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My First Computer Build. What do you think?

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July 10, 2010 6:54:09 AM

Hello. New around here. First time building a computer. This build is focused on gaming but on a budget. Around $600 without including the OS. After researching, reading articles, and asking for suggestions/advice here, here is what I came up with.

I plan to order the parts within the next few days.

(Includes shipping and rebate)
Casing:
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $80

Motherboard:
ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $90

CPU:
AMD Athlon II X3 435 Rana 2.9GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor ADX435WFGIBOX - Retail $76

RAM:
OCZ AMD Black Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3BE1600C8LV4GK - Retail $98
or
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL - Retail $100
Which one do you think I should get?

GPU:
SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail $145 (However on the product page, it said $150 after a $10 rebate from $155, how odd :o )

PSU:
CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $30

HDD:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive - Retail $75

Optical:
ASUS 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 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM - Retail $19

OS:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM - Retail $100

Total: approx. $715 give or take a few dollars depending on the ram

Additional Comments:
I'm incredibly new to this. So I don't really know too much, but I'm in the process of changing that. :)  However I aimed for this to be a budget build, focusing on getting as much bang for the buck as I could. As such if you guys can help me reduce the costs or maintain them while getting more performance, that would be awesome! As such I have a number of issues due to my inexperience. So I'm all open for suggestions and advice!

1. Motherboard. I'm not too sure about this. It was recommended to me. All reviews, the 2 of them, gave it 5 eggs. However, I'd like your opinions on this one. It's Northbridge is a AMD 870, and I'm not sure if that particular chip set would suit my needs. I believe it does however. I have no intention of cross firing anytime soon. If I upgrade, it would most likely be a single card. But beyond that, I have no idea. As long as the motherboard is compatible with my graphics card and any future graphics cards.

2.Ram. Don't really have any idea either here. I checked the recommendations, and I came up with these two. They're priced similarly but I'm not too sure which would perform better. It says the AMD OCZ is designed exclusively for the 790 chipset series. So I'm not too sure how well it would go with the motherboard I picked so far that has a AMD 870 chipset. However compared to the other ram selection, the G.SKILLS Ripjaw it has better timings. From what I researched, the lower the numbers for the timings, the better, correct? The AMD OCZ possesses DDR3 1600 8-8-8-24 compared to the G.SKILLS Ripjaw 9-9-9-24-2N. What does the -2N stand for by the way? I told you, I don't really know too much beyond the surface.

3.The graphics card. I'm set on getting a Radeon 5770. However the problem is I'm not sure what manufacturer to get it from. I checked the prices and they're all hovering around the 140-150 mark. So I'm not too sure who to get it from. I went with Sapphire right now since they seem to get a large majority of favorable reviews in addition to winning a customer choice award. For example, some people here really love ASUS for its quality products as I have read, and they also offer the same card for $145 after rebate.

4.Power supply. I'm not sure how much of a power supply I need. However someone recommended this to be beforehand. He did originally suggest it for a Radeon 5670, but also suggested I should upgrade to a Radeon 5770 ,which after I researched more, agreed with him. I'm worried that this 400 watt power supply is not great enough for the system.

That pretty much sums up my problems. Thanks for taking the time out to read all this, and thanks for the help. :) 

More about : computer build

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
July 10, 2010 7:40:27 AM




SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223C - OEM
Item #: N82E16827151192
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

$19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811129066
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy
-$5.00 Instant $69.99
$64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148395
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

-$5.00 Instant $59.99
$54.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813128435
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
AMD Athlon II X2 255 Regor 3.1GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX255OCGQBOX
Item #: N82E16819103844
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)

-$17.00 Combo $207.98
$190.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...



Antec TruePower New TP-550 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE ...
Item #: N82E16817371020
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM
Item #: N82E16820231303
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
-$50.00 Instant
-$15.00 Combo $234.98
$169.98

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Item #: N82E16814102858
Return Policy: VGA Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116754
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
-$25.00 Instant
-$10.00 Combo
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$279.98
$244.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Subtotal: $745.91

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a b B Homebuilt system
July 10, 2010 9:33:13 AM

I would stick to that AthlonII X3 but what resolution for games? That Asrock is 8/8 capable but if u thinking CF a 400W Corsair won't cut it
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Related resources
July 10, 2010 4:00:44 PM

yea that 400 w psu is borderline better get a better one now and not worry about it
ewiz has the Antec-EarthWatts-EA650-650W-Power-Supplyon sale and a 15% off that code
SUNSHINE15 free shipping comes out about 64.00 bucks
https://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=PS-EA650&title=Ant...
live near a microcenter you can get a free motherboard when you buy a amd cpu
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/0706_AMD...
you can get the same harddrive from ewiz with code for 60 shipped same 1tb f3 drive
https://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=HD-HD103SJ&title=S...
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 10, 2010 4:46:59 PM

Hi PoignantJ , firstly , you did'nt mention what the system's gonna be used for .

secondly , 2N is the command rate (CR) . It's the time it takes a signal in memory to be issued to a ram module.

A lot of memory these days only run properly at a 2T or 2N command rate, 1T or 1N rates are achievable and do sometimes perform better but stability issues can arise with these settings.

About the mobo , I have personally never recommended asrock . I read somewhere that it's the budget division of asus but can't be sure 'bout it.

PSU : don't spend unnecessarily on a higher spec psu if you dont plan to crossfire in the near future or add a bunch of drives/cards , etc.

btw , welcome to tomshardware...
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July 10, 2010 7:27:42 PM

batuchka said:
I would stick to that AthlonII X3 but what resolution for games? That Asrock is 8/8 capable but if u thinking CF a 400W Corsair won't cut it


Thanks for answering, my monitor is a 19 inch LCD, a ACER x141 which I believe is 1440x900. I don't have any plan for cross firing anytime in the future. But I do would like to upgrade in the future.

About the motherboard, I would like a good quality motherboard that will last me for a good few years at the very least. But then again, I want that out of all my parts. :) 

calguyhunk said:
Hi PoignantJ , firstly , you did'nt mention what the system's gonna be used for .

secondly , 2N is the command rate (CR) . It's the time it takes a signal in memory to be issued to a ram module.

A lot of memory these days only run properly at a 2T or 2N command rate, 1T or 1N rates are achievable and do sometimes perform better but stability issues can arise with these settings.

About the mobo , I have personally never recommended asrock . I read somewhere that it's the budget division of asus but can't be sure 'bout it.

PSU : don't spend unnecessarily on a higher spec psu if you dont plan to crossfire in the near future or add a bunch of drives/cards , etc.

btw , welcome to tomshardware...


Ops. Forgot to mention that. I'll edit that now. It's a budget build for gaming. I don't plan to crossfire. but I do plan to upgrade to a better card in the future, but not for a long while.

I'm still not too sure about the ram by the way. Thanks for the welcome by the way. :) 

marco324 said:
yea that 400 w psu is borderline better get a better one now and not worry about it
ewiz has the Antec-EarthWatts-EA650-650W-Power-Supplyon sale and a 15% off that code
SUNSHINE15 free shipping comes out about 64.00 bucks
https://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=PS-EA650&title=Ant...
live near a microcenter you can get a free motherboard when you buy a amd cpu
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/0706_AMD...
you can get the same harddrive from ewiz with code for 60 shipped same 1tb f3 drive
https://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=HD-HD103SJ&title=S...


I don't really think I need a power supply that beefy. I don't plan on getting any $300-$600 cards in the future. But cards such as Radeon 5770 that packs a punch at a reasonable price.

I checked that AMD motherboard combo you linked. I don't really know if that motherboard is that capable, but going just by the chipset, it doesn't really seem too good. The chipset is a 760G by the way.

I don't see the promo code for the hard drive.
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July 10, 2010 10:46:47 PM

code works on any purchase sunshine15
yea its ddr2 too just noticed they had better motherboards combos last month
wasn't thinking just wanted to give a couple options
they have all different kind of hard drives i just bought the 500gb f3 drive for 40 real good price
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July 10, 2010 11:05:09 PM

marco324 said:
code works on any purchase sunshine15
yea its ddr2 too just noticed they had better motherboards combos last month
wasn't thinking just wanted to give a couple options
they have all different kind of hard drives i just bought the 500gb f3 drive for 40 real good price


I rechecked the guides for the PSU. They recommend at least a 450 watt PSU for the Radeon 5770 I have, a good one at that. So I need something a bit more beefy.

I don't believe I'll ever need something needing 600-650 Watts. I just need something that can comfortably supply any mid-range cards I want to have. Keeping in mind I have no plans for crossfiring.

PSU:
COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-500-PCAR-A3 500W ATX12V V2.3 Power Supply - Retail $42

Possible new PSU choice. This PSU should be ample for my graphics card, I believe. However on its specifications it says it guarantees 70% usage or better of the power it actually draws. So its not as good a some of the 80%+ like other power supplies.
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July 11, 2010 12:51:28 AM

Best answer selected by PoignantJ.
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July 11, 2010 10:16:35 PM

I know its resolved but just want to suggest reading all of Tom's do it yourself builds. Thats what I did and its all working well. I pretty much followed the $1500.00 March 2010 build minus 1 video card. I figured its a good safe "recipe" to follow.
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