AMD build for under $550

I have a budget of $550 with rebates. My current system is a 939 socket single core athlon 2.4ghz, 1 gig 400mhz ram, 160gb ide hard drive, and AGP radeon 4650, 200w power supply.

I have a new monitor, shoulda waited and put money into tower instead =/ Wasn't thinking straight. Anyways here is what i am looking at, please tell me if there is anything better for my money? Also i do not need a dedicated graphics card as of now. I will get a radeon 5770 a few months from now when i play more intensive games.





HDD, (don't need anything bigger than this, still have over 100gig's left on current hard drive, can also add another later)

Case, (love the looks of this one)

DVD burner,

Arctic 5 thermal compound

How does this look? All i really play right now is WoW and want the experience of building my own tower. I am only 15 years old so thats why my budget is so low, been saving up shoveling and mowing lawns for this thing. :sweat: I just wanted to know if there was anything out there that is better for my low budget? Thanks guys.
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  1. $480AR - cheaper if u dun need that 500GB HDD ^^ Could be you could squeeze in a HD 5770 *now* :P $379 AR w/o any discrete and that mobo has HD3300 IGP as well if u really hard up
  2. Nice build, but here's a HD4850 that is $95 and no rebate game: SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    It has free shipping too.
  3. Will i notice a difference going from the quad core to the triple? Thats the only thing i was wondering if i could skimp on was the mobo and cpu. If i could do that combo i think i could get a dedicated gpu right away.

  4. How does this look? Will i actually notice a big difference between the athlon and the phenomenon 955? The only difference i really see is the L3 cache and speeds. Is the L3 cache worth $60 bucks more? I really don't understand what that is. What do you think i could get the Athlon pushing for speeds? It will be on air for awhile, but i can upgrade the heatsink and fan if needed. I just know anything is going to be better than a socket 939 single core 2.4ghz. :D

    Sorry if you can't read the picture, but everything is the same as my first post except for the processor and mobo. Here is a link to the combo.
  5. There is no doubt that the quad will be faster (in some uses anyway) but that triple core is the sweet spot. I use a Phenom II x3 720 and it is doing a pretty good job. (I got it before the athlon II x3's came out) Especially for specifically gaming. In most games there isn't a difference between the quad and tri core CPUs.

    Something like this
    would do it if you got graphics right away. (this doesn't have them onboard) but it does have USB3 and SATAIII which are both still very new. Might be useful to have. It's probably a better overclocking board and whatnot too.
    With that tricore, but same mobo I'd go with.

    I also see no reason why not to go with the hard drive batuchka mentioned or the samsung spinpoint f3 500 gig drive. They're faster than that one and bigger, and only $5 more.

    Also: What're you doing with the old system? That AGP graphics card will fetch a pretty penny on ebay. May even get nearly what you paid for it if you have the original box and use pictures. (I sold a 2600 XT for a friend of mine when we were getting rid of his old secondary computer and his pile of old stuff to make room (and money) for a new setup (which used a x3, BTW) and someone used the $60 buy it now which was more than he bought it for new.)

  6. Hows that look? I got the hard drive he posted, a triple core processor, and a little different mobo. I think this looks like the set up im going to go with. :D Its even under the $500 mark without ship, plus $45 in rebates! I can probably get a used card here on the forums or on ebay and be just around that $550 mark!

    With my old system, im currently trying to sell it. I just bought the graphics card like 2 months ago. :na: Shoulda waited and found tomshardware first! I can take it out and put it up on ebay. It is this graphics card here. Should i set a $75 buy it now? The old system is nothing great. I think ill be lucky to get $250 out of it.
  7. Put that graphics card on eBay! Can anyone tell me if the above pic is a good system for under $550? I should be able to afford a dedicated card with that system also!
  8. Well for casing - it's really down to personal taste For me thats a tad pricey for an X3/IGP rig though
  9. Well, how else can i get the prices down? The PSU is about the minimum i could go isn't it? I love that case, i don't mind spending a little extra on that.
  10. Nah, I think it's good at this point. The only thing I would go down is the case at this point.
  11. I think ive found a new setup. It's still under $550 and has a much better CPU. I plan to unlock the four cores on this. Is this a better set up than the athlons? They have the L3 cache.


    Hard Drive,

    Power Supply,


    CPU and MOBO combo,

    CPU cooler for overclocking and unlocking quad

    Let me know if you guys think that would be a better gaming rig or not really. I wouldn't mind going with a 720 X3 either but its OEM so no manufacture warranty :pfff:
  12. 1. L3 does not impact gaming performance seriously - even less so in 'real' gamer's resolutions/settings

    2. Unlocking is not a guarantee
    3. For fresh builds AM3/DDR3 rather than AM2+/DDR2
  13. 3. Especially since you can do it at the moment, you should be able to add a new CPU to it like next year that's better. So stop revising it and go with what you were saying before...
  14. Ok i will go with the build with the x3. I'll let ya know how it goes after i get everything built.
  15. Dude, very nice. I'm planning to build a new one as well for my aunt, and use my old one as a home server.
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