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Is this a good budget build?

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Last response: in Systems
August 8, 2010 5:26:13 PM

Im about to purchase this budget build (right around $600) Ive done a fair amount of research and am fairly close to making this purchase. I would like ANY insight and/or suggestions you have with the parts I am considering.

My main intentions for this computer are gaming, especially for starcraft 2 (the reason im building this) if you wondering why the Radeon HD 4870, is because Ive recently read that it came back into circulation after not being in stock for awhile and performs, or even out performs the HD 5770 for a cheaper price.

I hope my thumbnail image is working, if not Ill figure it out. Thanks!

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August 8, 2010 5:32:50 PM

from what i can see, everything looks fine but very soon you will want to look into upgrading that graphics card cuz games will get more demanding of visual power especially if you wanna play them on high setting which is the obvious.
Btw, is that at AMD Processor?
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August 8, 2010 5:42:14 PM

It looks like you've got a 440 Rana in there, but it's really hard to make out most of the rest of the system. The 440 is an excellent base for a budget gaming system, but without more info, it's difficult to tell if you're spending money on unnecessary stuff elsewhere.

If you could fill out the form in How to Ask for New Build Advice, it would be easier to offer advice/alternative builds.
August 8, 2010 7:08:56 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better))

BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 600-800) Before / After Rebates


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

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg unless you know cheaper




MONITOR RESOLUTION: Not sure? Would like to buy a monitor of about 22 inches..

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: The following list is of compnents Im planning to purchase (since my thumbnail is too small, and why wouldnt it be!? Thats just too easy)

CPU: AMD Athlon II x3 440
GPU: Asus Radeon HD 4870 1GB
RAM: Ripjaws 4GB
CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion
PSU: Seasonic 520 Bronze (80 plus)
MOBO: Asus M4A77TD
HardDrive: Samsung Spinpoint F3
Optical: Lite-On

August 8, 2010 7:11:06 PM

Also the reason for the HD 4870 is because I heard it was just as (and in some cases even more impressive) impressive as the 5770 but cheaper. The only other card Ive considered is the Giga overclocked 5770 but thats like $170
August 9, 2010 12:28:58 AM

So wait, is your budget $600-800, or something else?

In general, the build looks pretty good. The power supply choice looks good, especially since you're not planning to CrossFire. You might consider an 800-series mobo, for USB 3.0/SATA 6.0 Gb/s support. Something like this ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 for $100.

If your budget is a little bit higher, I'd still consider getting a 5770 and a CrossFire capable PSU & mobo.

August 9, 2010 2:27:02 AM

is the mobo you suggested crossfire capable? how much of an investment is crossfire
August 9, 2010 6:51:31 AM

No the motherboard I suggested won't do CrossFire. It's probably $50-100 for a motherboard & a PSU to keep that option open. It may not be worth the money to you, just tossing the idea out there.
August 9, 2010 3:07:08 PM

I dont yet think Im at the level of crossfiring, and I dont believe Ill need it. So you dont recommend the M4A77TD mobo? What would a good budget oriented 8 series mobo be?

Also why are you suggesting an 8 series over what I have chosen? What are the benefits? this new "USB 3.0" really a worth-it upgrade? What is it?
August 9, 2010 4:30:53 PM

No, I think the this ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 is a pretty good option, it's just that it wouldn't be able to CrossFire, as it only has 1 PCI-E x16 slot. If you're not interested in that (and there's nothing wrong with not being interested in CrossFire), then it's a solid choice.

The primary advantage to the 800 series is native USB 3.0 & SATA 6.0 GB/s support. USB 3.0 devices are already on the market, I expect that they'll be mainstream within a couple of years. Many of the 800 series motherboards support the new X6 processors without a BIOS update, though that's pretty minor, all things given.

Whether or not that's worth the extra expense in stepping up to the 800 series is something only you can really decide. The 870 models are the mainstream boards that you probably want to be looking at, if for some reason you're not interested in that specific ASUS board.
August 9, 2010 4:35:39 PM

So you would say the M4A87TD model for $108 over the M4A77TD for $80? Can I ask why.. and that is a pretty big $28 gap
August 9, 2010 4:48:36 PM

Like I said, primarily for USB 3.0 & SATA 6.0 GB/s support.

If you're not interested in paying that $28 for it, that's fine. If you later decide that you want those on your new computer, you should be able to buy an expansion card for that. The cheapest USB 3.0 expansion card I can find on newegg is $20. The cheapest SATA 6.0 GB/s card I can find is $30. I didn't find any combo cards, though they may exist (possibly in a year or two, if not now).

Again, it's not critical that you get the M4A87TD board, but it's something I would do if I were building my own new computer, just to be able to use the new standards when they hit mainstream in a year or two.
August 9, 2010 4:55:13 PM

Well could you briefly explain what usb 3.0 and sata 6.0 are? I have no idea..thanks
August 9, 2010 5:07:40 PM

cctaylor88 said:
Well could you briefly explain what usb 3.0 and sata 6.0 are? I have no idea..thanks

They're just the new standards for USB and SATA. Both provide substantial increases in throughput. The SATA throughput issue is less significant, in my opinion, because there aren't really drives that can saturate the current standard. Of course, I imagine this will eventually change, but it's not an issue for the system you're thinking about.

USB 3 is a bigger deal, and we are already seeing external drives using this standard: The Tom's article has good links that expand on the USB information.