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Have to trim the Budget

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December 21, 2010 5:51:02 PM

My neighbor asked me last night if I could build a gaming machine for his family before Christmas. Given my holiday plans that pretty much limits me to what I can find locally. Fortunately I'm not too far from the Mayfield, OH MicroCenter. (http://www.microcenter.com)

I'm looking to trim about $100 off this system. Any suggestions?

Case: Antec 300 = $49.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 = $229.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit = $109.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200RPM = $69.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

PSU: Corsair 650 = $99.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

ODD: Samsung 22x Burner = $24.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

RAM: Patriot Extreme Gaming Series 6GB = $119.99 (after rebate)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

MOBO: Asus Sabertooth X58 = $199.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

GPU: Gigabyte 1GB GTX 460 = $189.99 (after rebate)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Total is $1154.91

I know they play a bunch of WoW and FPS games. Nothing too special otherwise.

Help! How can I trim this system back?

More about : trim budget

December 21, 2010 6:10:49 PM

Not see how you are going to cut the budget too much with that Intel build...

HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 is a more recommended over the Seagate.

GPU - I have friends playing WOW with a GTS 450 with very good results (Ultra settings). Maybe => http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Open to an AMD build? AMD based rig @ MicroCenter would drop you at least $200...
Phenom X4 955 + Asus M4A87TD => $220
http://www.microcenter.com/specials/promotions/AMDbundl...
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December 21, 2010 7:05:45 PM

It seems I'm right on the Intel/AMD budget border.

MicroCenter is out of the 1TB Samsung F3s. I have to go up to the 2TB or down to the 500GB. I'd rather not.

I swapped the CPU/MOBO for the:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition = $159.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Asus M4A87TD/USB3 Socket AM3 870 ATX = $59.99 (after rebate)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

Since that MOBO is dual channel I also cut the ram from 6gb to 4gb

Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL8 = $79.99
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

I also added Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse combo = $24.99 (after rebate)
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

New total is: $985.80

That leaves room under their $1,200 budget to pick a decent monitor.

Seems like a reasonable build to me. Any additional thoughts?
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December 21, 2010 7:11:29 PM

A wireless mouse and keyboard, especially cheap ones, may introduce unwanted lag into their gaming. Stick to wired peripherals.
You should be able to trim $20-$30 off your RAM costs by getting less exotic RAM.
You don't need a 650W PSU. Something like a 500W Antec Earthwatts would be sufficient.
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December 21, 2010 8:02:49 PM

Onus said:
A wireless mouse and keyboard, especially cheap ones, may introduce unwanted lag into their gaming. Stick to wired peripherals.
You should be able to trim $20-$30 off your RAM costs by getting less exotic RAM.
You don't need a 650W PSU. Something like a 500W Antec Earthwatts would be sufficient.



Good point on the keyboard/mouse. I think that will be a walkaround item. I'm sure they will have something around that I can get cheap.

The only smaller Antec Earthwatts they have is the 380W. I think that's too low for comfort. The only inexpensive choices they have around 500 Watts are OCZ and I've had bad luck with them in the past. (not power supplies specifically but I'd prefer to avoid them) Again, I'll see what's on the shelf when I get there. Maybe I'll see a brand that I trust in the 500W range.

Thanks for your help!
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December 21, 2010 10:01:55 PM

The OCZ ModXtream line has received good competent technical reviews. There are worse choices out there. The 500W ModXtream would probably be safe.
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December 22, 2010 12:39:28 PM

I agree on the amd build. If you wanted, even put the savings into a better video card.
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December 22, 2010 12:41:36 PM

Forgot to say, usually microcenter in st louis runs a deal where you get an amd chip, and get a board for free or a song. Might shave more off.
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December 22, 2010 1:22:28 PM
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