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$500 Light Gaming/HTPC

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November 1, 2010 5:31:21 PM

Hey,
I desperately needed to build a new machine and i have $500 to work with.

BUDGET: $500 CAD
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:CANADA
STORES:NEWEGG.CA
PARTS PREFERENCE: NONE, I HAVE HAVE HAD GOOD EXPERIENCE WITH BOTH NVIDIA AND AMD.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: MOUSE, KEYBOARD, OS
SLI or CROSSFIRE: NO
Overclocking: YES
USES: StarCraft 2 at 1280*1024, bit of video encoding and watching movies
I would prefer a 7200 RPM HDD and a quad-core processor.

Thanks Guys!

More about : 500 light gaming htpc

November 1, 2010 8:57:08 PM

I'll take the 500GB HDD.
Any other suggestions for a COMPLETE build?
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Anonymous
November 1, 2010 9:10:42 PM

I'll have one up in less than an hour, gotta remember to go to Newegg.ca not .us, even though I'm not from either country :p 
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Anonymous
November 1, 2010 10:13:31 PM

I tried to build this as rounded as possible, since I am not sure what you are planning on using this for. It will be quite capable when it comes to gaming (definitely more so than my rig) and should be good for multitasking, encoding, and general use as well.


AMD Athlon II X4 640:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

ASRock M3A770DE:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Corsair XMS 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

PowerColor AX4850:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Lite-On 24X DVD Burner:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500W PSU:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Silverstone Precision Series PS05-B:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

The total is $501.68.

The processor: you wanted a quad core and I wouldn't recommend getting a dual core for most circumstances nowadays anyway. You couldn't really stretch to a Phenom with your budget, so an Athlon will "have to do" (I say that because they're still great CPUs :) )

The motherboard: there's not really any point spending lots on the motherboard if you are in a situation in which it will result in sacrificing other parts. This will be fine for what you need.

The RAM: I started by putting in some faster 1600MHz RAM but that was going to be too expensive, so I stepped down to 1333MHz instead. It's CL8 and Corsair are a great make (in most people's eyes)

The graphics card: I assumed that you'd be playing some games with this, so I tried to get the best card possible without spending too much. This will be fine for most games at medium-high resolutions. We're talking high settings though.

The hard drive: ask anyone and they will recommend this. Fast, quiet, cool and affordable. An SSD in a $500CAD build? I don't think so.

DVD Drive: Burns and reads all formats of CD and DVD at high speed. 'Nuff said.

Power Supply: Cooler Master are reliable, 500W is more than enough for this build and this unit looks like good value for money. I've got the 460W version, no problems at all so far.

Case: swap this out for anything you prefer. I don't particularly like that case to be honest :p 
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November 1, 2010 10:49:07 PM

Anonymous said:
I tried to build this as rounded as possible, since I am not sure what you are planning on using this for. It will be quite capable when it comes to gaming (definitely more so than my rig) and should be good for multitasking, encoding, and general use as well.


AMD Athlon II X4 640:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

ASRock M3A770DE:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Corsair XMS 4GB DDR3 1333MHz RAM:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

PowerColor AX4850:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Lite-On 24X DVD Burner:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500W PSU:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Silverstone Precision Series PS05-B:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

The total is $501.68.

The processor: you wanted a quad core and I wouldn't recommend getting a dual core for most circumstances nowadays anyway. You couldn't really stretch to a Phenom with your budget, so an Athlon will "have to do" (I say that because they're still great CPUs :) )

The motherboard: there's not really any point spending lots on the motherboard if you are in a situation in which it will result in sacrificing other parts. This will be fine for what you need.

The RAM: I started by putting in some faster 1600MHz RAM but that was going to be too expensive, so I stepped down to 1333MHz instead. It's CL8 and Corsair are a great make (in most people's eyes)

The graphics card: I assumed that you'd be playing some games with this, so I tried to get the best card possible without spending too much. This will be fine for most games at medium-high resolutions. We're talking high settings though.

The hard drive: ask anyone and they will recommend this. Fast, quiet, cool and affordable. An SSD in a $500CAD build? I don't think so.

DVD Drive: Burns and reads all formats of CD and DVD at high speed. 'Nuff said.

Power Supply: Cooler Master are reliable, 500W is more than enough for this build and this unit looks like good value for money. I've got the 460W version, no problems at all so far.

Case: swap this out for anything you prefer. I don't particularly like that case to be honest :p 


This is a solid build. however, I would choose the Cooler Master Elite 330 instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And you might want to think about a Radeon HD 5750 or 5770 for DirectX 11 support.
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Anonymous
November 1, 2010 10:56:43 PM

I can vouch for the Elite 330 :p 

Nice solid case, well build, looks nice, and has enough space for most setups. Don't know why I didn't think of it really.

That is true about the DX11 support, but I'm not sure if the OP plays enough games to benefit from it. Plus, they can always upgrade down the line to a 68xx or something if they want more gaming performance.
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November 1, 2010 11:22:41 PM

Thanks guys!
@dangerman200k that build is terrific dude!
Oh, yeah i will be using it for StarCraft 2 at 1280*1024 and watching movies and stuff.
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November 2, 2010 12:14:33 AM

That card will handle that resolution with ease =]
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November 2, 2010 6:47:31 AM

Anonymous said:
I can vouch for the Elite 330 :p 

Nice solid case, well build, looks nice, and has enough space for most setups. Don't know why I didn't think of it really.

That is true about the DX11 support, but I'm not sure if the OP plays enough games to benefit from it. Plus, they can always upgrade down the line to a 68xx or something if they want more gaming performance.


The 5750 is a great HTPC card as well, especially the Silent Cell version by Gigabyte. However, you might want to wait a bit more until the 6770 and 6750 come out. It's up to you. The GT 430 and GTS 450 from nVidia are both very viable options as well.
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November 2, 2010 1:40:41 PM

No, DX11 is not a deciding factor for me. I have NO games that make use of it. Overall i'm looking for price/performance on the grahpics card instaed of features. I dont need PhsX, CUDA, Stream.
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Anonymous
November 2, 2010 4:47:36 PM

You have two processors? ;) 
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November 2, 2010 5:10:38 PM

@malmental
Thanks for the suggestion and how much would that cost
@dangerman200k Bro, i showed you build to my brother and he loves it i just swapped out the PW 4850 fro a XFX. Thanks many times. If i dont get more suggestions you got best answer.
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Anonymous
November 2, 2010 6:17:47 PM

No problem at all :) 

Just a word of warning though, I have heard a lot of people recently complaining about how absolutely terrible XFX's customer support is; someone has emailed XFX saying "I've tried this card in other computers" and they've replied telling them to try it in another system, they just generally seem to be awful and seem unable to admit that their product is at fault. With that said, however, I'm not saying that you will necessarily have problems with the card by any means.

My PSU has had no problems at all and I really like it :) 
Of course, it's completely up to you and your brother what you get, just thought I'd point that out.
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November 2, 2010 6:24:41 PM

That's strange,
I've had good experinces with them.
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Anonymous
November 2, 2010 6:31:21 PM

Then by all means get the XFX card. I'm just pointing out what a couple of friends have said :) 
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Anonymous
November 2, 2010 6:42:28 PM

BFG are but I think XFX are still in, not sure though.
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November 2, 2010 8:40:02 PM

OK, you guys stirred some doubts.......
How bout Saphhire or Asus??
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Anonymous
November 2, 2010 9:02:41 PM

Both fine as far as I'm concerned :D 
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November 2, 2010 9:44:21 PM

XFX stopped making nVidia cards but they're still making great AMD products. Go for either XFX or Sapphire.
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Anonymous
November 2, 2010 9:49:21 PM

Yeah that's it, I couldn't quite remember.

To be honest I would be happy buying from PowerColor, XFX, Sapphire, Asus, MSI, EVGA, and probably a few others that I've forgotten. I haven't bought enough graphics cards to have a favourite.

So I would say you don't need to be too careful with which brand you purchase from; just go with someone you feel comfortable with.
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Anonymous
November 2, 2010 11:16:21 PM

No; I looked on their website :p 
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Anonymous
November 2, 2010 11:21:42 PM

I can vouch for Gainward, even though they don't seem too popular. I've had no problems with my card other than the noise and temperature but pretty much all 8800GTs are the same.
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November 2, 2010 11:25:18 PM

Thanks Dudes, @dangerman200k U got Best answer.

@malmental, your build was phenomenal but too luxurious for my liking.
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November 2, 2010 11:25:40 PM

Best answer selected by plznote.
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Anonymous
November 2, 2010 11:27:09 PM

Thanks for the best answer :) 
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