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Check My Answers, please!

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October 15, 2010 3:20:22 AM

Hi all,

I haven't built a computer from the ground up since around 2003, and have been out of the tech game pretty much ever since--my last rig was a laptop purchase from Dell in '07, where I begrudgingly sacrificed my DIY tendencies for simplicity. It served me well ever since, but it's starting to grind down and fall apart on me, and frankly I'm ready for a full overhaul anyways.

My budget is just about $500 excluding mouse, keyboard, monitor; I based this test system off of the recent budget gamer SBM with a few tweaks which may or may not have been for the best. Please let me know if this should work, if I'm overlooking an obvious flaw in my design, or if there are better, cheaper options I haven't discovered yet!

Thanks in advance.

Mobo: ASUS M4A785 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz - I understand this mobo/processor combo is easily "unlocked" to a Phenom?
RAM: Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800
Vid: SAPPHIRE 100284L Radeon HD 5750 1GB
PS: COOLER MASTER Elite 460 - same as in the SBM
HD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM Slight upgrade from the SBM
DVD: SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD From the SBM
Case: Rosewill Blackbone From the SBM

Total Price is $494.92. I wonder if the 460W power supply will be able to handle the "upgraded" parts, or if there's any compatibility issues I'm overlooking.

Thanks again for any help!

-Jack

More about : check answers

October 15, 2010 3:41:23 AM

460W is plenty.

I will say don't ever count on a chip to unlock. It really shouldn't be a factor in decision making.
October 15, 2010 3:44:28 AM

go with a different motherboard and ram.

something like this and these. This way you'll have ddr3 ram and a more "future-proof" board
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October 15, 2010 5:14:15 AM

Alright, looks like I can get that mobo and RAM for just a tiny bit more... am I still looking okay with regards to compatibility everywhere else? I'm seeing an AM3 socket on the board and an AM3 processor; DDR3 RAM @1333 with support on the board; a PCIe 2.0 vid card with support on the board... anything else?

The only thing that scares me about the alternate motherboard is the lack of onboard video as a backup. I suppose it's not necessary, just a nice failsafe.

I'm coming off a Geforce 8600mx w/ 4gb DDR2 and a Core 2 duo @ 2ghz, so I imagine that even with all the corners I'm cutting, performance will be markedly improved?

Thanks for the replies, guys!
October 15, 2010 11:01:21 AM

$442AR for the far superior $$/frames investment? The 790GX chipset also has HD3300 'back-up' IGP :p 
October 15, 2010 2:03:36 PM

Vertigo79 said:
Alright, looks like I can get that mobo and RAM for just a tiny bit more... am I still looking okay with regards to compatibility everywhere else? I'm seeing an AM3 socket on the board and an AM3 processor; DDR3 RAM @1333 with support on the board; a PCIe 2.0 vid card with support on the board... anything else?

The only thing that scares me about the alternate motherboard is the lack of onboard video as a backup. I suppose it's not necessary, just a nice failsafe.

I'm coming off a Geforce 8600mx w/ 4gb DDR2 and a Core 2 duo @ 2ghz, so I imagine that even with all the corners I'm cutting, performance will be markedly improved?

Thanks for the replies, guys!

Yup, everything is compatible. And unless you're going to crossfire, the one pci-e 2.0 is enough. Sapphire makes quality cards, so you really don't need to worry about a backup. As batuchka posted, you can switch out the 5750 for a gtx 460 if you prefer nvidia to ati. Personally, I prefer ati on both a cost/performance and energy efficiency/heat produced basis.
October 15, 2010 8:34:48 PM

As far as performance is concerned the 460 beats the 5750 hands down.
October 15, 2010 11:08:11 PM

Whew. Thanks for the input guys! I'm seeing more and more options the more I keep looking, getting in over my head. Funny how quickly a $500 system and turn into a $1000 system if you don't know when to close the Newegg tabs.

I was always an nVidia guy "back in the day," but I figure in 7-8 years things may have changed a lot. Aren't ATI and AMD the same company now? Can you anticipate better compatibility because of that? Is my fear of incompatibility just a relic of older times when every mobo / processor / vid card combo needed to be extensively researched, and things are more universal these days?
October 16, 2010 2:45:45 AM

Nope as long as mobo has a PCIex16 slot there is no such thing these days as 'playing well' with certain GPUs A s said for the same $$ the GTX 460 makes a mockery of a HD 5750
!