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First time PC build seeking feedback (~$600 budget)

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  • New Build
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February 5, 2014 10:58:20 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: February 2014

Budget Range: ~$600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, browsing, general home PC stuff

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Location: Northeastern US (sadly not near a MicroCenter)

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My current desktop is about 10 years old. I've replaced/upgraded parts of it (RAM, CPU, power supply, HDD), but the motherboard seems to have died. It's time. I don't game much, but that is what I'd use it for primarily. Mostly I just want the experience of building my own PC. I don't want it be able to play all the latest and greatest games at max settings, but it should probably last me a few years or have some upgrade potential. If this works out, I'll try an HTPC next.

I plan to re-use my current case and my power supply (650W Corsair), since that was a relatively recent upgrade. I'd also plan on moving both of my old hard drives over and have them and the SSD all back up to the 1TB drive. Does that make sense?

Here's what I've put together so far. Feedback, constructive insults, and ideas were I can cut costs or optimize would be much appreciated.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2NN4f
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2NN4f/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2NN4f/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($116.97 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock 980DE3/U3S3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Kingston Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial M500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.66 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - OEM (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $641.56
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-05 13:49 EST-0500)

Thanks!

More about : time build seeking feedback 600 budget

February 5, 2014 11:11:13 AM

Definitely a decent budget build. But, I'd ditch the SSD and buy an R9 270.
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February 5, 2014 11:25:13 AM

Yeah, if you ditch the SSD you can get a 760, which is much better and you can max out games with the 760 easily :)  also changed the RAM to 1.5 volt, as RAM shouldn't need 1.65v to get to 1600.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 PRO3 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Microcenter)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - OEM (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $640.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-05 14:24 EST-0500)
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February 5, 2014 1:03:24 PM

Thanks for the catch on the RAM.

My thinking on the SSD v. a more expensive video card was that I'm not a "serious" gamer, and the SSD would be useful every time I used the machine. If I suddenly develop an excess of free time, I could upgrade the video card in a year or two, but trying to add an SSD later would be more of a pain. Does that make sense, or should I reconsider?
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February 5, 2014 1:14:54 PM

I understand, makes sense. I just noticed you listed gaming as the most important so I did that lol

I would definitely recommend the SSD + 7770 then. You'll still get decent performance from the 7770, but for general computing, the SSD makes everything feel so fast.
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February 5, 2014 4:10:46 PM

HiTechObsessed said:
I understand, makes sense. I just noticed you listed gaming as the most important so I did that lol

I would definitely recommend the SSD + 7770 then. You'll still get decent performance from the 7770, but for general computing, the SSD makes everything feel so fast.


I came to the realization that I have some credit card rewards points just going to waste. And while their products are overpriced in real dollars, it almost doesn't seem like I'm spending money when I use points.

With that mindset, I could add this card:

EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card

Overkill, or not killed over enough?
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February 5, 2014 5:40:58 PM

Looks to me like you've found the sweet spot.
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February 5, 2014 6:36:47 PM

If you can get the SSD and the 760 might as well lol Or you could just that extra money to get a better CPU with the 7770, but you'll be maxing out pretty much everything if you can push the 760 with the FX-4300.
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February 5, 2014 6:56:27 PM

All right. Thanks for the help, all!
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February 5, 2014 7:04:43 PM

No problem man, enjoy :) 
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February 8, 2014 1:00:34 PM

HiTechObsessed said:
If you can get the SSD and the 760 might as well lol Or you could just that extra money to get a better CPU with the 7770, but you'll be maxing out pretty much everything if you can push the 760 with the FX-4300.


Having second thoughts now. If I did want to get a better CPU, what would you recommend? Going back to the FX-6300? Or something Intel-based? And if Intel, would you recommend a motherboard?

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February 8, 2014 1:09:48 PM

HiTechObsessed said:
Yeah, if you ditch the SSD you can get a 760, which is much better and you can max out games with the 760 easily :)  also changed the RAM to 1.5 volt, as RAM shouldn't need 1.65v to get to 1600.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-4300 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 PRO3 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: A-Data XPG V1.0 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Microcenter)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - OEM (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $640.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-05 14:24 EST-0500)


im actually building almost this build with no os or hdd
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February 9, 2014 11:13:44 AM

At that budget, you'll get better performance with the 6300 than something Intel based for gaming. If you're willing to push up your budget a bit, you can get a good i5. Otherwise you will be very happy with the 6300 :) 
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February 13, 2014 8:11:33 AM

HiTechObsessed said:
At that budget, you'll get better performance with the 6300 than something Intel based for gaming. If you're willing to push up your budget a bit, you can get a good i5. Otherwise you will be very happy with the 6300 :) 


Sat down on a snowy day to get my parts ordered. Since I've freed up the budget, I'm going back to the FX-6300. PCPartpicker is telling me that it doesn't like the 970 board with that CPU.

Is the ASRock 980DE3/U3S3 ATX a good board, or would you recommend something else for this build? Since it's the least enjoyable part to upgrade later, I don't want to skimp on the mobo.
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February 13, 2014 8:27:16 AM

The 970 board will do just fine with that, it supports it 100%. There are just a couple 970s that didn't support the new platform out of the box, but the one I linked isn't on of them.
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