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Budget (sorta) Build for Daughter

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July 27, 2009 6:10:53 PM

Hi...I'm looking to build my 2nd computer (my first was based on an Intel Q6600) for my daughter who only plays Sims 3 and surfs the Web and uses iTunes. Trying to keep cost down but already approaching $700, I thought I would attempt to build this rig based on the AMD chip not really an OCer (maybe) and screen resolution won't go beyond 1680x1050. Need help choosing a CPU cooler and not sure if this PSU is enough...Thanks!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
July 27, 2009 6:48:26 PM

*UPDATED*

Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC 430W ATX12V V2.2 Intel Core i7 Compliant Dual 80mm Fans Full Cable Sleevings Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817153023

Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811129042

GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128387

SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814102770

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor Model HDZ550WFGIBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819103680

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820231166

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136218

SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S222A - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827151175

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6832116488
July 27, 2009 6:58:04 PM

The build is looking pretty good, but could be improved. The first thing that NEEDS to go is that PSU. It's a very low-end PSU with no active PFC and a pretty low 12v amp rating. I would get the Antec 300 that comes bundled with an EarthWatts 430W PSU.

Antec Three Hundred + BP430 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99

I would upgrade the motherboard and RAM to AM3 and DDR3. If you use these components it will even cost a little less.

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P16004GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $75.99

I would upgrade to the Black version of the 640GB Western Digital drive for an extra $5.

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

I would also ditch the IDE DVD burner for a SATA model.

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $26.99
Related resources
July 27, 2009 6:59:22 PM

Okay there are a few improvements that can be made to keep it upgradable for the future

Swap the motherboard and CPU to this, better CPU and motherboard for $5 less

790GX/720 x3 $205 before $15 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The new motherboard requires slightly more expensive ram $76
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This OCZ PSU is better suited for that card $59 before $25 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Same case $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Same HDD $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sata DVD Burner $26
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get Vista with the free windows 7 upgrade $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also swap the GPU for one with a dual slot cooler $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

comes to 716 before shipping, comes to 676 after MIR
July 27, 2009 8:21:35 PM

hunter315 said:
Okay there are a few improvements that can be made to keep it upgradable for the future

Swap the motherboard and CPU to this, better CPU and motherboard for $5 less

790GX/720 x3 $205 before $15 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The new motherboard requires slightly more expensive ram $76
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This OCZ PSU is better suited for that card $59 before $25 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Same case $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Same HDD $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sata DVD Burner $26
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get Vista with the free windows 7 upgrade $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also swap the GPU for one with a dual slot cooler $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

comes to 716 before shipping, comes to 676 after MIR


Thanks Hunter...any reason for going with Vista 32bit instead of 64, I like the triple core AMD and the OCZ PSU I'll take all into consideration.
July 27, 2009 8:25:02 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The build is looking pretty good, but could be improved. The first thing that NEEDS to go is that PSU. It's a very low-end PSU with no active PFC and a pretty low 12v amp rating. I would get the Antec 300 that comes bundled with an EarthWatts 430W PSU.

Antec Three Hundred + BP430 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99

I would upgrade the motherboard and RAM to AM3 and DDR3. If you use these components it will even cost a little less.

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $79.99

OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P16004GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $75.99

I would upgrade to the Black version of the 640GB Western Digital drive for an extra $5.

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

I would also ditch the IDE DVD burner for a SATA model.

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $26.99


Thanks for the input shortstuff...between you and Hunter below I should have a pretty sweet build!
July 27, 2009 10:08:40 PM

hunter315 said:
Okay there are a few improvements that can be made to keep it upgradable for the future

Swap the motherboard and CPU to this, better CPU and motherboard for $5 less

790GX/720 x3 $205 before $15 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

The new motherboard requires slightly more expensive ram $76
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This OCZ PSU is better suited for that card $59 before $25 MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Same case $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Same HDD $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sata DVD Burner $26
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Get Vista with the free windows 7 upgrade $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Also swap the GPU for one with a dual slot cooler $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

comes to 716 before shipping, comes to 676 after MIR



Hey Hunter...do you think the AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz will outperform the AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz, I know the X3 is triple core so that is an advantage as well as OCing but the X2 might be able to unlock 4 cores total and also OC?? Thanks again for you help.
July 27, 2009 10:13:59 PM

The stable levels you can OC a 550 to will be reduced by unlocking the cores, they are normally slightly defective thats why they got shut off. If you OC the 720 it will definitely out perform the 550 as it gives windows a core to run its background tasks on while you run a dual threaded game, if you think you will need a quad then you are best off buying a quad, if you dont the 720 will serve you well.
July 28, 2009 1:50:38 AM

For ref, my daughter performs the same activities and uses:

CPU: E7200 2.53GHZ
MB: Gigabyte GA-EP31-DS3L
Ram: 2GB DDR2-800 Generic
Video: 8600GT

She has no complaints about its performance on a 20" LCD. Plus it can be upgraded to a Quad Core and better video card in the future.
July 28, 2009 2:42:46 AM

brown63 said:
For ref, my daughter performs the same activities and uses:

CPU: E7200 2.53GHZ
MB: Gigabyte GA-EP31-DS3L
Ram: 2GB DDR2-800 Generic
Video: 8600GT

For what your daughter is doing, does she need more power than that? I have a 16 year old daughter who does the same things on a Dell PC with an Intel 1.6 Dual Core & a PNY 7600GT and it handles Sims3 with no problem. You might be better off getting a better 775 socket MOBO & GPU and overclocking to gain your performance boost.

Don't get me wrong, she could use an upgrade but does what she do warrant it? Now this is coming from a father that has his other daughter running a Q9550 with 2x EVGA 9800GTX for her system... So I do see both sides of the picture. :D 
July 28, 2009 7:08:01 PM

tecmo34 said:
For what your daughter is doing, does she need more power than that? I have a 16 year old daughter who does the same things on a Dell PC with an Intel 1.6 Dual Core & a PNY 7600GT and it handles Sims3 with no problem. You might be better off getting a better 775 socket MOBO & GPU and overclocking to gain your performance boost.

Don't get me wrong, she could use an upgrade but does what she do warrant it? Now this is coming from a father that has his other daughter running a Q9550 with 2x EVGA 9800GTX for her system... So I do see both sides of the picture. :D 



I see your point but Sims 3 seems to require some descent power and a descent video card I really don't want to buy a basic dell or HP with integrated graphics cause I know that just won't work, and computers last anywhere from 3 to 5 years years in our house. And she might get into other games that would require more power so I just want to future proof it as much as possible...Thanks for the input though.
!