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$700-900 AMD rig. Haven't built a comp in 6 years

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April 26, 2010 6:52:32 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week. Today if I get the papal dispensation from THG.

BUDGET RANGE: I was budgeting about $700 but I have gone over to about $900.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming, HD playback

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: microcenter.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Gigabyte, Antec, etc.

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe later

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024, 1280x720, 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:

I haven't built a system from scratch in almost 10 years. I last updated my system in maybe 2005-2006, I can't even remember. My current rig is a Pentium 4 3.0ghz, 1gb RAM, GeForce 6600GT in an ancient case. I don't even turn it on anymore, I usually use my laptop purchased in August 2008.

With Starcraft 2 and Civilization 5 on the horizon, I want an upgrade. I also play L4D2. I will buy a monitor at a later date but currently I output to a 32" Sony 1080p Bravia. I have a legacy 17" LCD Samsung flat panel (4:3 AR... :ouch: ) that I may use as well.

The other main use for my computer is HD playback (TV / movies).

I would like to shave the price down a bit if possible.
--

Here is what I came up with: (Micro Center prices, a store is very close to me).

Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case $49.99

AMD Phenom II X4 Quad-Core Processor 955 Black Edition Boxed $159.99

OCZ Technology 4GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Memory Kit (Two 2GB Memory Modules) $119.99 after rebate savings $139.99

Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 890GX ATX Motherboard $154.99

Western Digital-OEM Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $114.99

Pioneer-OEM DVR-218LBK 22x SATA DVD Burner with Labelflash - OEM $34.99

Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 600W ATX Power Supply $49.99

Gigabyte Radeon HD5770 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe 2.0 x16 Graphics Card $169.99

TOTAL $927 taxes in.
April 26, 2010 7:07:01 PM

Not a great $900 gaming build. If you want to spend that much, here's a better one:

CPU/HSF: X4 955 and Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $189
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $125 after rebate. The 890 chipset is completely unnecessary, as all it gives you is the ability to drop in a hexa-core CPU (which you won't need) without a BIOS update (which is free).
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $120. Faster, better sticks. OCZ has compatibility issues.
GPU/PSU: HD 5850 and Antec Earthwatts 650W $355. A better GPU and a higher quality PSU.
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $55. A cheaper drive that's just as fast. It also comes in 1 TB models for $35 more.
Case/Optical: Coolermaster 690 and cheap SATA DVD burner $77. A better case.

Total: $921

Or here's one closer to the $700:

CPU: X3 425 $70. A X4 is not needed for gaming, so you can save money with this excellent gaming CPU.
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 $125 after rebate
RAM/GPU: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 and HD 5770 $265
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB $55
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 650W $75
Case/Optical: Coolermaster 690 and cheap SATA DVD burner $77
HSF (if OC): Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35 (with free card reader)

Total: $702
!