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Sub $700 AMD - First Build

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July 14, 2009 8:32:46 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the month

BUDGET RANGE: $600-700

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies, desktop publishing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS not included in this price

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com to order everything at once

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD Phenom II X2 CPU, a mid-tower case, ddr3 memory

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This will be my first build. I would like a quiet PC that runs cool and could possibly work with Ubuntu.

Planning to run Windows 7 when it comes out. Until then I will use an old 32 bit copy of Windows XP professional or Windows

7 RC. I will buy the monitor locally once the rest of the parts are ordered - 22-23".

Build so far:

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill Wind Knight Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computert Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec TruePower New TP-650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS

BRONZE
with...
EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Foxconn A7DA-S 3.0 AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
with
AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$637.23 with shipping before rebates

More about : 700 amd build

July 14, 2009 8:54:12 PM

Looks pretty nice to me. I would personally spend just a bit more on the AMD X3 720 BE. You would get better performance and better oc ability, but that would be my preference.

Also, again my preference, I would get an HD4850.

Looks like a nice budget gamer!
July 14, 2009 9:10:08 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$5 more before MIR and $10 less after MIR, so the upgrade to three cores, a better motherboard, and better performance wont cost you much at all or may even come out cheaper.

You can also get a 1GB 4850 and a Corsair 650 watt PSU for slightly more and at your resolution the 1GB will help.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Related resources
July 14, 2009 9:15:13 PM

The 9800 GTX+ is the odd ball in that build since the motherboard is crossfire compatible and the PSU would power two GPU's. I would go with a 4850 instead to leave the option of crossfire open.

The 640GB drives have higher data density and are faster than the 500GB models. It would be worth the $5 to upgrade to the WD6401AALS.

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99

You can also get the WD6401AALS in a combo with the Antec 300 case:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The RAM you picked is pretty slow CAS 9 DDR3 1333 RAM. You can get considerably faster DDR3 1600 RAM with CAS 7-6-6-24 timings for only a little more:

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600EB4GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $74.99

Using combos you can even step up to the Phenom II x3 720 with a better Asus board for an extra $5:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $204.99 - $15 MIR


Edit: Hunter315 beat me to it on the CPU + motherboard combo. :) 
July 14, 2009 9:19:38 PM

with most games not using multicore processors the 550 be is a good choice . IMO its a coin toss as to whether you'd get better gaming performance out of a 720 be .
The 720 would definitely be better as a multitasking cpu

What bothers me is the foxconn mb . I hear they are better these days but I have vivid memories of their hardware from just a couple of years ago .Id probably go with a
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P for $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Its a high quality mb .It cant crossfire because it only has one pci-e x 16 slot but unless you are definitely crossfiring later thats no issue [ you have an nVidia gfx card listed so its not that likely anyway because you cant SLI nVidia gfx cards .

Theres also a combo with the mb that includes a 4850 for a very decent price .

EDIT : hard to argue with shortstuff and hunters mb/cpu combo . Looks cheaper after rebate and is better
July 14, 2009 9:30:39 PM

Thanks for the replies. I've been looking at the different options you've suggested and will update later.
July 14, 2009 9:34:52 PM

Y'all all beat me to it! Stupid work pc is a pile of crap. Quits opening links in a new window after a while. But dang it, I was trying.

+1 for the Gigabyte or Asus mobo, the 4850, and the Corsair 650.
July 14, 2009 10:50:07 PM

Here's my 2 cents. I don't need any change back. Taking a lot of the advise from the knowledgable above, this is what I've swung.

The x3 720 asus mobo combo for sure. Hard to pass up that kind of discount and you'll definately notice the extra core now and in the future. $205 - $15 mir
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Your DVD burner of choice. If you don't need the DVD-R DL, there is a lite-on with free shipping and $4 cheaper.
Sony $32
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Lite-on $28
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram suggested by ShortStuff $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Shorties pick for the HDD and case also $120. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
If you really want that Rosewill case for the blue LED fan, you're picks work out to be about the same price I think. This combo for your first pick case has a free external HDD docking station w/ free shipping also.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Now heres where I'd step a little more. Playing at 1920x1080 will really stress the 4850. The fan is going to spin up and make a lot of noise which you are trying to avoid. I'd actually go with a 4870 1gb for $150 - $10 mir. This combo will get a 4gb usb flash drive too for $1.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Now to power the 4870 and keep an option open for a crossfire system later, I'm suggesting the Corsair 750TX. The 650 has enough watts, but only has 2x6pin. So the 650 is fine if you choose the 4850s. The 4870 needs 2 per card and the 750TX has 4x6pin connectors leaving options open for the future.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $702 + S/H about $720 - $45 in mail in rebates
Final $675
July 15, 2009 12:41:09 AM

Thought about your suggestions while I mowed the lawn and went swimming.
Updated:

LITE-ON 24X CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
with
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified
with
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor
with
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

$671.03 with shipping with $30 mir making it ~$640
July 15, 2009 1:07:21 AM

The 770 only has one PCIe 2.0 x16 slot. So the 750TX is WAY overkill. More power and more connections than you need. The combo for the OCZ modxstream would work fine and save you another $30. That would allow for the option of the 4890 or Nvidia 275. Since one vid card is the only option, look at the games you play and see which (ATI or Nvidia) performs better for those games. Lots of different combo options to reevaluate if you go with the gigabyte 770 and reduce the PSU.
July 15, 2009 1:12:07 AM

Thanks for the advice, but that motherboard uses ddr2 ram. I was hoping for ddr3 in the build.
July 15, 2009 1:28:53 AM

That's true, but you are getting a quad core instead of a triple core, so better multitasking. Someone here might have more information than myself as to the ddr2 vs ddr3 question, but do keep in mind that you would end up with a better cpu. That combo makes that board almost free which is why I suggested it. Also keep in mind as skora mentioned, if you look at the combo, you might save more money on the PSU, and you'd probably save money on your memory as ddr2 should be less expensive than the ddr3, so you might go with a better card, which would balance out the system. And with say a 22-24 inch monitor, you will be running a little higher resolutions, which the better video card would help with.

However, I can definitely respect the idea of going with the ddr3. Just remember, balance is the key on the system. Especially once you get into deals like this, so many options to pick from.
July 15, 2009 1:36:01 AM

Problem is that board will cost him much more in the future. As any processor upgrade will require a motherboard upgrade and new ram so upgradability for that board is 0. The 770 board and the 750TX while not providing you a second PCI-E slot to do crossfire you wont have to upgrade your PSU which are often more expensive than the motherboard so that combo is pretty good and in the Antec 300 your spare power cables can just sit on the bottom of the case.
July 15, 2009 1:47:56 AM

A 600w psu should serve him well while working on the 770 AM3 platform. I doubt he'll ever end up with a card that will require more than that. So if he can get more GPU from the savings, it's worth asking the question. If there's a platform change in the future, then yeah, a new PSU may or maynot be needed. Certainly not for a single card. As the technology and standards advance, you'll see less power consumption from here on out. No one wants to make a standard that the EU will ban (like plasma tvs.)
July 15, 2009 2:04:53 AM

Thanks for all the advice. I swapped out the PSU to save some money after seeing the deal skora posted. Would it would be worth the money to add a different cpu cooler other than the one included with the processor? Also, does using name brand thermal grease help or just void my warranty?
July 15, 2009 2:17:22 AM

Was looking around newegg and found this combo deal

Maybe you are intereted on a Phenom II x4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

ASUS EAH4870 DK/HTDI/1GD5 Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You have about 70 bucks on mail in rebate after all that, add the DVD burner of your choise and you are on a total of around 710 bucks.

Looks like a good deal to me :) 
July 15, 2009 2:34:30 AM

Excellent find Dark Mantle. That is worth a look kuitems. But the Ram isn't as good as the OCZ and you are paying for a lot of HDD space you won't need. If you are looking for a longer term investment and willing to spend the extra, something to consider. If you're looking for a quality system for as little as possible, stick with the x3.

The stealth xstream series is suppose (don't know from experience) a quiet PSU and at a resonable price. Leaves a lot of options open for the GPU (4870 1gb or 4890 or 275 GTX) and find a case that you really like.

If you are worried about warranty, then I'm guessing you can't OC the processor at all so using the stock fan will be fine. Not sure what voids the warranty, that will take some digging.
July 15, 2009 3:01:13 AM

I have built a computer with a StealthXStream and they are awesome PSU.
I would take a 720 BE + an Xigmatek Dark Knight and OC the hell out of that chip. Going quad will cost you, and since games use two cores, the third can be used to offload the extra random extra work your PC is doing.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
My shot for the case is a CM RC-690 since it's a lot more user friendly/sold construction than the Antec 300. On top of the whole thing a 150$ 4870 with 1GB is very important, buffer size at your screen rez is crucial, you'll even see a 4850 with 1gb perform better than a 4890 with 512 (not even sure they make some) on your resolution.
For better OC you can get Artic Silver 5 thermal paste and it's not going to void your warranty don't worry ;) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
As for DDR2 vs DDR3, it's pretty much the same performance/$ so you can just go with a bit more expensive board, like a GA-MA-790XT which is a solid board that is able to do CF if you ever want it later =)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

July 15, 2009 3:13:49 AM

True, but i was thinking just in case he was not going to overclock, because he said "Overclocking: maybe" at the beggining of the post, but then again after some research it seems that this Corsair memory have some problems to work at 1600 with this Asus board (seems it would only work at 1066). i haven't really use neither of them, so it would probably be a good idea to research a little more before spending money on that deal i posted before.
July 15, 2009 3:14:33 AM

Thanks for the all the advice. I've placed an order at newegg.com tonight after making quite a few changes from my original post without going beyond my budget. Let's hope all the stuff works when it arrives! Now it is time to go monitor shopping...
July 15, 2009 3:21:47 AM

Good luck!, i hope everything goes as planned. :) 
July 15, 2009 4:27:48 AM

You can't leave us hanging like that, what'd you end up getting?
July 15, 2009 12:57:18 PM

true... what did you got?!?!?!?! *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* *drums* tututututum
July 15, 2009 2:37:06 PM

skora said:
Now heres where I'd step a little more. Playing at 1920x1080 will really stress the 4850. The fan is going to spin up and make a lot of noise which you are trying to avoid. I'd actually go with a 4870 1gb for $150 - $10 mir. This combo will get a 4gb usb flash drive too for $1.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Now to power the 4870 and keep an option open for a crossfire system later, I'm suggesting the Corsair 750TX. The 650 has enough watts, but only has 2x6pin. So the 650 is fine if you choose the 4850s. The 4870 needs 2 per card and the 750TX has 4x6pin connectors leaving options open for the future.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total $702 + S/H about $720 - $45 in mail in rebates
Final $675



Huh? 4850 will run 1920x1080 just fine. I don't disagree on upgrading to the 4870, but lets not mislead people and have them thinking they're gonna get crap otherwise. On a larger size monitor, you may have a point. Anything under 22 or 23", it won't matter.
July 15, 2009 9:45:21 PM

AMDThunder said:
Huh? 4850 will run 1920x1080 just fine. I don't disagree on upgrading to the 4870, but lets not mislead people and have them thinking they're gonna get crap otherwise. On a larger size monitor, you may have a point. Anything under 22 or 23", it won't matter.


In no way was I suggesting the 4850 is crap. My 4850 serves me well. But at that resolution, it has to work harder than the 4870 to do the same job. The OP wanted something quiet and I know my 4850 can sound like a small vacuum if I run the fan on high. Since there was room in their budget, I voted for the 4870 over the 4850.
July 15, 2009 10:54:13 PM

Sorry it took me so long to respond. Final order:

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W ATX12V V2.2 Power Supply
LITE-ON Black 24X CD/DVD Burner
Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" HD
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Triple-Core Black Processor
OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
SAPPHIRE 100259-1GL Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5
$632 with shipping not counting mail in rebates.
July 16, 2009 5:28:05 PM

wow! you fit that in a 700$ budget, it's a pro PC on a nice budget. Have fun with ModXStream OCZ PSU, they're awesome, seriously.

=D
July 18, 2009 6:44:37 AM

Got everything hooked up and running. Cables are a mess and I'm still trying to figure out how to partition my hard drive.
July 19, 2009 3:38:37 AM

I don't know how Windows 7 does on setup(assuming that's what you are running), but I know on Vista when I did the setup, it did that for you as part of the setup, which is awesome, because I can remember having to use the old DOS commands back in the days of windows 95, anyone else remember that? Ok, starting to feel older now...lol.
July 19, 2009 4:15:05 PM

it's pretty straight up setting up partitions in Windows Vista/Seven, it asks you on what drive/partition you want to put it all, there's an "Advanced" option that gives you more choices, in this case you can basically go and make the partitions the size you want them and choose on which you want to put Windows on, it's pretty self-explanatory.
!