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First build: Will it work? Am I wasting any money? Help appreciated!

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Last response: in Systems
November 6, 2009 3:33:16 AM


BUDGET RANGE: $600-$650 before rebates, but what's most important is keeping it around this much while maximizing the bang to buck ratio.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing the web, moderate gaming, streaming, watching movies, word processing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS



PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD CPU, ATI GPU, motherboard that allows me to unlock AMD Phenom II cores

OVERCLOCKING: Possibly eventually.

CROSSFIRE: Probably not.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is my first build, so be gentle.

The most important thing is that I get as much bang for my buck without straying too far from the $650 mark. Here's what I'm thinking right now:

AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor Model HDZ550WFGIBOX - Retail

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

HIS H485FM512H Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM - Retail

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM

Antec 761345-75120-9 120mm Case Fan - Retail

Antec Sonata III 500 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 500W Power Supply - Retail

Your feedback, advice, and comments are much appreciated. Also, don't hesitate to ask any questions!

- John

Edit: I should mention, right now this build costs $599.93.

More about : build work wasting money appreciated

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November 6, 2009 1:28:18 PM

id stick with the 640 wd
November 6, 2009 1:31:11 PM

I'd not. The Samsung spinpoint F3 is faster, has a lower price per GB, runs cooler,...
November 6, 2009 8:13:34 PM

jbakerlent said:
Welcome to the forum. Looks pretty good.

You could get this HDD
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal

Also, did you know that the case already comes with a 120mm fan?

Thanks for the warm welcome, and the advice, but I think I want more storage space than 500MB. Also, I know that the case comes with a fan, but I read on Newegg that it's recommended to get a second fan to improve the air circulation.
November 6, 2009 8:20:53 PM

overshocks said:

If you want more storage get this one 1TB, almost same price as your Caviar Black

Thanks! This sounds like a great deal, especially if it's also faster! I'm definitely going to wait the three days for Newegg to restock this item.

I also plan to add this:
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler - Retail

I figure it's probably a good idea if I plan to overclock a little, right? Will the PSU be able to handle this addition? Should I consider getting a different case and buying a more powerful PSU separately? Or will this setup be sufficient, seeing as I have relatively modest goals for this build?

Also, this GIGABYTE GN-WP01GS PCI Wireless Adapter - Retail ( ) should work just fine with this motherboard, case, etc., right?

And finally, would I be better off splurging for the Phenom II X3 Black Edition? Or is sticking with the X2 and trying to unlock the cores a better idea?

Thanks again guys!
November 6, 2009 8:43:49 PM

Most of he x2 and x3's now aren't able to unlock the cores because they are made from miss cut x4's

the stories you head about people unlocking the cores is when the chips first came out and thier weren't enough faulty chips to meet the demand, so they took x4's and locked the cores to make it into an x2 or x3 so in my opinion I would splurge and get the x3

Also if you are planning to overclock and your case would fit it I would get a sunbeam core contact freezer for your heat sink. I have one and it keeps my x3 BE running very cool even when the fan is on low with my 3.5 ghz oc with 1.45 volts, around 50 c running small fft's in prime 95 with the fan set to low
November 6, 2009 10:12:21 PM

^+1 core contact freezer

I use it myself and did more than 1GHZ overclock, look at my signature. It's a cheap heatsink that cools like an expensive heatsink. I would say best deal, price: performance

Get the 120mm version though:

Also, it would fit inside your sonata III because I use the antec 900 case, and the width dimension is the same.
November 7, 2009 12:09:14 AM

I have the same case (:, only thing that makes me mad about it is that mic port on the front panel doesn't work for me so I bought an extension cord and plugged it in the mic port ):, tHis does work and doesn't bother me that much

also the ccf performs like a $80 heatsink and I have no idea if they still have a rebate on it but I got it for $25 after MIR