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August 23, 2009 7:47:13 PM

Hey guys I'm going to be building a new rig pretty soon but don't have much dough to splurge, Th mostly use my comp for uploading large file 3g+, playing starcraft/mmorpgs, downloading divx movies and burning them,
As the topic states i have 650-700 budget. I was thinking of going for a AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz, and atleast 6gbs of ram would be nice, also a nice GFX card. I would appreciate your opinons


More about : 650 700 budget build

August 24, 2009 4:16:35 AM

That's more ram than you need. There isn't a performance gain between 4 and 6.
August 24, 2009 5:32:33 AM

first of all, 4GB of ram is plently, also startcraft and mmorpg usually don't require a expensive graphics card, so go for something around 100-150 should be sufficient, downloading and burning don't need a high end rig also, so i think phenom II 3 should be fine. i would recommend a 9800 gt, or gtx, or for ATI a 4830
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August 25, 2009 1:21:37 PM

Thanks for your replies
August 25, 2009 1:34:31 PM

I've decided to with AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition and unlock the other two cores, since its about 10 bucks cheaper and i can have a quad for less. also decided to go with the 6gb of ram since g.skill 6 GBS is around $100, tell me what u guys think
August 25, 2009 1:38:28 PM

You do realize that for AMD RAM needs to be installed in pairs, right? I'm not sure how you're getting to 6gb of RAM by installing DIMMs of the same size in pairs. It's only on the i7's that DDR3 is installed in triplets.
August 25, 2009 6:05:49 PM

Ahh yes your correct, well this is what i got so far for my build

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3
Cache Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor " $102"

GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard " $126"

OCZ Gold AMD Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 " $94"

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" $85"

Ultra eTorque ULT33180 Mid-Tower ATX Case "tigerdirect $70"

PLEXTOR 24X DVD/CD Writer Black SATA Model PX-880SA LightScribe Support " $45"

XFX HD-487A-ZHFC Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5" $145"

ZALMAN CNPS 9700 NT 110mm 2 Ball Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler" $55"

Comes out to $722, What do u guys think?
August 25, 2009 6:13:01 PM

I would imagine you are using a 64-bit OS because of the 4 gigs. I heard on the interwebs that Phenom II's don't overclock well when running a 64-bit OS.

I don't see a PSU listed, be sure not to cheap out on that. Other than those concerns it seems to be a well-rounded rig.
August 25, 2009 6:25:24 PM

Yes, going going to be using Windows 7 x64. Would like to get the chip to 3.4GHz, and hopefully be able to unlock the other 2 cores. Planned on using the PSU that comes with the Ultra Case. Would that be a bad idea?
August 25, 2009 6:32:54 PM

zir said:
Yes, going going to be using Windows 7 x64. Would like to get the chip to 3.4GHz, and hopefully be able to unlock the other 2 cores. Planned on using the PSU that comes with the Ultra Case. Would that be a bad idea?

Yes. It does not come with one.

I generally recommend AGAINST using PSUs that come with cases, I've had two experiences with them where they die after a year or two.
August 25, 2009 8:29:33 PM

Yea your right, seems like I'm going to have to bit a cheaper on some components i cant go much more than $730, any suggestions?
August 25, 2009 8:46:35 PM

Some thoughts:

1) Do you really need a 1TB HD? If you have an older one that could be re-used, then that could cover the cost of a decent PSU. A HD is one of the easiest upgrades to make down the road.

2) $45 on an optical drive seems possibly higher than necessary. Do you really need DVDRW with Lightscribe? It could be possible to save $20 or so on just a basic DVDROM.

3) I really don't know if going for the 1600 DDR3 is worth the premium over 1333. just did a feature on this. You could save about $20 by going with Crucial (which is fine memory, IMHO):

The only other component to save on might be the GPU, but a HD 4870 1gb is great value so I would want to keep that if at all possible.
August 25, 2009 9:15:05 PM

it sounds like you're depending on unlocking the extra two cores on that phenom 2.. it should be the other way arround. while I have no REAL experience building computers (aside from repairing a few arround the house and reading about 10 miles worth of info on the web), I've heard that it is rare to be able to unlock the extra two cores, even if you buy the exact same rig and do the exact same thing as someone else who had success.
anyway I sort of have the same budget as you and needs, here is what I am planning to get after asking about 1000 questions here on toms hardware:

Foxconn A7DA-S 3.0 AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Phenom 2 X3 720
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
XFX Radeon HD 4870
a 500 gb 7200 rpm 16 mb cache harddrive, which I plan on getting another of when (not if) I fill that up in about 6-9 months
a 500w psu (important not to cheap out here, could potentially break other pc components if u do)
and the only thing I am really overkilling with is my case: a Cooler Master Storm Scout (<--- worth every penny I think)
August 25, 2009 11:00:41 PM

Yea after reading a bit more into unlocking the extra two cores, it seems like im going for the x3
August 25, 2009 11:12:30 PM

zir said:
Yea after reading a bit more into unlocking the extra two cores, it seems like im going for the x3

High clocked X3 models offer a good trade off between speed and multiple cores. As much as I like to make fun of them, calling them "Triple Cripples", they do well for many consumers.
August 25, 2009 11:43:59 PM

Yea, banking on being able to unlock one of the x2s is a bad plan.

Not quite as bad as using the no name PSU that comes with the case, but still bad.
a b à CPUs
August 26, 2009 12:00:37 AM

There should be an X3 740 3.0GHz Phenom II released in september, but if you're overclocking the 720, it's not worth the wait.
August 26, 2009 12:26:11 AM

It might not be worth waiting a few weeks for the 740, but it could be worth waiting a few weeks to see what AMD does with their pricing in response to the release of the i5's. That 720 might drop from ~$120 to something approaching (if not below) $100.
August 26, 2009 1:34:50 AM

Phenom II X4 920 + DFI 790FX $270:

OCZ 4GB 1066 DDR2 $52:

Xigmatek HDT-SD964 $25:

Antec 200 + Antec Earthwatts 430w $90:

Hitachi 1TB drive $75:

Samsung DVD burner drive $29:

His 4890 $190:

Total: $731

The Phenom II 920 will clock to 3.4 Ghz easy and 3.6 Ghz with a little luck. That case is a nice looking one that is somewhat unassuming, but cools pretty well. The power supply should be enough, though no room for upgrades later on. That 4890 is a fast card and will get you great performance.
August 26, 2009 1:36:57 AM

yeah also u must keep in mind. Some cores are disabled because of faults in the silicon or for branding. In my opinion its not a great risk to take, but then again, in my opinion i think u should save up a little more and get and x4 so its your call :D