Cheap Build $500

I made a list of components for this system. It is for a friend and he wants the system to be versatile yet powerful. I thought quad core and believe that the Phenom 9600 issue was blown out of proportion, especially since he does not plan on overclocking. Please tell me your thoughts and what I should change if anything. Thanks.

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 IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - OEM

Rosewill Conqueror RPS-01-WB500P Triple 120mm Fans Steel ATX Mid tower Computer Case with 500W Power Supply - Retail

Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

BIOSTAR A760G M2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

ASUS EAH4850 TOP/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

AMD Phenom 9600 Agena 2.3GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

For a total of about $475 shipped.(This is without subtracting the Mail-in rebates.)
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  1. Let's start over, OK.

    1. You picked an IDE DVD burner.
    2. Rosewill PSU's should be avoided at all costs.
    3. That HD is a slow, older model.
    4. Biostar only makes so-so motherboards.
    5. That Patriot RAM needs 2.2v just to get DDR2 800 speed (not a good indication of quality RAM). You should also use DDR2 1066 RAM with an AMD build to get the full benefit of their integrated RAM controller.
    6. The original Phenom CPU's performance matches their bargain bin price.

    Here's a build with current, fast parts for just over $500:

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

    ASUS M3A76-CM AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G uATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $183.99 (CPU + motherboard combo)

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $58.99

    WESTERN DIGITAL WD3200AAKS 320GB SATA 7200 RPM 16MB Hard Drive Bulk $51.99

    POWERCOLOR AX4770 512MD5-M Radeon HD 4770 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $99.99

    LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model GH22LS30 - OEM $23.99

    Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

    Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $94.94 (Case + PSU combo)

    Total - $513.89
  2. Could drop that cpu to a Kuma instead to put him at budget range.

    Get a antec 300 or a centurion 590 and a 400cx psu.
  3. +1 for shortstuff's build, I can't improve on it.

    The old phenom's were really bad, there is a reason they are dirt cheap. 2.3ghz for a first gen phenom processor is really slow. If you downclocked a new Phenom II to that speed, it would still be much faster because the architecture of those CPU's sucked. Just like how Q8200 which runs at the same rated speed is much faster than the X4 9600.
  4. Why the 4770 instead of the 4850? I believe 4850>4770.

    Also, just a question, why do you think Biostar is so-so. I have built about 4-5 builds with Biostar MBs and never had any problems. (Note: I have not used an ASUS board before.)
  5. Asus boards tend to be good quality, all of my computers have an Asus board including my laptop
  6. I just picked the 4770 because it offers just slightly slower performance than the 4850 while consuming less power. The 4850 in your OP also costs $125 before rebate which would have put the build that much more over budget.

    Gigabyte and Asus use higher quality components than Biostar, ASRock, Foxconn, ect... For the same price, I'd always pick either Gigabyte or Asus over any alternative. The $20 you save by using the CPU + motherboard combo makes the price of the mother the equivalent of $44.99.

    If you want a 4850, I would pick up this one since it's only $10 more than the 4770 before the MIR and the same price after the MIR. The 4770 will put less strain on the 430W PSU, though.

    POWERCOLOR AX4850 512MD3-DH Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $109.99 - $10 MIR
  7. You picked an Asus M3A76-CM mobo for this guy's rig. Guys are calling this a hybrid size mobo, as it's 9.5" x 9.5" perhaps half way between an ATX and a microATX. I like this mobo for the price and am wondering if I can fit it into an older case. Are the holes to screw it in properly only to be found as an option in the newer cases?
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