APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: August to September 2009
BUDGET RANGE: Approximately $500 but flexible
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing the internet, playing the occasional game (mainly command and conquer), watching videos, watching TV
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, hard drives
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: amazon.com, newegg.com, pricewatch
PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD and ASUS
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050
Hello. I’m about to build a new system for Windows 7 (last system built for Windows Vista) and would like some feedback and advice.
ECS KN Lite with a AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+ (Manchester)
2 gigs of dual channel ram using all 4 banks.
ATI Radeon 1600 PCIE video card with 512 megs of memory.
FusionHDTV5 RT Gold (TV Tuner)
530 Watt CompUSA power supply (purchased in 2006 and possibly beginning to
C drive – Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500 GB
D drive – Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 160 GB
DVD RAM and DVDRW drives
Since you're not planning to purchase for a few weeks, I'll talk fundamentals instead of specific parts. Combos and prices will change.
Amd is a great value for the budget you're in so I'd stick with that. From what you're using the computer for, an Phenom II x3 would be more than enough for you and save you some money. If you have the budget for a quad, go for it.
Read some reviews on express gate. I bought an Asus for the same reason and don't end up using it. Plugins and java didn't seem to work with it if I remember correctly.
As for the mobo, you really can pick anyone you want since you're not going to OC or crossfire. So picking one based on lowest price along with the features you need can save some money too. And you don't have to match the GPU manufacturer with the mobo. Mix and match is fine.
While DDR3 might not provide any noticable performance issues, it is going to get cheaper. DDR2 has already hit its production high and the prices are climbing. From what you list your uses are, 4 gigs of ram should be enough for the life of the system so upgrading later probably won't be nessessary. If you do upgrade though, DDR2 will be more expensive than DDR3. That and a DDR3 system will be better set for any upgrades you may make later too. The price difference is about $20 for DDR3 ram.
For your system, 600w is way overkill. You will be fine with an Antec Earthwatts 380. Really, you could go lower, but the reputable manufactures don't go any lower. Entry level PSU from Corsair, Antec, PC Power and Cooling are all good choices. Acceptable choices would include OCZ.
Might be worth reposting with specifics a few days out from purchase so we can help find the best combos out there.
Thanks for the replies. I have thought about just upgrading the memory, video and power supply (if needed). But I also love the idea of a quad core system and my current system is sluggish and buggy. I'm not sure how many of the bugs are Vista and how many are hardware issues. Plus if I don't upgrade the motherboard for a PCI-E 2.0 card then won't there be a serious bottleneck if I install the 4670?
No, the 4670 won't push the bandwith envelope of the pcie x16. But because the power is less than the 2.0 slot, it may need an additional feed directly from the PSU. I don't have one, so check a manufactures web site to see what the manual says about it if you are going to keep the mobo/cpu.