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Proposed ~$800 build

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Last response: in Systems
August 13, 2010 8:14:22 PM

Hey guys, this is my first build so be gentle. Any general advice is welcome too. I have a proposed build but I'll fill out the template anyway.


BUDGET RANGE: €600-700 / £500-550 (~$750-850). Currencies complicate this a bit, I'm spending in euro but the parts I'm buying are priced in pounds. Dollars aren't really a meaningful unit to me but I put it in for reference.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, web browsing, videos, music, word processing



PARTS PREFERENCES: I want a true quad-core CPU, otherwise I'm flexible



MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 or 1680x1050

So, here's what I'm thinking:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 @3.2GHz £121
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA78LMT-US2H 760G £56
Memory: Corsair XMS3 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit £85
Graphics Card: VTX ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB £127
Hard Disk: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB £33
Power Supply: OcUK Crusade 650W Dual Rail High Efficiency Modular Power Supply £48
Optical Drive: Samsung 22x DVD±RW SATA Lightscribe ReWriter £12
Case: Coolermaster Elite 335 plus additional front fan £29+£6

Total: £517 (prices might display slightly lower on the website because UK VAT is lower than Irish VAT)

I'm fully ready for there to be something catastrophically wrong with that (I'm very new to this) but even if there isn't I'd appreciate any advice on how I could improve the build or save money or anything really. Thanks in advance.

More about : proposed 800 build

August 13, 2010 9:04:50 PM

The only issues I have are with the board and PSU.

The board is a decent one, but it's older. I'd take a look at the Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3. It's more future proof with USB 3/SATA III support.

That PSU is a POS. I wouldn't trust it one bit. Get a good 450-550W unit from any of the following: Antec, Corsair, Silverstone, SeaSonic or XFX. OCZ makes ok units, but make sure you get at least a 600W unit from them.

Other than that, it looks just fine. You may want to consider getting some 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks or 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks. They'll be faster and better if you ever decide to overclock.
August 13, 2010 9:33:43 PM

Thanks for the advice. Do you think an Antec Basiq Plus 550W will do the job or should I go for a slightly more expensive Corsair TX 650W ATX?

And I might well upgrade the motherboard, it's definitely the component I'm most afraid of messing up. I hear good things about Asus motherboards, would you recommend one or is the Gigabyte GA-770TA-UD3 the way to go in that price range?

And finally, if I do upgrade the motherboard, would investing in a better HDD like a Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB be worth the extra expense? Thanks
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August 13, 2010 9:46:31 PM

The Antec Basiq Plus 550w should work fine, but if you want to be more safer and if you can see yourself upgrading a lot of things in the future, then go for the Corsair TX650w. Corsair is also a much better brand in my opinion.

As for the Asus motherboards, they're one of the best and most respected makes when it comes to motherboards. Personally, I'd go for gigabyte ones since they tend to have better overclocking features but you can't go wrong with either - it's just the features that come down to the verdict.

As for the hard drive, don't worry about getting one that runs on a SATA III connection - reviews haven't really shown that they're much faster than the traditional SATA II drives. They don't actually take full advantage of the 6gb bandwidth at all. If you really want a better hard drive and your feeling up for spending quite a bit, then go for a SSD. Check this out:
August 13, 2010 9:47:09 PM

The Basiq line (and some other older antec units) are the exception to quality Antec PSUs. I would go for the 650w unit myself.

About the HDD, the WD Caviar Black is as fast as the 7200.12/Spinpoint F3, but costs more. I wouldn't change it. The gigabyte motherboard is good as well.
August 13, 2010 10:06:03 PM

Thanks, I think I'll go for the Spinpoint F3 for my HDD (about the same price as the Seagate). The Corsair PSU is only a little more expensive so I guess I'll stay on the safe side and get that. I think I'll stay with the Gigabyte motherboard too.

I guess that's about everything. Any final advice or something I will definitely get wrong when I try to put these things together?
August 14, 2010 5:55:12 AM

That 5770 is slightly cheaper, not sure if XFX does the double lifetime warranty in the UK, but since I haven't heard of VTX, I would change that.

I see it doesn't, however, the warranty is 2 years vs 1 year, so I would probably change it.

Other than that, you look good to go!
August 14, 2010 1:07:54 PM

Ah, cool, that must be newly added, thanks for the heads up!
August 14, 2010 2:43:08 PM

If you don't mind

GIGABYTE GA-MA770-UD3 - € 69,90 Inc. VAT
AMD Phenom II X4 955 - € 159 Inc. VAT
A-DATA 2 x 2 GB DDR3-1333 - € 81,90 Inc. VAT
LG GH22NS50 22x SATA Internal DVD±RW - € 19,90 Inc. VAT
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 - € 43,50 Inc. VAT
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 465 - 1 GB - € 229 Inc. VAT
FORTRON Blue Storm Pro 500W - € 59,90 Inc. VAT
Cooler Master Elite 331 - € 35,01 Inc. VAT (or something)

€ 698,11 Inc. VAT + shipping 10-27€
August 14, 2010 3:47:49 PM

The €69.90 version of that motherboard is AM2+ so it's no good to me unfortunately. Most of the other components are more expensive than overclockers. They do have a cheaper version of the 5770 though, and that power supply looks like it's a good deal if it's good (I don't know the brand) so thanks for the heads up.

Another question, should I buy a separate CPU cooler or will the stock cooler be ok? (I have no intention of overclocking)
August 14, 2010 6:52:58 PM

That's not a good PSU by any means. I'd stick to Antec, SeaSonic, Silverstone, Corsair, and XFX.

As for the GTX 465, it's a horrible card. The only nVidia card that's any good right now is the 460, which only really shines when used in SLI. A single 460 is good, but it's not good enough to play games at higher resolutions and lesser cards (i.e. the 5770) are just as good at lower resolutions.
August 14, 2010 11:18:40 PM

Had no idea FSP was Forton. I take back what I said. That should be a decent unit. Still not the highest quality, but workable. Can't say I like the design of it though.

I'd still look around though. That unit is overpriced here in the US, so it's probably the same over there.
August 14, 2010 11:47:04 PM

Yep, they sell them as Fortron in Europe and as FSP in the USA. :) 

How about this site?

AMD Phenom II X4 95
MSI 770-C45
Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MH
Samsung SpinPoint F3
Samsung SH-S223
Corsair 450W VX
Casecom 6788 (or NZXT gamma or C. Master)
Sapphire HD 5770

£502.50 without shipping
August 15, 2010 4:33:58 PM

Thanks for the buying advice, I'll probably spread my order over a few websites and save some money.

So, just to clarify, the stock CPU cooler should be fine?
August 15, 2010 9:37:16 PM

Mosox, thanks, that looks like a great deal. I think I know all the parts I'm getting now, but one question:

I'm thinking of upgrading the graphics card to a 5830 (there's a really good deal for it on, would the 460W Coolermaster PSU in that bundle be enough with that card? It's probably not worth it to me if I need to buy a more expensive PSU to run it.
August 16, 2010 12:14:32 AM

Is it definitely a good idea to run it that close? With some capacitor aging I'm up pretty close to the 460W mark.
August 16, 2010 9:25:26 AM

Phenom II955/2 sticks DDR3/HD 5830/1 HDD regular SATA/ DVD-RW/DVD+RW Drive 1 drive/2 120mm fans. The total is 300 watts minimum and 350 watts recommended. That's not the system's power draw but the PSU wattage with headroom. The power draw in gaming is more like 250-270 watts.

If you want a brand PSU to use also for your next upgrades/systems you can get that one, it's cheap for a 650 watt Corsair: