Asking for some advice on a budget build $600

Here is the list of stuff I'm looking at right now.

Intel Boxed Core 2 Duo e8400 - $159.99 + $5.60 tax - Microcenter
GIGABYTE GA-EP35-DS3L - $76.99 + $9.98 s&h - ZZF
Visiontek HD 4850 - $149.99 + $10.50 tax
Corsair TX 650W - $69.99 AR and coupon (20$)
Western Digital 500GB Hard Drive - 16MB cache OEM 3yr - $79.99 - Microcenter

I'm sitting at around $563.03. Do you folks have any suggestions on the pieces I have chosen at their price points? Are there better alternatives that I am missing and should consider? I still need some memory so any suggestions would be great on that. I plan on only getting 2 gb of ram now but do want to overclock at some point. Will having 4 1 gig sticks in the future be a bad idea?

Also would it be worth it to get a crossfire ready motherboard so I can upgrade in the future? In the long term it would add around $250 (100 more for a DFI x38 mobo and 150 for a second 4850 - the video card wouldn't be happening until next year so I'm not sure if it's worth it to prepare for a upgrade. Also I game at 1680x1050 so the extra boost to a 4870 and crossfire doesn't seem to have that much benefit at that resolution compared to if I gamed at 1920x1200.

Lastly, The power supply I was looking at was in prep for crossfire but mainly I was looking for a 500 watt that offered 80 plus. Those I've seen usually run for around 50-60 so I figure that at 70 that it would be something I could reuse on future builds that will cost a little more now.

I might be willing to spend a bit more to help the system survive longer but am unsure if it's worth it now to do it.

Sorry for the long read but any suggestions would be great and thank you in advance for taking your time out for a response.
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  1. If you wait long enough, I'm sure either the prices will go back up or the product will be discontinued.

    If you're talking about Radeon R800, yes, it'll be out in 2009.

    No one knows who will win the next round of the gpu battle. That's exactly why I have long decided on a single-card solution - I'm not bound to any gpu chipset (CF/SLI). I can pick up the next best card. If that's not enough power, there are dual-gpu cards.

    By the looks of it, Nehalem seems to be affordable ($300-ish per cpu) and overclockable. The unknown is the price of the X58, which should be higher than that of X48. Unless Intel comes up with P55. Once the overclockers show off their Nehalem results this fall, I may be kissing socket 775 goodbye.

    What I'm saying is the choice of a mobo depends on how long you're gonna keep it. For me, 3-6 months tops. If it's 2-5 years, you should invest in X38/X48.
  2. Though I am sure Akhilles KNOWS his stuff... I'm not sure how much advice you want to take from somebody whom re-builds his PC every 3-6 months. You sound like you are trying to achieve extreme value in your new system. There is nothing wrong with that!

    I do however agree with his suggestion about the X38/X48 motherboard chipsets. They are a great choice and support Crossfire if you wanted to use it.

    Also, your hard drive... I would suggest getting a Western Digital 640Gb drive (Dual 320 Gb Platters) instead of the 500Gb drive (Dual 250 Gb Platters), as the 320 Gb platters that WD is selling run faster, cooler, and quieter. By the way, the 640 Gb drive will cost you an extra $5 or $10 bucks... That's it!

    You may also want to look at for some of your parts. They sell a lot of older and / or refurbished equipment, but depending on what you are looking for you can get some great deals there! It might save you some money on the smaller components of your new PC. ( PSU, Fans, DVD-Rom, etc, etc...)

    I wish you luck!
    - Witt

    PS - Akhilles, When Nehalem comes out, you wanna sell me some of your old gear? :ange:
  3. i didn't realize microcenter had decent prices, but is it ok to buy from there locally?
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