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$600-$800 Budget Gaming/Media, Future-Proofing, and needing a Monitor

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April 20, 2010 10:37:26 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 10 days
BUDGET RANGE: USD $600-$800

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: HD Media, Surfing the internet, Gaming all equally important

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers, Mouse, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com , www.microcenter.com

PARTS PREFERENCES: AM3 Socket Board, USB3 support, SATA III support, board future-proof at a reasonable price, Radeon HD 5770,

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No / Maybe, least of my priorities

MONITOR RESOLUTION: No Monitor yet (can be considered separate of above budget, say for $100-$250 if the quality is worth it), would consider 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would prefer a quiet PC, I will build upon whatever I have from this into the future with $100-$150 in additions per year, I would consider a build with an SSD if the price was right, I will likely need to have wifi connection for a few months or potentially more, this is my first build


What I'm currently looking at:

HDD: $54.99
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: $89.99 ($79.99 AR)
GIGABYTE GA-770TA-UD3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

WIFI: $14.99 Refurb
Recertified: Linksys WMP300N-RM IEEE 802.11b/g, IEEE 802.11n Draft PCI Wireless Adapter 128-bit WEP, WPA and WPA2 Encryption Security
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: $114.99
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: $104.99
AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- hoping to unlock 4th core

COOLER: $34.99
COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-G1 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD/Case: $64.98
LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA CD/DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Rosewill Wind Knight Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with pre-installed 2x 120mm Fan, Support up to 1x 140mm top fan, 2x 140mm side fan, 1x 140mm front fan, 1x 120mm rear fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

GPU/PSU: $209.98 ($185 AR)
XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
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
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Total: $689.90
Shipping: $15.10
= $705
Rebate: $35
Final Total = $670

This isn't considering keyboard or monitor (monitor its own $100-250 budget). I still would like to consider a 32GB or 64GB SSD, but I doubt I can do that without changing the CPU. I'm tempted to do the SSD now as I am getting Windows 7 enterprise free through my university, but I won't be getting a disk for it (product key generic tied to the university's install disk). I will be graduating in May, so I likely won't have access to Windows 7 Enterprise (free) anytime in the future unless my future employer has some plan I am not yet aware of.
April 20, 2010 10:53:28 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
The build looks good! You've done your homework. I would get this CAS 7 DDR3 1600 RAM kit for the same price.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM $114.99

I don't really have any more suggestions. You're not going to get a decent SSD that will fit your budget. I would wait a while for the prices to come down.


It looks like that would involve OCing the RAM as it seems the board is meant to support 1333. Would I in the future be able to have 4 of these 1600 sticks running side by side with no issue? Would I even be thinking about that sort of an upgrade anytime soon, as maybe by the time I want to change it I'll be looking at 4 4GB sticks?
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April 21, 2010 12:00:19 AM

All you have to do to get your RAM running at its rated specs is manually set the RAM speed, timings, and voltage to their rated specs in the BIOS. AMD's RAM controller may not run four sticks at 1600MHz, but you can cross that bridge when you get to it. The worst case scenario would be that they would go down to 1333MHz. Either way, you're not losing anything since you were going to get 1333 RAM anyway. For the same price, why not?
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April 21, 2010 12:08:01 AM

The Intel X25-V is a 40 GB SSD that I use for my Boot disk. I got it on sale for 105, but it regularly costs 125.00.

Something to look into if you really want it. Windows 7 takes up I think 13 GB and I have Firefox, plus all the Java/PDF stuff also installed on it.

I sit at about 20 GB/37 GB(40 GB formats to 37 GB)
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