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First Time Build - Mainly for Games

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December 9, 2010 10:07:14 PM

Hi everyone, I’m about ready start ordering for my very first home-built computer. It would be primarily for web browsing, the occasional movie and games. I’d like to be able to play something like Crysis or Left 4 Dead 2. However, I don’t need a million frames per second. I can live with 30 FPS. I do not do video or photo editing/encoding, and I don’t have any plans to overclock or SLI/Crossfire. This would be my first build, so I don’t want to make it explode.

I've picked out the following components:
Cooler Master Elite RC-310-BWN1-GP ATX Mid Tower Case - $39.99
CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W - $79.99 (+$20 MIR)
Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition + GIGABYTE GA-880GMA-UD2H AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - $214.98
Zotac GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 768 MB video card - $149.99 (+ $20 MIR)
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) - $99.99
SAMSUNG F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM Hard Drive - $69.99
Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner SATA Model - OEM - $19.99
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit - OEM - $99.99
HP S2031 20" Diagonal HD Ready Widescreen LCD Monitor - $109.19

A couple of questions:

Will a 550W power supply be enough? I’ve seen online calculators that say I should have at least 650 watts.
Is it overkill to get 8 GB rather than 4 GB?
Is that the correct version of Windows? What if I have to replace a part?
Will all of these parts work together?

Thank you

More about : time build games

December 9, 2010 10:44:56 PM

that 550 W will be fine for a GTX 460.

overall its a solid build. 8 GB won't make any difference in game FPS, but some games might see fewer artifacts or texture errors. Very slight. But at that price, its good enough.
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December 9, 2010 10:53:18 PM

Looks good to me.
I think 550 will be just fine, I believe the min for the 460 is 500watts.
You don't need 8GB of RAM 4GB is enough but for 100.00 I wouldn't pass it up. I guess the cost of RAM has dropped?? Seems like just a few weeks ago 4GB of RAM
was 100$
The OS is fine. I don't see anything that your missing. There are always different options. Like the video card, I would buy a 460, but would try to get a 1GB version. I'm not real sure about the Zotac brand. I have never had one. I would try to find an Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA in 768mb if the 1GB is too many $$$ more for your budget. Also, the MB is mATX. My preference is ATX, but lots of guys use the smaller mATX and there is nothing wrong with them. In fact for a mATX board that one looks excellent with 2 X PCIe lanes and 16GB RAM supported.
Look at the VC though OK
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December 10, 2010 3:18:30 AM

g048989h said:
Looks good to me.
I think 550 will be just fine, I believe the min for the 460 is 500watts.
You don't need 8GB of RAM 4GB is enough but for 100.00 I wouldn't pass it up. I guess the cost of RAM has dropped?? Seems like just a few weeks ago 4GB of RAM
was 100$
The OS is fine. I don't see anything that your missing. There are always different options. Like the video card, I would buy a 460, but would try to get a 1GB version. I'm not real sure about the Zotac brand. I have never had one. I would try to find an Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, EVGA in 768mb if the 1GB is too many $$$ more for your budget. Also, the MB is mATX. My preference is ATX, but lots of guys use the smaller mATX and there is nothing wrong with them. In fact for a mATX board that one looks excellent with 2 X PCIe lanes and 16GB RAM supported.
Look at the VC though OK


Thanks for your input. Someone pointed out the CPU / motherboard combo to me, so that's why it's there. The case says it supports micro ATX, so it should be okay, right? I've never installed a motherboard before.

And what is VC?
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December 10, 2010 5:37:28 AM

Yes the Motherboard will fit fine. The board is smaller in physical size than an ATX. Almost all cases support the mATX platform board. Not all cases support the ATX boards though. If you were buying a mATX case the case would be smaller and would then require a mATX board. Lots of people buy mATX boards into ATX cases. The case manufacturers make the cases to fit both unless the case is specifically listed as a mATX case. Sorry about the short hand, VC is video card.
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Anonymous
December 10, 2010 9:05:12 AM

Hey You could Go For The Ati Radeon 6850
They scale better than the GTX 570 in Crossfire
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December 10, 2010 12:32:03 PM

Nice build. If you have another $25 or so, the only change I'd make is to get a 1GB version of the GTX460. The extra memory isn't such a big deal, but the data path will be 256bits wide instead of 192.
Otherwise, I'm not going to nitpick it to death. Have fun!
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December 11, 2010 2:09:51 AM

Hi folks, in an effort to save money, I've decided to skimp on the processor and leave a little room for the future. I'm thinking that a weak(ish) processor can still perform very well with a good video card.
Please don't take this as me ignoring your advice. I'm just excited about the prospect of being able to upgrade in the next couple of years.

Please let me know if these parts will work together or if I'm cutting too many corners. I'm going to get the video card (probably GTX 460) later and will be looking at monitors this weekend.

Cooler Master Case - $40
Athlon II X2 260 - $69
GIGABYTE GA-880GA-UD3H AM3 AMD 880G - $110 (with $10 rebate)
Samsung SpinPoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB SATA2 - $51
Sony DVD Drive - $20
Antec NEO ECO 520C 520W - $55 (with $15 rebate)
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1333 - $100
Win 7 Home Premium 64 bit - $100
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December 11, 2010 3:05:15 AM

I think you've weakened the CPU a bit much. For games, I don't think you want anything less than an Athlon II X3 450.
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Anonymous
December 11, 2010 3:46:52 AM

go for the athlon x4 640 and skimp the ram to 4 Gb DDR3 which costs just 50$
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December 11, 2010 4:39:46 AM

Onus said:
I think you've weakened the CPU a bit much. For games, I don't think you want anything less than an Athlon II X3 450.


I thought that the X2 260 performed similarly to the x3 450 in most games? No overclocking for me.

Also, I was under the impression that a cheap CPU would work just fine with a decent video card like the GTX 460.
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December 11, 2010 6:01:23 AM

Based on the budget above w/o OS + monitor heres what i came up with for you

CPU: Athlon 450 $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: Askrock 890GM PRO3 $100 w/S&H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.skill ripjaws 4gb $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: EVGA GTX 460 1gb 256bit $180 or $160 w/MIR

HD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500gb or 1tb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$55 if your not going to store much and maybe upgrade later
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$70

PSU: Corsair 650tx $80 w/ promo code = $70 w/ MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD BURNER: Sony Optiarc $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE:
NZXT GAMMA CLASSIC $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NZXT Vulcan $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Case really up to you u can try find one that already comes with fans

total AMIR w/o case $560
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Anonymous
December 11, 2010 6:56:10 AM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Amd Athlon 640 3.0 GHZ + Asus M4a79XTD EVO 190$ AR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Msi GTX 460 Cyclone 1 GB 256 bit GPU + Antec 650W PSU 240$ AR

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
G-Skill 2*2 GB 1600 MHZ Ram 60$

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB 70$

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler Master Elite 430 50$

Total with Sony Optaric Dvd Writer 630$



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December 11, 2010 1:08:01 PM

I think the OP had a good original build. If trimming cost without losing too much performance is the goal, then drop the CPU to the Athlon II X3 445: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $78, lower the HDD to this 320GB Samsung F4 for $43: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... and get this ASRock M3A770DE mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $60. Get only 4GB of RAM.

Edit: IMHO, that leaves two ways to go on the video card; either get a mere HD5670 for around $80 like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... with specific plans to upgrade it later when money is available, OR if the other cost-cutting has allowed, get the 1GB GTX460 like http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for $160 ($140 if you play the rebate game and win).

Finally, for $65 get this Seasonic 520W 80+ bronze PSU, which unlike the Neo Eco, comes with a power cord. As a first time builder, you'll need one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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December 11, 2010 6:55:36 PM

I'd swear those CPUs were priced further apart this morning when I looked; maybe I was still asleep?
I didn't think the F3 trimmed enough, if that was the goal. It is the faster drive though.
I've not seen the Corsair Builder series reviewed. Considering it isn't even 80+ when some of their competitors are 80+ bronze, I'd skip it. I suspect they're relying on their reputation to get people to buy that one; we'll see how far that gets them. Hopefully HardwareSecrets or Jonnyguru will review them soon.
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December 11, 2010 7:39:49 PM

Nobody likes the Athlon II X2 260?

What's wrong with it?

What about the Phenom II X2 555?
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December 11, 2010 7:45:23 PM

Games use more than 2 cores.

Article back in October of 20 popular games had an average of 2.75 cores.
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December 11, 2010 9:08:19 PM

Onus said:
Finally, for $65 get this Seasonic 520W 80+ bronze PSU, which unlike the Neo Eco, comes with a power cord. As a first time builder, you'll need one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Is this just the power cord that goes from the PSU to the wall? Can I just use one that I have from my old Dell computer? I'd imagine that they would fit together, but I don't know if that will start a fire or something.

Thanks
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December 12, 2010 12:20:32 AM

probably the old one will work
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December 12, 2010 2:01:36 AM

Well, if you have an old Dell power cord, it should work.
Most games use only two cores, but more are using three or more, plus there's the OS and background tasks. Some time ago Tom's did an article "How many cores do you need?" or something like that, and in various benchmarks, three cores was a lot better than two.
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