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Cheapest first time gaming build

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December 28, 2009 6:50:16 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next week
BUDGET RANGE: $600 After Rebates W/O monitor

SYSTEM USAGE: Mostly gaming
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, Speakers, OS, Monitor (unless it's a really good deal)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg***, Tiger Direct
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Quebec, Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD (less expensive).

OVERCLOCKING: Most likely
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Perhaps in the future when upgrading but not at the moment

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Not sure at the moment.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm currently in college, and would like my computer to last for quite a while. I'm not all that into newer games but intend to play some upcoming releases. List of games I will probably play:
- Counter Strike: Source (Do play)
- Left 4 Dead & Left 4 Dead 2 (Want to try it)
- Starcraft 2, Diablo 3
- Final Fantasy 14

As you can see QUAD core probably isn't necessary as I can upgrade much much later as multi-threading isn't done on four cores yet. I want to try and be able to play CS:S well and be able to play these future games lag free.

Please help me out and let me know if everything in my build is compatible. Also, if any of the products I chose can be improved while lowering the price, definitely let me know.

In the end, though, I won't be playing crazy graphic-intensive games like Crysis, so if you have any suggestions to "tone-down" any of the products I chose, (WHILE STILL MAKING IT COMFORTABLE FOR THE GAMES ABOVE), then let me know by all means.

The build:

1. AMD Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition Callisto 3.1GHz
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

2. ASUS M4A77TD AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

3. Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

4. CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

5. HIS H467QS1GH Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

6. Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

7. Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm Case Fan (I think the case includes no FANS?)**
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...

8. APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...


**I'm not sure about the case and it's fans. Any other sites you know, plus all the advice I requested up top, would be GREATLY appreciated.. Thank you!
December 28, 2009 7:48:23 PM

For case look at the Antec 200 or see if newegg.ca has the antec 300 illusion on sale (the illusion comes with 4 fans, the 300 black only has 2 fans installed).
December 28, 2009 8:23:00 PM

dndhatcher said:
For case look at the Antec 200 or see if newegg.ca has the antec 300 illusion on sale (the illusion comes with 4 fans, the 300 black only has 2 fans installed).


I added the Antec 300 at first but it was too costly for my overall build, do you think the one I picked out would be sufficient with a 120mm fan?

I took a look at the Antec 200 and I am quite interested in it, thanks for pointing it out.

Also, this note goes to all viewers as well as you, if you like the build/think it is a good deal can you let me know? And if you make a suggestion can you tell me what you think about the rest?
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December 28, 2009 9:49:35 PM

I would look at trying to cut cost in some areas in order to upgrade others...i.e. mobo and graphics card. I personally think its better to have future expandability than to have decent stuff across the board.
Like getting the AMD 435 as opposed to the 550. Sure, the 550 is faster on single or dual core processing, but the options of over clocking and possible 4th core (gamble) make the 2.9 ghz triple core a contender and a better price point ($22 cheaper)

December 28, 2009 10:33:50 PM

A lot of those 550s can unlock 4 cores as well....with the right motherboards.
December 28, 2009 10:43:23 PM

My recent low end build (some would argue that)

Proc: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103724
Mobo: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130223
RAM: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277
PowSup: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371015
HD: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136320
GPU: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102864

As far as case, I used my old Chieftec Dragon tower that is equipped with a 4 of fans and a spare CD/DVD writer I had laying around from my P4/BE-7/9700 pro that I finally retired (thinking about bread boarding).

Grand total: $611.95 (in CA $)

Between the mobo and the GPU, those were my splurge. I know about the arguements over DX11 and that the 4870 performs better, but I don't use as much power, if DX11 is going to be prolific, I'm good. Cut corners where ever possible but DON'T sell you self short with a non SLI/Xfire mobo if you play games IMHO. Because next year, when my 5770 is $80, you know I am going Xfire... maybe sooner!

I also did my best looking for incentives such as free shipping, $10 off, etc, to cut costs when I was building.
December 28, 2009 11:04:31 PM

Your build is nice, you chose the same PSU and HD as I did in mine.

I figured when I built mine that going for a solid Dual Core with great reviews was better than an expensive Quad or Tri.

Also I found this Mobo:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

What do you guys think?

EDIT:
Also to 'gnuker' your build is quite expensive, that's exlcuding tax and shipping I assume?
December 28, 2009 11:58:41 PM

mrkoey said:
Your build is nice, you chose the same PSU and HD as I did in mine.

I figured when I built mine that going for a solid Dual Core with great reviews was better than an expensive Quad or Tri.

Also I found this Mobo:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

What do you guys think?

EDIT:
Also to 'gnuker' your build is quite expensive, that's exlcuding tax and shipping I assume?


Sorry. Didn't put tax into the overall cost. Tax would be an approximate $48 (thats 8% California tax on a Canadian $... go figure).

Also as "gkorjax"stated, the 550's have been known to unlock to quads. But check the revision on the core (don't recall which is the best bet). Once again... it's a gamble. Don't get me wrong, the 550 is an excellent proc, I was shaving cost for my mobo and gpu at a savings of $22 on the processor alone. According to Newegg, the HD I got at the time was $13 cheaper and had free shipping (saved @ $20 on 500Gb vice 640Gb... I'm a cheap bastard). To add some craziness to it all, when I orderred my G. Skill RAM, the 1600 was $89.99 vice $99.99 for the 1333 with the same 9-9-9-24... faster for cheaper!

As I've come to realize, you guys (Canadians) don't get the free shipping as we (US) do from Newegg on many items and that was one of the many reasons I bought what I bought. Saving $5-10 on each item adds up.
December 29, 2009 8:16:31 PM

gnukner said:
Sorry. Didn't put tax into the overall cost. Tax would be an approximate $48 (thats 8% California tax on a Canadian $... go figure).

Also as "gkorjax"stated, the 550's have been known to unlock to quads. But check the revision on the core (don't recall which is the best bet). Once again... it's a gamble. Don't get me wrong, the 550 is an excellent proc, I was shaving cost for my mobo and gpu at a savings of $22 on the processor alone. According to Newegg, the HD I got at the time was $13 cheaper and had free shipping (saved @ $20 on 500Gb vice 640Gb... I'm a cheap bastard). To add some craziness to it all, when I orderred my G. Skill RAM, the 1600 was $89.99 vice $99.99 for the 1333 with the same 9-9-9-24... faster for cheaper!

As I've come to realize, you guys (Canadians) don't get the free shipping as we (US) do from Newegg on many items and that was one of the many reasons I bought what I bought. Saving $5-10 on each item adds up.


Anyway I think what I'm going to do is either buy later, I only really play Dota at the moment so I don't need a really good gaming PC.. I just wanted my own. I know about a year ago dual cores were extremely expensive, my friend bought a computer that costed him just over a grand and it wouldn't even come close to the 700$ one I just built.

But on the actual build I used, do the parts all work together? If so I will probably save it and upgrade to a Quad or something when I go to buy (when I have lots more money :D  )
!