Budget gaming rig

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within the next week


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Most important is World of Warcraft (high end raiding), then Web browsing, playing movies, photoshop , burning cd/dvds.

Have: Atx case with 5 cooling fans
HAVE: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, other peripherals.
HAVE: Power Supply, 450w Thermaltake
HAVE: wireless router “g”, cable modem, etc.

NEED: Motherboard, CPU, Ram , video card and OS



PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD and I have used ASUS, MSI, and Gigabyte boards as well as Sapphire and EVGA video cards all without many issues.

OVERCLOCKING: yes but not aggressive


MONITOR RESOLUTION: I have a Dell 17" crt

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:I know this is a popular topic and i've read through quite a few threads on it. I'm putting together a new rig, really for only one game WoW. I don't play any other games and if I do they are on a console not the pc. I do some Photoshop work, watch movies, occasionally burn a cd/dvd and browse the web. Thats about the extent of it so I dont need any major processor power aside from the game.

I havent built any systems lately but i was doing it as a side business a few years ago, my last build were based on single core AMD 64 cpu's so that gives you an idea of where i left off. My last system mobo crapped out so I'm currently using one I built about 10 yrs ago, ASUS AN7N8x-e with a single core athlon cpu and 2 gigs of ram, yep it's painfully slow.

So with that in mind and a small budget I've put together what I think is a decent rig.

please let me know what you think and if theres something you would change and why you feel it should be changed.
I'm working with a budget of around $500 including the OS which will be Windows 7 home for system builders.
I already have a decent case, PSU, and HDD.

so heres the parts list

CPU - AMD Athlon II x3 440 Rana 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103843 $74.99

I selected a triple core due to OC ability/stability and the simple fact that WoW only utilizes a max of 2 cores and that will give me and extra core to run background apps without affecting the game.

Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
I selected this board for a few reasons, sata, esata,usb3, 2 pci x16, firewire, and multiple audio ports and the ability to upgrade to an x6 processor in the future.. all for just over $100.

Video card - SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card $154.99
I selected this one after reading countless reviews for GPU's, the 5770 seems to be the best bang for the buck. While WoW can benefit from a decent video card it's more of a CPU intensive game, with 800 Stream Processing Units and a 1200MHz memory clock this card should give me decent frame rates and right now I'm still using a 17" crt so I cant use a really high resolution. however, I do plan to upgrade to this monitor Acer H233Hbmid Black 23" 5ms HDMI Full HD 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009162 in the near future.

Memory - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) $99.99
I selected these based on price, recommendations and CAS timing. I do have concerns about compatibility with AMD chipsets, I have read that these are made to be compatible with intel and people who were using amd were having issues with getting the bios to set the correct timings.

total comes to right around $530 including the OS

so what do you think? also I'm using a 450W atx power supply, I think it should be fine but if I do need to upgrade I'm looking at Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply


thanks in advance
11 answers Last reply
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  1. That is a nice list...
    Have you checked for combos ??
    X3 440 + HD 5770

    Also that Gigabyte board wont do x8x8 Crossfire but x16x4, so the 2nd card would run crippled at x4...
    Maybe this board ? ASRock Extreme 870A - Has eSATA 6GB/s, USB3.0 and does x8x8 crossfire...0

    RAM - This RAM would cost less with the coupon

    Maybe that 450W would be able to power that card, but if it is old, then better to change the PSU soon...
  2. he said he will not get a second gpu so the ud3 is fine, thats a pretty decent build its well balanced
  3. well the best card price vs performance now is the gtx 460 but im not sure that it would fit in your budget.
  4. oh and if you are overclocking you might want an aftermarket cpu cooler, the best 1 price vs performance IMO is the coolermaster hyper 212+ dont buy it from newegg as it is overpriced on newegg you could get 1 for about $30
  5. thanks for the suggestions gkay that combo and coupons you found and I wont be using crossfire so not a big deal with the pcie. I checked the AsRock board and if it weren't for the lack of an ata connector that board would work for me.
    as far as the PSU, it's only a few moths old. the case came from a system i built for a co worker a few years ago and i had just replaced that PSU recently. She bought a new laptop and no longed used this system so she donated it back to me, cant beat that price for a case and PSU :D

    gordon, i checked out the gtx460, a bit over budget for me though. i just really wish there was a standard to compare cards the stream processors vs processing cores is really confusing when trying to compare ATI vs Nvidia

    i'll look into the aftermarket cooler too.
  6. well have a look at this website its pretty cool http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/172?vs=180
  7. thanks for the link, I did a bit more research and the gtx460 simply blows the 5770 out of the water. I think with some combo deals and discounts I can get close enough to my original budget to swing the 460.

    so my updated build looks like this

    Mobo - GIGABYTE GA-870A-UD3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard + Windows 7 32bit combo deal $189
    CPU - AMD Athlon II x3 440 Rana 3.0GHz $75
    Video card -EVGA 768-P3-1360-TR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768MB 192-bit $199
    memory- G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $92

    total $555
    still trying to knock it down a few $$ if i can
  8. maybe get some cheaper ram like ddr3 1333
  9. check into a few of the Newegg combos.

    You might try an ASrock AMD 770 board. It's only $60, but has only SATA 2 and USB 2.

  10. I think I found a solution to stay a bit closer to budget
    replace the gigabyte 870 board with an Asrock 770 extreme
    pretty much the same features, same audio codec, has usb 3.0/2.0 and sata 3Gbs/6Gbs, Spdif and esata for $75.00 with the Windows 7 combo it brings the total price down about $50.

    seems like a good balance, better video in exchange for 1 generation of chipset.
  11. ^ Not bad...but dont go with 32-bit OS, go for 64-bit...32-bit would only recognize ~3.5GB of RAM...So when you populate 4GB RAM and 1GB vRAM on the graphics...
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