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Need advice on building a budget PC for $350

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November 2, 2009 9:54:41 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within two weeks.

BUDGET RANGE: $350 after rebates.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Surfing the internet, video editing/encoding, gaming, watching movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
  • I already have a Samsung SyncMaster 932BW monitor
  • RaidMax Smilodon Case w/500 watt power supply. Should be here Monday. According to the pictures the PSU is a RaidMax RX-500s
  • Speakers
  • Windows 7
  • Mouse & Keyboard

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, ChiefValue, Buy.com are all good. No REAL preference though.

    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: I'm from the US if that's the question.

    PARTS PREFERENCES:
  • No manufacturer preferences, just a preference of HDD size of 500 GB
  • Also need Dual Layer capability in the DVD burner.


    OVERCLOCKING: I don't have any experience with OC'ing seeing as my Compaq's BIOS is locked, but I plan on doing it with this upcoming system. Especially if it will be of much benefit.

    SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Unfamiliar with that technology as of yet, so I'm not sure how to answer that.

    MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900

    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
  • I'm not really a gamer, but I plan on playing an occasional game or two (probably some 1 or 2 year old games.......not the latest stuff), and when I do, I want it to be decent. Note: If not recommending a GPU, then I will need a MoBo with a DVI output for my monitor.
  • On the customer reviews at Newegg, the RaidMax PSU (RX-500S) is not so well thought of, so I may need to include an upgrade for that. Any advice on that would be appreciated.

    Also leaning towards this harddrive at Buy.com because I will get $30 off of my total by using their credit card that I just applied for, plus I like the fact that they will pay return shipping on defective items.
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS Hard Drive

    Thanks in advance,
    Cosmicº°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø
    November 2, 2009 11:08:49 AM

    Good luck on that budget.
    November 2, 2009 11:16:35 AM

    Oh come on daship! One of those $99 AMD quad cores would be a good starting point. I just don't think you can squeeze in an Intel quad core and not break your budget. If you're going to be doing video editing, I really think this is the right route to take.
    Related resources
    November 2, 2009 12:17:22 PM

    Alright, I got this...

    Go with the hard drive you chose and the final price for it will be $25

    AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - $120
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model 996659 - $80 after MIR
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model SH-S222A - $30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Total: $365 shipping included

    The processor is unlocked so you can overclock it if need be.
    November 3, 2009 2:01:58 PM

    Hey guys. Thanks for the input so far. Does everyone agree with the build that Snurp85 came up with?

    I was wondering about this email update from Newegg:
    100 Deals Under $100: Up to 85% off top-brand products!
    So do any of the deals there change anything, as far as the parts lineup from Snurp?

    Later,
    Cosmicº°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø

    Best solution

    November 3, 2009 2:36:50 PM
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    One problem, you'll need to replace that PSU, it's quite bad.

    Regarding snurp's build, you'll want a SATA ODD, and I personally would recommend the 620 instead
    AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
    November 3, 2009 3:11:20 PM



    Quote:
    One problem, you'll need to replace that PSU, it's quite bad.

    Regarding snurp's build, you'll want a SATA ODD, and I personally would recommend the 620 instead
    AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product



    Thanks for replying jbakerlent,
    Is the RaidMax PSU just of poor quality or something?

    Also, in what area would I benefit in using the X4 over the X3? I noticed the X3 does have 6MB of L3 cache, (newb here) would I not miss that L3? AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache

    Also, what about the X4 not being a "Black" edition; can I still OC the X4 too, all the same?

    Later,
    Cosmicº°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø
    November 3, 2009 3:21:05 PM

    ^ Yes, as a general rule, the PSUs that come with cases are not of the highest quality (there are exceptions including the EA bundles).

    Very good questions/observations about the CPUs. I recommended the x4 because it is cheaper and you listed encoding before gaming as a priority (this is where the quad would be beneficial). You are correct, it would be nice to have the cache, but really, it doesn't have as much of an affect as you would think
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-l3-cache,241...

    Yes, the x4 is still very overclockable, you just won't be able to adjust the multiplier.
    November 3, 2009 3:34:05 PM

    tecmo34 said:
    If you go by benchmarks... the Phenom II X3 720 is the better CPU... http://anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=106&p2=83


    The OP is not really as much concerned with any of those benchmarks as he is with what he primarily using the computer for (I assume), which is surfing the internet and video editing/encoding. If this is not the case and the OP is instead more interested in spending more and having improved gaming performance, then yes the 720 is better. Also, AnandTech Bench is really not my favorite reference when comparing processors (for obvious reasons).
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...
    November 4, 2009 6:48:10 AM

    jbakerlent said:
    The OP is not really as much concerned with any of those benchmarks as he is with what he primarily using the computer for (I assume), which is surfing the internet and video editing/encoding. If this is not the case and the OP is instead more interested in spending more and having improved gaming performance, then yes the 720 is better. Also, AnandTech Bench is really not my favorite reference when comparing processors (for obvious reasons).
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=363...

    Yes, that is correct (emphasis on the web first,.........and then Video edit/encode/decode, rather than gaming.

    So far, it sounds like the 620 propus is what I probably need. Especially since it will help with cost savings. Maybe this way, I can round up a satisfactory PSU to replace the stock RaidMax RX-500s.

    (Edited for clarity)
    I found this GPU for $25 after rebate: GIGABYTE GV-R435OC-512I Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Low Profile Ready Video Card - Retail

    +

    and this Gigabyte MoBo for $65 after rebate: GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    Total: $90.

    Since the (previously recommended) ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail with onboard graphics is $100, my question is......would I come out better (performance & value wise) going with the separate Gigabyte GPU and MoBo, as opposed to going with the with the Asus M4A785TD-V that has onboard graphics, since the separate GPU and MoBo together only add up to $90, as opposed to the $100 Asus?
    Later,
    Cosmicº°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø
    November 7, 2009 1:11:44 AM

    (Edited for clarity)
    TheCosmicEnergy said:
    I found this GPU for $25 after rebate: GIGABYTE GV-R435OC-512I Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Low Profile Ready Video Card - Retail

    +

    and this Gigabyte MoBo for $65 after rebate: GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    Total: $90


    Since the (previously recommended) ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail with onboard graphics is $100, my question is......would I come out better (performance & value wise) going with the separate Gigabyte GPU and MoBo, as opposed to going with the with the Asus M4A785TD-V that has onboard graphics, since the separate GPU and MoBo together only add up to $90, as opposed to the $100 Asus?

    No opinions on this, jbakerlent or anyone?

    Also, I believe I'll go ahead and pick up one of these too by the way: CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2
    Would this PSU be a good option for me?

    Cheers,
    Cosmicº°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø
    November 7, 2009 2:29:34 AM

    I personally would just get the 785G, although the 4350 would be slightly faster...
    Here's a cheaper micro-ATX board for you to consider:
    GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Yes, that's a great PSU for the onboard graphics, but for a mid-level discrete card, you'll need at least 450W.
    November 10, 2009 9:18:16 PM

    Alright, I'm still debating on what ODD to get, but so far I got the $100 M4A785TD-V EVO MoBo ordered along with the $99 AMD 620 Propus. Also, threw in this PSU which is $40 after $25 MIR: OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail. Stuff should be here Thursday. Did I make a good choice on the PSU or not?

    Also, the suggested memory: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 which was gonna be $80 after MIR has now went up to $105. What would another quality set be that is priced comparably?

    As always,
    thanks in advance,
    Cosmicº°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø
    November 10, 2009 10:57:01 PM

    The originally suggested set was DDR3 1600, but I noticed both of the sets you guys just recommended are DDR3 1333. Does that mean I'll be just as well off going with the 1333 then?

    Cosmicº°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø
    November 10, 2009 11:07:53 PM

    Yes... There will be little noticable difference between the two. You get the most benefit from lower (tighter) timings.
    November 20, 2009 5:25:55 PM

    TheCosmicEnergy said:
    Alright, I'm still debating on what ODD to get, but so far I got the $100 M4A785TD-V EVO MoBo ordered along with the $99 AMD 620 Propus. Also, threw in this PSU which is $40 after $25 MIR: OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply - Retail. Stuff should be here Thursday. Did I make a good choice on the PSU or not?

    Also, the suggested memory: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 which was gonna be $80 after MIR has now went up to $105. What would another quality set be that is priced comparably?


    OK, follow up:
    I have received all parts accept the Mushkin 996652 memory that I went with, and it should be here Tues/Wed of next week: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 4GB. At the time when I ordered it, the price was lower, and the MIR was for $15, so I will end up paying $87 total for the kit.

    Also, went with this ODD: Sony Optiarc/Model AD-7240S-0B. Payed $30 w/free shipping.

    Of course, I also got the aforementioned Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS HDD too: http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=210612875. For a grand total of approx $470 after MIR's.........which is acceptable.

    I am needing to send off the rebate for my OCZ PSU, so I decided to test it out in my old rig (a very stable Compaq Presario S6000Z w/some upgrades). I swapped it in there, and when I first powered the computer on, the PSU's fan and LED's were the only thing to work. The comp never even started to boot. Just a black/blank screen. I powered it on/off a few times with the same results, so I started to swap back in the old one. For some reason, after I had gotten it about half way removed, I decided to plug everything back in and give it one last try. This time it booted as it should, so I tightened everything down and let it ride. However, a couple of days later, as I went to burn a DVD, the thing hung up right at the beginning of the burn process. When I tried to do a hard restart, the PSU was acting as it was previously (no boot up, just PSU fan and LED's on). I swapped back in my old PSU and it booted up instantly. A couple of days later, I wanted to give it one more try, so I swapped in the new OCZ again, but it was still acting the same. I only got it to boot once more during about 45 min worth of testing. I called OCZ tech support, and the guy told me how to "jump" the green wire on the 20 pin plug, to power on the PSU without having to plug it into the MB. This way I could test the pin voltages with my multimeter. Everything tested just fine compared to the voltage spec chart in the back of the manual. The most out of spec was the 12V which was at 12.3V, and the tech guy said that was just fine. I suspect there might be a break in a wire somewhere, which only makes itself apparent when the wires are plugged in. Looks like this one's going back to OCZ.

    Any thoughts guys?


    As always,
    thanks in advance,
    Cosmicº°`°º¤ø,¸¸,ø¤º°`°º¤ø
    !