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How does this $300 build look

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September 28, 2008 5:34:59 PM

I was just finishing picking out the parts for my first AMD build and thought I'd get some opinions. I have not ordered any of the parts, so please feel free to make suggestions. Here are my chosen parts:

Item Product Price
Motherboard MSI K9N2GM-FD with nvidia 8200 chipset $60
Processor AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ 2.8GHZ Black Edition (ADO5400DSWOF) $66
Fan/Heatsink Online Stock Cooler (320300399897) $13
RAM OCZ SLI 2GB DDR2 800 (OCZ2N800SR2GK) $38
Hard Drive Seagate 320GB 7200RPM SATA-300 Hard Drive $0 (already have it)
Optical Drive DVD/RW SATA Drive (Black) $30
Case / PSU Generic $50
Video Card Onboard for now $0
Wireless Card Various Cards on Ebay $15
Total-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------$272

I scoured the internet for good deals. Some products are OEM, some are generic brands, and one or two are even used. There is no mail in rebates on these prices. So, let's hear your opinions. Is this a good budget computer? Is there anything I should change? All replies are welcome. (But please don't tell me how much better Intel is. I know already)

More about : 300 build

September 28, 2008 7:12:25 PM

its not that bad as you guess... i'm buying almost the same cpu and mobo because my pentium d 945 3.4 ghz at stock speed fried.... after i serach and read a lot of reviews this configuration its the best for the money. so sleep rest for these days because you have a good configuration.
September 28, 2008 7:20:28 PM

Thanks for replying.

This is going to be my computer to overclock and mess around with. I have a 14" laptop with a Geforce 8400M GS video card that I've overclock quite a few times. (Each time ended in mass overheating) But now I'll have a very overclockable desktop at a semi-expendable price.
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September 28, 2008 8:04:42 PM

Okay here is what I'd consider:
CPU/Mobo combo - $157!! x2 5400+ BE and Latest onboard GPU (3300) which is way better than the nVidia 8200 chipset!
4th combo down from the top
BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ Brisbane 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core black edition Processor - Retail

Case/PSU - $100 - $40 MIR = $60!!! Minimum I'd spend on a case/PSU combo. The PSU has 27A combined on 12V rails. It also has 1 6pin PCI-e power connector (must have for better GPU's later). The PSU is >80% efficient, so you won't spend too much on the electricity! If your going to upgrade to a much heavier GPU later, than you'll need to consider something else, but under your current budget and options, this would be far better than any other $50 generic psu/case combo.
Antec NSK4480 Black/ Silver 0.8mm cold-rolled steel construction ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply - Retail

Memory - $45 - $25 MIR = $20!!! Can't beat this price and performance w/CAS4 DDR2 800mHz (4-4-4-15 speeds).
OCZ SLI-Ready 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

DVD Burner - $26 shipped!! Retail version, so you'll get the necessary software to read/burn DVD's!!!
LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail

CPU HSF - $17 shipped! Basic CPU HSF no frills. I'd rather spend $10 more on a Cooler Master 64 pro, but to try and keep costs down I've listed one of many that can work.
COOLER MASTER CK8-8JD2B-0L-GP 80mm CPU Cooler - Retail

Total ~$344 - $65 MIR's = $279!!! Not too bad!!! You can decide, but for your current budget and trying to to skimp in the important parts (PSU) than this is what I'd consider.
September 28, 2008 8:33:34 PM

both urs and the proposed build are great for the budget...if you are planning to get a videocard later on, then I would go with lunyone's build, because of the better psu...If OCing, the I would go for a slightly better cooler (which dont break the bank...would only be like $10 more or so)
September 28, 2008 8:42:51 PM

lunyone said:
Okay here is what I'd consider:
CPU/Mobo combo - $157!! x2 5400+ BE and Latest onboard GPU (3300) which is way better than the nVidia 8200 chipset!
4th combo down from the top
BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX A2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5400+ Brisbane 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core black edition Processor - Retail

Case/PSU - $100 - $40 MIR = $60!!! Minimum I'd spend on a case/PSU combo. The PSU has 27A combined on 12V rails. It also has 1 6pin PCI-e power connector (must have for better GPU's later). The PSU is >80% efficient, so you won't spend too much on the electricity! If your going to upgrade to a much heavier GPU later, than you'll need to consider something else, but under your current budget and options, this would be far better than any other $50 generic psu/case combo.
Antec NSK4480 Black/ Silver 0.8mm cold-rolled steel construction ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply - Retail

Memory - $45 - $25 MIR = $20!!! Can't beat this price and performance w/CAS4 DDR2 800mHz (4-4-4-15 speeds).
OCZ SLI-Ready 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

DVD Burner - $26 shipped!! Retail version, so you'll get the necessary software to read/burn DVD's!!!
LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 20X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail

CPU HSF - $17 shipped! Basic CPU HSF no frills. I'd rather spend $10 more on a Cooler Master 64 pro, but to try and keep costs down I've listed one of many that can work.
COOLER MASTER CK8-8JD2B-0L-GP 80mm CPU Cooler - Retail

Total ~$344 - $65 MIR's = $279!!! Not too bad!!! You can decide, but for your current budget and trying to to skimp in the important parts (PSU) than this is what I'd consider.


+1, I like very much. Couldn't have done it better myself.
September 28, 2008 8:56:47 PM

^+1 lunyone good build, very upgradeable. I'd go with a cheaper SATA OEM burner and dl the software.
September 28, 2008 10:21:37 PM

Thanks for the replies.

I think I will take your advice on the PSU even though I hate MIR's.

The only big concern that I had with your parts is the motherboard. I thought that Biostar was a bad brand. I've always been told to avoid ECS, ASrock, and Biostar. Would I get lower performance with a biostar mobo or a low reliability? Wouldn't that sorta undermine the better chipset? The me if I'm wrong.
September 28, 2008 10:43:30 PM

I haven't had any issues with Biostar mobo's. Their TForce mobo's are the best ones that they make. The regular vanilla (non-TForce) ones are the ones that I don't buy. The TForce series are made for more of an enthusiast type of buyer and thus have more options on them. You can decide for yourself what is good for you, but read reviews (newegg reviews are hit and miss) before you buy.

Here's a quote from an OC'ing website. Not necessarially gospel, but might give you an idea about TForce series mobo's.
"The Biostar Tforce BIOS has just about every setting that you'd ever want to change. I have the TF720, and I can set my Vdimm to anything from like 1.75-2.35v, I can adjust all of the timings manually. The Vcore on mine goes from .8 to 1.65v (I think... I havn't gone anywhere NEAR that high though)... heck, the Tforce series actually has Memtest built into the BIOS... how cool is that."
Link to quote. It's half-way down the page, written by "Logan".
September 28, 2008 11:27:39 PM

I've always had good luck with Biostar motherboards, granted they're not the high end, but they get the job done.
October 1, 2008 5:18:53 PM

I absolutely love Biostar's Tforce mobos...they are great quality mobos for a great price...I've had 3 Biostar mobos in the past (2 Tforce ones, 1 regular one) and none of them have ever given me any trouble whatsoever...
!