Need help with cheap AMD system


Need some advice on a new budget build...

Currently running:
AMD 2600+ barton
Asus A7V8X-X
2GB DDR333
Geforce 6800
Pioneer IDE DVD-RW x2
WD 80GB drives x2
Acer 22 inch moniter

needless to say its time for an upgrade however i dont have a massive budget to work with. I was looking at the phenoms but the whole bug problem makes me want to hold off on quad cores. however in a year or so, maybe we can revisit that. which bring me to my requirements.

would like to stay under 600ish or so for the whole works.

System needs to do flawless mild gaming (WOW, CS:S, AoE3,ect..) at the native resolution of my 22 (1680x1050). A reasonable request i feel for the budget.

I plan to keep my case and DVD drives. Everything else looks like i need to start fresh. I'm Not looking for the very best keep in mind, just decent. I would like to keep the options open to future upgrade as much as possiable though. Ie, Mobo supports SLI and 2 PCI-Ex16 slots as well as has supports for phenom.

I am comfortable doing some mild overclocking however i'm not tring to break any records here :)

Heres the list of componets i'v picked from new egg. Please tell me if im a least on the right path. Looking for brand or model corrections. anything you can tell me before i hit submit on the order :)

Here we go...

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Black Edition Processor Model ADO5000DSWOF

ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

MSI NX8600GT-T2D512E OC GeForce 8600GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
$118.99 (-20 rebate)

mushkin 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
$59.99 (-15 rebate)

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

COOLMAX CXI-500B ATX12V 500W "SLI" Power Supply
$49.99 (-20 rebate)

Rosewill RCX-Z1 Long life ball bearing for over 45,000/hrs CPU Cooler

Subtotal: $553.93 (518.93 after rebates)

I am reasonably comfortable with most of this other then the PSU. maybe the video card...

24 answers Last reply
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  1. Ok, this doesn't look bad. You may want to check out the Arctic Freezer article at anandtech, really competitive cooling in the price range you're looking at:
    In my experience, with rosewill coolers you get what you pay for..

    I really recommend you look at the midrange cards out now, such as the 8800gt or the ati3850 for around 180. Unless you want to upgrade 4-5 months from now when you realize how weak that card really is.

    If you invest in a 8800gt, you will probably be happy for a good two years, maybe more with your limited gaming needs. I know, in comparison to the rest of your system it seems a bit steep, but today I think anyone can resonably expect to spend quite a bit more on a video card than say a processor.

    That's a nice mushkin set, but if you were looking to save a few bucks on ram check out these:

    I have the 2 gig kit and have overclocked my fx-62 from 2.8 Ghz to 3.135 with them and they stood up to several hours test torture. they are rock solid, overclockable and fast. Best deal going in memory I think.
    So were you keeping the old case? How about software, you are gonna want to get some new games and stuff, don't forget to budget for that as well.

    Good luck with that, I think it's fun to see just how little one can spend to make a kick ass budget system.
  2. virux said:

    Need some advice on a new budget build...


    If you live near a micro center you might want to consider getting the gateway GT5630E desktop. $580 on sale.

    Intel core 2 quad Q6600
    Vista Home Prem.
    1GB ram ddr2 / expandable to 8GB
    250GB SATA2 HDD
    Dbl layer DVD+-RW
    15 in 1 digital media card reader

    has a picture of speakers / mouse / keyboard, but doesn't say these are included. Doesn't say what kind of video card, most likely no monitor either.

    I found this in a print ad / and it's not on the internet.

    This is a phenominal deal, you would be hard pressed to build this for $900 [It could be much more depending on what they use for video.]
  3. I'm running with budjet system too and you

    AMD 64 X2 5000+ (runs 15*200 ) idle 32C

    ASUS EAH3850/G/HTDI/512M

    2gt 800DDR2/ 4-4-4-12

    500GB SATA 3.0Gb/s 16MB
    There is 32MB versions but again is too little but I would take one :)

    ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590....
    motherboard was bargain HUNT--- "sli does not work" on this on so i made good deal..
    570 is Has Good price value !!

    :bounce: go and make bargain....
  4. Also man, look on newegg, if you look there are some 256 mb versions of the 8600 gt that are clocked pretty close to the price of the 8600gts for about the same price as your showing on the video card.
  5. buzznut:

    Thanks for the advice on the cooler! i'v had several rosewill products over the years and most ended up failing evevntually.

    As for the video card, i just dont have te budgt at the moment to get into the 8800s. newegg dosent have one under $250. Part of plan this 8600gt/asus mobo was to maybe add in a second 8600 down the road and sli them. would that not give me comperable performace to a 8800? Like i said though i only need what id defind as mild gaming.

    As for software i got a lot stashed away so thats one department that i'm ok. i planed on using WinXP SP2 323bit.


    No microcenters around me :(

    ohiou_grad _06

    would i be better off going for something like this?

    Open Box: MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC GeForce 8600GTS 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

    open box kinda scares me ...

    or something like this?

    XFX PVT84JUSD4 GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
    109.99 (-30 rebate sooo 79.99)

    would the 256MB card @ 680mhz out preform the 512mb card @ 560mhz?

    would the GTS just beat them both hands down? gts is 700mhz with 256mb.

    Thanks! good advice so far!
  6. found another option on

    PNY VCG8600GXPB GeForce 8600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
    114.99(-40 rebate -15 inst = $66 total cost)
  7. hmmm...
    a case and a decent psu... you'll hear that case for the price, PLUS there's a decent 12v rail so you can run some video power.
    the blue one has a 40.00 mir right now making it a whopping 52 bucks... that's dirt cheap. the green one however is still about 82. but still more bang for the buck than a cheap case. might want to consider this an option... i went through EVERY SINGLE case on newegg a while back, looking for good deals.. took me a week but i did it... that one is one of the best overall for the price.

    I like your proc choice. an hd is an hd. your mobo seems decent, but if you don't get the sli version, you can save a about 30 bucks,
    sli sucks anyway.... and at your budget, i doubt you'll see it beneficial to get 2 cards, ever. so asus m2n-e i think would be a better choice... i think it has the same chipset too, so you won't be losing anything. you can scrape a few dollars off of the top of your memory by going with g-skill or wintec. I personally have wintec, they are great and have lifetime warranty. my brother always buys g-skill... and he seems to do well with that. but that's only a few dollars.

    for the video card... this is the awesome part....

    ati hd 3850 comes in around 150 and up depending on memory size. will run rings around the 86xx series. and then the ati 3870... one in particular is sitting at 219 and is a GREAT buy if you can squeeze it in.
    it's running gddr3 instead of 4, but i don't think it's going to make a difference, especially considering the aftermarket cooler, and nwn2, and it's 20 bucks below all other 3870's
    if you think about it, nwn=50 bucks i think that cooler costs 30, so that's 80 bucks of free crap on top of it. that's how i look at it anyway.

    proc= 100
    case+psu= 52-82
    having a badass/affordable pc=priceless. :-p

    the low end of all of that is $555
    the high end of all of that is $ 645

    that help you out with some options? you can bring the high end of that back down simply by grabbing the blue raidmax case rather than the green one and still fit the gigabyte 3870 in there. :-p man i need 600 bucks! hehe
  8. Wow lots of informations. Thanks!

    heres what iv come up with...

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Black Edition Processor Model
    ASUS M2N-E AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
    VisionTek 900203 Radeon HD 3850 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported $169.99
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    COOLMAX CXI-500B ATX12V 500W "SLI" Power Supply
    ASUS X-Mars 70mm Ball The Light Cooler for Dual-Core CPU

    Subtotal: $561.93 +15 to ship it to me.
    Grand Total: $577.47

    0 rebates (which i actully prefer.)

    Comes in at the top end of my budget however if this will keep me happy for a few years then that can be overlooked.

    couple more questions before i can justify pulling the trigger...

    1)Seems i can get this proc to 3ghz with stock votage and minor heat gain. this is still the the general opinion right?

    2)I ditched the SLI mobo thanks to a good sudgestion. However, at what point does SLI become usefull? i would have though 2 8600gt's running SLI would be rather fast. this 3850 will smoke it right? I really dont want to be kicking myself for not getting the duel pci-e 16x board at some point down the road. In my mind a duel 16x mobo has a longer lifespan then they video card i cust costs to get.
    Once Phenom gets all the bugs worked out, i should be able to just drop one into this board and get all its benifts right? (thats not going to be for a while keep in mind. Say a year+)

    3)G.skill makes acceptable ram? i'v had compatibilty problems in the past buying generic ram. i shouldnt have that with this right?

    4)The VisionTek... Brand ok? stats look good? This is my best choice? will play most current games and not have to be replace for a say... 2 years? Keep in mind im not a hardcore gamer. just medium :) I dont need top of the line as soon as it comes out. Just need to make sure this card isnt overkill to my needs. I do however look at a card that can last a few years as a good investment. though vs the 8600 from newegg/slickdeals, this adds about $80 bucks to my bottom line.
    Link for refrence:

    As for a case, i have one i kinda like. Plus shipping cases adds about $20 to the bottom line (with out factoring the cost of the case) that i just dont need to spend. The case i have been using for a while is decent. has good cooling(80mm front, 2 on the side, 1 in the rear. room for 6 HHDs, 4 cds, 2 floppys). No clue on its brand.

  9. CoolMax and RaidMax PSUs are both on "Do not buy" tier-5 from the listing at Choose something on tier-3 or better.
    I like the Mushkins I'm using, and I just put an Antec Earthwatts 500W PSU in a system I mean to sell. The cables are long and a little messy, but it is dead-silent. That one is $88 on Newegg now; I think I got it for $70.
  10. I like the roundup you have this time. I think the 3850 is a good compromise for price/performance. Plus if you decide to upgrade down the road, the 3870 X2 which is $450 right now will surely come down in price, meaning you could have phenomenal performance with one pci-e slot.

    Most folks on this forum will tell you that you won't see benefits from sli unless you really crank up the resolution. Unless you have a very large monitor (22in+) you won't see much increase and in some cases sli has shown to actually be SLOWER at some resolutions vs a single card.
    Two slow cards in sli= still low frame rates.
    I think you will be happy that you spent a little extra on the 3850, it's a good choice for your needs.

    The g skill kit is a good one as well as the a-data. G skill makes a quality and affordable product in my opinion.

    And you can definately expect the 5000+be to get you to 3.0 ghz with little heat issues. I am currently using an fx-62 which has a rating of 130 watts, whereas the 5000+ is rated at 65W. I have a 350 mhz overclock which comes out to a 140watt processor that is quite toasty, but my Thermalright 120 ultra keeps it idle about 39-41 C and about 45C under load. Gets up to 50C under prime 95 torture, but the rest of the system stays nice and cool.
    I would expect a 400 mhz OC on the black edition to show about the same temps (if not lower) than what I have according to the data presented in the article I mentioned earlier. At 65 watts it just doesn't generate as much heat.

    But as they say when overclocking, your mileage may vary.

    I am also waiting for a decent phenom to come out. But for your needs, the proc you are getting will be able to handle what you can throw at it. Right now processor speed (for a minimal gamer) is not nearly as important as a speedy graphiics card.

    I say go for it! have fun!
  11. jtt is right, can't go wrong with an antec. I like the earthwatts, but I've seen it as low as 50 bucks.
  12. On video, I had actually thought something like the XFX card you mentioned. Though agreed, SLI is probably a waste. But like me, when I upgrade, I'll probably go with something like that as it's cheap, almost as fast as a GTS, and with work and family, don't have time to be on the computer all the time so too much would be overkill for me anyway.
  13. OK so currently i'v selected :
    Antec earthwatts EA430 ATX12V v2.0 430W Power Supply - Retail

    oddly enough the shipping when down 5 bucks when i selected this to offset the price diffrence.

    Grand Total: $577.91

    anyone think i can do any better?

    thanks for all the help all! made all the diffrence
  14. I would get an AM2+ mobo instead of just AM2 because Phenom support is a little iffy nowadays.
    4GB of RAM is also wicked cheap, but that's up to you.
  15. Yea, looking forward to dropping a Phenom into a standard AM2 motherboard is probably not your best option. IF it works, it will be gimped by the reduced HT speed (1000Mhz vs 2600Mhz). Also the current crop of AM2+ motherboards use SB600, which hasnt been working so well. The setup you have will do fine for a couple years, with maybe needing another gig of ram and another vid card update.
  16. Just for arguments sake, can anyone recomend a QUALITY, comperably equipped, AM2+ Mobo in the $100 ballpark? Keep in mind it has to have the features of today and tomarrow... kinda doubt such an animal exists. but, im open to sudgestions...

  17. Is this a better choice? im not familar with the 770/SB600 chipset.

    ASUS M3A AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
  18. hmm. the m3a looks a little light on features but it's an asus. They're pretty good boards but the support kinda sucks. That's been my experience with the crosshair though, getting answers isn't as easy as it should be. And asus's forum on their website is broken. In fact navigating anywhere on their site is a challenge.

    It looks like it has the ht bus speed for the phenoms. I really don't know anything about that chipset, however. Prolly a bit of a shot in the dark for now.

    Personally, I would wait for these phenom chipsets to mature before taking the plunge. You could always upgrade your mobo for a hundred in a year or so when you're ready to do a phenom.

    I am kind of interested in the hybrid crossfire and future mobos coming out soon for budget builds. Well, soon for AMD anyway ;)
    looks promising
  19. Had enough shopping.
    Pulled the trigger

    ASUS M2N-E AM2 NVIDIA nForce 570 Ultra MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
    VisionTek 900203 Radeon HD 3850 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
    Antec earthwatts EA430 ATX12V v2.0 430W Power Supply
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Black Edition Processor
    G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
    ASUS X-Mars 70mm Ball The Light Cooler for Dual-Core CPU

    Subtotal $566.93

    UPS Ground $10.98
    Rush Processing $2.99
    Order Total $580.90

    Should be here in a day or 2 it estimated. Cant wait! lol...

    Thanks for all the help. I'll post up some numbers once i get it all togther and running!

  20. I would like to suggest that since you are wanting an AMD system choose a MB that is a AM2+. A much better upgrade path. Several OEMs make good ones, look for a 790fx chip set.
  21. Get a 590 MB for just a few Dollars more.
    Get a 6000+ for $3 more (full 1MB L2 per core and stock 3Ghz).
    Use a Temalright Ultra or at least a Zerotherm Premiam for a cooler....3C or so above room air.
    Get the -newer- Seagate 7200.11's in 500GB size for $89 Raptor's butt.
  22. where did the case go? :-p

    you didn't like the raidmax cases i posted for you? I don't think they got any bad reviews. or are you using old case? cuz that WOULD save you some money.
  23. i am going to reuse my older case.
  24. up and running! everthing worked out great.

    rock solid stable at 2.91ghz. cant seem to get anything over that without adjusting voltags and creating lotta heat so im going to settle for the time being. its fast enough for me!

    thanks again for all the help. video card is awesome. good call on that one.

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