2008, 09:30 PM
It should be able to, I would think. I'm amazed you were able to run Mass Effect on your current card, so even the 8400 GS should be leaps and bounds above it.

There is also this system (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883229019) with a slightly better video card, albeit it doesn't have that nice $50 mail-in rebate as well as costing a bit more. But hey, at least I'm giving you options under $1k, right? :)

07-07-2008, 06:45 AM
Tsych.... your specs indicated you have a socket 939 board... basically, the fastest CPU you can get is the AMD X2 4800+ which is a dual core 2.4GHz.

Because of their relative scarcity in 939 form, these CPUs can be much more costlier than theyre worth...unless you get lucky on ebay (http://cgi.ebay.com/AMD-Athlon-64-X2-4800-cpu-processor-939_W0QQitemZ170236236019QQihZ007QQcategoryZ133682 QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

Couple that with a card like the asus 4850 from newegg (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121253), and you'll not only stay under your $500, but have some $200+ change too. Sure, there are faster CPUs than the 4800, but this will keep you pluggin away a bit longer on that 939 board ;) With that money left over - you can get yourself that extra 1.5GB ram of you need!!!

so, if you get all that >> you'll be able to play ME on 1280x1024 with lower settings with no qualms(or 1024x768 with medium settings).... Until the program crashes of course :(

of course, you could just buy a 360 and play mass effect on that :D


07-07-2008, 07:55 PM
Couple that with a card like the asus 4850 from newegg (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121253), and you'll not only stay under your $500, but have some $200+ change too. Sure, there are faster CPUs than the 4800, but this will keep you pluggin away a bit longer on that 939 board ;) With that money left over - you can get yourself that extra 1.5GB ram of you need!!!

You'd still have to check if she has a pci-e slot and if the PSU can handle that card. (I'm personally not fond of ebay for computer parts)

btw...Tysy..are you willing to build your own PC? If so, you can easily build something pretty decent for gaming under 1K.

lol Astro recommending an Ati card...that must be a first :xp:

07-08-2008, 03:41 AM
lol Astro recommending an Ati card...that must be a first :xp: hehe, you should read the News/Rumors thread where he actually points out that he's going to get one of the new Radeons. and, yes, Astro, we still can't get over it. :p

@ Tysyacha - at any rate, i'm sure that a rig like mine would suit you just well, and i know you could get one for under $1K. the big plus is that there's only two games on the market that really tax my system: Crysis and World in Conflict. even games like Unreal 3, Gears of War, and Mass Effect run just fine with maxed settings (minus Anti-Aliasing). although i spent roughly $1500 to build it about a year ago, most of that same hardware can be had for under $1K, and there's even some better hardware on the market that's also at a really good price point as well.

my recomendations:

1. on the CPU front, the best price/performance bargains out there are still going to be duel-core processors. quad-cores, although less expensive than they used to be, still don't offer much of a performance advantage over duel-cores when you have a fairly tight budget to consider. as far as brands are concerned, a Core2 from Intel would suit you just fine, and the plus side there is that there are Core2's available for under $100 that will get the job done.

2. on the graphics front, stick with Astro's suggestion of the Radeon HD4850. it is by far the best value on the market with discreet graphics at the moment.

3. don't forget your memory!! when it comes to games (especially ones like Mass Effect), memory should rank very high on your priority list. to be honest, a rig with 2GB of RAM shouldn't be hard to find nor expensive. if i was in your situation, i wouldn't even consider purchasing a rig with less than that amount of RAM. it is literally that vital to your computer.

and if you would like to use my computer as a reference, my specs are as follows:
CPU - AMD Athlon X2 4600 (2.4 GHz)
Graphics - Sapphire Radeon HD2900 Pro 1GB GDDR4
Memory - 2GB DDR2-800
Motherboard - Asus M2N-SLi

the only other consideration is your hard drive, but that's not a really big concern since you can get a 500GB drive for under $150. i'd look for at least 250GB as a compromise between cost and capacity.

anyways, i hope that helps. :)

07-08-2008, 12:11 PM
lol Astro recommending an Ati card...that must be a first :xp:

join the 'lolz@Astro' conga line :p! Everyone knows I'm an AMD fan, but their post merger GPUs havent been anything to cheer about until now... Like anyone else, I'm *always* pleased to see a 'bargain-performer' option ;)

With my likely upcoming purchase of the 4870, I dread my inevitable re-aquaintance with the CCC :P


07-10-2008, 06:35 PM

Please post your motherboard specs so that we can tell whether you have a PCIe x16 slot or AGP and we can go from there. Assuming that you do, here are my recommendations:

-This is the cheapest, high-quality DDR that I could find at present. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145579) DDR2 is a lot cheaper, but Socket939 requires DDR. Alternatively, you could opt for these (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145575) which have better timings and heatspreaders for $4 more after rebate. I think the second choice is the better deal even though it costs more initially. Corsair is good with rebates.
-This is the best deal on a decent video card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130332&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL071008&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL071008-_-VideoCards-_-L0A-_-14130332) that I could find on short notice. It says $80 but you can get it for $65 if you sign up for the NewEgg newsletter and enter the promotional code EMCAHBABB when ordering. You have to be signed up for the newsletter for that code to work. You'll also have to act fast as these promotions don't last long.
-Astro's recommendation of a Socket939 X2 4800+ from Fleabay is a good one as long as you get it from someone with a good reseller rating.
-Total cost for this upgrade shouldn't be any more than $250 with the 8800GS; add around $100 if you go with a 4850 instead. Is the 4850 worth the extra $100? That totally depends upon at what resolution you play games. The 4850 will be faster in any situation but will only become worth the extra $$$ at resolutions above 1280x1024 or 1440x900, IMO.

Alternatively you can forego the 4800+ and the DDR and go the Intel route if you want a more up-to-date and faster CPU. Do you live close to a Fry's Electronics? If you live in CA, chances are that you do. If that is the case, I have some other options for you.

EDIT: Aaaaand if you start a thread like this and never check on it again we can't help you at all. :xp:

07-11-2008, 10:44 AM
Hi, guys! :) I live in Illinois, and the closest thing we have to an electronics store near me is a Best Buy. *Groooannn* I mean, these computers are built for cheapness, not for gaming, and besides, a decent tower like I'm looking for runs about 1K there. I'll give you my motherboard specs a bit later. Right now I'm bidding on this CPU I saw on eBay...


If I don't get it, I'll probably throw a hissy, but I'd like you guys' advice on it anyway.

*Sobs* Why does Mass Effect so handily outperform a very nice 2005 rig that I paid 2K for? All I want is to play that game and make a video for YouTube on it! *Sobs again*

07-11-2008, 09:10 PM
Tys, this guy's only got 4 feedback. Looks like a real crapshoot. I hope you know what you're doing.

Please take my advice and let us help you build a system. That way you know what you're getting, and it will have a warranty (as in every part that you buy has it's own warranty, usually around 3 years). Astro's built several computers and can walk you through each step. It's not hard at all.

As I've already posted above, the upgrades we're proposing won't cost much and will allow you to play Mass Effect. If you want to go farther and basically have a completely new computer we can do that too. I just wouldn't risk my money on a guy that's selling $1000+ worth of hardware yet only has 4 feedback.

07-12-2008, 09:54 AM
...*Sobs* Why does Mass Effect so handily outperform a very nice 2005 rig that I paid 2K for?

dude, that was 3 years ago. When I first bought my x2 4800, it was the bees knees and cost me $700 2 years ago). Now peeps are sellin em on ebay for $70.

thats the way IT rolls mang!


07-12-2008, 01:28 PM
I woke up this morning and realized I don't even know how to get into the computer program that TELLS MY MOTHERBOARD SPECS. That's how much of a complete d00fus I am when it comes to the hardware side of computers. Sorry, guys...I'm hopeless. :(

As for the eBay tower, it's now going for over $300, and that kind of worries me because I've started a bidding war. I don't know how much the other bidders are willing to pony up in order to get this awesome rig, and if their maximum is the $1,000 I've been wanting to avoid, then I'm totally screwed. Why does anybody think that buying something off of eBay is such a good deal anyway, unless NOBODY wants the item and it goes for $.01?

Anyway, I went on to the Best Buy site today, too, and here is the best rig I saw for gaming and other purposes: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8773491&productCategoryId=abcat0501002&type=product&tab=2&id=1203815924169#productdetail

It has a sucky video card, I know, but I could replace it. The thing that troubles me about this thing is that it goes for almost double what the bid is on the UBERAWESOME111 rig right now, and I'm disappointed. I thought this was BEST BUY, not CRAPPY BUY.


07-12-2008, 01:55 PM
By the way, I've decided I'm not going to despair over getting that one computer, because I've got some more that I want to bid on. What do you think of these?:


07-12-2008, 08:48 PM
My very personal advice...don't buy computers off of ebay. I think reliability is a major factor in my opinions, and ebay doesn't always offer users that can promise that...I recommend Newegg, Amazon, or any retail store...

07-12-2008, 09:16 PM
I know it's from the "D word" which might as well stand for "devil" around here, :p but here (http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?cs=19&dgvcode=ss&c=US&l=EN&vw=list&oc=DDDADG4&dgc=CJ&cid=7420&lid=0) is a Dell system for $500 that would fit your needs nicely. Just add the video card of your choice and you're good to go. I could also show you how to make that Q6600 run at 3GHZ (yes, even on a Dell) with very little modification.

A lot better option than buying off of Fleabay. Fleabay is good for individual parts where the risk is low, but not for whole systems unless the seller is very reputable.

07-13-2008, 10:02 AM
I know it's from the "D word" which might as well stand for "devil" around here, :p but here (http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?cs=19&dgvcode=ss&c=US&l=EN&vw=list&oc=DDDADG4&dgc=CJ&cid=7420&lid=0) is a Dell system for $500 that would fit your needs nicely....

that's it!! you're officially out of our gang of tech toughs :p !

Tsy seems to be one of those guys that needs to be told something several times before he accepts it :p

For the 2nd time from me Tsy:
*For someone who isnt DIY-interested, an ebay rig is a bad idea.

One *easy to understand for newbies* proggie that tells you what kit you have is pcwizard (http://pc-wizard-2008.en.softonic.com/) There are other more advanced ones around, but this is a more inviting one if youre new. Download and install is a 2 minute operation), and have a squiz... understanding what you have now is the first step to understanding about upgrading etc. YOU CAN DO IT!

also, typing dxdiag into windows run box will give you a buttload of system info(related to graphics and sound mainly)


07-13-2008, 03:20 PM
Tsy seems to be one of those guys that needs to be told something several times before he accepts it :pI think that Tys is a girl. That may or may not explain a few things. She doesn't want to build a computer from scratch, so I'm trying to come up with the best alternative to doing so. ;)

Anywho, I stand by my recommendation. It would be the most hassle- and risk-free way for her to upgrade for less than a grand without having to build one from scratch. Just look at the specs. It's a good deal.

07-13-2008, 09:23 PM
Yep, I'm a girl, guys, and not one of those ones who can partner up with Tim Allen on "Tool Time" and hold her own. I can put the batteries in any CD player OK, but that's because they have a diagram that shows how the batteries are supposed to be inserted. I can tweak SOFTWARE reasonably well (install and uninstall drivers, adjust my graphic settings, and all that, but this isn't a software issue because I need better hardware.

07-14-2008, 05:10 AM
That may or may not explain a few things..

lolz...cmon, our very own D333 is hardware savvy. This isnt like building a car...you can do it and not end up with hands(and nails) that look like a baboons ass :D

anyway, Tsy....Q's suggestion is as good as you'll get if DIY isnt your thang


07-14-2008, 07:19 AM
lolz...cmon, our very own D333 is hardware savvy.And that's why I said may or may not. ;)
anyway, Tsy....Q's suggestion is as good as you'll get if DIY isnt your thangIt was certainly the best deal that I could find. Just get the video card of your choice and you're set, probably for less than $800, or around that amount with an HD 4870 or even a GTX260 since Nvidia has dropped it's drawers. :xp: Note that these two cards are pretty much even, with the 4870 having an edge in most gaming benchmarks, so it will come down to brand loyalty and price when it comes to video card shopping at the ~$300 price point. The HD 4850 is pretty much the run-away favorite at $150-$200. It's the best bang-for-the-buck out there, ATM.

T'would be a pretty kicka$$ gaming rig with any of those cards.

07-16-2008, 12:26 AM
Okay, everyone...I surrender to your wisdom when it comes to NOT buying stuff off of Fleabay because after all, I REALLY don't know what I will recieve from any of the sellers. So, that means I've done some searching. Will these rigs run Mass Effect any better than my old computer? That's all I really want, plus not to replace it next year (which I very well could do with a Fleabay "bargain" UBERPC1110ne0ne0ne):

From TigerDirect: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/configdetails.asp?Base=3066389

From Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883103138

From Wal-Mart: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=9208083

From ComputerGeeks.com: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=PT-SAN0X-006-DT&cat=SYS

From ComputerGeeks.com: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=VM410-UD4200P-DT&cat=SYS

From Costco: http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11297060&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eCat=BC|84|56671|74658&N=4018595&Mo=11&pos=5&No=8&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=74658&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC10600-Cat56671&topnav=

From Sam's Club: http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=398985

From Kmart: http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_1180000007393F1UP?vName=Computers+%2 6+Electronics&cName=Computers+%26+Printers&sName=Desktop+Computers

From Hewlett-Packard: http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/cto.do

From Alienware (I wish!!!): http://www.alienware.com/customize/area-51-alx-desktop.aspx?SysCode=PC-AREA51-ALX-R8&SubCode=SKU-DEFAULT#1262

Now I'm exhausted, feeling more like the Swedish Chef than the Smart Shopper! What computer out of these would you recommend? (Hint: Please don't say they're all crap, or I'll CRY!!! I'm about to already anyway.)

07-16-2008, 12:59 AM
Hi, Tys. :)

Did you see the link I provided a couple of posts ago? If not, here (http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?cs=19&dgvcode=ss&c=US&l=EN&vw=list&oc=DDDADG4&dgc=CJ&cid=7420&lid=0) it is again. It's a Dell, I know, but I've had the same Dell for six years and the only things that went wrong with it was the monitor (a CRT, and I needed to get an LCD anyway) and the optical drives, which were cheap as hell to replace.

Anyway, here's what this Dell has:

-Q6600. I checked all of your links and none repeat: none of those systems have anywhere near that kind of processing power. Well, that 2.2GHZ Phenom from Costco comes close, but the Q6600 still blows it away. If you wanted, I could show you how to make that Q6600 run at 3GHZ for the cost of a rear-window defroster repair kit and some Arctic Silver 5 (<$20). I think that Kmart computer has a Pentium 4. They stopped making those, like, 2 years ago. :xp: No joke.

-3GB RAM. Basically all that Vista 32 can utilize.

-Vista Home Premium. Some of the systems you linked to come with XP (no DX10), and some don't even come with an OS. There's $100 bucks right there.

-500GB hard drive.

-No crappy video card for you to have to sell. Just buy whichever one you want. With Nvidia and ATI locked in a price war, there couldn't be a better time to buy a video card. You may or may not need a better power supply, but there are deals for those all of the time and we'll help you find one if you need it. You may not need one. Dell PSUs are pretty beefy, because Dell doesn't want to have to replace them while the machine is still under warranty.

-DVDRW drive, keyboard and mouse. All you need is a monitor, speakers, and the afore-mentioned video card and you're ready to game.

It's $499 right now. It's the best deal that I could find ATM. Trust me. Buy it.

*Alienware is highly overrated, and overpriced. ;)

07-16-2008, 01:20 AM
@Q... lolz...you wouldnt have written that second entreaty if Tsy was a bloke! But good on you though, it is a good deal indeed!!

Tsy, you could have saved yerself all that googling and just got that Dell already ;) It is as good as you'll get for a retail selection. [/total of 4 times empasised now!]


07-16-2008, 01:32 AM
Well, I hope she listens, because I don't know how much longer that deal is going to last. I'm surprised that it's lasted this long.

07-16-2008, 09:02 PM
Guess what, Q? I bought the Dell, and I'm WAY happier than I would have been if I'd won a bid for a used PC on eBay. Thank you so much for the advice and recommendation! :)

Rogue Nine
07-16-2008, 09:40 PM
Did you get the one with stock specs? Post what you've got!

07-16-2008, 10:19 PM
Guess what, Q? I bought the Dell, and I'm WAY happier than I would have been if I'd won a bid for a used PC on eBay. Thank you so much for the advice and recommendation! :)AWESOME!!!!111!! :thumbsup:

Did you get in on the deal? I hope so. I forgot to tell you not to get anything extra, so I hope you didn't because they'll overcharge you for it.

Anywho, let's get you hooked up with a video card. Just tell us what resolution your monitor is and we'll go from there. :)

I'm so excited! :emodanc: This is going to be a killer system that you will be very happy with.

07-17-2008, 12:43 PM
The awesomeness of Q has made the world a better place, again!

Great stuff Q!! :D