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Athlon II x3 435 Gaming Build $600-750

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March 21, 2010 7:20:36 PM

Athlon II x3 435 Gaming Build $600-750

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This Week BUDGET RANGE: $600-750 Before Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Bittorrent/Downloads, Music/Movies/Web
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, speakers, OS, GPU (already purchased an HD 4850, debating on getting a 2nd)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com looks like the best, but I'm open to anything COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA, East Coast
PARTS PREFERENCES: I've been thinking about the Athlon II x3 435; it looks like a great value.
OVERCLOCKING: Yes, I'd like to try to unlock the 4th core, but ive never Overclocked before. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes, Im debating on getting an additional 4850 or waiting and getting it cheaper some time in the future (im not sure if this is sound reasoning, as prices could go up, or the cards could disapear).
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Right now, I'm running my ~19 inch dell monitor at 1280x1024. Im not quite sure how resolution works, but that is the max resolution I can set. Not sure if its due to my monitor or my ancient GPU (Geforce FX 5200, oh yeah).
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is my first build. I really appreciate any advice. $750 is the max, after everything, incl. mouse, KB, and shipping. TH is an amazing site, and I've been trying to learn as much as I can. The community here is also amazing, and I'm excited to see what you all have to say. Finally, I'm trying to save money on this build by passing on the newer parts/features like 5xxx GPU's and Quad cores as well as utilizing combos from newegg. I was also considering DDR2, but it looks like DDR3 is the best value? If you see any places where I can cut a little cost, let me know. thanks.

CPU:
AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail
MOBO:
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Part of a combo with the cpu.
Honestly, I'm not sure which Mobo to choose. I was looking at 790X because I dont need the integrated graphics. Also, I connect wirelessly to the internet. Are there motherboards that meet my requirements and have a built in wireless card? Or am I better off getting something separately?
CPU Cooling:
XIGMATEK HDT-SD964 92mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
This is the one they used in the March SBM $750 Build.
Case/PSU:
I saw this combo. Will the PSU be enough for two HD4850s? Should I look for a cheaper case?
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
+
Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
I was also looking at this PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
GPU (Already Purchased One):
SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
I'm really debating on getting a second one. I think I want to stick with just one for now, and then get a new screen and second 4850 a year or two from now. Thoughts? Also, will the dual-4850's be severely bottlenecked by the CPU?
RAM:
A-DATA Gaming Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model AX3U1600GB2G9-AG - Retail
Looks like a good value. Should I get something faster? Should I get something cheaper?
HardDrive:
HITACHI Deskstar HD31000 IDK/7K (0S00163) 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Retail
10 bucks more than a WD 750gb and it has good reviews. I dont really need 1 TB, because I have a 1 TB external drive, but it looks like a good value.
DVD:
SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA DVD Burner LightScribe Support - OEM
Keyboard:
I need something Cheap but Effective and Comfortable
Mouse:
I need something wireless, comfy and fine for gaming/extensive use.

Am I forgetting anything? Again, this is my first build. Do i need a static wrist strap? anyhting else? Thanks for the advice!

March 21, 2010 7:31:05 PM

Yeah the 4850 in crossfire performs really good, however you could try to sell your 4850 for $50-70 which would be a very good option. However the 4850 is only $84 with the instant promo code, looks like a steal to me.

Couple of things about your build.

1. Seagate barracuda 7200.12 500GB is a lot faster then the hitachi you selected.
2. You want good timing ram, so the ram below (Cas 7) is the best.
3. the hyper 212 is a lot better then the xigmatek.
4. Probably should go with 890GX over 790X, they are basically the same but the 890GX will 100% for sure support the hexacore (6 core processor)

Let's see here...

Option #1 crossfire. $668




*EDIT* I'm workin on option #2 (non crossfire) but I think crossfire is the way to go IMO.
March 21, 2010 8:27:04 PM

OK, I've swapped the DVD, RAM and the HDD.
The Hyper 212 is better, but is also a bit more expensive. I am new to building/overclocking, so I probably wont be pushing it too much; can i get away with the cheaper one? Still, my newbie OC skills might be more reason to get a better cooling system. Thoughts?
Im looking around at motherboards rite now. I might skip on the usb3.0 and hexacore support to save some cash today (~$45 diff btwn the asus790x and the 890gx?).
Related resources
March 21, 2010 9:00:09 PM

you're talking about a very small difference in price (overall) for the hyper 212+, and it's not "better" it's much better. in fact, it's actually much better than the increase in price reflects. as far as cooling ability, the 92mm xigmatek will not be able to compete. spend the money, get the better cooler. you won't regret it.

don't skip on usb/hexcore support. the lovely part about the am3 socket is that you can run chips like that x3 435 for great performance now, and still have the ability to use hexcore chips when they come out without replacing your mobo. this will save you lots of money in the long run, and make future upgrades much less of a pain in the ass.
March 21, 2010 9:05:58 PM

k, changed the cooling system to the hyper 212+. Also added a wrist strap.
March 21, 2010 9:12:00 PM

EnderYeah said:
OK, I've swapped the DVD, RAM and the HDD.
The Hyper 212 is better, but is also a bit more expensive. I am new to building/overclocking, so I probably wont be pushing it too much; can i get away with the cheaper one? Still, my newbie OC skills might be more reason to get a better cooling system. Thoughts?
Im looking around at motherboards rite now. I might skip on the usb3.0 and hexacore support to save some cash today (~$45 diff btwn the asus790x and the 890gx?).

The 212+ is $30 on Amazon with free shipping. Just $1 more after shipping costs. Depending on where you live, you might not be charged tax either, so it might actually be cheaper.
If you think it'll be 5+ years later the next time you want to upgrade your PC, the 790X is fine, because you'll likely start from scratch. Otherwise, go with the 890GX. It offers more flexibility that you'll come to appreciate if you do decide to get it.
March 21, 2010 9:53:03 PM

Thanks Black! Saved me a couple bucks!
Do you really think this system will last 5+ years if I crossfire the 4850s? The goal was to build a decent machine for gaming while sacrificing future flexibility in exchange for a lower price tag today. Plus, I think however long this build lasts, i'm going to be starting from scratch on my next build anyway.
You guys are persuasive.. its only $20 more for the usb/hexcore support.. but who knows what the tech/pricing will be like by then.. ill stick with my gut on this one and go with the Asus mobo for now. But i appreciate the advice/suggestions.
In fact, are there any other Mobos that are similar to the Asus but cheaper? I saw those Biostar boards combo'ed with the CPU but they seem a little sketchy.
March 21, 2010 9:59:04 PM

there is no computer that will last for 5 years and perform well on the newest games without upgrades. if you're planning on keeping your very low res monitor, a crossfire 4850 setup will last for some time, albeit without support for dx11.

it's too bad you bought that 4850 before asking on these forums. i've seen $700-ish builds with x3/5770/usb 3.0/etc put together by several forum posters, which is not even the top end of your budget.

good luck with your build.
March 21, 2010 11:29:48 PM

Thanks everyone for the input. I'm still open to more advice, I probably wont buy for a few more days. Could I save any cash without sacrificing too much performance with a lower end motherboard?

Right now, it looks like my system is going to be around $630 (single 4850). If i added the 2nd 4850, it would be in the same price range as the $700ish builds you described but will perform better (but less future flexibility, as you mentioned).
March 21, 2010 11:43:33 PM

you're also limiting yourself now. a 5770 will shred any game at that very low res, and give you dx11. then you can add another one later if you get a monitor that gives you bigger res. my point is that buying 4000 series cards right now just doesn't make any sense.

hopefully madadmiral or someone equally competent will show up in this thread with a $700 x3 build that includes a 5770 and changes your mind.
March 22, 2010 1:57:19 AM

I don't see what's wrong with my build at $668. Why don't you like it enderyeah?

IMO since your already buying the hyper 212, I think you should go Phenom II 720 BE over Rana 435. It overclocks like a champ and is a much faster processor, however both will be fine for gaming.
March 22, 2010 2:01:16 AM

whatelsematters said:
you're also limiting yourself now. a 5770 will shred any game at that very low res, and give you dx11. then you can add another one later if you get a monitor that gives you bigger res. my point is that buying 4000 series cards right now just doesn't make any sense.

hopefully madadmiral or someone equally competent will show up in this thread with a $700 x3 build that includes a 5770 and changes your mind.



Well I put this together, the OP said he didn't want USB 3.0 Sata 6GB's (IMO I think you should get it)

March 22, 2010 2:17:04 AM

whitefang's build is excellent, and will give you much better performance than a single 4850. sell the 4850 you already bought and buy his build. that single 5770 will run pretty much all games very well at 1600x res, and if you get a 1900x capable monitor then you can add another 5770 and will have no problems.
March 22, 2010 3:10:39 AM

I guess its my fault for saying my budget was $750 max. Really, im trying to keep the cost as low as possible. I wonder if there are acceptable motherboards that are cheaper than the Asus that still meet all my needs.
Is the hyper 212+ overkill for the Rana?
Whitefang- yeah, thats what i have exactly, except a 4850 512mb instead of the 5770. thanks for all the help and suggestions.
I think the 4850 is enough to play every game, especially on my poor display screen. Plus I already bought it. And when it no longer cuts it or i decide to buy a new display, ill buy another one (assuming i can find one).
I know I can spend a little bit more get a superior machine, but I think ive found a nice price point for me and my situation with the x3 rana and 4850(s).
If i went for the 5770, thats an extra $70-$80, and if i went an extra $15-25 from that, i could get another 4850 and have more power. Ya, I'd have two dx10 cards instead of one dx11 card with the option to add another.. but im ok with that because im saving some money today, getting more power, and the games/drivers for dx11 cards arent really completely there yet.
March 22, 2010 3:18:23 AM

whitefang said:
..I think you should go Phenom II 720 BE over Rana 435. It overclocks like a champ and is a much faster processor, however both will be fine for gaming.


Im not sure it is a much faster processor, at least at stock speeds. I was reading this TH article a while back, and the cards seem to be pretty similar.
"Look at the Athlon II X3 435 versus the Phenom II X3 720. For three-quarters of the price, the Athlon II X3 435 offers identical encoding ability, less than a three percent disadvantage in gaming, and less than a five percent disadvantage in productivity metrics."
Ill accept any small loss in performance for the $30 i save. I dont know anything about overclocking, but im sure the phenom would be better in that regard.
March 22, 2010 4:13:31 AM

maybe if you're so strapped you should save a little more before you buy? anyway, good luck with your build.
March 22, 2010 4:16:36 AM

EnderYeah said:
I guess its my fault for saying my budget was $750 max. Really, im trying to keep the cost as low as possible. I wonder if there are acceptable motherboards that are cheaper than the Asus that still meet all my needs.
Is the hyper 212+ overkill for the Rana?
Whitefang- yeah, thats what i have exactly, except a 4850 512mb instead of the 5770. thanks for all the help and suggestions.
I think the 4850 is enough to play every game, especially on my poor display screen. Plus I already bought it. And when it no longer cuts it or i decide to buy a new display, ill buy another one (assuming i can find one).
I know I can spend a little bit more get a superior machine, but I think ive found a nice price point for me and my situation with the x3 rana and 4850(s).
If i went for the 5770, thats an extra $70-$80, and if i went an extra $15-25 from that, i could get another 4850 and have more power. Ya, I'd have two dx10 cards instead of one dx11 card with the option to add another.. but im ok with that because im saving some money today, getting more power, and the games/drivers for dx11 cards arent really completely there yet.


Yes I do agree you should CF your 4850 with another if you can't sell it. The Hyper 212 is only necessary if you want to overclock, see your link to see the benefits.

However I wouldn't go any lower on the motherboard, it's very important.
March 22, 2010 1:11:50 PM

will this Asrock board suffice? Will it run two 4850's in crossfire at 8x/8x?
March 22, 2010 1:16:15 PM

NVM. I'm gonna stick with the Asus.
!