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$850 AM3 PII 720 System?

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March 4, 2009 12:11:33 AM

I'm looking to build a cheap (~$850) system for audio recording, light gaming, and general use. I'm planning to cannibalize a few parts from my old Dell. Please let me know how I can improve my build, save money, and if you think these parts will work! (E.g., are Dell parts proprietary and likely to short out the entire system? Do I have enough power?)

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AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail [$144.99]

GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail [$124.99]

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail [$79.99]

Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM [$129.99]


80GB SATA Hard Drive (from old Dell) [$0]

250GB Western Digital External Hard Drive (from old Dell) [$0]

EVGA 896-P3-1260-AR GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card [$179.99]

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail [$39.99]

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-SKN2-GP Black / Silver Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail [$49.99]


Lite-On DVD+/-RW Drive (from old Dell) [$0]

SABRENT CRW-UINB 68-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader w/ USB 2.0 Port supports SDHC/VISTA - Retail [$12.99]

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS (from old Dell) [$0]

Presonus Inspire FireWire Audio Interface (from old Dell) [$0]

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM [$99.99]

Microsoft Windows XP Professional (from old Dell) [$0]

Samsung 23” 16x9 Monitor (from old Dell) [$0]

Speaker System (from old Dell) [$0]

TOTAL $865

More about : 850 am3 pii 720 system

March 4, 2009 5:33:59 AM

Thats a good solid build .

A potential improvement is to buy GTX 260 216 which is a bit more powerful
OR
an ATI 4870 1 gig card [which gives you an the option to add a second gfx card later ]


Also dont be surprised if your Dell OS wont install on the new machine .
March 4, 2009 12:54:05 PM

+1 on the Dell OS, it most likely will not install on anything but a Dell system.
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March 4, 2009 5:20:02 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Thats a good solid build .

A potential improvement is to buy GTX 260 216 which is a bit more powerful
OR
an ATI 4870 1 gig card [which gives you an the option to add a second gfx card later ]


Also dont be surprised if your Dell OS wont install on the new machine .


@OP:
If you get the HD 4870 1GB and care about the Crossfire option then I'd recommend a Corsair 750TX or PC Power & Cooling 750W. Those are top quality PSUs and have the 4 PCI-E connectors and enough amps for two of those cards.

I think you'd be happier with a WD6401AALS disk (100 MB/s average read/write rate) than with the WD10EADS (average 75 to 80). On the other hand, the WD10EADS is more environmentally correct and costs less per GB. BTW, it's only $90 at Newegg, not $130, so get it there if you do want it.

March 5, 2009 4:38:15 PM

new sytem new os, reformat old drives after migration of old files, that my 2 cents worth
March 5, 2009 5:10:57 PM

jumpnice said:
new sytem new os, reformat old drives after migration of old files, that my 2 cents worth


You could reuse the CD-key from your Dell but borrow a fresh copy of XP-Pro from a friend to use for the install... I think that's legal.
March 5, 2009 5:38:03 PM

Why do you need a 1 TB drive on top of the others you have? imo you should cut 50 dollars and get a 500GB and maybe shoot for a better component.

PS you can tear apart an external and make it an internal.

If you shoot for a 2nd 250Gb HD you might be able to get a Quad core phenom instead.
March 5, 2009 11:44:31 PM

I need a fair bit of HD space for audio recording. From the articles I've read, the X3 720 is the 'sweet spot' in terms of cost/benefit, among the Phenom II's today. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me (I'm new at this!). My recording software (Cubase) is very CPU-intensive, but I'm not sure it's optimized so as to benefit greatly from the upgrade to an X4.

Thanks for all the good advice thus far; I have made some revisions:

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail [$144.99]

GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail [$124.99]

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail [$69.99]

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM [$119.99]

80GB SATA Hard Drive (from old Dell) [$0]

250GB Western Digital External Hard Drive (from old Dell) [$0]

SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail [$189.99]

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply – Retail [$69.99]

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-SKN2-GP Black / Silver Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail [$49.99]

Lite-On DVD+/-RW Drive (from old Dell) [$0]

SABRENT CRW-UINB 68-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader w/ USB 2.0 Port supports SDHC/VISTA - Retail [$12.99]

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS (from old Dell) [$0]

Presonus Inspire FireWire Audio Interface (from old Dell) [$0]

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM [$99.99]

Samsung 23” 16x9 Monitor (from old Dell) [$0]

Speaker System (from old Dell) [$0]

$885

I'm a little over-budget, but I think the parts are higher quality now and leave more room to upgrade. Any suggestions to improve this build further?
March 6, 2009 12:06:50 AM

I can't improve that if you're already over-budget. Very nice build.

If you want Crossfire later you can do it with that card and the 650TX, but it will cost you $6 plus shipping for two of these adapters:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812887001
It may actually be cheaper to get the 750TX for $85 after rebate, and it's more powerful too.
If you don't care about Crossfire then the 650TX is perfect.

!