AMD sub-$800 PC rig, first build ever

Hi all,

This will be my first PC build ever, gaming or otherwise. I'd like to go back and play some of the best-known FPS games from the last few years (Doom 3, Quake IV, etc.) and even some of the newer ones (Bioshock, etc.) but create a system under $800, under a grand if this budget doesn't fit my needs.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next week
PREFERRED BUDGET RANGE: $600-$800

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, watching movies, surfing the web

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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD processor, ATI video card

OVERCLOCKING: maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: not at the moment
MONITOR RESOLUTION: not sure, widescreen :)

CASE
Antec 900
$99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

POWER SUPPLY
Antec TruePower New TP-650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS
$109
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371021

CPU
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor
$119
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103649

HEATSINK/COOLER
ZALMAN CNPS9900LED 120mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler
$59.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118046


IF AM3:
MOTHERBOARD
ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131366

(combo with processor above: total of $194, savings of $34 vs. gigabyte/ddr2)

MEMORY
OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
$99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227365

IF AM2+:
MOTHERBOARD
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard
$109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128387

MEMORY
CORSAIR 4 G (2 x 2 Gb) 240-Pin DDR2-800 SDRAM (PC 6400) TWIN2x4096
$44.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145184

VIDEO CARD
SAPPHIRE 100265HDMI Radeon HD 4830 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported
$89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102822

[Sound card]
no idea about this, whether the onboard sound for AMD motherboards are typically adequate or not...

Socket AM3 build: $651
Socket AM2+ build: $573

How solid is this build? I have over $100 to spare with both builds, so a better video card would be good to invest in imo. I think I'm set on the processor (is X4 worth it right now with my budget concerns?) and the newer AM3 motherboard. However, as far as the power supply requirements, cooler options other than what I chose, voltage considerations, memory latencies, and whether the above setup is even compatible with every component, I need smarter minds to comment :) Suggestions on parts to swap in or out, such as a more expensive video card, different RAM, etc.? I would like to stay within the budget. Prices change so fast!
2 answers Last reply
More about build ever
  1. Hello.

    I am no expert but have been putting together a list for a P2 940 build and it looks very similar!!

    RE Sound - depends on what you need but the ddr2 Gigabyte board is ok for sounds but not amazing (according to research on the web) - you may need a sc but they are sooo cheap.

    With regards to ddr2 vs ddr3, I think ddr3 will be a bit more 'future proof' but as regards to performance for gaming (vs costs) I would personally go with the ddr2.

    All said and done I am new on here and will prob get FLAMED!!!

    Good luck mate.

    PJ

    Oh and just one other thing... the Antec 900 looks an excellent case but you may want to consider the 902..with a few upgrades...
  2. Go with the AM3/DDR3 build. Get the power supply/case combo deal. Don't forget a SATA DVD burner (although newegg is having trouble stocking them right now). For bang/buck look at the HD4870 1GB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102825

    *edit* if crossfire with a 4870 may be in the future, go with the combo deal for the EA750 combo deal.
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