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First time builder. Tight budget

Last response: in Systems
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August 13, 2008 5:52:46 AM

New Intel Build as of 8/13 12pm est

Ok guys so here's the deal. I have some experience with computers mostly on the software end but i have chaged graphics cards, PSU's, and RAM, and from what i am reading it sounds like i can handle making a home built PC. So heres what im tying to do, make a computer that has decent room for improvements and can handle a MMO with the minimum specs i posted, and probably Diablo 3/SC 2. Given what i know about computers these specs are relatively low and i should be able to beat them pretty easy.

Note: I dont plan on overclocking or anything of that sorts just basic components that come as they are.

Min Specs:
· 2.5 GHz P4 (single core) processor or equivalent
· 2 Gigabyte RAM
· A 128 MB Video Card, with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
· At least 15 GB of hard drive space

Budget:
$700 - $800

Here is the build i came up with. I'm hoping you guys can make sure its all compatible, see if i have room for expansion (crossfire graphic cards, ect.), and/or suggest components that are better that still keep me in the price range and which MOBO to go with.

The Build


Case: Sunbeam Transformer ATX Full Tower $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811166040

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX $120 - $20 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139006

MOBO: ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131299

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz $170
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115037

Graphics Card: ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 $188 - $30 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121253&Tpk=4850

RAM: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $87 - $20 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148262

Opti Drive: LG DVD R/W SATA Interface $26
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136149

OS: Vista Ultimate 64bit (cheap from school)

Grand Total after rebates $801+ shipping & tax(don't think i pay that on newegg)

So the big question will it work??

Thanks in advance for your help.
Mike
August 13, 2008 11:18:35 AM

Will it work? probably ..... if your ram is compatible with your motherboard. Best to check the motherboard's web site to make sure its on the list.

Here is some recommended reading before you build your first computer:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-gpu-upgrade,192...

Why did you choose to go with an AMD ...... Intel offers more bang for your buck (overclock better) and the Intel line has more upgrade options then the AMD. Currently the best AMD CPU you can get is a 9950 2.5 Ghz Quad Core Vs. the best Intel 775 QX9770 3.2 Ghz Quad Core which at stock speeds run about 50% faster. The Intel wolfsdale below is as fast as the AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+....but it runs cooler thanks to its 45 nm architecture.

Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 Wolfdale 2.53GHz 3MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor (119.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard (139.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OR a 2.0 PCIe x 1 solution

ASUS P5QL PRO LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard (94.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Heat is a bigger issue with AMD as they tend to run hotter then the Intel CPUs. With the 45nm wolfdale you wont need an aftermarket heatsink. Unless you plan to overclock, the stock fan is fine. But, If your dead set on getting an AMD look into getting an aftermarket cpu heatsink and fan.

This is one of the highest rated Heatsinks (also happens to be half the cost of others):

XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler (36.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Best to get the bracket for mounting this too ....as many people have complained about the push pin set up it comes with.

Its difficult to match a video card to your set up not knowing the size of your monitor, but the 4850 is a good choice as is the 9800 gtx. If you are running anything larger then 22" then I would suggest the 4870 or 9800gx2. Personally I prefer Nvidia ....main because their drives seem to be more mature then the ATI ones.

Crossfire and SLI work ......but the performance increase (usually around 20-30%) comes at a premium:more expensive motherboard and twice as many PCIe cards, so they are not a good value. Another issues is that not all games are optimized for Crossfire and SLI.

The last thing I noted was that you got a 250gig hard drive..... for 10-20 $ more you could have twice the capacity.

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Good luck and have Fun,
3lvis
August 13, 2008 11:32:06 AM

Yep you want the Intel build, but scrap the crappy PSU and stick with the Corsair. Wattage means very little. The quality of the juice is far more important.

3lvis hit most of the other points.

You should add this bracket for the Xigmatek:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I understand the 500 Gig WD HD is not so good, maybe stick with the Seagate. WD rules otherwise.

Make a new clean parts list and we'll add anything else you might be missing ;) 
Related resources
August 13, 2008 4:32:17 PM

Updated the build. its now an Intel build.

3lvis:
the reason i went AMD is because it was cheaper for the 3gHz but the more i read the more i learned im better off with intel so its changed now. Also nice read learned quite a bit. But how can i tell the clock speed of a CPU because its saying to get full potential out of the high end cards (8000 series+, i consider the 4859 in that range) you need a speed of 2600 - 3000 mHz. Also about the HDD i saw that but trying to cut as much as i can i knocked it down. if i can scrape up the extra bit i will order the bigger Seagate. As it is i don't fill my 80 gig on this comp.

Thanks for telling me how to check if the RAM is compatible. I checked, it is

Prox:
Now that bracket attaches to the back of the MOBO so i can screw in the CPU fan insead of the pins that the fan comes with?? Ill probably pick that up. or is it not needed if im using the stock fan that comes with the CPU?.

Thanks guys for the help. If you guys can just check if the new intel build works now. i think im about ready to order
August 13, 2008 8:17:17 PM

You can save a bit on the case and psu if you like, newegg has some great antec + psu combos

this 4850 has better cooling for the about the same price after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127370

this mobo is a better overclocker and cheaper but no raid
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138123

better ram for the same price
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146731

western digital HDs are supposed to be better, not so sure about that though

to be honest though your probably best off waiting a week or so for the nda lift and hearing what the actual requirements for WAR are, the system you built is more suited to playing a FPS then a MMO.
August 13, 2008 9:15:01 PM

The bracket is for the Xigmatek cooler that 3lvis listed. It would not work with a stock cooler.
August 15, 2008 2:03:25 PM

On a budget, AMD offers a better price/performance ratio at stock speeds than Intel. Intel is the clear choice in two situations, either you're going to OC or you're going to buy top-of-the-line. Now I know everyone around here loves Intel, and justifiably so since all the regular posters seems to be OCers. But if he specifically states that he's not going to OC and that he's on a tight budget (which I'm guessing makes the $1500 QX9770 irrelevant), why would you try to convince him not to go with AMD?
August 17, 2008 4:22:11 AM

I have nothing against the AMD build. If you can exceed this performance level at this price, go for it :) 
August 17, 2008 9:46:00 AM

1. If you are very very limited on budget and still want intel system, hmmm...E7200 should be your choice. E8400/8500 is meant for dualcore mid budget (at least for me).
2. Get Corsair 550W if you are planning only with 1 GPU.
3. Seagate 500GB 32MB or WD 640GB is the best choice right now.
4. I use also those mushkin DDR2 800 2x2GB. It is cheaper and has the same quality as corsair.

Off topic :
1. AMD is for someone who loves to stick with his stock speed and has a very limited budget.
2. Intel is for ones who loves OC and wants a powerful system but willing to pay more.
August 18, 2008 2:45:28 PM

Swap out the E8400 for an X2 5600+ 2.9GHz, swap the P45 mobo for this Foxconn A7DA-S A 790GX with 128MB of DDR3 side port memory, and drop the PSU down to a OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W.

At stock speeds you won't notice a difference (and in GPU limited games the side port memory may actually perform a little better), and you're spending $125 less that you can either stick in your pocket or use to upgrade the GPU to an HD4870 ($260 after MIR) and still come out a couple dollars cheaper.
!