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$400 budget gaming system. AMD first timer.

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September 17, 2009 3:39:21 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next two weeks.

BUDGET RANGE:$300-$400

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, light apps (surfing, documents etc.)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: GPU, keyboard, mouse, monitor, OS, speakers, heatsink, HDD.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: None.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'd like to take AMD for a spin, but otherwise, I have no preferences.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe. Probably not considering my resolution.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440 x 900.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This system will be primarily used as a secondary gaming rig and occasional LAN box. I'm shooting for a moderately quiet, mid-tower system that is rather portable.
-The system will be using an ATI 4890. Yes, this is probably overkill for the resolution, but I received this defective for $50 from a friend who didn't bother to RMA it.
-HSF will be a Sunbeam CCTF 120mm. I've lost all the other brackets for it, so I'm not entirely sure if it will fit the AM3 motherboard chosen :??: 
-Hard drive used will be a WD Caviar Blue 640GB drive.

I have never before built an AMD system, so bear with me if I make several errors in the components I've picked.
-----------------------------------------------------
Parts Chosen:
CPU and mobo: AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Black Edition & GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P combo
= $178.99

---I'm considering the new AMD Athlon II X4 620, though I'm unsure whether thats a good idea since its a gaming oriented system.

Case: I love the look of the Cooler Master Storm Scout, but the $90 price tag seems a bit too hefty considering the budget of the system. If anyone has any suggestions regarding a case, feel free to speak up :) 

Memory: I've never used DDR3 before, so I'm blind as to whats good and what isn't. I've chosen a 2x2 GB set of G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1333 memory for $89.99, though I'm uncertain if this is a good decision. Some insight would be greatly appreciated.

PSU: From what I've read, a CORSAIR CMPSU-450VX 450W PSU or CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W PSU will suffice for my needs.

Total comes to about $434 with $8 shipping. Being $40 over budget doesn't bother me too much (just a few more lawns to mow!) but if theres any way to cut down the price a bit or a part to change out because of some error of mine, feel free to speak up :) 

More about : 400 budget gaming system amd timer

a b 4 Gaming
September 17, 2009 3:59:15 AM

The 650W Corsair would be best. You will be fine with the 450W unit (at load your system would probably use between 280 and 330 W), but a larger unit has more reserve and thus won't be working as hard. Also, with the 650W you could possibly add another 4890 latter on down the road, well assuming you get a crossfire board anyway :D .

The 720BE is certainly better for gaming than the 620 as the 720 has a higher clock speed along with the L3 cache. While the 720 BE is easy to overclock I haven't seen any overclocks of the 620 yet. Anyway for your cooler check newegg to see if you can't purchase the AM3/AM2 Clip separately for the Sun Beam.
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September 17, 2009 11:19:48 PM

megamanx00 said:
The 650W Corsair would be best. You will be fine with the 450W unit (at load your system would probably use between 280 and 330 W), but a larger unit has more reserve and thus won't be working as hard. Also, with the 650W you could possibly add another 4890 latter on down the road, well assuming you get a crossfire board anyway :D .

The 720BE is certainly better for gaming than the 620 as the 720 has a higher clock speed along with the L3 cache. While the 720 BE is easy to overclock I haven't seen any overclocks of the 620 yet. Anyway for your cooler check newegg to see if you can't purchase the AM3/AM2 Clip separately for the Sun Beam.

Thanks for the advice. I will probably go for the 650 watt Corsair mainly to leave the 4890 CF option open in future.

However, changing the motherboard would bump the price up at least $30 to incorporate a CF capable motherboard. The added cost of that plus the PSU would push the price to around $490: too steep for my liking. I'm more inclined to keep the current choice of mobo and upgrade to a CF supporting board in future when needed.
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September 17, 2009 11:46:42 PM

Getting a more powerful dual core CPU would be better for those uses, not to mention cheaper. And if you want to decrease costs further, an AM2+ mobo and DDR2 RAM would save you some. I have DDR2 RAM and I use it for a lot of gaming, the difference will be barely noticeable.

Since you're installing a 4890, a 550W-600W PSU will suffice if you're not planning on going crossfire.



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September 17, 2009 11:52:19 PM

what are the specs of your main gaming rig?
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