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[Under $500] General Purpose Build

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May 11, 2010 7:24:50 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week BUDGET RANGE: Under $500 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing the internet, Office 2007, old Star Wars games, new games

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, dvd drives, hard drive, OS (maybe... I have WinXP Home, would it be worth upgrading to the $99 Win7 from newegg?)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: No micro-ATX. Had bad luck with NVIDIA cards (FX5500 and 6200, so doesn't mean much), so maybe ATI? Always had Dells with Intel, but on a budget so leaning toward AMD.

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, in the distant distant future.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 (Dell E172FPB)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet would be good.

Parts I'm looking at:

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX435WFGIBOX $71
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ... $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Combo on the case/PS = $20, $15 rebate on motherboard...
Total: $401
If I add Win7 total is $500. (+shipping)
------------------------------

Been reading on Tom's Hardware at a friend's suggestion that I build my own PC to replace my Dimension 8300. The $750 system build looks close, but I don't have very high video needs. In fact, the onboard GPU might be enough for now. The games I still need to play are Star Wars Republic Commando and KoTR: II.

Crossfire is not likely for a long while. If a game were THAT good that I had to have it... I may want to play Starcraft 2 when it comes out, since I've got a friend that loves Starcraft. Through my company I can get the Employee Purchase Program at Dell, but it seems like I have to pay several hundred dollars more to get something comparable to this system.

Any problems with this? Is it overkill? I'm thinking with my needs this PC will last as long as my Dimension 8300 did (5.5 years). Thanks!

-Luke
May 11, 2010 8:28:51 PM

The RAM is CL9 (CAS 9) and you should be able to get faster CAS7 for the same price.

I dont see anything else you should change other than adding a graphic card if you find on board is not enough.

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May 12, 2010 9:28:15 AM

Thats too pricey IMO for a 700series board when u could actually land bigger/better tech at a cheaper price with the 800 series native SATA 6GB/s supporting and in this mobo USB 3.0 via NEC chip ^^ $358AR including ship :p 

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May 12, 2010 6:19:04 PM

I wouldnt get an ASRock sight unseen. Without a good review to indicate that specific model is one of ASRocks rare gems, I'd stick with ASUS or Gigabyte.
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May 12, 2010 6:52:18 PM

I'm intrigued by the AMD 440 instead of the 435. Little better for only a couple $ more.


AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor Model ADX440WFGIBOX $75 ($20 combo w/ PS)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard $120 ($15 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C7 $130 ($25 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... $65 ($25 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-----
Subtotal = $450
Total = $365

Bit better processor, less PSU. 500W should cover me for the single graphics card I'm likely to ever use. Or is there an 880 mobo that would add a few bucks but give me the better onboard graphics?
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May 12, 2010 7:15:56 PM

The initial articles I've read indicate there is not much reason to go with the 800 series chipset if the price isnt close to the same.
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May 13, 2010 1:57:35 AM

I was looking through other combos with that OCZ power supply, and see that for $21 more I could upgrade to:

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model ADX620WFGIBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would that be worth it, or is it overkill with what I intend (internet, Excel, old PC games)? Just save the $21 and get a discrete graphics card later?

On another thread someone commented about "gamer" RAM vs. "normal" RAM. Again, am I going for too much overkill? Still seems like I have a pretty affordable build here with the components I've got.

Thanks!
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May 13, 2010 10:19:08 AM

dndhatcher said:
I wouldnt get an ASRock sight unseen. Without a good review to indicate that specific model is one of ASRocks rare gems, I'd stick with ASUS or Gigabyte.


Haha but of course
http://en.ocworkbench.com/tech/exclusive-review-asrock-...
Quote:
In Conclusion, I feel that the ASRock 880G Extreme3 is a board that you should watch out for in your next upgrade purchase. It is one of the best price/performance board available in the year 2010. We give it our Editor’s Choice award.

Pros
USB 3 support
UCC
Power switches, Clear CMOS switch at the back

Cons
No DisplayPort

Ratings
Here are my ratings out of 10.
Category Score
Performance 10 / 10
Features 10 / 10
Ease Of Installation 9 / 10
Overclocking Features 9 / 10
Documentation 7 / 10
Packaging 8 / 10
Cost / Performance 10 / 10
Overall Rating : 9 / 10

The OC nuts at Xtremesystems have also put the 890GX version thru it's paces as well ^^ Again for a tad more 800 series for the win - just bigger/better tech w.r.t 700 series and in this particular case one cheaper!
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May 13, 2010 6:33:57 PM

thom9894 said:
I was looking through other combos with that OCZ power supply, and see that for $21 more I could upgrade to:

AMD Athlon II X4 620 Propus 2.6GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model ADX620WFGIBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Would that be worth it, or is it overkill with what I intend (internet, Excel, old PC games)? Just save the $21 and get a discrete graphics card later?

Comparing that 2.6GHz quad to a 3.0GHz triple core is hard to call an upgrade. For heavy multi-tasking and large number crunching apps it might be a bit better. For individual tasks and gaming the faster triple core will give better performance, especially older single threaded games.


Price equal I will buy corsair RAM over any brand. Unfortunately they do seem to constantly be overpriced right now. I would go for a cheaper CL7 Gskill, Mushkin or Patriot. I would avoid OCZ right now, they seem to be having problems with RAM lately. I am not real happy with the OCZ RAM I bought for my latest PC.


@Batuchka - thanks for the review link.
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May 13, 2010 10:26:44 PM

Hm, I think the Corsair RAM I've got now should be pretty good. 7-8-7-20 timing for $105 after rebate. $5 cheaper than CL8 Gskill.
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May 13, 2010 10:47:19 PM

If you qualify for the rebate, thats a good deal on the Corsair XMS3. I never count on mail-in rebates when quoteing a system because you never know if they will purchase before the rebate period expires.
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May 14, 2010 3:42:26 AM

thom9894 said:
I'm intrigued by the AMD 440 instead of the 435. Little better for only a couple $ more.


AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor Model ADX440WFGIBOX $75 ($20 combo w/ PS)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA790GPT-UD3H AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard $120 ($15 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C7 $130 ($25 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ... $65 ($25 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
-----
Subtotal = $450
Total = $365

Bit better processor, less PSU. 500W should cover me for the single graphics card I'm likely to ever use. Or is there an 880 mobo that would add a few bucks but give me the better onboard graphics?


So I was looking through my parts, making sure all of the rebates are still valid, and saw a promo code for free shipping on the case. I added an anti-static strap, with shipping it came to $443.59. $65 of rebates. Middle of next week I should be getting my first PC parts! Thanks for your inputs dndhatcher and batuchka!
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!