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Old August 14, 2010, 08:30 AM
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Hi, I am currently in the process of doing a build list for my girlfriend's brother. He currently has a macbook and bought Starcraft II only to realise that it just won't run properly on integrated graphics and low-end core2duos (oh, really?). He now wants to invest in a decent, upgradable desktop workstation. He has a budget of around 600$ and would like to be able to upgrade his computer when he will get more money in the future (we are students, so a bit tight on money). What I am looking for is a Value build, to get the more "bang for the bucks".

For the screen resolution, I am not sure yet since he says that he has a monitor somewhere but will have to look for it. Probably not a really high resolution though.

I am planning on PMing everything at NCIX, except the CPU since they don't carry it.

Here's the current list I gathered, please let me know if I should change anything.
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Dual Core Processor Socket AM3 3.1GHZ 6MB L3 Cache 80W Retail Box 89.99
Motherboard: GIGABYTE 870A-UD3 AM3 - 101.64
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA2 3.5IN 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Hard Drive OEM - 40
GPU: 5770, still looking for a deal - around 160
Case+PSU combo: Antec Sonata III Quiet Super Mid Tower with 500 Watt power supply - 100
CPU Cooling: Stock cooler
RAM: Any 4GB DDR3 on special... around 100$? I don't really know anything about RAM...

Total: 591.63 + tax + shipping (around 25$)

Any suggestions?
Thanks!

Last edited by fjanicki; August 14, 2010 at 10:45 AM.
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Old August 14, 2010, 09:33 AM
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I'd suggest using the Sonata III as your case/power supply. Comes with a 500W EarthWatts PSU. Great for budget builds like this IMO. Roughly the same price as what you'd pay now but no hassle of rebates.

I'd go with the Phenom II X2 550 as the CPU. Comes with a heatsink, so that saves $23, and it's cheaper to begin with. Doubt you'll notice any difference in gaming since most only really use 2-cores. Plus its clocked faster which will help too. Use the money saved to buy a better GPU as that's what really matters for gaming.

RAM, I'd say G.SKILL F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO, it goes for around $100 and worked great with my AMD build using a 890GPA-UD3H.

And if he wants a new GPU, you can get a HD5770 for roughly $160.Gets him DX11 support as well.
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Old August 14, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Cool, thx for the Sonata, didnt think of buying a case+psu combo. The last time I bought one of those I got a POS PSU.

You think that 500W be enough for this build?
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Old August 14, 2010, 03:22 PM
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for budget and not so budget amd build the 240/250 cpus are the best

the 870a is a beast, you could go cheaper with a 785 and shave off another 20-25 bucks, but it wont oc as heavy as the 870

there should be an earthwatts in the case bundle.

get a 460 from nv? :)
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Old August 14, 2010, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjanicki View Post
Cool, thx for the Sonata, didnt think of buying a case+psu combo. The last time I bought one of those I got a POS PSU.

You think that 500W be enough for this build?
500W would be more than enough. Shouldn't really need anymore unless a video card with some serious power demands is put into it, which I don't see happening until much later.
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Old August 14, 2010, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _dangtx_ View Post
for budget and not so budget amd build the 240/250 cpus are the best

the 870a is a beast, you could go cheaper with a 785 and shave off another 20-25 bucks, but it wont oc as heavy as the 870

there should be an earthwatts in the case bundle.

get a 460 from nv? :)
sorry, I am not too sure what the 240/250 cpus are. Are you talking about the Athlon II 240/250? Should't I just go with a dual-core Phenom II instead?
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Old August 14, 2010, 08:15 PM
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I am looking at 5770 and GTX 460 and found those weekly deals.

XFX Radeon HD 5770 850MHZ 1Gb 4.8GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI Display Port DIRECTX11 PCI-E Video CARD
NCIX.com - Buy XFX Radeon HD 5770 850MHZ 1GB 4.8GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI Display Port DIRECTX11 PCI-E2.0 Video Card - HD577AZNFC In Canada.

Zotac GeForce GTX 460 Fermi 675MHZ 768MB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini-HDMI PCI-E DX11 Video Card
NCIX.com - Buy Zotac GeForce GTX 460 Fermi 675MHZ 768MB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini-HDMI PCI-E DX11 Video Card - ZT-40401-10P/10X In Canada.

and

ASUS Radeon HD 5770 Cu Core 1Gb DDR5 PCI-E VGA DVI-I HDMI Video Card
NCIX.com - Buy ASUS Radeon HD 5770 Cu Core 1GB DDR5 PCI-E VGA DVI-I HDMI Video Card - EAH5770 CUCORE/2DI/1GD5/A In Canada.


I was wondering how are the warranties with those brands? I remember that a few years back XFX used to be really good and respected for their warranties but have no idea about now. How about ASUS and Zotac?
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Old August 14, 2010, 08:23 PM
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yup thats it. for a dirt cheap system you cant pass those up

if you can find a used 5770 for around 100 bucks get it. if not, the 760. eats more power than the ati equivalent, but it does much better gaming wise. overclock it and you have a 350$ or better video card
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Old August 18, 2010, 06:58 AM
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Thank you everyone.
I ordered the parts from NCIX, ended up being



52049 Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 AMD870 ATX AM3 DDR3 1PCI-E 2PCI RAID HD Sound GBLAN SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard $109.99
PriceMatch Source: Buy Gigabyte [GA-870A-UD3] Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 AMD870 ATX AM3 DDR3 1PCI-E 2PCI RAID HD Sound GBLAN SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard 1 $102.96
PriceMatch $102.96
36050 Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA2 3.5IN 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Hard Drive OEM *3YR MFR Warranty* 1 $39.99 $39.99
42745 G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL Ripjaws PC3-12800 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Core i5 1.5V Memory Kit 1 $97.99 $97.99
51599 AMD Phenom II X2 550 Dual Core Processor Socket AM3 3.1GHZ 6MB L3 Cache 80W Retail Box 1 $89.99 $89.99
24294 Antec Sonata III Black ATX 16IN Mid Tower Quiet Case 3X5.25 2X3.5 4X3.5IN 500W 120MM Fan $119.99
PriceMatch Source: Antec Sonata III Quiet Super Mid Tower with 500 Watt power supply | Canada Computers 1 $99.99
PriceMatch $99.99
54505 Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460 Fermi 715MHZ 768MB GDDR5 2XDVI MINI-HDMI PCI-E DX11 Video Card $219.99
PriceMatch Source: Buy Gigabyte [GV-N460OC-768I] Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460 Fermi 715MHZ 768MB GDDR5 2XDVI MINI-HDMI PCI-E DX11 Video Card 1 $192.52
PriceMatch $192.52
Shipping & Handling: $31.26
SUBTOTAL: $654.70
No PST - Outside BC residents $0.00
GST(5%) $32.74
TOTAL: $687.44
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Old August 18, 2010, 07:34 AM
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Love the parts mate

Hope you enjoy the new machine and dont forget about posting pics in the worklog section if you want to show it off to the rest of us
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