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Well Balanced $400 Computer - Motherboard, CPU, Memory, HD, PSU

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August 5, 2009 5:53:09 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week BUDGET RANGE: $400

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet Surfing, Multimedia, DVD Authoring, Flight Simulator X Average Settings

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, DVD-ROM, GPU, Operating System (Windows Vista 64/ 7 64-bit)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com,

PARTS PREFERENCES: I have an existing ATI x1950 Pro PCI-E that I am going to use, so what ever parts that are most compatible with that. Need Mirror Raid with 2 Hard Drives.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe some.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This computer is for a mid level computer user who like to experiment with a little bit of everything including Flight Simulator X with Average or Above settings. Must have two hard drives for Mirror Raid.


CURRENT IDEAS ----------
MOTHERBOARD --
GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128392 $84.99

CPU--
AMD Phenom II X3 710 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model HDX710WFGIBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103648 $99.99 - $30 Rebate

MEMORY--
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBPI - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231200 $74.99

GPU-- EXISTING (NOT PURCHASING)
VisionTek Radeon X1950 Pro (PCI-e, 256MB)
http://reviews.cnet.com/graphics-cards/visiontek-radeon-x1950-pro/4505-8902_7-32305563.html


PSU--
CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008 $49.99 - $10 Rebate

HARD DISK--
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD502lJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152098 $109.98


CASE --
Centurion 5 Black w/Silver Trims ATX Mid Tower, W/O window, W/O PSU - Refurbished
http://cmstore.coolermaster-usa.com/product_info.php?products_id=83 $19.99


TOTAL w/shipping: $465 - $40 MIR

I would like to get the price down to $350 - $400, but I feel like I am going to sacrifice too much to get to that range. Any suggestions on Processor, Memory, or MOBO mods to reduce costs and maximize speed would be greatly appreciated!!

I DON'T HAVE ANY PARTICULAR FAVORITES, SO ALL IDEAS ARE GREAT IDEAS.
August 5, 2009 5:55:40 PM

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August 5, 2009 6:03:26 PM

You might want to go with DDR2 memory instead of DDR3, for the Phenom IIs, it isn't much of a performance hit I think. I'd also check how much shipping is going to cost you with that refurbished Centurion. You might be able to find a Case / CPU combo that will shave off a few dollars, and total shipping cost if you get everything from Newegg.
Related resources
August 5, 2009 6:12:38 PM

Well if u ok with mATX/AM2+/DDR2 build

Edit : Ya +1 on DDR2 for low budget systems hehe
Edit2 : oops swap out ODD for another WD 500 Blue for a top up of $29 since u need 2 HDDs
August 6, 2009 12:24:44 AM

Any other thoughts? I would like to go with a full size ATX board so that I am not limiting room for upgrades in the future. I will probably go with DDR2, but what about feeling on the other equipment? Will the DDR2 and Hard Drives be adequate to use the processor and video card to its full potential?
August 6, 2009 2:32:10 AM

At your price point, I don't think you can do much better. the gains from better hardware will not be huge, and you will pay significantly more for it.
!