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Gaming Build. $300 - $400, no GPU needed

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September 11, 2009 7:28:04 PM

Hello all, I'm looking to put together a gaming computer for No more than $400 but the closer to $300 the better.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within 2-3 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: $300-$400

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, multimedia, multitasking

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard/Mouse, Monitors, GPU (MSI 9800GT), OS (Win 7), CD/DVD Drive, Maybe HD unless you can make that work in the budget

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, tigerdirect.com ? don't really know about the reliability of others

PARTS PREFERENCES: I've been looking at AMD because of price

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 2x 1920x1080 Monitors

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I've been looking at the Phenom II X2 550 BE, and the X3 720 because of price.

There don't seem to be any good AM3/DDR3/SLI boards? Is DDR3 that important if I plan on upgrading to an X4 later on? I haven't seen too many AM2+/SLI boards either.

Thanks for the help
September 11, 2009 7:42:04 PM

with a budget that small, there's no point in trying to work in dual graphics cards. It makes much more sense to just upgrade to a better single card solution. You'll be able to keep your power requirements and consumption down, and won't need as big of a power supply. To actually see any benefit from dual card graphics, you'd need to spend about half your budget on a processor that can keep up with the cards. Since AMD and ATI are one in the same, they really have no incentive to build SLI support into AMD boards. NVIDIA nForce chipsets for AMD processors might offer support now, but I've never been a fan of those for AMD systems.
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September 11, 2009 8:06:48 PM

I wasn't planning on buying another GFX card now, don't know where you got that from? I meant MOBO capabilities for future upgrades such as when I go to a quad core.
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September 11, 2009 9:07:05 PM

I saw the SLI as maybe, and that you were looking for an AM2+/SLI board, so I mistakingly thought you were thinking about SLI right now. I'm not 100% sure on this, but I thought I read somewhere that AM3 boards are compatible with older generations of processors, you just can't use an AM3 processor in an AM2+ or older board, so that might give you more options. As for going with DDR3, I think it's something you'll want since DDR2 prices aren't going to get any lower, and they are no longer in production in large quantities. Prices will start to go up as supplies will be lower than they have been in the past. performance advantages for DDR3 RAM will continue to improve as new chips are released.
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September 15, 2009 5:55:52 AM

wathman said:
I saw the SLI as maybe, and that you were looking for an AM2+/SLI board, so I mistakingly thought you were thinking about SLI right now. I'm not 100% sure on this, but I thought I read somewhere that AM3 boards are compatible with older generations of processors, you just can't use an AM3 processor in an AM2+ or older board, so that might give you more options. As for going with DDR3, I think it's something you'll want since DDR2 prices aren't going to get any lower, and they are no longer in production in large quantities. Prices will start to go up as supplies will be lower than they have been in the past. performance advantages for DDR3 RAM will continue to improve as new chips are released.


Actually it's the other way around. You can use an AM3 processor on an AM2+ board (which support only DDR2 RAMS), but you can't use AM2+ processor on AM3 boards (which comes in DDR2 and DDR3 varieties). Considering that the current price difference between DDR2 and DDR3 is not that much at all, the only deciding factor might be the cost of the motherboard.

As for SLI, I don't think any of the more popular AMD boards (the 790 series, 780/785 series) supports SLI, since most of these chipsets has integrated ATI graphic chips, and only support corssFire. You might have to look for a newer version of nForce series (like 980a or 750a) for your motherboard.
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