Build a PC: Recommended Builds (December 2013)

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codyelery

The price for the msi radeon hd 7850 has to be wrong. No where can you find it for $110. The cheapest is on ebay for 156 used, most site have it listed for $189 with out rebates or anything else. Some clarity would be nice

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smashingpumpin

When will MaxPC review R9 cards? I have a budget of $350 max for a Gfx card and still torn between Nvidia's 760-770 GTX vs Amd's 270-280x offerings.

I think MaxPC really needs a graph bar format of videocard benchies comparing AMD and Nvidia's various series to each other all on one page like some websites I'll refuse to mention lol.

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kixofmyg0t

Which R9 cards? The 270X? It's a rebranded 7870. The 280X is a rebranded 7970. MaximumPC doesn't really need to review them because they've been well documented for years now.

As a big AMD fan.....you're out of luck for the moment trying to get a high end AMD card because of the litecoin miners. Trying to find anything above a 7870 is hard and the prices have jumped to gouging levels. AMD is selling them as fast as they can make them right now.

So with no options for Radeon cards I would suggest this http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CZ7Q028/?tag=pcpapi-20

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smashingpumpin

So, you mean the rebadged R9 280x cards perform virtually the same as the old 7970 cards? A few sites favor the new R9 cards "a bit" even if they were rebadged and I'd like to know MaxPC's opinion and more so, they have yet to review one.

The bitcoin miners are mostly buying 290x and 7950-7970 cards IMO. As for 280x, you're right about the prices as I can no longer find one on a $300-350 price range. I'll probably settle for 270x as they are abundant and cheaply priced on Newegg or wait for 280x prices to come down to $350 range (I can wait another 2-4 months).

Nice price on that 770 GTX, how do you think it stacks up against a 280x? I'm really worried about its 2GB video memory and a 256-bit spec though. Thanks in advance.

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kixofmyg0t

The 770 is a rebranded 680, just as the 280x is a rebranded 7970. Generally the 7970/280X is faster but you can't buy them anywhere.

What res are you planning on running?

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smashingpumpin

I use a kvm and switch between two monitors... a 1024x768 used only for gaming and a 1080p for everything else. I think I'll just wait for the 280x price hike to be over as these miners could soon be ditching 280x's in favor of 290x.

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kixofmyg0t

Whoa whoa wait a minute. You intend to buy a 280X to game at 1024x768? Are you serious? You do know that a 280X is overkill for even 1080p right?

You could game at that res with a fricken APU c'mon man. I'm using a 7870 for 1080p gaming.

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smashingpumpin

lol, Yes I'm very aware its overkill. I can settle for a HD 6 series BUT that doesn't fit my plan of not upgrading my Gfxcard for another 3 years max if I bought that.

As for gaming, I could care less for res above 1024 as long as I max out everything (Antialiasing, Dynamic lighting blabla...) on any game's GFX settings and especially running @ 75hz+ which I cant seem to ignore (the only reason I cant ditch my CRT as my main gaming monitor)

60hz just tires my eyes on marathon gaming sessions, and it simply isn't as smooth rendering twitch/fast motion games IMO. It's no longer rare for a lcd/tv to have 120hz+ thanks to the 3D gimmick craze but buying such monitor could wait as I only have budget for a mid-range gfx card ATM.

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iplayoneasy

Really solid baseline build. I did a FX 6300 build with that board and heatsink @ 4.6 Ghz. It hit 8,112 in passmark. Only thing i would change with yours is maybe using a 750 watt psu. Leave room for a gpu upgrade or a 2nd 7850 in the future.

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kixofmyg0t

You do not need 750 watts for 2 7850's. The 7850 only uses one 6 pin power connector in the first place and can draw a maximum of 101 watts at stock clocks. Cross fire them and you have 250 watts safely you can budget in the system power envelope. The 6300 doesn't use as much power as many think.

550 watts is really all you need for a 6300 & XF'd 7850's. 600 watts would be ideal if you want to feel better.

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iplayoneasy

I understand. But personally i've upgrade my psu 3 times because each time something in my computer i had the minimums. Considering you have 2pci slots it would suck if in a year you got 2 cards that needed 2 power plugs each. You can get fairly decent Raidmax and Thermaltake psus for $60, so it seems worth it just to have the extra pci power plugs. One less part to upgrade.

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kixofmyg0t

Well there's your problem. No raidmax PSU is anywhere near "decent". They have a reputation for being complete junk for a reason.

A 550 watt Seasonic,EVGA,PC Power and Cooling,Corsair,XFX,Rosewill PSU can handle a 6300 with XF'd 7850's But Raidmax? You'd be lucky if the 700 watt unit could hold off catching fire long enough to actually put out that rated "700 watts".

People also buy WAAAAY more PSU than they really need. Valve is confident that a Steam Machine with a GTX Titan only needs a 450W PSU. I believe them.

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iplayoneasy

Huh. I've had good luck with em. My issue going low is lack of peripherals as well as in a case where you start with a baseline build that you plan to upgrade slowly. It sucks when you end up being under powered. I can't find the numbers for the FX 6300 but a board with an overclocked 8350 pulls a touch more than 360 watts. I had a build with a fx 6300 @ 4.8 GHz and a kingwin 850 watt with 2 gtx 480 and it kept crashing and i had to replace it with a 1050 watt.

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kixofmyg0t

The 8350 doesn't draw as much power as you would think. http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/FX-8350_Piledriver_Review/4.html

Even overclocked it's not that bad http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/FX-8350_Piledriver_Review/7.html

I'm currently running my 6300 at 4.2Ghz overclock with only a 4 pin power connector. It's not meant for overclocking but 4.2 is a minor OC for a 6300. Everything is stable and temps are well within the safe range. Also I have a pretty decently OC'd 7870, 16GB of 1866 RAM, SSD and 2 HDD's, PCI'E Wifi card, Recon fan controller with 5 fans hooked to it, multicard reader and a Blu-Ray drive all running perfectly fine on a 500 watt PSU.

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Meat_Juice

It strikes me as unlikely one can buy a "quality" PSU for $53.

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jjetfire

PC Power and Cooling make fantastic power supplies.

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Arnulf

I was pleasantly surprised by build quality of Corsair CX line. You should check it out.

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exfelon

budget build and an ssd? lol
switch the ssd for the A10-6800k and a matching mobo

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kixofmyg0t

Why?!? Why bother with an APU when the GPU side is never gonna be used? If you want to shave off some of the cost for a better GPU get a Athlon 760K which is like $80.

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Bdiddytampa

If I switched out the SSD for anything it would be a better GPU, the $200 price range has some great performers. That A10 is a decent chip for certain uses, but not a replacement for the FX chip. The AMD APUs make great 720p gaming chips for small living room boxes.

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CHR15x94

Yeah, let's reintroduce the HDD bottleneck, and while we're at it downgrade to an APU with a slower CPU and a "high-performance" iGPU we're not going to use...

Unless you're talking about aiming for an even lower price bracket (one of those would be nice, a super-cheap budget build or something), but even then I think going for a 760K (FM2 Athlon X4) and a discrete GPU might be a better option to choose, if you can stretch your budget a bit. Or just wait for Kaveri.

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Upyourbucket

Thank you Maximum PC Staff for going with AMD in the budget build! It makes sense.(no sarcasm intended)

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TheMissingPiece

Looks like you guys have to update your recommended builds already! As in 2011, Litecoin/Bitcoin miners are snatching up high-end Radeon cards for mining, and as a result, they're either A) out of stock or B) at super high prices. So yes, you're going to have to swap it out for a 760.

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tom_m

I mentioned an alternative in the write-up :)