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Seeking any advice for my first build in over 10 years

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February 8, 2011 1:58:36 AM

Browsing these forums, looking at the different builds that are popular today, has been a real pleasure. I am blessed to have found this indispensable resource! Now, on with the show!

I built my first PC around 1996 or so. Think it used a Cyrix processor? Went through a few upgrades before being given a PC that lasted for many years. Got into having laptops exclusively, but I feel the need to speed things up a bit. So I've spent the last few months researching my butt off looking for just the right build at just the right price. My goal was set at $700 (US), but I have a little, little bit of room to play. My mouse, keyboard and monitor are pretty new, and I will get a new sound situation later down the road (March!!!).

So this is where I am at. I will use the template suggested then add in the parts that I've shopped out thus far. The combos and prices and super deals seem to change daily, I've noticed.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next few weeks.
Budget Range: $700-$800
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (WoW, some of the war-based FPS games such as CoD, Medal of Honor, etc., single player modes), internet (browsing, streaming videos, etc), amateur photo editing.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Sound
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg is what I've been looking at mostly.
Country of Origin: United States
Parts Preferences: AMD, ATI video
Overclocking: Perhaps, once everything is up and running where I want it to be.
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, on down the road. Not important now, but its good to have that option available.
Additional Comments: I've told friends that I want something shiny and neat looking, lights and such. Plus, I really really want an SSD.

Case: RAIDMAX AZTEC ATX-619WO Black/ Orange 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case $59.99, shipping $16.99

Power Supply: RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-630SS 630W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Modular LED Power Supply $49.98, shipping $5.99

Motherboard: MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard $99.99, free shipping

Processor: AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX. $88.99, free shipping, $12 combo discount with the video card. I was going to go with the Phenom II X4 955 BE, but I've read about unlocking the s00per-secret fourth core in the linked item, and I think that not having L3 cache is more than made up for in the savings. Especially since I don't know what L3 cache is.

Video Card: HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity $129.99, free shipping, $30 mail-in rebate

Memory: Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PGV38G1333ELK. $83.99, free shipping, $20 mail-in rebate. I know I don't necessarily NEED 8 gigs of memory, but might as well get them now, as someday down the road I figure we will all need that much.

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive. $64.99, free shipping, $5 combo discount with the OS. I've seen cheaper, but I've also seen this particular hard drive held in fairly high regard for the budget builds.

DVD Burner: LG Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $16.99, free shipping.

Media Card Reader: Rosewill RCR-IC002 74-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port / Extra silver face plate $15.99, free shipping

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $99.99, free shipping.

SSD: Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $124.99, free shipping.

The math looks to come out around $791.68 with shipping and rebates applied.

A few things before I leave it all up to you folks:

I really wanted a Raidmax Smilodon, and they came with a 500w power supply, but I have been warned off of doing that by a few coworkers. They talked about the PS's that come with cases like that being crap, and they also threw numbers at me and mentioned rails. It looks like this PS covers it all, running the processor and GPU, with some room to spare.

The SSD is something that I would hear some feedback about, but I really don't want to get any more expensive on that particular part.


Okay, thank you in advance.

{edited for url tags}
February 8, 2011 2:16:09 AM

floyd10 said:
Browsing these forums, looking at the different builds that are popular today, has been a real pleasure. I am blessed to have found this indispensable resource! Now, on with the show!

I built my first PC around 1996 or so. Think it used a Cyrix processor? Went through a few upgrades before being given a PC that lasted for many years. Got into having laptops exclusively, but I feel the need to speed things up a bit. So I've spent the last few months researching my butt off looking for just the right build at just the right price. My goal was set at $700 (US), but I have a little, little bit of room to play. My mouse, keyboard and monitor are pretty new, and I will get a new sound situation later down the road (March!!!).

So this is where I am at. I will use the template suggested then add in the parts that I've shopped out thus far. The combos and prices and super deals seem to change daily, I've noticed.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next few weeks.
Budget Range: $700-$800
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (WoW, some of the war-based FPS games such as CoD, Medal of Honor, etc., single player modes), internet (browsing, streaming videos, etc), amateur photo editing.
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Sound
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg is what I've been looking at mostly.
Country of Origin: United States
Parts Preferences: AMD, ATI video
Overclocking: Perhaps, once everything is up and running where I want it to be.
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, on down the road. Not important now, but its good to have that option available.
Additional Comments: I've told friends that I want something shiny and neat looking, lights and such. Plus, I really really want an SSD.

Case: RAIDMAX AZTEC ATX-619WO Black/ Orange 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case $59.99, shipping $16.99

Power Supply: RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-630SS 630W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Modular LED Power Supply $49.98, shipping $5.99

Motherboard: MSI 870A-G54 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard $99.99, free shipping

Processor: AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX455WFGMBOX. $88.99, free shipping, $12 combo discount with the video card. I was going to go with the Phenom II X4 955 BE, but I've read about unlocking the s00per-secret fourth core in the linked item, and I think that not having L3 cache is more than made up for in the savings. Especially since I don't know what L3 cache is.

Video Card: HIS H577FK1GD Radeon HD 5770 (Juniper XT) 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity $129.99, free shipping, $30 mail-in rebate

Memory: Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PGV38G1333ELK. $83.99, free shipping, $20 mail-in rebate. I know I don't necessarily NEED 8 gigs of memory, but might as well get them now, as someday down the road I figure we will all need that much.

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive. $64.99, free shipping, $5 combo discount with the OS. I've seen cheaper, but I've also seen this particular hard drive held in fairly high regard for the budget builds.

DVD Burner: LG Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $16.99, free shipping.

Media Card Reader: Rosewill RCR-IC002 74-in-1 USB 2.0 3.5" Internal Card Reader w/ USB port / Extra silver face plate $15.99, free shipping

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $99.99, free shipping.

SSD: Crucial RealSSD C300 CTFDDAC064MAG-1G1 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $124.99, free shipping.

The math looks to come out around $791.68 with shipping and rebates applied.

A few things before I leave it all up to you folks:

I really wanted a Raidmax Smilodon, and they came with a 500w power supply, but I have been warned off of doing that by a few coworkers. They talked about the PS's that come with cases like that being crap, and they also threw numbers at me and mentioned rails. It looks like this PS covers it all, running the processor and GPU, with some room to spare.

The SSD is something that I would hear some feedback about, but I really don't want to get any more expensive on that particular part.


Okay, thank you in advance.

{edited for url tags}



Will perform well in games with the right settings tweaked.

But yea the Psu included with the case would not be the best for this build due to a high probability of failure and/or possibly damaging your other componets if it were to malfunction in some way.

The SSD Drive is best used either as a boot drive for super fast booting or higher performance in games and load times. Though not neccsary for a build it would go 1 step further in "Future proofing" your system

Looks Great to me and nice build :D 
February 8, 2011 2:47:26 AM

A couple of thoughts:

The 64 GB C300 SSD doesn't really offer much improved performance over SATA II SSDs. It's a different story with the 256 GB drive, but you could get a OCZ Vertex 2 for $5 less or $20 less after MIR.

Ideally, you get an efficient (80+ certified) PSU with Active PFC. The Raidmax PSU you have selected has neither. For $15 more, you could get an 80+ Bronze Antec TruePower 550W PSU ($70 + free shipping). For $70 up front ($55 after MIR), this OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W is a decent bargain choice as well.

You don't mention what resolution you plan on gaming at. The 5770 is a decent card for lower resolutions (1680x1050 & below), but it is a generation old now...if you can afford a slightly more expensive card, it should be worth the investment. You might consider a 6850 for $180 + free shipping ($160 after MIR). Alternatively, some of the GTX 460 1 GB cards are plenty powerful and a little less expensive.

If you really want the Raidmax Smilodon, you could certainly get it. They're on sale for $70-$80 right now with free shipping and a $10 MIR. That makes it less expensive than the one you picked out that you don't like as much. Another popular case in that price range is the Antec 300 Illusion, $70 and free shipping.

For a budget, I think the AMD X3 is a decent choice, and you can always upgrade later. There is a new AMD line coming out later in the year, and Intel just introduced their new line, so if you don't absolutely need a new computer right now, you could consider saving for a little longer. However, if you want/need a computer, now is a perfectly fine time to buy.
Related resources
February 8, 2011 5:25:10 AM

Quote:
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (WoW, some of the war-based FPS games such as CoD, Medal of Honor, etc., single player modes), internet (browsing, streaming videos, etc), amateur photo editing.


I'd rather hold off the SSD and hit a 955BE and at least a 768M GTX 460 to be honest :p 
February 8, 2011 2:02:33 PM

A psu is the last place you want to go cheap on.
Stick with a quality unit, like Corsair, Antec, PC P&C, Seasonic, or XFX to name a few.

How much power you need is determined by the graphics card. the 5770 does not need much; 450w ans one 6 pin power connector.
If your objective is gaming, spend a bit more on the graphics card, particularly if you will be gaming at 1080P or greater.
Something like a 6850 which would want a 500w unit.
It is hard to beat this XFX 650w unit at $65 after rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cases with 80mm cooling are noisy and inefficient. You want the equivalent of two 120mm intake or output fans in gaming case.
If you love the looks, or whatever, then OK. But, if you want a great case at a reasonable price, look at the Antec 300 illusion model:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Sound cards today are not necessary to reduce cpu usage, like they were 10 years ago. Motherboard sound is very good. You will probably not want to get one, even later.
!