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$500-$600 AMD Budget Multimedia System.

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September 30, 2009 12:18:46 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:

Soon! My current CPU keeps overheating, I have a large standing fan duct-taped to the side with the door off, and still locks after a few hours :D ! (it's years old and not worth investing in to keep running except maybe later for a media PC or something.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:

Mostly Internet, Movies, Burning and converting video, music, Some gaming but nothing requiring mega graphics - would like to have the option later though with a simple GPU upgrade.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse,Keyboard, Monitor. I have a crap gateway restore disk WITH windows XP Media Center, not sure if I can use it on new PC?

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:

New Egg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

U.S.

PARTS PREFERENCES:

Thinking of AMD X3 with BioStar TForceTA790GX for performance and onboard GPU (at least initially for cost reasons).

OVERCLOCKING: Yes OR CROSSFIRE: Possibly later on. Not initially.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Would like it to be quiet, will not be moved around alot. I'm worried about waiting and ending up stuck without a CPU for awhile! Only have around $400 at the moment and I am alaso worried about paying for Vista possibly when 7 is around the corner. was thinking of something along the following lines but the cost is a bit high.



AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX $119.99

Arghhh jumped $15 since yesterday!

BIOSTAR TFORCE TA790GX 128M AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard $104.99


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD753LJ 750GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - OEM $64.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ $85.99

Antec earthwatts EA500 500W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC

Antec VSK-2000 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$104.95 combo.

Total of $51.00 instant savings in combo deals.

Total before Shipping or OS - - - $479.95



Thats the total NOT counting an OS. Anyone see a spot I could shave off some bucks without losing alot? Or anyone have an idea on my OS problem? Thanks in advance.

Scott

Best solution

September 30, 2009 1:26:05 AM

I compared the 720x3 vs the lower cache, but quad 620x4 here: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=106&p2=83
The 620 would better suit your needs and with a mild OC, you'll actually do quite well with it over an x3. It's also cheaper.

As for the OS, its hit or miss whether it will work or not. Depends on how gateway slipstreamed the OS into the startup. Legally, it's shouldn't be used.

So here's a shot at extreme budget: (w/fs = free shipping)

AMD 620x4 $99 w/fs
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asrock 785G AM3 mobo $85 w/fs -Can't CF, but is GPU expandable, and very good IGP, see here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-785g-chipset,23...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If you want the CF as an option, get this +$15 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gskill 1333 4gb cas 9 $71 w/fs (not worth the extra to get 1600 or heatshields for your needs)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ StealthXstream 400w PSU $40 w/fs and $10 mir (Enough to add a 4670 or similar caliber GPU. If you want a bigger GPU option, then look in the 600w range, it will add $25-$30)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Cases are personal choices, they will all do the same basic stuff. Go for free shipping as it will save $20 and that's super important at this price point. I budgeted $50 to give you a few choices, spend more, spend less, just adjust my final numbers from $50 w/fs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Spinpoint F3 500gb $50 w/fs Best bang for buck HDD. If you need more capacity, the 1tb drive is $85
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dvd Burner $31 Very high rated unit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you do find out you need an OS, buy this combo with the CPU. Win Vista Home Premium will only add $80 with the combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total w/ OS: $514 - $10 mir = $504
Total w/o OS: $434









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September 30, 2009 3:43:28 AM

Thanks skora for the response. Everything I've read has appointed the X3 as the best for the money if you intend to OC. While not a big gamer I've been OC'ing since my first SLOT A Athlon and would expect to get 3.4-3.5, if so wouldn't that make the X3 perform much better for the majority of apps? I would appreciate your response as my knowledge of the new cpu's is a little limited but the low clock speed on the quad and the limited ability to O/C make me worry a little about it's longevity. Also, I'm a little lost on the PS I would need, but I would like to future proff it by getting at least a 500. Also.. HD size isn't an issue as I have a 1TB external already and that will last me awhile by itself.

Thanks again

Also! Not sure how much the Memory effects O/C these days. Would the cheaper higiher latency mem still allow for stable O/C?
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September 30, 2009 10:39:57 PM

CPU value has a lot to do with use. The x3 is ideal for gaming because most games won't use more than 2 cores and the game can use them exclusively while the third runs the OS and any minor background programs. However, with encoding, more cores equal better performance. It takes a very high clock speed for a lower core CPU to account for the extra cores it doesn't have. That's what that link shows, even though the quad is 200mhz slower, it still wins in most of the relevant benchmarks for your use. OC both, and the quad will further its lead, not give up ground. That and its cheaper.

As far as the longevity, there's no science to say which is better, but I still think a quad at 3ghz will last longer than a tri at 3.6+ unless your usage changes drastically.

Getting a beefier PSU is a good idea if you want a big GPU as an option. 550w is a good start.

The F3 series are great performers, so stick with that over the F1s.

Lower latency ram is better for OCing. The budget issue choose the good enough route for the ram. You have $500-$600 in the title but then said you only had $400, so thats what I was shooting for. If you want me to spec out all the way up to $600, I can. It would allow the breathing room for CAS 7 ram, the 550w PSU, an entry level GPU if you wanted, and maybe even a more powerful CPU. Also, is the DVD drive from your old system an option to use in the new one, save a few bucks? Or is it old enough its just a DVD rom and not DVD RW?
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September 30, 2009 11:50:31 PM

Thanks for the Response Skora. Your talking me into the Quad-Core. I've read good things about it, I heard so many great things about the X3 I never really looked into the X4. As far as cost goes on the MOBO and CPU I will gladly pay a little more for if it's a good value and make up the money elsewhere.

Sorry about the confusing price range- I am shooting for $500-600 but have $400 saved. If I find something I'm happy with for $400 I would get it, but I'm thinking I'll need to get in the 500-600 range to get what I want, which is a fast cpu for multitasking and video, with decent enough graphics to to basic gaming that will also be to last me 4 or 5 years with standard upgrades. So I will wait and save if necessary to get a good CPU, PS, and MoBo.

I haven't even thought about the DVD-Burner I have now since I was going to turn the old PC into a Medai Center eventually, but I can worry about that later on. I looked it up and I have a LITE-ON SHW-1635S DVD+R Dual Layer IDE. Will the IDE be a big problem?

Also would like to ask, whats the best MoBo you could recommend for the Quad, with very good Onboard Graphics and HDMI? As I mentioned earlier I don't mind paying $100 or so for the MoBo. I always tried in the past to always buy quality, highly upgradeable MoBo's and PS in the past and it worked well for me.

Thanks again in advance.
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October 1, 2009 2:01:52 AM

The lowest I'd see a system is in with the quad is above. Take out the DVD burner (IDE isn't a problem at all) and you are at $400. So if that's good enough, then that's what you have without the OS. With the OS, you're automatically near $500. I'll put a few upgrades and post another build below with better ram and PSU.

As for the gaming, even the best IGPs fall short of OK gaming at 1280x1024 (read article on the link for the asrock mobo above,) so the question to be asked is what is the resolution on the display you're using? But, there's good discrete GPUs that are cost effective and then you're not limited to the IGPs.

Using all $600 after rebates and delivery:

CPU/Mobo Combo: $184 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
AMD 620 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte 790GX AM3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU/Ram combo: $139 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
700w OCZ StealthXstream PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4gb Cas 7 DDR3 1333 ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD/OS combo $150 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Spinpoint F3 500gb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Vista w/ free upgrade http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sunbeam Core contact freeze w/ TX-2 grease $25 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus 9600 GSO 1gb DDR3 GPU $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Cases are personal choices, they will all do the same basic stuff. Go for free shipping as it will save $20 and that's super important at this price point. I budgeted $50 to give you a few choices, spend more, spend less, just adjust my final numbers from $50 w/fs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Total amir delivered $597

I have the sunbeam HSF. Here's the review I wrote up on it.: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=3...

For about $20 more, you could go with a 4670 1gb GPU that would let you crossfire a second one later on that 790gx mobo. But that depends on the display or if it'd be better to just go right for a more powerful GPU. A single 4670 and the 9600 GSO have equal performance. Both will do well at lower resolution displays and struggle if you try at 1680x1050.

Fire back some questions if you have them.
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October 1, 2009 2:32:54 AM

skora said:
The lowest I'd see a system is in with the quad is above. Take out the DVD burner (IDE isn't a problem at all) and you are at $400. So if that's good enough, then that's what you have without the OS. With the OS, you're automatically near $500. I'll put a few upgrades and post another build below with better ram and PSU.

As for the gaming, even the best IGPs fall short of OK gaming at 1280x1024 (read article on the link for the asrock mobo above,) so the question to be asked is what is the resolution on the display you're using? But, there's good discrete GPUs that are cost effective and then you're not limited to the IGPs.

Using all $600 after rebates and delivery:

CPU/Mobo Combo: $184 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
AMD 620 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Gigabyte 790GX AM3 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU/Ram combo: $139 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
700w OCZ StealthXstream PSU http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
4gb Cas 7 DDR3 1333 ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD/OS combo $150 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Spinpoint F3 500gb http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Vista w/ free upgrade http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sunbeam Core contact freeze w/ TX-2 grease $25 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus 9600 GSO 1gb DDR3 GPU $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Cases are personal choices, they will all do the same basic stuff. Go for free shipping as it will save $20 and that's super important at this price point. I budgeted $50 to give you a few choices, spend more, spend less, just adjust my final numbers from $50 w/fs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Total amir delivered $597

I have the sunbeam HSF. Here's the review I wrote up on it.: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=3...

For about $20 more, you could go with a 4670 1gb GPU that would let you crossfire a second one later on that 790gx mobo. But that depends on the display or if it'd be better to just go right for a more powerful GPU. A single 4670 and the 9600 GSO have equal performance. Both will do well at lower resolution displays and struggle if you try at 1680x1050.

Fire back some questions if you have them.


Thanks for the response.
My Monitor is an old 20 in Samsung with a Max Res of 1280 X 1024. Very low but again, something I'll be upgrading within a few months of buying the computer. I am suprised a $40 card can compromise a big upgrade from the onboard card on that config. I don't know much about gaming though, I've never spent the cash for a big time video card, but I was thinking anything decent would cost me $100 +. being able to use the onboard video just until I can add on later is perfectly fine. I don't game alot, I just intend to upgrade later on to do so.. As long as the system im making here has no other bottlenecks I'll be set to add that part on at a later time.

That Cooler looks really nice for the cash, but looks monstrous! One question about it though, you mention the noise level. How bad is it at it's average RPM's? My PC is set in a den right next to my Living room, and I will be going back later one and installing foam and low Db fans. If it is very loud I would probably hold out for one a little quieter.

Thanks for all the info, I'm thinking of going with the exact set-up you mentioned - the video card. Think I'll be able to swing that next pay day :D 
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October 1, 2009 5:10:01 AM

HSF
The reostat knob on the setup can be used to get the sound as low as you want. Lower than my PSU and a 80mm case fan on the side of the case. Keeps my OC'd CPU in the low 30s at idle. Value wise, you can't get a better HSF. The TX-2 is nice to get for free with it. Or you can hold off on the HSF and use the one that comes with the CPU, see how well the chip OCs. That HSF has been that price with rebate for almost a year now, so I don't expect it to change anytime soon.

The IGP on the 790GX should do well for you then. The 785g can be better if you OC the IGP. Either way, might have to turn the res down a touch for some games, but for a few months, should be fine. There should be a lot of price dropping with the GPUs in the next few weeks and months with the new ATI cards just released. You'll also have a great opportunity for upgrades cheap during the holiday season. If you're upgrading your monitor, I'd hold off on the GPU too and save for both a monitor and appropriate GPU at the same time.

The combos may change by the time you go to buy, so if you'd like another round of deal searching, post a new thread 2 days before your going to buy with what we've come up with here as a starting point. Others might know of better deals and save you some more cash. Drop me a PM so I know to peak in. I don't get on here everyday, but when I do, I check the PMs.

Good luck.
sKora
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