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Under $300 buget build for first timer

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January 13, 2011 4:27:35 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: 300 or less

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Accounting & tax prep software, web browsing

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: none (just trying to stay away from the really dirt cheap unreliable stuff)

Overclocking: no, want to try to unlock core(s)

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1024x768 or 1280x1024

Additional Comments: looking to build with decent, somewhat newer tech/hardware so it lasts a few years, also have a really old Compaq Presario SR1222NX I could use for parts but figured would be best to start from from scratch.

This is what I have in my newegg shopping cart atm:

Athlon II X3 450 & BIOSTAR A880G+
G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB 7200 RPM
LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner
Rosewill R103A Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with 350W


This will also be my first build so will I need any other things like paste, cables, etc? Done lots of research have half a dozen how to build pages bookmarked. Pretty sure the above parts are all compatible but would like to hear from someone with more experience/knowledge that yes they are. Please point me to better/comparable hardware if you know of any! Thanks!

More about : 300 buget build timer

January 13, 2011 10:20:18 AM

FYI I didn't have good times with biostar. My biostar mobos had short lifetimes. I'm not saying biostar mobos are bad, but I won't use any biostar mobos again.
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January 13, 2011 1:52:38 PM

@ mosox thanks for the input swapped out the HDD you recommended and if I use a single stick would I loose any performance? (swore I read something about dual channel RAM was faster)

@sixthseven yeah I have read mixed reviews about biostar mobos but used it due to the price drop and combo/mir. Any suggestions on a different mobo in the $50 dollar range? (If an extra $25 gets me better quality please point me to something beter!)

Would one of these mobos be better? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-157-215^13-157-215-TS%2C13-130-559^13-130-559-TS%2C13-131-619^13-131-619-TS%2C13-130-254^13-130-254-TS%2C13-153-155^13-153-155-TS

Or should I spend a little more like one of these? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|13-130-293^13-130-293-TS%2C13-128-439^13-128-439-02%23%2C13-131-673^13-131-673-TS%2C13-128-458^13-128-458-TS%2C13-130-295^13-130-295-TS
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January 13, 2011 2:58:11 PM

Dual channel is faster only in benchmarks, not in the real world. Like a few milliseconds or so. But the newer OS can use more than 2GB of RAM so you should keep the second slot available or get a mobo with 4 RAM slots.

Found a combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

LE The thing is the mobo doesn't have DVI, only VGA and HDMI.
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January 13, 2011 4:08:33 PM

Yeah I saw that combo when I got the new email from newegg but building this for my dad as a work computer and trying to stay near 250-300 with everything except OS cause he likes deals.

This is what I have in cart today: 250.94 shipped from newegg before mir

Athlon II X3 450 & BIOSTAR A880G+
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB
Kingston ValueRAM 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
Rosewill R103A Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with 350W

Also saw this CPU/mobo combo for about $50 more: Athlon II X4 635 Propus &ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO
Is this a well spent extra $50 for a guaranteed 4th core and better mobo?

Some quick input and thoughts would be awesome gonna order today I think
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January 13, 2011 6:33:21 PM

Yep the Asus is better than the Biostar. That PSU is not good you should get a decent one.
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January 13, 2011 7:01:54 PM

3rd and 4th core for office work....idle.
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January 13, 2011 7:19:51 PM

Yeah might be overkill but we have 2 dual core PC's we bought the past two years and the old pentium 4's from years back are way to slow. I figured going this route would allow us more than 2 years that most PC's seem to become obsolete and give room for upgrading down the road.
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Best solution

January 13, 2011 7:50:05 PM

I too am no longer comfortable with Biostar mobos, after some unexplained failures. OTOH, ASRock has done well by me, and tend to be lower priced too.
Unless it's an Antec, I can't think of any PSU that comes in a cheap case that is safe to use with a computer. For $45, you can pick up a 380W Antec Earthwatts.
If you get an Athlon II X2 265, you'll have all the performance you're likely to need any time soon for your stated apps, and in a year or so should still be able to pick up more powerful AM3 CPUs if necessary.
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January 14, 2011 1:43:29 PM

Updated build info:

Athlon II X4 635 Propus &ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA
Kingston ValueRAM 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600)
Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Windows 7

Just trying to choose a PSU and looking at these 5: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|17-371-033^17-371-033-TS%2C17-151-072^17-151-072-TS%2C17-139-017^17-139-017-TS%2C17-153-023^17-153-023-TS%2C17-153-113^17-153-113-TS

Thanks for the input and help!
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January 14, 2011 2:49:10 PM

The Seasonic or the Antec Earthwatts.
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January 14, 2011 6:50:09 PM

^+1. The 380W Earthwatts has been my standard "go to" PSU for office and basic home builds for a few years now (earlier 80+ model, and now 80+ bronze "D" model).
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January 14, 2011 9:14:47 PM

Onus said:
^+1. The 380W Earthwatts has been my standard "go to" PSU for office and basic home builds for a few years now (earlier 80+ model, and now 80+ bronze "D" model).

Agree... :) 
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January 15, 2011 1:54:23 AM

Best answer selected by imaurer269.
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January 15, 2011 11:39:55 AM

Thanks. I hope it goes well for you. Please let us know.
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!