Help with a rebuild

Hello everyone.

It's that time again, when there is a little extra money in the bank, and I have the permission of the wife to spend it on the pc.

So here's the deal.
The Purchase Date isn't that important to me. I'm in no hurry.

Budget, well, I'd like to keep it under $300 not including shipping, but I could go a little higher if necessary.

Parts not required: dvd drives, the case, peripherals, monitor. I'd like to sneak a hard drive in with this build, but it's not required. I'm currently in the market for a 32" LCD at 1080p, which will serve as my tv and monitor.

These are the games I'd like to be able to play at as high a quality as I can afford: Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 2, Fallout 3 GOTY.

Here's the relevant current hardware:

Case: RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WB Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB.

Power supply: HIPER HPU-4K580-MS 580W ATX12V v2.2 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready

MoBo: EVGA 122-M2-NF59-TR AM2 NVIDIA nForce 590 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Windsor 2.0GHz L2 Cache Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core Processor

RAM: Patriot Extreme Performance 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Model PEP21G6400LL (3 gigs total)

Video: EVGA 320-P2-N811-AR GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI

Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500JS 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"

Currently, I'm running XP Pro, but I have a copy of Windows 7 laying on my desk. I'm considering a dual boot as my transition between the two. I'm a little gunshy of Microsoft and all their spiffy new OSs.

I completely open as far as the upgrade path. I considered SLI, but I've never done it, and have some concerns as far as the case size and power supply. But tell me what you would do with this build and the budget constraints.
If there is anything I've missed, please let me know.

17 answers Last reply
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  1. Seriously, I don't think there's a single part in that build I can recommend keeping...

    Given $300 (no case, no optical), here's what I recommend:

    CPU/Mobo: X3 425 and Asus M4A77TD $124 after rebate
    RAM: Kingston ValueRAM 2x1 GB DDR3 1066 $58
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB or Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
    PSU/GPU: Corsair 400W and HD 4670 $100 after rebate

    Total: $337. If you leave off the HDD, you can step the RAM up these Kingston 1333 mhz sticks. Or up the GPU to a 9800 GT.

    EDIT: Fixed link.
  2. That's not the new build; that's what he has. At least, that's my take on it.
    I still think MadAdmiral's parts suggestions are good quality, although I think he meant for the first link.
    The only trouble is, to output modern games at 1920x1080, you're going to want a much stronger GPU than a HD4670, which will then probably require a beefier PSU as well. A HD5770 may be enough, but you'll need a decent PSU like a 500W Antec Earthwatts for it. If "a little higher" includes at least another $100, you could probably fit those.
  3. Ah. I was reading that's what was picked out right now. Or at least what needed to be replaced...
  4. Apologies for the confusion gentlemen.
    The list of hardware in my original post is my original hardware config. I'll edit my original post to reflect that.

    My original plan was to keep the mobo and upgrade the CPU & GPU. I take it this isn't something you guys would recommend.

    I was concerned about my PSU handling the load of the GPU, it looks like MadAdmiral has confirmed this.

    I have another option open to me. A friend of mine is wanting to build a low end multi-use pc. I could sell him the majority of my components (CPU & Mobo, GPU, PSU, HD) and use that to fund a better system.

  5. As long as he's not doing anything intensive, the PC would work fine.

    EDIT: I mean your friend...
  6. MadAdmiral,

    I'm trying to figure out what you mean by "intensive". Could that build handle outputting to a display at 1920x1080?
  7. In general, most people on here aren't going to recommend that you stick with an AM2 motherboard, as the socket is mostly dead at this point. That, of course, becomes a problem when you're trying to upgrade an AM2 system, as moving to AM3 requires new mobo, processor, and RAM.

    MadAdmiral's recommendation is great, if you can afford a little extra cash to step up to 4 GB of RAM and a 5770 or 5850, you should be good to go for a while.
  8. Outputting what? If you're just talking about putting up the desktop or basic office type stuff, yes. If you're talking about any actual games, absolutely not. Neither build will allow gaming at 1900x. You would need at least the 5770 (or equivalent 48xx series card) to have the games be playable.

    (Old build) When I say intensive, that means the PC is just being used for basic computing (office work, interneting, music playing, some videos). What it won't do is play games, encode, run memory intensive programs (CAD, Photoshop, etc.) or anything that would require a specialized part.

    EDIT: Made it a little more clear...
  9. drowningferret said:

    I'm trying to figure out what you mean by "intensive". Could that build handle outputting to a display at 1920x1080?

    I think you've confused MadAdmiral. Or me.

    I read MadAdmiral's latest suggestion as: "Your current PC will work fine for your friend, you could sell it to him whole and let him figure out what he wants to do with it."

    It sounds like you are reading it as: "As long as the original poster isn't trying to do anything intensive, the build I suggested with the X3 will work fine."

    Either way, someone is wrong. :) EDIT: Maybe both of us, based on MadAdmiral's response.

    The 4670 graphics card he linked can probably output somewhere between 15-30 fps at 1900x1200. It's probably not going to be satisfactory for FPS games. It may be ok for MMOs.
  10. Agree. I thought I was answering about the old build. I've edited the posts to be a bit more clear.
  11. **This will help on your path of decision(s)**

    Due to the high max quality you're wanting you're practically going to burn half your budget on a video card. The video card is also going to be your main bottelneck in the same regards. This makes the video card a priority so decide on that first. Categorize the remaining components accordingly as those can be "dumbed down", if you will, and not make as much of an impact. I'd also recommend going with 4GB of RAM vs. 2GB. I'm leaving work and will come back to this later tonight.
  12. The video card will be a major factor in deciding what PSU you'll need. In general, a 500W-550W PSU is enough for any single card (except the HD5970). If you may want to run Crossfire, 650W or even 750W would be better. Whatever its size, choose a modern design with full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and 80+ certification. Antec, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, Seasonic, and Enermax are among the better brands.
  13. So all other things aside for the moment, let's see if we can get some consensus on the PSU.

    What do you guys think about the HD5770? Would that handle a game like Mass Effect 2 at 1920x1080? That would take about half my budget, but I think I can get a little more anyway, maybe $400.

    What framerate could I expect out of it?
  14. I think a HD5770 is the most realistic choice given your budget. Look for some benchmarks, but particularly if you don't need EVERY setting on high, I think your frame rate should be good. For that card, a decent 500W PSU is enough.
  15. Ok, I've been thinking about this, trying to squeeze every last dime out of my current budget (total budget, not that reserved for the pc upgrade) and I'm trying to think a little long term.

    I can stay close to budget with an HD5770. If I can't free up any more dough, that's probably what I'll do.

    If I can free up some more cash, I'll try for a 5850, and build a system around that. I should know in a few days whether that will be the case.
  16. I completely agree with jtt283 on the my Corsair HX620 btw! Everyone generally agrees on the HD5770 as well. Besides, you can OC it a bit higher if necessary but I think you'll compromise on the res or quality first at times when performance may lag as your eyes will still be highly satisfied even if you notched those down a bit.
  17. Update:

    I was able to sell my old pc. Now, instead of having $300 to work with, I have $600. But I also need a case.

    So now I basically need everything except optical drives, peripherals and input devices. With the extra cash, I'd like to build my system around a HD5850, if that's feasible.
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