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First Build Ever: Ultra Budget Gaming

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September 28, 2010 5:00:46 AM

Hi there! I'm fairly new to this forum, but I've been reading a ton. I've learned so much from this awesome community.

I've decided to build my first computer. I've read some of the "budget" builds, but I needed something much less than the $1000 builds. Preferably I want something around, more or less, the $650 range, excluding OS. I live in Maryland, USA. I DON'T have a certain purchase date, so if there's advice to wait, I'm interested =). I will use this computer for everything, with gaming and maybe a little video editing being the most hardware intensive use.

Below are the parts I have chosen for this build:

MOBO:
$80 MSI 880GM-E43 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=13-130-...

CPU:
$90 AMD Phenom II X3 740 Black Edition Heka 3.0GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(Phenom II x2 same price as x3?)

GPU:
$150 GIGABYTE GV-R577SO-1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM:
$80 OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD:
$55 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case with PSU:
$70 APEVIA X-QBOII X-QBOII-NW-AL/500 Black / Silver SECC Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case 500W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Total (no OS, no shipping, no combos, no rebates): $525


I plan to get my dvd drive from my old computer.
Yes, I know that typically a Case with a PSU is not a good idea, but I'm on a budget. Btw, that total is well under the $650 range, so let me know what you suggest, whether to get a better case and PSU, better GPU considering it's a gaming build, etc. Thanks in advance!

Also forgot about cooling. Since this is my first build, I'll be experimenting and learning a lot with overclocking. I also, if I get lucky of course, plan to unlock that 4th core. If not, it's still fine.
September 28, 2010 6:20:14 AM

Thanks for the reply Outlander_04! I really had trouble picking a mobo. I just selected one that was compatible with the other parts. I also chose it due to core unlocking success in the feedback. But your suggestions have that as well. Found the one with onboard gfx:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It's just 10 bucks more.
I don't think I'll need the onboard gfx though. What could I do with it?
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September 28, 2010 7:05:55 AM

There are some very good reviews online of the ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3
http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-m4a88tdv-evousb3-rev...
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1878

Im considering building a new computer for myself using this mb . Next year AMD are releasing new processors and they will probably run in AM3 motherboards [ though AMD havent confirmed that ] . The best chance to upgrade is probably the latest AMD chipsets which is one good reason to pay a little more for a motherboard with an 850 south bridge and an 870/880/890 north bridge
Maybe someone reading this can confirm compatibility , but I havent found any direct confirmation from AMD yet .

I like integrated graphics on motherboards . Thats a personal preference and Im sure others disagree but when your graphics card flames out permanently you can just switch back to the on board and have a running computer till your new gfx card arrives .
Its also easier to set up . Id always first boot with out a gfx card . Its one less driver for windows to sort out
The final advantage could be that ATI/AMD are about to release the 6xxx cards in a month or so . You could build the computer now and buy a gfx card when the new cards are released .
Even if you still buy a 5770 the price will probably have dropped .

Have another look at RAM too . Ram is rated by MHz , timings , and voltage
You want the highest MHz , the lowest timings [ 7-7-7-20 is better than 9-9-9-20 ] and the lowest voltage .
You wont gain much from better RAM , but there might be better deals on Newegg .
There is an excellent memory article on this site about Memory speeds and Phenom
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Best solution

September 28, 2010 7:43:46 AM

You need a CPU cooler. The phenom x3 is an OEM chip, meaning no stock cooler. I went with this, based on reviews.

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus $29
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Why not take a look at the board I just bought for my build? A big plus for me was the ASRock has support for dual x8 pcie as I wanted to CF in the future. The ASUS has one x16 and one x4. That's too much drop on connection speeds for me in CF. Moot point if you don't plan on going CF, although you will save yourself $20 that you can put to a cooler.

ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 $89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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September 28, 2010 8:00:38 AM

s54 said:
You need a CPU cooler. The phenom x3 is an OEM chip, meaning no stock cooler. I went with this, based on reviews.

COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus $29
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Why not take a look at the board I just bought for my build? A big plus for me was the ASRock has support for dual x8 pcie as I wanted to CF in the future. The ASUS has one x16 and one x4. That's too much drop on connection speeds for me in CF. Moot point if you don't plan on going CF, although you will save yourself $20 that you can put to a cooler.

ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 $89
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



That is a great mb for the price . Asrock is made by Asus , the quality is pretty good and it has all the right features .

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September 28, 2010 4:27:30 PM

Thanks for all the input. I didn't know there was no stock cooler for the cpu, I just assumed there was, so thanks s54. After reading more reviews and posts throughout the forum, I've been tempted to splurge a little more on the budget.

Same:
150 GPU GIGABYTE GV-R577SO-1GD Radeon HD 5770 1GB
89 CPU AMD Phenom II X3 740BE

Changed/added:
59 (75 - 16 promo) HD SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
10 Thermal Compound Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
30 Heatsink COOLER MASTER Hyper 212
90 MOBO ASRock 870 EXTREME3
95 RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600
170 Combo (Case + PSU)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
LIAN LI Lancool PC-K62
XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W

Total: 693 (w/o shipping and rebates)


I chose to invest in other things aside from a better GPU because I know about the 6xxx series coming out. A single 5770 should be decent enough for me as of now. The RAM, like most, has lifetime warranty, so I guess I should just get a good one. And with the reviews on the case, I think that could also last me a lifetime.
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September 28, 2010 5:36:40 PM

I chose the x3 740BE because I think it will be easier and maybe better to overclock, since it's black edition. I chose the gigabyte 5770 because I searched Newegg for 5770 cards, and the gigabyte one was second in ratings (other was $170). Plus there is a rebate, so it could possibly go down from 150 to 130. I was looking at that 460 for a bit, but I'd probably have to switch out other parts.
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September 28, 2010 8:03:19 PM

the 555s tend NOT to unlock, though, only about 50% unlock, and those tha unlock, 67% or so get only 1 extra core
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September 28, 2010 8:35:48 PM

I was actually looking at the x2, and was a little confused why it was the same price as the x3. The free t-shirt looks convincing...nah I'll be safe and stay with x3 =). Even if the 4th core fails to unlock, I'd still have 3 cores. As for the quad, I'd want L3, plus again I want an unlocked multiplier.

Yeah I'm spending too much on the case/psu. Some reviews just got me a little excited. But the challenger looks like a great option, so I'll make the change:

Same:
89 CPU AMD Phenom II X3 740BE
59 (75 - 16 promo) HD SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB
10 Thermal Compound Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
30 Heatsink COOLER MASTER Hyper 212
95 RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600

Change:
110 Case/PSU Combo Rosewill Challenger/ Rosewill Xtreme Series RX750-S-B 750W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

170 GPU Nvidia gtx460 768GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And I suppose I should change the Mobo in case I want SLI:
99 Mobo ASUS M4N75TD AM3 NVIDIA nForce 750a SLI ATX AMD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Total:
$662



Btw, I feel like this build process could keep going and going. Yawn. =)
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September 28, 2010 8:41:35 PM

yep new technology is released all the time, so you can get more performance for your money. i think your build looks pretty good so far. im guessing thats the end of your budget.
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September 28, 2010 8:42:31 PM

You should definitely get either of these ram kits instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-231-193^20-231-193-TS%2C20-231-321^20-231-321-TS

And I'd rather spend more on the PSU/HD/OD/Case than components. Those are reusable and last between architectures. CPUs/mobos do not.

I would not be getting a SLI AMD mobo. An Asrock 870 extreme3 would be 10$ cheaper, newer chipsets, Sata/USB3, and higher quality. SLI on AMD platforms is kinda dead as the Nforce chipsets are depracated now that Nvidia's chipset team is gone.
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September 28, 2010 9:44:40 PM

Thanks for the combos. So if I use the Asrock, would it be a good idea to get the 5770? I don't really plan to CF/SLI in the near future, but having the option wouldn't hurt.
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September 28, 2010 11:03:12 PM

the 880 is a single x16 slot, the 770 and 870 are 16x/4x, so really aren't good for crossfire anyway.

5770 is solid enough, but a NVidia 460 is better.
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September 29, 2010 12:06:03 AM

Thanks for the info. So this should be it:

Same:
89 CPU AMD Phenom II X3 740BE
10 Thermal Compound Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound
30 Heatsink COOLER MASTER Hyper 212
170 GPU EVGA Nvidia gtx460 768GB

Change:
109 Mobo reverted back to ASRock 870 EXTREME3

135 Case/RAM combo
Lancool PC-K58W/G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

104 HD/PSU combo
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Total:
$647...wow, close to that $650 budget. Any final thoughts? I'd be happy to delay my decision if there's more to say =).
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September 29, 2010 12:52:36 AM

looks good to me.

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September 29, 2010 2:33:43 AM

Thanks everyone for all the help. Well I guess that settles it. I'll order these parts tomorrow. Hopefully I can assemble and let everyone know how it runs. Any last minute advise is welcome. Thanks again!
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September 29, 2010 5:57:27 AM

Looks good, go for it.
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September 29, 2010 12:18:48 PM

Pulling the trigger now. Best answer for the cooling knowledge on the x3 oem processor and for the awesome ASRock mobo. I wish I could give two: those combos helped a ton.
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September 29, 2010 12:19:03 PM

Best answer selected by trybalados.
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