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June 10, 2010 2:09:28 AM

I need a cheap build for moderate gaming and home use; not really interested in overclocking (but might try core unlock). I've used Newegg before, but I don't necessarily prefer them, if I can find a better deal elsewhere. I'm looking at buying probably in a week or so. Here's what I've put together:




Here are my questions:
1) The mb is the only component I'm not sure of, but it was well-recommended on the site. Can anyone give me a vote of confidence?
2) Can anyone poke any major holes in this build (and, if so, provide better suggestions)?
3) Is Windows 7 absolutely necessary, or could I knock $100 off and use Windows XP to similar effect?
4) Not familiar with the effects of core unlocking. Can making the attempt damage your cpu like overclocking can, or am I relatively safe flipping that switch in the BIOS?

Thanks, all!

More about : opinions

a b K Overclocking
June 10, 2010 2:15:50 AM

We cannot see what is in your shopping cart. Either post names of each component, or links, but perferably both. Also include the information in the template in the how to ask for new build advice sticky.
June 10, 2010 2:50:29 AM

Bah... sorry... was trying to post an image like I've seen done before... didn't notice "secure" in the url until it was too late and was trying to edit before someone else posted. :( 

My fault--I stand properly chastised. Here it is, by the book, then:


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: around a week
BUDGET RANGE: $600 after rebates is looking good, but I'd like to save what I can

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: gaming (MMOs, Dragon Age, Diablo III when it gets here, lots of older stuff and emulators), browsing, light home office work

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: kb, mouse, monitor and speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, Amazon; suggestions?
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: I like Antec psus and AMD components. I'll go either way on GPUs, but that 4850 looks like a sweet deal...

OVERCLOCKING: Probably not, but see comments in original post for core unlock
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: currently 1280x1024; planning for new 24" flat panel @ Christmas

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This system needs to last me a couple of years, but I don't usually put latest/greatest type of wear on my PC. Upgrading my cpu and gpu, and adding a hdd could easily see me through several years unless a monster game comes out that I just can't live without.

Here's my planned build:

AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor



GIGABYTE GV-R485OC-1GH Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready
CrossFireX Support Video Card



BIOSTAR A785G3 AM3 AMD 785G Micro 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



Antec Basiq BP430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V Version 2.2 Active PFC Power Supply



Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive



Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case


LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support - $25.99
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM - $9.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM - $99.99


Hope the links turn out okay. Please reference my questions from the original post. Thanks...
Related resources
June 10, 2010 2:54:47 AM

One more thing... Total price for this build so far (everything from Newegg) is $605.86, before $45 in rebates kick in.

Hopefully I haven't missed anything else. I'll be quiet now... :??: 
a b K Overclocking
June 10, 2010 3:00:00 AM

No to the 430W Antec Basiq. It isn't a "bad" PSU, but it is not a good one (the only current Antec I've seen not get excellent competent technical reviews). Right now, the 430W Antec Earthwatts is $50 at Newegg. That one is good, and 80+ bronze.
June 10, 2010 3:10:47 AM

The Basiq is part of an insanely cheap combo deal with the mb. The reviews didn't look that bad, really, but I trusted the brand and jumped. Thanks for the feedback. I'll see if I can re-work my cart.
a b K Overclocking
June 10, 2010 3:35:56 AM

There are often great deals on other Antec PSUs. For example, earlier this week I picked up a 550W Truepower New for $40 (if I win the rebate game, otherwise $60).
!