Modest gaming/entertainment build

First time building, need lots of advice!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: next few weeks; BUDGET RANGE: ~700 max

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing the internet, watching movies, gaming (medium res)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: mouse, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg?

PARTS PREFERENCES: no preferences

OVERCLOCKING: No; SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440 x 900

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Just looking to upgrade from my 4 year old laptop; looking for decent performance, gaming on 1440 x 900, upgrade to higher spec in future


Case: 80
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

PSU: 70
Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371007&Tpk=EA500

CPU/Motherboard: 205
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core + ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.205337

Memory: 65
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231193

Graphics:
MSI N9400GT-MD512H GeForce 9400 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127396

Hard Drive: 64
WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR GREEN 750GB SERIAL ATA/300 32MB
http://www.frys.com/product/5954944

Optical: 30
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 22X DVD-R 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151188

Monitor: 110
Acer X193Wb Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2000:1 ACM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009151

Keyboard: 10
Logitech Classic Keyboard 200 (USB)
http://www.frys.com/product/5300998?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

Wireless: 28
EDIMAX EW-7128G IEEE 802.11b/g PCI Wireless Card Up to 54Mbps Data Rates 64/128-Bit WEP
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315041


Total Price: ~793 (including shipping)

Help! Over budget!!
17 answers Last reply
More about modest gaming entertainment build
  1. Hm not much you can do unless you think of a dual-core and DDR2 based build with 2GB (2x1GB), cheaper tower case with free shipping? Maybe a Western Digital Caviar SE16 500-640GB?

    What kind of games do you play btw?
  2. I was planning on playing Left 4 Dead. I guess I'm more concerned about budget than gaming performance.

    What if I switch in this combo?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.215869

    that drops it down to about $650
  3. Thanks for the suggestions! Are you sure about the GPU tho?
    And what specs should I be looking for on the mobo?
  4. GDDR3 is much faster compared to GDDR2. At 1440x900 you should be fine. And L4D is fairly easy to handle.

    That mobo is pretty popular, I bet a lot of people here have it and you for the price it has good features. It does have 8 power phase so you can overclock the CPU for sure. And it supports high speed DDR2 memory.

    I think I'm missing out on L4D too and need to go buy it lol
  5. tiger253 said:



    what planet are you from and when do you think you will be going back?

    There is no way your budget entry level c2d will compete with the previous AMD triple core build you trashed . Your advice amounts to "buy obsolete intel junk thats being phased out because it can overclock "
    and even thats not good advice since the OP said he didnt want to overclock
    and even if he did the Phenom rig will run as high as 3.8 GHz no trouble at all

    The phenom build is FAR FAR better build and all the OP has to do is to drop the graphics card since the mb has onboard gfx that are strong enough to play crysis at low resolutions and most other games ok

    That saves $48

    Keeping the same case with a combo deal on CM psu can save another $50
  6. Is there a way to make the triple core build cheaper? My original setup is over budget
  7. Outlander_04 said:
    what planet are you from and when do you think you will be going back?

    There is no way your budget entry level c2d will compete with the previous AMD triple core build you trashed . Your advice amounts to "buy obsolete intel junk thats being phased out because it can overclock "
    and even thats not good advice since the OP said he didnt want to overclock
    and even if he did the Phenom rig will run as high as 3.8 GHz no trouble at all

    The phenom build is FAR FAR better build


    Where in the OP's first post does it say I do not want to overclock?
    my bad, didn't see that

    Yes the Phenom II X3 720 is far better but try giving him advice to fit his budget.

    He says "upgrade to higher spec in future" so why not settle for something decent right now and still be able to play L4D just fine.
  8. tiger253 said:
    Where in the OP's first post does it say I do not want to overclock??

    Yes the Phenom II X3 720 is far better but try giving him advice to fit his budget.

    He says "upgrade to higher spec in future" so why not settle for something decent right now and still be able to play L4D just fine.



    It was this line
    "OVERCLOCKING: No; SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No "
    that made me think he wasnt keen on overclocking

    but hey I could be wrong


    And to add to your planetary problems a c2d isnt that upgradeable . Its being phased out . The Phenom rig , well to upgrade you buy a gfx card and install that to turn it into a very decent gaming machine
  9. Outlander_04 said:
    It was this line
    "OVERCLOCKING: No; SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No "
    that made me think he wasnt keen on overclocking

    but hey I could be wrong


    And to add to your planetary problems a c2d isnt that upgradeable . Its being phased out . The Phenom rig , well to upgrade you buy a gfx card and install that to turn it into a very decent gaming machine



    Outlander_04, can you suggest how I can trim down the phenom rig?


    Case: 60
    Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129042

    PSU: 59
    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341016

    CPU/Motherboard: 205
    AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core + ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.205337

    Memory: 65
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231193

    Graphics: 75
    BFG Tech BFGE96512GTOCBE GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143161

    Hard Drive: 64
    WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR GREEN 750GB SERIAL ATA/300 32MB
    http://www.frys.com/product/5954944

    Optical: 25
    SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S222A - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151175

    Monitor: 110
    Acer X193Wb Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2000:1 ACM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009151

    Keyboard: 10
    Logitech Classic Keyboard 200 (USB)
    http://www.frys.com/product/5300998?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    Wireless: 28
    EDIMAX EW-7128G IEEE 802.11b/g PCI Wireless Card Up to 54Mbps Data Rates 64/128-Bit WEP
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315041


    Total Price: ~790 including shipping
  10. Ya I havea suggestion, save up for another month and get what you have already picked out.
    That coolermaster case is much MUCH better than the 300. The antec too cramped. Your not going to get a whole lot for cheaper than that. also updat your psu it's only $38 after rebate. There you saved $21. that should pay for the shipping for everything but the case.
  11. Is getting a case with built-in PSU not as good?

    and Why is this case so cheap? If it works, I could just pick it up from Fry's.
    http://www.frys.com/product/5534250?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    and I hate rebates.....lol
  12. generally the psu's that come preinstalled in cases are not very good quality , but dont be put off buying a case/psu combo

    You can still leave out the graphics card for the time being .
    The onboard gfx of the 790g chipset are the best available , and you should be able to play some games without buying a graphics card .
    Later on add the gfx card for better gaming performance when you can afford it

    The WEP network card is pretty insecure btw . Anyone can pretty much stroll into your network if theyre within range .
    A WAP network card is more secure
  13. so now I have...


    Case: 80
    COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

    PSU: 39
    OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341016

    CPU/Motherboard: 205
    AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core + ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.205337

    Memory: 65
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231193

    Graphics: 75
    BFG Tech BFGE96512GTOCBE GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143161

    Hard Drive: 64 (Purchased)
    WESTERN DIGITAL CAVIAR GREEN 750GB SERIAL ATA/300 32MB
    http://www.frys.com/product/5954944

    Optical: 26 (going to check Fry's)
    SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S222A - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151175

    Monitor: (going to check Fry's)
    Acer X193Wb Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 2000:1 ACM
    $110 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009151
    or
    Acer V193Wb 19" Widescreen LCD Monitor (Open Box) - 5ms, 2000:1 Dynamic, 1440x900 (WXGA+), VGA, Refurbished
    $90 http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4388615&sku=S445-719003

    Keyboard: 10 (Purchased)
    Logitech Classic Keyboard 200 (USB)
    http://www.frys.com/product/5300998?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    Wireless: 20
    EDIMAX EW-7128G IEEE 802.11b/g PCI Wireless Card Up to 54Mbps Data Rates 64/128-Bit WEP
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833315041


    Total Price: ~800 including shipping


    I kinda want to build it now and get it done before school starts again.... so do you guys suggest I drop the GPU for now? That one comes bundled with WOW....

    or maybe I can save by getting a cheaper monitor for now?

    Thanks for help guys
    d^^b
  14. AMD Phenom II X3 720 + ASUS M4A78T-E
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.205337

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231180

    COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137

    OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341019

    Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151175

    Acer X193Wb Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009151

    D-Link WDA-2320 IEEE 802.11b/g PCI 108Mbps Data Rates 64/128-Bit WEP, WPA
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833127075

    Logitech Classic Black 104 Normal Keys USB Standard Keyboard 200
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823126023

    Total 669.30 with a Mail-in Rebate of 35 dolars.

    I think this build is pretty good, just stay with the integrated graphics for now and save for a better graphic card in the future if you really need more, with this PSU you have enough room for any graphic card you buy and to be honest for the price after mail in rebate its a great price. Also as outlander said WEP sucks, that d-link card has WAP and best of all an Atheros chip (best wifi chips if you ask me).

    Edit: never mind, looks like i'm to late. What you have looks good, just change the wifi card if you want better security. Good luck!
  15. Alright, looks good. I think go check Fry's monitors and optical drives first. The wireless is a tad expensive..

    How is this monitor?
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4211615&csid=ITD&body=WARRANTY#tabs

    Also, I'm planning on using a burned copy of XP Home. I'm assuming it works because I've used it several times to reformat my laptop. I should be able to use it simultaneously right?
  16. Will I need to buy separate thermal paste??
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