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Ultra-Budget AM3 Build

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November 19, 2010 3:41:27 AM

So I'm attempting my first PC build. I've been researching and researching, trying to find good parts for the cheapest I can. This is what I've come up with:

CASE: Cooler Master Elite 310 -- $27 (free shipping)

MOBO: Biostar MCP6P3 -- $26.99 (+$9.99 shipping)

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 245 -- $49.99 (+$.99 shipping)

RAM: Super Talent 2GB DDR2-800 -- $33.48 (+1.49 shipping)

PSU: Eagle Voltas 600 watt -- $26.99 (+6.24 shipping)

HDD: [Already have a 500GB 7200PM, so this isn't needed]

ODD: [I've already got a disc drive and I download the majority of my programs, so isn't needed]

GPU: Radeon HD 4850 -- $55.00 (+$12.00 shipping)

COOLER: Corsair H50 -- $40.00 (+13.50 shipping, willing to exclude this because I'll only be doing a little bit of overclocking)

TOTAL: $295.93 ($242.43 without Corsair H50)

So what do you guys think? I was thinking about going for a GTS 250, but I found this 4850 for a bit cheaper.

My budget will be around $500, but I'd like to leave a bit extra for future upgrades (looking at you, GTX 470).

More about : ultra budget am3 build

November 19, 2010 3:47:32 AM

I also forgot, this will be running Windows XP for the time being. I plan on upgrading to Windows 7 after some more cash comes in.

Also, I'll mostly be playing Mass Effect 2, L4D2, Crysis, Mirror's Edge, and a couple of MMOs like Vindictus, AVA, APB: Reloaded (it's going F2P now), FFXIV when it improves, and hopefully TERA Online and Blade & Soul when they release.

All will be played on DX9 at 1280x1024 until I get Windows 7 and a better monitor.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2010 4:01:00 AM

sartorius said:
So I'm attempting my first PC build. I've been researching and researching, trying to find good parts for the cheapest I can. This is what I've come up with:
MOBO: Biostar MCP6P3 -- $26.99 (+$9.99 shipping)

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 245 -- $49.99 (+$.99 shipping)

RAM: Super Talent 2GB DDR2-800 -- $33.48 (+1.49 shipping)

PSU: Eagle Voltas 600 watt -- $26.99 (+6.24 shipping)

GPU: Radeon HD 4850 -- $55.00 (+$12.00 shipping)


TOTAL: $295.93 ($242.43 without Corsair H50)

So what do you guys think? I was thinking about going for a GTS 250, but I found this 4850 for a bit cheaper.

My budget will be around $500, but I'd like to leave a bit extra for future upgrades (looking at you, GTX 470).


No to mobo

- i would rate any of these chipsets

740G
690G
GF 7XXX
NForce 6xx

far inferior than any entry level AM2+ out in 2008 due to

a. HT Limitation when paired with any AM2+/AM3 chip
b. Still stuck on PCIex16 gen 1.0/1.1, true AM2+ had migrated to PCIe gen 2.0 as of 2008

Gigabyte NForce 630a
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3497#ov
Quote:
* If you install AMD AM3 CPU on this motherboard, the system bus speed will downgrade from HT3.0 (5200MT/s) to HT1.0 (2000 MT/s) spec; however, the frequency of AM3 CPU will not be impacted. Please refer "CPU Support List" for more information.


MSI 740GTM-P23
http://www.msi.com/index.php?func=proddesc&maincat_no=1&cat2_no=171&prod_no=1917
Quote:

Hyper Transport Bus

• HyperTransport 1.0 supporting speed up to 1000MT/s

Slots

• 1 PCI Express x16 slot with x16 operation (PCI Express Bus SPEC V1.0 compliant)



Fresh builds go AM3/DDR3

Eagle PSU + HD 4850 sounds like a disaster waiting to happen :lol: 
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2010 4:01:52 AM

$433AR with Win 7 included less HDD/ODD since u have on hand hehe
November 19, 2010 4:38:38 AM

batuchka said:
Fresh builds go AM3/DDR3

Eagle PSU + HD 4850 sounds like a disaster waiting to happen :lol: 


Misinformation on my part.. I was so busy looking at the price that I didn't even realize that board was that bad. I'll try to look for a better mobo, but I want to keep the ram. For everything I'll be doing (mostly gaming and writing papers) the DDR3 performance gains over DDR2 would be marginal, especially in the games.

And are Eagle PSUs that bad? I'm willing to go for an Earthwatts or a Corsair if it really could end up as disastrous as you say.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2010 5:41:07 AM

Ermm... I think that although the H50 is good, but I don't think you need it plus its kind of a lot considering your budget, it's not even at quiet. I think you should consider the Hyper 212+, 25$ plus free shipping on Amazon.com. The best thing, it's 25$ cheaper than your H50 since total its 55$ basically.

Hyper 212+ Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=s9_simh...

Hyper 212+ review: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Great performance, and expect greater performance on a cooler Rana. BTW I agree with Batuchka in everything but one spot. The mobo I think you should go with something with USB 3, with it going mainstream soon and all. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you have a friend at Microsoft he/she can pick up Win7 Home Prem. At the microsoft store for 30 bucks.
November 19, 2010 11:05:15 AM

aznshinobi said:
Ermm... I think that although the H50 is good, but I don't think you need it plus its kind of a lot considering your budget, it's not even at quiet. I think you should consider the Hyper 212+, 25$ plus free shipping on Amazon.com. The best thing, it's 25$ cheaper than your H50 since total its 55$ basically.

Hyper 212+ Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=s9_simh...

Hyper 212+ review: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Great performance, and expect greater performance on a cooler Rana. BTW I agree with Batuchka in everything but one spot. The mobo I think you should go with something with USB 3, with it going mainstream soon and all. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you have a friend at Microsoft he/she can pick up Win7 Home Prem. At the microsoft store for 30 bucks.
Okay, I'll drop the H50 since that Hyper 212+ looks very promising, but still I hardly use USB other than for syncing my iPod to iTunes or rarely copying games between computers.

What do you think about this motherboard instead?

BIOSTAR A770E3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2010 1:09:56 PM

Ummm It's up to you, I'm personally not a fan of Biostar but that's just me, I find them to be hit and miss but sometimes they hit it right on =P So it's your choice
November 19, 2010 3:14:57 PM

Ahh okay.

Well I won't even be able to build this until January, so by then I'm sure to find way better deals.

On an unrelated note, nobody else in this forum wants to give their opinion on this?
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 19, 2010 9:29:50 PM

Well if you can't build it till January. Then I suggest you wait longer since Bulldozer is coming out, AMD's newest lineup. Which is like a lot better than the current gen.
November 20, 2010 7:09:06 PM

aznshinobi said:
Well if you can't build it till January. Then I suggest you wait longer since Bulldozer is coming out, AMD's newest lineup. Which is like a lot better than the current gen.

Only thing is, Bulldozer isn't coming out until like Q2, which is a bit away. Even then, it's their 8 core Zambezi coming out, and 6 and 4 core won't be until Q3.

I'm looking best bang for my buck to build as soon as possible, and by the time those come out I could possibly get a Phenom X6 1055t and an HD 5850 for very cheap.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 20, 2010 7:48:29 PM

It's not like that's UNBEARABLE. I mean for the performance you'll get expect like a 2x from the current gen. Since the strongest chip in the lineup is expected to be up at the i7 performance level. No chip of AMD's current lineups even get to that performance.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2010 12:07:09 AM

Is it just me, or are you guys seriously advising somebody to save money by buying Biostar on one hand and a totally unnecessary aftermarket cooler on the other?

@ OP - Azin & Mal are right. Wait up a little if you can. If you can't, then drop the idea of any aftermarket cooler. You'll never need it, much less H2O!!

Get an Asus, Giga, MSI with the saved money. For budget PSU's, look at the Basiq range from Antec, or the Stallion series from Rosewill. A good 450 Watt unit will cost you something in the vicinity of $40. Or get the CM elite 310 with a PSU for $60. They're always plenty good - any day ahead of Eagle/Biostar.

The rest of Batuchka's build looks decent enough for the price. Just one thing though - If you're on a budget, you can save a hundred bucks by getting your OS for free.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2010 1:41:16 AM

Well the H50 is a good cooler, But I don't even consider it real water cooling. Basiq from Antec kind of sucks.... I think that a good budget PSU is the Seasonic 520w which is 60$ and the Cooler Master Silent Pro 600w for 70$.
November 21, 2010 9:46:18 PM

The main reason I chose Biostar was because I may need some the extra money for books and supplies (freshman in college).

I DID have my eye on a Gigabyte board, the GA-M68MT-D3, before coming up with this build:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And maybe this Cooler Master PSU, as I've been hearing good things about it:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm also thinking about bumping up to a Rana or maybe a 620 Propus. Definitely dropping the idea of an aftermarket cooler for now.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2010 10:07:17 PM

Why would you get that mobo that is a terrible chipset, and an old one. The Nvidia chipsets suck for AMD straightup. I'm telling you if you go with that board you'll regret it with the probs that'll come up. And that's suprising you heard good things about the CM Extreme series. The Extreme series was the downfall of CM psu's the Silent Pro series was the revival. The Extreme series from what I hear, breaks down fast and is very inconsistent.

So I suggest going with Asrock Extreme3 770. That's a 70$ board ATX and is a great future proofer. Has USB 3 and SATA 6. I think you shouldn't drop the Hyper 212+, it's only 25$ keep it and go for a Rana 445. Great combo.
November 21, 2010 10:21:01 PM

Wow I'm way more uneducated over this subject than I thought...

So I should get the Asrock Extreme3 770 for $70, a CM Silent Pro 600 watt for $70, a 445 Rana for $73, and the Hyper 212+ for $25. Okay.

I really need to go total all of this..
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 21, 2010 10:33:20 PM

Yeah... That's what I'm saying at least.
November 21, 2010 11:32:46 PM

What about an OCZ ModXStream Pro 500 watt? I've found one for $50 and a 440 Rana for $40. It's just a 100 mhz difference between the two Ranas, or is there something else that I don't know about either of these?
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 1:00:55 AM

A rana 440 is good too, the only difference is the stepping, the 445 is an updated rana that runs with the C3 stepping, the 440 is the old C2. The difference is the C2 is hotter (a bit) and doesn't OC as well as the C3's. So if that's something your going to worry about get the 445. But if not the 440 is fine. They both OC the same anyways. The 500w ModXstream I don't trust but that's because i never trusted OCZ psus.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 4:12:24 AM

OCZ PSU's are plenty good in the budget range. Get a $50 OCZ Fatal1ty 550W or a $30 COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus 500W if you want a quality, inexpensive 500 Watt one from a reputable brand.

Also, if you can afford it, the Athlon II X3 450 is gonna be all the CPU you'll ever need for all your requirements and then some. In any case, an Athlon 245 that you originally stated will prolly bottleneck a future GPU upgrade/xfire.

And drop the idea of a quad. You'll never need one, much less a hexa-core :ouch:  for gaming. Those are specialized CPU's meant for specialized multi-threaded apps that perform better with multiple threads - and gaming ain't one of 'em. Games of today aren't even optimized for 3 cores anyways. Fast Intel dual-core or AMD tri-cores tend not to bottleneck any mainstream GPU in the market today.

Motherboard - Get the Asrock 770. That's by far the best option at your price range. If you want to xfire that GPU in the future, an ASRock 870 EXTREME3 will be a slightly better option, but will come at a price. You can stick to the 770 if you want to.

Finally, you've got enough good suggestions from the forum members as it is. The more you ponder, the more likely you are to get confused. It can seem a bit overwhelming, what with so many choices and all, but the following list will do alright for a budget AMD build that you originally wrote about -

CPU- Athlon II X3 450

Mobo- Asrock 770 Extreme3 or, if you wanna keep the Xfire option open, the $100 ASRock 870 EXTREME3

RAM- A-DATA Gaming Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) - dont bother about getting CL7. The extra 20-30 bucks are just not worth it in the real world if you're on a budget.

HDD- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB

GPU- depending on your resolution and budget - SAPPHIRE 100283L Radeon HD 5770 with free 8GB Flash Drive.

PSU- OCZ Fatal1ty 550W

ODD- Sony Optiarc from Batuchka's link.

Case- Whatever suits your fancy and fits your budget. Just get an ATX spec mid-sizer. The Elite 310 in your original link is a fantastic value-for-money offering. I use the orange one with my i7 build. So can vouch for it. Never liked spending necessarily on fancy cases instead of putting my money into the build itself :) 

Try to get combo deals with the same or similar components for a very decent gaming system at your price point.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 4:24:31 AM

Lol Hunk, did you read any of the posts above before posting? I mean we kind of went over the mobo ram and cpu. o.o
a b B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 4:34:27 AM

@ azn, yes, as a matter of fact I did. That's why I wrote "you've got enough good advise from the members". But seeing as he was having difficulty deciding, presented with so many choices from so many quarters, I decided to put it all together for him in one post.

And by the way, it's bad advise when you ask somebody to get the 440 when the 450 (200 Mhz faster) can be had for only 3 dollars extra.

Also, I didn't see a single mention of Overclocking in any post, yet you're saddling him with a totally unnecessary aftermarket cooler!

I have seen your previous posts on other threads, azn. You just look to pick up fights and do nothing else. I really hope you're a child in your early to mid-teens, coz that's how you behave on this forum. If you're any older, then I think you need a shrink for your anti-social tendencies.
November 22, 2010 4:51:47 AM

calguyhunk said:
@ azn, yes, as a matter of fact I did. That's why I wrote "you've got enough good advise from the members". But seeing as he was having difficulty deciding, presented with so many choices from so many quarters, I decided to put it all together for him in one post.

And by the way, it's bad advise when you ask somebody to get the 440 when the 450 (200 Mhz faster) can be had for only 3 dollars extra.

Also, I didn't see a single mention of Overclocking in any post, yet you're saddling him with a totally unnecessary aftermarket cooler!

I have seen your previous posts on other threads, azn. You just look to pick up fights and do nothing else. I really hope you're a child in your early to mid-teens, coz that's how you behave on this forum. If you're any older, then I think you need a shrink for your anti-social tendencies.

Actually, I did mention it (first post at the COOLER line), but only a little overclocking unless it's possible to get some pretty good results without screwing anything up.

Come on guys, don't flame this up, PLEASE. I'm loving all the different options out there. I'm just not so much confused at the many options as I am intrigued at all the opinions on this hardware.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 5:01:45 AM

Lol ok cal whatever you say. If you like to look above. He said that the 440 was cheaper. In which he could get it for 40$. Just saying.
November 22, 2010 11:37:22 PM

calguyhunk said:
The Elite 310 in your original link is a fantastic value-for-money offering. I use the orange one with my i7 build. So can vouch for it. Never liked spending necessarily on fancy cases instead of putting my money into the build itself.

Cal, how well do you think this case would fit a dual GPU card like the 9800gx2, 4870x2, or the 5970? I probably won't end up buying any of these (I MIGHT try for one if I can find a low price or bid on eBay), but it'd be nice to have the option just in case.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 22, 2010 11:55:21 PM

If you can find em cheap the CM Scout or the 922 or the 912 all are interesting budget case builds. The Scout I can vouch for the case. It's a great case and will fit those cards easy.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2010 12:24:20 AM

The 5970 is not gonna fit either the 310 or the 912. You'll need at least the 922 for that. That monstrous GPU needs something around 22" long depending on how the hard drive bays are laid out.

The 4870 should not be a problem.
November 23, 2010 1:12:37 AM

The Cooler Master 430 is long enough from what I've been reading around the net. I'm really considering that now after looking at the dimensions: 19.30" x 7.50" x 16.70" L x W x H. Plus, it's only ~$50 on Newegg, which means I can most likely find it much cheaper elsewhere.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2010 1:15:35 AM

sartorius said:
only a little overclocking unless it's possible to get some pretty good results without screwing anything up.
It is possible to generate pretty decent clocks even on stock. You can also try unlocking a core to turn your tri-core into a quad ('try' being the operative word). But that'll hamper higher clock speed generation.

You'll get enough listings on the web (FSB+DRAM combos) for your particular set-up. Just look-up for either OC'ing or core-unlocking guides.

Of course, anything more than 10-15% increase in clock rates will require you to invest in a nice after-market cooler. Air will be plenty good. Forget 'bout the H50/70 for the moment.

But you do realize, that OC'ing might reduce the longevity of your system a bit? So go for it if performance and not longevity is your criteria number one.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2010 1:19:05 AM

Well for cooler get the Hyper 212+, as for unlocking here ya go. http://www.overclock.net/amd-cpus/535501-amd-phenom-ii-...

As for case, the scout is 80$ =P sadly. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hyper 212+ review: http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
Hyper 212+: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002G1YPH0/ref=s9_simh...

The longevity shouldn't decrease by THAT much. A minor OC won't decrease the life by a lot. The only time your chip will die out fast is if you change the voltages really high. Like above 1.49 or 1.5 ish.
November 23, 2010 1:51:35 AM

Well, after scouring around a little more I found a Titan TWC-A88/AB for $72.99. It's a full tower that comes with a liquid cooling system with monitors and everything. Only problem is that it's been discontinued.

Newegg link (for info and reviews on case): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=11-168-...

Actual buy link: http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=TWC-A88-AB-2&ca...

Now this is definitely overkill and probably a risk, but I actually find it interesting that there's a case like that going for much less than half of what it should cost.

And about the overclocking, if I get this case I could more than likely get great results. I've considered unlocking the fourth core on a 4** Rana, but I'd much rather have the stability and higher OC limit, just in case I ever want to see how far I can push it.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2010 3:05:06 AM

^ That doesn't have water cooling... It may say it is a water case but is just a case. You have to buy the rads separately, water cooling isn't that simple....

EDIT: Never mind lol according to the site it does, but I wouldn't trust the cheap stuff.... It could leak and that'll cost even more.
November 23, 2010 3:23:24 AM

EDIT: There's always that problem to consider, but at the same time I could probably just install my own setup or remove that one.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2010 3:42:30 AM

Oh ok, then why go with that case haha? Just get a case with more space in it, meaning more fan slots so you can fit the rad, pumps, etc. I recommend this spacious mid tower.

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=RC-690-KKN1-GP-...

or the scout I said before.

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=SGC-2000-KKN1-G...

I can vouch for the scout. Beautiful case, built my dads build with it. Silent stock cooling. As for the CM-690 lots of good things about the case.
November 23, 2010 3:56:30 AM

aznshinobi said:
Oh ok, then why go with that case haha? Just get a case with more space in it, meaning more fan slots so you can fit the rad, pumps, etc. I recommend this spacious mid tower.

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=RC-690-KKN1-GP-...

or the scout I said before.

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=SGC-2000-KKN1-G...

I can vouch for the scout. Beautiful case, built my dads build with it. Silent stock cooling. As for the CM-690 lots of good things about the case.

Going with the Titan could possibly mean more and better accessible overclocking (if I'm lucky, at least). I was thinking about the CM Scout for a while before you posted, but I didn't even think to check out that 690.

For the most part, I want the extra space for a possible multi-GPU setup or a dual GPU card, like one 9800GX2 build I came up with for $444.45 with using the Titan and an X3 425.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2010 4:13:34 AM

Umm with the 690 and Scout I can vouch it'll fit. The 690, I've seen up close. It looks bigger than my 902 when I just straight up looked at it. Soo the 690 or Scout (since I have scout) will work. But... I'm not sure it'll fit in the Titan.
November 23, 2010 4:27:12 AM

Well, the Titan is quite a bit bigger than the 690, so I'm pretty sure it'll fit.

EDIT: I could go with the 690 and pay $28 less, but then I'd lose that built in WC which could possibly come in handy for cooling the GX2.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2010 6:33:13 AM

Alrighty then, GL! Hope the case works out.
November 23, 2010 11:19:22 AM

I'm surprised that none of you are commenting on the GX2. Would it be worth it? Would it be smarter to build with a GTX 460 768mb for just five dollars or a 1GB for $20 more? I can't find enough comparisons of these cards, especially due to how old and underpurchased the 9800GX2 is.

EDIT: For the time being, I'm leaning more towards the GTX 460 1GB (preferably the MSI Hawk 460--possibly great OC potential). I just saw one overclocked that scored a little under 3k points LESS than a GTX 480 on 3DMark Vantage for well under half the price (going for about $200 on ebay). At stock the Hawk is around HD 5850 performance. I think I may just spend 50 more dollars and go for that one.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2010 9:12:49 PM

Oh ok go to the 460, lol I thought you HAD the 9800GX2 already. Ma bad. Go for the Hawk. If you don't go for the hawk. Go for the MSI 460GTX Cyclone 768mb.
November 23, 2010 9:57:22 PM

So, do you guys think the Hawk's price premium over the other 460s is worth it? I keep reading it's an overclocking beast, but I want to know if the performance increase from stock would actually be noticeable or significant.

Also, if it's possible OC a cheaper 460 to Hawk levels without having to do anything drastic, then someone let me know.

I'd rather get a 1GB over a 768mb because of the cut-down performance on the latter.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2010 10:01:07 PM

Well OCing the Hawk is a beast that's for sure. But 1gb and 768mb have no effect really. The 768mb is just as good. The Cyclone is proof of that. But if you have money to spend and you can get the Hawk. Do it. I recommend it, temps will be low and OC's high.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/GTX_460_HAWK/31....

Refer to that ^
a b B Homebuilt system
November 23, 2010 11:18:51 PM

With the 1GB version costing just a few bucks more, it makes more sense to go with the 1GB version IMO - 768MB vs 1GB.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 24, 2010 6:38:22 AM

I don't trust em, but that's just me. I also think you shouldn't cheap out on a PSU. It's a key part in a system in a sense. The CM Extreme had a lot of problems (from what I've heard) I think you should look for some other choices. Apevia's psu's haven't got a lot attention. I think you should look at this PSU, 20$ more than your extreme choice, but a solid PSU.

Seasonic S12II 520: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b B Homebuilt system
November 24, 2010 11:21:45 PM

It's really difficult to know 'bout every conceivable brand there is. There are just so many. I haven't used Apevia in any of my builds before, so the question of liking/disliking the brand doesn't arise as far as I'm concerned.

The best 550Watt unit for the price is prolly the $45 OCZ Fatal1ty 550W
November 24, 2010 11:57:10 PM

Another question:

Suppose I'm able to buy a 460 1GB, along with that supplementary 450 watt PSU (it's modular and fits in a 5.25" bay, all for $29.99) I posted before, right now. My current PC is an Optiplex GX620 with a Pentium D 945 3.2GHZ, an HD 4550, and 2GB DDR2. Do you guys think I should buy these two components to keep me by until I'm able to build the rest of the system, or just wait and buy it all together?

It's all gonna be coming together eventually, and with the games I play CPU bottlenecks haven't been all that noticeable with the exception of L4D2 (frame drops when dealing with massive hordes).
!