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$500-600 entry level gaming system.

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May 18, 2010 5:57:42 PM

Hi there,

After being basically desktop-less for the better part of a year (and before that, on a build from ~2003 with an Athlon XP 2800+), I've decided to go ahead and start the process of building a more current system. I've been doing some light research over the last month in an attempt to catch up to current technology, and I've come to assemble what I hope will be a capable system.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Spread out over the next few weeks. I can't afford to spend a whole paycheck on this.
BUDGET RANGE: $500 to $600, but anywhere I can cut costs without sacrificing quality will be welcomed. Before Rebates preferably.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, gaming, gaming, some audio listening, surfing the internet, ...emailing my mother.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers. Monitor recommendations are welcomed, but I am not including one with this build. Something 22"+ that can support 1920x1080 or 1920x1200.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, Tigerdirect.com. Sites that are reputable.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD cpu preferably. Other that I am fairly flexible.

OVERCLOCKING: Once I get comfortable with my build. It's been a long time.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: In the future.

MONITOR RESOLUTION:1920x1080, 1920x1200. Either one is fine.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm not looking for something flashy. I chose the Antec 300 Illusion because it comes with extra fans for $10 more than the regular 300 and I am hoping I can disable the lights. I will be mostly be using this for 25 man endgame raids in World of Warcraft, though having a new build will open up many possibilities for gaming that I have not explored.

Okay, so now for the goods. So far what I have put together:

Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

XFX HD-485X-ZNFC Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AM3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard

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

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

Combo for 129.99: [Link for Combo]
Individual links:
1. OCZ StealthXStream OCZ600SXS 600W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready Active PFC Power Supply
2. AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor Model ADX440WFGIBOX


That about does it. I hope I was thorough enough, but if not, please ask and I will do my best to give more information. I welcome more suggestions!
May 18, 2010 6:34:14 PM

Maybe look for some CAS 7 or CAS 8 RAM for the same price.

Everything else looks fine.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 18, 2010 6:41:30 PM

A couple of notes:

The power supply you selected is not 80+ certified. This OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W would be a better choice at $75 with free shipping and a $25 MIR if you want to deal with that.

You could consider an ATI 5770 1 GB card ($150-160) instead of the 4850, as it supports DX11.

Other than that, pretty good. And as dndhatcher said, if you find some slightly faster RAM for the same price, go for it.
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Related resources
May 18, 2010 7:50:39 PM

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

SeaSonic S12II 330 Bronze 330W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS M4N68T-M AM3 NVIDIA Geforce 7025/nForce 630a Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Crucial Ballistix 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BL25664BN1608

AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJB 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

POWERCOLOR AX5770 1GBD5-H Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sony Optiarc Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1678A - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cost:625.90
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May 18, 2010 8:05:12 PM

If you have a dvd burner and dvd drive from another computer. You can hook up in this new one that would be sweet.
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a b 4 Gaming
May 18, 2010 9:08:44 PM

Really? A 330W power supply?

AMD specifies at least 450W power required for the 5770. While you might be able to get away with a very good 400W PSU, going down to 330 is really pushing it. And there's really no reason to get the micro-ATX mobo, it's just going to be limiting if the OP ever wants to upgrade.
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May 19, 2010 6:19:27 PM

I agree with coldsleep.
For a different PSU, the Antec EA650 is on sale at newegg for $80 with free shipping and the Antec Neo Eco 520 is on sale for $55 with free shipping. Better quality than the OCZ "stream" series at a comparable price.

And the WD blue is a poor choice for a boot drive. Its both small and slow. Blue is the cool and quiet server drive line, black is the performance boot drive line. The Samsing F3 in the OP is a far better boot drive.

Obviously getting a 5770 will be around a 50% speed increase over a 4850, but its going to cost around 50% more. Ideally for 1920x1080 you would get a 5850, but that gets very pricey at $300+.
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May 19, 2010 7:57:02 PM

No that psu is fine lol 34 amps on the 12 volt rail. Read before for you judge. A 5770 takes 13 amps under load a rana takes 8 amps under load that overkill for that setup. Even if you get a six core you have headroom. That psu is good and i have that hard drive my boot times do suck but i wanted a 5850 no matter what. So I did some cookie cutting.
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May 19, 2010 11:38:13 PM

34 AMPS * 12V = 408W on the 12V rails alone. You dont know how to read power supply capacities or seasonic doesnt. Whom do I believe?

http://www.seasonicusa.com/S12II-Bronze.htm

That seasonic 330W is not listed on Seasonic's website, its only got a 380 which has at most 27 amps on the 12V rails. Either newegg messed up or they have a no-longer in production model lying around.

The seasonic 380 looks like its also the antec earthwatts green 380 which is only $40.
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May 20, 2010 11:28:08 AM

The 5770 has a 75 watts pin and the pcie slot can supply 75 watts 150 watts = 13amps you don't need more. It's fine. Read the specs tip on newegg 2 12 volt rails both at 17 amps multiply that by to that 34.
Sorry about coming off as a dick thou but it generate enough power for that setup.
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May 20, 2010 6:23:34 PM

hitmanmoney said:
2 12 volt rails both at 17 amps multiply that by to that 34..
The amperage on separate rails is NOT ADDITIVE ON MOST PSUs. You have to look at the more detailed chart I linked to see the true capability. The 380 model has 27 amps max combined on the two 17amp 12V rails, not 34 amps. That PSU will be barely adequite new, leaving little room for overclocking and wear. Sorry if I am also coming across agressively, but if you think amperage on separate rails is additive you dont know enough to recommend hardware that violates manufacturers specs when it comes to power usage. I agree it will probably run, but its pushing that PSU close to the limit. Right now the Antec Neo Eco 520 is only $55 ($7 more) and would give alot more room for adding internals, overclocking and aging.
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May 20, 2010 7:00:20 PM

I got the 300 Illusion over 2 months ago. It's a good case. You can't turn off the leds. Each fan has its own little controller to adjust its speed.
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May 20, 2010 7:59:10 PM

I picked up the Antec 300 with case fans with an antec EW650 PSU. Great combo deal =D. The fans are loud though... I got 'em on high.
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May 20, 2010 8:07:50 PM

iloqin said:
I picked up the Antec 300 with case fans with an antec EW650 PSU. Great combo deal =D. The fans are loud though... I got 'em on high.
I run the fans on my 300 illusion on low and the seagate HDD inside makes enough noise to drown them out when it grinds through an antivirus scan or whatever. Any fan you run on high speed is going to be noisy.
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May 20, 2010 8:11:07 PM

I tried lookin for the switches for the front fans... to turn them to low but I can't find them =\, they should have speeds connected to the front fans 2 fans? I found the toggle switch for the top and the back fan.
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May 20, 2010 8:20:59 PM

People have reported it being easy to clip the power wires to the LEDs if you dont like them.

Ill try to open mine up sometime this weekend and let you know where the switches are.
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May 20, 2010 11:04:07 PM

I have run several tests with fans at different speeds. My three 120mm fans are on medium and the 140mm is on High. When I had the 120's on high the temps were the same as medium. The one downside is that my current setup is producing negative pressure due to the 140mm being on high. So the extra side fan spot is pulling dust right into my 5770
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May 20, 2010 11:33:20 PM

Found the switches =). Now this thing isn't runnin crazy noisy anymore!
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May 21, 2010 12:48:30 AM

do you already have an OS, that could add $100 to the build
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!