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First Time Build (Phenom2 X4) - Budget

Last response: in Systems
November 18, 2009 12:21:33 PM



Im really looking for a "Bang for the buck" build. Something that I can upgrade now and then if needed.

BUDGET RANGE: Around 500$ - 600$



PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I will be ordering in japan, but all items to compare can be found om Newegg.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Id like to try a Phantom 2 X4 965 build. around 21 inch screen. HD. A good Cheap graphic card.
The rest I dont really care or know anything about. Suggestions?


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes? no idea what it is...

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080, 1920x1200 or so.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would like a computer that is worth the money. Im not after something to show off. I want a good PC with a good gaming performance. But a cool case would be cool though ;P

I have no idea what items work with what. So any help would be appreciated. I hear that Phenom requires special mother boards? or some dont go too well with AMD? Anyways, I was hoping someone would help me out..

November 18, 2009 12:34:47 PM

You're not going to be able to everything you need with the 965. I'm currently building a 955 build with a budget of $1100-$1200 (granted, I'm using about $250 for RAM and disk space that's not required for a basic build). Definitely not going to be able to do SLI/Crossfire with quality cards on that budget (that's using two video cards in combination). Is that budget including the monitor?

I'll post a build in a little bit once I've had some time to look around.
November 18, 2009 12:48:46 PM


Thank you for your reply.
Hmm, I see. Is a Quad 2 build cheaper? I presume not..
No, monitor is not included. the 500$ is only for the Box. the rest is extra.

Related resources
November 18, 2009 1:08:09 PM

Alright, I haven't looked at monitors yet, but I've got the computer parts at $524 (before rebates/combos, tax and shipping). You'll probably be able to save some more or get better stuff if you wait for the Black Friday deals next Friday.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE 3.1 GHz
Mobo: ASUS M2A74-AM
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit
RAM: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 800
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500GB 7200 RPM (Samsung Spinpoint was out of stock)
Optical: Sony Optiarc Black 24X
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion

Couple of notes: It's going to be hard to afford Windows 7 on that (if you're going that route). The board has onboard graphics, so you could save a few bucks and wait to pick up a graphics card.

I used this guide to get started. The builds there start at $513, no monitor or OS.
November 18, 2009 1:24:33 PM


Thats my opinion, they are cheaper, they are clocked higher, but they are the same card, same cooler, same chips.

They are unhealthy overclocked, they overheat killing the card, i had it happen to an 8800gtx, 9800gtx, and a 260gtx, Go with EVGA, they have never failed me for either motherboards OR graphics cards.
November 18, 2009 1:33:09 PM

Those are also all nVidia cards. Maybe you should switch to ATI...

If that worries you, 2Milk, here's the same card, manufactured by Sapphire, for $5 more.
November 18, 2009 1:53:19 PM

Err you could just get an IGP AM3 mobo like 785G/790GX rather than buying a mediocre discrete. Get a real 'gaming class' GPU when u have more funds lol By the way if u tight dun be shy to drop down to a Tricore for a gaming rig ^^
November 18, 2009 2:02:51 PM

For gaming, Graphics Card (GPU) is much more important than your CPU. If that's really what you want to focus on, then you're not going to be able to afford everything under $600 with a Phenom II X4. The monitor and OS alone are going to eat through ~$220. You're much better off getting a nice beefy graphics card and then using a middle-range processor. Such a build will still be plenty fast for everyday use, but will have far better gaming performance.

Here's my build:
Mobo: MSI K9N6PGM2-V2 AM3/AM2+/AM2 - $49.99
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz - $102
RAM: Mushkin Enhanced 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR2 800 - $89.99 (minus $10 MIR)
GPU: XFX HD-485X-YDFC Radeon HD 4850 - $119.99
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM - $55.99
Optical: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R - $28.99

Case & PSU: RAIDMAX APEX ATX-802BP - $49.99 (minus $10 MIR)

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - $104.99
Monitor: Acer X193Wb Black 19" - $119.99
Total: $721.92 ($701.92 after rebates)

That's a budget gaming machine with everything and the kitchen sink. To get under $600 will require slashing a lot of key components for gaming (though we can do it). Suffice to say, there is no way to touch a Phenom II x4 with the budget you are looking for.
November 18, 2009 2:06:34 PM

I also think you'd be better off in the long run if you waited to get some more cash. You could also look at building with a budget of $700-900 with flexibility to be cheaper and hope for the best with the deals.

If you were willing to wait, you could budget it out by part and try to pick up more expensive parts with limited time deals (Newegg's shell shockers, daily deals, combos etc.).

Regardless, on this budget, you're not going to be getting a "good" gaming computer. I'm doubtful you could run any relatively recent game on high settings...
November 18, 2009 2:11:54 PM

By the way if u tight dun be shy to drop down to a Tricore for a gaming rig ^^

I didn't suggest a quad core, I suggested a dual.

Case & PSU: RAIDMAX APEX ATX-802BP - $49.99 (minus $10 MIR)

Problem I have with that is that Raidmax makes bad PSUs. It'd be better to spend a little more and get something that's at least quality.
November 18, 2009 2:17:34 PM

To get to $600:

Mobo: MSI K9N6PGM2-V2 AM3/AM2+/AM2 - $49.99
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto 3.0GHz - $89.99
RAM: Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 667 - $43.99
GPU: SAPPHIRE 100256HDMI Radeon HD 4670 - $74.99
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB - $47.99
Optical: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R - $28.99

Case & PSU: Rosewill R512 BK - $39.99

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - $104.99
Monitor: Acer X193Wb Black 19" - $119.99
Total: $600.91

This is still a decent gaming build.

The HD 4670 will still put out at least ~30 FPS for most games with High Details at 1440 x 900 (the 19" Monitor's Resolution). If a game starts bogging down, you can run it at a lower resolution (1280 x 800) which still looks great on that monitor, and you can always drop the model detail to medium settings.

At any rate, something like that will be your best bet for an all-around gaming/productivity rig.
November 18, 2009 4:24:39 PM

Again, that PSU is going to be junk, but frankly, you're probably going to have to live with it.

If you switch the above mobo for ECS IC780M-A you can combo it with the CPU and save $2 AND get a better board. You can also combo Windows with the optical and save $12. Another combo is a Corsair 400W and Radeon HD 4670 for $99.98. If you get this case, Coolermaster Centurion 590, you're total is $625 (without shipping/tax), with $26 in rebates (and a free game).

I think this is a little bit of an improvement...

EDIT: Final price and rebates.
November 19, 2009 10:28:09 AM

Thanks guys for all your replies!
Ill have to give this some thought.
November 19, 2009 10:43:10 AM

two tips, 1. keep away from nvidia based chipset mb.
2. the 965 is a oced 955, get the 955 if you can an oc it. less money same cpu.