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Buying a new computer and looking for advice

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March 17, 2011 12:44:05 AM

Hello. First post on the board, so I would like any help I can get.

Im going to be going back to the US for about a week and in the time I want to pick up a new computer. I looked around and found a good site to build it for me, I picked out the insides and all. Im looking for something on the cheaper side, around 700, and a computer I can use for normal student related work and some games, like Starcraft 2 or Civ 5. Nothing too big, but enough to let me play the new up comming games for a few years.

Here is the build. Let me know if I should change anything or if it works or what. Thanks in advance.

AMD Athlon II X4 645 3.1GHz 2MB Cache FSB 4000MHz HT
Arctic Cooling Alpine ACALP64PWM Ultra Quiet Fan/Heatsink
MSI 880GM-E43 (Radeon HD4250 Video, HDMI, DVI, 5xSATA2, 4xDDR3)
4GB (2GBx2) PC3 10666 DDR3 1333Mhz Memory Lifetime Warranty
1TB 7200RPM 32MB Cache Serial ATA300 (Major Brand)
22X LG SATA Dual Layer DVD+/-RW/CDRW w/Nero
1GB ATI Radeon HD5770 GDDR5 PCI-E DVI/HDMI (Major Brand)
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Foxconn Black FX-TS001A (3 5.25, 5 3.5) Fan, Front Audio/USB
ISO400 Foxconn Stock Power Supply
Onboard LAN included
Wireless B/G/N PCI Adapter
Onboard Sound included
Internal All in 1 Card Reader
2x 120mm Case Fan

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March 17, 2011 1:21:30 AM

It's OK except for the Foxconn PSU. That's the problem with most of those types of computers, the power supply is seriously bad. The results of this are shortened component life or outright catastrophic failure. The BIG companies such as Dell and HP actually do better at PSU selection, although not always.

For under $700 you can have more if you build it yourself, and the important parts will be covered by 3 or even 5 year warranties. It's not as difficult as you may imagine, but if it's out of the question then I suggest you look further at some better companies.

Something like this Dell:
http://www.dell.com/us/p/studio-xps-7100/pd?oc=dxdndp1&...

That would come to a bit more though and you have to trust them on the PSU.

Or, I can whip up a parts list easily and you can build it.
March 17, 2011 1:28:35 AM

I am only in the US for a week, and will be there from the 24th, so I dont have the time to oder all the parts and then put it together before I come back to Japan, so I was looking for something that could be put together for me.

I was looking at ecollegepc.com for the computer, and all the parts can be changed out however I want. With the computer you posted, how does the video card compair to the one I posted?
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March 17, 2011 1:43:21 AM

Let me show you a list of how I would do this:

  • ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
  • COOLER MASTER Elite 430 RC-430-KWN1 Black Steel / Plastic Computer Case
  • Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
  • ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
  • GIGABYTE GV-R585OC-1GD Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video ...
  • Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
  • G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT
  • AMD Athlon II X4 645 Propus 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX645WFGMBOX
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
    TOTAL: $742.91

    That total would actually come down because of promo codes and such, but would include an even stronger video card.

    The base dell system I linked must be upgraded to a 5770, which puts it over $800 as I recall.


    As for the site you listed, this would be the way I would do it there:
    AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz 2MB Cache FSB 4000MHz HT
    AMD Heatsink and Fan Included
    ASUS M4A87TD EVO (AMD 870, 2xPCI-E, 6xSATA2, 4xDDR3)
    8GB (4GBx2) PC3 10666 DDR3 1333Mhz Memory Lifetime Warranty
    1TB 7200RPM 32MB Cache Serial ATA300 (Major Brand)
    22X LG SATA Dual Layer DVD+/-RW/CDRW w/Nero
    1GB ATI Radeon HD5770 GDDR5 PCI-E DVI/HDMI (Major Brand)
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
    CoolerMaster Black Elite 430 (3 5.25, 6 3.5) Fan, Audio/USB
    600watt OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ600MXSP
    Onboard LAN included
    Onboard Sound included
    Wires and Cables neatly tied up away from fans
    3 Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty
    March 17, 2011 2:37:11 AM

    Thanks for that. Its still in my range, and with my time line I think the best bet would be to go though to online site I used, so I think I will use what you suggested.

    Two question though. First, from what Im hearing from people, 4 gig of ram is more then enough. How much more does 8 give me? What would be the major differences, just speed?

    Also, with my current computer, Im not sure if its the weather here or the fans are a bit broke, but my computer overheats in the summer to where I have to have an outside fan or the air conditioner running to keep it going. Should I invest in a better fan, or should this handle it fine?
    March 17, 2011 5:39:13 AM

    I actually only saw 8GB options when I was there. There is a slight difference, not in frames per second but general computer performance and such. Gets more pronounced the more background programs you have. It's not a huge deal which is why I went cheap on my newegg list and got the stronger GPU instead.

    I recently built a similar system for a woman that needed a lot of horsepower for a lot of visual impairment type programs, except it was minus the extra GPU of course. It's a good CPU. I would have preferred an Intel CPU for a strategy gamer but I don't think it's in your budget. I play Civ V myself and am looking forward to a Sandy bridge upgrade this month.
    March 17, 2011 5:46:12 AM

    There are different options available online, but if you chose the custom and not just the gaming option, you can select more choices. If you got a chance, head to the site and just select the AMD custom builder option, then see what you can do.
    March 17, 2011 6:14:35 AM

    Here we go:

    AMD Phenom II X4 955 3.2Ghz 6MB Cache FSB 4000MHz HT
    AMD Heatsink and Fan Included
    MSI 880GM-E41 (Radeon HD4250 Video, HDMI, 6xSATA2, 4xDDR3)
    4GB (2GBx2) PC3 10666 DDR3 1333Mhz Memory Lifetime Warranty
    1TB 7200RPM 32MB Cache Serial ATA300 (Major Brand)
    1GB ATI Radeon HD5770 GDDR5 PCI-E DVI/HDMI (Major Brand)
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
    CoolerMaster Black Elite 430 (3 5.25, 6 3.5) Fan, Audio/USB
    600watt Corsair CMPSU-600CX
    Onboard LAN included
    Onboard Sound included
    Wires and Cables neatly tied up away from fans
    3 Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty

    That's $740 (oops forgot optical drive)
    Better CPU for strategy gaming, and you can upgrade it later by adding another cooler and overclocking.

    Now, spending a bit more up front:

    2.8Ghz Intel Core i5-760 8MB Cache Quad-Core
    Stock Intel LGA1156 Heatsink and Fan
    GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 (Intel P55, 2xPCI-E, 8xSATA2, 4xDDR3, 1394)
    4GB (2GBx2) Corsair XMS3 12800 DDR3 1600Mhz Lifetime Warranty
    1TB 7200RPM 32MB Cache Serial ATA300 (Major Brand)
    22X LG SATA Dual Layer DVD+/-RW/CDRW w/Nero
    1GB ATI Radeon HD5770 GDDR5 PCI-E DVI/HDMI (Major Brand)
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
    CoolerMaster Black Elite 430 (3 5.25, 6 3.5) Fan, Audio/USB
    600watt Corsair CMPSU-600CX
    Onboard LAN included
    Onboard Sound included
    Wires and Cables neatly tied up away from fans
    3 Year Parts and Labor Limited Warranty

    That's better than the AMD build, stronger processor, but you pay for it... almost $900.

    !