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Beginner Budget Gaming Build ($550)

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July 7, 2010 2:29:16 AM

Hi there, I'm brand new to this community as well as building a computer. I was gonna purchase one from Best Buy but a friend recommended that I'd build one instead. I figured it'd be a nice skill to have, so I'm gonna give it a shot. Anyhoo, I've been doing a bit of research on how to start out and I've got the basics down. But my main problem is pretty much finding the compatible parts for the cheap prices. I would like to build just the Tower, cause I pretty much have the other parts.

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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within 2 months

BUDGET RANGE: After Rebates, $500-$550

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Surfing Web, Office work

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, OS (the OS I have and will be using is Windows 7)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: www.newegg.com or any other recommendations

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Since I'm tryin to build cheap, I'd like to stick to AMD for my CPU. And from there, any other recommendations are welcomed.

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Actually, I'm not too sure about this one. But I'll be using my TV for the monitor. Here is a link to the TV I'll be using: Toshiba Regza 32LV67U

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm pretty much gonna be using this computer for MMO gaming (mainly WOW and Final Fantasy XIV) and I'd like it to run FFXIV as smooth as my budget can handle.

Here are the Tech Specs of FFXIV:
Operating System: Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista 32bit / 64bit, Windows 7 32bit / 64bit
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (2.0GHz), AMD Athlon™ X2 (2.0GHz)
Memory: Windows XP -- 1.5GB or higher, Windows Vista / Windows 7 -- 2GB or higher
HDD/SSD Space: Install -- 15GB or more, Download -- Space on the hard drive where My Documents is located should be 6GB or more
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9600 series or higher with VRAM 512MB or more, ATI Radeon HD 2900 series or higher with VRAM 512MB or more
Sound Card: DirectSound compatible sound card (DirectX 9.0c or higher)
Internet Connections: Broadband Internet connection or higher
Resolution: 1280 x 720 or higher; 32bit or higher
DirectX: DirectX 9.0c

Earlier I was looking at the System Builder Marathon, June 2010 here on TH for an example. Part of me thinks I should try this out for my first build to get experience and to see the how and whys of building a computer. But another part of me isn't too sure if this computer will be able to handle FFXIV.

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Anyhoo, any advice or recommendations are greatly appreciated.

^_^\/ Stay cool!
July 7, 2010 3:36:52 AM

case and power supply - $100
ati 5770 1gb - $150
Phenom II x3 processor - $100
Motherboard - $75
4gb DDR3 ram - $100
DVDrw drive - $25
That's $550, that's the best you're going to do... pretty solid system too. Those prices are basically using the cheapest brand (and AFTER rebates) so you will have to pony up a little more money up front, and then send in rebates
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July 7, 2010 8:25:03 AM

Your resolution will be 1366x768 for the record, which the 5770 will do quite well with.
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July 7, 2010 5:34:54 PM

with this amount of money you can certainly build a good pc for games.Be careful never and repeat never buy a pre-built pc from a company , but always build your pc from spare parts by yourself , it is not difficult.The most important part is the graphics card nowadays ati 5770 is powerful enough and with it you can play every game better than consoles for the next 2 years.Believe me i play games on pc and ps3 . Wait a bit very soon nvidia will release the new gtx 460 , which i think will also be a good solution for you. Hope i helped.
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July 7, 2010 8:19:06 PM

Oh wow, all of this is GREAT advice. I appreciate it guys. Between researching on TH and you guys, I'm starting to get a MUCH better understanding of building a computer. I was seriously gonna give up (after reading for 6 straight hours yesterday and still confused) and buy from Best Buy. But you guys' encouraging words and recommendations have made me more confident that this project will be successful. ^^

I did have a question about fans, though. I was looking at this Phenom II x3 processor on NewEgg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103652&cm_re=Phenom_II_x3-_-19-103-652-_-Product
And it doesn't come with a Fan/Heatsink. Does that mean I'll need to buy a fan/heatsink seperately? And if so, where does that fan/heatsink attach?

Thanks again for your replies. Stay cool!
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July 8, 2010 3:00:02 AM

Alrighty, after looking around for awhile, I decided to raise my budget to $550-$600. Here's what I came up with:

Processor: AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103652&cm_re=Phenom_II_x3-_-19-103-652-_-Product
$104

MOBO: ASUS M4A785T-M/CSM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131609
$87.98

Graphics Card: Radeon HD 5670 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150467
$117.55

Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 534
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119106
$49.98

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008
$51.98

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277
$99

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181
$54.99

DVDRW Drive: ASUS Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204
$22.99

Total: $588.47 (before rebates); $568.47 (after rebates)

Let me know if there is anything I haven't taken into consideration or if I'm missing any parts or if you see certain parts that aren't compatible (I did my best to make sure they were, but I may have missed something). Any advice and recommendations are appreciated. Thanks guys! ^^
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July 8, 2010 5:49:08 PM

You can do better on the chip. The 720 is a good chip, but an Athlon II would probably be good as well.

Here is an Athlon II x3 for 75

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's stock at 3.0 ghz, but is only 75 bucks. They do have a 3.1 ghz for 85, but I don't think 100 mhz will be a huge difference.

With the extra 30 bucks, dump the 5670 and get something more like this.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It could be argued the chip I picked for you may be weaker, but I think with the stronger graphics card, it's going to a lot better gaming system.

Here is a link to some graphs on toms that shows you Athlon II x3 435 vs the 720 BE you picked, I don't think it's really a huge difference.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-ii-x3,2452-1...
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July 8, 2010 5:57:57 PM

Also, don't think the 720 comes with a heatsink, so you would need to factor in at least 15 to 20 bucks or more for that as well.
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Best solution

July 9, 2010 12:06:58 PM

$467AR
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July 9, 2010 4:07:09 PM

Only question about the above build, though it looks great honestly. But will he see a big difference between 512 mb of ram on the video card vs 1 gb? I know it mainly works mainly on higher resolution. Just curious though on that.
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July 9, 2010 4:08:29 PM

Well 1GB Video RAM will come in handy for say 1920 x 1080 onwards so anything like 512mb it's all good for lower resolutions ^^ TS is on 1366x768
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July 9, 2010 5:00:23 PM

OOOOOH! I didn't know that about the 512mb vs the 1gb on the video card. Cool! This definitely helps cut the budget down. Thanks again guys! ^^

*continues to edit building list*

PS This planning and building thing is WAY more fun than I had anticipated. WOOT!
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July 16, 2010 9:17:09 AM

Best answer selected by Spikun.
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