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Old May 16, 2009, 09:24 PM
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Default Budget Build - $600-700 USD

So Hi! First post, woo.

As the topic states, I'm looking to build a 600-700$ USD budget build that would probably be used to play games, and do other stuff like Photoshopping/Designing things. I'm also an avid user of AutoCAD for what I do in my line of work. Oh, and I don't really plan on crossfiring/SLIing or anything of that matter, and I also don't plan on overclocking. I just don't have any idea how, and I don't trust myself with things of that manner. D: I'd be too afraid of breaking something. I have awful luck.

Anyway, I generally check newegg.com for a lot of my purchase options, but I'm open to other places as well. I wouldn't mind buying everything from Newegg instead of spreading out, just so stuff won't arrive all willy-nilly, you know? I'm not an AMD/Intel/ATI/nVidia/etc fanboy or anything, but the person who would be helping me build a PC is more experienced with AMD. I have zero issues with Intel as I've used the current PC I'm on for the last eight years (!), but I've had my eyes on a certain processor for a bit now. I'll get right down to the parts I was considering, and if you guys want, you can leave your comments/point out any mistakes I made/etc.

Case: Newegg.com - Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases
Processor: Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Processors - Desktops
Motherboard: Newegg.com - MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards -- Now I realize this may be a bit overkill for a budget build and most likely out of my price range.. so I've got other options I was looking at.

Mobo Option 1: Newegg.com - ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards
Mobo Option 2: Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

And those are the main three for AM3/DDR3 I was looking at. Anyway, onward!

Graphics Card: Newegg.com - XFX HD-477A-YDLC Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards or the SAPPHIRE version. XFX has a great warranty though.

Power Supply: There's a few different ones here as well.

Option 1: Newegg.com - Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Power Supplies
Option 2: Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies
Option 3: Newegg.com - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies

RAM: Newegg.com - G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory or Newegg.com - CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

HDD: Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives or Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives

CD/DVD: Doesn't really matter to be honest. I have no particular interest in any specific brand, so I was looking at: Newegg.com - LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - CD / DVD Burners -- it's out of stock at the moment, but I'm not worried.

CPU Cooler: I *may* not need it, but I felt maybe to be safe?
Newegg.com - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - CPU Fans & Heatsinks

Monitor: I'm not 100% sure here. There's this really nice 1080p HD 22" Monitor on sale at DELL that looks really pretty. I may look into getting that a few weeks after the big upgrade.

So anyway, that's it. I'm looking to maybe put this together within a month or so. As stated, the budget is around $600-700, and that build with the first options all listed comes to about $704+ give or take, not including S&H.

Oh, and to let you guys feel my pain? The machine I'm currently on is a 1.99GHz Intel Pentium 4 Single Core, 768MB of DDR RAM, a 128MB ATI Radeon 9500PRO, a 120GB HDD, and... a 15.4" DELL Monitor. It's a company bought DELL PC that I got back in I believe 2001-2002. Yeah... it's been so hard to watch everyone play these new games and do things while I'm on this. :/ It's also got something screwy as the fans inside the machine are so much louder now than ever before. I feel it's coming time for it's death.

I'm sorry for the ridiculously long post and all. I tried to put down as much information as possible, along with parts I was already considering. I'm not going to come in and correct anyone who makes suggestions, so any suggestions are great. Thanks a lot!
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Old May 16, 2009, 11:06 PM
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First off, not many of us are experts at USD builds, I personally have no idea what pricing is like or what sites are best for the states. That being said ill put what I know to work on the parts your looking at.

For your pricerange you should propbubly stay away from DDR3, it will make no difference in this build what so ever other then costing you more. Try and find a decent 790x or 790GX with DDR2 instead of ddr3, theres lots of them in the range of $100-$150 CND so you should be able to find one pretty cheap. The cpu you chose will work good for what you need as will the video card, XFX is a great company to work with. The hard drive, personally I would spend the extra on a 640gb western digital black, as its much faster and the price per gb is less.

You could get away with the Antec power supply for this build, its not as good as the corsairs, but this build could get by on 450w so the 500 will be good enough since your not looking at going crossfire or overclocking.

Ramwise go with G.Skill or mushkin if you can, their normally cheaper and better quality, if you go with those DDR3 kits, the G.Skill is much better then the XMS and cheaper. But like I said DDR3 will make no difference on this rig.

You could easily get away with the stock cooler on the X3 720, it wont run hot enough to matter if your not overclocking.

I totaly feel your pain, im running an amd xp single core 2200+ with 1gb of ram and a 9600SE... my main build is down till next week =(

I have to admit for a new builder you did a good job of putting this together, and an awesome job on the first post, the more info we get from you the easier it is for us to help =D

Just so you know the 790FX motherboards are pretty well meant for people looking to run crossfire with more then 2 video cards ;) the 790x and GX are centered around the more budget builds but still offer a TON of features for the price.
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Old May 17, 2009, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Realityshift View Post
First off, not many of us are experts at USD builds, I personally have no idea what pricing is like or what sites are best for the states. That being said ill put what I know to work on the parts your looking at.

For your pricerange you should propbubly stay away from DDR3, it will make no difference in this build what so ever other then costing you more. Try and find a decent 790x or 790GX with DDR2 instead of ddr3, theres lots of them in the range of $100-$150 CND so you should be able to find one pretty cheap. The cpu you chose will work good for what you need as will the video card, XFX is a great company to work with. The hard drive, personally I would spend the extra on a 640gb western digital black, as its much faster and the price per gb is less.

You could get away with the Antec power supply for this build, its not as good as the corsairs, but this build could get by on 450w so the 500 will be good enough since your not looking at going crossfire or overclocking.

Ramwise go with G.Skill or mushkin if you can, their normally cheaper and better quality, if you go with those DDR3 kits, the G.Skill is much better then the XMS and cheaper. But like I said DDR3 will make no difference on this rig.

You could easily get away with the stock cooler on the X3 720, it wont run hot enough to matter if your not overclocking.

I totaly feel your pain, im running an amd xp single core 2200+ with 1gb of ram and a 9600SE... my main build is down till next week =(

I have to admit for a new builder you did a good job of putting this together, and an awesome job on the first post, the more info we get from you the easier it is for us to help =D

Just so you know the 790FX motherboards are pretty well meant for people looking to run crossfire with more then 2 video cards ;) the 790x and GX are centered around the more budget builds but still offer a TON of features for the price.
Hiyo. Thanks a ton of the quick reply. Yeah, I understand it may be harder for someone to know as much about USD Builds over CND builds, bit I figured I'd ask anyway. As far as places to shop, generally Newegg, Tiger Direct, or ZipZoomFly are pretty decent here.

Yeah, I understand that DDR3 would be a bit more expensive than a DDR2 build. I've actually looked at a ton of benchmarks on assorted sites when I was looking a processor comparisons between the X4 955/940, and the 810/720. I saw that in some cases, a DDR2 build actually beat out a DDR3 build, which surprised me. My only reasoning for splurging for DDR3 is because everyone I talk to is like "You want to lead yourself with an upgrade path, etc" and all that. So honestly.. I guess that is a good idea, but not as smart in my situation, huh?

Oh, and a 790X/GX Mobo, there's this GIGABYTE I was looking at the other day a while back that seemed like a decent deal: Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards -- It supports AM3 boards, and it's DDR2 build.

As far as the HDD, thanks for the advice. I actually had the Black 640GB HDD on my wishlist to keep track of. It's $74.99 on Newegg.

As far as the PSU, see.. that's where I've had so much indecision. Sure I've done tons of research on Video Cards, RAM, and a Mobo.. but the PSU is difficult for me. I did a little read-up on how much power this system would take on Antec's site, and it read out at around I think.. 300W-ish on Idle, and like.. 350-360W-ish at full load. While that Antec 500W is $69.99, I could go with a Corsair 500W for $79.99 or the deal they have on a 650W for $99.99 -- to be safe. Thoughts on that?

I agree with the G.SKILL statement. That's what my friend has used for a while, and he's never had any issues. Corsair seems overrated to me for RAM. D:

As far as heat issues, yeah.. I'm not sure how hot the X3 720 would run in an Antec 300. Would all of this fit in the Antec 300 case? As far as fans go, there are I believe.. 1 120mm rear fan, and a 140mm Fan up top for the Antec 300. It also has room for I think 2-3 more fans in there.

Anyway, thanks for the compliments! I tried. I've been doing about three weeks+ worth of research on all the parts I'd need. It's been tough, but worth it so far.

And thanks for the explanation on the FX/GX/X Mobos. I noticed the GX/X boards have either X8 x2 PCIe 2.0 or one X16 while the FX has a spot for 2 X16 or 4 X8' -- which is crazy.

I know Crysis is basically the benchmark testing game these days sort of like Doom 3 was a while back. Would this system even run Crysis at all? Not that I'd want to actually play it, but if I were to play at like.. Average Settings + 1280x1024 or something around that resolution, would it still struggle majorly? Just curious! Thanks a ton again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jdrom17 View Post
I know I'm repeating most things but here's my choices:
ASUS board would be fine too, they're about the same. I just kind of prefer Gigabyte's cooling solution, and it is cheaper after the rebate.

Get whatever DVD-RW you want. They all perform the same function. This one seems to be all the rave right now over at CDFreaks though: Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R SATA DVD/CD Rewritable Drive
Ahh, that's some nice stuff there too. The XIGMATEK I'm kind of confused about -- I didn't see the AM3 socket on that list, but I'll go to the website to check it out. That CORSAIR 650W PSU is actually one I was looking at and keeping track of. $60 off is huuge. Same with that Mobo. If I were to stay on the DDR3 path, I may go for that one instead of a super pricey one.

RAM, I'll bookmark that one, and keep track of that along with the G.SKILL and Mushkin.

I appreciate the quick responses here, guys. I love this place.

Last edited by Katsumara; May 17, 2009 at 10:15 AM.
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Old May 17, 2009, 02:17 PM
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Hey, the motherboard you linked looks good and is pretty much exactly what I was aiming at =D

PSU wise if you can get the corsair for $10 more do it, corsair psu's are a cut above the rest and are very reliable.

You shouldnt have a problem fitting this gear into a 300 nor a problem with cooling as nothing going to be overclocked. You could however look at the CM-690 by coolermaster, much better case in my opinion and if you chuck 1 more 120mm fan into it its got pretty decent cooling. Im using a CM-690 now and I love it, tooless design, good wire management, and its much nicer looking then a 300.

You really dont need the xigamtek cooler, you dont even need an aftermarket cooler unless your playing with the idea of overclocking your cpu, and even then your stock cooler would be good for a low overclock id say up to 3.2ghz or so. I personally dont recommend you deal with adding an aftermarket cooler, since the CPU in JDroms list is a retail version and comes with a heatsink and fan already.

See im personally running DDR3 with an E8400 right now, I highly doubt Id see much difference if I dropped my 790i FTW DDR3 motherboard for a DDR2 750i ftw, it allows more head room when overclocking but even that doesnt matter much on my motherboard. That gigabyte 790X motherboard you linked would work very well in this board, even if you do decide to go crossfire later on down the road 2 4770s would never fill up the bandwidth of the PCI-E 8x slot so they dont need the 16x.

I think if you dropped the graphic settings down a bit and ran crysis in Dx9 that it would be totaly playable on this rig, even at 1400x900 resolution, those 4770s are pretty decent little video cards, almost at the level of my old 9800GTX+, and I was running crysis pretty playably with a 9800GTX+.

I like jdroms build but drop the 650 for a 550, drop the hard drive for a black, and this is a really good set of DDR2 for the 790X ddr2 motherboard...

Newegg.com - G.SKILL HK 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Desktop Memory

I am a big fan of g.skills always low prices and great performance. I never see G.Skills go on sale they just go up and down in regular price with the market.

EDIT: sorry meant with AMD the AM2-AM3 platforms accept the same coolers, so if a CPU cooler says AM2 on it then it will fit on an AM3 =) its just like how the AM3 CPUs will fit into an AM2+ motherboard but without DDR3.
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Last edited by Realityshift; May 17, 2009 at 02:36 PM.
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Old May 17, 2009, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsumara View Post
Ahh, that's some nice stuff there too. The XIGMATEK I'm kind of confused about -- I didn't see the AM3 socket on that list, but I'll go to the website to check it out. That CORSAIR 650W PSU is actually one I was looking at and keeping track of. $60 off is huuge. Same with that Mobo. If I were to stay on the DDR3 path, I may go for that one instead of a super pricey one.

RAM, I'll bookmark that one, and keep track of that along with the G.SKILL and Mushkin.
Well the RAM I linked is DDR3-1600 and CAS7 so it's quite a bit faster than the stuff you linked (DDR3-1333, CAS8 and 9). In case you don't know, lower CAS = faster. No harm in having faster RAM when it's only like $10 more and gives you room to overclock, since you are buying a Black Edition CPU...

That heatsink should be fine. AM3 = AM2 as far as I know, just the actual pin connections vary a little, but the socket itself and retention frame are the same.

Could go with the Corsair 550W as well but when you decide to upgrade your video card, having the extra power will be helpful for sure.
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Old May 17, 2009, 04:13 PM
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Jd, black edition CPUs dont need overclocked ram to overclock, hense anything over DDR2 800 is overkill as the CPU will never use that much FSB. Cas is only faster if you manually go in and set the values yourself, the OP obviously isnt wanting to overclock right now, they just want to get a good tri core build going to work on and do some minor gaming, so running DDR3 is going to give zero benefit for the amount of money shelled out.

Now Im taking from your build that you arent planning on upgrading your video card for a while and even when you do your not looking for extreme graphics performance, just low to mid end. That is why I sudgested you go with the 550w over the 650w, as even the GTX 260s dont take a 650w power supply.

And just so you know JD, the riffle cooler doesnt come with the crossbow retention kit which I HIGHLY recommend a new builder to get as these coolers put alot of strain on the CPU socket and the motherboard PCB, ontop of that the AM2 retention spring is of shotty workmanship and doesnt hold very well. If the OP where to go with an after market HSF I would just recommend an arctic cooling freezer 64, its cheap, works well enough, and is easy to install.

....wow, newegg is a huge rip off on the AF64s though, Directcanada has them on for $22 CND, their $29 USD at newegg.com... anyhow check around for that cooler if you want an aftermarket, I personally dont think you need one though.

Newegg.com - ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm CPU Cooler - CPU Fans & Heatsinks

Those x3 720s dont run all that hot anyways, and like I said even if you do overclock, the stock retail heatsink should be good for a mild to medium overclock.
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Old May 17, 2009, 06:08 PM
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Again with the DDR3 guys, there is no benefit to price for using the DDR3 AMD platforms, its added cost for no added performance. As it stands, ddr3 does not leave any more upgradablity in the future then DDR2 as the AM3 platform and CPUs are backwards compatible and will remain so untill AMD moves up to a new platform...

the 780G chipsets are OLD, the 790x and GX are designed around the AM2+/AM3 CPUs....

Like mentioned before go with that motherboard you linked katsumara, and some good G.Skill DDR2, your looking at great price vs performance and features going that route vs getting a DDR3 motherboard and ram.

Also you are right about how much power you will draw, theres no need whats so ever for a 650w PSU, you are adament about not going crossfire in the future and to be perfectly honest I would say the corsair 450w PSU would be enough for this build.
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Old May 17, 2009, 06:13 PM
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A damn good budget Quad from AMD is the 810. I Love mine, it runs cool (AMD is starting to get things right with their chips) and Fast.
I got mine Cheap too, so I think that your best bet if you can spare a little extra coin over the X3 would be that one.


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