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Budget Upgrade with Athlon II X 3 450

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March 22, 2011 1:47:44 PM

Hello all. I'm thinking about upgrading my PC and possibly building another for a friend. The goal in both builds is finding a sweet-spot between value and performance while keeping cost very low. Both systems should be capable of playing most of the top games and multitasking between converting video files and burning media discs while also having performance to spare. Also, I'm interested in doing whatever unlocking and overclocking that can be accomplished easily to further enhance the value of the parts I purchase. I'd be disappointed if I couldn't unlock at least one of the cpus but I do understand that it is a crap-shoot. Either way, I'm interested in trying out the AMD 450 for the fun of it.

I've built my last three systems and tried a little overclocking on each of them. That's about the extent of my build experience.

I'd love some feedback on my plans so far.


AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

ASRock M3A770DE AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power RS600-PCARE3-US 600W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

I plan to run Win7 but haven't really thought about which version yet. All constructive responses greatly appreciated.

Best solution

March 22, 2011 4:19:51 PM

I would really go with 4GB DDR3 and a decent 80+ PSU like this one ^^
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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March 22, 2011 4:26:00 PM

Do you plan on using the on-board video or a discrete (stand-alone) GPU (video card)?

Also, what is your budget for the build?

Overall, without any additional info, your build looks okay, nothing really out of balance. Make sure you build a solid "stock settings" system and verify its stability before you begin tinkering with OCing and unlocking cores. Focus on OCing the CPU and GPU and I would recommend you not OC the memory (really isn't worth it in terms of gained performance compared to stability issues especially since OCing RAM does so little in most cases).

Please clarify. Good luck!
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March 22, 2011 5:07:05 PM

If he's using a 770,l it will require a discrete card...no on-board for that model
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March 22, 2011 5:26:10 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
If he's using a 770,l it will require a discrete card...no on-board for that model

This is true! Good catch......

Now, what GPU does the OP have in mind with what budget?
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March 23, 2011 10:00:46 AM

Thanks all. For now I'll keep my 9800 and grab another inexpensive video card for the second system as gaming and graphics are not a big deal there.

I don't have a specific budget in mind. I just want to keep things cheap and use the 450 as my base.
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March 23, 2011 10:44:20 AM

The 8gb is overkill for a budget minded build, 4gb will be just fine. You could switch the HDD to the spinpoint f3 500gb for 10 bucks less, for a little bit more you could get the 1tb model in there.
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March 23, 2011 11:30:58 AM

Go down to 4gb RAM, change HDD to Samsung Spinpoint F3 - 6gb/s HDD are not worth it.
What res do you play at? 9800 is still pretty good so likely no need to change that for now.
Get the Hyper 212+ CPU cooler for a cheap but very effective cooler for OCing
Change the CPu to a good quality one. Bat suggested a good one - 520W is plenty of power for your build
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March 23, 2011 12:42:32 PM

Thanks again all.

DDR3 ram is so cheap right now that I thought I'd take advantage but I hear you.
good call on the HDD 6gb/s issue. Storage, though, is not an issue as I have a server and the other build can deal with finding an external hdd when that fills up.

Thanks for the psu suggestion, I wasn't sure on that.

If I wanted to add a second gpu to my system down the road, would I need a 600w psu? I've played with the idea of putting together a triple monitor system down the road.
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March 23, 2011 3:17:13 PM

If you want to run 2 GPUs upgrade the motherboard to the 870 extreme 3 or something else with 2 8X or higher slots, what power supply depends on what cards.
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March 23, 2011 7:45:41 PM

OK. Much appreciate all the input. I'll probably come back here looking for more help as the build gets going.
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March 23, 2011 7:47:12 PM

Best answer selected by ttbwpg.
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