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Cheap, But effective 550USD build

Last response: in Systems
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September 8, 2010 12:04:22 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: A Few months

BUDGET RANGE: 400-600 USD Not factoring in rebates.(They don’t always work)

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Homework, web-surfing, watching movies.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, keyboard, speakers, PSU (OCZ Fatal1ty 550w), mouse , Video Card, optical drive (Maybe)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, Tiger direct, Amazon.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: Not too many preferences besides the cheap AMD Althlon x4

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024, but an upgrade is possible in the future

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I would prefer a LED on the case and 2 PCIE 2.0 slots on the mobo(Crossfire>SLi). I want to be cheap, but I don’t want a piece of crap. I want something to last me 5-7 years.

So far I have a rough draft of this build. Its my first build, but I’m not a noob at this stuff… I am a wise fool (Sophomore if you will :p ). I have experience messing with my current gt5670, upgrading the graphics card, PSU, ect. This can’t be too much Harder. (Gonna use this http://www.maximumpc.com/article/features/how_build_awe...
as a guide though, along with a few other articles)

Here is the list:

CPU: AMD Althlon x4 640
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: PNY Optima 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Chassis: HAF 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
Guardian 921
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(I’m leaning more towards the HAF 922)

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium OEM

I just realized I forgot to put the prices on there :whistle:  ….
it ends up being 545 USD without shipping or rebates. Also the optical drive I am debating on replacing or not is some Labelflash DVD-rw that works fine and came with my gateway 5670.

Thanks in advance!
:hello: 

September 8, 2010 1:24:41 AM

MUCH FASTER HARD DRIVE
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- The HAF 912 is hitting stores pretty soon (few weeks) its only 55 bucks. Get that.

- The ram you picked is a HORRIBLE brand for memory. Get some nice g.skill's
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

- You mentioned case lighting.. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 8, 2010 2:25:04 AM

Why the caviar green,

get the Spinpoint F3 1tb
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September 8, 2010 8:26:12 PM

CPU: AMD Althlon x4 640
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

Mobo: MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813130275

Hard Drive: Spinpoint F3 1tb
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Memory: G.skill's
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product

Chassis: HAF 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] -_-Product
or
Guardian 921
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] dian%20921
(I’m leaning more towards the HAF 922)
or HAF 912

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium OEM

I already have a video-card (5750 I got for cheap off eBay last week). Would the HAF 912 be big enough/fit a 5970? Just in case I upgrade soon. Is the Mobo any good or are there any better ones? I heard that Gigabyte is better for Mobos. If there is a better case than what I have listed,tell me. Those are the top ones that I found.

Okay now help me more, Tech Wizards!
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September 8, 2010 9:31:43 PM

The Lexa is smaller and has bad heating for the mobo, but looks kick-ass.

The HAF 922 is almost a full tower, and has better cooling, but doesn't look sexy.

The Guardian 921 looks like a Halo Spartan (Kinda), Has pretty good cooling, but lacks good cable management, and may not fit a few processor coolers.

Help me decide the case :??:  .(And maybe another mobo if that one isn't good)
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September 9, 2010 12:08:10 AM

Also, if I decide to get an optical drive, which one?
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September 9, 2010 3:34:04 AM

If you go with the AMD 640 make sure to get ram with CAS Latency 7 as that cpu does not have L3 Cache
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September 9, 2010 3:55:33 AM

if its for gaming a phenom ii x2 555 will work better cause it has cache l3... and if u want more cores u can unlock 2 cores with ur mobo... so u better get a phenom ii x2 555... and with that budget i will not spend that much on a case... u can stay with ur optical...
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September 9, 2010 8:09:44 PM

CPU: $75 Athlon II X3 440
MBO: $90 ASRock 870 (el cheapo, but good reviews and lots of extra goop)
RAM: $97 GSkill 2x2GB Ripjaws 1600 CL7
HDD: $75 Spinpoint f3 (or 7200.12)
O/S: $99 windows 7 64 bit HP
CASE: $~100 The ones you are looking at... suggestion: go into a store near you and actually look at/inside them

Total: $536 Before tax (Free shipping though)


edit: forgot the OS so went from 955 to rana and added win 7

(Note the two links for the HDDs cause that is how I roll [crosses fingers that the links actually work])

Later when you get enough money you can even throw in that 5970 you were talking about and then change some a much nicer monitor (ie. 1920x1200 resolution)
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September 9, 2010 9:13:02 PM

In all honesty, I cannot go out and see the cases because the only computer store in my area is one measly Best Buy. Best Buy has a very limited case selection.

I think that in a few years more games will use 4 cores so Im staying with that.
That Mobo is only 10 bucks cheaper and looks worse(Not just looks but it looks like it will perform worse)

Help this wise fool.... :??: 

EDIT: To add to my list of cases to choose from, is the NXZT Apollo any good?

Case list (lol)

HAF 922
HAF 912
NXZT Apollo
Guardian 921
Lexa
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September 9, 2010 9:56:15 PM

NZXT M59 is only $50 do you think it would hold beefy cards like the HAF 922 would?
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September 9, 2010 10:06:16 PM

haf 912 will do the job right....
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Best solution

September 10, 2010 7:37:22 PM

Didn't go with MSI because I have a personal vendetta with their motherboards (also with Biostar!!)
But if you like them, how about...

CPU: $155 P2X4 955 BE
MBO: $100 MSI 870A-G54
RAM: $97 GSkill 2x2GB Ripjaws 1600 CL7
HDD: $75 Spinpoint f3
O/S: $99 windows 7 64 bit HP
CASE: $60 CM HAF 912

Total: $586

Still below the max of 600 and is pretty much getting the best in all categories.

Also, the NZXT M59 will fit the 5870, but I don't think it will fit the 5970.
Can drop the 1TB to a 500GB HDD for a savings of like $20 if you don't need that much space.
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September 10, 2010 8:30:54 PM

I have a 320 GB hard-drive now and its waaaaaaayyy too thin. beerhelmet, you have been the most help and so Im gonna select you as the best answer. Some of the things I might skimp on ($155 CPU to a $100 one) and I might get the HAF 922, but who knows. I'll make another thread about this when Im really close to ordering them. (Last minute panic lawl)


Thank you all! :D 

(For my first post I have noticed this forum is very friendly)
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September 10, 2010 8:31:12 PM

Best answer selected by Bravehead.
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