New build for a new (smaller) budget


BUDGET RANGE: >$600 (Canadian Dollars) Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming Specificly; Starcraft 2, Dawn of War 2, Bio Shock 2, Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age. (Not online FPS), Movies, Internet

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers



PARTS PREFERENCES: I'd like to stick with ASUS

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe Later In the systems life

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe Later In the systems life

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 for now

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Desk space is at a premium if a mini tower works that would be great, also I have a roommate so noise is an issue. He's not unreasonable about it just does not want something loud either.

MORE COMMENTS: So I was already to buy a new system in the $1500 range but I've had an unfortunate death in the family and the travel expenses ate my computer money, I do need a new system asap though. I posted on another thread about the problem and got a great idea from coldsleep. He suggested buying a good AMD motherboard with lower end parts on it and upgrading later as more funds become available. Well I've got my new starting budget worked out, I should be able to come up with $600 by the end of September.

My thinking is to start with an ASUS board with onboard video, (I know, I know.. Blech) and keep using my old 19” BENQ monitor with it's 1280xs1020 resolution until say next spring. Then I will upgrade to two crossfired cards and a larger HD monitor. If I need to I could also get a duel core for now instead of the 3x and upgrade to a quad later if i need to.

So far I'm looking at

Rosewill DESTROYER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ,comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 120mm ...

ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ...

AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX445WFGMBOX

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST31000528AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2

I have my old systems dvd burner but it uses the old ribbon style cabble. Is it compatible with a new motherboard?

Will that onboard video allow me to play the games I want for now?

Will that case last me with a higher temp system? Long term cooling needs I mean.

Any suggestions would be great. I'm hoping that the onboard video will suffice at my resolution. I don't like the idea of buying a video card and then throwing it out 6 months later, it just bugs me.

Will a 650W PSU do it? Or will I need a 750W?

I would like a final build with twin 5850's, an HD 23” Monitor and maybe even a SSD with the seagate becoming my data storage drive say 6-8 months after this purchase.

I want to get a parts list now so i can keep an eye out for deals this month.


8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build smaller budget
  1. Yes, that motherboard will support 2 ATA devices. (In neweggs specs look at the storage section PATA)

    Based on Tom's graphic card hierarchy chart and min specs on the games listed, Maybe, barely.

    That case should do fine , seems to have room for plenty of ventilation, but the fans are most likely lower end and therefore more noisy. You can always upgrade fans in the future.

    Don't know how much your area supports craigslist, but I have been able to get slightly used computer parts for a song. Even at a C$ 600 budget I wouldn't settle for onboard video in a gaming system.

    650 watts is low for a twin 5850, some quick checking on my part shows about 500 watts peak for the 2 video cards. If you are sure you want to crossfire in the future you will need to change the MB as well, the one you have listed only has one PCI-e x16 slot. Going dual video cards takes you out of the realm of mATX boards so you will have to decide how much desk space you have to spare. There are a few mini towers that are supposed to support ATX, but it isn't worth the potential clearance (and heat) issues IMO.

    Given your preference for ASUS I would go for this board if you need the crossfire capability. You might even get lucky and unlock the fourth core on the cpu. The cooler can wait to give you some budgetary room.

    Awkward side note from some stranger on the internet: My condolences on your loss of a family member.
  2. Best answer
    just a note: There is a newegg combo that closely matches your needs, but it's an NVidia board with a 16/16/8 setup for SLIx3 or SLIx2 with a Physx card.

    it would go a little over your budget to get this with a GeForce 240 card. The 340 would play games adequately, then could act as a PhysX card when you upgrade your monitor and go SLI.

    Here is the combo:

    a GF 240:

    after the rebates, its just over CA$600 (about $620)
  3. The super combo is good.
    240 is not!
  4. guanyu210379 said:
    The super combo is good.
    240 is not!

    I nevcer said the 240 was a GREAT card. It is Tom's hardware's reccommended card at its price point, and will play everything he wants at medium to medium-high levels at 1280x1024 (His current monitor resolution) when he upgrades to a better monitor and goes with an SLI setup (probly 460s or 470s in SLI), the 240 is the lowest end card that can do PhysX in the setup
  5. ScrewySqrl said:
    just a note: There is a newegg combo that closely matches your needs, but it's an NVidia board with a 16/16/8 setup for SLIx3 or SLIx2 with a Physx card.

    it would go a little over your budget to get this with a GeForce 240 card. The 340 would play games adequately, then could act as a PhysX card when you upgrade your monitor and go SLI.

    That's a great find on the combo. Thanks.

    What is a PhysX card though. Not sure what that means.

  6. PhysX is a proprietary physics engine caclulator from NVidia. It improves things like ragdoll physics.

    Basically, in an SLI setup, you can set up one card to do all the PhysX calculations for a game or other program that uses it. Thid physx card doesn't have to match the other cards in an SLI setup.

    The GT240 is the smallest card that can do that physx calculation.

    So, you could, for instance, get this 240 initially, and play games with your existing monitor. Then a few months down the road, splurge about 600 on a nice new monitor and 2 1 GB GTX460s. You'd then be able to use the 2 460s in an SLI mode, while the 240 does all the physics calculations.
  7. OK,

    I've just got to settle on a graphic card then.

    I'm looking at either

    XFX Core Edition GS250XYSL4 GeForce GTS 250 512MB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card


    ASUS ENGT240/DI/512MD5/A GeForce GT 240 512MB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16

    The 250 is about $30 more than the GT 240 and from what I've read online a GTS 250 = 9800GTX > gt 240, but is it worth the extra 30 bucks? I'm still not sure about the differances between video cards yet. It's alot more complicated than the last time i bought one. :??:
  8. Best answer selected by cc130doc.
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