Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Seeking advice on $800-900 build

Last response: in Systems
February 11, 2011 6:45:29 PM

Hi everybody. I've read the forums here and shopped around at and until my head is spinning! Finally have pieced together a possible build and am seeking advice on if this is reasonable, if there are better options, etc. I've never built my own machine before, but have poked around a bit installing cards, hard drives, etc. I think with a step-by-step guide I can manage this.

I think it is amazing that people here are so willing to offer their expertise, so thank you in advance.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP (within a month)

Budget Range: $800-900

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (mostly WoW, but want the option of playing newer games), web browsing, some video streaming (i.e. Netflix)

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, sound card, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (there is one nearby, but I'm open to others)

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: AMD processor, open on the rest

Overclocking: Not likely

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1680 x 1050 (current - am open to higher!)

Additional Comments: If there are any pieces or supplies I haven't included, please let me know. I want a decent computer that will last me a few years and won't be completely outdated the minute I turn it on. :) 

Thermaltake Element G Black Gaming Tower Case - $119.99

MSI 870A-G54 Socket AM3 870 ATX Motherboard - $104.99 ($84.99 after rebate)

AMD Phenom II x4 965 black edition - $149.99

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200rpm SATA HD - $44.99

Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3-1600 - $99.99 ($79.99 after rebate)

OCZ Technology ModXStream Pro 600W ATX power supply - $69.99 ($49.99 after rebate)

Sapphire 100315L Radeon HD 6850 - $194.99 ($179.99 after rebate)

LG GH22NS50 SATA DVD drive - $17.99

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - $109.99

February 11, 2011 7:22:57 PM

Hello Hobbitt;
If this was your first attempt at putting together a system parts like - you did really good.
That Thermaltake Element G price is a real bargain. But it's also a pretty good chunk of your budget too. If you're willing to consider case alternatives you can trip the cost of a case about 50%. Some examples:
Antec Three Hundred Illusion $70 & free shipping or NZXT M59 $60 w/ free shipping and $15 rebate NZXT M59 review
@ MicroCenter Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Case Pickup an extra case fan @ MC. V3 Black Edition Case Review

Maybe a CPU cooler to go along with the rest of the parts? CM Hyper 212 Plus (fits in the V3 case)

Have you found an independent review of the MSI 870A-G54 MB? It hasn't getting especially good customer feedback over @ NewEgg

February 12, 2011 4:00:03 AM

Thank you, WR2. Do you (or anyone) have any suggestions for a better motherboard? I just saw the MSI 870A-G54 in another recommendation on these forums so assumed it was good and didn't really read up on it (my mistake). I'm also reconsidering cases per your suggestion - kind of like the NZXT M59.

The power supply I mentioned is out of stock - would the following be sufficient? (It is 80+ certified)

StealthXStream 2 600 Watt ATX Power Supply - $67.99 (47.99)

Is it pretty wise to add a CPU cooler even without overclocking?

I'm getting anxious to order the parts so appreciate any input. Thanks!
Related resources
February 12, 2011 4:20:17 AM

Alternate PSU choice looks good.
OCZ StealthXStream 2 600 W Power Supply Review

It's almost a shame to get a Black Edition CPU and not overclock a bit.
But if you're sure you don't plan on doing any of that the stock cooler for the X4 965BE will be fine.

Asus M4A88TD-V EVO is a choice I like.
It's got the same 1x16 PCI-e & 1x16 x4 electrical format as the MSI 870A-G54. Which is a bit less than ideal if your ever planning on use two video cards.
February 12, 2011 5:08:25 AM

PSU: Corsair GS600

CPU: AMD PHENOM 2 X4 965 Black Edition (comes with a free MOBO)

MOBO:M4N68T-M V2 Socket AM3 630a mATX Motherboard
FREE (or 54.99 if the promo ends)

MEMORY: XMS 4GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL7 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 2GB Memory Modules)

HDD: Caviar Blue 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

CASE: Dark Fleet 30 ATX Mid Tower Case

OPTICAL DRIVE: GH22NS50 22X Internal SATA Super Multi DVD Drive

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64

189.99 (169.99 after rebate)

TOTAL not including rebate: $878
with rebate: $858

This almost my exact build. It runs EVERYTHING I have tested at max settings.

A bit cheaper build would be to replace a few parts:

MEMORY: XMS3 4GB DDR3-1600 (PC-12800) CL9 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Two 2GB Memory Modules)
59.99 (39.99 after mail in rebate)

PSU:Builder Series CMPSU-600CX 600 Watt ATX Power Supply

HDD: Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 7,200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive ST3500418AS - OEM

New total: $777
with rebate: $737
(totals assume 6% sales tax since you want instore)

This will run anything you play at max settings. Games I have personally tested (at max settings at 1920x768 with the same CPU, GPU, and MOBO and memory):
STALKER: Call of Pripyat
Batman: Arkham Asylum
Psychonauts (because it is a GREAT game, and you need to play it if you have not lol)
Just Cause 2
Mafia II
Arma 2
Two Worlds 2 (everyone has a white head for some reason) (demo)
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
Sims 3
Civilization V (DX11)

Some Notes from my build:

The M4N68T-M v2 board seems to be a great board and includes an unlocker and a turbo key, I have yet to use the turbo key. The only real problems I have at this point are concerning the borad, however, but it is to be expected for a free board I suppose:

2 slots for memory (max of 8GB supported)
1 PCI-Ex16 slot
The GTX460 is big enough to block my PCI-E slot, meaning I can not put my WLAN chip in. Which sucks since I already have one handy :( 
Otherwise the board seems real nice so far.

No cpu cooler is needed if your not going to OC. Coretemp shows my CPU at 44-48 degrees at most. The stock CPU cooler is good to go.
February 12, 2011 6:10:31 AM

Negative - i would rate any of these chipsets

NForce 5xx/6xx

far inferior than any entry level AM2+ out in 2008 due to

a. HT Limitation when paired with any AM2+/AM3 chip
b. Still stuck on PCIe gen 1.0/1.1, true AM2+ had migrated to PCIe gen 2.0 as of 2008

Gigabyte NForce 630a
* If you install AMD AM3 CPU on this motherboard, the system bus speed will downgrade from HT3.0 (5200MT/s) to HT1.0 (2000 MT/s) spec; however, the frequency of AM3 CPU will not be impacted. Please refer "CPU Support List" for more information.

MSI 740GTM-P23

Hyper Transport Bus

• HyperTransport 1.0 supporting speed up to 1000MT/s


• 1 PCI Express x16 slot with x16 operation (PCI Express Bus SPEC V1.0 compliant)

February 12, 2011 6:26:36 AM

Wow, good catch on the chipsets Batuchka...
February 12, 2011 6:31:44 AM

Yep glad to help ^^
February 12, 2011 1:52:16 PM

I use $1000 as the split between AMD builds and SB builds ... if ya reconsider ya budget while waiting for the replacement Sandy Bridge stuff.

Case - $70 - Antec 300 Illusion
PSU - $100 - XFX Black Edition 750
MoBo - $390 - ASUS P8P67 Pro Currently Unavailable
CPU - incl above - Intel Core i5-2500K
RAM - $110 - (2 x 4GB) Corsair CAS 9
GFX - $250 - Asus GTX 560
HD - $55 - Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200 rpm
DVD Writer - $22 - Asus 24X DRW-24B3L w/ LS
OS - $100 - Win 7-64 Home Pre

Total $1097

If ya like the Dark Fleet, would suggest the upgrade to the DF-35 ... the DF-35 has two swappable "fleet bays" for ya HD's
February 12, 2011 3:31:33 PM

Combo looks decent actually. I like it. Everything you need except Windows 7 right there. Great find.

A few things about the board...
*To reach DDR3 1866MHz or above, you must install two memory modules and install them in the DDR3_3 and DDR3_4 memory sockets.

1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIEX16)
1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x4 (PCIEX4)

Note: The PCIEX1_1 and PCIEX1_2 slots share bandwidth with the PCIEX4 slot. When PCIEX4 slot is populated with a x4 card, the PCIEX1_1 and PCIEX1_2 slots become unavailable.
February 13, 2011 2:24:58 PM

Get a 560 Ti which will fit in your budget, lower your case from 120$ to a 80$ exemple a HAF 922 which has great air flow. For 80-100$ you would get 8GB ram, therefore the 40$ for 4GB advices from the other members are great. PSU : If you want SLI two 560 get a Corsair 750tx otherwise anything within 550-650 will run a 560. And no you don't need a extra cooler for your CPU if you're not going to OC. Anyways you can always get one later.