New Computer Build


I'm looking to build a new system. I have that bug again. :)

I'm looking to stay in the $500-600 range or so, not counting the OS as I have that already taken care of.

AMD Phenom II X2 560BE (Frys has it on sale for $89).
ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 AMD 870 AM3 Motherboard
8GB Patriot DDR3 1333MHz (2X4GB)
Either a 500, 750, or 1TB SATA HDD
Zalman CNPS9700 LED CPU Cooler
Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Case (don't need anything fancy)
500W PS

Will be using my existing monitor which is HDMI 1440X900

I would wait for SB/Bulldozer but due to cost I won't be able to do that.

Reason I'm on a budget is due to the wife.......

I'm hoping I can unlock the other two cores with this motherboard.

I'm basically going to be web surfing with it, as well as some gaming
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  1. Ow you can do far far better and with gaming on the table @ that price range - GT 430 offers awful frames/$$ and even gets beat by dated cards like HD 4670/9600GT so avoid at all costs

    $548AR before after market cooling
  2. The GT430 is not a gaming card get GTS450/Radeon 5750 or better (Radeon w/ AMD build). Skip the aftermarket CPU cooling for now--wait and see what your overclocking temps are.

    I'm using prices.

    CPU: $140 Phenom II x4 955BE
    Mobo: $90 ASRock 870 Extreme 3 (runs 2x PCI-e at 8x/8x instead of x16/x4)
    RAM: $45 Any 1600MHz CL9 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3
    HDD: $55 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB (cheaper on non-Newegg places)
    PSU: $40 520W Antec (
    Possibly a $45 AR 600W Corsair, prices change on Newegg site (
    DVD: $17 Any
    Case: $60 Antec 300 Illusion

    Total is $447. That leaves $150 for graphics. You could get the PII x2 560BE and save $50 to throw down on a 6950 2GB. If you'd like to keep your budget to $600 even, then get a 5850 (which is just as good as a 6870 or better). Batchuka's case and DVD saves you $40 from my build.

    I include shipping in the case and PSU prices. This does not include keyboard, mouse, cables, etc.

    What is your current build? Can you reuse your DVD drive? In the interest of what matters most--can you reuse your current HDD and put the money towards graphics? Then upgrade your HDD in 3 months when you have $50 to throw down on it.

    You might want to swap the 955 I recommended for an Athlon II x4 640 for $100 even and put that $40 on graphics. You won't beat my build by much for the price point.
  3. I do have a 320GB hard drive I can reuse. I don't store a whole heck of a lot or have a lot of programs installed, so this should do just fine. It's a Seagate 320GB 7200RPM drive.

    I wasn't planning on installing any optical drives as I rarely used the one I had on an old computer. I can install Windows 7 and any other software I need via USB.

    Thank you so much for the suggestions!!
  4. Yep if that 320GB hdd is SATA u are good to go - u are welcomed ^^
  5. Okay, so I stayed under my $600 limit, barely. :)

    I ended up purchasing a Phenom II X2 560.
    MSI 870A-G54 mobo
    Palit GTS450 1GB
    8GB Patriot Sector 5 1600MHz
    Zalman copper CPU cooler
    Apevia 500W PS
    Elite 430 Black Case
    5 120MM case fans

    320GB SATA Seagate 7200 RPM drive that I had laying around.

    I can unlock the other 2 cores and have it POST, but it blue screens as soon as it starts Windows 7. It doesn't matter what voltage I set it to or if I try disabling the 3rd or 4th core.

    I did get it to overclock to 4GHz and it runs fine at idle or little CPU load, but BSOD as soon as I tax the CPU. I will play with that some as well. I did set the RAM speed to 1600 as it wanted to default to 1066.

    This thing is FAST compared to the C2D laptop it replaced. It's comparable to my PC at work which is a Dell with a Core i5. The bottleneck according to Windows 7 is my HDD, which I expected.

    Thanks again for all the help!
  6. I don't understand some of your purchases, but I'm glad you like your new computer. I wouldn't trust my hardware to an Apevia PSU though. The whole reason I suggested Radeon cards was because you can't SLI multiple GeForce ones on most AM3 motherboards.

    Try setting the RAM speed lower and the CPU should be stable at 4.0GHz. What voltage are you using and what are your temps like? I monitor with HWMonitor and CPU-Z and stability test with LinX. I test my RAM with Memtest86+.
  7. I've tried the stock 1.3 and up to 1.4v for the 4GHz overclock. Would backing the RAM speed back down to auto (1066) make it stable? It's 1600 rated RAM made for OC.

    I'm not going to do dual video cards, though the Mobo is definitely capable of it. I've heard there's a trick to get SLI to work on an AMD board if I decide to go that route.

    I got a really great deal on that card which is why I went with it. The model numbers for the Radeon cards were somewhat confusing.

    I've been an NVidia fan for a good 10 years now since their early cards. I know them a lot better than ATI's cards. Plus, the higher end cards comparable to the GTS450 were a good $40-50 more.

    Temps in HWMonitor look great! At idle it's sitting at nearly room temperature. Under a little load I'm between 90 and 100 degrees F. The way those case fans are mounted I know it's dissipating heat well as the area the computer is in is a little warmer than the rest of the room.
  8. So long as your GTS 450 wasn't more than the price of a 5770. It's pretty much 5750 performance, but it's not that bad of a buy if you don't want dual cards (good luck with that SLI route, but I'm pretty sure you need an NVidia chipset AM3 board for that).

    You have your temps in Fahrenheit? Okay...but non-standard. 95 Fahrenheit isn't load though. No CPU runs at 35C load (maybe with an excellent water cooled system OR if your room is a freezer, literally below 40F). And 95F on the CPU would not warm the room at all. Make sure you have warning and shutdown temps set in your bios.

    An OC can fail for a lot of reasons, but simply, it is usually the CPU or the RAM that can't run at the current setting. So you do one at a time to isolate your max setting for each. First you turn your RAM to the slowest setting and max out your CPU. Then you max out your RAM.
  9. I paid $119 for the GTS 450.

    I tweaked the CPU and CPU-NB voltage yesterday. 1.35 for CPU and just under 1.2 I think for CPU-NB. I have it running at 4GHz now and RAM is at 1333. I ran Prime95 on it for a good little bit (will run it overnight tonight) and everything was running smoothly. I misspoke about the temps though. The highest it ran temp wise was 115-120 degrees F with the torture test from Prime95, both cores. Case temp was right around 100 F during the torture test. It showed both C and F temps but I'm more familiar with F. Idle the CPU runs around 85-90 F. Case temp is around room temp when idle.

    As far as airflow, I have 1 fan in the front sucking in air, 1 on the bottom, the PS is on the bottom and its fan is sucking in air. I have 1 fan on the side sucking in air. 1 fan in the back blowing out air, and 2 fans on the top blowing out air. The CPU fan is facing the two top fans.
  10. Wow...your cooling works great. I'd still swap the GTS 450 for a 5770 if I could if I were you, but the GTS 450 will get the job done. The main problem is you'll want to SLI it by the end of the year since a GTS 450 isn't top of the line and you won't be able to with your mobo. That's why you'd want a Radeon card.
  11. All of my case fans are 120mm. I have 3 case fans, 1 in the front, 1 on the bottom, and 1 on the side of the case that all suck in air. I have the PSU on the bottom of the case with the fan at the bottom, so it's sucking in air and blowing it out the back. I have two case fans on the top and one in the back that blow the hot air out. The CPU fan is facing the two fans on the top. Noise isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.
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