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Low Budget Build, Price for Performance Advice

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September 28, 2010 5:53:50 AM

Hey all, I'm looking for some advice on an extremely low budget system I'm building.

Some things to take note: I've already got a Monitor, OS, DVD Drive, and GPU.

The monitor will be running at 1280 x 1024 resolution. The GPU is a 9800 GTX+.

I'm trying to keep the price as low as possible, while still maintaining high performance. Additionally, I would like the components to be upgradable.


Here's what I've come up with so far:

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

BIOSTAR MCP6P3 AM3 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 / nForce 430 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

$101

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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OCZ Special Ops Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Mode

OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ700MXSP 700W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC ...

$104 (After Rebates)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

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

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

$65 (with digital coupon code)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


Total price: $270 (AR)

I have searched sooo many combo deals in an attempt to find the LOWEST possible prices with the BEST possible performance. I am aware that the selected Motherboard only supports DDR3 1333 and that I am looking to purchase DDR3 1600. I am also aware that my selected mobo does not allow for the unlocking of additional cores. Now, with that in mind, would it be to my benefit to try and fit in a mobo that supports higher ram frequencies and allows for core unlocking? Am I better off just getting a Quad Core for a similar price ? Perhaps a Dual? There is a combo deal for the same CPU with a superior MOBO:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

However, it bumps up the price an additional $28 (due to shipping). I'm wondering if it would it be worth the extra $30 for the DDR3 1600 compatibility and the potential to unlock that fourth core on the Rana.

Anyway, I'd like any feedback whatsoever in regards to this build. What do you think of these components at these prices? Should I maybe wait until October to see what new combos turn up? Should I grab these deals while I can?

Thanks for reading.
September 28, 2010 6:49:32 AM

^ Frankly the above deals have been available @newegg for a long time, also I would suggest the 785G mobo as it supports the 6-Core, hence more upgradeable...
You can save money going with the OCZ 500W IMO, I doubt you would need 700W PSU, also that one doesnt perform as good as the lower powered ones...

Off late, the OCZ RAMs didnt get much support from the public because of their flaky performance, but that OCZ seems to have decent reviews though...

And CASE + HDD combo ? Can you apply coupons along with combos, I have seen people saying otherwise...
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September 28, 2010 7:44:11 AM

Hmm, thank you for the input. I wasn't aware that the coupon codes didn't apply to combo deals, thanks for pointing that out! Thats pretty unfortunate, because that would have been a fantastic deal.

I may be better off just getting that HDD solo and waiting for a decent mid tower case to go on sale for $20. Could possibly save me $20 in the long run, I guess. The included fans on the rosewill destroyer are quite appealing though.

You raise a good point about the 700W PSU, though, upon checking out the same combo deal with the 500W PSU, it only saves $10 (after rebates of course). I figure for an extra $10 the 200W increase is warranted. Plus, wouldn't a 700W ups allow for future upgrades (say I wanted to crossfire, sli down the road).

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September 28, 2010 8:13:54 AM

^ Like I said, that 700W doesnt perform as good as other lower powered OCZs, but for say maybe HD 5770 it would be fine, but for SLI I would say max GTS 450 SLI with it...
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September 28, 2010 8:27:41 PM

Of the two you list, the second mobo is by far the better. The ancient 6150 only has the slower 1000MHz hypertransport.
Take a look at the two $60 ASRock AM3 mobos, especially the M3A770DE: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for its eSATA ports, 4 RAM slots, and a second PCIE 2.0 slot. It runs at x4 rather than x16, so you wouldn't use it for Crossfire, but you could stick a PhysX card there if needed for those few games which will use it.
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