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1st build, looking for advice on VALUE!!!

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April 28, 2009 4:01:21 PM

OK guys, here goes my first post...be gentle. ;) 

Looking to build my 1st system to be able to play WoW...and I'm trying to be efficient/frugal.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP BUDGET RANGE: < $500? I don't really know, this isn't a huge sticking point...looking for best value mostly

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Main reason for upgrade is to be able to play WoW without lagging out, my current system is an HP Pavilion 9870 1.3 GHz Pentium 4, GeForce 3 Ti200, 512 MB Ram...I've been making do with minimum video settings, but want to be able to actually do stuff now, surf the internet, other.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse,speakers, OS (actually, I might need advice for OS (using XP currently) if I end up having issues, but skip for now)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, ncix.com, tigerdiredt.com, microcenter.com...I haven't actually checked any but newegg yet, but I plan to

PARTS PREFERENCES: not especially picky here as long as get the best value, but probably more familiar with intel

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe...I would not be opposed to trying, but not a big deal either way...if it helps get value, then sure SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Ummm...I don't know, sorry...go for value please...I did read some people don't care for SLI

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I've been using1024x768 forever, I really don't know what the difference is, feel free to make a suggestion

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Like I said, I'm upgrading mostly to be able to play World of Warcraft. I'm sure I could just get an upgrade for an AGP card and my game would run a little better, but I didn't really want to spend money upgrading outdated technology for something I still wouldn't be totally happy with...my cpu or memory might be the bottleneck too...then more $$ on outdated technology. I've had my CPU for well over 5 years and only updated the graphics card and replaced the hard drive, so I don't think I'll need parts that are pathed for upgrades...although not against that if they are the best value.

Below is what I've found so far to help give a general idea of what I've been looking at so far. This is probably overkill for what I actually need though, so take a look and give me advice please.

Processor + Motherboard Combo: Combo Deal Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail + GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail = $69.99+$79.99-$10 MIR=$139.99

Memory: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail = $52.99-$25 MIR= $27.99

Case: RAIDMAX Tornado ATX-238WU Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail =$39.99-$10 MIR=$29.99

Power supply: BFG Tech LS SERIES LS-550 550W Continuous @ 40°C ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.8 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail =$79.99-$20 MIR=$59.99

CPU Cooling: I'm not sure if I need this or just use the stock fan that comes with a processor, let me know.

Video Card: GIGABYTE GV-R467D3-512I Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail = $79.99-$30 MIR= $49.99

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM = $69.99

CD/DVD Burner: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM = $25.99

Monitor: Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2500:1 - Retail = $159.99

Total= $658.91-$85 MIR-$10 Combo=$563.91

That's where I'm at right now. Please at least let me know if I made any horrible mistakes (like will everything work together correctly cpu + motherboard + memory together?). Also, if this is way too overkill for my purposes, let me know. Lastly, please suggest any tweaks or changes you would do for this instead of what I have. Also, if you could, please include why you're suggesting a change. Like what I'm giving up if you suggest something with a lower price/quality/upgradability, and what I gain if a higher price/quality/upgradability.

Thanks for any help!
-TopGun

P.S.- I do prefer a blue/black color for tower/motherboard/heatsink/video card/etc. over some alternative at same price, but that is way, way down on priority list.

More about : 1st build advice

April 28, 2009 4:15:08 PM

I would go for a P43 motherboard and 4770 if that fits in your budget, which it should just about after rebate.
April 28, 2009 4:30:25 PM

Look at the Sapphire 4770 or the 4850.

Case: Antec 300

and the 400cx corsair psu will work just fine + the Gigabyte P43 motherboard.
Related resources
April 28, 2009 4:31:00 PM

looks like you beat me to it world.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
April 28, 2009 4:57:05 PM

Good choices for what you want to do. The Gigabyte P43 MB is a worth upgrade.

For your black/blue color preference: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 Black /Blue $40

Monitor Resolution - since you're still using a CRT monitor I'd recommend starting to use 1280x1024 resolution now and in the future for your standard screen size. Your new hardware choices will easily support 1600x1200 resolution during gaming. 1024x768 vs 1600x1200 = more virtual world on screen playing WoW.

Overclocking is easy to do. Even with the stock Intel CPU cooler you'll be able to bump up the CPU a bit - in the area of 2.8Ghz without the CPU temps climbing too high.
With an aftermarket CPU cooler you can run your CPU higher and still have the CPU temps under control. XIGMATEK HDT1283 w/retention bracket or the Zerotherm Zen 120
a b Ý World of Warcraft
April 28, 2009 5:12:26 PM

Excellent choices. The HD4670 should be sufficient. For its intended purposes, you will be pleased with your selections.
Now, some other considerations...
If you want to spend another $30, the 4770 described first by Helloworld would be a step up, especially if you go to a higher resolution.
For the sake of future upgrades, the mobo WR2 suggested has more features and overclocks better.
The BFG PSU you chose is an older model, not the new one that is currently getting excellent technical reviews. It doesn't even have Active PFC (note the voltage switch) so should probably be avoided. Antec, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, Corsair, or Enermax would all be better choices. The Antec Earthwatts 430W PSU is $55 at Newegg right now.
April 28, 2009 5:24:50 PM

I'd still prefer the 400cx corsair on a 4670 IMO. which enough amps it has, it's been tested and benchmarked (Sli 8800gts's).
April 28, 2009 5:44:58 PM

getting split rails on a low end psu isnt something i would recommend, you wont be getting the full provided amps it shows.

the 400cx is $49.99 and has 30a on 1 single rail
April 28, 2009 6:19:27 PM

@whitefang, yeah but it's a basiq, which means a no buy.

edit: and it will not have 59A combined.
April 28, 2009 6:55:55 PM

Thanks for the replies so far guys.

Nice catch on the tower WR2...I saw that before, but it was more expensive at the time...they must have just lowered the price today. I changed it in the link.

1) OK, so what is the difference between these 2 P43 motherboards?


A) GIGABYTE GA-EP43-DS3LR LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail =$84.99

B) GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail =$79.99

Also, is Gigabyte just the most trusted brand? I ask because there are other P43 boards for cheaper: Asus=$60.75, MSi=$58.50, and ASRock=$43.99.


2) Looks like a debate here...please vote/weigh in...contenders are:

A) BFG Tech LS SERIES LS-550 550W Continuous @ 40°C ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.8 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail =$79.99-$20=$59.99

B) Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail =$54.99

C) Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail =$54.99

D) CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail =$49.99-$10 MIR=$39.99

Obviously, we should be able to eliminate either B or C from consideration (being the same price, one has to be the better value). I don't really know the difference between the others, so some kind of consensus...or at least opinion would be great. Thanks guys.

3) Next, I don't know where the 4770 fits in the hierarchy of what beats what, but I'll link what I'm considering so far. Again, a vote or opinion would be cool please.


A) HIS Hightech H487FN512P Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail =$154.99-$15 MIR=$139.99

B) SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail =$119.99-$20 MIR=$99.99 (might also have -$10 promo code if before 4/30 bring price to $89.99)

C) SAPPHIRE 100277L Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail =$109.99-$10 MIR=$99.99

D) HIS Hightech H483FN512P Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail =$86.99-$10 MIR=$76.99

E) GIGABYTE GV-R467D3-512I Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail =$79.99-$30 MIR=$49.99

Somehow I had not picked E) for my original calculations. I will include it up top. Also, I just picked the best looking/best price...I have no idea about the brand names. There may be better brands at the same prices, but I don't know. Also, I just wanted to include this next link as the best looking card overall...based on my blue preference. Sadly, price is too high for it's category though. :( 

F) HIS Hightech H483QS512P Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

4)One last thing for this post as there seems to be some disagreement...is my tower OK, or should I go with Antec 300 and why?

Thank you very much responders!
-TG
April 28, 2009 7:11:38 PM

I was in the same dilemma and came up with this rig and its running flawlessly. Stick with the E5200 as it overclocks well. I'm also using the G31-ES2L and it works great. I can get to 3.3 mhz overclock on this board with stock cooling and stay at 40 degrees idle and goes up to about 44-46 and half to full load. You can upgrade to the P43 mobo, but if you don't plan on upgrading, I'd stick with the ES2L and put that extra $30 into the vid card. I'm using the Corsair 400 cx and antec 300 which is a really great combo. You can't hear your computer running at all. All this will get you to about $400. You can then spend the last $100 on a nice vid card, the new 4770 just came out today and it looks real fresh.
April 28, 2009 7:13:32 PM

Wow, talk about living in the dark ages :)  (1024x768).

Personally, I'd give up your steadfast CRT and Drop $150-$200 on a nice 19/22 inch LCD. All the parts you listed are waaay overkill for WOW at 1024X768. You won't get much value out of your parts if you aren't using them to their full advantage.
April 28, 2009 7:24:54 PM

The boards, i dont see much difference in them at all... everything is about the same??hmm..


im still sticking with the 400cx as long as you stay in the 4850 range. IMO 4850 would be the max in gpu i would go on a 400cx corsair.,

as for card, trying not to bother your budget so heres a combo to mabye lower some pricings

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
UD3L + E5200


Picking of card, now i've seen that WoW only uses 512mb of your GPU so either one of those cards will run it just fine.

What ever fits in your budget.

As for case, probably something that is more reliable on getting airflow to your components is the reason why it was changed.

Antec 300 is a nice buy.


@ Head, im sure he notices that but, theres nothing he can do with the $500 only for a rig and not the monitor just yet.

It will be ok for now and work just fine but, consider a monitor when you get the money, 20"+

April 28, 2009 7:57:28 PM

p00p00head said:
Wow, talk about living in the dark ages :)  (1024x768).

Personally, I'd give up your steadfast CRT and Drop $150-$200 on a nice 19/22 inch LCD. All the parts you listed are waaay overkill for WOW at 1024X768. You won't get much value out of your parts if you aren't using them to their full advantage.


Agreed, I missed the fact your using a CRT. You should be concerned about your monitor if you want to take advantage of the $500 your spending. I would definitely make that your next purchase if you can't fit into your current budget.
April 28, 2009 8:12:10 PM

I think it's pretty reasonable to add a new monitor to the mix and keep it around $500.

Hypothetical build #1:

$150 for monitor (I usually buy monitors in store as they cost about the same and you get to see up close and no shipping cost)

$102 for E5200 + g31 Mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$65 after MIR RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$25 for Corsair 4 gigs
$25 for DVD ROM
$70 for 640 gig Seagate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$77 after MIR for Radeon 4830
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total ~ $489 (excludes shipping/tax)

Personally, I would rather have a less overclockable build and a mediocre PSU than a 1024x768 gaming experience. Also, there's absolutely no need for him to overclock if he's going to play WOW with a 4830 + e5200 even at max res/settings.

fullmetall said:


@ Head, im sure he notices that but, theres nothing he can do with the $500 only for a rig and not the monitor just yet.

It will be ok for now and work just fine but, consider a monitor when you get the money, 20"+


What is the point in making the build now then? He builds a $500 dollar screamer of a machine now but with that monitor, he's not much better off than if he were to build a $200 piece of crap. Any hunk of junk PC can play games at 1024x768. If he did wait to get a new monitor later to go with his new comp, why not just wait till he has enough funds for BOTH a new monitor and computer and build his PC then. That way he'll get the latest and cheapest parts.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
April 28, 2009 8:14:33 PM

Match the video card with an appropriate power supply:
HD 4870 and BFG LS-550
4850 / 4770 / 4830 / 4670 with Earthwatts 430 or Corsair 400CX

Asus P5QL PRO P43 @ $87 is a good board. Either the Asus or the 2 Gigabyte boards will be a good choice. Look for the best deal.

Go with whatever case you like best - look for the lower price.
April 28, 2009 8:16:18 PM

Nice find on the cpu/motherboard combo Fullmetall, especially if there isn't a difference between the 2 Gigabyte P43 boards. This pushed me to change the original config. to include that deal. I'm sure I'd run OK with the previous board, but...meh, why not?

About the monitor situation...I guess you don't miss what you never knew. My monitor has always seemed adequate to me, and it's not that I don't have the budget...I just figured, why change what works? Also, what the heck am I going to do with all this extra stuff lying around?

If you guys are saying it will be a whole new, incredible experience...well, I'm not totally against it, but I have done no research on monitors. Is there one that's the best of the cheap ones? It's sounding like this may influence the GFX card choice depending if I stay with CRT or go LCD and what size...which may in turn influence the PSU choice.

I think I will probably stay with the Coolermaster tower as it's $20 cheaper, and looks pretty cool too. At least unless you guys think I'll be having problems with it that I won't with the Antec 300.

Again, really appreciate this guys. It's been very helpful so far.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
April 28, 2009 8:32:39 PM

If you're happy with your CRT for now you can take your time and shop around - maybe visit a local store and check out the widescreen LCDs on displays.
Here is a website you can check to find good deals on monitors: dealigg.com/cat-best-price-monitors
April 28, 2009 8:34:29 PM

WR2 and P00P00Head, you guys ninja'd me. I posted that last before I saw both of your posts. I'm leaving it up instead of editing it because I think it is still relevant.

Having said that, POOPOOHead, that case and PSU seems like a good deal and looks sweet too. My only concern though would be with the PSU. I've read that you shouldn't skimp on this and to buy it separate from tower. Anybody else have any thoughts about this?

Also, fine...if you guys can help me find a monitor I'll get one too. I better like it a lot better though....or else. :fou:  Actually, I can probably try out someone else's to see if I'll like it first. Build as if I was getting one though please as I think I probably will.

WR2, helpful info about the PSU and GFX cards, thanks.

Keep it coming guys!
-TG
April 28, 2009 8:34:38 PM

TopGun said:
Nice find on the cpu/motherboard combo Fullmetall, especially if there isn't a difference between the 2 Gigabyte P43 boards. This pushed me to change the original config. to include that deal. I'm sure I'd run OK with the previous board, but...meh, why not?

About the monitor situation...I guess you don't miss what you never knew. My monitor has always seemed adequate to me, and it's not that I don't have the budget...I just figured, why change what works? Also, what the heck am I going to do with all this extra stuff lying around?

If you guys are saying it will be a whole new, incredible experience...well, I'm not totally against it, but I have done no research on monitors. Is there one that's the best of the cheap ones? It's sounding like this may influence the GFX card choice depending if I stay with CRT or go LCD and what size...which may in turn influence the PSU choice.

I think I will probably stay with the Coolermaster tower as it's $20 cheaper, and looks pretty cool too. At least unless you guys think I'll be having problems with it that I won't with the Antec 300.

Again, really appreciate this guys. It's been very helpful so far.


Well, like I said before, there really is no point in getting all these fancy parts if you're not going to take advantage of it with a decent monitor. If 1024x768 gaming is all you know and all you wish to know, well then...congratulations, you can get away with a $200 build.

Choosing a case is mostly based on your own personal preference. The key is to organize your wires well on the inside so that air flow is good from front bottom to back top.

Right now, a real sweet spot for budget builders is the 19 or 22 inch widescreen monitors. You can read more about response times, contrast ratio, resolutions, etc etc but honestly for the most part, it makes very little difference. The jump from your current monitor to a 19 or 22 incher on the other hand is significant.

Finally, If you can spend more than $500, then I'd suggest the p43 mobo like everyone else and a better power supply to my before mentioned build.

Edit:

Heh, you ninja'd me too. If you can afford it, then yes, I highly recommend that you get a better PSU. I'm partial to the Antec Earthwatt PSU's as that's what I use but you should look at your total system power output before you make your PSU decision. Most PSU's are most efficient when they're using half their total Wattage(i.e. your system uses 250 watts so a 500Watt psu is good for that). Also, if you're going to replace that 500 watt PSU from the case/psu combo i suggested, I'd just stay away from that combo completely and get a Antec 300 + PSU. Monitor Recommendations are hard since you need to view them up close and personal. Just go to a Best Buy/Fry's/Costco and pick one up there.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
April 28, 2009 8:37:57 PM

The reviews I've read of Antec Basiq have not been bad. It's a low-end PSU, but not a bad one. I think I'd choose option A) on the PSU though.
On the video card, go with E) if you don't think you'll upgrade your monitor any time soon (card prices could be a lot lower by the time you do), otherwise C).
If you get the Antec case, it will have better build quality than the Coolermaster, and you can (at your leisure) replace the fans in it with blue LED models that will show a subdued blue glow through the grill.

April 28, 2009 9:07:13 PM

TopGun said:
WR2 and P00P00Head, you guys ninja'd me. I posted that last before I saw both of your posts. I'm leaving it up instead of editing it because I think it is still relevant.

Having said that, POOPOOHead, that case and PSU seems like a good deal and looks sweet too. My only concern though would be with the PSU. I've read that you shouldn't skimp on this and to buy it separate from tower. Anybody else have any thoughts about this?

Also, fine...if you guys can help me find a monitor I'll get one too. I better like it a lot better though....or else. :fou:  Actually, I can probably try out someone else's to see if I'll like it first. Build as if I was getting one though please as I think I probably will.

WR2, helpful info about the PSU and GFX cards, thanks.

Keep it coming guys!
-TG


I would recommend getting a good case and psu because generally I feel those two parts stay with you the longest during the upgrading process. Antec 300 + Corsair 400cx comes out to $90 total and I guarantee that it'll be the best $90 you spent on this $500 system later on down the line. I'd consider getting bigger a psu if you plan on running xfire or sli down the line. As for monitor, this LCD is mad fresh and definitely the best bang for your buck. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It was $10 cheaper last week. You'll be able to smoothly cruise on your mount through Dal on the highest settings...
April 28, 2009 9:31:15 PM

OK, if I did decide to do xfire later, does the board I currently have support this? I'm not sure, but I don't think it does. Need 2 PCIE 2.0 slots right?

Also guys, I'm sorry, but are there any other recommendations for the tower that have a window with glowing blue like the Riadmax Smilodon P00P00Head had linked?

I know I said looks weren't a priority...and, if I need to just get over having a plain black box, then I will and just go with the Antec 300...but...if there's something else...please for the love of God, let me know.

Another thing...what the heck is the 4770? Is it above, below, or the same as the 4850?

Is my memory choice OK? I see you guys like mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail here at Tom's (and it is a cool blue).

I'm thinking about going with A) for the GFX card, and A) for the PSU...just as an update. I'm gonna start shopping around and try to find the best deals.
April 28, 2009 11:48:56 PM

Answering in reverse order:

A for PSU looks good

A on the graphics card is good too but I don't think you'll need that much power. You should read the latest Tom's article on the 4770 to get an idea of what the performance difference is between the 4670, 4830, 4770, 4850.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-4770,2281...

The 4830 or 4770 is probably more than you'll ever need for at least the next two years. If you want to go strictly on value, buying a 80-100 dollar graphics card every 2 years as opposed to buying one double that price every 4 years is more economical and will yield better performance on average.

If you're going for a blue theme, that's fine. I like Mushkin personally.

The 4770 is the latest card to come out on ATI's side. Read the Tom's article, it'll get you nicely acquainted.

You don't have to go with the Antec 300, the reason so many people recommend that is because it's got good air flow and is built sturdy. Antec's a good case brand but cases won't change your performance. Just know how to tie your wires neatly and you won't have to worry about air flow for most cases. Go with what you think looks good for the price.

Judging by your old parts, it doesn't seem like you upgrade much. By the time you do decide to add another card for sli/xfire, those cards will probably be obsolete.
Personally, I like to just go with an entirely new cheapo $300-$400 build every two years as opposed to sinking money in old technology. If you want Sli, you're going to have to step up to the p45's and pay the additional premium now.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
April 29, 2009 12:02:38 AM

Do read that article. The 4770 performs almost as well as a 4850, but costs less. Still, that is an outstanding deal on a 4870. It is more than you need, but that's a hard price to resist. It does use more power though, so you'll want a 500W-550W PSU for one of them.
For a 1680x1050 monitor, in your place, unless you believe you'll really need that much GPU power later, I'd go for the 4770. It uses only 80W at load (compared to 152 for the 4870), so its long term operating costs will be lower as well, and it will add less heat to your case.
There are low-end CoolerMaster cases with windows.
April 29, 2009 12:15:18 AM

Ya, I doubt very highly I'll need that much power...probably ever, lol. I just thought a 4870 for ~$40 more than a 4770 or 4850 would be a good value. Also, wanted to go with the A) PSU that WR2 recommended using with the 4870. I don't want to have any problems once I get it all set up.

Ya, I don't really upgrade at all. More than likely this upgrade we're working on will last 5+ years easy, most likely longer. By then if I do need to upgrade, I'll probably have to redo the whole system anyway. So, ya...I probably won't need XFire, especially if I end up going with 4870.

Do you have any cases like I'm looking for that you'd recommend? Or just try putting in my own window in the Antec?

What is Nero 7? I'm thinking about going with-

HP 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 SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - Retail =$26.99

because it includes Nero 7, but I wonder if you can just DL a program to do whatever it does for free?

Also, you guys should have told me not to bother with anywhere else besides NewEgg...sheesh! I checked like 5-6 other places for almost everything and nowhere else even comes close to thinking about touching these guys.

Going to read that article now.

Once again...thanks everyone for your input. Almost there I think.
April 29, 2009 1:11:07 PM

OK, couple things.

Which of the GFX cards listed to choose from (keep in mind the 4850 is the same price or possibly lower than the 4770~$99) do you consider the best bang for your buck? Also, which is the minimum safe/stable choice to provide the highest settings on the 22" LCD?

I have no problem going with the 4870 if that's the best value~$139, and actually would like to unless it's just being wasteful and waaaay overkill for my needs.

Then, besides the case, I think we're done.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
April 29, 2009 1:32:22 PM

TopGun said:
which is the minimum safe/stable choice to provide the highest settings on the 22" LCD?
"minimum safe" and "highest settings" are mutually exclusive. Which one is most important to you?
April 29, 2009 1:35:28 PM

You sure are in a big bubble here with all these different answers huh.

If any build is below $500, rather just go with a prebuild froma manufacturer.

The CRT will work with the build untill your able to buy a lcd, as long as it works, your fine!.

here's something to look at and go from there:

LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100277L Radeon HD 4770 512MB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Crucial Ballistix 4GB (2 x 2GB) - 4-4-4-12
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 + E5200 Combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

This comes out to $516 because of the $34 shipping fee.


The Black and Blue CoolerMaster Centurion 5 is the same thing if you would like a little color in it.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
April 29, 2009 1:49:51 PM

Some alternate case choices
If you find any you like we'll look them over more closely.
You can look over all the cases with windows following this link
April 30, 2009 1:46:36 AM

Thanks for the links too guys, I know they take a bit of extra work, but they are great!

WR2 said:
"minimum safe" and "highest settings" are mutually exclusive. Which one is most important to you?


Sorry WR2, I didn't really make that clear I guess. I mean like for playing WoW on a 22" LCD will the Radeon HD 4670 + the CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W be able to handle whatever the resolution most people play at with all the bells and whistles on? Or which GFX card + PSU combo would be the minimum suggested that would work?

It looks like I missed out on the $39.99 deal for that 400CX PSU, it's now $49.99. Man these guys can't give me a break while I'm trying to make a decision...I thought prices were supposed to be going down, not up, right?

WR2, what about that 1st case from the link you posted the RAIDMAX Tornado for $29.99? Or, is there a better one? All the black/blue window ones look decent enough, so it's more about price and quality, but I don't know what determines quality.

Also, I read that article and still can't see why everyone is so googly-eyed over the 4770, at least when a 4850 performs better and you can get it at the same price. What am I missing?

Still waiting on an answer about Nero 7 too please.

Thanks again to all contributors!
April 30, 2009 4:27:03 AM

Well, the 4770 means power efficiency and high overclocking potential. When you factor in that even at stock speeds, it barely trails the 4850 and even performances better in some instances, it's an exceptional value for 110 or 99. Not all 4850s are created equal, in the case of the $99 Asus model, apparently there's a lot of overheating issues. You can install your own cooler but then that'd add more cost and you can forget about overclocking with the stock fan.

Nero 7's a bloated piece of poop. Just download imgburn for burning cd/dvds.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
April 30, 2009 3:37:29 PM

The HD 4670 is very a good choice for 1680x1050 22" LCD gaming with WoW. It should let you give most other games a test run as well - just not at the highest quality settings for the most demanding games.
The 400CX 400W PSU is a good, safe match for a 4670/4770 video card.
The 4770 is "new and shiny" at the moment.

I don't much care for Nero software either. XP/Vista all by itself can handle the usual DVD burning jobs adequately. I use ImgBurn for all the more advanced DVD burning tasks.

That Raidmax case doesnt have any glaring warning signs. I think the NewEgg customer comments pretty well sum up the pro's and con's to the case. I'd have to say I think the CM Centurion 5 Black /Blue $40 case is a better value if RAIDMAX won't honor the rebate. If you're a bit handy you could do a case mod to add a side window and maybe add some interior LED lighting to the case.

May 1, 2009 1:45:19 AM

If I go the do-it-yourself window route, I'll probably just get the Antec 300.

I may decide to just hold off for a month to see if the 4770's go down at all in price as that seems to be the prevailing sentiment of the card to get. I'm guessing that has partially come from it being a brand new shiny.

I'm not really sure what exactly I'm supposed to look for in a PSU, but is anything wrong with this?- Rosewill RP500-2 500W ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply - Retail=$49.99

Also, if I do go with the A)BFG Tech LS SERIES LS-550 550W Continuous @ 40°C ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.8 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail =$79.99-$20=$59.99...will I be able to reuse it in about 5-7 years?
May 1, 2009 7:01:01 AM

Don't expect any tech object to last more than 5 years
a b Ý World of Warcraft
May 1, 2009 10:09:55 AM

That Rosewill is not a good one, and definitely an older, inefficient design, since it has a voltage switch on it. The BFG Tech one has gotten some excellent technical reviews, is modern and efficient. You may get five or more years out of it.
I think you can sometimes select a "tech object" for longevity, but expect to pay more, and expect that even if it lasts, there will likely be better available in that time. For example, if in two years, PSU efficiency is up to 95% (hey, we can dream), then the best you can buy today will seem like a wastrel, even if it still works just fine. The best GPU of 4-5 years ago, something like an ATI 1900 XTX, is about equal to a 4650 today.
May 1, 2009 11:43:18 AM

Crap, that MOBO + CPU combo is gone...so is the 4670 GFX card deal. Grrr!!!
a b Ý World of Warcraft
May 1, 2009 5:04:08 PM

That current deal on the BFG LS-550 is probably "too good to last" too. It's $40 less than the Corsair 550VX.
May 2, 2009 5:27:15 AM

Ya, I was definitely planning to get that one, so I'll try to pick it up sooner rather than later...maybe tomorrow even.

Also, is there anyway you guys can link me the excellent technical reviews you keep referring to?

Thanks,
-TG
a b Ý World of Warcraft
May 2, 2009 2:05:49 PM

The sites I regularly use for PSU reviews are jonnyguru.com, hardocp.com, and hardwaresecrets.com. xbitlabs.com also apparently uses similar methods. They load the PSUs to varying percentages of their rated output, measuring the waveforms, temperature, and efficiency, then take them apart to see how they are made, and for the ones that croak, why. The ones at jonnyguru (typically written by "Oklahoma Wolf") are actually rather humorous to read sometimes.
!