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First Build Ever: Ultra Budget Gaming

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=13-130-293

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=N82E16819103699
(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=N82E16814125327

RAM:
$80 OCZ Gold 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227583

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=N82E16822152181

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=N82E16811144229


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.
24 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Great price on the X3

    Id spend a bit more on a better motherboard

    ASUS M4A87TD EVO AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131647

    has the better 850 South Bridge chip , and that might be the difference between future upgrades and not

    If you need the on board gfx then
    M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3
    http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=umllTHNRm4IGqnbL&templete=2
    but I cant see it listed on Newegg
  2. 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=N82E16813131646
    It's just 10 bucks more.
    I don't think I'll need the onboard gfx though. What could I do with it?
  3. There are some very good reviews online of the ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-m4a88tdv-evousb3-review/
    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
  4. Best answer
    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=N82E16835103065


    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=N82E16813157198
  5. 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=N82E16835103065


    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=N82E16813157198



    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 .
  6. ASRock 870 EXTREME3 (link above)
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303
    Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W + Antec TWO HUNDRED
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.492926
    AMD Athlon II X4 640 + GIGABYTE GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.494184

    It's $664.93 but you get a free $15.99 USB flash drive. :)
  7. 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?ItemList=Combo.492974
    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.
  8. why did you go for that processor instead of the x3 445 which is cheaper.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103872

    any reason you went for the gigabyte 5770 specifically? you could save a bit of money by going with HIS, Biostar or sapphire.

    from the money saved from the processor, you could get the superior gtx 460 aswell.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130562
  9. 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.
  10. You're spending too much on the case/PSU IMO and too little on the video card.

    Here's a good cheaper case but the Antec 200 is also good:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147153
  11. if you could overclock and take advantage of the L3 cache then yes the 740BE would be better.

    you could also get a x2 555 BE which can be unlocked to 4 cores for the same price (with a free t-shirt lol).

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103846&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Processors+-+Desktops-_-AMD-_-19103846

    you could also get an x4 630 for the same price.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103703&cm_re=x4-_-19-103-703-_-Product
  12. the 555s tend NOT to unlock, though, only about 50% unlock, and those tha unlock, 67% or so get only 1 extra core
  13. 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?ItemList=Combo.492932

    170 GPU Nvidia gtx460 768GB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130562

    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=N82E16813131637


    Total:
    $662


    Btw, I feel like this build process could keep going and going. Yawn. =)
  14. 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.
  15. You should definitely get either of these ram kits instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006519%2050008476%2040000147%20600006127%20600006156%20600000279&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&CompareItemList=147|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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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?ItemList=Combo.492939

    104 HD/PSU combo
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB
    OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.492759


    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 =).
  19. looks good to me.
  20. 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!
  21. Looks good, go for it.
  22. 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.
  23. Best answer selected by trybalados.
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