<$600 Basic System Build


BUDGET RANGE: $500-600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Watching movies/TV shows (would like to be able to output from the video card via HDMI out to my TV which doesn't seat very far away), Recording music (it's pretty basic..I just use Cubase and never have more than 8-10 tracks), Basic browsing. (Youtube HD, Hulu, etc.)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, OS, HDD.



OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (Haven't tried before, but I believe I have enough general knowledge to give it a try.)


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Just want a workhorse..not looking to do much gaming necessarily. But like I stated earlier..It would be nice to have HTPC like capabilities..be able to download HD videos and play them on my TV which sits 6ft. away or so.

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  1. If you are not encoding (getting a TV tuner and converting TV signal into mpeg/avi files) then this system will do anything you need.

    Athlon II x3 435 ($75)
    Gigabyte MA785GMT-UD2H motherboard with onboard HDMI 4200 video ($90)
    4GB (2*2GB kit) DDR3-1333 RAM ($105)

    Antec VSK 2000 Case ($35)
    A good quality ~400W Power supply. ($40-60)

    Try some nice combo deal like this
    Antec VSK 200 case and Earthwatts 80+ bronze 380W PSU ($75)

    I wouldnt overclock it unless you get into encoding or gaming and need the speed. At that point you will want to buy a good air heatsink like the coolermaster hyper 212 for $30.
  2. You realize ">" means greater than right?

    Anyway, I completely agree with the above build. I'd see if you can find an OCZ 400W for a good price- usually they have mail in rebates. Antec earthwatts is also a great series.
    I wouldn't sacrifice anything in the above build but I would go for the Athlon IIx4 620 for $100. And for a mild overclock, you don't need a better than stock cooler for them. My Athlon IIx4 620 is overclock from 2.6GHz to 3.25GHz on stock voltage with he stock heatsink and runs 25C idle, 50C prime95.
    But yeah for the time being for your needs there would be no need to overclock. If you wanted to save some money you could even be fine with an Athlon IIx2 240 2.8GHz.
    For the motherboard any AM3 motherboard by Asus or Gigabyte with radeon 4200 chipset will be good. If you want more graphics muscle (not necessary for your build) a radeon 4670 or 5670 is low powered and fine performing. between $70-100.
  3. Thanks for the replies guys. Yeah yeah..the ">"..I was at work and in a hurry to post. Sorry. :pt1cable:

    So, this is what I've got put together..Kinda getting shafted a bit on tax..live in CA. But that's how it goes.

    Can I do any better than this?

    ASUS M4A785T-M/CSM AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ - Retail

    AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model ADX620WFGIBOX - Retail

    Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ... - Retail
    Antec VSK-2000 Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    -$25.84 Instant
    -$10.00 Combo

    Subtotal: $363.12
    Tax: $29.96
    Shipping: $26.68
    Grand Total: $419.76
  4. yeeahhh?
  5. Looks like a good build to me. Good onboard video. I have the same processor and it's very capable at stock speeds.
  6. Thanks enzo.
  7. Because of the tax and shipping I thought I'd try and put something similar together @ Tigerdirect. How does this look?
    The mobo is the Gigabyte US2H, not the UD2H..I'm not sure of the exact difference. Is that case and PSU okay? I'd much rather buy from there with free shipping and no sales tax.

    O261-6258 :: OCZ PC3-10666 Platinum RAM - 4GB, 2x2GB, 1333MHz, DDR3, Low Voltage, Dual Channel (0.25 lbs)
    $20.00 Mail-in Rebate
    $79.99 After Rebate

    C283-1138 A :: Cooler Master Elite 330 Black ATX Mid-Tower Case & Cooler Master Extreme Power 460W Power Supply & Ultra Performance 120mm Case Fan Bundle (17.84 lbs)

    B69-3231 :: Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H Motherboard & AMD Athlon II X4 620 Quad Core Processor Bundle (8.85 lbs)

    SUBTOTAL $354.97
    S&H 0.00
    TAX ------
    TOTAL $354.97

    After the rebate it brings the total to $334.97 .

    (edit: added links)
  8. That an old AM2+ motherboard that takes DDR2 RAM. I would avoid it.
  9. Especially since the ram you selected is DDR3.
  10. D'oh, guess I should look around a bit more.
  11. Okay, I think I've got it together..I decided to just go ahead and reuse the case I already have. It's a Thermaltake. And I added an HDD.

    From Tigerdirect:

    A79-0425 :: AMD Athlon II X3 425 Triple Core Processor - 2.70GHz, Socket AM3, 1.5MB Cache, Retail w/ Fan (1 lbs)

    C13-2507 :: Corsair CX400W Power Supply - 400-Watt, 120mm Fan, SATA-Ready, 80Plus, ATX (5.05 lbs)
    Order Today, Ships Today
    Original Price: $59.99
    Instant Savings: -$5.00
    Price: $54.99
    $10.00 Mail-in Rebate
    Price AR: $44.99

    A455-2881 :: Asus M4A785-M Motherboard - AMD 785G Socket, AM3, MicroATX, HDMI, USB 2.0, PCIe (2.4 lbs)

    SUBTOTAL $214.97
    S&H 0.00
    TAX ------
    TOTAL $214.97

    And from Newegg:

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Item #: N82E16822152181

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM - Retail
    Item #: N82E16820231303
    Subtotal: $169.98
    Tax: $14.02
    Shipping: $0.00
    Total: $184.00

    So, that brings my grand total to: $398.97

    Any mistakes? Anything I should switch out? Thanks a ton for all the help guys. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.
  12. You picked another AM2+ motherboard. They mislabeled it. I have that exact board. If you scroll down and look at "memory supported" it says DDR2. Also not one pin missing in one of the corners giving it a "notch" on one side.
    Try this board:
  13. Damn, you're right. I was reading so carefully. Thanks for the catch, enzo.
  14. So, which board out of the two would you recommend..is there much of a difference?

    ASUS M4A785T-M/CSM AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard


    ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
  15. The one at tiger is ATX so it is bigger and has a couple more expansion slots but that's about it. It is also capable of crossfire for graphics cards.

    Since you haven't mentioned graphics I assume you won't be doing any gaming so go with the cheaper one.
  16. Well, with the free shipping/no tax at tigerdirect..they actually come out to the same price. And although a graphic card isn't priority at the moment..it would be nice to be able to upgrade down the road. So, I think I'll go with the ATX board.
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