First Bargain Build for $405, whadda ya think?

about the marriage of these components?

Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail--------$65.99

Antec Three Hundred + BP430 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W Power Supply - Retail-------$89.99
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
Internal Hard Drive - OEM-----$49.99

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail---------$52.99

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail----------$39.99, $15 mir

CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model
TWIN2X4096-6400C5C - Retail----------$54.99, $20 mir

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM----------$25.99

SAPPHIRE 100225L Radeon HD 3870 512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail------------$69.99, $15 mir

Retail: $449.51
Combo discount: $10
Shipping Costs: $15.18
Mail in Rebates: $50

Shipped: $405 after rebates

This was a little more than I originally anticipated and with the addition of an operating system it will run me out a bit. I'm pretty sure this system is going to kick my ass though with its overall speed and better graphics rendering. For the past year I've been using my HP pavillion dv2500....amd turion(tm) 64 X2 TL-60 2.00 GHz CPU.....3.0 GB RAM....VIDIA MCP67M graphics card...and this thing gets ridiculous hot...102 GPU/83 CPU with a notebook cooling mat taboot.

My windows experience index base score on this laptop is 2.6.

Processor: 4.8
Memory: 4.8
Graphics: 3.0
Gaming graphics: 2.6
Hard Disk: 5.2

Partly the upgrade is for gaming, but also as a backup for this *hot* laptop. Keep tuned for pictures and commentary about how this beeyatch treats me when I get it up and running come Tuesday (fingers crossed). Much thanks to a handful of Tom's newbs, wannabee, and scouts--especially to Mr. Skora. this think is going to work right? lol

Oh any good sites I should look to for actually connecting A to B? I found some earlier, didn't bookmark, but know to watch out for static electricity! Ouch! :ouch:
23 answers Last reply
More about first bargain build whadda think
  1. 1. Your links are broken.

    2. You can run Windows 7 RC1 till next year to reduce cost of OS or run Fedora/Suse :D

    3. 3870 is an old card.If possible get a 4870.
  2. Eh...dead links, wth? Let me edit with just the prices I paid.

    I'm staring at the Win7 RC disk right now--hey sweet stuff *wink*

    As far as the vid-card, I did already buy the 3870 though I noticed that I might have a PSU issue. After some posts it seems that the 430 W Antec will be enough to support, though the specs ask for at least 450 W.

    Looking at the 4870 specs it looks like the same issue except they ask for 550 W supply. I could return the card under newegg's policy, I suppose, is gddr4 worth it?

  3. Actually, the 4870 has gddr5 memory. Just nitpicking ;) I would get the 4850 if possible. The 4870 could be overkill. What's the resolution of your monitor? The 4850 would be more appropriate for your power supply.
  4. The monitor I'll be using is AOC 19" WS with 1440x900 resolution.

    The 4850 uses Gddr3, no? This is the same as the 3870 in all the other respects too (512MB 256-bit GDDR4 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP, Cross fire ready), but 3870 uses gddr4.

    I probably won't return this card for marginal performance increase, likely only if it really is incompatible. I might be swayed if I were told it wouldn't last a couple years, but beyond that I'm pretty eager to get things rolling here and parts come tomorrow and Tuesday--w00t!
  5. Just received all parts, but the optical drive today (comes tomorrow) and am getting ready to build. Looking at the Tom's Hardware article on DIY building and will proceed from there.

    Good questions: do I need to buy a sound card? does my build already provide for an internet connection? Amazingly I have found neither of these items mentioned in any of the handful of threads I've read about custom building.
  6. As far as the internet connection, the board has ethernet already installed, just plug and play........And it comes with onboard sound so you are fine....
  7. thanks ovrclkr...good stuff.

    Just got back from serving up some food to the people, and am at home to seee if I can get the BIOS up and running.
  8. Let me know if you need any help.....
  9. Don't forget that the motherboard owners manual is your friend! This checklist may also help you avoid some of the most common mistakes:

    Let us know how it goes.
  10. I just built a similar budget PC . Antec 300 , Earthwatts 380W PSU , Intel E5200 , Gigabyte G31-E2SL , 2 GB DDR2 800 GSkill , Sapphire 4650 , WD HDD , Samsung DVD-R dual layer . I bought it all from Newegg , couple combo deals and it all totalled around $325 .
    I am using Win 7 RC and am very pleased with the overall system . This was certainly an upgrade from a HP w/P4 . I have not overclocked anything and don`t know that I will for awhile . Seriously , this PC is just awesome !
    One thing on Win 7 , I had trouble creating bootable USB flash with XP , I was able to extract Win 7 to it just fine but wouldn`t boot . I ended up temporary plugging new DVD burner into old HP and created Win 7 boot disk . Finally , I re-installed DVD into new case , re-entered BIOS and changed boot order to make CD/DVD first .
    Have fun and enjoy your new PC .
  11. Excellent information folks. I seriously can't wait to get going however I'm having a hell of a time at getting this Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer to install. It's getting the mount to attach with the pushpins that is killing me. No doubt many of you would be horrified to see me banging away at this thing. I have one of four pushed through, but it's not looking good.

    If this doesn't go in by tonight, I wonder if I might not return it. Too bad :(

  12. Did you read in installation instructions for the cooler? You shouldn't ever have to "bang" on anything when building a computer. The pins need to be rotated the OPPOSITE direction as the arrows. It's always much easier to install the HSF with the motherboard outside the case.
  13. Don't return it, it just takes some time and patience, push pins are a pain but once you get the trick its all butter from there.... take shortstuff's advice and you will eventually see its not that hard...

    On a side note : i do not understand why Intel opted for push pins instead of a latch like AMD.. IMO the latch is WAAAAAAY easier and its more secure... Took me 2 min to install a 550 and AC Pro 64 compared to 20 min with an i7 and a coolermaster V8.....
  14. Oops, it appears I mounted it in the wrong orientation (the fan would clip on, but face the wrong direction) though I don't see how this would affect not being able to get the other three pins through.

    I'm trying to remove the mounting bracket now. It looks like I might have to irreversibly damage the first pin-site that worked. Grrr....I'll have to look more into after work.
  15. Quote:
    Did you read in installation instructions for the cooler? You shouldn't ever have to "bang" on anything when building a computer.

    Yeah, the instructions I have don't say anything about orientation at all. Nevertheless I should of thought this through first. I hope I can have the patience you guys have and stop banging things.
  16. Yes, you need LOTS of patience...or else disaster can occur....take your time....
  17. FYI, the 4850 > 3870 is NOT a minimal upgrade. Good luck getting it all going. Not too shabby for $400.
  18. shortstuff_mt said:
    The pins need to be rotated the OPPOSITE direction as the arrows. It's always much easier to install the HSF with the motherboard outside the case.

    Additionally, with this HSF there are no arrows or rotating as far as I can see; it's a push-pin thing. Tje directions don't mention that there really is an orientation as to where you want the fan to be pointing. There's only two choices, and I think I picked the wrong one if I want the fans to be facing my RAM sticks, i.e. pulling air over them and not blowing hot air on them.
  19. You rotate the pins the direction of the arrows to release them. You shouldn't damage the board if you take your time and use some common sense.
  20. There is usually an arrow on the top of the push-pin. If not, check the instructions to see which direction you rotate them for installation and which direction you rotate them to remove it. It does matter which direction the push-pins are rotated. They're also designed to be easily removed.
  21. Quick update: got it reoriented without completely destroying one of the connections and found that pushing them in *before* trying to install has helped me fit two of the other three--now I'm fussing with the final piece which doesn't want to go home. But, now I really must go!

  22. Ok, since we've last left our hero, there was a lot of ground covered.

    I was able to get the CCF bracket to first come off (to reorient) and to finally place it on. I'm unsure whether or not the instructions imply that you should use the buckles (my apologies to shortstuff_mt for calling them push-pins) to push out the connecting piece in the first place prior to actually trying to attach it to the board. Unfortunately I was in such haste to put this together that I didn't take pictures that would clarify what I mean--though I do have others--because this method was the only way I could get it to work. And I worked on pushing the bracket into place by mashing the pushpins while they were seated and the bracket yet unattached. This was kind of frustrating, though I think I might have survived the encounter: I did bang on the motherboard indirectly, hit a big gold thing that is now a little loose (though I think it was before), and when removing I grazed the mobo's back surface with my pliers--Youch! I'll save you the details though I think no damage was done.

    The rest of the installation was pretty stress-free. When I got stuck I looked up things on the net; i.e. how do I add power from the PSU to the fans, and so on. I had to pull out the vid-card to make wiring a little easier, though the mobo manual mentions putting it in very early in the game. I spent a good deal of time, about 20 minutes, rearranging the wiring so that everything could be bunched, and generally out of the way without laying on any circuitry or hanging in front of any fans. No issues with installing RAM, HDD, DVD burner really. This was fun and it looks pretty sweet! There were at least a bunch of times when I wished that a TH guru was here with me, but I think I'm through the physical building stage.

    Now I've got it running and moved to start the Windows install, because I can drink my beer and read my paper while that's doing its thing. It's asking for drivers to be installed at the 'collecting information' stage (the other 'installing windows'). I have no idea what drivers it's looking for. The disc I'm using is the Windows 7 RC DVD that I downloaded from the Windows website and burned using imgburn (burned an image, note). Could it be it's looking for drivers for the HDD? The HDD is made some weird, clock-like, ticking noises, when I first booted the computer up. Very strange, and very loud actually.

    Am I doing things in the right order? There's vid-card drivers and a mobo disc that I haven't installed yet, because I thought windows is top priority. Then I can download some programs and get to look at Overclocking, and then...GAMES! So yeah I'm stuck.

    Still got a beer to read and paper to drink, so maybe someone can point me in the right direction. Sorry for the long posts here. Perhaps I should start new threads. I'm a little unsure about the TH way of doing things so far, so don't mean to step on you peep's toes! To the Budweiser!

  23. Actually the HDD sounds like a whining puppy that ends with the sound of a sizzle. I hope it's not that I put too much grease on CPU? Oh, it's nothing Mr. Landlord, the house is burned down, but I was just building a computer! That's covered by insurance, right?

    Since I've been going nowhere with getting Win7 drivers, I thought to start and boot the Mobo disc, but now all i see is that it wants to start XpressRecovery2 and is on this loop of asking me to hit a button to start it, hearing the whining HDD, then the press any key message again, ad nauseum.

    Hmmm...this weekend I'll totally be rocking CivIV, this weekend.

    And, I can see none of you dudes are on right now. C'mon, it's Tuesday night! Just kidding,...Patience, right? Totally.

    After some late-night grovelling, it appears my problem lays in BIOS not recognizing the HDD. Why?

    *Officially* the HDD sounds like it's a car with its turn signal on---tick-tock-tic-tock-tick-tock. Maybe the 'whining puppy' is the disc spinning, or I confused them with a fan. There is a pronounced, 'tick-tock' sound that sounds like a turn signal on a car.
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