I want to build a budget gaming machine for my son. I have built a few systems in the past, but I am no expert and I am not up to date on current hardware. I chose the AMD Phenom X2 hoping to get lucky with unlocking the other 2 cores.
Please take a look at this build and make suggestions. It comes to $643 before shipping. I would prefer to spend less instead of more money into this system. Thank you for your time and expertise.
I would go with the Athlon II x3 445 3.1GHz CPU instead. That way you still get a solid 3 core even if unlocking fails. The third core seems to help performance alot.
The 870 extreme3's manual says it comes with "4 SATA Data cables" so you should need to buy any.
The WD Black "FALS" is the older, slower model. Get the newer "FAEX" 1TB model or a Samsung F3 500/1TB or seagate 7200.12 500/1TB.
The 5670 is a minimal gaming card that wont handle a standard 1920x1080 monitor well. With that card you will likely be dropping resolution to keep it from being choppy. For not much more money ($140) you can get a 5770 which will play games at medium-very high settings on a 1920x1080 monitor. The 5770 is literally twice as fast as a 5670 so its a much better price/performance option.
Thanks for the quick replies and great advice.
I think I will use 2 of the bundles mosox pointed me to: (ocz ps + samsung f3 hd), and (g.skill ram + antec 300 case). This saves me a few bucks.
I have switched to a sapphire 5770 video card and changed the hard drive as recommended by dndhatcher, and canceled the cables.
I am still considering taking a chance on unlocking the Phenom X2.
I have added an aftermarket cooler since I am considering some modest overclocking.
My revised build looks like this:
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100283VX-2L Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support ...
AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition Callisto 3.2GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Desktop Processor - C3 Revision HDZ555WFGMBOX
ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 64 Pro 92mm Ceramic CPU Cooler
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY 550W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V SLI Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Further comments requested. For instance:
What do you think of my choice of motherboard?
Do I need the aftermarket cooler?
More comments on the Phenom X2 vs. Athlon 2 X3?
Did I select a good video card this time?
The freezer pro is only a 92mm cooler. You can easily fit a good 120mm cooler in. Kingwin 1264 and Coolermaster Hyper 212 plus are the cheapest good models. I dont use stock coolers, they often let the CPU get too hot for my comfort.
The 870 extreme3 got several good reviews.
I have an AthlonIIx3, 5770, Hyper 212, two antec 300 illusions myself and frequently recommend them.