Sub-$500 System

Hey all, putting together a sub-$500 build for my brother in-law, and looking for extra advice/comment on what to get. Mostly going to be using it for standard web browsing, but wants to be able to play some games on it as well. Obviously nothing new on max settings, but newer titles on medium would be nice. No overclocking for this system, either.

Currently I've got the quad core picked out since it seems to have pretty solid benches and it has four cores. No L3 cache hurts gaming performance, but as far as I can tell it's still the best overall pick at the sub-$100 mark but input would be lovely. The other item I'm less than confident about is the Foxconn mobo, it's micro ATX but I think everything will fit fine, more worried about the reliability and speed here. I should also mention that the price really can't go UP from this point, they originally wanted to fit a monitor in on the $500 tag but are currently willing to borrow my old 15" flat until they find a good sale. If someone can fit a monitor in at maybe $525 I'd love to hear that as well.

AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor

Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
-$39.99 (29.99 with promo code)

A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model AD3U1333B2G9-DRH - Retail

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Foxconn M61PMP-K AM3 NVIDIA MCP61P Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7 - Retail
-$66.98 + $25 MIR

TOTAL: $474.92 + $7.56 shipping

Thanks for any input!
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  1. 1. L3 affects gaming resolution at *lower resolution/settings* With half decent GPU we are talking the difference between very playable frames anyways @ low res zzz...

    2. AthlonII X3 + better GPU ftw gaming rig!

    3. $463AR up to 1680 x 1050 gaming?

    4. Negative on that Foxconn - HT 1.0 and PCIex16 gen 1.0 means its just an AM2 mobo with DDR3 slots @@
  2. You can get 2G of RAM now, you can add more RAM later:

    And get a better video card:

    And a better CPU

    From my calculus it's under 500 with the rebate on the video card.
  3. Thats doable too if TS does not mind 2GB
  4. Thanks for the advice. Here's what I switched:

    BIOSTAR A785G3 AM3 AMD 785G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail

    AMD Athlon II X3 425 Rana 2.7GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail

    I left the case since the micro ATX one didn't qualify for the $10 promo code, and with shipping it was more expensive than the current one I have picked (since it currently has free shipping). Good call on the mobo, didn't realize it had the PCI-E 1.0, that would have sucked! I went with the 4850 since most benches I've seen have it on equal or slightly better performance than the GTS 250 and it was like 15 dollars less.

    Any further changes from here? Or is it good to go?
  5. IMO a much better build.

    Batuchka I see that you like Micro-ATX Boards/Cases. But Micro-ATX is NOT the way to go for a gaming PC. A full size board and a mid sized case is almost a must for gaming.

    This PC will perform overall better then batuchkas, it has a 700W psu so you can add another GPU down the road, it is a mid sized case so you won't be begging for air. It can fit a 12" graphics card. It can hold a total of 4 120MM fans. It's too-less. 4 USB, E-sata, Mic and audio port on the top along with the Power switch and LED on / off button.

    The video card performs slightly better then the GTS 250 (3-6FPS in most games)

    Processor is 200 MHZ faster, can be overclocked more.

    Motherboard is not Micro-atx (Big plus) it is a better brand and overall more solid.

    And it's got free shipping =)

  6. A side-by-side comparison of the mobos seems like the ASRock is the better choice. 4 DIMMs is pretty important so I can add more RAM in the future, and a pair of PCI-E slots means I can add an extra 4850 for them at some point to extend the longevity of the machine. Same price to boot.

    Thanks for the tip whitefang, your build is almost exactly what it looks like I'll be going with as of now.
  7. I wouldn't Crossfire on that board, 16X4 isn't very good. BY the time you want to crossfire the bigger better single GPU video cards will come down in price.
  8. Err there is a market specifically for gamers who want small foot print and/or SFF form factor whitefang which i clearly see you have no idea about @@ I would rate the GTS 250 higher actually, particularly this model with its cooling solution - and runs cooler which mean less heat , the enemy of hardware Lastly here are the benches for a couple of popular games GTS 250 vs HD 4850 so i won't be expressing an opinion

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