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First build! Can't decide on budget gfx solution!

Last response: in Systems
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June 1, 2008 8:45:36 PM

This will be my first from the ground up build, that I'll do by myself. I have no spare computer compenents, because I sold my last pc, all of it, even the monitor and speakers before moving to where I live now.

Everything will be ordered online, most likely from the EGG. I got everthing down and I know what I want, except...

Because of budget concerns and the fact than both the 9900 and 4xxx cards are coming out in 2 months I'm choosing to go with a budget card or on board graphics for now. The only game I play alot of anyway is Warcraft 3 TFT.

I am getting an AM2+ board as my platform of choice since AMD has got great bang for buck right now, expecially the 5000+ brisbane black edition, which I will eventually replace with a quad core solution about a year from now. My operating system will be Windows Vista Home Premium 64 bit OEM.

So I have four options going for me on graphics and mother boards:

option 1. GET the ASUS M3A32-MVP DELUXE with 790fx NB from AMD and a radeon 2600xt 512mb
PRO: AMD/ATI spider platform, I can upgrade this baby as time goes on and I've always been an ATI guy. Price of board.
CON: Selling a 2600xt even slightly used on EBay might not get me alot back...

option 2. GET the ASUS M3N-HT DELUXE with 780i NB from Nvidia and use onboard graphics exclusively.
PRO: Spending $0 on a discreet card while waiting for the best deal out there when I actually need to upgrade (like when fallout 3 comes out).
CON: Performance might not be as good as a cheap ATI card. Never had a NVidia card, not really a con, just a change... It's pricier than the AMD board too.

option 3. GET the ASUS M3N-HT DELUXE and get a cheap ass card like the 8600 or 8500 from nvidia and exploit the hyped up hybrid SLI.
PRO: uh, hybrid SLI?? Maybe I can run Aero! YAY?!
CON: Sort of defeats the purpose of saving money... and selling a 8600 or 8500 might just be harder...

option 4. GET the ASUS M3A32-MVP DELUXE and just blow away my budget on a great graphics card now, like the ddr3(uck!) 3870x2! Or 2 3870's in crossfire!
PRO: I get to play COD4 now and I get to finally download project reality for battlefield 2!? Although I get to do the latter on a 2600xt anyway... And I get to get a second 3870x2 for cheap later on for quad SLI that just might edge out a 4870x2?
CON: COST! And it might not be worth it once the 4870 and 4870x2s comes out.

Options 1 to 3 let me have a acceptable build for vista while waiting for prices to drop and/or when the new high end cards appear. Then most of my 400 dollar budget for a discreet card WILL be well used.

Obviously, there are pros and cons to both setups, and I'm not even sure if the 780i chipset will allow me to use the on board graphics only. ANY suggestions in this uncertain time in the PC building market will be appreciated!
June 1, 2008 9:05:35 PM

i would say do something like option 3 and instead of getting a 8xxx from nvidia, you could get a 3650 from ati at $56 from the egg
June 1, 2008 10:25:34 PM

Right now I wouldn't spend such money on any high level AMD board.

For an AMD based system:
I'd go with something like a 780G. (~$100)
Add a good cooler to the 5000+ BE (~$120 for both).
Buy a high end graphics at the end of June or whenever.

With a budget of almost $350 for the motherboard and CPU(without heatsink) I would send you to the Intel camp. P45 comes out next week and an E7200 would leave every AMD chip out there in the dust at 4.0GHz.

So my advice would be : (the motherboard is a gap filler)
MB: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HSF: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
backplate : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
for a total of $294 (CPU+HSF+MB) vs ~$400 with AMD

Then you can spend some more on high quality RAM :
RAM : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And get the 3650 for ~$60 as listed above.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Good luck.
!