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I put together my first build in 6 years...Care to critique a noob?

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April 28, 2010 1:21:54 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: as soon as possible

BUDGET RANGE: ~500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Starcraft 2/Diablo III, watching movies

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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: any, live in North Carolina

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: None.

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Likely not enough cash

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 40", 1920x1080 for movies; 19", 1280x1024 for games (might upgrade later)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I have an old case that I could probably reuse, but I'm not sure if I should. How should I decide this?

This build (my first in 6 years) comes out around 490 bucks...anything you guys would change?

Motherboard/CPU (AMD Athlon II X3 435, hopefully I can unlock the 4th core, GIGABYTE Motherboard $124.98 together)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

RAM/GPU (OCZ Gold 4GB, 2x2GB DDR3 1600 and GIGABYTE GeForce GTS 250 1 GB) (combo 231.98, + 40$ MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Hard-drive (500GB WD Caviar Black 7200 RPM, 32MB Cache, $69.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case (HEC 6C60BS Black and 650W Power Supply, $61.98)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

If you include the mail-in rebates that price drops another 40 bucks and the total price is only 450 bucks (plus any taxes and shipping). Am I wasting money/not spending enough money in certain places? Thanks for the help guys.

Best solution

April 28, 2010 4:17:35 PM

Couple of changes...
  • MOBO/CPU Combo: AMD Athlon II X3 435 & GIGABYTE GA-785GMT-USB3 AM3 AMD 785G - Gives you DDR3 support to go along with your RAM selection and USB 3.0 support
  • RAM/GPU Combo: OCZ Gold 4GB, 2x2GB DDR3 1600 & MSI R5750-MD1G Radeon HD 5750 1GB - Gives you DX11 support and a slightly better GPU (IMO)
  • HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB - Faster and cheaper hard drive that is equally as good.
  • Case/PSU Combo: Antec 200 & Antec EarthWatts EA-430D - You don't want to skimp on your PSU and put your system at risk with the HEC PSU. This combo gives you a good PSU and a better case for a little extra money, which in the end is well worth it for a reliable system. Or you can provide the make of your old case and we can determine if it can be reused and save some additional funds for the new case.

    Total Cost: $526.93 not including MIR
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    April 28, 2010 5:57:06 PM

    tecmo34 said:
    Couple of changes...
  • MOBO/CPU Combo: AMD Athlon II X3 435 & GIGABYTE GA-785GMT-USB3 AM3 AMD 785G - Gives you DDR3 support to go along with your RAM selection and USB 3.0 support
  • RAM/GPU Combo: OCZ Gold 4GB, 2x2GB DDR3 1600 & MSI R5750-MD1G Radeon HD 5750 1GB - Gives you DX11 support and a slightly better GPU (IMO)
  • HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB - Faster and cheaper hard drive that is equally as good.
  • Case/PSU Combo: Antec 200 & Antec EarthWatts EA-430D - You don't want to skimp on your PSU and put your system at risk with the HEC PSU. This combo gives you a good PSU and a better case for a little extra money, which in the end is well worth it for a reliable system. Or you can provide the make of your old case and we can determine if it can be reused and save some additional funds for the new case.

    Total Cost: $526.93 not including MIR



  • Thanks so much for the response. I'll take your advice on the case and PSU. Will the difference in cache size on the hard-drives (32 vs 16) make a big difference? I think I decided to spend a little more and change a few components around. Should I stick with the graphics card you recommended? Is it worth the bump to a Phenom? What do you think of the following build?

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    RAM: OCZ AMD Black Edition 2 x 2GB DDR3 1600
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    GPU: Sapphire Radeon 5770 1GB GDDR5
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Case/PSU: Antec 200 & Antec EarthWatts EA-430D
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
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    April 28, 2010 6:38:49 PM

    A much better build... but you'll need a heat sink since your CPU doesn't come with it. I would add this heat sink Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

    On the hard drive, why the Samsung is faster is because it is based on a single 500GB platter versus two 250GB Platters on the WD.
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    April 28, 2010 6:52:41 PM

    tecmo34 said:
    A much better build... but you'll need a heat sink since your CPU doesn't come with it. I would add this heat sink Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus

    On the hard drive, why the Samsung is faster is because it is based on a single 500GB platter versus two 250GB Platters on the WD.


    Will that work fine on an AMD?
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    April 28, 2010 7:23:03 PM

    Yes... I used it on my last build I put together which was an AMD.
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    April 28, 2010 8:02:36 PM

    tecmo34 said:
    Yes... I used it on my last build I put together which was an AMD.


    One last question. I have seen a lot of advice to simply get a DDR2 motherboard and DDR2 memory to save money, as it does not significantly impact performance. What do you think about this? Could I save some bucks that way? Would buying a cheaper mobo affect the ability to maybe unlock and OC a 4th core?

    Here is a DDR2 version of the board I picked before.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=1...

    If I change to this memory:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    I would end up saving about 40-60 bucks. Worth it?
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    April 28, 2010 8:30:18 PM

    Lets review....

    DDR2 1066 RAM - $119.99 ($10 MIR)
    DDR3 1600 RAM - $129.99 ($20 MIR)
    Same Price

    Why won't you get DDR3 RAM and allow you for future grow and updates? It is faster and DDR2 is now in it's EOL cycle so prices will continue to go up and up.

    I say the extra $15 for the motherboard is worth it. Those recommendations were valid when DDR2 RAM was cheaper but now it is equal in price or more expensive. Stick with the build you have listed... You'll be better off in the end! :) 
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    April 28, 2010 8:35:13 PM

    Best answer selected by dutchmanx86.
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