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New gaming build/upgrade for less than 300 euros

Last response: in Systems
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July 15, 2009 3:16:23 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: In a week or two.
BUDGET RANGE: Little below 300 euros.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Games, since everything else requires less.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Best bang for a buck. Just for the sake of having less to choose from, I've chosen ATI over Nvidia for no particular reason. AMD I have chosen since it gives more for the same price.

OVERCLOCKING: Probably a little, I don't want to bother too much about it
CROSSFIRE: Option I might use in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: CRT, because of poor eyesight I prefer these. Usually I have 1024x768 desktop resolution with 19" monitor. LCD screens have smaller pixels and I find the text difficult to read.

I don't upgrade my system very often, and here's the parts I've selected so far based on a lot of research aka. surfing. Even though there was no good explonation for it, I've just looked at AMD chipset boards because the buying quide here suggested not thinking about nvidia chipset boards. More comments below. Oh, the links are to German sites but you probably can read the specs anyway.


AMD Athlon X2 7750 BE 52 euros.

Since it's maybe two or three times as fast as my current CPU, I think it will be quite sufficient for me. Everything faster seems waste of money. I'm fairly sure of this, unless it's way too slow for many games.


2x2 GB 1066 MHz Corsair XMS2 CL5 memory kit 44 euros.

Of this I'm not 100% sure. If I understand correctly the CPU runs at different bus than the memory, thus I could use 800 MHz memory also? What do you think about the selection, good enough for me? It seems the 800 MHz memory isn't so much cheaper that it would be worth it, even though there's not much difference is speed either. But the 1066 MHz memory seems to need higher voltage, does the motherboards listed below support that? Cheapest 2x2 GB 800 MHz CL5 memory is about 39 euros.


Sapphire Radeon HD 4770 82 euros.

Well, I think this is quite fast for me, and should use less power than many others with similiar speed. I know these won't be delivered fast but that's OK by me. I'm assuming this is OK card for the price, but if there's anything really better for the same price, you can suggest a change. What I'm unsure is my old power, it's an old Antec TrueP 430W, but it only gives 20A on the 12V line. Is that enough for the setup? Most modern power units give more on the 12V line.

And what do you think, is the CPU too slow compared to the graphics card? I might play games at greater resolution than the desktop is, but I don't think there is much need to. I have a feeling it's usual combo of graphics card and CPU.


The last thing I need is a motherboard. Of that I'm most unsure because I don't know the real differences between the three similiar models I've found. They all have 2 PCI 16 slots and 4 memory slots, I guess it all comes down to brand. Do I need crossfire or will I ever use it? Probably not, but I'd like to keep it optional. If the components survive that long, I might upgrade this system in two or three years from now if I feel need for it. Even now there are compatible CPUs which are maybe three times as fast as the 7750, and with another 4770 I can nearly double the GPU power, same thing with memory. I see a lot of upgrade potential here, of course I'll won't expect this ever to be the fastest gaming PC on earth..Of course you never know, maybe in three years it's not financially logical to upgrade based on this anymore, but to make a whole new upgrade again.

ASRock A780GXH/128M 780G 57 euros.

This I would prefer, because it has an additional integraded graphics and it's cheapest :)  I've had good experience with Asus board before, to me MSI and Gigabyte seem 'cheaper' brands, but the Asrock is a new brand for me, I just know it's owned by Asus.

Or maybe

MSI K9A2 CF-F 790X 62 euros. It doesn't have integrated graphics but it's supposed to be better chipset.

Or maybe

Gigabyte GA-MA780G-UD3H 780G 68 euros.

Very similiar to the Asrock. If it's better than the Asrock then the price isn't bad at all. Obviously I don't want to buy a 80 euro motherboard for a 50 euro CPU.

All these sum up to about 230-250 euros. Plus I need to pay 30 euros for delivery, since I'm buying from abroad. Of course due to postage costs I will buy these from the same site, but which site depends on which motherboard I choose. The MSI and Gigabyte boards are more common, but the Asrock board can be found from plenty of places too. You can suggest other commonly available parts too which I have not mentioned, I should be able to find a store from Germany which can deliver all that.

I apreciate any comments about these. Oh yeah, I need only the components above, everything else I already have.
July 15, 2009 8:49:19 PM

You seem to have had virtually the same idea as i had only i used a k9a2 platinum.
July 17, 2009 4:44:02 PM

A lot of the cheaper builds are being suggested to use DDR3, but that would require more money on the CPU and motherboard as well, and I wouldn't want to go that way. After all most of the time even this many years old computer would do fine, it just doesn't have gaming power for anything modern and doesn't have PCIe for upgrade.

If I would double the memory within three years, it probably would require more money than doubling DDR3 memory, but in three years it won't be that big difference, plus I think it would be the same compared with the price increase now if I would choose DDR3.

Anyway, I now understand that unless I overclock the bus, those 1066 MHz memories won't be any use compared to 800 MHz memory. With better processors I might upgrade in the future, I don't know?

Any other comments please?
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