Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

$700 schoolwork/casual gaming computer

Last response: in Systems
Share
June 4, 2009 6:59:00 PM

I'm looking to build a computer for the first time (Ill have help assembling)

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: in a week or two

BUDGET: $700

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: schoolwork (ie having 7 websites, 4 words, and an excel open at the same time and being able to switch between them fast), casual gaming (mostly strategy (such as empire total war))

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: doesnt matter

PARTS PREFERENCES: doesnt matter

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: IDK what this means

MONITOR RESOLUTION: my monitors about 4 years old, idk about resolution

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: if it doesnt add to much to cost i would like a cool case with LEDs
June 4, 2009 9:06:52 PM

@ $700 after shipping, not counting rebates

CPU/motherboard combo deal - $280 - Phenom2 x4 940 and Biostar 790GX/SB750
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Case/PSU combo deal - $107 - Antec300/Antec earthwatts 650w
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Blue case fan- $15 - for front of the case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM - $55 - 2x2 GB DDR2 1066 Gskill
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive - $75 - 640GB WD black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Burner - $32 - HP
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU - $105 - HD4850
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

No cooler is in budget, it's needed for a high overclock.

*EDIT* changed the case /PSU combo to the 650w, fine for some crossfire now.
also you could change the 940x4 to the 720x3 and save $50, enough for a good cooler.
Anonymous
June 4, 2009 9:44:23 PM

crossfire/sli means you will use two (or more) graphics cards. this is much better for gaming but not necessarily necessary for your needs right now.
Related resources
June 4, 2009 10:21:44 PM

Built this for a friend's son for xmas, he loves it and i havnt been to house to fix anything yet, he had a Dell gx150 before I came along. I had maxed the board out @ 512MB of pc133, POS, now he has a decent machine to play WoW on. This build is all from newegg as of today 6.4.09. current pricing. If you dont need a monitor then there's $160 off. But plays WoW and CoD4 with graphics maxxed and no lag. Sorry its about 7 and half, but i like to build a decent box if i can.

Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor $189.99 -$30.00 Instant $159.99
Antec EA650 650W $99.99 -$18.00 Instant $81.99
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)$39.99 -$5.00 Instant $34.99
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" $54.99
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W $54.99
Rosewill R220-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail$29.99
GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail$139.99
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $199.99 -$10.00 Instant $189.99
Subtotal: $746.92
June 4, 2009 10:28:06 PM

HavoCnMe said:
Built this for a friend's son for xmas, he loves it and i havnt been to house to fix anything yet, he had a Dell gx150 before I came along. I had maxed the board out @ 512MB of pc133, POS, now he has a decent machine to play WoW on. This build is all from newegg as of today 6.4.09. current pricing. If you dont need a monitor then there's $160 off. But plays WoW and CoD4 with graphics maxxed and no lag. Sorry its about 7 and half, but i like to build a decent box if i can.

Acer X223Wbd Black 22" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor $189.99 -$30.00 Instant $159.99
Antec EA650 650W $99.99 -$18.00 Instant $81.99
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)$39.99 -$5.00 Instant $34.99
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250410AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" $54.99
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W $54.99
Rosewill R220-P-BK Black 0.5mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail$29.99
GIGABYTE GA-MA790GP-UD4H AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail$139.99
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 $199.99 -$10.00 Instant $189.99
Subtotal: $746.92

Thats a HORRIBLE build...you put a 4870 with an amd 5000....i hope all he cares to play is wow since games like GTA IV and soon to be released titles will eat that cpu to bits....

Money could have been better spent on a 20" or close to that for a resolution of 1440x900 or 1280x1024 a 4770 or similar card and room would have been left for 4gbs of ram and new quad core....alot longer life....money spent in all the wrong places....

Down the road you will be looking at a cpu and ram upgrade....


PLEASE OP avoid building something like that....your money is WAY better speny on a long lasting AMD 940BE as suggested by the first poster...the only reason HavocCnMe's is more expensive is because its coupled with a monitor and the wrong parts etc....

And OP before we recommend you a gpu you should post your resolution....having 7 windows open and 4 excel sheets up would be a hell of a lot easier on a high res monitor....or dual monitor setup...you could get two 16xx/1xxx resolution monitors for around 250$ or a little more...under 300$ though
June 4, 2009 11:37:26 PM

Apparently, you didnt read if you dont need a monitor, and there is always the future to upgrade the cpu, but lets turn this into a AMD barfing match since i dont like amd anyways you should invest in a tri-core oh wait why not a amd phen. 2 x2 if you want that too. i love companies that sell garbage. oh and hold your tougue on the world record too, anybody with liquid nitrogen and helium can do that. So bring it fan boy.

And i love your quote: I roll with the Athlon X2's its how i do...you sound like my little brother:( 

Whoa whoa, i just read one of your questions, and someone told you to get a 8400GS and your going to debunk the setup i wrote...????? well this setup i put out there would EAT YOUR SETUP FROM THE SOUNDS OF BUYING A 8400GS BARF! PUKE! GAGG! I DONT THINK YOU KNOWLEDGE IS WORTH AN nvidia MX200!
June 4, 2009 11:43:42 PM

I like the second post's build so far. Would it make a significant difference if i invested in 6gb ram instead of the 4gb?
I am welcome to more suggestions so that I can compare.

In response to HavoCnMe:
Your setup provides only 2gb of ram and 250gb harddrive, too little for my liking, and the graphics card you used is too expensive. I usually play strategy and dont need a graphics card that expensive.
June 5, 2009 12:25:42 AM

So get a bigger hdd or 2 of the 250GB, a smaller video card and 2 sets of ram, problem solved, right? oh lose the monitor also for your BUDGET.
June 5, 2009 12:34:55 AM

HavoCnMe: that would work i guess. Any recommended smaller graphics cards?

im still wondering if it would be worth it to get 6gb of ram over 4
June 5, 2009 12:54:20 AM

Dirtmountain's build is ideal. I'd upgrade to the $90 Caviar Black 1TB, but that's it. If you have a huge high-res monitor, get the 1TB 4850.

Also, to HavoCnMe: The fact that the X2 5000+ is even relevant at all shows that if you buy a quality, if not top-end, processor, it will last you about four years of tolerable gaming performance.
June 5, 2009 1:03:13 AM

still want to know whether i should upgrade to 6gb ram.
I also like dirtmountain's build.
Will I be able to see the blue LED well out of that case? Dont want to waste my money on a LED i cant see...
June 5, 2009 1:20:33 AM

ok so couple of real questions. 1. what is the pc you have now. 2. what will you do with the old one when you get a new one? 3. what OS are you running and is it 32 or 64?
June 5, 2009 1:22:37 AM



That build leaves $60. The case doesn't have LEDs, so you can use that to upgrade from the Antec 300 to the 900, if you want.

The 4830 is great for casual gaming, you didn't say the resolution so we can't be sure if it will be enough, but you said your monitor was old, so it definitely should be.

That motherboard leaves room for plenty of upgrades, it supports new AM3 processors and DDR3 RAM which is quickly dropping in price.

You won't need more than 4GB of RAM unless you're doing professional photoshop or video editing work.

HavoCs build has got to be one of the worst one's I've seen on here.

Athlon for multi-tasking? 4870 for casual gaming? Only 2GB of RAM?

Disregard his build completely.
June 5, 2009 1:29:01 AM

Your build just turned into a poop-throwing contest so ill have no part in helping anymore. But its nice to see your build is so nice FortuneX. born in 1992 i was playing the original Wolfenstein and Spear of Destiny my dads 486DX with a Diamond Viper 4MB video card when you were born...kids, copy and paste a bit more....
June 5, 2009 1:34:16 AM

HavoCnMe said:
Your build just turned into a poop-throwing contest so ill have no part in helping anymore. But its nice to see your build is so nice FortuneX. born in 1992 i was playing the original Wolfenstein and Spear of Destiny my dads 486DX with a Diamond Viper 4MB video card when you were born...kids, copy and paste a bit more....


Congrats, you're older than me, that has nothing to do with the quality (or lack thereof) in your build. I don't want to see someone buying an inferior build that doesn't suit his needs because you either can't read or aren't read up on the latest technology.

Good day to you, sir.
June 5, 2009 2:00:41 AM

Did you read what he wrote, He wants a $700 build, he put that he doesn't need a monitor at first, but then he mentions that his monitor is 4 YEARS OLD. And you dont have a monitor in your build, with that said, a 4 YEAR OLD MONITOR, might not look that great anymore, so a new monitor might be suffice for a new $700 build. I guess I use the same inferior parts (Antec) i choose a 650w psu and u choose a 500w hmmm, inferior? Better watts means cleaner power at high levels resulting in a more responsive pc, less work and heat for the psu its self, longer component life. INFERIOR, read on electricity first then come back to computers. i beg u. Oh and he never responded to what OS he has either so if its 32bit no need to go ape sh*T on memory.
June 5, 2009 2:21:54 AM

"Better watts means cleaner power at high levels resulting in a more responsive pc, less work and heat for the psu its self, longer component life."

The power output has nothing to do with the responsiveness of the PC, unless the power levels are beyond terrible, in so much so that its causing things not to be stable. That is not the case, so think about what you are saying.

"Better watts means cleaner power at high levels."

Again, NO. More watts does not always mean cleaner power, especially when you take into account the fact that not all manufacturers rate their products evenly. Also, you have to take AMPS into account... not just watts and volts.

"Oh and he never responded to what OS he has either so if its 32bit no need to go ape sh*T on memory."

Again, stop posting incorrect information. A 32-Bit OS can still use about ~3.2GB or memory in most cases, especially if they address space needed by the video card isn't that great. Based on the current prices of DDR2, I see absolutely no reason to construct the OP's build to 2GB, especially when 4GB is less than $20 more.

In response to Fortunex's build, I do not think it is all that great. The video card isn't going to do much of anything more than an integrated solution would, and IMO is a waste of money. Also, you didn't include any fans? That's a problem. 500GB is only $50, when 640 is $75... again, save the $25 for this build. The PS is not that great for the price either.

I'll be posting a build for the OP in a bit, but I'm not a fan of what I've seen so far.
June 5, 2009 2:22:48 AM

He says that he doesn't need a monitor. He only does casual gaming and schoolwork, so he doesn't need anything special.

Rosewill case, Seagate hard drive, Athlon x2, inferior to the Antec 300, WDCB and Phenom II x3. Regardless, I meant inferior for his needs. Compared to mine, yours is indeed inferior. He needs multi-tasking and casual gaming capabilities, you gave him a severely bottlenecked gaming build. My suggested rig won't need more than 250 watts, leaving the PSU at under 50% usage, which is ideal. Overkill is not wanted on a budget build. If we was gaming, I would suggest a bigger PSU, but he won't need any power-hungry components for what he's doing.

Even with a 32bit OS, you want at least 3GB, especially for multi-tasking. New builds shouldn't have any less than 4GB nowadays, unless it's some $300 web-browsing/email PC. If he gets 2GB now, he won't be happy with his multi-tasking performance, and will have to add another 2GB when he gets a 64bit OS. And I'm not sure what you read, but I didn't even get angry, let alone "go apeshit on memory".

You suggest a bad dual core, overkill GPU, inferior hard drive and case, overkill PSU, too little RAM, and a monitor that he doesn't need.

Do some reading, please, before giving advice.
June 5, 2009 2:38:13 AM

"In response to Fortunex's build, I do not think it is all that great. The video card isn't going to do much of anything more than an integrated solution would, and IMO is a waste of money. Also, you didn't include any fans? That's a problem. 500GB is only $50, when 640 is $75... again, save the $25 for this build. The PS is not that great for the price either."

The HD4830 would indeed be much better than any integrated solution out right now. If he chose, he could change the motherboard out for one with a 790GX, but would be hard pressed to play games with decent settings.

He isn't overclocking, so he won't need more than the stock fans, but there is $60 left, my suggestion was to use that to upgrade the case to an Antec 900 which comes with several fans.

Yes, he could save $25 by going down to the 500GB, but from what I've read, it's slower because it uses two 250GB platters, instead of the 640's two 320GB platters.

The PSU is fine for the money. He could grab a lower-quality PSU and save some money, but I wouldn't skimp on the PSU in a $700 rig. The one I posted will meet his needs, and leaves room for upgrading if he wants to get a high performance video card like a 4870/GTX260 or one of the new DX11 GPUs coming out in a few months.
June 5, 2009 2:41:44 AM

ok you two go at it now and let the best man win today, because in two weeks when he has the money everything will have gotten cheaper. and other components (better) components could be available. tootles
June 5, 2009 2:48:27 AM

HavoCnMe said:
Apparently, you didnt read if you dont need a monitor, and there is always the future to upgrade the cpu, but lets turn this into a AMD barfing match since i dont like amd anyways you should invest in a tri-core oh wait why not a amd phen. 2 x2 if you want that too. i love companies that sell garbage. oh and hold your tougue on the world record too, anybody with liquid nitrogen and helium can do that. So bring it fan boy.

And i love your quote: I roll with the Athlon X2's its how i do...you sound like my little brother:( 

Whoa whoa, i just read one of your questions, and someone told you to get a 8400GS and your going to debunk the setup i wrote...????? well this setup i put out there would EAT YOUR SETUP FROM THE SOUNDS OF BUYING A 8400GS BARF! PUKE! GAGG! I DONT THINK YOU KNOWLEDGE IS WORTH AN nvidia MX200!

What hell did you even say....amd barfing match? world record? companies that sell garbage?

WTH are you going on about...

I can't even understand you...im not even going to try to read it...

And yes my quote is ironic for those who really know me...i hate rap and the associated if thats what your getting at....

What the hell are you going on about with an 8400gs for?.....

Did you even pass the first grade...?
June 5, 2009 2:55:44 AM

Corsair CMPSU-400CX 450W - $75, $15 MIR (Optional), Free Shipping
Cooler Master Elite 335 ATX Mid Tower Case - $50, $10 MIR, Free Shipping

ASUS M4A78T-E 790GB Motherboard - $140, $15 MIR
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz - $140, Free Shipping
OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB DDR3-1333 (2x2GB) CL6 RAM - $70
ATI 4850 512MB Video Card - $105, $15 MIR

Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB - $60, Free Shipping

$640, $55 of MIRs - Same price as Fortunex's build before shipping, without fans and an optical drive.
Adding those two, assuming the OP does not take advantage of MIRs, will bring him upto $700.
I'm picky, so I'd spend the rest of the money on some quality barometric fans that are near silent.

>> (x2) Enermax UC-12EB 120MM (Magnetic Barometric) Fans - $15
>> HP 22x DVD Burner (IDE) - $24, Free Shipping

New Total: $680, $55 MIR... (Whole build is probably $700, shipped)

Also, the OP would only have to pay shipping for the Motherboard, RAM, and video card. Not having to ship the case (he will with the Antec), will alone save him ~$20. Not to mention, the OP can save an additional $30 in MIRs... Also, while Fortunex's build does offer 140GB more drive space, my build offers RAM that has CL6, compared to CL8, a video card that will run circles around the 4830.

Also, OP, I would recommend doing the MIRs... if you do all $55 of MIRs, you can add
>> AMD Phenom II X4 940 3.0GHz - $190, Free Shipping (+200MHz/core, +1 core) for only $5 more...

Final edit: Also, OP, consider buying a 9600GT 1GB instead of 4850 512MB, although you will have to pay shipping for it, it is $20 cheaper before MIR.
June 5, 2009 2:58:56 AM

I feel bad for the OP...
June 5, 2009 3:34:04 AM

Too bad a small disagreement has to turn into a flamewar....
Quote:
Yes, he could save $25 by going down to the 500GB, but from what I've read, it's slower because it uses two 250GB platters, instead of the 640's two 320GB platters.

True, but maximum speed may not be what the OP wants. The speed difference is not easily noticeable while gaming unless a HDD test is used.
Quote:
>> HP 22x DVD Burner (IDE) - $24, Free Shipping

I'd like to mention the fact that IDE cables are thoroughly annoying if your into cable management.
Quote:
Also, OP, I would recommend doing the MIRs... if you do all $55 of MIRs, you can add
>> AMD Phenom II X4 940 3.0GHz - $190, Free Shipping (+200MHz/core, +1 core) for only $5 more...

With the $50 price gap, both are equally compelling. Personally, I'd go for the PII 940 as I'm into RTSs and such, but it all depends on the applications you're going to use.
June 5, 2009 3:51:40 AM

rewindlabs... remember this convo...?

Ok thanks to circuit citys downfall iv earned a free GT5656 and i may be getting this
depending on what its marked down to today
it was 460$ at 30% mark down and it should be about 400$ today seeing as it will be sat and this store closes sunday
Now its in decent cosmetic condition it was a display model...if it is marked down to an acceptable price i can take a monitor with me and test the machine before i buy it
So the point of this thread is do you guys think this thing would be worth it for 400$ running?
I plan on putting one of these
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130339
in and using it as a gaming pc until i have the need/want to build a powerful machine of my own on the latest tech releases etc
Well im open to suggestions..you guys think this is a decent gaming proc for recently released games?

MISRy replys: $500+ would be better spent doing a massive upgrade on your current system.

You replied: Really?

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/ [...] ted-gt5656 (Frustrated GT5656)???

That and my msi wind are all i have so yeahp....the price hasn't dropped yet today...what do you think would be a price worth it for that setup?

MISRy replys: Let's see ...
710-$120
MOBO$100
RAM-$45
Case w/PS-$100
500GHD-$65
Then you can stick with the original video and still be within the "hasn't dropped" price or go with a 4650 for about $110 to help defray the cost of shipping.

For that CompUSA rig offer $300. It's a refurb HP and the store is closing, you effectively have no warranty.

So how is your kmart pc doing??
June 5, 2009 4:26:13 AM

HavoCnMe said:
rewindlabs... remember this convo...?

Ok thanks to circuit citys downfall iv earned a free GT5656 and i may be getting this
depending on what its marked down to today
it was 460$ at 30% mark down and it should be about 400$ today seeing as it will be sat and this store closes sunday
Now its in decent cosmetic condition it was a display model...if it is marked down to an acceptable price i can take a monitor with me and test the machine before i buy it
So the point of this thread is do you guys think this thing would be worth it for 400$ running?
I plan on putting one of these
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130339
in and using it as a gaming pc until i have the need/want to build a powerful machine of my own on the latest tech releases etc
Well im open to suggestions..you guys think this is a decent gaming proc for recently released games?

MISRy replys: $500+ would be better spent doing a massive upgrade on your current system.

You replied: Really?

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/ [...] ted-gt5656 (Frustrated GT5656)???

That and my msi wind are all i have so yeahp....the price hasn't dropped yet today...what do you think would be a price worth it for that setup?

MISRy replys: Let's see ...
710-$120
MOBO$100
RAM-$45
Case w/PS-$100
500GHD-$65
Then you can stick with the original video and still be within the "hasn't dropped" price or go with a 4650 for about $110 to help defray the cost of shipping.

For that CompUSA rig offer $300. It's a refurb HP and the store is closing, you effectively have no warranty.

So how is your kmart pc doing??

And how is this relevant? All your doing here is hijacking the OP's thread. Quit trolling and learn to accept someones opinion; just because you disagree doesn't mean you have to rant...
June 5, 2009 4:34:18 AM

Ahhh a three month old thread from when i signed up here and my first post thats cute...i knew nothing back then....and no i didn't buy that pos...considering that card(dead link) was in the price range i was looking for i figured it might be good instead i decided i might want to play on my 22" monitor i got a week later...after looking around i found benchmarks for cards etc...

Anyways...

Instead i ended up with two decent AMD X2 systems...one with a 260 GTX and one with a 9800gtx+ one is for when friends come over...

The 260 GTX system runs on these

22" LG 1680x1050
20" Lenovo 1280x1024
19" Hp 1280x1024

Thats three monitors for multitasking :D ...the 9800gtx+ system runs on a 50" LG plasma @ 1360x768....great for movies and anime...not to mention fallout 3 max'd out...i prefer it over the other 50" 1080p 1920x1080 plasmas in my house...

I have 400$ in all of my gear....now how what do you have and what do you have in it?

Yeah my cheapo pcs are horrible...so where we bashing each others hardware or did i brag for nothing *wink*

So whilst your pairing the wrong parts etc is there anything else you want to point out?
June 5, 2009 4:58:07 AM

Now I feel really sorry for the OP.
June 5, 2009 5:00:28 AM

Heh....i try to hard at this crap...
June 5, 2009 7:31:33 AM

In answer to asti21. 6GB of RAM would not give you a large boost in the large majority of applications, just stick with 4GB for now, if you need more RAM later just add another 4GB. Fortunex has a nice build going with DDR3. He lacks a burner, but that can be added for about $30 or less. The 650w Antec power supply with the Antec 300 case is a great deal. Add the LED fan to the inside front of the case, the lights can be seen through the case front somewhat like the antec900.
June 5, 2009 1:50:42 PM

There's too much gibberish in this thread to cleanly sort out, but if you go with Dirtmountain's build, you'll be safe. You can trim a little here or there, but nothing that would make a remarkable difference.
Edit: The image is blocked at work, so I can't see it, but if DirtM says FortuneX has a good build, you can trust his judgment.

Hopefully the following won't add too badly to the noise in this thread:

Get the 4GB of RAM; with lots of windows open, 2GB won't be as responsive. All those windows are not processor-intensive though, so if you need to save some money, you won't be hurt too much by dropping the CPU back to a 720BE or even to a X2 550BE.
It might be slight overkill, but for only $105, the 4850 he linked is a good deal. If, however, you're concerned about what this is costing, then I would suggest initially skipping the video card. The HD3300 on the 790GX board is not sorry like Intel IGPs; I've played Guild Wars on one with only a few things not maxed. After you've seen the performance you get, decide how much of an upgrade you need.
Antec PSUs are solid; I almost always use them. In no event do you want to try and save money by getting a cheap PSU. It need not be big, but it does need to be good.
Hmmm, I think that's enough. Have fun with your build.

June 5, 2009 6:59:49 PM

Just got back from school and saw the huge war my question caused, so I want to say sorry.
Also, thank you to everyone who contributed builds, I'll start comparing them in a few minutes.
To answer some questions, my current computer is also about 4 years old. Its a Dell, Pentium 4 processor 3.00GHz, 512 mb of ram. The computer will probably remain in the house, collecting dust.
My monitor has a 1280 x 1024 resolution. I might upgrade later this year, but for now I'm keeping it.
I have vista os 64-bit (not on the current computer but i do have it).
I'll look over the builds now and come back with questions in a few.

EDIT: How do I enlarge the picture on these forums?
June 5, 2009 8:17:49 PM

Your question did not cause a war. It was taken as an opportunity by some more brash members to preen.
FWIW, although I'd quickly agree that the build posted by HavoCnMe is suboptimal in this case, the relevant fact of that build is that the person for whom it was made is very happy with it. Isn't that why we build systems?
June 5, 2009 8:30:49 PM

Nvm about enlarging the pics.

I looked through all of them and put together this. I was wondering if this would be possible to build and if all the components would work together (btw i gave up on the LED):

ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $140

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK - Retail $70

CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $80

COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 RC-335-KKN1-GP Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $50

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM2+ 125W Quad-Core Black Edition Processor Model HDZ940XCGIBOX - Retail $215

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $75

HP 22X DVD Burner Black IDE Model 1135i - Retail $24

SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $100

This breaks my budget by $50. Do the DDR3 RAM cards offer a singificant improvement over dirtmountain's DDR2 ones?
If not then I would change the motherboard and RAM to these:

BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $110

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail $65

Which gets me to $710, a bit better.

Another question, is the
HIS Hightech H485FN512P Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail $120
significantly better than the video card i put into my plan? If it is, I'll be willing to throw in the extra $20.

Once again, thank you to all who contributed and I await answers to my questions.
June 5, 2009 9:43:35 PM

The PhenomII x4 940 is not compatible with DDR3 RAM, the x3 720 is though. The Phenom II 940 and the 920 don't have the DDR3 memory controller, the other phenomIIs do. Try to get a SATA burner although there seems to be some availability problems from newegg lately. I'd spend an extra $20 for a 4850, but at your current resolution it probably isn't needed.
June 5, 2009 9:48:22 PM

Go for the 512MB 4850. It's worth it.

Like Dirtmountain said, the 940 has no DDR3 memory controller. Either drop to AM2+/DDR2 or Ph2 720, or up to Ph2 945 or 955 BE.
June 5, 2009 10:00:26 PM

so im probably gonna go with this dirtmountain's build, except i want to put in 750gb hardrive

Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS 750GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM - $80.
It is only $5 more for 110gb more of memory. All the other specs on the hard drives are the same i think.

In dirtmountain's build, the graphics card is great, and while i know DDR3 RAM is the thing of the future, i dont really plan on upgrading for a while and when i do ill probably just get a whole new system. Also, I want a quad core processor more than i do DDDR3 RAM.

Thanks to everyone who contributed. Ill probably order in about a week, after I show this to the guy who's building the pc.

Also, I have never overclocked and have no idea how to do it, but I have seen many recommendations to do it. Should I? i have heard that it significantly lowers the lifespan of your processor and I hope to keep this computer for about 3 years.

Any final comments or objections?
June 5, 2009 11:15:36 PM

Also, is everyone sure that I cant get a comparable system already built for cheaper?
June 6, 2009 12:42:35 AM

No you really can't. If you check out this system from cyberpower. It has a much inferior graphic card (9500GT is a poor gaming card), a very cheap power supply, an IDE burner (that's what that wide ribbon cable is going to), a less feature filled motherboard (740G), slower RAM (DDR2 800) and a smaller and slower hard drive.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

although building it yourself can seem kind of daunting at first, it's really not that difficult and you get better, faster, higher quality parts. In the act of building it you become more familiar with your system and it becomes less of a mystery.
June 6, 2009 1:02:53 AM

I was just wondering: for how many years do you think I will be able to play most games at fairly high settings before I need an upgrade (I'm talking about dirtmountain's build)?
June 6, 2009 1:07:16 AM

Longer than you will last in Uni if you worry about a gaming build...
June 6, 2009 1:15:24 AM

If you through in another 4850 in sometime... should be 3-4 years at least.
June 7, 2009 12:11:12 AM

croc would you care to explain what you said. I have a feeling its a joke that completely got past me.
June 7, 2009 1:35:59 AM

He says if you're gaming, you might not last long in university.
June 7, 2009 2:06:38 AM

O ok. Ive never heard of anyone refer to a univeristy as a Uni before.
June 7, 2009 2:23:28 AM

He's probably from the UK.
June 7, 2009 2:43:42 AM

asti21 said:
croc would you care to explain what you said. I have a feeling its a joke that completely got past me.


I don't make jokes in regards to secondary / tertiary education. Personally, I think you should go for a decent laptop instead of a gaming desktop. You'll have plenty of time to do your gaming (and possibly the dosh for a good PC) if you graduate with a good GPA.

Maybe I'm just a slow learner, but I found that I required two to four hours of study / review for each hour of class time. Or maybe Uni in Aus is just more demanding than where you are.
June 7, 2009 10:49:58 PM

Im going to order soon, but i was wondering if all the parts will come with the cables they need or if i have to buy those too? (probably a noob question but this is my first build)
June 10, 2009 6:28:54 PM

The mobo should have all the cables, but i dont know what your getting so, best of luck on your first build. Dont ware socks on carpet....lol
!