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A $600-700 Budget Gaming PC

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December 17, 2010 12:57:02 AM

Hi, I am looking to build my first PC this Christmas, and I got the early Christmas money from my parent's. They are flying ... :ange:  But anyway, with my saving I got about 700 to spend on a PC! ($740 if I have to... I can just eat cup noodles from my house instead of making sandwiches) These $40 is for spending on food... but I can live without premium sandwiches if I really need to. :lol:  The introduction is a bit random... Sorry.

I never build a PC myself, and I did some search, I come across this post
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/300636-31-awesome-bui...
I saw a respond from "mianmars"

Quote:
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz (79$)
MOBO: ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 (94$)
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (59$)
GPU: HIS H685F1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit (184$)
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache SATA II (54$)
PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W 80+ (69$)
DVD: ASUS 24X SATA (19$)
CASE: RAIDMAX Tornado ATX-238WU Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower (39$


I think this is a pretty nice build? I read a few post around my price range and I couldn't find a more recent one. The other one I found is great, but the combos are all expired :sweat:  So I used this one as my template.

Only changes is I want this case instead (I like black...)
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It seems pretty nice, but I wonder what parts I can change for better quality/ or better upgrade path? I play starcraft 2 a lot, I play on the 24inch LCD. I wonder what adjustment is good?

http://img839.imageshack.us/i/computerf.png

Right now my total is ~540. I can spend a slightly more if needed, (600-700) :D 
Or a complete new build is fine too if someone can direct me to one. :hello: 
There are many great build and set up, but they used combo and the deals were no longer there...
I use this compute mostly for starcraft 2 and some movies, and music.
I have the mouse, keyboard, and a copy of window Vista from school!
Just need the other parts, thank you very much.

Trilice

More about : 600 700 budget gaming

December 17, 2010 2:18:46 AM

CPU: Athlon 640 $100
Motherboard: AsRock 870 Extreme $95
GPU: Powercolor 6870 $230
Case: HAF 912 $60
Optical: LG DVD Burner $19
Hard Drive: Samsung F3 1TB $55
PSU/Memory: Corsair CMPSU-650TX+OCZ Reaper HPC Edition 2x2GB 1600 Combo $140

Total: $699
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December 17, 2010 3:14:14 AM

Ok, here you go:

CPU: Athlon 640 $100
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-770T-USB3 $70 (and then a $10 rebate on top of that equals $60)
GPU: PowerColor 6870 $230 + $8 shipping = $238 (minus another $30 in rebates)
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1TB 6Gb/s (much faster than the Samsung you picked) $90
Optical Drive: ASUS DVD Burner (DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS) $17
Memory: A-DATA 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333
PSU: Antec Earthwatts EA650 $70
Case: Can I convince you to give up the Antec? There are some other excellent options around for much less (and they're still black :)  )...

NZXT Gamma Classic Series (I love this one, even if it's not jet black) 40 + 10 shipping = $50
Rosewill Blackbone (just did a build with this one and it's actually really nice) 40 + 5 shipping = $45
Xclio Godspeed Two (haven't used this, but looks good) 35 + 20 shipping = $55
COOLER MASTER Elite RC-310-BWN1-GP (fantastic case, but has some blue on the front :D  ) 40 + 10 shipping = $50

If we figure $50 total for the case, then you're looking at about $680 before rebates, and then $640 after rebates (all Newegg prices) for an awesome, reliable build. I personally recommend that no matter what you do, you ditch the AsRock motherboard, since it's not as reliable as a higher-end ASUS or Gigabyte IMHO.

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December 17, 2010 3:24:12 AM

I went with the Asrock 870 board b/c of the ability to crossfire in the future even if it is 8x8. It may not be the name brand that Asus or Gigabyte are but it's not bad quality

Also that motherboard doesn't support 6Gb/s so the hard drive you picked wouldn't be used to its full potential
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December 17, 2010 3:25:56 AM

Oops, forgot to put the price tag on the RAM. The A-DATA set is $43. I picked it because it's $17 cheaper than the G.SKILL set, and it's unlikely that you'd notice a big difference between the 1333 and 1600 RAM unless you're planning on overclocking. But the G.SKILL is still a fine option if you like (I use it). Also, just a thought, but you *may* be better off with a high-end dual core than the entry-level quad that I suggested. Unless you're doing multi-thread intensive stuff like video editing, you're probably going to see more up-front performance from a higher-clocked dual with more cache. You can get one of the top-end AMD Phenom II Black Edition dual cores for the same $100. Or, you could get a better quad... your pick.
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December 17, 2010 3:31:46 AM

jasonh8806 said:
I went with the Asrock 870 board b/c of the ability to crossfire in the future even if it is 8x8. It may not be the name brand that Asus or Gigabyte are but it's not bad quality



I agree, you can do much worse in the quality department. I just figure that Crossfire is such a pain in terms of noise and power consumption IMHO, and you don't get a two-fold performance increase. Plus, it can be hard to find the same card at a reasonable price in a couple years when you want to upgrade. From my own Crossfire experience, I would think get a better mobo, best single-card setup you can afford, and then sell the card and drop in a new one down the line if you need a performance boost. Just my two cents :) 
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December 17, 2010 3:37:40 AM

thepcphysician said:
I agree, you can do much worse in the quality department. I just figure that Crossfire is such a pain in terms of noise and power consumption IMHO, and you don't get a two-fold performance increase. Plus, it can be hard to find the same card at a reasonable price in a couple years when you want to upgrade. From my own Crossfire experience, I would think get a better mobo, best single-card setup you can afford, and then sell the card and drop in a new one down the line if you need a performance boost. Just my two cents :) 



That's definitely a good philosophy I was just making one suggestion :D 
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December 17, 2010 5:47:20 AM



Just curious, why pick that set of RAM over the otherwise identical DDR3 1600 set at the same price? Do you think the better timings would fully compensate for the bandwidth deficit?
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Anonymous
December 17, 2010 6:06:40 AM

that ram has cas latency 7
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December 17, 2010 6:26:35 AM

Quote:
that ram has cas latency 7


I'm no expert on timings. Does having 2 cycles less in terms of CAS latency translate to superior performance versus higher clocked RAM? I always figure the higher clocked RAM was better, since you have more OC potential and can downclock and tighten up the timings. Am I wrong?
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December 17, 2010 9:49:56 AM

thepcphysician said:
Ok, here you go:

CPU: Athlon 640 $100
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-770T-USB3 $70 (and then a $10 rebate on top of that equals $60)
GPU: PowerColor 6870 $230 + $8 shipping = $238 (minus another $30 in rebates)
Hard Drive: Western Digital 1TB 6Gb/s (much faster than the Samsung you picked) $90
Optical Drive: ASUS DVD Burner (DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS) $17
Memory: A-DATA 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333
PSU: Antec Earthwatts EA650 $70
Case: Can I convince you to give up the Antec? There are some other excellent options around for much less (and they're still black :)  )...

NZXT Gamma Classic Series (I love this one, even if it's not jet black) 40 + 10 shipping = $50
Rosewill Blackbone (just did a build with this one and it's actually really nice) 40 + 5 shipping = $45
Xclio Godspeed Two (haven't used this, but looks good) 35 + 20 shipping = $55
COOLER MASTER Elite RC-310-BWN1-GP (fantastic case, but has some blue on the front :D  ) 40 + 10 shipping = $50

If we figure $50 total for the case, then you're looking at about $680 before rebates, and then $640 after rebates (all Newegg prices) for an awesome, reliable build. I personally recommend that no matter what you do, you ditch the AsRock motherboard, since it's not as reliable as a higher-end ASUS or Gigabyte IMHO.


Thank you, that's exactly the kind of suggests I am looking for. That build from the post seems to be stretching out every single cent for the money. I understand his attention, but I am looking for quality, I don't mind spending a little bit more if it is more reliable. I picked Antec case only because I saw one before... if you think it is better to pick from your list, I will then... pick. "Rosewill Blackbone"? :hello:  I like a regular shape, haha. I am strange.

This is prefect, I think that would be my list. Thank you thepcphysician. :bounce: 

Trilice
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December 17, 2010 9:54:00 AM

jasonh8806 said:
I went with the Asrock 870 board b/c of the ability to crossfire in the future even if it is 8x8. It may not be the name brand that Asus or Gigabyte are but it's not bad quality

Also that motherboard doesn't support 6Gb/s so the hard drive you picked wouldn't be used to its full potential


Thank you for your respond, can you please point out which mother board will support that kind of hard drive? While still work with the rest of the component? I think I love the idea of thepcphysician's philosophy, but I am lazy to sell it on the ebay... which setting will be ideal if I can afford to spend on another graphics card after around 2 years? Or... my two years, it will be better just take out the one I am having now and buy another faster single card? I think in 2 years, I will spend another 200 dollars on my machine. :wahoo:  The machine seems to improve so fast, I am not sure which is a better way to go... what do you think?

Trilice
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December 17, 2010 10:12:35 AM

You could go for a 5850 or a 5870. Because it seems the 6850 delivers less performance than the high end HD 5000 series.
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December 17, 2010 3:21:32 PM

trilice1989 said:
Thank you, that's exactly the kind of suggests I am looking for. That build from the post seems to be stretching out every single cent for the money. I understand his attention, but I am looking for quality, I don't mind spending a little bit more if it is more reliable. I picked Antec case only because I saw one before... if you think it is better to pick from your list, I will then... pick. "Rosewill Blackbone"? :hello:  I like a regular shape, haha. I am strange.

This is prefect, I think that would be my list. Thank you thepcphysician. :bounce: 

Trilice



No problem, Trilice. :) 

Jasonh8806 was correct, the motherboard I put on my list doesn't actually support 6Gb/s SATA, so the hard drive I picked out for you would not give you a performance boost - my bad, must have been too tired to post last night :sleep:  . Instead, go with the $95 ga-870a-ud3 model. It's still a Gigabyte board, so it will be very reliable, and it has a terrific feature set, with tons of ports AND 6Gb/s SATA. You can see it here:



As for the Blackbone, it's just a weird name; the case actually looks very normal! I like it because it is inexpensive and has lots of ports on the front panel (4 USB, audio, and eSATA). You can see it here:



Of course, if you don't like that one, any other one of the cases I listed should work fine too.

If you want to get a board with Crssfire, that's your call. Personally, I have found Crossfire to be nothing but a huge pain to deal with. Back when I built my rig, I figured I'd go the Crossfire route. So I spent extra an a high quality motherboard with Crossfire support, and put in a single 4870, which was one of the best cards out at the time. Then, a year later, I decided I wanted a graphical boost, so I went to buy a second card. One of the caveats about Crossfire is that you have to use a card from the same series, and you can't really use a worse card than the one you already had, because it will slow down the faster one. So I got another 4870, for $40 more than I paid for the original one - the prices on out-of-production hardware go up before they go down. Anyway, after I installed the new card, I didn't see a HUGE improvement. Adding another card does not translate to 2 times the power - some games use Crossfire really well, others pretty much not at all. Plus, ATI's driver situation is really bad with Crossfire, and lots of graphics updates slow down or even break Crossfire support. And the second card puts out more heat and more noise, and sucks more power, too.

Sorry if I bored you with my rant - bottom line is that Crossfire isn't worth it IMHO. I personally would get the best single card you can afford right now, and if you need more power, upgrade it down the road.

As for the guy suggesting you get the 5870, he is correct in that it barely edges out the 6870 on the performance side. That said, the Powercolor 6870 I recommended is significantly cheaper. Plus, the 6800 series is a newer architecture - if I were you, I'd stick with that, since the performance difference between the two is negligible.
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December 17, 2010 3:40:35 PM

thepcphysician said:
No problem, Trilice. :) 

Jasonh8806 was correct, the motherboard I put on my list doesn't actually support 6Gb/s SATA, so the hard drive I picked out for you would not give you a performance boost - my bad, must have been too tired to post last night :sleep:  . Instead, go with the $95 ga-870a-ud3 model. It's still a Gigabyte board, so it will be very reliable, and it has a terrific feature set, with tons of ports AND 6Gb/s SATA. You can see it here:



As for the Blackbone, it's just a weird name; the case actually looks very normal! I like it because it is inexpensive and has lots of ports on the front panel (4 USB, audio, and eSATA). You can see it here:



Of course, if you don't like that one, any other one of the cases I listed should work fine too.

If you want to get a board with Crssfire, that's your call. Personally, I have found Crossfire to be nothing but a huge pain to deal with. Back when I built my rig, I figured I'd go the Crossfire route. So I spent extra an a high quality motherboard with Crossfire support, and put in a single 4870, which was one of the best cards out at the time. Then, a year later, I decided I wanted a graphical boost, so I went to buy a second card. One of the caveats about Crossfire is that you have to use a card from the same series, and you can't really use a worse card than the one you already had, because it will slow down the faster one. So I got another 4870, for $40 more than I paid for the original one - the prices on out-of-production hardware go up before they go down. Anyway, after I installed the new card, I didn't see a HUGE improvement. Adding another card does not translate to 2 times the power - some games use Crossfire really well, others pretty much not at all. Plus, ATI's driver situation is really bad with Crossfire, and lots of graphics updates slow down or even break Crossfire support. And the second card puts out more heat and more noise, and sucks more power, too.

Sorry if I bored you with my rant - bottom line is that Crossfire isn't worth it IMHO. I personally would get the best single card you can afford right now, and if you need more power, upgrade it down the road.

As for the guy suggesting you get the 5870, he is correct in that it barely edges out the 6870 on the performance side. That said, the Powercolor 6870 I recommended is significantly cheaper. Plus, the 6800 series is a newer architecture - if I were you, I'd stick with that, since the performance difference between the two is negligible.



+1 to this suggestion. I don't disagree that the Gigabyte board would be better quality I was just pointing out that the AsRock has gotten good reviews and has crossfire support. If that isn't something that you want to do then I would go with the better name also. I will have to disagree about the 6870 being on par with the 5870. The 6870 is closer to the 5850. You can get the Sapphire 5870 for 280 (250 after rebate)
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December 17, 2010 4:40:27 PM

http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/wiki/ATI_Radeon_68...
Quote:
Conclusions

The Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 are both excellent cards, and offer an amazing price/performance ratio. In my testing, the Radeon HD 6870 offered approximately 95% of the performance of the Radeon HD 5870, for 64% of the price - all with lower heat, noise and power.

The Radeon HD 6850 performed offered approximately 85% of the performance of the Radeon HD 5870, for 48% of ther price. The HD 6850 vs. HD 5850 comparison held ot that of the 6870/5870 - 95% of the power for 64% of the price.


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December 17, 2010 5:05:34 PM

Unless you can nab a HD 5.8k GPU on the (dirt) cheap no point for fresh builds to linger with them and move on to HD 6.8k ^^
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December 17, 2010 5:09:29 PM

I prefer ASRock boards, having never had a problem with any I've used. Asus is also good. Gigabyte is a distant third, as I've had a few problems, including a premature death. I have no recent experience with MSI; I believe they used to suck (hard), but I'm inclined to believe they've improved enough that I'd try one.
Take a look at this month's $500 SBM and the discussion following it; you don't have to spend a lot to get a competent gamer. With another $200 available to you, plenty of tweaking is possible. A stronger CPU, video card, and PSU are all within reach, or maybe you'd prefer to add a SSD.
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December 17, 2010 5:11:06 PM

Haha - i cannot believe the nonsensical $1000 SBM config this time around and i can't blame those posters lambasting it lol
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December 17, 2010 5:35:32 PM

I would say that 250 after rebates for a 5870 is a very good price. It is still a DX11 card. They didn't make any huge changes between the two series cards except refining the 5000 series in the 6000 series. I would say that the 5870 will definitely give you better FPS over a 6870. I understand wanting to stay with the most current set of cards but the 5000 series was excellent and the price is too good to pass it up.

Also the 6800s made huge advances in scaling which makes them superior in crossfire but since the OP doesn't want to CF the 5870 would be the best choice if it fits in his budget
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December 17, 2010 6:24:38 PM

Oh well I guess I'm voted off the island... haha. I was just thinking in terms of the most performance that he can afford with one card since he will not be crossfiring. Either way will play well. :bounce: 
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December 17, 2010 6:31:48 PM

jasonh8806 said:
Oh well I guess I'm voted off the island... haha. I was just thinking in terms of the most performance that he can afford with one card since he will not be crossfiring. Either way will play well. :bounce: 



Agreed, you can't go wrong with either. :) 
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December 17, 2010 7:10:54 PM

Going back to your original post, the only thing i would really change is the processor to the recommended Athlon 640 quad core. Everything else looks good. I like that ASRock board because it supports USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s. Additionally, it has the option to crossfire later if he decides to. If he goes with nvidia, then he can take advantage of physx later. More options are never bad. The antec PSU is good too. I would then decide EXACTLY how much you want to spend and sink the rest of your available funds into a graphics card. be it the 6850, 6870 or a gtx 460 or 470.
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December 17, 2010 7:25:56 PM

+1@jedi940. Sounds reasonable.
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December 18, 2010 1:06:06 AM

Thank you everyone, there are so many options out there. I now can understand why building computer is so much fun. And the people on this forum are really awesome.

Here is my final list, if there are no errors I will buy them tomorrow morning. I just want to see if I make errors on picking up the parts. I changed the CPU to the X4. And got the mother board and the graphics card as well. Just out of curious, that graphic cards has two displayport 1.2, are these the ones connecting to the apple LED displays? I think if I understand correctly, they use "mini-display" ports. I thought currently only the apple laptops can use it. Does this mean this computer I am building can use the Apple's LED displays? Not that I would... because they quite overpriced. :hello: 

Here is my list again, thank you very much for all the helps.

DVD Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
Case: Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel
On the other note, thepcphysician, I am convinced, that case actually look better than the one I liked before, what do I know. :kaola:  This one looks really good and the reviews are very good too!
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB
Motherboard: ASRock 870 EXTREME3
GPU: PowerColor AX6870
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W
Ram: A-DATA 4GB
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4

Am I missing anything? Thank you once again.

Trilice
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December 18, 2010 1:08:48 AM

jedi940 said:
Going back to your original post, the only thing i would really change is the processor to the recommended Athlon 640 quad core. Everything else looks good. I like that ASRock board because it supports USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s. Additionally, it has the option to crossfire later if he decides to. If he goes with nvidia, then he can take advantage of physx later. More options are never bad. The antec PSU is good too. I would then decide EXACTLY how much you want to spend and sink the rest of your available funds into a graphics card. be it the 6850, 6870 or a gtx 460 or 470.


I have about $250-290 left, after the CPU changed to X4! I think I am convinced a single card is more newbie friendly :lol: 
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December 18, 2010 1:10:27 AM

trilice1989 said:
Thank you everyone, there are so many options out there. I now can understand why building computer is so much fun. And the people on this forum are really awesome.

Here is my final list, if there are no errors I will buy them tomorrow morning. I just want to see if I make errors on picking up the parts. I changed the CPU to the X4. And got the mother board and the graphics card as well. Just out of curious, that graphic cards has two displayport 1.2, are these the ones connecting to the apple LED displays? I think if I understand correctly, they use "mini-display" ports. I thought currently only the apple laptops can use it. Does this mean this computer I am building can use the Apple's LED displays? Not that I would... because they quite overpriced. :hello: 

Here is my list again, thank you very much for all the helps.

DVD Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
Case: Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB
Motherboard: ASRock 870 EXTREME3
GPU: PowerColor AX6870
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W
Ram: A-DATA 4GB
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4

Am I missing anything? Thank you once again.

Trilice



Doesn't look like you're missing anything. Have fun building and tweaking it... oh and gaming lol :D 
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December 18, 2010 1:11:01 AM

Good choices. Let's not niggle it to death. Have fun with your build!
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December 18, 2010 1:13:36 AM

Best answer selected by trilice1989.
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December 18, 2010 1:17:31 AM

Thank you all the nice people on this forum, they are on their way to my home.

thepcphysician - for the initial suggestion and the great suggestion on the case, as well as the graphics card. Thank you for putting so much time and being so nice to explain your thoughts on the pick and the comment about them as well. They are really thoughtful and nice, I enjoy reading them very much. It is like reading toms hardware DIY build, but a 1 to 1 session. Many many thanks to you!
jasonh8806 - comment on the motherboard and really really awesome avatar, i love watching office... i admit I hated the first few eps, but now I am addicted to it, and Dwight is definitely my favorite character. But I feel I am getting really off topic here... thanks!
batuchka - for the the chart, though i don't quite understand it well... yet.
jedi940 - for the X4 CPU, I think a little more CPU will be good
jtt283 - for reminding not to be too worry about the parts, or else I will keep bugging you guys

and other people i might have missed, thank you very much guys. You guys are really nice people, you guys rocks :) 

Trilice
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December 18, 2010 1:44:51 AM

You are welcome. Now comes the worst part of building a computer - the waiting. While newegg is very quick, these will be the slowest days of your life. Especially with the weekend coming up. Do check the email specials right now. Newegg seems to be releasing a new add daily. Make sure there aren't any deals on the parts you are ordering. Also, Newegg is very quick at shipping. Since it is Friday, you may want to wait will Monday morning to order and check the specials then too. I ordered a computer on Sunday evening this week and Monday was the day they offered a $100 gift card for buying $500 or more. I quickly cancelled the order Monday morning and reordered to take advantage of the special and my order shipped 2 hours later. Just a suggestion.

Good luck building :) 

P.S. If you have any problems putting it all together, just let us know. We are happy to help.
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December 18, 2010 1:52:56 AM

trilice1989 said:
Thank you all the nice people on this forum, they are on their way to my home.

thepcphysician - for the initial suggestion and the great suggestion on the case, as well as the graphics card. Thank you for putting so much time and being so nice to explain your thoughts on the pick and the comment about them as well. They are really thoughtful and nice, I enjoy reading them very much. It is like reading toms hardware DIY build, but a 1 to 1 session. Many many thanks to you!
jasonh8806 - comment on the motherboard and really really awesome avatar, i love watching office... i admit I hated the first few eps, but now I am addicted to it, and Dwight is definitely my favorite character. But I feel I am getting really off topic here... thanks!
batuchka - for the the chart, though i don't quite understand it well... yet.
jedi940 - for the X4 CPU, I think a little more CPU will be good
jtt283 - for reminding not to be too worry about the parts, or else I will keep bugging you guys

and other people i might have missed, thank you very much guys. You guys are really nice people, you guys rocks :) 

Trilice


No problem, Trilice, happy to help. You can also PM me if you have other questions down the road... first build is always interesting.

I'm still a fan of this board...

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

...and if you haven't finalized the order yet, I do recommend you look at it - it has the same feature set as the AsRock, but it should be more reliable for $5 more. The AsRock is a good board too, though, so don't sweat it.

Have fun, and good luck.
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December 18, 2010 2:39:04 AM

I do agree that the Gigabyte board might be more reliable. The things it doesn't have that the ASRock does is x8/x8 crossfire and the core unlock feature. Now the second one isn't a problem with the 640 but the Gigabyte board does eliminate crossfire options. Personally, I just bought the GA-890GPA-UD3H. It does have crossfire at x8/x8 but is quite a bit more. $135. If you definitely don't want to do crossfire, then the gigabyte board might be a better choice.
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February 24, 2012 8:22:37 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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