$700 AMD Blu-Ray and Gaming Rig

This is my first build and although I've been researching the parts that I want for a little while now, I decided it would be best to ask the community what they thought before I started buying parts.

CPU: AMD Phenom II 720 X3 - $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103649

Cooler: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro for $31
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835185125

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128392

GPU: Radeon HD 4770 - $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121326

Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 - $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231193

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion for $55
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129066

PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500w Modular - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341016

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD6400AAKS 640GB - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136218

Bluray: LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM - $67
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106326

DVD: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW - $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151187

Total Price: $688

Notes:

1. I will be hooking this up to both a 24" 1080p LCD monitor and a 42" 1080p LCD HDTV, preferably through HDMI.
2. I would like to be able to play any game, but I don't necessarily need settings turned all the way up (and don't care about crossfire)
3. I plan to be backing up my blu ray collection on this computer (and eventually I'll be adding 1 or 2 more HDD's) so I'll be doing lots of ripping/encoding.
4. I'm all about "Bang for Your Buck". I want performance, but I don't need 'cutting edge'
5. I'm all about generating less heat/ consuming less power (hence DDR3 and the HD 4770)
6. I probably won't do any heavy OCing, but I think it would be considered blasphemy to get the Phenom 720 and not OC at all.

I really love aluminum cases like Lian Li's, but I heard throwing in optical drives kills the look, and they would blow my budget of $700. And the cheaper aluminum cases tend to suck with air flow. But if anyone knows of a budget aluminum case then I would definitely consider that.

I don't know about the 720's stock cooler, so I threw in the Artic Cooling Freezer. If the stock is decent enough, I could probably go without since I plan only to lightly OC.

I'll be buying parts over the next week or two (mainly via Newegg and Zipzoomfly), so if anyone has any tweaks/suggestions, I'll take all the help I can get!
13 answers Last reply
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  1. Well for Full HD i am worried about HD 4770 as its really in HD 4850 country and i'd be looking at GTX 260/HD 4870 for that resolution to be honest ^^ Perhaps hit a 95W TDP quad (runs cool even on stock cooler) and a HD4870?
  2. Does blu-ray playback require a lot of GPU 'muscle'? I agree that 1080p gaming with the HD 4770 might be stretching it, but then again I don't need to play on the highest settings. However, if that isn't the case, then I'll definitely look at upgrading to the HD 4870 or 4890.
  3. I just made two similar range systems with the same Motherboard, PSU and DVD Drive. I've used the AC Freezer before and it is pretty good. My main differences were using a 4650, OCZ DDR3, a 500GB WD Black HD, and an Athlon II X2 250 (and a Centurion 5 case) so from my experience, barring any defective items, I'd say that should be a solid build.
  4. Strouty said:
    Does blu-ray playback require a lot of GPU 'muscle'? I agree that 1080p gaming with the HD 4770 might be stretching it, but then again I don't need to play on the highest settings. However, if that isn't the case, then I'll definitely look at upgrading to the HD 4870 or 4890.


    If you were building a purely HTPC for Blu Ray then well a Regor 240 would cut it but for Full HD gaming and to address multi core optimisd games down the road then if your budget allows it get a more muscular CPU :P
  5. batuchka said:
    If you were building a purely HTPC for Blu Ray then well a Regor 240 would cut it but for Full HD gaming and to address multi core optimisd games down the road then if your budget allows it get a more muscular CPU :P

    are you sure? according to this link, using a chipset of at least 780G will play fud without any problems at all
  6. Err have a look at how even a heavily OCed E8xxx series copes with a game like GTA4 and you too will conclude that more cores = more wise to address both non multi and multi core optimized games now and in future :P Yes i am aware of that 780G review but a Sempron with its small cache will be found wanting for games
  7. batuchka said:
    Err have a look at how even a heavily OCed E8xxx series copes with a game like GTA4 and you too will conclude that more cores = more wise to address both non multi and multi core optimized games now and in future :P Yes i am aware of that 780G review but a Sempron with its small cache will be found wanting for games

    sure but wouldn't it be better to get a at least 780g chipset mb for him?
  8. Why would the chipset matter anyway if I don't plan on using integrated graphics? That is why I opted for the AMD 770, although I had looked at boards with the 790x.

    Another question, how is the air flow with mini tower cases like Batuchka recommended? I'm fine with a mATX mobo but I'd be concerned with air flow in a smaller case.
  9. Strouty said:
    Why would the chipset matter anyway if I don't plan on using integrated graphics? That is why I opted for the AMD 770, although I had looked at boards with the 790x.

    the integration between cpu-gpu-chipset is better with chipsets =>780g
    check the link I've provided. with chipsets <780g, the strain on decoding the hd film falls on the cpu mainly, with the chips, the strain is falls on the gpu.
  10. TS is spot on: strain on CPU relevant only if sticking to integrated video - the GPU discussed so far are all more than capable to offload the strain off CPU for Blu Ray ^^ Well for that shoe box case:

    One has a 82mm height limitation for HSF and though i see abominations of hardware from peeps drilling and opening panels to accommodate a water cooling set up i would say one should not clock heavily with too much Vcore and for an mATX case the 3 x 80mm are strategically positioned to run a fairly powerful HTPC-cum-gamer
  11. batuchka said:
    TS is spot on: strain on CPU relevant only if sticking to integrated video - the GPU discussed so far are all more than capable to offload the strain off CPU for Blu Ray ^^ Well for that shoe box case:

    One has a 82mm height limitation for HSF and though i see abominations of hardware from peeps drilling and opening panels to accommodate a water cooling set up i would say one should not clock heavily with too much Vcore and for an mATX case the 3 x 80mm are strategically positioned to run a fairly powerful HTPC-cum-gamer

    I'm not sure that it is right, can you bring some relevant links?
  12. Google is your best friend ^^
  13. well I've asked at amd's forum, they say that dragon platform is phenom II+7 series chipset+4xxx gpu, e.g. your build is a dragon platform. thus it will not strain the cpu on hd playback
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