$850 Multitasking/productivity and Gaming build

I'm looking to build a $850 productivity/multitasking & gaming rig. My first question though is whether I should build it now or wait until August. I am moving to California in early August so if I build now I will have to deal with the shipping situation. What are the benefits of building now vs. waiting until August? Do things change that much in a couple of months?


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Anytime from now to August

BUDGET RANGE: $850 Before rebates, but OK with cheaper

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Massive productivity and multitasking (ie. using Photoshop, adobe audition, excel, R, web dev tools, & browser with 100+ tabs all at once). Also some gaming with Starcraft 2.

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





SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future

CPU: Have things changed much since March regarding the Athlon II X3 435? Is it still the best bang for buck? It seems like Athlon II X3 440 and Phenom II X2 550 BE are within $10 above the 435. Are there any good quad core alternatives in a similar price range?

Case: I am willing to go with this type of tower case, but are there smaller cube style cases that would work with this build and are in a similar price range?


I based my initial build on the SMB $750 gaming rig with some modifications.

Modifications here. I made the tradeoff of more ram for a lesser graphics setup.

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 4GB DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM 2 sets $220

Graphics: SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $170

The rest is the same as SBM $750

CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 435 $71

Cooler: Xigmatek HDT-SD964 $22 [Out of stock, need to find an alternative]

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790GPT-UD3H $120

Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS, 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0 Gb/s $75

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion $55

Power: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W $85

Optical: LG Black 22X DVD Burner SATA Model GH22NS50 $24

Total = $842
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More about multitasking productivity gaming build
  1. Hmm multi tasking u want to have a quad if budget allows so @ $723AR one could nab

    1. Portable NZXT Vulcan case
    2. USB/SATA 3.0
    3. Crossfire capable
    4. 955BE + HD 5770

    Actually i do up more SFFs/LAN party boxes these days :P
  2. Thanks batuchka. I noticed you did not include a heatsink in this build. If I plan on OC, would it be a good idea to get a heatsink?

    Also I was planning on getting 8gb ram, do you think there would be a noticeable different between 8gb vs. 4gb ram?
  3. 1. Cooler Master GeminiIIS
    2. I would say go with 4GB 1st ^^
  4. Is the 890GX really necessary? I found a combo for the 955 BE + Gigabyte 880G for $255 vs. $259 AR for the 890GX combo above. It's only a $4 difference, but I could get a cheaper ATX case.

    If I get the 880G, I could get the NZXT Beta Evo for $35 AR, which would save me about $39 total.

    The $4 difference in mobo seems worth it to just get the 890GX. Is this mATX compatible with ATX cases?

    I could also just stick with 890GX and pick up this case at my local Frys.
  5. 1. Not necessary - config was for client insisting on CF capability ^^ (while currently on a display under Full HD)
    2. If 880G was way cheaper than $4 diff worth it for such a small diff it is not unfortunately
    3. Yes ATX mid tower/full towers all can house mATX mobo no worries
    4. If u want to cut costs and dun need CF/mATX have a look at the 870 chipset?
  6. I just found a pretty sweet combo with a Phenom x6 1055T.

    + 9.73 shipping
    - 60 rebates
    = 748.38 AR

    The difference in this build is that the 4GB ram CAS latency is 9 vs 7 for the other build. Does this make much of a difference?
    The mobo is a 785G vs the 890GX. I'm willing to do without usb 3.0 and crossfire and go with ATX, but other than that, how does this board look for OC?
    I just picked the Scythe cooler because someone mentioned they used it in one of the reviews. Does it look ok?

    Here's the former build
    + 40 elite 341 case from local Fry's
    + 10.35 shipping
    - 25 rebates
    = 723.26 AR

    I heard that the 955BE is better for gaming, but I will be using this rig primarily for work and multitasking. Would you recommend making those tradeoffs in ram and mobo for the hexacore? Thanks!
  7. Best answer
    For multi tasking and multi threaded app ya that hexa will be better However i would go with an 800 series mobo and 700 series may need a BIOS update to run Thuban and some dun even have one @@
  8. Best answer selected by robertdo.
  9. I found a better combo with better mobo and that allows me to get better ram. Comes out to about the same price. Thanks so much for your help. It's my first time building a pc.

    + $20.36 shipping
    - $30 rebates
    $765.95 AR

    Here's my final build. I think it's pretty good for a 6 core build.
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