How Do I "Balance" My New Build?

This is my first build and I have almost everything selected but I'm having trouble matching up the right Processor and Graphics Card. I'd like to just get the best I can for my budget but I don't know if I will waste money that way or make an unbalanced system. By the way, if I max out my budget on one I can't on the other. These are the possible choices:


Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 - 2.50GHz, 800MHz FSB, 2MB cache - $75

Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 - 2.80GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 3MB cache - $110

Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 - 3.0GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 6MB cache - $160


9800 GTX+ 512MB - $110 after Promos
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150314

Radeon 4870 512MB - $150
(No good deal yet. I'll wait for a price drop for this one.)

Radeon 4870 1GB - $160 after Promos
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125256

I know the 1GB looks great but I'm nervous about buying something that has only one review. I like to see how it goes first for others.

I don't want to have just one part slow down my whole machine. I think bottle-necking is the term.

The mobo is a Gigabyte EP45-DS3L, by the way.

Thanks guys.
4 answers Last reply
More about balance build
  1. To answer this question we will need to know what resolution you will be using as well as if you plan to overclock.

    If i had to recommend something not knowing these facts, I would go e7400/4870 512. If you are going to do a good bit of OC, then you can use the 5200 and get the 1GB.

    I don't think the 9800 GTX+ is really worth it at all any more.
  2. My resolution will be 1440x900. I will try to OC if I can, especially if I get the 5200 like you said.
  3. Adam86MD said:
    My resolution will be 1440x900. I will try to OC if I can, especially if I get the 5200 like you said.


    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130468 $129.99
    EVGA 512-P3-1150-TR GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - Retail
  4. At 1440x900 you should be fine with the 512, but the 1GB couldn't hurt.

    I think you would be happy with either the 5200/4870 1GB or the 7400/4870 512. Either way make sure you have included a good aftermarket cooler in your build to get the most out of either chip.
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