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$400 Budget build needs some trimming

Last response: in Systems
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March 10, 2010 2:56:59 AM

Updated parts list

Ok,

My Athlon XP and 6600GT just arent cutting it any more. I cant play anything and it's time to upgrade. I believe I have finally put together something worthy of posting for my super-tight budget gaming rig.

Mainly I want to get some reassurance from the pros on how balanced this configuration is. And also if there are any places where I might be able to save a few more dollars to get down to my $400 budget limitation. I'm currently $60 over including shipping. Not sure if i want to cut the RAM or use an old case. Will have to check if the fans still work.

Are there better options for parts with comparable specs in the same price range?

Also, are there any upgrade paths that I've missed? (I know the MB wont do Xfire but from the mixed reviews on this tech I am comfortable with that.)

At this point I do not plan on overclocking unless the opportunity presents itself and I am patient enough to do the research.

Opinons on the components are welcome. Are there any "eyesores"?

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$54.99

ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59.99

SAPPHIRE 100296HDMI Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99

Antec NEO ECO 400C 400W Continuous Power ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Antec TWO HUNDRED S Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$79.98

OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK - Retail
AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX240OCGQBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$131.98

$396.93 +shipping.
March 10, 2010 3:10:28 AM

What resolution do you game ?
And what are the other major stuffs that you do with your PC ?
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March 10, 2010 3:15:46 AM

For me, high resolutions and graphics are a luxury. Like I said, I've been using a 2.1ghz Athlon XP for the past 5 years :) 

I play on whatever settings give me a playable framerate.

And gaming is the only demanding thing I do on the computer.
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March 10, 2010 3:47:48 AM

Awesome, thanks for the input. This is exaclty what I was hoping for.

Every time I need to build a new computer I confuse myself for a week doing research and spend the next week trying to unconfuse myself.

I'm especially concerned about the motherboard. I want to make sure it's going to have upgrade options in a couple years. Pretty confident it will take a much faster GPU. Mainly for the RAM and CPU. This one seems pretty solid?

Again, Thanks
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March 10, 2010 3:50:28 AM

Oh, and another question opened up about the PSU. I noticed the one you recommended has 1 12v rail as opposed to 2. I have no idea what that means or what impact it has on the system.
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March 10, 2010 4:03:52 AM

You dont have to worry about the number of 12V rails...The amount of amps on the 12V is what matters...
And I suggested a 400W because you wont need that 500W PSU to power that setup...Actually a 300W from Seasonic can easily power that system with the HD 4670 card...

Just remember to buy a PSU from Tier I manufacturers like Corsair, Antec EA/ ECO/ TP Series, CM Real Power/ Silent PRO/ GX Series, Seasonic, Silverstone, PCP&S, OCZ Mod/ Stealth Series...
These are some of the best PSU manufacturers out there...
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March 10, 2010 5:10:34 AM

Ok, I got distracted looking for a good CPU + RAM combo. I definitely want to keep 4GB since this board only has 2 DIMMs and I dont want to throw out 2 1GB sticks when it's time to upgrade.

But I updated to the components you suggested and it's quite amazing you got the price down that far. Thanks a ton.

For some reason I changed the motherboard. Still unsure on that one I guess.
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March 10, 2010 5:43:14 AM

ATX is good.

That MSI looks good but the ASRock had some scary reviews. The price is nice though.

The extra DIMMs could come in handy down the road. Gonna keep looking for a mobo. Doesnt seem like a good place to squeeze the budget so I might have to back to 2gb ram as long as I can keep the two extra DIMMS
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March 10, 2010 2:51:26 PM

I've had only good results from ASRock motherboards.
If you want a cheap case, check out Rosewill. For <$30 (sometimes <$25), you get a basic case that has a quiet 120mm rear fan and plenty of internal space. They're thin, but decent for the price. Add a $45 380W 80+ bronze Antec Earthwatts, or one of the low-power Seasonics. With a HD4670, you won't need a PCIE power connector, which the Seasonics don't have anyway.
The last combo that GKay linked has a HD4670 that uses DDR2 RAM; I'm sure that one just slipped by, because you want DDR3.
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March 10, 2010 2:58:45 PM

Considering that you are coming from a 6600GT, even a "lowly" HD4650 will be a vast improvement. Biostar has a DDR3 version for $50. You can always upgrade your GPU later as your budget allows.
A HD4670 may be bottlenecked by a 240 (it IS by the slightly weaker 4850e). In your place, I'd get the HD4650 now if it frees up enough funds for a X3 425 or 435.
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March 10, 2010 4:05:47 PM

Good build, but id upgrade the gpu after like 1,5 yrs
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March 10, 2010 4:06:10 PM

Good build, but id upgrade the gpu after like 2 yrs
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March 10, 2010 4:25:20 PM

Thanks for the input. I'm glad you brought up that ASrock again because after looking at it again it's got exactly the features im looking for.

I want to keep upgrading a possibility in the future so I definitely want a PSU with a PCIE power cable. I will look into that case though, and possibly an X3.

The HD4670 I have in my cart is DDR3 so I dont know how I managed that but it's $20 more than the 4650.
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March 10, 2010 5:10:31 PM

These HEC cases seem to be the way to go for value. <$60 for the case and 485w PSU.

Any opinions on the PSU reliability?

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March 10, 2010 5:17:11 PM

Another issue is the ASRock QVL for RAM does not list the OCZ above. How big of a concern is this? I've found some decent Kingston that IS on the list but without the combo savings.
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March 10, 2010 8:50:01 PM

The included HEC PSU is fecal. Any PSU worth buying will have full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and be 80+ certified.
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March 11, 2010 2:01:59 AM

^+1 Stick with that Antec 400 that I suggested...IMO for $80, you cant get a better case + PSU...

And as for the ASRock boards, even I use one of those...Its been nearly 2+ years and they are still going strong...
I wouldt say that they are of high quality but their quality would suffice for day to day computing...
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