N00b Builder - All-around PC for ~$600

Hi all,

I'm a first-time builder looking to build a computer for everyday tasks, as well as some light gaming (WoW, Football Manager, Age of Empires, etc). I also want a premium sound card without breaking the bank. Here's the info:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: July-August
BUDGET RANGE: $600 to $900
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Watching streaming HD video, listening to and storing/hoarding lossless-quality music, college tasks (word processing, spreadsheets, MATLAB, etc), light gaming.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I have a Samsung 24" LCD and I'll use Windows 7 RC for now.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: None
PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like a high quality case.
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I want to be able to reuse parts like the case, power supply, etc, in case of a future rebuild.

The parts I've found are:

Antec Nine Hundred Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W Modular PS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341018

Foxconn A7DA-S 790GX Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186168

AMD Phenom II X3 720
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103649

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148395

G.Skill 4GB DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231189

Sony Optiarc Blu-Ray ROM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118013

I haven't added a sound card yet because I don't really know much about the category. The total so far is $630. Thanks in advance for the help!
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Here's a nicer board for less in combo with the CPU:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.205337

    This is the nicer case and PSU, although your choices are OK:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.205337

    This would be the better, faster HD:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136319

    Finally your Optical doesn't write any disks at all. You'll want a DVD burner.

    You should wait on the sound card, see if the onboard sound is enough for you.
  2. Quote:
    This is the nicer case and PSU, although your choices are OK:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.205337


    Could you re-copy the link? I think you did the motherboard/CPU combo twice by accident. Thanks!
  3. As usual Proximan is right on, but you can find a great all in one Blu ray/dvd burner drive for less than that one. You can catch the retail versions w/the blu ray software for $75 - $80.
  4. First off DDR3 probably isn't worth the money right now when you can get a better price/performance ratio from a better processor. If you aren't going to do a lot of gaming the 9950 is probably the better one to get being faster at everything but gameing or go for the quad 940 for fifty bucks more.
    9950 130$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103291
    940 175$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103471

    If you what seamless hd playback you are going to need more than the onboard video. With the chipset you have chosen i assume you want ATI Graphics since it only supports crossfire and not sli unlike the intel boards that support both. A 4830 is more than you would need for hd playback and would get you some game in. Although for thirty+ bucks more you can get a 4870 powercolor and not have to upgrade in awhile.
    4870 126$
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131140
    4830 89.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127420

    I love my antec 900 but if you aren't going to overclock its probably overkill but i think the decision to get a good case and psu is a great idea. I dont like modular because the clips aren't always the best things get loose and you think something died that didn't and you rma and rma and find out its the @&%@ing cord but thats up to you. Hope that helps
  5. All good recommendations, although I disagree on the RAM. As someone looking forward to future builds, it's not unreasonable to anticipate re-using your DDR3. DDR2 will go up in price and eventually all boards will be DDR3, so there is good reason to use it now.

    You had said you wanted a very nice case and PSU, so I was suggesting the Cooler Master HAF and Corsair 750TX:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.212377
    Hopefully I got the link right this time.
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