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(My first build) PC that can play SC 2 and be reliable and expandable

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August 5, 2010 8:11:41 PM

Hi all, I am a newbie when it comes to computer hardware. I've done a little research but there's so much to wrap one's head around so I definitely need advice. Here's the form:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within a month

BUDGET RANGE: $1000 max, cheaper if possible

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Starcraft 2, music, I may want to get a TV tuner later, I may want to run programs such as MATLAB later (calculation intensive software)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I need everything

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, amazon.com

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: no preference

OVERCLOCKING: I doubt it

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe in the future

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I really want the computer so that SC 2 plays well. The settings don't have to be maxed out necessarily, but I would like it to look good at the monitors recommended resolution. I would also like the system to be made with reliable parts and last me for maybe 5 years, which means I want to be able to upgrade it later. I would also like the PC to be as quiet as possible. Below is a list of the components I have selected.

Processor: I chose the AMD Athlon X3 445 because I believe it is enough to play SC 2 well, because it uses the newer AM3 socket which means I'll be able to upgrade the processor well into the future, and because I might be able to unlock the 4th core with the motherboard

Graphics: Radeon HD 5750 because it was one of Tom's Hardware's best Graphics card for the money in July and I believe it can play SC2 alright.

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 because it has lots of newer features such as the 890FX chipset, and USB 3.0 etc and because it has alot of expansion slots for anything I might want to add, like a better sound card or TV tuner card. I heard Gigabyte boards are also very good quality.

Power Supply: CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX because of good reviews on newegg and because it is SLI/Crossfire ready if I want to do that in the future.

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD7501AALS because its big and I've read good things about it.

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) It got great reviews and I believe they are compatible with my system.

Case: COOLER MASTER Elite RC-310-BWN1-GP because it got good reviews and I was running out of money in my budget

DVD Burner: ASUS because it got great reviews

Monitor: ASUS VW246H Glossy Black 24" because it got great reviews.

Mouse and Keyboard: I have not looked into these yet. Any suggestions?

I also have the following questions about the parts I chose:

1. Are the components compatible?
2. Will SC 2 look good with this system?
3. Is the motherboard overkill? Should I get the newest chipset for the system to be upgradable in the future?
4. Is my power supply too much wattage?
5. Is the fan-less Graphics card a good idea?
6. Am I spending too much money on good brand names or are there cheaper and just as reliable parts?
7. Here's a newbie question: Does the processor come with a fan or is that something I buy separately? Is there a fan-less option?
8. I want Windows 7 64 bit. Does that affect any of my choices?

Thanks for the help,
Dan




August 5, 2010 10:26:41 PM

DanDief said:

1. Are the components compatible?
2. Will SC 2 look good with this system?
3. Is the motherboard overkill? Should I get the newest chipset for the system to be upgradable in the future?
4. Is my power supply too much wattage?
5. Is the fan-less Graphics card a good idea?
6. Am I spending too much money on good brand names or are there cheaper and just as reliable parts?
7. Here's a newbie question: Does the processor come with a fan or is that something I buy separately? Is there a fan-less option?
8. I want Windows 7 64 bit. Does that affect any of my choices?


1. Your parts (from what I can see) are compatible. You've picked some really good parts for your first time!

2. SC2 should be fine on this system, but i'm sure someone will run in here with some graphs and charts and throw those up.

3. Yea i would say the board's a little over kill... I would still recommend Gigabyte, you picked one of the best motherboard manufacturers around. I used This Board and i love it, and it has crossfire, USB 3, and all the stuff you wanted.

4. Yes and no... Depends on if you plan to crossfire or not. Again, you picked a fantastic PSU, everyone recommends it, and I have one in my system and it's great!

5. Really, the cards with the fans aren't that loud at all. It's worth it to just have a card with a fan on it. (I don't even know if you can get a 5750 without a fan...)

6. I spent my money on name brands when i built my computer here a little over a month ago, and i wouldn't pick anything but Gigabyte, Corsair or G.Skill again. It all worked together so well. (I have the same PSU, Almost the same Motherboard, the same Ram set as you picked, and a Cooler Master case. All fantastic parts!)

7. The processor comes with a fan. If you don't plan to overclock, it's fine, don't worry about it.

8. Nope, I put Windows 7 64bit on my PC and it's great!

I'm sure someone here will lead you to a good system that will last you and allow for upgrades... I'll look around and see what I can find real quick.
August 5, 2010 10:45:30 PM

Ok, I tweaked it a little bit and i used your parts and some of what I could fine... By no means is this the best value for your money, that only comes through combo deals and stuff like that... So, here's a starting point for ya. You'll have to find a balance between CPU and GPU power. Do you want as much graphics power as you can afford right up front, with a weaker processor, or do you want to step up to something like a Amd Athlon X4 635 and bump back to the Radeon 5750. And, if it's going to be around for 5 years, do you want to spend more money on a better case? It's really a balancing act... I can only offer so much, i hope others offers some help as well hahaha. Maybe they have some sweet combo deals in mind haha.

http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/370/capturelli.png

EDIT: Damn, i forgot the CD Drive.





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August 6, 2010 1:53:41 AM

just a suggestions... newegg has some 5770's for 140 to 150 after rebates. Might as well pick one of those up if it's the same price
August 6, 2010 4:29:32 AM

Thanks for the help so far. Here's a list from newegg that includes the motherboard recommended by Trueno07 and the HD 5770 video card that you both recommended. It also includes a cheaper power supply that was included in a combo deal. Hopefully it is still a decent power supply, it did get mostly good reviews. What do you think?

August 6, 2010 3:04:47 PM

That's a good power supply, shouldn't give you any trouble at all. Also, here's another motherboard, same price as yours, a different chipset, but it has more reviews if you wanted to read over some of them. The layout and everything looks exactly the same as the one you have picked out, but it's something else to look at, and they're the same price.

This board right here

Also, no reason to spend 80 bucks on 750MB when you can spend 75 on a 1TB drive.

Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB

Other than that, everything looks great. That 5770 is a great card, and the Athlon X3 you picked is a fantastic processor. I have that same ram set and it's great as well. If you plan to keep this computer for a while, it might be worth it to spend a little more on a case. Something to think about, but not required for the build to run.

here are a few cases to look at... All of them would be great, and each case has the same Windows 7 combo deal you have on the other one, as well as a few other deals to look at. I tried to pick them in your price range, so the NZXT is 50 and the CM and the Antec are 60.

NZXT M59
Cooler Master RC-690 (If i had to pick one, this is my favorite out of the three)
Antec 300
!