Somewhat future resistant $500 HTPC/Gaming Rig: Your Thoughts Please

I've spent this past week researching and then purchasing PC components on Newegg for my first even 100% homebuilt rig. My budget was $500, not including monitor, keyboards, speakers, or video card. The goal is to eventually throw one or two video cards onto the mobo, and possibly another 4 gigs of RAM. Those upgrades are a few months out though. Additionally I intend to use the computer for at least the next five years (I'll be upgrading as the years go by) so picking "future resistant" components was something I put high on the priority list.
Anyway, I want to use this comp mainly as a gaming rig / media server (once I add the video card). I know that a majority of you are more versed in hardware than myself so please pick apart my computer build and tell what I did right and what I did wrong so that next time I can get even more bang for my buck.

Mobo: ASRock M3A785GXH/128M AM3

(I've heard that the brand can be a bit low on the quality side but I've also heard that this particular motherboard is part of their attempt at rebuilding their image as that of a producer of quality parts. It's gotten decent reviews online and the level of "future proof" this mobo provides seems high given the price point.)

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Callisto Black Edition

(I definitely plan on over-clocking this CPU by at least 300mhz as for some reason in all the bench marks I've seen 3.5ghz seems to be where you start to see a noticeable performance gain. I'll also be attempting to unlock the two dormant cores on the chip using the AAC function that's built into the BIOS of the ASRock mobo. Unlocking the cores is not a sure thing and even if I do they may still not be stable but it's worth a shot and I think I've increased my chances slightly by pairing this specific CPU with that specific motherboard.)

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

(Not much I can say here, I know dick about RAM and simply bought the RAM that Newegg recommended for my mobo. Also the price was right.)

HD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb

(Again I am no expert on HDs so I went with the brand I know, and the one with the highest cache / rpm.)

Optical Drive: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW


PS: COOLMAX CU-700B 700W ATX 12V V2.2/EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Power Supply

(This is the part I am the most worried about. It has pretty torrid customer reviews but most of the gripes seem to be about how short the SATA cables are so I figure I can live with using extender cables if I have to. )

Case: NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower

(Personally I think the case is ugly but it seems to have plenty of room for mobo extensions and that's all I really care about. The price ain't bad either.)

All said and told that setup cost me about $500. What do you think HW gurus? Please pull no punches, I'm a big boy.
7 answers Last reply
More about somewhat future resistant htpc gaming thoughts please
  1. Will you be using the onboard graphics?
  2. Definitely not. I plan on waiting about a month or two before I buy the graphics card, monitor, keyboard/mouse, and speakers.
  3. Since you are not using the onboard graphics, I highly suggest a different motherboard.

    The mobo you picked may seem cheap but adding in the SH costs makes it more expensive.

    Mobo $91 + SH $8 = $99

    Find some ASUS mobos that go for $99

    Combo your CPU + MOBO

    Combo your HDD + PSU

    Your HDD + PSU together = $120
    My HDD + PSU together = $106 plus it is modular

    When purchasing a GPU, either wait for Fermi cards or get the 5000 series. Why?
    The 5000 series card yield max 125W (I think) on full load while it idles 25W. Calculate the difference = 100W
    1000W/100W = 10 Hrs for 1 KWh
    If you leave your computer on 24/7: 24/10 = 2.4
    2.4 KWh in 1 day

    Let's say you get charged 12 cents per KWh
    2.4 x .12 = .288 or .30

    .30 cents a day

    30 days in a month x .30 = $9 a month
    $9 x 12 = $108 dollars a year saved because you spent an extra $50 on a nice gpu.
  4. About $480AR up to 1680 x 1050 most modern games
  5. ^+1 Nice build, good legwork batcuhka
  6. Thank you for your kind words :P
  7. batuchka said:
    About $480AR up to 1680 x 1050 most modern games

    Wow, I'm really wishing I'd have come here before ordering all of my parts. I'm going to see if I can't put a stop order on my power supply and possibly my HD. The mobo / CPU have already shipped. Thanks everyone for your input!
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product