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Advice on $750 build - some gaming

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August 10, 2010 5:09:35 AM

Hello everyone.

I am looking to build a computer for myself and, after much careful searching, have decided to ask the good people at Tom's Hardware for any advice they may give. The requisite form to fill out:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of August, after I move back to school.

BUDGET RANGE: I'll draw the line at $750. Before rebates--I don't rely on these things coming in.

SYSTEM USAGE: Some gaming (Diablo, Starcraft, and the like... nothing like Crysis), standard schoolwork, the internets, maybe compile some software now and then.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS (already have), keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers (would like to consider separately).

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I like newegg. If anyone knows of a cheaper site, I'll consider.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: I currently prefer the AMD and ATI combo, but can be persuaded to Intel and/or Nvidia if price/performance merits it.

OVERCLOCKING: I might consider it. I will take heatsink suggestions.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Wasn't planning on it.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Honestly? Not sure yet. Plan on a 22" monitor with 1680x1050.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: After much deliberation, I have selected the following components for myself. As you can see, I took advantage of many combos. Please look this over and see whether I made any mistakes or whether there are any better choices I can make.

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CPU + Motherboard: $235 (-25)
ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AM3 AMD
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Rationale: Not an extremely expensive motherboard, but has 6GB/s SATA and USB 3.0, which is nice. There is only 1 PC express 2.0 x16 slot. This is fine.
The processor is pretty good and I expect it to remain useful for a few years.

GPU + RAM: $259 (-17)
OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
GIGABYTE GV-R577SO-1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Rationale: Stuck with the HD 5770 because I keep hearing it's a good budget model. I would have preferred Sapphire or XFX, but the reviews for this one looked fine.
The memory is DDR3 1600, supported by the motherboard. The timing is 7-8-8-26. This is about as far as I can go on this budget.

HD + PSU: $100 (-20)
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Rationale: I put my specs into the Power Supply Calculator and even with 30% capacitor aging it still says I only need 390W. So the 550W gives me room to expand and accounts for aging.
The hard drive is well-regarded. I of course wanted 7200 RPM but saw no particular reason to spend big on 10000 RPM.

Case + DVD: $73 (-12)
SAMSUNG 24x DVD Burner
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Rationale: I am not picky with either of these items as long as my DVD burner writes DVDs fine and my case keeps my stuff cool (I don't really care about the aesthetics), so I picked something that had decent reviews and as a bonus came with this combo.

The total is $667. Newegg claims the shipping is $25.

As you can see, I am under budget by about $60, so I will consider expanding somewhat: there's a 1TB HD + 650W PSU combo for $45 more, or I will consider anything else you guys can come up with (yes, break the combos if you have to). I would like this one to last at least 3 years, more if possible. I can consider upgrades as I go along. I would be open to any suggestions.

There's the possibility that by the time I order this, some of the combos will be invalidated. If this is the case, I'll make any edits I see fit and then report back so that those interested and knowledgeable in the subject can make sure I made no glaring errors.

I appreciate your time and effort.

More about : advice 750 build gaming

August 10, 2010 6:06:07 AM

Almost perfect, really. Studied long & hard trying to find faults, but have'nt been able to. If you are not looking to SLI/Xfire in the near future, that PSU & Mobo should definitely be good enough.

Love the DDR3 1600 as well. Why spend extra for lower timings, when you can have higher speeds? In any case, the difference is academic.
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August 10, 2010 7:42:09 AM

Thanks for the check. I spent quite some time picking out these and hunting for combos. Unfortunately, it probably will be the case that when I buy, some combos disappear. I'll either bite the bullet if not too many of them have disappeared at that point, or just go combo hunting again, heh...
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August 10, 2010 7:49:25 AM

$649AR - perhaps use savings to hit a nice 23" Full HD LCD ^^ OCZ 80+ PSUs fine but i wouldn't go for their RAMs hehe
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August 10, 2010 9:29:36 AM

OCZ RAM isn't that bad at least some of it. If you aren't going to oc then it doesn't matter as much what RAM you get. Everything else looks great. I recommend you try your hand at OCing because to me it's a waste not to with a BE. You'll need to throw in a aftermarket heatsink hyper 212+ for $30. Don't buy that from newegg though as they have it at $50.
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August 10, 2010 1:00:16 PM

anonymousdude is right. It's a waste not to OC a black ed.

There's nothing wrong with OCZ or anybody else's RAM for that matter - if you're not OC'ing, any damn generic RAM will do just fine.

"there's a 1TB HD + 650W PSU combo for $45 more". Link?
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August 10, 2010 1:10:29 PM

Actually for non OC/stock users i 100% endorse Kingston Value RAMs: lost count of builds with DDR2/DDR3 platforms and still not one client complain these acting up, etc ^^
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August 10, 2010 6:47:44 PM

anonymousdude said:
OCZ RAM isn't that bad at least some of it. If you aren't going to oc then it doesn't matter as much what RAM you get. Everything else looks great.


calguyhunk said:
There's nothing wrong with OCZ or anybody else's RAM for that matter - if you're not OC'ing, any damn generic RAM will do just fine.


I'll give some thought to the RAM--maybe some combos will have shifted by the time I order in about a week. OCZ's hasn't had many reviews so it will be a bit of a risk here, but we'll see.

Batuchka's stuff looks okay; a bit of a shame that the RAM is CL 9 instead of 7, but from what I see of the GTX 460 they are pretty good, so it's a tradeoff to make.

anonymousdude said:
I recommend you try your hand at OCing because to me it's a waste not to with a BE. You'll need to throw in a aftermarket heatsink hyper 212+ for $30. Don't buy that from newegg though as they have it at $50.


calguyhunk said:
anonymousdude is right. It's a waste not to OC a black ed.


Hm. All right, I will give overclocking a try when I get this. I'll do some reading up on the subject as I haven't done that before either--this is also my first build. :0

calguyhunk said:
there's a 1TB HD + 650W PSU combo for $45 more". Link?


HD + PSU: $145 (-20)
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

How often do combos change? I'm wondering how any combos I'll have to hunt down again when I get this. DX
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August 10, 2010 7:05:15 PM

Butachka, I've seen you post in many build, but why would you recommend the 460 that isn't 1gb? The version you posted I believe performs lesser than the 1gb version.
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August 11, 2010 1:25:03 AM

Some peeps think topping up to the 1GB version is worth some don't If i am looking to spend that much on a 1GB GTX 460 then the HD 5850 might not be a bridge too far hehe
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August 11, 2010 3:19:31 AM

bbbiter said:
HD + PSU: $145 (-20)
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Gr8 PSU. Good HDD.

bbbiter said:
OCZ's hasn't had many reviews so it will be a bit of a risk here, but we'll see

You don't really need reviews to buy RAM. You like the specs - you buy it, as long as it's a half-decent brand. That includes Corsair, OCZ, G-Skill, Kingston & a whole lot more.

Reviews are for mobos (reliability, quirks, etc), processors (performance), PSU's (reliability & performance).
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