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$450-$500 Build

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July 24, 2010 7:24:48 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 7/26-7/31 Hopefully

BUDGET RANGE: $450-$500. I'd like to stay under $450, but dont mind going over a bit.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, School Work, Movies, Internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, HDD, DVD Burner, soundcard, PSU?

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: CA, USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD for budget friendliness I guess. Quad core. HD 5xxx series GPU. Im looking at the 5770.

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Dell 19 inch LCD 1280x1024. Possible upgrade in the future.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Basically, my little brothers' PC (used to be my PC) passed away a few days ago. I thought it would be a great time to build a new computer seeing that the one that just died was 4 years old and it was my brothers' birthday a few days ago. This PC will most likely do a bit of everything high school students do. Gaming, but nothing too serious I think (fps games/mmorpgs). Watching movies, internet, MS Office/Power Point, burning DVD/CD.

I'd like to go quad core route. I hear AMD's triple core CPU can be unlocked to reach quad core status. Maybe I should go that route and save a little money? I have no idea how that works though since I've been out of the computer world since fall of last year.

This build pretty much needs the barebones except for the HDD,DVD Drive, and possibly PSU. Im thinking of reusing the PSU from the old build. It's a xClio 480w PSU. Yes, it works. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Only problem is Im not sure if it can handle a 5770 (or equivalent) GPU.


Anyway, Im starting off with this CPU/MB combo. If you guys recommend something else, please post it. Thanks.

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

More about : 450 500 build

July 24, 2010 8:54:01 AM

Alright good combo to start off, for $164.98.

Next is memory, 1 x 2 GB:
Kingston 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 - $47.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD:
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1 TB 7200 RPM - $74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card (pre-overclocked HD 5770):
GIGABYTE GV-R577SO-1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 - $144.99 after $10 rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case:
NZXT M59 - $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $482.94

Notes:
  • I have decided that your PSU is good enough, it does have enough W to power an HD 5770 system.
  • Normally I'd recommend 4 GB but under your budget and what you plan to use it for, 2 GB should be enough. You can expand this to 16 GB later on with 4 GB modules, 8 GB if you use 2 GB modules.
  • This HD 5770 should be able to max all your games at 1280 x 1024.
  • The Athlon II X3 may be unlocked to a quad core if the locked core is not defective.
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    Related resources
    July 24, 2010 9:55:29 AM

    The GA-870A-UD3 has the core unlocking feature.

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    July 24, 2010 1:04:50 PM

    You're right - it does have the ACC option. They just call it something different "Exclusive Auto Unlock technology".
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    July 24, 2010 8:29:34 PM

    Lmeow said:
    Alright good combo to start off, for $164.98.

    Next is memory, 1 x 2 GB:
    Kingston 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 - $47.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    HDD:
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1 TB 7200 RPM - $74.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Graphics Card (pre-overclocked HD 5770):
    GIGABYTE GV-R577SO-1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 - $144.99 after $10 rebate
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Case:
    NZXT M59 - $49.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Total = $482.94

    Notes:
  • I have decided that your PSU is good enough, it does have enough W to power an HD 5770 system.
  • Normally I'd recommend 4 GB but under your budget and what you plan to use it for, 2 GB should be enough. You can expand this to 16 GB later on with 4 GB modules, 8 GB if you use 2 GB modules.
  • This HD 5770 should be able to max all your games at 1280 x 1024.
  • The Athlon II X3 may be unlocked to a quad core if the locked core is not defective.


  • Thanks for the recommendations. I dont really need the HDD, so that can be taken off. Maybe that money could be put towards better RAM? The PC will most likely use Windows 7 32 bit. I was thinking 4GB, but 2GB will do for now.

    Which MOBO would be a better buy? The GA-870A-UD3 I posted or the ASROCK?
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    July 24, 2010 8:48:06 PM

    Here is a side by side comparison between the 2 boards: GA-870A-UD3 vs ASRock 870 EXTREME3
    For someone who might want to use 2 video cards in Crossfire X the Asrock will do x8/x8 mode while the Gigabyte will do x16/x4 mode. This is probably not something you're concerned with.
    You'll note other differences in the list of features, for example:
    Gigabyte has old style PATA/IDE drive support - Asrock does not.
    Gigabyte = 3 year warranty - Asrock - 1 yr warranty.

    Since you can get the Gigabyte with the combo discount I think that's the way to go.
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    July 24, 2010 11:24:58 PM

    Yes, upgrade the RAM and drop the HDD, 4 GB would be good.
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    July 25, 2010 9:18:08 AM

    WR2 said:
    Here is a side by side comparison between the 2 boards: GA-870A-UD3 vs ASRock 870 EXTREME3
    For someone who might want to use 2 video cards in Crossfire X the Asrock will do x8/x8 mode while the Gigabyte will do x16/x4 mode. This is probably not something you're concerned with.
    You'll note other differences in the list of features, for example:
    Gigabyte has old style PATA/IDE drive support - Asrock does not.
    Gigabyte = 3 year warranty - Asrock - 1 yr warranty.

    Since you can get the Gigabyte with the combo discount I think that's the way to go.


    Hmm, forgot about warranty. I'll stick with the combo then. Xfire/SLI is definitely not a concern.

    Those G.Skill heat spreaders look pretty awesome. I couldnt find anything a little cheaper, so ill stick with G.Skill. Added to cart. Even though the PC will be on 32 bit, eventually I'll upgrade to 64 bit

    The NZXT case looks good. It actually has holes to route cables to the back. I dont think I can build a PC without those holes now :lol: 
    They actually painted the insides black too. I read some reviews and it should have plenty of room to fit in all the hardware. Added.
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    July 25, 2010 9:23:27 AM

    AMD Athlon II X3 440 Rana 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX440WFGIBOX
    GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

    NZXT M59 - 001BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    SAPPHIRE 100283-3L Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Total comes out to be ~$490. A little more than I planned to spend, but thats okay.

    Final Thoughts?
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    July 25, 2010 10:24:05 AM

    You look ready to go.

    Be sure to let us know how things work out.
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    July 25, 2010 10:30:29 AM

    All set.
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    July 25, 2010 6:52:26 PM

    Quote:
    All set.


    WR2 said:
    You look ready to go.

    Be sure to let us know how things work out.


    Will do. Thanks for the help guys.

    If I have any questions that randomly pop up, I'll just post it here.
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    July 31, 2010 6:13:22 PM

    Well, the PC has been up and running for the last 3 days and so far so good. No faulty hardware or crashing and everything appears to be fine. Temps are great too. G.skill sticks came in yesterday, but I still need to play with the timings and memtest it.

    Overall, Im pretty satisfied. The appearance of the PC looks great. Everything from the motherboard, to the GPU, RAM modules, LED lights, and even the SATA cables match. It matches very well inside the blacked out M59 case. The pictures look like crap so sorry about that. I'll try to snap some pics with the side panel on.

    The case, by the way, could of been a little better. I wished the right side panel was a little wider. It was difficult to route all the cables through the bottom opening, behind the motherboard, and finally up the top opening. Had to bring out a little creativity in rerouting the wires. Even now, I am unable to fully close that side of the panel, But as long as the back is covered, all should be good.

    These are actually old pics of the PC. I have since added the G.skill RAM and rerouted the wires.


    CPU power cable was too short so I had to settle with this for now. The fan power connector was moved to the bottom corner of the PSU.


    I probably shouldve mounted the PSU the opposite direction, but didnt think Id have enough length for the main power connector.



    I forgot to mention that my little brothers have a 40 inch LCD in their room. I thought I might as well hook it up to the LCD and now it looks like that may be a permanent thing :lol:  . I thought the HD 5770 would have trouble playing games at that resolution. I installed COD4 and played it surprisingly well with all high settings.
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    July 31, 2010 6:23:29 PM

    why 4gb of ram if he has a 32-bit os???
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    July 31, 2010 7:41:59 PM

    Congratulations, nice build. I think the PSU should be the other way around.
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    July 31, 2010 8:01:42 PM

    Thanks for the update.
    Yeah, just try and get them to give up gaming on that 40" LCD.
    If the wiring continues to be an issue there is always cable wrap, sleeving and shrink wrap tubing as options to tidy up the inside look.
    That might be a way to finally get things looking the way you want and still close up the case.
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    !