This is my first post on the forums, although I have read a lot in the articles sections and have spend a lot of time browsing on the forums. A friend and I recently built and i-5 rig which turned out wonderfully, especially considering it was our first experience with computer building. We are planning on building another computer with a $700 budget this time around. I'll follow the asking format so I don't get in trouble.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: ASAP
BUDGET RANGE: $700 or so.. not doing rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Watching Blu-ray movies and internet browsing
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers,
PREFERRED WEBSITE: newegg.com
OVERCLOCKING: Doubt it
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Building it for a friend of a friend and he wants to be able to run a monitor upstairs with his desktop and a LCD tv downstairs.
Here is what I've come up with.. Would love opinions and other input.
The above is the same price as the ASUS mobo but is a two time winner of the Customer Choice Award for AMD mobos at newegg. More importantly, I prefer the UD – ultra durable - construction, see this link for more info:
:In addition to the UD construction, advantages include:
1. Can Use DDR3 1333 memory in multiple channels, ASUS only shows as one channel
2. Has 4 PCIe x1 slots compared to only 2 for ASUS – but has only 2 PCI slots – one less than ASUS
3. Has 2 Firewire ports on back plate compared to none with ASUS
4. Has Coaxial S/PDIF Out port as well as optical
This memory costs only a few dollars more but has better timings at 7-7-7-21. Seldom will you find a way to increase performance for such a small cost. Note that the spec sheet for the memory shows that it is compatible with the mobo selected above:
Note that despite all the hype given ATI cards, when you look at the THG selections of best graphics cards at various price levels, the nVidia cards virtually rule the roost in the $85 to $150 price range with 4 of the 5 cards recommended in that range. One is the GTS 250 – the best card for $110 – and here you get it for $10 less thanks to a rebate.
Your selection of the Corsair PSU shows you understand the importance of having a quality PSU. However, like most things you can also spend too much on a power supply in relation to the quality of the rest of the system and find an advantage in redistributing some of the money.
In this case, 500w is more than ample for your system with only on graphics card. You might like to run it on this power supply calculator – I think you will find that as formulated you will need much less than 400w so 500w provides a nice margin of safety or expansion.
In addition, the PSU listed above is ranked highly as shown in this ranking put together by many participants over the course of several years years where it is ranked as Tier Two the same as the Corsair you selected:
"Note that despite all the hype given ATI cards, when you look at the THG selections of best graphics cards at various price levels, the nVidia cards virtually rule the roost in the $85 to $150 price range with 4 of the 5 cards recommended in that range. One is the GTS 250 – the best card for $110 – and here you get it for $10 less thanks to a rebate. "
I agree with most of your other points, but this one is a bit off. When the article was written the 4850s were approaching $150, that is why they lost their status as the best buy in the $100 range. Now there are a couple of models priced at $99, and for a home theater build they are a much better choice, although a bit overkill. You could probably get by with the built in graphics of a 785 chipset, or at most all you will need is a 4350 for watching blu ray and other non gaming uses.
I do agree with going with a slightly different MB...since you are getting a 550BE you should make sure the board you choose has had good success unlocking the cores. A little research here can make the difference between having a dual core and a quad core.
First off, I would like to say thanks to everyone who has replied so far. Really good information. Rockyjohn, great information and a nice concise presentation. I switched out the ASUS mobo with the GIGABYTE and the G.SKILL I had with the G.SKILL Ripjaws. As I see it now, I am staying with the HD 4850. I am only going to purchase hardware through newegg and the lowest they have the GTS 250 is $140.