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Help on a $300 budget for mobo/CPU/GPU and RAM

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June 5, 2009 4:20:37 PM

I'm updating an older system for a friend. Only going to be replacing the mATX motherboard, CPU, RAM and a GPU. I'm going to be ordering the parts in the next week from newegg. The build is basically a light gaming rig with home office use. They need to be able to use the XP virtualization in the Windows 7 OS, which eliminates the E5200,5300,5400. They want 4 RAM sockets and 4GB of RAM to start in a mATX, with the option of going higher in the future if some applications they use require more RAM (hence the 4 RAM sockets) There's a $300 hard cap on the budget. I'm not happy with the builds i've come up with and wondering if i'm just going in circles so I thought i'd ask for some input from the folks here at Toms if there's something i'm overlooking. A moderate overclock, no crossfire with 1440x900 resolution. Using a good quality 450w PSU.

*edit* since the idiot OP forgot to specify mATX form in the first post.
June 5, 2009 4:32:19 PM

I hope you're ok with IGPU's because in that budget you aren't going to get a build with a discrete GPU which is better than the IGPU.
June 5, 2009 4:34:39 PM

This is what I'd use with that budget:

Intel Pentium E6300 Wolfdale 2.8GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $161.98 - $10.00 MIR (CPU + GPU combo)

GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99

G.SKILL HK 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

Total - $296.96 - $10 MIR
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June 5, 2009 4:50:24 PM
June 5, 2009 5:32:41 PM

Thanks for the 2 builds. I have to admit i screwed up in my original post by not listing the mobo must be a microATX board (9.6x9.6) at the largest. I'll edit it in. I wish i could use that build shortstuff.
June 5, 2009 6:43:48 PM

I would try to talk them out of the 4 RAM slot requirement so you can replace the motherboard in my build above with a G41 board for about the same price. If they're hung up on that, it's pretty hard to come up with a balanced build. Here's a couple builds I came up with, but I'm not really happy with either of them.

AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition Kuma 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS M3A76-CM AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $123.99 (CPU + motherboard combo)

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

POWERCOLOR AX4850 512MD3-DH Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99 - $20.00 MIR

Total - $288.97 - $20 MIR


AMD Athlon II X2 250 Dual Core Processor - 3.00GHz, Socket AM3, 2MB Cache, 2000MHz (4000 MT/s), Retail
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite... $99.99

ASUS M3A76-CM AM2+/AM2 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $64.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $54.99

SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 - $10.00 MIR

Total - $309.96 - $10 MIR

You could use one of these motherboards if you can talk them out of needing 4 RAM slots:

GIGABYTE GA-EG41M-US2H LGA 775 Intel G41 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99

GIGABYTE GA-G41M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G41 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $64.99
June 5, 2009 6:55:31 PM

Thanks shortstuff, we both seem to be thinking in the same line with the E6300 and a G41-45 or the x2 250 and 760g or 780g. I may just have to scream, yell, moan and complain till they up the budget a bit.
June 7, 2009 9:12:02 PM

I ended up with this build.
CPU - PhenomII x3 720 $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Mobo - Asrock 780G/SB710 $73
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM - Gskill 2x2 GB DDR2 1066 $48
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU - Had to go cheap with a 9600GSO 384 DDR3 $55 not counting a $20 rebate, $35 after rebate. They use a 1280X1024 monitor, not the 1440 i thought, so it should be fine for their limited gaming.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

about $305 after shipping and rebate. Thanks shortstuff and Andraxxus for your ideas.
!