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Looking for advice with new pc build ($650 range)

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August 17, 2010 5:47:02 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Would like to order this week.

BUDGET RANGE: Looking to spend around $650 plus or minus a little. I'm not including the cost of shipping in this part of my budget. Just the hardware, OS and possibly paying for assembly.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Not a serious gamer, but I do play World of Warcraft. Basically a family pc with typical internet surfing, listening to music, streaming videos

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I have keyboard, mouse, speakers and a new monitor.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: NCIX.com (Canadian) Possibly newegg.ca if I was feeling adventurous in building myself.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

PARTS PREFERENCES: Had MSI mobo last 7 years, experience with Asus and Gigabyte in the past aswell. OCZ ram was a little more popular when I built last computer. Been out of computer hardware scene for sometime. Open to any solid performers.

OVERCLOCKING: Doubtful, but anything is possible in the future.

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Not a concern at the moment

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I need to purchase a new OS so that should be included in price. I also considered having ncix.com do the assembly for the cost of $50. As mentioned I have no intentions to play any games other then WoW. This is a definite, I have my PS3 for any other gaming. I was considering a board with onboard graphics (one with USB3 and SATA 6 preferably) with the intent on possibly saving some money upfront , and purchasing a video card in another couple weeks. This may not be a big cost savings either, but I thought of going with 2 gigs of ram and bumping that up to at least 4 in the next month. Why do I not just wait another couple weeks then to buy the computer you may ask? Not feeling confident in my computer lasting much longer, already pushed it 7 years which is not typical for myself. Plus the money is in my pocket so better to spend now before 'Wifey' spends it on something else =)

Anyhow, thx to any and all who may offer suggestions. If I left out some info, simply ask and I will reply ASAP.

More about : advice build 650 range

August 17, 2010 6:19:04 PM

Lately OCZ RAM has not been up to snuff. Corsair, Geil, GSkill, Mushkin are better brands right now.

At that price range and usage I would look for an Athlon IIx3 or x4 CPU
AM3 motherboard with USB3 (Gigabyte, ASUS, MSI are good - 870 or 880 chipset probably).
4GB DDR3-1333 or 1600 cas7 RAM.
Samsung F3 500GB HDD
Win7 64
Maybe as much as a 5770 GPU, which will play WoW very high on a 1920x1080 monitor. The next step down is the 5750 or GT 250, but the 5770 is 50% faster and not that much more expensive.

If you are scrapping your old computer, you could pull the graphics card out of it and save that money.
August 17, 2010 6:42:36 PM

Quote:
If you are scrapping your old computer, you could pull the graphics card out of it and save that money.


That's something I never thought of actually. To be honest I'm not sure if it's dead (I've been using the integrated graphics on my MSI k7n2gl mobo). I may have been just overheating or something but the stability was a big issue so it's just sitting around in my junk drawer. I can try to drop it in to test at least. It's AGP if I recall, so wondering if most boards still have at least one, or if PCI-e is really the only common option.



I also am curious about a good solid case and power supply. Was considering the Antec Three Hundred, but as far as power supplies I'm totally lost. I'm not sure how much power is required nowadays.

Thx, dndhatcher for the suggestions I will price up some of those components to see where it puts me.
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August 17, 2010 7:32:43 PM

You wont be able to use an AGP graphics card. It will be so old you might as well get a new motherboard with onboard graphics.

Get the Antec 300 illusion (includes the 2 front fans) and see if they have a bundled deal with a good PSU like a Neo Eco, Earthwatts or TruePower. The graphics card you get will dictate how big of a PSU. SInce you are not looking at high end graphics cards a 400-500W will probably do everything you need.

If you dont want the front fans, Antec also makes a Two Hundred case which is a good value.
August 18, 2010 6:41:32 PM

So far in my search for parts, I'm leaning towards these components:

Asus M4A87TD/USB3 - $110 (again all prices are Canadian)
Athlon II x3 440 - $99

GPU - A little unsure of which brand to choose, just took the cheapest here.
XFX Radeon HD 5770 - $175 (this price will go back up, sale over today, won't be purchasing today.)

WD Caviar Black 640g - $70 Again, in the past, last time I built a system Seagate was highly ranked, now it seems WD is the leader. Also heard good things about the Samsung F3's but I'm not seeing them listed with NCIX.com at the moment. I also have not compared WD's green and blue models so at this time I'm unsure of any major differences.

Seasonic SS-400ET 400W - $60 (or $45 if bundled with cpu)
This is definately not set in stone, since I'm not settled on all the components and I'm iffy in regards to if 400w would be sufficient. Just listing for the time being as it can be had in a bundle with the x3 400.

In terms of another bundled power supply option there is this:
Antec 200 v2 with a BFG 550w ps - $103 BFG... hmm I think I have only ever had a gpu by them. Again, a little iffy on the brand, I think the Seasonic is a solid manufacturer in the PS dept. As far as 80+, this supposedly has it but does not apply for the actual certification.

Case - On the heels of that previous link; I really was hoping to find the Antec Three Hundred Illusion you mentioned but I'm also not seeing that, just the base Three Hundred model. I'm comparing the base model to the Antec 200 which just seems larger (more bays, hot swap caddy and such) I thought it had a couple more fans more similar to the Illusion model but it appears to just have the slots for them. Have not priced any extra fans at this time.

Memory: Have yet to pick, haven't taken the time to look up compatibility and such. Always seems to be difficult for me as I get overwhelmed with all the types available. I think the last ram I bought was like pc2700 or something. So it's been some time.

Samsung 24x DVD Writer - $30


Anyhow, after I add the cost of assembly plus my copy of windows 7 64 bit I'm at about max budget. The only thing to really settle on is RAM and a case / power supply. Any comments on all the components would be great.

Thanks



August 18, 2010 6:51:19 PM

Also forgot to note I was also looking at the Gigabyte 770TA-UD3 mobo. Some have it listed as just only USB3 and not the SATA3. Does it in fact have both?
August 18, 2010 7:32:43 PM

no, the 770 lacks SATA 3. unless you are using a top-flight SSD, you won't notice it. differences are in 10s of microseconds between SATA 2 and SATA 3 with physical hard drives.

That said, Newegg has a very NICE combo build with an X3 445 for $525. that should save $125 for a video card.

this Saphire HD5770 is 129 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
August 18, 2010 7:46:14 PM

I have a 770TA-UD3. It has both. There is a 770T-USB3 model that only has USB3. USB3 is likely the only important one of the two during the lifespan of a computer built today.

It makes me sad to see a nice antec case not paired with a good antec PSU. Seasonic makes most of Antecs and all of Corsair's PSUs. I looked at some reviews and the BFG-550 should be OK for a 5770.

You might find the linked power supply guides of interest:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/284314-28-power-suppl...


Caviar black 640 has two ~320GB platters. The Samsung F3 and Seagate 7200.12 500GB drives have a single 500GB platter. Since they spin at the same speed, you read more data in the same amount of time on the more dense platter. WD black has a 1TB "FAEX" model that has two 500GB platters and a 1TB "FALS" that has three of the ~320GB platters. The FAEX model is much faster. WD does not have a good 500GB drive out that I have heard of.
August 18, 2010 7:51:35 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
no, the 770 lacks SATA 3. unless you are using a top-flight SSD, you won't notice it. differences are in 10s of microseconds between SATA 2 and SATA 3 with physical hard drives.

That said, Newegg has a very NICE combo build with an X3 445 for $525. that should save $125 for a video card.

this Saphire HD5770 is 129 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Thanks for the info regarding the SATA3. I'm thinking it would be a nice option to have in the future, and with that I will probably stick with the Asus unless I find some unsatisfactory reviews online, or from users here on the forums.

As far as the pricing on the Sapphire HD5770, I'm using the Canadian website so the price is pretty on par with the one I listed. I'm not really considering the mail in rebates and they tend to take so long to come in, and don't save me any money out of pocket right up front. Still I thank you for your input.
August 18, 2010 8:06:59 PM

dndhatcher said:
I have a 770TA-UD3. It has both. There is a 770T-USB3 model that only has USB3. USB3 is likely the only important one of the two during the lifespan of a computer built today.

It makes me sad to see a nice antec case not paired with a good antec PSU. Seasonic makes most of Antecs and all of Corsair's PSUs. I looked at some reviews and the BFG-550 should be OK for a 5770.

You might find the linked power supply guides of interest:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/284314-28-power-suppl...


Caviar black 640 has two ~320GB platters. The Samsung F3 and Seagate 7200.12 500GB drives have a single 500GB platter. Since they spin at the same speed, you read more data in the same amount of time on the more dense platter. WD black has a 1TB "FAEX" model that has two 500GB platters and a 1TB "FALS" that has three of the ~320GB platters. The FAEX model is much faster. WD does not have a good 500GB drive out that I have heard of.



Thanks for the clarification about the two different Gigabyte motherboards. I'm going to check out some more power supply and cases to see what else is available on ncix.com since I will probably use them instead of newegg.ca. I just mentioned that one bundled deal, and the two antec cases which seem to have decent reviews. That 'OK' you said about the BFG sort of makes me wary of it.

I'm a little confused by the platter talk. Are you basically saying the 2 platter WD is faster than the 1 platter Sammy's and Seagate's, or the other way around?
August 18, 2010 10:53:17 PM

If they spin at the same speed (7200 RPM) then it takes the same amount of time for the heads to read the entire platter. So a 500GB platter drive reads 500GB in the same amount of time a 320GB platter drive reads 320GB. The 500GB platter drive is faster.

Another advantage of less platters is running cooler, using less power, etc.
August 19, 2010 7:53:16 PM

Still looking at case / psu combinations.

I found the Antec Sonata III w/ 500w. Anyone have experience with the airflow in this case, or should I look for something with more fan options.
August 20, 2010 12:03:47 AM

Antec Sonata is a good case with a long, solid track record. It will be a bit quieter than a gaming case. That one also comes with a good Antec EA500 PSU.
August 21, 2010 1:39:50 AM

I have made some changes with the components I had selected, mainly in part because I found myself settling on parts solely because the ones I actually wanted were not available from the vendor I was planning on dealing with.

I have also decided to build the system myself so that saves me $50 and I feel it will be a fun learning experience. I have experience with the simple stuff, adding memory, hard drives, optical drives and cpu fans. Just never really mounted a motherboard in a case, or attached a processor to a mobo. I decided on going with onboard graphics for the time being with the plan on adding a 5770. I did not want to go over budget that much.

With that here is the build I'm pretty settled on for ordering tomorrow. I haven't dealt with Newegg Canada before but I see a lot of positive reviews.

Case - Antec 300 Illusion
Power Supply - Antec Neo Eco 520w
Motherboard - Asus M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3
HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 500g
ODD - Lite-On 24x
Memory - G.Skill DDR3 1333 2x2gig (still need to check compatibility)
CPU - Athlon II x3 445

This all comes out to $718 (CAD) taxes/shipping/Windows 7 included. Not much higher than the $650 I was aiming for.

If anyone has last minute comments or suggestions feel free to chime in.

Thanks



August 23, 2010 5:29:31 PM

Good component list. Post back once you have it up & working.
August 23, 2010 9:07:43 PM

Another update; Decided on a different power supply and with some help on the memory forum (Thx again Saint19) finally picked out some compatible RAM.

Final Build:

Asus M4A88TD-V Evo/USB3 & Athlon II X3 445
G.Skill Ripjaws 1333 - Skimped on the 1600 CAS 7, settled with 1333 CAS 9
Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb
Lite-On 24x Burner
Seasonic S12II 520w Bronze - Guess this was really the only change from my last post.
Antec 300 Illusion
Windows 7 64bit OEM

Again, all said and done, taxes and shipping came out to $720 so slightly higher than I was planning on but I feel good about the components selected. Just no one tell me if I should have stuck with the Antec Neo Eco 520w lol... heard they were made by Delta now so switched to Seasonic. Hopefully thats a goodie.

I'll be lingering around as usual, but you can expect me to run into some issues when I get the parts and start the assembly process.

Thanks again.

-Scott


August 23, 2010 9:18:30 PM

Seasonic builds the Neo Eco 520. The specs are all identical. Other than the metal sides and stickers they are probably the same hardware inside. You picked a good PSU.
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