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Budget Graduation Present

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May 3, 2010 2:57:36 PM

So, im graduating from UGA and i want to build myself a computer. I have a general idea of what want but, since im a first timer, i wanted input and advice to see if im falling into any pitfalls or if my build is unbalanced.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Mid July.

BUDGET RANGE: MAX $800 after tax and rebates without the HDTV monitor. $250-270 for the TV.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (Guild Wars 2 ftw :D ), photoshop, Blu-ray/Movie playing, basic computing and office work.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, microcenter.com, buy.com in the USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: I really like AMD's cheap and everyday user campaign but other than that....

OVERCLOCKING: Yes - but not extensive

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Yes - in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 I plan on purchasing a 24" 1080p LCD HDTV as a monitor.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Heres what i have so far, let me know. I dont necessarily need the card reader either.

Newegg.com - Rosewill RCR-IC002 74-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port / Extra silver face plate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAIDMAX Tornado ATX-238WR Black / Red SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Newegg.com - hec X-Power Pro 600 600W Continuous @ 40°C ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Newegg.com - CORSAIR XMS3 DHX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1333C9DHX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Newegg.com - 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...

Newegg.com - ASUS 8X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-ray Drive Model BC-08B1ST
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Newegg.com - ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Newegg.com - AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Newegg.com - HIS H577FM1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Viewsonic VT2430 24'' LCD TV - VT2430 - Buy.com
http://www.buy.com/prod/viewsonic-vt2430-24-widescreen-...
May 3, 2010 3:16:45 PM

Are you sure you are going to use the Blu-Ray drive? Try for a 790x or 790fx motherboard. The Gx have built in graphics, so its sort of a waste. Also, G.skill ram is a good alternative to Corsair. If you combo up some things the right way, you can easily get yourself a 5830 or even 5850 in there.
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Best solution

May 3, 2010 3:23:38 PM

That POS power supply has got to go. You absolutely can't try to save a buck on the PSU if you want a long-lasting stable system. You should stick to the known quality PSU manufacturers like Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, Antec, etc... Is your budget flexible at all? Here's one that's just slightly over budget.

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $59.99

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-890XA-UD3 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $279.98 (CPU + motherboard combo)

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... $114.99

XFX HD-577X-ZNFC Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $159.99

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

LITE-ON Black 4X BD-ROM 8X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray Disc Reader Model iHOS104-08
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $64.99

Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $89.99 - $20.00 MIR

Total - $824.92 - $20.00 MIR

You're really asking a lot for your budget. You should try to squeeze a 58xx GPU in for gaming at your resolution, but it just doesn't fit in your budget without cutting corners that I'm not willing to cut.
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May 3, 2010 3:31:29 PM

Really, you would be better of going for a processor that is a bit cheaper and sticking the remaining into a 5850. Like, maybe go with a Athlon II X4 635 or a Phenom II X4 of a lower model number. Definitely dont skimp on a PSU.

A good motherboard (won several awards) is : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Look for a combo Processor / Motherboard deal with one of those motherboards that works with your budget and a 5850 in your cart.


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May 3, 2010 3:45:40 PM

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

$59.99


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

$54.99


MSI 790X-G45 AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard

$99.99


HIS H585F1GDG Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card w/ATI Eyefinity

$319.99


Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply

$89.99


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

$109.99

select item 7 quantity of item 7


AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Model HDX945WFGMBOX

$149.00

Subtotal: $883.94


If you can go 80 bucks over budget definitely go this route.
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May 4, 2010 4:08:44 AM

Best answer selected by lifisbeautiful.
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May 4, 2010 4:17:19 AM

Thanks for the help guys, its been great and very constructive.

I agree on the PSU after some research... my bad about that.

Yes im sure i want the bluray player because in addition to playing games, i do want to watch TV and movies on this TV. That being said, thanks for the advice on the cheaper monitors, but i need a HDTV with a cable input.

I was looking at the 5850 and saw that, although so tantalizing.... it is really expensive. Do you think doing crossfire with 2 cheaper cards would be better (referring to the Best Graphic Cards in certain price-points article)?

Quote:
Two Radeon HD 4850s in CrossFire continue to offer a combination of high performance and reasonably low cost, making them a good choice for a gaming enthusiast on a budget. Two hundred dollars will get you a couple 512MB cards, while $230 should score a duo of 1GB models. You'll need a CrossFire-compatible motherboard of course, but that's not a problem for most folks with Intel- or AMD-based platforms.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

and regarding the cards too, i want to watch TV, play games on this 24" monitor, will the 5770 be suitable for that? Im sure the 5850 can easily handle that. Perhaps with a bigger TV in the future?

Another thing, is the Phenom II X4 too powerful for the 5770 or 5850 or vica versa? As in on of them will bottleneck the other?

Lastly... Am i looking into this wayyy to early? im expecting a little bit of money for my graduation so i go really excited at the prospect of buildign my own computer. Yes, the budget is flexible as i dont know what i will have a few weeks from now, but $800 is my best guess. Who knows, maybe ill get more.

Thanks again for all your advice and the advice to come :)  this community is awesome.
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May 4, 2010 4:31:19 AM

I would try for the 5850 for a 24in monitor and bigger. The Antec TP 550w PSU would be fine for 1 x 5850 or 2 x 5770s in Crossfire.

The Phenom II x4 and 5770 or 5850 are a good balance with no bottlenecking.

I have not heard of any major price changes in the next few weeks but you never know.....keep your eye out for sales between now and then.

Congrats on graduation and GO Dawgs!
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