Working on a new gaming system...component ideas

Trying to build a mid-range/budget gaming has come to the point that my old machine is showing its age and can no longer play new games on the most basic of settings. (AMD 3400+-Socket 754, 1gb, 6800GT)

Anyway, trying to build a rig for about 500-650 dollars. I have a monitor, keyboard, power supply, might savage a few DVD drives, speakers etc.

My thoughts so far:

AMD Phenom II 720 BE (150 dollars). Appears to have the most potential of the budget CPUs.
4 GB GSkill DDR2 1066 (55 dollars). Cheap, decent newegg reviews.
Don't have any idea regarding the motherboard. Whether to find a AM3 or go with AM2+.
640GB Hard Drive. (70 dollar range)
Looking for a decent Case on the cheap. A large-spacious case with a tray would be wonderful.
260 GTX or 260 GTX 216 Core or Radeon 4870 are options. What is the best card in the 150-230 range?

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  1. I think you are on the right track.
    Am3 currently is not faster than AM2+ and probably wont ever be . the RAM is more expensive to so if I was making this choice I would stick with AM2 and DDR2 because its better value .

    Motherboard should be a 780 chipset if you never plan to crossfire , or 790 series if you do .
    I like ASUS and Gigabyte best for consistently high quality .

    If you buy the gtx 260 your upgrade path is SLI and you will need a mb with an nnVidia chipset instead .

    if you are not considering Xfire or SLI then buy which ever is cheapest of a gtx 260 216 or a 4870 1gigabyte . Brand is not so important , but google for reviews of specific gfx cards .
  2. Looking through appears
    the cheapest Radeon 4870 512MB stands around 165-170 dollars, GTX 260 216 Core is about 209ish while the Radeon 4870 is around 220.

    In the scheme of things, prices being equal, which is the best card? The GTX 260 Core 216 appears to edge out the Radeon 4870 1gb by a bit....but I wonder whether the SLI/Crossfire scores are different.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment.

    had to replace the link, didnt work, heres some reviews on gtx 260 and 4870

    actually 4870 512/1gb is over the gtx 260 in most places but, i dont know what games thats on, it just shows many resolutions.

    the 4870 512mb card is pretty cheap for its performance.
  4. Am2+ mobo's support all AM3 cpu's right?

    if thats the case then,

    usually choose asus on amd over gigabyte, but, this was a pretty cheap board.
  5. Yeah Gigabyte's, Biostar and Asus's do for sure.

    Just ask for them to do a Bios update in the comments section incase the mobo doesn't have the latest BIOS a la carte.
  6. That's a crossfire board, correct?

    The 260 216 and 1gb 4870 seem to go back and forth. It would likely be wise for me to simply find the cheapest model.
  7. SLI boards are usualy more expensive than a xfire board. Not only do the 4870 1gb and gtx 260 go back n forth, the 4870 512mb is right there evenly matched with a gtx 260 but, about 1% difference and the 4870 cost less.

    Sapphire 4870 512 is around $170.00
  8. just curious.....I play on a older widescreen LCD of 19 or 21 inches. The resolutions I would play at would either by 1680 or 1280. Not the wild 1920 that they test at....which card is better for that sitution.

    Additionally, is the CPU the good value choice? Or should I be looking into a cheap quad.
  9. The PII 720 is like an alternative for the i7core, its a really nice cpu so your good there.

    The best choice for a 1280 or 1024 would be a 4850-4830,

    for around 1680x1050, it really comes down to which one's the cheapest of the two,

    i'd give it to the sapphire 4870 1gb.

    many comparisons have gtx 260 winning every game and many comparisons have 4870 1gb winning, there both about equal at the res, just comes down to if you want nvidia and would like to sli later, which would cost more or, crossfire, which cost less.
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