First Time Builder

Hi All,

I would like to get advice on a budget gaming PC I have in mind. I would be playing mostly SC2, Civ5 and hopefully Diablo3.
Components here are limited, unlike in the US and UK. I want to be open for future expansion such as Crossfire. Basically, I would like to hear your comments and suggestions on how to improve or lower the cost for this build. Thanks!

Approximate Purchase Date:
~ 1st week of March 2011

Budget Range:
~ about US$600

System Usage from Most to Least Important:
~ gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies

Parts Not Required:
~ keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin:
~ Philippines

Parts Preferences:
~ AMD set-up

~ Maybe, no idea how, but open to the idea. Does overclocking degrade the lifetime of the components?

SLI or Crossfire:
~ Maybe. Prefer mobo with capability for future.

Monitor Resolution:
~ 1440x900

This is the build I have in mind:

[CPU] AMD Phenom II X4 925 2.8GHz - $140
[GPU] HD 5770 512mb - $148
[Mobo] MSI 870-G45 - $95
[Mem] Kingston 2gb DDR3 x2 - $45
[HDD] Seagate Barracuda 500gb SATA - $45
[ODD] Lite-On 24x SATA DVR - $23
[PSU] Thermaltake LitePower 700w - $63
[Chassis] Thermaltake V4 - $46

18 answers Last reply
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  1. I would change the graphic card for this :
    Yours is a 5750 which is no good and expensive.
    I would get a samsung spintpoint F3 or a western digital blue/black hard drive
    I would also get a phenom 2 x4 955 the 925 is really old.
  2. @abswindows7

    Thanks for the reply, I just opted for the 5770 512mb not the 1gb since I won't be playing on high resolution.
    Regarding the Phenom II X4 955BE, I wanted it but it seems too high for my budget.
  3. If I would change my CPU to AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0Ghz, can it handle a ATI HD 5770 512mb, GPU? Can I still run games like Civ5 on medium to high settings?
  4. ok champ heres what u need to consider .... go with a 75 dollar athlon x3 rana core and spend the other 75 bucks on a better psu. other than that you may be correct on the graphics memory but check the benchmarks first.
  5. and the 5770 is a good card
  6. but as for the board notice it has one x4 pcie slot and one x16 pcie slot; go dirt cheap on board or pick one with same price and a x16 and x8 like an asrock 770 extrem 3 i got two and there are ok
  7. Get an Athlon II dual core(check to see if your motherboard supports it). No one needs quad cores right now and you can upgrade later. look for 2.4 to 2.8 Ghz. The minimum for decent movie playback is 2.4 Ghz.

    The 5770 or 5750 are good cards. The 5750 has a slightly slower, more stable speed(more efficient). There are cheaper graphics cards that will work.

    Try a 240 GT:

    GTS 250:

    or 9800 GT:

    The GTS 250 is probably the best way to go.
  8. Thanks for the feedback guys.

    But the thing is Civ5 recommended requirements is to go quad core. That was why I was looking at Athlon II X4 640 or Phenom II X4 925, and I read that there was only 5-7% performance difference in the two. I have no experience in OCing so might as well go with Athlon right? Since, I may not get the full potential of Phenom if I dont OC.

    I really have no idea on GT cards, may do some reading. But what caught me in HD 5770 is DX11 compatibility, I assume upcoming games will be going DX11.. :)


    Now, Im really inclined with the Athlon II X4 640 and HD 5770 combo. Is MSI 770-G45 a good choice? It shows that it is Crossfire compatible, can Athlon handle it? Or is it more PSU concerned?

    I really appreciate your comments!
  9. you dont want to cf with a x16 and a x4; get a 50 dollar board or a 200 dollar board. cf isnt all that; some games crash alot with that enabled.
  10. brandenjaffri said:
    you dont want to cf with a x16 and a x4; get a 50 dollar board or a 200 dollar board. cf isnt all that; some games crash alot with that enabled.

    I see, so CF isnt really advisable? Hmm, I though it could save me from upgrading to a higher GPU if needed in the future (just buy another HD5770 and voila!). Anyway, I didnt get what you meant by x16 and x4, can you please clue me in? Im really just learning about this stuff along my research.
  11. I see your point in the x16 and x4, so it's not possible for a set-up like that?

    Hmm, I need to look for a mobo with 2 PCI-Ex x16 slots and AM3 Socket if I want a future crossfire right?
    Any suggestions?
  12. Ok, after deciding that using CrossfireX for future upgragde may not be the best idea since it is having some issues with some games, not going to OC, and a tight budget, I have revised my build.

    [CPU] AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz
    [GPU] PC HD 5770 512mb
    [MoBo] ECS A880GM-AD3
    [Mem] Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333 x2
    [HDD] Western Digital 500GB
    [PSU] iMaster Pro 500W 80Plus
    [Chassis] CoolerMaster Elite 335

    I have some confusion though, is the Western Digital HD mentioned blue, green or black series? I can't seem to find it in their website: or shoud I just go Seagate Barracude 500mb? Another confusion is it shows 16mb cache but their website: show 32mb cache. Which is it then?

    Any comments or suggestions? I need your opinion guys. Thanks!
  13. [Edit] Forgot ODD

    [ODD] Samsung 24x LS
  14. Crossfire causes some micro-stuttering.

    You are wrong about needing 4 cores for civilization 5. It works with dual cores, according to the specs:

    Minimum System Requirements

    Operating System: Windows® XP SP3/ Windows® Vista SP2/ Windows® 7
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.0 GHz
    Memory: 2GB RAM
    Hard Disk Space: 8 GB Free
    DVD-ROM Drive: Required for disc-based installation
    Video: 256 MB ATI HD2600 XT or better, 256 MB nVidia 7900 GS or better, or Core i3 or better integrated graphics
    Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
    DirectX®: DirectX® version 9.0c

    Recommended System Requirements

    Operating System: Windows® Vista SP2/ Windows® 7
    Processor: 1.8 GHz Quad Core CPU
    Memory: 4 GB RAM
    Hard Disk Space: 8 GB Free
    DVD-ROM Drive: Required for disc-based installation
    Video: 512 MB ATI 4800 series or better, 512 MB nVidia 9800 series or better
    Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
    DirectX®: DirectX® version 11

    That being said, go ahead and get the quad core.

    The seek times and RPM determine how fast your Hard drive is. The supplier you are using doesn't seem to list detailed specification information, like that.
    You might want to consider getting the hard drive locally or from another supplier.

    Check if any software is bundled with the hard drive. sometimes good programs are bundled with the drive and make transfer of any old drive data easier. This is one reason that I like to shop for drives in person.
  15. Yeah, I was referring to Recommended Specs.
    Thanks for the info on the hard drive. I may look for another source, and not just for the hardrive, maybe the whole package.

    Considering my build, a friend recommended the ff:

    [CPU] Athlon II X4 635 2.9Ghz; the price differene was too much just for a 100Mhz
    [GPU] GTX 460 768Mb rather than HD 5770 512mb, the price is the same but the performance is way better

    I have a few questions:
    Will the A2 X4 635 cause a bottleneck for the GTX 460?
    Any issues for SLI? Is it just like CrossfireX with the minor issues?
    Also, if I was to use SLI in teh future, is a PSU of 500W enough?

    Thanks pleasenoname, you were really helpful! :)
  16. 1- Athlon 2 x4 will barely bottleneck the card, barely.
    2- No sli for you, an Athlon 2 x4 will severely bottlenect a SLI
    3- 500 watts is for one card, aim fo 650-750 for SLI.
    4- If you plan on going SLI, get a phenom and a compatible motherboard.
  17. I changed the MoBo to MSI 880gm-E43. The only difference is SATA, ECS use SATA3 and MSI use SATA2, is this a major downgrade? I read that SATA3 are good for SSD's only.

    I looked at the Inno3D GTX 460 and it needed 2 6-pin PCI-Ex ports. Can anyone recommend a PSU (80Plus) with at least 500W and 2 6-pin PCI-Ex?

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