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Budget gaming build ($700~$800)

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May 12, 2010 4:38:05 PM

Hey guys. I'm new to this forum. Hope to learn a few things about computer from you guys.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (waiting for the ncix.com shipping promo) BUDGET RANGE: ($700~$800) Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (Home, gaming, listening to music (FLAC), surfing the internet, watching movies)

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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (ncix.com)

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: (Canada eh!)

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type (no preference really)

OVERCLOCKING: Yes | SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (1680x1050 atm but will most likely pick up a 24" 1920x1080 when i spot a deal)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: (best bang for buck!)

I'm in the process of picking out parts on ncix.com. What will I use the computer for? Gaming (MW2, SC2, BC2, etc), Music, Movies, HD youtube videos, MSN, Web browsing, Word/Excel/PP and a whole lot of multitasking between all of those. What's the best bang for buck CPU for me? Initially I was going for an i5 750 build but I figure that might be overkill for what I use the computer for. Then I decided to go with the AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE and the Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 to save $120~ towards something else. I figure I can try to unlock the two additional cores if I ever need a quad core cpu, right?

What do you guys think about this build for me? Any suggestions on what to replace for a better and cheaper rig? I'm trying to keep the price as low as possible.. I cheaped out on the hard drive so I can pick up a SSD later when the price drops a bit. The main performance boost really comes from a SSD anways, not a high end CPU.

AMD Athlon II X3 440 Triple Core Processor AM3 3.0GHZ 1.5MB L2 Cache 95W 45NM Retail Box
Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
In Stock 50791 $104.99 $104.99
Price Match request for the above item
Competitor's price: $76.99, source url: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
The Price Match you submitted has a difference of 20% or more. This may be because the price you are trying to match is in US dollars. We will review the Price Match and let you know if it's valid. Please read our Price Match terms & conditions for details.
$76.99 $76.99

Gigabyte GA-770T-USB3 ATX AM3 AMD 770/SB710 DDR3 PCI-E16 4XPCI-E 2XPCI SATA2 RAID USB3.0 Motherboard
Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
In Stock 50567 $99.99 $99.99
Price Match request for the above item
Competitor's price: $84.88, source url: http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/226851/GA-770T-USB3/G...
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$84.88 $84.88

XFX Radeon HD 5770 850MHZ 1GB 4.8GHZ GDDR5 2XDVI HDMI Display Port DIRECTX11 PCI-E Video Card
Usually ships in 2-3 business days.
In Stock 48038 $179.99 $179.99
Price Match request for the above item
Competitor's price: $159.97, source url: http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...zCjCVqHCjCdwwp
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$159.97 $159.97

G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL Ripjaws PC3-12800 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Core i5 1.5V Memory Kit
Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
In Stock 42745 $129.99 $129.99
Price Match request for the above item
Competitor's price: $108.29, source url: http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/?sku=219728&kw=g.skill%20f3-12800cl9d-4gbrl
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$108.29 $108.29

Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB SATA2 7200RPM 32MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM
Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
In Stock 49262 $99.99 $99.99
Price Match request for the above item
Competitor's price: $77.22, source url: http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/?sku=225675&kw=samsun...
The Price Match you submitted has a difference of 20% or more. This may be because the price you are trying to match is in US dollars. We will review the Price Match and let you know if it's valid. Please read our Price Match terms & conditions for details.
$77.22 $77.22

LG GH22NS50 Black 22X SATA DVD Writer OEM
Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
In Stock 40435 $29.99 $29.99
Price Match request for the above item
Competitor's price: $19.72, source url: http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/?sku=217563&kw=lg%20gh22ns50
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$19.72 $19.72

Coolermaster CM 690 II Basic ATX Mid Tower Case Black 4X5.25 6X3.5INT Front USB eSATA Audio *No PSU*
Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
In Stock 49224 $84.99 $84.99
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Competitor's price: $71.50, source url: http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/225623/COOLERMASTER/RC_692_KKN3/
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$71.50 $71.50 - $10.00 MIR

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA775 LGA1156 120MM
Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
In Stock 41337 $29.36 $29.36
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Competitor's price: $22.00, source url: http://www.bestdirect.ca/products/218427/RR-B10-212P-GP/COOLERMASTER/
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$22.00 $22.00

OCZ ModXStream Pro 700W ATX 20/24PIN SLI Ready Modular Cables 135mm Fan 80PLUS Power Supply
Usually ships in 1-2 business days.
In Stock 35456 $94.99 $94.99
Price Match request for the above item
Competitor's price: $79.85, source url: http://www.directcanada.com/products...Z%20TECHNOLOGY
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$79.85 $79.85 - $25.00 MIR

Total BEFORE Price Match $854.28
YOUR TOTAL $700.42 - $35.00 MIR

Any parts you guys suggest swapping out for something better in the similar price range? I'm actually debating between the mobo, MSI 770-C45 or Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3. I only need a basic AM3, DDR3 mobo.
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May 12, 2010 6:18:47 PM

The X3 440 is a better value. Yes, you could potentially unlock two cores on the X2, but it's unlikely. You could also unlcok the X3 as well. If you get the X2 and the unlock isn't stable, you're stuck with a dual core at the price of a quad. Instead, if you get the X3 and the unlock fails, you still have a very potent triple core machine.

Basically, at stock, it offers better performance at a much lower price. Once you include the overclocking/unlocking, the X3 is at worst the X2's equal, and the odds are better that it'll be a stable quad core.
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May 12, 2010 6:20:52 PM

Jinuwine said:
Is there a reason why you recommend the X3 440 over the X2 550? Isn't the X2 550 better for gaming? I might have to agree with you on the F3. Thanks for the suggestion.


Triple cores are utilized by some games nowadays. Also, the price to performance is much better and it enables increased multitasking. Id wait a bit though, new AMD processors are coming out including a X3 Rana 3.1 ghz. It should enabled some extra overclocking room and still be below what you would pay for that Phenom II X2.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x2-260-at...

Also, the major difference between a Phenom II and Athlon II is the addition of a L3 cache to a Phenom. Its not as important to have a L3 cache for gaming.
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May 12, 2010 11:01:47 PM

Great, thanks for all the helpful comments guys. Which mobo should I go for? AM3, DDR3, no cross-fire, usb3, sata3. Looking for a basic but new board. How about the Gigabyte GA-770T-USB3?

Happen to spot this monitor deal on newegg.ca. What you guys think? http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
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May 12, 2010 11:22:57 PM

I would consider either the Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 or Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4, depending on if you want to use Crossfire later.
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May 13, 2010 1:12:27 AM

MadAdmiral said:
I would consider either the Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 or Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4, depending on if you want to use Crossfire later.


Initially I was going with the Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 but I wanted to save some money going with a cheaper board. Plus I hear people unlocked the cores successfully on the 7 series. But yeah, I agree that I shouldn't cheap out on the mobo.
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May 13, 2010 5:55:05 PM

Any other comments guys?
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!