Stuck on MOBO choice for new E4300 budget build

Based on reading a lot of recommendations online and shopping around for deals, I've purchased the following for a budget C2D build (my first computer build):

CPU: E4300 from Fry's a few weeks back (sold the bundled ECS mobo for $30)
RAM: 1GB (one stick) Kingston DDR2 667
HDD: Western Digital 250GB SATAII 16MB
PSU: Antec NeoHE 550W
alternate PSU*: Thermaltake 430W
CASE: Ultra Wizard Mid ATX
CASE FAN: Scythe SFF21E 120mm

So far around $350, not bad, I was hoping for <$500 for everything.

I have an IDE hard drive I need to get some files from, but other than that no legacy components since my current aging desktop is about 8 years old!

I don't play games, it's always possible but I doubt that will change. I don't think I'm ready to play around with OC, just want to get this set up and running first! I'd like to at some point get into receiving OTA HDTV by adding a tuner card and maybe use this as a PVR... I have an older HDTV with component and VGA inputs. I'll use the PC for video, general internet and office use, photoshop (gimp actually) and the like. Quiet and stable is important, I've tried to select components accordingly.

I'm trying to get a cheap copy of XP from either my brother in law (former MS employee with friends still working there) or from a student.

That leaves me with the motherboard. I'm considering 945G chipset boards since I don't think I need a video card and this will keep the cost down. According to Antec and the internet in general, many 965 series MOBO's have trouble getting along with the PSU I selected, but 945 should be fine. *The alternate PSU could be used (that's why I put it in my bin o' parts) but I'd rather use the Antec due to quiet and high efficiency.

Is a 945G board a good choice for what I've described? If not, what would be a better choice? Thanks for the awesome forum!

EDIT: Yes I still need DVD drive as well. But that should be more straightforward to choose.
6 answers Last reply
More about stuck mobo choice e4300 budget build
  1. Id go with this PSU personally. Its better than the thermaltake and much cheaper than the other one

    Antec Purepower 2.0 500W

    Its too bad you missed that case when it had a $40 mail in rebate at fry's. it was free!

    Also, check out this motherboard I think it would be perfect for ya.

    either one of these...

    Gigabyte P965 DS3

    Gigabyte P965 S3
  2. MSI 965 Neo-F. Very respectable, stable board at stock settings. Has all the components you need at a very affordable price. It won't overclock like some of the champ mobos, but sounds like that won't matter to you.

    For a solid board at a good price, I'd really take a hard look at the Neo-F. The 945 board has an extra PCI slot so that might actually be better for you than the 965 in this instance:


  3. I'd recommend a Gigabyte GA-965P-S3 motherboard and an EVGA GeForce 7300GS video card; a little 3D acceleration never hurt anybody! In about 2-3 months you can use EVGA's step-up program to get a DX10 card, if you want.The card should have 1 VGA, 1 DVI, and possibly 1 HDTV connector.
  4. I would look for a 945 board, they will have more IDE ports, although it sounds like can get by with 1 port (2 devices) for the old HD and a DVD. Did you buy the RAM yet? Some of the MB have a dual RAM setup where you get 2 sets of slots, one for DDR and the other for DDR2. If this is basically a dead end system, your next system will add a new MB-CPU then the other parts are fine.
  5. OK, thanks for the input guys.

    Just to be clear, I already bought everything listed and linked above. I have submitted the rebate for the case, so that'll be free. And the Antec PSU will be $50 AR. Two different Antec reps told me the NeoHE's won't work with 965 motherboards. But some people are recommending 965 motherboards. I bought two PSU's because of inconsistent info on compatibility problems with the Antec PSU and 965 boards which keeps popping up... and I can always use a backup PSU.

    None of the recommendations y'all have given have onboard video. Since I don't plan on games or OC'ing, do I really need a separate video card? I can add an ADD2 card to some boards to give me the component output if I decide to use the PC for PVR, at least that's what I understand.

    For my specific application, why 965>945? Why no onboard video? Thanks!
  6. OK, here's a compromise: 945P board (rather than G) and graphics card, does that sound better?

    Gigabyte GA-945P-S3 motherboard


    6600 LE Graphics Card with composite out
    7300 GS Graphics Card with composite out

    The first choice is OOS @newegg but maybe available from other vendors. These setups would be $50-$60 more than a 945G board but would offer more of course. Whaddya think? Thanks.
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